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9 Memorable Western Art Movements We Owe a lot to

9 Memorable Western Art Movements We Owe a lot to

From the hieroglyphs in caves to the digital drawings available across the internet, art has been around for a long time. Art is created for many purposes. To communicate, to evoke emotions, and for the sake of expression. Of course, it was not always as celebrated as it is in the modern era. When it comes to inspiring generations and leaving a remarkable impact, art movements across the globe have played a huge role. Considering where art stands today, we owe a lot to some notable art movements which redefined everything. Come and let us take a peek at some of these:


In the 18th century, a sentimental and passionate movement took over the West. It celebrated the essence of life and the human spirit in many forms. Until the 1850s it ruled the artistic scape actively. The core feature was to prefer emotion over logic and to explore humanity appreciating all the beauty around itself. This spiritual expression was presented by many artists including Eugene Delacroix, J.M.W Turner, and Francisco Goya.


Somewhat abstract and bizarre nature of art which emphasizes theatrical themes with a hyper-realistic edge. It has been recognized as one of the most dramatic art forms seen from 1600 to 1750. From the colours to the scenes, every component had depth and exuberance. Some notable names from this art movement include Anthony Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.


The late 1800s were particularly famous for the impressionist movement. The ‘impression’ in question was the soft lighting and brush impressions made during a spur-of-the-moment painting. Taking the element of inspiration into consideration, pre-created sketches or rough drafts were not a part of this movement. The ‘riverside painting of the serene surroundings’ was more of the vibe this art movement pushed. Neo-impressionism and post-impressionism are an evolved form of this. Popular pieces include Renoir’s, Cassatt’s, and Monet’s work.


Emerging in the 1400s, Renaissance is amongst the most celebrated art movements. We are all familiar with the astounding paintings of Michelangelo, Rafael, and Leonardo Da Vinci. These people are the most relevant examples of this art form. It celebrated Greek and Roman classical art in the most breathtaking manner.

Art Nouveau

Developed in 1890, Art Nouveau is also known by names like Glasgow Style, Jugendstil, and Sezessionstil. It had vivid elements which rivalled the era’s industrializing techniques with its emphasis on curves, shapes, and plainness. Until 1890, it had become a very vital part of architecture and renovation. Notable artists include personalities like Gustav Klimt, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Aubrey Beardsley


Just as the name suggests, this art movement was a surreal trip to the universe, found in 1924. Going against the creative representation of realism, it utilizes the creativity of imagination. Inspired by the subconscious planes of the mind, Surrealism bent the rules and proved that art can be erratic, bizarre, and wild. Some notable personalities include Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, and Frida Kahlo.

Abstract Expression

Abstractism was a chaotic and rebellious art movement that emerged in the 1940s. It was the first of its kind to gain international recognition. Representing roughness and unsymmetrical subject themes, abstract art heavily relies on the element of spontaneity. Some popular names include Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, and Lee Krasner.


In the 1950s, this art movement redefined and shook the artists with its commitment to abandoning traditional rules. Focusing on pop culture, it utilizes a contemporary set of characteristics to appeal to the wider audience. Popular names include Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and David Hockney.

Realism and Photorealism

This art movement emerged before the mid-1850s and was the total opposite of Romanticism. People were quite used to the over-the-top mythological demonstrations or fantastical art. Hence, in such an era, this form of contemporary art appealed to the audiences. Some popular names include Gustave Courbet, Jean François Millet, Edward Hopper, and Édouard Manet.

Photorealism focused on duplicating a real-life scene or object in a way that looks like an accurate pictorial representation. This movement is still alive and emerged in the 1960s. Popular names include Ralph Goings, Richard Estes, and Audrey Flack.


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