History of Art Timeline
Chronology of Visual Arts: List of Dates.

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History of Arts and Crafts (2,500,000 BCE - Present)


Girl with Braids (1918)
By Modigliani (1884-1920).
Nagoya City Art Museum.

The Evolution of Visual Art

Here is a selected list of all major periods in the history of art since the early Stone Age. Dates given are approximate. Incorporating details of arts and crafts from Prehistory, Classical Antiquity, The Dark Ages, The Middle Ages, and The Renaissance, as well as Modern and Postmodern movements, the timeline includes: styles of painting, as well as sculpture, and architecture, plus schools of decorative and interior design, and a variety of 20th century forms of contemporary creative expression. The names of major artists are also listed, where appropriate. For specific information about architectural timelines, please see the history of architecture. For the history and chronology of East Asian cultures, see: Chinese Art Timeline (from 18,000 BCE).


Date Event

2.5 million BCE
to 800 BCE

PREHISTORY
For a chronological list of important dates concerning prehistoric art and culture, from the Lower Paleolithic era of the Pliocene Epoch, plus the Middle and Upper Paleolithic of the Pleistocene Epoch, and the Mesolithic and Neolithic eras of the Holocene, along with the Bronze and Iron Age, see Prehistoric Art Timeline. It includes details of the earliest examples of Stone Age art, such as petroglyphs (rock engravings), cupules (cup-shaped scourings), cave painting and famous venus figurines. Also includes dates of ancient art from Egyptian (c.2500 BCE), Minoan (c.2000 BCE) and Mycenean (c.1000 BCE) civilizations, and charts the rise in religious art. For a short synopsis of the earliest painting and sculpture, see: Oldest Stone Age Art: Earliest 100 Artworks.

800 BCE - 400 CE

800 - 323 BCE




750 BCE
700 - 500 BCE
750 BCE
539 BCE
535 BCE
500 BCE
450 BCE
447 BCE
450 BCE
400 BCE
350 BCE
340 BCE
330 BCE
300 BCE - 400 CE
246 - 208 BCE
232 BCE
206 BCE
166-56 BCE
150 BCE
50 BCE
42 BCE
27 BCE
9 BCE
79 CE
113
200-320

329
395
410-450
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The Period of Classical Antiquity

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Era of Greek art. (Fresco murals, ancient pottery, encaustic paintings, sculpture, flourish)
For a general guide, see: Greek Sculpture Made Simple. For details, please see: Daedalic (650-600), Archaic (600-500); Early Classical (500-450), High Classical (450-400), Late Classical (400-323) Hellenistic Period (323-27). For architectural designs, see Greek Architecture.
Foundation of ancient Rome. Etruscan Kings rule.
Etruscan civilization.
First use of Greek alphabet.
Ancient Persians conquer Mesopotamia (see: Mesopotamian art) and build Persepolis.
High point of Greek black-figure style of ceramic pottery. Soon followed by red-figure.
Democracy in Athens. Celtic La Tène art style begins. Roman Republic starts.
Greek sculptor Polykleitos creates Doryphoros statue. Chinese painting begins.
Construction of the Parthenon begins. Finished 432.
Famous Greek bronze sculpture: Discus Thrower (by Myron).
Famous Etruscan works: Capitoline Wolf and Chimera of Arezzo.
Greek sculptor Praxiteles produces Aphrodite of Knidos and Hermes.
Famous Greek sculpture: Boy From Antikythera.
Rise of Alexander the Great (d.323)
Era of Roman art. Heavily influenced by Hellenistic (Greek) painting & sculpture.
Creation of Chinese Terracotta Army Warriors.
Famous Greek sculpture: Dying Gaul.
Start of Chinese Han Dynasty art which produced the first Chinese porcelain.
Famous Greek sculpted frieze: Pergamon Altar of Zeus.
Famous Greek statue: Venus di Milo (by Alexandros of Antioch).
Beginning of the Fayum Mummy Portraits. They continued until about 250 CE.
Famous Greek sculpture: Laocoon (by sculptors Hagesandrus, Polydorus, Athenodorus)
Beginning of Roman Empire. See also: Roman Architecture.
Completion of Ara Pacis Augustae.
Vesuvius errupts, destroying Pompeii.
Famous Roman relief sculpture monument, Trajan's Column.
Christian mural paintings in catacombs of Rome; early Christian sculpture on sarcophagi; early Christian art more widespread, after 313. Period of Late Roman Art.
Edict of Milan legitimizes Christianity. First Biblical art seen.
St Peter's Basilica in Rome completed (original building).
Roman Empire officially splits into West (Rome/Ravenna) and East (Byzantium).
Fall of Rome to repeated invasions by Visigoths and Vandals.

450-1050

500-1200
532-7
550-800

700-50
700-900

780-900





800
900
1000
1050-1150

1080
1150-1450




1250-1400
1304-1310
1333-1400
1346
1387
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The Period of the Dark Ages

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Era of Byzantine art. Panel painting, Orthodox icon painting and mosaic art flourish. See the Ravenna mosaics. Hagia Sophia built in Constantinople. See Byzantine Architecture.
Celtic/Saxon Illuminated Gospel Manuscripts.
Cathach of Colmcille (560 CE), Book of Durrow (670), Book of Kells (c.800).
Oils (walnut, linseed) first used for oil-resin varnishes, and for painting on stone & glass.
Early forms of porcelain ceramics appear in China during the era of Tang Dynasty art. For more details of chronology, see: Pottery Timeline.
Medieval Christian artworks appear during Pre-Romanesque Era of Carolingian Renaissance under Charlemagne I, Otto I. Byzantine art combines with Western Christian themes to create Illuminated Bible texts.
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The European Revival
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Carolingian Art
flourishes 750-900. Charlemagne builds famous Palatine Chapel in Aachen.
Ottonian Art flourishes 900-1000. See also: German Medieval art (800-1250).
Start of Medieval manuscript illumination, featuring Romanesque art.
Height of Romanesque architecture. Religious murals, stained glass. Cathedrals built at Angouleme, Essen, Mainz, Worms and Pisa, plus Cluny Abbey Church.
Bayeux Tapestry, most famous piece of tapestry art commissioned by Bishop Odo.
Era of Gothic art and Gothic architecture. Many Gothic cathedrals designed: (eg. St. Denis (1140), Notre Dame (1160), Chartres (1194), Reims (1211), Canterbury (1100), Westminster Abbey (1245), Cologne, w. pointed arches, flying buttresses, huge stained glass windows. New panel paintings (tempera on wood), and illuminated texts (opaque paint on vellum). Oil paints first used for painting on panel.
Era of Proto-Renaissance art/architecture, influenced by International Gothic style.
Giotto paints Scrovegni Chapel frescoes at Padua.
Zen Ink-Painting dominates Japanese art.
Black Death plague kills third of European population. Era of Ming Dynasty art in China.
Medici Family Bank founded in Florence.

1400-1530



1426
1434
1444
1485
1490

1495
1501-4
1503-6
1506

1508-12
1509-13






1400-onwards

1432
1433-4
1435-40
1500-10



1450



1490-1520
1500-20
1517
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The Renaissance (North of Italy, known as the Northern Renaissance)
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Italian Early Renaissance (1400-90);
The three main centres of the Italian Renaissance, were Florence, Rome and Venice.
Famous painting: The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise by Masaccio.
Dome of Florence cathedral designed by Filippo Brunellesci.
Iconic bronze David made by sculptor Donatello, greatest of early Renaissance sculptors.
Famous mythological painting: The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli.
Famous example of linear perspective: Lamentation Over the Dead Christ by Mantegna.
Italian High Renaissance (1490-1530)
First masterpiece of High Renaissance painting: The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci.
Highpoint of Italian Renaissance sculpture: Michelangelo creates David in Florence.
Leonardo paints the Mona Lisa, one of the greatest Renaissance paintings.
Vatican Museums open with a display of the sculpture, Laocoon and His Sons. Work begins on redesign and rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica, Rome.
Michelangelo paints the Genesis Old Testament Sistine Chapel frescoes.
Raphael works on paintings for the papal apartments.

Northern Renaissance
Differences in climate, religion, geography and culture between Italy and Northern Europe leads to differences in how the Renaissance develops north of Italy.

FLANDERS and HOLLAND
(1430-1580)
Technical improvements in oil paints hasten their adoption by Dutch Old Masters. The technique then spreads to Italy, and is taken up by Leonardo Da Vinci and others.
Golden Age of Flemish painting: Jan Van Eyck paints The Ghent Altarpiece.
Jan Van Eyck paints masterpieces: The Arnolfini Wedding; Man in a Red Turban (1433)
Famous painting: Descent from the Cross (The Deposition) by Roger Van der Weyden.
Moralizing fantasy paintings by Hieronymus Bosch. (eg. The Garden of Earthly Delights). See Netherlandish Renaissance Art (1430-1580).

GERMANY
(1450-1550)
Invention of the screw printing press by the German Johann Gutenberg, along with an oil-based ink, metal prism matrices, punch-stamped typeface molds and a functional metal alloy to mold the type. Astonishingly, only minor improvements were made to Gutenberg's press design until about 1800.
Tilman Riemenschneider creates greatest wood sculpture of German Gothic art.
Albrecht Durer, greatest artist & printmaker of Northern Renaissance, flourishes.
Martin Luther starts the Reformation. See German Renaissance Art (1430-1580).
See also: Renaissance Architecture.

1530-1600


1534-41
1545

1550
1561

1577
1580
1581
1583
1600-1700







1656-67
1667
1670-1800
1700-70


1707

1744
1750-1800





1764
1766
1768
1789
1793
1799
1799

1800

1800-50


1803

1810-40

1830
1830-70



1839
1840

1841
1842
1848
1850-67

1850-present



1855
1859
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Era of Mannerism. Golden Age of Venetian Painting with Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese. See: Venetian altarpieces (1500-1600). See: Titian & Venetian colour painting. Also the era of the Fontainebleau School in France, under Francis I (1494-1547).
Michelangelo paints The Last Judgement biblical frescoes in the Sistine Chapel.
Council of Trent: Church in Rome launches Counter-Reformation. Fine arts and architecture used by Catholic religion to promote its authority and public appeal.
The eminent Renaissance art critic Giorgio Vasari, publishes his Lives of the Artists.
Foundation of the Academy of Art in Florence (Accademia dell'Arte del Disegno) the first official school of drawing in Europe to promote what is now called Academic Art.
Greek mannerist artist El Greco establishes himself in Spain as religious painter.
Foundation of the Academy of Art in Rome (Accademia di San Luca).
Foundation of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Mannerist sculptor Giambologna creates his famous Rape of the Sabine Women.
Era of Baroque Art and Baroque Architecture, noted for its grandeur. Its bold dramatic and often colourful Baroque Painting (by Caravaggio, Rubens, Velazquez) and portraits (by Van Dyck), as well as sculpture by Bernini, are used by secular rulers to buttress their absolutism, and by the Catholic Church as a form of propaganda. See Bolognese School led by Annibale Carracci. See also: Classicism and Naturalism in Italian 17th Century Painting. See: Painting in Naples (1600-1700). Baroque art in Protestant countries takes a more down-to-earth style: see the Dutch Realist School led by Jan Vermeer and Rembrandt. See also vanitas painting - still lifes with a moral message.
Bernini designs the grand theatrical approaches to St Peter's to overawe visitors.
Rise of French tapestry art with the foundation of Gobelin Factory under Charles Le Brun.
Era of American Colonial Art (c.1670-1800), New England and the Carolinas.
Era of Rococo Art and interior architectural design. Light, whimsical, decorative style reflecting the decadence of the French Kings. See also: French Decorative Arts (1640-1792), and French Furniture. See also: Rococo Architecture.
Ceramicist Ehrenfried von Tschirnhaus and alchemist Johann Friedrich Bottger discover a formula (using feldspathic rock) for true porcelain ceramics in Meissen, Germany.
Foundation of Sotheby's art auctioneers by Samuel Baker.
Highpoint of the Grand Tour, and Era of Neoclassicism, a reaction against the frivolity of the French court. Promoted a return to the values and steadfast nobility of Classical Greece and Rome. Neoclassical artists included painters Goya, Ingres and Jacques-Louis David, sculptors Houdon, Canova and Thorvaldsen. Neoclassical architecture (buildings decorated by columns of Greek-style pillars, and topped with classical Renaissance domes) dominate Europe and spread to America (eg. US Capitol building).
Catherine the Great establishes the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.
Foundation of Christie's art auctioneers by James Christie the Elder, in London.
Foundation of the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
Beginning of the French Revolution.
Opening of the Louvre Museum, one of the world's greatest art museums.
Napoleon seizes power in France.
Invention of lithography (using a matrix of fine-grained limestone) by the Austrian printer Alois Senefelder.
Mid-point of English Figurative Painting 18th/19th Century, soon to be followed by the influential English School of landscape painting.
Era of Romanticism in art, encouraged by the heroic ideals of the French Revolution. French Romantics led by Eugene Delacroix. Other leading artists included William Blake, Caspar David Friedrich, JMW Turner, Thomas Cole and John Constable.
Invention of machine made paper (made from linen and cotton rags) by the Frenchman Nicholas Louis Robert.
German painters Friedrich Overbeck and Franz Pforr form the Nazarenes movement. For the Biedermeier style of Romantic realism and more, see German Art, 19th Century.
Famous painting: Liberty Leading the People, by Delacroix.
Barbizon 'School': School of French landscape painters working near Fontainebleau, led by Theodore Rousseau; paved the way for Impressionism, the ultimate plein-air painting movement. Other members included Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Honore Daumier. Other landscape plein-air painting schools emerge in Pont-Aven (Brittany) & Concarneau.
Louis Daguerre takes the first photo; see also: History of Photography.
Invention of the revolving perfecting press by American Richard March Hoe, (followed in 1846 by the first rotary press) and the manufacture of paper from wood pulp.
Collapsible tin paint tube invented by painter John Rand. Boosts plein air painting.
Foundation of House of Fabergé, St Petersburg, famous for Fabergé Easter Eggs.
Romantic Pre-Raphaelite art movement founded by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, London.
High point of Orientalism, a painting school celebrating the exotic Near and Middle East. Members included: Jean-Auguste Ingres, Sir David Wilkie, Eugene Fromentin.
The emergence of Realism, the progressive movement in art and literature. Spurning the ideal, Realists, such as Jean-Francois Millet and Gustave Courbet, sought to depict the truth: in particular, the everyday social truths of the new industrial age. Realism continues to spawn new approaches to the depiction of reality in the 20th century.
Gustave Courbet paints The Painter's Studio for display at his own exhibition: Le Réalisme.
Invention of photo-lithography by the French lithographer, Firmin Gillot, followed in 1872 by his son's invention of zincography, combining photography with etching.

1860-1979

1860-1900








1862-3

c.1869-90




1877


1884


1885-90


1885-1900




1890-1910






1898
1900-present









1900-07




1908-1913


1913
1908-14



1914-18













Mid-1920s-30s



1920s-30s






1920s-30s


1928-35

1936-45



1937
1940s-50s






1950s-60s



1960s-70s
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The Age of Modern Art
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Lesser known modern art movements of the mid-late 19th century included: Macchiaioli a Florentine style of anti-academy Impressionism (1860-90); Japonism, popular in UK and France (1875-1900); French Naturalism (Bande Noire, Brittany) inspired by Emil Zola (1880s-90s); Naive Art, exemplified by Henri Rousseau (1895-1940); Symbolism, an intellectual form of expressionist painting (1886-1900); Les Nabis, a mystical religious school of decorative art which spanned painting, tapestry, mosaics, fans, ceramics, and book illustration (1890s); Verismo, an Italian school of raw realism, led by Telemaco Signorini. (1890-1900); Intimisme, a style of intimate genre-painting exemplified by Edouard Vuillard (1890s-1900s).
Edouard Manet paints Déjeuner Sur L'Herbe then Olympia, in the style of Goya (The Nude Maja 1800), causing a scandal in the French Salon.
Era of French Impressionism, the name given by French critic Louis Leroy in 1874 to the works of Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro and others, after seeing Monet's painting Impression: Sunrise at the first Impressionist show. Impressionists focused on the depiction of outdoor light, but within a decade most of them had turned to painting indoors or in studios. The highpoint of French painting.
France's greatest modern sculptor Auguste Rodin shows The Age of Bronze at the Salon. Later works include: The Gates of Hell (1880-1917), The Burghers of Calais (1884-86). In American architecture, the 1870s heralded huge advances in Skyscraper architecture.
The Pointillist Neo-Impressionist artist Georges Seurat creates Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, employing the optical colour-theory of Divisionism. The 1880s also saw the emergence of American Impressionism, led by Chase, Robinson and Cassatt.
The prolific period of the Dutch Expressionist Vincent Van Gogh, which includes his masterpieces: Vase With Twelve Sunflowers (1888), Wheatfield with Crows (1890), Starry Night (1889) and others. See also: History of Expressionist Painting (c.1880-1930)
Era of Post-Impressionism. Highpoint of Gauguin's Synthetism and Emile Bernard's cloisonnism. In England, William Morris champions the Arts and Crafts Movement. In Australia, the Heidelberg School of Australian Impressionism flourishes. In America, the latest 19th century architecture saw "skyscrapers" by the Chicago School of Architecture (1880-1910). Venice Biennale opens (1895).
Emergence of Secession and Art Nouveau, two art and design movements which sought to break away from the traditions of the official academies. They also sought to unite the fine arts of painting and sculpture and architecture with the applied arts of design and decoration (see History of Poster Art 1860-1980). Their exhibitions caused great controversy. Art Nouveau affected fine art, architecture, furniture, jewellery art and glass. The Vienna Secession which promoted Austrian Jugendstil was led by Gustav Klimt. A later member was Egon Schiele, known for his disturbing portraits.
Death of Aubrey Beardsley, the brilliant 25-year old Art Nouveau illustrator.
The emergence of Expressionism. The expressionist art school/style begins with Van Gogh (d.1890), includes Edvard Munch (eg. The Scream, 1893), and the French Fauvism movement (1898-1908) led by Henri Matisse; also the Parisian/Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani. German Expressionism, a major offshoot, included: The Bridge (Die Brucke) (1905-13) founded by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, was an influential expressionist group based in Dresden. The Blue Rider (Der Blaue Reiter) (1909-14) expressionist group was formed in Munich, the home of the avant-garde Neue Kunstler Vereiningung (New Artist Association) by the Russian born Wassily Kandinsky. New Objectivity (Die Neue Sachlichkeit), was a 1920s German Expressionist group led by painters Otto Dix and Max Beckmann. Primitivism/Primitive art emerges in the West.
Pablo Picasso's early career: characterized by his Blue Period (c.1901-4), Rose Period (c.1905-7), African Period (c. 1907). During the latter, he created Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, a landmark painting in the development of modern art which signalled a radical departure from the artistic ideas of the preceding ages and heralded the coming of a new artistic movement (Cubism) as well as the birth of modern abstract art.
The Ashcan School founded. It comprised a small number of painters who chronicled everyday life in New York City during the pre-war period, producing realistic and unvarnished pictures and etchings of urban streetscapes and genre scenes.
Armory Show, a major exhibition of modern art, is held in America.
Picasso combines with Georges Braque to invent the revolutionary art movement called Cubism, (overturning conventional ideas of perspective and form) which emerges in 3 stages: Prototype Cubism (c.1908-9), Analytical Cubism (c.1909-12), Synthetic Cubism (c.1912-19). Other leading Cubist painters include Juan Gris and Fernand Leger.
The chaos of World War I and the Russian Revolution (1917) shatter many conventional ideas in the world of painting and sculpture, leading to numerous avant-garde movements. These include: Futurism (1909-15), which promoted a worship of machinery and modernity; Orphism (Orphic Cubism or Simultanism) (1910-13), founded by French artist Robert Delaunay, which explored the colour phenomena seen in nature; Rayonism (1912-13), Russian style of painting dominated by pictorialized 'rays of light', invented by Mikhail Larionov, Vorticism (1913-15) the first UK style to embrace Cubist ideas; Dada (1916-24) which used banal imagery to shock; Suprematism (1913-20s) a Russian abstract art movement led by Natalie Goncharova and Kasimir Malevich; Constructivism (1917-21) a Russian avant-garde architectural art style; the Bauhaus Design School (1919-33) founded by Walter Gropius (1883-1969); De Stijl (1917-31), the influential Dutch 'school' of geometric design led by Theo Van Doesburg and Piet Mondrian, also known as Neo-Plasticism. The Bauhaus approach to architectural design was introduced to American architects by Mies van der Rohe, with great success.
In America, the era of New Realism, as personnified by Edward Hopper (1882-1967). In addition, another style known as Social Realism portrays the everyday hardships of the Depression era. Best known Social Realists include Ben Shahn, Jack Levine and Jacob Lawrence: all strongly influenced by the earlier Ashcan School of New York City.
In Europe, the era of Surrealism: a movement emerging out of Cubism, Dada, Freud and Communist philosophy, which aimed to fuse the conscious with the unconscious to create a 'super-reality'. Led by Andre Breton, its major exponents were Salvador Dali, Joan Miro and Rene Magritte. A parallel art movement to Surrealism was Magic Realism, whose paintings are anchored in everyday reality, but with overtones of fantasy. The name was coined by the German art historian and critic Franz Roh in 1925, in a book entitled Nach Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus. Biomorphic abstraction also flourished in the 30s.
High point of Art Deco, a style of design for furniture, jewellery, textiles and interior decor. The term was coined from the title of the seminal design exhibition in Paris, Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes.
The period of Socialist Realism: a form of public propaganda art instituted by Joseph Stalin during the era of forced industrialization in Soviet Russia.
Chaos and war undermines the primacy of Paris as the world centre of art, a title which soon devolves upon New York. In London (1938), a left-wing modern realist group of artists establish The Euston Road School, advocating the portrayal of traditional subjects in a realist manner, to make art more understandable and socially relevant.
Pablo Picasso paints his monumental monochrome masterpiece Guernica.
New York supercedes Paris as the centre of art, Abstract Expressionism emerges as the dominant new style. Abstract expressionist painting includes gesturalists like Jackson Pollock, his wife Lee Krasner and Willem De Kooning, and Colour-Field painters, such as Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still. In Europe, this type of Neo-Expressionism focused on the isolation of man as in the works of Giacometti and Francis Bacon, although hyper-modern movements like Spatialism (Italy) also appeared, prefacing later Performance and land artworks. The 40s/50s also saw the Second Chicago School of Architecture.
The era of Pop-Art, championed by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenburg. Pop-Artists employ contemporary iconic images in an anti-art approach, giving commonplace articles artistic status. Meanwhile, Op-Art becomes the avant-garde form of abstract art. Arte Povera blossoms in Italy 1967-71.
The advent of Photorealism (sometimes referred to as superrealism), a form of meticulous photo-like realism, championed by Richard Estes (street scenes with elaborate window reflections) and Chuck Close (b.1940) who specializes in huge, neck-up portraiture. John Doherty is Ireland's best known photorealist artist.


1980-present




















2000
2004

2006

2008



2009

2010



2011

2012
2013

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The Age of Postmodernist Art
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From roughly this point onwards, Modern Art (c.1860-1979) or 'Modernism' becomes superceded by what art-historians like to call 'Post-Modernism'. In a nutshell, Modernism (ie. the main movements which emerged during the period 1860-mid 1960s) asserted the supremacy of a particular style or interpretation of reality, normally considerably at odds with the prevailing academic tradition. In contrast, contemporary art movements take the view that the 'substance' of Modernism has performed no better, and must be dumped in favour of greater style. Post-modernism thus represents the triumph of style over substance. Post-modernist art typically employs new media and materials, stresses the importance of 'communication' from artist to audience and seeks to renew the big question: 'what is art?' Much of this is reflected in contemporary art forms such as Conceptual Art, Installation, Video art, Performance, and Happenings, as well as the works of such showmen as Damien Hirst (see Young British Artists), Gilbert and George, the environmental 'artists' Christo and Joanne-Claude, and the nude installationist Spencer Tunick. See also postmodernist styles of 20th century architecture, such as Deconstructivism and Blobitecture. While the ephemeral nature of this contemporary art is fully consistent with global trends of instant gratification, one wonders whether today's artists will be remembered 50, 100 or 500 years from now, and if not, whether this reflects adversely on the theory and practice of art in the 21st century. One major collector who believes strongly in postmodernist art is Charles Saatchi.
Growth of digital art, such as Giclee Prints. General expansion of computer art.
Garçon à la Pipe (1905) by Pablo Picasso sells at Sotheby's New York for $104.2 million, making it the highest priced painting ever sold at auction.
No 5 (1948) by Jackson Pollock, sells privately for $140 million, making it the most expensive painting ever sold. For more, see: Top 10 Most Expensive Paintings.
Triptych (1976) by Francis Bacon sells at Sotheby's New York for $86.3 million, becoming the most expensive post-war work of art sold at auction, and the highest priced work by an Irish artist. In the same year, Damien Hirst, one of the top contemporary artists, sells works worth £111 million at Sotheby's in London.
While prices for contemporary art plummet, Warhol's 1963 silkscreen print Eight Elvises, reportedly sells for $100 million to anonymous buyer.
New world records for painting and sculpture are set at auction at Christie's and Sothebys. Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (1932) goes for $106.5 million, while the sculpture Walking Man I by Alberto Giacometti, sells for $104.5 million. Picasso is now firmly established as the most valuable of all 20th century painters.
The photo Rhein II (1999), by Andreas Gursky, one of the world's greatest photographers, is sold at Christie's for a world record $4.3 million.
The Scream (1895), a painting by Edvard Munch, sells for a world record $119.9 million.
Three Studies of Lucian Freud (1969) a triptych by Francis Bacon, becomes the world's most expensive painting when it fetches $142.4 million at Christie's New York.

• For a brief timeline of visual arts in Ireland, see: History of Irish Art.
• For our main index, see: Visual Arts Encyclopedia.


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