All art – from cave drawings to postmodern

If you want to understand all the art on your fingers at once, then you have come to the address. In this article, I have collected paintings that will help you become an expert in fine art, to understand the essence of Malevich’s black square, and why artists used to draw so well, and in the so-called contemporary art, there are dots and sticks on canvas. Let’s take a trip through the world of paintings from ancient cave (Upper Paleolithic: 50-10 thousand years ago) to modernity (modern art – from 1860 to 1980) and postmodernism (contemporary art – from 1980 to the present). And let’s see how people evaluated art at different times, how they understood which picture is good and which is bad. Ancient cave painting – Altamira cave Ancient people used drawings to help themselves in the hunt. They depicted the animals that were hunted and which surrounded them in everyday life. The criterion for a good picture is its magical essence, the image was a kind of totem that had a magical meaning, gave strength to the hunt and was evaluated from the point of view of the cult. Vase painting of ancient Greece The paintings of Ancient Greece (~ 2000 BC to 30 BC), like sculpture, had a completely different purpose. Paintings have not reached our days, but images on vases and murals have been preserved. The essence of the images is to be the ideal that people aspired to. People were portrayed in their divine ideality with athletic figures, stately, strong. Ideal forms and plots, supported by the philosophical studies of Plato, Aristotle and others, focusing on the human person and her life ideals. A good picture in this period is a picture depicting an ideal. Aphrodite of Knidos, 4th century BC. Ancient Greece showed the incredible development of realism in the visual arts, which in subsequent centuries will gradually be “forgotten” by humanity, moving into new forms that are far from realism. Sculptures, philosophy, state structure, attitude to man, culture of life – all this has reached its climax. It will be very interesting to see how in the XIV-XV centuries there will be a return to the ideas of Ancient Greece and a new understanding of them in creativity during the Renaissance (that is why it was called that). In the meantime … continue to move further on the timeline.
Fresco “Aldobranda Wedding”, I century BC The painting of Ancient Rome (~ II century BC until 467 AD) did not differ in excessive artistry, since the Romans did not consider drawing an important occupation, but if the objects of art were delivered to the conquerors as a trophy, they were highly appreciated. During this period, artists acquired mainly copying skills of works, including ancient Greek ones. The ability to accurately copy other people’s images was appreciated. A good picture in this era is either a picture obtained by conquest, or well copied from other works of art. The paintings on the canvases of that time did not reach us, but only the images captured in the body of buildings (murals, etc.). X century – Mara is experiencing the Buddha The beginning of our era (I-XV centuries) in the field of fine arts was characterized by a religious aspect. Christianity was born and actively developed, Islam appeared, Judaism and other religions developed. Art and paintings were largely incorporated into religion, the church became the main customer of the artist. The main essence of the picture during this period is to be a spiritual symbol of the deity, to show spiritual images, to convey a sense of enthusiasm and involvement in the faith. Excessive realism of images was not required, and often even denied. The painting has become a symbol of religious history. Mona Lisa (Gioconda), Leonardo da Vinci ~ 1500 The Renaissance (from 1300 to 1600) became a time of a return to ancient Greek ideals. Artists begin to focus on realism, try to depict the world as accurately as possible. People in paintings look almost like photographs, there is a sense of volume, perspective is used, methods are being developed for depicting three-dimensional objects on a plane. Leonardo da Vinci relies on the golden ratio to capture the proportions of the human body and other objects as accurately as possible. During this period, authors such as Bosch, Botticelli, Titian, Michelangelo, Rafael, Caravaggio, and others work. Marble sculpture “David” – Michelangelo, circa 1500 During the Renaissance, the main criterion for evaluating art is how accurately it depicts reality, realism is flourishing, and the forms of the human body are being actively studied. In the same period, science is developing, the previously determining influence of the church on culture is decreasing (the Inquisition is weakening), the philosophy of humanism is emerging, a person and his personality come to the fore again. Artists also strive to study nature and man, many of them are concerned with the study of anatomy to create the most realistic drawing. Girl with a Pearl Earring – Jan Vermeer, 1665 Baroque, Dutch painting, Russian painting and other directions of the XVII-XIX centuries. continue to develop the traditions of realism. Artists further deepen their knowledge of anatomy, light and shadow, and perspectives. The works become very realistic and beautiful, artistic lighting is selected for the image. Aesthetic assessment of paintings predominates, composition, arrangement of elements are taken into account, a multilayer plot appears in the picture. “Rest” – Ilya Repin, 1882 The main customers of the paintings are rich people or rulers. The picture takes on a decorative meaning. People want to see beautiful images that you can hang in the house and enjoy. The quality of work is assessed by beauty and similarity to reality. The authors of this period: Rubens, Velazquez, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Vasnetsov, Repin and so on. And now we enter Modern – gradually, from 1860, new artistic ideas and approaches to the visual arts began to arise (symbolism, impressionism, pointillism, post-impressionism, surrealism, suprematism, cubism, abstractionism, etc.). The painting ceases to serve the customers as a beautiful decoration or decoration for the home, the artist ceases to be “on the premises” of the rich and begins to create art regardless of market needs, but for his own sake. Artists begin to work more independently, draw what they themselves are interested in. Ready-made works are put up for sale through galleries, many of them are in no hurry to buy due to the fact that people are not used to such art, so the artist often lives very poor in this period. Self Portrait – Vincent Van Gogh, 1889 If earlier photographic accuracy was the main criterion for the quality of artwork and, in essence, its purpose, then in Art Nouveau, artists first proclaimed that the picture should no longer depict objects realistically. There appeared paintings reflecting the emotions of what he saw, blurry images with a fleur of mystery and mystery, far from reality (from Fr. impressionnisme impression). The criterion for the quality of the picture is the emotion captured in the image, spontaneity, momentaryness, the pressure of strokes and a hint of objects. Authors: Vrubel, Pissarro, Mans, Degas, Cezanne, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Russo, Toulouse-Lautrec, Signac, Seurat, Dali, Picasso, Hoffmann and others. Impression. Sunrise – Claude Monet, 1872 Artists further came up with the idea of ​​the possibility of depicting what cannot be seen in reality (their imagination). In parallel with the development of scientific ideas of wave-particle duality, the study of space, space and time, there are pictures in which objects behave in a fantastic way, the proportions of the human body and surrounding objects are deliberately violated, very bright and unusual colors are introduced, dots, dashes, and blurry lines, in general, the works of this time look fantastically not realistic, there is a feeling of a reference to cave painting and the early stages of fine art. Avignon Maidens – Pablo Picasso, 1907 Later, the idea developed to the point that the picture should not depict any object at all, since the picture itself is the object of our world. Artists said that the image of reality is not the only way to create a work of art, especially with the development of photography, it becomes obvious that the camera can cope with realism much faster than the artist. A painting is no longer a mirror of the real world, a painting is a new independent object of reality that the artist creates, and this painting is no longer associated with something that we can see around or fantasize. The quintessence of this approach is a complete rejection of visualization – Malevich’s black square, which does not depict anything concrete, but is an object of art in itself (Russian avant-garde). Black Suprematist Square – Kazimir Malevich, 1915 The criterion for assessing the quality of paintings of Modernism – the artist did something new! Each author tried to find some new way of drawing, a new style. Artists no longer copied what they saw somewhere, didn’t try to imitate someone, but did original works, which were based on the desire to do things like no one had done before. If today someone claims that he did something in a new way, then he is modernist. In art nouveau paintings partly remained rationality (why this painting is needed), design (idea) and function (to please the human eye). Gate – Hans Hoffmann, 1960 Postmodernism (Contemporary Ary) dates back to 1980 and continues right now (post-painting abstraction, color field painting, conceptual art, minimalism, hyperrealism, metamodernism, etc.). In fact, the prerequisite for the emergence of postmodernism can be considered the First and Second World Wars, after which humanity was forced to develop new social ideals and contrast the pre-war concepts with an updated view of the world. The development of science and technology also had a great influence on painting. This is probably the most cheerful and fun direction in art. If modernists have already done things in a new way, then what is the postmodern feature? Second Modern (Glenn Brown) Postmodern artists, in contrast to modernity, decided to abandon the idea of ​​the usefulness and rationality of art. Why do you need to justify the benefit of your paintings? Why should art be pathos and elitist? Why not try or try to portray something or not at all? Be simpler, it’s just a picture! There is no need to evaluate her in any way, whether she is good or not, because you (the audience) can still enjoy her if you want. Just because nothing abstruse or too complicated is included in this picture, which will not allow you to immediately understand it. Anything can be a picture and you can interpret it as you wish! An interesting example of the concept embodied in the picture can be seen at Hirst. There is an assumption that he studied religion and tried to find chemicals that could artificially cause a person to feel like religious ecstasy of various types (from touching an ancient relic to communicating with God). He hypothetically laid out different colors in tablets (pills that can be opened) with different chemistry. He laid out the pills in a cabinet and drew the resulting picture. He also thought about how many pills a person takes for life. That is, points, it is quite likely not just points, and their location and color can be the result of a whole study. Hirst’s Points Synergetics in science, the search for the theory of Everything in physics (string theory), research in the field of artificial intelligence, the development of the Internet, robots, globalization are those social forces that are reflected in the art of postmodernism. Nevertheless, there is a feeling that the picture of a postmodern will be interesting and understandable even to a child, because the picture contains the game, chaos, chance, trends, interaction with the audience, irony, lightness, variability of interpretation. Some paintings also have a riddle – a concept, a certain idea, which you can learn only by reading the story of the creation of the work. The physical impossibility of death in the minds of the living – Damien Hirst, 1991 Installations, paintings, performances and other art objects of the postmodern raise urgent philosophical issues of mankind, are a reflection of the close connection of art and science, knowledge of nature. Postmodern playfully affects absolutely everything. Works often take the form of huge canvases, spaces, non-functional objects, something reminiscent of Stonehage. For example, the above photograph captures the already classic work of Hirst – a huge aquarium with a shark in formalin. It is impossible to take this work of art home and decorate the dining room with it, it weighs a lot and occupies a large area. If a collector acquires such a work, then it is essentially a “real estate” in the field of art. Campbell Soup Jar – Andy Warhol, 1961 In postmodernity, installations and performances come to the fore. Usually people go to the museum and look at works of art there, the space previously was only a container of paintings and sculptures. Postmodernists thought, why not make the room (space) itself an art object that people would come to see. An empty room with white walls, in which, with an interval of 5 seconds, it turns on or off, is an example of what you can see in the museums of Postmodern. You will also see cubes that are minimalistically standing on the floor, parallelepipeds mounted on walls above each other and many other interesting objects of modern art. Untitled – Donald Judd, 1980 Postmodern authors: Warhol, Boyce, Kooning, Parsons, Duchamp, Pollock, Hurst and other Young British artists, Zhadd, Greenberg, Newman, Rothko, Kossuth, Mersad Berber and others. Graphics – Mersad Berber (until 2012)

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