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art paintings

  When pigment mixed in a liquid is applied to canvas, paper or any other surface, this action is termed as painting. Effectively, colour is the soul of painting and its use is always welcomed as it has varying psychological effects on viewing individuals. The meaning of paintings to an artist is however not all this elementary. For him, besides adding colour, it involves conceptualizing, sketching and often, being inspired
The art of painting has ventured through a long journey. The earliest known paintings – claimed to be around 32000 years old are displayed at the Grotte Chauvet (France). The only other instances of paintings earlier than these are cave paintings which are seen in almost every part of the world. Their main content was ‘animals’ which is attributed to different reasons.

Some say prehistoric man was trying to catch an animal by first capturing its spirit with his paintings while others hold that he was glorifying Mother Nature on walls while still others believe that he was simply expressing himself. During the middle ages, painting as part of ‘medieval art’ acquired forma like Byzantine Art, illuminated manuscripts, Gothic and Romanesque styles (in churches and monasteries of Italy and to the north of Europe).

As times transformed from the middle  ages to the Renaissance, so did art paintings via the hands of great painters such as Michaelangelo Buanaroti, Titan, Leonardo Da Vinci and Raphael to name only a few. Renaissance made the art more realistic by putting studies of perspective, proportion and human anatomy into use. ‘Mannerism’ was a style of the late Renaissance.

Renaissance painting was followed by Baroque Painting. Vermeer, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Rubens and Velaquez are some well known Baroque painters. They approached painting with realism as in the Renaissance and the use of light effects to make their scenes dramatic was an identifying feature of their work.
Then came Rocco which is often termed as a sub-division of Baroque itself. This style was however, not so heavy and often even erotic. Giovanni, Thomas Gaingborough, Fragonard, Watteau, Battista Tiepolo and Boucher were Rocco painters who dominated the 18th century towards its end.

The 19th century has Neo-classicism, Impressionism and Romanticism at their peaks. Neo-classicism and Romanticism, most distinctly characterized in the works of David and Ingres respectively, put ‘nature’ on a pedestal whereas Impressionism had a more realistic approach as seen in the paintings of Monet and Camelle Corot. Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cezzane and Paul Gauguin were Impressionists whose work edged Modernism which is the latest turn art painting seems to have taken towards Contemporary Art.



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