Action Painting

What is Action Painting? The action painting, also known as “gestural painting,” is a style of abstract painting in which paint is spontaneously dripped, smeared, splashed, or poured directly onto the canvas. It emerged in the 1940s in the US among a group of artists belonging to Abstract Expressionism, including Willem de Kooning (1904 -1997), …

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Anastole

What is “Anastole”? “Anastole” is the Greek name for a hairstyle originally made popular by Alexander the Great during his reign in the 4th Century BC. The style can be seen in the many sculptures and paintings of Alexander the Great, including: The hairstyle involves hair flipped up away from the forehead, and Alexander also …

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Art Nouveau

What is Art Nouveau? Art Nouveau is the name that was later given to what emerged at the very end of the 19th century as an international style of art, architecture and design. Similarities in terms of aesthetics, origin and short duration—ending before the First World War began in 1914—were held by groups of artists, …

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Byzantine Art

What is Byzantine Art? Byzantine Art refers to the artistic production from the Byzantine Empire, which lasted from the 4th to 15th century AD. Famed for its development of Early Christian art, Byzantine icons and models continue to influence religious artworks to this day. The artistic and architectural production of the Byzantine Empire is divided …

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Chiaroscuro

What is Chiaroscuro? Chiaroscuro, a portmanteau of the Italian words for light and dark, refers to the strong contrast in the application – or manipulation – of light and shadow. Used to achieve drama and dimensionality, the technique was popular across different media, including painting, sculpture, and print. Although it is now considered one of …

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Cubism

Cubism was one of the most innovative and most influential art movements of the 20th century that forever changed the way visual reality is displayed in art. It was invented by Pablo Picasso and George Braque around 1907 in France and lasted until 1920s. Notable Cubist Artworks Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907, The Museum …

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Dada (Dadaism)

What is Dada (Dadaism)? Dada (or Dadaism) is an avant-garde literary and artistic movement of the 20th Century, developed between the 1916 and 1922, as a revolutionary and critical rejection to the brutality of the First World War. The origins of the term are still unclear and there are various interpretations under consideration: Dada could …

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Diptych

What is a Diptych? A diptych is a term naming an artwork composed of two parts. The word comes from the Greek “dipthukos”, and the Late Latin “diptycha” meaning folded double. The two plates or panels, attached or hinged together, are either mobile or stationary. The panels are usually painted or carved with related illustrations. …

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Encaustic Painting

What is Encaustic Painting? Encaustic painting is an ancient mixed media technique or process of painting characterised by the use of colored pigments mixed with hot wax (mostly beeswax). The beeswax acts as a binder and the liquid is kept warm through the use of a brazier, then applied through a brush or a metal …

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Fauvism

What is Fauvism? Fauvism was an art movement that flourished in France from 1905 to 1908. It was led by Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954) and André Derain (1880 – 1954). Other important Fauvists were Maurice de Vlaminck, Henri Charles Manguin, Othon Friesz, Kees van Dongen, Georges Braque, and Raoul Dufy. Their work was characterized …

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