If you are a budding artist then be sure to check out the BBC initiative, "The Big Painting Challenge" where you will find both advice and inspiration!
Art is such a vast subject. Everyone has a favourite painter, or painting. Whether you are into Renaissance, Romanticism, Impressionism or even Modern Art, we have something to challenge you and test your arty skills!
Mankind has been creating works of art for at least 40,000 years as ancient paintings on the walls of European and Asian caves show.
With the advent of civilisation art progressed. The ancient Greeks were masters of the human form and their sculptures, as well as being beautiful, accurately depict the musculature of the human body.
Medieval art moved its focus onto Biblical and religious themes and this dominated the art world for 1,000 years before the advent of the Renaissance. This ‘rebirth’ of culture brought with it a more realistic style of painting and sculpture gained through the study of light and shadow and also increased knowledge of human anatomy.
The Renaissance was followed in the 17th century by a new style – Baroque. This moved away from the realism of the past and emphasised emotion in its paintings by exaggerating some features such as light, shape and colour. Religion once more became the main theme of works of art.
In the 18th century Baroque gave way to Rococo, a more delicate style. The subject moved away from religion and onto more playful themes such as love, pleasant landscapes and amusing portraits. At the same time another movement began called Neoclassicism. This drew its inspiration from the art of ancient Greece and Rome and its themes were often the myths of those two cultures.
Romanticism was the dominant style of art in the 19th century. Like Baroque, its paintings were intended to inspire emotion. Even some of its landscapes have either an awesome or a horrific air about them. Romanticism was a reaction against the industrial revolution and the scientific view of the world and it took as its theme folk tales, rugged landscapes and untamed nature. This made it popular with the liberal and radical minded, but also with nationalists who associated themselves with the national identities expressed in the folk tales and landscapes.
Modern Art began in France in 1860 with the advent of Impressionism. This took everyday life as its subject and was painted in such a way that an impression rather than a realistic depiction was given. Movement was often suggested by Impressionist paintings and the passage of time was a major theme. Often the same scene was painted at different times of the day or of the year so as to see the different lighting conditions and the difference in the shape of shadows.
Many other styles of Modern Art followed in the first half of the 20th century: Art Nouveau, Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism and Art Deco to name but a few. Then in 1946 the term Contemporary Art was coined to describe all styles emerging after that date such as Pop Art, Minimalism, Psychedelic, Conceptual and Postmodern. New styles and techniques are developing all the time.
In our quizzes below, we have chosen painters, sculptors, periods, galleries and materials used by artists as the focus. If you love art and all it encompasses, test yourself in these 30 quizzes and see if you can get full marks.
|Painter - William Blake|
|Painter - Caravaggio|
|Painter - Paul Cezanne|
|Painter - Leonardo da Vinci|
|Painter - Edgar Degas|
|Painter - Francisco Goya|
|Painter - William Hogarth|
|Painter - Claude Monet|
|Painter - Raphael|
|Painter - Rembrandt|
|Painter - Pierre-Auguste Renoir|
|Painter - Peter Paul Rubens|
|Painter - Titian|
|Painter - JMW Turner|
|Painter - Vincent van Gogh|
|Other Influential Painters|
|Sculptor - Gian Lorenzo Bernini|
|Sculptor - Donatello|
|Sculptor - Michelangelo|
|Sculptor - Rodin|
|Periods - Renaissance and Baroque|
|Periods - Romanticism|
|Periods - Impressionism|
|Periods - Modern Art|
|Galleries - Louvre and Guggenheim|
|Galleries - Metropolitan and National Gallery|
|Galleries - British Museum and Tate Modern|