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60+ Art Styles Explained With Examples

There are way more art styles and art movements than you think. 

We have created this list of over 60+ art styles with descriptions and examples for each of some of the most popular and even more obscure art styles. 

An art style is a specific way of creating art that is defined by certain qualities, techniques, themes, or aesthetics.

Types of art styles can also be associated with a certain time period, region, or culture.

An example can be seen in the use of realism and perspective in the Renaissance or the specific use of light and color seen in impressionism.

If you are not sure what the difference is between Surrealism and Neo-Surrealism or Art Nouveau and Avant-garde then this is the post for you. 

Table of Contents

    Art Styles List with Pictures and Examples

    Abstract Expressionism

    Abstract Expressionism is an art style that mainly focuses on capturing emotions or expressions via abstract works with no real defining shapes/objects. They’re usually made in random scribbles or thrown paint on a canvas with no actual form.

    This type of art is entirely subjective with no strict rules to box the artist. Many have criticized it for being meaningless and have dubbed it ‘not real art’, but regardless of what critics say, it has become an essential part of the art community.

    The Liver is the Cock’s Comb by Arshile Gorky (1944)

    If you’d like to know more about abstract art, try reading our other article where we talk about it in more depth: How to Draw Abstract Drawing for Beginners

    Academic Art

    Academic Art, also known as academicism, is an art style heavily influenced by the French Académie des Beaux-Arts. It carries highly refined and beautiful details through Neoclassical or Romantic lenses. Its paintings are rooted in realism but often carry an idealistic point of view.

    A Pensive Moment by Eugene de Blaas (1896)

    Ancient Art

    Ancient Art means any artwork created around 30,000 B.C.E. to 400 A.D. Made during the ancient civilizations of China, India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Palestine, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. This can refer to paintings, sculptures, pottery, and writing.


    Anti-Art is a movement made to question or mock the art culture, mostly those in high societies. It’s a term coined to refer to artworks that reject the general concept of art and its definition. It isn’t meant to be artistic but more so to provoke or elicit a response from artists in high cultures. It’s also meant to encourage viewers to see the absurdity in the current definition of art.

    Fountain by Marcel Duchamp (1917)

    Art Deco

    Art Deco refers to the practice of using bold colors and utilizing geometrical shapes to create a balanced style that is luxurious and elegant. It is applied to visual arts, architecture, and even product design. Although the style uses bold colors, its aim is to provide a sense of simplicity and harmony in its works. It’s meant to be visually pleasing while incorporating symmetrical geometrical patterns. The designs are often uncomplicated.

    Nude with Dove by Tamara de Lempicka (1928)

    Art Nouveau

    Art Nouveau is an art style, used mainly in architecture, that provides a visually stunning representation of shapes and colors. Works in Art Nouveau are often drawn from nature, combining them with geometrical shapes in an asymmetrical composition. It makes use of mosaics, motifs, and sometimes even abstract, to give life to the artwork. It’s used mostly in architecture but can be found in decorative arts like interior design or furniture.

    Zodiac by Alphonse Mucha (1896)


    Avant-garde art is art that seeks to be new and innovative. It aims to go beyond the limits of art and simply create something that has never been seen before. It’s sort of like Abstract Art but a lot more bold and daring. Avant-garde promotes radical politics and encourages going against the status quo, advocating for pushing past boundaries and aiming for a revolutionary type of art.

    The Painter’s Studio by Gustave Courbet (1855)


    Baroque is a highly extravagant art form originating from 17th-century Europe. It consists of a vivid and dramatic art style that is detailed and heavily drawn from emotions. Unlike art styles like Avant-Gard or Abstract, its subject is direct and clear although sometimes exaggerated with the use of color and dramatic setting.

    Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1647–1652)


    Bauhaus is a German art movement that seeks to unify all artistic mediums with the use of geometric shapes and abstract forms. It uses simple color schemes to form an asymmetrical yet holistic design meant to integrate artistic mediums into one art style.

    Red Balloon by Paul Klee (1922)


    Classicism is an art style inspired by or makes reference to artworks from Ancient Greece or Rome. It aims to replicate the classic aesthetic of Greek/Roman art, from its structure to its form in its entirety. This could mean paintings, plays, sculptures, or architectural design.

    Apollo Belvedere by Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli (C. AD 120–140)


    CoBrA is an Avant-Garde movement that arose post World War II. Its name is derived from its members: Copenhagen (Co), Brussels (Br), and Amsterdam (A). Its goal was to create art for a new society that embodied spontaneity and creativity. Unfortunately, the group only lasted till 1951.

    Hip, Hip, Hoorah! by Karel Appel (1949)

    Color Field Painting

    Color Field Painting is basically a subsection of Abstract Expressionism. Its subject requires no real form or figure and it heavily relies on whatever the artist is trying to express. However, unlike Abstract Expressionism, Color Field Painting involves very minimal colors, often ones that dominate the entirety of the canvas. They also use simple shapes like squares and circles.

    Untitled by Mark Rothko (1952)

    Conceptual Art

    Conceptual art or Conceptualism is a type of art in which the idea behind the art or its concept is more important than the art itself. Artists can use any sort of medium or any form of art, from painting to sculpting to writing, to get their idea across. This results in different types of artwork that end up looking like anything. Conceptual art puts more emphasis on the creative ideas of the artist than the physical art itself.

    One and Three Chairs by Joseph Kosuth (1965)


    Constructivism is a movement that sought to bring awareness to class division and social injustices via art. Constructivists believed that art should serve the communist revolution and that it should reflect the industrial society. Because of this, Constructivists would use practical materials to create their art, resulting in simple geometric shapes and flat colors.

    Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge by El Lissitzky (1919)

    Contemporary Art

    Contemporary Art, as its name suggests, is art produced by modern-day living artists. This could mean paintings, sculptures, photography, and even architecture. Some believe that contemporary art refers to any art made from the 1960s up to now and there’s no telling when this era of art will end. The subjects of contemporary art may vary from global modern-day problems to personal conflicts. Basically, anything made by an artist today is considered contemporary art.

    Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol (1962)


    Cubism is an abstract form of art that uses geometrical shapes to represent a subject from different viewpoints all at the same time. It abandons the concept of a single perspective, aiming to capture three-dimensional subjects in a two-dimensional space.

    The Weeping Woman by Pablo Picasso (1937)

    Dada / Dadaism

    Dadaism is an art movement that arose during the Avant-Garde era during the early 20th century. Its aim was to represent anti-capitalist and anti-bourgeois ideas, creating nonsensical and often irrational artworks to reject modern capitalistic society. It began as a protest that quickly evolved into one of the most iconic art movements in history, bringing forth bizarre art that questioned society.

    Le Violon d’Ingres by Man Ray (1924)

    De Stijl

    De Stijl is another abstract art form originating in the Netherlands. De Stijl is Dutch for “The Style”. It’s an art movement that promoted the use of basic geometric shapes and primary colors to create art. It had a simple visual aesthetic that held onto horizontal and vertical lines with little to no color. Like most abstract art, there is no set form or subject to be followed, just shapes and vibes.

    Composition with Large Red Plane, Yellow, Black, Gray, and Blue by Piet Mondrian (1921)

    Digital Art

    Digital Art refers to any art made using digital technology like computers and software. This could range from photographs to illustrations and animation. Popular software used by digital artists is Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint. Films and video editing can technically be considered digital art.

    David McLeod Creative Collaboration for LG USA

    Dutch Golden Age

    The Dutch Golden Age is more so a period than it is an art movement. That said, many great artists were born during this period (Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Vermeer, Peter Claes, etc.) The Dutch Golden Age refers to a time in the Netherlands, around 1588 to 1672, where Dutch trade, science, art, and military were at their peak. During this time, many great paintings were produced. The subjects of these paintings were often portraits or a representation of day-to-day life in the style of realism.

    The Lute Player by Frans Hals (1623-1624)


    Expressionism is an art movement that seeks to capture reality based on the feelings of the artist. Its goal is to have art as the medium through which artists can express themselves. This resulted in artworks that depicted reality in a distorted but visually stunning way.

    The Scream by Edvard Munch (1893)


    Fauvism is another art movement that began around the start of the 20th century. This type of art centered around brilliant explosions of color, which was done by painting straight from the tube of the paint and aggressively applying it to the canvas. This resulted in vivid and brightly colored paintings.

    The River Seine at Chatou by Maurice de Vlaminck (1906)


    Figurative art or Figurativism is art that replicates true-to-life shapes, objects, and forms without actually copying them. This type of art takes subjects from reality but rather than directly replicating them, they recreate the “likeness” of the subject. It references the subject enough for the viewer to understand that it is the subject but adds a touch of originality by straying a little bit from reality.

    Kopfkissen [Pillow] by Georg Baselitz (1987)


    Fluxus is a community of artists rather than an art movement. It was a group of artists around 1960 contributing to different artistic media that was seeking to “promote a revolutionary flood and tide in art, promote living art, anti-art”. Most of the works were largely inspired by Dadaism and artists were encouraged to push past boundaries and mock the pretentious nature of art.

    Sky Crated by Geoffrey Hendricks (1965)

    Folk Art

    Folk Art is a type of art that is centered around tradition, culture, and social issues. It is often handmade and can be used for decorative or utilitarian purposes. It’s a community-based art and sometimes it is passed around from generation to generation. Its subjects are often tied to cultural or social issues and it can be in the form of a painting, a sculpture, writing, or music.

    Fraktur Motifs Attributed to Johann Heinrich Otto (ca. 1780)


    Futurism was a 20th-century art movement in Italy that focused on capturing the dynamism and energy of modern life. It seeks to liberate artists from the past and find inspiration or fulfillment in the future. Its main focus was to glorify the future by creating art centered around new technology and urban landscapes. Futurist artists utilized cubism and elements of neo-impressionism in their compositions to portray their ideal vision of the future.

    The City Rises by Umberto Boccioni (1910)


    Geometric Art, as its name suggests, was art that heavily relied on the use of geometric shapes to create a fun and colorful abstract composition. Geometric Art was also a phase in Ancient Greece where Greek artists would apply geometric motifs in their artwork, mainly on vases.

    Rhythm by Robert Delaunay (1912)

    Gothic Art

    Gothic Art is a type of art, usually applied in architecture, based on typology and Christian art. Common examples of Gothic art can be seen in churches and cathedrals. The most popular example is the Notre-Dame.

    Santa Trinita Maestà by Cimabue (1286)

    Zero Group

    Zero Group was a German art group in the late 1950s that later spread to other European countries. They were a small group of artists who were dedicated to creating art meant more to emphasize the materials used to create the art rather than the art itself. This was mostly done by the use of light, motion, and space.

    Illustration from ZERO Vol. 3 by Heinz Mack (1961)

    Harlem Renaissance

    The Harlem Renaissance was a period in American history, lasting around the first World War up to the second, where African-Americans celebrated their culture and self-identity through the means of art and literature. It was also a time when they used art to stand against inequality and to bring awareness to the social injustice and discrimination that African-Americans faced (and still face). Its aim was also to reclaim the identity that was tainted by the stereotypes put upon them by white Americans.

    Ethiopia by Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (1921)


    Hyperrealism is a style in the Visual Arts meant to fully replicate subjects to the point where the artwork looks like a high-resolution photograph. While most forms of art take their subjects and recreate them in a unique style, hyperrealism only aims to recreate the subject as it is, down to its smallest details.

    Wet Hair by Johannes Wessmark (2020)


    Impressionism is an art movement in the 19th century that features vivid outdoor paintings done with the use of quick and small brush strokes. The goal of impressionism was to have artists stray from creating their artworks in studios but rather have them paint on the spot. Subjects of impressionist paintings were centered around nature and the outdoor world.

    Impression, Sunrise by Claude Monet (1872–1872)

    Installation Art

    Installation Art is a type of art where its components are ‘constructed’ and ‘installed’ rather than painted on a canvas. It’s a large-scale art, often requiring the use of a studio or a gallery, where a mixture of tangible materials is added together to create an art piece. Viewers or spectators would have to walk around or view the art from a distance to appreciate it in full.

    The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago (1974–1979)


    Japonism is an art movement, mainly in Europe, where European artists incorporated Japanese art and design into their works. This included using flat colors, bold lines, and asymmetrical compositions to create a dynamic aesthetic in painting. Techniques used by the Japanese were also adopted by the Europeans and applied in various artistic aspects like painting and architecture.

    Sideboard by Edward William Godwin (1867-70)

    Kinetic Art

    Kinetic art is an art that highlights movement or creates the impression of motion. This resulted in trippy and hypnotizing visual arts that were geometric or appeared in patterns. Most kinetic art depends on optical illusions or battery-powered components to create the effect that the artists want, which is to highlight motion.

    Kinetic Construction (Standing Wave) by Naum Gabo (1920)

    Land Art

    Land Art or Earth Art is essentially art that utilizes the earth and its landscape to create artworks, mostly sculpture. Artists would take natural materials like soil, water, rocks, and vegetation to create their compositions. In the 1960s and 1970s, Land Art was used as a form of protest against the commercialization of art.

    A Line Made by Walking by Richard Long (1967)

    Magical Realism

    Magical Realism is a type of art that fuses realism with fantasy and magical features. The style of art itself is realistic but there are added elements of magic sprinkled into the composition. Although Magical Realism is more of a literary genre, some aspects of it can be applied in the visual arts.

    Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird by Frida Kahlo (1940)


    Minimalism is an art movement founded post-World War II that features little to no colors or elements in its art compositions. It’s an abstract form of art that utilizes simple geometric shapes and plain colors. Unlike most art, minimalism represents no defining form from reality, its subject is as it’s seen on the canvas. This is to promote the idea that art in itself is a reality of its own, not an imitation of anything else.

    Yellow Piece by Ellsworth Kelly (1966)

    Modern Art

    Modern Art is any art made from the 1860s to 1970s. It usually refers to art that has broken through old barriers and created a fresh style, challenging past traditions and offering something new to the table. Modern Art includes colorful and expressive paintings that draw from realism but provide an original perspective.

    Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso (1907)

    Naïve Art

    Naïve Art is a type of visual art wherein a painting is created by an artist who lacks formal artistic training. Paintings from Naïve Art are characterized by a simplicity that can be seen through the painting. Although it is made by someone who lacks professional artistic training, there’s a sense of originality that shines through the work that cannot be recreated by an artist who went through formal training.

    Carnival in Madureira by Tarsila do Amaral (1924)

    Nature Art

    Nature Art or Environmental Art is politically motivated art meant to highlight social issues in the area by creating art pieces with materials found in nature. Nature art uses the earth and the natural things found in them to create artworks that are meant to point to the environmental damage that we caused. Most works in Nature Art cannot be seen in exhibits or galleries.

    Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson (1970)


    Neoclassicism is a Western art movement where any type of art, be it paintings or literature, is drawn from the culture of classical antiquity, mainly Greece and Rome. The main idea of Neoclassicism is to have art that provides a moralizing message to its viewers and embodies the ideal virtues of life. Its visual style is drawn from realism.

    The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David (1793)


    Neo-impressionism was the name used to describe the art movement that was started by George Seurat. Neo-impressionist works were done by the use of pointillism and the application of optical theory to mimic the effects of light. This method resulted in paintings that appeared to have a luminous quality to them. The way the paint was applied to the canvas gave the impression of light.

    The Circus by Georges Seurat (1891)


    Neo-surrealism is defined as the revival of the art movement “Surrealism”, which is an art form that focuses on bringing to life the often absurd and weird ideas of the subconscious mind. Surrealism takes unrealistic scenarios that one would take as a “fever dream” and paints them in a realistic style, eliciting an odd and unnerving feeling from the viewers.

    Appetizer by Julie Curtiss (2017)

    Neon Art

    Neon Art is a visually stimulating type of art that uses neon lights for its artworks. It mainly began as a form of advertisement but slowly drifted into becoming a new form of art. It’s popularly used in shop signs but can now be seen in galleries and museums. Neon lights is now considered to be a medium of art.

    Five Variations on the Ampersand by Chryssa (1966)

    Op Art

    Op Art is the shortened form of the term Optical Art. Op Art is a form of visual art that uses optical illusions in its works. This is done by using shapes, patterns, and often minimal colors to create a trippy type of artwork that will have viewers thinking it’s moving. Most Op Art is done in black and white and usually have no discernible form.

    Ambiguous Structure No.92 by Jean-Pierre Yvaral (1969)


    Painterly is an artistic approach that is defined as loose and spontaneous. The artist is supposed to take a brush and apply it to the canvas in a lazy and uncontrolled manner, creating a style of textured painting where the brush strokes are clearly visible and the paint is thick.

    Rain, Steam and Speed – The Great Western Railway by J. M. W. Turner (1844)

    Performance Art

    Performance Art is an art form that is expressed through the actions of the artists or of the people involved. This could mean dancing, acting, spoken word, etc. It uses a living person, usually, a group of people, to relay a message via a performance and can be scripted or spontaneous. The audience or the viewer also plays an integral part in performance art as it is generally their reaction and response to the art that determines the success of the art


    Photorealism is similar to that of hyperrealism where the goal is to create a painting or drawing that has the likeness of a high-resolution picture. The only difference is that photorealism requires an actual photographic image for the artist to recreate in a different medium as opposed to simply creating a drawing that looks like a picture.

    Woman Eating by Duane Hanson (1971)


    Pointillism is an artistic technique where a drawing or a painting is created by applying small individual dots to create one big picture. This could be done in monochrome or in color in different mediums. The dots created, when viewed from a distance, blend together and create a beautiful painting. This technique is often used by neo-impressionists.

    Windmills by Paul Signac (1906)

    Pop Art

    Pop Art is art that centers around popular culture and mainstream media. It’s bright, colorful, and eye-catching. Art in this form is usually done in a mixture of media, be it painting or photography. It began as a protest against traditional art where young people decided they wanted to have art they could relate to, so they drew inspiration from popular culture, mainly Hollywood movies, and began the movement of Pop Art.

    As I Opened Fire by Roy Lichtenstein (1964)


    Portraiture is an old and popular art form that focuses on capturing the human face. It can be traced back to ancient times when the only way to keep a record of someone’s face is simply to draw or sculpt them. Eventually, this evolved into more than just keeping a record. As time progressed, portraits also became a symbol of wealth and importance. However, in modern times, portraiture has now become a common art form that many artists practice.

    Self-Portrait by Rembrandt (1660)


    Post-impressionism is a French art movement done as an extension of Impressionism but also to recognize and go beyond the limitations of its predecessor. As such, post-impressionists used bright colors and used real-life scenarios as their subjects, but they expanded their work by integrating modified colors and emphasizing the forms of their subjects, making it more expressive.

    The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh (1889)

    Postmodern Art

    Postmodern Art or Postmodernism is a movement mainly to go against Modernism. It’s a mixture of popular styles but its main characteristic is anti-authoritarian and it goes against any single definition of what art should be. Postmodern art draws from philosophy and individual identity that isn’t dictated by one universal truth.

    Torn and Twisted Curtain by Joseph Havel (2005)


    Precisionism is a modernist style of art defined by its sharp and precise focus. It also stands out with its tackling of subjects, usually different American architecture, from unexpected angles. The nature of precisionist art was mainly geometrical shapes, taking its inspiration from the Cubist art movement. This gave their art a sort of abstract impression, however, with the use of light and color, the form of the subject could still be defined.

    Painting VI by Morton Schamberg (1916)


    Primitivism is the idea of integrating elements considered to be “primitive” in a painting as an act of appreciating them. It’s a style of painting that represents the “original” state of humans and their relationship with nature. This type of art involves techniques and motifs grabbed from art styles that popular art culture would consider “primitive” as a way of embracing those styles.

    The Seed of the Areoi by Paul Gauguin (1892)


    Realism is a popular art style that emerged mid-nineteenth century that takes people in their everyday lives and paints them in a realistic way. The idea was to represent subjects as they are, without having to romanticize them or put them in an idealistic light. The subjects of realists were often just ordinary people going through their everyday lives. They would paint these people with no added embellishments with the goal to represent them truly as they are.

    The Gleaners by Jean-François Millet (1857)

    Renaissance Art

    Renaissance Art is an art movement that began in the 14th century all the way up to the 16th century. It serves as the transition from abstract forms of art to a more realistic depiction of the human body. This period represents a “rebirth” of art where perspective and depth suddenly became more prominent in paintings and the idea of humanism and nature were tackled more frequently (although research suggests these interests were present even before the Renaissance). Subjects of Renaissance Art ranged from Biblical scenes to normal everyday life.

    The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci (1495–1498)


    Rococo is a late extension of Baroque Art that is visually known to be romantic and elegant. It uses curves, pastel colors, and floral motifs, and combines them in an asymmetrical yet aesthetically pleasing composition. Its themes centered around love, romance, and nature. Although it’s a style of painting, it can also be found in ornaments and architecture.

    Soap Bubbles by Jean Siméon Chardin (1734)


    Romanticism is an art movement centered around the idea of individualism, personal expression, and the glorification of nature. It relies heavily on emotions and feelings and promoted individual creativity and imagination. The styles were drawn in a realistic but theatrical manner, taking references from the medieval arts.

    The Soul of the Rose by John William Waterhouse (1908)

    Spiritual Art

    Spiritual Art is an art form that heavily draws its inspiration from “spiritualism”. Spiritualism is the belief in spirits, the afterlife, and the ability to reach out to the dead through a medium. This is largely where Spiritual art centers its themes around, with paintings depicting the afterlife of “spirits”. Some spiritualists even believe that the art they are producing is a product of a spirit and they are merely a tool used to create said art.

    The Meal of Lord Candlestick by Leonora Carrington (1938)

    Still Life

    Still Life is a genre of art where the focal subject of a painting is an animate object or something that stays “still”. This could be fruits, furniture, or something more macabre like a skull or a skeleton. The style of still life is realism and its fundamentals stand on the shape, form, light, and perspective of the object.

    Basket of Fruit by Caravaggio (c. 1599)

    Street Art

    Street Art is an art form where artworks are generally found in public places like buildings, subways, or even mailboxes. It’s popularly referred to as graffiti and some would even call it vandalism. The idea behind street art is to send a message or provoke thought from anyone who sees it, however, sometimes street art is just there to add aesthetic to a building or to commemorate someone or something.

    Balloon Girl by Banksy (2002)


    Stuckism is an anti-conceptual art movement that is meant to encourage figurative art. The founders of this movement, Childish and Thomson, rejected the idea of conceptual art, going so far as to write in their manifesto, The Stuckists manifesto, “Artists who don’t paint aren’t artists.” The goal of this movement was to produce and celebrate art with value regardless of its style or subject. They were against anti-art and promoted the idea of bringing back the true spirit of modernism.

    Is My Shoe Art by Charles Thomson


    Suprematism is another abstract art form characterized by a composition of basic geometric shapes combined with little to no colors. It’s simple, minimalistic, and described as “pure abstraction”. Its name stemmed from the artist Kazimir Malevich who wrote in his book The Non-Objective World, “In the year 1913, trying desperately to free art from the dead weight of the real world, I took refuge in the form of the square.”

    Suprematist Composition: Airplane Flying by Kazimir Malevich (1915)


    Surrealism is an art movement where paintings often involved dream-like scenes that make no sense. Surrealism aimed to combine the conscious and unconscious world by fusing reality with things that can’t be logically explained. It contains elements of fantasy and uses dreamlike imagery to create an odd effect that leaves viewers confused or baffled.

    Philosopher’s Lamp by René Magritte (1936)


    Symbolism is an art movement that promotes the idea of expressing a message through metaphorical concepts and symbols rather than directly painting it as it is. Although symbolism began as a literary movement, it quickly spread to the visual arts. Symbolists will often use metaphors and imagery and combine them with patterns and certain motifs to convey their message.

    The Tree of Life, Stoclet Frieze by Gustav Klimt (1909)


    Typography is the art of letters and text. It deals with the visual aesthetic of texts and how letters are drawn or arranged. Typography deals with different font styles and experiments with colors and structures, all to create an aesthetic that goes well with letters.

    Neo Deo by Fred Eerdekens (2002)


    Ukiyo-e is a Japanese art genre that involves detailed but simple artworks depicting Japanese folk tales, kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers, and landscapes. Ukiyo-e can be translated as “Pictures of the Floating World”, the “Floating World” being Edo city or, as it is now known, Tokyo. Its artworks include detailed works involving flat colors and bold linework.

    Three Beauties of the Present Day by Utamaro (1793)


    Urban Art is art created in city areas depicting city life or bringing awareness to social issues. It’s a combination of graffiti and murals, often done on the side of buildings or underneath a bridge or a tunnel. Although Urban Art began as a form of protest or rebellion, it is now recognized as an art form and can be seen in galleries and museums.

    Faith in Women by Lady Pink (2005)

    What is an Art Style

    Art Style refers to the appearance of an artwork, the way it’s drawn or painted, and the techniques that were applied to achieve its look.

    The art world houses a diverse set of aesthetics, all defined by color, linework, form, and composition. Art that uses similar aesthetics is considered to be an art style. For instance, a realistic art style is noticeably different from an abstract art style as a realistic art style uses clear and distinct forms whereas abstract doesn’t.

    If you compare realism to a cartoon art style, you can also quickly spot the differences as the features of realism are grounded on realistic human proportions whereas the features in a cartoon art style are usually more exaggerated.

    They all use the basics of art: form, color, proportions, etc., but how they are used and arranged is what makes an art style.

    What’s the Difference Between Art Style and Movement

    The difference between an art style and an art movement is simply that an art style refers to the specific way an art is drawn whereas a movement is usually a period in time where a certain artistic style emerged that is done by a group of artists, usually with the same philosophical ideas and sentiment. An art movement can last from months to a decade.

    An art style can come from an art movement, however, when the movement ends the art style will still continue to be used. On that same note, an art movement can also carry different art styles and is defined only by the philosophy or ideas behind the art.

    For a brief history on Western art movements, have a quick look at this video:

    A Brief History of Art Movements

    Art Movements

    Throughout history, humans have gone through countless art movements. Here’s a table of famous art movements, their time period, and its most prominent artists:

    MovementTime PeriodProminent Artists
    Gothic1140 – 1600Giotto, Fra Angelico, Duccio di Buoninsegna
    Renaissance1495 – 1527Leonardo da Vinci, Filippo Brunelleschi, Sandro Boticelli
    Baroque1600 – 1725Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn
    Rococo1720 – 1760Jean-Antoine Watteau, Canaletto, François Boucher
    Neoclassicism1770 – 1840Jacques-Louis David, Angelica Kauffman, Antonio Canova
    Romanticism1800 – 1850John Constable, Caspar David Friedrich, J.M.W Turner
    Realism1840 – 1870Gustave Courbet, Rosa Bonheur, Thomas Eakins
    Impressionism1870 – 1900Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro
    Naturalism1880 – 1900André Antoine, William Henry Hunt, Helene Schjerfbeck
    Post-Impressionism1880 – 1920Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Georges Seurat
    Symbolism1880 – 1910Edvard Munch, Gustave Moreau
    Expressionism1890 – 1939Wolfgang Neumann, Oskar Kokoschka, Emil Nolde
    Art Noveau1895 – 1915Alphonse Mucha, Gustav Klimt, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
    Cubism1905 – 1939Pablo Picasso, Alexander Archipenko, Georges Braque
    Futurism1909 – 1918Umberto Boccioni, Gino Severini, Joseph Stella
    Dadaism1912 – 1923Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia Hugo Ball
    Precisionism1920 – 1950Charles Demuth, Jeffrey Smart, Georgia O’Keeffe
    Surrealism1924 – 1945Salvador Dali, Andre Breton, Frida Kahlo
    Abstract Expressionism1945 – 1960Jackson Pollock, Norman Lewis, Lee Krasner
    Pop-Art1956 – 1969Andy Warhol, Richard Hamilton, Keith Haring
    Minimalism1960 – 1975Frank Stella,  Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt
    Photorealism1968 – nowRichard Estes, Chuck Close, Charles Bell
    Contemporary Art1978 – nowTakashi Murakami, Kara Walker, Yoko Ono

    What are the 7 major art forms in order?

    The seven major art forms in order are:

    • Painting
    • Sculpture
    • Architecture
    • Music
    • Literature
    • Performance
    • Film

    These art forms are the foundations of the art world. In whatever movement or in whatever style of art, these forms are always present.

    Modern Art Styles

    A few examples of modern art styles that have become prominent in the 20th and 21st centuries are:

    • Cubism – Art that consists of geometric shapes, often cubes.
    • Surrealism – Paintings with strange and dream-like subjects.
    • Abstract Expression – An abstract form of art that has minimal colors and no definitive form.
    • Pop Art – Art derived from popular culture like Hollywood movies.
    • Minimalism – Art, mostly decor or design, with very few elements and color.
    • Postmodernism – An experimental art that goes against modernism.
    • Street Art – Art, often graffiti, that can be found in public places like the side of buildings.

    These are some of the most popular, but there are of course many more out there.

    Art Styles from Around the World

    • African Art – African art is defined by paintings and sculptures in bright colors and geometric designs.
    • Islamic Art – Islamic art deals with calligraphy and patterned designs, often with floral motifs. Islamic artwork is usually done in service of Muslim faith.
    • Chinese Art – Chinese art involves sculptures, inked paintings, and calligraphy often depicting nature or Chinese philosophies.
    • Japanese Art – Japanese art ranges from architecture to paintings. Paintings will usually include flat colors and bold linework representing nature, kabuki actors, or sumo wrestlers.
    • Indian Art – Indian art encompasses a lot of areas, including metalwork, weaving, and paper art. Their styles include bright colors, geometric shapes, and patterns.
    • Aboriginal Art – Aboriginal art involves spiritual and symbolic art representing Dreamtime and the beliefs of Aboriginal people. Their art is done in dots and swirls, using only natural colors, with the application of symbols and patterns.

    American Art Styles

    • Realism – Realism is an art style that draws subjects as they are, without modifying any elements.
    • Abstract Expressionism – An art style with no defining form. Usually done to capture the emotions of the artist.
    • Pop Art – Art derived from popular culture like Hollywood movies.
    • Minimalism – Art, mostly decor or design, with very few elements and color.
    • Conceptual Art – Art that focuses more on the ideas of an artist rather than the art itself.
    • Street Art – Art, often graffiti, that can be found in public places like the side of buildings.

    Trending Art styles

    As for trending art styles, we’ve seen the below continue to rise in popularity over recent years:

    • Digital Art – Art that is done with the use of digital technology.
    • Street Art – Art, often graffiti, that can be found in public places like the side of buildings.
    • Contemporary Realism – A representational art that uses a realistic art style to create well-executed paintings.
    • Abstract Landscapes – Landscape paintings in abstract forms. The basic shapes of the landscape can still be recognized but not enough for it to be a direct representation.
    • Collage Art – Art that takes an assortment of other artworks and combines and arranges them in an aesthetically pleasing way.

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