Western Art Originating From European Countries Cultural Studies Essay

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History of western art begins with ancient Middle East, ancient Egypt, and ancient Aegean civilization from third millennium BC. Due to these significant cultures one are other forms of art existed all over Europe. There were many people who do carving, standing stones and art crafts due to this a pattern of art developed all over Europe.

Western art was highly influenced by Christianity. Architectural, sculpting and painterly works of church are major incomes of artists for about 1400 years from 300AD to 1700AD. One can observe church's history in it's art.

Western art was influenced by secularism during classical period. Past 200 years of art was done without any reference to any specific religion but western art was always influenced by politics in one or the other way.

Ancient classical art

Ancient Egypt art shows the high culture in Mediterranean and influence on Minoan art. Very strong tradition of sculpting and architecture can be seen in civilization of Egypt. Their wall paintings and decorative paintings are more of graphics, they are not realistic but they are more symbolic. Egyptian painting and sculpture inspired Picasso directly. Egyptian painting is more related with its written language Egyptian hieroglyphs. Egyptians mysterious art and architecture made a lot of impact on modern art. The great pyramids built by Egyptians show their architecture and those among the seven wonder of the world.

Medieval art

Medieval art was mostly survived by religious funding from churches, abbeys, bishops, and patrons.

Realism lacks in medieval art. After the fall of Rome knowledge of understanding human figure and understanding perspective was lost. Religious message was the main objective of medieval artists, they were not very much concerned about realistic approach and realism.


The period from about 1000 to the raise of gothic art in 12 th century is referred to Romanesque art. This period was well known for its in increasing prosperity and Europe started using a well coherent style for the first time across Switzerland to Scandinavia. It was very sophisticated and was colored very brightly. Metal work, stained glass and enamel was important media. Heavily carved decorations, thick walls, arches and round headed windows dominated it's architecture.

Gothic Art

Gothic art changes according to time, place, and craft. Though it did not appear till 1200, it was originated around 1140. France was the place where Gothic sculpture was born in 1144 and spread all over Europe with Abbey Church of S. Denis renovation. Replacing Romanesque It became international style by 13th century. After 1430 gothic art was merged into renaissance at different times and different places. At the end of the period new medium such as prints are in are included.


Arts of Rome and Greece characterized renaissance, this led to many changes in both technical aspects of sculpting and painting including their subject matter. Renaissance started in Italy which is rich in roman heritage and it has the ability to fund artists. Renaissance is know for its realism, painters in this period focused more on perspective which shows three dimension in a very realistic mode. Artists also began manipulate tone contrast, lighting, darkness. Sculpts also started to rediscover many ancient techniques. This genre of art is referred as renaissance classicism. Usage Wide spread of oil paints was the most important innovation made in renaissance period . this allowed great intensity and color.

Modern Art

From naturalistic ethic a new artistic movement call impressionism was born. Impressionists were well known for their use of lighting as they try to bring lighting as they see with human eye. Edouard manet, Edgar Degas, cloude manot, Camille passarro, and pierre auguste renoir were all involved in the Impressionist movement.

I would like to talk about impressionism and expressionism


Impressionism was started in 19th century. Clude monet named the style of painting as impressionism in 1872. He exhibited all his works independently in parys .slowly and gradually it spread all over the world and it became very famous and it is described as the unique style of these artists. This is a movement which is the origin of French painting, also called optical realism. The scientific interest in the visual experience and the light effect made this movement optical realism. Impressionism took birth in late 1850's to late 1890s. After 1880 there was the rise of Neo-Impressionism. Neo-Impressionism outgrew the Impressionism. Characteristics of Impressionist paintings include visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, the inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles

Impressionism techniques

Short, thick strokes of paint are used to quickly capture the essence of the subject, rather than its details. The paint is often applied impasto.

Colors are applied side-by-side with as little mixing as possible, creating a vibrant surface. The optical mixing of colours occurs in the eye of the viewer.

Grays and dark tones are produced by mixing complimentary colors . In pure Impressionism the use of black paint is avoided.

Wet paint is placed into wet paint without waiting for successive applications to dry, producing softer edges and an intermingling of colour.

Impressionist paintings do not exploit the transparency of thin paint films (glazes) which earlier artists built up carefully to produce effects. The surface of an Impressionist painting is typically opaque.

The play of natural light is emphasized. Close attention is paid to the reflection of colors from object to object.

In paintings made en plein air (outdoors), shadows are boldly painted with the blue of the sky as it is reflected onto surfaces, giving a sense of freshness and openness that was not captured in painting previously. (Blue shadows on snow inspired the technique.)


Expressionism is a kind of art movement which describes the type of art it would be taking out our own ideas, feelings on a piece of paper in sense of paintings. The birth of Expressionism was during late 19th century and early 20th century. It was opposed to academic standards in Europe. Expressionism is mainly refers to show the emotions in arts. "The Starry Night" of Gogh, was the earliest and famous painting. Most of the artists used their paintings to express their internal feelings and expression. Many art languages such as intense emotions, shapes and abstraction, to come out their feelings.

It was very much fun and interesting to do research on art history. I came to know many things about the art of our world. I am thank to my faculty who gave us to do essay on arts. And to all the artist who gave us to think in different way.