Art is a collection of thing and using them to describe various human activities or even products. It is commonly used to refer drawings, sculpture, film, painting and photography. In other media, art is also used to refer music, theatre, origami, dance and even literature (Fleming, 2005, p. 23). Art and design have been traced back in history and the following are the development stages between 1500 and 1950.
The renaissance period (1500 to 1550)
During the renaissance period, Albrecht Duerer (a German artist) was regarded as the greatest printmaker and painter. He played a major role in fine art and design through painting his own pictures and landscaping paintings for particular situate. In 1504, which was the High Renaissance period, Michelangelo (an Italian artist), created the statue of David (Janson, 2004, p. 77).
The standing male dude statue represented the biblical hero David. It was because of what it represented that it was later used as a symbol of defense. In January 1506, the Mona Lisa painting was considered the greatest painting of the Renaissance period. Painted by Leonard DiVinci (again an Italian artist), the half paint portrait of Mona Lisa represented several secretes and mysteries which are surrounded by ambiguity up to date.
This was then followed by the early Mannerism era in 1520; the period that existed from 1520 through 1600. During this period, the genre of art portrayed human form in embellished and impractical or unrealistic settings.
It is this period that connected the High Renaissance period and the Baroque era. In 1530, there was a French publisher from Paris who happened to be the leading type designer (Fleming, 2005, p. 67). He created the apostrophe, the cedilla and the accent among several other typefaces including the Garamond, Sabon and Granjon designs.
In 1561, the first European School of drawing which combined the European and the American art (Florence Academy of Art) was created to offer quality skills of classical styles of drawing, sculpture and painting from texts and images that inspired them (Franklin, 1994, p. 117).
The Era Baroque Art (1600 to 1650)
The era of Baroque art was the longest since it lasted for a century (1600 to 1700). It involved the bold dramatic and colorful paintings, portraits and sculptures. The baroque art usually used secular rulers in buttressing their works because they focused on absolute, realistic and portable artworks.
Era of Rococo Art (1650 to 1700)
Rococo was a style that prevailed in the early 1700 and it lasted for 70 years. It was influenced by many facets of art such as sculpture and paintings. This style came up as a result of a reaction against the grandeur, and the stern rules of the Baroque in particular that of the palace of Versailles (Fleming, 2005, p. 108).
Era of Neoclassicism art (1700 to 1750)
In January 1707, art and design took a different course following the discovery of a formula of using feldspathic rock in art by Ehrenfried von Tschirnhaus and Johann Friedrich Bottger from Germany.
The artist used it in creating and developing porcelain ceramics. Then in 1722, there was need to have something unique to present during independence as many countries were gaining independence around this period (Franklin, 1994, p. 159). It was then that the Caslon Old Style Font was developed and was used to print the declaration of independence documents.
The art was as a result of a rebellion to the French Baroque and Rococo art that came before the movement. Neoclassicism emphasized on the reasonableness and rebirth of tradition. Neoclassical artists integrated classical styles and subjects in their works (Franklin, 1994, p. 56). They were very keen to portray the costumes and settings of classical subjects with accuracy.
Neoclassicism era (1750 and 1800)
The Industrial Revolution (the book of mechanics) in 1760 caused an immense impact on art and design (Janson, 2004, p. 132). It affected the romanticism and forced realism a culture. This made the artist to create more realistic works while observing the creativity and imaginative aspects. In 1768, the Royal Academy of arts in London was founded following the act of King George the III. The main aim was to endorse arts of design through tutoring and exhibition (Fleming, 2005, p. 121).
The Louvre museum located in France was established in 1793.It accommodated famous art works in the world including the Monalisa, Venus de Milo. In 1794, French armies began collecting pieces of arts from Europe to institute the Louvre museum as a symbol of sovereignty (Janson, 2004, p. 168).
The lithography was invented in 1796 by an author named Alois Senefelder. Lithography refers to the art of printing using a metal cover with a completely soft surface or a stone. At the beginning of lithography a soft piece of limestone was used for printing.
Era of Romanticism (1800 to 1850)
Romanticism in the 1800 which lasted for 50 years also inspired the heroic ideals during the French revolution (Pointon, 1997, p. 145). The French wars gave the artists new ideas, symbols and bases of art. In the same year, the inventory of the cast iron printing press made from cast iron parts by Lord Stanhope gave art a new look as it was able to print double the possible paper size.
In 1798, Nicholus Louis Robert devised a prototype of a machine on which paper was created on a continuous piece of wire cloth. The machine was further improved by Bryan Donkin in 1807 (Franklin, 1994, p. 199). The Nazarenes Movement by Friedrich Overbeck and Franz Pforr in 1810 also changed and developed art by striving to bring honesty and spirituality back in Christian art. In 1841, the Paint Tubes were invented by Painter John Rand. They boosted art by giving the artists more freedom and encouraging plein air painting.
Era of Realism (1850 to 1900)
Realism movement again emerged in 1850 in order to portray the social truth that seemed to be forgotten (Franklin, 1994, p. 209). The art was simple and based on day to day social activities. William Morris’ art and craft movements in 1861 were also a major boost in development of art and design. Being a prominent designer, printer, bookbinder, writer, artist and craftsman, he inspired so many artists during his era who wanted to emulate him (Pointon, 1997, p. 156).
In 1859, Firmin Gillot invented a photolithography. This machine was used in creating images and patterns by using light. Moreover, the advent of the halftone screen in 1880, led to the origin of the initial photo to be printed with an extensive assortment of tones (Fleming, 2005, p. 155).
In 1869, art and design paid more attention on the light outside following the French impressionism. This was followed by the art Nouveau and secession movement in 1890. Their aim was to get rid of the traditional mandate by the official academies and amalgamate every art (Osterwold, 2003, p. 45).
Era Post-Impressionism 1900 to 1950
In 1919, the Germany school of Bauhaus was founded bringing along a gigantic development move in art by combining art, craft and technology to a new design philosophy. Surrealism movement was motivated by cubism, Freud and socialist philosophy .It was led by Salvador so as to combine the sensible with the insensible (Franklin, 1994, p. 287).
The Magazine in 1940 promoted art by allowing the designs from different artist to get a better and wider sense of appreciation. This encouraged artists and designers. Lastly, the pop art pioneered by Andy and Warhol dominated in 1950. It was liked most because they focused on mass production and consumerism (Osterwold, 2003, p. 91).
In conclusion, art is a superb way of strengthening and preserving communities’ culture, beliefs and taboos. It also acts a link between generations and therefore all type of artistic works should be preserved well for future development. According Fleming (2005, p. 177), artists should also embrace change as it is inevitable and take advantage of the innovations and technology to develop it.
Fleming, H. H. (2005). A world History of Art. London: Laurence King .
Franklin, M. B. (1994). Development and the Art. London: Routledge .
Janson, H. W. (2004). History of Art: The western Tradition . New Jersey: Prentice Hall Professional.
Osterwold, T. (2003). Pop Art. Cologne: Taschen.
Pointon, M. R. (1997). History of Art. London: Routledge.