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Art history

Artscolumbia / Art history

When we talk about art, we have thousands of years in mind. Since the first humans figured out how to leave marks about wild animals they killed and skins they split between the families, the art exists. Beginning as a primitive and almost laughable little thing, it evolves to be the powerhouse of culture, the engine of progress and means of revolutionary activity, widening the horizons of humankind. Let’s take a look at the most prominent periods of art history.


There is existing evidence that Homo Erectus has left the first mark of artistic activity 500,000 years ago. For half a million years the humans have expressed their feelings and experiences in the form of art. Prehistoric art covers some very primitive creations of preliterate, very ancient people without a sign of a civilization. Drawings, paintings, and carvings can be addressed to this time periods, as they are the most common finds in the caves that were the natural habitat of prehistoric people. Late prehistoric periods are marked with the appearance of first artisans, basic writing system and the emerging of early civilization that risen from places like Ancient Egypt and China by the time when Iron Age kicked in.


Ancient art history covers early forms of civilization and the dawn of writing and art as a profession. In the Asian region we see Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Korean and Cambodian art, Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt and Persia round things up for the Middle East and Germanic and Celtic tribes all around Europe mark the period for the Old World. Ancient art also includes Classical era with the thriving of poetry, music, and theater in the regions of Ancient Greece, Rome and other Hellenistic nations. The art takes a massive development boost, progressing more each year, leaving the modern generation readable and enjoyable pieces of art.


This one starts with the end of the Classical era and the art enters the period of stagnation in Europe due to the Dark Age but improves steadily in other parts of the world, especially Asia. The world sees a major improvement in theatrical performance, music, and art. Chivalrous poetry thrives along with heavy Christian influence. Sculpture, painting and other forms of art reach Renaissance period and develop from that into more what we know now. Architecture development boosts with the construction of churches, theaters and opera houses, leaving a great mark in history.


This period has started roughly in the 1860s with the industrializing and more operating field and capabilities for any artists. A great heritage is highlighted by personalities like Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, the person behind colorful transformation of Paris, and other great artists. Great productions of Expressionism, Cubism and Futurism emerge from the shadows, mass cloth production results in applied arts becoming closely linked with the designs, filmmaking becomes a thing etc. This period’s art development is boosted by technical progress and thriving of human personality, laying a foundation to what we consider normal genres of art today.

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