Painting – Several Artistic Movements

Painting styles or movements regard the esthetics, the creative forms or visual results achieved by a society, a group of artists or an individual painter, that develop the expressiveness of art.


During the Renaissance, the painter created a natural environment and placed the human beings inside it.


  1. The quest for a perspective.
  2. In painting, as well as in sculpture, religious themes continue to prevail; however, due to classical influences, mythological and allegorical themes are also promoted.
  3. The techniques employed are fresco, tempera and oil.
  4. The composition focuses on the theme and distributes the technical elements like color, volume and shape.
  5. Light and chiaroscuro effects culminate in Leonardo da Vinci’s sfumato technique.
  6. Great attention to the expression of the figures and to the distribution of light in the paintings.
  7. Paintings were usually made on ceilings, walls, boards and canvases.


  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Michelangelo Buonarroti
  • Sandro Botticelli
  • Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino)
  • Titian (Tiziano Vecelli)



During the Baroque period, painting achieved a prominent role among arts. This was mainly due to the fact that it was the most popular way of expressing the influence of religion in Catholic countries and the taste of the bourgeoisie in Protestant states.

New genres were developed: still-life, landscapes, portraits, genre or traditional scenes, and, at the same time, religious iconography was enriched.


  1. Clear compositions.
  2. Deep vision.
  3. Composition unity through colors that make shapes and hues agglutinate.
  4. Colorful paintings are preferred over drawings.


  • Diego Velázquez
  • Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
  • Gian Lorenzo Bernini
  • Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio )
  • Peter Paul Rubens
  • José de Ribera
  • Francisco de Zurbarán



Rapid technique that includes long strokes which fill the painting. It should be noted that impressionists remove the color black  from their palette, observing that shadows are never black, but always colored. Similarly, they do not use pure white, as the light gives it different shades. Painters tend to opt for raw colors, although they could easily mix colors directly on the surface of the canvas. Moreover, they choose to paint in a flat, two-dimensional manner, because this is how our retina actually perceives the image.


  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • Claude Monet
  • Edgar Degas
  • Berthe Morisot
  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir



Surrealism is based on the belief in the superior reality of certain form associations whose existence is neglected until they eventually appear, and on the free exercise of thought. The current tends to permanently destroy all psychic mechanisms, and replace them with solutions to the major problems of life.

It searches for inspiration inside the artist’s mind and ignores rational thinking, because reality does not help to highlight this new sense of art. The painter does not have the subject clear in mind when he paints, but the composition is created from past experiences and previously seen objects, changed and regrouped after a long period of storage in the subconscious. The genuine reality is the one that cannot be seen – that is, the one that is hidden in dreams and in the subconscious.


  • Salvador Dalí
  • Louis Aragón
  • Luis Buñuel
  • Paul Éluard
  • Max Ernst
  • Yves Tanguy
  • Tristan Tzara



Cubism is the most meaningful and transcendent artistic movement in the history of Western painting after the age of Renaissance, as it rejects classical esthetics and brings forth a new concept of beauty and an original way of observing the nature. Its artistic vision is so radically different, that it shocked the entire field of art. With the advent of Cubism, the concepts of art and beauty changed so drastically that nothing could be the same again and previous works are now seen from another perspective.

In Cubism it is not color, but line, that creates the figures and makes up the painting. A Cubist work is not the result of chance, but that of a conscious and thought-out process of creation.


  1. The shape of an object is neither clear nor fixed; there can be as many shapes as the planes of the object.
  2. The figurative shapes of nature are reduced to cubes, cylinders, cones and pyramids.
  3. The original color of the object or surface changes according to the feelings of the artist.


  • Pablo Picasso
  • Georges Braque
  • Juan Gris
  • Albert Gleizes
  • Henri Le Fauconnier
  • Jean Metzinger
  • Fernand Léger
  • Robert Delaunay
  • Roger de La Fresnaye
  • Jacques Villon

I tried to do some citations, but that will have to wait until I learn how to properly do APA citations