Art History Timeline

Taken From: Art History For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Art Periods/
CharacteristicsChief Artists and Major WorksHistorical Events
Stone Age (30,000 b.c.–2500 b.c.)Cave painting, fertility goddesses, megalithic structuresLascaux Cave Painting, Woman of Willendorf, StonehengeIce Age ends (10,000 b.c.–8,000 b.c.); New Stone Age and first permanent settlements (8000 b.c.–2500 b.c.)
Mesopotamian (3500 b.c.–539 b.c.)Warrior art and narration in stone reliefStandard of Ur, Gate of Ishtar, Stele of Hammurabi's CodeSumerians invent writing (3400 b.c.); Hammurabi writes his law code (1780 b.c.); Abraham founds monotheism
Egyptian (3100 b.c.–30 b.c.)Art with an afterlife focus: pyramids and tomb paintingImhotep, Step Pyramid, Great Pyramids, Bust of NefertitiNarmer unites Upper/Lower Egypt (3100 b.c.); Rameses II battles the Hittites (1274 b.c.); Cleopatra dies (30 b.c.)
Greek and Hellenistic (850 b.c.–31 b.c.)Greek idealism: balance, perfect proportions; architectural orders(Doric, Ionic, Corinthian)Parthenon, Myron, Phidias, Polykleitos, PraxitelesAthens defeats Persia at Marathon (490 b.c.); Peloponnesian Wars (431 b.c.–404 b.c.); Alexander the Great's conquests (336 b.c.–323 b.c.)
Roman (500 b.c.– a.d. 476)Roman realism: practical and down to earth; the archAugustus of Primaporta, Colosseum, Trajan's Column, PantheonJulius Caesar assassinated (44 b.c.); Augustus proclaimed Emperor (27 b.c.); Diocletian splits Empire (a.d. 292); Rome falls (a.d. 476)
Indian, Chinese, and Japanese(653 b.c.–a.d. 1900)Serene, meditative art, and Arts of the Floating WorldGu Kaizhi, Li Cheng, Guo Xi, Hokusai, HiroshigeBirth of Buddha (563 b.c.); Silk Road opens (1st century b.c.); Buddhism spreads to China (1st–2nd centuries a.d.) and Japan (5th century a.d.)
Byzantine and Islamic (a.d. 476–a.d.1453)Heavenly Byzantine mosaics; Islamic architecture and amazing maze-like designHagia Sophia, Andrei Rublev, Mosque of Córdoba, the AlhambraJustinian partly restores Western Roman Empire (a.d. 533–a.d. 562); Iconoclasm Controversy (a.d. 726–a.d. 843); Birth of Islam (a.d. 610) and Muslim Conquests (a.d. 632–a.d. 732)
Middle Ages (500–1400)Celtic art, Carolingian Renaissance, Romanesque, GothicSt. Sernin, Durham Cathedral, Notre Dame, Chartres, Cimabue, Duccio, GiottoViking Raids (793–1066); Battle of Hastings (1066); Crusades I–IV (1095–1204); Black Death (1347–1351); Hundred Years' War (1337–1453)
Early and High Renaissance (1400–1550)Rebirth of classical cultureGhiberti's Doors, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, RaphaelGutenberg invents movable type (1447); Turks conquer Constantinople (1453); Columbus lands in New World (1492); Martin Luther starts Reformation (1517)
Venetian and Northern Renaissance (1430–1550)The Renaissance spreads north- ward to France, the Low Countries, Poland, Germany, and EnglandBellini, Giorgione, Titian, Dürer, Bruegel, Bosch, Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der WeydenCouncil of Trent and Counter-Reformation (1545–1563); Copernicus proves the Earth revolves around the Sun (1543
Mannerism (1527–1580)Art that breaks the rules; artifice over natureTintoretto, El Greco, Pontormo, Bronzino, CelliniMagellan circumnavigates the globe (1520–1522)
Baroque (1600–1750)Splendor and flourish for God; art as a weapon in the religious warsReubens, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Palace of VersaillesThirty Years' War between Catholics and Protestants (1618–1648)
Neoclassical (1750–1850)Art that recaptures Greco-Roman grace and grandeurDavid, Ingres, Greuze, CanovaEnlightenment (18th century); Industrial Revolution (1760–1850)
Romanticism (1780–1850)The triumph of imagination and individualityCaspar Friedrich, Gericault, Delacroix, Turner, Benjamin WestAmerican Revolution (1775–1783); French Revolution (1789–1799); Napoleon crowned emperor of France (1803)
Realism (1848–1900)Celebrating working class and peasants; en plein air rustic paintingCorot, Courbet, Daumier, MilletEuropean democratic revolutions of 1848
Impressionism (1865–1885)Capturing fleeting effects of natural lightMonet, Manet, Renoir, Pissarro, Cassatt, Morisot, DegasFranco-Prussian War (1870–1871); Unification of Germany (1871)
Post-Impressionism (1885–1910)A soft revolt against ImpressionismVan Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, SeuratBelle Époque (late-19th-century Golden Age); Japan defeats Russia (1905)
Fauvism and Expressionism (1900–1935)Harsh colors and flat surfaces (Fauvism); emotion distorting formMatisse, Kirchner, Kandinsky, MarcBoxer Rebellion in China (1900); World War (1914–1918)
Cubism, Futurism, Supremativism, Constructivism, De Stijl (1905–1920)Pre– and Post–World War 1 art experiments: new forms to express modern lifePicasso, Braque, Leger, Boccioni, Severini, MalevichRussian Revolution (1917); American women franchised (1920)
Dada and Surrealism(1917–1950)Ridiculous art; painting dreamsand exploring the unconsciousDuchamp, Dalí, Ernst, Magritte, de Chirico, KahloDisillusionment after World War I; The Great Depression (1929–1938); World War II (1939–1945) and Nazi horrors; atomic bombs dropped on Japan (1945)
Abstract Expressionism (1940s–1950s) and Pop Art (1960s)Post–World War II: pure abstraction and expression without form; popular art absorbs consumerismGorky, Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko, Warhol, LichtensteinCold War and Vietnam War (U.S. enters 1965); U.S.S.R. suppresses Hungarian revolt (1956) Czechoslovakian revolt (1968)
Postmodernism and Deconstructivism (1970– )Art without a center and reworking and mixing past stylesGerhard Richter, Cindy Sherman, Anselm Kiefer, Frank Gehry, Zaha HadidNuclear freeze movement; Cold War fizzles; Communism collapses in Eastern Europe and U.S.S.R. (1989–1991)

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