The Five Art Movements That Changed Everything

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Whether we realise it or not, art has had an enormous impact on modern cultures around the world. From the ancient cave paintings found in Africa to the masterpieces pained by such artists as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo, we wouldn’t we be who are today without the art that came before us.

Like all things in life, art has undergone a series of changes throughout the years, much of it happening before the start of the 21st century. These movements have changed the nature of art on a fundamental level and have led to entire revolutions that altered the way we perceive the world around us.

Even in our technologically advanced society of smartphones, self-driving cars, and online betting, we can still feel the influence of the incredible art movements that came before us.

The Renaissance

The first and perhaps the most notable is the art movement that took place between the 14th and 17th century, known as the Renaissance.

The Renaissance was the time when such artists as Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo, along with a handful of others changed the world forever. Drawing their inspiration from ancient Greece and Rome, these artists strived to create something new in a world that was otherwise still recovering from the Dark Ages.


Next we have Realism, which started in France not long after the French Revolution took place in 1848. In a rejection of Romanticism, artists of the time decided to instead aim their focus on recreating and mimicking real life places and people.

What we had was a new range of art that was based on the mundane of daily life, and it was so different to the art that depicted stories of mythology and religion that it many saw it as a breath of fresh air.


Surrealism is still not that well understood by the majority of people, but it’s unique enough that it has stood the test of time, with some of the world’s most famous paintings being set in this genre.

It began in the 1920’s when a group of artists decided to adopt automatism, which is a technique that used the subconscious for inspiration and creativity.

It was about breaking away from the restrictions of the physical world and creating work that was born completely out of creative freedom.


Impressionism wasn’t always a popular form of art, and when it first entered the world, most artists and critics at the time outright condemned it.

It was a break from the realism movement that came before it, and made use of more colourful scenes with visible brushstrokes and very little mixing. It was intended to be able to capture the emotion of movement and light.

Much of the Impressionist movement was spearheaded by artists such as Claude Monet and Pierre-August Renoir, who were most prominent in early 1860’s France where it all started. Later it evolved into post-impressionism, where artists like Vincent Van Gogh gained notoriety.

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