Cubism had initiated the idea of reducing a motif from the external world to its most basic elements, and of presenting a motif in a painting in such a way as to make apparent the canvas’s inevitable flatness. In France – the birthplace of Cubism – Purism was seen as its natural successor. The Cubist style also became familiar to Russian artists via the numerous exhibitions of Western contemporary art in Moscow, from 1912 onwards. Both Henri Matisse (1869–1954) and Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) were patronized by wealthy Russian merchants, who exhibited their works to the public. Inspired by these, Suprematism and Constructivism were born.
Visual & Decorative Arts Blog
Cubism was one of the most influential twentieth-century art movements. Cubist works would provide a radical challenge to the painterly conventions for producing an illusion of depth, and they would attack the tradition of ‘high’ art by including within two-dimensional paintings and collages a range of extraneous materials not traditionally associated with high art, such as newspaper clippings, scraps of sheet music and stencilled lettering.
The clean, simple, pure forms of Neoclassicism arose as a counter movement to the frivolous Rococo style, particularly at a time when new discoveries from Pompeii were proving inspirational to artists. As a reaction against the Academies, however, the ideals of Romanticism – which favoured wilder, more emotional artworks – started to gain popularity. Offshoots of Romanticism began to appear throughout Europe, most notably in the work of the Nazarenes in Germany and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in England, who sought to take art back to a time before Raphael and his Classical influences had been a corrupting influence on art.
The twentieth century saw many radical changes in people’s lives: an increased pace of technological and industrial change; the rapid spread of large urban centres; the development of new means of transportation and communication; innovative scientific discoveries such as the X-ray and the theory of relativity; the growth of consumerism on a large scale; and the chilling reality of mass warfare. Against this background of social, political and technological developments, Western art also underwent a series of radical shifts.
Inspired by the RA’s new exhibition on Painting the Modern Garden, of which Monet’s stunning Garden of Giverny paintings are a big part, this blog takes a look at one of the most popular art movements: Impressionism. We put it into context – with a brief look first at Realism in France, and its move away from classical art; as well as an exploration into how it formed the roots of Post-Impressionism.
Some of Monet's most famous paintings are his depictions of sights seen in the idyllic landscapes of his Garden of Giverny. His incredibly popular Water Lilies artworks, and the iconic view of the Japanese Bridge were all painted from views of his garden – adorned with poppies, dahlias and irises – where he lived out his final years.
Topics: Claude Monet
L.S. Lowry is beloved by us for making the industrial scene his own. These works were created in his own unique way, poetic yet not sentimental, compelling, even at times disturbing, but never judgmental. In this blog we’ll take a brief look at how he began to develop his well-known style.
Why would anyone want to draw in these days of phone cameras and selfie-sticks? Because a drawing is unique. Anyone can take a photograph of a person, a landscape, a cat – but a drawing is a one-off, a personal view of a moment in time. Plus you can imagine whatever you want in a drawing – why stick to reality?
Topics: sketch books
With the long-anticipated Moomin movie, Moomins on the Riviera, coming to cinemas in October 2014 and our beautiful 2015 Moomin Calendar now available in our Art of Fine Gifts range, it's not hard to rediscover a childish love for Moomintroll, his family and friends. The loveable trolls are only gaining in popularity since their beginnings as a comic strip in 1945.