After visiting art galleries and museums over the years or having selected new artwork for your home, you know pretty quickly which pieces you love and which ones you can easily pass by.
What you may not be as knowledgeable about is what styles of art you prefer and are drawn to most. Of course, as a fan of art, you’re likely familiar with terms like art deco, impressionism, and realism, but you may be in the dark about which types of paintings or other artwork represent a particular style.
Looking to become better acquainted with different styles of art and eventually add some pieces to your home? Then check out the following tutorial:
Art deco first originated in the 1920s and is a term that applies to both artwork and architecture. In particular, this style is characterized by the use of geometric shapes, including trapezoids and triangles, as well as loud colors, sleek lines, and zigzag patterns.
The Italian Renaissance style of art features a combination of classical art mixed with a more contemporary look. Examples include using perspective in drawings as the way to organize the spatial depth of the painting and an emphasis on secular instead of religious subjects.
The classic “bowl of fruit” painting that many beginning artists strive to capture is a great example of realism. Essentially, if the artist is able to make the main subject of a painting resemble that person in real life, then you’re likely admiring a realism piece. These types of paintings also feature a realistic perspective and nice lighting. Leonardo da Vinci’s famous “Mona Lisa” painting is a prime example of realism.
Abstract art is pretty much the polar opposite of realism. In fact, artists who practice this craft tend to shun realism and focus more on creating works that are subjective and open to interpretation. For instance, Jackson Pollock’s paintings may look unorganized and messy, but they’re also captivating and allow people to form an opinion on what they represent.
In a way, the minimalist style of art is like the first cousin of abstract art. The artwork is simple, features geometric lines, and it doesn’t express any personal feelings of the artist. If looking for fine art prints that are minimalist, look for designs that feature clean lines, rounded shapes, and other patterns that are visually appealing, without any extra “fluff.” Minimalist artists are skilled at letting the white space in a painting or work have a voice.
One of the most well-known artists who painted in the style of impressionism was Claude Monet. These paintings include lots of beautiful light and big strokes of different colors of paint. Then again, you don’t have to squint and turn your head sideways to figure out what’s staring back at you. With impressionism, objects in artwork resemble what you would otherwise see in real life, but with an extra bit of boldness.
Chances are you’ve seen Edvard Munch’s classic “Scream” painting — if not on a reprint, then on a T-shirt, mug, or calendar. This famous look at a horrified person includes unrealistic shades of color to help convey the mood of the piece — which is a classic characteristic of expressionism in which artists use colors that aren’t necessarily accurate but rather fit the mood of the scene.
Which is Your Favorite? There’s No Wrong Answer!
Now that you know a bit more about different art styles, you may realize that you own some abstract pieces or that your tastes align more with art deco or impressionism. No matter which styles speak to you — maybe you appreciate several — knowing a bit more about each unique art style should make it easier to choose new artwork for your home.