Types of Painting Styles

There is a huge range of different painting styles that are incorporated into art.


Classicism is a specific genre of philosophy, expressing itself in literature, architecture, art, and music. Classicism, in the arts, is used when talking about art from the Ancient Greeks and Romans and their influence. The art of classicism often involves a thoughtful approach to the arts in which beauty and form is admired, rather than passion or any kind of exaggeration. Classicism can apply to painting, sculpture, architecture, music, dance, literature or philosophy. Classicism influenced several periods in European history, especially the Italian Renaissance, Age of Reason, the Age of Enlightment and some movements in Modernism.

Although it varies from genre to genre, classical art is renowned for its harmony, balance and sense of proportion.

Italian Renaissance painting and sculptures are marked by their renewal of classical forms, motifs and subjects. Later classicism in painting and sculpture from the mid-18th and 19th centuries is generally referred to as Neoclassicism.

Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi, Pointing to her Children as Her Treasures – Angelica Kauffman

Angelica Kauffman was a Swiss painter during the height of the Neoclassical era. She created a range of artworks depicting figures from the time period in Austria, where she lived for many years.


Baroque is a term used to describe a period and style of art. It is used to describe paintings, sculptures, architecture, and music of that period. The word “baroque” comes from a similar word in Spanish, Portuguese, and French that means “rough pearl”. Baroque art became popular in the 1600s. It started in Italy and moved to other areas of Europe and the world. The Baroque style started with the Catholic Church. The church wanted its religious paintings to become more emotional and dramatic. This type of style spread to where much of the art of the time became very dramatic, full of life and movement, and emotional.

In Baroque art there was generally action and movement. Angels flew, people fought, crowds cowered in fear, and saints rose to the heavens. Baroque sculptures were often made of rich materials such as colorful marble, bronze, or even gilded with gold.

The later part of the Baroque period is often called the Rococo period. Rococo describes a type of art and architecture that began in France in the mid-1700s. It is characterized by delicate but substantial ornamentation. Painters of the Rococo era were free not only to create great murals for grand palaces but also smaller, more delicate works that could be displayed in French salons. Paintings are characterized by the use of soft colors and fuzzy outlines, curved lines, detailed ornamentation, and a lack of symmetry.

Today, when someone uses the word “baroque” to describe something, they usually mean that the object is overly ornate and complex.

Among the famous Baroque artisits are:

  • Caravaggio, an Italian artist who introduced the world to the Baroque style.
  • Annibale Carracci, who is considered to be one of the founding fathers of this artistic movement.
  • Andrea Pozzo, known for his ability to create amazing optical illusions. He is most famous for his work at the Church of Saint Ignatius.
  • Nicolas Poussin, a French painter whose paintings were in both the classical and baroque style. He influenced artists such as Ingres and Paul Cezanne.
  • Rembrandt, a Dutch painter who specialized in the portrait and is considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time.
  • Peter Paul Rubens, one of the foremost Dutch Baroque painters of the time.
  • Diego Velasquez, the leading Spanish Baroque artist, known for his interesting portraits. His work was studied by other great artists like Picasso and Salvador Dali.

Las Meninas, the most famous painting by Velazquez, is considered his supreme achievement and is one of the most analyzed paintings in Western art history.


Romanticism (the Romantic era or Romantic period) is a movement, or style of art, literature and music in the late 18th and early 19th century in Europe. The movement said that feelings, imagination, nature, human life, freedom of expression, individualism and old folk trations, such as legends and fairy tales, were important. It was a reaction to the aristocratic social and political ideas of the Age of Enlightment and the Industrial Revolution. It was also a reaction against turning nature into a mere science.

The Romantic Movement started at the end of the 1700’s and reached its peak in the early 1800s. It marked the end of the Baroque movement and was followed by Realism.

It was one of the first times in the history of art that landscapes became a significant subject for painting.

Among the most famous Romanticism artists are:

  • Francisco Goya, a Spanish artist whose paintings were historically significant to the Spanish people, in particular his work The Third of May 1808 that marked the defeat of the rebelling Spanish forces following Napoleon’s occupation of Madrid.
  • John Constable, an English  painter who primarily depicted landscapes. His works were filled with great affection for his natural surroundings. This area is now nicknamed Constable Country in his honor. His works rank among the most popular and valuable in the history of British art.
  • William Turner, an English painter, watercolorist, who is best remembered for his landscapes, expressive colors, and dramatic marine paintings.
  • Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, a French painter who is best remembered for his drawn and painted portraits.
  • Théodore Géricault, a French painter whose best known work is The Raft of the Medusa.
  • Ivan Aivazovsky, a remarkable artist of Ukrainian and Armenian origin who is considered one of the greatest masters of marine art.
  • Thomas Cole, an American artist, the founder as well as the most renowned artist of the Hudson River School, who is most known for his landscape paintings of the American wilderness.
  • Eugene Delacroix, a French artist widely regarded as the leader of the Romantic movement in France who laid emphasis on colour and movement rather than clarity of outline. Liberty Leading the People, the masterpiece of Delacroix, is perhaps the most renowned work of the entire Romanticism movement.


Realism is a painting art style that aims to give the viewer a reflection of the real world. This is because it attempts to depict the topic as it appears in real life but stops short of appearing like a photograph.

Realism was an art movement that revolted against the emotional and exaggerated themes of Romanticism. Artists and writers began to explore the reality of every day life. The Realism movement lasted around forty years from 1840 to 1880. It followed the Romanticism movement and came before Modern Art.

Realism artists tried to depict the real world exactly as it appears. They painted everyday subjects and people. They didn’t try to interpret the setting or add emotional meaning to the scenes.

Famous Realism Era Artists

  • Gustave Courbet, a French artist and a leading proponent of Realism in France. He was one of the first major artists to use art as social commentary.
  • Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, a French landscape painter who moved from Romanticism to Realism.
  • Honore Daumier, a French painter who was more famous for his caricatures of famous people while alive. His art became famous after he died.
  • Thomas Eakinsa, an American Realist painter who painted portraits as well as landscapes. He also painted unique subjects like The Gross Clinic which showed a surgeon operating.
  • Winslow Homer, an American landscape artist known for his paintings of the ocean.
  • Edouard Manet, a famous French artist who, at the forefront of French painting, began the movement from Realism to Impressionism.
  • Jean-Francois Millet, a French Realist painter famous for his paintings of farm peasants.

Jean-Francois Millet Cleaners


Photorealism (hyperrealism or super-realism) is a painting style that aims to create a painting that’s indistinguishable from real life or a photograph – hence the name. This makes it distinct from realism, as unless you take a much closer look at a photorealism painting you will not be able to see that it is indeed a painting.

Photo-realism is an American art movement that began in the 1960s, taking photography as its inspiration. Famous Photorealist artists include: Ralph Goings, Richard Estes, Chuck Close, Charles Bell, Robert Cottingham, and Don Eddy.

Photorealist paintings are often quite large, often depicting objects many times larger than they actually are in real life. The paintings are usually done in oil or acrylic, either air-brushed or painted by hand with a paintbrush. Photorealist artists generally strive to make the surface of the painting as smooth as possible, without any visible brushstrokes, in order to make the painting closely resemble a photograph.

Increadibly realistic car paintings by Don Eddy


Impressionism is a painting style most commonly associated with the 19th century where small brush strokes are used to build up a larger picture. This art style lies somewhere between expressionism and realism, with a focus on accurate lighting but with no emphasis on a realistic scene.

Impressionism began in France in the 1860s when a group of young and talented artists formed a new style of painting. Impressionists wanted to capture a moment in time. Critics said that their work was merely “impressions” of reality and the name stuck. The artisits were more concerned with the light and color of the moment than with the details of objects they were painting. They often painted outdoors and worked quickly to capture the light before it changed. They used rapid brush strokes and often used unmixed color to save time.

Among the famous Impressionist artists are:

  • Edgar Degas who is famous for painting pictures of ballet dancers. Unlike many of the other Impressionist artists, he would sketch his subjects live and then paint them later in his studio.
  • Edouard Manet, a realist painter for much of his career. Manet’s artwork bridged between Realism and Impressionism and gave the Impressionists credibility.
  • Claude Monet, considered to be the founder of the Impressionist movement, Monet painted many series of objects in different lighting. It was his painting, Impression: Sunrise that gave birth to the name Impressionism.
  • Berthe Morisot, one of the original Impressionists. She was the only woman to display her artwork in the first Impressionist exhibition.
  • Camille Pissarro, who was older than the rest of the Impressionists and helped to mentor and lead the younger artists. He displayed artwork in all eight of the Impressionist exhibitions.
  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who was part of the original group of Impressionists. Renoir lived in poverty early on, but became successful by the end of the 1880s. Many of his paintings such as Dance at Le moulin de la Galette and On the Terrace have become world famous.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir The Portrait of Jeanne Samary 


The Impressionist artists opened up a new world of modern art. The Post-impressionists wanted to continue to stretch those boundaries. The term was coined by Roger Fry, a British art critic, to describe the artists who came immediately after the Impressionists. Post-impressionism began with a new generation of artists after the Impressionists such as Monet, Degas, and Renoir. It lasted approximately from 1885 to 1910. It was more of a period of painting rather than a style or movement. It was a time when many artists went their own way and developed their own style. Other styles that often fall under the era of Post-impressionism include Symbolism, Primitivism, Synthetism, Pointillism, and Neo-Impressionism. Just like Impressionism, the Post-impressionism movement was centered in France. Young painters Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse referred to Paul Cezanne as “the father of us all”. Post-impressionism helped to inspire future movements of Modern Art such as Cubism, Surrealism, and Expressionism.

The Post-impressionists had learned about using light, shadows, and colors in their art from the Impressionists. They wanted to add their own new ideas to art. They began to try new subjects, techniques, perspectives, and shapes to express their thoughts and emotions in art.

The famous Post-impressionism artists

  • Paul Cezanne, who worked in the Impressionist style for a while and then broke out into his own style. He used small repetitive brush strokes and studied his subjects intensely. He broke up his paintings into blocks of color and shapes. His unique style gave rise to Cubism later.
  • Paul Gauguin, a close friend of van Gogh. whose paintings moved away from impressionism by using strong outlines and childlike figures. Gauguin lived his later life in poverty. His art did not become famous until after his death.
  • Auguste Rodin, considered by many to be the father of modern sculpture, Rodin didn’t want to be a radical, but his style was different from traditional sculpture. As a result, he was originally criticized for his art. Later in life, however, he became very famous .
  • Henri Rousseau, a self taught painter who is known for his colorful jungle scenes and precise painting. His style is sometimes called primitivism. He wasn’t famous until later in life when his work was promoted by artists such as Picasso.
  • Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec enjoyed painting the nightlife of Paris, especially a cabaret known as the Moulin Rouge. One of his paintings, The Laundress, sold for over $22 million in 2005.
  • Vincent van Gogh, a Dutch painter who  is considered to be one of the greatest artists in history, He lived in poverty and committed suicide at the young age of 37. His paintings are full of passion and originality.

Vincent van Gogh The Starry Night


Pointillism is often considered part of the Post-impressionist movement. It was primarily invented by painters George Seurat and Paul Signac. While Impressionists used small dabs of paint as part of their technique, Pointillism took this to the next level using only small dots of pure color to compose an entire painting sidered part of the Post-impressionist movement. Seurat called the style of painting Divisionism when he invented it, but the name was changed over time.

Pointillism reached its peak in the 1880s and 1890s after the Impressionist movement. Many of the concepts and ideas, however, continued to be used by artists in the future.

Unlike some art movements, Pointillism has nothing to do with the subject matter of the painting. It is a specific way of applying the paint to the canvas. In Pointillism the painting is made up entirely of small dots of pure color. Pointillism used the science of optics to create colors from many small dots placed so close to each other that they would blur into an image to the eye. This is the same way computer screens work today. The pixels in the computer screen are just like the dots in a Pointillist painting. The smaller the dots, the clearer the painting and the sharper the lines, just like with the screen resolution on a computer monitor. In many ways Pointillism was as much a science as an art. Vincent Van Gogh experimented with the Pointillism technique. It is evident in his 1887 self portrait. The style often used dots of complementary colors to make their subjects more vibrant. Complementary colors are colors of the opposite hue, for example red and green or blue and orange.

Famous Pointillism Artists

  • Charles Angrand, experimented with Pointillism, used fine, small dots of paint. In other works he used larger dabs of paint to get a rougher effect.
  • Maximilien Luce, a French Neo-impressionist, used Pointillism in many of his works. Perhaps his most famous Pointillism paintings were a series of paintings of Notre Dame.
  • Theo Van Rysselberghe, painted several paintings using the Pointillism technique. His most famous is probably a portrait of his wife and daughter. Later in his career he would move back to broader brush strokes.
  • Georges Seurat, the founder of Pointillism. He studied the science of colors and optics to invent this new technique.
  • Paul Signac, the other founding father of Pointillism. When Seurat died young, Signac continued to work with Pointillism and left a large legacy of artwork using the style.

The Eiffel Tower by Georges Seurat


Modernism in art is considered the art that was produced during the period between 1860 and 1970. It is a radical way of thinking by the artists of modern day and age, with no boundaries set by the traditional method holding their creative expression back.


Expressionism is a style of art that doesn’t concern itself with realism. The focus is instead on the artist’s ideas or feelings, which are expressed through the medium of art. These artists wanted to paint about emotion. It could be anger, anxiety, fear, or peacefulness. This wasn’t a completely new idea in art. Other artists like Vincent van Gogh had been doing the same thing. However, this was the first time this type of art had been given a name.  The Expressionist movement started in Germany during the early part of the 1900s.

Among the famous Expressionists are:

  • Max Beckman, a German painter who was against the Expressionist movement. However, many of his paintings are described as Expressionist.
  • James Ensor, a Dutch painter who had great influence on the Expressionist movement in Germany.
  • Oskar Kokoschka, an Austrian artist whose artwork was displayed in the German magazine The Storm when Expressionism became a true art movement.
  • August Macke, aleading member of the Expressionist group The Blue Rider in Germany, he also painted some Abstract Art.
  • Franz Marc,one of the leaders in the Expressionist movement.
  • Edvard Munch, a Symbolist and Expressionist, Munch is best known for his famous painting The Scream.

The Scream (Edvard Munch)
This painting shows a man standing on a bridge. His hands are on his face and he is screaming. The sky behind him is red and swirling. The picture expresses the emotion of a person alone in their anguish and anxiety. Munch made four versions of this picture. One of them sold for over $119 million in 2012.


Fauvism is the name applied to the work produced by a group of artists (which included Henri Matisse and André Derain) from around 1905 to 1910, which is characterised by strong colours and fierce brushwork. Fauve artists used pure, brilliant colour aggressively applied straight from the paint tubes to create a sense of an explosion on the canvas.

The name les fauves (‘the wild beasts’) was coined by the critic Louis Vauxcelles when he saw the work of Henri Matisse and Andre Derain in an exhibition in Paris, in 1905.

The fauvists were interested in the scientific colour theories developed in the nineteenth century – particularly those relating to complementary colours. Complementary colours are pairs of colours appear opposite each other on scientific models such as the colour wheel, and when used side-by-side in a painting make each other look brighter.

Matisse was without question the leader of the Fauvist movement who developed his style. Common topics in his works were music and dance – one of the most well-known paintings is Dance created in 1909-1910.


Symbolism was a late 19th-century art movement. It was born in France, but there were strong movements in Russia, Belgium, and Austria as well.  Symbolist painters wanted their pictures to depict a meaning beyond just the figures they drew. Symbolist painters used a wide variety of subjects including heroes, women, animals, and landscapes. They typically gave these subjects deep meanings such as love, death, sin, religion, or disease. They would use metaphors (or symbols) rather than real life to represent something. Many Symbolist artists would deliberately make the meaning of their work obscure and not explain it. This way the viewer could make their own interpretation. It can be thought of more of a philosophy about the content and meaning of art than a specific style. Symbolism had a great influence on Expressionism and Surrealism, two future artistic movements.

Among the famous Symbolism artists are:

  • Pierre Purvis de Chavannes, a French painter, one of the leaders of the Symbolist movement, who was also known for painting murals in buildings.
  • Vilhelm Hammershoi, a Danish painter known for his symbolist portraits and stark interiors.
  • Ferdinand Hodler, a well known Swiss painter who became part of the Expressionist movement late in his career.
  • Gustave Moreau, who used Biblical as well as mythological characters in many of his paintings.
  • Edvard Munch, a Norwegian artist, most famous for his painting The Scream,  who had a great influence on the Expressionist movement.
  • Odilon Redon, a French painter, a leader of the Symbolism movement. He said his work was meant to inspire people.
  • Hugo Simberg, a Finnish painter, most famous for his painting The Wounded Angel.
  • Victor Vasnetsov, a leader in the Russian art revival, painted both historical and mythological subjects.
  • Gustav Klimt, an Austrian painter who worked in Vienna. Klimt’s paintings have gained fame in recent years. His most famous paintings include The Kiss as well as two portraits of Adele Bloch-Bauer.

Abstract Art

Abstract art is artwork that doesn’t resemble anything from “real life.” Every object on the canvas is represented by either colors and or shapes. For example, colors can represent emotions, and shapes can symbolize objects. The purpose of abstract is to let the viewer interpret its meaning for themself. At its worst, abstract art looks like an accidental mess of paint. At its best, it has an impact that strikes you from the moment you see it.

The Abstract Art movement took place in the United States. In its purest form, Abstract Art has no subject. It is just lines, shapes, and colors. The Abstract Art movement is called Abstract Expressionism because, although the art has no subject, it is still trying to convey some kind of emotion. The Abstract Expressionism movement began in the 1940s in New York City after World War II. However, the first real Abstract Art was painted earlier by some Expressionists, especially Kandinsky in the early 1900s.

Famous Abstract Artists

  • Willem de Kooning, a Dutch artist who became a part of the New York City Abstract Expressionist movement. His most famous painting is Woman III which was sold for over $137 million.
  • Franz Kline, an American painter mostly known for his black and white paintings, considered an Action Painter.
  • Wassily Kandinsky, who is considered the father of abstract painting. In an effort to capture sound and emotion in art, he painted some of the first major abstract works.
  • Piet Mondrian, developed an Abstract painting style that involved straight lines and colored rectangles. He called this type of painting “The Style”.
  • Jackson Pollock, created his paintings without using brush strokes in what would later be called Action Painting. He became famous for his large paintings made with dribbles and splashes of paint.
  • Mark Rothko, his paintings are known for their large vibrant blocks of color.

Yellow-Red-Blue by Wassily Kandinsky


Paul Cezanne, a famous artist once said – “Everything in nature takes its form from the cylinder, the cone or the sphere.” Interestingly, this later turned into the basis of ‘cubism’. This is another expression of abstract art and geometrical shapes form a very important part of this style.

Cubism was an innovative art movement pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. In Cubism, artists began to look at subjects in new ways in an effort to depict three-dimensions on a flat canvas. They would break up the subject into many different shapes and then repaint it from different angles. Cubism paved the way for many different modern movements of art in the 20th century. The movement started in 1908 and lasted through the 1920s.

There were two main types of Cubism:

  • Analytical Cubism. In this style, artists would study (or analyze) the subject and break it up into different blocks. They would look at the blocks from different angles. Then they would reconstruct the subject, painting the blocks from various viewpoints.
  • Synthetic Cubism. The second stage of Cubism introduced the idea of adding in other materials in a collage. Artists would use colored paper, newspapers, and other materials to represent the different blocks of the subject. This stage also introduced brighter colors and a lighter mood to the art.

Famous Cubism Artists

  • Georges Braque, one of the founding fathers of Cubism along with Picasso. He continued to explore Cubism for much of his art career.
  • Pablo Picasso, the primary founder of Cubism. Together with Braque, Picasso explored a number of different styles of art throughout his career. Some say that he produced enough innovative and unique art for five or six different famous artists.
  • Robert Delaunay, a French artist who created his own style of Cubism called Orphism. Orphism focused on bright colors and the relationship between painting and music.
  • Juan Gris, a Spanish artist who became involved in Cubism early on. He also was a leader in the development of Synthetic Cubism.
  • Fernand Leger, had his own unique style within Cubism. His art began to focus on popular subjects and was an inspiration to the creation of Pop Art.
  • Jean Metzinger, an artist and writer, who explored Cubism from a scientific standpoint as well as an artistic one. He wrote the first major essay on Cubism. Some of his famous paintings include The Rider: Woman with a Horse and Woman with a Fan.

Weeping Woman by Pablo Picasso


Surrealism first became a movement in the 20th century, with artists such as Salvador Dali becoming household names. Combining abstract concepts with semi-realistic objects that have been twisted or morphed into something unusual, they can be illogical or dreamlike, giving the viewer a heightened sense of reality. Surrealism images explored the subconscious areas of the mind. The artwork often made little sense as it was usually trying to depict a dream or random thoughts.

Surrealism originated in France and flourished as an art movement in the early twentieth century. Surrealism means “above realism”. Dadaism didn’t mean anything. “Dada” was supposed to be a nonsense word.

The founder of the movement, Andre Breton, originally thought that the visual arts, such as painting and film, wouldn’t be useful to the Surrealist movement.

Famous Surrealism Artists

  • Giorgio de Chirico, an Italian artist who was the first of the Surrealist painters. He founded the school of Metaphysical Art which influenced the Surrealist artists of the future.
  • Salvador Dali, a Spanish artist who is considered by many to be the greatest of the Surrealist painters. Dali embraced the idea and art of Surrealism.
  • Max Ernst, a German painter who was part of the Dadaist movement and then joined the Surrealists.
  • Paul Klee, a Swiss painter who mixed Surrealism with Expressionism. His most famous paintings include Around the Fish, Red Balloon, and Twittering Machine.
  • Rene Magritte, a Belgian artist who liked to challenge people’s ideas on what they should see through his Surrealist paintings. Some of his famous works include The Son of Man, The Treachery of Images, and The Human Condition.
  • Joan Miro, a Spanish painter who was known for his Surrealist paintings as well as his own style and abstract artwork.
  • Yves Tanguy, a French Surrealist known for his abstract landscapes that used a limited number of colors.

Swans Refelcting Elephants by Salvador Dali

Pop Art

In the 1950s and onwards, pop art became a movement that drew inspiration from the commodification and commercialism of modern life. Using cartoons or adverts in many of the style’s most famous works, pop art uses realistic imagery combined with bold colours to highlight the artist’s intent.

Pop Art began in the 1950s, but became very popular in the 1960s. It started in the United Kingdom, but became a true art movement in New York City with artists like Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns.

Pop Art is a modern art style that started back in the 1950s and drew inspiration from commercial and consumer aspects of everyday life, especially in the American culture. Such imagery included advertising, mass media, comic books, celebrities, and elements of popular culture, like magazines, movies, and even bottles and cans.

Pop art paintings tend to focus on bold colors and realistic imagery. There is usually no hidden meaning in the composition either. Pop artists rarely use any of the traditional techniques of perspective to create an illusion of realism in the painting.

Pop Art uses images and icons that are popular in the modern world. This includes famous celebrities like movie stars and rock stars, commercial items like soup cans and soft drinks, comic books, and any other items that are popular in the commercial world. There are a number of ways that artists use these items to create art such as repeating the item over and over again, changing the color or texture of the item, and putting different items together to make a picture.

Famous Pop Art Artists

  • Keith Haring, a New York artist is famous for his cartoon like outlined pictures of people doing different things. His art was inspired by graffiti.
  • David Hockney, considered one of the most important English artists of the 20th century. He played a major role in the development of Pop Art.
  • Jasper Johns, most famous for his paintings of the American flag. He has also painted a map of the United States and another famous painting of just numbers called Numbers in Color.
  • Roy Lichtenstein, known for making art from the inspiration of comic books.
  • Wayne Thiebaud, became famous by painting items such as pies, cakes, lipstick, and toys. One of his most famous paintings is of three gumball machines called Three Machines.
  • Andy Warhol, the most famous of the Pop Artists and played a major role in making the art movement popular. His painting of Campbell’s Soup cans pushed Pop Art to the front of the art scene.

Lipstick Still Life by Wayne Thiebaud


Minimalism is an extreme form of abstract art developed in the USA in the 1960s and typified by artworks composed of simple geometric shapes based on the square and the rectangle.

Minimalism or minimalist art can be seen as extending the abstract idea that art should have its own reality and not be an imitation of some other thing. We usually think of art as representing an aspect of the real world (a landscape, a person, or even a tin of soup!); or reflecting an experience such as an emotion or feeling. With minimalism, no attempt is made to represent an outside reality, the artist wants the viewer to respond only to what is in front of them. The medium, (or material) from which it is made, and the form of the work is the reality. Minimalist painter Frank Stella famously said about his paintings ‘What you see is what you see’.

Minimalism emerged in the late 1950s when artists such as Frank Stella, whose Black Paintings were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1959. It flourished in the 1960s and 1970s with Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin and Robert Morris becoming the movement’s most important innovators. Minimalist art offers a highly purified form of beauty. It can also be seen as representing such qualities as truth (because it does not pretend to be anything other than what it is), order, simplicity and harmony.

Frank Stella Art

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