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Painting Styles


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Painting Styles 1

Painting Styles

Shabrika Hollie



Shawn Fornari

Painting Styles 2

Artists from all forms of art have been recognized for the styles in which they use. With the art form of painting there are several styles of which an artist has to choose from but some styles were adopted because of the time of which an artist lived. In the Gothic era most artists including architects adopted this style because it was popular especially in European countries. On the other hand artists have adopted art styles that are no longer the norm including those founded over a hundred years before their time. Three styles that have both similarities and differences and are decades to hundreds of years old are the Neoclassicism, Impressionism, and Abstract Expressionism styles of painting.

The Neoclassicism style that developed in France during the late eighteenth century consisted of the revival of the ancient Classical ideals. One artist named Jaques-Louis David acquired his with the Neoclassicism (New Classicism) style during this era. Louis’s painting, Oath of the Haratii, because it became a symbol of Roman heroic stoicism and its high principles. According to Benton & DiYanni (2008), “All of the figures are accurately drawn, carefully modeled in cold light, as solid as a sculpture”. Another famous painting by Louis is the Napoleon in His Study that was created in 1812. Napoleon Bonaparte was Emperor of France at the time of the painting that shows his proudly standing in his study. In addition, you can see Napoleon’s sword, a grandfather clock, and what appears to be a rolled copy of one of his most accomplished work the Napoleonic Code. This code created by Napoleon while in power was adopted as a uniformed system of law for the entire country. This painting of Napoleon and Oath of the Haratii is a reflection of this time in history because of David’s using the new form of Classicism and the spoke of the issues citizens of France had with its Emperor and his court.

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Impressionism like Neoclassic art style also arrived in the mid 1800’s. Benton & Diyanni (2008) defines this style as “soughting to portray a fleeting view of the world, usually by applying paint in short strokes and of pure color. A painting within what is known as the Phillips Collection, The Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre-Auguste Renoir is one of the most famous works during the height of this style. Impressionist painters used oil paints, dark backgrounds, and nature’s transitory light or weather conditions which Renoir displayed in this painting. The Phillips Collection website (2011) states, “The painting reflects the changing character of French society in the mid- to late 19th century. The restaurant welcomed customers of many classes, including businessmen, society women, artists, actresses, writers, critics, seamstresses, and shop girls. This diverse group embodied a new, modern Parisian society”. Duncan Phillips purchased this painting of Renoir in 1923 and added it to his art collection which he placed in the Phillips Memorial Art Gallery he and his mother founded in 1921.

Abstract Expressionism is a style developed in the United States in the mid twentieth century. This particular style focused more on an artist’s emotional interaction with his or her work of art. An artist by the name of Jackson Polluck created a painting that clearly defined this style of painting, Autumn Rhythm: Number 30. Polluck uses three different colors, brown, black, and white in a splattered, paint drips, and flung motions. In addition there seemed to be no central theme but shows the “movement” of the artist and reflected Polluck’s expressive state while creating of this piece. This movement in the arts was a clear result of the Existentialism philosophy that was adopted in the United States that stressed freedom of choice and responsibility for one’s actions.

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Benton, J. & Diyanni, R. (2008). Arts and Culture: An Introduction to the Humanities.

Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

The Phillips Collection. (2011). Luncheon of the Boating Party. Retrieved from

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