Impressive sculpture was concurrently being cast from brass by the Yoruba people of what is now Nigeria. In the Benin Kingdom, also of southern Nigeria, which began around the same time, elegant altar tusks, brass heads, plaques of brass, and palatial architecture were created. The Benin Kingdom was ended by the British in 1897, and little of the culture's art now remains in Nigeria. Today, the most significant arts venue in Africa is the Johannesburg Biennale.

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  • Until the late fifteenth century both religious and secular art were popular.
  • Art historians speak of several different kinds of artistic styles.
  • When used in marketing, striking imagery can enhance brand identity and motivate people to make purchases.
  • Central, largest, and therefore most important is the Benin king, mounted on horseback.
  • Art historians typically consider the Romanesque art era to be the start of the art history timeline.

Art has been a way to communicate beliefs and express ideas about the human experience throughout all stages of civilization and in every region of the world. As cultural documents, works of art provide important insights into past and existing cultures, helping us to understand how others have lived and what they valued. For minimal protection from theft, a digital artist needs to leave watermarks, signatures, and copyright information on their art. This advantage also applies to digital artists who need to target audiences that are more receptive to their brand of art.

Unit 7 Domestic Life

African art was intended to not only please the eye, but also to uphold moral values. Stroll the Highline Park and see a unique view of the New York City streets paired with a collection of incredible street art and public art installations like nothing else in the world. Walk through Little Italy and SoHo looking for pop art on every corner. Neighborhoods throughout the five Burroughs have different styles and feels, so it’s easy to see why NYC is one of the best places in the world to find street art now. You can even tour old subway trains at the Transit Museum and see if you can find any with graffiti dating back to the 1970s.


Next came the Age of Enlightenment in which traditional, social, religious and political ideals were replaced with an emphasis on reason and rational thinking. Several movements emerged, from Neoclassicism and Romanticism to Impressionism to Symbolism. In 1789, France was on the brink of its first revolution and Neoclassicism sought to express their patriotic feelings. They believed that art should be serious, and valued drawings above painting; smooth contours and paint with no discernible brushstrokes were the ultimate aim. Both painting and sculpture exerted calmness and restraint and focused on heroic themes, expressing such noble notions as self-sacrifice and nationalism.

Thus, a central aim of art history is to determine the original context of artworks. Art historians seek to achieve a full understanding not only of why these "persisting events" of human history look the way they do but also of why the artistic events happened at all. What unique set of circumstances gave rise to the erection of a particular building or led a specific patron to commission an individual artist to fashion a singular artwork for a certain place? Art objects and buildings are historical documents that can shed light on the peoples who made them and on the times of their creation in a way other historical documents cannot.

Formally, the landscapes are characterized by the same refinement of design and emphatic patterning as the figural pieces. Deep space in the Attersee works is so efficiently flattened to a single plane, it is believed that Klimt painted them while looking through a telescope. Street art is a way for people to use their art to express themselves or spread a message instead of talking.

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The last two decades of the 1800s were filled with movements like Cloisonnism, Japonism, Neo-Impressionism, Symbolism, Expressionism, and Fauvism. There were also a number of schools and groups like The Glasgow Boys and the Heidelberg School, The Band Noire and The Ten American Painters. This period covers the years 1400 through 1880 and it includes many of our favorite pieces of art.

In many cultures, art is used in rituals, performances and dances as a decoration or symbol. While these often have no specific utilitarian purpose, anthropologists know that they often serve a purpose at the level of meaning within a particular culture. This meaning is not furnished by any one individual, but is often the result of many generations of change, and of a cosmological relationship within the culture. Art provide a means to express the imagination in non-grammatic ways that are not tied to the formality of spoken or written language.

Cubism History

I would look at Mr. van Eyck's worried expression, and I would remind myself that even the masters suffer from insecurities or doubts regarding the work. I also told myself that as long as "I did it as best as I could" everything would be okay. One of the finest freestanding sculptures of an emperor is Augustus of Prima Porta . It is slightly larger than life-sized and it shows Augustus addressing his troops as a general.