Essay on Africa's Influence on Western Art

Essay on Africa's Influence on Western Art

Length: 1851 words (5.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Africa's Influence on Western Art

During the mid 19th century up until the Great War of 1914, European countries began to heavily colonize and come into contact with African nations. This was called "new imperialism". During this contact, European culture was influenced by Africa. The influence of the African people can be seen in the European society of the time. In the 19th and 20th centuries, modern artists embraced African art for its lack of pretension or formal qualities.
In the latter part of the 19th century, the "scramble for Africa," consolidated at the Berlin Conference, divided the terrain of the African continent among the numerous European contenders. Fourteen countries were represented by a plethora of ambassadors when the conference opened in Berlin on November 15, 1884. The countries represented at the time included Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden-Norway (unified from 1814-1905), Turkey, and the United States of America. Of these fourteen nations, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Portugal were the major players in the conference, controlling most of colonial Africa at the time. At the point of the symposium, only the coastal parts of Africa had been colonized. The idea behind the conference was to also annex control over the resource rich interior.
As a result of the scramble, the British received control over Egypt, Sudan Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana, as well as, Nigeria and Ghana. The French acquired, much of western Africa, from Mauritania to Chad, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Italians established power in Ethiopia and Soma...

... middle of paper ...

... Schuster, 1997.
3. McDonald, Jesse. Pablo Picasso. Greenwich, Connecticut, Barnes and Noble Inc. by arrangement with Brompton Books Corporation, 1993.
4. Merlhés, Victor. Gauguin's Nirvana; Painters At Le Pouldu 1889-90. New Haven, Connecticut and London England, Yale University Press, 2001.
5. Pemberton II, John. Insight And Artistry in African Divination. London, England, Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000.
6. Cole, Harns, Poynor, Visoná. A History Of Art In Africa. Harry N. Abrams Inc., 2001
7. African Art,
8. Cubism Was Completely New,
9. Georges Braque,
10. Inspiration From The Art Of Different Cultures; African Art, http://p…/aa100100b.htm?iam=dpile&terms=%2BAfrican+%2BInfluence+%2BCubism.html

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Influence Of Art On African Art Essay

- ... African art challenged the imagination, emotions and perceptions of beauty, through its various focal points and depiction of modern life. Artists saw in African art a formal perfection and sophistication unified with phenomenal expressive power. The study of and response to African art, by artists at the beginning of the twentieth century facilitated an explosion of interest in the depiction of form. Rather than focusing on the past format of Romanticism and beautification of the body, conflicting color tones and figural distortion became the means to explore the emotional and psychological areas unseen in Western art up until that point....   [tags: Cubism, Pablo Picasso, Museum of Modern Art]

Powerful Essays
1080 words (3.1 pages)

The Art of Benin Essay

- Western attitudes to African people and culture have always affected how their art was appreciated and this has also coloured the response to the art from Benin. Over time concepts of ‘Race’, defined as a distinct group with a common linage, and ‘Primitive’ which pertains to the beginning or origin, , have been inextricably linked with the perception of Africa. The confusion of the two in the minds of people at the end of the 19th centaury, and some of the 20th, caused a sense of superiority amongst the ‘White Races’ that affected every aspect of their interaction with ‘the Black’....   [tags: Art ]

Powerful Essays
1044 words (3 pages)

Essay South Africa

- South Africa is a nation with a wonderful and varied culture. This country has been called “The Rainbow Nation”, a name that reflects the diversity of such amazing place. The different ethnic and cultural groups of the South Africa do, however, appreciate their own beliefs and customs. Many of these traditions, besides African culture, are influenced by European and Western heritage. The complex and diverse population of the country has made a strong impact to the various cultures. There are forty-five million people; about thirty million are black, five million white, three million coloured and one million Indians....   [tags: Africa]

Powerful Essays
990 words (2.8 pages)

Modern Art And Modern Culture Essay

- ... It not only has great influence on the avant-garde artists those who are at the beginning of the 20th century and led to the appearance of the new art movement, but also had huge impact on the form and the thought of graphic design. The main representative personages are Pablo Picasso and George Braque. Their creation come from two different source, one is the original art form of Africa, especially the primitive tribal masks, sculptures, and unearthed relics of Egypt; Another one is Paul Cezanne 's still life and landscape painting....   [tags: Cubism, Collage, Modern art, Georges Braque]

Powerful Essays
1224 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about The Visual Arts of Africa

- My research interests revolve around issues of (re-)presentation in media, cinema and the arts, emerging from, yet not limited to, and problematized by, aspects relating to one or more of the following areas: race relations, ethnicity, diaspora, displacement, and exile. Broad in scope, my research responds to fields of study both diverse and complementary, such as Black culture and politics in America (Todd Boyd, Michael Eric Dyson, among others) and cultural studies in England (Paul Gilroy, Stuart Hall, among others)....   [tags: Research Proposal ]

Powerful Essays
1459 words (4.2 pages)

The Influence of a Superpower: Aiding a Nation Essay

- In July of 2011, South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan, becoming the world’s youngest country (Government of the Republic of South Sudan). This monumental event came with a long history of conflict, war, and struggle. At the time, Sudan faced civil unrest in many regions of its country, especially in the southern and western regions. The one most recently affected is the city of Darfur in the West. Although, South Sudan gained its independence, it was not done alone. The northeastern country of Sudan received American aid and guidance through support, resources, the implementation of policies, and reformation (South Sudan Profile)....   [tags: sudan, sudanese conflicts, african countries]

Powerful Essays
1674 words (4.8 pages)

Essay about Influence of the West-African State of Mali

- The Western State of Mali The Ancient West African state of Mali, was once known widely known for its great power in trade and wealth. Its Empire was located on the edge of the Sahara Dessert and stretched all the way through the Atlantic coast on the West side of Africa. Mali had many great cities such as Djenne' and Gao but the one that flourished beyond the others that even today we hear about it is the great city of Timbuktu. When this city was at its height it had the potential to influence many countries and foreigners alike, to begin on an adventure to find out what was so majestic about the city of Timbuktu....   [tags: trade, timbuktu, islam]

Powerful Essays
675 words (1.9 pages)

African Art: The Extraordinary Terracotta Ceramic Faces Essay

- Apart from rock art, ancient artists in Africa prepared sculptures. One of the oldest sculptures in Africa was the extraordinary terracotta ceramic faces, many of which have worn out over time, recorded in western African country of Nigeria and are as old as 2,500 years or more. The sculptures are assembled using iron cast or even grog compounds though none of them exists in their initial form. They demonstrate a resilient spirit in the African culture that dates back to about 200 AD (Peter 89. Their stupendous formal characteristics and communicative eminence places them at a distinct position with reference to African art history....   [tags: nigeria, scuptures, ancient africans]

Powerful Essays
1163 words (3.3 pages)

African Art and Architecture Essay

- African Art and Architecture The history of art in Africa goes back to prehistoric times. Among the most ancient African art forms are the rock paintings and engravings from Tassili and Ennedi in the Sahara (6000 BC-1st century AD). Other examples of early art include the terracotta sculptures modelled by Nok artists in central Nigeria between 500 BC and AD 200, the decorative bronze works of Igbo Ukwu (9th-10th century AD), and the extraordinary bronze and terracotta sculptures from Ife (12th-15th century AD)....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
857 words (2.4 pages)

Black Gold Using the Theoretic Works of W.E.B Du Bois Essay

- In many U.S homes, as is the custom in most western cultures, the first beverage consumed at the start of every day is coffee. From its origins in Ethiopia, the strong black liquid has evolved from its modest beginnings to become an art form, a gourmet luxury, and the addiction of millions. The documentary Black Gold directed by Nic and Marc Francis addresses issues that rarely cross the minds of its consumers: who produces the coffee, and how does the coffee we drink directly affect the livelihood of those farmers who grow it....   [tags: western culture, coffee]

Powerful Essays
2107 words (6 pages)