Western Art And Its Influence On Western Europe Essay

Western Art And Its Influence On Western Europe Essay

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The term ‘Western art’ is mostly associated with art of western Europe, however, is used generally to describe art that has roots that date back to or are based on western Europe art traditions. In a general sense, Western arts are the “literary performing and visual arts of Europe and regions that share a European cultural tradition, including the United States and Canada.” The history of western art is broken up into periods that include Medieval, Byzantine, Romanesque, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Modernism and Post-Modernism. It is impossible to determine an exact point where they begin and end, or to account for the variety of art styles produced within these periods, and so they name and exact periods of their affluence are continually debated.

Even though the Western art traditions are broad, each period share more common ideologies and styles than one would think. The root of most European art forms date back to Greece and Rome. Christianity was the basis of which art was spread from these areas across the country, and by the late 15th century, American and Canadian traditions were seen to have ties back to European art culture. From the middle ages up until the 19th century, most artworks were custom made for a specific reason or person. The church and the state were the most significant patrons, so most artworks portrayed biblical or historical scenes, or portraits of rulers and religious leaders. The myths of ancient Greece and Rome became metaphors for royal or noble virtues and deeds.


During the later stage of the Middle Ages, a new style called Gothic emerged. Gothic art had very formal artistic traditions with rigorous religious conventions that limited the pe...


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...responses to this ideal of Mannerism are shown in the late works of Michelangelo, Raphael, Tintoretto and El Greco. These artists were known to do robust physiques and body statures that were emphasised in muscular tone and an almost heroic stance of figure. Other artists though showed a more refined approach to this style such as Agnolo Bronzino, Parmigianino and Jacopo Pontormo.

The foundations of Western art tradition were comprised of these various movements and times, each with their own styles. However, Western art tradition can be seen to have several common factors throughout each period. Western art forms a basis on the realistic interpretations of everyday life, virtues and deeds, rulers and religious leaders using formal artistic traditional styles and religious conventions, with a focus on skill and quality being valued highest in the production of art.

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