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Related: Painter of Modern Life (1863) - Charles Baudelaire - expressionism - figurative art - impressionism - abstract art - mannerism - cubism - Northern Renaissance - fauvism - genre painting - tableau vivant - visual arts

1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die (2007) - Stephen Farthing
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Vertumnus (1590-1591) - Giuseppe Arcimboldo


Painting is the practice of applying pigment suspended in a carrier (or medium) and a binding agent (a glue) to a surface (support) such as paper, canvas or a wall. This is done by a painter; this term is used especially if this is his or her profession. Evidence indicates that humans have been painting for about 6 times as long as they have been using written language. Artistic painting is considered by many to be among the most important of the art forms.

Drawing, by comparison, is the process of making marks on a surface by applying pressure from or moving a tool on the surface. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painting [Jun 2005]

Painting style

'Style' is used in two senses: It can refer to the distinctive visual elements, techniques and methods that typify an individual artist's work. It can also refer to the movement or school that an artist is associated with. This can stem from an actual group that the artist was consciously involved with or it can be a category in which art historians have placed the painter. The word 'style' in the latter sense has fallen out of favour in academic discussions about contemporary painting, though it continues to be used in popular contexts. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painting#Popular_painting_styles [Jun 2005]

In art and painting, style can refer either to the aesthetic values followed in choosing what to paint (and how) or to the physical techniques employed. An aesthetic movement - such as Realism, Romanticism, Impressionism - can promote an entire world view, a way of interpreting reality and deciding which parts of it are worth observing and/or emphasizing, as well as to what extent the artists' emotions are expressed. Some of these movements are closely associated with certain techniques, such as Pointillism, while others are more flexible, but each has a characteristic "look" that becomes more and more distinctive as it develops until it reaches a saturation point, paving the way for the next style.

By changing the way they paint, apply colour, texture, perspective, or the way they see shapes and ideas, the artist establishes a certain set of "rules". If other artists see the rules as valid for themselves they might also apply these characteristics. The works of art then take on that specific "style". An artist may give the style a name such as "Expressionism", or a name may be applied later, as in the case of "abstract art". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painting_styles [Jun 2005]

* Mannerism * Baroque * Neo-classicism * Romanticism * Realism * Impressionism * Pointillism * Cubism * Socialist Realism * Fauvism * Modernism * Surrealism * Abstract * Constructivism * Naïve art * Hard-edge * Graffiti * Pop-Art * Op-Art * Postmodernism --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painting#Popular_painting_styles [Jun 2005]


Standflügel des Helleraltars von Matthias Grünewald, ausgeführt in Grisaille

In the summer of 2006 I saw my first grisaille, by Flemish Primitive Jan Provoost at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels. I had been thinking about what I had seen, I could not figure out why artists would paint in monochrome in an age where black and white - so I believed - had not yet been invented. Furthermore, it was one of these enigmas where a simple Google search would not suffice. I thought of contacting someone at the museums of Brussels or Antwerp. The day before yesterday I decided to post it on the talk page of Jan Provoost's entry at Wikipedia. Wetman answered my query in two hours. One more testimonial to the efficiency of Wikipedia and the phenomenal knowledge of Wikipedia editor Wetman.

Here are the answers I was looking for:

Grisaille (Fr. gris, grey) is a term for painting executed entirely in monochrome, in various shades of grey, particularly used in decoration to represent objects in relief. The best known modern day grisaille is Picasso's Guernica. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grisaille [Sept 2006]

Grisaille first appeared in the late thirteenth century, but was especially popular from the second half of the fourteenth through the fifteenth c. --http://www.geocities.com/cjfearon/ [Sept 2006]

In the Middle Ages grisailles were often painted on the outer panels of altarpieces. This was to suggest stone sculpture. Around 1700 grisailles became the height of fashion. Later in the eighteenth century, the vogue for grisailles declined. --http://www.rijksmuseum.nl/aria/aria_encyclopedia/00046966?lang=en [Sept 2006]

See also: painting - Matthias Grünewald

Painterly vs linear

Painterly is a literal translation of German Mälerisch, hence malerisch, one of the opposed categories popularized by the art historian Heinrich Wolfflin (1864 - 1945) in order to help focus, enrich and standardize the terms being used by art historians of his time to characterize works of art. The opposite character is linear, plastic or formal linear design.

An oil painting is "painterly" when it is obvious that it has been painted with oil paints: when there are visible brush strokes, and a rough impasto surface. Painterly characterizes the work of Pierre Bonnard, Francis Bacon (painter), Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt or Renoir. Linear characterizes the work of Vermeer or Ingres. The Impressionists and the Abstract Expressionists tended strongly to be "painterly;" movements such as Pop Art or photo-realism emphasize flatness; Roy Liechtenstein attempted to make a comment on Abstract Expressionist painterliness when he created images of brush strokes, rendered with comic book style inks and colors, complete with Benday dots and other attempts at imitating commercial reproduction processes on the flat picture plane. What Rembrandt is to light, Delacroix is to color. Colorists tend to substitute relations of tonality for relations of value and render the form and shadow and light and time through pure relations of colour.

"Painterly" art makes strong coloristic use of the many visual effects produced by paint on canvas such as chromatic progression, warm and cool tones, complementary and contrasting colors, broken tones, broad brushstrokes, impressionism, impasto and also of the artist's experience in painting. Jackson Pollack's "action paintings" are more "painterly" than Frank Stella's super-graphics.

Of course, "painterly" finally refers to paint, though some forms of sculpture make such use of surface texture and stroke that they could almost be called painterly; nevertheless, the application of the term outside painting is a little self-conscious, and may not genuinely help the reader experience the character of Auguste Rodin's surfaces or Richard Strauss's flow of chromatic harmonies. But see Wood as a medium, Green new art. Photography can also be described as painterly.

For further clarification of the meaning of malerisch read Francis Bacon: Logic of Sensation by Gilles Deleuze. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painterly [Mar 2006]

Flatness in art

In art criticism of the 1960s and 1970s, flatness described the smoothness and absence of curvature or surface detail of a two-dimensional work of art. Critic Clement Greenberg believed that flatness, or two-dimensionality, was an essential and desirable quality in painting, a criterion which implies rejection of painterliness and impasto. The valorization of flatness led to a number of art movements, including minimalism and post-painterly abstractionism. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatness#Flatness_in_art [Aug 2006]

See also: Francis Bacon - Gilles Deleuze - linear - painting

The Painting of Sounds, Noises and Smells

Carlo Carrà

Before the 19th century, painting was the art of silence. Painters of antiquity, of the Renaissance, of the 17th and 18th centuries, never envisaged the possibility of rendering sounds, noises and smells in painting, even when they chose flowers, stormy seas or wild skies as their subjects. In their bold revolution, the Impressionists made some confused, hesitant attempts at sounds and noises in their pictures. Before them nothing, absolutely nothing!

However, we should point out at once that between the Impressionists’ swarming brush-strokes and our Futurist paintings of sounds, noises and smells there is an enormous difference, like the contrast between a misty winter morning and a sweltering summer afternoon, or to put it better, between the first signs of pregnancy and an adult man in his fully developed strength.

In the Impressionist canvases, sounds and noises are expressed in such a thin, faded way that they might have been perceived by the eardrum of a deaf man. This is not the place for a detailed account of the principles and experiments of the Impressionists. There is no need to enquire minutely into all the reasons why the Impressionists never succeeded in painting sounds, noises and smells. We shall only mention here what they would have had to drop to obtain results: --http://www.unknown.nu/futurism/paintsound.html [Jun 2004]

Carlo Carrà

But that was the Golden Age of modern art. We were still a small group of pioneers, the Paris Cubists and Fauvists, the Italian Futurists, the London Vorticists, the Blue Rider group in Munich, the Expressionists in Berlin and Dresden, Larionov and his friends in Russia. Nationalism was quite unknown to us, and we were all friends, each ready to recommend the others to the few gallery owners, collectors and critics likely to be interested in our work.

After the First World War, we found ourselves committed in each country to an absurd patriotism. It had become unpatriotic for a Paris painter, even if he were foreign-born, to know anything about contemporary German art or to praise an Italian artist. Overnight, Picasso seemed to have forgotten all about Kandinsky, Chagall behaved as if he had never heard of Larionov, and only a few personal friends of mine in Paris could remember any of my pictures.

- Carlo Carrà, 1959, quoted by Edouard Roditi

We Futurist painters maintain that sounds, noises and smells are incorporated in the expression of lines, volumes and colors just as lines, volumes and colors are incorporated in the architecture of a musical work. Our canvases will therefore express the plastic equivalents of the sounds noises and smells found in theaters, music-halls, cinemas, brothels, railway stations, ports, garages, hospitals, workshops, etc., etc. --http://www.unknown.nu/futurism/paintsound.html [Jun 2004]

"Hierarchy of Genres"

In the field of painting, there exists a "hierarchy of genres" associated with the Académie française which once held a central role in academic art. These genres in hierarchical order are:

These categories played an important role between the 17th century and the modern era, when painters and critics began to rebel against the many rules of the Académie française, including the Académie's preference for history painting. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genre#.22Hierarchy_of_Genres.22 [Jun 2006]

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