The entirety of art history can essentially be broken up into five distinct groups. Gaining a better understanding of what took place during each one of these “chunks” in art history will help you gain a deeper grasp of how art has evolved. With that said, let’s dive in and take a look at the chronology of art history.

Ancient Art

Ancient Art encompasses a large chunk of history, covering ca. 30,000 B.C. to ca. 400 A.D. This era refers to many types of art produced by the advanced cultures of ancient societies, such as China, India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Palestine, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Prehistory, Western Ancient, classical civilizations, and early Chinese dynasties all helped to build the foundation of art as we know it today. Timeline Breakdown

Medieval to Early Renaissance Art

This includes the dates between 400-1400 A.D, a millennium that is often referred to as the Dark Ages.Covering a vast scope of time and place, medieval art can largely be traced back to Europe, and at times the Middle East and Northern Africa. During this time a number of major art movements and periods took place. The art was produced in many media, and the works that still remain today in large numbers include sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, metalwork, and mosaics. Timeline Breakdown

Renaissance to Early Modern Art

Following the long Italian Renaissance, Northern Renaissance and Baroque periods, we began to see new movements appear with greater frequency. This timeline covers the years 1400-1880, including the popular favorites, 15 Century Italian Art and the French Impressionist. Renaissance art heavily draws off of the prevailing attitudes of the philosophy, literature, architecture, theology, music, science, and government taking place at the time. The early modern art period rested upon the foundations of biography, rhetoric, and poetics. Timeline Breakdown

Modern Art

Modern Art took place between 1880 and 1970, and although this was a relatively short period, it was an extremely busy period. During this time, the Impressionists opened the floodgates to new paths and ways of creative expression. Artists such as Picasso and Duchamp, were each responsible for creating multiple movements on their own. These artistic times really helped expand minds and change perspectives. Timeline Breakdown

Contemporary Art

We are now roughly 40 years into the Contemporary art timeline. Interestingly, fewer movements have identified themselves as such during this short period, or are history simply has not caught up with those that have. However, you will still find a growing list of Posts-, News-, Neues-, and Neos-. Timeline Breakdown