Back

Art Terms Demystified (Jargon To Drop At Your Next Luncheon)

 

 

 

 

ART PERIODS VERSUS ART STYLES

Many of you write us asking for more information about something you have.We're glad you're curious enough to ask questions and we hope our Art and Antiques FAQs are helpful to you.

Art periods are different from styles of that period.

One of the most confusing aspects of understanding Art and Antiques are the terms used to describe these things. Each area of Art and Antiques requires different specialized expertise for proficiency in understanding it, and has its own unique vocabulary.

Each category of Art and Antiques has its own specialized vocabulary, and its own expert specialists. Each category of Art and Antiques is really its own FIELD because each requires a different area and type of expertise in order to be proficient in understanding it and thus to talk about it.

For example, terms used to describe pre-1900 Prints are different from terms used to describe pre-1900 Paintings and Drawings and terms used to describe Glass are different from terms used to describe Textiles and Silver.

Obviously it's beyond the scope of this web site to detail every single Art and Antiques period or even the most notable techniques of each period. We have to choose brevity using some criteria. Painting (and drawing) is the primary art category where we find the most frequent misunderstandings and mistakes amongst its' collectors and investors. Our Technical Library FAQs also discuss printmaking, and provide explanations of some of the art terms common to all the art categories.

In addition to specialized vocabulary and specialized expertise, each category of Art and Antiques has time periods where it acquired some unique property, name, attribute and characteristics. For example, a piece of furniture such a a chair done in the period called Louis XIV will have particular characteristics that make it visibly different in style, design and function to a chair done in the style of the Regency Period. And a cup done in the Art Nouveau style will be visibly different from a cup done in the Art Deco style, even though the two styles are adjacent to one another in time (and in fact they overlap a bit as the Art Deco period emerges).

While Art and Antiques PERIODS can be understood by studying data as HISTORY, Art and Antiques TERMINOLOGY requires studying things as well as data, and is another thing entirely, pun intended. There are many Art and Antiques terms for technique where the difference in meaning is highly specific and very subtle, and these terms can become confusing to anyone who hasn't actually tried the various techniques themselves and personally learned their differences.

Art History defines time periods differently from historical chronology. When we refer to a particular art PERIOD, we're referring to a particular time frame, a very specific time period. Some art periods are named after a monarch in power at the time whose influence helped define the various elements making up the unique STYLE of that particular time PERIOD (for example, Louis XIV and Louis XV). The term PERIOD tends to be used as an art term more than the term ERA which refers to a specific historical time frame (for example, the Victorian Era, the Roosevelt Era, and the Kennedy Era).

You can learn to tell one art period from another because each period has a pronounced and unique style to it comprised of common elements used by and in all the various forms of artistic expression during that time frame. As an example, here are three different art PERIODS with completely different STYLES that are adjacent in time: Beaux Arts (1880- 1900), Art Nouveau (1890 - 1910), and Art Deco (1910 - 1930). The time frames for each period overlap and are approximate; nothing changes overnight and the styles from these periods emerged rather than burst forth completely different. This also works in reverse: pieces can be dated by comparing their style and material composition with those of a known period.

The Beaux Arts period is characterized by flowing lines and curves, and almost baroque curvaceousness. Artists include Alphonse Mucha, Aubrey Beardsley and Galla Glass. Type fonts used during this period are almost always simple block fonts for lower case letters with a separate larger highly stylized font used for capital letters. Art Nouveau is characterized by Style Liberte (Liberty Style, or Liberated, as the case may be): flowering vines, arcs and curves, pastels. Artists include Maxfield Parish and Rene Lalique. Even cast metals and carved wood would take on serpentine flows during this period. Type fonts used during this period are almost always serif. Art Deco is characterized by t-squares and triangles, and sharply defined blocked shapes. Artists include Frank Lloyd Wright and Cartier. Type fonts used during this period are almost always sans serif.

SUMMARY:Each area of Art and Antiques requires different specialized expertise for proficiency in understanding it, and has its own unique vocabulary.


We hope this information is helpful to you. Thanks for reading. Merci de votre visite.

 



All Content is © Debra Spencer, Suit Yourself™ International. Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved.
Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.

 

Top
All Content is ©2019 Debra Spencer, Appanage™at www.suityourself.international Suit Yourself ™ International, 120 Pendleton Point, Islesboro Island, Maine, 04848, USA 44n31 68w91 Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.

Read Our Magazine! A Fortune Cookie Once A Week.

Enter your e-mail address to receive our magazine.
Email
Country
Please enter a valid email address.
Email address already subscribed.
All Content is ©2019 Debra Spencer, Appanage™at www.suityourself.international Suit Yourself ™ International, 120 Pendleton Point, Islesboro Island, Maine, 04848, USA 44n31 68w91 Technical Library FAQ Index ISSN 2474-820X. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce in part or in whole without express written consent. Thank you.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. ~ Winston Churchill