ART PERIODS DEFINED

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Covering Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, Pop Art, Minimalism, Rococo, Federalist, Regency, Impressionism, Georgian,  Victorian, Edwardian.

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Rococo (1715-1750) - The rococo style has often been deemed as the degeneration of the baroque period.” Specifically, rococo art refers to whimsical lines that reacted against the heavy, straight lines of the baroque period. The applied arts from the period used seashells and whimsical scrolls to create a rough texture and flowing design often employing pastel colours to create a light but decorative style.

Federalist (1780-1820) – The federalist period coincides with colonialism. The term is used when referring to those years following the American Revolution. Federalism is often applied to patterns whose design or name alludes to the federalists – George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, John Adams, and other framers of the constitution. The period marries elements of the conservative colonialism to Georgian opulence.

Regency (1812-1830) – This period marks the end of Georgian exuberance and the revivalist style. In 1812, the Prince of Wales was appointed as “Regent of England.” Instead of neoclassical motifs and revivalism, applied arts ushered in Victorian sensibilities and conservative ornamentation. The period is rather short, lasting only 18 years. As romanticism flourished in England, the applied arts used ornamentation more heavily.

Impressionism (1860-1900) – Impressionism was a French movement in painting. The impressionist artists attempted to capture the affects of light using whimsical brushstrokes. Additionally, impressionist artists often attempted to convey strong emotion to their audiences.

Georgian (1714-1837) – This highly influential era is the British counterpart to America’s federalist or colonial period. The period began with the coronation of George I in 1714. George II and III ruled until the crowning of Victoria in 1837. The Georgian period was reactionary to the overindulgent designs of the Rococo and Baroque ages. Instead, a return to the ideals and aesthetics of ancient Greece marked the Georgian period. It is during this time that great advances are made in the pottery and porcelain businesses. Many of the greatest china producing companies opened during this period, including Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, and Spode.

Victorian (1839-1901) – The Victorian period corresponds to the reign of Queen Victoria and is marked by its attention to high moral values and a sense of social obligation. One of the most notable achievements is the advent of “afternoon tea.” Afternoon tea was institutionalized by Queen Victoria and her ladies in waiting. As a result of “tea time” sterling tea services became immensely popular. The Victorian period follows a series of reactionary periods where one period rejects the principles of the preceding period. The Victorian period celebrated a number of previous artistic movements and married them to the avant-garde movements of the day.

Edwardian (1901-1919) – The word “Edwardian” refers to the reign of King Edward VII of England from 1901 to 1910 and its after effects. His reign marked the end of the highly influential Victorian period. While clinging to the traditions of the Victorian period, Edwardians found themselves in a transitional period of modern indulgence, industry, mass production, and challenged social norms. The Edwardian period has often been likened to the Titanic ocean liner with its speed, opulence, and its embodiment of human progress. The life of the Titanic was short lived, as was the Edwardian period. The First World War brought the Victorian and Edwardian periods to a definitive close.

Art Nouveau (1880-1916) – From late Victorian and through the Edwardian period.  In France, this art movement was known as fin de siècle, or “end of a century.” Characterized by undulating lines, waves, curls, with a strong influence from nature and long-haired sensual women, the art nouveau style eventually became known as the “art of decadence.” Art nouveau artists and designers drew inspiration from the Romantic literary movement and the French symbolism movement. Examples are Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha and Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Art Deco (1920-1940) – The influence of the art deco period can be seen in most areas of design, including architecture, lithography, furniture making, and the production of household items. The movement began with the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs Industriels et Modernes. This Parisian exhibition celebrated living in the modern world. Art deco design was most influential in silver production. Patterns from the art deco period are characterized by repeating geometric shapes, sharp angles, Zigzags with bold colours and straight lines. Coloured stones were utilized more, and the opaque stones such as jade, onyx and coral were set in geometric shapes. Sleek animals such as Borzoi and Greyhound dogs were featured in some designs.  Together, these design elements create a sense of motion and forward movement. 

Arts and Crafts (1830-1930) – The arts and crafts movement spanned nearly a century. Artists from this period believed that items could be made through industrial mass production and still retain a hand made quality. The movement was predominantly English. However, its influence was felt in America at the turn of the century. The arts and crafts movement did influence the production of pottery.
Modern (1930-1950) – The modern art movement is defined by a stark departure from traditional shapes, colours, and forms of expression.

Pop Art (1950-1960) – The pop art movement originated in England and later moved to the United States. Pop artists focused on familiar images from popular culture and made fun of industry and mass production by mass producing their own art. The most famous of pop artists is Andy Warhol.
Contemporary – The word “contemporary” is used to refer to what is popular in the present period. Often, Replacements will refer to the “contemporary shape” of a particular china pattern. We are drawing attention to the fact that this particular design is popular now.

Minimalism – This term is often used to refer to an artistic style where the individual elements of the subject are diminished. The minimalist style has been closely linked to the modern art movement of the 20th century.

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