Our focus is predominantly the period in western art from around the early Renaissance, up to the present day. There will, however, be other cultures and regions added over time, including art from Africa, Asia and parts of South America. The overall ambition is to make our selection of artists as inclusive as possible and to meet the wide tastes of our audience.
The full history of art displays a connection from one generation to the next, and from one artistic movement to the next. In studying famous artists from the past few centuries, we are able to track a path of discovery, with new ideas and innovations being passed on, and slowly evolved onwards. This is particularly the case within painting, and this is why understanding art history is just so important.
Our artist guides will include an overview of the artist's life and career, as well as a short biography which explains who influenced them, and the legacy that they left. There are then opportunities to see some of the highlights from their oeuvre, and the most important artworks are given their own pages, offering further detail on each individual piece.
Where possible, we will include information on the museums which holds their individual works, for those looking to view some of these items in person. Any related exhibitions will also be featured, to keep the content as uptodate and helpful as possible. Eventually, this section should expand into other styles of art to be entirely encompassing of the full gamut of artistic disciplines from right across the globe.
In terms of the artists featured here, you will, of course, find the usual suspects from art movements such as the Renaissance, the Impressionists, Realism, Academic Art as well as respected national movements, such as the British Pre-Raphaelites. We will attempt to introduce you to names within these groups that were highly skilled but for some reason did not receive large amounts of recognition, whilst also including the established names from whom we can learn so much.
List of Featured Artists
The Influence of Art
Art has influenced culture for many centuries, whilst also reflecting life in a visual form that later generations could understand. It has also been used in a competitive element, where competing cities or countries might aim to offer the finest paintings, sculptures and architecture - this was particularly common during the Renaissance, when Italy was a collection of different provinces.
Artists continue to express new ideas, sometimes challenging orthodoxy, and many famous artists enjoy a strong platform with which they can argue for those without a voice. Political art is a considerable genre in its own right, but there is plenty of room for traditional aesthetic art, where artists simply enjoy the beauty of the visual form.
We must also remember that some artists are unable to express themselves in a number of ways within certain cultures, and so the success of western art is in part due to the freedoms that many of us enjoy currently. Expression and freedom are key parts of life, and art is the perfect example of this in action.
Art by Movement
Most art followers have specific art movements that they prefer, and so we decided to categorise our artist guides by movement, allowing you to see related artists that you might not have been familiar with previously. The main focus of ArtGuide.org will be artists from the past two centuries, ensuring bright colours and contemporary feels to many included here.
In focusing on the past two centuries, we will inevitably take in Impressionist artists from France, as well as many of the abstract styles which appeared later on. There is also a bias towards western art, but we will endeavour to include some of the rich cultures from elsewhere, particularly Asian and African art.
Art by Country
Another way in which we have categorised our artists is by country or region. Many artists will have been influenced by others within their own location, and often art followers will also be mainly interested in artists from their own country. Again, the initial focus will be on western nations, but over time there will be a wider, global coverage.
The art world has itself become much more inter-connected in recent years, with western art regularly being purchased in developing regions such as the Middle East, as they attempt to build impressive permanent collections. A number of countries in the developing world are seeking to create popular tourist destinations by expanding their cultural offerings.
Art by Medium
Whilst oil painting has dominated western art for centuries, there is today a much wider use of materials, much of which is termed mixed-media. Watercolours have also offered an important alternative, particularly within the UK and France. Whilst most of the artists featured here are oil painters by trade, we will attempt to incldue as many other mediums as possible, categorising our artists in this way too.
Additionally, other artistic disciplines will also be included besides painting, with sculpture and architecture likely to be added over time. Drawing is also a fundamental skill possessed by most successful painters, and for many centuries it would not be possible to succeed as a painter without a mastery of this discipline.
Artists by Museum and Gallery
A helpful addition is our collation of different artists and paintings from each gallery and museum included within ArtGuide.org. This will allow visitors to plan the items that they would like to see, and also to find out whether their favourite artist's work is distributed. Sadly, some will be restricted to private collections, but in most cases there should be a considerable amount displayed within public collections.
We will also include artist exhibitions, when a significant selection of their work is available for viewing on a temporary basis. Some of these opportunities may only arise every few decades, making it essential that you take the opportunity when it arises.