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Definition: Form of 2-D Visual Expression Painting Composition/Design Interpretation Mediums of Painting Forms/Supports Painting Genres History of Painting Contemporary Painting Art Evaluation: How to Appreciate Art How to Appreciate Paintings The art of painting consists of the arrangement of shapes, lines, colours, tones and textures on a two-dimensional surface, thus creating an aesthetic image.More than that one cannot say, the sheer variety of possibilities precludes any more precise definition.Linework fixes the relationship between adjacent or remote elements and areas of the painting surface, and their relative activity or passivity.(2) Shape and Mass includes the various different areas of colour, tone and texture, together with any specific images therein. The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci) are optically arranged around geometric shapes (or a mixture thereof).Negative space can also be used to emphasise certain features of the composition.(3) Not surprisingly, given that the human eye can identify up to 10 million differing hues, colour has many different uses.However, the tradition waned somewhat during the 19th century, under the dominant influences of Romanticism, Impressionism and to a lesser extent Expressionism, before reemerging in the 20th century, when Cubism and Surrealism exploited it to the full.For more, see: Analysis of Modern Paintings (1800-2000).And as art critics and historians can testify, there are countless conflicting theories about the function, design, style-hierarchy and aesthetics of painting, so perhaps the safest thing is to say that as "visual artists", painters are engaged in the task of creating two-dimensional works of visual expression, in whatever manner appeals to them.During the Renaissance, the art of painting, (colorito in Italian) was considered secondary to the art of drawing (disegno): for example, fine arts classes at the Academies were devoted to draftsmanship and rarely dealt with the use of colour pigment.
Thus, the famous American critic Clement Greenberg (1909-94) once stated that all great art should aim to create tension between visual appeal and interpretive possibility.
Traditional painters do this by deploying the concept of linear perspective, as developed during the Florentine Renaissance by Piero della Francesca and others (see also the illusionistic techniques of quadratura and foreshortening), while Cubists like Picasso, Braque, Duchamp and Juan Gris, expressed space and volume by showing a range of overlapping "snapshots" of the same object as if viewed simultaneously from different viewpoints.
Still others, like naive (naif) or primitive-style painters show objects not in their true-life naturalistic relationship to each other, but separately, from whatever angle best shows their characteristic features - this includes the flattened stylistic forms used, for instance, by the Egyptians.(5) The elements of Time and Movement concern how the viewer's eye is allowed to experience the picture, in terms of speed and direction, both for its narrative development (eg.
Above all, colour is used to depict the effects of light (see the series of Haystacks or Rouen Cathedral by Claude Monet), while many great painters like Caravaggio and Rembrandt have exploited the contrast between colours for dramatic effect - notably in the technique of chiaroscuro (see Rembrandt's The Night Watch).
See colour in painting.(4) The elements of Volume and Space are concerned with how the painter creates depth and spatial relationships within the flat surface of the picture.