Overview of Paintings History. According to research, the oldest known paintings are about 45,000 years old. And actually, it’s believed that they were originally painted by Neanderthals rather than the modern early man.
This means that the history of painting goes back in time to the pre-historic humans’ artifacts. Moreover, art spans through all cultures and each had or still has different ways of expressing their culture through paintings.
This makes the history of painting an ever-flowing river of creativity till date. Painting primarily relied on religious, classical, and representational motifs to come alive. However, this completely changed in the early 20th century.
During this time, painting ideas grew towards conceptual and purely abstract approaches. There was a huge difference between the Eastern and Western paintings. But the parallel nature of the art between these two sides didn’t last for long.
Soon enough, African, Japanese, Chinese, Jewish, and Islamic art significantly influenced the Western art, and vice versa as well. This brought about a blend of different ideas, while retaining the foundation of each culture in painting.
After merging different artistic ideas from different regions of the world, painting gained a utilitarian purpose. Both the Eastern and Western art work went on to gain favor in different audiences, including the middle class and in the aristocracy.
In fact, the modern era has seen multiple painters work for the wealthy aristocracy and the church as well. This saw the Baroque era artists get paid private commissions when they worked for more prosperous and educated middle class people.
From then on, the West had an idea of “arts for arts” sake that found expression in Romantic painters work. And in the 19th century, art grew enormously and led to the significant rise of the commercial art gallery.
The art gallery provided patronage in the 20th century and art has grown immensely in the area of paintings ever since.
- The best-known Neanderthals lived between about 130,000 and 40,000 years ago.