Cart 0


Fresco painting in St. Charles's church in Vienna

The foundation of art history can be traced back tens of thousands of years to when ancient civilizations used available techniques and media to depict culturally significant subject matter. Since these early examples, a plethora of art movements have followed, each bearing their own distinct styles and characteristics that reflect the political and social influences of the period from which they emerged. Whether you’re an aspiring collector or simply appreciate the work of history’s great artists, studying the major movements of the art history timeline is a worthwhile place to start.

Influential genres of art from the Renaissance to the rise of Modernism have undoubtedly made their mark on history. With many artists today like Banksy, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas, and Kehinde Wiley consistently infusing art historical references into contemporary works, understanding the historical context and significance of each period and movement is critical for collectors and art enthusiasts alike. Below is a comprehensive art movements timeline that explores the characteristics, leading contributors, and important influences of each prominent period in the history of Western art.