Types of Art

Classical Art

The purpose of much of their art was to show the importance of ordinary people and civic leaders, as well as gods and goddesses. Here are additional characteristics of classical art:

• Artists valued balance and harmony.
• Figures were lifelike but often idealized, or more perfect than in real life.
• Figures were nude or draped in togas, or robes.
• Bodies looked active and motion was believable.

Medieval Art

The purpose of much medieval art was to teach religion to people who could not read or write. Here are additional characteristics of medieval art:

• Most art was religious, showing Jesus, saints, and people from the Bible.
• Important figures in paintings were shown larger than others around them.
• Figures looked stiff, with little sense of movement.

Renaissance Art

The aim of much Renaissance art was to show the importance of people and nature, not just religious ideas. Artists also began using new techniques. Here are additional characteristics of Renaissance art:

• Artists showed religious and nonreligious scenes.
• Art reflected a great interest in nature.
• Figures looked lifelike and three-dimensional, reflecting an increasing knowledge of anatomy.