Throughout history, human figures have appeared in drawings, paintings, sculpture, and other art forms.
The figure in art has changed as human needs and artistic expression evolved. • In the beginning figures in art were used only for communication and religious purposes. • Later, portraits of important people, and then the middle class, became popular. • After the invention of the camera, figures in art became very creative and expressive.
PREHISTORIC FIGURES • Line drawings of figures, similar to “stick figures.” • Told stories and communicated before written language.
ANCIENT EGYPTIAN FIGURES(5000 BC-300 AD) • Figure drawings were flat looking, with heads and feet in profile, while the body faced forward. • Most important figures were shown larger than others.
Profile head Forward facing torso Profile legs & feet
PRE-COLUMBIAN FIGURES(1800 BC-1500 AD) • Figures were mostly stylized sculptures. • Represented gods and other deities for worship and ceremonies.
ANCIENT GREEKAND ROMAN FIGURES(500 BC-500 AD) • Figures were often used in storytelling, especially mythology.
Figures from Mythology Hermes Zeus Poseidon Apollo & Hercules Medusa
ANCIENT GREEKAND ROMAN FIGURES(500 BC-500 AD) • Drawings were still flat looking, but sculptures were very realistic.
ANCIENT GREEKAND ROMAN FIGURES(500 BC-500 AD) • Figure sculptures showed the classical “contrapposto” pose and realistic looking drapery.
Realistic looking drapery “Contrapposto” Pose
MIDDLE AGES FIGURES(400-1500) • Figures were beginning to develop a little more in form. • Used in picturing religious and medieval scenes.
RENAISSANCE FIGURES(1400’s-1500’s) • With the discovery of perspective, figures had more realistic form.
RENAISSANCE FIGURES(1400’s-1500’s) • Figures continued in religious depictions, but also became popular as portraits of the clergy and wealthy patrons.
RENAISSANCE FIGURES(1400’s-1500’s) • In time, portraiture grew to include the middle class, often times using symbolism.
RENAISSANCE FIGURES(1400’s-1500’s) • Children became younger looking.
NEOCLASSIC and ROMANTIC FIGURES(1700’s) • Portraiture continued to be popular, sometimes including land, house, pet, or other prized possession.
“Miss Bowles and Her Dog” by Sir Joshua Reynolds Children now looked like their appropriate young age
NEOCLASSIC and ROMANTIC FIGURES(1700’s) • Figure painting and sculpture provided entertainment or delivered an inspirational message.
19th CENTURY FIGURES(1800’s) • The invention of the camera had a profound effect on art, allowing it to change from realistic to more creative styles, like Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. • Emphasized brush strokes and lighting to create an “impression” of the moment.
“Mother and Child” byMary Cassatt IMPRESSIONISM
“Lady with a Parasol”by Claude Monet IMPRESSIONISM
19th CENTURY FIGURES(1800’s) • Genre (everyday life) scenes and portraits were popular.
IMPRESSIONISM “A Dance at the Moulin de la Galette” by Pierre Auguste Renoir
POST-IMPRESSIONISM “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat
“Self Portrait with Felt Hat” byVincent Van Gogh POST- IMPRESSIONISM
20TH CENTURY FIGURES • Monuments were made to immortalize prominent figures in history.