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1.The fall of Greece and the rise of Rome.Anyone who is a fan of ancient art will always have a soft spot for Greece. Long before that innkeeper turned away that poor Jewish man and his very pregnant wife Greece was the hot spot for all things artistic. While other people were making clay pots, and finding out that red and blue makes purple, Greece had moved on to contrapposto and were making amazing works of art. Greek artists were the finest in the land and created pieces so beautiful that to this day we have not seen their like. Unfortunately this came at a price because although their artists were without match, their military wasn't so skilled.
Rome, who had been growing for some time, took over Greece and many of the knowledge and pieces created by their people was lost. Some Roman artists attempted to replicate Greek artwork but were less than successful. Unfortunately, when copying didn't work out for them they resorted to theft like with The Arch of Constantine.
Because of both the loss of all that skill and the audacity of pieces like The Arch of Constantine, the fall of Greece is the first entry on my list.
2.Duchamp and his ready mades.Modern art really began to get a foothold in the early 20th century and it started spitting out some very creative people. It seemed that no one could get enough of art and everyone started creating art in order to express themselves. Anyone from the starting painter the aged master could create art and people would accept and share it.
It was at this point that Marcel Duchamp came along and asked everyone "What is art?" If your simple paint by numbers and my great masterpiece are both considered art then where does it end? This is when Duchamp had an idea and submitted a piece entitled Fountain. The piece was a simple urinal placed on a pedestal with the signature "R. Mutt." This piece flipped the art world on it's head! No one believed that this was truly art nor did they want to accept it but by their own definition they had to. People began to think of what truly constituted art and other people began to follow in Duchamp's footsteps and submitted their own "readymades."
Duchamp's questioning what was art led to a great deal of growth in the artistic community forcing it to branch out and embrace new forms of art. Unfortunately many took the wrong idea from this and began submitting anything they cobbled together proclaiming it to be art. This caused many people to lose faith in art and wound up hurting the entire community since less people would take art seriously.
The profound effect Duchamp's art had on the world's perception of art as well as the negative effect readymades had is why it deserves mentioning on this list.
3.SurrealismNow I know by this point you probably think that I don't really like art. But it isn't all bad, let me tell you about my favourite artistic movement… Surrealism!
Surrealism was a type of art in which the artist bizarre and sometimes unnerving pieces that looked as realistic as possible. The end results usually contained everyday items arranged in creative and impossible ways.
Surrealism began in the 1920s out the dadaist movement althought it really caught on in the late thirties and began showcasing the talents of various artists including my personal favourite, Salvador Dali. One of the most iconic images of the surrealist movement was Dali's Persistence of Memory which consisted of an odd outdoor scene filled with melting pocket watches. Their goal was to blur the lines of dreams and reality and create art that flowed from the subconscious instead of the conscious mind. Surrealists pushed the limits of art and created new and unsettling images that opened up new ways of thinking and forever changed the face of art.