In the visual arts, style is a "...distinctive manner which permits the grouping of works into related categories." or "...any distinctive, and therefore recognizable, way in which an act is performed or an artifact made or ought to be performed and made." It refers to the visual appearance of a work of art that relates it to other works by the same artist or one from the same period, training, location, "school", art movement or archaeological culture: "The notion of style has long been the art historian's principal mode of classifying works of art. By style he selects and shapes the history of art".

Style is often divided into the general style of a period, country or cultural group, group of artists or art movement, and the individual style of the artist within that group style. Divisions within both types of styles are often made, such as between "early", "middle" or "late". In some artists, such as Picasso for example, these divisions may be marked and easy to see, in others they are more subtle. Style is seen as

usually dynamic, in most periods always changing by a gradual process, though the speed of this varies greatly, between the very slow development in style typical of Prehistoric art or Ancient Egyptian art to the rapid changes in Modern art styles. Style often develops in a series of jumps, with relatively sudden changes followed by periods of slower development.
After dominating academic discussion in art history in the 19th and early 20th century, so-called "style art history" has come under increasing attack in recent decades, and many art historians now prefer to avoid stylistic classifications where they can.

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  • 1. [Heinrich Wölfflin] Heinrich Wölfflin (21 June 1864, Winterthur – 19 July 1945, Zurich) was an important Swiss art historian, whose objective classifying principles ("painterly" vs. "linear" and the like) were influential in the development of formal analysis in art history in the early 20th century. He taught at Basel, Berlin and Munich in the generation that raised
  • 2. [Artistic rendering] Rendering in visual art and technical drawing means the process of formulating, adding color, shading, and texturing of an image. It can also be used to describe the quality of execution of that process. When used as a means of expression, it is synonymous with illustrating. However, it may be used for mere visualization of
  • 3. [Alois Riegl] Alois Riegl (14 January 1858, Linz – 17 June 1905, Vienna) was an Austrian art historian, and is considered a member of the Vienna School of Art History. He was one of the major figures in the establishment of art history as a self-sufficient academic discipline, and one of the most influential practitioners of formalism.
  • 4. [Counter-Maniera] Counter-Maniera or Counter-Mannerism (variously capitalized and part-italicized) is a term in art history for a trend in 16th-century Italian painting that forms a sub-category or phase of Mannerism, the dominant movement in Italian art between about 1530 and 1590. The term was devised by the art historian Sydney Joseph Freedberg (1914–1997), and has gained a
  • 5. [Sydney Joseph Freedberg] Sydney Joseph Freedberg (November 11, 1914 – May 7, 1997) was an art historian, mainly of Italian Renaissance art.
    Freedberg was born in Boston and attended the Boston Latin School. He graduated from Harvard College in 1939, and acquired a doctoral degree a year later. One of his mentors was Bernard Berenson. He taught Fine Arts
  • 6. [Formalism (art)] In art history, formalism is the study of art by analyzing and comparing form and style—the way objects are made and their purely visual aspects. In painting formalism emphasizes compositional elements such as color, line, shape and texture rather than iconography or the historical and social context. At its extreme, formalism in art history posits
  • 7. [Morphology (archaeology)] Morphology in archaeology, the study of shapes and forms, and their grouping into period styles remains a crucial tool, despite modern techniques like radiocarbon dating, in the identification and dating not only of works of art but all classes of archaeological artefact, including purely functional ones. The term morphology ("study of shapes", from the Greek)
  • 8. [Josef Strzygowski] Josef Strzygowski (March 7, 1862 – January 2, 1941) was a Polish-Austrian art historian known for his theories promoting influences from the art of the Near East on European art, for example that of Early Christian Armenian architecture on the early Medieval architecture of Europe, outlined in his book, Die Baukunst der Armenier und Europa (an aspect of his thinking that has survived better than many others). He is considered a member of the Vienna School of Art History.
  • 9. [Erwin Panofsky] Erwin Panofsky (30 March 1892 – 14 March 1968) was a German art historian. His academic career was pursued mostly in the U.S. after the rise of the Nazi regime. Panofsky's work remains highly influential in the modern academic study of iconography, and many of his works are still in print, including Studies in Iconology: Humanist Themes in the Art of the Renaissance (1939), and his eponymous 1943 study of Albrecht Dürer.
  • 10. [Giovanni Morelli] Giovanni Morelli (Verona 25 February 1816  – 28 February 1891 Milan) was an Italian art critic and political figure. As an art historian, he developed the "Morellian" technique of scholarship, identifying the characteristic "hands" of painters through scrutiny of diagnostic minor details that revealed artists' scarcely conscious shorthand and conventions for portraying, for example, ears.
  • 11. [Meyer Schapiro] Meyer Schapiro (23 September 1904 – 3 March 1996) was a Lithuanian-born American art historian known for forging new art historical methodologies that incorporated an interdisciplinary approach to the study of works of art. An expert on early Christian, Medieval, and Modern art, Schapiro explored art historical periods and movements with a keen eye towards the social, political, and the material construction of art works.
  • 12. [Svetlana Alpers] Svetlana Leontief Alpers (born February 10, 1936) is an American art historian, also a professor, writer and critic. Her specialty is Dutch Golden Age painting, although she has also written on Tiepolo, Rubens, Breugel, and Velázquez, among others and is one of the most influential American art historians of her generation. She is a consultant to both National Public Radio and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has held many visiting academic appointments around the world.
  • 13. [George Kubler] George Alexander Kubler (26 July 1912 - 3 October 1996) was an American art historian and among the foremost scholars on the art of Pre-Columbian America and Ibero-American Art.
  • 14. [Art valuation] Art valuation, an art-specific subset of financial valuation, is the process of estimating the potential market value of works of art and as such is more of a financial rather than an aesthetic concern, however, subjective views of cultural value play a part as well. Art valuation involves comparing data from multiple sources such as
  • 15. [Culture-historical archaeology] Culture-historical archaeology is an archaeological theory that emphasises defining historical societies into distinct ethnic and cultural groupings according to their material culture.
  • 16. [Post-processual archaeology] Post-processual archaeology, which is sometimes alternately referred to as the interpretative archaeologies by its adherents, is a movement in archaeological theory that emphasizes the subjectivity of archaeological interpretations. Despite having a vague series of similarities, post-processualism consists of "very diverse strands of thought coalesced into a loose cluster of traditions". Within the post-processualist movement, a
  • 17. [Colin Martindale] Colin Martingdale (March 21, 1943 – November 16, 2008) was a professor of psychology at the University of Maine for 35 years.
    He wrote and did research analyzing artistic processes. His most popular work was The Clockwork Muse (1990), in which he argued that all artistic development over time in written, visual and musical works was the result of a search for novelty.
  • 18. [Art movement] An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a restricted period of time, (usually a few months, years or decades) or, at least, with the heyday of the movement defined within a number of years. Art movements were especially important in modern art, when each consecutive movement was considered as a new avant-garde.
  • 19. [Seriation (archaeology)] In archaeology, seriation is a relative dating method in which assemblages or artifacts from numerous sites, in the same culture, are placed in chronological order. Where absolute dating methods, such as carbon dating, cannot be applied, archaeologists have to use relative dating methods to date archaeological finds and features. Seriation is a standard method of
  • 20. [Connoisseur] A connoisseur (French traditional (pre-1835) spelling of connaisseur, from Middle-French connoistre, then connaître meaning "to be acquainted with" or "to know somebody/something.") is a person who has a great deal of knowledge about the fine arts, cuisines, or an expert judge in matters of taste. In many areas the term now has an air of
  • 21. [Absolute dating] Absolute dating is the process of determining an age on a specified time scale in archaeology and geology. Some scientists prefer the terms chronometric or calendar dating, as use of the word "absolute" implies an unwarranted certainty and precision. Absolute dating provides a numerical age or range in contrast with relative dating which places events in order without any measure of the age between events.
  • 22. [Relative dating] Relative dating is the science of determining the relative order of past events (i.e, the age of an object in comparison to another), without necessarily determining their absolute age, (i.e. estimated age). In geology rock or superficial deposits, fossils and lithologies can be used to correlate one stratigraphic column with another. Prior to the discovery
  • 23. [Hugh Honour] Hugh Honour FRSL (born 26 September 1927) is a British art historian, well known for his writing partnership with John Fleming. Their A World History of Art, is now in its seventh edition and Honour's Chinoiserie: The Vision of Cathay (1961) first set the phenomenon of chinoiserie in its European cultural context.
  • 24. [College Art Association] The College Art Association of America (usually referred to as simply CAA) is the principal professional association in the United States for practitioners and scholars of art, art history, and art criticism. Founded in 1911, it aims to "cultivate the ongoing understanding of art as a fundamental form of human expression." CAA currently has 13,000
  • 25. [Ernst Gombrich] Sir Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich, OM, CBE (30 March 1909 – 3 November 2001) was an Austrian-born art historian who became a naturalised British citizen in 1947 and spent most of his working life in the United Kingdom. He was the author of many works of cultural history and art history, most notably The Story of Art, a book widely regarded as one of the most accessible introductions to the visual arts.
  • 26. [Processual archaeology] Processual archaeology (formerly the New Archaeology) is a form of archaeological theory that had its genesis in 1958 with the work of Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips, Method and Theory in American Archeology, in which the pair stated that "American archaeology is anthropology or it is nothing" (Willey and Phillips, 1958:2), a rephrasing of Frederic
  • 27. [Typology (archaeology)] In archaeology a typology is the result of the classification of things according to their physical characteristics. The products of the classification, i.e. the classes, are also called types. Most archaeological typologies organize portable artifacts into types, but typologies of larger structures, including buildings, field monuments, fortifications or roads, are equally possible. A typology helps
  • 28. [Paul Frankl] Paul Frankl (2 January 1878, Prague – 22 April 1962, Princeton, New Jersey) was a German art historian.
    After starting with architecture, Frankl studied art history in Munich. He earned his Ph.D. in 1910 and became professor for art history in Halle in 1921. As a result of his Jewish origin he was put on leave
  • 29. [Uffington White Horse]
    The Uffington White Horse is a highly stylised prehistoric hill figure, 110 m long (374 feet), formed from deep trenches filled with crushed white chalk. The figure is situated on the upper slopes of White Horse Hill in the English civil parish of Uffington (in the county of Oxfordshire, historically Berkshire), some 8 km (5
  • 30. [Stilfragen] Stilfragen: Grundlegungen zu einer Geschichte der Ornamentik is a book on the history of ornament by the Austrian art historian Alois Riegl. It was published in Berlin in 1893. The English translation renders the title as Problems of style: foundations for a history of ornament, although this has been criticized by some. It has been called "the one great book ever written about the history of ornament."
  • 31. [Carl Friedrich von Rumohr] Carl Friedrich von Rumohr (6 January 1785 – 25 July 1843) was a German art historian, writer, draughtsman and painter, agricultural historian, connoisseur of and writer about the culinary arts, art collector and patron of artists.
  • 32. [James Elkins (art historian)] James Elkins (1955 – ) is an art historian and art critic. He is E.C. Chadbourne Chair of art history, theory, and criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He also coordinates the Stone Summer Theory Institute, a short term school on contemporary art history based at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • 33. [Paul Jacobsthal] Paul Jacobsthal (1880, Berlin – 27 October 1957, Oxford) was a scholar of Greek vase painting and Celtic art. He wrote his dissertation at the University of Bonn under the supervision of Georg Loeschcke. In 1912 he published a catalog of the Greek vases in Göttingen, and received a position as a professor at the University of Marburg.
  • 34. [Mimesis] Mimesis (Ancient Greek: μίμησις (mīmēsis), from μιμεῖσθαι (mīmeisthai), "to imitate," from μῖμος (mimos), "imitator, actor") is a critical and philosophical term that carries a wide range of meanings, which include imitation, representation, mimicry, imitatio, receptivity, nonsensuous similarity, the act of resembling, the act of expression, and the presentation of the self.
  • 35. [James S. Ackerman] James Sloss Ackerman (born November 8, 1919) is a prominent American architectural historian, a major scholar of Michelangelo's architecture, of Palladio and of Italian Renaissance architectural theory.
  • 36. [Arabesque (Islamic art)]
    The arabesque is a form of artistic decoration consisting of "surface decorations based on rhythmic linear patterns of scrolling and interlacing foliage, tendrils" or plain lines, often combined with other elements. It usually consists of a single design which can be 'tiled' or seamlessly repeated as many times as desired. Within the very wide

  • 37. [Johann Joachim Winckelmann] Johann Joachim Winckelmann (9 December 1717 – 8 June 1768) was a German art historian and archaeologist. He was a pioneering Hellenist who first articulated the difference between Greek, Greco-Roman and Roman art. "The prophet and founding hero of modern archaeology", Winckelmann was one of the founders of scientific archaeology and first applied the categories
  • 38. [Prehistoric art] In the history of art, prehistoric art is all art produced in preliterate, prehistorical cultures beginning somewhere in very late geological history, and generally continuing until that culture either develops writing or other methods of record-keeping, or makes significant contact with another culture that has, and that makes some record of major historical events. At
  • 39. [Jas Elsner] Jaś Elsner (born 19 December 1962) is a British art historian and classicist, who in 2013 was Humfry Payne Senior Research Fellow in Classical Archaeology and Art at the University of Oxford, based at Corpus Christi College (since 1999), and Visiting Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago (since 2003). He is mainly
  • 40. [Mise en scène] Mise-en-scène (French pronunciation: ​[mizɑ̃sɛn] "placing on stage") is an expression used to describe the design aspects of a theatre or film production, which essentially means "visual theme" or "telling a story"—both in visually artful ways through storyboarding, cinematography and stage design, and in poetically artful ways through direction. It is also commonly used to refer to multiple single scenes within the film to represent the film. Mise-en-scène has been called film criticism's "grand undefined term".
  • 41. [African art] African art is a term typically used for the art of Sub-Saharan Africa. Often, casual observers tend to generalize "traditional" African art, but the continent is full of people, societies and civilizations, each with a unique visual culture. The definition may also include the art of the African Diasporas, such as the art of African
  • 42. [Islamic calligraphy] Islamic calligraphy, or Arabic calligraphy, is the artistic practice of handwriting and calligraphy, based upon the Arabic language and alphabet in the lands sharing a common Islamic cultural heritage. It is known in Arabic as khatt (خط), which derived from the word 'line', 'design', or 'construction'.
  • 43. [John Beazley] Sir John Davidson Beazley, CH, FBA (/ˈbiːzli/; 13 September 1885 – 6 May 1970) was a British classical archaeologist and art historian, known for his classification of Attic Vases by artistic style. He was Professor of Classical Archaeology and Art at the University of Oxford from 1925 to 1956.
  • 44. [Modello] A modello (plural modelli), from Italian, is a preparatory study or model, usually at a smaller scale, for a work of art or architecture, especially one produced for the approval of the commissioning patron. The term gained currency in art circles in Tuscany in the fourteenth century. Modern definitions in reference works vary somewhat. Alternative
  • 45. [Literary topos] Topos (τόπος, Greek 'place' from tópos koinós, common place; pl. topoi), in Latin locus (from locus communis), referred in the context of classical Greek rhetoric to a standardised method of constructing or treating an argument. [See topoi in classical rhetoric.]
  • 46. [Lawrence Technological University] Lawrence Technological University, also known as Lawrence Tech or simply LTU, is a private university located in Southfield, Michigan. The school offers undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs in engineering, science, mathematics, architecture, graphic design, and business. Lawrence Technological University's four colleges are Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management.
  • 47. [Art of the Upper Paleolithic] The art of the Upper Paleolithic is amongst the oldest art known (sometimes called prehistoric art). Older possible examples include the incised ochre from Blombos Cave. Upper Paleolithic art is found in Aurignacian Europe and the Levant some 40,000 years ago, and on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia at a similar date, suggesting a
  • 48. [Giorgio Vasari] Giorgio Vasari (Italian: [ˈdʒordʒo vaˈzari]; 30 July 1511 – 27 June 1574) was an Italian painter, architect, writer and historian, most famous today for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.
  • 49. [Graphology] Graphology is the analysis of the physical characteristics and patterns of handwriting purporting to be able to identify the writer, indicating psychological state at the time of writing, or evaluating personality characteristics. It is generally considered a pseudoscience. The term is sometimes incorrectly used to refer to forensic document examination.
  • 50. [Ink wash painting] Ink wash painting, also known as literati painting is an East Asian type of brush painting that uses black ink—the same as used in East Asian calligraphy, in various concentrations. For centuries, this most prestigious form of Chinese art was practiced by highly educated scholar gentlemen or literati.
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