Trivium is a free online art history book. Meet history's greatest artists and discover artworks by movement & theme.

About Trivium
The lives and writings of the great artists

Ancient life was all silence. With the invention of the machine, Noise was born. Today, Noise triumphs and reigns supreme over the sensibility of men.

The Art of Noises

Luigi Russolo — 1913

Andrea Palladio

Inventor of Curb Appeal, Master of the Facade.

Badass

Female Artists

Utagawa Kuniyoshi

An underdog artist pits monsters vs. superheroes.

Peter Paul Rubens

A great painter — but a perfect entrepreneur.

Artists who

Died Young

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Too many prostitutes and too much absinth.

Every work of art is the child of its age and, in many cases, the mother of our emotions.

Concerning the Spiritual in Art — Part 1

Wassily Kandinsky — 1910
View All Artists

The Movements

Neolithic

12000 BC — 3000 BC

The Stone Age: A technological revolution in moving big rocks.

Egypt

4000 BC — 30 BC

Super power of all super powers.

Mesopotamia

3500 BC — 1000 BC

Poetry, war and the invention of law and propaganda.

Cycladic Art

3200 BC — 1100 BC

The lost faces of the ancient world.

Etruscan Art

768 BC — 264 BC

Etruscan civilization gives birth to a super power: Roma.

Rome

753 BC — 530

Roads, Plumbing, High Culture = Empire.

Coptic Art

200 — 1200

The doe-eyed saints of early Christianity.

Medieval Art

400 — 1400

1000 years of religion, feudalism and gold leaf.

Northern Song Dynasty

960 — 1127

The sublime in China used scale to show nature's power.

Decorative Arts

1000 — 1900

Beauty is it's own reward.

Italian Renaissance

1350 — 1500

Cultural rebirth though intellectual inquiry

Northern Renaissance

1420 — 1650

How Humanism beats down Feudalism with the printing press

Spanish Renaissance

1492 — 1600

Religion and the laws of perspective.

Mughal Art

1500 — 1800

Power, sophistication, luxury and might.

Mannerism

1520 — 1600

Tension, distortion and cold intellectualism

Baroque

1600 — 1725

The drama of deep color and shadow

Edo

1603 — 1868

Art, culture, and NO OUTSIDERS.

Qing Dynasty

1644 — 1912

Benevolent emperors and the height of literature and art.

Academicism

1650 — 1900

Allegory, craft, and the unrelenting dictatorship of the Academy.

Rococo

1715 — 1774

Opulent, playful embrace of the ornate — 18th century swag.

Neoclassicism

1760 — 1830

Classical imagery, democratic ideals, and the bloody hands of change.

Early Modernism

1800 — 1950

Tradition be damned.

Romanticism

1800 — 1850

Artistic revolt against the Age of Enlightenment

Hudson River School

1825 — 1870

An American fraternity of mountain worshipers

Early Photography

1826 — 1860

Nature's pencil: light!

Barbizon School

1830 — 1870

A small village in France, a gathering of artists.

Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood

1848 — 1860

Emo teenagers drag art back to the future.

Folk Art

1850 — 1960

The off-kilter art of the people.

Realism

1850 — 1880

Truth, accuracy, and the absence of personal bias

Impressionism

1860 — 1900

Light and movement as the crux of human perception

Modernism

1860 — 1970

Abstraction murders Narrative

Meiji

1868 — 1912

The end of feudalism begins with the search for knowledge.

Symbolism

1880 — 1910

A mystic search for meaning and psychological truth.

Post-Impressionism

1886 — 1905

Beyond nature, toward emotional simplicity.

Art Nouveau

1890 — 1910

Out with the old, in with the sexy.

Vienna Secession

1897 — 1905

"To every age its art. To art its freedom."

Naïve Art

1900 — 2000

Bold color and floating figures.

Fauvism

1900 — 1910

Vivid, unnatural — the first avant-garde movement

Outsider Art

1900 — 1980

Fantasy and new worlds by untrained and manic artists.

Expressionism

1905 — 1933

Recovering lost spirituality

Futurism

1909 — 1944

Blood, speed and violence.

Cubism

1910 — 1930

"We only wanted to express what was in us..."

Metaphysical Art

1911 — 1920

Claustrophobic faceless horror.

Suprematism

1913 — 1924

Taking refuge in the square.

Dada

1916 — 1924

Dada is anti-dada!

Constructivism

1919 — 1935

Art should only serve society.

Surrealism

1924 — 1965

Art created without reason, aesthetics or morality.

Abstract Expressionism

1940 — 1960

It is not a picture, it is an event.

See the Movements