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17 September 2014
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These are the styles of art used in the Art and Personality experiment.

Early 20th century


Abstract art often leaves people asking: "Is this art?" And that's precisely the reaction many artists want to provoke.

In its purest form, abstract art doesn't show recognisable objects or figures. The artist represents his inner thoughts and feelings with shapes, lines, colours and tones.

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Early 20th century


Looking at a cubist painting is a bit like gazing into a shattered mirror – the image is fragmented and you can see it from different angles.

Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque invented Cubism between 1907 and 1914 and, in the process, threw out the painting 'rulebook'.

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Late 19th century


Impressionist paintings often appear on mugs, calendars and posters. However, they weren't always so socially acceptable. Impressionist painters were initially criticized for attempting to capture the fleeting effects of light and colour found in nature.

Using daubs of pure colour, they painted landscapes, sunlight reflecting on water and flowers and rejected the traditional subjects and darker colours advocated by their teachers.

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17th to mid-19th century


Japanese ukiyo-e ('pictures of the floating world') are woodblock prints that usually show scenes from everyday life. They are prized around the world for their simplicity and elegance.

At the height of ukiyo-e production in the late 1700s, erotic images of women and depictions of actors were popular.

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16th century

Northern Renaissance

The most famous Renaissance artists worked in Italy during the 15th and 16th centuries. Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael are household names. But the Renaissance, or the artistic rebirth, which followed the Middle Ages, also happened a little later in other parts of Europe.

Northern Renaissance painters of the 16th century had their own style and created works focused on morality, religion and human nature.

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After AD 622

Secular Islamic

Unlike western art, Islamic art is difficult to separate into different styles. That's because, for the most part, artists in countries influenced by Islam continued to follow traditional methods. Western artists, on the other hand, have periodically rebelled against tradition and created radically new styles – abstract art, for example.

That's not to say Islamic art isn't innovative. Artist's tended to put their new ideas in the detail, which isn't always noticeable at first.

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