As long as we live on earth, man was always longing for understanding the world around. For ancient people there was a lot of incomprehensible and obscure, and therefore people believed in supernatural forces which explained everything happening with them and with their environment. Man also believed that he had to gain favor of these forces, please them with obedience and praising. That is one of the ways a man gave birth to arts ”“ to symbolize them, to express honor. It was much of practical sense: totemic tribes draw animals they originated from, believing that these images protected them from disasters. Images were also widely used as source of information in preliterate period ”“ for other tribes and for next generations, i.e. to overcome distance and time.
With time the skill of drawing was developing, and it got its esthetic meaning. For ancient Greeks divine perfection was embodied in human beings, and they worshiped human beauty and smartness in sculpture and paintings. Through centuries the esthetic ideal experienced changes, and with the consolidation of Christianity it moved to the spiritual side of existence in the Middle Ages. Human being was not a key figure anymore and art was intended to take a viewer to some higher spheres, while people were depicted mostly schematically and idealistically.
The epoch of Renaissance returned to the delight of human, to any impressions possible to be gained by senses. The human being was proclaimed the lord of creation and so the existence was reflected as something subject to a man.
The Enlightenment went far from the spiritual values and affirmed the ideal of reason instead, so the world was depicted as some rational mechanism functioning by strictly determined laws. The Industrial Revolution changed much in the conscience of the leaders of culture elite, and those changes taking place could not satisfy artists anymore. In this way the idea of escape to nature, to some better worlds appeared, and subjective, individual experience of world cognition and perception moved forward. Emotional but not rational response to the existence was prevailing. This is the period which impressed me most of all, and the movement of Impressionism made a profound impact on me. The impressionists under strong influence of the foremost romanticists refused the rules and laws of academic arts, they stood for freedom in creative work, and that is what we can really percept by our feelings but not rationally.
The history of arts in the 20th century is rather controversial, actually as history itself. The 20th century was full of disasters and horror, technological revolution together with its depressive consequences influenced the creative conscience of generations, and through this age we see artists looking for new forms of self-expression. The world is primarily depicted as something lacking harmony and logic, the standards of beauty are not obligatory anymore, and the relativity of existence is accepted as the basic statement. The 21st century is the age of postmodernism, which protests again all the arts of the past but doesn’t reveal any new ideals. The other bright feature of our century is globalization and new understanding of art’s roles (political, social, psychological etc.). At the moment scientists and researchers throughout the world hold lots of discussions on what the future of art is and what the probable ways of development are.