19th & 20th Century European & American Art

Art in 19th century Europe was largely dominated by academies, like the École de Beaux Arts in Paris, who taught legions of students how to draw the figure, design interesting compositions, and paint in a manner that blended and obscured brushwork.  Annual invitational art exhibitions that became known as Salons showcased European artists and often secured lucrative commissions for the best individuals.  Later in the century, evolving aesthetics challenged academic curricula that focused on the figure and historical themes.  More personal styles developed, inspired by broader subjects including everyday scenes and people, and painting techniques loosened enabling more bravura brushwork.