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Pablo PicassoThrowing off the old rules governing traditional painting of the Old Masters, the birth of modern art can be pinpointed to the 19th century Industrial Revolution.

In the new mechanized era, gone was the slow pace of life that had governed the planet for centuries. Now the steam engine sped travelers out to the countryside as never before, allowing artists a new kind of portable painting in plein air, ("open air') later known as Impressionism.

Gaslight was being replaced by the electric light bulb which, consequently, arrived at another popular invention - the moving picture - soon reflected in the new Cubist style of abstract painting that caught a sense of 'movement in the moment' pioneered by such greats as Braque and Picasso.

Gas-powered automobiles and electric streetcars all contributed to the non-stop pace, later giving rise to Futurism perhaps best exemplified by Umberto Boccioni's swirling "Unique Forms of Continuity in Space" (1913).

From the early 20th century onward, published manifestos and intellectual debate exploded in a free-for-all attempt to redefine art and painting, resulting in such movements as Dadaism, Surrealism, and Social Realism, to post-World War II movements seen in Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art.

Today, painting continues to resist permanent definition with current trends swinging vividly from Conceptual Art to site-specific Installation Art and Photorealism not to mention a totally new pallette provided by the electronic age in Digital Art.

Around the Web, discover more about modern art at our list of top sites combining a look at the pioneers of modern art along with the current art scene, plus virtual tours of major museums which have become almost synonymous with modern art ...

also in Painting -> Top Ten Most Expensive Paintings Ever

More about modern art around the Web:


Web Museum - Impressionism - The movement that started it all, with brief biographies of the major artists including Renoir, Manet, Monet, Degas, Mary Cassat, including a special look at Paul Cezanne, an early pioneer of cubism.

Art History Resources: 20th Century Art - Professor Chris Whitcombe's top site for art history with exhaustive coverage of online resources from Art Nouveau to Keith Haring.

Art History Resources: Contemporary Art - The saga continues here for more online resources this century to performance, film, video, digital art, painting, sculpture and lots more. | The Collection | Painting and Sculpture - Major works from the Museum of Modern Art in New York in an online tour. Works from Chuck Close, de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Giacometti, more.

Tate | Modern - Today's art scene in London and an occasional hotbed of art world scandal. Check out what's on right now in an ultra-cool Flash tour.


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