Historical overview of classical painting in the Slavic countries
(From middle of XI century till the end of XIX century)
The history of painting in the Slavic countries began with the adoption of the Slavic people of Christianity. From the middle of 10th century and - beginning of 11th century, people began to introduce the first churches in which the walls were decorated with frescoes and mosaics, also it was the time when frescoes became well known.
The world's largest collection of frescoes and mosaics of the origin of the inception of the East Slavic painting (early XI century) is in the church of Saint Sophia in Kiev, where frescoes and mosaics were created by artists such as Byzantine and Russian masters. The mosaics are in good condition. The most famous mosaic of the cathedral is the Virgin "Indestructible Wall". Other mosaics present evangelical scenes of Christ's Passion, the Resurrection of Christ, the Virgin childhood, acts and life of the apostles and archangels. There are secular images among the preserved frescoes - two group portraits of the family of the Grand Duke of Kiev Yaroslav the Wise, and several scenes from everyday life which includes bear hunting and acrobatic performances. Unfortunately, the state of the original frescoes are very poor, and restored part of them already appears different from the original forms.
The adoption of Christianity in Russia from Byzantium determined the dominance of the Byzantine tradition in the beginning of ancient Russian art.
The art of miniature manuscripts takes a special place in the Old Russian painting. The first manuscript book in Russia dates to 1056-1057 years - "Ostromirovo Gospel" by deacon Gregory. There are already existing portraits in the manuscripts of that period.
In the beginning of the XII-XIII centuries in Kievan Russia, it was a time of the Vladimir-Suzdal school of painting. This can be seen in the frescoes in the Cathedral of St. Demetrius ("Judgment") and the few surviving icons. The most famous of the icons are "Demetrius of Thessaloniki" and "The Virgin Bogolubskaya ". Exquisite flavour and smooth forms became characteristic features of this school of painting.
Mongol-Tatar invasion of Kievan Russia in the first half of the XIII century interrupted the development of the Vladimir-Suzdal school of painting. Mongol-Tatars did not come to Novgorod. This resulted in the spread of Novgorod painting in the XIII-XV centuries, which, being already independent from the influence of the Byzantine tradition, is an example of Russian identity. Novgorod iconоgraphy distinguishes between other styles with laconic composition, bright colours and almost faint shades. The most significant frescoes of the period can be seen on the walls of the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin on Volotovo field, Church of St. George in Staraya Ladoga, the Annunciation in Arkazhi and Savior Nereditsa.
With the rise in the XV century iconography, a new page in the history of Russian art opens. This was associated primarily with the names of Theophanes the Greek, Andrei Rublev and Dionysius. Theophanes the Greek – was a Byzantine outstanding famous painter of the late XIV-early XV century. He settled in Russia since 1370 and continued the traditions of Byzantine classicism. He made a profound influence on the development of the Moscow school of painting. The genius of which was Andrei Rublev. Theophanes the Greek is best known for the famous frescoes of the Church of the Savior Transfiguration on Ilyin in Novgorod, the iconostasis of the Annunciation Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin.
The century of iconography is also called "the century of Andrei Rublev." The works of Andrei Rublev (the most famous icons) are "Trinity", "Archangel Michael", "Paul", the icon of the Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir, etc. These are among the most important masterpieces of the world. Andrei Rublev's main characteristics in his images include spirituality, enlightenment, humility, modesty and immersed in contemplation of the divine. Creativity of Andrei Rublev affected the iconography and also all subsequent Russian art and is characterized by a mature Russian style. Icons during the life of this master were considered as miraculous, and the Andrei Rublev was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1988.
An outstanding master of iconography of the XV century was Dionysius who continued the traditions of Andrei Rublev and painted about a dozen churches. The only intact is the wall painting of the Nativity Cathedral of Ferrapontov Monastery. Dionisysius was the author of the famous icon "Our Lady Odigidriya", "John the Baptist" and others. His signature style is elongated bodies and exquisite translucent colours.
In the XVI century miniatures depicting scenes from everyday life full of details occupies an important place in Russian art. In painting secular features begin to appear.
In the XVII century in Russia secular panting started to replace religion ones. Old Russian art was replacing the art of the then-current times. In the second half of the XVII century the first realistic portraits began to appear. An outstanding painter of that time was Simon Ushakov, who created a huge number of icons (among which the most famous "Christ Nerukotovorny"), portraits and miniatures. He also became famous for painting the Faceted Chamber. Ushakov sought to break with the canonical tradition of ancient Russian icon painting - images of his icons had the human traits.
The frescoes in the XVII century became decorative and were characterized by the appearance of features of genre painting – they often demonstrate the everyday life.
Since the middle of XVII century political and cultural lives of Europe and Russia were gradually becoming more interconnected. It is noteworthy that at the beginning of the era of Peter the Great, the cultural life of Russia was lacking behind the European cultural life for about three hundred years. However, Russia overcame the gap for half a century so the development of the art of this period is called "compressed".
In the Petrine I era active Europeanization of Russia with the imposition of European tastes and standards took place. Reforms of Peter the Great pretty much touched the art. Talented Russian artists, sculptors and architects were sent to study in Italy and France, they were called "Peter's pensioners". In return, they had the same level of skills with their teachers. Roman and Ivan Nikitin, M. Zakharov, F. Cherkasov, A. Matveev were the first "Peter's pensioners" who were sent for studying painting.
In XVII-XVIII centuries construction of St. Petersburg caused the arrival in Russia of many talented European artists. This brought European tendencies in Russian art and contributed to the emergence in Russia. In the XVIII century it appeared new artistic genres such as still life, genre painting, allegories and landscape. Baroque, Rococo and Classicism, which had already existed in Western Europe, started to develop in Russia. Thus, from the time when Russian artists began to study at the European masters, Time of the New painting was emerging.
The founder of new painting is considered I. Nikitin - he was the first artist who moved away from the iconographic style and began to use prospects in his work. In spite of, there are only three paintings signed by him and assigned to his authorship of ten more, the Russian art in today's sense began with him.
A. Matveev, I. Vishnyakov and A. Antropov are the founders of the secular portrait genre. They were the students of French and Italian artists, and possessed the mastery of Western European painting technique.
A.Losenko is considered the ancestor of the historical genre. Being great at graphics, he created the first live-image of a nude model. Losenko was one of the first Russian artists to become famous abroad, thereby causing interest in Russian art. Losenko also is the author of a few classic portraits. The style of the artist is characterized by flawless drawing of figures, spirituality characters and high anatomical accuracy.
It should be noted that the paintings of this period of time are characterized by excessive polished, cold, exceptionally technique idealized images. It also includes the absence of vitality, sensuality, expressing the feelings of the artist. These features of style would later become the characteristic of academic painting.
The second half of the XVIII century in Russia – Age of the Enlightenment, when there is an active development of science and art. This was the time of classicism.
Russian painters already preferred to study in St. Petersburg - in 1757 the opening of the Academy of Arts was an important moment in the history of Russian art. The first teachers of the Academy were foreigners, they had a different lifestyle compared to the Russian lifestyle and the Russian character, so first works of the gratuates were deprived of individual style and looked like an imitation of West European art.
One of the first artists whose works began to show personal feelings, a reflection of the soul of a model and even the soul of the era, was the great portraitist D. Levitsky - master of ceremonial and chamber portraits. Levitsky's paintings show the character of the model and his images are spiritual.
Other outstanding artists of the 'Enlightenment' era are a primarily portraitist F. Rokotov and V. Borovikovsky who was a follower of D. Levitsky.
Rokotov was a founder of the Moscow portrait school. He became the first artist independent of state and church orders and whose works are characterized by the inspired poetic images. Borovikovsky's style is characterized by its special manner, original colours, mild texture.
It is important to note the development of miniature art of the time - K. Golovanchevsky and D. Evreinov went down in art history as significant miniaturists.
The founders of the peasant genre in the second half of the XVIII century were the serfdom artist M. Shibanov and I. Ermenev. They created evocative images of peasant life.
Ermenev remained in the history of painting as well as the author of the drawings he made during the storming of the Bastille, which later was made as famous engraving.
At this time, monumental paintings developed. The construction of magnificent palaces in St. Petersburg attracted the best foreign and Russian artists to decorate the paintings.
In the late XVIII century the desire to perpetuate the beauty of the new palaces, gardens and parks led to the formation landscape painting. The founder of which was Sam. Shchedrin, a great representative of the academic classicism.
Pioneers of the genre of the urban landscape is considered F. Alexeev - a master of Russian veduta. He was called the "Russian Canaletto".
Classic landscape artist F.Matveev and romantic landscape artist S.Shchedrin (who loved the views of Sorrento and Naples) became the first masters of plein air painting and the founders of the movement "Italian landscape" in Russian art.
Other notable landscape painters at the border of the century were A. Martynov who was inspired by special beauty of St. Petersburg.
S. Galaktionov, - the mood of urban landscapes of the artist are determined by the nature of the figures of inhabitats.
M. Vorobjov who was a landscape-romantist and who trained a generation of famous later painters, including the great marine painter I. Aivazovsky.
The first half of the XIX century is the golden age of Russian art which gave to the world culture many geniuses. Romanticism was replacing classicism and later it served as a basis for the emergence of realism in the second half of the XIX century.
Romanticism occurred in the works of outstanding portraitists O. Kiprensky and A. Varnek (called Russian Van Dyke). Canvases of O. Kiprensky influenced by richness of colour and deep spirituality characters.
In the first half of the XIX century in Russia, after significant historical events - the victory in the War in 1812, the Decembrist uprising in 1825 - the people became more conscious and aware, and in the works of many artists the historical genre dominated. The most significant painter of the first half of the 19th century was K. Briullov, who combined classicism and romanticism, and became one of the first Russian artists in which canvases heroes became the people, not individuals. K. Briullov was a master of historical and portrait genre. He was a great figure in the world of art. His most famous work are "The Last Days of Pompeii" which has caused an unprecedented boom in Italy and then in Russia. Young artists sought to be in their manner like Briullov, dreamed of creating something like his "Pompeii."
Only Bruni succeeded and also created an important multi-figure painting "The Brazen Serpent". These works are excessive theatricality and full of decorative effects, they distinguish with great technique - the value of these masters of academic painting is huge.
Popularity of genre art increased, where A. Venetsianov - "Father of folk art", as called by his contemporaries, said a new weighty word. He became the founder of Venetsianov School of painting.
Venetsianov sought to move away from the gloss academic manner, to transfer on canvas direct vision of nature and poetry of peasant life, without adding artificial decoration.
V. Tropinin became the most prominent representative of the Moscow school of painting after F. Rokotov. He was a master of "portrait-type". He wanted to convey typical traits of a certain type of people using one person - for example, people of the same profession or the same age, social status, and so on. Tropinin brang features of genre art in portraits.
By the middle of the XIX century landscape painting developed significantly, three main movements formed - the Russian national landscape, cityscape and Italian motifs in landscape.
In this time aricatures as well as battle scenes by famous painter A. Orlovsky became also very popular.
One of the great artist of the mid-century was A. Ivanov who was deeply immersed in the history of religion, who considered his main aim to show the russian understanding of Christ. It resulted in the dominance of biblical themes in his paintings. The peak of creativity of A. Ivanov is the outstanding painting "The Appearance of Christ before the people", the artist had been working on it for 20 years, and created more than 600 sketches. Known art critic A. Benois called A. Ivanov "advanced genius, which took over looks his time", also he noted that sketches with their artistic value much exceeded the finished work. Sketches opened new ideas in painting - they were the first example of Russian impressionism.
After A. Ivanov religious themes were taken up by Vasnetsov, Polenov and Nesterov, in addition to religious paintings and murals of churches, they had a significant influence on the development of other genres. Vasnetsov – an amazing master - discovered a new movement - Russian folk art genre in paintings. He entered the art history with paintings based on Russian fairy tales and legends. Being in constant search of new ideas, he considered that realism was boring, therefore he aimed to invent something new. He saturated his paintings with interesting colourful effects. Thus, Vasnetsov was the creator of the prototype of modern.
Polenov later became famous with landscapes. He admired the simple beauty in real life and the joy of commonnes.
Nesterov was interested in man's inner life, inspired images of Saints and exquisite lyric of landscapes. This mystical painter was noted down in history for his religious symbolism.
Late academism was presented by works being characterized by top-high technique by outstanding talent artists such as G. Semiradzky, who was a brilliant colourist and the author of monumental paintings on the theme of Ancient Greece and Rome and K. Makovsky, whose works were imbued with the idealization of Russian life.
A new page in Russian painting was discovered by P. Fedotov - the founder of a new movement - Russian critical realism. Paintings with scenes denouncing human and social vices together with the high painting technique made him called like "the great satirist of Russian painting." The appearance of P. Fedotov had a great influence on Russian art, being the starting point for development of realism that dominated for the middle of the XIX century.
Mid XIX century was the flourishing of the realistic critic paintings characterized by simplification of fine art forms.
Formation of critic painting was like a result of the unstable political and social situation - the growing revolutionary mood of the people, peasant unrests, the abolition of serfdom and the crisis of academic painting as a whole the reason of what was based on glorification of ideal beauty.
All of these demanded radical changes to find fresh ideas.
The main aim of creativity of the artists of the second half of the XIX century was to reflect in real way the social and moral problems and the hard life of the Russian people.
The crisis in academic painting caused the appearance of "Riot of the 14", when 14 students of the Academy of Arts refused to paint on the specified biblical and mythological themes as well as themes of antiquity. This was because they believed that art should serve to the interests of the people, to denounce the problems and do not stay within ideal beauty which is far from reality.
A Group of Russian artists "Peredvizhniki (Wanderers)" uniting completely different artists without common aesthetic program, and aiming to make art accessible to the people in different parts of Russia and serving to the interests of the people. Contrasting their painting to the academic standards in St. Petersburg, « Wanderers » created democratic critic straight works with "content and explanation of life with verdict over the expressed situations" (according to N. Chernyshevsky, a philosopher and a critic).
One of the leaders of the Group was I. Kramskoj - unusual for the "Wanderers" artist. He extolled the philosophical significance of art, and considered the main purpose of art was formation of personality.
He was Fascinated by the search for inner ideal, inspired by the painting of Alexander Ivanov. The dominated themes were Gospels subjects. In the portrait genre, he was interested in the spiritual side of a person. Exceptionally educated, erudite and charismatic, I.Kramskoy was more of a philosopher and an organizer more than a painter; he inspired Ge, Perov and Myasoedova to join to the leaders of the Group. G. Myasoedov was an outstanding painter of peasant themes.
N. Ge was a master of historical and portrait genres, frankly neglected forms for content, making controversial historical works and incredibly deep psychological portraits.
V. Perov continued the traditions of critical realism of Fedotov. The author had a very scathing work that shook the society, such as "The procession on Easter" or "Rural sermon." Almost all the famous realist artists of that time – V. Makovsky, K. Savitsky, V. Maksimov, A.Savrasov, I. Shishkin, A. Kuindji, V. Vasnetsov, V. Polenov, I. Repin, A. Surikov, V. Serov, I. Levitan, N. Yaroshenko, M. Nesterov, N. Kasatkin, S. Ivanov, A. Arkhipov, V. Baksheev and others belonged to the group «Wanderers».
«Wanderers» made a big step in the development of painting, but their specific ideological orientation was limited therefore the freedom of artist's expression was enclosed in frames of admonitions and the desire to change the society.
A great artist in the Russian history and portrait painting was I. Repin. His style is characterized by an irresistible energy, sincerity, dramatic, daring strokes, artistic scale and great flavor.
Genius of Russian historical painting was V. Surikov depicting the past truthfully, but with sence of tragedy. Paintings of Surikov chaine grabbed people's attention with its dynamism, sharpness and precise colours.
The 60s was the time of flourishing of the national landscape painting, which discovered the beauty of the Central Russian and northern landscapes.
At this time, the Wanderers began to be disappointed in the absence of changes in society, of what they wanted, and devoted all his passion. Artists were increasingly turning to the beauty or their feelings.
So the most outstanding landscape painters of the second half of the 19th century were in the foreground such as: A. Savrasov who was a great master of transmission of subtle nuances of mood through the landscape and who opened with his masterpiece "The Rooks Have Arrived" a new page in Russian painting - mood landscape.
I.Shishkin was a painter with a powerful Russian nature, who was inspired by the beauty of the forest midland. His works were extremely accurate in drawings of plants.
A.Kuindzhi – a master of theatricality and decorative effects in his vibrant spectacular landscape works, where it is mainly focussed on colour. I. Levitan – a master of incredibly poetic landscapes.
However, not only «Wanderers» left a trace in Russian painting of the second half of the XIX century. One of the Best Russian military artists was V. Vereshchagin – the most famous creator of battle scenes, who was prone to academic style, preferred an individual and independent approach in his career. He was the first Russian artist who potrayed the negative side of war instead of its ceremonial side in which other artists portrayed. The East cycle painting of the artist was recognised for its bright full of light colours.
The most famous Russian marine painter was I. Aivazovsky, he was independent from art societies, and his paintings were based on raging elements and strong nature.
At the end of the XIX century, painter's block of the Wounderers movement happened, the era of moral sermons and literary subjects in painting began to move away into the past. Time required renovating painting, to find new images and new methods of expression.
A new era in Russian art began at the turn of the century XIX- XX - the era of modern art.
Historical review of classical painting in the South- and West- Slavic countries
In medieval Serbia and Dalmatia Romanesque and Byzantine artistic traditions were brought together. XIII century - the beginning of the XV century in Serbia - the flourishing of monumental painting - Byzantine artists created murals in the church of Our Lady of Perilevty, in the Church of the Ascension in Mileseva monastery, in monasteries Zica and Sopochany.
The Frescoes during period of the origin of Christianity in Macedonia are preserved in the church of St. Sophia in Ohrid.
Only fresco painting was extended up to the XIV century, examples of which can be seen in the monastery of St. Panteleimon in Nerezi, in the Markov Monastery, church Our Lady Perivlepty - in Macedonia and in the church Sveti Janez - in Slovenia.
In Dalmatia and Slovenia Gothic style appeared in the XIV century. Renaissance in Serbia and Dalmatia appeared at the end of the XV century – examples are the works of L. Dobrichevicha, Klerichin, N.Bozhidarevicha and M.Hamzich. In Slovenia, Renaissance appeared at the beginning of the XVI century - paintings in churches in Krizna Gora and Sveti Primoz nad Kamnik.
From the middle of the XV till the XVIII century - the time of the enslavement of the south Slavs - the Austrian monarchy dominated over parts of Croatia and Slovenia and Turks dominated over Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Montenegro and the parts of Croatia.It reflected in the predominance of Western European traditions in art. This inhibited the development of painting in these countries, where national artists started to appear only in the second half of the XVIII century. A. Jankovic was one of the first painters among the South Slavs, who began to create secular themes (the image of the Kosovo battle on the wall in the monastery Ravanica). In Slovenia the features of genre art and landscape appeared in the middle of the XV century in the paintings of Ya Ljubljansky in Visoko and Mulyave and paintings of Volbenka in the church Tsrngrobe. The portrait genre with a strong Venetian influence appeared at the end of the XVI century.
The beginning of the XVII century is time of Baroque expansion.
At the beginning of the XVIII century, the main cultural centre of Serbia was the region Vojvodina, which began to spread Baroque and Classicism to Serbia. In Slovenia, the first features of classicism traced in the works of Fortunat Bergant in the first half of the XVIII century. At this time portrait genre was at the forefront. The most famous artists of Serbia and Slovenia were educated in Vienna and Venice. The most famous artists of Serbia and Slovenia were T. Cheshlyar, D. Kuaglio and F. Elovshek. They were educated in Vienna and Venice. Their paintings were up to standards and were as good as those of the western European region.
At the beginning of the XIX century in Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia romanticism started to replace classicism (painting in Serbia represented by the works of A. Teodorović, P. Dzhurkovich, K. Daniel, in Slovenia - M.Langus, I. Tomints), and XIX century is the century of romanticism.
After gaining independence by South Slav countries, it began to dominate the patriotic and historical themes. Known artists of the time in Serbia - Jaksic, Radonjic, Simic, Knezevich. In Slovenia, the famous artists were A. Karinger, M. Pernhart, in Croatia - F. Klkereza.
In the late 1870-s - early 80-s. realistic movement were developing - e.g. genre painting, which still has a strong influence of academism. Examples were works of U. Predich, P. Jovanovic. A brilliant representative of the Serbian realism was J. Krstic. In the realistic movement towards the end of the XIX century the most notable works were created by Milovanovic, Tenkovich, Predich - in Serbia, Krshnyavi, Mashicha, Franke - in Croatia, Janez Shubitsa, Vesel and Kobiliki - in Slovenia.
In the Bulgarian painting, the church's motifs were dominating until the middle of the XIX century, but the first interest to secular movement traced in portraits of historical figures and details of interiors – examples are in the miniatures of the XIV century "Chronicles of Manasiy" and the "Gospel of Ivan Alexander." Old Bulgarian church murals can be seen in the Boyana Church.
Turkish domination in Bulgaria in the end of the XIV century until 1878 hindered the development of Bulgarian art. A revolutionary liberation movement had a great influence on the painting.
The first outstanding portraitist and one of the founders of the Bulgarian secular realistic art was S. Dospevski. The founder of historical painting was N. Pavlovich.
Many famous Bulgarian artists studied in St. Petersburg and Moscow, which had a notable influence on the national painting. Organization of School of Graphic Art in Sofia in 1856 was the major impetus for the development of realistic painting in Bulgaria.
Since the end of the XIX century - the beginning of the XX century the leading trend in painting was democratic realism. Outstanding representatives of realism were I.Mrkvichka, A. Mitov, I. Angelov, H. Tsokoev.
Slovak mural paintings of XII - XIV centuries (such as in churches in Dehtitse and Dravtse) are characterized by the influence of the Roman-Byzantine style. XIV-XV centuries - the Gothic era. Murals of the church in Zhegra in the early XV century testifies to the efforts of masters to move away from the conventions, the desire for realism. Renaissance painting is represented mainly ornamental miniatures. As for paintings, the XVII-XVIII centuries, the Western European influence dominated Slovakia due to the lack of independence.
However, in the XX century, Slovakia started to develop national paintings after appearance in the middle of the XIX century Slovak school of painting. But the first painters were trying to move away from the dominance of Western style in painting, began to appear in the beginning of the XIX century. The following artists aimed to reflect the national character in the landscape genre - K. Lieb, M. Bohn, in portrait - A. Chausig, J. Rombauer, Clemens, P. Bohun. The end of XIX - early XX century was the best time of democratic painting and it had a great influence on academic art. Paintings of this period are represented by works of V. Andyala, Skutecky and I. Ganula.
In Czechia, the most ancient paintings are considered miniatures of manuscripts "Gumpold's legend of St. Vailave "(1066) and "Visegrad Code "(1085). The Czech painting XI-XIII centuries were greatly influenced by painting the German kingdom (later Holy Roman Empire) and the Byzantine Empire. An example of this style is the painting of the rotunda of St. Kateřina in Znojmo, the frescoes in the Prague Castle.
In the XIV century painting was dominated by Italian and French influence. In the second half of the XIV century Bohemia became one the most important centres of European painting. This time, it was the best of realistic tendencies in the Gothic style (Master Theodoric, Master of the Vyshy Brod altar, Wurmser, Master Osvalad).
The XVI century is the time of Renaissance spread represented by Master Litomerzhitsky altar, the altar of the church in the town of Litomerice, the frescoes in the chapel in Zhirovnice and in the chapel of St. Wenceslas located in St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague.
XVII-XVIII century was the time of the gradual formation of a national school of painting. It was the time of the Baroque in Czechia. Painting portraits of this period were represented by K. Shkreta, J. Kupetsky and P. Brandl.
Landscape genre was represented by A. Manes, V. Reiner, still life - by Ya Bissau, Garovnik, brother Godin, Tsimpreht, Haynsh, Willmann and Liska. The middle of the XVIII century was marked by the flourishing of the Rococo and Classicism, where particularly noticeable painting of Kern, Muller, Scheffler, Kovarzh, N. Grundt, Brezina, Dallinger.
Neoclassicism of the first half of the XIX century was represented by works of Bergler. Patriotic themes were represented in works of Kadlik, Ruben, and Navratil and A. Manes.
The outstanding representative of national romanticism of the XIX century was J. Manes.
In the second half of the XIX century in the Czech painting, romanticism and realism were dominated movements. Genre of landscape was very popular. Famous artists such as B. Dvorak and Yu. Marzhak, became a teacher for a whole generation of realist landscape- painters in early XX century.
Polish painting of the XII-XIII centuries is represented with frescoes in churches in Tum and Czerwinsk. In the XIV-XV centuries, this was the time for great influence of the Holy Roman Empire, which exposed Gothic style. Secular painting with landscape and genre themes appeared in murals in the second half of the XIV century (the church in Niepołomice).
The end of XV and beginning of XVI century was the time of secular painting developing and Renaissance spreading, the most popular genres were portrait and military art. At the beginning of XVII century Baroque had spread and from the middle of the XVIII century is the time of Rococo.
In the second half of the XVIII century Italian artists (M. Bachcharelli, B. Bellotto) had been the most influential, but parallel it took place a development of national-patriotic painting (F. Smuglevich, M. Stakhovich). Partition of Poland in 1795 between Russia, Austria and Prussia led to the dominance of the patriotic subjects and the struggle for national traits in art.
The ancestor of the democratic genre with a strong influence of romanticism was Ya Norblin, his traditions were continued by M. Płonsky and A. Orlovsky.
Trend of academic classicism became the dominant in the first third of the XIX century. Scenes of urban life by F. Pivarsky, F. Pencharsky became very popular. The national liberation movement of 1840-50-s contributed to the development of national-democratic tendencies in Romanticism, exemplified by the works of P. Michalowski. From the middle of the XIX century, historical painting had been developing where noticeable artist were J. Matejko. Outstanding representatives of the democratic landscape and domestic realism were A. Kotsis, Yu. Shermentovsky, W. Gerson in the 1860s, in whose work it is very clear the influence of the Russian "Wanderers".
In the 70-80-s of the XIX century, popular themes were rural and urban life by M. and A. Gerymskih, Yu. Helmonsky. Military art of this time was represented by romanticism of J. Kossak. From the late 1880, academic salon genre (H. Siemiradzki, V. Prushkovsky) had became popular.