Narrative art

DEFINITION

Art which tells a story. Narrative Art is usually self-explanatory, being from either recognizable daily-life scenes or from familiar folk stories. It was prevalent during the Renaissance with stories from the Bible or the Classics. In the 19th Century, genre scenes became popular in America and often told a story such as a soldier leaving for war, etc. Modernist artists up to the 1960s avoided Narrative Art because they were more interested in abstraction or works with themes less easy to read. However, movements of the second half of the 20th Century such as Pop Art, Figurative, Calligraphic and Performance Art have reintroduced Narrative Art. Modern Narrative artists include Jerome Witkin, Roy Kerswill, and Faith Ringgold who inscribes messages on her painted quilts. Among 19th-Century narrative artists are John Quidor, James Hamilton, Edward Moran, John Chapman and Otis Bass. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; AskART Database

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