Comparison Table: Classical Tradition and Modernism

  Classic tradition Modernism
Period 1400-1880s 1880-1960s
Leading Artistic Principle Striving to achieve similarity of the artistic image with visible reality. Express the beauty (divine) of the world spilled in nature Image of the artist’s inner world. Express the beauty of the author’s artistic intent. Re-creation of the world and man according to the laws of art
Piece of art Man, the world of his feelings, his spiritual ideas. The world around a person, the natural world, the world of things, etc. The author’s world of the artist, the world of his fleeting impressions (impressionism), ideas about the mysterious essence of the world (symbolism), the world of his experiences (expressionism, abstract expressionism), his ideas about universal laws (from Cezanne to Suprematism), his ideas about the unconscious (surrealism) , on the ways of transforming and designing the world and man (futurism, constructivism, international style in architecture)
Author The emergence of the author’s style and its development within the framework of traditional plots, allegories, academic rules In the first place is the individual artistic style of the author. Freedom of the author’s self-expression and experiment
Attitude to the plot The focus is on the plot, which is based on field observations, biblical legends, historical events, etc. Rejection of the plot. The focus is on artistic expression, which is achieved through color, lines, composition (elements of the artistic form)
Ways of expressing artistic intent Allegory (allegory). Form Symbol (connection of an image with an ineffable idea). Sign
Genres The emergence of genres – portrait, still life, landscape, historical painting, etc. Novel, short story, etc. Blurring the boundaries between genres. Synthetic compositions


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