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welcome to art history

Here The Muse Of Fine Arts explores the history of the fine arts.

About Art history

The history of the fine arts goes back thousands of years, to the cave paintings at 17,000 year old places like Pech Merle or Lascaux Cave in the Dordogne in southern France, to 30,000-year-old religious artifacts, to the 32,000 year old paintings on the walls of Chauvet Cave near Vallon-Pont-d'Arc in southern France, and before. Art artifacts produced by ancient man have been discovered all over the world, going back to the stone age. It is fair to conjecture that The Muse has inspired mankind for as long as mankind has existed.

A new technique for dating rock art sites called uranium-series disequilibrium dating, or more simply, uranium-series dating, is pushing back our current understanding of their true age when compared with the less accurate estimates derived from traditional carbon dating techniques. Archeologists using uranium-series dating are finding that the earliest cave paintings they are now examining in Western Europe reach as far back as at least 40,800 years. When existing estimates for art in caves like Altamira and Lascaux are revised with the new technique, it's likely that our estimates of their age will be elevated, as well.

In this feature, The Muse explores this history from the perspective of the arts and the artifacts that have been produced. Broadly conceived, The Muse has divided this treatment of the history of the fine arts into these dimensions, factors, or perspectives:

  • Time.
  • Geography.
  • Genre (painting, sculpture, etc.)
  • Medium (gouache, oils, etc.)


the Muse clio and the history of western art

By no means does fine art begin and end with Western art. Many great art traditions began in and continue in the East; Oriental, East Indian, Mayan, African, Australian Aboriginal, Amerindian, pre-historic, and other arts genres and eras are among the finest outpourings of the human spirit.

However, it is with the Western Art tradition that The Muse Of Fine Arts has chosen to begin exploring the history of Fine Art. Why

For one thing, everything has to start somewhere. But the more important and less obvious reason for The Muse's choice is Clio. The Muse Of Fine Arts has chosen to begin this exploration of the Fine Arts with art of the Western World because of her.

Begin now

And now, The Muse Of Fine Arts invites you to share this adventure. Begin by exploring an overview of the art history of the Western Tradition.

  • Visit The Muse Of Fine Arts page called Capsule History Of Western Art: click here.

the Fine Arts Glossary

The Muse Of Fine Arts is pleased to offer this automated glossary of fine arts terminology. It's a bounty of basic information about the fine arts which it presents in a simple, direct, and clear manner. It contains over 500 important terms drawn from a variety of the fine arts, with definitions that are packed with interesting and informative content.

  • First visit the page called the Fine Arts Glossary, where the glossary is explained. From there, visit the Glossary and look up fine arts words 'til you bust! click here.

technical aspects of the fine arts

In their classical definition, the fields of fine art are primarily visual; they include painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolor, graphics, and architecture. Yet today there are more kinds of fine art than every before, many of which mitigate or completely dissolve barriers that in the past restricted the sensory appeal of fine art to the eyes at the expense of the other four senses.

  • Learn more! Explore the fine arts from a technical point of view: click here.

ETAF recommends

There are many, many fine books on the history of art.




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