The history of visual art started nearly 22 000 years ago when first cave drawings depicting animals appeared in South-Western Europe and North Africa.
The founder of European painting, which laid the foundations of art realism, is considered to be the Florentine painter Giotto di Bondone. His frescos with biblical themes are still considered masterpieces of world art.
In early 15th century oil painting was invented, which greatly facilitated the work of painters. In addition, use of the perspective, which allowed them to delusively depict three-dimensional interiors and landscapes is typical for artworks of Renaissance artists.
The landmark in the history of painting was invention of the camera in approximately 1850. While some artists now unemployed were engaged in coloring black and white photos, others, since late 1860s, managed to give their 'glimpses' a new form of expression: so impressionism arose.
Amongst its most famous artists are Claude Monet, Eduard Manet and Pierre Auguste Renoir.
Significant influence on the development of contemporary painting was exercised predominantly by oil portrait paintings, self portraits, still life paintings and landscapes of the Dutch post-impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh.
The art of the first half of the 20th century experienced a real boom. One after another in pictural art, graphics, and sculpture emerged new developments: cubism, futurism, constructivism, suprematism, dadaism, expressionism, surrealism, abstract expressionism etc. In the 1950s the pop art oriented at popular culture was born. And the invention of acrylic paint revolutionized the technique of painting.
By 1950 art had a dilemma; classical painting seemed to have come to its end. It was only in the 80's that contemporary artists renewed their interest in it. And since the early 21st century new forms of expression and marketing strategies have shown that modern art is still quite capable of astonishing.