Core Regions of Western Art

Introduction

For each period of Western art, one or more core regions can typically be identified. The term "core region" may be defined as the most accomplished and influential region of a given age.

From a broad perspective, Western culture can be divided into two phases, ancient and modern (with the medieval period acting as a connector). The primary culture of the ancient West was Greco-Roman culture (that is, the sum of Greek and Roman culture). The Middle Ages (ca. 500-1500) then witnessed the rise of the six primary cultural regions ("primary" in terms of political and cultural influence) of the modern Western world: Italian, Spanish, French, English, German, and Russian.

The Six Primary Cultural Regions of the West
region (by principal spoken language) principal nations
Italian Italy
Spanish Spain
French France
English Britain, United States
German Germany, Austria
Russian Russia

Visual Art

Ages of Western Art
3000-2000 BC 2000-1000 BC 1000 BC-0 0-1000 1000-present
1 2 3 4 7
5 6 8
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Aegean
ca. 3000-1200 BC
Greek
ca. 1200 BC-0
Roman
ca. 0-500
Medieval
ca. 500-1500
Renaissance
ca. 1400-1600
Baroque
ca. 1600-1800
Neoclassical/Romantic
ca. 1750-1900
Modern
ca. 1850-
age span core region(s)
Aegean ca. 3000-1200 BC Minoans > Mycenaeans
Greek ca. 1200 BC-0 Greece
Roman ca. 0-500 AD Rome
early medieval ca. 500-1000 no core > Carolingians > Ottonians
later medieval ca. 1000-1500 France
Renaissance ca. 1400-1600 Italy
Early/High Baroque ca. 1600-75
Late Baroque/Rococo ca. 1675-1800 France
Neoclassical/Romantic ca. 1750-1900 France, Germany, Britain, United States
modern ca. 1850-present

Music

Ages of Western Music
1200 BC-0 0-1000 1000-present
1 2 3 4 5 6
7
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
ancient music
ca. 1200 BC-500 AD
medieval music
ca. 500-1400
Renaissance music
ca. 1400-1600
Baroque music
ca. 1600-1750
Classical music
ca. 1750-1820
Romantic music
ca. 1820-1900
Modern music
ca. 1850-
age span core region(s)
ancient ca. 1200 BC-500 AD Greece > Rome
early medieval ca. 500-1000 no core
later medieval ca. 1000-1500 France
Renaissance ca. 1400-1600 Burgundy > Low Countries > Italy
Baroque ca. 1600-1750 Italy, Germany
Classical ca. 1750-1820 Austria
Romantic ca. 1820-1900 Italy, Germany, Austria, France
modern ca. 1850-present no core

Literature

Ages of Western Literature
800 BC-0 0-1000 1000-present
1 2
3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5
ancient literature
ca. 800 BC-500 AD
medieval literature
ca. 500-1500
Renaissance/Reformation literature
ca. 1300-1650
Enlightenment literature
ca. 1650-1800
modern literature
ca. 1800-
age span core region(s)
ancient ca. 800 BC-500 AD Greece > Rome
early medieval ca. 500-1000 no core
later medieval ca. 1000-1500 France
Renaissance/Reformation ca. 1300-1650 Italy, France, Spain, Britain
Enlightenment ca. 1650-1800 France, Britain, Germany
modern ca. 1800-present France, Russia, Britain, Germany, United States