Next Previous Back to All Terms

Primitivism with its roots in the 19th century is an aesthetic movement that borrows visual forms from non western or pre-historic art. European artists started painting flat bright colours used in a rough, raw and unfinished way inspired by the African tribal art. They believed that the society was moving away from its traditional roots and losing touch with its original condition. Thus primitive art was born when paintings started containing elements from foreign distant lands, designating myths of paradise lost which reminded the artists least of the modern.

Henri Rousseau, The Dream, 1910, oil on canvas, 80.5 in × 117.5 in, Museum of Modern Art, New York