Since I am feeling Post-Modernistic, I just take some quotes from the great http://www.artcyclopedia.com/
Renaissance art = "The Renaissance was a period or great creative activity, in which artists broke away from the restrictions of Byzantine Art. Throughout the 15th century, artists studied the natural world, perfecting their understanding of such subjects as anatomy and perspective."
"The High Renaissance was the culmination of the artistic revolution of the Early Renaissance, and one of the great explosions of creative genius in history. It is notable for three of the greatest artists in history: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, and Raphael."
Folk Art = How can I describe this in simple terms? I don't know if I can at the moment, but I think that most people know what this is. Not really an art style but rather a movement.
Impressionism = "Impressionism is a light, spontaneous manner of painting which began in France as a reaction against the formalism of the dominant Academic style. Its naturalistic and down-to-earth treatment of its subjects has its roots in the French Realism of Corot and others.
The movement's name came from Monet's early work, Impression: Sunrise, which was singled out for criticism by Louis Leroy on its exhibition.
The hallmark of the style is the attempt to capture the subjective impression of light in a scene.
The core of the earliest Impressionist group was made up of Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley. Others associated with this period were Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, Gustave Caillebotte, Frederic Bazille, Edouard Manet, and Mary Cassatt."
Modernism = Also, not really an art style but a movement. It includes Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art.
Expressionism = "Expressionism is a style of art in which the intention is not to reproduce a subject accurately, but instead to portray it in such a way as to express the inner state of the artist. The movement is associated with Germany in particular, and was influenced by such emotionally-charged styles as Symbolism, Fauvism, and Cubism.
There are several different and somewhat overlapping groups of Expressionist artists, including Die Brücke, Der Blaue Reiter, Die Neue Sachlichkeit and the Bauhaus School.
Leading Expressionists included Wassily Kandinsky, George Grosz, Franz Marc, and Amadeo Modigliani."
Surrealism = "Surrealism is a style in which fantastic visual imagery from the subconscious mind is used with no intention of making the artwork logically comprehensible. Founded by Andre Breton in 1924, it was a primarily European movement which attracted many members of the chaotic Dada movement. It was similar in some respects to the late 19th-century Symbolist movement, but deeply influenced by the psychoanalytic work of Freud and Jung.
The Surrealist circle was made up of many of the great artists of the 20th century, including Jean Arp, Max Ernst, Giorgio de Chirico, Man Ray, Joan Miro, and Rene Magritte. Salvador Dali, probably the single best-known Surrealist artist."
Post-Modernism = Yet again, not a art style but a movement. However, the The Sensation Show is a perfect example of it.
"The Sensation shows in London and New York were sources of intense controversy or noisy hype, depending on your point of view, but they certainly succeeded in sparking some of the most serious debates on the role of art in society in recent years.
In London, the lightning rod for controversy was Marcus Harvey's portrait of notorious child murderer Myra Hindley, done Chuck Close-style using hundreds of children's handprints. This piece was physically attacked at least twice: once it was pelted with eggs and on another occasion it had ink thrown at it. (Harvey's approach to conservation is worth noting: he cleaned the stains off the painting with a scouring pad.)
When the show came to New York, public fury centered around Chris Ofili's painting The Holy Virgin Mary, which portrays an African Madonna and is accessorized by a clump of elephant dung."
"In retrospect, it's undoubtedly significant that Charles Saatchi made his fortune in advertising. Sensation was a huge success which brought in millions of dollars in revenue, and generated many more millions worth of free publicity for Saatchi and his artists, not to mention the many politicians, pundits and critics who waded into the debate on "decency" vs. free speech."
paint by numbers =