During the 18th and 19th century, our world was going through major changes. A growth spurt erupted fueled by huge advancements in manufacturing, transportation and other new technologies.

Life was getting easier and suddenly artists found that they no longer required patrons to survive. Before this point, the vast majority of artists required financiers, but now they were free from patrons, free to do what they wished. No longer were artists stuck in the old ways where art was used only to tell a story, to be instructional, or to depict religious and mythical events.

Add to this the fervor surrounding the works of Sigmund Freud which were exploding in popularity, especially amongst the ranks of the artists. Concepts like the self conscious and dreams containing meaning were taking root in artists’ minds, and they in turn were inspired to create representations of these ideas.

Thus it was that the modern art movement was born. This movement challenged the long held idea that art must depict the world as it is. Instead, modern artists embraced expression through color, non-traditional materials, and unique mediums and techniques. They didn’t create classical images, they created based on the things that affected them personally, subconsciously, and in everyday life.

What follows are 7 examples of modern art which exemplify and embody this movement.


At the Moulin Rouge by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec


Country Road in Provence by Night by Vincent Van Gogh


The Large Bathers by Paul Cezanne


Spirit of the Dead by Paul Gauguin


The Scream by Edvard Munch


Family of Saltimbanques by Pablo Picasso


Paysage Colore Aux Oiseaux Aquatique by Jean Metzinger