Art Lessons by Art Period or Movement

This is a list of my art lesson plans, arranged historically by art period or movement.

You can find a full list of Art Periods and Movements here. It includes a description of each period and a list of the most famous artists from that period.

Ancient Period (prior to 800 BC)

Classical Greek/Roman Period (800BC – 400AD)

Medieval Period (400 – 1350)

  • Abstract Celtic Art: Learn about the intricate patterns of Celtic / Insular art and recreate a simple version of the Celtic Knot.
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Learn about the Medieval art of creating illuminated manuscripts and create your own by drawing your choice of patterns, figures, plants and animals!
  • Circular Art (Mandalas): Learn about the rich history of mandalas and circular art throughout time, but with mostly Medieval examples. This lesson also looks at Radial Symmetry seen in nature, making a great science tie-in.

Renaissance Period (1350 – 1600)

  • Drawing Clothing with Giotto: Learn about how this Gothic-era artist ushered in the techniques of the Renaissance in his paintings of figures in the Arena Chapel. Then practice drawing and painting clothing like Giotto, the Father of Renaissance Art.
  • Ghiberti and the Gate of Paradise: Learn about this child prodigy who created relief sculptures that Michelangelo later called “Gates of Paradise.” Then create your own clay relief using air-dry clay or homemade clay.
  • Understanding Foreshortening with Angelico: Learn about this humble artist and his beautiful, realistic depiction of Biblical scenes. Then practice drawing and painting people using the technique of foreshortening.
  • Creating Prints like Durer: Learn about Renaissance artist Durer and his amazing stamp-like wood blocks. Create a “stamp” of your own using a simple pencil and foam.
  • Sculpting with Michelangelo:  Learn about the creator of the Sistine Chapel and the Pieta. Then make your own clay bust using air-dry or homemade clay.
  • Creating Value like El Greco (Post Renaissance): Learn about this imaginative Post-Renaissance artist who resisted the trend to paint accurate portrayals of people and nature, ushering in the brief Mannerist period. Study the strange light sources in his paintings, portrayed through a variety of value (lights and darks) and then practice shading to create value in your own art.

Baroque Period (1600 – 1750)

Neoclassicism / Neoclassical Period (1750 – 1800)

Romantic Period (1800 – 1850)

  • (coming soon)

Realistic Period (1850 – 1900 or 1940s)

-Folk Art (No specific Dates)
-American Regionalism (1930s-1940s)

Modern Period- chaotic (1850 or 1900 – 1960s) 

-Impressionism: (1872-1892)
-Post Impressionism (1886-1905)
-Cubism: (1907-1922)

Contemporary Period (1960s – current)

-Pop Art: (1955- 1979)
-Op Art (1960s)
  • Tricking the Eye with Op Art: Learn about Op Art artists Victor Vasarely, Joseph Albers, and Bridget Riley while learning about perspective using optical illusions.


While these lesson plans aren’t about artists who hold a specific place in Art History, they could also be worked into a chronological study of history.