Art in context

art in context logo

From the first cave paintings of the Neolithic era to the innovative techniques of the Renaissance, the playfulness of the Rococo period to the cutting edge art of today, the history of art is a long, rich, and beautiful one. For as long as humans have been alive, there has been art. But why do we create art? Over the centuries, artists have created art out of love, self-expression, anger, and simply for the sake of making art. Artists have called for revolution through their paintings and have created art out of sheer spite and pettiness.

It is easy to look at the history of humanity and note that much of our development and expansion came from a basic, primal need and will to survive. Art, on the other hand, forces us to look beyond the basic need for survival, highlighting a different side to the human soul, one that appreciates and creates beauty for beauty’s sake. Art empowers humanity to create meaning, allowing people to communicate messages, make statements, track and record history, or to simply create art for the sake of aesthetic beauty and appeal.

Not only can art help us to understand our known past in more detail, but it also offers us an opportunity to explore the lives and experiences of those who have traditionally been left out of written accounts. Mainstream accounts of art history tend to exclude certain individuals and groups from the limelight, based on race, gender, and sexuality. The articles on this website aim to include all relevant names throughout the history of art, making a particular effort to include the stories and works of those who may have been omitted in the past.

Thus, you can think of this website as an online art museum, your one-stop archive for all things art. Here, you will be able to find detailed articles on the history of art, artist biopics, analyses of famous artworks, and even information on architecture. Furthermore, we also offer a variety of guides that will help you to learn how to create your own works of art. Learn about color theory, how to use oil paints, and follow our tutorials on how to draw a variety of subjects!

This website aims to educate and inspire, providing a comprehensive account of the rich history of art and those that were involved. After reading about the great feats of Michelangelo and admiring the emotive works of Frida Kahlo, perhaps you too will be inspired to pick up a paintbrush and create your own masterpiece.

Our Team

alicia du plessis

Alicia du Plessis

Alicia du Plessis is a multidisciplinary writer. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Art History and Classical Civilization, as well as two Honors, namely, in Art History and Education and Development, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. For her main Honors project in Art History, she explored perceptions of the San Bushmen’s identity and the concept of the “Other”. She has also looked at the use of photography in art and how it has been used to portray people’s lives.  

Alicia’s other areas of interest in Art History include the process of writing about Art History and how to analyze paintings. Some of her favorite art movements include Impressionism and German Expressionism.  She is yet to complete her Masters in Art History (she would like to do this abroad in Europe) having given it some time to first develop more professional experience with the interest to one day lecture it too. 

isabella meyer

Isabella Meyer

Isabella studied at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English Literature & Language and Psychology. Throughout her undergraduate years, she took Art History as an additional subject and absolutely loved it. Building on from her art history knowledge that began in high school, art has always been a particular area of fascination for her. From learning about artworks previously unknown to her, or sharpening her existing understanding of specific works, the ability to continue learning within this interesting sphere excites her greatly. Her focal points of interest in art history encompass profiling specific artists and art movements, as it is these areas where she is able to really dig deep into the rich narrative of the art world. Additionally, she particularly enjoys exploring the different artistic styles of the 20th century, as well as the important impact that female artists have had on the development of art history.

matthew matthyssen

Matthew Matthyssen

Matthew Matthysen is a multidisciplinary artist. Matthew completed his fine art degree, majoring in History of Art and Contemporary Drawing Practice at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. The emphasis of Matthew’s practice was a research-based approach into the philosophical effects on the human experience of the macro and micro universe. Through various mediums, such as written and practical components, Matthew explores various ideas located within the conjoined space between science and philosophy.

Matthew has had various exhibitions before and throughout his year of studies and continues to do so. He currently works as an artist/ writer in various contexts. He has commissioned and sold various works to galleries and collectors. He currently sells work to an online gallery (Artgazette) and continues to make work for the public and private sector. Matthew continues to function as an artist, allowing his work and skills to be utilised in various areas of interest.