Genre

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The Ninth Wave by Ivan Aivazovsky, 1850. Seascape

A Genre is a well defined type or category of music, art, or writing; artworks often fit into two or more genres.

"Genre" also refers to a hierarchy of types of paintings instituted under the Academy system. "Genre Painting" is one of the types.

Back in the heyday of the Academy system, artists used to have an official list detailing which types of paintings were more important than others. [1]

Hierarchy of the genres in painting according to European academies of fine art.

  • 1.- Historical Painting was ranked number one in the old academic tradition; represents significant events of history, religion or literature.
  • 2.- Portraiture is the artistic representation of persons or sitters.
  • 3.- Genre also called genre scene or petit genre, depicts aspects of everyday life.
  • 4.- Landscape, a term in painting used for a representation of a natural scenery of land or sea (Seascape), towns (Townscape) or cities (Cityscape).
  • 5.- Still life, inanimate painting of subjects like: flowers (bouquet), vases, jars, fruits, etc.



Ambrosius Bosschaert, Still-Life of Flowers, 1614.


See also

Thomas Cole, Landscape Scene from the Last of the Mohicans, 1827.


Thomas Moran, A View of Venice, 1895, Cityscape.
Childe Hassam, Winter in Union Square, 1892. Cityscape
Albert Bierstadt, Seal Rock, California, 1872. Seascape

External links

Claude Monet, The Boardwalk on the Beach at Trouville, 1870, Cityscape.


Les côteaux de l'Hermitage, Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, ca. 1867. Townscape
Alfred Sisley, Thames at Hampton Court, 1874. Landscape



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