Changing Styles: 300 Years of Virginia Art and Design

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How should a politician be depicted in a portrait? In what pose should a woman of fashion be painted? What form should a chair or a silver cup take? The choices are limitless.

For centuries, artists and patrons have searched for the manner of visual expression—the style—that best suit their vision of themselves and their era. Artistic movements resulted that engulfed the various forms of expression—painting, sculpture, interior design, decoration, and architecture—and brought them into harmony with one another.

Styles tend to progress from—or react against—a preceding style.