Created on: January 10, 2013
It's easy to see why people often don't understand the concept of folk art. After all, what's the difference between that and any other type of art? The answer lies in the way it reflects the traditions of different geographical areas of the world, and the evolution of art created by artisans or the simple folk of an area as opposed to fine art or “schooled” artistic impression. It is folk art that helped archaeologists study the lifestyles and values of cultures within the past. The term “folk art” has taken on a slightly different meaning in today's society, in that much folk art of today is traditional renditions on items of furniture that are typical of an area of the world, rather than an illustration of its lifestyle, although examples of lifestyle still exist in folk art of certain countries.
A classical example of folk art depicting lifestyle can be seen in an Austrian example, where the characters within the image and the animals illustrate the kind of professions which would have been synonymous with peasant lifestyles within Austria, such as agricultural work. Indeed, the example shown also gives great insight as to the traditional clothing worn by peasants within that country. The figures show that the area is agricultural in nature and that women worked as well as men, although perhaps on lighter tasks. Similarly, folk art is employed by the Quimper pottery style in Brittany, France, depicting peasants and typical professions and dress styles. In this society, costume is of great importance, and each region has its own Breton costume still used today for demonstration of dance. The Breton illustrations are also of a maritime nature on many of Quimper pottery designs because that depicts the fact that Brittany has a great deal of coastline and that typically folks would be familiar with and live with the professions of fishing, or the sport of sailing.
Bavarian folk art is used to decorate pottery and china, and features patterns which are floral in nature. It can be seen from this that the art is simple in nature but very distinctive, with foliage and flowers taking on a very straightforward and simplified format, against added swirls, though the complexity of folk art can be seen in items such as boxes painted in Poland, where more color is introduced in layers to create an overall look. What does this tell people in the future about Polish life? A look at a typical box painted in the region would give the impression of homes which
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