Naive art


The naive art or naive art as it is also known is a work of artists in sophisticated societies lacking or reject the experience conventional in the representation of real objects. Naive artists should not be confused with amateur artists, who paint for fun. The naive artist creates with the same passion as the trained artist, but without formal knowledge of the methods.


What is naive art?


Naive art is a very simple , unsophisticated type of art that usually refers specifically to art made by artists who have not received formal training at an art school or academy .


Naive works are often extremely detailed , and there is a trend towards the use of bright colors and saturated rather than more subtle blends and tones. There is also a characteristic absence of perspective , which creates the illusion that the figures are anchored in space, with the result that the figures in naive paintings are often ‘ floating.

Characteristics of naive art

The main characteristics of naive art are the following:

  • It presents defined contours full of precision.
  • The designs are not finished properly and the lines do not have great perspective.
  • He has a deficiency in the application of colors , textures and shadows .
  • They represent a naive view of the world with bright and cheerful colors.
  • It has simplification of the decorative elements.
  • Their descriptions are quite thorough and they have an idealized view of nature.
  • It has excellent expressive power , although the drawings are often incorrect.
  • By the mid- 20th century , most developed nations had naive artists who had risen to some prominence.
  • Some painters refuse to display their works for profit and paint for their families or religious institutions.


There are two possible ways to define when naive art originated. One of them is to say that it happened when naive art was accepted for the first time as an artistic mode of equal status to any other artistic mode and we refer to the early years of the 20th century . The other is to see naive art as art itself, and look back on human prehistory , at a time when all art was naive : thousands of years ago, when the first rock drawings were engraved and when the first Cave paintings of bears and other animals were made.

The first naive art, within the rural world , was inspired by the creative imagination of artisans who lived within a relatively autarkic environment . This art disappeared when the Industrial Revolution began , but later it was revalued by romanticism and the nationalist demands of the 19th century.

The naive art of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is very different from what existed previously and was found to be closely linked to urban uprooting because it longed for the idyllic nature that had been lost from a nostalgic vision of the past. He was looking for its biblical, mythological, exotic, legendary, dreamlike and surreal origins.

Importance of naive art

Naïf art is important for the towns because it is in charge of capturing the daily moments that happen in the lives of the settlers and the events that have happened in the past. It reflects the customs and celebrations so that history is not lost. It shows the realities of each town and city through the most genuine expression of the people who live that reality. It represents in itself, the history of the peoples .

Representatives of naive art

There are many representatives of naive art. Among the most prominent representatives of this artistic movement we can mention the painter of French origin Henri Rousseau , who is better known as the Customs Officer . After the Second World War, art exhibitions increased in number in places such as Baden-Baden in 1961, Paris and Rotterdam in 1964, the traveling exhibition of American naive artists in 1967-1968, Zurich in 1975 and the Rousseau retrospective in 1984 -1985 at the Grand Palis in Paris.

In Europe the following authors are recognized:

  • Aristide Caillaud in France
  • Orneore Meteli in Italy
  • Miguel Vivancos in Spain
  • Théophilos Hadzimichael in Greece.

In socialist countries , schools of naive painting linked to national folklore have been developed and among the main exhibitors we have:

  • Niko Pirosmanachvili in Russia
  • Iván Generalic in Yugoslavia.

In the United States we can cite Edward Hicks who was one of its most prominent representatives. In Latin America , it is related to ancestral traditions , it is often linked to various animistic cults.


Some of the main works of naive art are the following:

  • The kidnapped bull (Marvilla Marrero)
  • Red flower (Joan Parramon Fomos)
  • Face of a councilor (Pedro Reina)
  • On the roof (Isidora Ubilla Palacios)
  • The sheepdog and the boats (José Rueda )
  • Field of olive trees (C. Bentabol)

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