What art styles do you like? Are you drawn to abstract paintings or prefer more traditional styles? Does impressionism drive you delirious with despair or with happiness?

We all have preferences when it comes to what type of art we like. Art is a subjective matter and can bring out polarising opinions.

But can we determine anything about our personalities from what kind of art we prefer?

There are studies that show certain character attributes can be revealed by what particular art styles we are drawn to.

We are going to look at seven art styles and show what kinds of personality traits they are connected to:


By traditional art, we mean the old masters such as Vermeer, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Da Vinci and so on.

People that naturally gravitate to works of art by the old masters tend to be rather conservative and older in years. They will follow rules without question and do not like to rock the boat.

art styles Michelangelo
The Creation of the Sun and the Moon, Michelangelo (1508-1512)


We are talking about the modern art produced during the 1890-1960 era, as opposed to contemporary art, which is still being created today. Modern artists in this category include Van Gogh, Cézanne, Matisse and Kandinsky, to name a few. Those who are drawn to modern art are likely to be amiable and outgoing, romantic and open to new ideas.

Kandinsky art styles
Vassily Kandinsky, 1908, Murnau, Dorfstrasse


Renaissance artists include Donatello, Raphael and Botticelli. It has been found that those who like these classic depictions of traditional characters tend to be generally more conservative in real life. The renaissance way of capturing the realistic beauty of the ordinary things in life resonate with those who prefer the simpler things in life.

La naissance de Vénus Boticelli art styles
La naissance de Vénus, Boticelli


Those who are fans of impressionist work have a tendency to be agreeable types who are conscientious individuals and do not like conflict. They are typically the ones who are trying to mediate between disagreements. It is thought the reason for this is the soft and muted tones of impressionist works are not offensive in any way, as are those who prefer them.

Monet_-_Mohnfeld art styles
Claude Monet –
Poppy Field in Giverny


If you are a fan of cubism, then you have a pretty open mind and are indeed broadminded about most things. However, you are not opposed to being controversial in your opinions and sometimes like to shock for no reason, other than engaging the shock-factor itself.

This is probably to do with the fact that cubism was a cry against the more traditional movements like realism and impressionism as it attempted to ignore any formal way of drawing, instead, taking on a subject from many different angles.

picasso art styles
Portrait of Pablo Picasso, 1912, Juan Gris


Any fans of abstract art should ask themselves what it is that they really like about this particular style. We only ask because those who like abstract art have a tendency to stir up arguments out of thin air for the sake of it. They are, however, very open-minded and extrovert and extremely creative people themselves.

abstract art styles

Pop Art

Pop art originates from the pleasures individuals get from TV, magazines and other forms of media. If you love pop art, then you are more likely to be a vibrant and outgoing type of person that is optimistic about the future. You fall in love easily and are fun-loving, typically the life and soul of the party.

pop art styles
Statue Of Liberty by William Armstrong for Studio 54

General traits and art preferences

There have been more general studies about preferences in art styles that point to differences between gender and old and young.

In one study, representational art (impressionism) and less representational art (abstract expressionism and cubism) were tested. The results showed that those who preferred representational art were much more agreeable and conscientious, but less open to new experiences than those who preferred the more abstract works.

Gender, as well as age, appeared to play a big role in determining results.

Overall, cubist and renaissance art was preferred by men, whilst impressionist and traditional Japanese paintings were favoured by women. Older people rated impressionism and Japanese art, whereas younger people preferred the more modern forms of abstract and cubist art.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, who knew it could tell us so much about ourselves?


  1. http://cocosci.princeton.edu
  2. https://www.researchgate.net

Images via WikiCommons

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