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originally, a work of art from the early period of the evolution of art. The concept of the “primitive” arose from the juxtaposition, characteristic of 18th- and 19th-century aesthetics and art studies, of “childish” and “mature” stages in the development of art. It was believed, especially beginning in the 18th century, that primitive art could be attractive by virtue of the wholeness and seeming simplicity of its pictorial organization. These features emerged most strongly when primitive works were compared with works representing the prevailing styles.
In modern art studies, the designation “primitive” has entirely lost all judgmental overtones and is purely a name. It is applied to works by late medieval artists (for example, the Italian primitives), to the art of peoples who have retained features of primitive communal society (this concept of primitive art, however, has currency only in foreign scholarship), to the work of artists who have not received systematic artistic training, and to the work of the representatives of primitivism.
REFERENCESPrevitali, G. La Fortuna dei primitivi dal Vasari ai neoclassici. Turin, 1964.
Venturi, L. Il gusto dei primitivi. Turin, 1972.
primitive(1) See primitive data type.
(2) In computer graphics, an element that is used as a building block for creating images, such as a point, line, arc, cone or sphere.
(3) In programming, a fundamental instruction, statement or operation. See machine instruction.
(4) In microprogramming, a microinstruction, or elementary machine operation. See microcode.