Minimalism Through the Ages


From its beginnings in ancient Greece to its contemporary applications, minimalism has inspired some of the world's most iconic masterpieces. By exploring the history of minimalism, we can gain insight into how it's shaped the aesthetics we see today.

What is Minimalism?

Minimalism Through the Ages

Minimalism has been a part of the art and design world for centuries, but in the 20th century, it began to emerge as a style of its own. It is a style that focuses on using the fewest essential elements, intending to create aesthetically pleasing, efficient, and functional spaces.

The focus is on keeping only what truly brings joy and this creates spaces that are calming yet functional while promoting intentional living through reflection on what matters most.

There are also benefits to using minimalist design in the workplace. A simpler work area with fewer distractions helps to improve visibility as well as air quality. It is especially useful in high-risk workplaces that require special safety equipment.

Ancient Roots of Minimalism in Greek and Chinese Philosophies

Minimalism has its roots in ancient philosophies, including Greek Stoic philosophy and the Chinese traditional teachings of Daoism. The concept of minimalism was first introduced by the Greek sage Epicurus and his followers, who sought to "live simply" by wisdom and self-control and to eliminate unnecessary wants. 

The ancient Chinese philosophy of Daoism also provided minimalistic guidance, teaching that life should be stripped down to its essence to lead a more tranquil life. People were encouraged to live ascetically to reach higher levels of insight and happiness by focusing on attaining inner peace and rejecting material goods.

The Renaissance and Its Influence on Modern-Day Simplicity

The Renaissance and its rediscovery of classical philosophies served as a major influence on modern-day minimalism. Renaissance thinkers embraced the concept of simplicity, advocating for calmness and balance as essential qualities to successful living. 

Several Renaissance painters, including Titian and Raphael, used a few elements in their artwork to emphasize their message and achieve clarity. This approach soon caught on and has since become a fundamental principle of the minimalism movement.

Exploring How Minimalism Is Used Today

Minimalism Through the Ages

SHOW UNIT B3 by Republic Design

While softer shapes and more colors and textures have appeared recently, minimalism's fundamental principles are sharp lines, solid surfaces, and low furniture. 

From reduced objects in the home to uncluttered furnishings and sleek materials such as wood and concrete, it is about creating space with only the essentials.

Functionality is key; each piece should have a purpose, be easy to use, and be durable against everyday wear and tear.

Minimalism is still a powerful influence in today's design. Its use can be seen across various fields, from fashion to interior design and architecture.

With the rise of sustainable living, minimalism is still going strong, as people are choosing to focus on fewer products and styles that will stand the test of time. 

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