20 Unity in Art Examples

One of art’s principles, unity represents the sum of compositional elements. It’s hard to define but instinctively recognizable. A sense of cohesion or coherence is achieved by the use of unity (also called harmony). Unity describes the completeness or wholeness of a picture. Artists use unity in their work to tie compositions together and make them seem like a whole.

A design principle is a method for organizing the elements of art (line, shape, color, form, space, value, texture) so that they can be used to achieve a range of effects. Unity or harmony in art is achieved by arranging similar components and elements in a consistent way. It is also possible to create unity or harmony by blending the form and meaning of an artwork together.

It is possible to achieve very subtle unity when it is done well. If the artwork is done well, it will look natural, complete, and pleasing to the eye. Creating unity in art does not always mean repeating the same element over and over again, but creating a pleasing composition of diverse elements. 20 unity in art examples will be presented in this article, explaining unity in art. Keep reading!

What is Unity in Art

An artwork’s feeling of “oneness” is achieved by the principle of unity. Harmony is similar to unity, but unity is more universal. It is possible to achieve unity in art in many ways. Each artist’s style contributes to unity in art in different ways.

Integrating separate parts is what makes unity possible. Consider the car for a better understanding of unity. The car’s purpose is to transport people. A car can move when its many components work together. Unless the car is used as a whole, no part of it can provide transportation. During normal operation, the parts of the car work together in unity.

Unity is hard to comprehend at first, just as harmony and variety are. Art’s elements are composed of ideas, but unity is a perception – an emotion it conveys to the viewer.

In the mind, we can hold that solitary shape that we have imagined in our minds. In order for the concept of unity to stay in one’s mind, one cannot simply imagine it and hold onto it. The idea of unity must be evaluated through observation and analysis. Consequently, there is a need for artists to pay attention to the development of unity throughout the process of creating artworks so that the creation can be made as harmonious as possible.

Ensure a unified composition with these proven methods:

  • Simplicity
  • Repetition
  • Proximity

Here are a few details about each method:


Simple means to reduce the number of potential options to a minimum. An illustration created with a graphite pencil is likely to show some degree of unity due to its lack of color. Eliminating color simplifies the image more than it would have been if the color were used.

Creating a drawing by only using straight lines is my favorite way to hatch. Straight lines have fewer complex properties than curvilinear lines so that they will unify compositions.

hand holding Unity Art
Source: istockphoto.com

Above is the image you need to look at. It is a simplification of the original reference to have a simple line type and no color. Many of the visual details have been omitted intentionally. Hence, the image appears unified.


Compositions that repeat within themselves will have a strong sense of unity. The repetition in tessellations reveals how a composition is unified. Tessellations are patterns made up of shapes that fit together in an orderly way without gaps.

graffiti art example
Source: artdesign130.blogspot.com

Repeated elements can also bind together a series of works, such as a painting group. Each painting in a collection feels as if it is part of a greater whole when certain shapes, objects, or textures are repeated among them.


Within a work of art, proximity is a measure of closeness between various components. Putting parts close together allows the mind to see them as one whole, as a mass.

A work of art that has negative space is one in which elements are arranged in opposing directions. Within a drawing or painting, it refers to the “empty spaces.” The less negative space in a composition, the more unified it feels.

Black White Flower Photogravure art
Source: vintagesmith.com

Combined with repetition and proximity, the tessellation above creates a highly homogenous image. The repeated shapes of those share a similar feel as there is no negative space.

20 Unity in Art Examples

Unity in Art Examples Using Shapes/Forms

1. The Circles in a Circle by Wassily Kandinsky, 1923

Circles in a Circle unity art
Source: commons.wikimedia.org

2. The Fruit Displayed on a Stand by Gustave Caillebotte, 1881

Fruit Display art example
Source: wikiart.org

3. The Broadway Boogie Woogie by Piet Mondrian, 1942

famous Broadway Boogie Woogie art
Source: commons.wikimedia.org

4. The Galatea of the Spheres by Salvador Dali, 1952

Galatea of the Spheres art
Source: worthpoint.com

5. The Insurrection by Kara Walker, 2000

Insurrection art
Source: art21.org

6.The Golconda by Rene Magritte, 1953

Golconda art example
Source: japantimes.co.jp

Unity in Art Examples Using Colors

7. The Zero-Nine by Jasper Johns, 1960

Zero-Nine  unity art examples
Source: whitney.org

Unity in Art Examples Using Textures

8. The Rue Montorgueil in Paris by Claude Monet, 1878

Rue Montorgueil in Paris art
Source: commons.wikimedia.org

9. The Ad Parnassum by Paul klee, 1932

Ad Parnassum art
Source: wikiart.org

10. The Baptism by John Biggers, 1989

Baptism art
Source: africa.si.edu

Unity in Art Examples Using Lines

11. The Supermarket by Ben Shahn, 1957

Supermarket art example
Source: artsy.net

12. The White Ships by John Singer Sargent, 1908

White Ships art
Source: brooklynmuseum.org

13. The Nude Descending Staircase by Marcel Duchamp, 1912

Nude Descending Staircase art
Source: artsy.net

Unity in Art Examples Using Styles

14. The Dance of Youth by Pablo Picasso, 1961

Dance of Youth art example
Source: artnet.com

15. The Explosion from 9 by Roy Lichtenstein, 1967

Explosion art example
Source: artsy.net

16. Untitled by Keith Haring, 1988

Untitled art by Keith Haring
Source: haring.com

17. The Mont Sainte-Victoire by Paul Cezanne, 1904-06

Mont Sainte-Victoire oil painting
Source: theculturium.com

18. Poet on a Mountaintop, ca. by Shen Zhou, 1480

Mountaintop art
Source: artclasscurator.com

19. The Wheatfield with Crows by Vincent Van Gogh, 1890

Wheatfield with Crows art
Source: commons.wikimedia.org

20. The Paint Cans by Wayne Thiebaud, 1990

Paint Cans art
Source: artsy.net

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the types of unity in art?

Repetition in Art creates a sense of unity. Harmony can be achieved through the repetition of elements in art, and this harmony is what gives the work its cohesion. It’s like a song’s rhythm making complete sense in the context of the song. Repetition can be grouped into a meaningful composition by doing so.

What is an example of unity and variety in art?

Different visual elements can be used in work, but unity is the sense that most of the task components fit well together. These don’t have to be diametrically opposed; a work that is rich in variety can still have a sense of cohesion. There’s no better example of this than the World Womb Mandala.

How do you show harmony in art?

Harmony is created when a set of colors are arranged in a specific way. In the same way, a canvas with a consistent texture of brush strokes creates harmony. Elements that are similar in form and contour can also be used to ensure harmony.

What are the elements of unity?

The Seven Elements of Unity:

  1. Texture.
  2. Tone.
  3. Colour.
  4. Proportion.
  5. Direction.
  6. Form and Shape.
  7. Solid and Void.
Why is unity important in design?

Your design is held together visually and conceptually by unity. It helps you convey your message to your audience by highlighting your concept and theme. Your elements don’t compete with each other for attention when they’re all working together. Together, they are reinforcing your message.

Final Words

In arts, unity is the process by which an artist uses compositional strategies to make images of a painting or other work of art look like the whole by establishing a visual relationship between them. Unity does not necessarily refer to a complete work of art but rather an element or element of a piece containing other expressions. However, a unity exists within all paintings, sculptures, and textiles as a shared commonality. We hope you have found this article 20 unity in art examples helpful.

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About Tom

Tom is a blogger and artist who also loves technology. He spends his days blogging about the latest developments in the world of art, and he enjoys sharing his thoughts with readers on what it means to be an artist today. Tom has always been interested in technology - but it wasn't until he was 13 years old that he discovered how much fun making websites could be! Tom is a fun-loving, adventure seeking creative type. He enjoys reviewing art products and technology gadgets on his blog and has been doing so for over 5 years now! He spends most of his time in the studio, at the beach, or out exploring new places.

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