Although the word primitive is not used very often currently, it was used to describe painters in the thirteenth century, as well as painters from the late fourteenth and the whole fifteenth centuries, along with all of the Italian painters who worked between Giotto and Raphael. A second definition of primitive is unsophisticated and unspoiled visionary art that usually is done by an amateur. This type of primitive art also has the characteristics of being genuine, pure and free from tradition, technique or formal training.
The American primitive painters of the nineteenth century were artists such as Edward Hicks and John Kane. Peasants and fishermen in Europe during the nineteenth century have also been labeled primitive, as was the English charwoman, Seraphine. Grandma Moses is considered to be one of the finest examples of American primitive painters.