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Chapter 1 Art Before the Written Word , Art A Brief History, Third Edition. Marilyn Stokstad. 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 07458
Transcript of Chapter 1 Art Before the Written Word , Art A Brief History, Third Edition. Marilyn Stokstad. 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 07458
2 million years ago---Homo hablis ("handy man") lived in Africa
By flaking and chipping, he made blades and scrapers with
100,000 years ago----Homo sapiens ("wise man") moved into North Africa, Europe and Asia
* Neanderthals inhabited Europe and used different stone tools
and carefully buried their dead with funerary offering
By 35,000 years ago---Neanderthal had disappeared and
Cro-magnon appears in Europe
Cro-Magnon made tools of reindeer antlers and bone as well as finely chipped stone implements. Cro-Magnons had social organizations, rituals and beliefs which led them to create art. They engraved, carved, drew and painted with colored ochers, earth minerals such as oxides of iron which could be grounded into pigments. It is with Cro-Magnon that the history of art begins through found evidence of painting and sculpture.
???Sculpture like we know it today???
Archaeologists call this period the Stone Age
The Stone Age...Palolithic, Neolithic
The Early Age of Metal...Bronze and Iron Ages in Europe
Three Period of the Stone Age
Paleolithic (Old Stone Age)
Neolithic (New Stone Age)
As early as 42,000-8,000 BCE.- While glaciers still covered some parts of northern Europe, North America and Asia, our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived in small nomadic groups and created art and architecture
most of the examples are small figures of people and animals made of bone, ivory, stone or clay (why do you think they were small?)
Lion-Human.Germany. 30,000-26,000 BCE. Mammoth ivory, 11 5/8"
The Woman of Brassempouy ("Lady with the Hood") is a fragmentary ivory figurine from the Upper Palaeolithic which was discovered at Brassempouy, France in 1892. About 25,000 years old, it is one of the earliest known realistic representations of a human face
Woman from Brassempouy, Brassempouy Landes, France. . 22,0000BCE. Ivory, 1 1/4"
? Do we know why these figures were created?
No, makers left no record to share their thoughts and deeds
some theories include: maker associated woman with spiritual or magical powers, fertility figure
This figurine represents the makers use of complex
thinking...the ability to represent a creature never seen in nature
But we do know:
that Paleolithic sculptors depicted women more frequently than other subjects
This is an example of ABSTRACTION
* the reduction of shapes and appearance to a basic
yet recognizable form
Venus of Willendorf. Austria. c. 22,OOO-21,OOOBCE. Limestone. 4 3/8"
The sculptor exaggerated the
By carving a well nourished female figure, the maker could have thought that this would ensure longevity, ability to produce children...guaranteeing survival of the clan
Map of Prehistoric Europe
Current map of Europe
Dwellings have been found in Russia & Ukraine
in the treeless grasslands, settlements of up to
made of bone and hide from the wooly mammoth Constructed of dozens of skulls,
shoulder blades, pelvis bones, jawbones and
tusks. In the largest house, archaeologists
found 15 small hearths containing small bones
left from its occupants. Leading us to believe
that life revolved around the hearth...the source
of light and heat in the dark winter months.
Mammoth-bone house. Ukraine.16,000-10,000BCE
???Is this true to today?
It is cave and rock painting that we find in the Paleolithic period
Rock art survives in many places around the world but for now...the oldest examples are found in Europe. The Vezere Valley in France is one such place were you will find cave paintings
Painting, drawing, engraving and model images began in caves about 30,000 years ago.
Cave paintings were produced in southern France and northern Spain between 28,000-10,000BCE. Most well known are the
caves in Lascaus and Chauvet Cave where the oldest paintings
have been found.
Artists produced images of animals such as horses, bison, mammoths and a few people
grids, handprints and geometric marks such as circles and dots were also found
In the caves of Altamira artist used the walls to help create a 3-D effect with the animals such as a shoulder or muscles in the legs
Bird-man. Lascaus caves. C. 15,000-13,000BCE. paint on limestone
Some theories exist as to why these paintings were done...
1. Mythical- producing a painting of an animal would ensure a good hunt...this is the "hunting magic theory"
2. Meaningful images- Because the images were organized in the cave...this meant they had a meaninful social pattern. In Lascaus the bison, bulls, and cows appear in single rows...and face to face . The images appear in a sort of twisted perspective...using the surface of the rock...the hooves, eyes and horns are seen from the front while the heads and bodies are seen from the side. The use of perspective will be seen later in art and is an important development in the history of art
?What's in a name?
How would we identify with these figurines if they held the title "Venus"?
The Bird-Headed man with Bison is thought to be a vision of a Shamman . Shamans were thought to have special powers, an ability to foretell events and assist people with contacting spirits in the form of animals and birds. Shamans use a trance like state in which they beleive they fly and receive communications from their spirit guides
Early humans were skilled toolmakers...they
build scaffolds in order to paint high on cave
walls. They made stone pottery, lamps, simple
brushes. There is evidence that ropes and
string existed as they used this to decorate
their clay pots.
Jomon vessel. c. 10,000BCE. ceramic. 8 5/8"
made with coils of clay pressed with cord
Cultural and social changes mark the Neolithic period
These developments include:
1. organized agriculture
2. maintence of herds of domesticated animals... for a species to become domesticated, it must 'breed in captivity'
3. the foundation of year-round settlements.
The world's first settled farming communities emerged in the ancient Near East and has been referred to as the Fertile Crescent. This would encompass Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and Syria...this "crescent" was attached to Turkey and descended along the plains of Mesopotamia through Iraq to the Persian Gulf. We typically define "civilization" as that point at which a primitive people learn that the food supply can be made more reliable by domestication of crops and animals, at which point two other things happen. The first is the realization that the people need no longer be nomads - constantly moving from place to place, hunting and gathering - but can remain in one place. The second is to discover that with domestication, not all of the people are necessary to provide food.
People and Animals. rock-shelter painting in Spain. C. 4,000-2,000BCE.
Theories suggest that this could be an example of a
"sympathetic magic" painting
As people settled into an agricultural way of life, they built walls, storage spaces and animal shelters. In Europe, timber became abundant after the retreat of glaciers.
Interior of house at Skara Brae
The oldest cooking vessels were fired by Japanese potters.
Almost all wares were decorated. This is unusual in that ordinarly
most civilzations start out with undecorated and simple vessles...with decoration
coming later with more settled civilizations.
Rock-shelters were decorated with narratives or stories
featuring men, women, children and animals...even insects. But no landscapes.
Stone was popular in mesopatamia
At Skara Brae in Scotland, we see stone dwellings that are connected with covered passageways. The interors had space saving furniture, stone beds and hearths. It is here that we see the post & lintel design that we find in Stonehenge.
In the Neolithic peroid we begin to see megalithic architecture. Massive stone tombs and monuments were build. Workers became skilled at shaping and aligning stones weighing over a ton or more. However, workers did not decide to build these sturctures...probably religious and political leaders had to declare a need for them. (We will see this in Egypt at the pyramids and Rome with the Sistine Chapel)
Newgrange Tomb...interior with engraved stones
It probably took several hundred people 20 years to build Newgrange.
Newgrange Passage tomb was built around 3,200 BC during Ireland's Neolithic period.
Older than the pyramids.
The word 'megalithic' is from the Greek words megas and lithikos meaning 'huge' and 'stone'.
We also see symbolism of the solar systen. The builders oriented the passage to the rising sun. ? Do we do this now?
Here at Newgrange, we see the simplest type of tomb chamber called a dolmen. In complex burial sites, passage graves lead to a large bural chamber. The top stones are called capstones. This tomb was built into an artifical hill called a cairn.
Not only did Neolithic
culture build tombs but
they also built megalithic
constructions such as Stonehenge.
Scholars do not fully understand Stonehenge.
A henge is a circle formed by stones or wooden posts often surrounded
by a ditch with built-up embankments. Stonehenge is not the largest
structure in Neolithic architecture but it is the most complex. There is evidence that Stonehenge was probably reworked over 4 major building phases...if you don't get it right...try, try, again
Bronze and Iron Ages in Europe...2300-1000 BCE
The period that follows the introduction of metalworking is commonly called the Bronze Age. Metals made an appearance about 2300BCE.
A sculpture found in Denmark known as the Horse and Sun Chariot is the oldest example of metalwork. It seems a widespread sun cult existed in the north and this sculpture was made to commemorate this. The sculpture dates between 1800-1600BCE. The sculpture was cast in bronze and engraved with abstract geometric designs such as circles, spirals and loops. The movement of the engraving suggests the movement of the sun. Dated to the early Bronze Age on the basis of stylistic elements, the horse is hollow-cast and is one of the earliest representations of a horse in Europe. The sun is made of two disks, ornamented with intricate decorations in concentric circles. Anders Söderberg created a replica for the 100th anniversary of its discovery.
By 1000BCE. iron technology had spread across Europe. A hiearchy of metals emerged: Gold, the most precious and permanent, silver, bronze and then iron.
With the age of metals, life changed dramatically.
Horse and Sun-Chariot. Denmark. C. 1800-1600. Bronze and gold. National Museum Copenhagen.