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ARHI 2300 - Prehistoric Art

by: lynneerik.luz25

ARHI 2300 - Prehistoric Art ARHI 2300

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About this Document

These notes cover all of the art we covered during the Prehistoric Period.
Art History I: Cave Painting to Michelangelo
Amanda Leeton
Art, Art History
75 ?




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This 14 page Bundle was uploaded by lynneerik.luz25 on Friday February 26, 2016. The Bundle belongs to ARHI 2300 at University of Georgia taught by Amanda Leeton in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 54 views. For similar materials see Art History I: Cave Painting to Michelangelo in Art at University of Georgia.


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Date Created: 02/26/16
ErikaLuz ART HISTORY NOTES Wednesday-Jan13,2016: Prehistoric Art - PREHISTORY - time before the invention of writing // before the written record - because there is no written record of what the artists were thinking or what was truly happening at that time, historians make educated guesses (conjecture) towards art found in this time period. Prehistoric Art is split into two periods: 1. PALEOLITHIC (OLD STONE) AGE 2. NEOLITHIC (NEW STONE) AGE In this time period, humans were nomadic hunter-gatherers - most of the art found in this time were small sculptures made of bone, clay - basically non-perishable materials. Of course there are thought to be sculptures made of wood or textile produced during this time, but these materials are perishable and don’t survive to the present day. SYMBOLIC THOUGHT - a distinguishing feature of modern human behavior from our primate ancestors is the capacity to allow tangible objects or designs to represent ideas || Paleolithic Age - The very first work of art (pictured below) was found in South Africa in the Blombos cave: ▯1of▯14 ErikaLuz **[INCISEDOCHRE//BLOMBOSCAVE,SOUTHAFRICA ]** Background :This incised ochre found in the cave contains red pigment (which, if crushed up ——> becomes paint) // Scientists believe that this ochre was taken by someone into the cave. Additionally, it was found among other tools - leading scientists to believe that the cave might have been a workshop for various objects. ▯2of▯14 ErikaLuz Physical Features: Notice in the picture above a clearer representation of the markings (or perhaps more fitting = incisions) made into the ochre. There are 3 horizontal lines and within the boundaries of the top and bottom line are hatched lines (almost as if respecting the boundaries). The fact that the hatched lines are within the boundaries of the top and bottom lines suggests that the markings were not accidental, but instead purposeful. || Aside: Lines are a way to account for information or an idea. Revisiting [Symbolic Thought] in relation to the INCISED OCHRE —> Information once inside someone’s brain is manifest into a visual, tangible format. Because this piece is prehistoric, its not like as if there was a note attached to it explaining exactly the circumstances it was created under (like, what each line meant and why they were placed in the way that they were). However, just because we don’t know the symbolic meaning behind the piece doesn’t mean it doesn't exist. For example: the lines and stars of the American flag hold meaning to us, but to others, they might not know what the symbolism behind the flag means. * COMPOSITE CREATURE - seemingly different animal body parts in a single representation of a creature. ▯3of▯14 ErikaLuz For example: This sculpture of a human body with a feline head is an example of a composite creature. This sculpture is 11 5/8” high~ and because humans were nomadic, (and thus would have had to carry everything) this sculpture must have been of great importance to the person carrying it because of its (relative to the time) large size. Again, as this is a prehistoric piece - we can only make educated conjectures about the nature of this piece. It is thought that this piece might be a magician wearing an animal face mask. * SCULPTURE IN THE ROUND - A type of sculpture in which the figures are presented in complete 3 dimensional form and not attached to a flat background. The sculpture is worked over a full 360 degrees. An example of this would be the feline sculpture above and the NUDE WOMAN from Willendorf below. * RELIEF SCULPTURE - Sculpture that projects in varying degrees from a two-dimensional background. As shown by the relief sculpture to the left. ▯4of▯14 ErikaLuz **[Nudewoman(venusofwillendorf)// Willendorf,Austria ]** Background : Made from limestone and about 4 1/4” tall, this figurine (a small portable sculpture) is thought to have originally been covered in a red ochre pigment. The limestone made to create the NUDE WOMAN is not found around Willendorf, so archaeologist believe the figurine was made elsewhere and carried to Willendorf. Physical Features: The most noticeable features of the NUDE WOMAN are her exaggerated breasts, thighs, pronounced vulva, and overall large figure. Basically, indications of her “woman-ness”. It is thought that the NUDE WOMAN was meant to represent female fertility as a whole (her pronounced vulva is the place where she bears children and her large breasts feed said children) as opposed to the NUDE WOMAN representing a specific woman. The NUDE WOMAN might also be a representation of bounty - as she (and by extension, the tribe she lived with) is “prosperous” enough to feed herself. Bounty, in this definition, does not necessarily mean material wealth, but more so the ability to take care of ones self. ▯5of▯ 4 ErikaLuz * MURAL - painting on a wall surface Found in Lascaux, France the Hall of Bulls is a mural dated ca. 15,000 - 10,000 BCE. Because of human damage, no one is allowed to go see the original Hall of Bulls mural. However, tourists may visit Lascaux II, which is a recreation of the original Hall of Bulls. * PROFILE - In the case of the Hall of Bulls, the profile view of a bull is a side view of the animal. A benefit of portraying the bulls in profile is the ability to see all of the animal - it give the most information about the body. * TWISTED OR COMPOSITE PERSPECTIVE - A convention of representation in which part of a figure is seen in profile and another part of the same figure is seen frontally. As indicated by the red circle, we can clearly see that both horns of the bull are visible. In strict profile, (as the bull would be seen in profile in real life) only one horn would be seen. We see the bull in it’s “ultimate bull-ness”. It gives us even more information about the animal to be represented this way. ▯6of▯ 4 ErikaLuz In Dec 1994 some hikers found a cave system located within southern France. Named after the hiker who found it, the Chauvet Cave’s original entrance (the entrance the paleolithic people would’ve used) was hidden by a rock slide that occurred approximately 30,000 years ago. Inside the cave, a vast array of animal bones and wall paintings were found. Scientists do not believe that humans lived in the cave. Near the paleolithic entrance (as opposed to the modern entrance that Chauvet discovered), they found a purposeful placement of rocks and bones. —> The purposeful placement of rocks and bones suggests a concern with interior design - making the interior space accommodate the people who move through the space // (ex: a stepping stone found in the cave and the purposeful placing of a bear skull on a stone (as if it were an alter)). The bear skull placed on a seemingly alter suggests a human desire to express spiritual longing. ▯7of▯ 4 ErikaLuz FRIDAY-JAN15,2016: As we talked about on Wednesday with the findings inside Chauvet Cave, there seems to be a quest for interior design, and with the intentional placing of the bear skull on the “alter” - there seems to be a desire to design a space for spiritually communicating with a higher power. **[muralpaintingsofaurochs,horses,andrhinoceroses //chauvetCAVE,vallon-pont-d’arc,France ]** ▯8of▯14 ErikaLuz Background : This mural is thought to be made of differing layers drawn at different times - separated over the span of thousands of years (2 or 3 millennia). This can be proven by Carbon 14 dating which tests the mineral deposits that have solidified. There is evidence that the artist(s) worked the surface prior to application, such as placing white to make the black “pop”. The paint would have been applied either with the hand or a brush made of animal hair. Physical Features: As shown by the red circle, the aurochs are depicted in twisted or composite perspective. // As seen on some of the animals in this mural, there is apparent shading. When discovered, this knocked some art historians on their backs as they thought the study of the way light falls on a 3d surface had not been put into practice at such an early time. Scholars think that the animals on the wall might have been used as target practice. We are not sure why the animals are layered in the way that they are or why they seem to not obey space. Fighting rhinos can be seen in the blue square // something is being staged - we have a story unfolding. We see a human inkling to manifest a story + narrative - as opposed to just placing a symbol. ▯9of▯ 4 ErikaLuz **[muralpaintingofafemale figure,vallon-pont-d’arc, France]** Physical Features:Really pronounced pubic triangle // obvious vulva // human female genitalia Cave of Forgotten Dreams directed by Werner Herzog, is a movie about the Chauvet Cave. He and his camera crew was granted limited access to film the interior of the cave. ▯10 of▯14 ErikaLuz || Neolithic Age - A gradual global warming occurred and some humans were able to transition from the previous nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a sedentary lifestyle. Humans started to domesticate animal and plants and were subsequently able to secure a steady food source. Because they were settling in a single spot, humans were able to work with metal and pottery. We see an increase in production of visual culture, as humans settled into communities that have substantial populations. — MEGALITHIC (BIG STONE) ARCHITECTURE — Humans began to construct megalithic structures. Such as in Göbekli Tepe, Turkery. This megalith was not a living quarter, but a place of ritual. Notice the design of the space - it is a human effort to arrange a space for a purpose. — Çatalhöyük was the first experiment in urban living - the town was planned out in advance // there were no streets in Çatalhöyük - each building was connected to each other and residents would have to navigate either on the roofs or through the interiors of the buildings. Buildings were made of mud brick (adobe). ▯11 of▯14 ErikaLuz **[ Landscapewithvolcaniceruption //Çatalhöyük,antoliaturkey]** ▯12 of▯14 ErikaLuz Background : This landscape painting depicts the town of Çatalhöyük and a nearby twin-peaked mountain named Hasan Dağ that can be seen from Çatalhöyük. Although just mountains now, scientists believe Hasan Dağ was an active volcano around the time Çatalhöyük would have existed. Physical Features:This painting shows aerial view of the town Çatalhöyük, but a profile view of the mountain Hasan Dağ. Stonehenge is a megalith structure from the neolithic period. We’ll use it to explain some terms… * HENGE - form created when megaliths are place together in a circle - usually surrounded by a ditch POST AND LINTEL * ARCHITECTURE Lintel POST ▯13of▯ 4 ErikaLuz * TRILITHONS - a 3 stone construction // freestanding post and lintel construction Historians believe that Stonehenge is just one among a number of prehistoric henges. For example, near the Stonehenge location, a Woodhenge was discovered. Monday-JAN18,2016: MLK HOLIDAY - NO CLASSES ▯14of▯14


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