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Week 1 notes

by: Drake Lundstrom

Week 1 notes ARTH1001

Drake Lundstrom
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About this Document

These notes cover everything important that we went over in class.
History of Art 1
Erin Hackmann
Class Notes
Art History




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Drake Lundstrom on Wednesday January 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ARTH1001 at The University of Cincinnati taught by Erin Hackmann in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 95 views. For similar materials see History of Art 1 in Art History at The University of Cincinnati.


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Date Created: 01/13/16
Week 1 Notes: Monday, 1/11/2016 What is art? It is culturally determined and can very from person to person. The art we are looking at is canon; they are the best of the best and championed by many. Definition of art history? The study of art, history, and architecture. What an art historian does:  Analyze and assess the physical properties of the work o A very objective task o Looks at materials, shape, size, medium, and so on.  Analyzing the structure from a visual and formal standpoint o Look at elements of visual expression, such as line, form, color, composition o Think about how the artistic decisions of an artist bring meaning to the work.  Identifying subject matter or symbolism o Identify natural subject matter, things that all people would know, such as identifying people, objects, or emotions o Iconography is identifying symbols, such as liberty, or a certain person. A lot of research is needed to understand this part of a work, since knowledge of the time is needed.  Add the cultural significance o Original placement o What was going on at the time Why is art history worth studying?  It goes across disciplines, going across historical culture, politics, science, and so on  It is a more interesting version of history, like a picture book.  It shows what came before our society and how we got here. It gives perspective. Monday, 1/11/2016 Prehistory had no written records, so it is more diffiuclt for historians to understand and art, jewlrey, and the like are used as primary sources. The eras came at different times in different areas. Modern humans appeared around 120,000 years ago. Paleolithic: hunter gatherers and the era is divided into 3 parts Modern humans appeared around 120,000 years ago. Early hominids might have collected items for their appearance, but art creation did not start until the upper Paleolithic period, roughly 38,000 BCE. The ability to thing symbolically is a key trait of modern humans. Woman of Willendorf: upper Paleolithic era. Was originally painted but paint came off. Overly emphasized woman features and very ample. Thought to symbolize health and fertility, since that is what is most important to the clan, though there is not and direct evidence to it. (there are alternate hypothesis, such as the figures used for communication, alliance building, or that the sculpture is made from a first person point of view, specifically my preganant women.) The many figures of women sculpted around this time are sometimes called ‘Venuses’, but the word carried conotations with it and can cloud judgement. Woman from Brassempouy, probably 30,000BCE. One of the first carvings of a human face, and it is considered a memory image and is a generalized image of a human face. It is abrstacted, and the features of a face are abstracted and reduced to the most basic forms. In areas without access to wood, animal hides and bones are sometimes used to create sturdy, durable houses. Often done in Russia, with wooly mamoths being a common building material for the houses that were 14-20 feet in diameter, with 10 ‘houses’ being common in a settlement. Cave Paintings: roughly 40,000 years ago in western Europe. Hand prints and animals, especially horses and bison were common, but human figures are rare. Paint was usually made from a combination of ground materials and something to bind them together, such as ground ochre mixed with saliva. Designs often compliment rock formations, and are usually difficult to work in, being in hard to reach areas deep within caves, not where people would normally live. There were also many very high up paintings. Because of the difficultly in painting them, it is believed that they are more important that just interior decoration. Some believe that the paintings were part of rituals, that they were made to influence reality, or that they were a how to handbook for newer hunters. Spotted house in human hand. The horse, over 5’ long, is shown in profile, and the horse’s form is simplified and follows that natural rock formation. There is also a fish superimposed over the horse, and the whole thing is without a setting or background, which is normal in cave paintings. Some of the common forms of handprints are people blowing paint around their hand (negative print), dipping their hand in paint aand putting it on the wall (positive), or making an imprint into wet clan. There is a lot of debate over the hand prints, including why some are missing fingers Wall paintings with horses. It is in a cave containing 100s of painting, a full bear skeleton, and the imprints of a child’s footprint in wet clay. There are also more exotic animals shown than normal. Even some humans. Twisted perspective shows that all parts of an animal are shown Naturalistic perspective is shown as you see animals, often in profile. Friday, 1/17/2016 We watched a movie that will not be on the exam.


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