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ART 260 Lecture Notes for Thurs 9/2 - PALEOLITHIC (1/2)

by: Ayana Hyberger

ART 260 Lecture Notes for Thurs 9/2 - PALEOLITHIC (1/2) ART 260

Marketplace > University of Nevada - Las Vegas > ART 260 > ART 260 Lecture Notes for Thurs 9 2 PALEOLITHIC 1 2
Ayana Hyberger

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About this Document

These notes cover the first lecture. Chapter 1, PG 16-20. Intro to Paleolithic Art, part 1 of 2.
Art History I
Patricia Baley
Class Notes
Art, history, Paleolithic, Paleolithic era, Paleolithic Objects, Art History




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ayana Hyberger on Wednesday August 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ART 260 at University of Nevada - Las Vegas taught by Patricia Baley in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views.


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Date Created: 08/31/16
KEY:  VOCABULARY  ART PIECES  GROUPED CONCEPTS    TIME NOTES:   ● BC​ ­ Before Christ  ● BCE​ ­ Before Common Era  ○ Same as BC  ● AD​ ­ ​ nno Domini (year of Our Lord)  ○ Birth of Christ on  ● CE​ ­ Common Era    ● IF NOT BC/BCE, leave off AD/CE  ● 1st Century BC/BCE = 100­1  ● 1st Century AD/CE = 1­100  ● 2nd Century is 101­200, etc  ● Ca. or c.​  circa, used for insecure dates   ■ DON’T NEED TO REMEMBER THE DATES!!!!   ● But good to know       PALEOLITHIC ­ o ​ ld stone age 30,000­9,000 BCE  MESOLITHIC ­ ​middle stone age 9,000­7,000 BCE  NEOLITHIC ­ ​new stone age 8,00­2,300 BCE  ● There is overlap because some areas of the world reach the new era before others do   ● MAP (PG. 16, 1­1)​ shows distribution of sights    DIFFERENT DATING METHODS   ○ Provenance (place of origin)   ○ Radiocarbon dating   ■ Measures an organic specimens radioactive half life   ● EX. If a carving is made out of an antler, can find the date of the  antler’s origin   ● Pioneered by Willard Libby  ○ Diagnostics of Style  ■ Attribute it to a certain era based on characteristics  ○ Stratum association (for inorganic media)   ■ Date the organic material around the inorganic piece  ● Date of the layer of Earth is probably the date of the piece  ○ First appearance   ■ Objects like X appear in this era, therefore X is probably from this era  ○ (Mobile works are more difficult to date, as they could have moved over time)   ● WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THESE PIECES?  ○ What is the functionality?  ○ What is the context of the object, and its uses?   ○ UNIVERSAL TWIN QUESTIONS:   ■ What shall I have for my subject?   ■ How shall I go about representing it?         PALEOLITHIC:   ● Trying to symbolize or indicate some concept   ● Showed ideas in symbolic and abstract ways   ● Sympathetic magic  ○ An attempt to understand or exert influence over natural forces by means  of a crude cause and effect activity  ○ EX. to cause fertility, a figure is crafted of a fecund human, typically a female to  effect actual childbirth  ● Thought first that animals depicted are food  ○ However, some are pregnant, in which case, they would not eat these animals  ○ Hard to tell the reasons for depicting animals, we don’t know  ● We don’t know the artists, nor do we have any sort of evidence  Language is loaded with meaning and representation in subtle ways   ● 30,000 years before our time now ­ Depictions of shaded, 2D, detailed images in sudden  abundance   ● WATERWORN PEBBLE RESEMBLING A FACE (PG. 16, 1­1A)  ○ c. 3,000,000 BCE  ○ Came from a burial 20 miles away from the deposit  ○ Findspot ­ South Africa   ● 100,000 BEFORE PRESENT  ○ Abalone shell with red ochre pigm nt  ● ANIMAL FACING LEFT (PG.17, 1­2)  ○ Species represented, shown in profile   ■ Want to have the most recognizable view   ■ Artistry was not the goal, meant to show the animal  ■ Charcoal on stone 5”x 4 ¼”   ■ State Museum of Namibia   ● Depictions of people  ○ Very few men  ○ HUMAN WITH FELINE (LION?) HEAD (PG. 17, 1­3)  ■ Woolymammoth ivory tusks  ■ It IS significant, but we don’t know why  ■ No evidence for its purpose  ● Perhaps a human wearing an animal skin  ● Has been restored  ○ NUDE WOMAN (Venus of Willendorf) (PG.18, 1­4)  ■ c. 28,000­25,000 BCE  ■ 4 ⅕” tall  ■ 19th Century European scholars named her Venus of Willendorf  ● Represents the “ideal” prehistoric woman   ■ No such thing as religion yet, so we back away and call her nude woman  ■ “Venus” associated with her, because she is associated with fertility  ● Downplayed non sexual body parts  ■ Ochre painted on her   ■ Could just be an obese woman   ■ Could be an example of sympathetic magic  ● “If I make a pregnant woman, I could possibly have a child:”   ● Encourage fertility  ■ 28,000­25,000 BCE  ■ Carved out of limestone   ○ Emphasized features  ■ Minimal treatment of arms and legs   ■ Emphasized sexual features   ■ “Goddess of prehistoric time”  ● Giver of life   ● Life comes out of the body of a woman   ● Earth is like a great mother  ● People preferred rock shelt rs ○ WOMAN HOLDING A BISON HORN (PG. 18, 1­5)  ■ One of the earliest known relief sculptures  ■ Painted with red ochre   ■ RELIEF SCULPTURE​­  ​rotrudes from a flat background  ■ Perhaps pregnant, hand holding stomach   ● Pregnant women often hold their stomach  ■ Other hand holding bison horn, she is looking at it  ■ Trails off at the bottom of the legs  ■ “God did not smite me with children” ­ PATRICIA  ■ No facial detail   ■ Care was taken for detail in proportions  ○ TWO BISON RELIEFS (PG. 19, 1­6)  ■ c. 15,000­10,000 BCE   ■ Very carefully rendered, not abstract  ■ Each 2 feet long  ■ Used fingers and stone spatula   ■ No model handy, rendered by memory  ● Intimate understanding of the animals   ■ Proportion and detail great   ● Generous detail  ○ BISON LICKING ITS FLANK (PG. 19, 1­7)  ■ Carved out of an antler   ■ Stippling (perhaps with) a flint  ■ Functioned as a spear throwing device   ■ Embellished, decorated   ■ Cave paintings more frequent than 3D works  ● Perhaps done to bring animals under control and bring successful  hunts  ● Perhaps they did rituals, or used as instructional devices   ○ BISON, DETAIL OF A PAINTED CEILING (PG. 20, 1­8)  ■ Altamira Cave c. 13,000­11,000 BCE  ■ First cave paintings, discovered by a 9 year old girl   ■ Deposits of materials built up on top of the paintings  ■ Bison showed in different perspectives   ■ Artists  may have used the protruding portions of the cave as part of their  painting and as inspiration   ■ No composition   ■ Found very deep in caves, hard to access  ● No evidence of material culture   ● Used stone lamps to reach this far back   ● Charcoal easily takes on a rough surface  


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