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Chapter 1 Prehistoric Art

by: Lisa Render

Chapter 1 Prehistoric Art ART 2050-001

Lisa Render
GPA 3.578
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Survey of Western Art History I: Chapter 2 Notes
Survey of Western Art History 1
Dr. Amy Morris
Class Notes
Art, history




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This 12 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lisa Render on Wednesday October 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ART 2050-001 at University of Nebraska at Omaha taught by Dr. Amy Morris in Spring 2015. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Survey of Western Art History 1 in Art History at University of Nebraska at Omaha.


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Date Created: 10/05/16
1 Prehistoric Art Wednesday, August 26, 2015 8:44 AM Chapter 1: PrehistoricArt • "Before recorded time" • Paleolithic and Neolithic ○ Paleolithic "old stone" ○ Neolithic "new stone" • Homo sapiens • Homo sapiens sapiens • Appreciation of art Cave paintings primarily • Find site (white dots) ○ (probably don't need to know) SCULPTURE: Subject matter • Female figures ○ By far the most sculpted thing ever apparently • Animals Lion-human • Largest of the time ○ Little over a foot tall • Made out of mammothtusk (ivory) • Composite ○ Lion head ○ Human body • Intriguing to scholars ○ Why? What is it supposed to represent? ○ Human wearing animal mask? ○ Human at all?  Imaginary  Deity? • Must have meant something to the artist ○ Carved out of a mammoth tusk  Not easy ○ The time it would've taken to do this Woman from Willendorf 24,000 BCE • About 5 inches tall • Cannot stand on its own anymore • No facial features • Round and full body type ○ Fertility and health? • Early archeologistscalled her Venus ○ Deity ○ Goddess of fertility Woman from Dolni Vestonice 23,000 BCE • Archaeologist Clive Gamble theories ○ The time these were made were around when climate was terrible ○ Perhaps they mean something  Nonverbal communication  Giving them to different clans Woman from Brassempouy30,000BCE • Faint suggestion of facial features CAVES • Northern Spain and southwesternpark of France (Gaul) Ceiling, Altamira, Spain, 12,500 BCE • Earliest cave painting discovered • Amateur archaeologist and his daughter ○ She crawled into a cave space and found the paintings ○ He took it to the government in 1879  Thought they were forgeries ○ 1902  Confirmed cave paintings • Ceiling painting of bison ○ Shaped with the rock ○ Always shown in profile Technique? • Chew up pigment and spit it ○ Like a spray can Wall Painting with horses, Rhinosceroses,and Aurochs, Chauvet Cave, Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, France 32,000-30,000BCE • If radio carbon dating is correct, then this painting is the oldest of cave paintings Spotted Horses and Human Hands, Pech-MerleCave, Dordogne,France, 25,000-15,000BCE • Creativity sparked by natural forms Hall of Bulls, Lascaux Cave, Dordogne, France, 15,000 BCE • Deep within caves • Cave paintings are deep within places that aren't easy to reach ○ Not decorations? Subject matter • Animals ○ Always painted from the side  Profile  "twisted perspective" □ You can see two horns of the bull and the legs so it's not exactly profile Either outlines or silhouettes ○ Either outlines or silhouettes ○ No background ○ Naturalistic  You can tell the species due to the details 8/28/15 Bird headed man with bison Tells a story? • First narrative in history? • A man! (usually it's women or animals) Bison, Le Tuc d'Audoubert, France, 13,000BCE • A couple feet big • Sculpture-esque • Pretty accurate proportions ○ naturalistic • THE MEANING OF CAVE PAINTINGS ○ Salomon Reinach  "sympathetic magic" □ By drawing the hunt they think that it will sort of ensure a good hunt ○ Abbe Henri Breuil  Meaning of caves □ Memories ○ Andre Leroi Grouhan  Animals depicted not for food □ In a couple of the places, the animals depicted were not ones that they used for food ○ Leslie Freeman  Dust-wallowing bison at Altamira □ Mating activities □ Maybe another "sypathetic magic" type thing ○ Steve Mithen  Teach hunters □ Visual diagrams ○ David Lewis-Williams  Shamanism □ Connecting to the animals and spirits New stone age (neolithic) • Housing communities • Pottery • Grow their own food • Domesticateanimals Lepenski Vir House/Shrine, Serbia 6,000 BCE • Lepenski Vir • They buried dead under the ground ○ Not 100% sure that people actually lived in these places ○ Is it a grave or shrine rather than a home? ○ Some places had 30 to 60 but the average was 6  Possible ancestors • Çatalhöyük ○ Rooms and decorations ○ Wall paintings ○ Were they dwelling places or religious rituals visiting places?  Shrine rooms? Human Figure, Jordan, 6,500 BCE • 32 sculpted figures found in a pit • Bundles of reeds, plastered, and painted • Bundles of reeds, plastered, and painted • 3 feet tall Dolmen,Carnac • Architecture is recognized by giant stones • "megalithic" • Associated purely with burial ○ Tombs Tomb Interior with corbeling and engraves stones, Newgrange, Ireland, 3,000-2,500BCE • 19 feet tall and 62 feet long • Entoptic motifs engraved on stones ○ Neurological effects that possibly cause hallucinations Stonehenge, Salisbury Plain, Wilshire, England, 2900-1500BCE Heel stone Alter stone • Stone on stone • Ceremonialburial • Mike Parker Pearson ○ Archeological excavations ○ Developing theories • Constructed in 8 different phases ○ Essentially two kinds of stones used Larger stones that range from 13-16 feet tall ○ Larger stones that range from 13-16 feet tall  Sarsen (a kind of sandstone) ○ Smaller stones  Bluestones  All the way from Wales ○ The bluestones were placed first ○ Heel stone placed outside the circle ○ Alter stone placed • Theory of astronomicalideas ○ At a certain point of day the heel stone point shines to the middle of Stonehenge • Mike Parker Pearson ○ Lookedoutside of Stonehenge ○ Found Durrington walls ○ 100s of homes ○ Animal remains in proportions to theorize feasting ○ Perhaps the community that built Stonehenge


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