Art Before the Written Word
In Art: A Brief History, 2nd ed. (2004) by Marilyn Stokstad
Outline
• Upper Paleolithic Art
• Art in the Neolithic Period
UPPER PALEOLITHIC ART
Landscape
•
•
•
•

c. 42,000 – 8000 BCE
Hunting and gathering
People lived in small nomadic groups
Glaciers of the last ic...
Characteristics of Art
• Mostly small figures or figurines, of
people and animals
• Materials used include bones, ivory,
s...
Lion-Human
From HohlensteinStadel, Germany
c. 30,000-26,000 BCE
Mammoth Ivory
height 29.6cm
Ulmer Museum, Ulm,
Germany
Woman from Brassempouy
Grotte du Pape, Brassempouy Landes, France. c.
22,000 BCE. Ivory, height 3 cm. Musée des Antiquits
...
Woman from
Willendorf
Austria
c. 22,000 – 21,000 BCE
Limestone
Height 11 cm
Naturhistorisches
Museum Vienna
Characteristics of Art
• Composition shows that the ritual of
making the painting is more important
than the finished work...
Mimis and Kangaroo
Prehistoric rock art, Oenpelli, Arnhem Land, Australia.
Older painting 16,000-7000 BCE. Red and yellow
...
Wall painting with Four Horses
Chauvet cave, Vallon-Pont-d’Arc Ardèche gorge,
France. C. 28,000 BCE. Paint on limestone.
Hall of Bulls
Lascaux caves. C. 15,000-13,000 BCE. Paint on
limestone.
Bison
On the ceiling of a cave in Altamira, Spain. c. 12,000
BCE. Paint on limestone, length approx. 2.5m.
ART IN THE NEOLITHIC
PERIOD
Landscape
•
•
•
•

Around 8000 BCE in Europe
Development of organized agriculture
Practice of animal husbandry
Foundation ...
Characteristic of Art
• Wall paintings
• “Flying gallop” – an animal (in motion)
leaps forward with fully extended legs;
t...
People and Animals
Detail of rock-shelter painting in Cogul Lérida, Spain.
c. 4000-2000 BCE. Museo Arqueológico Barcelona
Village of Skara Brae
Orkney Islands, Scotland. By c. 3100 BCE
House Interior
Skara Brae. (post and lintel construction)
Characteristic of Art
• Megalithic Architecture: massive
tombs and monuments built from huge
stones
• Dolmen: a tomb chamb...
Tomb Interior
With engraved stones, Newrange, Ireland. c. 30002500 BCE
Stonehenge
Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, England. c. 2750-1500 BCE
(post and lintel construction)
Diagram of Stonehenge
Henge means a circle formed by stones or wooden
posts, often surrounded by a ditch with built-up
emb...
Characteristic of Art
• Cult of the Sun
• Bronze Age: metal work
• Megalithic sculpture offers some of the
greatest art hi...
Horse and Sun Chariot
From Trundholm, Zealand, Denmark. c. 1800-1600
BCE. Bronze, length 59.2 cm. National Museum,
Copenha...
Colossal Head
From La Venta, Mexico. Olmec culture, c. 900-500 BCE.
Basalt, height 2.26m. La Venta Park, Villahermosa,
Tab...
Ancestor figures (moai)
Ahu Nau Nau, Easter Island, Polynesia. c. 1000-1500
CE, restored 1978. Volcanic stone (tufa), aver...
Ancestor figures (closer)
Synthesis
• Human beings have always strived
toward ever-more perfect expressions
of artistic and cultural values.
• Histo...
HU 102 / 2013
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  • 03 art before the written word

    1. 1. Art Before the Written Word In Art: A Brief History, 2nd ed. (2004) by Marilyn Stokstad
    2. 2. Outline • Upper Paleolithic Art • Art in the Neolithic Period
    3. 3. UPPER PALEOLITHIC ART
    4. 4. Landscape • • • • c. 42,000 – 8000 BCE Hunting and gathering People lived in small nomadic groups Glaciers of the last ice age still covered northern stretches of Europe, North America, and Asia
    5. 5. Characteristics of Art • Mostly small figures or figurines, of people and animals • Materials used include bones, ivory, stone and clay • Women as more frequent subjects • Sculpture shows an aesthetic sense and the ability to pose and solve problems
    6. 6. Lion-Human From HohlensteinStadel, Germany c. 30,000-26,000 BCE Mammoth Ivory height 29.6cm Ulmer Museum, Ulm, Germany
    7. 7. Woman from Brassempouy Grotte du Pape, Brassempouy Landes, France. c. 22,000 BCE. Ivory, height 3 cm. Musée des Antiquits Nationales, st.-Germain-en-Laye. (abstraction)
    8. 8. Woman from Willendorf Austria c. 22,000 – 21,000 BCE Limestone Height 11 cm Naturhistorisches Museum Vienna
    9. 9. Characteristics of Art • Composition shows that the ritual of making the painting is more important than the finished work • Rock engraving: pecking designs into rock with stone tools • Used red and brown pigments derived from manganese dioxide
    10. 10. Mimis and Kangaroo Prehistoric rock art, Oenpelli, Arnhem Land, Australia. Older painting 16,000-7000 BCE. Red and yellow ocher and white pipe clay. (x-ray style)
    11. 11. Wall painting with Four Horses Chauvet cave, Vallon-Pont-d’Arc Ardèche gorge, France. C. 28,000 BCE. Paint on limestone.
    12. 12. Hall of Bulls Lascaux caves. C. 15,000-13,000 BCE. Paint on limestone.
    13. 13. Bison On the ceiling of a cave in Altamira, Spain. c. 12,000 BCE. Paint on limestone, length approx. 2.5m.
    14. 14. ART IN THE NEOLITHIC PERIOD
    15. 15. Landscape • • • • Around 8000 BCE in Europe Development of organized agriculture Practice of animal husbandry Foundation of permanent, year-round settlements • Introduction of metalworking (Bronze Age, 2300 BCE in Europe)
    16. 16. Characteristic of Art • Wall paintings • “Flying gallop” – an animal (in motion) leaps forward with fully extended legs; the conventional way to indicate speed
    17. 17. People and Animals Detail of rock-shelter painting in Cogul Lérida, Spain. c. 4000-2000 BCE. Museo Arqueológico Barcelona
    18. 18. Village of Skara Brae Orkney Islands, Scotland. By c. 3100 BCE
    19. 19. House Interior Skara Brae. (post and lintel construction)
    20. 20. Characteristic of Art • Megalithic Architecture: massive tombs and monuments built from huge stones • Dolmen: a tomb chamber; was formed of huge upright stones supporting one or more table-like rocks (capstones) • Passage graves: elaborate burial sites; oriented towards the rising sun in midsummer
    21. 21. Tomb Interior With engraved stones, Newrange, Ireland. c. 30002500 BCE
    22. 22. Stonehenge Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, England. c. 2750-1500 BCE (post and lintel construction)
    23. 23. Diagram of Stonehenge Henge means a circle formed by stones or wooden posts, often surrounded by a ditch with built-up embarkments
    24. 24. Characteristic of Art • Cult of the Sun • Bronze Age: metal work • Megalithic sculpture offers some of the greatest art historical conundrums
    25. 25. Horse and Sun Chariot From Trundholm, Zealand, Denmark. c. 1800-1600 BCE. Bronze, length 59.2 cm. National Museum, Copenhagen
    26. 26. Colossal Head From La Venta, Mexico. Olmec culture, c. 900-500 BCE. Basalt, height 2.26m. La Venta Park, Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico
    27. 27. Ancestor figures (moai) Ahu Nau Nau, Easter Island, Polynesia. c. 1000-1500 CE, restored 1978. Volcanic stone (tufa), average height approx. 11 m.
    28. 28. Ancestor figures (closer)
    29. 29. Synthesis • Human beings have always strived toward ever-more perfect expressions of artistic and cultural values. • History and art history can be seen as a series of cumulative developments. • Many cultural transitions occurred at the same time in geographically unrelated and unconnected places. However, some of the same changes happened on very different timetables from place to place.
    30. 30. HU 102 / 2013
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