Connecting With The Cosmos: The Art Of The Stone Age


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Connecting With The Cosmos: The Art Of The Stone Age

  1. 1. The History of Ar t I Professor Will Adams
  2. 2.  Events that occurred before written history.  This part of history is divided into three periods:  The Old Stone Age  The Middle Stone Age  The New Stone Age
  3. 3.  Premise of Sympathetic Magic:  Everything in the universe is connected.  There is a direct correlation between the body and forces of nature.  Understanding these connections assists an individual in the interpretation and manipulation of events.
  4. 4.  Contagious:  It holds that physically connected objects can never be separated.  Practitioners believe that any action against the part constitutes an action against the whole.  Imitative:  Premise: “like follows like”.  The assumption is that a person will imitate the desired behavior or achievement shown to them by religious or spiritual leaders.
  5. 5.  There were two kinds of art produced during this time.  Parictal art: Paintings, sculptures & engravings found in caves along the walls and the ceilings (these caves were ceremonial sites, not for shelter).  Mobiliary art: Small, portable sculpted objects buried at habitation sites.
  6. 6.  Sculpture-in-the-Round  Relief Sculpture (High relief, Low (bas) relief, Sunken)
  7. 7.  Carving = Subtractive  Modeling = Additive
  8. 8.  Found in Tarn, France · 11,000 – 9,000 BCE · Carved elk horn Bison with Turned Head
  9. 9.  Found in Tuc d’Audoubert, France · c. 13,000 – 8,000 BCE · Unbaked clay modeled on living rock Sculpted Bison
  10. 10.  25,000 BCE  Made of limestone  4 3/8” high  Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria  Suggest abundant fertility and a plentiful supply of food  Found in 1908  Venus is the classical goddess of love and beauty  This “Venus” was sort of a joke: a “failed Venus” – not feminine
  11. 11.  She is seen as a fertility idol due to the large breasts, the vagina being indicated, and a round stomach  Some argue whether she is wearing a hat or if it is braided hair on top of her head  She was perfectly preserved – never had feet  Arms are short and skinny comparatively and hold the top of her breasts  She doesn’t have a face because this focuses on the only parts needed for reproduction
  12. 12. “The magical force and wonder of the female was no less a marvel than the universe itself, and this gave to woman a prodigious power…” Primitive Mythology, Joseph Campbell, (1959) Venus of Laussel c. 20,000-18,000 BCE Limestone 17” Tall
  13. 13. • The Laussel woman is one of the earliest relief sculptures known. • The "Venus" of Laussel was discovered in 1911 by a physician named J. G. Lalanne carved into the wall of a limestone rock shelter in the Dordogne region of France. • The shelter, under an overhang, is a terrace over 300 yards long which looks out over the valley below. Although originally thought to have been a dwelling site, it is now believed it served as a ceremonial center. Venus of Laussel
  14. 14.  Colored powders made from organic substances such as minerals or semi- precious stones.  Pigments are mixed with liquid (referred to as medium, binder, or vehicle) in order to be applied to a surface.  That surface is known as the pigment & medium’s support.
  15. 15.  The Cosquer Cave is located near Marseilles, France.  It can be accessed through a tunnel 574 feet in length, which is 121 feet under the sea level.  The unique feature of this cave is that it contains several dozen works painted and engraved between 27,000 and 19,000 years ago.  It is decorated with a variety of land animals, but also with seals and auks, fifty-five hand stencils.
  16. 16.  The submerged main chamber measures 197 feet across.  The cave is more than 328 feet in diameter when all the flooded areas are included.
  17. 17.  Marine animals are rarely found in decorated caves from the Paleolithic era.  In the Cosquer Cave, they make up a significant portion (11%) of the overall number of figures.  Drawn or engraved in the rock are penguins, seals, fish, and various figures that may stand for jelly-fish or octopi.  Big-bellied horse painted in black 18,500 years before the present.  This black horse, about 26” long, is drawn with simple lines although the legs are slightly awkward.  Some details, such as the eye, the lower jaw, and the mane done in parallel hatching are well executed. Animal Paintings
  18. 18.  The fact that some knuckles are missing has given rise to a certain controversy.  Mutilations, sacrificial rituals, circulatory ailments or frostbite?  Although the fingers are incomplete, the thumb is always intact on these hands  The most probable hypothesis is that the hands were drawn with bent fingers to represent a sign of greeting or a coded language.  This was probably associated with hunting and various rituals, thus similar to the silent language once used by hunting peoples such as the Bushmen and the Australian Aborigines. Can I Get Your Digits?
  19. 19.  The Chauvet Cave is one of the most famous prehistoric rock art sites in the world.  Located in southern France, along the bank of the River Ardeche, this cave was only discovered as recently as 1994.  Chauvet Cave's importance is based on two factors: firstly, the quality of the cave paintings, and secondly, their great age. With one exception, all of the cave art paintings have been dated between 30,000 & 33,000 years ago.  Not only is the Ice Age art of the Chauvet Cave extremely old, it is also very extensive and highly varied.
  20. 20.  The wall to the right of the central recess has a large number of animals drawn on to it. The overall scene depicts a hunt.  On the right of the composition there is a rhinoceros and a mammoth.  On the left, there are four bison heads, and two more rhinos.  Then there are seven bison, pursued by a pride of sixteen lions, mainly depicted by their heads alone. Lion Panel c. 25,000 – 17,000 BCE Black pigment on limestone
  21. 21.  Lascaux is famous for its paintings, found in a complex of caves in the Dordogne region of France, because of their exceptional quality, size, sophistication and antiquity.  Estimated to be up to 20,000 years old, the paintings consist primarily of large animals, once native to the region.  Lascaux is a complex cave with several areas or galleries.  It was discovered on September 12, 1940.  The cave contains nearly 2,000 figures, grouped into three main categories - animals, human figures and abstract signs.
  22. 22. Lascaux’s Floorplan Major galleries of the cave include: the Great Hall of the Bulls, the Lateral Passage, the Shaft of the Dead Man, the Chamber of Engravings, the Painted Gallery, and the Chamber of Felines.
  23. 23. Hall of the Bulls at Lascaux
  24. 24.  Among the most famous images are four huge, black bulls or aurochs in the Hall of the Bulls.  One of the bulls is 17 feet long - the largest animal discovered so far in cave art.  Additionally, the bulls appear to be in motion. There are no images of reindeer, even though that was the principal source of food for the artists.  A painting referred to as The Crossed Bison, found in the chamber called the Nave, is often held as an example of the skill of the Paleolithic cave painters. The crossed hind legs show the ability to use perspective. Details of the Hall of the Bulls
  25. 25.  This ancient horse was called "Chinese" because of its resemblance to 3,000 year old Tang dynasty horses. The Chinese Horse of Lascaux c. 13,000 BCE Visit Lascaux!
  26. 26.  You will be given a sheet of paper, which you will affix to the underside of your desktop with tape.  You will be given pigments in the form of crayons.  I will extinguish the lights in the room.  You will then use your pigments to “paint” your sheet of paper.  Your painting should depict someone or something you admire and would like to imitate OR something you are grateful for  VERY IMPORTANT: Do NOT use any words, characters, or written language.  Be sure to work continuously throughout the allotted time, attempting to fill all blank space with images that are as expressive you are capable of creating.