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Anatoly's Art History: The Stone Age Part I


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Tony Vanetik explores cave paintings in part one of his multi-part series on the art of The Stone Age. While cave paintings only make up a portion of Stone Age art, the period that spanned over 3 million years can't be broken down into one quick slideshow.

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Anatoly's Art History: The Stone Age Part I

  1. 1. Anatoly's Art History Part III: The Stone Age Anatoly "Tony" Vanetik
  2. 2. about 3.5 million years, ending between 6000-2000 BCE Anatoly "Tony" Vanetik The Stone Age
  3. 3. The Stone Age background Anatoly "Tony" Vanetik While the Roman Empire lasted quite some time, it doesn’t quite compare to the duration of the Stone Age, typically recognized as lasting almost 3.5 million years, ending around 2500 BCE. It encompasses an Ice Age, the new stone age and the first permanent human settlements, as we switched from our nomadic ways to more permanent abodes. 
  4. 4. The Stone Age Cave paintings-What did they use? Anatoly "Tony" Vanetik By far, the most popular and well­known pieces of Stone Age art are the cave paintings that are still being discovered after millennia of being lost, buried or hidden. Ground minerals, bones, charcoal and other naturally occurring materials were used as pigment, ground and often blown onto the surface of a cave wall. 
  5. 5. The Stone Age Cave paintings-The purpose Decoration? The exact purpose of the paintings is still hotly debated. Like some of the art we’ve grown accustomed to seeing today, cave art was once thought to be used as a means of simple decoration, the same way you might hang a picture on the wall of your living room to create a welcoming environment to guests. These areas were determined to not have been long­term habitats for cavemen and women, and therefore were unlikely to have been used for decoration.  Nope. Anatoly "Tony" Vanetik
  6. 6. The Stone Age Cave paintings-The purpose Summoning animals? Some claim that the purpose was to summon animals; they may have believed that by painting buffalo or deer on the walls, more buffalo or deer would begin appearing, creating more potential food for the hunters of the tribes. Clearly, divine intervention played a large part in the paintings.  Anatoly "Tony" Vanetik
  7. 7. The Stone Age Cave paintings-The purpose Communication? A leading theory on the purpose of the paintings wasn’t that they were necessarily to summon animals or a result of shaman trances, but simply to communicate. Cave paintings that featured horses, buffalo and spears being thrown could simply have been to tell a story of an epic hunting battle, warn others of predators that were seen lurking nearby, and to exchange ideas and thoughts.  Anatoly "Tony" Vanetik
  8. 8. For More Art History and Appreciation, Visit: