Art History 1
TEST 1 REVIEW de Beauort
Art Before History
Waterworn pebble resembling a human face,
from Makapansgat, South Africa.
Human with feline head,
from Hohlenstein-Stadel, Germany.
Nude woman (Venus of Willendorf),
from Willendorf, Austria.
Woman holding a bison horn,
detail of a painted ceiling in the cave at Altamira, Spain.
Bison with turned head,
fragmentary spearthrower, La Madeleine, France.
Spotted horses and negative hand imprints,
wall painting in the cave at Pech-Merle, France.
Hall of the Bulls (left wall)
in the cave at Lascaux, France.
Rhinoceros, wounded man, and disemboweled bison,
painting in the well of the cave at Lascaux, France.
Aurochs, horses, and rhinoceroses,
wall painting in Chauvet Cave.
Great stone tower built into the settlement wall,
from Ain Ghazal, Jordan.
Landscape with volcanic eruption (?),
watercolor copy of a wall painting from Level VII, Çatal Höyük, Turkey.
Human with feline head
• discovered in 1939
• Woolly mammoth ivory sculpture that is both the oldest known zoomorphic (animal-shaped)
sculpture in the world, and the oldest known uncontested example of figurative art.
• Radio Carbon Dating- 30,000 years old
• Seven parallel, transverse, carved gouges are on the left arm.
• Animal-Man Hybrid=Shaman ?
Nude woman (Venus of Willendorf),
• Small, portable, frontal
• Emphasis on breasts, protruding stomach and pubic triangle-anatomical exaggeration
• fertility and nursing survival of the species
• Lack of facial features shows the individual is not important. (no “naturalism”)
• Sympathetic Magic
• The idea that one can influence something based on its relationship or resemblance to
another thing. This include beliefs that certain herbs with yellow sap can cure jaundice,
that walnuts could strengthen the brain because of the nuts' resemblance to brain, that
red beet-juice is good for the blood, that phallic-shaped roots will cure male impotence.
Woman holding a bison horn
• Much larger than Woman of Willendorf
• Arms have greater importance
• Red ochre applied to pelvic area
• Horn or crescent moon?
• 13 notches (months or menstrual cycles in 1 year ?)
• Don Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola and daughter Maria
• Images dismissed as fakes by Archeologists but later with the discovery of other caves and
images alongside mineral deposits they admitted authenticity
• Bison in profile
• Curled on the ground as if seen from above
• No “ground” line or common orientation
• No setting, background or indication of place
• Negative imprint Hands and spots
• Bison and cattle on convex surfaces
• Horses and hands on concave surfaces
• Most famous
• Hall of the Bulls
• Twisted Perspective (composite)
• “Shaft of the Dead Man”
• Oldest art (30,000 BCE)
• Discovered 1994 by Jean-Marie Chauvet
• Horns depicted naturalistically in “strict profile”
• Animals interact (possible narrative ?)
• Intense variety:
• Hundreds of animals (at least 13 different species)
• many predatory animals, e.g., cave lions, panthers, bears, and cave hyenas,
• The artists who produced these unique paintings used techniques rarely found in other cave art.
Many of the paintings appear to have been made only after the walls were scraped clear of debris
and concretions, leaving a smoother and noticeably lighter area upon which the artists worked.
Jericho Human Skull
Detached from body
bodies in ground
heads above ground
Only 14 found-Primarily female
Human Figure from Ain Ghazal
• “spring of the gazelle”
• 32 figures found
• 7650 BCE
• 12”-40” tall (large)
• Plaster around bundles of weeds
• No genitalia (only breasts)
• Faces painted with yellow ochre
• Possibly dressed with wigs and clothing
• Large heads, small arms
• Venerated ancestors…?
• Ghosts…(lure into figure)…?
• Gods…(man, woman, child)…?
Old Stone Age
Bands of people 25-100
Egalitarian Social Order
Recognition vs. Representation
Paleolithic Man did not generally “live” in caves
Artworks found in deep recesses
• Remote locations
Confine animals to cave to bring under control ?
Rituals for aiding hunt ?
Propagation/survival of the species ?
• Red deer not bison were eaten
Teaching tools ?
Paintings were in remote, inaccessible areas.
Humans were painted infrequently and men almost never.
Characteristic of Representation
Descriptive (Conceptual Clarity)
Floating Forms (no ground line)
Natural features guide representation
Strategies of Representation
Idea vs. Observation
Bison, horses, rhino, auroch, mammoth
How did they create the images?
Using bone, sticks, brush made with animal hair, hands/fingers, and sharpened
rocks. Dark caverns were lit with torches and prehistoric lamps: made with
animal fat, etc etc
In Lascaux, scaffolds and ladders were built to get to the high points.
Paints came from earth minerals and organic material - crushed and mixed with
cave water to create color
Red, yellow ochre-charcoal.
Continuation of species
An anthropological term referencing a range of beliefs and practices regarding communication
with the spiritual world. Shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world
and the spirit worlds and are said to treat ailments/illness by mending the soul. The shaman also
enters supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the
Animism encompasses the beliefs that there is no separation between the spiritual and physical
(or material) worlds, and souls or spirits exist, not only in humans, but also in all other animals,
plants, rocks, natural phenomena such as thunder, geographic features such as mountains or
rivers, or other entities of the natural environment.
Middle Stone Age 9,000-4,500 BCE
Last phase of Paleolithic age
Intensified food gathering
Taming of the dog
Tribes and bands of 100-2000
Humans begin to control their environment
Transition from Hunter gatherer to farmer-herder
The Mesolithic is not well defined except for the lack of domesticated plants or animals
(Dogs for hunting is an exception.)
cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and camels)
wheat (Near East), corn (Mesoamerica) and rice (Central China or Southeast Asia)
Development of permanent settlements and towns
Stones for grinding grains
Pottery for cooking and storage
Metallurgy for making agricultural implements
Roads and trade routes
Exchange of ideas
Simple to complex social structure
Economic specialization (nonfarm) and trade
Rise of money
Political institutions: chiefdom to state
Legal institutions and codified law
Rise of ART
A more leisured society because high productivity allows freedom for some from
Full-time artisans produce of luxury goods which include sculpture, painting, drawing
They also include more intangible pursuits, such as music, drama, dance, and even
Rock painting suggests transition between foraging and herding to domestication of animals
Other rock art show war scenes, herdsmen warding off lion attacks, and dancing, usually with
both human and animal figures.
Jericho- Jordan River, Palestine
The Oldest Fortified City Pop: 2,000
Jordan River, Palestine
Mud brick houses
Fortified monumental city wall
Çatal Höyük, Turkey
Precursor to the first “civilization” in Iraq
Manufacturing village:pottery, metallurgy, textiles. obsidian
No streets; enter and exit through chimney
Houses form one continuous wall to the outside
12 levels over 800 years
Trade: obsidian and manufactured goods( arts, crafts, weaving, smelting copper and lead)
No streets, no doors
Enter through chimney
Ain Ghazal= “Spring of the Gazelle”
32 figures found
Fairly large compared to Paleolithic objects
Stonehenge is the best-known megalithic (large-stone) structures in the European Neolithic
located on the plains of Salisbury in S. England
Structure is a post-and-lintel type of construction
Menhirs are vertical columns of massive stone (post)
Dolmens are the stone “tables” placed on the dolmens (lintels)
Together they create a trilithon
The trilithons are arranged in a circle, or chromlechs
Stonehenge: Aubrey Holes
Outside the circle are 56 Aubrey holes, named after their discoverer John Aubrey
These are 3-foot holes filled with chalk
A ditch surrounds the outer perimeter
The holes are said to be calibrated to track the eclipse of the moon over 56 years
Other Parts of Stonehenge
Outside the structure is the Heel Stone, placed northeast (upper left)
Within the cromtech is the Altar Stone, partly surrounded by five inner trilithons, made of
Viewed from the Altar stone, it is said that the sun rises directly over the heel stone in
Questions Raised by Stonehenge
How were such heavy stones moved from their sources no less than 26 miles away and
as far away as Wales?
How were these structures built without pulleys and other modern technologies?
What were these sites for? Religion? Predictions?
Is there anything to archaeological astronomy, such as claims of the Aubrey holes
forecasting lunar eclipses?
How about the claim that the sun rises directly above the Heel Stone when viewed from
the Altar Stone?
Methods of construction
Construction took place in three phases, over 25 generations. (3,000 BCE to 1,400 BCE,
a 2000 year period.)
Most of it was the result of human muscle and a system of ropes and wooden levers
used to transport the massive stones. Primitive tools, such as red deer antlers, were used
to dig up the chalky countryside of Salisbury Plain, which was then taken away on ox
No one can say for sure who built the monument. Seventeenth century, English
antiquarian, John Aubrey, implicated the Druids, a religious sect known to worship at
modern day Stonehenge. But this theory is now considered implausible. The modern
Druid, possibly formed from a Celtic priesthood, is believed to have come along 2,000
years after the stone monument had been built and perhaps was in ruin.