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Western University
Visual Arts History
Visual Arts History 1040
Cody Barteet

ART BEFORE HISTORY PALAEOLITHIC ART - In cultures written before history; must assume things about what the art means - Women more common subjects than men, but animals dominate art - Always depicted animals in profile - Animal facing left, from the Apollo 11 Cave, Namibia, ca. 23,000 BCE - oldest African paintings were portable objects - animal in profile so that the head, body, tail, and all four legs clearly visible - aim was to create convincing image of subject, pictorial definition of the animal capturing its essence - Human w/ Feline Head, Hohlenstein-Stadel, ca. 30,000-28,000 BCE - combining human and animal form; powerful creatures - Venus of Willendorf, Willendorf, Austria, ca. 28,000–25,000 BCE - (Nude Woman, b/c don’t know religion of that culture; ‘venus’ may not be relevant to the purpose’) - Function: just b/c nude, doesn’t mean sexual object - Fertility (exaggerated breasts and hips) - Breasts: nursing, concept of nurturing mother - V. Small, b/c nomadic tribes - Head: no idea (maybe beauty, weaving, etc) - No facial features - Could be individual woman, found others much slimmer (focus on this one instead b/c easier to make the assumption using gender norms) - Woman holding bison horn, Laussel, ca. 25,000-20,000 BCE - potential priestess, relief sculpture - Two Bison, relief in caves, Le Tuc d’Audoubert, ca. 15,000-10,000 BCE - Bison with turned head, fragmentary spearthrower, from La Madeleine, France, ca. 12,000 BCE - antlers as a sculptural medium - v detailed, extends to horns, eye, ear, nostrils, mouth, and hair on face - turned neck full 180 degrees to maintain the strict profile - Bison, Altimira, Spain, ca. 12,000-11,000 BCE - some of the oldest - Why caves? – practical, protect from elements/weather - Mother earth, connection to earth - Seen as connection to spiritual realm or vaginal passage, reproduction - Spotted horses and negative hand prints, Pech-Merle, France, ca. 22,000 BCE - blew paint out of mouths, leave hand print, personal touch - Hall of Bulls, ca. 15,000 BCE / Hall of the Bulls, Lascaux, France, ca. 15,000-13,000 BCE - trying to capture animal spirit and hunt it better b/c understand it - Overlapping bulls; not created at one time, stylistic variance (ex. Twisted antlers) - V. Large space, went through trouble to get up there - Rhino, wounded man, disemboweled bison, Lascaux, ca. 20 15,000-13,000 BCE - painting in a well (hanging in weird place) - Warning, narrative, ritual, tombstone; we want to re
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