ART 181 Study Guide - Spring 2019, Comprehensive Final Exam Notes -

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30 Mar 2019
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ART 181
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Chapter 1: Prehistoric Art
**Dating System**
o Ca: Circa (Roughly)
o C. : Circa (Roughly)
o BC: Before the Year 0
o BCE: Before the Year 0
o AD: After the Year 0
o CE: After the Year 0
Paleolithic:
o 40,000-8,000 BCE
o The Early Stone Age
o Hunting/gathering society
Conclude that population is low (avoid over hunting/harvesting)
About 70 individuals for community
Constantly moving to follow animals/ often return to same plot over year
Communities faced high mortality rates
o Live span roughly 30 years
o Hunting was a team sport (why population is important) reflected within spiritual
artwork
- Location/Living conditions speak to artwork: Images on Powerpoint
o Rainbow Serpent Rock
Spoke to water needs
o Animal on Rock (Namibia ca. 23,000 BCE)
Hope for fruitful hunting/better understanding the target or animal
o Pebble from South Africa (Historical “found art”)
o Paleolithic Hand-Axe (60,000 years ago)
Height 10”
Art = functional tool
o Decorated Ocher (77,000 years ago)
- Stepping out of our Current Cultural Mindset:
o Instead of caves, communities sometimes lived in Mammoth-bone houses
Ukraine ca. 16,000-10,000 BCE
The floors of these huts were painted with paste made from Ocher
o In addition to Mammoth-bone house/huts, it is believed that many communities lived in
wooden huts + the reason we are unable to find the huts themselves is because wood
decays
These wooden huts also had painted floors and we are able to dig that up
- Human (body) with feline head
o Found in Germany
o Ca. 30,000-28,000 BCE
o Speaks to the suspected religious beliefs of the time
Is this a symbol of God?
Does is speak to the idea that individuals were led by animal like spirits?
- Venus of Willendorf
** Venus Figurines Women Figurines**
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o Australia, ca. 28,000-25,000 BCE
o Sculpture in the Round
Sculpted on all signs/ can make out the piece from any angle
o When this piece was found in the 1800s individuals were reminded of:
Venus: Goddess of love, beauty, and sensuality
This was probably not the vision of Paleolithic communities, more likely
to be a sign of:
o Fertility/successful birth
o Importance of population/community
- ** Memory Figurine Abstract pieces**
o Communities worried if the artwork was ‘overly realistic’ it would capture their soul
o This is why most pieces from this time are abstract/lack facial features
- Woman from Dolni
- Woman Holding a Bison Horn
o France ca. 25,000-20,000 BCE
o High Relief Sculpture
- Woman from Ostrava Ptrkovice, Czech Republic
o Ca. 23,000 BCE
o Interesting piece as it represented a more realistic female body for the time
Contrasted from typical artwork: overweight/full women
- Woman from Brassempouy
- Two Bison
o France, ca. 15,000-10,000 BCE
o Animal figures are predominate artform of the paleolithic world
Animal Figurines Cave Paintings
- Bison from the Altamira cave, Spain
- Ca. 12,000-11,000 BCE
- Found by man who was named a fraud after presenting his findings
** Cave Paintings were originally ignored/unappreciated because 1800s dismissed unrealistic artwork
(believed it made society look unsophisticated)**
** Cave Paintings were created in the depths of the caves dangerous for paleolithic individuals to
reach**
- Spotted Horse and Negative Hand Imprints
o France, ca. 22,000 BCE
o This piece makes us rethink the significance of the work representing something else
than the animal they are hunting
Virtually never hunted horses may have wanted to embody the speed of their
horses
- Prehistorical Wall Paintings
o Negative Hand Imprints (View Images of Technique in Powerpoint)
Are the hands the hands of the artist?
Some believe the artists were women because the hands painted were
smaller
Some believe that these were hand signals/communication
Could this uncover the communication of hunting?
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