Friday, June 29, 2012

Why Art?

Prehistoric art as an expression of human experience distinguished us from other animals.  Through art the sensation of sight, taste and touch combine to show the uniqueness of human development and talent.  The earliest evidence of art is found in the paintings of the prehistoric caves that were occupied around the Mediterranean.  The following prehistoric caves and wall paintings are recognized as the earliest found evidence of human artistic represnetations. These early wall and cave paintings show a need for humans to mark their relation to animals as a food source and to the world around them in physical terms.

  1. Lascaux caves, Southern France 35,000 to 10,000 BC
  2. Chauvet, Southern France. 32,000-29,000 BC.   Cave of Forgotten Dreams is an excellent recent documentary 3-D film by the German director Werner Herzog has been made about the prehistoric art of Chauvet. 
  3. Altamira in Spain,  35,000 to 11,000 BC
  4. Tassili-n-Ajjer (8000 B.C.–?) in Algeria.  Watch this short video introduction from the UNESCO World Heritage website on the cave and wall paintings of Tassili-n-Ajjer - look for the earliest reperesentations of camels in art!. 
If we look at art in all its forms we find a remarkable range of human experience.  Once humans began to form cities, art and architecture combine to allow centers of communal gathering and space.  We find plazas and temples, markets and avenues emerge as ancient cities develop.

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