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Cave Paintings to Picasso: The Inside Scoop on 50 Art Masterpieces.


The motivations behind the cave paintings of the prehistoric men are likely to always remain a mystery since we do not have proper documentation of their incentives, inspirations, or practices.

Cave painting is a form of prehistoric art that dates back hundreds of thousands of years.

In the Flinders Ranges, about 200 kilometers north of Adelaide in South Australia, Andy and I explored three different sites, the Yourambulla Caves, Arkaroo Rock and Sacred Canyon, all ancestral homes to the Aboriginal society identifying itself as Adnyamathanha (the 'hills' people). Their life consisted of a harmonius and intimate relationship with their environment which held great spiritual significance. The paintings at these sites, dated at about 6000 years old, and the rock engravings, thought to be much older, possibly dating back tens of thousands of years are testament to the rich cultural heritage of these people. Individual artists of the works are not known (or important) since/many people participated in these ritualistic works over countless generations. Symbols found in some of the more recent paintings are said to relate to the various rituals and ceremonies of the Adnyamathanha people and some of the paintings were renewed during ceremonies held as recently as the 1940's.

History Of Cave Painting Cultural Studies Essay

The Lascaux Cave paintings for example were made with brushes made from animal fur.

Obviously it is impossible at this distance in time to get into people's heads: to ask them what they found attractive or conduct psychological experiments. We cannot, for example, ask women to describe their bodies and contrast their perception of themselves with the reality. This sort of study has revealed a huge amount about the relationship between public images and individual perceptions of beauty in modern Europe. In ancient India only the public image survives - statues, paintings, and carvings. And thought there is some relevant literature a lot of the types of literature that might be interesting, such as diaries or personal letters, do not survive (if given fairly low levels of literacy they ever existed at all). So it is the artistic images which must be the principal object of study.

This second Yourambulla Caves site, another beautiful overhang, sits up on the hill, allowing aerial views of animal migrations. These two sites are weathered but seem to be holding up because the rock shelves protect the paintings from the elements, even in in this difficult climate. Perhaps the binders used for the pigments, such as emu fat and tree orchid sap is tough to break down, (unlike our van, but I'm getting ahead of myself). There is a constant drone of flies and Andy is swatting them away so I can write. The markings here are also caged. Sweat flows freely, and it is difficult to see the paintings through both the metal screens and the pouring perspiration. In an interesting (at least to us) twist, it appears as if the animals drawn on the cave walls are behind bars like animals in zoos. Here, hands are used as stencils, creating a pattern of handprints on the wall. This very identifiable human image creates an instant connection with the viewer. The simplified abstract symbols reminds me of Jung and his symbology. Agnes Martin and her use of striations also comes to mind. The shadow of bars mimic the painted striations on the wall but the hard steel shadows contrast the soft charcoal paintings. Strange that the soft charcoal will probably outlast the steel.

Free cave paintings Essays and Papers

The best Magdalenian art, especially the polychrome paintings, was the work of professionals.

Second, while it is true that some of the best cave paintings, especially at Altamira, were painted by artists standing up or in some cases lying down or squatting, others required elaborate scaffolding, no different in principle from that used by Michelangelo when painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

The famous painting of a woolly rhinoceros at Font de Gaume, whose accuracy was first disputed but then confirmed when a wellpreserved example of this supposedly mythic creature was unearthed in 1907 in a bitumen deposit in Poland, is found high up on a huge cave wall.

The Blanton Museum of Art is home to many different types of paintings.
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Free cave paintings papers, essays, and research papers.

After this exhaustive three week ride on the aboriginal cave painting and engraving trail, Andy and I paused to reflect on all we had seen and to be thankful that our camper van made it back in from the outback. Perhaps the paintings acted as maps, or as a record of cyclical rather than spectacular time? A world where humans (and animals) walk in the same tracks as those of the ancestors and inscribe those tracks on the rock as a record of stability? Or could these sites have been created to tell other tribes/aboriginals that theyhad been there and to claim a type of ownership of the land? In other words, could the Aborigines have been marking their territory? Although the aboriginal concept of ownership is different since the people belong to the land more than the land belongs to the people (which leads to people overseeing rather than raping the land, but I digress). However, marking territory is marking territory. William Wright did it with his blue triangles, modern day graffiti writers do it with spray cans. The similarity with modern day graffiti cannot be ignored, nor can the connections with other ancient cave paintings such as in France and Spain. The heritage appears the same, but how does the Dreaming fit into it? The Dreaming is about illustrating the origins of the world, their world. Perhaps modern day graffiti is a bit like that too, with more emphasis on current dreams and practices than on ancient creation theories. Differences and similarities aside, I'll take representing dreams and myths over reality (whatever that is) any day, whether it be ancient myths of the Dreaming of Aboriginals or modern-day artists depicting their dreams and aspirations.

Essay on Cave Paintings -- Art - Free Essays, Term …

This cave painting, although still caged, is easier to decipher. The emu figures locked behind these bars are seemingly unconcerned that they are caged and continue their dancing unawares. There is an area reserved for black stencil handprints on a whiter ground that appears to have been done with participants of many ages. The highlight of this site, however, is an amazingly dense mural obviously created over many years by many artists, transforming the space into almost a living and breathing artwork.

Essay about Cave Paintings - 1267 Words

Travelling east towards Sydney, toward our final site and on our way out of the outback, we found ourselves on a dusty gravel road north of the Barrier Highway for 32 long kilometers. The paintings at this site were difficult to see for a number of reasons. One, they are extremely low to the ground and they are behind an extensive cage mechanism. Huge swarms of flies and very hot weather,(even at 6 p.m.) after an exhausting dusty driveon unpaved roads also made for a rough viewing experience. The site itself consists of a rocky ridge and semi-permanent waterhole. Even though the waterhole was bone dry when we were there, it is one of the few in the area so this site was considered an important spot. Water was always an issue for the Aborigines (along with countless other groups past and present) and waterholes feature in many of the artworks as they not only provide water to the people but also to the animals which became food for the people.

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