History Of Art


Art and beauty are two aspects of our culture that are
cognate. Art, as beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Art
has evolved through the centuries as has mankind. What
society finds to be art is also what society defines as
being beautiful. Man has gone from crawling on all fours to
walking upright as art has gone from simple drawings on
cave walls to elaborate presentations of music,
architecture, fashion, and painting. Art is ever-changing
and has been expressed through the years mankind in its
many works of creativity.
The first evidence of art is in prehistoric times. The
architecture of this time was all natural, for men and
women simply took shelter in natural settings such as
caves, under trees, etc. The fashion industry of this time
merely consisted of animal fur and the human hair that
people of this time had an abundance of. The prehistoric
age was very primitive. People did only what was necessary
to survive when it came to clothing, shelter, and food. The
prehistoric man and woman d id not care if the rabbit that
they had just bludgeoned went well with a cream sauce and a
dry, white wine; the only thing that mattered was that it
conquered their innate craving for food. Surprisingly
though, it is this time period that marks the commencement
of art. In no way was it necessary for the people of this
time to create sketches on cave walls, but they did.
Prehistoric people made sketches with berry juices, bodily
fluids, etc. of basic figures depicting gathering, hunts,
and group rivalry. These ancient drawings were not for
survival, but for historical recording and pleasure.
As social change swept through mankind, change swept
through their art as well. Societies began searching for a
greater meaning of life and religions developed. It was
because of these faiths that were evolving, that permanent
or elaborate shelters were built. In Egyptian and early
Greek societies, temples for the Gods and Goddesses were
built everywhere. Unlike the simple caves of Prehistoric
times, these temples were large works made with intricate
detail. In Egypt, the pyramids were decorated with
thousands of paintings by artists recruited by the Pharaoh
that depicted the stories of such Gods as Nemesis of the
underworld. Hieroglyphics and other works of arts were used
to communicate to the people of this region that the
Pharaoh was a descendent of the Gods and this allowed the
Egyptians to be ruled more efficiently by on e leader. In
Greek societies, authorities used law as words form the
Gods. No one wanted to make the Gods angry therefore they
obeyed the laws. In these times, art was used to express
the meaning and the way of life for these people.
Another aspect of art which began in these times, is
fashion. Jewelers were very important in Egypt for they
created all of the beautiful jewels for the Pharaohs. These
were very intricate works made with m any different jewels.
Gold, fine fabrics, and jewels lined the interior of most
pyramids and tombs that held the mummies so that the person
would have all that they needed when they passed into the
other world after death. Sculptors also made creations for
the tombs, such as models of boats, servants, animals, etc.
 As in Egypt, Greek societies paid utmost respect to their
Gods and Goddesses . The Greeks sculpted enormous models
that were placed in all of the temples. However the early
sculptures off this time depicted their models in an
idealistic manner; the sculptures were made to ensemble a
"perfect " model with no faults. For example, every man was
shown with a great muscular chest and large genitalia. In
Egypt it was very common for the sculptors to show
everything in disproportion; the head may be twice as large
as the body, etc.
All around there was a desire for art. Even the utensils
and bowls that people used began to show a sign of
creativity. Artists made great vases , bowls, pots, etc.
with descriptive pictures of their society. Scenes of great
hunts, meetings with the Gods, and natural occurrences were
portrayed on these different forms of houseware. These and
other works of art have given future generations great
insight on the development of these societies.
The next change came with the Roman even though they did
not have original ideas. They adopted everything that was
Greek from Gods to architecture and renamed it with Roman
names. Along with Julius Caesar, the Romanesque period
brought a revolution of realism to art. The Roman
sculptures were shown in an accurate portrayal. The art of
theater and sports was also made a pertinent idea. 

 Romans created great architectural designs such as the
Coliseum and the Arena for development of the arts of plays
and chariot racing.` The Romans used art to tell the
teachings and legends of their great philosophers also.
Philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato discussed the
meaning of life, what is good and what is evil, and other
ambiguous questions. They raised issues during this time
that are still issues today, and they used the theater as a
way to bring these up to the rest of the society. Of
course, these great teachers were later ostracized from
their societies, but they are still thought of as the
initiators of acting.
The idea of monotheism swept through the crumbling Roman
Empire and the Church provided the stability that was lost
with the fall of the Roman Empire. This had a big impact on
the art of this time period and almost every work of art
has the theme of the church and of God. This is also the
time when the most famous piece of literary art was
developed, the Bible. The Renaissance, as this period was
called, was very different from the Roman Empire period
because it was a time of much chaos. The once productive
system that the city-states of Rome had established no
longer existed and poverty prevailed. It did not take very
long before some people who had managed to retain their
wealth, seized control and swept all others into serfdom.
It was at this time that the castles and royalty came into
the scene.
 Royalty of Europe played a very important role in
Renaissance art for they were the financiers of it. Kings
and Queens would recruit artists to paint large murals and
frescoes on interior castle walls. Also to make good with
the church, they would recruit artists to create
breathtaking works of arts on the ceilings of the
cathedrals. These wonderful works of art sometimes took the
lifetime of an artist to complete. Art of this time also
took a step between idealism and realism. In the beginning
of Christianity, portraits of Christ were done in the pagan
tradition of illusionism. The artists of this period were
trying to develop a picture of an icon for the public. This
soon was washed out and replaced by the realistic
portrayals of Christ and all around him.
The Renaissance also marks the time of culinary
recognition. People of good standing learned that the art
of eating was very pleasurable. The rich ate well and quite
frequently. Great chefs were financed by Kings just as
artists were. These chefs created their own works of art
with large gourmet meals and tasty pastries. There was no
middle class in this time; one was either poor and thin or
rich and heavy. 


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