I’m a big fan of Crash Course videos, and I have been dying for them to make an art history crash course forever! So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make a new video series–5-Minute Art History. I start at the beginning with Upper Paleolithic Art.
This series will have a 5 minute (or so) video summarizing the main points of the art movement along with a corresponding conventions printable handout that you can download here on The Art Class Curator!
Paleolithic Art Conventions
Upper Paleolithic Period, 40,000-10,000 B.C.E.
Paleolithic Key Points:
- Main art forms were cave painting and small sculpture.
- Primary themes in art were animals/hunting and fertility.
- Art was either stationary (cave paintings) or portable (Venus figurines).
- Hunter-gatherer lifestyle
- Prehistory means we have no written records from this period.
- Although the art represents a big jump in human development, we can only guess why they created art.
Paleolithic Artistic Conventions:
- Figurative, mostly representing females and sometimes animals
- Small, usually can fit in one hand
- Exaggerated breasts, belly, and hips could represent fertility
- Minimized face, feet, and hands
- Paint made from natural materials (ochre, blood, minerals, charcoal, etc)
- Mostly represented animals with few humans
- Realistic style for animals, stick figure humans
- Evidence they were created over a long period of time
- Venus of Willendorf
- Caves of Lascaux
If you like this post, you may also like:
Venus of Dolní Věstonice: Petr Novák, Wikipedia
Venus of Hohle Fels: Thilo Parg / Wikimedia Commons, License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Venus of Laussel: User 120, Wikipedia
This was originally posted on October 1, 2015.