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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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