Today’s art history lecture started at the very beginning of ART! We went through the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Neolithic art movements (more like ‘artifacts from these different cultures’). Very interesting stuff! We were exposed to many round women fertility fetishes, cave paintings of animals and spotted horses, and some stone megaliths at Stonehenge. All in all, a quick jump through time and an interesting dip into cultural history. This is the first time that this class has truly felt more like a ‘cultural understanding of the world through art, time, and history’ than before, which I think is sort of why we’re required to take it.
My favorite ‘piece’ from today is the “Landscape with volcanic eruption” from the seventh level at Catal Hoyuk, carbon-dated to 6150 BC. The piece is really a carving on a rock wall, but what is beautiful and interesting to me is the painting representation of the relief. This carving of the possible eruption of the neighboring Hasan Dag volcano was considered ‘totemic’ because the ritual performed in the act of carving it would be the part providing the “magical protection” to the city. It is also a good example of a ‘composite’ piece – combining a perspective view and a frontal view of the volcano in one landscape representation.
All of the cave paintings and sculptures are very cool and worth looking at. Check out Lascaux Caves, Pech-Merle Caves, Le Tue d’Audoubert Caves (the two clay bison), and the ‘Deer Hunt’ wall paintings from Catal Hoyuk.