Art History Midterm

1 January 2017

The tomb painters were more of artisans than they were artists in ancient Egypt. The reason for this is they didn’t typically come up with the ideas for what they were painting in the tombs; they were told what to paint and painted it. Artists would have had free range on what to paint rather than being told what to paint exactly. Artisans are more the people who can actually paint someone’s idea who might not be able to design or paint the idea given. 2.

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One rationale reason for cave paintings in prehistoric times, that I have heard and agree with is that they painted these things on the walls in hope that the creatures would come so they would have food among other things. One particular example would be all the paintings in the Las Caux cave in France; it is a cave entirely full of images of bulls. Bulls or bison were a source of not only food but probably clothing and they could use other parts of the body for various things. These animals were extremely important for their culture to survive.

I believe they painted them on the walls not only to honor the creatures for all they did to help their people but also as wishful thinking. It’s the whole “if you build it they will come” idea, if the people painted these animals maybe something miraculously would help their hunting season better. This theory helps show how they believed in gods and looked for help from a higher being just like we do now. 3. During ancient times goddess statues were extremely popular all over the then world.

One of the most famous goddess statues is the Venus of Willendorf. She is the very first goddess statue that has been found and dates back to 24,000 bce. She is a very small pudgy statue with and large female areas; her face is not there and is replaces with grooves. The statue has no feet and cannot stand on its own. The way that the statue was created shows the importance of fertility and women by not only the enlarged breast but the wide hips that would be of assistance when it comes to giving birth.

They most likely used this little statue to wish new couples luck when it comes to reproducing and it was a fertility statue. Modern day has a much different view on our “goddess” culture. People nowadays look up to Barbie dolls and stick thin models and celebrities. So much has changed since then. The prehistoric times and even up until more recent times believed that fuller women were beautiful and even that it showed wealth. I think that our culture looks up to the wrong people when it comes to our versions of a “goddess culture”.

One Mesopotamian civilization that I like is Babylon. It was a land in the Fertile Crescent between the rivers like most civilizations in that time period. They had one of the most influential and important leaders, Hammurabi, who came up with one of the most well known set of laws or Hammurabi’s code. Babylon also was the home of one of the Seven Wonders of the World the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Babylon was a very well set up society and really changed the way people governed their civilizations.

They were one of the first cultures to write down their set of rules and stick by them through thick and thin and that was entirely new. Question 1: When it comes to restoring artwork it is a tricky subject. I think that they should restore art but not add anything to it because it makes it a different then it was originally portrayed. I think restoring the art so it is in full form is ideally good because we want future generations to see the pieces of art the way they were meant to be viewed.

I mean yes, it is using a lot of time and a lot of hours to be fixing something that is broken and old, but it’s our history. If these artifacts were not there we would have no look into our past and how people lived. People should fix up old paintings, statues and buildings because not only is it part of history but it’s incredible to see how people could build such magnificent things without the technology we have today. It makes people appreciate what they have now and all the advances we have gone through.

When it is 300,000 years from now and out pictures and buildings are slowly falling apart we would want someone to take their time and interest to fix up something that we once held as a huge part of our lives and our society. If the paintings, statues and buildings were built and built so beautifully they were made that way for a reason. Art is art and I think we should do everything humanly possible to keep this world as beautiful through the decades as it was meant to be when they first were displayed.

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