Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Art as a Culture

Art as a Culture
Left wall

Functions of Early Art:
The Lascaux Caves in France portray several different animals and some humans too. Some of those animals include; horses, cows, deer and bulls. The cave artists are trying to convey the message to other people that animals are very important to them. These artists appreciate animals greatly and depend on them for so many different things like food, clothing and transportation. Also, the cave artists want to show people the art of hunting and the skills needed to do it. I think that there were more animals than humans because animals were they're livelihood and maybe the artist felt that by creating these painting of animals showed that they were admired and valued because they needed them in order to survive. The paintings can tell us that these artists were trying to express themselves and communicating messages to each other. Considering the difficulties must have been great because they were painting in a cave where it is dark and some pictures are very high. It makes me wonder how they painted these and what materials they used that would make them last for hundreds of years. I think three possible functions that this art was used for was to tell a story of their lives, to convey messages for one another, and their ancestors and to show respect for the animals.

Vue générale de la Salle des Taureaux. Cl. N. Aujoulat © MCC-CNP
To compare the possible functions of the art from the Lascaux caves to modern art would be that art both in early and modern times is used to tell a story, entertain people, to show emotions, and to create memory that past down from generation to generation. Modern art, like early art, is used as a medium as a way of communicating. Artists use paintings and other forms of art to communicate beyond different languages and is useful for expressing thought through different cultures such as politics and world topics. Also art can be used to show pride in something, in the Lascaux Caves in France the hunters showed that they were proud of themselves for hunting those big animals like bulls. In modern days humans hunt animals and use their head at trophies to decorate their homes and that can be considered as art as well.

         Favorite Art:
Image result for oil paintingMy favorite art would be oil paintings because you can do just about anything with colored oils. I have been painting for over four years now and find it to be relaxing and enjoyable. I paint free hand and will just have ideas in my head or if I see something memorable I will paint it. For those who practiced this art might serve the purpose of sharing the beauty of art whether it be a painting of a landscape or of a person. The artist is probably trying to communicate through his or her eyes of what they portray to be beautiful and want to share it with the world. Oil painting is used in many different cultures but was widely used and popular in Europe and was at it's height during the Renaissance period. During this period people mainly spoke English and the wealthy dressed very elaborately and were reserved. A lot of oil paintings during that day portrayed kings, queens and religion.  This art form and its culture does benefit society today because it opened a window for today's artist to learn from. It also tells a story of how people lived during that time, it shares history with us.

       Works cited:


  1. First of all great pictures, they really add to the written content. One thing you brought up that I did not think about was how they most likely saw more animals than humans. This could have also played a part on why there are more animal drawings than human drawings in the cave. I also enjoy painting with oil paintings. I do it every once in a while but I was inspired to paint by Bob Ross when I was around eighteen. Its a really fun family activity, thanks for sharing.

    Randy C.

  2. "The cave artists are trying to convey the message to other people that animals are very important to them"

    Okay, but let's step back and think about that. The artist is creating pictures that only he/she and their group will see. Why can't they just talk about how important animals are to them? This is a very time intensive activity and, as you point out later, it is completed under very difficult conditions. Would you do that just to accomplish the same goal you could do with speech? I suggest this goes beyond this. These paintings are completed in protected caves and they go on and on into the depths of the cave. They wanted them saved, much like we want to save records of activities that are important to us. Could they be tracking herd movements? Recording their success that year? Recording new and more successful techniques? If you are going to engage in a time consuming and difficult process, it will only be because there is an equal benefit to that process. I'm not sure just telling people "animals are important" is enough of a message to justify this.

    "I think that there were more animals than humans because animals were they're livelihood"

    Yes, but this would also fit in with the idea of record keeping, going beyond just telling a story and perhaps telling a history that might help them remember from year to year what practices were successful and which ones weren't? Think in terms of an adaptive benefit, not just for esthetic purposes.

    "The paintings can tell us that these artists were trying to express themselves and communicating messages to each other"

    Careful that you don't rely too much on why we tend to use art in our current time. being able to "express ourselves" was likely not high on the list of needs to be met in a time when survival against predators, the environment, other humans, and the need for food, shelter and water were the top priority. Messages? Yes, in a way. We may be looking at records for the next year, possibly for next generations. The more interesting panel is of the "fallen man". What does that tell you about these people?

    Good discussion on difficulties and functions.

    Good explanation of the commonalities, with the emphasis on communication and possibly story telling. Notice how long the horns are on all of those bulls? :-) They even new how to embellish their tales!

    Good discussion on oil paintings. This type of art expanded far beyond the Renaissance period, however, and was also used to depict the life during those time periods and perhaps (think of Van Gogh) a way to get people to see things from a different perspective.

  3. Hello Julianne, I think your choice of art you picked as your favorite is an excellent choice. My stepmom used nothing but oil paintings and like you, would paint free hand. I always thought it was amazing how she could go from a blank canvas to a whole beautiful and colorful painting whether it was of anything or just a mixture of colors and patterns. Thank you for sharing,

  4. "used to tell a story, entertain people, to show emotions, and to create memory that past down from generation to generation."

    Generational storytelling with images has proven to be incredibly valuable. For centuries humans have existed without traditional, written forms of communication and have relied heavily on imagery and symbols to communicate. You could say that art is a universal language that can speak to a much broader audience than any one language ever could.


  5. Hi Julianne,

    I have always wanted to get into oil painting. My friend would do small canvas oil paintings and I loved how the colors would mix together so effortlessly. I agree how one of the functions to the paintings would be to tell a story to maybe little kids or for future generations to come. It would also be a social piece that maybe people would gather around and discuss what the painting was trying to depict. I bet in those times it must have been pretty hard to achieve something great. I really liked reading your post!


  6. Hello Julianne,
    I loved your discussion on oil paintings. I find it very unique that oil paintings are an interest of yours. It is a truly wonderful thing for people of our generation to appreciate art of the kind that is not replicated as much as it should. Wonderful job on this post.