Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Art Through the Ages

This is the textbook we use in my ART204 class, which is art history from the paleolithic onward to I'm not sure when.

The amusing thing is that we use the 12th edition. My mom took art history at some point when I was a kid, and so a much older edition wandered around our house for many years. It was probably the 4th or 5th edition (maybe even a later one, I'm not sure which one she had exactly). Which I read cover to cover at least a dozen times by the time I was a senior in high school. So the course is sort of a refresher. I remember a lot of the main points from the older book, things about Catal Huyuk and the various cave paintings in the Pyrenees for example, in what we're covering right now.

One thing about paintings at Lascaux and Chauvet that has always just made my heart stop for a moment is the pictures of the hands that the artists made. Oh the animals are great and there are some that I would love to get tattooed on me somewhere, but the hands... a very simple thing that says "I was here" and they were there 20,000 years ago. A thread that connects them to us. Our hands are the same as their hands were. They are us and no matter the book smarts or technology that we create, we are them.

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