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HISTORY OF ART AND ARCHITECTURE I (From Prehistory to the end of Gothic)
PART ONE Assoc. Prof. Dr. Netice Yıldız
LIVING WITH ART
In this course, the evolution of Western Art and architecture through the centuries until the end of the Gothic period will be discussed. In order to protect the historical inheritance, the artistic objects and the historical architecture of our environment, we have to know at least a little about the history of art and architecture. Today, so many successful statesmen, businessmen or scholars are also the patrons of art. This has been the same throughout the centuries. The artists created so many artistic objects for rich, noble men who were governors, merchants or clergies. But, it is a well-known fact, that at the same time they were the protectors of the cultural heritage, which mostly inspired their creations. As for the patrons, even today, so many rich people try to make collections of high artistic values or commission some new works to the artists or architects. Also, it should be bear in mind that a successful architect, interior architect or fashion designer is the one who has also a deep knowledge about the universal cultural heritage. First of all, we have to talk about art or this magic world. What is art? How or when was it created? What is the place of art in our life? So many questions are asked about art and so many answers are given to these questions. But, all of these define only some certain aspects of art. We may talk about a 20th century modern artist to explain things about art. The world of Henri Matisse is a world of colour and pattern and beautiful things. In fact this is a world of lovely women and wonderful indoor spaces. In his work called "Pianist and Checker Players" (Fig.1) we can see his world. Two boys have a game of checkers at a table draped in a printed cloth; they are the artist's sons. A young woman plays at a piano that seems to float upward on a wall of vividly patterned wallpaper; she is the artist's daughter. In the background are a sculpture and paintings displayed against the furnishings of a French gentleman's home. Matisse chose to live with art, and he shows us his world through his own artistic vision. His eye sought the beautiful, the colour against colour, the pattern and the lushness of everyday life. He might pose a model in a coat of brilliant scarlet and following pink trousers and call her odalisque, a harem woman.
Henri Matisse, Piano Lesson, 1924.
Henri Matisse, Odalisque with red trousers
Here, we may enter the world of Vincent van Gogh. Follow him as he takes up residence in the little yellow house on a street corner in the southern French town of Arles: The artist was so eager to settle in this house that he began sketching it immediately, as soon as the rental was assured. Then he began
one garment over another. we must remember that it is a choice. as Matisse and Van Gogh did. why is there ‘art’? Are such things as paintings and sculptures necessary to human life? The history of civilisations suggests that we do need art. Later he made another painting of his bedroom inside the house (Fig. those who buy or support it. we need language? In fact. all of us make choices -every day. Art that is with us since the earliest cave dwellers made their first steps towards civilisation. We can go through life like sleepwalkers. In none of them have the artists always been aware of making "art". We choose to study and enjoy particular works of art or to ignore them. This course is about the appreciation of art. We choose one product over another. basing our decisions largely on the visual attractiveness of the preferred option. 4). Van Gogh chose to live with art. It is possible to heighten our appreciation of art. Some people choose to devote their entire lives to the pursuit or art. called Vincent's House at Arles (Fig. The Impulse for Art: Art is connected to human existence. ignoring or taking for granted the art around us. When we do so. the landscape he inhabited. artists have designed almost everything in your environment. You probably have more art in your life than you realise. prints. and he spent most of his adult life painting images of his life -his own likeness.3). we are only following a basic aesthetic impulse -a need to respond to that which we find beautiful. or not to do so. They . as in museums and galleries. Perhaps your school or office building has a large-scale sculpture out front. If you live in a city or town. For Van Gogh. photographs. which means a combination of understanding and enjoyment. who make art. Whatever our involvement with art. to take an active interest in the visual world. and those who simply admire it. one way to walk from place to place.with respect to art. We choose to plan encounters with art. To begin with the people.Yıldız. Whether we know it or not. Living With Art 2 the sketches into any important painting. Very likely the walls of your home are decorated with posters. but that doesn't mean we are not involved with art. that it is basic to human expression. his house and his special chair. Collecting artistic objects and exhibiting them in big museums is an old tradition. or a fabric hanging or mural inside. to learn to see. there are three areas we might consider to see how the artistic impulse works. This is Van Gogh's world. the clothes you wear -all were designed by artists in specialised fields. every minute. Before going on it might be well to explain this statement. and will be with us as long as civilised life continues on our planet. This seems equally true for those who make art. his friends. maybe original paintings that you have hung to give personal meaning to your world. Who lives with art? You do! Everybody does! It would be impossible not to live with art. living and art were practically the same thing. the furniture inside those buildings. The buildings in which you live and work. because art is inextricably connected to human existence. thereby acquiring the designation or 'artist'. Is it true? Do we really need art in the same way. Relatively few of us will commit a lifetime to art. Part 1. Or we can enrich our lives by developing a more active appreciation of the art we live with. that for instance. This is more common today and it is done in a rather organised way.
painting and drawing are play activities.Yıldız. carved figurines. I am unlike anyone else. Part 1. to be "special". These are also considered as the beginnings of art: The prehistoric art as the beginning of art in the history of civilizations. The painting included Mc. Why ornament it? The answer to these questions may be that the life-and-death struggle for survival had eased off just enough to allow time for artistic expression. Childern's Art: Children come to art as readily as they do play.000 years ago. Donald's. and have a wonderful time doing it. Why do they make it fancy? A shelter needs only to keep out the rain and wind. they will draw and paint and sculpt and build. and free apartments some of them were meant for children. Living With Art 3 have simply done what seemed to them perfectly natural. of being unique in the order of universe different from animals or trees. The three areas that we can see this characteristic are: 1. so they can create happily. Skills are handed down from parent to child over many generations. but they readily embrace the impulse to create that world in art. We are not sure whether they called it art or not. For them. this theory supports the conclusion that there is an inborn human urge to create and enjoy art. and even made musical instruments. Folk Art: Folk art is a term applied to works made by individuals with no academic training in art and often with little or no formal education. Why do they decorate it? A plain garment will keep the wearer warm. decorated their tools and everyday implements with fine designs.Children's art 3. living in the city shelters or welfare hotels were encouraged to paint the wall of a post office in the East Harlem section of New York City. "I am here. They painted the walls of their caves. Cro-Magnon peoples in Europe "suddenly" began making objects that we would describe as art. A group of seventy five children. Some folk artists work within a long standing tradition.Folk art. ." It is true. to declare that their efforts constitute art. they nearly always decorated them with artwork. Nevertheless. We see that the Cro-Magnon humans suddenly developed a sense of themselves as being human. this art has a living current in itself. skateboards. A work of art declares to the world. The painting called Dream Street created by these children were reflecting their dreams. and most of them homeless. not much different from building with blocks (a kind of architecture) or playing with dolls (a kind of theatre). children art as the beginning of art in the life of an individual human being and the folk art as the art in the societies which remained at that primitive stage. Archaeologists tell us that in the Ice Age about 35. Prehistoric Art: The earliest people made art. A pot will hold water or cook food over the fire just as well if it is plain. The Harlem children cannot create the world they dream in real life. and it remained for others.Prehistoric art 2. no bedtime. This art is not handled mostly by art history books nor occupying the main galleries of important museums. As primitive peoples advanced and learned to make more sophisticated objects for their daily use. Given the opportunity and the right materials. everyone friendly and happy. No one is likely to tell children their artistic efforts aren't good enough to qualify as "real" art. ranged in age from five to fifteen. I am special.
There are three different ways in which people can live with art by making it. Magic and Survival: A group of little statuettes of a fat woman. Imagination and fantasy. shaping objects that make their life easy as well as the times after the invention of fire. they delight in colours and shapes and they decorate. yet still can participate in the artistic impulse. 4. 1. possibly supposing that people many thousand years ago considered this sort of a figure as a sexual idea applied (Fig. 5. 2. perhaps meant to be carried as a pendant. that art is a natural form of expression. Modern scholars. Let us give example from our environment.Yıldız. This type of statue is called Mother Goddess in Turkey while it is called Venus of Willendorf in Austria. children and folk artists-suggest that it is. we could also ask the question for each specific monument or art object: “What is the purpose of the creation of this?” “Why was it made or what is the main theme or subject?” It is generally known that there are some certain themes (main subjects) of art or architectural creations: 1. they play with forms. She is made of stone. by supporting it. marriage. Many people don't. artist and non-artist alike.prehistoric people. Everybody lives with art. Most folk painters and sculptors would become impatient if someone tried to tell them how art is "suppose" to look. and death. So we return to our initial question: Is art necessarily connected to human existence? The group just considered. The first theme “magic and survival” is the reason fro the creation of art objects in the earliest times of the civilized human life. But suppose one does not choose to make art. and by observing it. 6. That is. They invent. After talking about these. it often reveals a quite direct expression. It seems clear that the little Venus was a fertility image. Part 1. Careful observation show that only the features associated with childbearing have been stressed. If you ever happen to ask her. Art as the mirror of everyday life. Pride and politics. 7.1) the title of Venus. found almost in every large museum including the ones in Turkey. 3. the answer is that she had learnt this from her mother. Birth. Religion. the life of human beings who were able to walk erect like us and use their hands for cutting. and they are satisfied. The motifs woven on the Anatolian rugs or carpets have a language of its own: The weaver usually knows about the meaning of each of the motif she is making. Art and nature. coloured by their feelings about what they see. as an object of good luck charm. Magic and survival. They form images of what they see. was formed about twenty three thousand years ago and have similarity almost with all country's work. Living With Art 4 Like the art of children. is nearly every body's favourite way to begin studying art history.the .
The Ovum and sperm were unknown. It was built perhaps as early as 2000 BC. By feeding complex measurements into a computer.Yıldız. Magic would be directly linked with the desire of survival of the tribe in the primitive cultures of the past and present. and related to such basic aspects of survival. it is difficult to guess the necessity of childbirth. she could not see or speak or walk or carry. and there may also have been an instinct to continue life through future generations. in the Pacific islands. Similar computations showed that the position of the stones was organised to predict the winter solstice. Obviously elements of magic became associated with childbirth. and among native peoples of the Americans are usually ceremonial. the outermost ring being 100 feet in diameter. at this point let us start to study history of art and architecture in the whole history of civilization. and even eclipses of the sun and moon. Hawkins found that. After this subject. fertility. For our own day. . it provided the means by which its makers could plan for survival. Now. to exert control over the forces of nature. What she could do was bear and nurture children. success in the hunt and death. Bringing forth a child must have seemed very much like the magician's trick of pulling a rabbit out of a hat. codifying the mysterious changes of seasons and stars. Hawkins that appears to have solved the riddle of Stonehenge advanced a theory. Stonehenge apparently functioned as a giant calendar. The basis of the structure is post-and-lintel construction in which two upright posts are surmounted by a horizontal crosspiece. we will once more start asking ourselves the important question: “What is art?” “Who creates art objects or architectural monuments” and “What is the purpose for their creation?” By answering these questions. On the other hand. puberty. whatever the case. Art whose theme is magic and survival has at its purpose the establishment of some sense of control. her arms. Venus's face is observed. Living With Art 5 belly. But for those people living thousands years ago. the lintel. or a link between the two? Whichever the case. the spring and autumnal equinoxes. The size of the stones is enormous. Many scholars nowadays think that this kind of sculptures were for magical reasons and these figures would result in a child (or children) being born. Much primitive art seems to have been created for this purpose. at the moment of sunrise on the summer solstice (usually June 21) the sun shines through a key opening directly to an altar at the centre. marriage. Not only sculptures but also some architectural monuments were also created with the same idea. the process by which children are conceived and born was a mystery to these early people. Stonehenge in England (Fig. or the beginning of science. children were needed to help in the task of survival.almost 50 tons each. and pubic area. breast. How did they cut and carry them to this spot. crossed above the breasts. as birth healing. Is Stonehenge a tool of magic. magical. It consists of four concentric rings of stones. If we take this figure literally. and her legs paper off to nothing. we will see the evolution of art and architecture in more civilized societies like Egypt of Mesopotamian people. Astronomer Gerald S. In other words. are barely defined. Even more interesting is the problem of why Stonehenge was created. 2) on a plain in the south of England stands the enormous megaliths known as Stonehenge. however. Part 1. The masks worn in Africa.
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