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Whittle Professor Jill Anderson ART 111 SEC 01: A History of Art I September 14, 2010 Development of the Role of the Artist over Time The role of the artist in the history of our world has a very interesting tone. It is one that dates from when recorded history even began, the time period known as “Prehistory”, or the Paleolithic Period [Wilkins et al. 22]. At this time, the cavemen chiseled “drawings” on their cave walls made up of stone. They may have not had knowledge of what they were accomplishing, but they are allegedly the first artists. Cave were discovered in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Altamira, Spain, and Lascaux, France [Wilkins et al. 23]. The next major period in the time of the cavemen was the Neolithic Period, which lasted from approximately 8000-5000 B.C. Architecture and pottery were founded for defending barbarians and vessels to hold the hunted and gathered nourishment. Stonehenge was the first structure reportedly to be built, which construction started in 2750 B.C., and ended around 1300 B.C., which was completed in three phases [Scott 240]. The purpose of Stonehenge was to practice Druidism, the religion of the ancient Anglo-Saxons, Bretons, and Celts. Crafts such as basket weaving and pottery were believed to have inaugurated in China. The ideas of sculpture and mask making were said to have first been comprehended in Nigeria [Wilkins et al. 25-6]. Originally, artwork was created for worshipping of community deity, which began with native pagan worship, and which holds true in the same matter in Judaism, Buddhism, Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and
Whittle 2 sometimes in certain Protestant Christian churches. As a result of perfection, the artisan, who was the most skilled in a community creating a certain object or had a specific talent, was considered to be of the noble class [Wilkins et al. 29-30]. Artwork appears in almost every ancient civilization, including Ancient Greece, Rome, China, Egypt, just to name some examples. Architecture also appears in every time period when any type of structure was (and still is) constructed. Styles of art and architecture go hand in hand (e.g. classical style, gothic, Romanesque,
international/modern, etc.) to create a juxtaposition and formal composition. When artwork was subject to theft, art guilds were established to protect the rights thereof, similarly to the present-day copyright and infringement laws. Protection like this began in the Middle Ages, where the major clients were clergy and royalty. This cliental expanded to any person who had a nice house [Wilkins et al. 19]. Today, the artist can refer to anyone who performs videography, photography, or theatre, or acting.
Whittle 3 Works Cited Scott, Robert A. The Gothic Enterprise. University of California Press, Berkeley: 2003 Wilkins, David G. et al. Art Past Art Present, Sixth Edition. Pearson-Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: 2009