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Chapter 01 - AP Art History

Prehistory and Prehistoric Art


Prehistory and Prehistoric Art - Art History Example


PREHISTORY: refers to the time period before people could write, the time before written records.

  • Objects are the documents of record
  • Challenage is to "read" the nonverbal info found in objects.


CHRONOLOGY: divided into three general phases

  • Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) c40,000-8,000 BCE
  • Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) c8,000-7,000 BCE
  • Neolithic (New Stone Age) c7,000-2,300 BCE



Paleolithic Period

Paleolithic Period - Art History Example


PAINTING-represents the most extensive example of Paleolithic art.

  • Altimira, Spain-Bison (fig.1-9), c14,000-12,000 BCE
  • Altimira, Spain-Dead Bison (fig.1-9), c14,000-12,000 BCE
  • Lascaux, France-Well Scene c15,000-10,000 BCE
  • Lascaux, France-Hall of Bulls (fig.1-11), c15,000-10,000 BCE
  • Lascaux, France-Chinese Horse c15,000-10,000 BCE


SCULPTURE-examples predate painting and drawing in archaeological record.

  • Venus of Willendorf (fig.1-4), Vienna, Austria, c30,000-25,000 BCE
  • Venus of Laussel c23,000-20,000 BCE
  • Woman from Brassempouy (fig.1-6), France, c22,000 BCE
  • Bison (fig.1-13), Le Tuc d'Audoubert, France, c13,000BCE


Mesolithic Period

The Mesolithic was a transitional period, when the climatic, geographical and biological patterns of today were established. Artistically, the human figure was represented in groups rather than the single figure of the Paleolithic.

  • Marching Warriors, Castellon, Spain, c7000-4000 BCE


Neolithic Period


 Neolithic Period - Art History Example


Change from hunting and gathering to sedentary existence, new art form, monumental architecture, Megaliths-Greek-Megas, made from huge stones without mortar

  • Carnac, France, c3,000 BCE
  • Stonehenge, England (fig.1-21), c2750-1500 BCE


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