ANIMALS IN ART PREHISTORIC ART TO CONTEMPORARY ART

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1 ANIMALS IN ART PREHISTORIC ART TO CONTEMPORARY ART

2 PREHISTORIC ARTISTS During the last Ice Age, prehistoric artists painted animals inside of caves. They are primarily herd animals they hunted for survival. They are depicted from the side. These are hunters and deer from Lascaux cave in Southern France.

3 Many of the animals are shaded to look rounded. They also are painted with realistic earth colors. In most cases proportions are correct. They are pretty amazing considering they are painted high on walls and on ceilings. REALISM

4 AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINES The native peoples of Australia painted animals with their interiors showing. They considered these interiors structures part of a greater life force, which they called the Dreaming. They painted on rock, skin and bark cloth.

5 The early Egyptians revered certain animals. They depicted them somewhat symbolically. Their forms are depicted according to traditional guidelines. This is a hunting dog. It is carved from Ebony wood and painted with gold. ANCIENT EGYPT

6 EGYPTIAN PAINTING Egyptian artists depicted animals from the side in their paintings, just like the prehistoric artists did. They are also shaded to look rounded and in mostly correct proportions.

7 GREEK SCULPTURE Early Greek artists simplified forms so that they appear to be abstract. This bronze horse dates to before 300 BC. Notice that certain parts of the animal are exaggerated, such as the nose, ears, and tail. The rest of the form is reduced to basic shapes.

8 OTHER PRIMITIVE CULTURES Other primitive cultures such as Native Americans, Central American Natives, African, and others also simplified forms. Notice the red bear. His form is almost oblong, with just a few features carved out.

9 NORTHWEST INDIAN MASK Just as in the bear sculpture, certain aspects of this bird face have been exaggerated. The eyes are larger than a real bird s eyes. The beak is very long and pointed. Paint and rafia for feathers have been added for extra effect.

10 NORTHWEST TOTEMS Similar to the Northwest Indian mask, the totems of that region also exhibit simplification. Certain features are also exaggerated. Sometimes, it is difficult to determine exactly which animal is represented.

11 CENTRAL AMERICAN NATIVE ART In what is now Mexico, native American peoples made simplified animal sculptures. These are also simplified. This one represents a monkey.

12 OAXACAN These Oaxacan sculptures are called alebrijes. Sometimes they are brightly colored like this one. This one is a modern version made of thin tin.

13 MAYAN COMPOSITE CREATURES The Mayans invented strange creatures with features from different animals. These are called composite creatures. This one has a snake emerging from a mixture of wild cat and lizard head.

14 African art is usually 3-D. It is usually either functional, such as this table, or related to religious rites. Much of African art is carved from wood or ivory. Some is made of cast metals. AFRICAN ART

15 HEADDRESS This antelope headdress would have been worn as part of a religious ritual dance. Notice the abstracted form of the figure. It is difficult to identify the original animal. The horns are the most naturalistic. Obviously realism was not important to the artist.

16 IMAGINATIVE ERRORS Some distortions are due to lack of knowledge of how creatures look. During the Middle Ages artists depicted elephants with many errors. Artists were drawing images based upon written descriptions.

17 DIFFERENCE IN FOCUS Some proportional errors of the Middle Ages were due to a difference in focus. Medieval artists were not interested in realism, only in symbolism.

18 DIFFERENT CULTURES DEPICT ANIMALS DIFFERENTLY As realistic as this Indian elephant looks, it is still stylized. The head is too large proportionally to the body. The skin is is also smooth, whereas elephants skins are wrinkly.

19 ARABIAN ANIMALS Here are both realistic and imaginary animals. Here the heads of some of the creatures, such as the horses, are too small. Also, they are in an unrealistic landscape.

20 This horse is typical of Chinese horse designs. The neck is very thick and the body fat. The horse is composed of fat rounded curves. Think about the horses in the movie, Mulan. CHINESE DESIGN

21 CHINESE PAINTING Chinese painting styles are traditional. Artists have followed the same formulae for depicting creatures and landscapes for centuries. Notice the horse in the painting is also fat and rounded.

22 WESTERN RENAISSANCE As this horse sculpture by Leonardo da Vinci illustrates, a push for realism developed in the West during the 1400 s, the Renaissance. Notice that all of the muscles and tendons are visible on the surface of the horse s skin, just as in real life.

23 ATTENTION TO DETAIL In Northern Europe during the Renaissance a careful attention to detail evolved. Notice the very realistic fur of this hare in this watercolor by Albrecht Durer, a German artist. The form and proportions of the hare are very accurate. This was due to drawing from life.

24 REALISM WITH ATTITUDE During the 1600 s, in Europe, Baroque artists made images of animals that were both very realistic as well as very expressive. This lion by Pieter Paul Rubens is realistic, but also very menacing. Rubens careful use of line and value create this mood.

25 AMERICAN FOLK ART While academic training to learn to depict people, landscapes and animals realistically and accurately was the norm in Europe, American artists did not share that luxury. American art, especially of the Colonial Period, was full of inaccuracies. Artwork by untrained artists is called Folk Art. The Peaceable Kingdom, Edward Hicks, c. 1834

26 THE LOVE OF HORSE Europeans loved their horses. They loved their spirit and physical beauty. They were a symbol of tamed nature during the Romantic period of the 1800 s.

27 THE BEGINNING OF THE MODERN AGE Modern art actually began to peak through the traditional styles in the late 1800 s. This folk-like image by Henri Rousseau, Surprise!, of 1891, shows the expressive use of color and line which point beyond realism. Notice the tiger hiding in the grass.

28 EXPRESSION TAKES HOLD Early in the 20 th century, abstraction began to evolve. Abstraction is art in which the subjects, such as the cat, are simplified to basic colors, lines and shapes and not depicted realistically. Sometimes the subjects are almost indistinguishable. Tiger, Franz Marc, 1912

29 Picasso s abstraction of the bull and horse in this painting help to make it even more grotesquely expressive of horror. He did not want realism. A realistic image would not be as disturbing. Guernica, Pablo Picasso, c

30 CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS Native American artist, Jaune Quick-to-See-Smith, uses animals in her paintings which were important to American Indian life. Her figures are symbolic, not realistic. Her profiles of animals are similar to the Prehistoric and Egyptian artworks.

31 ANIMATION Animators, like Disney studios, simplify figures to make them easier to read. This is common in advertising also.

32 Deborah Butterfield, and other artists, stretch the viewers acceptances by suggesting objects made from very unusual materials. This Large Horse appears to be made of sticks and earth, but is really cast bronze. She asks the viewer to answer many different questions about what constitutes art. PUSHING THE ENVELOPE

33 SUMMARY Artists have depicted animals in artworks from the very earliest times, beginning around 35,000 BCE. The depiction of animals in art is a universal theme, occurring in all times, places, and cultures. Animal depictions have often been related to religious rites, as well as the study of nature. At different periods of art, animals have been depicted either realistically or symbolically, based upon the artists purposes and philosophies of the time. Abstraction of animal forms is common in nonwestern artworks. It dates from ancient periods of time. Some modern artists involve the viewer in thinking about not only what is represented, but also how and what an object is represented with. Contemporary artworks require viewers to be active, not passive, participants in the art viewing experience.

34 TO PONDER: Animals are present in many cartoons. -Why do you think many characters are animals? Composite creatures have been depicted throughout history: centaurs, dragons, hippogriffs, cat-dog, etc. -What purpose do you think these imaginary combine creatures serve? Advertisers incorporate animals into logos and on products frequently. Think of all of the fantasy animals on cereal boxes; the Ford Mustang; the Gecko.. -Why do you think the use of animals helps to sell products? Most students preferred to make an animal puppet, instead of a human one, even though they did have the option! -Why do you think they chose to represent an animal?

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