Museum of the Origins of Man
POST-PALEOLITHIC TWO-DIMENSIONAL ART
SHORT NOTE ABOUT TWO-DIMENSIONAL POST-PALEOLITHIC ART
The two-dimensional art of the Upper Paleolithic discovered up to now has been entirely produced in Europe and Asia.
Following human migrations, we find it in every other continent very enriched in the composition: there are not only animal depictions, but also human ones with scenes of hunting, dancing, wars and so on.
Two-dimensional art on walls is no longer produced in caves, but painted on the walls of shelters under rock or scratched as graffiti on the rocky walls out in the open.
In the Mesolithic the art does not differ much from that of the Paleolithic. Then it becomes extinct everywhere. Some people are an exception, such as the Bushmen in South Africa and the Australian Aborigines where it has continued to the present day.
Like the Eskimos, the Bushmen have yellow skin and their skeleton is similar to that of Homo sapiens sapiens type of Chancelade, which in the Upper Paleolithic was author of two-dimensional art in Eurasia.
As we have already said, the two-dimensional art originates in East Asia and counts among its typological components the "motion", which can be found among the yellow skinned populations all over the world in the Upper Paleolithic and post-Paleolithic times, up to the historical times.
Only recently the "motion" has entered in the two-dimensional art of the white people, mostly in the comics.
The first moving images are in the art of the Magdalenians (Upper Paleolithic) with representation of only animals(Fig. F41). Then we find them in the Spanish Mesolithic with complex scenes of men and animals(Fig. 32A3). In Bushmen art the "motion" is very accentuated (Fig. F42). So also near the Indians of North America, where you can see that the depictions of animals are better than human ones, as imitation (Fig. F43). Instead in China, when agriculture had prevailed over hunting, the moving scenes continue, as in the image of miners of about 1800 years ago (Fig. F44). But even in "non-religious" art, again in China 1900 years ago, the human figure reaches high levels of moving quality with expressions of the face and kind of gestures (Fig. F45).
Two-dimensional art has infinite applications, for every function and on every type of object.
Tattoos, for example, which are very fashionable today, were already in use for the embellishment of both male and female bodies, among the Egyptians, 5000 years ago, then in the Copper Age, about 3300 years ago (Man of Similaun, and among the Asian populations.
Photograph, which in many ways replaced painting, can be considered two-dimensional art and is used everywhere as decoration, as advertising, on magazines, books, newspapers and other media.
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