Art Through the Ages – Part 1
The mediums of art are well known by everybody, sculpture, drawing, painting and so on are household names. But the different eras of art are another matter, perhaps some people can name modern art or impressionism, but do all the art eras spring to mind?
This blog is a journey through time from the earliest cave drawings right to post-modernism. We will highlight the different artistic epochs and explain how they came about starting at the very beginning with the Stone Age.
The Stone Age 30,000BC – 2,500BC
Known as the age of the cave painting, well known examples still existing include the wonderful Lascaux Cave complex in southern France. The drawings depict symbols, animals and even humans which are applied to the walls using a form of mineral pigment. There have been concerted efforts to try and restore the original drawings but so far these have proved unsuccessful, hardly surprising since they are nearly seventeen thousand years old.
Mesopotamian 3,500BC – 539 BC
Mesopotamian art covers everything from the cultures of Akkadia, Sumeria, Babylonia and Sumeria which are the forefathers of Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Kuwait. During this era many stone sculptures were dominant as well as narrative reliefs. Prominent examples of this are the stele on which Hammurabi’s Code is carved. It is thought writing was invented during the Mesopotamian period by the Iraqis.
Egyptian 3,100BC – 30BC
Covering the part of the same time era of Mesopotamia, Egyptian art is far better known. Architecture such as the Pyramids and paintings and sculptures of the pharisees and other legendary gods are very familiar to us all. Egyptian Art is a general term that covers an entire culture and its many different artistic areas and is outstanding in its form and creation.
Greek and Hellenistic 850BC – 31BC
Greek and Hellenistic art was based on perfection and idealism, which is summarized by the great architecture and outstanding sculptures. A classic example of Greek architecture is the temple dedicated to the goddess of warfare and wisdom, Athena. Named the Parthenon it is a symbol of Athenian democracy. During this period the styles of Greek columns were laid down for posterity, namely Ionic, Doric and Corinthian.
Roman 500BC – 476AD
The Roman art era was predominantly governed by architecture and sculpture, and the magnificent Parthenon in Rome was built during this time, which was a temple dedicated to all the gods of Rome. Also, other classic buildings such as the Colosseum appeared during this age.
Byzantine & Islamic 476AD – 1453AD
This age saw the birth of Islam and all that relates to it, the poetry, art and structures are particularly noteworthy during this period. Architecture such as the Alhambra and Hagia Sophia were constructed during this period. These early and formative art eras also depict the different cultures that were around during each time. After the Middle Age the art eras became more about the styles of art rather than the places and eras that the art was made.
In part two of art through the ages, we will be looking at the Renaissance, Venetian, and Baroque eras amongst others.