January 20, 2010

CHAPTER IV - 4.1 Prehistoric Period.

4.1 Prehistoric Period.

Dreams have played a role in visual art since human began to represent the world. The images of the night have always inspired artists to create breathtaking masterpieces throughout the human history.

Cave art or rock art are believed as the earliest paintings on earth, dating to prehistoric times, 40,000 years ago; they are painted on cave or rock walls and ceilings, and usually are the work of respected elders or shamans – tribal priest who use supernatural forces to heal illness or predict the future.(1) Would it be possible that the first dream which human used it to create art can be found on the walls like in the Lascaux Caves(i) in France?

The Lascaux Caves were discovered on September 1940, by four French teenagers, and it is believed it is the most remarkable cave paintings in the world. Also, lots of fantastic elements have been found on the walls of caves in Lascaux, in France, believed to represent human prehistoric dreams.(2)

Another similar cave art was found at the cave of California’s Ojai Valley (Valley of the Moon). These paintings dated back to 1000 A.D. and were done by the ‘atiswinic – a type of shaman whose title meant “dreamer” or “having a dream”.(3)

Other tribes around the world also use dreams as a basis for visual arts. For example, in India, people paint their dreams on the walls of their own houses. In North America, people weave their dream images into the patterns of banners and beadwork. In Australia, the aborigines have long depicted the events of their dreams with distinctive dot paintings on bark.(3)

(to continue - 4.2 Surrealism.)

*i) The Lascaux Caves - A cave complex in southwestern France, contain some of the most remarkable paleolithic cave paintings in the world. Known as "the prehistoric Sistine Chapel", the Lascaux paintings are at least 15,000 years old.


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