Lascaux, France - Prehistoric Cave Paintings 16,000 B .C

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Lascaux, France - Prehistoric Cave Paintings 16,000 B .C. Deer – Chauvet , France Cave Paintings 30,000 B.C. rhino – Chauvet , France Cave Paintings. leopard - Chauvet Cave Paintings. Palette is that of the Earth - Paints are "stones + water” - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Lascaux, France - Prehistoric Cave Paintings 16,000 B .C

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Lascaux, France - Prehistoric Cave Paintings 16,000 B.C.

Deer Chauvet, France Cave Paintings 30,000 B.C.

rhino Chauvet, France Cave Paintings

leopard - Chauvet Cave Paintings

Palette is that of the Earth

- Paints are "stones + water- Yellows, oranges, reds are iron "earthsFe2O3 (hematite), FeO(OH)nH2O (limonite)- Greens from clays made of aluminum/silicon /oxygen Al-Si-O- Brown : manganese oxide, Black (charcoal) and White (chalk or bones)MnO2CCaO and CaCO3Gaius Plinius Secundus, better known as Pliny the Elder, was an author, naturalist, and natural philosopher as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire. Spending most of his spare time studying, writing or investigating natural phenomena in the field, he wrote an encyclopedic work, Naturalis Historia.

Greek Four Color Painting (theory attributed to Pliny)

A very confusing topic because so little Greek painting survivesConservative color ideas authored by Aristotle, Plato, and others but also by Romans Pliny & Plutarch writing about classical Greek painting.

"the noble and restrained palette is the proper choice for all sober-minded painters

Greek Four Color Painting

white black yellow red white & black correspond to extremes of light and dark yellow & red correspond to intermediate hues

the very colors predominating in cave paintingReally? Only 4 colors?c. 540 BC, National Archaeological Museum. One of four paintings on a piece of wood that survived, found in the village Pitsa (inside a cave ?) (Corinth) in the region around Sikyon.

Greek Four Color Painting

white black yellow red white & black correspond to extremes of light and dark yellow & red correspond to intermediate hues

First a matter of Philosophy

Greek thought: where the symmetry of ideas was importantFour elements (air, fire, water, earth) and Four natures (qualities) (dry, humid (moist) , cold, hot)So, naturally, we should have four colors (white, black, yellow, red)

They had some strange ideas

Aristotle: all colors are mixtures of lightness and darkness (white and black?)Demokritos: pale green (chloron) can be made from red + whitePlato: leek green (prasinon) can be made from flame (purron) and black

the very colors predominating in cave paintingResults Reflects Greek Attitudes

Greek preference for theorizing, for abstract thought, for doctrine a distaste for experimentation, for manual skill and craft a aversion to mixing, an idea in classical thought that mixed pigments were impure and inferior to pure pigments made from natural sources

"Mixing produces conflict" Plutarch

Results Reflect Reality of Limitations of Pigment Materials

because of the chemical properties of the ancient pigments,how they interacted with light (their spectral properties) mixing them led to neutral, dull hues: mud.Did the Romans preoccupation with Greek color ideas affect their palettes?

http://www. the Romans preoccupation with Greek color ideas affect their palettes?Decidedly not, judging by the frescoesuncovered at Pompeii.

There are 29 pigments identified in all of the Pompeii paintings.

Affresco Casa di Venere in Conchiglia, PompeiAs master craftsmen of materials, Egyptians had large palette of

And the art and painting of ancient Egyptians?A Block from the Sanctuary in the Temple of Mentuhotep II at Deir el-Bahri, reign of Mentuhotep II,20102000 B.C.

Nany's (a woman in her seventies, was a chantress (ritual singer) of the god Amun-Re.)Funerary Papyrus, reign of Psusennes I,ca. 1040992 B.C..

A facsimile produced by the Graphic Section from the MMA's Expedition to Egypt between the years 1907 and 1937. The Museum's artists used tempera paints to reproduce the quality of ancient pigments.

A facsimile produced by the Graphic Section from

Egyptian faience sculptureBoat Carrying Captives from Nubia, Tomb of Huy (facsimile), Reignreign of AkhenatenTutankhamun, Egypt (Thebes)13491327 B.C.

Portrait of the Boy Eutyches, Egypt, Roman Period, 100 AD, Encaustic (wax, etc.) on wood

Roman Egypt was an extremely diverse civilization. The population consisted of Roman citizens and citizens of Greek cities such as Alexandria (both of these groups made up of peoples of many different ethnicities) and native Egyptians.Clearly, the Egyptians,in contrast to the Greeks,placed high value of craft and skill.They contributed much to the developmentof pigments and the art of coloration.The Greek Four Color Problem: is it real ? That they couldnt perceive or discriminate the range of colors that we can?

or is it just a problem of language, of naming?

they certainly had access to other pigments (e.g., Egyptian blue frit) speculation is that Greek sensitivity was to effect of color, not so much to hue maybe blue was close to black, as yellow is similar to white sinople used to refer to both green and to red (is actually a red earth from Sinople near the Black Sea) color terminology is NOT universal; some cultures have only 4 color terms Colors are the product of language under the influence of culture. John Lyons

or is it a problem of perceptual psychology?no different than my yellow your yellow Color is a hot topic for linguistic study

Linguistic anthropologists Berlin and Kay, propose evolution of color terms that follow:Color vocabulary unfolds in strict sequence" black/white, then red, then yellow , then green, blue, then the secondary (more random) purple, orange, brown, pink.Hmmmm, I think Ill paint that idea

Interface (Sharon Burgmayer, 2002)(at the interface of feeling and thinking, inspired by Mark Lord) how does the eye see? It sees through the water that surrounds itthe ray which transmits the color of an object to the eye is a kind of fire. In any case Demokritos conceived of colors as so many quantities of energy (light), ranging from a pure form of it to a total lack of it (black). Such reasoning comes from a quite different sphere from the idea of colors laid on an artist's palette: colors are not something laid on objects but energy equations of the objects themselves. In fact, Demokritos would deny the existence of artists' colors as such. To complicate matters for us, Anaxagoras - without being an atomist - had the same opinion about the nature of color. the two characteristics of Greek color sensibility appear:

* Color is rays of light or fire. * Color reflects the state of the object to which it belongs.

GREEK COLOR THEORY AND THE FOUR ELEMENTSA Cosmological InterpretationJ. L. BensonAmherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries2000

Greek Four color theory the theory of the four elements is well known, the concept of a theory of four colors is virtually unknown, even among many scholars in the ancient field. What is that concept? It refers first of all to a seemingly insoluble problem in the history of Greek painting, arising from references in Pliny the Elder and Cicero, to the use of quattuor colores: black, white, yellow, and red in certain Greek paintingsThe ancient tradition in regard to a connection between the Four Elements theory and the Four Colors theory - for so it must be called - is not only meager and sketchy but, on the face of it, enigmatic. Yet the parallel positioning of the two concepts, e.g., in Empedokles, Demokritos and Plato, is so noticeable that one cannot really doubt whether the Greeks regarded them as being correlative, but only whether they connected each of the four elements to a particular one of the four colors.

Polish kermes lives in the roots of Scleranthus perennis L. Polish kermes are found from eastern Germany to the Ukraine . This shield louse, or scale insect, is a parasite on the roots of Scleranthus perennis. The female insects are collected in June, killed in a vinegar solution, dried, and marketed in this form as the raw material for the dyestuff. From a single plant, 40 to 50 insects can be collected. After they are taken from the roots of the host plant, it is replanted.

The Cochineal bug is found in desert locations in Arizona, New Mexico, andCalifornia to Montana, Colorado, Texas, Florida and North Carolina.They feedon the juices of the cacti plant, especially the prickly pear cacti.elementscompoundshomogeneousheterogeneouscopper, Cu vermilion, red leadblue fritblue frit + ochre

Sulfur, S8

Visualizing the atomic and molecular levelelementscompoundshomogeneousheterogeneouscopper vermilion blue fritblue frit + ochreRed LeadPb3O4, or 2PbOPbO2

Cinnabar (natural mineral)Vermilion (synthetic)HgS

elementscompoundshomogeneousheterogeneouscopper vermilion, red leadblue fritblue frit + ochre

Ochres: a mixture ofIron oxides

Iron oxide Hematite, Fe2O3

Iron oxide Magnetite, Fe3O4

The blue color of faience is chemically the same stuff as the pigment blue fritEgyptian Faience sculpture



elementscompoundshomogeneousheterogeneouscopper vermilion, red leadblue fritblue frit + ochre

blue frit ochre