Art’s Beginnings

Written By: Charles - Jan• 19•08

-2  46%  20%  0mph S bar 30.37 steep drop windchill-4  Winter

            Waxing Gibbous Winter Moon

As predicted the day has continued cold, thought we’ve warmed a bit from the early readings.  Still, when the high is below zero, you know you’re dealing with a bitter time.  We have the most trouble with the whippets when the temperatures drop.  They have zero body fat, so they do not like to go outside.  This increases the pressure on their bladders.  Accidents do happen.

The work of the day involves the waning religious influence on art in the modern era, though, as I’ve learned, the decline can really be seen post-Renaissance.  James Elkins makes a creditable argument for the pervasive nature of religious art during most of the millennia of human existence.  Art’s beginnings lie somewhere in our murky transition toward full consciousness, a transition accelerated when humans realized they would die.  If not in the service of the hunt, a ritual activity in its earliest form, then in the service of funeral rites, early humans drew elegant animals on cave walls and adorned their dead with red ochre, feathers and other items felt necessary to the afterlife.

This general trend continued for many cultures well into the modern era, but in the West, sometime in the Renaissance/post-Renaissance period, religious art became a particular kind of art, rather than the primary purpose for artistic work.  It was during the Renaissance that an emphasis began on the skill of the artist in addition to the importance of the subject matter rendered.  These two factors, appreciation of the talents of individual artists and the addition of subject matter like history, portraiture and mythopoetic themes opened a fissure between what had previously been art’s sole domain, the religious, and other forms of art.

More on this as it gets clearer to me.

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