The Early History of Art

the-early-history-of-artThe first known works of art never cease to amaze. Ancestors began to mix different coloured clays and powders with water and other compounds and used their hands to create primitive designs to adorn the walls of the caves in which they slept.

A precise time as to when the first humans began to express themselves through art has never really been agreed on. Some state that the beginning of pre-historic art – as it is known today – began 40-50,000 years ago. Others though, believe that the expression of art began as long as 500,000 years ago.

It started out with simple graffiti or markings carved into rock structures, but art evolved and eventually humans began to paint great scenes such as memorable hunts and even camp gatherings.

Malta’s Neolithic temples date back to 2,600BC and are adorned with ornate carvings of patterns into the very rock which makes up the structure. Ancient Egypt was also another place where early art flourished with rock carvings being embellished with paint or dye to create the incredible hieroglyphics – the legacy they left behind which is still a source of fascination today.

Art also began to take shape through small carvings which eventually evolved into statuettes and stone charms, bracelets or pendants. In time, men began decorating earthenware pots which were used for cooking and storage. Evidence also exists to show that this developed into its own art form of ceramic pottery which was made for no other reason than decoration. China and its dynasties were instrumental in the development of pottery art as finely represented by Ming vases and similar items.

There have been drastic shifts in artistic styles over the millennia, but the one thing that has remained constant is humankind’s need to create something new, to break the mould and to keep a visual record of its progression through history. Art can even be described as one of the many things that make humans what they are.