The oldest known paintings are at the Grotte Chauvet in France, claimed by some historians to be about 32,000 years old. They are engraved and painted using red ochre and black pigment and show horses, rhinoceros, lions, buffalo, mammoth, abstract designs and what are possibly partial human figures. In Western cultures oil painting and watercolor painting have rich and complex traditions in style and subject matter. In the East, ink and color ink historically predominated the choice of media with equally rich and complex traditions. Julian Bell noted “A work of art seeks to hold your attention and keep it fixed: a history of art urges it onwards, bulldozing a highway through the homes of the imagination.”
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Every society has a specific set of ideas and customs, and a certain set of manufactures and arts that make it unique. Because ancient civilizations continue to influence us today, and because I love history, I have devoted many posts to prehistory and ancient civilizations.
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