History of Art

Lessons:

  Africa

  Cave Art

  Egyptian Art

  Greek Art

 Mesopotiamian

  Middle Ages
     Art

  Middle Ages
   Architecture

  Roman Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African Art Lesson

      African Art is much different in use from its Western Art counterparts.  Western Art, is used to decorate walls and can be studied for its perspective, lines, symmetry and many other artistic forms. African Art was used as an integral part of the societies rituals, dances and ceremonies.  In the 1970’s, the National Gallery in Washington D.C. put on a display called “African Art in Motion.”  Though most all the masks and sculptures themselves have no sign of motion in their form, the title of the exhibit captured the use of these items in the African societies.  As we examine African Art, one must understand the uses of the art in African Society instead of trying to apply typical western standards of art evaluation.

     When studying African Art, it is very difficult to generalize about its form.  First, one must understand that Africa is the second largest continent on earth. It includes over 1,000 different cultural groups and even more language groups.  The northern part of Africa developed it’s own style of artwork.  Through history, some of the northern art was influenced by it’s Mediterranean neighbors and also by the spread of both Islamic and Christian religions that had their own artistic styles.  Sub-Saharan Africa, or the areas south of the Sahara Desert , developed its art relatively free of outside cultures.  It is this art that we will attempt to describe in the following pages. 

     Early African Art was typically made out of wood materials.  The coloring for the art came from natural sources and was highly prized.  Later in African history, metals were incorporated into the African Art.  Two major forms of African Art were masks and sculptures.  

African Masks

 

 

African Art Lesson 1 2 3 4 Cave Art Lesson 1 2 3 4
 Mesopotamia Art Lesson 1 2   Egyptian Art Lesson 1 2 3 4 5
Greek Art Lesson 1 2 3 4 5    Roman Art Lesson 1 2 3
Middle Ages Art 1 2 3 4 5 6   Middle Ages Architecture 1 2 3 4 5