The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters
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The artistic desire to make images without any function surfaced from the beginning of man. The earliest surviving nonfunctional objects come from the Paleolithic period, 30000 BC to 8000 BC. Comprised primarily of small stone sculptures and engraving on bones depicting stylized human figures and animals. The women figures are generally depicted as voluptuous and well rounded, clearly representing the Paleolithic female ideal. These early European artisans demonstrate remarkable sophistication and a wealth of talent. According to John W. Bradley, "The desire for decoration is probably as old as the human race. Nature, of course, is the source of beauty, and this natural beauty affects something within us which has or is the faculty of reproducing the cause of its emotion in a material form. Whether the reproduction be such as to appeal to the eye or the ear depends on the cast of the faculty. In a mild or elementary form, probably both casts of faculty exist in every animated creature, and especially in the human being."
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References: Illuminated Manuscripts by John William Bradley