making pottery, the people of the ancient world also enjoyed painting.
Evidences of early paintings can be found in the tombs of Egypt.
These tombs contained statues and paintings of servants, who were
believed to come alive when certain prayers were recited, thus extending
their service to the pharaoh even into the next world. Images of
daily life were also painted on the walls of the tombs and these
images were believed to come alive in the next world. For this reason,
the scenes depicted the pharaoh as young and healthy and in pleasant
These tomb paintings and statues represent the most extensive treasury
of ancient Egyptian art. Artists of ancient Egypt were taught, not
to be original, but to follow rigid conventions. As a result, the
artwork reveals a simple and formal style. For instance, in painting
the human figure, various parts of the body are represented from
their most characteristic angle. The head is shown from the side,
the top half of the torso from the front, the legs from the side,
and so on.
ancient Greece and Rome, there too was evidence of painting, though
very little of them were found. Some examples of these very rare
paintings were found on the decorated vases of the Greeks and on
walls in Pompeii and Herculaneum. The earliest vases, which dated
back to the 12th century, were decorated with brown paint in a geometric
style. Sticklike figures of men and animals were added to the overall
design of the vases. However, vases found during the 8th century
showed that much improvements had been made to the paintings of
these men and animals, as they appeared more realistic and were
painted in black on red clay. Three of the well-known Greek painters
who lived during the 4th century B.C. were Parrhasius, Zeuxis, and
Apelles. The ancient Romans on the other hand, did paintings which
were mainly of people.
Mesoamerica, paintings were found in Bonampak, Mexico, which depicted
the life of the royal Maya family around 790B.C. Brightly coloured
murals cover the walls of 3 rooms. In one of the rooms, the walls
portray a battle in the jungle with the victorious king wearing
a jaguar skin and taking a noble prisoner. Paintings on the walls
of the other 2 rooms show the passing the throne to the heir, prisoners
being tortured and also king and nobles wearing feather head-dresses
and dancing in victory.
of the past have indeed undergone huge transformation as we compare
them with the type of paintings that we see today. In the past,
paintings were normally of simple, everyday life scenes, such as
of people celebrating a festival or kings at a battle. However today,
we see that paintings come in various forms, ranging from simple
paintings of everyday life to abstract art, a form of art, which
requires the observer to use his imagination to interpret the paintings
of the painter. Some of the familiar painters that one probably
know of include Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), the Italian painter
known for his painting of the Mona Lisa and French painter Delaunay,
Robert (1885-1941), one of the earliest painters of abstract art.
Now, what are the names of the other painters you know of? What
are the different types of painting? And last but not least, what
do you think are the reasons why these people love to paint?
dances were depicted on an Egyptian tomb from the Old Kingdom, 3rd
A painting of a bison found in the Prehistoric Caves of northern
Spain, which dates back to about 12,000 BC.
18th-century Kangra painting depicts Shiva and Ganesa, left, stringing
together skulls of the dead while Parvati, right, looks on. Ganesa,
their son, is the god first invoked at the beginning of worship
or any new undertaking. Nandi the bull, behind the tree, is one
of Shiva's chief attendants..
Tower' was one of Robert Delaunay's contributions to the style called
cubism. (example of abstract art)
da Vinci (1452-1519), Italian. MONA LISA. About 1505. Oil on wood.
77 cm x 53 cm. Louvre, Paris, France.