Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Historical Color Palettes

Mankind has been making marks since pre-history. The palettes used through the ages show the progress we have made in capturing color for art.

Painting of a Bison (c.15,000 BCE)
Red and black polychrome image
from the Altamira Cave Complex
in Spain.

Prehistoric Colour Palette
Pigments Used by Stone Age Artists

The earliest art practised by humans - cultural cup-like hollows 
(petroglyphs) known as Cupule art, possibly dating as far back 
as 700,000 BCE - involved no color.

The earliest recorded appearance of color in prehistoric art is
 the assortment of red ochre lumps (dated to 70,000 BCE) 
found in the Blombos Cave on the coast of South Africa, 
about 180 miles east of Cape Town. This find included pieces
 of ochre which had been ground into primitive crayons. 
Unfortunately, archeologists found no actual artworks created
 with these crayons.

Artist Robert Burridge believes the first cave paintings were 
created  by women because of the smaller size of the 
prints made by the artists blowing "paint" around their
hands to serve as "signatures." 

Cave Painting in "Hall of the Bulls"
at the Lascaux caves in the Dordogne
dating from about 17,000 BCE.

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