The Homo sapiens Aurignacian archaeological civilisation in the Upper Paleolithic produced the oldest undisputed art. However, there is some evidence that the predilection for the aesthetic evolved between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago, during the Middle Paleolithic. In 2005, a group of archaeologists led by Maria Martinón-Torres from the University of Barcelona discovered a roughly 30,000-year-old painting on a cave wall in Spain. They named it "El Ojo de Iberia" (the Eye of Europe). Although not all scholars agree that this is an actual representation of a human eye, they do believe that it was used as a guide to help hunters find edible plants.
Early artists used any available material as a medium, such as bone, stone, wood, and clay. Only after the development of civilization about 10,000 years ago did people start using materials specifically intended as media for artworks, such as paint and oil.
Modern artists use many different materials to create their works of art.
Paleolithic The first safe human art discovered dates to the Late Stone Age during the Upper Paleolithic, perhaps from approximately 70,000 BC, but with certainty from around 40,000 BC, when Homo sapiens created the first creative works from shell, stone, and paint utilizing symbolic cognition. Humans may have been producing art earlier than this, but no evidence of such work has survived.
Neolithic Art began in the Neolithic period about 11,500 years ago. The earliest known examples of true art are rock paintings that date back about 30,000 years. Sculpture follows close behind with the first sculptures being made out of wood. Then came the stone age, where humans started creating art out of clay.
Bronze Age Art developed along with other technologies during the Bronze Age, which lasted from 3500 to 500 BC. Artists started making more realistic representations instead of simple geometric designs. They also started painting people in their daily lives: animals, hunters, and musicians.
Iron Age Art continued to develop during the Iron Age which started about 3000 BC and ended about 500 AD. It is known as the Classical Era for its use of geometry and perspective rather than realism. Geometric designs were often painted on walls or buildings as part of an architecture project. During this time, artists started using color more frequently instead of just black and white.
Renaissance Art began in Europe around 1400.
Africa As a result, the beginnings of art are significantly older and may be found in Africa, prior to global human dispersal. Human body ornamentation, including skin coloring with ochre and the wearing of beads, is the earliest known evidence of "artistic behavior," though both may have had practical beginnings. Body painting may have been done for ritual purposes or simply as a form of self-expression.
Europe During the Upper Paleolithic period, about 30,000 to 10,000 B.C., early modern humans began using tools to create art. They painted animals, such as lions, leopards, and deer, on cave walls as far north as Germany. These paintings are the first true works of art.
Asia The oldest known paintings, which date back about 15,500 years, were made by the Neanderthals. They are found on the walls of caves in Spain. The most famous artist among the Neanderthals was Mousterian painter who created detailed images of horses, bison, rhinos, and lions. He used different colors for their bodies: red for blood, black for muscle, and white for bone.
Australia There is no evidence that humans ever lived in Australia before 50,000 B.C., so it's possible that indigenous Australians started creating art when they arrived on the continent.
Paleolithic epoch Art from the Prehistory (40,000-4,000 B.C.) Art history may be traced back to prehistoric times, before written records were preserved. The earliest artifacts date back to the Paleolithic era, also known as the Old Stone Age, and take the form of rock carvings, engravings, pictorial iconography, sculptures, and stone assemblages. They are found worldwide and appear in a variety of forms, from large-scale works on cave walls to small handheld objects. The oldest known work of artistic value is the Venus of Willendorf, which dates from 3500 B.C.
The Neolithic Revolution (4500-4000 B.C.) During this time, people began using materials such as clay instead of stone for creating tools and other objects. This change made it possible for them to make more sophisticated objects that could not only be used for their original purpose but also as decorative items. It is this ability to use material culture as a means of expressing oneself creatively that makes ancient art so interesting and important today.
The Chalcolithic or Copper Age (4000-3000 B.C.) During this time, people started working with metals, most often copper. They also began building larger structures, such as houses, instead of just using bones and stones for shelter. Finally, we reach the Bronze Age (3000-1000 B.C.). Like its name suggests, this is when people start making bronze articles instead of just using metals. These include tools, weapons, jewelry, and even statues of gods.
Prehistoric Religious Art at its Earliest Nobody knows for certain when man initially began making art, particularly religious art. What we do know is that prehistoric man created many symbolic objects using naturally occurring materials such as stone and bone. These artifacts provide evidence of belief systems used by ancient people to explain their world.
The earliest known example of religious art is a limestone statue dating back about 30,000 years to the Early Stone Age. This image is thought to represent a female shaman or priestess because of its enigmatic smile. It was found in Germany's Königsaue cave site.
Modern man has also created religious art. Artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Paul Cezanne have been cited as creating religious paintings. However, most artists today would not consider themselves religious artists because they do not take an oath before beginning a project or include any specific rituals in their process.
In conclusion, religious art is artwork that is created with a spiritual purpose. Modern man has created religious art because it is a way for us to communicate our beliefs and values to each other and ourselves.
Photographs of the world's earliest prehistoric Petroglyphs (Cupules), Ivory Carvings, and Cave Paintings. Prehistoric Art: A List of Prehistoric Artochre Stones in Alphabetical Order Dates from 70,000 BCE and is incised with cross-hatch designs. One of Africa's oldest instances of ancient art. See Prehistoric Art Timeline for a list of chronological events and dates.
Early human artists painted pictures on the walls of caves to entertain themselves and perhaps give spiritual inspiration. The paintings are found only in certain areas of Europe and North America; others have been preserved in museums or other locations around the world.
The oldest known artistic representation of humans date back about 40,000 years. They are ivory carvings found in a cave in South Africa. Other very old examples of prehistoric art include petroglyphs (carved into rock surfaces) and pictographs (painted images).
There are two main types of prehistorical art: petroglyphs and pictographs. Petroglyphs are carved into rocks and boulders, while pictographs are painted on the walls of caves. Both types of artwork are found worldwide dating back more than 10,000 years.
Petroglyphs were used by early humans as markers on roads or within territories. They may have been done as religious offerings or even as war trophies. Scientists think that some pictographs were used as shamanistic practices to achieve a trance state similar to that of a dream.