Cave Paintings: Children Did Them

I’ve often argued that cave paintings were children’s work.

While not all are (or maybe not all are), some are.

Live Science has an article that says:

n fact, finger-painting tots were quite prolific 13,000 years ago in the Cave of a Hundred Mammoths in France, according to Cambridge archaeologist Jess Cooney, who presented her findings last week at a conference on the archaeology of childhood at Cambridge University. The main art form was finger flutings, decorative lines made by people running their fingers along cave walls.

“So far, we haven’t found anywhere that adults fluted without children,” Cooney said in a statement. “Some of the children’s flutings are high up on the walls and on the ceilings, so they must have been held up to make them or have been sitting on someone’s shoulders.”

Beautiful Art

janet fish glass orange
by Janet Fish

found at lines and colors

I know I like it because of the blue glass and the carnival glass pieces, but this is so gorgeous.

Her website has a couple of beautiful depression glass pieces on the home page.

I am going to have to get something of hers, if I can a) find it and b) afford it.

I went to her website, but at least in Safari it doesn’t let me see prices of paintings or prints.

Posted in Art

Things taken out

Review the survey of African art.
1. Go to the Art Institute of Chicago and peruse their African collection. There are more than 400 pieces. You do not have to look at all of them. Find one that you think is interesting. Then find a modern corollary to the piece. Link to both the African work and the modern corollary in the homework post on


If Crimes Were Elevation

Doug McCune has mapped San Francisco’s crime and turned it into an elevation map. Very interesting.

See all the pictures here, as he has arranged them by crime.

Upon closer inspection the prostitution arrests are peaking on Shotwell St. at the intersections of 19th and 17th. I’m sure the number of colorful euphemisms you can come up with that include the words “shot” and “well” are endless.

I love the way the mountain range casts a shadow over much of the city. There’s also a second peak in the Tenderloin (which I’m dubbing Mt. Loin).

Playing with the Moon

from NPR comes the story of an astrophotographer whose book was published in France.

Beautiful pictures. I would love to get the book. It seems very whimsical.

Posted in Art

How Japan Saw the West

Looking at Japanese art and seeing their representations of the West is particularly interesting to me. I haven’t done a wholesale study of it, but I think it would be fascinating.

So I was caught by Happy Catholic’s visual and discussion of an article in the Wall Street Journal.

So while artists in 1860s Paris were discovering the beauty of Japanese “floating world”—or ukiyo-e—woodblock prints, many Japanese artists were heading to Yokohama, scouring European publications and creating their own genre of exotica: the Yokohama-e.

These prints are the focus of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s “Picturing the West.” Drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, its 97 works express little of Japan’s mistrust of foreigners—only excitement and curiosity. Typical of the genre, the prints are in turn amusing, beautiful, revealing and puzzling in their efforts to inform, entertain and sell. In the early rage for Yokohama-e, publishers churned out as many as 250,000 copies of about 500 designs.

Japanese pic of Russian couple 1861This is picture of a Russian couple from 1861.

A New Favorite Picture

The-Inundation-of-The-Biesbosch-in-1421 cat on the cradleLawrence Alma-Tadema painted this in the 1800s, after a true story from 1421 when a flood carried off a cat and a cradle. The cat jumped from side to side on the cradle to keep it upright.

I found the picture on Happy Catholic, who references the next site, Victorian Paintings, which said: “Depecting an incident from the great flood of the Zuyder Zee in 1421 where a cradle and a cat were swept away but the cat kept it upright by jumping from side to side.”

However, when I looked up “inundation of Biesboch” I found that Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, wrote a fictional story about the inundation of Biesboch in 1815. Now apparently there were 16 villages in the Netherlands which were destroyed by a flood in 1421. Perhaps that is what the king was writing about.

Also, this article says that the flood was real and there was a cat and a cradle together in that flood, but the story of the cat jumping from side to side came from a 1589 newspaper story about that year’s flooding of the Hohenloe.

Since the picture was painted in 1856, it is quite likely that the two stories had been conflated through time. Or, perhaps, the cat jumped in both, but in the first we only have a picture and in the second we have the word witness.

Everett Millais’ “A Flood” was also about the same story. He and Alma-Tadema were friends.

Chinese soldiers covered in egg.

Those 7000 statues in the Terracotta army were apparently lacquered and then painted and then covered in egg. Or it might have been egg paint. Depends on which sentence I understood correctly.

The most interesting part for me were the colors and how they got them:

The researchers thought animal glue might have served as a binder, but all of the data pointed to egg instead. The pigments, they found, were bone white, lead white, cerussite (which sparkles), quartz, cinnabar, malachite, charcoal black, copper salts, Chinese purple and azurite.

for Dielli

Beginning to read

Making the Impossible Possible

One thing it did is show me/reveal to me that R brought art back into my life and brought it into my life in a very personal way. He moved furniture around (composition) and insisted on painting our house (We did silver and white all over in our first house.) and bought me two pieces of art for Christmas. He let me/encouraged me to buy blue Depression glass, since I liked it.

Thank you, honey.

No-Regrets Music: Leaving a legacy

I spent the morning at an old friend’s grave
Flowers and ‘Amazing Grace’, he was a good man
He spent his whole life spinning his wheels
Never knowing how the real thing feels
He never took a chance or took the time to dance
And I stood there thinking, as I said goodbye
Today is the first day of the rest of my life

I’m gonna stop looking back and start moving on
Learn how to face my fears
Love with all of my heart, make my mark
I wanna leave something here
Go out on a ledge, without any net
That’s what I’m gonna be about
Yeah, I wanna be running
When the sand runs out

Cause people do it everyday
Promise themselves they’re gonna change
I’ve been there, but I’m changing from the inside out
That was then and this is now
I’m a new man, yeah, I’m a brand new man
And when they carve my stone, they’ll write these words
“Here lies a man who lived life for all that it’s worth”

I’m gonna stop looking back and start moving on
And learn how to face my fears
Love with all of my heart, make my mark
I wanna leave something here
Go out on a ledge, without any net
That’s what I’m gonna be about
Yeah, I wanna be running
When the sand runs out

The song is sung by Rascal Flatts. It was sung this morning in church by someone else. I really liked it. Think I’ll buy it from iTunes.

I also heard the following song in church today:

I don’t mind if you’ve got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy an accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all who’s who and so-n-so’s that used to be the best
At such’n’such … it wouldn’t matter much

I won’t lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need an ‘Atta boy’ or ‘Atta girl’
But in the end I’d like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

I don’t have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthy list of all that I enjoy
It’s an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy

Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, “Well Done” good and faithful one…
Nicole Nordeman- Legacy

I got the words off Present Storm.

This is an art post, because music is art.

Thank you, God, for two great songs.

I also have come to really appreciate the following song in the last month as it has been sung at church. I like it a lot. Didn’t know MercyMe did it.

I wonder when we first bought into this
So satisfied with status quo
Have we convinced ourselves that this is all there is
Well all that is within me says we were meant to break free

Live like there’s no tomorrow
Love extravagantly
Lead a life to be followed
Goodbye ordinary
Goodbye ordinary

We were never meant to compromise
Settle for mediocrity
This life was never meant to be a waste of time
Well all that is within me says no more just existing

Live like there’s no tomorrow
Love extravagantly
Lead a life to be followed
Goodbye ordinary
Goodbye ordinary

No more complacency
No more just settling this time
Goodbye to atrophy
For we were meant to be alive

Live like there’s no tomorrow
Love extravagantly
Live like there’s no tomorrow
Love extravagantly
Lead a life to be followed
Oh, Goodbye ordinary
Goodbye ordinary

I grabbed the lyrics from Hugh Chou.

Art for Dielli

All of the following are images I found while searching for “why study art.”

2500 BC Sumerian necklace, gold leaves and lapis lazuli

Storage jar decorated with mountain goats, 3000s BC, Persia

Silver bull holding silver drinking cup, Persia, 3100-2900 BC

8th Century BC, King and goat?

Prancing Horse, 1350 BC, Egyptian This is a beautiful piece, but I have no idea how it would originally have been displayed. There is no flat bottom. The back feet seem to be on a ball so maybe part of the sculpture is missing. They eyes are garnets. I like the look of the piece.

Intricate model of boat and servants, 1350 BC, Egypt

Elaborate gold ornament, 1350 BC, Egypt

A scarab beetle necklace There is a gold base, a green beetle, and a gold bar across, probably to secure the beetle.

An ostracon, which archaeologists believe was used to teach artists how to make a face well. 1350 BC, Egypt It is a piece of plaster with drawing on it.

This is an ivory relief from 450 BC, Greece. However, it shows the way the art was moving for Dielli. Or maybe it just shows more realism. I don’t know.

Here is a similar relief. This one, however, has the five colors of paint they think were original to the piece based on paint fragments.


Stumbles: Pics, History, Random

Rooms painted to be 3D, very weird.

Vincent Van Gogh Gallery

Bone Chandelier in Prague

Watermelon carvings

Some truly funky pictures

World Beard and Moustache Championship returns to North Am. in 2009. Go look at some of those growths!

7 Quick Tips on how to make your wife happy

How to write a Curriculum vita.

How to cure your food cravings

online graph paper including dot paper

Walking around the world in 14 years

10 Things you didn’t know about Hitler

Museum of Hoaxes

Resources for medieval studies

Ancient history resources

Nautical Pompeii Found in Pisa… archaeological finds are fascinating. Pics.

Did you know Stonehenge has been rebuilt in the last 100 years? It didn’t look like this in 1850. This site has pics.

“Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa, men have named you.”

Mona Lisa is so famous, there are at least two country western songs with her in it. The above is one line; the other is part of one of my favorite songs: “There’s only one Mona Lisa, one leaning tower of Pisa, one Paris, and there’s only one you.”

There is a cool new art show out in San Francisco. (Wonder if I could get cheap tickets? Maybe I could go out and see it while R is there for MacWorld.)

The founder of Lumiere Technology invented a new camera that takes pics of things we can’t see… It shows that Mona Lisa does have eyebrows, that her hand is in the position it is because she is holding up a blanket, that her dress has lace, that the background used to be vivid, and that she wasn’t sickly… among other things. Live Science has it.

You can also read about Mona Lisa’s changing smile, see the left eyebrow, and enjoy some of Da Vinci’s best ideas, including pics.