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A History of Art
Monday 20 April 2020

I was delighted to see in The Sunday Times newspaper that the Art History poster by Waldemar Januszczak, the British art critic and television documentary producer and presenter, began with the Lion Man statue from 40,000 BC.

Sunday Times Art History Waldemar Januszczak Lion Man statue Venus of Willendorf
The Lion Man sculpture, carved from mammoth ivory. Aurignacian. 40,000 years old. Hohlenstein-Stadel cave level IV. Ulmer Museum, Ulm, Germany. 28.1 cms tall; 6.3 cms wide; 5.9 cms thick.

In other words, prehistoric art was being recognised as the beginning of art.

Sunday Times Art History Waldemar Januszczak Lion Man statue Venus of Willendorf
A History of Art by Waldemar Januszczak in The Sunday Times, April 19, 2020.
Article continues below
Article continues

As he states on Twitter:

Here are three ways to get a great education in art:

1/ Study art history at the Courtauld Institute for 5 years.

2/ Watch every art film put out on the BBC in the past 50 years.

3/ Get the Sunday Times today, and pin up Waldy’s Art History poster!

Sunday Times Art History Waldemar Januszczak Lion Man statue Venus of Willendorf
The Willendorf figurine, carved from limestone and coloured with red ochre has become the stereotype for Ice Age female figures (so often inappropriately referred to as ‘Venuses’). Gravettian. 30,000 to 25,000 years old. Willendorf, Krems, Lower Austria. Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna. 10.6 cms high; 5.7 cms wide; 4.5 cms thick.

For prehistoric art he chooses:

Lion Man statue - 40,000 BC

Cave paintings - Chauvet 35,000 BC

Venus of Willendorf - 30,000 BC

Aboriginal art, Gabarnmung - Australia 26,000 BC

Lascaux Cave Paintings - 17,000 BC

Cueva de las Manos - Argentina c.13,000 BC

Rock art, Tassili n'Ajjer - Algeria 12,000-5,000 BC

Rock art, Matopos Hills - Zimbabwe 10,000-500 BC

Of course, and sadly, the prehistoric artists have not been named; oh, to be in a list with the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Vermeer, JMW Turner, Monet, Gaugin, Matisse, Picasso, Pollock and Koons!

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