How far back can the history of art go? The Lascaux cave paintings in southwestern France are thought to be some 16, years old. The Venus of Willendorf, a plump and bosomy statuette from lower Austria, may be about 9, years older. A few coarse figurines — found in Morocco, the Golan Heights and other places — may be several dozen millenniums more ancient still. But some psychologists argue that the origins of art should be sought much further back. They look to the Pleistocene epoch, which began about 1.
Books: Our Genes Make Us Appreciate Art
DENIS DUTTON THE ART INSTINCT PDF
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The Art Instinct by Denis Dutton (2008, Hardcover)
Art suffuses our lives. Whether it's bluegrass, heavy metal, Frank Sinatra or Mozart, music moves us all. On a trip to a foreign city, visiting an art museum is a mandatory exercise.
The Art Instinct combines two of the most fascinating and contentious disciplines, art and evolutionary science, in a provocative new work that will revolutionize the way art itself is perceived. Aesthetic taste, argues Denis Dutton, is an evolutionary trait, and is shaped by natural selection. It's not , as almost all contemporary art criticism and academic theory would have it, "socially constructed. If people from Africa to Alaska prefer images that would have appealed to our hominid ancestors, what does that mean for the entire discipline of art history? Dutton argues, with forceful logic and hard evidence, that art criticism needs to be premised on an understanding of evolution, not on abstract "theory.