Emmanichols’s Weblog

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Posted in Uncategorized by emmanichols on October 10, 2008

Cave paintings are paintings on cave walls and ceilings, and the term is used especially for those dating to prehistoric times. The earliest known European cave paintings date to 32,000 years ago. The purpose of the cave paintings is not known. The evidence suggests that they were not merely decorations of living areas, since the caves in which they have been found do not have signs of ongoing habitation. Also, they are often in areas of caves that are not easily accessed. Some theories hold that they may have been a way of transmitting information, while other theories ascribe them a religious or ceremonial purpose.

The earliest surviving substantive illuminated manuscripts are from the period AD 400 to 600 (also in the gothic period), primarily produced in IrelandConstantinople and Italy. The significance of these works lies not only in their inherent art history value, but in the maintenance of a link of literacy offered by non-illuminated texts as well. Had it not been for the monastic scribes of Late Antiquity, the entire literature of Greece and Rome would have perished; as it was, the patterns of textual survivals were shaped by their usefulness to the severely constricted literate group of Christians. The very existence of illuminated manuscripts as a way of giving stature and commemoration to ancient documents may have been largely responsible for their preservation in an era when barbarian hordes had overrun continental Europe and ruling classes were no longer literate.

Calligraphy is an art dating back to the earliest day of history, and widely practiced throughout China to this day. Although it uses Chinese words as its vehicle of expression, one does not have to know Chinese to appreciate its beauty. Because in essence, Calligraphy is an abstract art. While viewing a Western abstract painting, one does not ask, “What is it?” When viewing Chinese calligraphy, one need not ask, “What is the Chinese word?” 
In this page, we selected single words from the works of many master calligraphers from the past to illustrate the astounding beauty of the art. Like all art, it is best to simply look at them for enjoyment. Do not be sidetracked with questions of theory, technique, etc. Do not worry about “What is it?” 
Beside each work, a very short comment is given to describe its “style”, based on the classical book of Tu Meng.

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