From stick figures in the sand and the earliest animals painted and carved in
stone, people worldwide have reacted to the world by making images.
fundamental goal of art, especially in the past, was to convey meaning and express
important ideas, revealing what was significant to every society, by arresting
In recognizing the subject matter of any painting, you have to look at the
artist's intentions, which are regularly connected to social conditions, national
or global issues and the demands of the public.
To avoid the pitfalls of judging
all art by our own personal experiences and subjective views, we have to learn the
background surrounding the artist when the work was created- the social and
historical conditions of the time and the philosophical views which affected the
way in which the artist viewed the world. (Russell, 1984)
Art is as varied as the life from which it springs and each artist portrays
different aspects of the world they know.
Briefly, it may be said that artists
paint to discover truth and to create order.
The creators of art make discoveries
about the wonders and beauty of nature and the dignity and nobility of man.
give these concepts an order to help us understand life in a greater depth.
understanding the history and style of any period of art, we have to comprehend the
balance between social and political development of that particular era.
each and every period, development of style is affected by a response to particular
philosophies, social and economic conditions, political and spiritual influences.
World Issues have been reflected in art throughout the ages, and this premise is
supported by three particular periods of time.
This is clearly evident when
viewing ancient art, where symbolism was an important part of society.
through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, where art was a critical form of
expression and finally in the modern age of art where even in looking into the
works of individual artists, one can get a sense of the feelings and events of the
time and the world.
Let us now examine theses three periods in detail, to support
If we are aware of meaning of religious, political, or other symbols, it will
better our understanding of the frame of mind of the artist.
Each piece of art is
unique, a reflection of the artist's perceptions, insights and experiences.
Certain aspects of the world are often exaggerated, or eliminated, while the art
reflects both the period and the artists own orientation.
Aristotle once said that
"Art is the human intelligence playing over the natural scene, ingeniously
affecting it toward fulfillment of human purposes." (Bronowski 64)
world of creation began in ancient times, when people first created images to
express their response to the world around them.
Various civilizations in the past
painted images preparing to understand life after death.
Another favorite subject
was the glorification of gods and rulers.
The subject which an artist selects for