Vol. 8 No. 1 (2015): The Aesthetic Mind and the Origin of Art

Making «art» in Prehistory: signs and figures of metaphorical paleolithic man

Published May 18, 2015
How to Cite
Martini, F. (2015). Making «art» in Prehistory: signs and figures of metaphorical paleolithic man. Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi dell’estetico, 8(1), 41-52. https://doi.org/10.13128/Aisthesis-16205


We owe our first graphic experiences to Neanderthal Man, who introduced to the cultural baggage of the genus Homo two metaphorical behaviors that are fundamental in terms of their innovation: one concerns the preservation of the bodies of the dead through burial, the other is the making of signs, which in this stage of evolution do not yet represent recognizable subjects but only lines. This attests to the creation of a graphical tool that materializes and makes visible that which exists in the mind, something that is other than itself, thus providing signs of a communication that unfortunately today we cannot define semantically. We cannot say whether these linear marks are a sort of «brand» or if they are carriers of meanings, however, we can observe that, with the Neanderthals, a conceptual, projectual plan exists that enables the measurement of space and the configuration of a regular rhythm, creating an original condition of movement and an association of potentially dynamic lines.


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