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Laura Barber

Prehistoric imagery has a ‘doodled’ look to it, which is likely where the view that it is abstract comes from, however this couldn’t be further from the truth. Prehistoric art is highly sophisticated, especially considering how long ago it was made. Abstract art typically focuses on colors and other techniques, rather than portraying reality. Every piece of pre-historic art, however, has a distinct purpose and was made with intention and thoughtfulness. They all depict reality. The “Venus of Willendorf’ served as a fertility statue, as did the “Venus of Dolni Vestonice.’ The similarities between these two pieces highlight the strategy of this art period and style. The Caves of Chauvet, Lascaux, and Altamira all have highly refined style of drawing. The lighting and movement of the animals make them appear to be in motion and projecting from the walls. This realistic style is not traditionally defined as abstract.