By ANTHONY F. JANSON' 'H.W. JANSON
The main thorough, cogent, and lavishly illustrated survey of artwork within the Western culture, Janson's historical past of paintings has now been thoroughly redesigned and up to date to make it the final word visually and intellectually fascinating source for at the present time. Timelines; thesaurus; bibliography; index. 1,266 illustrations, greater than 775 in complete colour.
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In a few places, however, the Neolithic balance between humans and nature was upset by a new threat, posed not by nature but by people themselves, so that they began to build fortifications. What was the source of the hu- Egyptian civilization has long been regarded as the most and conservative ever. Plato had not changed in Perhaps "enduring" and "con- rigid said that Egyptian art 10,000 years. c. does tend to have a There is a kernel of truth was that the Neolithic Revolution had been artistic too successful, permitting the local popula- centuries of that vast span of years available food sup- reasserting itself until the very end.
Tion to grow beyond the This situation might have been resolved in a number of ways. Constant tribal warfare could have reduced the population; or the ply. first glance all certain sameness. in this: the basic and pattern of Egyptian institutions, beliefs, see, at Egyptian art between 3000 and man conflict that made them necessary? Competition for grazing land among tribes of herdsmen or for arable soil among farming communities? The basic cause, we suspect, ideas was formed during the however, that as time went on pattern went through ever that challenged its more first few and kept We shall this basic severe crises ability to survive.
Modern survivors of the Neolithic are far all • 37 the so-called is- lands of the South Pacific, and the Americas. is a somewhat unfortunate word: suggests— quite wrongly— that these so- "Primitive" it cieties represent the original and has thus come human condi- be burdened with many conflicting emotional overtones. The term "ethnographic" will serve us better. It stands for a way of life that has passed through the Neolithic Revolution but shows no signs of evolving in the direction of the "historic" civilizations.
A Basic History of Art by ANTHONY F. JANSON' 'H.W. JANSON