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Prehistoric Art Expressions

The following are illustrations done in India ink by anthropologist-artist K.L.Kamat based on prehistoric art found in cave shelters of Central India. The original art is in a dilapidated condition, and it is very hard to photograph or decipher the layers. Experts believe that much of the prehistoric art could be ritualistic and epheramal, as the same space has been used to draw over and over again.

This rather astonishing collection of illustrations shows the ingenuity and creative abilities of even the primitive man. For anthropologists, the prehistoric art documents the period lifestyle, their tools, their parties, and their aspirations. This exhibit will challenge art historians on the evolution of modern and abstract art, and will display surprising knowledge the early man had about zoology, science, warfare, and medicine.

Many illustrations have corresponding photographs in Kamat Research Database. Illustrations are from the personal collection of Vikas Kamat. 

Quote Begin

There is much beauty to be found in Indian tribal art, but to appreciate it requires sympathy, imagination, and the ability to relate it to its human background. It is also necessary to understand the difficulties against which the artist has had to struggle: lack of materials, the general psychological demoralization as a result of contact with outside world, and the absence of official or private patronage and encouragement in the past.

-- Verrier Elwin

Quote End

 



Animal Motif
Illustration based on cave shelter painting, perhaps the hole in the stomach indicates hunger.
Hungry Deer
Tall Animal
Giraffe or Camel ?
Illustration based on cave shelter painting makes one wonder if Giraffes once habitated India.

Grass Inside a Deer
Illustration based on cave shelter painting. The artist perhaps meant to show that the dear ate just now. How imaginative!
Freshly Fed Deer
A Hunting Scene
Herd Hunting Scene
Illustration based on cave shelter painting

Horse Mounted Warrior
Illustration based on cave shelter painting. Is that a whip or a sword?
Horse Rider
Prehistoric Sports
Horse Trainers (?)
Illustration based on cave shelter painting

Hunting in Tandem
Illustration based on cave shelter painting
Preshitoric Cave Art of India
Mans First Profession
Hunting of a Deer
Illustration based on a cave shelter painting

Pregnancy and Wonders of Life
Drawings based on pre-historic human art
Prehistoric Theater
Prehistoric Society
Prehistoric Plough (?)
Illustration based on cave shelter painting

Prehistoric People
Prehistoric Art of India
Use of Tools
Prehistoric Hunting Scene
Illustration based on cave shelter painting shows use of a weapon

Prehistoric Theater
Prehistoric Art of India
Prehistoric Theater
Prehistoric Social Networks
Social life depicted in prehistoric cave paintings

Prehistoric Paintings of Deer
Illustration based on cave shelter painting
Simple Art of Prehistoic Man
Prehistoric Art of India
Prehistoric Carts
Illustration based on prehistoric cave paintings of Central India

Prehistoric Theater
Social life depicted in prehistoric cave paintings
Cave Shelter Paintings
Diary of a Early Mankind
Primitive Tools of Trapping Field Rats
Illustration based on a cave shelter painting

Rider and Armed Archer
Illustration based on cave shelter painting
Going for a Hunt
Prehistoric Sports
Rider on a Decorated Horse
Illustration based on cave shelter painting

Running away with Loot
Illustration based on cave shelter painting
Capturing of a Horse
Animal Motifs
Tiger or Cat
Illustration based on cave shelter painting

Treatment of Patients
Graphic based on prehistoric cave painting, Central India
Prehistoric Doctor

See Also:

  • Pre-historic Rock Paintings -- The pre-historic rock paintings of Madhya Pradesh are 5000 to 20000 years old. Kamat wonders on the meaning of some of the paintings while narrating their value
  • India in India Ink -- Line drawings of life and people of India

 

 
Art and expressions found in central India belonging to prehistoric period. Illustrations by anthropologist Dr. K.L.Kamat based on photographs of cave shelter paintings.
Art Expressions of Prehistoric Man
Hunting in TandemPrimitive Tools of Trapping Field RatsPrehistoric Plough (?)Rider on a Decorated HorseTiger or Cat
Horse Trainers (?)Herd Hunting ScenePrehistoric Hunting SceneAnimal MotifHunting of a Deer
Grass Inside a DeerHorse Mounted WarriorRunning away with LootGiraffe or Camel ?Rider and Armed Archer
Prehistoric Paintings of DeerPrehistoric PeoplePregnancy and Wonders of LifePrehistoric CartsPrehistoric Social Networks
Prehistoric TheaterPrehistoric TheaterTreatment of Patients

 
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