Dissanayake argues that in art, the ordinary is made extraordinary through the use of exaggeration and embellishment. Mithen, too, discusses the use of exaggeration in art. He notes that, in the Upper Paleolithic art of Western Europe, animals are often depicted with distorted bodies, with the fatty tissues and/or antlers/horns exaggerated, or with body parts missing. He argues that this was done to emphasize a part of the body or a behavior that provides information about the animal’s sex, age, and/or condition.
Choose one of the pictures below and discuss it in terms of (1) a body part that is exaggerated or otherwise “embellished” to attract attention, (2) the use of line, form, pattern, and/or color to achieve this exaggeration/embellishment, AND (3) the information relevant to hunting provided by the body parts that are emphasized (you will have to refer to Mithen’s article for this part). In your response you may mention the use of twisted perspective and geometric marks (as tracks, vegetation), if applicable.


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