An innovative exploration of the arts of antiquity, from the earliest European cave paintings to the coming of Christianity and Buddhism in the Old World and the arrival of the Spaniards in the New World.
Dividing the ancient world into three broad climatic categories—the northern nomadic, the temperate farmers and city dwellers, and the tropical—John Boardman focuses on common solutions that Man the Artist has devised for the problems posed by the environment, a factor that has also determined the nature of society and its arts. The solutions are shown to have been very similar worldwide within each broad environmental zone, and the pattern can be demonstrated in the arts no less than in social organization. Richly illustrated and clearly captioned, the book covers the full range of ancient art produced across the globe, from China and Egypt through Classical Greece to South America, Africa, Australasia, and Oceania. It illuminates the many similarities and differences to be observed over the millennia in which artists were required to serve man and his gods more completely than they have ever done since. 690 illustrations, 160 in color.