In the beginning, God created. He made art.
And His creation, whether or not we were coincide, has been imitating Him in the work of co-creating ever since.
In the beginning of civilization, man created.
Egyptians – which is where we find our earliest recorded history , at approximately 4,000 BC, has in-depth records of their artistic accomplishments. They were excellent painters. Their development of papyrus, a plant grown by the Nile, lead to the first great libraries known to mankind.
They excelled in works of copper and bronze, while their contemporaries in Europe were still living in the Stone Age.
They created beautiful and intricate linen garments. They created lovey vases and statues and ceremonial objects. Their furniture was all carved with great care. We still have a moles of their chairs, beds, and chests with us today in our museums. They created detailed portraits in stone. They crafted gorgeous jewelry.
And of course, their pyramids. Wonders of architecture.
Assyrians excelled in their animal sculptures.
Babylon had a school system while Europe was still stuck in the Stone Age. They even educated their daughters- something we think of as a modern notion.
Their art was as varied as it was beautiful. We have the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, which legend and myth has blown out to wild proportions , but it is still considered one of the wonders of the ancient world.
The Babylonians invented the arch, that we still use in our architecture today.
They were skilled in cutting gems and carving pictures. The Babylonians made beautiful rugs. And produced excellent works of copper.
Babylonians invented the 12 hour day, and the calendar . They learned to measure time through astronomy. They invented a water clock. They came up with some of the earlier stuff systems for weights and measurements. They developed an early currency system.
Then, in 2000 BC we find the people of Crete, who took the design of the Egyptians vases, and improved upon them, making them more beautiful. Creteans were skilled artists in paint, pottery, and metal work.
When Crete was destroyed, the Greeks moved in and built on the ruins of the Crete’s city, Cnossus. The Early Greeks were not skilled, but they lived beautiful things and were quick learners. And of course , they developed the Greek Architecture that is still the standard of our day.
We remember the Greats as being artists. The great men of the renaissance were well educated . They were scientists, mathematicians, statesmen.. and artists.
However , Athenians and Spartans led vastly different lives. Athenians, under great freedoms, created great works of art. Spartans, who had very little freedom, left us with no works of art. Freedom begets art.
Sure we remember the military of Sparta, but it was Athens work during Peacetime that made Greece a super power. Athens knew there was a time to go to battle, but they didn’t center their lives around it like Sparta did.
Jumping ahead 500 years or so, the great founders of our country were also largely self educated and yet classically trained. They knew Latin by their second or third year of school. They invented and improved upon inventions. They created inventions to make life better, easier. They studied the history of law for years, and they created a new system of government from scratch. And they too, were artists.
Because you see, freedom is the oxygen needed to breathe forth a work of art.