30 November 2002
NORDESTE PAINTINGS: THE CASE FOR A
Reinaldo Morales, Jr.
submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for
Major Advisor: James D. Farmer, Associate Professor, Art History
This thesis argues that a unified painting tradition was shared throughout Archaic period American rock art, characterized by depictions of an elongated anthropomorph. Research to this point indicates that this style is only found in two areas, the American Southwest and Northeast Brazil. In North America, the figures appear in the Barrier Canyon Style, the Grand Canyon Polychrome Style, and the Pecos River Style. In Brazil, these figures are represented in the Nordeste tradition, from the São Raimundo Nonato area, Piauí.
This analysis addresses the elongated anthropomorph as evidence of a shared aesthetic in Archaic North and South American rock painting. The numerous formal similarities indicate more than coincidental stylistic developments. The existence of a shared tradition is considered based on the available data. Conclusions are drawn based on the formal evidence of a pan-Archaic American aesthetic.
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Department of Art History, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA.
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