The Eternal Present: The Beginnings of Art. [Giedion, S.] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Eternal Present: The Beginnings of Art.
Sigfried Giedion’s ‘The Eternal Present Vol.1, The Beginnings of Art’ is a book taken from the Fine Arts lectures given by Andrew W. Mellon at the National Gallery of Fine Art Washington. By studying abstraction in primitive and contemporary art, the concept of constancy and transition is explored, while a long section is devoted to the significance and presentation of symbolic forms.
Giedion argues that all art then is a link that deepens our sensibilities and reveals humanity’s common feelings to us. This itself is the concept of the “eternal present,” as Giedion calls it, of constancy with change.
On the Dustjacket
From the dust jacket: “Professor Giedion, well known as a historian of architecture, is concerned in this latest work with a problem that in his view has come more and more into the foreground: the dual concepts of constancy and change in many spheres, ranging from the creative to the philosophical . . .The two keys to the meaning of prehistoric art, S. Giedion maintains, are the symbol, portraying reality before reality exists. The animal as man’s superior in the unified primordial world in which both man and animal were embedded. The illustrations – more than 500, including 20 in colour – include photographs of paleolithic paintings, engravings, and sculpture (mostly taken in the caverns of France and Spain under the author’s supervision), examples from recent primitive and contemporary art, drawings, diagrams, and maps.”
Contents are the following parts: Art: A Fundamental Experience; The Means of Expression in Primeval Art; Symbolization (consisting of The Symbol in Primeval Art, Hands as Magic Symbols; Manifold Meanings of Circular Forms, Fertility Symbols, The Great Symbols); The Human Figure (consisting of Venus Figurines, Figures Without Heads; Female and Male Reliefs; Masks and Hybrid Creatures, and Hybrid Creatures); and The Space Conception of Prehistory.