Importance of Magic and Rituals as Inspiration in Art

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Importance of Magic and Rituals as Inspiration in Art

"Many secrets of art and nature are thought by the unlearned to be magical." (Roger Bacon)

Prehistoric art can be several things, from little stone figurines to paintings on the walls of caves. The term “prehistoric” actually tells us that the culture that produced the artwork didn't have a written language. Prehistoric artwork can be found all over the world.

A lot of artists and historians believe that at the core of each action to create prehistoric art was a ritual act or ceremony in some way.' As everyone else, prehistoric people understood the world around them based on their experience. All of art produced in that period is a product of their actual knowledge about everything that was surrounding them. It is in human nature to look for answers and for explanation behind everything. Throughout the history of art we see that artists were inspired by religion so I think that in that (prehistoric) period of time their religion were magic and rituals.

Magic was probably one of the several influences for the use of art. Others being superstition, symbolism, afterwards religion and of course simple human creativity that should never be underestimated while looking for all the puzzle pieces.

In Egypt, then, we have clearly an perfect example where art and ritual go hand in hand. Countless artworks that decorate Egyptian tombs and temples are but ritual practices translated into stone. Ancient art and rituals are not only very closely connected, it's not that they mutually explain and illustrate each other, but, as after thinking about Egypt our logic is telling us - they actually arise out of a common human impulse.

Alongside with Egypt, let's take a look at Greece and e.g. Palestine where we can see very close link between art and rituals. In this case we see that these two are are actually linked so closely that we begin to seriously suspect they may have a common origin.

The Greek, when...
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