1. Early Cultures

Film - history's newest art form - reaches back to some of the earliest images ever created by human beings. The two films which frame this first section of the Roland Collection's history of art set the keynote of the collection: art on film, and film as art.

For the particular effects achieved in Tassili N'Ajjer, the director, JD Lajoux, booked what was then the only camera of its kind in Europe (being used at the time in the filming of the feature The Longest Day), and traveled on camel-back through the Sahara, with all equipment, including that necessary for 'bouncing' natural daylight in the absence of power supply.

The Origins of Art in France presents near-hallucinatory sequences of artefacts and figures, alternated with images of the landscape, flora and fauna and rough-hewn architecture that were the backdrop to Gallic agrarian society, and to Druidic religion.

While the direction of these and other films in the Roland Collection is arresting and dramatic, it illuminates, rather than competes with, the art shown - neolithic rock paintings of animals, carved stone effigies, decorative artefacts, coins, cromlechs. These images are the antecedents of all the art of succeeding centuries. Bound up with lost social beliefs and customs, they yet retain in themselves aesthetic force and eloquence. 

 

Tassili N'Ajjer
Prehistoric Rock Paintings of the Sahara
Prehistoric Sites
From Stonehenge to the Moorlands of Western Britain
Grimes Graves
Neolithic Flint Mines and the Techniques of Flint Knapping
Working on the Evidence: Maiden Castle
Modern Archaeology at the Iron Age Hillfort
The Origins of Art in France
Celtic Art Treasures