The aristocracy controls the art

Humans are motivated to create art for many reasons. In Lascaux and Morbihan, artists painted cave walls and set up giant stone monuments to represent that which was important to them. The Lascaux cave paintings demonstrated which animals were important to the painters and why they were important enough for the artists to take the time to represent them. In Morbihan, the megaliths spoke of developing religion and the passage from this world into the next. Art is representative of a civilization’s culture and its people. Further evidence for this is how art in Lattes represented the consumer-driven culture of buying what one wants, and the Christian Romanesque art in Saint-Denis’ basilica.
Likewise, art in Poitou-Charentes represents the cultural qualities of the town. Poitou-Charentes was inhabited by aristocrats, peasants, and merchants much like the other medieval towns of its time period. Aristocrats spent most of their time fighting one another, as is evident in the enormous châteaux that they erected throughout France. It is not an exaggeration to say that almost every town in France is decorated with a château. They are a common feature in French landscape and their size and sturdiness is a testament to the fact that they were fortresses guarding the lords against attacks from neighboring competitors. In their case, architecture as an art form represents the warlike culture of early medieval France.
The aristocrats in medieval France influenced many of the art forms of the time because they had the funds to build and the free time to need entertainment. Because they had nothing else to do besides fight one another, they created pastimes like hunting for sport, tournaments, and games like chess and an early form of backgammon. The creation of games can be considered an art form in itself because of the creativity it takes to decide on rules and form.
In the court, aristocrats facilitated the development of storytelling, poetry, and music by hosting troubadours for entertainment. The troubadours told stories of courtly love and aristocrats formed their societies on those principles.
From these examples, it seems that in feudal France, aristocrats had more time to spend on the development of new pastimes and art forms while peasants worked on perfecting already established forms of art such as pottery. It is also interesting to note that while aristocrats consistently had free time, peasants did not really begin developing decorative pottery until the 7th century when the climate warmed, new farmland became available, and their obligations to the aristocracy lightened up.  Because of its domination over peasants, the aristocracy even had indirect influence over peasant production of art.


About pagesoftheworld

I'm a French teacher who is learning how to garden and cook healthy delicious recipes with what I have grown.
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