The art of the past ①speaks
to us, even though no longer in the language of its creators.
But since our own ideas about what art is are continually changing,
how can we possibly understand ②the art
of thousands of years ago and other parts of the world?
We need to be wary of using too aesthetic an approach, and to
look beyond ③any beauty or formal qualities
we may perceive in the art of the past, in order to
try and recreate the perception and use of images of ancient peoples.
It is important to remember that ④in
remote periods (as ⑤in certain
traditional societies today) some images were probably
considered as the work of supernatural, ⑥not
merely as products of human mind. They were seen as
more or less ⑦direct manifestations of
the divine and sometimes even as spontaneous miracles.