An anonymous comment mentioned the Lascaux cave paintings on an earlier post about a sports art prize, so I thought I would see if there’s any good websites on them. I found one on the French government’s culture portal online here. There’s a “Virtual Visit” which shows paintings in each of the cave rooms (or are they called crevices? sections?.. there’s probably a word for a cave room.. Batman would know it.)
The Lascaux caves were discovered in 1940 by some teenagers chasing after their dog called Robot. They were opened up to the public, but like everything else we touch, we were destroying them. So they were closed to the public in 1963 and were restored. More recently there has also been a fungus causing damage in the caves which is believed to have been created by an air conditioning system that was installed in the caves. The cave paintings are estimated to be 16,000 years old.
Grouping of horses running, with a bulls head.
This horse above looks like it was taken straight from an old Chinese ink painting.
Two bison. The French cave paintings are very different to the Aboriginal cave paintings in Australia that I have seen. The Lascaux paintings are so much more fluid, a bison looks like a bison, and they capture movement very well. The Australian cave paintings are more linear, still, almost like paper cutouts of the animal, and much more childlike. I’m not saying one is better than the other, just different.
This is an image in the “Shaft of the Dead Man” where a bison looks over what seems to be a dead man on the ground. There’s also a rhinoceros to the left and a quirky looking bird on a stick just below the dead man.
There’s much more information and plenty of pictures on the French culture website here. I just thought I would share the website as I love cave paintings and the art of children, both for similar reasons; they don’t complicate things.