Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The history of cave painting

The first ‘paintings’ were probably made in caves approximately 15,000 year ago.

Most of the cave painting that has been preserved seems to be attributed to the later millennia of the Upper Paleolithic.

These pictures of bison, deer, horses, cattle, mammoth and boars are located in the most remote recesses of the caves far from the inhabited, sunlit entrances.

For example, there was the 1991 discovery of the Grotte Cosquer near present-day Marseille, which contain the first decorated walls so far east in southern France.

The cave is now accessible only from the Mediterranean Sea to a few extraordinary skilled deep sea divers.

Archeologists speculate artists created the animals’ images to guarantee a successful hunt. Many are portrayed pierced with arrows, and gouges in the rock indicate cave-dwellers may have flung spears at the painted game.

Paleolithic art was discovered at the beginning of the second third of the 19th century, simultaneously at Geneva and in France.

The works discovered consisted of two harpoons decorated with geometric figures at Veyrier and a reindeer metapodial engraved with two hinds at Le Chaffaud.

To illuminate the surfaces while working, Paleolithic painters used stone lamps filled with marrow or fat, with a wick perhaps of moss.

For drawing, they used chunks of red and yellow ocher. For painting, they ground these same ochers into powders they mixed with water before applying.
The history of cave painting
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