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Here The Muse Of Fine Arts explores the Paleolithic art work on the walls of the cave at Lascaux.



The cave

Lascaux is a cave in southwestern France near the town from which it takes its name. The cave, formed by water percolating through limestone during the Tertiary period, consists of one large cavern and several smaller chambers. It is unique for the Paleolithic art which covers its walls and ceilings, much of which is impressive as art as well as historic artifact.

Around 15,000 to 17,000 BC, Stone Age artists adorned the interior surfaces of the cave with approximately 1500 engravings and 600 paintings in shades of yellow, red, brown, and black. The great majority of these paintings depict animals, including aurochs (a now extinct species of wild ox), horses, red deer, and ibex. Dots and geometric motifs of uncertain significance accompany many of these animal figures. In a large chamber known as the Hall of the Bulls, paintings depict relatively small figures of deer and horses alongside four huge aurochs bulls measuring over 16 feet long.


the art

As you can well imagine, it is difficult to photograph the wall paintings because of the darkness in the cave, its cramped quarters, and the rugged environment in which they dwell. Artists had to use ladders and scaffolding to reach the ceiling. Add to that the fact that the original paintings have deteriorated and you can understand why reproductions fail to do justice to the originals. Nevertheless, some fine photographs are extant due to the efforts of concerned archeologists.

The Muse Of Fine Art is pleased to present some of these photographs.

more about lascaux

There's a lot to know about Lascaux. The Ministry of Culture of the French government offers a web site dedicated to the subject of the Lascaux cave. If you are interested in learning more about Lascaux, The Muse Of Fine Arts recommends a visit.

  • Visit the official French Lascaux cave web site: tap or click here
  • Lascaux figures prominently in the history of recording. See more about it's significance. Visit The Muses' pages called Welcome To The History Of Recordings And Recording: tap or click here
  • See more about prehistoric art and the Lascaux cave paintings at the section of Electricka's web site titled Evolution Of Prehistoric Stories. You'll find this section in the feature titled Birth Of The Novel: tap or click here

the Fine Arts Glossary

The Muse Of Fine Arts is pleased to offer this automated glossary of fine arts terminology. It's a bounty of basic information about the fine arts which it presents in a simple, direct, and clear manner. It contains over 500 important terms drawn from a variety of the fine arts, with definitions that are packed with interesting and informative content.

  • First visit the page called the Fine Arts Glossary, where the glossary is explained. From there, visit the Glossary and look up fine arts words 'til you bust! tap or click here

technical aspects of the fine arts

In their classical definition, the fields of fine art are primarily visual; they include painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolor, graphics, and architecture. Yet today there are more kinds of fine art than every before, many of which mitigate or completely dissolve barriers that in the past restricted the sensory appeal of fine art to the eyes at the expense of the other four senses.

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The cave and its contents have fascinated scholars and the public at large since their discovery in 1940. Research has continued unabated since then and is underway today. New conjectures about the significance of the art and the people who painted and used the figures are still being formed.

As a result of the great interest in the subject, many books and papers about Lascaux have been and are still being produced; the mystery is still under investigation.



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