Monday, May 12, 2008

Fire and art

Paleontologists debate whether a piece of charcoal found in a cave is incidental or represents a hearth. They want to know whether, like them, ancient man lit fires.
This horse is found in a cave in Loubens, France. In 1974, the cave was privately owned and permission had to be obtained to see the grotte. A quick search on the internet didn't yield much information about the site or this painting. Perhaps the cave is still privately held. The one image of this horse I found was courtesy of Douglas Mazonowicz. My impression is that Mazonowicz's reproduction is in The Gallery of Prehistoric Painting in New York City. Mazonowicz, who traveled the world studying cave art and making precise and comprehensive copies, said this about the Loubens horse in his book, Voices from the Stone Age, "Without doubt, this is one of the most charming cave drawings so far discovered. ... Every part of the animal's outline is expressive, a perfect interplay of lines that provides a remarkable sense of movement." I agree.


Chet Gresham said...


My favorite is Lascaux, also in France. Joseph Campbell does some good pontificating on it.

Morningangel said...

Check out Mazonowicz. He does a darn good global survey. He's also conservative with interpretation.

His reproductions are top-notch. He remains as faithful to the artist as possible, but also preserves incidental marks that could be paleontologically important.