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Langues vivantes01:42

What is rock and cave art?

A Question A Day

Rock and cave art paintings are made on outside surfaces like rocks, or on cave walls. Some go back over 40,000 years but there are many examples we can still see such as in the Lascaux cave, in the south of France. The creators of these works of art were prehistoric humans; already confirmed artists.

So, what did prehistoric humans paint ?

They often painted hunting scenes, with dangerous animals… Such as mammoths, bison, bears and lions. They also painted scenes showing humans and made stencils with their hands. In those days, artists made their own tools: charcoal crayons and paints from natural pigments, made of crushed rocks. No one really knows what these drawings mean! Some scientists think that humans were passing on their hunting techniques. Others believe that these paintings were used to invoke gods during magic rituals. These works of art have survived for centuries but they’re very fragile. Lascaux had to close to the public because the cave paintings were suffering. However, you can still admire them in the new Lascaux 4 facsimile; a life-size replica of the cave opened in December 2016.

Nom de l'auteur : Jacques Azam

Producteur : Milan Presse, France Télévisions

Année de copyright : 2018

Publié le 23/07/18

Modifié le 21/03/19

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