Museum of the Origins of Man



UPPER PALEOLITHIC ZOOMORPHIC CAVE PAINTINGS





Fig. 31,2) Horse painted at cave Lascaux, France.
The animal escapes under a rain of arrows. The horses were killed why the man fed of them.
A opinion is diffused, that this painting of high artistic value re-enters in the ritual of the magic that supervises to the hunting.
Size:?
Upper Paleolithic

Fig. 31,3) The vault of the cave of Lascaux, Dordogne, France.
There are visible paintings of mammals of which the man fed himself. In order to paint animals in the high vaults of the caves, scaffoldings in wood were made.
NOTE: Do not forget, that while in the caves of Dordogne, the cave Altamira, and other franc-cantabric caves a zoomorphic painting was produced, around these zones, and in other zones of Europe, other artistic-religious civilizations produced anthropomorhic sculpture.

Fig. 31,4) Abbot Henry Breuil (1877-1961).
The scholar crouched down in admiration of the zoomorphic paintings under the vault of the cave Rouffignac (France), that has been discovered 1956,june,26 by L.R. Nougier and his collaborator Romain Robert.
This photo has been taken 1956,may,17. when Abbot Breuil, 79 y.o., stay 12 hours in front of the paintings of mammoth and rhynoceros, that in his opinion are the most beautiful between the paintings of upper Paleolithic.
Abbot Breuil has been defined the "Pope of the Prehistory" for his decisive very immense work and dedication to the prehistoric art.
The cave of Rouffignac contains paintings and recordings of 100 mammoths.

Fig. 31,5) Two bisons in the cave Niaux, France.
Size: lenght cm. 95,
In the upper Paleolithic, during the Magdalenian, also in painting, like in sculpture, we find several styles. These two bisons are stylistically realistic. To the contrary, the horse of Lascaux (Fig. 31,2),is stylistically much fanciful, i.e. is invented. Notice head and legs smaller of the real, as the man don't eat them, and the body more large of the real, in how much was eaten, but all are made with extreme elegance.
These two bisons are deturped by some vandals, before that the cave was protected.




Fig. 31,7) Giraffes painted in the cave Altamira, Santander, Spain.
Size: ?
Giraffe was not rare in European fauna of late upper Paleolithic, as it is found by archaeological evidences. However, we remain incredulous, thinking that in "glacial" age giraffes and reindeers cohabited in Europe.
The representations of animals in upper Paleolithic are testimanial of animals no more existing in Europe; therefore, like the anthropomorphic lithic sculptures of lower, middle and upper Paleolithic, these representations are testimony of human species no more existing.




Fig. F33) Scene of two reindeers to pasture.
Length. 245 cm.
Cave Font-de-Gaume (France).
Upper Palaeolithic.
(Reconstruction, drawing by Abbe' Breuil).




Fig. F34) Spotted horses painted in black. The spots in the neck and under belly grow over the bodies. The heads of the horses are more tiny towards a shape which is proper to the rock.
The wall includes many hands "in negative".
Upper Paleolithic.
Cave of Pech-Merle (France)




Fig. F35) Mammoth painted on the wall.
Cave: Les Combarelles (France).
Upper Palaeolithic.
(From a drawing of 1912).
NEXT

Index

HOME PAGE


Copyright©1999-2009 by Museo delle Origini dell'Uomo, all rights reserved.