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Cave Paintings: where it all began(part 2)

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In the first part of article about cave paintings we have seen that the first artist in history,or better prehistory, was Neanderthal man. In this second part we will handle about artworks made by our own kind,Homo Sapiens!

There are many evidences about cave paintings scattered across the world; precursors of Michelangelo probably painted in the wall of caves helped by trembling light of fire ,but why they did that? What impetus could inspire those primitive men to smeared of colours those caves? The irrepressible desire to communicate with fellow human beings,yes but in what other way palaeolithic men could communicate? Certainly not with words because there was no form of writing since that period is called Prehistory precisely because of the lack of written documents. History as such, start with writing but how was born this last? Every form of writing require an alphabet in order to build words and sentences that allow direct and immediate communication between human beings ,but where come from alphabet? Do you remember cave paintings? Yes right them, from these primitive paintings were extracted the first shape of letters that led to the creation of alphabet and then,long after,of writing. I can write this article right now thanks to cave paintings ,so you can just imagine how important they are in history of mankind! Art is so huge important that it can be so difficult to properly explain! You should try to imagine our civilization without painting and therefore without writing,what would our evolution be like? Considering the fact that without writing would not have developed even music, at least not to highest level of classic music, simply because could not have been pass on orally such sophisticated musical works written by Mozart or Beethoven! So in summary without drawing and painting,there wouldn’t have been writing,music,theatre,cinema,nothing at all,in other words there wouldn’t be the human civilization as we know it today. We should be extremely grateful to those talented and courageous artists who unknowingly have changed for ever the history of mankind and all planet,with their colours and lines drawn in those humid and rough cave walls! Take a look at the famous rapresentation of wisent of complex of Lascaux caves in France,not without a reason declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. 

Detail of Lascaux Caves,France


These amazing paintings look like modern rather than ancient and they influenced even the great artist Pablo Picasso which said about wonderful cave painting in Altamira(  Spain):“After Altamira everything is decadence”and then he added that true art,that pure and devoid of influence of other artists,could be just primitive art since those artists were real pioneers. Admire tonalities still vivid of one of the many bisons painted in the Altamira caves also declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985:

Bison painted in Altamira cave,Spain

300 meters of caves full of masterpieces that have passed through the centuries without the support of any restorer,but just thank to the help of Mother Nature. What about Chauvet cave in France? It takes the name after its discoverer Jean Marie Chauvet who discovered it in 1994. This cave is long more than 500 meters and you can find in it several paintings and engravings about many extinct animals like mamut,cave bear,cave lion,aurochs and woolly rhinoceros of which you can see a picture in the photo below:

Woolly Rhinoceros,Altamira cave,Spain

Ageless masterpieces  that speak about a remote past that we should never forget due to its important. The main topic covered by these paintings are mostly hunting scenes,rapresentations of wild animals which were hunted like auroch(Bos Primigenius) or that were feared like cave bear(Ursus Splelaeus). Perhaps out there can be discovered other caves full of artistic masterpieces that speak about history of prehistoric man which with his inborn artistic vein has changed for ever our history as well! Who knows what would have thought those ancient artists about modern art,i like to think that they would have been proud about art evolution over the millennia,maybe a little less about certain aspects of modern society,but this is another story.          

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