Chauvet Pont d’Arc cave paintings

I just heard about this cave today, and it intrigued the heck out of me, so I started doing some research.

There’s these caves in France called the Chauvet Pont d’Arc, and they have really old, really awesome cave paintings in them. Mostly they’ve come back into public interest because of some dude making a documentary about it, which you can read more about in detail here and also see the trailer.

I’ve also read a lot of nonsense about “oh there was gas in there that made people hallucinate” and so they drew “horrible monsters”. Yeah, you can see those here and read the descriptions. Nobody seems to have had much problem with it until the new documentary came out. Seems half-human half-animal creatures are found in most cultures.

Anyway, all that blather aside, from a purely artistic standpoint, the cave paintings are really, really good.

Considering most cave paintings are limited to stick figures, the detail on these are amazing. You can clearly recognize the horses, lions and rhinos. Not bad for an artist in a cave with no reference material in front of him. I think what I love the most are the sketchy lines to imply lots more of each creature.

6 thoughts on “Chauvet Pont d’Arc cave paintings

    1. There was an article on Yahoo news and on Gizmodo. It’s getting renewed media attention, probably because the documentary that’s coming out in the spring. I have a link to it up there.


  1. I am glad you did the research. I am also glad you got to see how they were drawn. That style I adore, like the White Horse in England. I could look at them all day. I will be getting to all of your emails soon, I just wanted you to know that but it is school time.


  2. OH MY GOSH, this is fantastic! I skimmed the article, enough to get the science separated from the evolution, and it looks like they’re gonna have to square-peg-round-hole another theory to make this cave fit their expectations. They’re probably going to find several unfossilized dinosaur bones in there, but we’d never hear about it if they did.
    I watched the trailer, and I’m pretty sure you can see what looks like a stegosaurus or plesiosaurus right at 55 seconds into the video.

    This kind of stuff thrills me on an elite level.


  3. I was impressed that they were drawings from 30,000 years ago. Perhaps many of us living on this planet now, are descendants of the artist of these wonderful drawings … or not?


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