After finding the paintings by climbing through a hole revealed by a fallen tree, with their dog Robot, the boys swore one another to secrecy.Later they informed their schoolmaster, who had to squeeze into a narrow passage to see the cave.Inside the Chauvet grotto, they found a 400-metre long network of galleries and rooms, covered in rock art and petroglyphs, whose floor was littered with a variety of paleontological remains, including the skulls of bears and two wolves.Some of these bones had been arranged in special position by the previous human inhabitants. What is the Significance of Chauvet Cave and its Art? Archeology and Human Habitation The Cave Paintings Animal Figures Abstract Art Painterly Skills and Techniques The Layout of the Chauvet Cave - The Brunel Chamber - The Chamber of the Bear Hollows - The Cactus Gallery - The Gallery of Hands - The Hillaire Chamber - Panel of the Fighting Rhinoceroses and Horses - Panel of the Horses - The Chamber of the Skull - The Gallery of Crosshatches - The End Chamber - Panel of Bison - Panel of Rhinoceroses - Panel of Felines - The Hanging Rock of the Sorcerer - The Sacristy The Purpose of Chauvet Related Articles The Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc cave - among the world's oldest sites of prehistoric cave painting, along with the El Castillo Cave Paintings (39,000 BCE), the Sulawesi Cave Art (37,900 BCE) and the abstract signs found at Altamira (c.34,000 BCE) - was discovered quite by chance in the Ardeche gorge in 1994, by three speleologists - Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel-Deschamps and Christian Hillaire - while they were surveying another cave nearby.Amazingly, Chauvet's entire labyrinth of prehistoric art had been left undisturbed since a landslide sealed off the entrance about 25,000 years ago.Chauvet is one of the few prehistoric painted caves to be found preserved and intact, right down to the footprints of animals and humans.
Studies have shown that many of the ancient and beautifully preserved prehistoric paintings of horses, cave lions and rhinoceros on the cave's walls were made more than 30,000 years ago, making them some of the oldest known artworks on the planet.
How did Prehistoric Artists Obtain their Paint Colours?
Did Stone Age Painters Make Preliminary Sketches?
The 17,000-year-old painting are rendered with great skill, incorporating the contours of the caves and displaying some of the first known use of perspective, a technique that was not rediscovered until the Golden Age of Greece, as well as shadowing, highlighting, stenciling, and Pointillism.
The artists used powdered colors, brushes and stumping clothes and spit pigment out of their mouth.
AFPTV provides a rare filmed glimpse inside the cave, which is closed to the public.