Chauvet Cave.pdf - Virtual Exhibit Finalized Animal...

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Unformatted text preview: Virtual Exhibit Finalized: Animal Paintings in Chauvet Cave Jiamao Yuan Dr. Amy Raymond Art 103A-01 30 November 2019 Gallery 3D View: ● Lights ● Exhibit Title ● Art Objects ● Object Labels ● Bench Animal Paintings in Chauvet Cave Thematic Label: Since I am an animal lover and majoring in art, I would love to explore the animal artworks for my Virtual Exhibit. The point of the Exhibit is to show how ancient people develop their observations, awareness, and art of animals. Since ancient times, people have relied on animals in their lives. For example, people need to eat animal meat to maintain their nutrition. People need animals to help hunt or cultivate. People even regard certain animals as their Gods. Later, people increasingly called animals pets and treat them like family members. In other words, there is an inseparable relationship between humans and animals since ancient times. In addition, the animal paintings in the Chauvet Cave are regarded as the earliest prehistoric art of mankind and the first human culture in Europe. The name of the Chauvet Cave is also related to the name of its discoverer. In the year of 1994, a French speleologist named Jean-Marie Chauvet led two of his friends exploring and discovered the underground caverns located at Ardèche in France. They found hundreds of wall paintings and sculptures in the cave. In the cave that Jean-Marie Chauvet found, the artwork recorded animals and humans, but most were animal paintings on the wall. In the article "Chauvet Cave," Emma Groeneveld states that the artists of the cave were hunter-gatherers. The animals that they usually hunted were horses, reindeer, bison, and aurochs. However, they also faced bears, lions, panthers, and wolves as competition. This shows that the animals of those paintings found in the caves were the real animals met by the ancient artists, and then they used paint to record the appearance and posture of those animals. These animal frescos show the ancient people's initial understanding of animals. Furthermore, Groeneveld also points out that the Chauvet cave is divided into two parts: the front hall and back hall. The natural reliefs of the first part are mainly red, and the paintings of the second part are mainly black. Moreover, the speleologists analyzed the natural reliefs in the cave and they found that the ancient artists used the materials such as charcoal, manganese dioxide, and haematite to paint on the wall. Therefore, the animal paintings in Chauvet Cave are not only the decoration of the ancients, but also the stories that occur between their lives and the animals. The significance of the artwork of the Chauvet Cave is that it records the life and development of humans and animals, which also lets future generations explore the earliest human arts. #1. (Central Object) Name: Wall Painting with Horses Artist: Unknown Material: Paint on limestone Relative Date: Paleolithic Culture: Prehistoric Europe Ancient Context: Chauvet Cave, France Scale: Unknown Current Location: Chauvet Cave, France URL: 5c6406151856d1d292313?source=contents Object label: The Wall Painting with Horses is the earliest-known prehistoric cave paintings in Prehistoric Europe that was found in the Chauvet Cave, France. The ancient painter painted these animals on limestone in the Paleolithic era of the relative date. On the relief, the artist painted the faces of four batches of horses. Although they are all horses, it is obvious that the artists painted the differences in their appearances, which means that they may be different breeds of horses. By observing the size of the horse's head, it is almost certain that the top horse is the first one painted on the wall, while the bottom horse is the last one. That is because the artist tried to make the shading and perspective in order to make them look more realistic. In addition to horses, this natural relief also records some rhinoceros. The most obvious is the fighting rhinoceros on the bottom. This shows that people at that time noticed the rhino's sexual foreplay behavior and recorded the posture of the animals they observed on the relief. Moreover, this artwork reflects that the artist has mastered the details of the animal's posture and movement, which means that people of that era have the ability to convert the three-dimensional things they see into a two-dimensional representation. This fresco not only shows the artist's talent of art but also the earliest relationship between humans and animals. #2. Name: Panel of the Engraved Horse Artist: Unknown Material: Engraved with the fingers on soft clay Relative Date: Paleolithic Culture: Prehistoric Europe Ancient Context: Chauvet Cave, France Scale: Length is 120 cm Current Location: Chauvet Cave, France URL: Object label: The Panel of the Engraved Horse was carved on the soft stone in the Chauvet Cave. Its length is 120 cm and shows the complete upper body of the horse. The artist pays great attention to the details of the carving, such as the complete mane, eyes, and furry chest. The scale of the horse's body also reflects that the ancient artist had a clear understanding of the proportion of the animal at that time. However, the details of the horse's legs are not as fine as the upper body, because the horse's leg lines are tapered and its legs have unclear scratches. According to the article "Chauvet Cave," Don Hitchcock points out that the "panel is superimposed on older bear claw marks." This shows that the artist carved the horse on top of the old claw marks of the bear, which means that the scratches on the horse's legs are most likely to be scratches made by the bear's claws. In addition, on the horse's mane, the speleologist found the artist's fingerprints. This proves that the relief in the cave is indeed from the human hand and also shows the artist's mastery of the carving method at the time. Due to the artist carving the horse after the bear left the scratch on the wall, it also shows that the cave has hosted many people and animals in the past 30,000 years. The reliefs in this cave are not only human artwork but also record the traces of the animals. Therefore, the artists of the relief in the Chauvet Cave can be considered humans and certain animals. #3. Name: The Recess of the Bears Artist: Unknown Material: Paint on limestone Relative Date: Paleolithic Culture: Prehistoric Europe Ancient Context: Chauvet Cave, France Scale: The length of the first bear is 120 cm Current Location: Chauvet Cave, France URL: Object label: The Recess of the Red Bears was found in the front hall of the Chauvet Cave. There were painted three red bears on the wall, but one of them is incomplete. The artist used the red ochre to paint them on the limestone. In addition, the artist skillfully uses the concave and convex parts of the wall to form the shoulders for the largest bear on the relief and uses the stump to draw the outline of the muzzle, head, and forequarters in order to make the composition deeper (Groeneveld 2017). In other words, the ancient artists not only knew how to outline the animal's posture with simple lines, but also use the characteristics of the limestone on the cave wall to highlight the visual effect they wanted to achieve. According to the article "Chauvet Cave," K. Kris Hirst states that among the thousands of animal bones, there were at least 190 bones from the cave bears. This shows that these bears have survived in this cave just like the people at the time. Both people and bears were interested in this cave and felt comfortable to stay there to survive. People who used to live in caves painted these bears on the walls, and it was clear that they wanted to decorate their homes with paintings and preserve the appearance of the bears they met. The three red bears in the cave could inadvertently let the people of today imagine what kind of stories they would have when the people at that time met the bears. Therefore, the natural relief Red Bears has a good bearing of the development of early humans and cave bears. #4. Name: The Owl Artist: Unknown Material: Carving on limestone Relative Date: Paleolithic Culture: Prehistoric Europe Ancient Context: Chauvet Cave, France Scale: Height is 45 cm Current Location: Chauvet Cave, France URL: . php Object label: The Owl was carved on limestone by an unknown artist; it was located in the second hall of the Chauvet Cave. The article "The Cave Art Paintings of the Chauvet Cave,” by the Bradshaw Foundation mentions that each part of the cave is geologically unique, and artists used it to distinguish rock art. In the second part of the cave, the artists showed different artistic techniques, and carvings are common in this part. This shows that there are a lot of carvings in the second part of the Chauvet Cave because the rock texture of the second part is softer, suitable, and easier for artists to carve on the surface of the rock. Therefore, the owl's carving shows that the artist at the time did choose the softer rock surface of the area to sculpt with tools. In addition, if people do not look closely at the owl, they probably will think that the body of the owl they see is the front, but the opposite is true. According to the text "Owl," Arnaud Frich states that "The anatomical characteristics of this animal, [shows] its head, turned 180° to face backward." In other words, the owl carved by the artist actually turned its head to the back. Interestingly, the ancient artists captured this characteristic of the owl very well and copied as much of the animal form as they observed. Moreover, from the length and characteristics of this owl, it can be judged that it is a long-eared owl. This owl sculpture shows the artist's careful observation of animals and superb carving skills at the time. The significance of this sculpture can be to let future generations understand the keen observation of the artists and learn the artist's rock carving skills and culture. #5. Name: Facing Horses Artist: Unknown Material: Charcoal paste on limestone Relative Date: Paleolithic Culture: Prehistoric Europe Ancient Context: Chauvet Cave, France Scale: Unknown Current Location: Chauvet Cave, France URL: the-cave-art-paintings-of-the-chauvet-cave/ Object label: The Facing Horses were painted in charcoal paste on the limestone of the Chauvet Cave in France. The unknown artists made these horses interesting by painting them to face each other. When people take a look at it, they may fall into the imagination of the horses in conversation. According to Don Hitchcock's article “Chauvet Cave," he states that Facing Horses is one of the most important artworks at Chauvet Cave. This panel was a 31000 years old art piece that was probably painted by Aurignacian (Hitchcock 2018). Hitchcock also points out that one of the horses in the bottom right of the panel with a red stain was probably caused by the "leakage of iron oxide from the wall". This shows that the Facing Horses painting was only painted in charcoal by the artist. Therefore, the colors other than black from the charcoal were not added by the artist. In the text "The Cave Art Paintings of the Chauvet Cave,” by the Bradshaw Foundation mentions that "The artist used fingers to mix and spread a charcoal paste and applied it in order to emphasize the main outlines and give relief and shading to the heads." This shows that the artists at the time have learned to outline and deal with the shadows of the animals with their fingers in order to make these horses look more realistic. Overall, the significance of this work is that it allows future generations to study the artist's skills in charcoal art and rock painting at that time and to imagine the animals that people encountered at the time by browsing the details of the animals in the painting. Works Cited: Balter, Michael. “New Light on the Oldest Art.” Science, vol. 283, no. 5404, Feb. 1999, pp. 920–922. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1126/science.283.5404.920a. Balter, Michael. “Going Deeper Into the Grotte Chauvet.” Science, vol. 321, no. 5891, Aug. 2008, pp. 904–905. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1126/science.321.5891.904. “The Cave Art Paintings of the Chauvet Cave.” The Art of The Chauvet Cave, Bradshaw Foundation, . Accessed 17 November 2019. Clottes, Jean. “Chauvet Cave (ca. 30,000 B.C.).” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2002) Frich, Arnaud. “Owl.” Centre National de Préhistoire. Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication. . Accessed 29 November 2019. Groeneveld, Emma. “Chauvet Cave.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, 12 February 2017. . Accessed 16 November 2019. Hirst, K. Kris. “Chauvet Cave.” ThoughtCo, 12 August 2018. . Accessed 17 November 2019. Hitchcock, Don. “Chauvet Cave.” Don’s Maps, 03 September 2018. . Accessed 17 November 2019. Thank You! ...
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