Spotted Horses - Pech Merle cave

The spotted horses of Pech Merle cave speak to us from a distant past. In fact, as an artist, you are continuing a tradition that may be as old as humankind itself. Some anthropologists believe that the ability to interpret/transform/recreate in abstract terms ( art ) is a defining aspect of what it is to be a modern human ( Homo sapiens sapiens ), man who thinks. The prehistoric art at Pech Merle is a ‘must see’ for artists who want to experience, feel, try to revisit what our prehistoric ancestors were communicating so long ago. How long ? About 40,000 years ago newcomers ( Cro-Magnon ) arrived in southwest France which was already populated with someone else,,, ( Neanderthal ). This Upper Paleolithic period known as the Aurignacian ( 40,000 to 28,000 BP ) was very cold ( glacial ) and our prehistoric ancestors where competing against cave lions, cave bears, and Homo neanderthalensis practicing their hunter-gatherer lifestyle hunting reindeer, horses, bison, auroch and very rarely wooly mammoth. We have found many artifacts ( stone and bone tools ) plus portable art ( decorated objects- ivory and bone ) and parietal art ( cave wall art ). Of all the artifacts found, cave wall art is the most intriguing. This earliest known art demonstrates great skill and a sense of aesthetics that capture our imagination even today showing spatial perspective and motion ( two advanced painting techniques ). The spotted horses at Pech Merle cave using radiocarbon chronology are carbon 14 dated to 29,000 years old ! When standing right in front of the original art at Pech Merle one is overwhelmed ! The majority of the painting was spit ( manganese dioxide and charcoal powder mixed with saliva ) and the overall balance and play with proportion is astounding ! One could stand there and look for time eternal.

A Pech Merle visit is considered essential to your artistic experience during your stay at Domaine du Haut Baran and William will ensure an informed exploration of the cave art.  Join us for one of our art workshops scheduled for 2017 !

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