Saturday, March 8, 2008

20 Most Fascinating Prehistoric Paintings

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Known as "the prehistoric Sistine Chapel," the Lascaux Caves, a cave complex in southwestern France, contain some of the most remarkable paleolithic cave paintings in the world, from at least 15,000 years ago.

The cave was discovered on 12 September 1940 by four teenagers, Marcel Ravidat, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel, and Simon Coencas, as well as Ravidat's dog, Robot. Public access was made easier after World War II. By 1955, the carbon dioxide produced by 1,200 visitors per day had visibly damaged the paintings. The cave was closed to the public in 1963 in order to preserve the art.

Altamira Caves: as Picasso famously exclaimed, "after Altamira, all is decadence"

Chauvet Caves: spectacular artwork

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