Monday, September 12, 2011

Paiting* (for Painting*)

On the day after so much was lost in an instant ten years ago in New York City, it's strangely reassuring to remember how much was recovered on a chance encounter, 71 years ago today, in the caves of Lascaux, France, when paintings now estimated to be 17,300 years old were unearthed by four teenage boys spelunking with their dog Robot. The cave paintings comprise approximately 2,000 figures: animals, people, and abstract signs, some of which are now considered possibly astrological in nature. Sadly, sightseers have hastened the deterioration of these paintings and promoted the growth of various molds and fungi. In the 2010 3-D documentary by Werner Herzog, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, the Chauvet cave in southern France is cinematically explored. This particular cave is carefully preserved and does not generally admit visitors, which presented numerous challenges for the filmmaker and his crew. There were eight examples of Paiting* (for painting*) in OhioLINK, and 303 in WorldCat.

(Photograph of Lascaux animal painting, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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