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France’s Prehistoric Chauvet Cave Opens


The replica of the Chauvet cave at Pont d’Arc is to open its doors. Photo: AFP
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France’s prehistoric Chauvet cave opens

We have written about the spectacular Chauvet Cave in a prior post titled, “DID ABSTRACT ART EXIST 35,000 YEARS AGO? – THE CHAUVET CAVE.” Since its discovery in 1994, cave has been open only to researchers, staff, and invited guests. However, the Cave’s website has long featured a virtual tour of the Cave, and a video of its discovery by  Jean-Marie Chauvet, Eliette Brunel and Christian Hillaire. You can also see a feature- length film of the Cave, in 3D, made by Werner Herzog: The Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” and watch the Trailer here. Thus, a lot of use of the tools of the New Media to make the Art of the Cave accessible.Now, a replica of the entire cave has been opened to the public.chauvet artist working

However, now a replica of the entire cave has been opened on the site.

Technical Wizardry

Since this site is devoted to “Fine Art in the new Media, we’d like to focus on the technical and artistic skills that made this replica possible.

According to france.fr,

“The designers of the cave replica are working in close collaboration with the scientific team, the challenge being to reproduce the cave and its 8,500 m2 in a space restricted to just 3,500 m2, while at the same time maintaining the perception of the original volumes. This is made possible by a 3D technique developed using a high-precision scanner to generate a full-scale digital reproduction of the cave. The paintings will be reproduced on a shotcrete structure with resin coating using natural oxide pigments and Scots pine charcoal. And all the paintings will be done by experienced artists with a view to remaining as faithful as possible to the original spontaneity of the work.”

“Lion, cave bear, snow panther, mammoth, white rhinoceros, megaceros, bison, aurochs, ibex, stag… A seven-metre long panel of horses, a panel depicting a group of lionesses out hunting amidst a vast animal composition, naturalistic scenes in which two rhinoceroses do combat and a lioness spurns the advances of a male… Depicted over a distance of half a kilometre and occupying an area of 8,500 m2, the bestiary portrayed on the walls of the Chauvet Pont-d’Arc cave – containing 424 animals and 14 species – is principally made up of predatory animals, which is quite specific compared to other decorated caves which in the majority of cases are more recent.”


The Cave replica is also replete with horse art  A must see. And here you can see more images of the artists and technicians at work creating the replica.

H/T Mark Dziamba




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