The oldest known cave art in Europe is the Chauvet Cave in France. It is a rather recent discovery (1994) in comparison with the well known Lascaux Cave (1940). The rock art of both caves is comparable for their style but also because they are an expression of the same genius.
The oldest paintings from the Chauvet Cave were made by hunters and gatherers around 32,400 years ago. Man had probably long traditions in making art on skins, wood and tattooing his own body. The makers of this rock art may have discussed what they would paint and how to do it. They had to make strenuous efforts to make these paintings. They had to crawl in the dark through long and narrow corridors with their material. Paint had to be taken in their mouth and sprawled on the rock, often from a very uncomfortable position.
Lascaux is, with paintings up to 17,000 years old, much younger than Chauvet. Time between today and Lascaux is about as much as between Lascaux and Chauvet. The paintings of another cave famous for its paintings, Altamira (Cantabria, Spain), is estimated to be 15,000 years old.
On the follwing link you will find a trailer of a coming documentary made by Werner Herzog on the Chauvet Cave, the ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams’ . http://vimeo.com/18964665
Dr. Marc Vermeersch. The oldest known cave art in Europe:
Nerja Caves: the oldest Cave Art in Europe, 42,000 years old Rock paintings , probably made by neanderthals.
The oldest known art in the world: Art in Olduvai 1,74 Million Years BP, Baboonhead Rather unknown, but undeserved,
If you are interested in art you might also like these blogs:
The Origin of Aesthetic Feeling and Art Fundamental: How our aesthetic feeling originated in reproduction of man, a darwinian explanation.
The oldest statuettes adapted by man are between 233,000 and 800,000 years old
“Lion Man”, the oldest statuette with a combination man-animal ‘Der Löwenmensch” was found in Germany.
The oldest Love Statuette in the World They keep on loving for ever in the British Luseeum.
A virtual visit to the Lascaux Cave is mind blowing!
Parts of this blog were taken from ‘Marc Vermeersch. De geschiedenis van de mens. Deel I. Jagers en verzamelaars. Boek 2, de maatschappij van jagers en verzamelaars. p.185.
Chauvet Cave Art (France) Horses, bisons rihnoceros 31,000 BP
Chauvet (France) Cave Art. Lion/lionesses heads.
The Chauvet has not only paintings but also engravings such as this beautiful owl.
Chauvet (France) Cave Art painting of hyena’s. 20,000 BP. At that time hyena’s were living since a long time in Europe.
If you are interested in art you might like these blogs:
Art in Olduvai 1,74 Million Years BP, Baboonhead
7000 BP: The Thinker an the Sitting Woman
The oldest statuettes adapted by man
“Lion Man”, the oldest statuette with a combination man-animal
The oldest Love Statuette in the World
Chauvet Cave, the oldest known cave art in Europe
A virtual visit to the Lascaux Cave
Nerja Caves: the oldest Cave Art in Europe, 42,000 years old Rock paintings , probably made by neanderthals
The origin of aesthetic Feeling and Art Basic text about the significance of art in a darwinian point of view.
7000 BP. The Thinker and the Sitting Woman. Two extraordinary statuettes from Romania.
The oldest Cartoons in the World? 14,000 BP They were engraved in the La Marche Cave in France. They are as fresh as they were 14,000 years ago.