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Hall of Bulls

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  • December 7, 2006
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The Hall of Bulls
The Hall of Bulls at Lascaux holds a special place in the ongoing history of mankind. Created from 15,000 to 13,000 BC during the Upper Paleolithic period the Hall of Bulls is some of the earliest known art. These great bulls may have been the first works of art many men or women ever saw; surely the Hall of Bulls is one of the first great masterpieces an introductory art history student ever sees and learns about. About 17,500 years ago the temperature of the earth began to change. The climate was no longer frigid but became more mild and hospitable to the Magdelenians, the people living during that era. During this time of increasing warmth "the landscape was completely altered and the fauna increased… it was during this interstadial that Lascaux was decorated" (Ruspoli,17). Along with the rising temperature and increasing fauna the number of hunters grew and people moved around more. It was a time of great improvements and new technology. Humankind learned to burn fat in lamps which may have "encouraged the artists to go deeper into the caves" (Ruspoli, 17). Amazingly these prehistoric artists went to extremes to create their art; they were brave and unafraid to explore the caves. The artists crossed underground lakes and broke their way through walls of stalagmites to get to the precious spot where they would make their beautiful mark. Unfortunately the mild weather did not last and once again the climate became frigid and harsh, about 16,500 years ago. The Hall of Bulls is a magnificent example of humanity's bold first attempts at art. A perfect example of Upper Paleolithic cave art, the Hall of Bulls at Lascaux is composed predominantly of animals, the animals are full highly detailed, and finally the cave art leaves the viewer with a sense of intrigue, why did our ancestors create this art? The Hall of Bulls was produced between 15,000 and 10,000 BC by prehistoric man. The masterpiece is located on the walls of a cave in Lascaux, France....