Both sets of caves have several paintings that are very similar, as well as many that are vastly different. The styles of art in both are fairly similar, although more colors are used in Lascaux, as well as a wider variety of angles (Lascaux has a horse in frontal view). The red ochre is consistent throughout both caves. The hand prints, both positives and negatives, seem entirely absent from Lascaux, while there are many more “symbolic” signs, such as the XIII, leading me to believe that they may have perhaps been a primitive form of descriptors or signatures.
There appear to be a greater variety of animals in Chauvet than in Lascaux. While ibex, rhinos, felines, horses and bison are common to both caves, Chauvet has what I would consider more exotic animals, such as hyenas, mammoths and panthers, as well as bears, whilst Lascaux has the more domesticated animals such as cows and bulls. The way some of the animals, primarily the owl near the end of Chauvet, are drawn with finger tracings is completely unseen in Lascaux, although that may be primarily due to the way the particular media presented itself.
I think it is also important to note that the objects of the paintings also tell us quite a bit of the locations and state of culture during these time periods. It's clear that Lascaux is a cave of a more sedentary tribe, with the “hut in a tree” as well as with the more domesticated animals as the cows. The fact that the dwellers of Lascaux had the time to craft different colors of pigments also leads me to believe they were more sedentary. In stark contrast to those in Lascaux, the paintings of Chauvet are of more predatory animals, such as panthers, suggesting that those dangerous creatures may be a sort of trophy, should one be adept enough to bring it down. The dwellers of Chauvet seem more concered with the glory of the hunt, than creating symbols, signs, or “Great Sorcerers.”
I personally believe that the Chauvet paintings are older than Lascaux's....
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