Drawing by Firelight (30,000 B.C.)
Cave drawings have been found dating back to 30,000BC. This was man's first written attempt at the art of storytelling with pictures. Many of the paintings are located in the ceilings and walls deep within the caves meaning they could only be viewed with firelight. Most of these caves have been found in France and Spain.
Animals were most commonly drawn in the pictures. Early artist also painted people into the pictures. Some paintings show animals with arrows or spears protruding from their bodies. Some of the people in the paintings are shown wearing what appear to be magic costumes. The belief is that man drew these likenesses to gain special powers through ceremonial rites. These special powers could have been any of the following: communicating with the gods, enabling him to become a better hunter, or give him the courage and strength of the animals that he hunted.
The early artist had four basic colors to use in drawings. They used black from charcoal, white from limestone, and red and yellow from a type of clay called ocher. The colors were mixed with animal fats to produce a pastelike paint. The paint could either then be rubbed onto the rock walls or blown onto through a hollow bone.
The quality of the artwork also has led the belief that the cave painter specialized in painting alone. The painter was not required to hunt or farm with the others. This would have made the painter a valuable member of any tribe. --Jon Wherley
Cave Paintings Lascaux
Cave or rock paintings are paintings painted on cave or rock walls and ceilings, usually dating to prehistoric times. Rock paintings are made since the Upper Paleolithic, 40,000 years ago. It is widely believed that the paintings are the work of respected elders or shamans.
The most common themes in cave paintings are large wild animals, such as bison, horses, aurochs, and deer, and tracings of human hands as well as