Cave of Lascaux

Mario Ruspoli, Author, Yves Coppens, Designed by ABRAMS $65 (206p) ISBN 978-0-8109-1267-0
The prehistoric cave in France's Dordogne region, with its 17,000-year-old animal paintings discovered accidentally in 1940, was sealed in 1963 due to deterioration in atmospheric conditions. Two decades later, television producer Ruspoli went underground to take the photographs that form the basis of this handsome, comprehensive book. The murals he recordedelegant renderings of animals in stately friezes, courting rituals and overlapping groupingsare here beautifully reproduced. The text elucidates the theory that the paintings were created as part of a paleolithic mythology, with Lascaux a religious sanctuary. Bolstering this, the author shows stenciled handprints, shamanistic human figures and arcane symbols (perhaps prewriting). He also includes an abundance of background information, including scientific data on both the animals and the artists. This is a fascinating and beautiful addition to the library of amateur anthropologist and art lover alike. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
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