Lascaux: Movement, Space and Time

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( su 17 valutazioni fornite da Goodreads )
 
9780810959002: Lascaux: Movement, Space and Time

Discovered by chance by two boys in France in 1940, the cave of Lascaux-with its radiant wall paintings of bison, aurochs, horses, and deer-offers us the most astonishing view we have of the shadowy, powerful animal world of the Old Stone Age some 18,000 years ago. In the early 1960s, when it became clear that the paintings were beginning to fade as countless tourists flocked to see them, the cave was sealed, ancient atmospheric conditions were restored, and even scientists were allowed to enter the cave only a few hours each week. Today this prehistoric monument remains closed to the public.

Following 10 years of research on the Lascaux cave, the prehistorian and geologist Norbert Aujoulat offers us his stunning interpretation of the paintings. In this lavishly illustrated volume, packed with new photographs, maps, and explanatory diagrams of the paintings, he takes us on a journey from the entrance of the cave back to its deepest and most hidden parts. In the process, he provides us with new insight into these remarkable works, tracing the birth of ancient mythologies-and of art. AUTHOR BIO: Norbert Aujoulat, geologist and prehistorian, is head of the department of parietal art at the National Center of Prehistory, France. From 1989 to 1999 he directed the research on the cave of Lascaux. He is the author of numerous publications on cave art and archaeology.

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Review:

Norbert Aujoulat's definitive book on the Lascaux caves in France, the artistic masterpiece of the Old Stone Age, is the next best thing to being there. That's handy, since you can't go there yourself. Only a few scientists are permitted to visit Lascaux anymore, most eminent among them the author, who heads the parietal art department at the National Center of Prehistory. With impressive authority, he eIaborates the geology, archaeology, and ethology of the site so famously discovered by two spelunking teenagers in 1940, 18,000 years after the cave's heyday. In a way, the book is like the cave itself: a bit daunting, but enormously rewarding the effort. You must traverse great stalagmites of thoroughgoing scientific text translated from French, and are rewarded by enormous vistas of animals painted and scratched on the vast stone walls—262 color illustrations of the most important of the 1,963 images in the cave, including 915 animals and one human.

Aujoulat isn't just a collector of facts, he's a shrewd deducer. Although some naïve early viewers thought the oddly short-legged horses on the walls indicated the Lascaux artists were stylizing what they saw (or ineptly rendering it), Aujoulat uses photographs of modern wild horses to show that the horses were accurately depicted during the cold season when their winter coats changed their shape. Noting that the species appear in order—horse, auroch, stag—he notes that each is depicted during its mating season (respectively winter, summer, and fall). Apparently, the cave symbolized the sky, and the animals represented the cycle of seasons and the creation of life. One wishes Aujoulat had relaxed his scientific rigor just enough to speculate about what these stunning images might have meant to our ancestors, but his job is to explain precisely how they made the art and the natural causes of the stony canvas. --Tim Appelo

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Aujoulat, Norbert
Editore: Harry N. Abrams (2005)
ISBN 10: 0810959003 ISBN 13: 9780810959002
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Aujoulat, Norbert
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