January 07, 2006

Cave Paintings

Today the kids made cave paintings.

Camille had read them a book about the paintings discovered in 1994 in Chauvet-pont-d'arc, France. (Add this to the list of places we have neither time nor money to visit!)

The book generated enough excitement that the side of our stairs now displays early woolly mammoth realism on butcher paper. They even used primitive ink and brushes: blueberry juice spread via sticks hammered flat so that their fibers splay. For logistical reasons, they skipped the primitive scaffolding.

The book also mentioned that scientists are unable to identify the subjects of some cave art. Camille showed the kids one of these cryptic paintings and asked if they had any hypotheses. After scrutinizing the photo, Nathaniel said, “Well, they don't look as good as the other ones. I bet the cave kids painted those.”

In our ignorance of art pre-history, this strikes Camille and me as a pretty good theory. If we were busily trying to decorate the cave, we might well send the kids to the other end and let them paint their own chunk of the wall.

No comments: