Paleolithic artists Discussion Response

In Werner Herzog’s film Cave of Forgotten Dreams, the viewer is taken on a tour of the Paleolithic murals from 30,000 BCE in the Chauvet Cave located in France. The filmmaker discusses the artists’ possible “vision” for the mural paintings.

  1. Answer the following questions:
    • Do you feel the Paleolithic artists considered how visitors would perceive their art?
    • How do you see the mural paintings as objects that go beyond an inventory or utilitarian observational tool?
  2. Respond to at least one classmate’s post by offering additional details or ideas, a different perspective, or links to interesting, relevant articles. Conclude with a question or new idea to further stimulate the discussion.

classmate’s reponse ( I believe that the Paleolithic artists most likely considered how others would perceive their work. The way in which these artists focused so heavily on depicting figures in the most informative view is evidence of this. Because of the pattern of figures depicted in profile view, we know that they were careful to create an image that would inform future viewers of the stature of the figure. Additionally, we have to remember that Paleolithic artists could not rely on written word to support the images they created. Therefore, they had to work diligently to create an image that is explanatory on its own. Additionally, I believe that the mural paintings are not just inventories or observational tools. The Paleolithic artists who created them most likely believed that these images had a spiritual essence to them. Some theories speculate that the animals were painted in hopes of bringing hunters luck. These cave paintings were spiritual tools to the artists who created them.)

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