Saturday 28 August 2010

Preserving the past - cave paintings

Rouffignac cave paintings look like nothing when reproduced in image like this.  Only way to see them is in the caves.  The composition, the way the drawings work together, here with ten mamouths together, but most impressively on the roof of main cave - twenty or more fabulous drawings, all working best when viewed from particular points of the cave, where the animals begin to really gain movement and flow together.  So well thought out and executed.  There are over 200 images in this cave.  Shame couldn't make it to more caves.

An odd feeling to be connected with early homosaps from 12,000 years ago, and to admire the craft of whoever it was who did it.  Also the importance of preserving orginal work.  There is a cave closeby 'Lascaux II' a replica of the orginal cave, with far more and more colour workings recently discovered.  Access to the orginal is not possible so they faithfully recreated.  I wasn't that interested to see it, when could see originals, albeit lesser 'quality'.

Rouffignac had been damaged by visitors with flame torches in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and it had taken a lot of skilled work to remove marks made over the orginal, but it is still 'original'.  There are challenges preserving the past, tough judgements to be made.

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