These images look a bit strange. I am a devoted fan of photographers because this collection of images of the great works of art could not be used on an international scale with out the photographers. In this case, both of these photographs were taken with a wide angle lens. This is why the animals are distorted and difficult to see.

This is a different look at the entrance to the great cave.

This panel is called the “Horse Race.”  As we walk up to the wall we will look at the various animals. This is also named “The Hall of Bulls.”

As we move into the cave along the path we see the first great wall which is called "The Hall of Bulls." It is difficult, from what you see in front of you, to understand why the hall was given this name.

Where are the bulls?




As you continue your walk along the path you will begin to get a general idea of what the first mural looks like. Start in the center of the mural and find the bull that has a horse drawn over it, look to your right to see the bull that appears to be charging toward it. This whole great wall was painted on the ceiling. We walk on the path made for us and look up.



As we move forward on our path you can see the great bull. A large horse has been painted over the bull and a group of little horses has been painted over all of that.


Artists of different skill levels painted this wall. One artist painted a horse race.

What evidence do I have for this idea?

Start with the horse at the far left, note the next horse has its front feet off the ground and that the third horse appears to be going to put its front feet down. This all seems like a race to me.

We can come to some conclusions about the people. The cave was painted by different painters and at different periods of time. It tells us that these people did not have any concern for the first paintings. It also suggests that each of the paintings was part of a different time period. Some say that the paintings were done to ensure that there would be lots of animals in the forests near the caves. The mythical idea was that the painting would endure. Because the paintings would be there forever, the clan would have enough animals available each year to keep the group alive. I do not know if that is so or not. Archeologists say that this cave was not lived in which means that the people lived in a near by cave, suggesting that this cave was sacred.

Do you think the large bull was painted first?

Do you think the black horses were painted before or after the large horse?

As you walk a little closer, you can recognize each animal.


Here we are close enough to touch the cave wall.

What would you feel if you could touch something that was 17,000 years old?


This is a close up look at the two huge bulls facing each other. Between them are the little stags. It might take a minute for you to find them as they are very faint, and below a part of a horse.

What do we have to look at here?

All of the painters knew the animals that lived in this part of the world very well. After all they had to hunt them to feed the group. But all the artists did not have the same artistic talent and we can suspect that the paintings may have been painted thousands of years apart. Part of what we do as art historians, is to look at the style of drawing on the walls. The bulls seem to have been drawn by the same person, the horse is a very different style. The third set of drawings is the tiny stags in between the two bulls.

Which was drawn first?


Here is a close up of one of the little stags. 

At this point you can see that it was a different person that painted this little stag because the drawing is so different from the little horse race you saw before.

This image gives you a look at the ceiling with the bulls. As we look at different images it is difficult to remember that these paintings were done on the ceiling not on a flat wall. So we have to wonder how the painters, with little light, managed. We suspect that it was a very special place.

Here are some bison from the same part of the "Hall of Bulls."


As we continue to explore we find The Painted Gallery

Most of these images came for The Cave of Lascaux, thanks to the French Government. Go to their site to get more information.

Next The Painted Cave

The Applied History of Art and Architecture Educational

Dr. Katherine Bolman's Micro-Lessons

The Cave at Lascaux, France