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Article posted: 3/24/2013 5:00 AM

Cave paintings of Lascaux come to life at Field Museum

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One of the most recognizable images from Lascaux, the Hall of Bulls contains six images of bulls, horses and stag. One bull measures 17 feet long -- the largest animal depicted in cave art.

Courtesy of Field Museum

Another view of the Hall of Bulls shows the immense size of the Lascaux cave paintings. The painted animals are accompanied by unknown symbols, which are found throughout the cave complex.

Courtesy of Field Museum

The black cow, found in Lascaux's main gallery illustrates the way the cave was not simply painted once and left, but painted, and repainted over generations. Behind the black cow, you can see traces of other animals that were since painted over.

Courtesy of Field Museum

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An artist works to recreate the cave walls. The "copyist" uses natural pigments similar to those used by the original artist to ensure accuracy and precision of the replication.

Courtesy of Field Museum

When the caves were discovered in 1940, the best way to record accurate drawings of the paintings was to simply use tracing paper. Surely a daunting task, the paper needed to be held up to the walls as someone traced the lines that man had made more than 17,000 years earlier.

Courtesy of Field Museum

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Visitors to the Field Museum in Chicago can experience the thrill of cave exploration for themselves with the new exhibit: "Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux," open through Sept. 8. The highly anticipated exhibition features full-size replicas of the paintings, including some shown for the first time. They are the most technically accurate reproductions of the cave drawings ever done.
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    • One of the most recognizable images from Lascaux, the Hall of Bulls contains six images of bulls, horses and stag. One bull measures 17 feet long — the largest animal depicted in cave art.
    • Another view of the Hall of Bulls shows the immense size of the Lascaux cave paintings. The painted animals are accompanied by unknown symbols, which are found throughout the cave complex.
    • The black cow, found in Lascaux’s main gallery illustrates the way the cave was not simply painted once and left, but painted, and repainted over generations. Behind the black cow, you can see traces of other animals that were since painted over.
    • An artist works to recreate the cave walls. The “copyist” uses natural pigments similar to those used by the original artist to ensure accuracy and precision of the replication.
    • When the caves were discovered in 1940, the best way to record accurate drawings of the paintings was to simply use tracing paper. Surely a daunting task, the paper needed to be held up to the walls as someone traced the lines that man had made more than 17,000 years earlier.
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