The Secrets of Lascaux

When four French schoolbys stumbled over the Paleolithic cave paintings of Lascaux in 1940, they brought to light one of mankind’s oldest and best kept art treasures.  One youngster was so enthralled and impressed by their significance that he became guide and guardian of the cave until his death in 1989.

The paintings have been dated to between 15,000 – 25,000 years BC, and were done at a time when the primary colours of red and yellow were visible to the human eye.  Yes, for a time, certainly as far back as 100,000 years BC, man perceived only one primary colour – red – and it was only much later that yellow pigments became noticed and used in art.  Green pigments, too, would have been in plentiful supply, and were every bit as long lasting as the reds and yellows, but did not appear until much later in our history.

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