Teacher Talk: The First Artists

October 27, 2015

Lascaux CavesDiscovered by a group of teenagers in 1940, Lascaux is famous for its Paleolithic cave paintings. Prehistoric artists created over 600 paintings depicting human figures, native animals and abstract symbols on the cave’s walls more than 17,000 years ago.

The cave is separated into seven parts: Hall of the Bulls, The Axial Gallery, The Passage, The Nave, The Apse, The Well and the Chamber of Felines. Lascaux was opened to the public in 1948 but closed in 1963 due to modern technology and human contact. Lascaux II, a replica, was created and opened in 1963 so that visitors could continue to view the artwork. The original remains closed to the public in order to preserve history.

Art 3After taking a virtual tour through the Lascaux Caves in France, third grade students discussed the lives of early man and the creation of the first drawings. Alongside, we read “The First Drawing” by Mordicai Gerstein and imagined ourselves making those very first drawings. Using tea lights as our only light and vine charcoal as our drawing tool, we spent a class in the dark creating our own drawings.

Hannah Robertson
Art Teacher