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Still Waters

Cavemen Much Better At Illustrating Animals

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The iconic caveman in popular culture is Fred Flintstone: slow-witted and unskilled. In general, we think of the cave art produced by prehistoric people as crude and imprecise too—a mere glimmer of the artistic mastery that would blossom millenia later, during the Renaissance and beyond.

If this is your impression of prehistoric humans, a new study published today in PLOS ONE by researchers from Eotvos University in Budapest, Hungary, might surprise you. In analyzing dozens of examples of cave art from places such as Lascaux, the group, led by Gabor Horvath, determined that prehistoric artists were actually better at accurately depicting the way four-legged animals walk than artists from the 19th and 20th centuries.

http://blogs.smithso...-artists-today/

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Well, we know why, don't we. They were assisted by Aliens. :innocent:

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I 'm with the commenters. Even without knowing about horses, you can tell right off that wasn't meant to show a normal walking gait, and in more modern paintings animals and people are often posed awkwardly on purpose for effect..

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very interesting!

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I have always found the cave paintings absolutely beautiful at a fundamental level and thrilling that man was producing such wonderful art at such a young age. They worship the subject of their drawings because the subject, literally, represents life and death. Amazing stuff and should give you a chill when you think how many "humans" were actually walking around this big world when those drawings were made. Thanks for the link, wonderful stuff.

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The Smithsonian is an absolutely unbelievable place, BTW. We took our son there for his 5th B'Day (that is what he wanted) and spent two and a half days in the Natural history museum and still didn't see all of it. There are several more buildings you could explore for days. Great stuff that everyone should see once at least.

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I've always thought the cave paintings looked like they were done by drunken monkeys. (Or stone-age stoners) But I also think that about a lot of 'art'.

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Wrong thread

Edited by Merc14
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We could say that the paintings of caveman can be a piece of Art

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what else would they draw, there were no cars, planes, buildings ...

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Unlike modern artists, the ancient artists studied their subjects first???

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Unlike modern artists, the ancient artists studied their subjects first???

Or maybe scientists know diddly squat about art.

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It's easier to easier to get the message across when the idea is simple. Cavemen were a simpler people then we are. That's all. It's easier to draw a horse when your not worrying about everything involved in drawing a horse. I think about the fur for instance my horse drawing starts looking less like a horse and more like the red furry creature(Gossamer I think it's name is) that Bug Bunny faced(Doesn't help I can't draw for crap but that's beside the point :P). Nowadays we over complicate things.

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Nice article.

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Very interesting..

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Pffft, I can draw better than that.. counterparts? whatever..

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Maybe it wasn't the cavemen who painted these, but rather aliens.Just kidding. This is pretty cool. I think it would be very interesting to see a caveman paint. How would he/she start? Would they take a long time to paint them? And what would they do once they finished?

Some of these cave painting were done deep in caves, deep where light was provided only by fire. Imagine trying to paint using fire as your only source of light. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

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hmmmm modern counterparts? so we have modern day cavemen? hmmm sounds about right

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putting Leonardo aside, it's probably generally true, rennaissance artists priorites were totally elsewhere.

Something that always intrigues me about those animal cave paintings is that, although they're kinda naive, they aren't naive in any of the ways that unskilled art in the AD era tend to look naive.

Like, the tendency to turn body shapes into blobs and potatoes isn't there. But instead they contain lots of actual information on contours, and there's a sureness and confidence in the lines. It's just out of proportion in childlike ways.

A weird combination of sophistication and naivety.

Edited by ad hoc

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