Chauvet Painting Descriptions
Age / Period
A number of cave bears are depicted in Chauvet. Cave bears are identifiable by the steep incline of their foreheads. These three bears are found near the prehistoric entrance [not the present entrance] to the cave, on a panel in a small recess. The bears are painted in red. The central bear has been painted using the natural relief in the cave wall, with the shoulder following the line of the rock surface. This is a common artistic technique employed in prehistoric parietal art, suggesting that the cave wall topography whilst seen by torch light inspired the subject matter. The central bear is a complete figure, whilst to the left of it is an isolated bear head, and to the right of it a near complete bear. This may depict a sleuth of bears. The artist used a technique known as 'stump-drawing' - the use of fingers or a piece of hide to paint the muzzle and to emphasize the outlines of the head and forequarters; a form of perspective.