The most productive periods of cave art were the Gravettian and Magdalenian cultures, dating from 25,000-20,000 BCE and 15,000-10,000 BCE respectively.Note: Many caves contain evidence of repeated painting, sometimes extending over tens of thousands of years.In addition to figure painting and abstract imagery, prehistoric caves are also heavily decorated with painted hand stencils rock art, most of which - according to recent research by Dean Snow of Pennsylvania State University - were made by females, but men and children were also involved.Some of the best examples of this form of painting are the Gargas Cave Hand Stencils (Haute-Garonne), the Panel of Hand Stencils at Chauvet (Ardeche), and the prints throughout the Cueva de las Manos (Cave of the Hands) in Argentina.Indeed, it was from about this date that the earliest rock art began to emerge in caves and rock shelters around the world, but especially throughout the Franco-Cantabrian region.Painting comes first, followed by mobiliary art, as exemplified by the portable Venus figurines like the Venus of Hohle Fels (38-33,000 BCE).During the Late Magdalenian, the Ice Age ended and a period of global warming led to the destruction of the Magdalenian reindeer habitat, along with its culture and its cave art.
A polychrome cave painting consists of two or more colours, as exemplified by the glorious multi-coloured images of bison on the ceiling at Altamira, or the magnificent aurochs in the Chamber of the Bulls at Lascaux.
Did Stone Age Painters Make Preliminary Sketches?
What Was the Purpose of These Cave Paintings? Famous Caves - France and Spain - Rest of Europe - India - South Africa - Namibia - Australia - Argentina - SE Asia In prehistoric art, the term "cave painting" encompasses any parietal art which involves the application of colour pigments on the walls, floors or ceilings of ancient rock shelters.
Broadly speaking, cave painting techniques and materials improved across the board, century by century.
Thus we see the monochrome paintings of Aurignacian culture (40-25,000 BCE) give way to the polychrome art of the Gravettian (25-20,000 BCE), leading to the apogee of cave painting which is traditionally acknowledged to occur during the Magdalenian era (c.15-10,000 BCE) at Lascaux, Altamira, Font de Gaume and Les Combarelles.
Third, the edges of the animal's body would be shaded with black or another pigment to increase its three-dimensionality.