The Cave Painters: Probing the Mysteries of the World's First Artists

The Cave Painters: Probing the Mysteries of the World's First Artists


By (author) Gregory Curtis

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 278 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 201mm x 18mm | 295g
  • Publication date: 9 October 2007
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1400078873
  • ISBN 13: 9781400078875
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: 8 PP. COLOR/19 ILLUS.
  • Sales rank: 315,723

Product description

"The Cave Painters "is a vivid introduction to the spectacular cave paintings of France and Spain--the individuals who rediscovered them, theories about their origins, their splendor and mystery. Gergory Curtis makes us see the astonishing sophistication and power of the paintings and tells us what is known about their creators, the Cro-Magnon people of some 40,000 years ago. He takes us through various theories--that the art was part of fertility or hunting rituals, or used for religious purposes, or was clan mythology--examining the ways interpretations have changed over time. Rich in detail, personalities, and history, "The Cave Painters "is above all permeated with awe for those distant humans who developed--perhaps for the first time--both the ability for abstract thought and a profound and beautiful way to express it.

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Author information

Gregory Curtis is the author of "Disarmed: The Story of the Venus de Milo." He was the editor of "Texas Monthly "from 1981 until 2000. His writing has appeared in "The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Fortune, Time," and "RollingStone," among other publications. A graduate of Rice University and San Francisco State College, he lives with his wife in Austin, Texas.

Review quote

" For centuries, people have been going into caves in France and Spain, looking at the 30,000-year-old pictures painted there and asking, ' What can they be?' In this lively survey, Curtis makes it clear that while we'll never have a definitive answer, the quest will always be fascinating. . . . For readers who may never visit the caves, Curtis's sensitive narration gives a chance to share that encounter with mystery." -- "Publishers Weekly" "From the Hardcover edition."

Table of contents

Introduction The Naked Cave Man Chapter 1 The Seductive Axe; The Well-Clothed Arrivals Chapter 2 A Skeptic Admits His Error; The Passion of Miss Mary E. Boyle Chapter 3 Noble Robot, an Inquiring Dog; The Abbé’s Sermons on the Mount Chapter 4 The Great Black Cow; How to Paint a Horse Chapter 5 A Stormy Drama Among Bison; The Golden Section Chapter 6 A Lively but Unreliable Creation; Quaint, Symbolic Arrows Chapter 7 The Trident-Shaped Cave; Pairing, Not Coupling Chapter 8 Three Brothers in a Boat; The Sorcerer Chapter 9 A Passage Underwater; The Skull on a Rock Chapter 10 Strange, Stylized Women; The World Below the World Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Index