The Red Panels Gallery

Guess which color was used in the cave drawings?

Rhinoceros Frescoe in Red Rooms (Chauvet Caves) (2008/2008) by L. Guichard/Perazio/smergcGrotte Chauvet - UNESCO World Heritage Site

This chamber is richly decorated with red drawings. It is also characterized by the large amount of calcite concretions enhanced with yellow and red shades covering the floors and walls. A first large monumental fresco can be seen on the right wall.

At its foot are scattered cave bear bones, displaced by the passage of bears or by the flow of water. The wall contains many red animals associated with graphic symbols and positive handprints.

The most abundant animal representation on this wall is the woolly rhinoceros. The most beautiful example is over three feet long with a nasal horn deliberately exaggerated.

Big cats are also drawn in the cave.

Human beings indicated their presence amidst this fauna by marking the wall with handprints.

A “W” symbol is also visible on the upper edge of the wall.

Signs Pannel in Red Rooms (Chauvet Cave) (2008/2008) by L. Guichard/Perazio/smergcGrotte Chauvet - UNESCO World Heritage Site

The walls are heavily covered with thick calcite, delicately and slowly deposited by the runoff of water laden with dissolved calcium carbonate.

Under this layer of calcite, deposited more than 10,000 years ago, are red symbols, some of which are still fully visible.

Bloc Structure (Chauvet cave, Ardèche) by J. ClottesGrotte Chauvet - UNESCO World Heritage Site

At the foot of the large rhinoceros frieze, people gathered blocks and arranged them in a pile.

The biggest block weighs about 143 pounds. This implies an activity that involved at least two people. What does this accumulation mean or embody? Is it symbolic?

Feline Fresco (Chauvet Cave, Ardèche) (2008/2008) by L. Guichard/Perazio/smergcGrotte Chauvet - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Credits: Story

The Syndicat mixte de l'Espace de restitution de la grotte Chauvet (Public Union to manage the Chauvet Cave/SMERGC) thanks the Ministry of Culture and Communication. This exhibition was created as part of an agreement linking these two partners to promote the Chauvet Cave and its geographical and historical context.
SMERGC is the designer, developer and owner of the La Grotte Chauvet 2 site (formerly known as Caverne du Pont d'Arc). It prepared and defended the application package of the Chauvet Cave for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

SMERGC also thanks Google Arts & Culture.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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