Art Principles and History

Prehistoric Art

What is parietal art?

While mobiliary art is one of the major forms of Paleolithic art, parietal art includes non-portable art such as rock and cave paintings. Truly impressive Paleolithic paintings have been found all over the world, including Europe, Africa, and Australia in sites that were likely used for religious or spiritual purposes, rather than as shelter. When archeologists first discovered prehistoric cave art in Europe, they assumed the expressive, realistic images they saw must be a hoax because they didn’t imagine that people from the ice age were capable of such artistic skill. Archeological evidence, such as the discovery of nearby tools made of bone and stone, convinced them otherwise. One of the most famous examples of Paleolithic cave art is the series of paintings at the Lascaux caves in France.


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