Painters of The Cave

Painters of The Cave

by Patricia Lauber, National Geographic Society
     
 
In this lavishly illustrated book, Patricia Lauber brings to life the Ice Age hunters and gatherers who were the ancestors of modern humans. Writing with clarity and enthusiasm, she examines all aspects of their lives--from what they ate to the art they created. Well-chosen images of artifacts and artists' renditions of ancient life give context to the striking cave

Overview

In this lavishly illustrated book, Patricia Lauber brings to life the Ice Age hunters and gatherers who were the ancestors of modern humans. Writing with clarity and enthusiasm, she examines all aspects of their lives--from what they ate to the art they created. Well-chosen images of artifacts and artists' renditions of ancient life give context to the striking cave paintings that adorn these pages.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Lauber documents the prehistoric art caves of France along with an explanation of the life style of the people who created these masterpieces. The text is cogent and the map of Ice Age Europe is up to the usual National Geographic standards. But the photographs of the recently discovered (1994) Chauvet Cave are what makes this book worth the price of admission.
School Library Journal
The discovery of a cave in France in 1994, now called Chauvet after one of its explorers, makes a rousing beginning to this excellent look at Stone Age art. Clear, full-color photos of cave art from Chauvet and other locations, as well as ancient artifacts, are supplemented with a high-quality map and informative artists' reconstructions. The rise of early modern humans (sometimes called Cro-Magnons) and their differences from the Neanderthals who preceded them in Europe, is described, as well as their homes, clothing, and innovations. The emphasis, however, is on the paintingshow they were made, what they show, and what they may have meant to the artists. Chauvet is highlighted because its artwork is older than that found in other caves; it shows a great variety of animals; and it has been properly explored, recorded, and protected. An appendix gives a clear explanation of carbon-14 dating. Dennis Fradin's Maria de Sautuola (Silver Burdett, 1997) describes the discovery of Altamira cave in Spain in 1879, but is for younger children and has almost no information on the artists. -- Pam Gosner, formerly at Maplewood Memorial Library, New Jersey
Scientific American
The brief text . . .is clear, informed and measured, just right for readers in the middle grades and upward.
Horn Book Magazine
Stone Age art is illuminated in beautifully lighted photographs illustrating this fine discussion of a recent discovery. Patricia Lauber begins with the 1994 unearthing of some three hundred paintings in a French cave, now named Chauvet after one of the three explorers who discovered it. She uses these newly found images to explain what is known about human culture as it was developing thirty-two thousand years ago, when early modern humans had spread into Europe. The handsome photo-essay contains five chapters explaining earlier Ice Age history, the style and subject matter of the paintings, and the tools and materials used by the artists. Modern drawings are included, providing speculative views of the people and their activities. Lauber carefully acknowledges in captions that these views by "artists of today" are imagined. Rendered in the same rich earthy tones seen on the cave walls, however, these added scenes are jarring and too easily mistaken for the cave art itself. Ancient and modern come together more felicitously in the narrative, which provides interesting information about Stone Age culture while also conveying the continuing discoveries of today's scientists. An appendix explains carbon-14 dating, and there's an index and a short bibliography of adult sources which would be accessible to some children.
Kirkus Reviews
From Lauber (Flood), an introduction to cave painting that is sturdy and thorough, but oddly workmanlike, never betraying a real sense of awe for the mysterious artwork adorning the cave walls at such locales as Lascaux, Chauvet, and Trois- FrŠres. First comes a brief survey of Neanderthal and early modern cultures, in particular how the early moderns gradually pulled ahead of the Neanderthals, with better dwellings and finer clothes, and, significantly, in the measure of leisure. Lauber speculates sensibly about what the art may have meant to the early humans and how they went about painting it. But the real selling point here is no mystery: Excellent full-color photographs, cartography, and illustrations deliver the energy and excitement missing from the text.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780792270959
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
03/01/1998
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
9.42(w) x 11.24(h) x 0.34(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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