European Cave and Rock Art on RAKU

Laura Rose has created hand-thrown pots with the images of many of the animals depicted in the earliest art in the world, created anywhere from 11,500 B.C.E. to 34,000 B.C.E. The beauty and essential message of these images can stand up to any art ever created by humankind, but they are seldom seen. Most of the caves of Europe can no longer be visited due to the harm done by the microbes and bacteria that even human breath brings into the cave environment. Rose has placed these images on her own artwork so that these ancient artists can speak directly to us across tens of thousands of years to tell of their deep love of the natural world and of the vital importance of art to the human spirit. To view, or to purchase Rose’s work, click on any of the list below:
cave lions
deer and stags
human hands
woolly mammoths
woolly rhinos
murals (that combine several species in the original tableaux)

Referring to photographs of this ancient art, Laura Rose draws animals freehand onto her own pots and then uses the raku method of firing pots to create her unique work. It is her goal to transfer these images from one kind of earth to yet another so that they can be seen and loved by our modern generation. She wants today’s humans to be able to truly connect with the earliest people with whom we share a common language of art in order to see through their eyes how the essential nature of love and art reflects for us the heart and soul of the human race.

These images were found deep in caves of Europe, especially in France and to some extent in Spain. The first cave was discovered at what is now called Altamira Caves in Spain, found by a farmer and his young daughter. It took some fifteen years for the world to accept that these amazing images of bison and other animals could have been created by ancient humans.

Originally, archaeologists thought that these images had been drawn in order to help them have successful hunts, and the straight(ish) lines and “v” shapes were seen as arrows or spears. It is now widely accepted that the caves were used for spiritual purposes, and were probably the cathedrals of that time and place.

The images were at first thought to be randomly added, but now scientist see a clear pattern from wall to wall and cave to cave, with some animals, especially the horse, the bison and the aurochs, showing up far more often than others, and usually in proximity (the horse with bison or the horse with aurochs, depending on the cave).

These caves were probably in use for over twenty thousand years, and it is now thought likely that ceremonies were regularly performed there. There is no evidence of people living in these caves, but there is evidence of music and ritual.

The entrance to most of the one hundred thirty plus caves has been shown to have a relationship to the appearance of the sun at astrologically meaningful times of the year, such as the winter solstice. It may even be linked to the beginnings of astrology. A link has been suggested by French researcher  Chantal Jegues-Wolkiewiez between a bull in the Lascaux Caves of France and the constellation Taurus. She sees six dots over his shoulder in just the position that the Pleiades would be to our modern constellation of the bull.

Another recent suggestion is that the painters of these caves may have been women. Aside from the probability that the priests of the female goddess of those times may well have been women, and that those priestesses may have had the holy duty of creating and maintaining their “cathedrals,” there is in interesting bit of physical evidence. To wit: men tend to have a longer pointer finger than ring finger, and in women the ring finger tends to be the longer one. In observing the many hands that our ancient artists placed in many of the caves of Europe, some researchers say that the ring fingers do tend to be the longer ones, giving some evidence for women as the ancient artists. Intriguing possibility.

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