I have had a love affair with France for about 30 years. Loving France is somewhat of a cliché I know, nevertheless, it has never failed to disappoint me. I am very fond of Paris, but as a nature lover my heart lies in the countryside with rolling green hills, rugged cliffs and incredible trees. I also love France’s food, climate, history, people and its culture in general.
Some of my most fascinating experiences while there involved visiting three of the many prehistoric caves that dot the southwest of France. I have been to the Grotte (cave) de Niaux, the Grotte de Pech Merle, and the Font de Gaume cave. Unfortunately, I have been stubborn in not wanting to see the replica of the Grotte of Lascaux. I understand that although it is a duplicate of the now closed cave, it is just as awe inspiring. Through radiocarbon dating of the charcoal, scientists know the art in these caves in is at least 14,000-17,000 years old.
My favorite is the Grotte de Niaux. I have visited it two times and each time I have found it mysterious and grand. I was there last summer and was compelled to paint two canvases (below) that to me represent the opening of the cave. I was not compelled to try to copy or incorporate the beautiful drawings inside the cave. To me, they are “unduplicatable” due to their spiritual quality. They are wonderful prehistoric cave paintings