Saving Beauty

NORBERT AUJOLAT / CNP-MCC

AWESTRUCK: The Beuaty and hostory of the Lascaux cave have left many visitors overwhelmed

For more than 17,000 years, the bestiary of the Lascaux cave in southwestern France has survived the ravages of human history. Anyone entering this time capsule is confronted by 4-m-long bulls that appear to float across the massive vaults like religious apparitions. An enigmatic spotted beast with a round snout and straight, forward-pointing horns, plump horses in brilliant yellow and deer with treelike antlers — all seem in equal part intimates of the present and missives from some distant world. Which they are. Though the draftsmanship is strikingly Modernist — on exiting the cave in 1940, Pablo Picasso said, "We have...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!