Photo: French Ministry of Culture and Communication, Rhône-Alpes Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs, Regional Archaeology Service

Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc Cave (Ardèche): panel of horses in the Alcove of the Lions

With forty depictions spread across the entire cave, the horse is the fourth most depicted species in the bestiary of Chauvet (36,000 BP). Half of the depictions are full animals, while the rest are limited to a head or front end. The stylistic treatments and techniques used are very diverse, including sketched designed or engraved profiles or the stump-drawing and scraping technique used -by the same artist- in the panel of horses which superimposes four animals, the snouts of which are all aligned following a perfect diagonal. Here, the figures are created by using the stump-drawing highlighted with scraping technique. Located in the foreground, the horse's head results from an especially difficult-to-execute technique: the outlines are drawn in charcoal, the coloured filling mixes charcoal bistre and brown hues and finger-applied clay, a series of fine engravings marks out the profile, while the lips are highlighted with a final stroke of a deep charcoal black.