Caves of LascauxBridgeman Art Library

With an unerring eye and impressive economy of line, a Cro-Magnon artist working 17,000 years ago in France’s Lascaux cave created a lifelike image of three swimming deer. Using a lump of manganese ore as a crayon, the artist took advantage of the natural contours of the rock to suggest a river’s flowing water. Ledges and holes in the cave’s walls indicate that some sort of scaffolding must have been used as the artist worked on this large frieze, which is located 10 feet above the cavern floor.