“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”
The ancient, yet beautiful, paintings in the Lascaux cave in France were discovered more than 80 years ago. The paintings are thousands of years old and there seems to be no other record of the painters. In those 80 years, researchers studying the paintings have deepened their admiration for the intelligence and skill of the artists.
Researchers have found the scaffolding used by the artists as well as the stone lamps they used to light the work area. The palettes and even the pigments still on the palettes have also been found.
Using scanning electron microscopes and other high-tech equipment, researchers learned that the artists collected a range of local minerals. Mineral deposits within 15 kilometers of the cave were able to provide a full range of colors. The minerals were ground into fine powder and mixed to create pigmented paints that hold their color and beauty to this day.
As we look around the creation, we can clearly see that our Creator has a love for beauty. When He made us, He gave that appreciation for beauty to us as well. However, in our day we have also seen how man’s rebellion against God can twist art into ugliness and evil. Christians today need to face the question of what is art and what isn’t. As we do this, we can ask ourselves whether a given piece of art reflects our Creator’s love of beauty, or whether it reflects the ugliness of man’s sin and rebellion against his Creator.
Lord, I thank You for the beauty that surrounds us in Your creation. Increase the appreciation for true art that reflects Your love of beauty among Your people, and deliver us from art that reflects the ugliness of man’s sin. Amen.
Ivars Peterson. “Pigment Processing for Cave Paintings.” Science News, Vol. 125, p. 348.