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Other Perspectives

Roger Lombardot

Roger Lombardot is an author and director. He has been living in Ardèche since 1974. The 40 plays he has written are published by Actes Sud and Les Cahiers de l’Égaré. He himself has created them, as well as many other directors. The paintings in the Chauvet cave have inspired two of his plays, La Rose and Homo Botticelli.

"I come to the Panel of the Horses... and there, I find myself looking at the incredible. Such precise lines, such realistic expression… No doubt about it!… The artists who presided there were geniuses… because they had admirable vision. Like the Renaissance painters… I know I'm looking at universal art. This thing that the true painter, the true artist can always do and will always do. We see people capable of it in all periods. But finding them back then, already!... What a slap in the face for our conventional wisdom… the cliche of the caveman wearing animal skin and carrying a club. As it becomes clear, in light of these paintings, that the people who did them had a sensibility worthy of the most cultured men today. I feel crushed again: miniscule. Here I am, incapable of making a drawing look lifelike… And then… what a fabulous story!… Images that have survived the millennia to reach us intact… Even better! Instant… Because, I'm telling you again, you could easily believe that the artists have just put down their brush… Look!… the particles scraped away are still in suspension… it's like these images have just been telecommunicated to us from the past… Through the millennia… Imagine the temporal shock! Dizzying! And the next shock… I realise I'm looking at the oldest known manifestation of human thought…"

La Rose, Les Cahiers de l’Égaré, 2003 (translation)