Vincent van Gogh spent the majority of his life in poverty. During his lifetime, he sold only one piece of art, despite having painted over two thousand of them. He committed a suicide one year after leaving a psychiatric hospital. Franz Schubert became famous only 60 years after his demise. Prior to his death, he gave only one public concert which turned out to be… a flop. Actually, some of the greatest painters in the human history died before reaching 30 and were forgotten for about 20 thousand years.
Many pieces of art made by such artists were forgotten for centuries to now make anthropologists and art experts wonder when the aesthetic sense developed in human beings. Many researchers claim that the need to create beautiful objects started to emerge with the evolution of human brain. Homo erectus could boast a brain the size of two thirds of the contemporary "heavyweights". Neanderthals, in turn, had those mighty organs the size of ours, yet they lacked one crucial structure – the frontal lobe. It was with its help that the first Homo sapiens sapiens made their mark in caves scattered around the world.
We can only speculate whether the artists of that time were appreciated like Salvador Dali or Picasso or if they spent their sorrowful lives misunderstood like typical authors. We can say one thing for sure – the prehistoric artists aimed to create pieces on serious and contemporary subjects, as it is indicated by the recurring motifs of hunting. They even used the irregularities of walls and ceillings of caves to enhance the beauty and dynamics of their paintings.
Was there a second (or, actually, the first) Michelangelo amongst all those geniuses? They were definitely outstanding for their times, to say the least. Sadly, we will never know their names, as instead of initials, they only left pigmented marks of their hands. In France, Spain and Italy, there are many caves where one can see fascinating pieces of work of prehistoric painters. Local guides call them artists. Caves with paintings started to be discovered in the 19th and 20th centuries, and soon after being frequently admired, they began to gradually degrade. Some of the caves had to be closed and for other the number of visitors had to be substantially reduced. In Lascaux, a new cave was built and was based on an extremely precise scan of the original cave. The original paintings were reconstructed in it and the cave was opened to be viewed by visitors. Some could say "oh, it's only a copy", but I assure you that seeing it will make you appreciate the craft of prehistoric artists and the people who reconstructed this cave.
Let me take you there.
See more post
This is a story based on what actually happened. Young German, Manfred, could not make peace with the reality he got to live in. A few years ago, soldiers created an enormous wall in Berlin, separating his home city into two parts. The sight of this giant concrete wall, surrounded by barbed wire, touched his heartstrings every time he smoke a cigarette in the window of his flat on Bernauer Strasse. But now, everything was ready for him to change his fate.
If a maritime catastrophe expert was asked about an example of one of the most interesting stories, he would probably mention the case of Vasa. In 1961, this very warship was taken out of the sea to be examined by scientists. It is known for being the most expensive and the most decorated ship in the 17th century’s Sweden. The ship that, after sailing 1,300 metres, sunk in the harbour of Stockholm. This embarrassing distance unfortunately did not live up to the expectations people had of Vasa, which was supposed to outshine all the military units on the Baltic Sea at that time.