DAILY ART FIX: How Wielding Lamps and Torches Shed New Light on Stone Age Cave Art

Art world links which caught my eye…

two researchers, one holding a torch in a dark cave

It’s one of those observations that seems so obvious in retrospect.

All my life I’ve been fascinated by the magnificent cave paintings left behind by our prehistoric ancestors. Yet I never contemplated just how many different light sources the artists had available. The assorted kinds of light available to early humans would change how the works would have appeared to their creators and viewers. Now modern researchers are testing the various effects.

Torches are just one of several light sources Stone Age artists used to navigate caves. Intxaurbe and colleagues are wielding these fiery tools in dark, damp and often cramped caves in an effort to understand how and why humans journeyed beneath the earth and why they created art there…

In the wide chambers and narrow passageways of Isuntza I Cave in the Basque region of Spain, the researchers tested torches, stone lamps and fireplaces — nooks in cave walls. Juniper branches, animal fat and other materials that Stone Age humans would have had at hand fueled the light sources. The team measured flame intensity and duration, as well as how far away from the source light illuminated the walls.

Read the full article here: SCIENCE NEWS – How wielding lamps and torches shed new light on Stone Age cave art


RICHARD BLEDSOE is a visual story teller; a painter of fables and parables. He received his BFA in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University. Richard has been an exhibiting artist for over 25 years, in both the United States and internationally. He lives and paints happily in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife Michele and cat Motorhead. He is the author of Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

Remodernism is not a style of art, it is a form of motivation. We express the universal language of inspired humanity.

We do not imitate what came before. We find in ourselves the same divine essence of love and excitement which has inspired masterpieces throughout history. We are strengthened by drawing on traditions thousands of years old.

We integrate the bold, visionary efforts of the Modern era into a holistic, meaningful expression of contemporary life. Remodernism seeks a humble maturity which heals the fragmentation and contradictions of Modernism, and obliterates the narcissistic lies of Postmodernism.

Remodernism is the return of art as a revelation.


I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.


Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

2 thoughts on “DAILY ART FIX: How Wielding Lamps and Torches Shed New Light on Stone Age Cave Art

  1. I was kind of hoping to read more in the article about what a difference the, kind of, light makes in viewing the cave paintings.

    My light epiphany; early sixties, when I was a card carrying latter day beatnik in NYC, a good friend Bruno Eckhardt (Bread and Puppets) painted large, 3-4 foot high, 6-10 foot long anti-war canvases. First seeing them in daylight, I’d mumble polite comments. Later catching him doing paintings working with an unshaded incandescent bulb for light I was really wowed by how the colors and images popped!

    Hence I’m sure the cave art, as folks back in the day saw it with flickering fire, is quite different than what we’re shown under modern light.

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