Ancient Painting Enters Virtual Reality

The Google Arts & Culture Team have worked diligently throughout recent years to create virtual reality experiences that illuminate historic paintings. The goal is to create landmark preservation of ancient & modern humanities contributions to the art community for future generations. Now one of the oldest painting’s drawn by caveman artists has been added into the Google Arts & Culture VR Experience. This painting is the Chauvet Cave Rock Drawing, which was creating 36+ thousand years ago. It’s one of the planet’s oldest known sites for rock art, with it being located in Southeastern France.

International visitors are permitted to visit the Chauvet Cave, which has been open since 1995. It was 1st discovered by a trio of Speleologists, who adeptly were named by the media as “Jean-Marie Chauvet”. It’d take twenty years for UNESCO to determine Chauvet Cave a World Heritage Site, ensuring that the 1000+ Rock drawings are protected for hundreds of years to come. Images drawn by caveman include Horses, Mammoths, Sabretooth Tigers, Horses, and Lions. These ancient paintings were preserved thanks to limestone walls in the Ardèche region of France.

Several years before UNESCO declared Chauvet Cave a World Heritage Site, the Ardèche Regional Government began a €55 Million Project that would construct the 2nd Version of Chauvet Cave, which could be easily maintained & ensure that public damage to the Palaeolithic drawings wouldn’t occur. Between 1995 & 2007, there’d been multiple tourists that purposely graffitied the ancient paintings. It required extensive restoration work that prompted the Ardèche Regional Government to begin the project. Since construction was finalized, more than two million tourists have selected Chauvet Cave Two.

The Collaboration

The Ardèche Regional Government would wait another thirteen years before contacting the Google Arts & Culture Team, requesting a collaboration that would see the creation of Chauvet Cave Three. This version of the Chauvet Cave would allow tourists unable to visit France for the coming years to witness the ancient drawing via their desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

It’s recommended that everyone witness these prehistoric paintings at least once in their life, with this form of ancient art having influenced notable artists like Pierre Soulages and Pablo Picasso. All models displayed in Chauvet Cave Three are built with 3D Mechanics, giving new insight into these ancient drawings that cannot be seen elsewhere.