Tom Meyer and The Oldest Figurative Painting

by Chris Murray on January 3, 2020

Guess which of these details is from the oldest figurative painting…from over 44,000 years ago.

If you guessed the center image you are correct. All of the others are details from the visionary/outlier artist Tom Meyer’s paintings. Below is the latest painting from Meyer’s studio. I enjoy how the stones that seem to form a cave in the lower right corner have ‘cave paintings’ on them.

Searching by Tom Meyer. Acrylic on board. 30″ x 40″. 2019.

Tom Meyer’s extraordinary art links in its own way to the painting from 40,000 years ago. His work is inhabited with an array of characters, animals, and habitats that tell a narrative tale. His remarkable exhibition in 2018 at Addison/Ripley Gallery was titled Narrative Visions.

In a remarkable discovery, scientists recently found in caves in Indonesia what is considered to be the earliest figurative images in a painting. Ben Guarino writes in The Washington Post that scientists interpreted the figures in the painting as “supernatural people” with images of animals. Some speculate it is the first narrative painting.

(Above) Detail from the cave painting in the Sulawesi cave in Indonesia.
(Below) Panorama of the scene at the Sulawesi cave in Indonesia

Tom Meyer’s paintings are available through Govinda Gallery.

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