The Wendel Collection
is probably the world's largest collection of
Franco-Cantabrian cave art made by a single photographer.
From 1964 up to his death in 1980 Heinrich Wendel was the lead setting
designer at the Deutsche Oper in Düsseldorf and one of Germany's most
famous stage designers. Designing space via light and projection was the
core of his creative work. Driven by his artistic interests he
travelled the Franco-Cantabrian region several times between 1964 and
1970, in search of inspiration from prehistoric cave art.
All the time he proceeded in a highly professional way and worked with
scientific precision following a uniform conception. He also took
pictures in the non-public areas of the caves. In the course of time he
generated an extensive photo library of about 3000 pictures. This photo
library not only documents the state of preservation of the cave art in
about 50 caves but also shows cave art from the perspective of the stage
designer: Cave art 'mise en scène' by transforming a natural space into
architecture, into a stage. More than 20 years after Heinrich Wendel's
death this photo library was endowed on the Neanderthal Museum for
scientific revision and conservation.
More information about Heinrich Wendel
Biography Heinrich Wendel
Heinrich Wendel the Artist
Heinrich Wendel and the Cave Art
Heinrich Wendel and the Photo Documentation of Ice Age Cave Art
For further information
The Neanderthal Museum offers the following
articles based on the Wendel Collection:
Cave Art Calendar (german)
Interactive CD "Cave Art of the Ice Age" (german/english)
DVD "Cave Art of the Ice Age" (german)
Pastoors, Andreas; Weniger, Gerd C. (2004): La collection Wendel: Archive en images de l'art pariétal paléolithique. The Wendel collection: A picture archive of ice age cave art. In: International Newsletter of Rock Art 40: 24-27.