Altamira, the Sistine Chapel of Prehistoric Art

Six paintings. One concept

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The Cave of Altamira is the first discovery of cave paintings in the 19th century. And although older caves and paintings were discovered afterwards —these paintings date from about 15000 years ago and other paintings have been found of more than 40000—Altamira caused an initial shock and still is the most dazzling. Hence the reference “the Sistine Chapel of Prehistoric Art."

These first works of art invite us to think that the human being in the Paleolithic era was more intelligent than thought and already had the capacity of abstract thinking, as he could represent real things by means of signs. We can also think that Modernity in art with its elements from “primitivism” and with abstraction has advanced both ways, ahead and “backwards.”


Recommended links:

Art in Classical Antiquity.


When does Modern Art Start?

Primitivism in Modernity.

Postmodern Art.

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