Rock Art Interpretation Centre of the Mountains of Prades

Art and humans

Caves and shelters were the earliest refuges used by humans.

Caves and shelters were the earliest refuges used by humans.

Prehistoric art is divided into two main classes: rock art and portable art. Rock art, which is also known as parietal art, is found in the open air, especially on the walls and ceilings of caves.  Portable art is found on archaeological sites and takes the form of small engraved or painted works.

When prehistoric art was first identified as such, at the end of the 19th century, the claim was rejected by orthodox science. Fortunately, Henri Breuil, a French abbot (and a specialist in the Palaeolithic and rock art), was able to prove that prehistoric art was authentic.

Rock art is found in open spaces, on walls and in caves, and may be modelled in clay, painted with feathers, with the fingers, with lead pigments, by blowing and in the form of engravings and bas reliefs chiselled into the rock.

The rock art of the Llevant region and Andalusia features what is called levantine art (with open-air paintings that have received world heritage status), considered the most dynamic and vital in European prehistory.

Portable art appears as small engraved or painted pieces,utensils or figures of magic or sacred symbolism,created by cultural groups on the Peninsula and contributing to a more precise social and chronological definition of each stage in our history.

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