The cave of Altamira is the maximum representation of human creative spirit. The level of its art is excellent. Artistic techniques (drawing, painting and engraving), the treatment of shape and the exploitation of the medium, large formats and three dimensionality, naturalism, abstraction and symbolism are all on show at Altamira.
Bison, horses, deer, hands and mysterious signs were painted or engraved during the millennia when the cave of Altamira was inhabited, between 36,000 and 13,000 years ago. These representations are spread throughout the cave, over a length of more than 290 metres, although the largest number are concentrated in the Polychrome Room.
The largest representations are of horses and bison of between 125 and 170 cm in length, as well as a deer over two metres long. The outlines were first engraved and line-drawn with charcoal. They were then filled in with red or yellowish paint. In some of the bison, the change of colouring of the belly was marked with black paint, or charcoal pencils were used to detail the hair or hump. In addition, engraving was used in the eyes, horns, neck hair, etc.
Catalogue Altamira, the First Art Salto de línea