Altamira Cave Paintings, 1912

  1. 41. Illustrated London News,
    Aug. 10, 1912, pp. 223-226. 

In 1879, Marcelino Sanz de Sautuolo (1831-1888) discovered, on his property in Altamira, Spain, some paintings on the ceiling of a cave.  These were the first examples of Paleolithic cave paintings ever found.  Sautuolo thought they were prehistoric, but his claims were rejected by the archaeological community—he was even accused of forging the paintings for profit. Sautuolo died in disgrace in 1888.   By 1902, it was finally realized, after similar paintings had been discovered in France, that the Altamira cave paintings were genuine.  They were first presented to the public in 1906 in a specialized publication, with color illustrations by the Abbé Breuil (1877-1961).  The drawings were then rapidly disseminated to the rest of the world through the popular press.  Here we see eight of the Altamira cave animals, as rendered by Breuil.