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Female bison

  • Female bison. Museo Nacional y Centro de Investigación de Altamira © Pedro Saura

    Female bison. Museo Nacional y Centro de Investigación de Altamira © Pedro Saura





14500 BP

Cultural background


Original title

Bisonte hembra
Altamira National Museum and Research Centre
Santillana del Mar

A female bison has an important place in the scene. It is a figure superimposed on others that had been made previously.

The black area that is a diagonal line in the body depicts the change of colour in the fur, as if it had been lying on damp ground and mud, and it has just got up. The lines, which are white because of the rock underneath, represent a technique used to highlight the front leg and bring it away from the body, or to separate it from the hind legs. Under the legs there are parts and remains of the red horses that the first cave inhabitants painted on the ceiling.

Details of the work

Altamira caves

Mural painting


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