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Male bison

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

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





15400 BP

Cultural background


Original title

Bisonte macho
Altamira National Museum and Research Centre
Santillana del Mar

This large still male stands out next to a female and they both seem to be important in the herd.

These figures, which are known as polychrome, are actually bichrome: the black part was drawn with burnt wood (vegetable coal) and the red paint is ochre (a mineral with a lot of iron oxide) dissolved in water and applied to the rock with the hands. The golden colour on the uncovered rock and the actual transparency of the paint create this polychrome feeling.

Details of the work

Altamira caves

Mural painting


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