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BREUIL (abbot, Henry)


H. Breuil has gone almost 40 years ago but each book or article on prehistoric art in every language mentions his works. Henry Edward Prosper Breuil was born in Mortain (Normandie) in 1877. From his childhood he was fond of natural sciences and prehistoric antiquities. He combined amazingly the world outlook of a catholic priest and a scientific approach to the study of the most ancient periods of the mankind history, of the Palaeolithic art in particular His passion for the Palaeolithic art started in 1897 when Edward Piette, the famous researcher of the Pyrenees caves, showed him his Palaeolithic collections, different things from the mammoth tusk and deer antler. That event influenced his whole life. Up to his death in 1961, when Breuil was 84, he fruitfully worked, studying Palaeolithic art monuments. He was often present at the discovery of new caves, made excavations, copied ancient depictions, taught at the Institute of the Man's Paleontology and at the chair of the College de France. He visited all the continents where Palaeolithic art monuments had been discovered. According to his own counting he spent underground 700 days. Numerous scientific publications, including "Four Hundred Centuries of Cave Art", 1952.




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