Henri Breuil

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Breuil, Henri

(äNrē` brö`yə), known as

Abbé Breuil

(äbā`), 1877–1961, French archaeologist, paleontologist, and cleric. He taught at the Institut de paléontologie humaine, Paris, after 1910. During much of his lifetime, Breuil was considered the foremost authority on Paleolithic cave art. He copied and published hundreds of examples of rock carvings and paintings from Europe and Africa and advanced the first well-informed interpretations of the significance of prehistoric art. His principal work is Four Hundred Centuries of Cave Art (tr. 1952).


See biography by A. H. Brodrick (1963).

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References in periodicals archive ?
En faisant front commun avec l'lnstitut ethnologique de la Sorbonne, cree en 1925, que preside Lucien Levy-Bruhl et ou il enseigne aux cotes de Marcel Mauss ou du prehistorien Henri Breuil, Rivet donne une assise perenne aux nouvelles sciences humaines.
Curtis may be rather too respectful of the eminent French archaeologist Abbe Henri Breuil (1877-1961), who memorably called the Lascaux cave "the Sistine Chapel of prehistory." Shortly after the cave's discovery in 1940, he drained water from basins above it, incautiously flooding away much archaeological evidence.
Father of prehistory, Abbe Henri Breuil: his life and times.
For this reason, the initial interpretation of the cave paintings by Henri Breuil (1887-1961), who suggested that they represented an invocation of a magic or religious nature, made in order to secure a successful hunt, is by and large rejected today, and even though this theory is not ruled out, it is more widely thought that it could be linked with a facet of the social structure of the peoples, among whom this form of artistic expression developed.