This statuette of horse was discovered at the end of the XIXth century in the cave of Espélugues in Lourdes in the Hautes-Pyrénées.
It is attributed to the Magdalenian period (around 15,000 years). Shaped in mammoth ivory, a rare material in Western Europe, this figurine shows great mastery of sculpture and engraving.
The horse is rendered in a very realistic way, both in anatomy and attitude, with many details. It must be said that prehistoric men knew the wild horses they hunted every day well.
The horse of Lourdes, an unfinished work with striking realism, is one of the most remarkable works of all Palaeolithic sculpture.
This small horse, fashioned in the defence of a mammoth, was discovered in 1886 in a fractuosity of the Espélugues cave, in the region of Lourdes (Hautes Pyrénées).
The details of the head are depicted with the ears on the neck, eyes, nostrils, mouth with lips and the well-modelled ganache. The rectilinear mane is formed by a slightly raised, shaded band on both sides.
The coat, especially on the head, is represented by a series of scalloped lines formed by incisions separated from each other, and by numerous more or less elongated punctuations.
Reproduction in patinated resin
Dimensions with base:
Height: 6 cm
Width: 6 cm
Depth: 3.5 cm
Origin: Grottes des Espélugues in Lourdes (Hautes-Pyrénées). Excavations Léon Nelli, 1886-1889
Museum: Saint-Germain-en-Laye, National Archaeological Museum