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(1877-1961). French Catholic priest who made major contributions to Palaeolithic archaeology and especially to the study of the Upper Palaeolithic cave art of France and northern Spain. He made detailed studies of nearly all the known decorated caves and to this day many of the illustrations of cave paintings published are derived from Breuil’s copies of the originals. He proposed a series of four successive art styles, based on the superposition of paintings found in many caves, and held the view that the purpose of the paintings was sympathetic magic, to ensure success in hunting.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied