© Sites Touristiques Ariège/SESTA - E.Demoulin

Niaux Cave (Ariège): large horse in the Black Hall

The Niaux cave consists of a set of galleries covering over 2km and integrated into a vast underground network. However, 80% of the animals depicted in the cave are concentrated in the “Black Hall” (12,000 BP). There, 20 full or partial horses beside bison and occasionally ibex spread out over six large panels. The figures were made with charcoal using a drawing technique. Various stylistic methods such as filling animal bodies using small lines, using hatchings to render anatomical details such as the mane and hair and the flattened M-shape to represent the colour difference between the stomach and the flank render the figures very realistic. They result in similarities between the horses of the Black Hall and certain species of wild horses, such as Przewalski's horse.