Anthropomorphes, Arts et Préhistoire

Arts and Prehistory

Until 22/05/2023
From 16 November 2022 to 22 May 2023, you can discover masterpieces of prehistoric art from all around the world at the Musée de l’Homme. An exhibition tracing the vibrancy of human creativity and the universality of art since the dawn of time!

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These include the wonderful wall paintings decorating the Lascaux or Chauvet caves, the Paleolithic Venus, or decorated tools, sexual representations and sculpted animals produced from ivory, rock, bone, reindeer or deer antlers…. The “Arts et Préhistoire” exhibition (Art and Prehistory) presented at the musée de l’Homme from November 16, 2022 to May 22, 2023 invites you to contemplate 90 original prehistoric pieces accompanied by hundreds of digital images of paintings and prints. These original items from various European collections are among the oldest found to date (40,000 to 35,000 years old) and bear witness to the richness of cave paintings and rock art. Far from simple, isolated figurative accidents, the exhibition presents a surprising diversity of art forms and expressions.

Art and Prehistory, a fabulous journey into time immemorial

In the first exhibition area, **major pieces from the collections of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, such as the Venus of Lespugue, the Immodest Venus of Laugerie-Basse, the projectile thrower with the battling ibexes from Enlène or the La Madeleine mammoth can be admired alongside exceptional loaned items, such as the Venus of Laussel or the plaque known as the “radiant Aurochs”, unveiled here for the first time.
Discover dozens of carved, engraved or painted objects that accompanied our ancestors during their nomadic lives.

A second exhibition area offers a chance to immerse yourself in the fascinating world of cave paintings and rock art from around the world.
In a hushed atmosphere, a digital area invites you to contemplate the abundance of works of art adorning the walls and rocks of every continent. Travel from the caves of the Dordogne to the dizzying Chinese cliffs, from the Indonesian islands to the Utah canyons, and from the Spanish caves to the Australian rock shelters, as you learn more about the wealth of styles, the range of tools used and the diversity of the animals and symbols represented.

Prehistory… a source of inspiration for modern and contemporary artists

This fundamental chapter in art history has continued to inspire modern and contemporary artists.Works by Louise Bourgeois, Brassaï,Yves Klein… presented at the very end of the exhibition celebrate the Venus of Lespugue, the centenary of whose discovery is being celebrated in 2022, as a source of inspiration. A magnificent artistic dialogue across the millennia!

From February 8 to June 12, 2023**, the exhibition will be completed with a section devoted to Picasso and his relationship with prehistory. Over 240 m², the exhibition "Picasso and Prehistory " will present some 40 paintings, sculptures, drawings and engraved pebbles showing how this period nourished the artist's work. Fascinating!

Discover more exhibitions in Paris Region.

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Community facilities

Access and contact

17 place du Trocadéro
75016 Paris 16ème

Days and opening hours

From 16/11/2022 to 22/05/2023, daily between 11 am and 7 pm except on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th. Last entry at 6.15 pm.


  • Full price: 13 €, Reduced price: 10 €.
    Free entry for children < 25 years.
    Combined ticket for the Museum's temporary and permanent exhibitions.


Spoken languages

  • English
  • French
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Musée de l'Homme
17 place du Trocadéro
75016 Paris 16ème

  • Copyright image:
  • Jean-Loic Le Quellec