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The oldest-known sculptures and drawings were made between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago and show artists experimenting with perspective, composition and abstraction
A weighted antler spear-thrower fragment, carved into the likeness of a mammoth, found in Montastruc, France
© The Trustees of the British Museum
Most of the surviving sculptures and drawings from the period are fashioned from lasting materials such as mammoth ivory and reindeer antler. The works on show will be presented alongside modern pieces by Henry Moore, Mondrian and Matisse, in a celebration of the timeless human expressive urge.
Highlights include a beautiful series of animals carved from bone and antler, ivory figurines of a 23,000-year-old 'Venus', and a replica of the famous 'Lion Man' sculpture that was found in the German Alps.
One of the most beautiful pieces in the exhibition is a 23,000-year-old sculpture of an abstract figure from Lespugue, France. Picasso was fascinated with this figure and it influenced his 1930s sculptural works.
What the critics say
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