It is located in Montesquieu-Avantès, in the Ariège département. Near the Spanish border. The cave is named for three brothers (French: trois frères), Max, Jacques, and Louis Begouën, who, along with their father Comte Henri Begouën, discovered it and the signigifance in 1914.
One of the paintings, known as “The Sorcerer”, is the “most famous and enigmatic human figure” with the features of several different animals. Though given there age, each and exact characteristics remain a matter of debate. Conesyahoo had stated ‘it was an irish elk with a magicians head spitting something’.
Engravings were found in the cave and nearby included what is though to be the earliest representation of an insect. Also appeared were what appear to be several birds, and a cave cricket found on a fragments of a bison bone.
On the other walls are whats believed to be: lions, owls, and bison. A horse overlaid with club-like symbols, and an apparent speared brown bear vomiting blood.
Aside from the “Sorcerer”, other human-like figures can be seen at Trois-Frères, such as the man-bison, and a character known as the “small sorcerer” who appears to be playing a nose-flute.
The Trois-Freres cave is part of a single cave-complex formed by the Volp River. The complex is divided into three caves; the central Trois-Freres, Enlène to the east, and the Tuc d’Audoubert to the west. The river flows through some of the lower sections. With different galleries sectioned on each level and room.
Did you know: One area, the ‘salle des bisons’ contains two masterfully modeled bison, which were sculpted in clay with a stone spatula-like tool and the artist’s fingers. It is believed the pair are among the largest and finest surviving prehistoric sculptures.
Bibliography: Sieveking, A., 1979: Cave Artists (Ancient Peoples and Places)
Trois Freres Cave, Ariege: Sorcerer Rock Engraving”. Visual-arts-cork com. Dec 2022
Trois Freres”. Encyclopedia britannica. Retrieved December 27, 2016.