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Author: José Luis López-Linares. Editorial Espasa. 320 pages Historical novel. In the fall of 1878 the painter Paul Ratier must hurriedly leave Paris for Santander. The young man is waiting for a real challenge: he will be hired by Marcelino Sáenz de Sautuola, a Cantabrian gentleman who loves natural sciences and archeology, to make the copy of the cave paintings he has just discovered in Altamira.
Paul, a disciple of Delacroix and friend of Baudelaire, a genuine romantic whose deafness has endowed him with a special sensibility, will be able to perceive in the ancient animals painted in the cave a sample of the secret beat that the masterpieces have. Only a true artist like him was able to understand the mystery of the most amazing cave paintings in the world.
As he immerses himself in his work, and while maintaining the flame of his love for the unattainable Adèle by correspondence, a deep friendship will be forged between Ratier and Saenuo de Sautuola. Friendship that will be strengthened when they have to face the religious prejudices of their time and, especially, when the authenticity of the paintings is questioned by the entire scientific community, with the eminent Émile Cartailhac at the head.