Inora Newsletter #46


Professor Ripoll, as he was known to everyone, was born at Taragona. He was a Catalan by birth and by loyalty. His studies, which marked him for life, were at the University of Barcelona under the famous Professor Martín Almagro Basch. There has even been cited a “Barcelona School” to define the group of eminent researchers that formed there. He was the author, under the direction of Professor Almagro, of a brilliant thesis on “Spanish Palaeolithic Art”. Eduardo Ripoll followed the career path of his mentor, professor and friend, becoming Director of the Barcelona Archaeological Museum and director of the Ampurias Excavation and Museum and teaching at Bellaterra University in Barcelona.

He had a second eminent mentor – the Abbé Breuil. He worked with him in Paris and after his death published a celebratory volume Miscelanea et Homenaje al Abate Henri Breuil (1877–1961) (Barcelona, 1964), before writing a biography: El abate Henri Breuil (1877-1961) (Madrid, UNED, 1995).

In 1959 he created l’Instituto de Prehistoria y Arqueología de la Diputación de Barcelona (IPA) before continuing his career in Madrid, where, in 1981, he became Director of the National Archaeological Museum. He was Professor at the Distance Learning University until he retired in 1988.

Among his innumerable activities, he started the review Ars Praehistorica in 1982 and the series, Monografías de Arte Prehistórico (1961-1980) and co-edited with Luis Pericot the important Wartenstein Symposium for the Wenner-Green Foundation under the title of Prehistoric Art of the Western Mediterranean and the Sahara (New York, 1964). He was part of the Permanent and Executive Committees of the IUSPP as well as of the illustrious Catalan Societies Reíal Académia de Bones Lletres de Barcelona and Reíal Académia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi. A cultivated and open-minded Palaeolithic specialist, he was also deeply interested in classical archaeology.

Those who knew him will always remember a smiling and friendly colleague, a bon vivant who liked nothing better than savouring a good cigar during passionate discussions on Palaeolithic art or while evoking memories of the Abbé Breuil. He was always simple and accessible but at the same time was one of the great figures in the study of Spanish Prehistory.


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