Holy Ghost


Horseshoe Canyon is Canyonlands National Park, Utah, is home to some of the most remarkable rock art in the Colorado Plateau. The Holy Ghost portion of the Great Gallery is the definitive Barrier Canyon Style petroglyph/pictograph.


The Holy Ghost portion of Horseshoe Canyon’s Great Gallery is one of, if not the, most significant prehistoric rock art panels in the Colorado Plateau. Horseshoe Canyon is a remote, hard to reach, unit of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. Even though it is difficult to get to, many people visit it.

This panel features a central spirit figure, rising well above the other figures. Additionally, Holy Ghost resides inside a natural arch, making it exceptionally well-composed. It’s easy to see the overall scene. Still, upon closer inspection, you realize that the central Holy Ghost is in a three-quarters view. This is a rarity in rock art. And it may be the only such example of this view.

Painted and pecked into the canyon walls, the figures represent the Barrier Canyon Style. The entire Great Gallery panel, in fact, is the archetype of Barrier Canyon Style. Despite examples of other styles superimposed over Barrier Canyon art, there is no Barrier Canyon artwork that covers other styles.

This is some of the oldest rock art in the Southwestern United States. The Holy Ghost lives on from the past into today’s world.

Additional information


Matted Photograph, Finished Aluminum


12×24, 20×40, 8×10