Comparative Formal Analysis of Artworks

Topics: Venus of Willendorf, Paleolithic, Statue Pages: 3 (955 words) Published: April 10, 2012
Comparative Formal Analysis

The Culture Shift between the Paleolithic and Sumerian Period

The Old Stone Age (Paleolithic Period) marked the birth of art. During that period, humankind began to acknowledge the forms of human and animals, thus creating many sculptures and paintings in attempt to represent the world around them. Venus of Willendorf (ca. 28,000 BCE.) also known as Nude woman, from Willendorf, Austria, was one of the earliest female figures manufactured in Europe during the Paleolithic period. The rise of civilization follows when humankind decided to build for themselves a more stable and promising life. Culture shifts then occurred between the Paleolithic and Sumerian periods due to the civilization of Mesopotamia, and humankind developed a polytheistic culture in which rituals and worshipping came into play. Statuettes of Worshippers (ca. 2700 BCE.) from the Square Temple at Eshnunna, Iraq, were one of the representations of the Sumerian culture. The emphasis on different body parts of the sculptures signifies a shift in culture due to the rise of civilization.

Life during the Paleolithic period was plain with meager cultural resources. Venus of Willendorf is a tiny three-dimensional female figure, approximately 4 1/4” high, created with simple sculpting tools, probably something similar to a chisel, and a piece of Limestone. The sculpture displays a woman with her pair of thin forearms resting on her breasts and a huge belly hanging above her pubic triangle. The roundness of her body parts dominates the whole sculpture. The tools and media available at that time period set a limit on the techniques of creation, leading to the rugged coarseness of this sculpture. In comparison with a normal human figure, Venus of Willendorf is exaggeratingly out of proportions, which seems to misrepresent women from the Paleolithic period. The title of this...
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