The Venus of Willendorf
Ever since the beginning of the Stone Age around 25,000 B.C. and throughout the late classical period in 400 B.C., we can infer and see that both men and women have been portrayed in many ways when viewing particular cultures around the time period. The representation of the female body can be seen through numerous pieces of Art. Ladies and Gentleman the figurine in front of you is called “The Venus of Willendorf”, and it is the oldest female figurine statuette. It most likely symbolizes female fertility. Now some of you may be wondering why this figurine is half naked. The reason for this again ties back to the cultures of Mesopotamia. Multiple Mespopotamian related cultures seem to have made this figurine and some even kept it as a work of Art. Of course, to us, this is much more than a piece of Art. this Artifact is actually the oldest artifact known to man-kind that dates back to the Paleolithic time-period. This statuette portrays a female figure, most likely a care giver of some sort. The overly large size of her breasts and belly have led many scholars to infer the statuette as a figurine of fertility. All though, there are many conceptualized figurines whom all look similar to the venus of Willendorf, the figurine that you’re looking at today, has no visible face, and her head is covered with plaited hair of some
sort. The nick name “Venus” is typically a term used to identify female figurines (Eser Selen Pg. 75).
Now please keep in mind that the “Venus of Willendorf” is the best known Paleolithic female figurine known to man-kind. The statuette dates back to somewhere between 28,000-25,000 B.C. (Selen). The statue is extremely small, and it seems to be made up of Limestone. The statuette was named after the town that she supposedly lived in, or where the sculpture was first said to appear. You may be wondering why the sculpture exaggerates the woman with big breasts, and the reason is because this statue...
Cited: Eser, Selen, “Teaching Art History to Design Students.’’ International Journal of Humanities 5.7 (2007): 65-75. Humanities International Complete. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.
“Naturhistorisches Musseum Wien - Naturhistorisches Museum. “ Naturhistorisches Museum Wien Naturhistorisches Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2013.
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