Venus of Willendorf

Topics: Paleolithic, Venus figurines, Venus of Willendorf Pages: 2 (677 words) Published: April 18, 2012
Venus of Willendorf
The Paleolithic era was the time of Homo-sapiens ascendancy. They were hunter-gatherers who survived off of killing animals for food and gathering things such as berries, nuts, and roots. They became more advanced than their ancestors by making tools like the hand axe, chisel, the arrow and spearhead, and the grinder. With some of these tools they would carve small sculpture, the most famous of which is the Venus of Willendorf, a figure representing the ideal woman. In today’s society the representation of beauty has altered significantly since this figure was sculpted.

The statue is made of limestone, it is four to five inches long, and it was found in modern Austria, dating from about 22,000 to 21,000 BCE. The female figure has exaggerated breasts which would mean she could provide plenty of food for her child as well as a very large belly meaning she could provide heat and warmth for herself, her child and her significant other which back then could have made the difference between survival and death. She has very wide hips which support a connection to childbearing and delineated genitals which suggests that she is very fertile. In the Paleolithic era female figurines vastly outnumbered the male representation which may have been because women played a crucial role in the Paleolithic culture because they have spiritual and religious influence.

In today’s society we have a distorted view of beauty. We see thin as good and women have actually convinced themselves that the skinnier the better. In our world today, a Barbie is a figure of beauty and perfection. Women are willing to go through surgery in order to look like Barbie. There is something completely wrong with that, and leads my thoughts to “How did it get to this?”. The women on the front pages of the magazines today would be seen as outcasts or not wanted if viewed by the Paleolithic culture. Plus, if they had to live back then they surely would not survive through the...

Cited: Sayre, Henry M. The Humanities. Upper Saddle River. Pearson Education, Inc. 2012. Print
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