Venus Of Willendorf Essay

Dozens of bodies were also found in the richest tombs.

A retinue of musicians, servants, charioteers, and soldiers was sacrificed in order to accompany the “kings and queens” into the afterlife.

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1-15) and busts, some with two heads, datable to ca. The sculptures appear to have been ritually buried.

The figures were fashioned of white plaster, which was built up over a core of reeds and twine.

Above, foot soldiers gather up and lead away captured foes.

In the uppermost register, soldiers present bound captives (who have been stripped naked to degrade them) to a kinglike figure, who has stepped out of his chariot.

In the earliest art, humankind consists almost exclusively of women as opposed to men, and the painters and sculptors almost invariably showed them nude, although scholars generally assume that during the Ice Age both women and men wore garments covering parts of their bodies. It is doubtful that the Old Stone Age figurines represented deities of any kind. As with most Paleolithic figures, the sculptor did not carve any facial features.

When archaeologists first discovered Paleolithic statuettes of women, they dubbed them “Venuses,” after the Greco-Roman goddess of beauty and love, whom artists usually depicted nude (FIG. One of the oldest and the most famous of the prehistoric female figures is the tiny limestone figurine of a woman that long has been known as the Venus of Willendorf (FIG. Its cluster of almost ball-like shapes is unusual, the result in part of the sculptor’s response to the natural shape of the stone selected for carving. One of the oldest known sculptures is this large ivory figure of a human with a feline head. The anatomical exaggerations in this tiny figurine from Willendorf are typical of Paleolithic representations of women, whose child-bearing capabilities ensured the survival of the species. Here the carver suggested only a mass of curly hair or, as some researchers have recently argued, a hat woven from plant fibers—evidence for the art of textile manufacture at a very early date. The breasts of the Willendorf woman are enormous, far larger than the tiny forearms and hands that rest upon them.


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