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Venus of Willendorf and Venus of Hohle Fels

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Daesheon King

Art 101

April 14, 2016

Venus of Willendorf[pic 1]

The Paleolithic era was a time of the Homo-sapiens dominance. They gathered and hunted food. The Sapiens survived by killing animals and gathering fruits like berries, roots, and nuts. Hunters became more advanced than many of their ancestors by creating tools like the chisel, hand axe, arrow, and the grinder. With most of these small tools, they would create small sculptures. The most famous of which is called the Venus of Willendorf (figure1) and Venus of Hohle Fels (figure 2), which are creative figures representing the ideal woman. In today’s world the representation of beauty has adapted significantly since some of the female figurines were created.

The Venus of Willendorf is made of an oolitic limestone, it is four in a half inches long, dating from about 28,000 to 25,000 BCE. It is approximately 11.1 centimeter (4.4 in). She was found by an archeologist named Joseph Szombathy in modern Austria in 1908. Her great age and female forms established her as an icon of prehistoric art. Venus of Willedorf and Venus of Hohle Fels are female figures with exaggerated breasts, large stomachs, wide hips, and all child bearing characteristics. However, being both nude and female, they fit perfectly with the patriarchal construction of the history of art. The purpose of the carving was because of speculation. These figure was speculated because they were intended to be held, rather than standing on their own.

Willendorf was thought of to represent its fertility, continuation of life, Earth, and the Mother Goddess. The early scholars used the name of the Rome goddess of beauty and love, illustrating a connection with religious beliefs. Her purpose was to show other women their strengths and purpose in life. Which was child birth, symbolizes life, potential life or a new beginning. Women in the Paleolithic era has recognized themselves as sustainers and life givers. However, many pieces of art was discovered soon after the Venus of Willendorf had similar names (pg.1).

        Accordingly, Venus of Hohle Fels resembled most of the same characteristics as Willendorf. She had abnormal chest. “They clearly depicted sexual attributes suggest that they are direct or indirect expression of fertility.”




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