Venus figurines

Venus figurines

These Palaeolithic statuettes probably symbolise fertility and prosperity.

Visual Arts

Keywords

Venus, Venus of Hohle Fels, Venus of Willendorf, Venus of Laussel, Venus of Monruz, female figure, figurine, Gravettian, fertility, well-being, statue, god, archaeology, representation, prehistory

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Scenes

Venus of Willendorf

Venus of Hohle Fels

Venus of Dolní Věstonice

Venus of Lespugue

Venus of Brassempouy

Venus of Laussel

Venus of Monruz

Animation

Narration

The Venus figurines in this exhibition were made in the Palaeolithic Period. The majority is from the Gravettian culture, with findings from earlier and later periods as well.

These statuettes were named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. However, this 19th-century name is inaccurate since it cannot be proved that the statuettes are related to Venus in any way.

These figurines, with their full shapes and exaggerated breasts, abdomens, hips and vulvas, probably symbolised fertility and prosperity. They were usually made by artists of old out of mammoth ivory and sometimes out of soft stone.

The oldest figurine is the Venus of Hohle Fels, which dates back between 35,000-40,000 years.

The best-known example is probably the Venus of Willendorf, which was found in Austria.

The Venus of Laussel greatly differs from the other figurines because it is essentially a bas relief and it is bigger than the usual figures.

The most recent example is the Venus of Monruz, which dates back 11,000 years.

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