Compare and Contrast: Venus of Willendorf vs. Cycladic figures
What is the difference between two figures that both represent the same basic idea? Give up? Well don't worry, by the time you are done reading this paper you will be fully versed in the answer to this interesting and quite debated question.
Venus of Willendorf "was found on August 7th, 1908 during a systematic excavation in the ninth and highest layer of Site II in Willendorf, Austria by Josef Szombathy. The most recent estimate of her date of origin is 24,000-22,000 B.C " (Chapman, 1998, p.1). She is one of the most famous of the non-tool artifacts created by the earlier Stone Age people. It was said that the "earlier Stone Age people were content to collect pebbles in whose natural shape they saw something that made them special " (Janson, 2001, p.35). As written by Janson, (2001) apparently the Willendorf 's voluptuous figure was formed by an egg shaped pebble. Her shape definitely gives off a womanly aura which is probably why she is considered a symbol of fertility. According to Hahn, Joachim, (1996) other hints that gave way to the belief of her being a fertility Goddess was the red ochre pigment in which she was painted with after being carved from oolitic limestone which could possibly represent blood, a life giving agent. Whether or not this is true her very being gives reason to believe that ancient civilizations had some kind of religion.
Cycladic figures as told by Janson (2001) represented a highly developed phase in time around 2500-2400B.C. They were created in the Cycladic Islands which are located in the southern Aegean sea. These marble figures must have also had a religious meaning to them because they were buried with the dead. These impressive figures were mostly of nude females with there arms folded across their stomachs. Though you could obviously tell that the figures were of women, unlike the Willendorf who had a more womanly appearance these figures tended to run more toward the young girlish figure. As talked about in lonestar.texas.net (2004) the Cycladic sculptors leaned more towards angles in their art as where the people of the early Stone Age used the shapes of there stones to give their figures shape. These angled figures also were sometimes either colored or etched in to create more of an effect.
As you can tell both of these figures were held in high respect as possible deities, but there ways in which they showed this were quite different as well as the shape in which they were in. Both of these artworks are great examples of ancient art, and hopefully when our current art is viewed as ancient, it will be held in such a high respect as these.
Janson,H.W. (2001).History of Art (6th ed.). New York: Harry N. Abrams,...