Spotlight: Venus of Willendorf Statuette


The Venus of Willendorf—one of the earliest images of the body made by humans—is a statuette of a female figure estimated to have been made between 24,000 and 22,000 BCE.  The statuette depicts over-sized breasts and pelvic region thought as desirable fertile characteristics of the time.

It was found in 1908 by a workman named Johann Veran or Josef Veram during excavations conducted by archaeologists Josef Szombathy, Hugo Obermaier and Josef Bayer at a paleolithic site near Willendorf, a village in Lower Austria near the city of Krems. It is carved from a limestone that is not local to the area, and tinted with red ochre. The “Venus of Willendorf” is now in the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

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