203 Module 1 Cave Art Mini-Lecture_Venus of Willendorf

Mini-Lecture  Venus of Willendorf

In the Khan Academy Video, and in the video, “More Human Than Human”, you will find the image of one of the earliest depictions of the human form, Venus of Willendorf.

Many art historians call this type of figure a fertility goddess. Some recent art historians have renamed her Woman of Willendorf. What is the difference?Why would a feminist point of view prefer the most recent title?


Above link is to Donsmaps.com, an amazing website for study of Venus Figures.

Click on the above blue link to see Venus figurines, or copy paste link in your browser.

http://witcombe.sbc.edu/ARTHLinks.html this link is to Art History Resources on the Web, an amazing website to study Art History.

Click link to do research on Paleolithic Art.

Can the title of a work of art really be an important factor in the way we perceive it?

Sometimes I tell my students to ask questions about art that are simple:

1. Why is she nude?Did the cave dwellers wear clothes?Or was it a nude beach on the glacier?

2. Why does she lack a identifiable face?Who is she meant to represent?

3. What are her most important characteristics? What was important to this paleolithic artist in his depiction of the human form?

4. Where would she have been seen?Was there a little museum in the cave that Fred and Wilma would go on Saturday afternoons for some culture?

5. Was the artist a man?Does that matter? Is the man’s view of the world different than woman’s?And does our sexual orientation affect the way we view her now, almost 30,000 years later?

6. Is she beautiful? What do we mean when we say a work of art is beautiful?Was she considered beautiful 30,000 years ago?Can we now accept that notion of beauty?

You will be considering all these questions in your written assignment for this module.


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