[Fucking] Art History: The Venus of Willendorf, or The Lady of Willendorf

This post was featured on a previous iteration of this site on January 23rd, 2015. it has been reposted here for posterity. 

[Fucking] Art History is a series of posts with two images- one, a piece of artwork from somewhere in history, and the other, a sex toy of some kind. They are placed at odds both to challenge the idea that sex toys are not art, as well as to draw links between modern day creations with those of history. These lines will be drawn with color, shape, aesthetic, material, or other similarities. 

Discovered in 1908 in Austria, the Woman of Willendorf is made of limestone, and is believed to have been carved between 28,000 B.C.E. and 25,000 B.C.E, during the Paleolithic Period or the “Old Stone Age”. Although the moniker “Venus” is now criticized by many, it is still used to refer to all stone age statuettes of fat figurines with vulvas and breasts- the original idea being that this may have been the standard of beauty during this time period. “Venus” may have also been referring to the prominent Mons Pubis, or Pubic Mound, which discoverers have referred to as “le Mont de Venus” but, in general, modern day scholars reject calling any of the statuettes Venus, which is presumptive and forces concepts from a different time period upon our stone age ancestors.

Little is known about the purpose or reasoning behind the Woman of Willendorf and similar stuatuettes- of which there are many. Due to the lack of feet and the exaggerated vulva and breasts, many have presumed they have something to do with fertility. Others have hypothesized that they may have been self portraits. Since we do not possess time machines and these were created before written history, we can really only speculate. What we can be sure of is that they are beautiful, and certainly capture the imaginations of many modern day humans.

Next to our Stone Age friend is the Laid Norway D.1, made of Norwegian Moonstone. I chose this companion because it is simple, but also because it is stone. Theoretically, this piece of art could last upwards of 30,000 years as the statuette has; if there is someone or some thing examining artifacts from this era that far in the future, I wonder what they will think?

You can purchase your own here.