How is the Woman of Willendorf sculpture similar to and/or different from the Venus de Milo? What do the differences in style and emphasis in these two Venus sculptures say about the image of women in these two cultures?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Both objects are three-dimensional sculptures of nude or nearly nude women. Each is closely associated with, even iconic of, a particular area and time period. About both figures, there is more speculation than fact.

The Willendorf Woman is the older by far but this type of carved figure had become unknown after the society that produced them died out. The first example known in modern times was found by an archaeologist in 1908 near Willendorf, Austria hence the name. It is now in Vienna's natural history museum.

About 40 other similar figures, some incomplete, almost all female, have since come to light. (There are about 80 more fragments.) Made of limestone and decorated with red ochre pigment in Paleolithic times, about 28,000 to 25,000 B.C.E., the first figure is about 11.1 cm high.

Both "Venus" and "Willendorf" are problematic terms. Because she is female and nude, the name of the Roman goddess was applied. As she predates Roman civilization by many...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 492 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team