The Venus of Willendorf sculpture is only one of a large group of "Venus" sculptures produced in Europe during the Paleolithic age. Many sculptures portray women with exaggerated sexual characteristics: breasts, buttocks, and genitalia. More than 200 of these figures have been found to date, and they are made of many different materials: stone, bone, ivory, or clay. Many meanings have been attributed to this sculpture genre. However, the works themselves are so widely spaced in time as well as geography that nothing definitive has ever been found about their ritual, religious, or cultural meaning.
The Venus of Willendorf is typical of a sculpture made by a nomadic civilization because of its materials, indicative of a hunting culture, and its small size, which makes it (and the other Venus sculptures) very portable. Some Venus sculptures are drilled with holes, perhaps so they could be worn.
For close-up views of a Venus and other Paleolithic sculpture, watch Werner Herzog's documentary film "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" made in 2010 in France's Chauvet Caves, one of the most remarkably well-preserved Paleolithic sites in the world.