The Venus of Willendorf
(click on image for a larger view)
Earlier this year we learned that the small sculpture known as The Venus of Willendorf was, until recently, the oldest known piece of sculpture in existence. A number of other "Venus" sculptures of similar age have been found, some even older. Today, you will do a bit of research about these sculptures in preparation for your next project.
Your next project will be to create a small "Prehistoric Venus" sculpture. You will be using the "subtractive" method, carving your sculpture from a block of plaster.
Assignment for today: do some digging around online to find information about the Venus of Willendorf and other similar prehistoric "Venus" sculptures. Look for written information, and also for pictures. Then, answer the questions below by making a "comment" on this blog post.
To "comment", scroll to the bottom of this post and click on the words "Post a Comment". A window will pop up. Where it says "Choose an identity", select "Name/URL". Write your name in the box next to "Name". (You do not need a URL.) Then, where it says "Leave your comment", type the answers to the questions. Fill in the word verification box, and then press the button for "Publish Your Comment".
Note: if you do not have enough time to answer all then questions below, you may finish this assignment at home tonight (or a.s.a.p. if you were absent today). Also, you will be receiving a handout sheet for your plaster sculpture assignment-- it will have some pictures of Venus sculptures on it, but you might want to print some of your own here in the computer lab or at home.
1. Who was Venus?
2. When was the Venus of Willendorf made?
3. Who made the Venus of Willendorf?
4. Why is it called The Venus of Willendorf?
5. There are a number of other prehistoric Venus sculptures. What is the general range of dates during which these sculptures were made? (example: 500 BC - 200 BC)
6. Look up another prehistoric "Venus" sculpture (similar to the Venus of Willendorf). Compare and contrast: what are the similarities and differences? Be specific.
7. Select another similar prehistoric sculpture, and once again compare and contrast.
8. Why are these prehistoric figurines (small sculptures) referred to as "Venus" sculptures?
9. What do the "experts" think the purpose of these sculptures was?
10. What do YOU think think the purpose of these sculptures was? Do you think they meant to be erotic or "sexy", or do you think they were made for some other reason or purpose?