The Woman from Willendorf

In 1908, the Hungarian-Austrian archaeologist Josef Szombathy and his team members discovered a 4 and a half inch high statuette of a woman in the village of Willendorf in Austria. Believed to be between 25,000 and 30,000 years old, the female figure (sometimes known as the Venus of Willendorf) is carved out of limestone and exaggeratedly rotund, with curls covering the face.

Art historians Hugh Honour and John Fleming [A World History of Art (1980s, 2005, 2009)] write that she was probably an image of fertility, a magic charm designed to be held in hand. The work demonstrates that sex and art were closely allied from the very beginning.


Woman from Willendorf, Museum of Natural History, Vienna, Wikipedia


Image Credit:

Featured: The Venus of Willendorf by User “MatthiasKabel”, CC BY 2.5, Wikipedia

Other: The Venus of Willendorf by User “MatthiasKabel”, CC BY 2.5, Wikipedia



One thought on “The Woman from Willendorf

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s