In a small room at the Naturhistorisches Museum Vienna crowds from around the world come to see the most famous early image of a human and a primitive Mother Goddess – the Venus of Willendorf.
The tiny statuette of a female figure chiseled from limestone and painted with red ochre is estimated to be 29,500 years old. Discovered in 1908 by Austrian archaeologist, Josef Szombathy, Venus of Willendorf is of enormous historical and anthropological significance. But she is also important symbolically –representing the Earth, fertility and continuation of all life – she is the ultimate ‘Mother’.
In ‘Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson’, Camille Paglia explores the connections between art and pagan ritual from ancient Egypt through to the nineteenth century.
"Venus of Willendorf carries her cave with her. She is blind, masked. Her ropes of corn-row hair look forward to the invention agriculture. She has a furrowed brow. Her facelessness is the impersonality of primitive sex and religion. There is no psychology or identity yet, because there is no society, no cohesion. Men cower and scatter at the blast of the elements. Venus of Willendorf is eyeless because nature can be seen but not known. She is remote even as she kills and creates. The statuette, so overflowing and protuberant, is ritually invisible. She stifles the eye. She is the cloud of archaic night."
Venus of Willendorf SALE
Our Venus of Willendorf pendants are hand moulded from clay and are approx. 45mm long