Venus of Willendorf Essay Paper

The concept of feminine beauty evolved dramatically throughout centuries but some concepts are perceived as symbols of the ideal feminine beauty, such as Venus, which has remained the synonym of a beautiful woman since ancient epochs till present days.

However, Venus should be viewed rather as an abstract notion, a concept which essence changes along with the change of standards, norms, and attitude to feminine beauty. To prove this fact, it is possible to compare the modern view on a beautiful woman or standards defining the beauty of a woman with standards which existed in ancient epochs.

In this respect, it is possible to refer to the figure of Venus of Willendorf, the piece of work of a prehistoric artist who created this figure about 24,000-22,000 BCE. This work apparently represents a female, which was probably the ideal of a feminine beauty, which nowadays looks rather ugly than beautiful. The emphasis lays on the fertility of the female the figure depicts which was valued in that epoch but it does not meet modern standards of a feminine beauty.

From a modern point of view the name of the figure Venus of Willendorf may be viewed as ironic since Venus is traditionally associated with the image of the beautiful woman. In fact, Venus originate from the ancient Roman goddess of love and beauty, which had its own prototype in ancient Greek pantheon and was known as Aphrodite, and later this goddess became a symbol of beauty.

This is why nowadays, it would be more logical to name the figure Woman instead of Venus of Willendorf. In such a case, the name and the figure of a woman would not be so contradicting from the position of the modern concept of beauty.

Thus, Venus of Willendorf reveals the extent, to which modern concept of feminine beauty differs from previous epochs.

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