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The wall paintings include animals, human figures, hand stencils and many unexplained abstract markings.The highlight of the Gravettian period is a red and black painting of two spotted horses (see first image).The Venus of Willendorf is now at the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna.The Pech-Merle cave in southern France runs for 1.2 miles and contains cave art from three different periods: Gravettian (25,000-20,000 BCE); Solutrean (20,000-15,000 BCE); and Magdalenian (15,000-10,000 BCE).
The purpose of the Venus of Willendorf and other Venus figurines is debated, but the sculptor’s emphasis on the female body’s sexual and childbearing characteristics has led many to conclude that this and other such figurines were fertility goddesses or otherwise played a role in fertility rituals.
In addition, I have included a brief essay with description (including measurements), artistic materials used, background and interpretation.
To see the rest of the Art History 101 series, click on the links below: Part IB (400-1399 CE) Part IIA (1400-1499) Part IIB (1500-1599) Part III (1600-1799) Part IV (1800-1899) Part V (1900-Present) For a list of the greatest works of visual art organized by rank, that is, with the artworks on the most lists at the top, go here. Robert Wetzel was excavating caves in the German Alps where people of the Aurignacian culture lived 45,000-35,000 years ago during the Upper Paleolithic Era when he noticed something unusual.
In the Stadel-Höhle Cave in Hohlenstein, Wetzel and Otto Völzing found approximately 200 fragments of ivory from a mammoth tusk that showed signs of carving, but they had little time to study their find, due to the outbreak of World War II.
No further study occurred for 30 years when, in 1969, Dr.
So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections.