When one mentions the nude in Paleolithic art, the most commonly pictured example is the so-called "Venus of Willendorf." While this figurine is the most famous, it is only one of many such representations. Before an explanation of the purpose and function of these images is begun, it is important to note that many of the early interpretations of these representations were subject to the influence of the time and culture in which they were originally found.
Another important thing to note is that when a person creates a work of art there is always a purpose, whether it be religious, sociological, or even merely aesthetic. Why is this relevant? It is relevant because when one endeavors to understand meaning behind a work of art, one must focus on which elements are emphasized and which are subordinate.
The above are two considerations when considering hypotheses that have been raised to explain the purpose or function of nude female figures in Paleolithic art.
The full solution lists the most prevalent and widely accepted theories regarding purpose and function of the female nude in Paleolithic Art, as well as some ideas why some of these ideas were developed and proposed (including religious and societal influences.)
This question was answered on: Sep 16, 2020
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