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The human figure can be seen throughout history as a defining factor of art and how we interpret it Paleolithic art was once crude and yet still was able convey the message of beauty and success to its viewers Artists have taken the previous art styles of the world and built upon them changing them as they see fit in order to prove themselves and progress the influence of art on others Each artist is shaped differently by the culture and society around them therefore giving us differing interpretations of the human figureThe Upper Paleolithic period lasting from 40000-10000 BCE was at the forefront of human anatomy in art Animals were generally the subject matter of cave painting and carvings with human figures not receiving as much attention Cave paintings in particular had the most attention to detail when it came to animals while humans were rendered in profile and silhouette as in Rhinoceros Wounded Man and Bison Miniature carvings of the time were mad out of ivory or bone and were small in size due the nomadic economy of their makers for to a nomad all sizable possessions are a burden art PaleolithicThe Woman of Willendorf commonly referred to as the Venus of Willendorf is one example of this miniature art that was a frequent technique in Paleolithic times It is what looks to be an obese portrayal of the female figure This yellow limestone figure stands only eleven centimeters tall While a braided cap obscures the face the focus is directly on the anatomy of the figure Complete with enlarged breasts thighs and buttocks that would be grossly shunned in todays society they could have been something of glorification to the prehistoric Gravettian culture 26000-20000 BCE from which it came It is thought that the Woman of Willendorf could have perhaps been a fertility charm to aid in a successful pregnancy and therefore the ill-defined face is not the main focal pointThe Sumerian
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