Art History Essay Compare Contrast Nude Women of Art

A Comparison of Nude Women in Art through the Ages

In my opinion one of the most beautiful and interesting subjects to paint, sculpt or mold is the nude human body, however over the years this unchanging form has taken on many different functions and meanings in art.   To show how something constant can represent two completely different purposes and visual stimulations, I would like to compare two sculptures of nude women from Gardner’s Art through the Ages: A Global History.   The two pieces of art I would like to analyze are the Venus of Willendorf (Kleiner page 17) and the Venus of Milo (Kleiner page 150).  
Although both of these sculptures were crafted to represent nude women in their era, each had a separate purpose in their culture and time period.   The sculpture of the Venus of Willendorf was carved during the Paleolithic Period between 28,000- 25,000 BCE, when nudity and sex were not provocative but a necessity for procreation and the survival of the human race, thus her naked body was a symbol of the power of fertility.   On the other hand, the sculpture of the Venus of Milo was carved in 150-125 BCE, approximately 27,850 years later, and her naked body was not an amulet for fertility or a sculpture to symbolize the reproduction of the human race.   Although the Venus of Milo is also a nude sculpture of a woman, “the sculptor intentionally designed the work to tease the spectator,” (Kleiner 151) with her overtly sexual pose.   The sculptor’s intention was to evoke a physical desire towards the goddess, through the use of beauty and perfect proportions, for the viewer’s pleasure.   Personally, I find both of these pieces to be unique, amazingly crafted, thought provoking, and beautiful, however I prefer the Venus of Milo, because to me it symbolizes the birth of humanism, the beginning of true fine art, and the development of human emotion in art, while the Venus of Willendorf, simply represents the desperate desire to conceive for the purpose of...