View Full Version : History's first sculpture: plus-size beauty

14th May 2009, 08:43
Ever since I read this thread on the forum,


I've been intrigued by the fact that history's earliest works of art were created by male artists attempting to depict female beauty, and that those artists defined beauty in very full-figured terms.

And now the press reports (http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1181357/Carved-figurine-dating-35-000-years-mans-oldest-known-sculpture---yes-naked-woman.html) that archeologists have discovered the very first sculpture ever created -- and sure enough, it is an attempted depiction (albeit a crude one) of plus-size female beauty.

Here's an interesting excerpt from the article:

Scientists have discovered the oldest piece of sculpture ever created - and it depicts a voluptuous 'pin-up' woman.

The 35,000-year-old carving shows a woman with enormous breasts and other sexual characteristics like an enlarged stomach and large thighs.It's very perceptive of the writer to acknowledge that the "enlarged stomach" and "large thighs" of the figure are meant to be "sexual" (i.e., attractive) characteristics. In modern times, women have been brainwashed into feeling ashamed of these features. But that's a completely unnatural perspective. Even in the earliest works of art, such qualities were celebrated, proving that the human mind is hardwired to be attracted to these plus-size characteristics.

Today, when fans celebrate a full-figured model's "soft midriff" and applaud her generous waist measurements, they are expressing an aesthetic appreciation that is literally as old as humanity itself.

I also find it gratifying that it was the inspirational power of plus-size beauty that stirred the very first artistic impulses in mankind. The importance of this cannot be overestimated. As the article notes,

Artistic ability in early humans is considered evidence of abstract thought, which may in turn have contributed to the development of language.
I found one more passage in the article interesting:

the new figurine is the first from this period, known as the Aurignacian, to depict a purely human form.

Commenting on the discovery, Dr Paul Mellars, of Cambridge University, wrote in Nature: 'The cornucopia of small, carved ivory statuettes from the south German sites must be seen as the birthplace of true sculpture in the European - maybe global - artistic tradition.'How fascinating that the dawn of sculpture, the dawn of art itself, occurred in what is now Germany. It adds further significance, I think, to the recent post on this forum about "Germanic beauty."