Lespugue Figurine Ice Age Sculpture Prehistory History Art Sculptures Archaeology France Gravettian
Lespugue Figurine
Gravettian 24,000-22,000 years old
Made of mammoth ivory this justifiably celebrated sculpture is one of the taller female figurines. Found near a camp fire near the top of the deposits in the Cave of Rideaux, the figure was damaged on the front by a blow from a pickaxe and is reconstructed in this replica. The lozenge shaped outline of the figure encompasses a small round head with no face but engraved lines on the back suggesting long hair. The neck and shoulders are well defined and thin arms bend round to rest above the large pendulous breasts which cover a slight but prominent stomach and rest against huge buttocks. From the back, the round buttocks appear high and pushed outwards. The thighs are large and curve into the knees below which the lower legs are vestigial. On the back, engraved vertical lines hang from a horizontal line below the buttocks. These may represent an apron although reversing the figure has led to the suggestion that this might originally have been the head with hair but an error caused the artist to reverse the work.
The characteristics of the Lespugue figurine have been interpreted as indicative of obesity and or pregnancy by those who wish to see the sculpture as a realistic representation. Given the size and shape of the stomach, pregnancy is unlikely and the size of the breasts and characteristics of obesity are more those of a woman who has had several children. However, should we only be looking for realism or, is this an intellectual image in which the mind’s eye has emphasised the meaningful aspects of this woman’s body into a beautiful form? Is this a reflection on the origins and nourishment of life rather than a woman’s body?
14.4 cms high; c.6.4 cms wide; c.3.5 cms thick.
Grottes de Rideaux, Lespugue, Haute-Garonne, France.
Musée de l’Homme, Paris.
24,000 - 22,000 yrs
Height : 14.4 cm
Width : c.6.4 cm
Thick : c.3.5 cm
Further Links:
iShop - Lespugue Figurine - Limited Edition Sculpture
Ice Age Art Index
Ice Age Art Gallery Ice Age, art, sculptures, Palaeolithic, portable, sculpture, prehistory, prehistoric, history of art
Support our work & become a
Friend of the Foundation
Bradshaw Foundation Twitter @BrashawFND
Homepage About the Foundation Contact Us Facebook News Articles Twitter List of Research Papers Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Bibliographic Database Travel Index About the Expeditions Forthcoming Expeditions Bespoke Expeditions Enquire Practical Information History of Exploration Welcome to the iShop Film Downloads DVD's Sculpture Prints Clothing Messenger Bag eBooks INORA Downloads About iLecture Films Shipping & Handling iLectures In Conversation Video Stories Travel Films Read the reviews Privacy Policy Bradshaw Foundation Facebook Friends of the Foundation Archive Index World's Oldest Rock Art Africa Documentary Films South Africa RARI Giraffe Carvings Niger Namibia Western Central Africa Africa Paintings Gallery Tanzania The Tuareg People Tuareg Salt Caravans Gilf Kebir Birnin Kudu Rock Art Center Archive Index San Rock Art Paintings San Bushman San Rock Art Film Origins Centre Johannesburg Archive Index Arizona Baja California Baja California Film Coso Range Talking Stone Film Nevada Oregon Territory Moab, Utah Clovis First Australia Archive Index Introduction Bradshaw Paintings Kimberley Region The Unambal Hugh Brown Leif Thiele Gallery Dan Clark Grahame Walsh Bradshaws / Gwion Gwion Archive Index Introduction Origins of the British Avebury Stonehenge Sounds of Stonehenge The British Museum British Isles Megaliths Gower Peninsula Rock Art Mendip Hills Prehistory Northumberland Rock Art Red Lady of Paviland Stone Age Mammoth Abattoir Archive Index Introduction Peterborough Petroglyphs Western Canadian Rock Art Writing-On-Stone Wuikinuxv Territory Dinosaur Provincial Park Archive Index Huashan Rock Art Yinchuan Museum Rock Art Festival Field Trip Gallery Itinerant Creeds Inner Mongolia & Ningxia Vanishing Civilization Life in Rock Art (PDF) Tibet Tibet Photographs Dazu Rock Carvings Tiger Motif Archive Index Chauvet Cave Lascaux Cave Niaux Cave Cosquer Cave Rouffignac Cave Portable Art Defining Rock Art Tuc d'Audoubert Bison Dr. Jean Clottes Index UNESCO World Heritage Introduction Cave Paintings Gallery Visiting the Chauvet Cave Return to Chauvet Cave Investigating the Cave Venus & Sorcerer Werner Herzog Film Chauvet Publications India Archive Index Rock Art Central India Pachmarhi Hills India Rock Art Gallery Preservation & Education Dr. V. S. Wakankar Articles on India Rock Art Contemporary Art Sri Lanka Archive Index Rock Paintings & Engravings Sri Lanka Rock Art Gallery Middle East Archive Index Middle East Inroduction Rock Art of Iran Rock Art of Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Rock Art Ancient Geometry Middle East Colonisation Scandinavian Rock Art Archive Scandinavian Introduction Alta Rock Art Norway Rock Art in Finland Tanum Rock Art Sweden Thor Heyerdahl Archive Index Introduction America's Oldest Art? Pedra Furada Bolivian Rock Art Campeche Island - Brazil Checta Petroglyphs - Peru Cueva de las Manos Santa Catarina Island - Brazil Rock Art in Britain Campeche Rock Art Petroglyphs El Salvador - Corinto Cave Hand Rock Art Paintings Tibetan Rock Art United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Yinchuan Rock Art Museum Introduction Ice Age Art Gallery Claire Artemyz Jill Cook Interview Cycladic Introduction Cycladic Gallery A Cultural Memory Izzy Wisher Biography Deer-tooth necklace Cave Art Introduction Geometric Signs Chart Research Methodology Geometric Signs in France Sign Types/Countries/Regions Bibliography Ancient Symbols in Rock Art Newsletter Archive Download Issues Introduction Genetic Map Professor Stephen Oppenheimer Further Reading Origins of the British BBC Documentary Origins Index Origins Overview 13 Big Questions Stanley Ambrose Homo Floresiensis Herto Skulls Homo Dmanisi Liujiang Skull Introduction Sentinels in Stone Easter Island Rock Art Birdman Cult / Motif Sea & Marine Creatures Design & Motifs Dr Georgia Lee Easter Island Map Contemporary Art Glossary Conclusion Thor Heyerdahl Introduction When & Who Built It? How Was It Built? The Area Sounds of Stonehenge Meaning of a Pyramid Pyramid Studies Pyramid Superstructure Pyramid Substructure Pyramid Preparations Pyramid Building Saqqara Nabil Swelim Temples of Malta and Gozo Research in the Caucasus The Keselo Foundation Homo Dmanisi Ancient Toolmakers Index Introduction Descent into the Cave The Decorated Caves Shamanistic Experience Spring Initiation Rites Summary Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Professor John P. Miller Motif: Eternal Index Banksy Han Meilin Bruce Radke Christian Tuki Gordon Ellis-Brown Site Map Search the Website Glossary of Terms & Definition Podcast on iTunes Other Websites Contact the Foundation