Les Gestes de la Préhistoire

An audiovisual encyclopedia to discover prehistory

Ivory Venus

Miniature female portrait

Brassempouy type, Landes 

Around 30 000 years


The year 1894 would hold Piette’s most manificant discoveries : the celebrated “hooded lady” or “The Venus of Brassempouy”
H. Delporte, L’image de la femme dans l’art préhistorique. Picard, Paris, 1979.


Commentary : 

This mammoth ivory figurine from Brassempouy, in the Landes region, comes from a cave site dated to the Gravettian.
The uniqueness of this female representation lies in the very realistic character of the face. The artist choose to depict a living person, and produces an extremely graceful expression, without engraving either the mouth or the eyes.

This miniature face in mammoth ivory, a rare and precious material, conjures an image of this object having accompanied moments of life and shared emotions.
By creating the Brassempouy statuette 30 000 years ago, the artist give life to the very first female portrait.


Technical informations

Length : 06:00

Resolution : Full HD / 1920x1080

Video format : 16 / 9