A statuette (small statue ) is a small figure made of wood , animal bones , horn , ivory , clay , terracotta , stone , metal or any other material that represents an anthropomorphic being or an animal in a naturalistic or abstract form . The term figurine, on the other hand, used to be the common name for a small human figure in painting, for a staffage figure and, since the late Middle Ages, for dolls at festivities.
Statuettes have been documented since the Stone Age , for example in the form of Venus figurines such as the Venus von Willendorf (around 25,000 BC) and in the form of animal figures, as well as in ancient cultures , in which statuettes were often idol sculptures or statues , those of worship served by deities. In ancient Egypt , ushabti - statuettes as grave goods - embodied the deceased or they were intended as their slaves in the afterlife.
In the Middle Ages only limited objects of art and handicrafts , with the Renaissance a new interest in statuettes began. They were created for religious purposes such as the veneration of saints and were also produced for the first time for profane purposes, for example as table or room decorations. This interest reached its first peak in 15/16. Century in Italy and Germany.
Statuettes in the early history of art
One of the oldest statuettes and at the same time one of the oldest works of art of mankind is, with an age of about 40,000 years, a figure carved from mammoth ivory from the Pleistocene Aurignacia . The fragmentary anthropomorphic figure represents an upright person. It was discovered in 1931 during an archaeological excavation in the Vogelherd cave on the Swabian Alb in Baden-Württemberg . The almost eight centimeter large object is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura . Together with 15 other art objects and paleolithic musical instruments, it is exhibited in the Museum of the University of Tübingen (Museum of Ancient Cultures) in Hohentübingen Castle .
- UNESCO World Heritage in the Museum of the University of Tübingen MUT: press information, photos and 3D animations of the objects . In: www.unimuseum.de, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Museum of the University of Tübingen MUT