The whole story…:
The basis for the female figure in this drawing is the so-called Lespugue figurine (or Lespugue Venus), a tiny sculpture made out of mammoth ivory tusk. It was created by the first modern humans, about 24,000 to 22,000 years ago. And found in the Grottes de Rideaux, Lespugue, Haute-Garonne, France. The original figurine looks something like this:
The original figurine has suffered some damage. Fortunately, there are also drawings available that provide some more details:
What stands out, of course, are the enormous breasts and buttocks. There are all kinds of speculations about this woman being overweight or pregnant. Another possibility is that the creator ‘just’ liked to emphasize the beautiftul round shapes of this female figure. We’ll probably never know how realistic this is meant to be.
What also stands out in this figurine, are the vertical stripes carved under the buttocks. Most sources say that we should interpret this as an old garment (threads from some kind of apron). If you look closely, some lines can also be seen at the top, indicating the presence of hair. They didn’t make it to my version of the Lespugue Venus.
Needless to say that my version of the Venus doesn’t have much to do with the original context or Ms. Lespugue. This tiny story is not from millennia ago, but rather recent.
The basis for the second figure in my drawing is another ancient art piece: a piece of rock art from the Huashan site in China. These incredible pre-historic painted panels were created between the Warring States Period (403–221 BCE) and Eastern Han dynasty (26–220 CE), by an ethnic group named Luo Yue.
There’s so much more to learn about this site and the people who created it AND I WANT TO KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT PRE-HISTORIC ROCK ART because it’s so freakin’ fascinating how the first modern humans got into making art… But to avoid driving that single soul who’s still reading insane, I’ll just post the link to my source here: Introduction to the Huashan Rock Art Site by the Bradshaw Foundation. For both figures, I purposely used colors that are also used in various forms of rock art (some ‘earth tones’, selected from ancient drawings with a color picker).