The nickname, urging a comparison to the classical image of "Venus", is now controversial.According to Christopher Witcombe, "the ironic identification of these figurines as 'Venus' pleasantly satisfied certain assumptions at the time about the primitive, about women, and about taste".
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Bisson responded that water pools and puddles served as readily available natural mirrors for Paleolithic humans.
The Italian figurine known as the "Savignano Venus" is a prehistoric sculpture which has been assigned to the era of Gravettian art (25,000-20,000 BCE).
Discovered in 1925, it is taller than most other Venus Figurines (it stands 22 centimetres in height), and is carved out of serpentine (steatite). On the basis of a stylistic comparison with other known venuses - in particular the steatite Venus of Polichinelle (also known as the Grimaldi Venus), as well as the French Venus of Monpazier (25,000 BCE) - archeologists date it to the Late period of Paleolithic art, but at least one scholar considers it to be a work of Neolithic art (c.6,000-2,000 BCE).
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The Venus of Willendorf, now known in academia as the Woman of Willendorf, is an 11.1-centimetre (4.4 in) high statuette of a female figure estimated to have been made between about 28,000 and 25,000 BCE.
Several similar statuettes and other forms of art have been discovered, and they are collectively referred to as Venus figurines, although they pre-date the mythological figure of Venus by millennia.
Very little is known about its origin, method of creation, or cultural significance; however, it is one of numerous Venus figurines or representations of female figures surviving from the Paleolithic period.
The purpose of the carving is the subject of much speculation.