Torah Portion: Yisro
Do not make a representation of anything that is with Me. Do not make silver or gold gods for yourselves (Shemos 20:20).
It is forbidden by negative commandment to make a human figure out of anything, be it of metals, of wood, or anything else — even for ornamentation [as art], as it says: Do not make… anything that is with Me [’eeti] (Shemos 20:20). Our Sages of blessed memory interpreted the verse as though it said: “Do not make [an image of] Me [’osi]” — meaning that you are not to make anything resembling that form (i.e. the human figure) about which I wrote in My Torah, Let us make man in our image (Bereishis 1:26). It must be noted that the verse [in Bereishis] is not (perish the thought) talking of any physical similarity to the Holy One, for the Holy does not have a body nor anything like one; there is absolutely no similarity between the Holy One and any of His creatures. Rather, the verse means to say that Man bears a [faint] resemblance to the Holy One because of his intelligence that was given to him.
This prohibition is specific to the human form, that we not make a form it at all, even as an ornament, so that we distance from ourselves from anything related to foreign worship (idolatry).
This prohibition applies in all places and at all times, to both men and woman. One who transgresses it and makes a representation of human form, even as a mere ornament, violates a negative commandment.