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The British MuseumThe British Museum is a wonderful wall reliefs. Pictures, images & photos of ancient Assyrian relief sculptures from the Britiah Museum, London. Hopefully they will inspire me in painting my Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian armies. The amazing collection at the British Museum comes from Ashurnasirpal II’s (883-859 BC) Northwest Palace at Nimrud, Tiglath-Pileser III’s (744-727 BC) Central Palace at Nimrud, Sargon II’s (721-705 BC) Palace at Khorsabad, Sennacherib’s (704-681 BC) Southwest Palace at Nineveh and Ashurbanipal’s (668-c.631 BC) Southwest Palace at Nineveh.  Assyrian art was designed to overwhelm the viewer. Huge mythical beasts stood either side of its palace and city gates pronouncing the wealth and prestige of the Assyrian rulers.

Scenes of hunting are popular with the rulers killing lions with bow & arrow and spears from their chariots. These hunting scene are not for the faint hearted with lions shown graphically dying or dead. The relief sculptures of the rulers great victories are equally revealing. The victorious Assyrians humble the defeated and scenes of refugees and executions show the fate of many from the ancient world.

The Assyrians used a form of gypsum for the reliefs and carved it using iron and copper tools. The stone is easily eroded when exposed to wind and rain and when it was used outside, the reliefs are presumed to have been protected by varnish or paint. It is possible that this form of decoration was adopted by Assyrian kings following their campaigns to the west, where stone reliefs were used in Neo-Hittite cities like Carchemish. The Assyrian reliefs were part of a wider decorative scheme which also included wall paintings and glazed bricks.

The scale and craftsmanship of Assyrian sculpture is compelling and the narrative content is still quite understandable to the modern eye giving a clear view of the ancient world of the Assyrian rulers.

The reliefs were first used extensively by king Ashurnasirpal II  at Kalhu . This tradition was maintained in the royal buildings in the later capital cities of Khorsabad and Nineveh.

The article in the English Wikipedia

2 Responses so far.

  1. Thanks-a-mundo for the blog. Great.

  2. Good post. I’m facing a few of these issues as well..


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