Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Ancient Middle Eastern Art, The Hagop Kevorkian Gallery, 3rd Floor
Because most people in the ancient Near East could not read, artists developed symbols to help individuals identify the figures on palace and temple walls. As a sign of their supernatural essence, the human-headed genies in the reliefs from Ashur-nasir-pal II’s palace all wear horned helmets. This association between horns and divine (or semidivine) presence had a long history in the ancient Near East. Beginning in the Akkadian Period (circa 2371–2230 b.c.) artists used bovine horns as symbols of divinity, and biblical and archaeological evidence indicates that horned altars were common in Israelite religion.
Gypsum stone, pigment
ca. 883-859 B.C.E.
93 1/16 x 80 13/16 in. (236.3 x 205.3 cm)
Approximate weight: 3780 lb. (1714.6kg) (show scale)
Purchased with funds given by Hagop Kevorkian and the Kevorkian Foundation
Alabaster relief, standing, winged and horned, man-headed figure (genie) facing right between conventionalized date palms. Figure is pollinating the tree with a cone held in right hand, in his left is a small bucket. "Standard inscription" incised across center of relief. Joins with 55.148.
Condition: Top center edge broken. Scattered minor chips on surface.
Assyrian. Apkallu-figure, ca. 883-859 B.C.E. Gypsum stone, pigment, 93 1/16 x 80 13/16 in. (236.3 x 205.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased with funds given by Hagop Kevorkian and the Kevorkian Foundation, 55.147. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 55.147_at_PS11.jpg)
overall, after treatment, 55.147_at_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2021
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