Unit One Assignment: Ashurnasirpal II
I have entered into the palace of the great Ashurnasirpal II, and am approaching the throne room to await my meeting with the king. In front of me are two Lamassu figures that guard the entrance, Colossal statue of a winged lion from the North-West Palace of Ashurnasirpal II (Fig. 1). I am immediately in awe of the sheer size of this pair of sculptures, they each stand over ten feet tall, towering over individuals who would like to enter the throne room. The pair is enormous and intimidating as they are approached. When I first advance I see this combination of man, lion, and bird frontally. I notice the proud lion’s chest and huge paws. These elements show the strength of the beast and are representative of the power of Ashurnasirpal II and his empire. The body of the lion is adorned with the face of a man, which signifies the intelligence that the kingdom possesses. The face wears the traditional beard of the king, and the traditional horned crown indicating the divinity of the king. Associating the king and his domain with the all-powerful gods, shows the connection with absolute power of the divine with the total power of the empire (Reade). Making my way around to the profile view of the statue I continue to see the massive body of the lion, and now see the beautiful feathered wing. The intricate details and pattern of the wing are impressive. The wings represent the swiftness of the ruler (Reade). From the side I see all four legs of the lion, the artist uses the idea of most informative viewpoint, to give an accurate view of the most important aspects of the creature from every angle. From the side the lion appears to be striding forward, perhaps symbolizing aggressiveness (Hedin). The proportions of the elements from each animal are not true to scale. The overall size of the piece is much larger than the animals and human depicted. The wings are much larger than that of any bird, the body larger than any lion, and...
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