“Nebuchadnezzar II built temples dedicated to the Babylonian gods throughout his realm, and transformed Babylon- the cultural, political, and economic hub of his empire, into one of the most splendid cities of its day (Cothren 44).” The Ishtar gate is a stunning example of the art within the city of Babylon, which was passed by many entering the city. However the Ishtar gate does not have to be viewed as a whole, with every piece containing so much detail and expression, when taken away from its original positioning the appearance is only enhanced. The Striding Lion, though originally only a small piece of a bigger picture, is a visually captivating piece of art to be examined and appreciated. The Striding Lion originally located at the Ishtar Gate to the Temple of Marduk, Babylon, now resides at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, which can be viewed from multiple angles at their online museum link. The Striding Lion is classified as an architectural element of Near East, Mesopotamian, Babylonian, Neo-Babylonian Period, reign of Nebuchadnezzar I, and is dated as 604-561 B.C. The specific artist is unknown though. The amount of detail in The Striding Lion makes is a unique and intriguing piece to view.
At first glance The Striding Lion jumps out at the viewer due to pure magnitude. The details created by the unique medium is a close second for an attention grabber. With the life-size proportions of the lion you are looking start ahead, not up or down, when viewing. Dimensions of art is height of 105 cm or 42 3/4in and a width of 232 cm or 91 5/16in. Due to the eyelevel the piece is not overwhelming to look at, it is much more intriguing than overwhelming. However just imagining 120 life size lions all in a row lining the processional way is overwhelming just to think about. This piece could be viewed from a ways away and still hold its integrity of the lion shape, but when viewed within a couple feet one can pick out the expression of glaring teeth...
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