Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Assyrian art

Assyria arose to power in the northern region of Mesopotamia, when the south was weak under the foreign Kassite dynasty. During this period the art of Assyria began to emerge from the wider and more general context of Mesopotamian art.

In the period of the Assyrian Empire, the capital moved successively to Kalhu, Dur-Sharrukin, and finally Nineveh. At each of these sites the kings-built palaces to glorify their regions, adorning the walls with superbly carved reliefs in gypsum and limestone.

Although constructed of mud brick, palaces were made majestic by lining the walls of principle rooms with carved stone slabs which formed part of much wider schemes of decoration that included glazed bricks, wall paintings, textiles and furniture.

Like all Assyrian kings, Ashurbanipal decorated the public walls of his palace with images of himself performing great feats of bravery, strength and skill.
In the Central Palace at Nimrud, the Neo-Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III illustrates his military victories and exploits, including the siege of a city in great detail.

Many of the historical events were recorded in sculptures: stone slabs, carved in low relief, which decorated the walls of the royal palaces. They were designed for different kings each of whom was anxious to prove his own superiority. The king's names, titles, and achievements were written repeatedly in both conspicuous and concealed places.

Assyrian art found mainly in the royal palaces - depicting most hunting episodes and military affairs. Animal forms, of horses and lions, are magnificently represented in some detail, although human figures are more rigid.

One of the unique characteristics of Assyrian art is their relief carvings, which exhibited very extensive detail. The carvings often held images of battles and major events of war. These carvings also held depictions of the violent results of battle.
Assyrian art

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