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Art, travels

Sumerian antiquities at the Louvre – 8

Lamassu from the palace of Sargon II near modern-day Khorsabad. These mythical creatures with the body of a winged bull or lion and the head of a human were considered as guardian deities, and seals depicting these magical creatures were buried under the threshold of Assyrian homes in the 1st millennium BCE.

Of course, the kings, especially one who linked himself with the legendary Sargon of Akkad, the first emperor in the world, elevated the Lamassu to such huge proportions and magnificence.

The curved horns on the Lamassu’s crown declare his divinity, the more powerful deities were depicted with more sets of horns, almost like the insignia on the epaulets of modern military officers.
One of the pair of Lamassi who guarded the throne-room of Sargon II. Each anatomical detail of the bull is faithfully and beautifully rendered, including the veins meandering down its legs.

Viewed from the front, the elaborate coif and curled beard of the Lamassu impart it a dignity fit for a king.

A close-up view. The deep-set eyes of the Lamassu still look down at us with gravity and power over two-and-a-half millennia after they were carved.

About hbhatnagar

I need to fill this up with much better content than I had populated it with earlier. Why I write a blog maybe? I started blogging in 2009 or thereabouts. I was a newly turned atheist and wanted to converse with others of the same persuasion. We're not exactly a big population group in India! It didn't go very well and I sort of lost interest, posting a few things now and then. I got a lot more regular over the last few months and have been posting almost daily since February '15. There were many reasons why I gradually became more regular in posting, but one way or the other, here I am! So this blog has taken shape, being at different points in time my showcase, my comedy club, my art gallery, my book club, my therapist, my close friend, my innermost self....but always my little corner of the world. You are all welcome to visit and I hope you stay awhile! A few points about me because I don't want to lead anyone on(and trust me this does become an issue more often than I'd care to admit). I'm Indian, the brown-skinned variety; if race, ethnicity or skin colour is an issue, you don't have to get to know me any more than what you see on my blog. I'm 40, so if age is an issue, please be informed accordingly. I was a doctor, an ophthalmic surgeon for 10 years before I quit practice.

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