Sunday, June 21, 2020

Austen Henry Layard, The Monuments of Nineveh from Drawings Made on the Spot, 1853

Allow me to revel in the wonder of living in an age when I can find complete scanned copies of thousands of classic books online. Of course we have all seen many of the wonderful things Layard excavated at Nineveh in photographs, but there is still something about these drawings. Plus, one tends to see the same famous images over and over, and some of the ones in this book I had never seen before.

I cut so many images out of my new pdf copy that I'm going to spread them over two posts, this one for non-military images and then one just for battles and sieges. This is Layard's rendering of the court in front of the great hall; there were traces of paint on some of the stone when it came out of the ground, so this wasn't entirely made up, but I have a feeling that the colors were originally much brighter.

Winged bull.

I was fascinated by these, which are detailed drawings of the robes worn by kings in some of the reliefs. Layard says the designs were embroidered on the robes.

Decorative elements from halls and courtyards. The great reliefs were only one element of complex decorative schemes that involved many floral and abstract elements.

Procession of the gods.

Painted head of a nobleman.

The mounds as they were discovered, and James Fergusson's painting of the palace at its height.

1 comment:

Kpgoog said...

Bowdoin College has (surprisingly) a collection of Assyrian reliefs, aquired almost by accident.