A Work of Art Called Lamassu or Shedu

Topics: BodyPatience

The work of art referred to as the Lamassu or Shedu which is a hybrid supernatural figure with the head of a bearded human(intelligence), eagle wings(swiftness) and the body of a lion or bull(strength). This sculpture was discovered in present-day Khorsabad, Iraq around 721-705 BCE from the Citadel of Sargon II. This type of sculpture was significant to the great Assyrian Kings, Ashurnasirpal II and Sargon II. These two specific sculptures relate more to Sargon II. Kings are associated with figures like the Lamassu because it symbolized their authority and stood as guardians of the people of the cities of Mesopotamia that they ruled.

Art during this time period was important to rulers because the art showed their importance because it could come off as intimidating when standing on the sides of their palaces.

The unique aspects of this sculpture are the way the artist depicted the legs. The Lamassu is shown to have five legs but from a certain angle they have four legs.

The sculptures that created these statues insisted on showing a complete view of these animals. You could see five legs when looking from the side and four legs when looking straight from the front to the back. This was a depiction of conceptual and optical representation. The optical representation is the view of the different numbers of legs from different views. Conceptual representation being the artists representation of the human body, and distinguishing fixed properties. The artists did the four leg and five legs viewing as a way of representing the human body or in this case what a hybrid body may look like.

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The Lamassu is carved from a single block of limestone that was sculpted by ancient Assyrian sculptures during the early Mesopotamia time. The head is shown to be sculpted in the round, making the head look 3- dimensional. However, the body is in “high relief” meaning that it is highly raised against the background and that it was sculpted on a flat surface. Relief sculpting was important during the time of Sargon II reign. The Sculptures presented in the Louvre Museum in Paris, where they are today, is smooth with details of the wings, the head and the body. The Lamassu statues however have been reconstructed by the result of ISIS. Islamic state militants destroyed archaic statues and artifacts around Iraq including the Lamassu. A French archaeologist known as Paul Botta revealed these statues back in 1843. The statue was then sent to London then to The Louvre, Paris where “drawings and surveys” were done by Eugene Flandin, then to be completed by the work of Victor Place who indicates the exact position of the statues. Therefore, starting the restoration process.

Looking at the statue you can see that they are depicted to be very tall coming in about 13” feet tall and 10’ high. Neo-Assyrians who sculpted these statues used copper and iron tools and they choose limestone which is a soft rock and easy to sculpt but getting the amount of patience that these had to have had might have been the most difficult part especially sculpting for a king because it had to be perfect. Therefore, when you look closely at a picture of the originals you can see how the patience paid off. The details of the crown on the head were measured perfectly with one another. Not one statue was bigger or any different than the other which make them incredible works of art.

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A Work of Art Called Lamassu or Shedu. (2021, Dec 17). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-work-of-art-called-lamassu-or-shedu/

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