Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Apadana of Persepolis

Column Capital from Persepolis - Louvre
By the time I finished the Egyptian collection and the European paintings (my family's idea) at the Louvre, I had almost no time to visit the Near Eastern Art collection. I rushed through it very quickly and came away with some truly awful photos. I have "photoshopped" a few of them (using iPhoto) and will show them over the next few posts.

Relief from Persepolis - Metropolitan Museum
The first one is a double bull's head column capital taken from the Apadana at Persepolis (in what is now Iran). The Apadana was the great audience hall built at Persepolis by Darius I and Xerxes I. Apadana is an Old Persion word that means "Hypostyle Hall" (a hypostyle hall is an area in a palace or temple built with a large number of oversized columns). The columns were about twenty meters tall and it was among these towering pillars that the Persian King would have received tribute from the "Satraps" who governed his empire.

The Apadana was built on a huge terrace and was accessed by climbing one of two large stairways, which were decorated with reliefs showing various people from the King's empire. The relief shown above is in the Metropolitan Museum and may come from the stairway of the Apadana. The inscriptions that accompany these reliefs are in Old Persian and Elamite.

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