Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ashurnasirpal II at the Metropolitan Museum

Figure 1 - Winged Genie, Metropolitan Museum
     The carvings found in the palace of Ashurnasirpal II at Nimrud have been scattered over many museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York. I have shown several photos in the past of the Met's collection of winged genies, but I want to show this one again as it also is shown holding the odd plant "thing" in his right hand like the winged genie from Munich.

Figure 2 - Detail of the Winged Genie's Hand
     The iconography of this winged genie is exactly like that of the ones in Munich, with the crown decorated with bull's horns and the daggers tucked into the genie's clothes just above the waist (partially covered by the figures left arm). But what on earth is the plant he is holding? It looks like it might be some sort of onion (??). Or is it a flower with several buds that are about to bloom? In the Munich relief, it looks more like a flower.

     If any of you have any thoughts, please let me know.

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