One of the things I like about the Assyrian reliefs is the attention to small details that show the skill of the sculptor. One of the scenes that lined the wall of the royal palace at Khorsabad (but are now in the Oriental Institute) shows what I mean.
This scene is of a foreigner bringing a pair of horses to the Assyrian King (Fig. 1). No doubt the country that sent the horses considers them a "gift" while the Assyrians consider them "tribute", but let's not quibble over terms here.
The tribute-bearer has the elaborately detailed hair and beard we saw in the Lammasu carvings shown a few posts back. Figure 2 shows the wonderful carving of the trappings worn by the horses. The decorations on the head of the horse are finally detailed and the tassels at the neck of the equids is also beautifully carved. Notice also the rosettes decorating the bridle. In figure 1 you can see the delineation of the muscles in the horse's front legs.
When you see royal Assyrian sculptures always look for these types of details, they really show the skill of the craftsman that carved these reliefs.
5 days ago