Assyrian Winged Protective Deity Essay

781 words - 4 pages

A piece of art can leave distinct impressions with the viewer. The Assyrian Winged Protective Deity provides a plethora of stimulants for the eye. The relief emulates brute strength and power through the overall stature of the figure. The cuneiform writing above the relief greatly influenced the impression a viewer can receive through its narration about the figure. Other than Gilgamesh and the Assyrian Winged Protective Deity both being from Mesopotamia, they have numerous similarities.
The Assyrian Winged Protective Deity is a very imposing figure. It measures around seven and a half feet tall (Relief of a Winged Genius). This shows the figure's importance, even if the viewer did not know it protected the king from harm. Originally, it was placed next to the throne, which also makes it an important image. The muscles are extremely striking on the figure's arms and legs. The Assyrian Winged Protective Deity is shown in the composite view, so the viewer can see all of the important parts of the figure. The figure appears to be a man, but it has distinct wings coming out of its back. This could show its divinity, or the gods have an influence over this creature.
The Assyrian Winged Protective Deity is a low relief sculpture, so it does not stand out as much against the stone it was carved out off, but the viewer can easily distinguish the outline of the figure portrayed. One foot of the figure is stepping forward, which could symbolize a continuation with life even after death to protect the king. The stance of this figure greatly resembles Egyptian reliefs, since they would often have their statues have one foot forward. They did this because it symbolized eternity through the afterlife, which the ka of the person needed. The ka was the spirit of the person, who would sometimes inhabit the statues placed in the tombs if its body was badly damaged. The artists of Assyrian Winged Protective Deity could have been exposed to this technique, which would account for the stance of the foot.
Like the Egyptians, the cuneiform writing above this relief could have greatly influenced certain aspects of the deity's stature. Strength embodies this figure, "the strong man who treads on the necks of his foes, who crushes all of his enemies" (Relief of a Winged Genius). The strength of this king was shown through...

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