The Explanation Of The Lamassu: A Horned Lion

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Standing majestically with a gaze protruding from a body of “white limestone and alabaster…” (MET), the Human-headed winged lion measures up to 10 feet and 3 ½ inches in height. Also referred to as the Lamassu, the sculpture is adorned with a “horned crown” that represents a spiritual holiness. Despite the crown’s intention to convey a state of “divinity”, it is in my observation to point out how outwardly phallic the top of the Lamassu head appears. It may be a vague symbol of masculine power and force. Beneath the crown is the head of a human male, although Lamassu is often portrayed as “protective deity, who is usually female” (Livius). Relief work adorns the face, especially the beard with three horizontal stripes of repetitive twirls of …show more content…
Out of the two Lamassu present at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one has the hooves of a bull while the other one has the paws of a lion. The legs of the bull hooves contains ornate decors on a patch located atop of its knee, just like the patterning seen carved onto the beard of heard. On each leg, the bull hooves are separated by a small oval depression. Lamassu with lion paws, the two front paws comes with four claws while the remaining rear legs only contains two visible claws. The tail of the Lamassu drapes straight down to the top of the hooves, and its end is decorated whereas the rest of the tail is …show more content…
I made it [the palace] fittingly imposing.” To Ashurnasirpal, the existence of the Lamassu was not solely for its guardian like qualities, but it also inhibits the grandiloquent qualities of showcasing strength and the ability of being astounding not only to Assyrians, but also to the enemies of their kingdom. The Lamassu visually satisfies the criteria of sculptural anthropomorphism. The deux hybrids on view at the MET was a combination of man, bull, and bird and a mélange of man, lion, and bird. Low and high relief work provides depth in terms of highlight and shadow that adds to the Lamassu exterior expression of being the protector and also the defender in the Nimrud

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