The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

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Lamassus at the Metropolitan Museum of Art The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has two lamassus in the Ancient Near Eastern Art Gallery that are standing near the reliefs that line the walls that come from various rooms in the Assyrian palace of Ashurnasirpal II. The Human-Headed Winged Lion and the Human-Headed Winged Bull is from the Assyrian city of Nimrud in the Ancient Near East during the year 883-859 B.C. The Lamassus were placed outside the palace, on the sides of the doorway like how the Met Museum has placed them. Created in order to protect the palace and to strike fear and awe into those who entered, they were a constant reminder of the greatness of the king and his power, and served as a spiritual guardian for him. The Human-headed Winged Lion (see fig, 1) and the Human-headed Winged Bull (see fig. 2) are both carved in relief from gypsum alabaster stone by Assyrian artists. Gypsum alabaster is ideally used for sculptures because it is soft yet robust which allows it to be carved in the finest detail with an attractive finish without iron or steel tools. These sculptures are at a massive height of 10 ft and 3 1/2 inches tall and both stand on a platform that is roughly about 5 inches high. From my point of view, they seemed massive since I stand at an extremely tall height of 4 feet and 11 inches. The figures were carved in relief, which makes them not free standing sculptures because they needed a wall for support. They protrude halfway from the wall
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