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TitleAssyrian Relief: WInged Spirit of Apkallu from Kalhu (Nimrud), Iraq; Northwest Palace, Room S, panel 17
Creation Dateca. 875–860 B.C.E.
Medium & Supportgypsum (Mosul alabaster)
Dimensions90 9/16 in. x 58 3/4 in. x 6 7/16 in. (230 cm. x 149.3 cm. x 16.3 cm.)
Credit LineGift of Dr. Henri Byron Haskell, Medical School Class of 1855. Critical support for the Assyrian Collection at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art is provided by the Yadgar Family Endowment.
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The winged figure in this relief is often connected to the apkallu spirit mentioned in Assyrian texts. Imbued with magical and protective powers, this spirit possesses a stout physique with exaggerated musculature. The horned crown announces his divinity, though his portrait bears an uncanny resemblance to Ashurnasirpal himself. He holds a bucket in his left hand, while in his right, he sprinkles from a “purifier,” inspired by the spathes, or flower sheaths, from the date palm. Wearing a tasseled kilt and richly embroidered robe, the figure presents an imposing image. Tucked into the folds of his robe are two daggers and whetstone for sharpening the blades. Armlets and rosette-bracelets wrap around the figure’s arms and wrists. Remnants of the color that once adorned the sculpture can be seen on his eye and the soles of his sandals. This spirit once guarded a doorway in a palace room. The ‘Standard Inscription’ of Ashurnasirpal, common to many of his reliefs, runs across the middle of the sculpture. It records the King’s titles, ancestry, and achievements.
Portfolios: FEAT|Highlights on View FEAT|Ancient Art Collections: Sculpture - Ancient Collections: Sculpture FEAT|Public Domain