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found near the centre of the great mound, which Dr. Birch describes
One of the most important historical monuments which have been recovered from Assyria. . . . It is decorated with five tiers of bas-reliefs, each continued round the sides; and the unsculptured surface is covered with cuneiform inscriptions, which record the annals of Shalmaneser II. for thirty-one years, commencing about B.C. 860. The bas-reliefs illustrate the presentation of offerings to the king by his numerous tributaries, and the inscriptions record the names of the donors, amongst whom are Jehu, "of the house of Omri," the Israelitish king, and Hazael, the contemporary king of Syria."
Here are also the head of a human-headed bull more colossal in scale than any yet brought to Europe; and two other bulls, similar in character, but smaller. Statues of the god Nebo excavated by Mr. Rassam, of about B.C. 780, and many other interesting objects. By the entrance to the Kouyunjik Gallery is a colossal lion covered with inscriptions. With a companion figure it guarded the doorway of a temple, and, as will be noticed, has five legs, a device to make it appear perfect, whether looked at in front or at the side.
In the Nimroud Gallery is the series of slabs discovered by Sir A. H. Layard. These are among the largest and most perfect we possess, and should be examined for their multiplicity of detailed representation and beauty of execution. Their range of subjects is wider than in those just noticed, and an attentive consideration of them recalls Assyrian life with singular vividness to the spectator. The smaller antiquities-domestic, commercial, military and religious-in the table cases in the centre of the room confirm and strengthen the impression produced by the bas-reliefs.
The Phoenician room (containing a cast of the Moabite stone) leads to the Assyrian Basement Room, where are the sculptures excavated from the ruins of two palaces at Kouyunjik by Mr. Rassam and Mr. Loftus. They are of the time of Assur-banipal, or Sardanapalus, the grandson of Sennacherib, and belong to the latest period of Assyrian art, but are bolder, freer, and more realistic in design and of even greater delicacy of execution than the earlier examples. Note especially the remarkable representation of a lion-hunt on slabs 33-53, and the companion 63-74, the Return from the Chase, where the various animals are represented in life and vivid action, in the agony of death, and carried home as trophies, with an accuracy of imitation, vigour, and feeling, worthy of the greatest sculptors.
The Assyrian Transept contains the remainder of the monuments of Assur-nazir-pal, monuments from the Palace of Sargon, and a magnificent pair of colossal human-headed bulls found at Khorsabad by Sir H. C. Rawlinson in 1849.
The bronze coverings of the gates found by Mr. Rassam at Balawat in 1879 are in the Assyrian Room on the upper floor. The very beautiful representations of the leading warlike incidents in the life of Shalmaneser II., by whom they were erected B.C. 825, deserve special attention.
GREEK AND ROMAN ANTIQUITIES
Lycian Remains. The sculptures and architectural remains were brought by Sir Charles Fellows from the ancient cities of Lycia in 1842-1846. Observe. On the west side the Tomb of Paiafa, a Lycian satrap, with pointed roof, reliefs of combats, hunting scenes, etc., and inscriptions in Lycian characters. On the eastern side the roof of a similar tomb, with reliefs and inscriptions. The restored model is the Nereid Tomb, discovered by Sir C. Fellows at Xanthus, and assigned by him to the middle of the 6th century B.C., but which is now believed to be at least a century and a half later. Round the room are friezes from this tomb representing combats between Asiatic and Greek warriors, sieges, assault and capture of a town, submission of the vanquished, etc. There are also fragments of statues and groups, columns, capitals, etc.
The Room of Archaic Sculpture, next to the Assyrian Transept, contains many objects of the highest interest in the early history of Greek sculpture. Here are the reliefs from the Harpy Tomb which stood on the Acropolis of Xanthus, dating not later than B.C. 500. The subjects comprise deities, harpies, warriors, and worshippers of both sexes presenting votive offerings. (For the differing interpretations see the Official Guide.) Ten seated statues, a lion and a sphinx, brought by Sir C. T. Newton in 1858 from the Sacred Way leading up to the Temple of Apollo at Branchidæ. They range in date probably from B.C. 580 to B.C. 520, and are, says Sir Charles T. Newton, "among the earliest and most important extant specimens of Greek sculpture in marble." One of the seated figures (No. 7) represents, as the inscription states, Chares, ruler of Teichioussa, and is said to be "the oldest known portrait statue in Greek art." On the back of the lion is inscribed a dedication to Apollo. An archaic relief from the Acropolis, metopes, early monumental sculptures, architectural marbles and inscriptions from Xanthus, Branchida, Sicily, Rhodes, etc., are among the objects of interest in this room.
In the Greek Ante-Room, between the Archaic Room and the Ephesus Room, are a seated statue of Demeter and various fragments of sculpture brought from the temenos of the Infernal Deities at Knidos.
The Ephesus Room contains the sculptures and architectural members which were found, during the years 1869-1874, by Mr. J. T. Wood, architect, in the course of excavations on the site of the Temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus, one of the seven wonders of the world.
The Elgin Marbles are the sculptures from the Parthenon at Athens, and so called from the Earl of Elgin, Ambassador-Extraordinary to the Porte, who, in 1801, obtained two firmans for their removal to England. The collection was purchased from the Earl of Elgin by the Government for £135,000 in 1816. The Parthenon, or Temple of Athenè, was erected by the architect Iktinos, B.C. 45 1
438; the sculpture with which it was ornamented was executed under the direction of Pheidias. These sculptures are the grandest examples extant of Greek sculpture when in its highest stage. Their relative positions will be readily understood from Mr. R. C. Lucas's model of the Parthenon as it appeared after the Venetian bombardment in 1687, in a corner of the Elgin Room.
The Marbles are of four kinds: (1) marbles in the East Pediment; (2) marbles in the West Pediment; (3) the metopes or groups which occupied the square intervals between the raised tablets or triglyphs of the frieze; (4) the frieze. The processions of horsemen and chariots are the finest examples of Greek bassi-rilievi which have come down
We possess in England the most precious examples of Grecian art. The horses of the frieze in the Elgin Collection appear to live and move, to roll their eyes, to gallop, prance, and curvet. The veins of their faces and legs seem distended with circulation; in them are distinguished the hardness and decision of bony forms, from the elasticity of tendon and the softness of flesh. The beholder is charmed with the deer-like lightness and elegance of their make; and although the relief is not above an inch from the background, and they are so much smaller than nature, we can scarcely suffer reason to persuade us they are not alive.-Flaxman.
Here are also casts of sculptures procured by Lord Elgin from the Temple of Theseus at Athens; sculptures, marble slabs and casts from a frieze of the Temple of Wingless Victory at Athens; one of the Canephore, and portions of another, with various architectural fragments from the Erectheum; a colossal seated statue of Dionysos which originally surmounted the Choragic monument of Lysicrates, and various other specimens of Athenian art. In the smaller room at the north end of the Elgin Gallery is a noble colossal statue of a lion which originally surmounted a Doric tomb on a promontory a little to the east of Knidos. It was discovered by Sir Charles T. Newton in 1858.
The Hellenic Room contains "marbles which have been brought at different times from various parts of Greece and its colonies." The most important being the Phigalian Marbles, a series of twenty-three bas-reliefs, so called, found, in 1812, in the ruins of the Temple of Apollo Epicurius, built B.C. 430 by Iktinos, the architect of the Parthenon, near the ancient city of Phigalia in Arcadia. The slabs I to II represent in high relief the Battle of the Centaurs and Lapitha. to 23, the Battle of the Greeks and Amazons. Beneath these are architectural fragments from the same temple. Two statues (2 and 3), representing an athlete winding a diadem around his head, are believed to be imitations of the famous Diadumenos of Polykleitos.
The Mausoleum Room contains the remains of the mausoleum of Halikarnassos, erected about B.C. 352 by Artemisia, as a memorial of her husband Mausolus, Prince of Caria, and discovered in 1857 by Sir C. T. Newton, late Keeper of Antiquities in the British Museum. Pythios was the architect, and Skopas, Leochares, Bryaxis, and Timotheos, four of the most eminent artists of the period, were the sculptors. The structure, which was of Parian marble and richly decorated, was
reckoned one of the seven wonders of the world. The remains comprise portions of the colossal horses from the chariot group on the apex of the pyramid. The statue of Mausolus, and another of the goddess who acted as charioteer to Mausolus, or Artemisia herself when deified," from the same group. Several portions of other statues, more or less mutilated; friezes representing the combats of Greeks and Amazons, and Greeks and Centaurs, a chariot race, etc.; and numerous architectural fragments. Various marbles discovered by Mr. Pullan in the Temple of Athenè Polias at Prienè; a colossal foot, female head, inscriptions and architectural fragments.
The Roman and Græco-Roman antiquities, including the Townley and Payne Knight Collections, are arranged in the front (south) galleries to the left of the Entrance Hall. The Roman Gallery contains, under the windows, Roman antiquities found in England, altars, carved slabs, sarcophagi, inscriptions, leaden coffins, architectural ornaments, specimens of tessellated pavements, pigs of lead, etc. In the centre of the gallery is an equestrian statue of Caracalla, and on the northern wall a series of Roman portraits arranged in chronological order. Portions of statues, rilievi, and two or three carved sarcophagi are also in this room.
The Græco-Roman Rooms contain the collection of statues, busts and bas-reliefs found in Italy, but mostly executed by Greek artists, or imitations of Greek works, and some of which may be "original Hellenic works transported by the Romans to Italy." Statue of Apollo from the Farnese Palace. Satyr playing with the infant Bacchus, from the same palace. Hekatè or Diana Triformis. Statue of Ceres with the attributes of Isis. Statue of Venus. Diana. Dancing satyr. Apollo Cytharœdus. Bacchus from Cyrene. A youthful Somnus, from the Farnese Palace. Colossal bust of Jupiter. Busts of Minerva. Near the Egyptian Gallery is the great vase (krater) with reliefs representing satyrs making wine.
Here are some of the most celebrated of the statues of this class -the Townley Venus found in the baths of Claudius at Ostia in 1776 (the tip of the nose, the right hand, and the left arm are restorations). Athlete hurling, probably a copy of the bronze Diskobolos of Myron. Busts of the Giustiniani Apollo; the Apollo Musegetes; Dione, and another.
Acteon transformed by Diana into a stag. Tablet of the apotheosis of Homer. Group representing the worship of the Persian Sun-god, Mithras. Female bust (No. 12), the lower part of which is enclosed in a flower, supposed by Mr. Townley to be Clytie, metamorphosed into a sunflower, but really the portrait of a Roman lady of the Augustan age, bought at Naples from the Lorrenzano Palace in 1772. This was Mr. Townley's favourite marble, and is well known by copies, reductions, and casts. Colossal head of Hercules, closely resembling that of the Farnese Hercules. Two smaller heads of the same hero. Statues of Bacchus, Paniscus, Venus, Mercury, from the Farnese
Palace; Thalia, as the Muse of Comedy; two satyrs, two goat-legged Pans, terminal Pan, boy extracting a thorn from his foot, group of two boys quarrelling over the game of astragali; torso called the Richmond Venus.
The Græco-Roman Basement Room contains, besides miscellaneous objects in marble, the collection of tessellated pavements and mosaics found at Carthage in 1856-1858, and at Halikarnassos, 1856.
The Vase Rooms are in the west wing of the upper floor. The collection of painted fictile vases found in tombs in Italy, Greece, the Archipelago, and other parts of the Mediterranean, is perhaps the finest and most extensive in Europe. It comprises the vases collected by Sir William Hamilton, Payne Knight, Townley, Durand, Burgon, Temple, and those purchased from the Canino, Salzman, Bilioti, Pourtalès, Blacas, and Castellani Collections. Here are a choice series of the older Etruscan vases, as they are still generally called, though for the most part the productions of Greek workmen. They include cruciform and other archaic types, ornamented with geometrical patterns and figures of men and animals; others from Ialysos in Rhodes with the cuttle-fish decoration seen on the objects discovered by Schliemann at Mycena; vases of the transition period, with figures drawn in red or white on a black ground-in the finer examples the subjects chiefly being designed with great vigour and skill; Panathenaic amphora, prizes, as the inscriptions on them testify, given to victors in the famous games. Then there are vases unrivalled for shape and beauty of drawing, the designs painted in red on a black ground, or in colours on a white or cream ground. And, as in the First Vase Room, the art of the Greek potter may be traced from earliest tentative stages till it reached the nearest attainable perfection, so in the Second Vase Room you may follow it in its first brilliant divergences, and then along the ever-quickening decline till lost in inanity. In the room are also arranged several series of small objects in lead, ivory, bone, and terra-cotta, for the most part Greek or Græco-Roman.
The vases in these rooms more particularly worthy of note are distinguished by blue labels, and are described in the special guides to the Vase Rooms.
The First and Second Bronze Rooms contain the Greek, Etruscan, and Roman bronzes of the Payne Knight, Townley, Hamilton, and Sloane Collections, to which have been added the bronzes bequeathed by Sir William Temple and Mr. Slade, those purchased from the Blacas, Pulzky, Castellani, and Pourtales Collections, and others acquired by gift or purchase. The arrangement is as far as possible chronological, and the collection, extremely valuable in itself, is thus made more valuable to the student. It will be enough to point to a few objects as illustrating its character. Observe. The head on the circular table in the centre of the second room, broken from a statue, probably of Aphrodite, of which the hand is in Case 44. It is of heroic size, the largest of its class known, of the finest period of Greek art, and was