|Ancient Replicas - Ashurbanipal Hunting|
Walls and Towers
King Ashurbanipal Hunting
Relief of King Ashurbanipal on Horseback Hunting Onagers With Attendants, alabaster, North Palace of Ashurbanipal (668-627 bce), Nineveh
From the Neo-Assyrian Period, 1000 BCE - 612 BCE
The Royal Hunt was a popular subject in ancient Near Eastern art, and was especially glorified by the Neo-Assyrians who used it repeatedly in decorating their palace walls. This relief shows king Ashurbanipal (668-c.627 BCE) hunting onagers on horseback. Although the hunting of lions was the most frequently depicted activity in the hunt reliefs, other animals were used as game, such as bulls and gazelle.
Detail of a large relief in the British Museum, depicting Ashurbanipal hunting wild asses. The foremost rider is the king, who has released the reins so as to manipulate his bow and arrow. He is followed by two servants, the first carrying a quiver and holding arrows ready for his master; the second bears a lance. The sculptor has succeeded in capturing and fixing the action of the galloping horses in a harmonious composition. The king is clearly drawn on a larger scale than the servants, though not excessively so. The actual dimensions of the detail are 3 ft. 8 in. x 1 ft. 8 3/4 in.