Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ancient Middle Eastern art (pt. 2)

Circa 900-800B.C. we have the Assyrian empire, the art of which also frequently employed hierarchic scaling to assert political or spiritual authority in their culture.  Triumphant battle scenes and overly-romanticized representations of military victories could be considered the first propaganda stunts in art history.  If one word could summarize the idea which the Assyrians were relating through their artwork—the one concept being promoted and glorified by all the massive brick and stone carvings, and the one characteristic these people were priding themselves on having attained much of already and were seeking constantly to grow in—the word is: predominance.
A common symbol of the Assyrian empire is the guardian deity, the lamassu, which was a being with the body of a bull, the wings of an eagle, and the head of a human.
Such a mythic creature still makes frequent appearances in pop culture today.  In the Disney movie Aladdin, we see an enormous gold lamassu in the Cave in the Wonders.
In Star Wars, Lama Su is the prime minister of the planet Kamino.
…And so on.

1 comment:

  1. ROFLOL @ Lama Su. All the great accomplishments of the Assyrian empire...the aliens did it! :P