Glazed brick wall relief of lion

unknown605-562 BC

Royal Ontario Museum

Royal Ontario Museum

This relief of a striding lion originally adorned the façade of the palace of king Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562 BC) at Babylon. Made of moulded bricks that were both painted and glazed, it was part of magnificent rows of striding animals that also included bulls and snake dragons and most famously adorned Babylon’s Ishtar Gate and its Procession Street. Since the reliefs were assembled in place, the position of each brick had to be planned ahead carefully. Each brick had to be fired before applying paint - black for outlines, white for the body, ochre for the mane, blue for the background - and subsequently be re-fired for glazing.

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  • Title: Glazed brick wall relief of lion
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date: 605-562 BC
  • Location: Babylon, Mesopotamia (Iraq)
  • Physical Dimensions: w183 x h122 x d8 cm
  • Type: Relief
  • Rights: Royal Ontario Museum
  • Medium: Ceramic (earthenware), glazed decoration
  • Time period: Reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, Neo Babylonian period
  • Accession Number: 937.14.1

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