a Heroic march through time

You are about to experience depictions of warriors throughout human history. Warriors are often the subject of myth and legend, so it is only natural that they are also the subject of great artistic works from every period in time and from all over the world.

The warrior king, Ashurnasirpal II, is shown here after killing a bull while riding a chariot. The bull was killed when the warrior grabbed it by the horns and drove his sword into the animals neck. In Mesopotamia, hero warriors were often depicted with their victims defeated beneath them while riding victoriously in a chariot above the fallen. This stone carving is typical of Mesopotamian art in that it depicts an epic scene of action.
Sometimes warrior votive statues were created in order to make an offering for the gods. This Athenian warrior was one of many offered up at a shrine that was most likely used for healing. This is what a typical Athenian warrior would have looked like. Originally he would have been carrying a curved sword and a spear as well as his shield. The form of the figure in the bronze votive is in the style of Greek art from the 5th century B.C.
The god of war; Mars, is shown here as a votive that was most likely a gift to a temple of Mars. Originally it would have been holding a sword and a shield to go along with it's exaggerated helmet and stance. The pedestal that it stands on is inscribed with the name of who commissioned the work and who created it. It also states what they paid in order to give it to the temple, which equals about a month of a legionary soldiers pay.
This bronze-casting is an early example of Western Greek sculpture. What is significant about this casting is the fact that, although small, it depicts a very dignified and bold scene. The horse and warrior both look proud and heroic in stature. It shows a great amount of respect for the warrior and depicts them in a positive and brave light.
This Anglo-Saxon helmet is only one of four complete helmets ever found. Not only is it a battle helmet made of iron, but it is also covered in copper panels that depict warriors in battle gear dancing with swords. It also shows two warriors in battle, one on horse back trampling his enemy who is also stabbing the horse. The nose of the helmet is a winged beast with the wings doubling as eyebrows for the mask.
Vaishravana was the Guardian King of the North. He was one of four guardians for each point on a compass. This was painted on silk during the Tang Dynasty and depicts the guardian protecting the innocent from dark forces. It was said that Vaishravana was a warrior who upheld the law and defended all who believed in him from evil. He patrolled his domain with his own divine soldiers.
A lone horseman and "Knight of Christ" rides on the straight and narrow while death is at the horses heels and at the soldiers side. Behind him is the devil, but the knight doesn't pay them any mind as he keeps his head forward and marches on. This is a constant reminder that death is always around you when you are a warrior. This engraving's gray tones give it an ominous feeling of dread and fear of what could be waiting in the shadows.
In this woodblock print, the Buddhist deity Fudo Myo-o, 'The Immoveable God of Light' is shown with a sword and rope. He often carried the sword to vanquish evil while the rope was used to tie up anyone who was an enemy to enlightenment. What is significant about this is the fact that he was also a guardian to a certain line of actors. The artist who created this woodblock, Shunsho, often depicted Kabuki actors, but changed his subject slightly to show the warrior who protected his primary subjects.
In this particular painting, the Hindu hero, Ramayana is shown on the shoulders of the monkey-general Hanuman while battling the demon Ravana. He is trying to save his wife from the ten headed demon and his demon warriors. This is a colorful painting showing an action scene that is still depicted in modern times through television and other forms of visual media. The epic tale of Rama has been told countless times as one of India's favorite heroes.
Hokusai is known for his famous painting, "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" but he also painted this image of the real-life warrior; Minamoto no Tametomo. Although this depiction is based off of a fictionalized story, it is graceful in it's presentation. Vibrant colors and strong details bring out the power behind this famed archer. He stands steady, holding his bow with one hand while three men try to pull the bow string with no success.
Credits: All media
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