Lion
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1931.162.A
Title
Lion
Other Titles
Former Title: One of Two Lions from the Temple of Ishtar, Nuzi
Classification
Sculpture
Work Type
sculpture
Date
1500-1350 BCE
Places
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Nuzi (Mesopotamia)
Period
Mitannian period
Culture
Hurrian
Location
Level 3, Room 3440, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Art, Ancient Near Eastern Art in the Service of Kings
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
Glazed terracotta
Technique
Molded
Dimensions
38.8 x 14 x 37 cm (15 1/4 x 5 1/2 x 14 9/16 in.)
Provenance
Excavated from Yorghan Tepe, Iraq (January 1930).
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard-Baghdad School Expedition
Accession Year
1931
Object Number
1931.162.A
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
Lion standing with legs close together. It is made of five parts: both forelegs in one piece, separate rear legs, upper body and head, and base. The open mouth reveals the hollow interior of the statue. Modeled face. The long tail curls over the animal's back, pointing to its left flank. Body and head are largely intact, although the legs were discovered broken into several fragments. The right rear leg is missing a fragment at the upper end.

The rectangular base of the statue is flat; its coarse reddish clay glazed only where the coating has dripped down from the figure. The vitrified glaze is the only apparent adhesive holding together the components of the statue. The glaze is generally faded, although occasional bright patches of color remain, particularly on the legs. Starr assembled the fragments in Iraq following their discovery. The lion was disassembled and restored in 1980 in the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies of the Harvard Art Museum.
Publication History

Kristin A. Mortimer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums/Abbeville Press (Cambridge, MA; New York, NY, 1985), p. 96, no. 105, ill.

James Cuno, Harvard's Art Museums: 100 Years of Collecting, Harvard University Art Museums/Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (Cambridge, MA, 1996), p. 96-97, ill.

Pamela B. Vandiver, Ancient Glazes, Scientific American, Scientific American, Inc. (New York, 1997), Special Issue "The Origins of Technology", pp. 20-27, p. 25, ill. 3

Exhibition History

Nuzi and the Hurrians, Semitic Museum, Cambridge, 04/01/1998 - 05/01/2008

32Q: 3440 Near East, Harvard Art Museums, 11/01/2014

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Google Art Project

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu