Kimbell Art Museum Lecture: Genies in the Palace: Royal Art of Iraq’s First Empire

Oct. 5

This talk will discuss the Kimbell Art Museum’s “Pair of Winged Deities,” also known as “genies,” depicted on sculpted wall reliefs from the Neo-Assyrian palace of King Ashurnasirpal at Nimrud (northern Iraq), c. 874–860 BC. The lavish details of hairstyle and feathered wings, the opulent jewelry and headdress, and the distinctive style that combined supple naturalism with more rigid elements will be analyzed not only for their aesthetic qualities, but also for the insights they offer into the first true “empire” of the ancient Middle East. Focus will be placed on understanding the reliefs’ ritual and religious significance and on resituating these artworks within their broader Mesopotamian context. Brief discussion of the current fate of Neo-Assyrian palace sites, which have seen substantial destruction by ISIS, will conclude the talk.

Kimbell Art Museum,
3333 Camp Bowie Blvd. ,
Fort Worth