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An Assyrian Kneecap

5 Mar

Ink sketch: An Assyrian Kneecap.


So this is my last sketch from my trip to London last week. When I’m in the British Museum I like to wander around and just happen on stuff. I was having a good look around the Egyptian section and turned a corner and discovered The Assyrian stone friezes. Totally mind-blowing. Such beautiful and perfect carvings from, what – about 3,000 years ago? How did they achieve such remarkable beauty without all our mod cons, workshops, power tools etc… It bears out what Grayson Perry goes on about, extolling the extraordinary virtues of craftspeople throughout the ages.

At each end of every section of the frieze stood a guardian eagle spirit, with an eagle’s head, wings and human torso. However, although they had human legs, most of them has an eagle’s claw instead of a kneecap and a couple had a human fist in place of a patella. I drew one of these – I wonder what it signifies? The hand has only three fingers alongside the thumb, which is a convention used by modern cartoonists.


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