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.


8 Responses to “An Assyrian Kneecap”

  1. Hansi March 6, 2012 at 15:39 #

    All the sculpture from that period was truly fantastic. A high degree of skill went into those carvings, well worthy of a sketch or three.

    • Rosie Scribblah March 8, 2012 at 23:08 #

      Amazing crafsmanship and without modern technology. Very humbling

  2. paperstew March 6, 2012 at 02:15 #

    I want to go too! My last trip thru London was so short that I didn’t get to see much. I’ll certainly place the museum on my “must see” list for sketching!

    • Rosie Scribblah March 8, 2012 at 23:07 #

      It’s fabulous! I like to take London in short bursts because it’s so exhausting to stay more than a couple of days – so much to see and do.

  3. karasartisticaladventures March 5, 2012 at 23:07 #

    ohhh yes i love the Assyrian section my fave! i took loads of pics there 2 weeks ago i love the beards! most of my wee men have beards based on those guys!
    I also always have to visit the lewis chessmen ‘cos i love the guy biting his sheild!

    • Rosie Scribblah March 5, 2012 at 23:20 #

      hahaha I haven’t seen that – I’ll visit the chessmen next time

  4. Patricia G McParlin March 5, 2012 at 22:45 #

    Thanks Rosie…I have always loved The British Museum…despite what I feel now regarding the whole concept of “British” …and removing things…both living and dead from their places of origin…..It is wonderful…none the less…px

    • Rosie Scribblah March 5, 2012 at 22:53 #

      yes I know what you mean – sometimes I think it should be called the British Museum of Plunder. Still, what’s done is done and all this history is being kept safe even if it’s not in situ…….

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