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A History of Art in Chaldaea & Assyria Part 24

[332] PLACE, _Ninive_, vol. ii. pp. 68-70.

[333] This character of a tutelary divinity that we attribute to the winged bull is indicated in the clearest manner in the cuneiform texts: "In this palace," says Esarhaddon, "the _sedi_ and _lamassi_ (the Assyrian names for these colossi) are propitious, are the guardians of my royal promenade and the rejoicers of my heart, may they ever watch over the palace and never quit its walls." And again: "I caused doors to be made in cypress, which has a good smell, and I had them adorned with gold and silver and fixed in the doorways. Right and left of those doorways I caused _sedi_ and _lamassi_ of stone to be set up, they are placed there to repulse the wicked." (ST. GUYARD, _Bulletin de la Religion assyrienne_, in the _Revue de l'Histoire des Religions_, vol. i. p. 43, note.)

[334] PLACE, _Ninive_, vol. iii, plate 21.

[335] Those in the Louvre are fourteen feet high; the tallest pair in the British Museum are about the same.

[336] _Art in Ancient Egypt_, vol. ii. pt. ii. p. 92, fig. 70.

[337] On the subject of these winged bulls see Fr. LENORMANT, _Les Origines de l'Histoire_, vol. i. chap. 3.

[338] The bas-relief here reproduced comes from the palace of Assurbanipal at Kouyundjik. In the fragment now in the Louvre there are three stories, but the upper story, being an exact repetition of that immediately below it, has been omitted in our engraving.

[339] LOFTUS, _Travels and Researches_, p. 176. LAYARD, _Discoveries_, pp.

529, 651. BOTTA, _Monument de Ninive_, vol. v. p. 44. In the book of Daniel the hand that traces the warning words upon the walls of Belshazzar's palace traces them "_upon the plaster of the wall_" (DANIEL v. 5).

[340] PLACE, _Ninive_, vol. i. p. 77.

[341] At Warka, however, LOFTUS found in the building he calls _Wuswas_ a layer of plaster which was from two to four inches thick. (_Travels_, p.

176.)

[342] PLACE, _Ninive_, vol. ii. pp. 77, 78.

[343] PLACE, _Ninive_, vol. iii. plate 25.

[344] _Ibid._ vol. i. pp. 141-146; vol. ii. pp. 79, 80; vol. iii. plates 36 and 37.

[345] HERODOTUS (Rawlinson's translation), i. 98.

[346] PLACE, _Ninive_, vol. iii. plate 32.

[347] G. SMITH, _Assyrian Discoveries_, pp. 77, 78. LAYARD (_Nineveh_, vol.

ii. p. 130) also says that some rooms had no other decoration.

[348] In writing thus we allude chiefly to the restorations given by Mr.

James Fergusson in _The Palaces of Nineveh and Persepolis Restored_ (1 vol.

8vo. Murray), a work that was launched upon the world at far too early a date, namely, in 1851. Sir H., then Mr., LAYARD, had not yet published his second narrative (_Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon_) nor the second series of _Monuments of Nineveh_, neither had the great work of MM. Place and Thomas on the palace of Sargon (a work to which we owe so much new and authentic information) appeared. In Mr. Fergusson's restorations the column is freely used and the vault excluded, so that in many respects his work seems to us to be purely fanciful, and yet it is implicitly accepted by English writers to this day. Professor RAWLINSON, while criticising Mr. Fergusson in his text (_The Five Great Monarchies_, vol. i. p. 303, note 6), reproduces his restoration of the great court at Khorsabad, in which a colonnade is introduced upon the principle of the hypostyle halls of Persepolis. Professor Rawlinson would, perhaps, have been better advised had he refrained from thus popularizing a vision which, as he himself very justly declares, is quite alien to the genius of Assyrian architecture.

[349] LOFTUS, _Travels and Researches_, pp. 187-189.

[350] LOFTUS thinks that the process was very common, at least in Lower Chaldaea. He found cones imbedded in mortar at several other points in the Warka ruins, but the example we have reproduced is the only one in which well-marked designs could still be clearly traced. TAYLOR saw cones of the same kind at Abou-Sharein. They had no inscriptions, and their bases were black (_Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society_, vol. xv. p. 411). They formed in all probability parts of a decoration similar to that described by Loftus. In Egypt we find cones of terra-cotta crowning the facades of certain Theban tombs (RHIND, _Thebes, its Tombs and their Tenants_, p.

136). Decoratively they seem allied to the cones of Warka, but the religious formulae they bear connects them rather with the cones found by M.

de Sarzec at Tello, which bear commemorative inscriptions. To these we shall return at a later page.

[351] LOFTUS, _Travels and Researches_, pp. 190, 191

[352] LAYARD, _Discoveries_, p. 607. Rich also bears witness to the abundance of these remains in his _Journey to the Ruins of Babylon_. See also OPPERT, _Expedition scientifique_, vol. i. p. 143.

[353] A French traveller of the last century, DE BEAUCHAMP (he was consul at Bagdad), heard an Arab workman and contractor describe a room he had found in the Kasr, the walls of which were lined with enamelled bricks.

Upon one wall, he said, there was a cow with the sun and moon above it. His story must, at least, have been founded on truth. No motive occurs oftener in the Chaldaean monuments than a bull and the twin stars of the day and night. (See RENNELL, _History of Herodotus_, p. 367.)

[354] LOFTUS collected some fragments of these enamelled bricks at Warka, "similar to those found," he says, "at Babylon in the ruins of the Kasr"

(_Travels and Researches_, p. 185). TAYLOR also tells us that he found numerous fragments of brick enamelled blue at Mugheir (_Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society_, vol. xv. p. 262).

[355] The most interesting of these fragments, those that allow the subject of which they formed a part to be still divined, have been published by M.

DE LONGPERIER, _Musee Napoleon III._ plate iv.

[356] I examined at the British Museum the originals of the glazed bricks reproduced by Layard in his first series of _Monuments_, some of which we have copied in our plates xiii. and xiv. The outlines of the ornament are now hardly more than distinguishable, while the colour is no more than a pale reflection.

[357] LOFTUS believes that the external faces of Assyrian walls were not, as a rule, cased in enamelled bricks. He disengaged three sides of the northern palace at Kouyundjik without finding any traces of polychromatic decoration. (_Travels and Researches_, p. 397. note.)

[358] Kath' hon en omais eti tais plinthois dietetupoto theria, pantodapa te ton chromaton philotechnia ten aletheian apomimoumena (DIODORUS, ii. 8, 4.) Diodorus expressly declares that he borrows this description from Ctesias (hos Ktesias phesin), _ibid._ 5.

[359] Enesan de en tois purgois kai teichesi zoa pantodapa philotechnos tois te chromasi kai tois ton tupon apomimasi kataskeuasmena. (DIODORUS, ii. 8, 6.)

[360] Pantoion therion ... hon esan ta megethe pleion e pechon tettaron.

Four cubits was equal to about five feet eight inches. At Khorsabad the tallest of the genii on the coloured tiles at the door are only 32 inches high; others are not more than two feet.

[361] PLACE, _Ninive_, vol. iii. plates 24 and 31.

[362] "The painting," says M. OPPERT, "was applied to a kind of roughly blocked-out relief." (_Expedition scientifique_, vol. i. p. 144.)

[363] De Longperier, _Musee Napoleon III._, plate iv.

[364] This palace was then inhabited for a part of the year by the Achemenid princes, of whom Ctesias was both the guest and physician.

[365] OPPERT, _Expedition scientifique_, vol. i. pp. 143, 144.

[366] Two of these enamelled letters are in the Louvre. See also upon this subject, PLACE, _Ninive_, vol. ii. p. 86. I have also seen some in the collection of M. Piot.

[367] PLACE, _Ninive_, vol. i. p. 236.

[368] Only two rafts arrived at Bassorah; eight left Mossoul, so that only about a fourth of the antiquities collected reached their destination in safety. The cases with the objects despatched by the Babylonian mission, that is by MM. Fresnel, Oppert, and Thomas, were included in the same disaster. But for this the Assyrian collections of the Louvre would be less inferior than they are to those of the British Museum.

[369] PLACE, _Ninive_, vol. i. p. 253.

[370] PLACE, _Ninive_, vol. ii. p. 253. These marks were recognized upon many fragments found at Babylon by MM. Oppert and Thomas (OPPERT, _Expedition scientifique_, vol. i. pp. 143, 144). LOFTUS has transcribed and published a certain number of marks of the same kind which he found upon glazed bricks from the palace at Suza. These are sometimes cut in the brick with a point, sometimes painted with enamel like that on the face.

(_Travels and Researches_, p. 398.)

[371] EZEKIEL xxiii. 14, 15.

[372] BEROSUS, fragment i. -- 4, in vol. ii. of the _Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum_ of Ch. MuLLER.

[373] TEXIER, _Armenie et Perse_, vol. ii. p. 134. In the same work the details of the magnificent decoration upon the mosque of the Sunnites at Tauris (which afforded a model for that at Ispahan) will be found reproduced in their original colours. It is strange that this art of enamelled faence, after being preserved so long, should so recently have become extinct in the East. "At the commencement of the last century," says M. TEXIER (vol. ii. p. 138), "the art of enamelling bricks was no less prosperous in Persia than in the time of Shah-Abbas, the builder of the great mosque at Ispahan (1587-1629); but now the art is completely extinct, and in spite of my desire to visit a factory where I might see the work in progress, there was not one to be found from one end of Ispahan to the other." According to the information I gathered in Asia Minor, it was also towards the beginning of the present century that the workshops of Nicaea and Nicomedia, in which the fine enamelled tiles on the mosques at Broussa were made, were finally closed. In these _fabriques_ the plaques which have been found in such abundance for some twenty years past in Rhodes and other islands of the Archipelago were also manufactured. [The manufacture of these glazed tiles is by no means extinct in India, however. At many centres in Sindh and the Punjab, glazed tiles almost exactly similar to those on the mosque at Ispahan, so far as colours and ornamental motives are concerned, are made in great numbers and used for the same purposes as in Persia and ancient Mesopotamia. There is a tradition in India that the art was brought from China, through Persia, by the soldiers of Gingiz-Khan, but a study of the tiles themselves is enough to show that they are a survival from the art manufactures of Babylon and Nineveh. For detailed information on the history and processes used in the manufacture of these tiles, see Sir George BIRDWOOD'S _Industrial Arts of India_, part ii. pp.

304-310, 321, and 330; also Mr. DRURY FORTNUM'S report on the Sindh pottery in the International Exhibition of 1871.--ED.]

[374] Sir H. LAYARD noticed this at the very beginning of his explorations: "Between the bulls and the lions forming the entrances in different parts of the palace were invariably found a large collection of baked bricks, elaborately painted with figures of animals and flowers, and with cuneiform characters" (_Nineveh_, vol. ii. p. 13).

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