Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - 18:00 to 19:30

Ancient Assyrian Art: Power, Beauty, and Magic

Assyrian palace art is some of the most striking imagery to survive from anywhere in the ancient world. To the modern viewer, these monumental carvings, unearthed in excavations in northern Iraq, are powerfully effective, aesthetic masterpieces of an exquisitely detailed beauty. In their original contexts, they were also powerful and striking in more immediate ways: as images that were infused with supernatural power and ensured divine protection for the palaces they adorned. This talk will look at the artistic techniques these works use to evoke the magical and the divine, and how they force the viewer to confront the artificial nature of the image they are looking at--at the same time that they enchant us and draw us into the reality they construct.

© The Trustees of the British Museum 

Dr Eva Miller is a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in the History Department at University College London. There she researches the reception and revival of ancient Mesopotamian imagery from the mid 19th century excavations of Assyrian sites through the early 20th century. She earned her doctorate at the University of Oxford, where she researched Neo-Assyrian palace art and royal texts.

You can view Dr Eva Miller's talk on the Institute's YouTube channel here.