- Museum number
Gypsum wall panel relief fragment depicting the capture of Ummanaldash, king of Elam: this fragment of a lost composition incorporates a sequence of events in which Ummanaldash appears more than once.
On the left Ummanaldash, with his distinctive high royal hat and long robe, turns back with a reproachful wave towards a figure who is mostly missing but is wearing shoes turned up at the toes. This must be one of the mountaineers who have refused him asylum. An Assyrian officer holds Ummanaldash by the wrist, and three other Elamites who have also been surrendered walk in front of the pair, their arms raised imploringly. Another Assyrian leads two horses, perhaps those ridden by the emissaries on their mission. On the right Ummanaldash is being forced into a chariot, and an Assyrian seems to be pulling his beard roughly. The Assyrian pushing Ummanaldash into the chariot has been partly recut. The charioteer waits to drive off to Assyria.
The mountainous terrain is represented conventionally by a scale pattern, with stylised trees. Below, to the left, a lioness creeps up on a wild goat. There may be symbolism here, a parallel with the Assyrians ineluctably stalking their prey.
- Production date
Height: 73 centimetres
Thickness: 4.70 centimetres (extant)
Width: 129 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Ummanaldash, king of Elam, lost his throne and took refuge in the mountains of Luristan, in a small state whose ruler then handed him over to the Assyrians.
There is a contrast between the relative formality of the capture of Ummanaldash and the drama of the hunt in the wild: the Assyrian sculptors often seem to have been better at representing animals than people. The Assyrian pushing Ummanaldash into the chariot has been partly recut. He was originally carved standing in front of the chariot wheel. This would have been wrong in reality, because he must have stood behind the wheel in order to propel his prisoner through the door at the back of the cab. The anomaly would not have disturbed an Assyrian sculptor of the ninth or eighth century, but on this occasion someone decided to rectify it and to recut the wheel so as to obscure the lower half of the man's body.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2018-2019, 8 Nov - 24 Feb, London, BM, I am Ashurbanipal, king of the world, king of Assyria
2011, 22 Jan-10 Apr, London, Royal Academy of Arts, 'British Sculpture'
2008-2009 21 Sept-4 Jan, Boston, MFA, 'Art and Empire'
2007 2 Apr-30 Sept, Alicante, MARQ Museum, 'Art and Empire'
2006 1 Jul-7 Oct, Shanghai Museum, 'Art and Empire'
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number