lunes, 13 de abril de 2015

A Votive Bird from Anatolia

A stone hawk looks quizzically at the visitors of the special exhibit of the Lipchitz Collection. The label calls him Hittite in the general sense of the word, and the provenance of the bird is known to have been Asia Minor. Herman V. Hilprecht, Curator of the Babylonian Section of the University Museum from 1888 until 1910, acquired this piece during his travels, but no further details are known about the original home of the sculpture.
 The hawk is carved in andesite or a similar slightly reddish stone with a coarse porous surface. In spite of the unpretentious medium, the sculptor gave the bird strong precise forms with accents of interesting surface detail. The hawk is seated in a compact vertical pose, more erect than the photograph suggests. He is about fifteen inches in height, and about half as much in depth from legs to tail (height 38.5 cm., width at base 17 cm., depth at tail 18.5 cm. Preservation intact except for a break in the tail). Excess stone has been left under the folded wings and around the legs to give the piece stability, but the upper part of the body is carved in the round.

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