Fragment of a painted Assyrian relief. Northern Iraq, Assyrian, Neo-Assyrian Dynasty (7th century BC).
Khorsabad (ancient Dur-Sharrukin, or the City of Sargon) was founded around 710 BC by Sargon II (reigned 722-705 BC) and, like Nimrud, was an important Assyrian city. The site was excavated by French archaeologist Paul-Emile Botta between 1844 and 1846. Although the Louvre has the finest collection of Khorsabad materials, a number of sculptures from that site can be found in collections in England and North America.
LACMA’s fragment, probably from a large relief, depicts the head of an Assyrian sovereign, probably Sargon himself; it still displays exceptional traces of the pigments that once covered all Assyrian reliefs. The fragment was given to the museum by the Phil Berg Foundation and is on view for the first time since its acquisition.