Lion Relief from the Processional Way
This brightly colored relief---along with 120 similar lions and other animals, real and fantastic---once lined the Processional Way running from the Ishtar Gate, Babylon's main entrance, through the heart of the city. Lions were a common subject in the art of the ancient Near East and were associated in particular with royalty. In this case, the lions were probably envisioned as protectors of the royal house and of the city.
Associates in Fine Arts, Yale University, “Handbook: A Description of the Gallery of Fine Arts and the Collections,” Bulletin of the Associates in Fine Arts at Yale University 5, nos. 13 (1931): 7, ill.
Raymond P. Dougherty, “The Lion of Ishtar,” Bulletin of the Associates in Fine Arts at Yale University 4, no. 3 (1932): 14447, ill.