Lion Relief from the Processional Way Artist: Unknown

ca. 605–562 B.C.

Ancient Art

On view, 1st floor, Ancient Art

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.


Glazed brick


40 1/16 × 81 11/16 in. (101.8 × 207.5 cm)

Credit Line

Yale University Art Gallery

Accession Number





Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Babylon, processional way; excavated by Robert Koldewey; purchased by the University from the Pergamon Museum.
  • Raymond P. Dougherty, "The Lion of Ishtar," Bulletin of the Associates in Fine Arts at Yale University 4, no. 3 (1932), 144–47, ill
  • 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. 1–3 (1931), 7, ill
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

animal art, reliefs

Technical metadata and APIs


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