Reconstructions in Art

by Balage

With the addition of the 'Reconstuctions in Art' section, has been graced with the chance to share with the ANE community our enthusiasm for the great works and visual achievements to be featured below. Having spent years in a somewhat troubled search for inspired fine art which truly engages ones taste for the Oriental, I have the very strong feeling that there is not another series of Mesopotamian themed art like this to be found, and no better chance to visualize those far off days! We would therefore express our appreciation to the artist, Balage, for his works and for his generosity in freely sharing these items with us.

Balage is a Hungarian born artist who attended school in Budapest. He traveled extensively in the Orient and has seen much of the modern middle east in person. His interest and appreciation for Mesopotamian culture is apparent to any who observe the vibrant and detailed pictures of Ancient Uruk, Ur and Eridu or who see the in-the-flesh appearances of such names as Enheduanna. The artist has benefited from consultation with expert opinion on subject of Ancient Near East studies, and every where demonstrates a high level of technical proficiency - has added what notes we are able to accompany these works and they will compliment the presentation. Our intention is to generate attention where attention is due! And so we urge readers to visit every time you visit this gallery, and email the artist your inquiries today. Spread the word about these paintings - perhaps we'll see another one some day!

For perspective on Sumerian culture and magic, click here to return to


The Reconstructions

click at the pictures for bigger versions
Additional Information
Ishtar Gate Babylon
Babylon aerial

Eridu, pictured here in Balage's wonderful reconstruction, was considered by the Sumerians
to be the most ancient city. According to the legend...

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Eridu-Enki's boat trip

Black and Green 1992 record that the gods had boats, and that these were actually
used when the gods (as cult statues) made ritual journeys to visit each other
in festival times. They say:...

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Zimri Lim and Mari wall painting, 18th cent. BC
Mari palace
Mari aerial
Ur harbour, 2100 BC

In this depiction of the Harbor at Ur, we notice that the boat's sails are quite a prominent feature.
The question of the use of Sails in Mesopotamia is a fairly obscure one, although some scholars
have made careful comments; evidence for the use of sails is hard to come by
(perhaps due to the parishable nature of the material) however there are occasional indicators
that are infrequently alluded to, for example S.N. Kramer (1969, p.104) explains that:

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Ur Sacred Precinct
The Sacred Precinct at Ur is a temple complex the important aspects of which are the Ziggurat of which Nanna's E-kis-nu-gal is a part, the temple of Nanna's
wife Ningal, and the Gipar which was a special housing for entu priestesses and their staff.

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In discussing the origin of Cities, Marc Van de Mieroop says that Uruk, which gave its name to the Uruk period, was essentially "the first city in
world history." This is not precisely a statement of its antiquity, as Eridu most likely...

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Uruk Procession

Jacobsen in his exploration of Early religion (see "The Treasure of Darkness" 1976) discusses some of the surrounding contexts of the item experts refer to as "the Uruk Vase" of which Balage has made a beautiful tribute to in this painting "The Uruk Procession." To clarify, the painting features a man carrying the vase in the foreground; and the surrounding and background is inspired on the image contained on the Vase itself. Jacobsen had written about the Vase:

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Ashur, Old Capital of the Assyrian Empire. 8th Century BC
Ishtar Gate in Babylon. Jewish Exiles Enter the City. 586 BC
Babylon. Gate to Etemenanki, the Tower of Babel. 6th century BC
Enheduanna and Drunken Priestesses
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