I AM ASHURBANIPAL, KING OF THE WORLD, KING OF ASSYRIA
The British Museum, London
Thursday 29 November 2018: 9.00 am
Private Tour with Curator, Gareth Brereton, and Mariam Dandamaeva
Gareth Brereton, exhibition curator, and Mariam Dandamaeva, curator from The Hermitage Museum, talked to us about this amazing exhibition at The British Museum.
Discover the world of ancient Assyria through the life and legacy of its last great ruler, King Ashurbanipal. We were transported back to ancient Iraq in the 7th century BC, when Ashurbanipal became the most powerful person on earth. From his capital of Nineveh, he ruled a vast and diverse empire, shaping the lives of peoples from the shores of the eastern Mediterranean to the mountains of western Iran.
Ashurbanipal, proud of his scholarship, assembled the greatest library in existence during his reign. Guided by this knowledge, he defined the course of the empire and boldly asserted his claim to be 'king of the world, king of Assyria'.
Massive stone sculptures, intricately carved reliefs, painted glazed bricks and rare wall paintings evoke the splendour of the cities and palaces. Delicately carved ivories, extravagant metalwork, cosmetic vessels and gold ornaments show how the elites lived. Ornate chariot fittings and elaborate weaponry reveal how this was an age of conflict, as rival kings fought for power and glory. Ashurbanipal's prowess as a valiant warrior is recorded on a series of vividly carved reliefs in the British Museum's collection that depict the royal lion hunt. Lion hunts were drama-filled public spectacles staged within the hunting grounds at Nineveh.
This is the first ever major exhibition to explore his life in such depth. The British Museum's collection of Assyrian treasures is complemented by key loans from across the globe - including works from St Petersburg, Yerevan, Paris, Berlin, Vatican City, and Nicosia. Many of these remarkable objects have never travelled to the UK before.
RUSSIA : ROYALTY AND THE ROMANOVS
The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London
Friday 30 November 2018: 8.30 am
Private Tour with Curator, Caroline de Guitaut
Exploring the relationship between the two countries and their royal families through works of art in the Royal Collection.
Through war, alliance and dynastic marriage the relationships between Britain and Russia and their royal families are explored from Peter the Great's visit to London in 1698 through to Nicholas II. Portraits, sculpture, photographs, archival documents and miniature masterpieces by Fabergé illustrate historic events and family meetings between the rulers of the two nations.
Many of the rich and varied works of art to be displayed are unique – some commissioned as grand diplomatic gifts, others as intimate personal mementos between the royal family and the Romanovs, and they bring to life the shared patronage of artists and craftsmen from both countries.