Glazed Brick Wall

By Iris Fernandez

For today’s #objecthistory we look at another reconstruction of the designs and colors that decorated Ishtar Gate in antiquity. This beautiful watercolor was painted on-site in Babylon by archaeologist, architect, and artist Walter Andrae. His close attention to detail was instrumental not only for reconstructing the visual programs of Babylon’s architecture, but also ancient construction methods. In this example, he has captured the transition of the remains of a wall from unglazed to glazed brick, as well as the bitumen that was used to secure and waterproof rows of bricks.

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Walter Andrae
Portion of glazed brick wall showing rosette decoration and bitumen found in situ
1902 CE
Watercolor on paper
Babylon, Iraq
H. 31.5 cm; W. 20.7 cm

Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, Berlin: ArDOG V.15.24
© Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, Archiv; Photo: Olaf M. Teßmer