This solid-cast sculpture is one of a pair of nearly identical images of a hero or a demon wearing the upturned boots associated with highland regions, his power enhanced by the mighty horns of the ibex on his head and the body and wings of a bird of prey draped around his shoulders. It was created at the time the first cities emerged in ancient Sumer. A new world view conceived of human figures in realistic terms, through accurate proportions and highly modeled forms with distinctive features - here, the triple belt and beard that define divine beings and royalty. The blending of human and animal forms to visualize the supernatural world and perhaps to express shamanistic beliefs, however, is more characteristic of the contemporary arts of Proto-Elamite Iran, where a remarkable tradition of metalworking developed during this period.
1950, purchased by Mrs. Paul Mallon from a private collection in Baghdad and acquired by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery the same year; acquired by the Museum in 2007, purchased from Sotheby's New York, at the auction "Highlights of historic objects offered by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York", on June 7, 2007, lot 80.
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