Portrait of an Urartian King



Portrait of an Urartian King




750-640 BC


Urartian Kingdom
Northwestern Iran or Southeastern Turkey


Clay, pigment
7 x 6 3/4 x 3 1/2 in. (17.8 x 17.2 x 8.9 cm)

Object Number



The kingdom of Urartu, situated in modern-day Turkey, was the biblical land of Ararat. The Urartian kingdom was a powerful rival to the Assyrian Empire, and its heavily armed soldiers were feared throughout the region. This colorful portrait of one of the Urartian rulers evokes the painted stone reliefs of the Assyrian court and would have decorated a provincial palace.

Made of glazed, painted brick, this image would have been part of the colorful decoration of a throne room. The Urartian king is shown with the long hair, beard, and cloak of an Assyrian ruler. Despite its military might, the kingdom of Urartu was swiftly, mysteriously, and totally destroyed by the end of the seventh century, and its territories occupied by the Medes and later by the Persians.

Credit Line

Gift of Michael C. Carlos in honor of Dr. James T. Laney


From Pharaohs to Emperors: New Egyptian and Classical Antiquities at Emory, Michael C. Carlos Museum, January 14 - April 2, 2006|
MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, August 2006 - Present
MCCM Newsletter, December 2005 - February 2006.|
Emma Beatty, "The Year Ahead: Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome," The Art Newspaper (2006).|
Peter Lacovara and Jasper Gaunt, "From Pharaohs to Emperors: Egyptian, Near Eastern & Classical Antiquities at Emory," Minerva 17 (January/February 2006): 9-16.|
Michael C. Carlos Museum: Highlights of the Collections (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2011), 36.


© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Michael McKelvey.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View



“Portrait of an Urartian King,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed September 18, 2020, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/8476.

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