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The Monuments Of Nineveh. From Drawings Made On The Spot By Austen Henry Layard, Esq., D.C.L. Illustrated In One Hundred Plates.

Sir Austen Henry Layard author draughtsman

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Sir Austen Henry Layard, author, draughtsman

Variant Title

Second Series Of The Monuments Of Nineveh


London:: John Murray, Albemarle Street., 1849. (-1853.)

Physical Description

2 portfolios; 600 mm.

General Note

Vol. I: vi, 22, [2] p., 100 [i.e. 102] pl. There are bis pl. 7 and 95. Plate 1 is an additional chromolitho. title-plate. All plates carry numbers except pl. [1], [2], [86], [87], [99]. The Abbey catalogue describes a copy having two additional unnumbered plates, and with plate 1 (added lithographed title-plate) placed before the title-page and the List Of The Illustrations and List Of The Subscribers placed placed before the Descriptions Of The Plates. - Vol. II: viii, 7, [1] p., 71 pl. - In both series the plates are loose; and the two series are bound in two portfolios.


Vol. I: [T.p., dedic.] - Introduction - Description Of The Plates - List Of The Illustrations - List Of The Subscribers - [Plates]. - Vol. II: [T.p., dedic.] - Introduction - List Of Illustrations - Description Of The Plates - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

In Volume I about half the plates are unsigned; most of the rest are signed as engraved by W. Holl. Plate 1 is signed as drawn by Baynes after a sketch by James Fergusson, directed by L. Gruner and lithographed by Winckelmann & Sons; and another group is signed as directed by L. Gruner (pl. 84, 92-4). Another group is signed as printed by Hullmandel and Walton (pl. 66, 71, 73, 74, 76, 79, 81). Four plates are signed as drawn by Edward Prentis and engraved by John Thompson (pl. 88-91); and one is signed as engraved by J. & C. Walker (pl. [99]). According to the Introduction, 'the engravings of the Obelisk were made from drawings by Mr George Scharf, junior'. In Volume II plate 1 is signed as drawn by Baynes after a sketch by James Fergusson, directed by L. Gruner and lithographed by Winckelmann & Sons; plates 68 and 71 are signed as lithographed by Ford & West; the first image of plate 70 is signed by F. Cooper and as directed by L. Gruner, the second by C. Malan(?). No others are signed, but Layard in his Introduction writes, 'The original drawings ... were made by Mr. F.C. Cooper, the late Mr Bell ... and myself ... drawn on stone by Mr L. Gruner'. Two plates in Volume II carry the publisher's imprint of John Murray (pl. 68, 71). The printer is named in Vol. I on the t.p. verso and again at the end of the Description Of The Plates, and in Vol. II on the t.p. verso: 'London: Bradbury And Evans, Printers (Extraordinary To The Queen), Whitefriars'. The first volume is dedicated by A.H. Layard to Sir Stratford Canning, 'Her Majesty's Ambassador ... At The Sublime Porte, To Whom The Nation Is Indebted For The Assyrian Remains In The British Museum'. The second volume is dedicated to 'Lord Cowley, G.C.B. ... Her Majesty's Ambassador To The Court Of France'.


Life In England in Aquatint and Lithography 1770-1860 ... From The Library Of J.R. Abbey: A Bibliographical Catalogue (1953; repr. 1972 and 1991); no. 29, p.21-2. J.E. Reade, 'Narrative composition in Assyrian sculpture', in Baghdader Mitteilungen, 10 (1979), p.52-110. On the reception of Assyrian art in Europe see F.N. Bohrer, 'Inventing Assyria: exoticism and reception in nineteenth-century England and France', in Art bulletin (1998 June); F.N. Bohrer, 'Les antiquités assyriennes au XIXe siècle', in De Khorsabad à Paris [exhibition catalogue] (1994), p.248-59; F.N. Bohrer, 'Times and spaces of history: representation, Assyria and the British Museum', in Museum culture, ed. D. Sherman (1994), p.197-222; F.N. Bohrer, 'Assyria as art: a perspective on the early reception', in Culture and history, 4 (1989), p.7-33; E. Porada, 'The Assyrians in the last hundred years', in Bull. Met., n.s. IV:1 (1945), p.38-48. On Layard see S. Lloyd, The archaeology of Mesopotamia (rev. 1984); J.W. Swails, Austen Henry Layard and the near east 1839-1880 [Ph.D. diss., Univy. of Georgia] (1983); G. Waterfield, Layard of Nineveh (1963).

Summary Note

The title page of the second portfolio reads, 'A Second Series Of The Monuments Of Nineveh; Including Bas-Reliefs From The Palace Of Sennacherib And Bronzes From The Ruins Of Nimroud. From Drawings Made On The Spot, During A Second Expedition To Assyria, By Austen Henry Layard, M.P. Author Of "Nineveh And Its Remains", "Discoveries At Nineveh And Babylon." Seventy-One Plates. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1853'. (The last plate of the second portfolio repeats the date of 1853.) Introducing the plates of Volume I Layard writes: 'The Sculptures and Bas-reliefs engraved in this Work were discovered in the great Assyrian ruins of Nimroud and Kouyunjik, which, there is every reason to believe, are part of the remains of the ancient city of Nineveh. ... during the year 1846 and part of 1847. A detailed account ... is contained in a smaller work, entitled, "Nineveh and its Remains," ... Some of the Sculptures engraved have been secured for the British Museum ... many ... have already perished'. Layard's discoveries included the black obelisk of Shalmaneser III. His 1849 excavations at Kuyunjik revealed Sennacherib's palace and an archive of cuneiform tablets. In the Introduction of Volume II Layard writes, 'The greater part of the bas-reliefs ... were discovered in the ruins of the Palace of Sennacherib in the mound of Kouyunjik', and commends them as confirming the historicity of events referred to in the Hebrew Bible. He refers the reader to his 'Nineveh and Babylon' for fuller descriptions of the excavations. The sculptures which Layard revealed were carved between the ninth and seventh centuries B.C., and are some of the earliest examples of narrative art. The plates show sculpture representing civil and military life of ancient Assyrians. The last two plates of Volume I and the last plate of Volume II are a map and two plans of the sites. Several plates are lithographed in color (1, 2, 85-88, 90, 91, 93); others, tinted (89, 92, 94, 95, 100); the remainder, plain.


9 January 1858: 'Ordered to purchase for the Library a large paper copy of Layard's Nineveh ...' (RA Council Minutes, XI, 237).

Copy Note

Binding Note

19th-century red cloth-covered boards, green cloth-covered spines; upper covers lettered 'The Monuments Of Nineveh. From Drawings Made On The Spot By Austen Henry Layard, Esq. D.C.L. First Series. Illustrated In One Hundred Plates. (Second Series. Illustrated In Seventy-One Plates.) London: John Murray, Albemarle Street. 1853.'

Name as Subject


Sculpture, Assyro-Babylonian - Bas-reliefs, Assyro-Babylonian - Monuments, Assyro-Babylonian - Antiquities, Assyro-Babylonian - Cuneiform inscriptions, Akkadian - Iraq - Nimrud - Kuyunjik - Nineveh (extinct city) - History
Collections - Museums - Great Britain - London - History - 19th century
Archaeological expeditions - Excavations (Archaeology) - Archaeological sites - Iraq - 19th century
Reports - Great Britain - 19th century
Pictorial works - Lithographs - Colour printing - Great Britain - 19th century


John Murray, publisher
Stratford Canning, Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, dedicatee
Thomas Mann Baynes, draughtsman
Ludwig Gruner, engraver
William Holl the younger, engraver
John Thompson, engraver
Charles Joseph Hullmandel, lithographic printer
Joseph Fowell Walton, lithographic printer
Sir George Scharf, draughtsman
James Fergusson, draughtsman
Henry Richard Charles Wellesley, 1st Earl Cowley, dedicatee
Frederick Charles Cooper, draughtsman
Bell, draughtsman
Solomon Caesar Malan, draughtsman
Bradbury and Evans (London), printer
John Murray (London), publisher
Winckelmann and Sons, lithographer
Hullmandel and Walton, lithographic printer
J. and C. Walker, engraver
Ford and West, Lithographic printers

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