An Ur Painting

Originally Published in 1931

View PDF

Painting of the flood pit at Ur
Plate I — The Deep Pit at Ur from the Painting by Joseph Lindon Smith

THERE is reproduced on Plate I a welcome addition to the Museum’s collections: this is an oil painting by Joseph Lindon Smith showing the Deep Pit at Ur where Mr. Woolley’s discoveries of the great flood deposits and the evidence of the antediluvian inhabitants of Ur were made. This attractive canvas, measuring twenty-three by thirty-four inches, was painted by Mr. Smith in the winter of 1930 when he visited Ur. He is well known as an artist skilled in rendering accurately archaeological details, and his studies of the monuments of Egypt, Cambodia, Japan and elsewhere are well known.

The present work, which to be appreciated fully must be seen in its natural colour, gives an extraordinarily vivid presentment of the depth of the pit, with the long stairways cut in its walls up which the workmen carry the baskets of earth, of the colour of the soil, of the deep shadows cast by the mid-morning sun and the clear blue sky, so characteristic: of Mesopotamia. In the background can be seen the pile of the Ziggurat, dwarfed by distance and by the eighty foot Pit in the foreground.

Not only is this painting, an anonymous gift, received for its archaeological interest as a document of considerable importance, but as an able painting the artistic merit of which is extremely high.

Cite This Article

"An Ur Painting." Museum Bulletin II, no. 6 (April, 1931): 177-177. Accessed July 25, 2024.

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

Report problems and issues to