Carved from brilliant diorite, this statue depicts the ruler Gudea. He ruled during the Neo-Sumerian period following the fall of the Akkadian Empire, and thus rejected the divine, propagandizing depictions of Akkadian kings. He believed he came second to his god Ningirsu, and many of his portraits depict him in this gesture of prayer. His arms are shown as muscular, to highlight god-given strength. His chair and clothing are inscribed with messages to Sumerian deities.
Photo credit / The Lourve Museum Paris, New York