The reign of Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 B.C.) marked the first great flowering of neo-Assyrian figurative art, as shown by the decoration of his monumental Royal Palace at the north-western extreme of the Acropolis of Nimrud, ancient Khalku.
The relief originates from Room I of the palace and belongs to series of tablets dedicated to the mythical-symbolic theme of the adoration of the Sacred Tree, symbol of royalty bearing fruitfulness and life. The protector Genius has the body of a man with long hair flowing over his shoulders, curling at the ends like his beard. He wears an ornate headdress with two pairs of stylised horns, a divine symbol, and a long frilled robe. He feet are bare, and the two large wings of an eagle, well modelled and finely detailed, emerge from his shoulders.