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Art

Emma Crichton-Miller

I am Ashurbanipal: King of the World, King of Assyria

British Museum, 8th November to 24th February

The British Museum’s magnificent Assyrian reliefs celebrate a successful but brutal monarch as he chases lions or takes tea beneath trees decorated with his enemies’ heads. Ashurbanipal, self-proclaimed King of the World, presided from Nineveh—recently targeted by Islamic State—over an empire stretching from the Mediterranean to Iran. This first major exhibition on the monarch has drawn many loans, including ornate art works and elaborate weaponry, which feature alongside the museum’s outstanding sculptures and cuneiform tablets.

Klimt/Schiele: Drawings from the Albertina Museum, Vienna Royal Academy of Arts, 4th November to 3rd February

Among the calamities that coincided with the ending of the First World War were the deaths of two of Vienna’s foremost artists. Gustav Klimt had been a pioneering modernist in fin-de-siècle Vienna; his protégé 28 years his junior, Egon Schiele, above, had turned his prodigious talents to the raw scrutiny of sex and mortality. This exhibition shows how both were inspired by the immediacy of drawing, an ideal medium for their erotic subject matter.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect's November issue: Paul Collier explains how major cities in the UK will always be in the shadow of London unless capitalism is overhauled and suggests ways that we might be able to improve the situation in those communities that capitalism has left behind. Meanwhile, Steve Bloomfield asks what is going at the Foreign Office. The once great institution that was a symbol of Britain’s global power now seems to be lost and unable to explains its role. Also, Samira Shackle explores a Pakistani protest movement that is unnerving the country’s military. Elsewhere in the issue: Dahlia Lithwick suggests that the Supreme Court will struggle to retain its authority now that Brett Kavanaugh is on the bench. Philip Ball argues that DNA doesn’t define destiny as he reviews a new book by Robert Plomin. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Simon Heffer debate political correctness.