Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Possibly Hillah, Iraq

Fate unclear

The Disappointed Tourist: Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the Seven Wonders of the World in ancient Greek culture. They were supposedly an ascending series of terraced garden resembling a large green mountain constructed of mud bricks. According to one version, the Hanging Gardens were built in Babylon (near Hillah in Iraq) by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnessar II (605-562 BC), for his Median wife Queen Amytis when she was homesick for the mountains of her homeland. They are the only one of the Seven Wonders whose location has never been definitively established. This utterly inaccurate painting is based on Ferdinand Knab’s painting of 1886. 

I’d like to visit because the gardens represent incredible artistic and architectural ambition. They would have been a magnificent sight to behold! Drew B.