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Cup-Bearer Fresco

Fragmentary, joined from fragments, restored.
Height: 145 cm. Width: 82 cm.
Late Bronze Age. Final Palatial period, Late Minoan II period.:
1450 - 1400 BC:
Exhibition thematic unit:
Minoan wall paintings
The world of the court
Part of the Procession Fresco which adorned the walls of the corridor leading from the West Entrance of the palace to the official chambers on the upper storey of the West Wing (“Piano Nobile”) via the South Propylaeum, This particular wall painting adorned the west wall of the South Propylaeum. It depicts a life-size young man, in the characteristic style of rendering the male figure from the Neopalatial period onwards: naked torso with slim waist and wide shoulders, muscled limbs, shaven face, and long, wavy locks of hair. He is wearing an ornate belt and loincloth, and various ornaments. His bracelet and an unusual ear-ornament were probably silver, as indicated by their blue colour, while the bracelet with the seal on his wrist confirms that Minoan seals were also worn as jewellery. He is carrying a large conical rhyton, perhaps made of silver with gold details. The fresco is named after this cult vessel. Most of the male figures in the grand procession were similarly dressed.
Evans, A.J. The Palace of Minos: A Comparative Account of the Successive Stages of the Early Cretan Civilization as Illustrated by the Discoveries at Knossos. Volume ΙΙ part II. London, 1928, 704-712, 724-725, fig. 452, pl. XII. Hood, S. "Dating the Knossos Frescoes." In L. Morgan (ed.), Aegean Wall Painting: A Tribute to Mark Cameron. British School at Athens Studies 13. London, 2005, 45-81. Immerwahr, S.A. Aegean Painting in the Bronze Age. London, 1990, 88-90, 174-175, pl. 38.
E. S.

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