• [ΚΕΝΟ]


Fresco with relief bull

Fragmentary, joined from fragments, restored.
Height: 146 cm. Width: 143 cm.
Middle -Late Bronze Age. Neopalatial period, Middle Minoan ΙΙΙΒ - Late Minoan ΙA period.:
1650 - 1550 BC:
Exhibition thematic unit:
Minoan wall paintings
The world of the court
This fresco with the head of a charging bull is a crowning example of Minoan naturalistic art. The stucco relief technique is used to render the bull’s head and the dramatic tension of the scene with extraordinary realism. The lowered head, pricked-forward ears and half-open mouth with lolling tongue vividly express the animal’s desperation to escape its pursuers, as it appears that the subject of the larger scene was a bull hunt. Other relief fragments from the same composition depict parts of the bodies of two bulls, limbs of two human figures (one male and one female), olive trees and a rocky landscape. The fresco adorned the wall of the portico believed to have surmounted the West Porch of the North Entrance to the palace of Knossos. Bull-hunting and bull-leaping were among the most popular subjects of the frescoes that adorned the palace of Knossos during the Neopalatial and Final Palatial periods.
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 ΙII. London, 1930, 158-191. Dimopoulou-Rethemiotaki, Ν. Το Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Ηρακλείου. Athens, 2005, 298, 306-307. 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. Shaw, M.C. "Bull Leaping Frescoes at Knossos and their Influence on the Tell el-Daba Murals." ?gypten und Levante V (1995): 91-120.
E. S.

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