Fresco fragment with ivy stems in a rocky landscape
House of the Frescoes
Middle-Late Bronze Age, Neopalatial period. Middle Minoan ΙΙΙΒ-Late Minoan ΙΑ period:
Exhibition thematic unit:
Minoan wall paintings
The world of nature
One of the best-known examples of ivy in the Minoan frescoes is depicted in the Monkeys and Birds Fresco from the House of the Frescoes. Against an undulating background of blue, white and red representing water springs a bush with rust-red stems and alternating green and blue ivy leaves, each with a “waz” filling of rust-brown with white dots.
Ivy, a particularly popular subject in Minoan iconography, is depicted in green and blue in a grey-blue rocky landscape. Various views have been put forward concerning its symbolism, tending in two different directions: a. this is a naturalistic depiction of a natural landscape, or b. although the original is faithfully rendered, this is a sacred plant, in line with Evans’ original interpretation.
Evely, R. D. G. (1999). Fresco: a passport into the past: Minoan Crete through the eyes of Mark Cameron
, 212, 222-223.