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Minoan art 2700 to 1450 BC bronze age civilization the island of Crete.

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Presentation on theme: "Minoan art 2700 to 1450 BC bronze age civilization the island of Crete."— Presentation transcript:

1 Minoan art 2700 to 1450 BC bronze age civilization the island of Crete

2 Minoan Civilization The beginning of its Bronze Age, around 2600 BC, marks the beginning of Crete as an important center of civilization. There was no central ruler in the Mediterranean, as in Egypt, so art was slower to develop. The Mediterranean region was consistently at war, unable to develop the arts, until the development of the Minoan culture (present day island of Crete), and Mycenae, on the Greek mainland.

3 Minoan Civilization Minoans were primarily traders across the Mediterranean. Their culture possessed a high degree of organization. Objects of Minoan manufacture suggest there was a network of trade with mainland Greece (notably Mycenae), Cyprus, Syria, Anatolia, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and westward as far as the coast of Spain.

4 Minoan Civilization The term "Minoan" was coined by a British archaeologist after the mythic King Minos. Minos was associated with the myth of the labyrinth and the Minotaur.

5 Minoan Civilization Since wood and textiles have vanished through decomposition, the most important surviving examples of Minoan art are Minoan pottery, the palace architecture and frescos, stone carvings, and intricately carved seal stones.

6 Minoan Civilization Minoans were traders & fishermen, but they also raised cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats, and grew wheat, barley, vetch, and chickpeas, they also cultivated grapes, figs, olives, and poppies. They domesticated bees, and adopted pomegranates and quinces, fruits related to apples and pears. They developed Mediterranean polyculture, the practice of growing more than one crop at a time, and as a result of their more varied and healthy diet, the population increased.

7 Minoan CIVILIZATION Concentration of wealth played a large role in the structure of society. Multiroom constructions were discovered in even the poor areas of town, revealing a social equality and even distribution of wealth. Minoan artwork reveals that equality existed among genders as well. Evidence includes frescos that depict women participating with men in recreational sporting events. The absence of a powerful warrior class meant that women and men were placed on an even playing field.

8 Minoan Architecture Minoan palaces are the best known building types to have been excavated on the island. They are monumental buildings serving administrative purposes as evidenced by the large archives unearthed by archeologists.

9 Minoan Architecture Minoan palaces and country houses were built for comfort, rather than protection. They were open to ocean breezes, with pools, terraces and views of the countryside.

10 The most unusual feature of the architecture besides their frescoes was a very unusual column shape. Minoan columns were larger at the top than at the bottom, with a large, simple capital at the top. These were painted in bright colors (right). Minoan Architecture

11 Minoan Art Minoan art was based on ocean creatures, play and religion, rather than warfare, as most cultures of the Bronze age. The brightly colored frescoes in the palace of Knossos have many people, ocean creatures such as dolphins, fish & octopus, and many bulls, which represent the ocean god Poseidon.

12 Minoan Art Bull Jumping was a sport, possibly part of a religious festival, in which young men and women vaulted over a live bull, as seen in this fresco from the palace of Knossos.

13 Minoan Art Children boxing in a fresco on the island of Santorini You can see pottery and styles of clothing in the frescoes at the palace of Knossos, along with two column styles. Most of the frescoes have been retouched; their colors would not naturally be that bright today.

14 Minoan Art Minoan art depicted nature, animals or people in a natural, relaxed setting. This is in direct contrast to the Mycenaean culture, which usually depicted animals as beasts of burden or people in war scenes.

15 Minoan Art - Pottery Pots that contained oils and ointments, exported from 18th century BC Crete, have been found at sites through the Aegean islands and mainland Greece, on Cyprus, along the coastal Syria and in Egypt, showing the wide trading contacts of the Minoans. The extremely fine palace pottery called Kamares ware, and the Late Minoan all-over patterned "Marine style" are the high points of Minoan pottery. Minoan vessel with Papyrus design in relief, Palace Style 15th c. BC.

16 Minoan Art - Pottery The Floral style of Minoan art depicts palms and papyrus, with various kinds of lilies and elaborate leaves. It appears in both pottery and frescoes. Floral style consisted of fluent designs drawn from flower and leaf forms, painted in reds and black on white grounds There is a typical all-over leafy decoration, for which first workshop painters begin to be identifiable through their characteristic motifs; as with all Minoan art, no name ever appears. Minoan Amphora with Papyrus design BC.

17 Minoan Art - Pottery In the Marine Style, perhaps inspired by frescoes, the entire surface of a pot was covered with sea creatures, octopus, fish and dolphins, against a background of rocks, seaweed and sponges. Late Minoan Octopus Vase. Marine Style 1500 BC.

18 Minoan Art - Pottery The Marine style (right) was the last purely Minoan style; all the palaces except Knossos and many of the villas and towns were violently destroyed when a volcanic eruption on the nearby island of Thera (present day Santorini) is estimated to have occurred sometime between 1550 and 1630 BCE. This eruption was among the largest volcanic explosions in the history of civilization, rating a 6 on the Volcanic explosivity Index.

19 The end of Minoan CIvilization Theories have been proposed based on archeological evidence found on Crete indicating that a tsunami, likely associated with the eruption, impacted the coastal areas of Crete and may have severely devastated the Minoan coastal settlements. The Mycenaean conquest of the Minoans occurred in Late Minoan II period, not many years after the eruption, and many archaeologists speculate that the eruption induced a crisis in Minoan civilization, which allowed the Mycenaean's to conquer them easily. Information and photos from wikipedia and OU fine arts web sites. Educational use only, 2008.wikipediaOU fine arts


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