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Knossos—Palace Frescoes

Page history last edited by Natasha Ivanova 12 years, 10 months ago


 Natasha I., Bobby M., Preston H.





The Art of Fresco                                                [Bull Jumping, fresco wall painting, Knossos, Crete 1,700 B.C.-1,500 B.C]


   Fresco is the art of paiting on wet plaster.


  The most Minoan wall paintings and reliefs came from Knossos on Crete. 

 Guidelines and background were applied to wet plaster, and details were drawn when the plaster was dry.

Lime plaster was applied over a plaster of mud, and the borders were drawn when the plaster was still wet. String was compressed into wet plaster to mark the borders. After that, colorless wash was applied to the wall. The first sketches were made in red or yellow, and when the wall was finally painted, the details (hair, eyes, clothes’ patterns)     were applied lastly. After all of that was done, the surface was polished.          


Double framing was first seen (ever) in the dynamic "Bull Jumping" wall painting. This was a revolutionary discovery, and the double framing displayed colorful, overlapping disks.


Colors used


The colors used were red ( made from haematite) yellow ochre (from natural iron), black, (from carbonaceous shale) white, (from lime) and blue (made from frit colored by copper). The blue shade was used sparingly in wall paintings because it was quite expensive. Green was made by mixing yellow and blue.

























Queen's Megaron- Dolphin Fresco

   The Queen's Megaron has an oceanic theme to it (possibly because the palace was located near the sea and/or faced the sea). The megarons (halls) were usually colorful and had a theme to them.




 [Wall painting, dolphin and small fish, Palace of Knossos (Queen's Megaron), Crete, 1500 BCE)





     King's Megaron- Hall of Double Axes



    Both Megarons are on the east side of the Palace of Knossos. The Bull Jumping wall painting is also on the east side of the palace because the east side was set aside mainly for entertainment. This megaron is also known as the "Hall of Double Axes" because of the double ax symbol on the light wall.




 [King's Megaron, Knossos, Crete, 1500 BC] 





Betancourt, Philip. “Minoan Introduction .” Oxford Art Online. 2008. Oxford UP. 5 Dec. 2008 <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/‌subscriber/‌article/‌grove/‌art/‌T058412pg2?q=queens+megaron&search=quick&pos=2&_start=1#firsthit>.


“A Greek Architecture Primer.” www.cartage.org.  4 Dec. 2008 <http://http://www.cartage.org.lb/‌en/‌themes/‌Arts/‌Architec/‌AncientArchitectural/‌GreekArchitecture/‌AGreekArchitecture/‌AGreekArchitecture.htm>.


Morgan, Lyvia. “Minoan, IV: Wall paintings and reliefs.” Oxford Art Online. 2008. Oxford UP. 2 Dec. 2008 <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/>.



Pomeroy, John. “Bull Jumping.” SAS Humanities English room . 8 Nov. 2008.


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