Minoan and Mycenaean Art





Minoan and Mycenaean Art

The most important Minoan art was pottery, which was reflected in the ceramic jugs that were made in different patterns. Minoans made the jugs using different shapes such as geometric shapes, triangles, spiral and wavy lines, and crosses among others. Their art reflected their love for nature as it contained natural elements. They opted to continue using stone and clay tools as the rest of the civilized world embraced metal. The Minoans loved their natural environment. They made jugs and they decorated them with different natural elements such as flowers, birds, and fish. They made frescoes and they decorated palaces with them (Ancient Greece). Minoan art was a reflection of its political state at the time. The people lived in a period of peace and prosperity. Unlike other forms of art in other civilizations, it was devoid of any war scenes. Minoan painting was mostly in the form of frescoes. It had some Egyptian influence as depicted by the use of sharp outlines and solid color. However, they had more vitality and high contrast.

The Mycenaeans were influenced by the Minoan civilization and other cultures of the time. This influence was visible in art and architecture. The civilization flourished in the late Bronze Age. Similar to the Minoans, the Mycenaeans were influenced by their natural environment. However, unlike the Minoans, they were not keen on presenting elements in life like form. They used geometric designs and patterns in their work. Their art consisted of different forms including frescos, which were common with the Minoans. The frescoes depicted different cultural and natural elements such as lions, plants, chariots, and boar hunts. They were a reflection of the activities that the people engaged in their daily lives. Their art also reflected the political state of the region at the time (Cartwright).

Mycenaean art contrasted with the Minoan art because of its diversity. It reflected more influence from the surrounding regions. Their pottery was larger and it contained additional elements such as goblets. They also created terracotta figurines and sculpture. Minoan art had minimal sculptures. They used different elements and materials to create and decorate their art including stone, ivory, and jewelry (Cartwright). Similar to the Minoans, the Mycenaeans lived in a period of prosperity. They chose to illustrate their prosperity by developing luxurious items such as glass ornaments and vases that were covered in jewelry. Unlike the Minoans, the Mycenaeans were warriors and they engaged in wars. Hence, their paintings also depicted battle scenes, warriors, shields, and chariots. The contents of the Minoan Harvester Vase and the Mycenaean Warrior Vase are a reflection of these differences. The Minoan harvester vase shows a group of men carrying tools for harvesting while the Mycenaean vase shows a woman waving to a group of soldier who are heading for battle. The contents in the two pieces are different in terms of reflecting the period and the political situations of the different regions. While one region was concentrating on harvest and good fortunes, the other was engaged in war.

The Minoans and the Mycenaeans share some similarities in terms of the art they chose to create. However, the Mycenaeans show greater variety and flexibility in their work. This is possible because of increased interaction with other regions, which in turn meant more influences. The political situation was important in developing the theme for the work in both regions. The Minoans and the Mycenaeans also differed in their appreciation of the natural environment and in their ability to implement new technologies and materials.

Works Cited:

Ancient Greece. Minoan Art. 2015. Web. 20 Mar. 2015

Cartwright, Mark. “Mycenaean Civilization.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. 24 May 2013. Web. 20 Mar. 2015

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