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Pottery vase with faint traces of white lilies


Height: 32.000 cm

Gift of Sir Arthur Evans

GR 1906.11-12.91 (Vases A 592)

Room 12: Minoan and Mycenaean

    Pottery vase with faint traces of white lilies

    Minoan, about 1700-1550 BC
    From Knossos, Crete

    Perhaps inspired by Minoan wall paintings

    This tall vase was originally decorated with naturalistic sprays of white lilies. The theme was popular in Minoan art: it occurs on wall-paintings as well as pottery, and at the time this vase was painted natural forms were a popular source of inspiration for Minoan artists. The lilies are freely painted, as if blowing in the breeze, and the vase must originally have been very attractive. Sadly, the white paint has faded, and the design is not preserved well. This may have been a factor in the subsequent change in fashion, to pottery decorated with dark paint on a light background.

    P. Betancourt, The history of Minoan pottery (Princeton University Press, 1985)


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    On display: Room 12: Minoan and Mycenaean

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