mycenaean frescoes


Archaeological Museum of Thebes:

Wall paintings from the palatial building of Orchomenos.

The formal space of the building was adorned with wall-paintings in much smaller scale than life-size. From the host of surviving fragments parts of friezes have been restored depicting subjects common in the art of the Late Bronze Age. 

On one side of the panel the ship with the oarsmen and the standing helmsman, the buildings and the groups of warriors, are possibly parts of a larger composition of a coastal city. On the other side of the panel there is a scene of hunting boar and deer, with the participants reaching the chase in a horse-drawn chariot. In all probability the group of warriors advancing on foot, spear in hand and wearing boar-tusk helmets, belong to the same composition. (13th century B.C)


National Archaeological Museum / Archaeological Site of Mycenae:

Fragments of murals from the Acropolis of Mycenae (13th century  B.C).

Α female figure in a procession, holding a lily- perhaps an offering to the goddess. The fashionable “Mycenean lady” accepting a gift necklace with a pensive yet content expression. A female figure- perhaps a war goddess- wearing a helmet and holding a galloping griffin. Figure of eight shields, a defensive weapon associated with a war goddess- who might be connected to Pallas Athena of Classical Greece.

The art of wall-painting spread to mainland Greece with the construction of the palaces of Mycenae, Tiryns, Thebes, and Pylos, after the Mycenaeans established themselves at the palace of Knossos in Crete, at the end of 15th century B.C. The Mycenaean artist used natural earth colours made mainly of metal oxides, which they applied on a wet plaster surface.

These murals from the rooms of the Cult Center, are especially important as they include a scene of religious offering to a goddess and the representation of figure of eight shields, and may be connected to a military goddess.


Archaeological Museum of Mycenae:

Fragments of murals from the Palace and Pithos area that depict men and male activities: hunts, marches, war scenes.

I love murals to pieces, but they are notoriously difficult to photograph in so fragmented a state; not only is the lighting very dim in the museum, it can also become so crowded that you have to push your way to a half-decent angle.