national history museum of crete


Ancient Worlds - BBC Two

Episode 1 “Come Together”

Mycenaean art.

Mycenaean is the term applied to the art and culture of Greece in the late Bronze Age, from the 15th to the 13th century BCE. The name derives from the site of Mycenae in the Peloponnese, where once stood a great Mycenaean fortified palace. Other major sites included Tiryns in Argolis, Pylos in Messenia, Athens in Attica, Thebes and Orchomenus in Boeotia, and Iolkos in Thessaly, while Crete and the site of Knossos also became a part of the Mycenaean world.

Mycenaean civilization originated and evolved from the society and culture of the Early and Middle Helladic periods in mainland Greece. It emerged in circa 1600 BC, when Helladic culture in mainland Greece was transformed under influences from Minoan Crete. Contact with the Minoan civilization played a decisive role in the shaping and development of Mycenaean culture, especially in the arts.

Minoan artists and painters paid regular visits to the Greek mainland, and the Mycenean artistic style became a balance between the exuberant naturalism of Crete and the formality of the mainland.

Mycenaean art was much more naive than the sophisticated Minoan art and it was not apparently religious in character.