Again, there are fragments of
painted stucco which decorated the walls of rooms in the
palace of Tiryns. The largest and most interesting of these
fragments is shown in Fig. 30. A yellow and red bull is
represented against a blue background, galloping furiously
to left, tail in air. Above him is a man of slender build,
nearly naked. With his right hand the man grasps one of the
bull's horns; his right leg is bent at the knee and the foot
seems to touch with its toes the bull's back; his
outstretched left leg is raised high in air. We have several
similar representations on objects of the Mycenaean period,
the most interesting of which will be presently described.
The comparison of these with one another leaves little room
for doubt that the Tirynthian fresco was intended to portray
the chase of a wild bull. But what does the man's position
signify? Has he been tossed into the air by the infuriated
animal? Has he adventurously vaulted upon the creature's
back? Or did the painter mean him to be running on the
ground, and, finding the problem of drawing the two figures
in their proper relation too much for his simple skill, did
he adopt the child-like expedient of putting one above the
other? This last seems much the most probable explanation,
especially as the same expedient is to be seen in several
other designs belonging to this period.
At Mycenae also, both in the principal palace which
corresponds to that of Tiryns and in a smaller house,
remains of wall-frescoes have been found. These, like those
of Tiryns, consisted partly of merely ornamental patterns,
partly of genuine pictures, with human and animal figures.
But nothing has there come to light at once so well
preserved and so spirited as the bull-fresco from Tiryns.