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Three Millennia of Greek Literature
 

F. B. Tarbell, A History of Ancient Greek Art

Prehistoric Art in Greece

Palaces and wall frescoes

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Page 2

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.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/history-of-ancient-greek-art-5.asp?pg=2