Greek Pottery: 15th-Century Minoan ‘Marine Style’ at the Heraklion Museum

Wolfgang Sauber, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Flask with octopus and seabed in the Marine Style

Mended and restored.
Height: 27 cm. Maximum diameter: 23 cm.
Late Bronze Age. Neopalatial period, Late Minoan ΙB period: 1500–1450 BC.

The ‘Marine Style’

The same museum features several other vases with the same style: the fancy octopi, the whimsical coral, all that. This is apparently the work of the same hand, an individual’s distinctive style.

Here’s a stirrup jar, a rhyton, another rhyton, a third rhyton, a fourth rhyton, a fifth rhyton, a conical rhyton, a kados, a pithoid, a cup, a jug, another jug, all from the Heraklion Museum. Compare this style to a slightly later stirrup jar with a highly stylized octopus (Postpalatial period, Late Minoan IIIC period, 1200–1070 BC).

Yesterday I posted a fish platter featuring an octopus (and a second miniature octopus):

In the next few days I’ll be posting images of other later Hellenic marine styles focusing on octopi, showing either that the aesthetic was handed down painter to painter or else reintroduced by a later painter who appreciated the earlier style, which would require vases to be handed down as antiques.

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