Greek Pottery: Stylized Octopus on a Mycenaean Stirrup Jar at the Getty!

Miniature Stirrup Jar

about 1130–1100 B.C.
Unknown artist/maker
7.2 × 5.9 cm (2 13/16 × 2 5/16 in.)
On view at  Getty Villa, Gallery 113, Neolithic and Bronze Age Greece

The Getty description:

“A stylized octopus covers the surface of this Mycenaean stirrup jar, named so for the shape of its handles. Influenced by the Minoan styles on Crete, Mycenaean potters often decorated their wares with motifs of marine life. Although these renderings were initially very naturalistic, they became more stylized over the centuries, until the creatures became so abstract as to be unrecognizable. The octopus on this vase has no body, only six tentacles, and the eyes have been transformed into two rosettes near the base of the jar. By the end of the Bronze Age, after about 1100 B.C., the power of the Mycenaean kingdoms had collapsed, but elements of Mycenaean culture continued, with artists trying to carry on earlier traditions. Without a unifying power, the widely spread Mycenaean settlements developed independent regional styles of pottery. The degenerate octopus style decorating this vase is characteristic of the Greek islands. Stirrup jars were used for the storage and shipping of liquids, and a small example like this one probably held perfumed oil.”

“Degenerate octopus style”!!!! I cannot evennnnn….

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