Knossos Dolphins and the “Queen’s Megaron”

Knossos Dolphins and the “Queen’s Megaron”

Date ca. 1700-1300 BCE

Movement Aegean | Minoan

Medium Fresco

Provenance East Wing, Knossos “Palace” Complex, Crete

Housed at Archaeological Museum, Iráklion, Crete


Nature appears to be the prime subject of Minoan frescoes. Though originally found within a light well, this dolphin fresco was moved to grace a room which Evans referred to as the “Queen’s Megaron”. Green, abstract forms, taken for rocks and vegetation, form the border, while bright, free-flowing and smooth-lined dolphins fill the cream expanse amongst a variety of fish. Though the Minoans came into contact with Ancient Egyptians at this time, it is clear they shared very little by way of artistic tradition.