|Posted by Alexandra S on January 31, 2020 at 6:30 PM||comments (7)|
How often do you really take a look around you and let your eyes and mind explore all that captures your attention along your path...? I know I am guilty of running on auto-pilot many times, just as much as the next person. However, when I do actually decide to gear down and enjoy a walk in town, I have to say it is the most rewarding feeling. Such was the case a couple of days ago while I was in central Athens strolling down Mitropoleos street checking out the stores on either side. And there it was...! "NAMFLEG" was the name...!
Not giving a second thought, I paced in and was greeted by a lovely and truly welcoming gentleman, both pleasant and professional. Not only did he assist me in finding some adorable pieces of jewellery that matched my taste, but picking up on my artistic nature, he proceeded to give me the full tour of the "Namfleg" creations in store and explained the procedure every item went through from start to finish. The flat screen near the entrance was a smart touch as one could have a visual experience of how the jewellery is made.
For more than 10 years "Namfleg" has been creating hot enamel silver jewellery with rhodium or 24K gold plating. Inspired by the great traditions established by the House of Faberge, the cloisonné hot enamel jewellery meets the highest standards of quality and has authentic design.
NAMFLEG jewelry is a love story between silver and fire enamel. Namfleg artisans have combined precious metal and melted glass and put some warmth and tenderness into each piece.
Cloisonné enamel technique is the most sophisticated and laborious of all enamel techniques. It’s about creating a unique pattern on the jewelry piece by soldering a hair-thin gold or silver wire. After that enameller places the powdered enamel into each cloison and fires the piece in a kiln at 800°C. Enamel fills in all cloisons, melting into a colored glass – a timeless piece of art.
Namfleg enamel jewelry continues traditions of Egyptian and Byzantine artists from the Carl Faberge’s workshop. Just as it was 140 years ago, all jewelry pieces are handmade by highly skilled artisans.
IDEA AND SKETCH
Work on each article starts with drawing a sketch inspired by masterpieces of world art and sculpture. Along with creating a drawing a wax model is made which will be a product prototype.
Selected enamel plates are ground to fine powders and then color testing on silver is made. On the next stage enameler places the fine colored powder into each cloison and puts the piece into a kiln.
Enamel pieces are fired in the kiln at about 800°C. Enamel evenly fills in all the cloisons, melting into a colored glass – a timeless piece of art. During the firing process enamel in the cloisons sinks down a lot, so this process is repeated several dozen times until all cloisons are filled to the top of the wire edge.
POLISHING AND GALVANIZATION
The final step is polishing. It is at this stage the jewelry piece gains unsurpassed brilliance and beautifully catches the light. To preserve the appearance each piece is gold or rhodium plated.
SCARVES - A touch of Silk
A lovely colorful collection of delicate 100% pure silk scarves created in collaboration with a French artist Alexandra Otieva will bring a touch of luxury to your everyday wear.
"OWNING" IT, WITH GRACE AND STYLE
In the past only the elite could afford to hold and wear enamel jewelry. Nowadays this opportunity is open to everyone, though only those who really value beauty and skillfulness of artisans can appreciate these pieces.
As it was 4,000 years ago, enamel fascinated with a rich color palette, turning Namfleg creations into something more than just a jewelry. It’s an organic material that embodies the most amazing ideas. Cloisonné enamel jewelry is a modern luxury that you definitely can afford.
Retail stores are located in:
Moscow, Zurich, Kotor, Tallinn, Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Belgrade, Split, Mostar, Dubrovnik, Budva.
For more information, visit their official site: www.namfleg.com
|Posted by Alexandra S on January 30, 2020 at 11:10 AM||comments (0)|
2020. Another year, another decade... or better yet
A NEW YEAR AND AN EVEN BETTER DECADE!
YES, that's more like it.
Without getting into much personal detail, I have a feeling that a lot of us out there, myself included, have crossed over into this new decade with a similar mindset; closing big chapters and remnants of them, while taking the best of lessons and blessings as we are fully ready to embark upon a new chapter... and maybe even go on to writing a whole new "book".
The biggest lesson of all, for many of us, I believe, has been learning to value ourselves more; realising that we need to be much more mindful of where we decide to invest our time and energy, both on a professional as well as personal level. On that same note, learning that being a little more "selfish" is not something that should be condemned or something we need to apologise for.
In fact, looking after our health and making sure the energy we interact with does not drain us mentally, emotionally or physically... is a choice we are rightfully entitled to.
Every single person we encounter has a story, a past, a present and ... in most cases, a somewhat clear vision of what they wish for their future, just like we do. The level on which we choose to intertwine our lives with theirs depends solely on our will to do so; nothing more, nothing less.
ABOUT "ALEXANDRA S" ART
My latest collection, "PARADISE LOST" opened up a new chapter for me a couple of years ago. It was my first attempt at creating a collection with a story, while experimenting on techniques and selecting one that felt right, was one of the most enjoyable aspects of this chapter. Ever since, I became far more meticulous with my use of technique in every medium I would use, but also more open-minded regarding my chosen themes and the way I would approach them. As with everything we do, stepping out of my comfort zone has been delightfully challenging.
The journey continues,and given the right time and opportunity, I hope to find a physical space to share all creations... Until then, thank you for joining me and supporting me on this journey. Stay tuned for upcoming artwork!
|Posted by Alexandra S on December 2, 2019 at 2:00 PM||comments (0)|
It's never about the time that goes by, it's always about what you choose to do with that time. It's about how you perceive moments and whether or not you are oblivious to the seconds, minutes, hours and days that go by.
It has been a little over a year since I returned home to Greece after having spent a good ten years in Sweden... a year that has been intense and filled with enriching experiences, both on a professional as well as personal level.
Do I regret my decision today... Truthfully? Not for a second!!!
2019 is one more chapter that is about to end as remarkably as it begun. Parts of it I leave behind, while others I whole-heartedly wish to carry along with me onto the next blank page of 2020. One thing is for sure, we desire that which desires us. We give your time and energy to that which nourishes our mind, body and heart.
|Posted by Alexandra S on November 21, 2018 at 4:30 PM||comments (1)|
"Η Καλή μερα απο το πρωί φαίνεται!" as we say in Greece...! Which basically means you can tell a good day by how the morning starts....! Pretty true, isn't it...?!
My visit to the Heraklion Archaelogical Museum last year may have been a brief one, but it was most definitely an enriching and inspiring experience... and from that I embarked upon my next project.
The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one of the oldest and most important museums in Greece, and among the most famous museums in Europe. It houses representative artefacts from all periods of Cretan prehistory and history, covering a chronological span of over 5,500 years from the Neolithic period to Roman times. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum prides itself for its unique Minoan collection, which includes the masterpieces of Minoan art. It is rightly considered as the Museum of Minoan Culture par excellence.
Creativity breeds more creativity, so being freshly inspired I decided to add a collection of mugs to the full range of art creations. Bringing a special touch of Greek culture and history to everyone's morning habits... and connecting them to their memories of Greece... I felt they could be the ideal gift for any occasion... ;-) The current collection is Crete-inspired, but the idea is to expand the collection with other details from other regions of Greece. Additionally, although the existing designs are in black, I am working on other colours too (monochrome mainly).
For the full range of mugs and in detail, head over to the GALLERY page and select the CULTI ART Mugs Collection, or click https://www.alexandrasdesign.net/apps/photos/album?albumid=16128005" target="_blank">here
Should you wish to order an item, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well, now you know you don't need to think too heard about those upcoming Christmas presents... ;-)
|Posted by Alexandra S on September 29, 2018 at 2:45 PM||comments (0)|
It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step - it was Lao Tzu, for the record - it is that step I decided to take several months ago when I decided to leave Sweden after 10 years and return to Greece. It was by no means a decision I took light-heartedly. Very careful consideration was taken of actual circumstances and what would lie ahead of me should I decide to stay. Thoughts I had mulled over for the last couple of years, over and over again... until there was no doubt in my mind that I was on the right track.
Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy, but I was more than optimistic and certain that this need for radical change came at the right time. Having been here in Athens a little over a month, I can say I am happy I went through with it.
Probably the hardest part of this decision was knowing I would not get to see my beloved friends and colleaugues as much as I used to... but knowing that we are a 3.5hour flight away from each other makes things a bit more tolerable. Quality time spent less often is much more essential than frequent interactions lacking substance and good vibes from both sides. Truth be told, I have already started missing my friends and it won't be long before I make new plans to visit Stockholm again.
Now, on to the next step. Having returned to Athens, I gave myself some much needed valuable quality-time to re-charge my batteries as much as possible before embarking on the next adventure... which I proudly and gladly intend to share within a few days... ;-)
For now, here is a small taste of central Athens... and there is more to come :-)
... Every new start, requires a Fresh change... starting from the top, THE HAIR ;-) (Thank you GIEL, brilliant work as always! Check them out! https://giel.business.site/" target="_blank">http://https://giel.business.site/)
|Posted by Alexandra S on June 28, 2018 at 8:00 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by Alexandra S on June 10, 2018 at 4:25 PM||comments (0)|
Last summer I spent an amazing week exploring the island of Crete where every single day and every hour has been imprinted on my mind in the best way. The last couple of days were spent at Ierapetra, the southeastern side of the island; a beautiful location that deserves its own post. It goes without saying that what makes a place truly magical is its people, and Crete is definitely no exception. What made this trip even more magical was experiencing a visit on the little island of Chrissi, across Ierapetra.
We were due to take off at 12.00 noon. Excitement was bubbling and I could not wait to get started.By about 12.15 about 15 more tourists hopped on board and we were all set to go.
Within about 40 minutes of crossing the deep blue clear waters, with the most amazing refreshing breeze brushing against my face, we reached Chrissi Island, about 8 nautical miles from Ierapetra. Initially, we all got off the boat and I was told to meet them in about 45 minutes at the exact point at which we were dropped off...
I took this as an opportunity to explore the island. I followed the wooden pathway carefully planted in the fine sand for about 10 minutes and reached another side of the island where I found another beach crowded with people and a beach bar... My first thought was to take a dip but it was too windy on that side so I made my way back and relaxed on the small beach closer to the pick-up point.
Chrissi is protected by the Natura 2000 Networking Programme, as an "area of intense natural beauty", and has also been designated as a wildlife refuge. The island hosts the largest naturally formed Lebanon cedar forest in Europe. The majority of trees have an average age of 200 years and average height of up to 7 metres, some of the trees are up to 300 years old and 10 metres tall. The density is approximately 28 trees per hectare. (source: www.chrissi.gr)
The next stop was the ULTIMATE SUPRISE and the perfect ending to my Crete expedition!!!
Actually, I think I will just let the images do the talking...!
...as for the dress-code... the one and only fresh, colorful and breezy bikini from Panos Emporio (www.panos.com)
So, next time you plan to visit Crete, Ierapetra and Chrissi Island are not to be missed!!! ;-)
|Posted by Alexandra S on May 25, 2018 at 4:25 PM||comments (0)|
I admit that when it comes to the islands of the Saronic Gulf, I have always had a weakness for two of them - Spetses and Hydra - but after last year's visit on the occasion of a press trip with the Estonian state TV channel and the travel documentary "Travel with me", I got to know the island of Poros a little bit better.
Having spent most of the day shooting at Delphi and Arachova, we left the port of Pireaus around 19.30 and arrived at Poros at around 21.00. After a good night's sleep, I woke up at dawn and took the opportunity to have a power-walk before it was time for breakfast. I was indeed pleasantly surprised at what was laid out in front of me.
Our team was divided in two hotels. Manfred, the cameraman and I were booked in the hotel near the harbour with a beautiful panoramic view, whereas the rest of the crew were booked in New Aegli Resort Hotel www.newaegli.gr, only about a 5 minute drive away.
The first shooting spot of the day was scheduled to take place at the Municipality of Poros where the Head of the tourism committee, Ms. Eleni Kanatsidi would be interviewed. She offered quite an insightful introduction to the island of Poros and also her goal of boosting the island's image in the best way possible.
"Daglis Amygdalota" (Δαγκλής Αμυγδαλωτά was our next spot for filming, and dare I say the most delicious part of ourvisit...! Daglis is what we would say "a classic value" for Poros when it comes to local delicacies. It has been family-run since 1976 and specialises in the all too well known traditional greek sweet "amygdalota".
As its name suggests (amygdalo = αμύγδαλο, which means almond in Greek) this traditional sweet, which is similar in consistency to a cookie, is prepared with finely shreaded almonds (in some cases bitter almonds are also used) and sugar, and flavored with scented flower water (usually rose or orange blossom) or an essential oil like tangerine, vanilla or mastic. As a final touch, many are sprinkled over with powdered sugar. One could say it is the Greek version of marzipan, although amygdalota differs both in flavor and texture.
As for the nutritional value...? Let's just say each one is about 116calories!
Like many desserts in Greece, there are seemingly endless variations of amygdalota: The exact recipe, which determines their shape, texture and flavor, depends on the region from which they originate. The amygdalota made on the islands are particularly famous, especially those made on the Cycladic islands (Tinos, Mykonos, Sifnos, etc.) as well as on Lesvos, Chios, Hydra, Poros, Spetses and Skyros.
2. The Old Russian Naval Base
THE MONASTERY OF POROS
The old historical Holy Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi of Poros is located 4km east of the main city of Poros island and is built on the slope of a pine forest. It was founded in 1720 A.D. by the Archbishop of Athens Iakovos (Jacob) the 2nd, who, suffering from lithiasis, was miraculously cured, after drinking from the holy water springing near the Holy Monastery.
The Monastery's offer (financial, social and spiritual) to the Greek Liberation War in 1821 was exceptionally valuable. The first Governor of the liberated Greece Ioannis Kapodistrias as well as the great warriors in land and sea Miaoulis, Tompazis, Apostolis, Boudouris, Drosinos, got strenght from their beloved monastery, praying in front of the holy icon of the Mother of God of Zoodochos Pigi monastery.
In 1828, in the establishments of the Holy Monastery, Ioannis Kapodistrias founded the first orphanage of the liberated Greek nation for the orphans of the warriors of the war for freedom. 180 orphans were sheltered in the monastery, which took full care of them.
In 1830, the first Eclesiastical School, in the eastern wing of the Monastery, was founded by I. Kapodistrias, with 15 students. The Governor's vision was to provide the new born state with educated clergymen, willing to work for its spiritual support. The Holy Monastery became a source of spiritual comfort for many believers and other religious people.
Upon leaving the Monastery, our Guide and driver wonderful Konstantinos wanted to share what he believed would make for a wonderful 360degree panoramic scenery, so he took us to Sirene Blue Resort and Boy, was he right! Above, is just a small taste... and the crystal blue waters would just extend before us offering the most breathtaking vision.
Poros would definitely be classified as an "outsider" for tourists and Athenians alike... however, after that visit I would certainly incorporate it in an "Athens City Break" excursion at some point.
|Posted by Alexandra S on May 3, 2018 at 6:25 PM||comments (0)|
Time and time again I get asked one question I never get tired of answering: "What should I not miss on my upcoming trip to Athens?"
Year after year, Athens has been transforming into one of the most desirable, not to mention remarkable, city break destinations. Being an Athenian myself, I could not be more proud! Be it award-winning titles of european or global recognition or words of praise and gratitude, Athens always has a place in people's hearts. Nowadays, Athens has taken the "City Break" experience to a whole different level in terms of culture, music and the arts, lifestyle, hospitality, gastronomy... and the list goes on!
One particular highlight I never neglect to mention is the amazing Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center housing the Greek National Opera and the Greek National Library.
(Interviewing Dimitris Protopsaltou, Chief Executive Officer. A special Thank you to Ms. Elli Gardiki who helped arrange our visit).
On the occasion of the Estonian State TV channel's press visit to the SNFCC last September in Athens in order to gather footage for the travel documentary "Travel with me", I was intrigued by every single architectural aspect of this amazing building. That being said, I would love to share some informative material that will hopefully spark your curiosity enough to add this to your "bucket list" when you visit Athens next time.
For purposes of accuracy and to avoid missing out on some essential information, some text is drawn directly from the www.snfcc.org website
Who is Stavros Niarchos?
Stavros Spyros Niarchos was born July 3, 1909 in Athens, studied law and began working in his family's grain business in 1929. Although he was known predominantly for his shipping business, Niarchos’ diversified financial activities were at the core of the global economy from the time he formed the Niarchos Group in 1939 until his death in 1996. He was considered one of the most innovative and successful businessmen of the twentieth century.
Niarchos’s legacy continues into the twenty-first century with the establishment of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Working in Greece and internationally, the Foundation began its grantmaking efforts in 1996, and it derives its mission from Niarchos´s commitment to Greece and Hellenism, as well as his keen instincts and interests in support of causes in the fields of education, social welfare, health, and arts and culture.
In 2006, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation announced its plans to fund the development of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), a project that includes the construction and complete outfitting of new facilities for the National Library of Greece (NLG) and the Greek National Opera , as well as the creation of the 210,000 m² Stavros Niarchos Park.
In February 2008, following a closed international design competition, the Foundation’s Board of Directors unanimously selected the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. In selecting renowned architect Renzo Piano, the Foundation chose an architect at the forefront of the architectural profession, who possesses vision, intellectual curiosity and a historical and geographical understanding of the project’s location and significance.
The project site is located 4.5 km south of the center of Athens, on the edge of Faliro Bay, and the SNFCC is designed as a multifunctional arts, education and entertainment complex.
Below are glimpses of the National Library in its early stages (can't wait to visit it again soon and see how it has developed).
Within its new premises, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, the entrance to the Library leads into a large open lobby that provides an immediate visual orientation to all the organization’s functions.
The nearly 24,000 m2 (235,000 sq. ft.) state-of-the-art building combines traditional with technological innovation, conservation with information and communication.
The flexibility of its design, informed by consultations with the prominent British Library (www.bl.uk), ensures that the National Library can respond effectively to ever-changing needs and the challenges of the digital age.
A nationwide digitization project will help make heritage materials available to the public and will offer access to the Library’s various collections.
Incredible space-saving mechanism for all registered archives!
Connectivity with other libraries both nationally and globally will allow the Library’s users access to material abroad that is relevant to Greece or Hellenism.
Holdings include over 4,500 manuscript codices from the 9th to the 19th century and a rich variety of important historical documents and archives.
Modernized climate control and preservation and digitization facilities will ensure that the Library’s significant rare manuscript collection is available for future generations of scholars.
The digital tour continues to the GREEK NATIONAL OPERA. To be honest, coming from someone who has been passionate about ballet (and dancing) her entire life, this part of the SNFCC left me even more breathless.
The new 28,000 m2 (301,000 sq. ft.) auditorium with a 1,400 seating capacity is an architectural jewel, designed to enhance the opera experience for patrons and artists alike. Its world-class acoustics, mechanical capabilities, flexible staging, and innate beauty position it for immediate entry into the world opera circuit, ready to play host to the most technically demanding operas, international multimedia art productions, and formidable solo vocalists.
The auditorium is in par with the best European opera houses, and its multiple stages configuration allows for efficient scene changes and the staging of complicated productions.
A smaller alternative stage with a capacity of 400 people will host more intimate productions, including GNO’s experimental performances, contemporary Greek music, dance, dramatic readings, and theater productions in a venue with technical capabilities on par with the main performance space. The small theater has a flexible layout with no fixed seating, making it ideal for experimental productions. A school of dance also resides at the SNFCC.
... and of course I just had to conclude with a photo to capture a joyful moment after having rounded up a wonderful tour of the SNFCC by its delightful staff.
Address: Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, 364 Syggrou Avenue, 176 74 Kallithea
Group Tours: If you are interested in booking a group tour, contact email@example.com, or at (+30) 216-8091004 daily from 09.30 to 22.00.
|Posted by Alexandra S on March 14, 2018 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
A visit to Crete www.incrediblecrete.gr would not be complete without experiencing a day at the Herakleion Archaeological Museum. Last summer I had the good luck to be staying at a beautiful hotel right next to the Museum, so immediately after breakfast, I made my way over. I knew I only had a couple of hours available till I'd leave for Ierapetra.
If I could honestly describe, in one word, that penetrating feeling I got while admiring every single artefact in that building, that would be "overwhelmed". No, one word would certainly not be enough to cover it. "Powerful", yes... that's it... powerful. Everything from the actual architecture of the building, the way the exhibitions were placed, the artefacts themselves... seriously breathtaking. One more museum I could easily spend hours upon hours getting lost in the history. As for the inspiration from the Minoan Art, a whole new world of ideas opened up to me and I can hardly wait to get started with the next collection in mind...
The Herakleion Archaeological Museum heraklionmuseum.gr is one of the largest and most important museums in Greece, and among the most important museums in Europe. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum was founded in 1908 to house the first collections of Cretan antiquities, which were rapidly enhanced. Its cultural riches cover seven millennia, from the Neolithic period (7000 BC) to Roman times (3rd cent. AD).
Located in the town center, it was designed by the architect Patroklos Karantinos and was built between 1935 and 1958 on a site previously occupied by the Venetian monastery of Saint-Francis which was destroyed by earthquake in 1856. The ruins of the monastery are visible in the museum’s garden.
Following the restoration work of the past few years, completed in May 2014, the exhibition is housed in 27 rooms.
The collections are now displayed according to modern museological practices and design, in chronological and thematic units accompanied by audiovisual material and introductory texts.
The Museum building is an important example of the Greek Modernist style of architecture. The colours and building materials used, along with the multicoloured veined marble, are reminiscent of the painted imitation marble revetments of the Minoan palaces. The two-storey building includes extensive exhibition rooms, an audiovisual media room and laboratories. The Museum also has a vestibule, a gift shop leased from the Archaeological Receipts Fund, and a cafeteria in the garden.
The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is a Special Regional Service of the Ministry of Culture. Along with the permanent exhibition, the museum organizes temporary exhibitions in Greece and abroad, creates and implements educational programs, collaborates with scientific and scholarly institutions, and houses a variety of cultural events.
In the 12 rooms on the ground floor, the exhibits of the glorious Minoan civilisation, the first urban-palatial culture on European soil, are presented in thematic units highlighting the formation of the first communities, the rise of the ruling classes and the consolidation of palatial power and hierarchy, as well as the Minoan scripts which formed the basis of the administrative system.
The outward-looking spirit of the Cretan centres and the construction of seagoing ships favoured participation in exchange networks, importing goods and transferring ideas from the late 3rd millennium BC onwards, and securing Crete a dominant position in the Aegean and the East Mediterranean during the 16th and early 15th cent. BC.
The rule of the seafaring Minoans in the Aegean, linked to the ancient legends of the demigod King Minos, lord of the labyrinthine Palace of Knossos, is the main focus of the exhibition. Finds associated with religious rituals, sports, public festivals, aspects of private life and burial customs are showcased in dedicated rooms.
The celebrated Minoan art is featured through thousands of objects. Among the most spectacular are the famous faience Snake Goddesses, the stone bull's-head rhyton, the Prince of the Lilies and Bull-Leaping Frescoes, the gold Bee Pendant, the Hagia Triada Sarcophagus, the polychrome Kamares Ware vases, the Linear B tablets from Knossos and the enigmatic Phaistos Disc.
THE PHAISTOS DISC
This most famous example of Minoan pictographic script, unique in its kind, was discovered inside a small room of the Phaistos palace. It dates to the early Neopalatial period and is preserved intact. Both sides of the disc have signs impressed in a single spiraling line beginning at the edge and ending in the centre. The inscription uses forty-five different signs, which are repeated and grouped together to form words separated by vertical incisions. The signs were impressed on the unbaked clay using seals and for this reason the disc is considered as the earliest known example of typography. Until now several different interpretations of the text have been suggested, none of which is entirely convincing. Modern scholars believe it to be a religious text or hymn. It is noteworthy that several signs of this inscription appear on an axe from Arkalochori.
For more official information on Ancient Scripts:
STONE BULL'S HEAD RHYTON
Stone bull’s head rhyton, left side of head and horns restored. It’s a masterpiece of Minoan art, worked with great precision to render the natural features of the real animal. The snout is outlined with an inlay of white seashell, while the preserved right eye is inlaid with rock crystal, with rim and iris of red jasper. This vessel would have been used for libations, as indicated by the hole in the neck for filling and the corresponding hole in the snout for pouring out the liquid.
Knossos – Little Palace, 1600-1450 BC
THE “LADIES IN BLUE” FRESCO
Part of a composition of richly dressed and lavishly bejeweled female figures depicted against a blue ground. Despite its fragmentary condition, the wall painting transmits the sense of opulence and prosperity of the royal court while reflecting the coquetry of the ladies, who gesture displaying the richness of their jewelry.
Knossos, Palace, 1600-1450 BC
THE “PRINCE OF THE LILIES”
The “Prince of the Lilies”, an emblematic image of Minoan Crete, was part of a large mural composition in high relief. The figure, composed of three non-joining parts, is portrayed life-size, wearing a richly colored kilt with a codpiece and belt and a majestic crown on his head with papyrus-lilies and peacock feathers. According to the excavator of Knossos, Arthur Evans, he was the “Ruler of Knossos” the “Priest-King”, a personification of religious and secular authority. However, other scholars suggest different reconstructions and interpretations, according to which the “Prince” may be an athlete, a boxer, or a commanding ruler, while the crown is attributed to a priestess or a sphinx.
Knossos, Palace, Neopalatial period (1600-1450 BC).
THE BULL-LEAPING FRESCO
A bull-leaping scene, vividly depicting how the spectacular sport was performed. There are three participants, two white-skinned women and a brown-skinned man. One of the female athletes is restraining the bull by the horns to reduce its speed so that the leaper, performing the dangerous backwards somersault, will not be gored. The second female athlete, behind the bull, is waiting with outstretched arms to catch the leaper as he lands. The fresco was found on the east side of the palace of Knossos, together with fragments of others depicting different stages of the same sport.