The iconic Bull-Leaping fresco from Knossos.
Minoan bull-leaping fresco tile (medium)
- Length: 36cm Height: 19cm
Bull-leaping, or taurokathapsia, is often interpreted as a depiction of a ritual performed in connection with bull worship. It might even be that bull-leaping was a rite of passage for young men in Minoan culture.
The original stucco fresco is almost 80cm high and dates to ca 1600-1500 BC. It was found on a wall on the east side of the palace at Knossos. The composition is two-dimensional, except for the strong lines in the woman's chests, legs and thighs, which reflect the artist's attempt to deliver volume and depth, a rare phenomenon for this period. It is on display in the Heraklion Museum.
On an Egyptian blue background, the bull dominates the composition, suspended in the air, to convey its aggressive movement. Either side of the bull is a woman, one of whom holds the bull's horns, the other holding out her arms, while a man somersaults on the bull's back. Both sexes are in the same costume, differentiated by detail in anatomy and in the colour used for their skin.
They are all made in Greece in the workshop of the Lioulias family, with whom It's All Greek is proud to have been working since 2004.
The tiles are made of a resin compound. Many have a 'craquelure' effect, to replicate the fine pattern of formed on the surface of paintings, in particular due to the ageing of paints and pigments.
Should you wish to put these tiles in a bathroom or garden, it would be wise to apply a coat of transparent PVA sealant to protect them from rain and frost. They are supplied ready to hang, with a sturdy, embedded metal strip or, in the case of the larger ones, two strips which can be connected with picture wire. They can also be incorporated as features within a tiled wall.