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The exhibit

Palaikastro. 1500 - 1450 BC

The flask from Palaikastro is one of the most iconic vases of the Marine Style and a masterpiece of the Minoan potter’s art during the New Palace period, around the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. It is decorated with large octopuses which are depicted frontally but appear to be swimming diagonally, their writhing tentacles covering the whole surface of the flask. Among the tentacles are themes denoting the seabed, such as sea urchins, tritons and small rocks with seaweed. The style is reminiscent of the monumental fresco paintings and gives a clear sense of “horror vacui” or “fear of empty space”, meaning that the whole surface is filled with details. The exceptional naturalistic conception is typical of the vase painter, named the “Marine Style Master”, to whom a stirrup jar from Gournia with similar decoration is also attributed. The Marine Style is one of the styles that make up the “Special Palatial Tradition”, the ceramic production of the New Palaces. In the case of the Marine Style, the decorative motifs are not just aesthetically pleasing but also carry symbolic meaning. It is clear that, in the art of this period, the marine world is emphatically presented as a reference point in both the daily life and religious beliefs of the Minoans.
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1 January: closed

6 January: 08:30 – 15:00

Shrove Monday: 08:30 – 15:00

25 March: closed

Good Friday: 12:00 – 17:00

Holy Saturday: 08:00 – 15:00

1 May: closed

Easter Sunday: closed

Easter Monday: 08:00 – 20:00

Holy Spirit Day: 08:00 – 20:00

15 August: 08:00 – 20:00

28 October: 08:00 – 20:00

25 December: closed

26 December: closed