Reproduction of the "Great S-spiral frieze" fresco
By Emile Gilliéron
père, 1911 or early 1912.
Late Helladic III
ca. 1400–1200 B.C.
watercolor on paper
Overall: 36 x 26 1/2 in. (91.4 x 67.3 cm)
Dodge Fund, 1912
Excavated 1884 west of the Great Forecourt of the Tiryns palace.Ornamental spiral friezes have a long history in Minoan art. The version seen here with alternating up-and-down spirals and fan-shaped papyrus lotus blossoms became the favored ornate band frieze used to decorate most of the Mycenaean palaces. It has been suggested that the wide distribution of such a complicated pattern supports the idea of a traveling guild of fresco painters operating on the Mycenaean mainland. E. Gillieron, pere was hired in 1910-1912 by the Germans excavating at Tiryns to assist with the reconstruction of the many fresco fragments found at the site. The original is in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens.