Reproduction of a fresco with a monkey, rocks and flowers
Middle Minoan IIIB-Late Minoan IA
ca. 1700–1525 B.C.
watercolor on paper
Overall: 36 x 29 in. (91.4 x 73.7 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1925
Not on view
Excavated 1923 in a room of the House of the Frescoes at Knossos.Evans identified the small house where this painting was found as belonging to a burgher or middle class merchant. The existence of fine paintings like this one in a more modest house signified for Evans the high quality of life for the middle class in Minoan Crete and the discerning taste of an individual patron. The subsequent spectacular discovery of a contemporary fresco at Akrotiri on Thera with monkeys gathering crocuses and presenting them to an enthroned goddess flanked by griffins has led scholars to reinterpret this scene to have religious significance suggestive of the renewal of nature set in an eternal timeless landscape. The monkey climbs rocks set amid blooming crocuses, dwarf irises, ivy, and papyrus-reed hybrid plants. The 'Blue Bird' fresco displayed nearby is part of the same composition. Numerous additional fragments of the landscape were left out of Gillieron's restoration. The original is in the Herakleion Archaeological Museum, Crete.