Exhibitions/ Art Object

Reproduction of the "Ladies in Blue" fresco

Emile Gilliéron fils, 1927
Period:
Late Minoan IB
Date:
ca. 1525–1450 B.C.
Culture:
Minoan
Medium:
painted plaster
Dimensions:
Overall: 61 1/2 x 40 in. (156.2 x 101.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Dodge Fund, 1927
Accession Number:
27.251
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 172
Excavated before 1914 near Royal Magazines, Knossos.

This group of three women was originally restored by E. Gillieron, pere on the basis of other fragments of frescos from Knossos, mostly of a much smaller scale. It has been shown that details of the facial outline of the "Cup-bearer" fresco, a reproduction of which is displayed in the exhibition, supplied the model for the faces of the "Ladies in Blue", which are not preserved at all.

This copy reproduces the few fragments of burnt and abraded original fresco, represented as slightly offset from the restoration, and shows the extent to which the Gillierons recreated the scene. Extensive restorations like this one led the writer Evelyn Waugh after a visit to the Archaeological Museum in Herakleion in 1929 to state it is not easy to judge the merits of Minoan painting "since only a few square inches of the vast area exposed to our consideration are earlier than the last twenty years, and it is impossible to disregard the suspicion that their painters have tempered their zeal for accurate reconstruction with a somewhat inappropriate prediliction for the covers of Vogue."

The original is in the Archaeological Museum of Herakleion, Crete.
Evans, Arthur J. 1921. The Palace of Minos: A Comparative Account of the Successive Stages of the Early Cretan Civilization as Illustrated by the Discoveries at Knossos, Vol. 1. pp. 544-6, fig. 397, London: Macmillan & Co.

Evans, Arthur J. 1928. The Palace of Minos: A Comparative Account of the Successive Stages of the Early Cretan Civilization as Illustrated by the Discoveries at Knossos, Vol. 2 Pt. 2. pp. 680-2, 730, fig. 457, London: Macmillan & Co.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1928. "Reproductions Recently Acquired for the Classical Department." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 23(7): p. 186.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. p. 345, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Evans, Arthur J. 1935. The Palace of Minos: A Comparative Account of the Successive Stages of the Early Cretan Civilization as Illustrated by the Discoveries at Knossos, Vol. 4 Pt. 1. p. 285, fig. 219, London: Macmillan & Co.

Evans, Arthur J., Mark Cameron, and Sinclair Hood. 1967. Catalogue of Plates in Sir Arthur Evans' Knossos Fresco Atlas. p. 41, London.

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