Visiting Greece? This moodboard is a synthesis of statement key- pieces to pack with; sourcing inspiration from the maritime scenes depicted on Minoan frescoes and pottery in Crete.
Inspired by frescoes of Maritimum pancratium – the Sand Lily – defines hand embroidered luxury swimwear. SHOP MARITIMUM HAND- EMBROIDERED LUXURY SWIMWEAR
The big blue of the Aegean Sea and its aquatic world, not only was explored by the Minoans, but also consisted part of their every day life, while crossing the Mediterranean.
‘There’s a place
in the middle of the wine-dark sea called Crete,
a lovely, fruitful land surrounded by the sea.
Many men live there, more than one can count,
in ninety cities. The dialects they speak
are all mixed up… Their cities
include great Cnossos, where king Minos reigned’
The Odyssey, Book 19, Homer
An octopus theme jar from the Knossos Palace in Crete. The octopus motif originated around 1500 BC and by the Minoan period the so-called ‘marine style’ of decorating pottery had become even more prevalent and diverse. Some ceramics were covered with fish, octopuses, dolphins, and crabs.
During 2600 to 1600 BC, Crete was the center of an extensive trading network across the Mediterranean exporting timber, foodstuffs, cloth, and, most likely, olive oil, as well as finely crafted luxury goods.
Cut- out patterns of olive leafs on sandals reminiscent the values olive tree represent for Minoans. SHOP KALLINIKI CUT- OUT LEATHER SANDALS
In exchange, the Minoans imported tin from Asia Minor, copper from the Cyclades , gold, silver, emery, fine stones, ivory from Cyprus. As Minoan culture flourished and trade radiated across the Aegean, communities on the islands of the Cyclades and the Dodecanese were radically changed through contact with Crete.
Akrotiri frescoes, on the island of Thera (modern day Santorini) depict fishermen, dolphins, trading fleet, proving the close relationship with Minoans and their influence.
The Flotilla Fresco from the West House in Akrotiri, Thera c-1,500 BC Depicted a fleet procession with dolphins among ships.
Minoan civilization would decline around 1100 BC, years after the devastating volcanic eruption of Thera (modern-day Santorini) that buried Akrotiri and other cities along Minoan trade routes, which hurt Crete economically. Maritime supremacy existed no more; Crete, with its fleet destroyed by a gigantic Tsunami, was vulnerable to looting from the Mycenaeans. Stories of the Minoan decline are believed to have morphed into the legend of Atlantis as described by the Greek philosopher Plato circa 360 B.C.
Crete’s command of the seas would allow its vibrant culture, stunning art and architecture to deeply influence upcoming Mycenaean civilization that would put the cornerstone for ancient Greek civilization.