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Dolphins of Akrotiri. © Su Schaefer 2012
Also available in a railroad repeat
(running vertically rather than horizontally) suitable for upholstery and wallpaper borders. Coordinates: 'Colored sands'
and 'Sea over colored sands'.
Dolphins are one of the most intelligent animals, and their apparent friendliness and playfulness have made them popular in human culture since the time of the Minoans (c. 1500 B.C.) and probably long before. Except for humans, they have few natural enemies.
This is my interpretation of what the original artist's intent might have been in what is now a fresco in the Palace of Knossos, Crete. Controversy surrounds the fresco, which is a 'restoration'. Some experts think the original belonged to the floor above, rather than a wall within, the Queen's Megaron or chamber in the Palace. It was challenging to research the area and draw my own conclusions about what the original artist's intent might have been.
For instance, what was the palette of the time? Some say that the bright (or garish) colors of the restoration would have been faithful to the original. Others disagree. Cretan artists had available to them: white (from lime), red (ferrous earths & haematite), yellow (ochre), mineral black, and blue ('Egyptian blue', or blues derived from glaucophane, or, possibly azurite: I went with glaucophane which is a soft grayish-blue),
Another challenge: what was the actual dolphin species depicted? There are around forty species in 17 genera, but none shows the exact pattern of stripes depicted by the Cretan artist. In shape, they are closest to the so-called 'common dolphin', which has a number of varieties. One of its defining characteristics is its coloration: dark back, white belly, and an hourglass pattern on each side, in light grey, yellow or gold in front to gray in the back.
Designed as a half drop, basic repeat; railroad version here. [200 ppi; FQ test printed at 205 ppi].