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Minoan palace scene

This is not my illustration; I found it in an old book about ancient civilizations. But I include it as an example of Minoan dress and culture, and for comparison to my own painting, "Ariadne" (see thumbnail image below), in which I made use of a similar costume copied from one of the old Theran frescoes. The artist of the above scene also strove for authenticity; all the items shown are archaeological finds, including the game board between the two ladies sitting on the floor, and all the clothing, jewelry, and hairstyles are correct as depicted in ancient Minoan art. Interestingly (at least to an artist), the painter of this scene appears to have had only one model, since the faces of all the women are the same one.

This is how the queen's quarters may have looked in the palace at Knossos on Crete, which was the center and ground zero of Minoan civilization nearly four thousand years ago during the European Bronze Age. In this scene the queen herself is getting a manicure at left, prior to getting dressed. According to some scholars, Minoan women went bare-breasted until they married, after which they covered up, and thus young men casting about for a mate in those days had no trouble telling which women were available, and I have no doubt it was a more interesting method than looking for a ring on a finger as we do today. Thus in my painting the princess Ariadne, who was unmarried, is dressed the same way (below), wearing the costume of the "Woman with a Necklace" from a fresco found at Thera.

"Ariadne" by Thomas Baker

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The clothing styles of classical Greece were descended from the earlier Minoan, but were less elaborate, as seen in my painting "Pandora." The Greeks, like the Romans, made greater use of drapery for clothing, while the Minoans had tailored and fitted garments similar to what we have today.

"Pandora" by Thomas Baker

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