Saturday, July 8, 2023

Contextualizing the Procession Fresco from Knossos: An Iconographic and Phenomenological Study

Kolonauski, Leanna J
The Procession Fresco at Knossos is a large-scale mural found partially adhering to the walls of the ceremonial entrance to the largest palace in Minoan Crete. Although it was first published over a century ago, scholars rarely engage in critical discussion regarding its imagery, function, and meaning. The fragmentary state, extensive damage by fire, and insufficient publication likely account for the lack of academic attention the painting receives. This study seeks to engage the field in a critical discourse surrounding this painting by contextualizing it using both iconographic and phenomenological methodologies with the aid of digital tools. The first part of this approach reconsiders the imagery of the Procession Fresco in the context of the processional theme in Crete and the wider Aegean as well as the implications of the production date, here suggested as LM II. The second part of the approach explores how the broader architectural setting of the West Entrance System influences the way ancient processional participants interacted with and understood the mural, further investigating Mark Cameron’s theory that the painted figures acted as signposts to ancient processions. Using a new reconstruction of the mural placed within a digital model, this project includes a video walk-through of the ancient processional area included here as attached media. The study results in the finding that the mural moves beyond a synchronistic relationship with the architecture and the ancient processional participants, and instead it both includes and excludes the viewer using its imagery and scale. Alternatively, this mural may depict multiple processions that once took place at the palace. The mode of representation of the mural likely draws upon concepts of collective memory and myth in an attempt by the LM II administration to express authority over the island.
Kolonauski, Leanna J
Evans, Jane DeRose, 1956-
Committee member
Hall, Marcia B.
West, Ashley D.
Pareja, Marie N. (Marie Nicole)
Art History


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