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                                                  The wall-paintings from Akrotiri, Thera
The crocus gatherers The wall-paintings from Akrotiri, Thera, are distinguished by the originality of their iconography, the freedom in the design and rendering of the figures, and the richness of their colours. Their perfect state of preservation, thanks to their burial in volcanic ash, has allowed the identification of several different artists working within a Theran tradition but under strong Cretan influence. The painter of the 'Boxing children' and of the 'Antelopes' displays a characteristic simplicity and austerity which are balanced with grace and vitality in the design of the figures. The painter of the 'Spring' fresco and of the 'Crocus gatherers' is distinguished by the freedom and spontaneity of his compositions, a greater attention to naturalism and detail, an almost photographic rendering of fleeting moments and a profuse use of colour. 


The stone-built walls were covered first with clay mixed with straw, then with a thick layer of plaster and lastly with successive thin plaster layers. The painter sketched the preliminary design on the wet surface using twine and a pointed tool. The paint was also applied on a wet surface, which led to its good preservation, although some details were added after the plaster had dried. The colours were either mineral (iron for dark red) or yellow ochre, or synthetic (pyrite with copper and Iime oxides for light blue).








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