Atkinson, Thomas [Mitarb.]
Excavations at Phylakopi in Melos — London, 1904

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CHAPTER III.

THE WALL-PAINTINGS.
[Plate Iii]

$ I.—The Frieze of the Flying-fish.

Even befüre the beginning of the excavation certain pieces of white and
crimson plaster picked up on the seaward face of the mound had suggested
that Phylakopi might yield reniains of wall-paintings comparable with those
of Mycenae and Tiryns. The hope thus aroused at onr first visit, in April
1896, was more than fulfilled two jTears later when the fragments of the
Flying-fish Frieze, among the inost beautiful of Mycenaean works of art, were
dicsovered in a small room of the Second City ((13:0 and 7). A fraction of
the design, all that it has been found possible to piece together, is here re-
produced for the first time in colours after a drawing by M. Gillieron (Plate III.).
The height of the original is nearly 23 cm., inclnding a border 2 cm. wide
above and below, which is separated from the picture proper by a line im-
pressed on the wet plaster with a tightened string. The portion represented
in Plate III. is only 21 cm., or a little over a foot long, but there are fragments
enough to show that the original formed a frieze at least four times that
length, perhaps much longer. Among them is a piece which gives the left
extremity of the design ; there is no border here, but the outer edge of the
plaster is Hat and smooth like the upper and lower edges, a fact to which I
shall rceur. The composition at this left-hand end began with a fish
swooping downwards to the right; the space below and to the left of it is
filled by a mass of the conventional rocks that limit the whole picture above
and below. The right extremity is not preserved. Much labour has been
expended in the attempt to piece together the scores of crumbling minor
fragments, without much result; it is some consolation that none of them
shows any feature materially different from those that ajipear in the Plate.
The same fish are repeated again and again, darting upwards or downwards
with wings now closed, now outspread: above and below them a fantastic
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