| Description | | Exhibits |

The permanent exhibition of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Bullfighting, part of a fresco from Knosos
Bull-leapers fresco

This fresco bears the most complete representation of bull-leaping, the famous and dangerous athletic event of Minoan Crete. Each stage of the bull-leaping contest is shown, from grasping the bull's horns to leaping over the animal's back and finally landing behind it, in a naturalistic scene which captures both the tension and fugitive action. The scene is framed by bands of abstract ornaments, the so-called « rock motifs », in white, blue and red on a light blue background. The bull charges forward in the « flying gallop » attitude, outlined in dark colour, with a wavy mane and determined look in the eye. The single male figure but also, interestingly enough, the two female ones wear elaborate loin-cloths and tall boots. The fresco is partially preserved, but has been fully restored. It belonged to a large composition divided in metopes, of which one is at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford.

Exhibit Features
Date: Late Bronze Age, little after 1550 BC
Place of discovery: Knosos, palace
Dimensions: height: 0,70 m
Exhibition hole: Hall XIV
Copyright: Hellenic Ministry of Culture
  Suggestive Bibliography
Ελληνική Τέχνη, Η αυγή της ελληνικής τέχνης, Αθήνα, 1994, αρ. 90 206-207, 326
Σακελλαράκης Ι.Α., Μουσείο Ηρακλείου, Αθήνα, 2003, 120-122