Minoan culture, from our contemporary perspective, is often seen as carefree and peaceful. People lived in harmony with their environment. The Mycenaeans, on the other hand, seemed to constantly engage in conflict. While this is likely an oversimplified view, how do you see it either proven or disproven through their visual record?
Visual record to determine a culture is an interesting concept to think about. In all reality, the culture that depicts more conflict may have been in a safer place to express those feelings of turmoil, where one that only depicts joy may have been fearful to depict their cultures actual pain. I know that when I am painting, often times my paintings have a melancholy, or sorrowful heir to them, which really doesn’t represent my beliefs or culture at all, just a means to empty out those parts of myself. I would hope to not be judged on my personality from the pain in some of my personal work. None the less, these cultures are represented and interpreted as such. I believe the best example to compare and contrast would be the Minoans, Rhytons. On this piece, there is a group of men, somewhat undetermined what they are doing but show no signs of discomfort, they have half smiles, are not in any sort of military formation. Contradictory to this, Mycenaean’s have a piece, Warrior Crater. Though these warriors do not appear out of comfort, they walk in order, with appropriate battle gear, they are obviously part of a sort of military or defense team. Does this just mean they were better prepared? Did they want to appear so? A good bunch of their pieces depict battle with animals, showing bravery. Were they prideful? Did the Minoans simply not have the ego? Did they simply appreciate the beauties beyond boasting their own bravery? Were they more artistically advanced and driven to seek other subjects? I suppose its all up for interpretation.