The Minoan Octopus Vase Descriptive Essay by bingo

The Minoan Octopus Vase
A detailed analysis and discussion of the Octopus Vase from Palaikastro, Crete.
# 108496 | 1,957 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published on Oct 10, 2008 in Art (History) , Archaeology (Greek) , Art (Other Mediums)

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This paper presents a formal art analysis and critique of the Octopus Vase as well as a discussion of the historical and cultural context of the art work. The author describes the vase in great detail and explains how the artist used intangible shapes, unbalanced lines, and unrefined contours to bring the octopus to life. The author discusses the historical background and artistic tradition behind the vase and concludes that it is a superb example of the Minoan culture and a beautiful and unique work of art in its drama, space, composition, motion, line, and style.

The Image
Formal Analysis
Pros of Material
Cons of Material
Pros of Technique
Cons of Technique
Historical and Cultural Context
Critique of the Artwork

From the Paper:

"The Minoan Octopus vase is a great example of art influenced by the Aegean culture. The vase is thought to have been made around 1500-1450 BCE of the Late Minoan IB phase. The influence of Minoan culture was prevalent throughout the island of Crete. Crete was the hub of business for wine and oils which were exported in pottery vases in exchange for food crops from the mainland. Because of Crete's position in the heart of the Mediterranean crops and plants were scarce; this is most likely the use ordained for the Octopus Vase."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • "Art 198-History of World Ceramics." GCC Ceramics. <>.
  • Daivies, Penelope, Walter B. Denny, Firma F. Hofrichter, Joseph Jacobs, Ann M. Roberts, and David L. Simon. Janson's History of Art. 7th ed. Vol. 1. Upper Sadle River: Pearson Prentice Hall. 89. 2006
  • "History of Painting." Beyond Books. <>.
  • Hurwit, Jeffery. "The Octopus Cup and the Problem of Style in the Fifteenth Century Aegean." American Journal of Archeology 83 (1979): 413-426.
  • Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History Volume One. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Upper Sadle River: Pearson Prentice Hall. 94. 2007

Cite this Descriptive Essay:

APA Format

The Minoan Octopus Vase (2008, October 10) Retrieved March 05, 2024, from

MLA Format

"The Minoan Octopus Vase" 10 October 2008. Web. 05 March. 2024. <>