Emile Gilliéron’s Frescoes

Image coming soon.

Seán Hemingway writes about the curious and interesting story of Emile Gilliéron (1850–1924) and his son (also named Emile) who played a significant role in restoring the frescoes at Knossos. The father and son team worked for 30 years at the site and also painted "colorful and carefully crafted reproductions… which were disseminated around the world and provided a vivid impression of the new finds that inspired a generation of writers, intellectuals and artists, from James Joyce and Sigmund Freud to Pablo Picasso." 

An interesting side note to the story: Gilliéron's "most distinguished pupil was the young Giorgio de Chirico, whose later paintings, such as Ariadne, drew on the mythology of Knossos."

Historic Images of the Greek Bronze Age: The Reproductions of E. Gilliéron & Son is on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through November 13, 2011.

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