The art of the Minoan civilization of Bronze Age Crete (2000-1500 BCE) displays a love of animal, sea, and plant life, which was used to decorate frescoes and pottery and also inspired forms in jewellery, stone vessels, and sculpture. Minoan artists delighted in flowing, naturalistic shapes and designs, and there is a vibrancy in Minoan art which was not present in the contemporary East. Aside from its aesthetic qualities, Minoan art also gives valuable insight into the religious, communal, and funeral practices of one of the earliest cultures of the ancient Mediterranean.
The Minoans, as a seafaring culture, were in contact with foreign peoples throughout the Aegean, as is evidenced by the Near East, Babylonian, and Egyptian influences in their early art but also in trade, notably the exchange of pottery and foodstuffs such as oil and wine in return for precious objects and materials such as copper from Cyprus and ivory from Egypt. Thus Minoan artists were constantly exposed to both new ideas and materials which they could use in their own unique art.
Read also: Mycenaean Art