Cretan arts

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Arts
'Colorfull frescoes at the well-preserved fountain building at the ancient site of Knossos at Crete - witness of the old minoan culture.' - Crete
'Colorfull frescoes at the well-preserved fountain building at the ancient site of Knossos at Crete - witness of the old minoan culture.' Ralf Siemieniec / Shutterstock

Crete is home to extraodianry painters such as El Greco and writers such as Kazantakis. Eccentric composers such as Theodorakis and poets like Kornaros call Crete home. Cretan arts are unique and exquisite with a rich history that integrates the culture and lifestyle of the Cretans. Historically, arts were divided among sexes where men were known to craft wood carvings, basketry, and musicals instruments. Women were known to weave, broider and smock. Over the years this trend has somewhat disappeared. Nonetheless, these magnificent arts remain a part of Crete and it cultural history.

Cretan arts include broidery, where every home possessed a loom for the homemaker to create the family’s weaving pieces. To distinguish a Cretan weaving piece of art one may see certain characteristics. One unique characteristic is the colors that are used. Cretans used reds, blacks and various other colors to tie it together. Cretan arts typically depicted settings of their everyday life and usually incorporated characters as well. Finished pieces include blankets, rugs, skirts, bags, capes and other household items. Women constructed these pieces with absolute detail that is shown through the intricate features of these eloquent works of art.

Pottery is a big part of Cretan arts. Pottery from this region were crafted in unique colored clay, which were white, black and red. Cretan jars are a very popular piece of pottery. They were crafted with unique patterns and were very durable. Today, the village of Thrapsano is widely known for pottery art.

Woodcarving pieces in Cretan arts largely contributed to the décor of churches in Crete as well as other religious architecture. The style of woodcarving has characteristics of ecclesiastical art where artists would construct temples and shrines. Woodcarvers also crafted intricate musical instruments. Some artists can still be found throughout certain villages in Crete.