Why are Cretan murals done so well compared to Roman ones?

What you’re seeing as Cretan murals, dug up from Knossos, look shinier and more vivid than anything dug up from Pompeii, don’t they.

It’s almost as if… their painting is modern.

And indeed, they are. When you see Cretan murals in situ, they are mostly modern reconstructions; the original bits are the dull looking, barely coloured flecks.

In fact, because of the tenuousness of the reconstruction, the subject matter of the murals can be gotten gloriously wrong.

The Saffron Gatherer: before

The Saffron Gatherer: after

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