© Erich Lessing

AEGEAN STYLE SETTERS. In the late 17th and 16th centuries B.C., artistic culture flourished on the Minoan island of Crete and the Cycladic island of Thera (modern Santorini). At both, palaces were decorated with distinctive frescoes, including the famous bull-leaping panel from Knossos, Crete. Excavations at Egyptian and Near Eastern sites have revealed paintings in this Aegean style, suggesting wide artistic influence from the Aegean, but questions remain as to how those paintings got there—and why.