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Paintings on historical subjects

(717 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] In Egyptian art, the illustration of historical events constitutes a rare exception; stylized motifs, such as the king slaying enemies, must be understood as timeless and are used as unchanging topoi over the centuries in various pictorial media. The insufficient material remains, art-theoretical texts and literature from ancient Greece relating to the painting of historical subjects do not permit a precise definition of ancient historical painting, in analogy to the modern term f…

Painting

(3,601 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
(ζωγραφία/ zōgraphía, Latin pictura or ars pingendi). [German version] I. Greek painting The earliest evidence of ancient painting can be found on the high-quality monumental wall frescoes (Wall paintings, Fresco) of the Cretan-Mycenaean civilisation in palaces (Palace) and houses in Crete and Thera [1]. The most recent examples are from the Byzantine period [2]. Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) [German version] A. Sources and history of scholarship Original works are scarcely and poorly preserved, if at all. This is particularly detrimental for the evaluation of and …

Mnasitimus

(230 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome)
(Μνασίτιμος/ Mnasítimos). [German version] [1] Greek painter from Rhodes, later 3rd cent. BC Greek painter from Rhodes (?) of the later 3rd cent. BC (?), mentioned by Plin. HN 35,146 as a rather second-rate painter. Provenance and date can only be inferred by genealogical conclusions from other artists of this name; nothing is known of his work. Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) Bibliography G. Lippold, s.v. Mnasitimos (1), RE 15, 2256f. [German version] [2] Various sculptors from one Rhodes family, 4th to 2nd cents. BC Various sculptors from one Rhodian family. The reconstructed famil…

Aetion

(170 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (Ἀετίων; Aetíōn) Greek painter (also a sculptor?) of the late classical period, exponent of the four-colour painting style ( Colours). There is an elaborate description of A.'s most famous painting, the wedding of Alexander with Roxane, in Lucian. Hdt. 4-6, which prompted many Renaissance and baroque painters to reinterpret the subject. Influences of this or a further wedding painting described by Plin. HN 35,78, which was meant to symbolize Alexander's unification policies, can pe…

Polygnotus

(1,352 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) | Oakley, John H. (Williamsburg, VA)
(Πολύγνωτος; Polýgnōtos). [German version] [1] Greek painter and bronze sculptor Greek painter from Thasos, also bronze sculptor (Plin. HN 34,58), of the early classical period. Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) [German version] I. General His exact dates are unknown; P. worked after the Persian Wars from about 480 until c. 440 BC in Athens and other places in Greece. Because of his ability to translate historical, political and cultural achievements of the Polis into an identifiable pictorial language by means of juxtaposition of mythical and curren…

Encaustic (painting)

(304 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] From the Greek ἐγκαίειν ( enkaíein), to burn in, heat up. A painting technique with  wax as binder for the pigments. The colour emulsion was applied cold or warm or fused with the surface by heating. The process, described incompletely by Pliny (HN 35,122f.; 149) and especially valued by Greek panel painters in the 4th cent. BC, gave the paintings a brilliant quality as well as durability but it was protracted, complicated and expensive. In spite of a great deal of research, even exper…

Landscape painting

(971 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] A. Greece The lack of material records for ancient Greek painting also creates difficulties when attempting a definition and evaluation of this genre. However, based on today's knowledge of the monuments, it is fairly safe to assume that it cannot be equated with independent landscape painting (LP), as practised by the Dutch painters or during Romanticism, which forms the basis of the modern concept [4. 176]. Antiquity did not know a specific term for LP as we understand it [1. 190;…

Parrhasius

(506 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (Παρράσιος/ Parrhásios). One of the most important Greek painters, from Ephesus, son of the sculptor (?) Evenor [1], active c. 440-380 BC. This versatile and productive (Plin. HN 35,69-72 alone records 16 paintings) contemporary of the equally famous Zeuxis lived in Athens; his spectacular and expensive works reached many areas of the Greek world and later, as booty, the Roman world. P. belonged to the second generation of artists from the 5th cent. BC, whose technical advances all…

Nealces

(147 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (Νεάλκης; Neálkēs). Hellenistic representative of the Sicyonian school of painting, which has been famous since the Classical period. In the late 3rd cent. BC he was a respected and influential court painter for his friend Aratus [2]. Plin. HN 35, 141f. refers to pictures of an Aphrodite, of a snorting and foaming horse along with its tamer, as well as one of a naval battle between Persians and Egyptians on the Nile. We have no details of N.'s style, but his craftsmanship is emphasized in an anecdote which is also often told about other artists (Plin. HN 35, 103f.). Hoesch, Nic…

Cydias

(426 words)

Author(s): Robbins, Emmet (Toronto) | Weißenberger, Michael (Greifswald) | Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) | Nutton, Vivian (London)
(Κυδίας; Kydías). [German version] [1] Erotic poet Erotic poet, quotes from Pl. Chrm. 155d, mentioned by Plut. Mor. 931e. He was obviously popular in Athens as he is depicted as a komast on a red-figured dish (Munich 2614) and on a psykter (London, BM E767) from c. 500 BC [1. 12-13]. He may perhaps be identical with Cydidas of Hermione referred to by Schol. Aristoph. Nub. 967 [2. 215]. Possibly (rather improbable) he is the dithyramb poet Cedeides/Ceceides mentioned by Aristoph. Nub. 985 (with schol.) [3]. Robbins, Emmet (Toronto) Bibliography 1 K. Friis Johansen, Eine Dithyrambos-A…

Grave paintings

(733 words)

Author(s): Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] Interior or exterior painting of funerary architecture built from stone or carved into rock existed in antiquity and throughout the entire Mediterranean region, also images on wood and stone steles; sarcophagi rarely bore paintings. Each region and period had its own particular programmes of pictures, which are interpreted as realistic or symbolic, and referring to this or the next world depending on the state of research. Due to the perishable nature of the genre, much has been lost. However, significant new finds have also been made in recent years. Grave paintings …

Pleistaenetus

(143 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (Πλεισταίνετος; Pleistaínetos). A Greek painter mentioned solely in Plut. De gloria Atheniensium 2,346; his life span can be dated to the middle of the 5th cent. BC only through chronological inference. He is said to have been a brother of the sculptor Phidias and to have created paintings of battle scenes with victorious commanders, as well as images of heroes. Several scholars believe that Pliny (Plin. HN 35, 54) had mistakenly written Panaenus instead of P., however the assumpti…

Scenography

(565 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (Greek σκηνογραφία/ skēnographía, Latin scaenographia). There is controversial criticism of the development and appearance of this genre, surviving only in ancient literature and in pictorial secondary sources (cf. also Painting), and they remain unclear, despite various synopses of the results of different branches of study of the form and development of Greek theatre and its performing places. Changes in architecture and forms of staging also moulded the character of scenography. In…

Aglaophon

(141 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
(Ἀγλαοφῶν; Aglaophôn) Two Greek painters of the same name. [German version] [1] the Elder From Thasos, father and teacher of  Polygnotus [1] from Thasos, father and teacher of  Polygnotus [1], probably active since the end of the 6th cent. BC. According to Quint. Inst. 12,10,3, he was appreciated for the ‘archaism’ and the plain colouring of his paintings. There is not enough evidence of their style, but it was probably rather plain according to the opinion of classicistic rhetoricians. Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) [German version] [2] the Younger Possibly grandson of [1] possibly grandson…

Monochromata

(295 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (‘monochrome paintings’, from the Greek μονόχρως/ monóchrōs or μονοχρώματος/ monochrṓmatos, ‘monochrome’). Pliny (HN 35,15; 35,56) characterises with this expression the use of colour during an early stage in the development of Greek painting which was also still practiced in his day [3]. He mentions a number of artists in this regard -- one can be dated to the mid-7th cent., based on the evidence of contemporary vase painting, another, Cimon [4], to the end of the 6th cent. Scholarly opinion of the nature and appearance of monochromata used to assume that one sin…

Pausias

(323 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (Παυσίας; Pausías). Greek painter from Sicyon, belonging to the local school, student of Pamphilus [2], worked between 380 and 330 BC. Representative of light, decorative genre painting that was popular at the time and moved away from the historical-mythical themes of the classical period. With the change in subjects came a preference for predominantly small scenes in splendid Encaustic (painting). Sources (Plin. HN. 35,123ff.) emphasize graceful still lifes of flowers, whose effec…

Demetrius

(7,578 words)

Author(s): Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) | Schütrumpf, Eckart E. (Boulder, CO) | Günther, Linda-Marie (Munich) | Meier, Mischa (Bielefeld) | Strothmann, Meret (Bochum) | Et al.
(Δημήτριος; Dēmḗtrios). Well-known personalities: the Macedonian King D. [2] Poliorketes; the politician and writer D. [4] of Phalerum; the Jewish-Hellenistic chronographer D. [29]. I. Politically active personalities [German version] [1] Officer under Alexander the Great Officer under Alexander [4], fought at Gaugamela as commander of a troop ( ile) of  Hetairoi and in India he commanded a hipparchy. Badian, Ernst (Cambridge, MA) Bibliography Berve 2, no. 256. [German version] [2] D. Poliorketes Son of  Antigonus [1], born 337/6 BC (Diod. Sic. 19,96,1). In 320 he m…

Timagoras

(184 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) | Schmitz, Winfried (Bielefeld)
(Τιμαγόρας/ Timagóras). [German version] [1] Greek painter and poet from Chalcis, c. 450 BC Greek Classical period painter and poet (?) from Chalcis; known only from Plin. HN 35,58, who gives an account of a painting competition during the Pythian Games in Delphi ( c. 450-440 BC), which T. won against Panaenus. The scale and appearance of his works are unknown. Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) Bibliography N. J. Koch, Techné und Erfindung in der klassischen Malerei, 2000, 229 G. Lippold, s. v. T. (7), RE 6 A, 1074 P. Moreno, s. v. T., EAA 7, 1966, 855. [German version] [2] From Athens, envoy t…

Nicophanes

(126 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (Νικοφάνης; Nikophánēs). Painter of the second half of the 4th cent. BC, student of Pausias and therefore belonging to the Sicyonian school of painters (Plin. HN 35,111; 137). He was counted among the decorative genre painters, whose importance increased during this period; assessments of the effect of his art varied and apparently it was especially appreciated by connoisseurs. His manner was pleasing and fine despite a harsh effect of his colours due to the use of much ochre. We k…

Socrates

(6,685 words)

Author(s): Neudecker, Richard (Rome) | Döring, Klaus (Bamberg) | Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) | Stanzel, Karl-Heinz (Tübingen) | Harmon, Roger (Basle) | Et al.
(Σωκράτης; Sōkrátēs). [German version] [1] Sculptor from Thebes, c. 470 BC Sculptor from Thebes. He created a cult statue of Meter Dindymene for Pindar [2] in Thebes (Paus. 9,25,3) and therefore must have worked in the 'Severe Style' around 470 BC. Paus. 1,22,8 attributed a relief of the Charites and a Hermes Propylaios on the Acropolis in Athens to the philosopher S. [2] as the alleged sculptor. The relief of the Charites is identified as the model of a much-copied type. Because it is dated to around 470,…
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