479 GREECE-LANGUAGE LITERATURE AND ART.
men and birds and beasts are given with the best effects of ceramic art.
Of the great painters of Greece more is known than of their works. PLYGNOTUS, who
flourished from B. C. 475 to 455, is regarded as the first of the masters. By him many of
the public buildings of Athens were adorned with elaborate frescoes and splendid panels.
He it was who is said to have painted Polyxena with such expressiveness of countenance
that the whole Trojan war flashed from her eyes! Then came ZEUXIS and PARRHASIUS. The
first painted grapes which deceived the birds, and the other a curtain which deceived
Zeuxisl Athens applauded the achievements of her favorite artists, and wealth poured her
treasure into their laps. TITHMANES also shared their fame. He it was who in his Sacrifice
of Iphigenia, unable to depict as he would the grief of the father, drew a veil over his
face, and left the rest to thought. This great artist belonged to what is known as the
Sicyonian School, and to a time subsequent to the age of Pericles. PAUSIAS, also, was a
member of this group. He had the reputation of possessing great realistic powers and
extra- ordinary genius in the art of foreshortening.
But the greatest painter of the Greeks was APELLES, the court artist of Alexander the
Great. He was an Ionian by birth, who followed the traditions of the Sicyonian School. He
began his career in portraiture, and so great was his fame that Alexander would permit no
other to paint him. The generals of the conqueror and the beloved Campaspe were also the
subjects of his art. From portraiture he proceeded to mythological themes, and in these
achieved the highest honors. His masterpiece was a picture of Venus Rising from the Sea,
executed with such wonderful sweetness and delicacy as to surpass all competition.
From the age of Apelles painting declined until its glory was distinguished with the glory
of Hellas by the conquest of the country by the Romans. Nevertheless, in the period
between the time of Alexander and the final destruction of Greek nationality, many artists
flourished who under more favorable circumstances would have done honor to their country.
Such was PROTOGENES of Rhodes and the realistic THEON, whose picture of the Swordsman gave
him merited fame. But the chisel of Hellas surpassed her