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date: 02 December 2022


, of Heraclea (1) in Lucania, painter, 397 BCE


, of Heraclea (1) in Lucania, painter, 397 BCE
  • Karim Arafat


Zeuxis (1), painter, of *Heraclea(1) in Lucania, pupil of Neseus of Thasos or Damophilus of Himera. *Pliny(1) dates him 397 bce, rejecting 424. *Quintilian dates both him and *Parrhasius to the *Peloponnesian War. In *Plato(1)'s Protagoras (dramatic date about 430) he is young and a newcomer to Athens. His rose-wreathed *Eros is mentioned in Ar. Ach.991–2 (425). He painted Alcmena for Acragas before 406, and *Archelaus (2)'s palace between 413 and 399. He ‘entered the door opened by Apollodorus and stole his art’; he added the use of highlights to shading, and *Lucian praises in the *Centaur family (an instance of the unusual subjects which Zeuxis preferred) the subtle gradation of colour from the human to the animal body of the female Centaur; his paintings of grapes were said to have deceived birds; he said that if he had painted the boy carrying the grapes better, the birds would have been frightened off. His figures lacked the ethos (character) of *Polygnotus, although his Penelope was morality itself, and his Helen (for Croton or Acragas) an ideal picture compiled from several models; pathos (emotion) rather than ethos distinguished the Autoboreas with *Titan look and wild hair, and the *Menelaus (1) drenched in tears.


  • Greek History and Historiography
  • Near East

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