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date: 05 December 2023



  • Karim Arafat


Apelles, painter, of Colophon, later of Ephesus (sometimes called Coan because of the Coan ‘Aphrodite’). He is mentioned more frequently, and generally considered better, than any other painter. *Pliny (1) the Elder dates him 332 bce (from the portrait of *Alexander (3) the Great). He was taught first by Ephorus of Ephesus, then by *Pamphilus (1) of Sicyon. When in the Sicyonian school, he helped *Melanthius (2) to paint the victorious chariot of the tyrant Aristratus. He painted portraits of *Philip (1) II, Alexander (who allowed no other artist to paint him), and their circle, and a self-portrait (probably the first). Anecdotes connect him with Alexander, *Ptolemy (1) I, and *Protogenes. He died in *Cos while copying his ‘Aphrodite’, probably early in the 3rd cent.About 30 works are recorded. He showed Alexander mounted and with a thunderbolt; also with the *Dioscuri and Victory; and in triumph with War personified as a bound captive.


  • Greek Material Culture

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