« PreviousContinue »
It seems that Alexander the Great had the habit of looking upwards towards the heavens. It was in this attitude that Lysippus most successfully represented him, which gave occasion to the following epigram, thus imperfectly attempted in English :
The brazen form seems thus to say to Jove,
MELANTHIUS Was a very celebrated painter, who flourished about the time of Alexander. He was one of the early artists, who confined themselves to the use of four colours only. He was a pupil of Pamphilus, to whom he gave the enormous sum of a talent for his instruction. Some antient writer has thus characterized a few of the principal artists of antient times. The great distinction of Protogenes, was labour; of Melanthius, correctness; of Antipholis, ease; in quickness of conception, Theon of Samos ; whilst A pelles, excelled them all in genius and grace. Aratus, Prince of Sicyon, collected this
artist's pictures wherever he could procure them.
MYRON Was a statuary not to be passed over. Most of the Latin poets of the Augustan age speak of him with praise. Cicero calls his performances, beautiful; and Pliny ranks him with Polycletus, Gorgias, Agelades, and other great mas
A DISCOBALOs by this artist is praised by Pliny and Quintilian; and there were to be seen at Rhodes three colossal figures by Myron, two of which, namely, the Minerva and Hercules, were removed by Antony to Rome. The third, which was of Jupiter, afterwards adorned the Capitol.
A HERCULES of brass, which was stolen from its owner by Verres, formed one of the articles of accusation against that plunderer, in the famous oration of Cicero against Verres.
The favourite horse of Alexander, named Lada, was so exquisitely finished in brass, by Myron, that it occasioned one of the most beautiful epigrams in the Greek Anthology.
No man ever enjoyed, and more deseryedly, a higher reputation. The pages of Pausanias, in particular, are crowded with descriptions of his performances ; yet he died in lamentable poverty: and as Petronius emphatically expresses it, he who breathed into his brazen statues almost the human soul, non invenit hæredem,
died not worth a groat.
NICIAS Was an Athenian Painter of no common merit. His great performance was Nemea sitting upon a Lion, which, being carried to Roine by Sylla, was afterwards placed in the Senate House.
He also painted a Bacchus, which was much admired, and in succeeding
times adorned the Temple of Concord at Rome.
A HYACINTHUS, found by Augustus at Alexandria, was by him removed to Rome, and was afterwards placed by Tiberius in the temple consecrated to Augustus. Of this picture Augustus was particularly fond. See Pliny.
Many curious anecdotes are related of this artist, which indicate the most intense application to his art, and disregard of money. He would often inquire of his domestics, whether he had bathed, or whether he had dined ?'
The Great Ptolemy once sent him sixty talents for a picture; but he refused the money, and kept his picture.
NICOMACHUS. • We have no such painters in these times,' exclaims Pliny, “as those great masters who used but four colours. Apelles, Echion, Melanthius, and Ni
comachus.' The Roman friend of art is very lavish in commendation of Nicomachus ; and tells us that a picture of the Tyndaridæ, which he left unfinished, was sought after with particular avidity
His other works specified by Pliny are :
The Rape of Proserpine.
The Satyrs endeavouring to carry off Bacchantes.
A SCYLLA, afterwards in the Temple of Peace, at Rome.
APOLLO. Diana. Cybele, sitting on
VICTORIA, in a chariot, drawn by four horses. This was in the Capitol. He was the first painter who drew Ulysses with a cap on his head. It is the fate of genius in all ages to be characterized with something of waywardness and eccentricity, which obstructs or pre