PANAENUS, of Athens, the brother or the nephew of Phidius, the former according to Pliny and Pausanias, the latter according to Strabo, was one of the first of the Greeks who attained to any great excellence in painting; but he ha* U'en very improperly ter med by some the Ciroabuo of the (iii.k«. Tor alih<.uiih the contemporary, he was many )uai» iiiu junior ol Pnlygnuius, Micon. and Dionysius of Colophon, who hud all deservedly attained the greatest fame in Athens considermhl) before his time.
Paiiaiiuis assisted Phulias in decorating the Olympian Ju, liar, but his limit famous work was the 'Battle of Marathon' nulla Puscileal Athena; it contained the Iconics or portrait figure* of Miluailea,Callimarhus, Cyna-girius, generals if ilia Aihuniuii*, and of Dads and Ariapheniea, generals of the bai banana (I'liny, xxxv. 8, 34); then respective names were not attached to the figures in this instance (JJscbine* 'Against Ctesiphon'), that having already become an antiquated custom. These Iconics have been considered to signify portraits in the fullest sense of the term, but the picture of Pansanus cannot have been painted much less than 40 years after the battle of Marathon took place, and nearly as mit after the deaths of most of the above-named generals; fc-r the Poecile was built by Cimon in the 3rd year of the 77th Olympiad, 20 years after the battle of Marathon; the Olympian Jupiter was painted in the 86th, 35 years later, and Pliny mentions the 83rd as the period of Pansenus. The portraiture therefore, unless taken from earlier pictures, which is very improbable, must in this instance have bera confined to the costume and decorations of general* as known to have been worn by them upon the occasion; and the ' loonies ' consequently, whether paintings or statues, although sometimes portraits in countenance as well as in figure, were apparently not necessarily so.
The painting of the Battle of Marathon was in four great divisions; the first represented the positions of the two armies before tho battle, the second and third the principal incidents during the battle, and the fourth the total rout and flight of the Persians; each in itself an extensive composition and forming an independent picture. (Pausamav i. 15.) It appears that Micon assisted Panrenus in paiuuLg these pictures, and was fined 30 mina) (108/.), for hanng painted the barbarians larger than the Greeks.
The paintings and decorations of the Olympian Japitc by Panssnus were on the throne and on the wall around the throne of the statue. (Strabo, viii. p. 354.) Tbt subjects of the paintings were, Atlas supporting Heaven and Earth, with Hercules near him about to relieve him from his burden; Theseus and Peirithous; figures representing Greece and Salamis, the latter bearing the rostra of a ship in her hands; the Combat of Hercules with the Nemean Lion; Ajax and Cassandra; Hippodamia, the daughter of (Enomaus, with her mother; Prometheus chained, and Hercules preparing to destroy the vulture which preyed upon him; and Pentbesilea dying, supported by Achillea, with Hesperian nymphs bearing fruit (Pausanias, v. 11.)
Pliny tells us that Pantenus painted the interior of the temple of Minerva at Elis with milk and saffron; he painted also the inside of Minerva's shield, but in what manner we are not informed.
Already in the time of Panrenus prise contests were established at Corinth and Delphi, in one of which he was defeated by Timagoras of Ctialcis at the Pythian games. (Pliny, xxxv. 9, 35.) Although this is the only notice wt have of Timagoras, he must have been a painter of considerable merit, from this single circumstance. He himself celebrated his own victory in verse.
Note - this article incorporates content from The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1840)