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Pausias

PAUSIAS, a native of Sicyon, after he had learned the rudiments of his art from his father Brietes, studied encaustic in the school of Pamphilus, where he was the fellowpupil of Apelles and Melanlhiua. Pausias was the first painter who acquired a great name for encaustic with the oestrum: he excelled particularly in the management of the shadows; his favourite subjects were small pictures, generally of boys, but he also painted large compositions. He was the first also who introduced the custom of painting the ceilings and walls of private apartments with historical and dramatic subjects: the practice however of decorating ceilings simply with stars or arabesque figures (particularly those of temples) was of very old date. Pausias undertook the restoration of the paintings of Polygnotus at Thespitc, which had greatly suffered through time, but he was judged inferior to his antient predecessor, for he contended with weapons not his own; he generally worked with the cestrum, but the paintings of Polygnotus vere with the pencil, which Pausias consequently also used in this instance. The most famous work of Pausias was the sacrifice of an ox, which in the time of Pliny was in the hall of Pompey. In this picture the ox was foreshortened, but to show the animal to full advantage, the painter judiciously threw his shadow upon a part of the surrounding crowd, and he added to the effect by painting a dark ox upon a light ground. Pausias in his youth loved a native of his own city. Glycera, who earned her livelihood by making garlands of flowers and wreaths of roses, which led him into competition with her, and he eventually acquired great skill in flower painting. A portrait ofGlycera with a garland of (lowers was reckoned amongst his masterpieces; a copy of it was purchased by L. Lucullus at Athens, at the great price of two talents (about 432/.). This picture was called the 'Stephaneplocos,' or garland wreather. Pausias was reproached by his rivals as being a slow painter, but be silenced the censure by completing a picture of a boy, in his own style, in a single day, which on that account waa called the ' Hemeresios,' or work of a day. (Pliny, Hist. Nat., xxxv. 11. 40.) Pausanias mentions two pictures by Pausias alEpidaurus, the one a Cupid with a lyre in his hand, his bow and arrows lying by bis side; the other, the figure of Methe, or drunkenness, drinking out of a glass, through which his face was seen (ii. 27). Pliny mentions two pupils of Pausias, bis »on Aristolaus, a painter 'e severissimis,' and a certain Mechopanes, who was distinguished for a high finish and an excessive use of yellow: ne was also hard in colouring, yet ha had his admirers notwithstanding these peculiarities. We may collect from the allusion of Horace (Sat., ii. 7, 95) that the pictures of Pausias were well known at Home.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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