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Panaenus

(271 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (Πάναινος/ Pánainos). Painter and sculptor from Athens, brother or more likely nephew (Str. 8,3,30) of the sculptor Phidias, with whom he worked, possibly in the same workshop. His active period was the second third of the 5th cent. BC. Paus. 5,11,4-6 reports that he painted the fence in the temple of Zeus in Olympia with a programmatic cycle of myths. As can be inferred from remains and dowel holes, this fence was made of individual stone slabs, which were set up between the front…

Fresco

(391 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] From Italian fresco, affresco intonaco, ‘on the fresh plaster’. Wall and ceiling paintings, in which the  pigments are applied to a damp base either in pure form or with the aid of a special binder such as diluted glue, casein, or marble powder. The composition of the covering varies; usually, it is a whitewash mortar mixed with different additives which are applied one after the other in several layers. Basically, the fresco technique lies in the fact that during the drying process o…

Alexander Mosaic

(1,219 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] Monumental floor mosaic (5.82 × 3.13 m) representing a battle between the Macedonians and Persians, who were led by Alexander the Great and Darius respectively. Discovered in October 1831 in the ‘Casa del Fauno’ in Pompeii (Regio VI,12; now Naples, MN). The work in opus vermiculatum ( Mosaic), preserved in part only, consists of more than 1.5 million small stones coloured with mineral dye. Large, missing sections filled with stucco, mainly on the left half, and areas patched-up with coarser stones are repairs carried out in …

Mummy portraits

(659 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] Wooden tablets with painted heads or busts of women, men and children. As the topmost, visible layer they were integrated into the casing of a mummy (Mummies ) at the level of the face, where a gap was left for them. Many of the c. 900 known pieces, dating from the birth of Christ to the 3rd cent. AD, come from necropoleis of Fayum, an oasis south-west of Cairo, but they were also found elsewhere along the Nile. MP were discovered by chance at the end of the 19th cent. and soon became desirable objects in the international…

Pleistaenetus

(143 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (Πλεισταίνετος; Pleistaínetos). A Greek painter mentioned solely in Plut. De gloria Atheniensium 2,346; his life span can be dated to the middle of the 5th cent. BC only through chronological inference. He is said to have been a brother of the sculptor Phidias and to have created paintings of battle scenes with victorious commanders, as well as images of heroes. Several scholars believe that Pliny (Plin. HN 35, 54) had mistakenly written Panaenus instead of P., however the assumpti…

Scenography

(565 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (Greek σκηνογραφία/ skēnographía, Latin scaenographia). There is controversial criticism of the development and appearance of this genre, surviving only in ancient literature and in pictorial secondary sources (cf. also Painting), and they remain unclear, despite various synopses of the results of different branches of study of the form and development of Greek theatre and its performing places. Changes in architecture and forms of staging also moulded the character of scenography. In…

Aglaophon

(141 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
(Ἀγλαοφῶν; Aglaophôn) Two Greek painters of the same name. [German version] [1] the Elder From Thasos, father and teacher of  Polygnotus [1] from Thasos, father and teacher of  Polygnotus [1], probably active since the end of the 6th cent. BC. According to Quint. Inst. 12,10,3, he was appreciated for the ‘archaism’ and the plain colouring of his paintings. There is not enough evidence of their style, but it was probably rather plain according to the opinion of classicistic rhetoricians. Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) [German version] [2] the Younger Possibly grandson of [1] possibly grandson…

Pauson

(193 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (Παύσων; Paúsōn). Greek painter from Athens (?), whose creative period towards the end of the 5th cent. BC can only be indirectly inferred. The atrocious judgment of the content of his paintings in the written sources of the 4th cent. BC - e.g. in Aristotle and Aristophanes - has a conservative ring and evaluates them primarily from a moral point of view. It seems to have been shaped by a similar verdict on his character (or vice versa?). We can only assume that new types of themes…

Asclepiodorus

(156 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] Greek painter from Athens, mid 4th cent. BC, celebrated by Plut. as an important representative of the Attic school of painters (Mor. 345f-346a). According to Plin. HN 35,80, his colleagues admired the particular strength and balance of composition in his paintings, achieved by proportionate spatial arrangement of motifs in two dimensions, in order to create the impression of spatial perspective. A. wrote a theoretical text on a compositional method perhaps relying on grids. The h…

Skiagraphia

(527 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (σκιαγραφία/ skiagraphía). Ancient painting technique, first developed in the last quarter of the 5th cent. BC by Greek artists and used with increasing perfection in the course of the following century. A sophisticated selection of hues and tints and their precise placement allowed a three-dimensional modelling of the images and, as a result, their spatial effect on the image area. In the history of styles, this new use of colours (Pigments) was a breakthrough in the development o…

Pigments

(682 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] The notion of a 'marble-white Antiquity' which became fashionable during the Renaissance, reached its zenith with J.J. Winckelmann's aesthetics during the period of Classicism, and slowly began to change only in the first half of the 19th cent., e.g. through works such as the architect J. Hittorf's 1830 De l'Architecture polychrome chez les grecs (discovery of architectural polychromy). This notion, along with the poor survival of pigmentary remains on sculptures and architecture and the almost complete absence of original Greek pai…

Monochromata

(295 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (‘monochrome paintings’, from the Greek μονόχρως/ monóchrōs or μονοχρώματος/ monochrṓmatos, ‘monochrome’). Pliny (HN 35,15; 35,56) characterises with this expression the use of colour during an early stage in the development of Greek painting which was also still practiced in his day [3]. He mentions a number of artists in this regard -- one can be dated to the mid-7th cent., based on the evidence of contemporary vase painting, another, Cimon [4], to the end of the 6th cent. Scholarly opinion of the nature and appearance of monochromata used to assume that one sin…

Pausias

(323 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (Παυσίας; Pausías). Greek painter from Sicyon, belonging to the local school, student of Pamphilus [2], worked between 380 and 330 BC. Representative of light, decorative genre painting that was popular at the time and moved away from the historical-mythical themes of the classical period. With the change in subjects came a preference for predominantly small scenes in splendid Encaustic (painting). Sources (Plin. HN. 35,123ff.) emphasize graceful still lifes of flowers, whose effec…

Nicophanes

(126 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (Νικοφάνης; Nikophánēs). Painter of the second half of the 4th cent. BC, student of Pausias and therefore belonging to the Sicyonian school of painters (Plin. HN 35,111; 137). He was counted among the decorative genre painters, whose importance increased during this period; assessments of the effect of his art varied and apparently it was especially appreciated by connoisseurs. His manner was pleasing and fine despite a harsh effect of his colours due to the use of much ochre. We k…

Still lives

(965 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] Representations, as realistic as possible, of selected living and non-living objects in an independent composition and a fairly small-scale pictorial arrangement. The motifs of ancient SL were taken from all areas of ancient flora and fauna but also from everyday domestic life. The depicted objects, arranged in a more or less intentional composition, included useful and decorative plants, such as vegetables, field crops, fruit and flowers, smaller mammals and birds, molluscs, crus…

Book illustration

(776 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] These are hand-painted illustrations in manuscripts of cultic, lexical, geographic (and cartographic), or literary content, which explain the text through images, or supplement or ornament it. Painting techniques range from roughly-sketched pen or brush drawings using drawing ink and/or water-colour up to lavishly coloured pictures in tempera. The term ‘miniature’ for book illustrations derives from the cinnabar (Lat. minium) used in the Middle Ages to emphasize margins and initials. Grounds were raffia,  papyrus, and  parchment. From th…

Ctesidemus

(56 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] Second-rate Greek painter (according to Plin. HN 35,140), who worked around and after 350 BC and was the teacher of  Antiphilus [4]. Extant works are a battle painting, the sack of Oechalia, and a portrait of Laodamia; nothing is known of their style. Hoesch, Nicola (Munich) Bibliography G. Lippold, s.v. Ktesidennos, RE 11, 2077.

Paintings on historical subjects

(717 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] In Egyptian art, the illustration of historical events constitutes a rare exception; stylized motifs, such as the king slaying enemies, must be understood as timeless and are used as unchanging topoi over the centuries in various pictorial media. The insufficient material remains, art-theoretical texts and literature from ancient Greece relating to the painting of historical subjects do not permit a precise definition of ancient historical painting, in analogy to the modern term f…

Landscape painting

(971 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] A. Greece The lack of material records for ancient Greek painting also creates difficulties when attempting a definition and evaluation of this genre. However, based on today's knowledge of the monuments, it is fairly safe to assume that it cannot be equated with independent landscape painting (LP), as practised by the Dutch painters or during Romanticism, which forms the basis of the modern concept [4. 176]. Antiquity did not know a specific term for LP as we understand it [1. 190;…

Parrhasius

(506 words)

Author(s): Hoesch, Nicola (Munich)
[German version] (Παρράσιος/ Parrhásios). One of the most important Greek painters, from Ephesus, son of the sculptor (?) Evenor [1], active c. 440-380 BC. This versatile and productive (Plin. HN 35,69-72 alone records 16 paintings) contemporary of the equally famous Zeuxis lived in Athens; his spectacular and expensive works reached many areas of the Greek world and later, as booty, the Roman world. P. belonged to the second generation of artists from the 5th cent. BC, whose technical advances all…
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