CHAP. 37.—VARIOUS OTHER KINDS OF PAINTING.We must now, however, make some mention of those artists who acquired fame by the pencil in an inferior style of painting. Among these was Piræicus, inferior to few of the painters in skill. I am not sure that he did not do injustice to himself by the choice of his subjects,1 seeing that, although he adopted an humble walk, he still attained in that walk the highest reputation. His subjects were barbers' shops, cobblers' stalls, jackasses, eatables, and the like, and to these he was indebted for his epithet of "Ithyparographos."2 His paintings, however, are exquisitely pleasing, and have sold at higher prices than the very largest works of many masters. On the other hand again, as Varro tells us, a single picture by Serapio covered the whole space of the balustrades,3 beneath the Old Shops,4 where it was exhibited. This artist was very successful in painting stage-scenery, but was unable to depict the human form. Dionysius,5 on the contrary, painted nothing but men, and hence it was that he had the surname of "Anthropographos."6 Callicles7 also painted some small pictures, and Calates executed some small works in the comic style. Both of these styles were adopted by Antiphilus;8 who painted a very fine Hesione, and a Philip and Alexander with Minerva, now in the School of the Porticos9 of Octavia. In the Portico of Philippus,10 also, there is a Father Liber11 by him; an Alexander when a child; and an Hippolytus alarmed at the Bull, which is rushing upon him:12 and in the Portico of Pompeius13 we have his Cadmus and Europa. On the other hand, again, he painted a figure in a ridiculous costume, known jocosely as the Gryllus; and hence it is that pictures of this class14 are generally known as "Grylli." Antiphilus was a native of Egypt, and received instruction in the art from Ctesidemus.15 It would not be right to pass in silence the painter of the Temple at Ardea,16 the more particularly as he was honoured with the citizenship at that place, and with the following inscription in verse upon one of the paintings which he executed there:
"These paintings, worthy of this worthy place,
Temple of Juno, queen, and wife of Jove,
Plautius Marcus,17 from Alalia, made.
May Ardea now and ever praise him for his skill." These lines are written in ancient Latin characters. Ludius too, who lived in the time of the late Emperor Augustus, must not be allowed to pass without some notice; for he was the first to introduce the fashion of covering the walls of our houses with most pleasing landscapes, representing villas, porticos, ornamental gardening, woods, groves, hills, fishponds, canals,18 rivers, sea-shores, and anything else one could desire; varied with figures of persons walking, sailing, or proceeding to their villas, on asses or in carriages. Then. too, there are others to be seen fishing, fowling, or gathering in the vintage. In some of his decorations there are fine villas to be seen, and roads to them across the marshes, with women making19 bargains to be carried across on men's shoulders, who move along slipping at every step and tottering beneath their load; with numberless other subjects of a similar nature, redolent of mirth and of the most amusing ingenuity. It was this artist, too, who first decorated our uncovered20 edifices with representations of maritime cities, a subject which produces a most pleasing effect, and at a very trifling expense. But as for fame, that has been reserved solely for the artists who have painted pictures; a thing that gives us all the more reason to venerate the prudence displayed by the men of ancient times. For with them, it was not the practice to decorate the walls of houses, for the gratification of the owners only; nor did they lavish all their resources upon a dwelling which must of necessity always remain a fixture in one spot, and admits of no removal in case of conflagration. Protogenes was content with a cottage in his little garden; Apelles had no paintings on the plaster of his walls; it not being the fashion in their day to colour the party-walls of houses from top to bottom. With all those artists, art was ever watchful for the benefit of whole cities only, and in those times a painter was regarded as the common property of all. Shortly before the time of the late Emperor Augustus, Arellius was in high esteem at Rome; and with fair reason, had he not profaned the art by a disgraceful piece of profanity; for, being always in love with some woman or other, it was his practice, in painting goddesses, to give them the features of his mistresses; hence it is, that there were always some figures of prostitutes to be seen in his pictures. More recently, lived Amulius,21 a grave and serious personage, but a painter in the florid style. By this artist there was a Minerva, which had the appearance of always looking at the spectators, from whatever point it was viewed. He only painted a few hours each day, and then with the greatest gravity, for he always kept the toga on, even when in the midst of his implements. The Golden Palace22 of Nero was the prison-house of this artist's productions, and hence it is that there are so few of them to be be seen elsewhere. Next in repute to him were Cornelius Pinus and Attius Priscus, who painted the Temple of Honour and that of Virtue,23 on their restoration by the Emperor Vespasianus Augustus. Priscus approaches more closely to the ancient masters.