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We have no certain knowledge as to the commencement of the art of painting, nor does this enquiry fall under our consideration. The Egyptians assert that it was invented among themselves, six thousand years before it passed into Greece; a vain boast, it is very evident.1 As to the Greeks, some say that it was invented at Sicyon, others at Corinth; but they all agree that it originated in tracing lines round the human shadow.2 The first stage of the art, they say, was this, the second stage being the employment of single colours; a process known as "monochromaton,"3 after it had become more complicated, and which is still in use at the present day. The invention of line-drawing has been assigned to Philocles, the Egyptian, or to Cleanthes4 of Corinth. The first who practised this line-drawing were Aridices, the Corinthian, and Telephanes, the Sicyonian, artists who, without making use of any colours, shaded the interior of the outline by drawing lines;5 hence, it was the custom with them to add to the picture the name of the person represented. Ecphantus, the Corinthian, was the first to employ colours upon these pictures, made, it is said, of broken earthenware, reduced to powder. We shall show on a future6 occasion, that it was a different artist of the same name, who, according to Cornelius Nepos, came to Italy with Demaratus, the father of the Roman king, Tarquinius Priscus, on his flight from Corinth to escape the violence of the tyrant Cypselus.

1 This period for the invention of painting by the Egyptians is evidently incorrect; but still there is sufficient reason for concluding that there now exist specimens of Egyptian art, which were in existence previous to the time of the earliest Grecian painters of whom we have any certain account.—B.

2 All the ancients who have treated of the history of the art agree, that the first attempt at what may be considered the formation of a picture, consisted in tracing the shadow of a human head or some other object on the wall, the interior being filled up with one uniform shade of colour.—B.

3 From the Greek μονοχρώματον "single colouring."—B.

4 He is mentioned also by Athenagoras, Strabo, and Athenæus.

5 Called "graphis," by the Greeks, and somewhat similar, probably, to our pen and ink drawings.

6 In Chapter 43 of this Book.—B.

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