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King Attalus gave one hundred talents,1 at a public auction, for a single picture of Aristides, the Theban painter.2 Cæsar, the Dictator, purchased two pictures, the Medea and the Ajax of Timomachus, for eighty talents,3 it being his intention to dedicate them in the temple of Venus Genetrix. King Candaules gave its weight in gold for a large picture by Bularchus, the subject of which was the destruction of the Magnetes. Demetrius, who was surnamed the "taker of cities,"4 refused to set fire to the city of Rhodes, lest he should chance to destroy a picture of Protogenes, which was placed on that side of the walls against which his attack was directed. Praxiteles5 has been ennobled by his works in marble, and more especially by his Cnidian Venus, which became remarkable from the insane love which it inspired in a certain young man,6 and the high value set upon it by King Nicomedes, who endeavoured to procure it from the Cnidians, by offering to pay for them a large debt which they owed. The Olympian Jupiter day by day bears testimony to the talents of Phidias,7 and the Capitoline Jupiter and the Diana of Ephesus to those of Mentor;8 to which deities, also, were consecrated vases made by this artist.

1 According to the usual estimate of the value of the Attic talent, £193 12s., the sum given for this picture would be about £19,000.—B.

2 Nearly all the topics here treated of are again mentioned in B. xxxv., which is devoted to the fine arts. The 34th, 35th, and 36th Chapters of that Book, contain an account of all the celebrated painters of antiquity, and their principal works.—B.

3 Between £15,000 and £16,000.—B.

4 "Polioreetes."

5 We have a further account of this artist in B. xxxiv. c. 19, B. xxxv. c. 39 and 40, and B. xxxvi. c. 4.

6 This is referred to by Pliny, B. xxxvi. c. 4, and by Valerius Maximus, B. viii. c. 4.—B.

7 He is again mentioned in B. xxxiv. c. 19, B. xxxv. c. 34, and B. xxxvi. c. 4.—B.

8 Mentor is noticed for his skill in carving, B. xxxiii. c. 55.—B. Littré says, on referring to that passage, "we find that he was a worker in silver, and a maker of vases of great value." He seems disinclined to believe that he was a statuary. As Pliny tells us, ubi supra, none of his public works were in existence in Pliny's time. Some small cups, however, existed, which were highly prized, though some were undoubtedly spurious.

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