,) one of the most distinguished painters of the best school and the best period of Greek art, was a contemporary of Aristeides, Melanthius, and Apelles (about B. C. 360-330), and a disciple of Pamphilus.
He had previously been instructed by his father Brietes, who lived at Sicyon, where also Pausias passed his life.
He was thus perpetually familiar with those high principles of art which the authority of Pamphilus had established at Sicyon, and with those great artists who resort to that city, of which Pliny says, diu fuit illa patria picturae.
The department of the art which Pausias most practised, and in which he received the instruction of Pamphilus, was painting in encaustic with the cestrum,
and Pliny calls him primurn in hoc yelnere nobilem.
Indeed, according to the same writer, his restoration of the paintings of Polygnotus, on the walls of the temple at Thespiae, exhibited a striking inferiority, because the effort was made in a department not his own, namely, with the pencil.
Pausias was the first who applied encaustic painting to the decoration of the ceilings and walls of houses. Nothing of this kind had been practised before his time, except the painting of the ceilings of temples with stars.
The favourite subjects of Pausias were small panel-pictures, chiefly of boys. His rivals imputed his taste for such small pictures to his want of ability to paint fast: whereupon he executed a picture of a boy in a single day, and this picture became famous under the name of hemeresios
(a day's work).
Another celebrated picture, no doubt in the same style, was the portrait of Glycera, a flowergirl of his native city, of whom he was enamoured when a young man.
The combined force of his affection for his mistress and for his art led him to strive to imitate the flowers, of which she made the garlands that she sold; and he thus acquired the greatest skill in flower-painting.
The fruit of these studies was a picture of Glycera with a garland, which was known in Pliny's time as the Stephaneplocos
(garland-weaver) or Stephanepolis
A copy of this picture (apogra-phon
) was bought by L. Lucullus at the Dionysia at Athens for the great sum of two talents.
Another painting is mentioned by Pliny as the finest specimen of Pausias's larger pictures: it was preserved in the portico of Pompey at Rome.
This picture was remarkable for striking effects of foreshortening, and of light and shade.
It representing a sacrifice: the ox was shown in its whole length in a front and not a side view (that is, powerfully foreshortened): this figure was painted black, while the people in attendance were placed in a strong white light, and the shadow of the ox was made to fall upon them: the effect was that all the figures seemed to stand out boldly from the picture. Pliny says that this style of painting was first invented by Pausias; and that many had tried to imitate it, but none with equal success. (Plin. H.N.
35.11. s. 40.)
) mentions two other paintings of Pausias, which adorned the Tholus at Epidaurus.
The one represented Love, having laid aside his bow and arrows, and holding a lyre, which he has taken up in their stead: the other Drunkenness (Μέθη
), drinking out of a glass goblet, through which her face was visible.
Most of the paintings of Pausias were probably transported to Rome, with the other treasures of Sicyonian art, in the aedileship of Scaurus, when the state of Sicyon was compelled to sell all the pictures which were public property, in order to pay its debts. (Plin. l.c.
§ 31) mentions Aristolaus, the son and disciple of Pausias, and Mechopanes, another of his disciples.