2. A statuary, who is mentioned in the list of Pliny as the maker of bronze statues of Hygia and Minerva. (H. N.
34.8. s. 19.20.) Pliny tells us nothing more of the artist; but, in the year 1840, a base was found in the Acropolis at Athens, bearing the following inscription
and near it were the remains of another base.
It can scarcely be doubted that these bases belonged to the statues of Hygieia, the daughter of Asclepius, and of Athena surnamed Hygieia, which Pausanias mentions (1.24.4. s. 5) as among the most remarkable works of art in the Acropolis, and as standing in the very place where these bases were found; and further, that the statues are the same as those referred to by Pliny; and that his Pyrrhus is the same as Pyrrhus the Athenian, who is mentioned in the above inscription as the maker of the statue of Athena Hygieia, which was dedicated by the Athenians.
The letters of the inscription evidently belong to about the period of the Peloponnesian war. (Ross, in the Kunstblatt,
1840, No. 37; Schöll, Archäol. Mittheil. aus Giechenland,
p. 126; R. Rochette, Lettre à M. Schorn,
pp. 396, 397, 2d ed.) Raoul-Rochette makes the very ingenious suggestion that the statue of Athena Hygieia by Pyrrhus should be identified with that statue which was dedicated by Pericles to the goddess in gratitude for the recovery of his favourite Mnesicles from the injuries received by a fall during the building of the Propylaea. [MNESICLES.] Be this as it may, it is clear that Pyrrhus was an eminent artist of the Athenian school at the middle of the fifth century, B. C.