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But luxury and extravagance were so very much prac- tised among the ancients, that even Parrhasius the painter always wore a purple robe, and a golden crown on his head, as Clearchus relates, in his Lives: for he, being most immoderately luxurious, and also to a degree beyond what was becoming to a painter, laid claim, in words, to great virtue, and inscribed upon the works which were done by him—
Parrhasius, a most luxurious man,
And yet a follower of purest virtue,
Painted this work.
But some one else, being indignant at this inscription, wrote by the side of it, ῥαβδοδίαιτος (worthy of a stick). Parrhasius also put the following inscription on many of his works:—
Parrhasius, a most luxurious man,
And yet a follower of purest virtue,
Painted this work: a worthy citizen
Of noble Ephesus. His father's name
Evenor was, and he, his lawful son,
Was the first artist in the whole of Greece.
[p. 870] He also boasted, in a way which no one could be indignant at, in the following lines:—
This will I say, though strange it may appear,
That clear plain limits of this noble art
Have been discovered by my hand, and proved.
And now the boundary which none can pass
Is well defined, though nought that men can do
Will ever wholly escape blame or envy.
And once, at Samos, when he was contending with a very inferior painter in a picture of Ajax, and was defeated, when his friends were sympathising with him and expressing their indignation, he said that he himself cared very little about it, but that he was sorry for Ajax, who was thus defeated a second time. And so great was his luxury, that he wore a purple robe, and a white turban on his head; and used to lean on a stick, ornamented all round with golden fretted work: and he used even to fasten the strings of his sandals with golden clasps. However, as regarded his art, he was not churlish or ill-tempered, but affable and good-humoured; so that he sang all the time that he was painting, as Theophrastus relates, in his treatise on Happiness.

But once he spoke in a marvellous strain, more like a quack, when he said, when he was painting the Hercules at Lindus, that the god had appeared to him in a dream, in that form and dress which was the best adapted for painting; on which account he inscribed on the picture—

Here you may see the god as oft he stood
Before Parrhasius in his sleep by night.

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