But the Rhodians on their part made a vigorous resistance, and Demetrius, although he was accomplishing nothing worthy of mention, nevertheless kept up the fight against them in a rage, because, when Phila his wife sent him letters, bedding, and clothing, the Rhodians had captured the vessel containing them, and had sent it, just as it was, to Ptolemy. In this they did not imitate the considerate kindness of the Athenians, who, having captured Philip's letter-carriers when he was making war upon them, read all the other letters, indeed, but one of them, which was from Olympias, they would not open; instead, they sent it back to the king with its seal unbroken.
However, although Demetrius was exceedingly exasperated by this when the Rhodians soon after gave him a chance to retaliate, he would not allow himself to do so. It happened, namely, that Protogenes the Caunian had been making a painting for them which illustrated the story of Ialysus, and this picture, nearly finished, had been captured by Demetrius in one of the suburbs of the city. The Rhodians sent a herald and, begged Demetrius to spare and not destroy the work, whereupon he replied that he would rather burn the likenesses of his father than so great a labour of art.
For we are told that it took Protogenes seven years to complete the painting. And Apelles says he was so smitten with amazement on beholding the work that his voice actually failed him, and that when at last he had recovered it, he cried,
‘Great is the toil and astonishing the work,’ remarking, however, that it had not the graces which made the fame of his own paintings touch the heavens.
This painting, then, crowded into the same place with the rest at Rome, the fire destroyed.1
As for the Rhodians, they continued their strenuous resistance in the war until Demetrius, who wanted a pretext for abandoning it, was induced to make terms with them by a deputation of Athenians, on condition that the Rhodians should be allies of Antigonus and Demetrius, except in a war against Ptolemy.