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NICIAS
An Athenian painter [a son of Nicomedes, and a pupil of Euphramor's pupil Antidotus]. He lived during the latter half of the 4th century B.C. as a younger contemporary of Praxiteles. [The latter, when asked which of his works in marble he specially approved, was in the habit of answering, those that had been touched by the hand of Nicias; such importance did he attribute to that artist's method of tinting, or "touching up with colour," circumlitio (Pliny, N. H. xxxv 133). He painted mainly in encaustic; and] was especially distinguished by his skill in making the figures on his pictures appear to stand out of the work, by means of a proper treatment of light and shade, He was celebrated for his painting of female figures and other subjects which were favourable to the full expression of dramatic emotions, such as the Rescue of, Andromeda and the Interrogation of the Dead by Odysseus in the lower world. This latter picture he presented to the city of his birth, after Ptolemy the First had offered sixty talents (about £12,000) for it. [Pliny, N. H. xxxv Section Section 130-133. He insisted on the importance of an artist's choosing noble themes, such as cavalry engagements and battles at sea, instead of frittering away his skill on birds and flowers (Demetrius, De Elocutione, 76.)]
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