Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Dictionary
 
MOSAICS 100.00%
The term mosaic is usually derived from a post-classical word musivum (Gr. mouseion ?), occurring in Spartianus, Life of Pescenninus 6, pictum de musivo, and Augustine, De Civitate Dei xvi 8, hominum genera musivo picta. It is the art of arranging small cubes or tesserce of marble, coloured stone, terra cotta, glass, or some other artificial substance, so as to produce an ornamental pattern or picture, and to provide a durable form of decoration for walls and pavements. The only mosaic hitherto found in Greece Proper is that discovered in 1829, in the floor of the east portico of the temple of Zeus, at Olympia, possibly little later than the first half of the 4th century B.C. It is formed of rough round pebbles of various colours from the bed of the Alpheus, and it represents Tritons of graceful design surrounded by a tasteful border of palmettes and meandering lines (see Baumeister's Denkmaler, fig. 998). The earliest mosaics mentioned in literature are those made for the ship of Hieron II, about the middle of the 3rd century, with scenes from the Iliad, which took 300 skilled workmen a whole, year to execute (Athenaeus, 206 D). To the same age belongs the only artist in mosaic whose name is recorded in literature, Sosus of Pergamon, famous as the inventor of a kind of mosaic called the asaroton (the "unswept" floor), in which the floor of a room is inlaid with representations of fruits, fishes, and fragments of food that have fallen from the table (Pliny, xxxvi 184; cp. Statius, Silvoe i 3, 36). Mosaics of this type have been found not only at Pompeii, but also at Aquileia and in Algiers. Acccording to Pliny, the original design by Sosus included a remarkable representation of a dove drinking and casting the shadow of its head on the water beneath, while several other doves were to be seen sunning themselves oil the rim of the bowl. The best known copy of this is that called The Capitoline Doves (fig. 1), found at Hadrian's Villa near Tivoli. It is entirely composed of cubes of marble, without any admixture of coloured glass. The art of reproducing paintings is mosaic probably originated in Egypt, and thence found its way to Italy. The largest mosaic picture of Roman workmanship is that executed for the Temple of Fortune at Praeneste, restored by Sulla (Pliny, xxxvi 189). This was discovered in 1640, and is generally supposed to represent a popular fete on the occasion of an inundation of the Nile. It probably belongs to the time of Hadrian. Among the mosaics of Pompeii the most famous is that identified as the Battle of Issus, possibly a copy of the painting of the same subject by a female artist, Helena, "daughter of Timon the Egyptian," which was placed in the temple of Peace in the time of Vespasian (Photius, Bibl., p. 482). It represents the critical moment when Alexander is charging, bare-headed, in the thick of the fray, and has just transfixed with his lance one of the leaders of the Persians; while Darius, with his lofty tiara and red chlamys, is extending his right hand in an attitude of alarm and despair (figs. 2 and 3). In the mosaic itself the lower border represents a river, apparently the Nile, with a crocodile, hippopotamus, ichneumon, ibis, etc., thus confirming the conjecture as to the Egyptian origin of the design. Mosaics bearing the artist's name are seldom found. The two finest of this class are those from Pompeii inscribed with the name of Dioscorides of Samos. One of these represents four masked figures playing on various instruments. The work is composed of very small pieces of glass, of the most beautiful colours and in various shades (cut in Dyer's Pompeii, p. 276). Another of similar construction portrays a rehearsal for a satyric drama. The ground is black, the drapery mainly white, but the robe of the flute-player is bordered with purple, the lips are a bright red, and the flutes and ornaments coloured like gold. (See DRAMA, fig. 2.) The finest mosaic of the early part of the 2nd century A.D. is the highly pictorial centaur-mosaic now at Berlin, found at the Villa of Hadrian (see Baumeister's Denkmaler, fig. 941). The most celebrated works of a later date include that in the Thermoe of Caracalla, with numerous gladiatorial figures of colossal size and ungraceful drawing (ib. fig. 174); and that of the Roman villa at Nennig, near Treves. The dimensions of the latter are 50 feet by 33, and the design includes several groups of figures inclosed in a square or hexagonal framework of tesselated marble (ib. figs. 1001-2343). Among the mosaics in the British Museum are an Amphitrite and Tritons, with Dionysus, Meleager, and Atalanta, all from Halicarnassus, and of Roman times, since figures of Dido and Aeneas were found in the same villa (Newton's Travels and Discoveries, ii 76). As mosaics still in situ in England may be mentioned those at Woodchester, Bignor, and Brading.[1] In the "Gallery of the Architectural Court" of the South Kensington Museum are exhibited 100 coloured plates, with copies of mosaics, collected by Dr. R. Wollaston, including a Greek mosaic of Iphigenia at Aulis, found in the Crimea, and the above-mentioned mosaic of Praeneste (no. 167). Mosaic pavements are known by different names descriptive of certain varieties of structure. (1) A pavimentum sectile is composed of thin plates of coloured marble of various sizes, cut (secta) into slices of regular form and arranged in an ornamental geometrical pattern including triangles, hexagons, etc. (Vitruvius, vii 1, 3, 4; Suetonius, Caesar, 46 at end). (2) The epithet tessellatum describes a pavement of the same general kind, but made up of regular square dies (tesserce, tessellce, tesserulce), forming rectangular designs (ib.). (3) Vermiculatum is applied to a design formed of small pieces of marble in various colours, arranged so as to imitate the object represented with a high degree of pictorial effect. The dies are of different shapes, so as to allow of their following the wavy contours of the outline of the object. The name is derived from the fact that the general effect of such an arrangement resembles the contortions of a cluster of worms (vermes). (Cp. Pliny, xxxv 2: Interraso marmore vermiculatisque ad effigies rerum crustis; and Lucilius, quoted in Cicero's Orator, 149: Quam lepide lexeis compostce ut tesseruloe omnes-arte pavimento atque emblemate vermiculato.) (4)The term lithostrotum (Varro, R. R., iii 2 § 4; 1 § 10; Pliny, xxxvi 189) was probably applied to a pavement made of small pieces of stone or marble of natural colours, and distinguished from those of coloured glass or some other artificial composition. Mosaics of glass were used to decorate ceilings (Pliny, l.c.). The gilt tesserce used in Christian mosaics for the background of the pictures were formed by applying to a cube of earthenware, two thin plates of glass with a film of gold-leaf between them, and vitrifying the whole in a furnace. It was this discovery that led to the extensive application of mosaic for the decoration of the walls, and more particularly the apses, of Christian churches. At Rome, we have mosaics of the 4th century in the churches of S. Constantia and S. Maria Maggiore. At Ravenna, those of the lower part of the Orthodox Baptistery belong to 430 A.D.; those in the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, to 440; those in the domes of the Orthodox and Arian Baptisteries to about 553 ; those of San Vitale to 547; of S. Apollinare Nuovo to 549, and of the archiepiscopal palace to about the same, date; and, lastly, those of S. Apollinare in Classe to about 671-677. At Milan, the mosaics of S. Lorenzo and S. Ambrogio belong to the 5th century; those of S. Parenzo in Istria to the 6th; those of S. Sophia at Constantinople. were executed in the time of Justinian (527-565). At Rome, those of SS. Cosmas and Damian are ascribed to 526-530; of S. Lorenzo Outside the Walls to 577-590; of S. Agnese to 625-638; of the oratory of S. Venantius, the churches of S. Praxedes, S. Cecilia in Trastevere, and S. Maria Navicella, to the 7th century. After the 9th century the art of working in mosaic ceased for awhile in Rome and in Italy in general, to be revived at a later date in the church of S. Cyprian at Murano (1109) and the basilica of St. Mark's at Venice (in and after the 11th century), and afterwards at Rome itself. In Sicily, the mosaics of the Cappella Palatina in the royal palace at Palermo were finished in 1143, while those of the cathedral at Monreale were begun in 1172. Authorities. Marquardt, Das Privatleben der Romer, 625-632; Blumner's Technologie, iii 323-343; Von Rohden on Mosaik in Baumeister's Denkmaler; Gerspach, La Mosaique.] [J. E. S.]
 
SOSUS 71.33%
A celebrated artist in mosaic, who was working apparently at the time of the Attalidae in Pergamon. It was there that he executed his famous work, "The Unswept House" (asarotos oikos), so called because remnants of food, and all that is usually swept away, were represented strewn about in the most artistic way upon the floor. "Much to be admired in this work [says Pliny, xxxvi 184] is a dove drinking, and darkening the water by the shadow of its head; while other doves are sunning and pluming themselves on the rim of he vessel." This is copied in the mosaic [found in Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, and now] in the Capitoline Museum at Rome. (See MOSAICS, fig. 1.)
 
GLASS 9.13%
Glass was for a long time procured by the Greeks and Romans from Phoenicia and Egypt, where its manufacture had been carried on since very ancient times, and the art had reached an uncommon degree of perfection. The ancients produced glass-work of great beauty, both in form and colours. In later times it was the manufacturers of Alexandria whose reputation stood the highest. The manufacturers carried on, down to the times of the later Empire, a considerable export trade in coloured blown-glass and mosaics. It is uncertain whether the Greeks manufactured their own glass in more ancient times. It was certainly a very costly article down to the time of the Peloponnesian War, and only came into general use at a late period. In Italy the manufacture of glass began at the commencement of the imperial period, first in Campania and afterwards in Rome, where they were ambitious of surpassing the art of Alexandria. From Italy it spread to Gaul and Spain and the more distant provinces, and before long, glass cups, saucers, and bottles became an ordinary part of household furniture. The remains discovered at Herculaneum and Pompeii show that glass windows were not unknown in the imperial age. The ancients were familiar with the manufacture of pure, white, transparent, crystal glass, which was much in request, as well as with the art of colouring glass in every tint. They could imitate every kind of stone, produce varying prismatic tints, and spread layers of different colours upon each other. The art of cutting and polishing glass was very advanced. From bits of glass, cut and polished, were made great numbers of mock pearls, or mock precious stones, and pastes, which were worn, instead of real stones, in rings, tut in intaglio or relief. The most important productions of art were: (1) the vasa diatreta. In these cups the outer side was made of filigree work, cut out of the hard mass. The outer network was of a different colour from the ground, with which it was connected by nothing but slender glass talks. (2) The vessels which exhibit reliefs of white opaque glass on a dark and transparent ground, like the celebrated Portland Vase (See GEMS). Glass tablets, intended for mural decoration, were sometimes ornamented with reliefs of this kind.
 
DELPHIC ORACLE 6.82%
A very ancient seat of prophecy at Delphi, originally called Pytho, and situated on the south-western spur of Parnassus in a valley of Phocis. In historical times the oracle appears in possession of Apollo; but the original possessor, according to the story, was Gaia (the Earth). Then it was shared by her with Poseidon, who gave up his part in it to Apollo in exchange for the island of Calauria, Themis, the daughter and successor of Gaia, having already given Apollo her share. According to the Homeric hymn to the Pythian Apollo, the god took forcible possession of the oracle soon after his birth, slaying with his earliest bow-shot the serpent Pytho, the son of Gaia, who guarded the spot. To atone for his murder, Apollo was forced to fly and spend eight years in menial service before he could return forgiven. A festival, the Septeria, was held every year, at which the whole story was represented: the slaying of the serpent, and the flight, atonement, and return of the god. Apollo was represented by a boy, both of whose parents were living. The dragon was symbolically slain, and his house, decked out in costly fashion, was burnt. Then the boy's followers hastily dispersed, and the boy was taken in procession to Tempe, along the road formerly followed by the god. Here he was purified and brought back by the same road , accompanied by a chorus of maidens singing songs of joy. The oracle proper was a cleft in the ground in the innermost sanctuary, from which arose cold vapours, which had the power of inducing ecstasy. Over the cleft stood a lofty gilded tripod of wood. On this was a circular, slab, upon which the seat of the prophetess was placed. The prophetess, called Pythia, was a maiden of honourable birth; in earlier times a young girl, but in a later age a woman of over fifty, still wearing a girl's dress, in memory of the earlier custom. In the prosperous times of the oracle two Pythias acted alternately, with a third to assist them. In the earliest times the Pythia ascended the tripod only once a year, on the birthday of Apollo, the seventh of the Delphian spring month Bysios. But in later years she prophesied every day, if the day itself and the sacrifices were not unfavourable. These sacrifices were offered by the supplicants, adorned with laurel crowns and fillets of wool. Having prepared herself by washing and purification, the Pythia entered the sanctuary, with gold ornaments in her hair, and flowing robes upon her; she drank of the water of the fountain Cassotis, which flowed into the shrine, tasted the fruit of the old bay tree standing in the chamber, and took her seat. No one was present but a priest, called the Prophetes, who explained the words she uttered in her ecstasy, and put them into metrical form, generally hexameters. In later times the votaries were contented with answers in prose. The responses were often obscure and enigmatical, and couched in ambiguous and metaphorical expressions, which themselves needed explanation. The order in which the applicants approached the oracle was determined by lot, but certain cities, as Sparta, had the right of priority. The reputation of the oracle stood very high throughout Greece until the time of the Persian wars, especially among the Dorian tribes, and among them re-eminently the Spartans, who had stood from of old in intimate relation with it. On all important occasions, as the sending out of colonies, the framing of internal legislation or religious ordinances, the god of Delphi was consulted, and that not only by Greeks but by foreigners, especially the people of Asia and Italy. After the Persian wars the influence of the oracle declined, partly in consequence of the growth of unbelief, partly from the mistrust excited by the partiality and venality of the priesthood. But it never fell completely into discredit, and from time to time its position rose again. In the first half of the 2nd century A.D. it had a revival, the result of the newly awakened interest in the old religion. It was abolished at the end of the 4th century A.D. by Theodosius the Great. The oldest stone temple of Apollo was attributed to the mythical architects, Trophonius and Agamedes. It was burnt down in 548 B.C., when the Alcmaeonidae, at that time in exile from Athens, undertook to rebuild it for the sum of 300 talents, partly taken from the treasure of the temple, and partly contributed by all countries inhabited by Greeks and standing in connexion with the oracle. They put the restoration into the hands of the Corinthian architect Spintharus, and carried it out in a more splendid style than was originally agreed upon, building the front of Parian marble instead of limestone. The groups of sculpture in the pediments represented, on the eastern side, Apollo with Artemis, Leto, and the Muses; on the western side, Dionysus with the Thyiades and the setting sun; for Dionysus was worshipped here in winter during the imagined absence of Apollo. These were all the work of Praxias and Androsthenes, and were finished about 430 B.C. The temple was, on account of its vast extent, a hypaethral building; that is, there was no roof over the space occupied by the temple proper. The architecture of the exterior was Doric, of the interior Ionic, as may still be observed in the surviving ruins. On the walls of the entrance-hall were short texts written in gold, attributed to the Seven Wise Men. One of these was the celebrated "Know Thyself." In the temple proper stood the golden statue of Apollo, and in front of it the sacrificial hearth with the eternal fire. Near this was a globe of marble covered with fillets, the Omphalos or centre of the earth. In earlier times two eagles stood at its side, representing the two eagles which fable said had been sent out by Zeus at the same moment from the eastern and western ends of the world. These eagles were carried off in the Phocian war, and their place filled by two eagles in mosaic on the floor. Behind this space was the inner shrine, lying lower, in the form of a cavern over the cleft in the earth. Within the spacious precincts (peribolos), stood a great number of chapels, statues, votive offerings and treasure-houses of the various Greek states, in which they deposited their gifts to the sanctuary, especially the tithes of the booty taken in war. Here, too, was the council chamber of the Delphians. Before the entrance to the temple was the great altar for burnt-offerings, and the golden tripod, dedicated by the Greeks after the battle of Plataea, on a pedestal of brass, representing a snake in three coils. [The greater part of this pedestal now stands in the Hippodrome, or Atmeidan, at Constantinople.] Besides the treasures accumulated in the course of time, the temple had considerable property in land, with a population consisting mainly of slaves (hierodouloi), bound to pay contributions and to render service to the sanctuary. The management of the property was in the hands of priests chosen from the noble Delphian families, at their head the five Hosioi or consecrated ones. Since the first spoliation of the temple by the Phocians in 355 B.C., it was several times plundered on a grand scale. Nero, for instance, is said to have carried off 500 bronze statues. Yet some 3,000 statues were to be seen there in the time of the elder Pliny. [See an article on the Delphic temple by Professor Middleton, Journal of Hellenic Studies, ix 282-322.]
 
PAINTING 1.86%
Among the Greeks painting developed into an independent art much later than sculpture, though it was used very early for decorative purposes. This is proved by the evidence of painted vases belonging to the ages of the most primitive civilization, and by the mural paintings discovered by Schliemann at Tiryns. The scanty notices in ancient authors respecting the first discoveries in this art connect it with historical persons, and not with mythical names, as in the case of sculpture. Thus it is said [by Pliny, N. H. xxxv 16] that [either Philocles, the Egyptian, or] Cleanthes of Corinth was the first to draw outline sketches; that Telephanes of Sicyon developed them further; that Ecphantus of Corinth introduced painting in single tints (monochrome); and that Eumarus of Athens (in the second half of the 6th century) distinguished man and woman by giving the one a darker, the other a lighter colour. Cimon of Cleon' is mentioned as the originator of artistic drawing in profile [catagrapha, hoc est obliquas imagines, Pliny xxxv 56, cp. 90]. It is further said of him that he gave variety to the face by making it look backwards or upwards or downwards, and freedom to the limbs by duly rendering the joints; also that he was the first to represent the veins of the human body, and to make the folds of the drapery fall more naturally [ib. 56]. Painting did not, however, make any decided advance until the middle of the 5th century B.C. This advance was chiefly due to POLYGNOTUS of Thasos, who painted at Athens. Among other claims to distinction, it is attributed to him that he gave greater variety of expression to the face, which hitherto had been rigidly severe. His works, most of them large compositions rich in figures, give evidence of a lofty and poetic conception; they appear to have been, in great part, mural paintings for decorating the interior of public buildings [Pausanias, x 25-31; i 15, 22 § 6]. The colours were first applied in uniform tints so as to fill in the outlines, and fresh lines and touches were then added to indicate where the limbs and muscles began, and the folds of the garments. The drawing and the combination of colours were the chief considerations; light and shade were wanting, and no attention was paid to perspective. It is doubtful whether at this early time, besides mural paintings (executed al fresco on carefully smoothed stucco-priming with plain water-colours), there were any pictures on panels, such as afterwards became common; but we may fairly assume it. These were painted on wooden panels in tempera; i.e. with colours mixed with various kinds of distemper, such as gum or size, to make them more adhesive. In the same century the encaustic method of painting was discovered, though not elaborated till the following century. [The process, as described in Roman times by Vitruvius (vii 9), was as follows: "The medium used was melted white wax (cera punica), mixed with oil to make it more fluid. The pot containing the wax was kept over a brazier, while the painter was at work, in order to keep the melted wax from solidifying. The stucco itself was prepared by a coating of hot wax applied with a brush, and it was polished by being rubbed with a wax candle, and finally with a clean linen cloth. After the picture was painted, the wax colours were fixed, partly melted into the stucco, and blended with the wax of the ground by the help of a charcoal brazier, which was held close to the surface of the painting, and gradually moved over its whole extent" (Middleton's Ancient Rome in 1888, p. 417).] The encaustic method had several advantages over painting in tempera: it lasted longer and was more proof against damp, while the colouring was much brighter; on the other hand, it was much more laborious and slow, which explains the fact that the majority of encaustic paintings were of small size. While the pictures of Polygnotus certainly did not deceive by too much truth to nature, it was [his younger contemporary] the Samian AGATHARCHUS who practised scene-painting (Gr. skenographia) at Athens, and thus gave an impulse to the attempt at illusory effect and the use of perspective. [He painted the scenery for a play of 'schylus (Vitruv. vii proef. 10), and decorated the interior of the house of Alcibiades (Andocides, Alcib. 17).] The Athenian APOLLODORUS (about B.C. 420) was the actual founder of an entirely new artistic style, which strove to effect illusion by means of the resources of painting. [He was the first, says Pliny, to give his pictures the appearance of reality; the first to bring the brush into just repute (l.c. 60).] He also led the way in the proper management of the fusion of colours and their due gradation in different degrees of light and shade (Pliny, l.c. 60]. [It was to this that he owed his title of shadow-painter (skiagraphos: Hesychius on skia).] The Attic school flourished till about the end of the 5th century, when this art was for some time neglected at Athens, but made another important advance in the towns of Asia Minor, especially at Ephesus. The principal merits of this, the Ionic school, consist in richer and more delicate colouring, a more perfect system of pictorial representation, rendering on a flat surface the relief and variety of nature, and the consequent attainment of the greatest possible illusion. Its principal representatives were ZEUXIS of Heraclea and PARRHASIUS of Ephesus; TIMANTHES also produced remarkable works, though not an adherent of the same school. It was opposed by the Sicyonian school, founded by Eupompus of Sicyon, and developed by Pamphilus of Amphipolis, which aimed at greater precision of technical training, very careful and characteristic drawing, and a sober and effective colouring [Pliny, l.c. 75, 76). PAUSIAS, a member of this school, invented the art of foreshortening and of painting on vaulted ceilings, besides perfecting the encaustic art, which was much more favourable for purposes of illusion and picturesque effectiveness than painting in tempera [ib. 123-127]. Greek painting reached its summit in the works of APELLES of Cos, in the second half of the 4th century; he knew how to combine the merits of the Ionian and the Sicyonian schools, the perfect grace of the former with the severe accuracy of the latter. After him the most famous artist was PROTOGENES of Caunos. The following contemporaries, some older and some younger than himself, deserve also to be mentioned: Nicomachus and Aristides of Thebes, Euphranor of Corinth, Nicias of Athens, the Egyptian Antiphilus, Theon of Samos, and Aetion. After the age of Alexander, the art of painting was characterized by a striving after naturalism, combined with a predilection for the representation of common, every-day scenes, and of still-life. This branch of painting was also carried to great perfection, and Piraeicus was the most celebrated for it. Among painters of the loftier style the last noteworthy artist was TIMOMACHUS of Byzantium. [For the ancient authorities on the history of Painting, see Overbeck's Schrift-quellen; comp. Brunn's Kunstlergeschichte, and Woermann's History of Painting, bk. ii.] Among the Romans a few solitary names of early painters are mentioned, for instance, Fabius Pictor and the poet Pacuvius [Pliny, xxxv 19]; but nothing is known as to the value of their paintings, which served to decorate buildings. The way in which landscapes were represented by a certain S. Tadius [or Ludius (?), ib. 116; the best MS has studio] in the reign of Augustus is mentioned as a novelty. These landscapes were mainly for purposes of decoration (Vitruv. vii 5]. Indeed the love of display peculiar to the Romans, which had led them gradually to accumulate the principal works of the old Greek masters at Rome as ornaments for their public and private edifices, brought about an extra-ordinary development of decorative art, attested by the numerous mural paintings that have been found in Italy, chiefly at Pompeii and Herculaneum. These paintings were mostly executed al fresco on damp stucco, seldom with colours in tempera on the dry surface. The principal subjects represented are figures from the world of myth, such as Maenads, Centaurs, male and female, Satyrs, etc.; scenes from mythology and heroic legends, frequently copies of famous Greek originals [one of the best examples of which is Achilles delivering Briseis to the Heralds (see fig. 1)]; landscapes (fig. 5); still-life (fig. 2); animals (fig. 3); and also scenes from real life. (See also cuts under IPHIGENIA and VILLA.) From a technical point of view these works do not go beyond the limits of light decorative painting, and are especially wanting in correct perspective; but they show fine harmony, varied gradation, and delicate blending of colour, and frequently a surprising depth and sincerity of expression: qualities which must have characterized the lost masterpieces of the ancient artists to a much more remarkable degree, and cannot but give us a very high idea of them. One of the finest mural paintings is that known as the Aldobrandini Marriage [discovered in 1606 near the Arch of Gallienus, and] named after its first owner, Cardinal Aldobrandini, now in the Library of the Vatican at Rome. It is copied from an excellent Greek original, and represents, in the style of a relief, the preparations for a marriage (see fig. 4). ["It is composed," says Woermann in his History of Painting, i 115, "not pictorially, but yet with taste. It exhibits several individual motives of much beauty; its colouring is soft and harmonious; and it is instinct with that placid and serious charm which belongs only to the antique. In technical execution, however, the work is insignificant, and in no way rises above the ordinary handling of the Roman house-decorator in similar subjects." The Vatican Library also possesses an important series of landscapes from the Odyssey, found during the excavations on the Esquiline in 1848-1850. Landscapes of this kind are mentioned by Vitruvius, vii 5, among the subjects with which corridors used to be decorated in the good old times. They represent the adventure with the L'strygones (fig. 5), the story of Circe, and the visit of Odysseus to the realm of Hades, thus illustrating a continuous portion of the poem, Od. x 80-xi 600. The predominant colours are a yellowish brown and a greenish blue, and the pictures are divided from one another by pilasters of a brilliant red. They furnish interesting examples of the landscape-painting of the last days of the Republic or the first of the Empire, and, in point of importance, stand alone among all the remains of ancient painting (Woermann, l.c., and Die Odyssee-landschaften vom Esquilin, with chromolithographs of all the six landscapes). On mosaic-painting and vase-painting, see MOSAICS and VASES.] [The processes of painting are represented in several works of ancient art, e.g. in three mural paintings from Pompeii (Schreiber's Bilderatlas, viii 2, 4, and ix 3; see SCULPTURE, fig. 18). Even some of the implements and materials used by artists have been discovered. Thus, in 1849, at St. Mèdard-des-Près in the Vendée, a grave was opened, containing a female skeleton, surrounded by eighty small vessels of glass, in most of which remains of ancient pigments were still preserved. Besides these, there was a small cup of brown glass (fig. 6, a); a knife of cedar-wood, with its blade reduced to rust (b); a small bronze box (c) with a movable lid and four partitions, holding materials for pigments; a mortar of alabaster, and a smaller one of bronze (d); one or two elegant bronze spoons (e), either for removing colours from the palette, or for adding some liquid to mix them together; a small shovel, made of rock crystal, containing gold embedded in gum (f); and an oblong palette of basalt (g). There were also two small cylinders of amber and two brush-handles of bone. One of the glass vessels contained bits of resin; another, wax; a third, a mixture of both; a fourth, a mixture of lamp-black and wax, with traces of sebacic acid, possibly due to the presence of oil. Our principal information about ancient pigments (Gr. pharmaka; Lat. medicamenta, pigmenta) comes from Theophrastus (De Lapidibus), Dioscorides (v), Vitruvius (vii), and the elder Pliny (xxxiii and xxxv). It is observed by Cicero in the Brutus § 70, that only four colours were used by Polygnotus, Zeuxis, Timanthes, and their contemporaries, as contrasted with their successors, Aetion, Nicomachus, Protogenes, and Apelles. Pliny (xxxv 50), who identified the colours as white (melinum), yellow (sil Atticum), red (Sinopis Pontica), and black (atramentum), even places Aetion, Nicomachus, Apelles, and Me1anthius under the same limitation. But it is hardly probable that such important colours as blue and green were dispensed with, even in the primitive art of Polygnotus; much less in the more advanced art of Zeuxis and his contemporaries; and least of all in that of Apelles and Protogenes. The earliest artists, however, may well have used comparatively few colours, and those of the simplest kind, the coloresausteri of Pliny xxxv 30, as contrasted with the colores floridi, such as vermilion, "Armenian blue," "dragon's blood," malachite green, indigo, and purple. These were characteristic of later developments of art, and were so costly that they were not paid for by the artists, but by those who gave them their commissions (ib. 44; Vitruv., vii 5, 8). The pigments known to the ancients were as follows: White. The pigment used in Greece was a "pipe-clay " called melinum (Gr. melias), found in veins in the island of Melos. It was not available for fresco-painting (Pliny, xxxv 49). A white earth of Eretria was employed by Nicomachus and Parrhasius (ib. 38). A commoner pigment was the creta Seliusia of Se1inus in Sicily, used for mural paintings (ib. 49, 194), and the creta anularia, made by mixing chalk with the glass composition worn in the rings of the poor (ib. 48). For fresco-painting they used paroetonium, a hydrated silicate of magnesia, so called from a cliff on the African coast near Egypt (ib. 30), which in Rome was adulterated with creta Cimolia (ib. 36). For other purposes they employed whitelead (Gr. psimythion; Lat. cerussa), an artificial product, the finest sorts of which came from Rhodes, Corinth, and Sparta. It is carbonate of lead, and is still used under various names (e.g. ceruse). It is sold in its crude form as "Chemnitz or Vienna white," and mixed with sulphate of barium in "Dutch, Hamburg, and Venetian white." Yellow. The pigments in use were yellow ochre and orpiment. The best kind of yellow ochre (Gr. ochra; Lat. sil) was found in the mines of Laurium. It was also found in Scyros, Achaia, Gaul, Cappadocia, Cyprus, and Lydia. The Attic variety was first used by Polygnotus and Micon; it was afterwards preferred for the high lights, while the kinds from Scyros and Lydia were reserved for the shadows (ib. xxxiii 158-160, xxxvii 179). It is a diluted brown ochre or hydrated peroxide of iron, being composed of oxygen, water, and iron, mixed with more or less clay. Orpiment, or trisulphide of arsenic (Gr. arsenicon; Lat. auripigmentum), was of two kinds: (1) of a golden yellow, from Mysia on the coast of the Hellespont; and (2) a duller kind, from Pontus and Cappadocia (Dioscorides v 120). It could not be used for frescoes (Pliny xxxv 49). Yellow ochre and orpiment (under the name of "king's or Chinese yellow") are still in use. Red. One of the oldest pigments was ruddle (Gr. miltos; Lat. rubrica). This is a red earth coloured by sesquioxide of iron. In the Homeric age it was used to ornament the bows of ships. In later times the clay from which Greek vases were made owed its brilliant hue to the ruddle of Cape Colias on the Attic coast (Suidas, s.v. Koliados keramees, and Pliny, xxxv 152). The best kind came from Cappadocia, by way of Sinope (hence called Sinopsis Pontica, ib. 31, 36, xxxiii 117), or through Ephesus (Strabo, p. 540). It was also found in North Africa (cicerculum, Pliny, xxxv 32), especially in Egypt and at Carthage; also in Spain and the Balearic Islands, and Lemnos and Ceos. There was a treaty forbidding the export of ruddle from Ceos except only to Athens (Hicks, Gr. Historical Inscriptions, p. 186). It could be artificially produced by calcining yellow ochre, a discovery due to Cydias, a contemporary of Euphranor (Theophr., l.c. 53). Another mineral supplying a red, sometimes a yellow, pigment, was sandarach (Gr. sandarache; Lat. sandaraca), found in Paphlagonia, probably disulphide of arsenic ("realgar"). As this mineral is poisonous, the mortality in the mines was very high. An artificial substitute, called cerussa usta, or usta alone, was therefore generally preferred. This was obtained by burning white lead, a discovery attributed to the painter Nicias (Pliny, xxxv 38). The result is "red lead," i.e. red oxide of lead. There was besides a colour compounded of equal parts of ruddleand sandarach, called sandyx (Pliny, xxxv 40), which is also the designation of a natural pigment of which little is known (Vergil, Ecl. iv 45). Of greater importance than these is cinnabar (Gr. originally kinnabari, afterwards ammion; Lat. minium), found in Spain, especially at Sisapo (Pliny, xxxiii 121). An artificial kind was made at Ephesus from the red sand of the agri Cilbiani. This discovery is assigned to Callias (ib. 113). The name cinnabari was often erroneously given to a red resin, now called dragon's blood, and produced from the calamus draco, a kind of palm growing in the Sunda Islands and elsewhere. The ancients probably imported it from the island of Socotra, as it is a product of the Somali coast on the adjacent mainland of Africa.-A purple pigment (Gr. ostreion; Lat. ostrum, purpurissum) was prepared by mixing creta argentaria with the purple secretion of the murex (see PURPLE); the best kind was made at Puteoli (Pliny xxxv 45). Blue. The pigment used from the earliest times was called in Greek kyanos, in Latin coeruleum, a blue silicate of copper, generally mixed with carbonate of lime (chalk). It is not to be confounded with the modern coeruleum, which is stannate of cobalt. Kyanos was found in small quantities in copper mines, and artificial kinds were made in Scythia, Cyprus, and Egypt (Theophr., l.c. 51, 55). Vitruvius mentions only the artificial coeruleum of Alexandria and Puteoli. The method of manufacturing it was brought from Egypt by Vestorius. It was prepared by heating strongly together sand, flos nitri (carbonate of soda), and filings of copper. This "Egyptian azure" was reproduced by Sir Humphry Davy, by taking fifteen parts by weight of carbonate of soda, twenty of powdered opaque flints, and three of copper filings, and heating them strongly for two hours. The product, when pulverized, supplied a fine deep sky blue. The "Alexandrian frit" is in part a species of artificial lapis lazuli, the colouring matter of which is naturally inherent in a hard siliceous stone (Phil. Trans. Royal Society, 1815, p. 121). It was not available for frescopainting, but could be used for painting in tempera (Pliny, xxxiii 162). The name kyanos was given to a blue mineral, which is to be identified as lapis lazuli, a silicate of sodium, calcium, and aluminium, with a sulphur compound of sodium. This was pounded into a pigment, now known as ultramarine. Kyanos was also the name of the blue carbonate of copper from the copper mines of Cyprus, where lapis lazuli is not to be fouud. Artificial blue pigments were produced by colouring pulverized glass with carbonate of copper. "Armenian blue" (Gr. Armenion) is described by Pliny (xxxv 47) as made from a mineral like chrysocolla (malachite?) in colour, the best kinds being almost as good as coeruleum. It is probably a kind of ultramarine.-Indigo (indicum) was also used. The way in which it is mentioned in Vitruvius (vii 9, 6, and 10, 4) implies that it had been recently introduced. It could not be used for frescoes. Modern experiment has proved that the colouring basis of the blue found in ancient mural paintings is oxide of copper. Cobalt has also been discovered in ancient specimens of transparent blue glass. Green. Several pigments were in use: (1) chrysocolla (or malachite ?, hydrated dicarbonate of copper), pounded and sifted, and mixed with alum and woad (lutum, Pliny, xxxiii 87). Malachite green, sometimes called mountain, or Hungary, green, is also a modern pigment. (2) Creta viridis, the best kind of which came from Smyrna (Vitruv., vii 7, 4). It is a species of ochre containing silica, oxide of iron, magnesia, potash, and water; and is still used under the names of terra verte, verdetta, green earth, Verona green, green bice, or holly green. (3) Verdigris (Gr. ios; Lat. oerugo, ceruca, Vitruv., vii 12, 1). This is an acetate of copper (sometimes crystallized), i.e. a compound of acetic acid and oxide of copper. Malachite green and Verona green have both been traced in ancient paintings. Verdigris has not been found; hence it has been conjectured by Sir H. Davy, that what was originally a diacetate of copper has in the course of centuries changed into carbonate of copper (l.c., p. 112). It is described as "the least durable of copper greens; light fades it in water; damp and foul air first bleach it, and then turn it black" (Standage, Manual of Pigments, p. 21). Black. The pigment (Gr. melan; Lat. atramentum) was almost always produced by combustion. Polygnotus and Micon produced it by drying and burning the lees of wine (Gr. tryginon). Apelles was the discoverer of "ivory black" (elephantinum, Pliny, xxxv 42). A common material was the smoke of burnt resin (our lamp-black), or burnt pine-twigs (Vitruv., vii 10, 1). Pliny (xxxv 41) also mentions a natural black pigment which is difficult to identify; it may be peat, or else oxide of iron, or oxide of manganese. The best black pigment was called atramentum, Indicum (Gr. melan Indikon), doubtless the same as "Chinese black," which originally found its way to the West through India, and thus obtained its alternative name of "Indian ink." But it cannot be used for frescoes, and no traces of it have been found in the mural paintings of antiquity. The black in these paintings is always carbonaceous. Some of the remains of ancient colours and paintings at Pompeii, and in the "Baths of Titus" and of Livia, and elsewhere, were analysed by Sir Humphry Davy (l.c., pp. 97-124: Some Experiments and Observations on the Colours used in Painting by the Ancients). In an earthen vase from the "Baths of Titus" containing a variety of colours, the reds proved to be red oxide of lead, with two iron ochres of different tints, a dull red and a purplish red "nearly of the same tint as prussiate of copper"; all three were mixed with chalk or carbonate of lime (p. 101). The yellows were pure ochres mixed with carbonate of lime, and ochre mixed with red oxide of lead and carbonate of lime (p. 104). The blues were a kind of smalt, with carbonate of lime (p. 106). Of greens there were three varieties; "one, which approached to olive, was the common green earth of Verona; another, which was pale grass-green, had the character of carbonate of copper mixed with chalk; and a third, which was sea-green, was a green combination of copper mixed with blue copper frit" (p. 110). A pale, rose-coloured substance, found in the "Baths of Titus," which in its interior "had a lustre approaching to that of carmine," was found to be either of vegetable or animal origin; if the latter, it was most probably a specimen of Tyrian purple (pp. 113-15). In the Aldobrandini Marriage (fig. 4) the reds and yellows were all ochres; the greens, preparations of copper; the blues, "Alexandrian frit"; the purple, a mixture of red ochre and carbonate of copper; the browns, mixtures of ochres and black; the whites were all carbonates of lime (ib. passim). For further details see Blumner's Technologie, iv 457-518.] [J.E.S.]
 
Query:
Type: Standard
SoundEx
Results:
  
gutter splint
gutter splint
PLACE HOLDER FOR COUNTER
gutter splint