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A Greek tragedian, son of Aeschylus'sister. He wrote a hundred plays in the manner of Aeschylus, and won the prize against Sophocles' OEdipus Tyrannus. Only scanty fragments of his plays remain. The drama was also cultivated by his sons Morsimus and Melanthius, by Morsimus' son Astydamas (about 399 B.C.), and again by the sons of the latter, Astydamas and Philocles.
MORSIMUS 100.00%
A tragic poet (see PHILOCLES).
A Greek tragedian, son of Morsimus. (See PHILOCLES.) His first appearance was in 399 B.C., and he won the prize fifteen times. He wrote 240 pieces, but a few titles are all that remains of them. His sons Astydamas and Philocles were also tragic poets.
Tragedy in GREECE originated in the lyric dithyramb; i.e. in the song of a chorus at the rites held in honour of Dionysus. This song, in accordance with the cult of the god, expressed at one time exuberant joy, at another deep sorrow. The cult of Dionysus is also indicated by the very name of tragedy, signifying goat-song; i.e. (according to the usual explanation) the hymn sung by the chorus in their dance round the altar at the sacrifice of the goat, which was dedicated to Dionysus. Others derive the name from the fact that, to represent Satyrs, the chorus were clad in goat-skins, and hence resembled goats. These choral songs seem to have received a certain dramatic form as early as the time of Arion, to whom the dithyramb owes its artistic development. The true drama, including tragic and satyric plays, was evolved subsequently in Athens. Tradition ascribes the origin of tragedy to a contemporary of Solon named Thespis, of Icaria, which was a chief seat of the cult of Dionysus. The date assigned to this is 540 B.C. Thespis was at the same time poet, leader of the chorus, and actor. According to the testimony of the ancients, his pieces consisted of a prologue, a series of choral songs, standing in close connexion with the action, and dramatic recitations introduced between the choruses. These recitations were delivered by the leader of the chorus, and were partly in the form of monologues, partly in that of short dialogues with the chorus, whereby the action of the play was advanced. The reciter was enabled to appear in different roles by the aid of linen or wooden masks. These also are said to have been contrived by the poet himself. The invention of Thespis, whose own pieces soon lapsed into oblivion, won the favour of Pisistratus and the approval of the Athenian public. Tragedy thus became a substantial element in the Attic festival of Dionysus. Thespis' immediate followers were Choerilus, Pratinas (the inventor of the satyric drama), his son Aristias, and Phrynichus. Phrynichus especially did good service towards the development of tragedy by introducing an actor apart from the leader of the chorus, and so preparing the way for true dialogue. He further improved the chorus, which still, however, occupied a disproportionate space in comparison with the action of the play. Tragedy was really brought into being by Aeschylus, when he added a second actor (called the deuteragonistes) to the first, or protagonistes, and in this way rendered dialogue possible. He further subordinated the choruses to the dialogue. Sophocles, in whom tragedy reaches its culminating point, added to Aeschylus' two actors a third, or tritagonistes; and Aeschylus accepted the innovation in his later plays. Thenceforward three actors were regularly granted by lot to each poet, at the public expense. Only rarely, and in exceptional cases, was a fourth employed. Sophocles also raised the number of the chorus from twelve to fifteen. The only other important innovation due to him was, that he gave up the internal connexion, preserved by Aeschylus, among the several plays of a tetralogy which were presented in competition by the tragic poets at the festival of Dionysus. (See TETRALOGIA.) The third great master of tragedy is Euripides, in whom, however, we already observe a decline in many respects from the severe standard of his predecessor. During and after the age of these masters of the art, from whom alone have complete dramas come down to us, many other tragic poets were actively employed, whose works are known to us by name alone, or are only preserved in fragments. It is remarkable that, in the case of the great tragic writers, the cultivation of the Muse of tragedy seems to have been hereditary among their descendants, and among those of Aeschylus in particular, for many generations. His son Euphorion, his nephew Philocles, his grand-nephews Morsimus and Melanthius, his grandson Astydamas, and his great-grandsons Astydamas and Philocles, were poets of more or less note. In the family of Sophocles may be mentioned his son Iophon and his grandson Sophocles; and in that of Euripides, his son or nephew of the same name. Among the tragic poets of the 3rd century, Ion, Achaeus, Aristarchus, and Neophron were accounted the most eminent, Agathon may also be included as the first who ventured to treat a subject of his own invention, whereas hitherto mythical history, especially that of Homer and the cyclic poets, or; in rare instances, authentic history, had furnished the materials of the play. After the Peloponnesian War tragedy shared the general and ever-increasing decline of political and religious vitality. In the 4th century, besides the descendants of Aeschylus, we must mention Theodectes, Aphareus, and Chaeremon, who partly wrote for readers only. The number of tragedies produced at Athens is marvellous. According to the not altogether trustworthy records of the number of plays written by each poet, they amounted to 1,400. The works of the foremost poets were represented over and over again, especially in the theatres of Asia Minor, under the successors of Alexander. During the first half of the 3rd century Ptolemy Philadelphus built a great theatre in Alexandria, where he established competitions in exact imitation of those at Athens. This gave a new impetus to tragic poetry, and seven poets became conspicuous, who were known as the Alexandrine Pleias, Alexander Aetolus, Philiscus (see cut), Sositheus, Homerus, Aeantides, Sosiphanes, and Lycophron. The taste of the Alexandrine critics deemed them worthy to occupy a place beside the five great tragic poets of Athens, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Ion, and Achaeus. Inasmuch as tragedy developed itself out of the chorus at the Dionysiac festivals, so, in spite of all the limitations which were introduced as a result of the evolution of the true drama, the chorus itself was always retained. Hence Greek tragedy consisted of two elements: the one truly dramatic, the prevailing metre of which was the iambic trimeter; the other consisting of song and dance (see CHORUS) in the numerous varieties of Dorian lyric poetry. The dramatic portion was generally made up of the following parts: the proloyos, from the beginning to the first entry of the chorus; the epeisodion, the division between each choral song and the next; and the exodos, or concluding portion which followed the last chorus. The first important choral part was called the parodos; and the song following an epeisodion, a stasimon. There were further songs of lamentation by the chorus and actors together, which were called kommoi. A solo was sometimes sung by the actor alone; this became especially common in the later tragedies.
The earliest of the three great tragic poets of Greece, son of Euphorion. He was born at Eleusis, near Athens, B.C. 525, of an old and noble stock, fought at Marathon, Salamis and Plataeae, and in his 25th year appeared as a writer of tragedies and rival of Pratinas and Choerilus, though he did not win his first victory till 488 B.C. About 476 he lived in Sicily, at the court of Hiero of Syracuse, and composed his Aetnoeans for the consecration of the city of Aetna, founded by that king in the place of the ancient Catana. On his return to Athens he was beaten by the young Sophocles with his very first play, but vanquished him again the next year with the Tetralogy of which the Seven against Thebes formed a part. After the performance of his Oresteia, B.C. 459, he quitted home once more, perhaps in disgust at the growing power of the democracy; and after three years' residence at Gela in Sicily, was killed, says one story, by an eagle dropping a tortoise on his bare skull. The inhabitants of Gela buried his remains, and honoured them with a splendid monument. At a later time the Athenians, on the motion of the orator Lycurgus, placed a brazen statue of him, as well as of Sophocles and Euripides, in the theatre; by a decree of the people a chorus was granted for every performance of his plays, and the garland of victory voted him as though be were still living among them. His tragedies, like those of the other two, were preserved in a special standard copy, to guard them against arbitrary alterations. His son Euphorion was also an esteemed tragic poet, so was his sister's son Philocles and his descendants for several generations. (See TRAGEDY.) The number of Aeschylus's plays is stated as 90, of which 82 are still known by title, but only 7 are preserved: (1) The Persians, performed in 473 B.C., was named from the chorus. Its subject was the same as that of Phrynichus' Phaenissae, the defeat of Xerxes at Salamis, but was differently treated. (2) The Seven against Thebes, part of a Tetralogy, embracing the cycle of Theban legend, of which Laius and OEdipus formed the first two pieces, and the satyric drama Sphinx the conclusion. (3) The Suppliants, the reception of Danaus and his daughters at Argos, evidently part of another Tetralogy, and, to judge by the simple plot and its old-fashioned treatment, one of his earliest works. (4) Prometheus Bound, part of a Trilogy, the Prometheia, whose first and last pieces were probably Prometheus the Fire-bringer and Prometheus Unbound. Lastly, the Oresteia, the one Trilogy which has survived, consisting of the three tragedies, (5) Agamemnon, the murder of that hero on his return home; (6) The Choephoroe, named from the chorus of captive Trojan women offering libations at Agamemnon's tomb, in which Orestes avenges himself on Aegisthus and Clytaemnestra; and (7) The Eumenides, in which Orestes, pursued by the Furies, is acquitted by the Areopagus at Athens. This Trilogy, composed B.C. 458, and probably the last work exhibited by Aeschylus at Athens, gives us an idea of the whole artistic conception of the poet, and must be looked upon as one of the greatest works of art ever produced. The style is marked by sublimity and majesty, qualities partly attributable to the courageous and serious temper of the time, but chiefly the offspring of the poet's individuality, which took delight in all that is great and grand, and loved to express itself in strong, sonorous words, an accumulation of epithets, and a profusion of bold metaphors and similes. His view of the universe reveals a profoundly philosophic mind, so that the ancients call him a Pythagorean; at the same time he is penetrated by a heartfelt piety, which conceives of the gods as powers working in the interest of morality. However simple the plot of his plays, they display an art finished to the minutest detail. His Trilogies either embraced one complete cycle of myths, or united separate legends according to their moral or mythical affinity; even the satyric dramas attached to the Tragedies Stand in intimate connexion with them. Aeschylus is the true creator of Tragedy, inasmuch as, by adding a second actor to the first, he originated the genuine dramatic dialogue, which he made the chief part of the play by gradually cutting down the lyrical or choral parts. Scenic apparatus he partly created and partly completed. He introduced masks for the players, and by gay and richly embroidered trailing garments, the high buskin, head-dresses, and other means, gave them a grand imposing aspect above that of common men; and he fitted up the stage with decorative painting and machinery. According to the custom of the time, he acted in his own plays, practised the chorus in their songs and dances, and himself invented new dance figures.
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.]
Type: Standard
gutter splint
gutter splint
gutter splint