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being on the same level. Some of the dividuality in the countenance, and this mythological compositions have been gave a stimulus to portrait-painting. They found, not only at Pompeii but in other selected in preference for representaRoman ruins, and seem to have been the tion those myths which gave the largest common property of the Roman world scope for the delineation of the feelings, and to have had a common origin. But and especially those in which the passion though these were also executed on the of love played a prominent part. Stories spot, the greater part of them were evi- of a sentimental character, such as those dently not designed in the Roman Empire. of Narcissus, Cyparissus, Hyacinthus, With few exceptions, such as the Death now appear for the first time in art. This of Sophonisba, the only historical subject, whole tendency is reflected in the PomVenus coming down to the wounded peian paintings, and gives them their Æneas, and one or two others, the subjects priceless interest, as it enables us to trace are all Greek. Some of them have Greek them back to a special period of Greek inscriptions and other characteristics art. which all point to a Greek origin. This We vainly try to imagine what painting confirms winat Pliny and other contem- was in the days of Phidias, when Polygnoporary writers say of the condition of art tus covered the walls of the Lesche at in their day. When Pliny speaks of Delphi with those great compositions painting as a dying art, it is evident that which were never equalled for elevation of he means that the creative power was ex- thought, though the technique was still in hausted; for the frescoes found at Pompeii its infancy; or at a later period when and in other Roman ruins show that the Zeuxis and Apelles brought the art of execution, in decorative art at least, was painting to its highest development in still on a high level.
Greece. But as the afterglow on the The period of Greek art to which the mountains reflects the rays of the sun long compositions can be specially traced is after it has set, so we can at least trace in that of Alexander the Great and his suc- the Pompeian paintings a distant reflection
It was in his time that the of Greek art in its last great days and in Athenians began to ornament their houses, its glorious decline. The compositions which in the days of Pericles had been of often repeat themselves with slight variaan austere simplicity. While hitherto all tions and can occasionally be traced to the splendor of art had been bestowed on some great original of which we know the the temples and public buildings, the existence through Pliny, Pausanias, or painters now began to paint small panel other writers — as, for example, Medea pictures for the private houses. At a meditating the murder of her children. later period these were replaced by imita- We know that Medea was painted by tions introduced into the wall-decoration Timomachus from Byzantium, the last itself, such as we see at Pompeii, a much great painter of the period of the Diadochi, less costly process, which was very gen. and that this picture and another by him, erally adopted. It probably originated in representing Ajax, were afterwards sold Alexandria, the seat of Hellenic culture to Cæsar and placed in the Temple of under Alexander's successors, and spread Venus in Rome. Timomachus died before from thence by degrees over the whole Medea was finished, but the picture was Roman world, into the palaces of the valued all the more for being the last Cæsars as well as the private houses. work of a great master. The same subThe subjects of the compositions have all ject had been treated by Aristolaus, an the characteristics of the Alexandrine age. earlier painter, who was known for the Since the great days of Pericles, art had severity of his style; but the Medea of entered on a new phase. The sublime Timomachus was the most celebrated and but severe character of the art of Phidias most likely to be reproduced, according to had been softened by the genius of Scopas that principle in ancient art by which all and Praxiteles, and the expression of the that was best was constantly copied; and emotions had now become the study of it is generally believed to have inspired the sculptor and the painter. The gods the representations from Pompeii and Zeus, Athene, Hera were less frequently Herculaneum. Two of these have been represented than Demeter, Dionysus, much discussed. In the Pompeian one, Eros, whose cult had developed later and Medea is represented standing with a was more in touch with human life and sword in her left hand and grasping the human nature. The artists had not aban- hilt with her right; the unconscious cbil. doned their ideals, but they rendered them dren are playing at knucklebones, while more human. They accentuated the in the old pedagogue looks in through a
doorway. In the representation from have been chiefly found in the private Herculaneum she is seen alone, holding houses, correspond to the various phases the hilt of the upturned sword between of human life, and belong to the cycle her folded hands. This attitude is more of Dionysus with his following of cen. in harmony with the expression of irreso taurs, satyrs, bacchantes; that of Aphrolution on her face, and has therefore been dite and the Erotes, and that of Apollo thought to come nearest the original of and the Muses, representing the ideal. Timomachus; and she is also represented ized pleasures of the senses, of the heart, in this way on a gem. In other respects of the intellect. But as in life these the two figures are very much alike. The are all interwoven, so we find Bacchus fierce struggle of her passions is rendered and Eros, Eros and Apollo, frequently towith great force, and with all the sense of gether. Thus in the immortal 66 Dithymeasure and dignity which characterized rambe.” Greek art. The painter Donner, who made a study of the technical part of the Nimmer, das glaubt mir, erscheinen die
Gôtter Campanian pictures, found traces of
Nimmer allein. joints, showing that this Medea formed Kaum dass ich Bacchus, den Lustigen, habe, part of a larger composition, so that, in all Kommt auch schon Amor, der lächelnde probability, the children were included.
Knabe In later excavations at Pompeii another Phöbus, der Herrliche, findet sich ein. Medea has been found which deviates in many ways from the former type. She is The Bacchic representations occur most seated in sombre meditation, leading her frequently, and both German and Italian head on one hand and holding with the investigators have remarked that there is other a sheathed sword that rests on the scarcely a house in Pompeii where there ground. The children are playing at is not some representation which refers to knucklebones, and one of them runs up to the worship of that divinity. This cor. her. The pedagogue looks in through a roborates what we know from other window, stern and watchful. Dramatic sources of the ascendency of the religion as the composition is, it does not compare of Bacchus in southern Italy. Introduced with the former ones, and Presuhn's sug: at an early time by the Greek colonist gestion that it may be a reminiscence of with the culture of the vine, it was at a the Medea of Timomachus is therefore later period adopted simultaneously by less probable.
the Etruscans and Romans, but it always The frescoes representing Perseus and Aourished most in southern Italy owing Andromeda, Achilles at Scyros, Achilles to its volcanic soil being peculiarly suita. giving up Briseis, the abandoned Ariadne, ble to the growth of the tree of Bacchus. the death of Laocoon, Pero and Cimon, Already Sophocles speaks of the sway are no doubt more or less reproductions Bacchus beld over Italy, and we read in of famous masterpieces as well as the Plato's laws that the whole town of Tarencelebrated dancers. This explains the tum - a Dorian colony – was intoxicated fact that the composition is generally during the Dionysiac festivals. Various superior to the execution. T sacrifice myths point in the same direction. Bacof Iphigenia is one of the few pictures chus and Ceres were disputing the poswhich preserve a tradition of an earlier session of Campania. Dionysus, after period than the Alexandrine, in the veiled conquering the Tyrrhenian pirates, had Agamemnon of Timanthes. The compo-left his old satyrs on the Italic shores to sition could not, however, be a copy of that cultivate the vine there. The vases in the great master; for, if we may believe Pliny's tombs abound in Bacchic subjects, and description, Timanthes represented Iphi. Böttiger's theory that they were given as genia standing near the altar, a noble and tokens to the initiated, and buried with ready victim, like the Iphigenia of Eurip- them as precious possessions which had a ides, while in the Pompeian painting she significance for their future life, is not an is carried, the artist following in this the improbable one. The worship in southern tradition of Æschylus in the Agamemnon. Italy had a strong mystic side, and its The figures in the paintings are small, festivals were celebrated with great pomp. with a few exceptions, such as Diana and Among the Etruscans first, and afterActæon, Hercules and Omphale, Venus wards among the Romans, the Bacchic and Adonis, which are the natural size, or festivals degenerated into scenes of immo. somewhat above it.
rality and licentiousness, and in 186 B.C. C. 0. Müller has suggested that the they were abolished throughout Italy by majority of the Pompeian paiptings which the Roman Senate. About the same pe
riod the Egyptian cults were introduced guide for its origin and chronology. The from Alexandria into Italy, and found an fact of its first appearing in Greek art in eager reception. The cult of Isis did not Alexander's time, when so many Oriental penetrate to Rome till Sulla's time, about ideas were imported into Greece, might 80 B.C., but the original temple of Isis at easily lead one astray regarding its origin. Pompeii, of which but little remains, ex- The Christians adopted the nimbus, but isted as early as the second century. It there are few, if any, examples earlier than was restored after the earthquake in the Constantine. The nimbus recurs several latest style, and it is a significant fact that times at Pompeii, and has been found it was the only temple which had been round the heads of Jupiter, Apollo, Ceres, entirely, or almost entirely, restored when Venus, Selene, Ariadne, Hypnos, Leda, the eruption took place. From the mys. Circe, Phrixus, and Scopia the personificateries of Bacchus to the mysteries of Isis tion of the mountain, as well as round the there was but a step. The ceremonies of head of Bacchus. The color is sometimes initiation must have had many points in blue, sometimes yellow or white, but this
Osiris had been identified with is determined by purely artistic consideraBacchus, and it is not surprising to find tions. A curious instance of the blue a statue of Bacchus in the temple of Isis. nimbus may be seen in an old Roman
Of the original earnestness of the reli- mosaic pavement in the triclinium of a gion of Dionysus but little survives at Roman villa at Bignor, in Sussex, where Pompeii, except here and there the noble a female head — probably an Ariadne type of the face. The meaning of the old was found surrounded with it. A Bacchus religion was gone
art had turned it to head with the nimbus was found in a sim. its own purposes. Bacchus is chiefly rep- ilar pavement at Avenches in Switzerland. resented as the god of the vine, and his These are believed to be of the same type is that of the young and beardless period - Vespasian or Titus - and to god which was adopted in Greek art in the have been executed by the same hand. fourth century B.C., when Praxiteles gave Ariadne, who was so closely connected it its ideal form. In the old Greek colo- with the worship of Bacchus, is also frenies we find the earlier type of the vener- quently found on the Pompeian walls. able bearded Bacchus, which continued to According to the myth her birthplace was subsist more or less by the side of the Crete, where she was originally worlater and more prevalent one. The coins shipped as a nature goddess. It was there of Naxos in Sicily show the two types, that Dædalus, the earliest Greek artist, and on those dating from the end of the constructed the “ dancing place for Ari. fifth century the earliest known represen- adne of the lovely tresses," and likewise tation of the youthful Bacchus may be the labyrinth into which Theseus went to
A remarkable picture of the young fight the Minotaur. Ariadne giving Thegod on an ivory throne, with one hand seus the clue which, according to Virgil, stretched out, the other holding the thyr- Dædalus himself had procured for her, is sus, was found in the house of Apollo at rarely found in ancient art, and only three Pompeii. This preserves in its majestic times at Pompeii, but the abandoned appearance the best traditions of Hellen- Ariadne on the shores of Naxos occurs istic art, and it is interesting from having very often. Sometimes she may be seen the nimbus, which was also found round with a weeping cupid by her side, and a the heads of the figures on each side female figure — believed to be Nemesis Apollo and Venus.
- pointing to the ship which carries off The nimbus was first introduced into Theseus. Or she is represented asleep Greek art in Alexander's time, and was with her right arın round her head like placed round the heads of divinities, he. the well-known Ariadne in the Vatican, roes, magicians, personified constellations, while Bacchus approaches, followed by and, at a later period, of kings and em- Silenus, Pan, satyrs, and bacchantes. perors. Stephani shows that, though the That graceful figure of the sleeping Ari. idea of the supernatural light or glory sur. adne so frequently reproduced in sculprounding the divinity undoubtedly existed ture as well as in painting, is traced back previously, it was first expressed in art by to an original painting in the temple of the Greeks, and that all the Oriental rep. Dionysus at Athens, described by Pausa. resentations of it — Brahman, Buddhist, nias, and probably a work of the fourth Egyptian are of Greco-Roman origin. century B.C. It became a favorite subject In sculpture the oimbus occurs but sel- on the Roman sarcophagi, not only be. dom, as it was not suitable for plastic cause it belonged to the Bacchic representreatment, and the coins are the chief | tations, which symbolized the happiness
that awaited the iniatiated, but more espeject frequently recurs in bas-relief, on cially because the sleeping Ariadne, wako coins and gems as well as in painting. ened by the god, was in itself one of those The representations of Andromeda and beautiful images under which the Romans Perseus looking at the reflection of the liked to symbolize death.
Gorgon's head in the water, have the The crown which Bacchus gave her was idyllic character which is preponderant in put among the constellations; hence she the Pompeian paintings, and which reis frequently surrounded with the nimbus. flects the spirit of art and poetry in the No less remarkable than these represen. Hellenistic age. tations of Bacchus and Ariadne are those Cupids are prominent figures on the of Perseus and Andromeda. One of these, Pompeian frescoes. They animate the Perseus leading Andromeda gently down scene and give it a greater significance. from the rock, while the sea-monster lies They play with the club of Hercules, with expiring in the water at their feet, has the armor of Mars. They weep over the been traced by various critics and more wounded Adonis, and over the infidelity of especially by Helbig to an original of the Theseus. One cupid fights with Pan; painter Nicias who lived in Alexander the another is loaded with fetters by Venus. Great's time. Pliny mentions among his They are put in a cage and held up by the paintings an Andromeda and an Io. Both wings for sale. It was one of these these subjects have been found at Pompeii. charming pictures, the sale of the Cupids, Argus watching Io was in all probability found at Stabiæ and at Pompeii, which the counterpart of Perseus and Androm. inspired Goethe's little poem "Wer kauft eda — the one heroine just delivered, the Liebesgötter," and Thorwaldsen's beauti- : other waiting for deliverance — and in ful bas-relief, “ The Ages of Love." In a the representation of Argus as a delicate fine mosaic pavement they chain up the youth, instead of the traditional giant, we lion and taunt him with his defeat. The find those characteristics which Pausanias Erotes, or Loves, as small winged boys, noticed in one of the works of that painter were a development of the Hellenistic at Amyclae. Nicias began his career period, following on the noble type of when that of Praxiteles was drawing to a Eros as a youth, which had been perfected close, and according to Pliny, Praxiteles in the fourth century. Scenes from daily was assisted by him in painting his stat- life in which the Érotes were the actors ues, and attached special value to his col- were favorite representations, and are oring (circumlitio). At such a school often found at Pompeii. Thus we see Nicias himself no doubt developed those these charming winged boys leave their qualities for which he became celebrated, bows and arrows and give mankind a bringing his forms into strong relief by a respite, to work as shoemakers and carcareful treatment of light and shade. He penters, like the boys of a modern induspossessed that subtle delicacy of percep- trial school. Where Eros is, Psyche is tion which made him a great painter of not far distant, and they frequently appear women, and he also excelled in painting together either as aërial figures or in ideal. dogs. So intense was his absorption in his ized scenes of daily life, such as weaving art that he had frequently to ascertain wreaths or playing on musical instruments. from his servants whether he had had his The subjects of the frescoes usually bath and his meals. We have no means bear some relation to the uses of the of knowing how Nicias represented his rooms. This was in accordance with that Andromeda. Raoul-Rochette took her to sense of harmony which the Greeks carbe one of those single figures like the ried into all the details of life. The Ala. Helen of Zeuxis, the Aphrodite of Apelles, bandines in Caria were criticised, says "on which the great painters of Greece Vitruvius, the Roman architect, for placliked to spend all their science of drawing, ing in their gymnasium statues “in the all their power of expression, all their attitude of pleading causes, while those charm of execution," but tradition says that in the forum are holding the discus or Nicias attached great importance to the running, or playing with balls.” Fruit, selection of compositions which combined vegetables, and Bacchic subjects are fre. many dramatic elements, and it is there- quently found in the triclinia, gardens, and fore most probable that his Andromeda landscapes in the peristylia, representawas the centre figure of a great compositions of various myths in the atria and tion. However this may be, there can be exedræ, and Zahn suggested ingeniously po doubt that the Pompeian painting must that it was probably a bedroom in which be traced back to some great original. were found those two beautiful aërial figThis is borne out by the fact that the sub-| ures on a black ground, one of which
seems to rise buoyantly upwards and to so completely that here we find them typify wakening, while the other gently at their best. Among these figures are descends as if to sink to rest; but truth the dancing-girls or bacchantes, and the obliges us reluctantly to give up this poet- centaurs, who are represented carrying ical interpretation, for Fiorelli has, no young men and women, holding musical doubt, good reason for calling the room a instruments and the thyrsus, the attribute triclinium, and the two figures have been of Bacchus. The centaur, a product of named bacchantes. Between them was pure Greek art, is a remarkable iostance the picture which the Academicians have of the evolution of the art type. Origi. called the “Wedding of Zephyrus and nally a wild race of hunters in Thessaly, Flora,” but which other good authorities, they probably became in the Greek imagi. including Zahn, have believed to be the nation assimilated with their horses; but “Wedding of Pasithea and the God of the early attempts to represent their dual Sleep.”. According to the received ver. nature were exceedingly clumsy, as may sion, Flora lies asleep leaning on a draped be seen on a bas-relief found at Olympia, figure with large black wings and a bluish where Heracles is seen pursuing a limpradiated nimbus, holding a branch of red ing monster composed of a human body flowers and representing Hypnos, the god combined with the hinder part of a horse. of sleep. It is so doubtful whether this Pausanias was struck with this early type figure is male or female that some have of centaur on the chest of Cypselus at believed her to be Pasithea; but the latter, Olympia. On the frieze of a temple at though mentioned as the bride of the god Assos, believed to be of the sixth century, of sleep, is never called the goddess of the later centaur type, with the four hoofs sleep herself. Zephyrus comes down sup- and only the bust of a man, has been ported by two cupids, and a figure on a found side by side with the archaic one, rock draws a drapery over the whole but it was probably not till the age of
If Pasithea is substituted for Phidias that the type was perfected into a Flora, the winged figure on which she homogeneous whole, such as we see it in leans would represent Selene, the goddess the Parthenon marbles and on the Pomof the moon. This picture has been much peian walls. discussed, and various other interpreta. The great artists of Greece liked to extions of the subject have been given. ercise their ingenuity on so subtle a Raoul-Rochette believed it to be Mars problem. Zeuxis brought it to perfection appearing in a dream to the vestal virgin, in a famous painting lost in a shipwreck Rhea Silvia, but this is not probable as when brought over to Italy by Sulla but Roman subjects are very rare at Pompeii. immortalized in a description of Lucian, Whatever may have been in the mind of who saw the copy at Athens. the painter, it is one of the finest of the sented a family of centaurs, and in the Pompeian pictures. Neither Correggio female suckling her young, the most beaunor Albano, says the account in the jour- tiful type of womanhood, and that of the nals of the excavation, have produced finest Thessalian mare were blended toanything that excels the grace and beauty gether so artfully and imperceptibly that of the "puttini.” Owing to a rainfall in it was impossible to see where the one the night before the excavation on No- ended and the other began. At Pompeii vember 6, 1826, the colors of the whole we see in turn a furious bacchante kneel. wall appeared in all their pristine fresh- ing on a centaur, with his arms tied beness to the admiring eyes of those who hind him, and lashing bim on the were present.
picture of unbridled passion
- and a The aërial figures form a large part of lovely girl quietly seated on a female centhe Pompeian decorations. The lightness taur - the image of purity and innocence. and buoyancy with which they are poised The centaur teaching a young man to in the air are incomparably beautiful. play the lyre is Chiron teaching Achilles. Some of them have large wings to support This subject has been found on a larger them. “ Creations of the artist's fantasy,” scale at Herculaneum, and is probably a says Helbig, “they are free from all the reminiscence of the famous marble group fetters of reality, and belong to those re. which in Pliny's time was in the septa in mains of ancient art which are most im- Rome. The same subject appears most bued with the Greek spirit.” There is no appropriately on the shield in the fresco doubt that they go back to the best period representing Achilles in female attire at of Greek art, and that they must have Scyros among the daughters of King been faithfully transmitted through gen. Lycomedes, when he betrays himself by erations. The artists had mastered them seizing the arms offered for sale among