PARRHA'SIUS (Lat., from M.. Bappornoc). One of the greatest painters of ancient Greece, the son of EvenoĽ, himself an artist. He was a native of Ephesus, but, like his elder contempo rary Zenxis. practiced his profession in many places, and seems to have received Athenian citi zenship as a reward for his picture of Theseus, since later writers sometimes call him an Athenian. He lived near the end of the fifth century B.C., lint exact dates are not known. Cer tainly apocryphal is the story of Seneca that for his painting of Prometheus he tortured a captive from Olynthus, as the artist could scarcely have been living at so late a date (n.c. 347) if he were a celebrated painter during the lifetime of Socrates. over fifty years before.
(Cf. Xenophon, Memorabilia iii. 10.) His art is known to us only from ancient criticism, and chiefly from a passage in Pliny, Mist. Nut., xxxv.. 67, where he is praised as the first to introduce accurate proportions into painting, and as especially successful in his drawing and rendering of contours. It seems that he was the first successfully to employ light and shade in such a way as to suggest the round, as distin guished from the relief. His painting of the
Athenian Democracy (Demos) was held to ex press in a wonderful way the variety of dismosi tion which marked that very variable person. Other works of his were a "Hermes," believed to be his own portrait; a "Heraeles," which claimed to show the hero as he had appeared to the artist in a dream; a "Naval Commander in Full Ar mor"; "Ulysses Feigning Madness"; "-Eneas, Castor, and Pollux"; "Dionysus and Virtue"; "Meleager, Heraeles, and Perseus"; `Thracian Nurse with a Child in ller Arms"; "Priest with a Child Bearing Incense"; "Two Boys"; "Healing of Telephus"; "Contest for the Armor of Achil les"; "Philoctetes on Lemnos"; and others. For recreation he is said to have painted licentious little pictures, one of which, "Meleager and Ata lanta," was a great favorite of the Emperor Ti berius, who chose it rather than a million ses terces,