Polygnotos
(5th century BC)

Innovative painter from Thasos during the Classical period, who spent most of his life in Athens. Aristotle used his work to illustrate what he ment by ethos, enhanced state of mind. Pausanians writes about his paintings in Delphi.
Polygnotos preferred to paint characters and thoughtfulness: in Delphi he painted the Greeks and the Trojans the day after the battle of Troy and another work showed Odysseus visiting the underworld. He also painted mythological scenes in the Stoa Poikile in Athens.
Polygnotos prefered to use colours like black, red, yellow ochra and white, but also used shades inbetween by mixing the colours: for example, he painted bodies that show through water and seethrough clothes. He was also the first to try to show the background as a reality and introduced landscapes as well as perspecitve. Before Polygnotos painting was for decoration, now it became a cultural factor. He founded the helladic school of art in Athens.


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