Zeuxis
(5th-4th century BC)

One of the most famous painters of his time, who was known to make very realistic paintings. He also did clay sculptures, but neither them nor the paintings have survived to the afterworld. We do have copies of his work in Roman villas, though.
Zeuxis often thought himself misunderstood by his public and Aristotle did not like him at all. All his life he worked in South Italy and is said to have laughed himself to death after painting a funny old woman.
An anecdote tells us how Zeuxis and another very famous painter, Parrhasios, once competed in who could paint the most realistic painting. Zeuxis painted some graped, that seemed so real that the birds came to eat them. Then he asked Parrhasios to pull away the curtain and show his painting, but it turned out that the curtain was actually painted. Zeuxis then said: I've deceived the birds, but Parrhasios has deceived Zeuxis.
Zeuxis worked out how to use light and shades to give the impression of depth. He belonged to a new school where the background was given more emphasis. Among his known works were Helen of Troy and The Centaur family.


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