Through the analysis of three epigrams attributed to Parrhasius, as well as of further information about this artist found in later authors (Pliny, Athenaeus, Aelian), the paper tries to reassess the extent of artistic self-representation in classical Greece. The author argues that the epigrams are not a literary falsification: in fact, they fit perfectly into the artistic and philosophical debate of the late 5th cent. BC. Along with other documents preserved in literary sources, the epigrams shed light on the effort made by Greek artists in order to achieve a new social status, better than that of simple ‘manual workers’: Parrhasius represents himself as a refined, educated man, in short as an intellectual; he praises his own achievements in the art of painting, due to a mix of inborn faculties and divine inspiration. The effort of Parrhasius was common to many classical artists, but in the end it proved largely uneffective because of the later predominance of Plato's negative view of art.
|Number of pages||50|
|Journal||Opera - Nomina - Historiae|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|