Agatharcus

, an ancient painter, the son of Eudemus, was borti at Samos, and practised his art at Athens. He painted with great facility, and was distinguished for his skill in animals, ornaments, and decorations. Alcibiades employed him to decorate his magnificent house; and, according to Demosthenes (in his oration against Midias), while thus employed, he contrived to seduce the mistress of Alcibiades, who having discovered the intrigue, punished him no otherwise than by close imprisonment until he completed his work; and then dismissed him with many rich presents. Plutarch in his lives of Alcibiades and Pelopidas, speaks only of the imprisonment, which he imputes solely to Alcibiades’ impatience to have his house finished. From his connexion with Zeuxis and Alcibiades, it is probable that he lived about the ninety -fifth olympiad, or 400 years B. C.; but this does not accord with Vitruvius’s account, who informs us that Agatharcus was the first who painted scenes for the theatre; and wrote a treatise on the subject, under the direction of Æschylus, who died 480 B. C. This anachronism has given rise to the conjecture that there may have been two painters of the name. 2

2

Moreri.—Biographie Universelle.—Dict. Hist.