, a celebrated Athenian painter, flourished about the year 408 before the Christian aera. He applied the essential principles of his predecessor Polygnotus to the delineation of the species, by investigating the leading forms that discriminate the various classes of human qualities and passions. The acuteness of his taste led him to discover that as all men were connected by one general form, so they were separated each by some predominant power, which fixed character, and bound them to a class: that in proportion as this specific power partook of individual peculiarities, the farther it was removed from a share in that harmonious system which constitutes nature, and consists in a due balance of all its parts: thence he drew his line of imitation, and personified the central form of the class, to which his object belonged; and to which the rest of its qualities administered without being absorbed: agility was not suffered to destroy firmness, solidity, or weight; nor strength and weight agility: elegance did not degenerate to effeminacy, or grandeur swell to hugeness. Such were his principles of style; his expression extended them to the mind, if we may judge from the two subjects mentioned by Pliny, in which he seems to have personified the characters of devotion and impiety: the former, in the adoring figure of a priest, perhaps of Chryses, expanding his gratitude at the shrine of the God whose arrows avenged his wrongs and restored his daughter: and the latter, in the figure of Ajax wrecked, and from the sea-swept rock hurling defiance unto the murky sky. As neither of these subjects can present themselves to a painter’s mind without a contrast of the most awful and the most terrific tones of colour, magic of light and shade, and unlimited command over the tools of art, we may with Pliny and with Plutarch consider Apollodorus as the first assertor of the pencil’s honours, as the first colourist of his age, and the man who opened the gates of art which Zeuxis entered. 1


Fuseli’s Lectures.