, a celebrated painter of Ephesus, or, according to others, of Athens, flourished in the time of Socrates, as we learn from Xenophon, who has introduced him in a dialogue, discoursing with that philosopher. He was one of the most excellent painters of his time. Pliny tells us, that it was he who first gave symmetry and just proportions in the art; that he also was the first who knew how to express the truth of character, and the different airs of the face; that he found out a beautiful disposition of the hair, and heightened the grace of the visage. It was allowed even by the masters in the art, that he bore away from all others the glory of succeeding in the outline, in which consists the grand secret of painting. But the same author observes, that Parrhasius became insupportable by his pride; and affected to wear a crown of gold upon his head, and to carry in his hand a baton, studded with nails of the same metal. It is said that, though Parrhasius was excelled by Timanthes, yet he excelled Zeuxis. Among his pictures was a celebrated one of Theseus; and another representing Meleager, Hercules, and Perseus, in a groupe together; as also Æneas, with Castor and Pollux in a third. But of him, or his pictures, the accounts handed down to us are extremely imperfect, and little to be relied on in forming a just estimate of his merit. 2


Pliny, lib. xxxv. Quintilian, lib. xii. Diodorns, lib. xxv. Athenaus, lib. xii. Vasari. Felibicn. Junius de pictura veterum.