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Italian Renaissance Learning Resources

In collaboration with the National Gallery of Art


(fl late 5th century BC–early 4th). Greek painter. Zeuxis of Heracleia achieved wealth and fame as a painter in Athens around the time of the Peloponnesian Wars (431–404 BC). Pliny (Natural History XXXV.xxxvi.61) stated that Zeuxis began working in the fourth year of the 95th Olympiad (397 BC) and that writers who dated him to the 89th Olympiad (c. 424 BC) were mistaken. According to Pliny, Zeuxis was the pupil of either Demophilos of Himera or Neseus of Thasos. Both were active around 424 BC, perhaps explaining the confusion of other authors concerning Zeuxis’ own date. No paintings by Zeuxis survive, but ancient descriptions of his style suggest that he used painterly methods rather than line to create an illusion of three-dimensional form and depth.

Susan B. Matheson