Pliny the Elder, Natural History 35.45

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The most celebrated modellers were Damophilus and Gorgasus, who were painters as well. These artists adorned with their works, in both kinds, the Temple of Ceres in the Circus Maximus at Rome; with an inscription in Greek, which stated that the decorations on the right-hand were the workmanship of Damophilus, and those on the left, of Gorgasus. Varro says that, before the construction of this temple, everything was Tuscan in the temples; and that, when the temple was afterwards repaired, the painted coatings of the walls were cut away in tablets and enclosed in frames, but that the figures on the pediments were dispersed. Chalcosthenes, too, executed at Athens some works in unbaked earth, on the spot which, from his manufactory, has since obtained the name of "Ceramicus." M. Varro states that he knew an artist at Rome, Possis by name, who executed fruit, grapes, and fish, with such exactness, that it was quite impossible, by only looking at them, to distinguish them from the reality. He speaks very highly also of Arcesilaüs, who was on terms of intimacy with Lucius Lucullus, and whose models in plaster used to sell at a higher rate, among artists themselves, than the works of others. He informs us, also, that it was by this modeller that the Venus Genetrix in the Forum of Cæsar was executed, it having been erected before completion, in the great haste that there was to consecrate it; that the same artist had made an agreement with Lucullus to execute a figure of Felicity, at the price of sixty thousand sesterces, the completion of which was prevented by their death; and that Octavius, a Roman of equestrian rank, being desirous of a model for a mixing-bowl, Arcesilaüs made him one in plaster, at the price of one talent.

Varro praises Pasiteles also, who used to say, that the plastic art was the mother of chasing, statuary, and sculpture, and who, excellent as he was in each of these branches, never executed any work without first modelling it. In addition to these particulars, he states that the art of modelling was anciently cultivated in Italy, Etruria in particular; and that Volcanius was summoned from Veii, and entrusted by Tarquinius Priscus with making the figure of Jupiter, which he intended to consecrate in the Capitol; that this Jupiter was made of clay, and that hence arose the custom of painting it with minium; and that the four-horse chariot, so often mentioned, upon the pediment of the temple, was made of clay as well. We learn also from him, that it was by the same artist that the Hercules was executed, which, even to this day, is named at Rome from the material of which it is composed. Such, in those times, were the most esteemed statues of the gods; and small reason have we to complain of our forefathers for worshipping such divinities as these; for in their day there was no working of gold and silver—no, not even in the service of the gods.


שני אמנים יווניים בשם Damophilos ו-Gorgasos שפיסלו את הפסלים המקשטים את המקדש קרס על גבעת האוונטין, מרכז התרבות הפלבאית.

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