Butades

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The Origin of Painting by Jean-Baptiste Regnault, 1785

Butades of Sicyon, sometimes mistakenly called Dibutades, was the first ancient Greek modeller in clay. The period at which he flourished is unknown, but has been put at about 600 BC. The story is that his daughter, Kora (also called Callirhoe), smitten with love for a youth at Corinth where they lived, drew upon the wall the outline of his shadow, and that upon this outline her father modelled a face of the youth in clay, and baked the model along with the clay tiles which it was his trade to make. This model was preserved in Corinth until Lucius Mummius sacked that town. This incident led Butades to ornament the ends of roof-tiles with human faces, a practice which is attested by numerous existing examples.

He is also said to have invented a mixture of clay and ruddle (red ochre), or to have introduced the use of a special kind of red clay.[1]

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  1. ^ Pliny. Natural History, XXXV, 12.

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