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Arellius was a Roman painter active in the 1st century BC, mentioned by Pliny.


Arellius was a painter of some celebrity, at Rome, a short time before the reign of Augustus. From the manner in which he is mentioned by Pliny,[1] in Book 35 of his Natural History[2] he must have possessed considerable ability. Pliny however reproaches him for his choice of models:[1]

Arellius was in high esteem at Rome; and with fair reason, had he not profaned the art by a disgraceful piece of profanity; for, being always in love with some woman or other, it was his practice, in painting goddesses, to give them the features of his mistresses; hence it is, that there were always some figures of prostitutes to be seen in his pictures.[2]

However, he never thought of making the same reproach against some of the greatest artists of Greece, who constantly availed themselves of the same practice.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Bryan,1886-9
  2. ^ a b In John Bostock's 1855 translation, from "Book XXXV. Of Painting and Colours". Pliny the Elder, The Natural History. Perseus Digital Library. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBryan, Michael (1886). "Arellius". In Graves, Robert Edmund. Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers (A–K). I (3rd ed.). London: George Bell & Sons.