Pamphilus (painter)

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Pamphilus of Amphipolis (Ancient Greek: Πάμφιλος, fourth century BC) was a Macedonian[1] painter and head of Sicyonian school. Under his influence painting became a regular part of Greek classical education,[2] and a number of his pupils went on to become well-known painters.


Pamphilus was the disciple of Eupompus, the founder of the Sicyonian school of painting, and worked to establish this school.[3] Of his own works we have mostly scanty accounts; but he was well known and respected as a teacher of his style of art. Among those who paid price for his tuition were Melanthius, Pausias and Apelles[4] the painter of Alexander the Great.

According to Pliny, Pamphilus was an educated man, both in literacy and mathematics.[5] He promoted the importance of education to the development of skilful painting.[6]


The prominence of Pamphilus' school of painting contributed to the acceptance of painting as important to the education of nobel youth.[7] His ideas about the incorporation of mathematical skills in painting were quoted centuries later as evidence that painting was a science.[8]


  1. ^ Suda s. v. Apelles; Macedo natione, Plinius.
  2. ^ Simon Hornblower; Antony Spawforth; Esther Eidinow (11 September 2014). The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization. OUP Oxford. pp. 264–. ISBN 978-0-19-101676-9.
  3. ^ William Smith; Charles Anthon (1843). A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. Harper & Brothers. pp. 710–.
  4. ^ Eva C. Keuls (1978). Plato and Greek Painting. BRILL. pp. 142–. ISBN 90-04-05395-6.
  5. ^ David Summers (2007). Vision, Reflection, and Desire in Western Painting. UNC Press Books. pp. 37–. ISBN 978-0-8078-3110-6.
  6. ^ The History of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Graving, and of Those who Have Excell'd in Them. In Three Books, Etc. [Translated from the French.]. 1699. pp. 19–.
  7. ^ Charles Anthon (1842). A Classical Dictionary: Containing an Account of the Principal Proper Names Mentioned in Ancient Authors, and Intended to Elucidate All the Important Points Connected with the Geography, History, Biography, Mythology, and Fine Arts of the Greeks and Romans Together with an Account of Coins, Weights, and Measures, with Tabular Values of the Same. Harper. pp. 965–.
  8. ^ P. Zilsel (7 March 2013). The Social Origins of Modern Science. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 53–. ISBN 978-94-011-4142-0.