A diptych by Evanthes: Andromeda and Prometheus (Ach. Tat. 3,6-8).
At the beginning of book 3 of Achilles Tatius' Leucippe and Clitophon, the protagonists survive a shipwreck and arrive on the coast at Pelusium, where they go to the temple to express gratitude for their safety and ask for a response regarding their friends lost in the storm. They visit the inner chamber of the temple, where the statue of Zeus Casius is kept, and then, proceeding with the tour of the building, move to the opisthodomos, where they see the double painting of Andromeda and Prometheus. Before the close description of the works of art, Clitophon presents the readers with an introduction meant to explain why, in his opinion, the paintings had been associated. After the cursory treatment of the statue of Zeus Casius, (2) the double painting of Andromeda and Prometheus is given particular attention:
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Near the postern door we saw a double picture, signed by the artist; it had been painted by Evanthes, and represented first Andromeda, then Prometheus, both of them in chains--and this was the reason, I suppose, why the artist had associated the two subjects. In other respects, too, the two works were akin. In both, the chains were attached to a rock, and in both, beasts were the torturers--his from the air, and hers from the sea; their deliverers were Argives of the same family, his Hercules and hers Perseus; the one shooting Zeus's eagle and the other contending with the sea-beast of Poseidon. The former was represented aiming with his arrow on land, the latter suspended in the air on his wings. (3,6). (3)
For the first and last time in this novel, and in the Greek novels in general, the name of the artist is mentioned. (4) Gaselee translates 'signed by the artist', (5) but it is difficult to say whether what Clitophon sees is the actual signature of the painter, for the Greek text literally says 'the painter had been written', which might simply indicate that someone else had tagged the painting with the name Evanthes. It is even more difficult to say whether Evanthes is a product of Achilles Tatius' fiction or a painter who actually existed: the latter would shed an interesting light on the relationship of the contents of his novel with real artworks. Things are of course complicated by the fact that this is the only time a painter named Evanthes is mentioned. Not much attention has been paid by scholars to this question. Considering that the hapax legomenon of the name of the painter Evanthes occurs in a work of fiction, the likelihood of him being fictitious is perhaps stronger than the will to discover if he is real. Thus, in the absence of other references, Evanthes has been put aside. Gaselee does not take the problem into consideration. Vilborg and Whitmarsh agree that the name is fictitious. (6) Even so, and supposing that Achilles Tatius decided to invent Evanthes in order to confer authority upon the double painting, there is no reason why he should not have done the same with the other paintings in the novel.
On the other hand, art historians and archaeologists give him a very different treatment. Since they are not concerned about fiction they have no reason to doubt Achilles Tatius' account, and since much of ancient painting is missing they are happy to welcome his descriptions as safe substitutes for lost testimonies. In a famous book published in 1929, Mary Swindler introduces Evanthes maintaining that he was 'the last important artist connected with Alexandria who can be more than a name to us'. (7) She still shows reservations about the genuineness of the double painting, (8) but does not hesitate to consider Evanthes a real person: to her, he is a recognised artist who can even be connected to a specific area, Alexandria. Considering the amount of information we are given about him (i.e. his name), this seems to be an overstatement. Nevertheless, Evanthes' paintings are included among extant works of art in the major encyclopaedic sources for ancient iconography. (9)
Early scholarship was much more worried than we are now about the actual existence of paintings described in ancient art-related prose fiction. To the modern eye, late 1800 and early 1900 studies seem to have used these texts as some sort of treasure maps in their hunt for the true origin of works of art, sometimes forgetting that telling the truth-like is not the same as telling the truth. With time came the opinion that such a debate was an end in itself, that the stress in 'art-related prose fiction' should be on 'fiction' rather than on 'art', and that one could not measure two authors like Philostratus and Pausanias with the same scale. Thus came a tendency to put as little trust as possible on the alleged clues in the text and focus not on the possible links with an unverifiable outside reality but with the only reality available to us, that of the text itself. (10) The main question to answer became 'why?' rather than 'where from?', with focus on function and intended effect on the readers. In the world of the ancient novels this has led to excellent studies, such as Bartsch's, that have widened our perception of the author's narrative strategy and added a lot to our understanding and enjoyment of the texts. (11) * As for the subordinate question of the origin of the works of art described and how they might have got into the mind of the author, the common answer remained one of old: the schools of rhetoric, the mare magnum, in fact little navigated, whence the novelists are supposed to have drawn more or less everything that cannot be otherwise accounted for. Besides, the question lost importance in view of the consideration that the abundance of details of the description should not point to the conclusion that the object was real, but that it was the author's intention to make it appear so.
It is a limitation to see these two approaches as mutually exclusive. It is one of the purposes of this article to show that the information inferred from verifying the description of a painting against the attested ancient iconography can provide insight into the author's choice of that particular piece for that particular part of his work, and therefore into its intended function. This methodology is no different from the one applied in studies on intertextuality, which result both in a deeper understanding of the text at stake through the identification and contextualisation of the sources of its references, and in a deeper understanding of the author through the observation of the literary implements that were available to him in the composition of his work, and thus his modus operandi. However, just as textual similarities must be sifted out carefully in order to differentiate between cases of intertextuality and less relevant lexical coincidences, so should descriptions of works of art not be put all in the same basket. Indeed, we cannot measure Pausanias and Philostratus with the same scale, but the validity of this principle should be extended to other authors, and the fact that the pictures in the Imagines are fictional, as it is now widely believed, should not lead to the a priori assumption that the same must be said about the paintings in Achilles Tatius, because they are two different authors who aim for different things.
What is more, cautious differentiation needs to be applied even within the work of a single author, especially if that author happens to be Achilles Tatius. In Leucippe and Clitophon there are three descriptions of paintings, which is not the same as saying that the author repeats the exact same thing thrice. A synoptic analysis of these descriptions with the purpose of understanding their differences of form rather than of unifying them in one explanation would be beyond the scope of this article, so let us here just highlight a few aspects that should not be disregarded: the paintings belong to three different types; (12) they are described according to three different modes of narration; (13) even their common role, the proleptic function, seems to follow a different rule every time. (14) It should cause no surprise, then, if the answer to the question of the origin of the paintings varied in each case, and it is precisely in order to understand a few of these variables, the aforementioned unique fact that the paintings of Andromeda and Prometheus constitute a diptych and that they are attributed to a named painter, that the present study focuses only on these paintings. Before we decide on the plausibility of these elements, however, let us verify the accuracy of the images described.
The earliest representation of Andromeda and Perseus that we have dates back to the sixth century BC. It is an amphora showing a unique image of Andromeda unchained helping Perseus in the fight against the sea monster. (15) Later representations from the fifth century BC show the influence of the Athenian tragedians. Andromeda is chained to posts in oriental clothes, as is supposed to have happened in the lost Andromeda by Sophocles. (16) The scene depicted can take place before, during, or after the enchainment. Ethiopian slaves can also be present, carrying Andromeda, fastening her to the posts, or carrying gifts. Perseus is represented wearing a mantle that either covers his body or shows him naked beneath, and carrying some or all of his typical items: the winged helmet, the winged sandals (when the wings are not directly attached to his ankles), and the sickle. Regarding his weapons, the sickle is constantly present and almost always held in his right hand, whereas the left hand is sometimes holding one or two spears, or a sword. The simple sickle will later become the double sword, namely a sickle with a point. There is so far no trace of the Gorgoneion, the head of Medusa. The hero is either contemplating (or perhaps talking to) Andromeda, or talking to Cepheus, Andromeda's father, presumably to arrange the wedding in return for the deed. Starting from the fourth century the arched entrance of a grotto becomes an alternative for the posts, a fact that has been connected with an innovation in Euripides' Andromeda, where the heroine was chained to a grotto or a rocky cliff from the beginning of the play. Also, Andromeda's oriental clothes give way to white (sometimes transparent) garments, either covering or revealing parts (sometimes all) of her body. In the second half of the fourth century BC the subject is particularly popular in southern Italy, especially Apulia, where we find a consistent production of vases representing Andromeda and Perseus. It must be said that it is difficult to arrange the examples in precise categories that account at the same time for the moment in the story, the position of the characters, the clothes and the objects displayed. Details may vary from vase to vase, but in general terms it is possible to say that in the course of time some elements became neglected (the oriental robes, the posts, the alternative weapons), whilst others became popular (white clothes for Andromeda, the grotto, Perseus' pointed sickle). The fight between the hero and the sea monster is given more attention, and Perseus is depicted in the act of slaying the beast, sometimes grasping its neck with his left hand. Surprisingly, the Gorgoneion did not become a regular part of Perseus' equipment until late. A bag, possibly containing the Gorgoneion, can be noticed in the sixth-century amphora, but the head itself of Medusa is nowhere to be seen until some Etruscan urns of the middle of the second century BC, before becoming a constant in the wall paintings in Pompeii. There, we find a considerable number of wall paintings that cover different moments in the temporal sequence of events of the myth. We have the type with Andromeda chained to the rock, and Perseus descending from the sky, holding the pointed sickle with the right hand and the Gorgoneion with the left; (17) the type with Perseus on the water, fighting the sea monster; (18) the type with the hero helping the heroine to descend from the rocks; (19) the type with Andromeda finally freed, sitting with Perseus, who is holding the Gorgoneion. (20)
Phillips connects the different types of frescoes in Pompeii to the examples found in Apulian vases, showing how the Tarentine masters of the fourth century BC were the ones who produced the main innovations in Andromeda's iconography, namely the shift from the posts to the grotto, and finally to the rocky cliff. The only type that cannot be found in Apulian vases is the one with Perseus flying (fresco from House IX 7.16), for which he postulates Evanthes' painting to be the archetype. He then sees Tarentum as the only environment where the iconography of Evanthes' work could have been produced, and therefore proposes the end of the fourth century BC as the earliest possible dating for Evanthes. (21)
As a matter of fact, the elements described by Achilles Tatius fit well with the stage of Andromeda's iconography that is displayed in Pompeii. The maiden is chained to a grotto, wearing a tunic; the sea monster is coming out of the water; Perseus is descending from the sky, just before the beginning of the fight, wearing only a mantle, the winged sandals and the helmet, and carrying the pointed sickle in his right hand and the Gorgoneion in his left. If we exclude the grotto, which does not appear in the frescoes at Pompeii at all, the iconography of Andromeda displayed by Achilles Tatius' description of Evanthes' painting, and especially the figure of the flying Perseus, brings his painting undoubtedly close to the fresco.
With regard to Prometheus, Achilles Tatius' description captures once again the moment before the fight and the liberation. (22) The eagle is digging with its beak inside the wound on Prometheus' belly, searching for the liver. Its claws are grasping Prometheus' thigh, which the Titan is lifting up, to his own harm, since this brings the bird closer to the wound. Prometheus, chained to the rock, is all contracted in a spasm of pain. This contraction is reflected in the figure of Heracles, who is stretching the bow, ready to shoot at the eagle. This image does not correspond to the Titan's early iconography (seventh and sixth centuries BC), where he is sitting, bending both legs at an acute angle and lifting his torso towards the eagle. (23) Instead, it is connected with a later stage of the iconography, which, after some blank centuries during the Classical and Hellenistic periods, when the figure of Prometheus seems to have disappeared, became popular in the Roman period, starting from a sculptural group in Pergamon. (24) Here Prometheus, who was probably placed in a niche, is naked, standing, his arms lifted in the air and chained to the rock, as if he were crucified. His right leg, which the eagle is clawing, is lifted. Heracles is standing on the ground just below him, about to shoot the arrow. The same image is depicted in a fresco from Pompeii, Casa dei Capitelli Colorati. (25) A painting now lost but popular in antiquity has been supposed as the archetype for this iconography, and the choice has fallen on Evanthes' Prometheus (26) What is interesting here is that, were this true, we would have a terminus ante quem for Evanthes' dating, for the figure of Heracles in the sculptural group in Pergamon seems to be the portrait of Mithridates VI, which would allow us to place the group between the years 88-85 BC, and therefore Evanthes before the year 88 BC. (27)
The archaeological evidence adduced so far tells us that the paintings of Andromeda and Prometheus in Achilles Tatius can both be inscribed in the iconographical history of their figures, which means that their existence might have been possible. There are, however, two problems. The first comes from the argument that they are both the archetypes of their respective image, so instead of finding an antecedent to prove the genuineness of the works of Evanthes, Evanthes has become the proof that justifies the existence of other works of art. The second problem is that they have always been considered individually. (28) The painting of Andromeda may link Evanthes with Tarentum and the end of the fourth century BC, and the painting of Prometheus may provide the terminus ante quem through the comparison with a group in Pergamon, but there is no evidence of their association. (29) However, if Achilles Tatius' account of the paintings is to be trusted to the point of constituting an artistic testimony, it should also be trusted in respect of the fact that the paintings had been associated by the painter himself, who considered them as two halves of the same work of art ('[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]' 'and this was the reason, I suppose, why the artist had associated the two subjects' 3,6). (30) Since it is the first thing we are told about the paintings, it seems odd that not much attention has been given to the fact that the two of them constituted a double painting. Almost without exception, scholars have either ignored this fact or only interpreted it as dependent upon the events to come in the plot. On this view, the two paintings were chosen simply because they represent the two aspects of the next episode, that is the sacrifice (Andromeda) and disembowelment (Prometheus) of Leucippe in 3,15. (31) Such a view, however sound, implies that the association of Andromeda and Prometheus in a double painting is a product of the novelist, and does not really take into consideration the possible existence of an actual double painting. A diptych, moreover, is something unprecedented. (32) Nevertheless, in Clitophon's words there is no doubt that the paintings were meant to be together, for he even provides the reasons for their association: the chains, the rocks, the beasts, the saviours. Was then Achilles Tatius the first to connect Andromeda and Prometheus? If that were the case, then the fictionality of the diptych, regardless of the accuracy of the pictures, would be hard to question. If, on the other hand, that were not the case, and if there were a precedent for the association of the two figures, than pondering over such precedent as a possible source for the diptych in the novel seems a sensible approach. It is therefore worth examining both literature and art in order to see if it is possible for such a union to have occurred, and how.
Greek tragedy is the only common ground for Andromeda and Prometheus in literature. With regard to Prometheus, the main reference is Aeschylus. Of the series of plays about Prometheus attributed to him only Prometheus Bound survives, but it seems that the scene described by Achilles Tatius could fit well with the lost Prometheus Unbound. Both Sophocles and Euripides wrote an Andromeda, the latter surviving in a large number of fragments, the former almost entirely lost. If we had an Andromeda and a Prometheus from the same author we could at least postulate an antecedent, although dim, for their association, but no tragedian known to us treated both subjects in his works. (33) Still, we cannot rule out the possibility that the two subjects were performed in the course of the same festival.
Theatre played an important role in art, especially in vase painting, and southern Italy in the fourth century BC provides the perfect example of this. (34) It has been proved that by the end of the fifth century BC plays and vases were exported from Athens to southern Italy, particularly to Lucania and Apulia. (35) Given the popularity of theatrical festivals, the dramas were often a source of inspiration for artists. Being free from the temporal sequence of the theatre, painted vases showed illustrations rather than precise representations of the plays. (36) That is to say that although some elements in the images imply the knowledge of the play, the painter was not expected to depict the play with exactitude, but was instead free to show some of the characters or scenes in the drama, and add or delete others. Still, some elements seem to reflect specific details from the plays. Half-open doors, as well as rocky arches, could in fact allude, if not point, to actual scenographic elements. The case of Andromeda in Apulian vases is emblematic in this sense. Apulian masters moved the heroine from the posts and started to place her in chains under a rocky arch in response to the innovation in Euripides' Andromeda. (37) Then the cave became a rocky cliff, as we find in Ovid and in the frescoes in Pompeii. (38) Achilles Tatius is the only other author who places Andromeda in a hollow, which means that Evanthes' painting is connected to the type of vases that show the grotto. This is crucial, because it is among those vases that we find the only connection between Andromeda and Prometheus that might have preceded Evanthes' diptych.
Trendall was the first to publish the description of a calyx-krater (Berlin 1969.9) representing Heracles freeing Prometheus. (39) The vase is Apulian, dated around the middle of the fourth century BC, supposedly a work coming from the atelier of the Darius Painter, the most prominent figure among Apulian vase painters of that period, who worked in Tarentum and to whom many Andromeda vases can also be ascribed. What distinguishes this vase from every other representation of Prometheus is that the Titan is depicted chained to a rocky arch. If we compare it with some of the examples of vases with Andromeda chained to a grotto, the similarity is plain to see. (40) The two figures occupy the same position, and the conclusion is that the Prometheus krater follows Andromeda's more common iconography. (41) Moreover, the krater shows Heracles coming from the left to free the Titan, the eagle lying dead in the lower level of the vase, and other figures and deities. It does not require much effort to recognise that Prometheus is not the only character whose figure was inspired by Andromeda vases: Heracles plays the same role, and occupies the same place, as Perseus, and the eagle as the sea monster. (42) Therefore, it can be plausibly maintained that the artist identified the similarities between the two myths in the enchainment to a rock, the presence of a beast, and the presence of a saviour. At one point one artist must have realised that the two myths had some points in common, and the inspiration that led to this association can probably be understood against a theatrical background. (43) We know that the Andromeda vases derived from Euri-pides' Andromeda, and it has been suggested that the unique image depicted in the Prometheus krater could have derived from the lost Prometheus Unbound (44) Even if this were not the case, that is if the krater does not refer to a lost tragedy, still the artist must have thought that the similarities between Andromeda and Prometheus justified borrowing the former's iconography for the latter's case. (45) If, however, the krater represents the Prometheus Unbound, it does not seem to be too farfetched to suggest that the plays could have been performed in the course of the same festival, and that the scenography, that is the grotto, which could have remained the same for both plays, might have suggested the idea to the artist. (46) Either way, the nature of the Prometheus krater is indissolubly linked with Andromeda vases, with regard to both origin and purpose, for the conscious enjoyment of the Prometheus krater acquires significance only if associated with a vase with Andromeda in the same position. It can be appreciated in its own right, but full understanding depends on comparison with the model.
It is true that one single object, though fitting perfectly, is not enough to prove that there was a consistent group of vases representing the type of Prometheus chained to the grotto, and that these were to be placed side by side with vases representing Andromeda. However, what can be said is that in the second half of the fourth century BC, the Apulian environment (perhaps one and the same atelier, that of the Darius Painter in Tarentum), possibly inspired by theatrical plays, noticed the similarities between Andromeda and Prometheus and connected the two figures on the basis of those similarities. Thus, there had been at least one artist who associated the figures of Andromeda and Prometheus before Achilles Tatius described the diptych by Evanthes, and the elements around which this association revolved are the same as indicated by Clitophon in 3,6. The Apulian vases constitute a precedent for the conjunction of Andromeda and Prometheus in a work of art, and the translation of this subject from vase-painting to painting could easily have followed in the footsteps of Andromeda's solo iconography. (47) This painting cannot be produced, but in view of this precedent its existence can be said to be plausible, which allows us to look further into the relationship between the novel and the work of art. As a matter of fact it is possible to postulate a connection not only between Achilles Tatius' description and a real work of art, but also between their respective contexts.
That in book 3 of Leucippe and Clitophon theatre is the novelist's main interest is everywhere to be seen, for all the elements of a typical tragedy are displayed. (48) While Leucippe and Clitophon are being held prisoners by the robbers, Clitophon bursts into a lamentation filled with tragic topoi (3,10): the demand for a reason for his misfortunes, the supplication to the gods, the bewailing over the fate of the young maiden. (49) Were it not clear enough that we are dealing with a tragic context, Clitophon gives precise indications that he is following the path of a threnos ('[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]' 'already I shall begin my funeral dirge' 3,10; '[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]' 'a dirge is your marriage-hymn' 3,10; '[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]' 'thus did I silently lament' 3,11). Then, we witness the sacrifice of Leucippe, gory and coldly narrated (3,15), (50) followed by another threnos of Clitophon, who this time adds to the lamentation the desire to commit suicide (3,16). (51) Finally, in a scene that echoes the resuscitation of Alcestis in Euripides' eponymous tragedy, Leucippe is brought back to life (3,17,5). (52) Although it is highly unlikely that these details would pass unnoticed by the reader, at the end of the episode Menelaus and Satyrus raise the curtain and reveal that everything about the sacrifice was a stage performance. Those who carried out the sacrifice were none other than Menelaus and Satyrus themselves, after having produced the sheep's-pouch filled with blood and entrails (3,21), and using a fake sword to disembowel the victim. Moreover, the fake sword was a scenic object belonging to an actor, found by them among the spoils of one of the robbers' assaults (3,20). As a result, what we have is an episode that is a tragedy, that constantly hints at theatre, and that in the end will be explicitly revealed by the characters as a play.
Studies on intertextuality, as we mentioned earlier, lead to a deeper understanding of the themes underneath the surface of a text, as well as of its composition, by focusing on the sources of the literary references found in it. Take, for instance, the Platonic setting at the beginning of book 1 of Leucippe and Clitophon, when the primary narrator chooses a grove with plane-trees and a stream of water, of all places, as the location for Clitophon to tell his story. By recognising the reference to the Phaedrus at the beginning we become more receptive to other references that might occur further, and by recollecting the contents of Plato's work we are able to comprehend the themes of book 1 (and not only book 1) on more than just one level, because we look at them from a wider perspective, one that is a little bit closer to the author's own perspective. If, on the other hand, we overlook the primary narrator's choice of location, or consider it a simple homage to Plato and not the indicator of a more meaningful connection between texts, our appreciation of Achilles Tatius is bound to suffer. The case of the diptych is not too dissimilar. In the early chapters of book 3 we come across a description of paintings of Andromeda and Prometheus, and by carefully reading it, and the events that follow, we discover that the contents of the story, Leucippe's Scheintod, are foreshadowed by the contents of the paintings. But if we look further into the source of the paintings and find out that an iconographical association of the same subjects existed before Achilles Tatius' description, and that this association originated in an environment where theatre had a major role in influencing artistic tendencies, then we can activate a connection between the paintings and the story not just at the level of contents, but at the level of form, for the theatrical nature of the paintings anticipates the theatrical nature of the episode. The fact that Achilles Tatius modelled the episode connected to the paintings in that way should therefore not be seen as a coincidence, but rather as a signal that he knew the joint iconography, and thus a real work of art, and understood its origin.
In view of this, the idea that the diptych was a product of the author's imagination loses its attraction. In a plausible scenario the paintings were not a literary invention for the sake of the future events in the story, but rather the starting point for the novelist's inspiration. (53) The author used pre-existing material (just like he used the Phaedrus) to support, enrich, and even model his narrative, and his readers, at least those who were familiar with the existence of said iconography and of its nature, (54) would have either taken the hint as soon as Clitophon's introduction to the diptych, or noticed it upon second reading. Either way, the knowledge of the work of art would have greatly enhanced their appreciation of the passage. (55)
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Winter, F. 1908. Die Skulpturen mit Ausnahme der Altarreliefs, Berlin: G. Reimer.
(1) Unlike the painting of Europa (1,1) and that of Philomela and Procne (5,3).
(2) The very few things that are said about the statue are vague, if not confusing (Zeus is represented as young, so that the statue is more similar to Apollo). Moreover, it shows Zeus holding a pomegranate, a unique iconography (see Tiverios 1997, 338), the explanation of which, though half-promised by the narrating Clitophon, remains unfulfilled. For interpretations see Anderson 1979 and Bartsch 1989, 62.
(3) Gaselee 1917.
(4) On the Latin front there is the case of the art gallery in Petronius' Satyrica 83, where Zeuxis, Protogenes and Apelles are mentioned, but Encolpius' spouting of the biggest names of Greek painting is rather different from Clitophon's observation of the signature on the paintings in Pelusium. On this episode see Elsner 1993, who especially highlights the wordplays on the painters' names, a signal of Encolpius' ridiculous approach to art, in fact a projection of his own disappointed state of mind.
(5) Followed by Whitmarsh 2001.
(6) Vilborg 1962, 69, Whitmarsh 2001, 154. Surprisingly, Evanthes is not even mentioned in Bartsch 1989.
(7) Swindler 1929, 307. As to why he should be connected with Alexandria and not Pelusium, where his painting is said to be, the reason might be that Achilles Tatius, who describes it, is said to be from Alexandria, which was not too far from Pelusium.
(8) Ibid.: 'The paintings may even be fictions of Achilles Tatius, but as he came from Alexandria, they may have existed, though they were not certainly painted in his time'. The logic of this statement is dubious.
(9) See Rocchetti 1958, 362 and Schauenberg 1981, 778, no. 24.
(10) Compare for example Lehmann-Hartleben 1941 and Bryson 1994 for a discussion related to Philostratus.
(11) Bartsch 1989. That the paintings have a proleptic function had already been observed (Friedlander 1912, 47 ff., Harlan 1965, 94 ff.), but Bartsch offers the most complete analysis of the topic.
(12) The painting of Europa is described as one painting representing one scene; the paintings of Andromeda and Prometheus are joined in a diptych; the painting of Philomela and Procne seems to be one painting including different scenes.
(13) The painting of Europa is described by the primary narrator, the painting of Andromeda and Prometheus by Clitophon as a narrator, and the painting of Philomela and Procne by Clitophon as a character. Consequently, the speed of the narration is zero in the first two cases, whilst it is simply slowed down in the third one.
(14) Bartsch 1989, 62, notices that 'the descriptions of the painting of Europa, the first picture described, and of Philomela, the last, play similar tricks [to the paintings of Andromeda and Prometheus] upon the expectations aroused by the interpretative act, yet in a completely different way'.
(15) LIMC s. v. Andromeda I, no. 1.
(16) See Schauenberg 1981, 787, and Trendall--Webster 1971, 63, 79.
(17) Fresco from Boscotrecase (LIMC s. v. Andromeda I, no. 32), fresco from House IX 7.16 (LIMC s. v. Andromeda I, no. 40), fresco from House VII 15.2 (LIMC s. v. Andromeda I, no. 38).
(18) Fresco from house in Region VI (Phillips pl. 3 fig. 4).
(19) Fresco from House VI 10.2 (LIMC s. v. Andromeda I, no. 67), fresco from House VII Is. occid. 15 (LIMC s. v. Andromeda I, no. 68), fresco from the House of the Dioscures (LIMC s. v. Andromeda I, no. 69).
(20) Fresco from the Casa dei Capitelli Colorati (LIMC s. v. Andromeda I, no. 104). Phillips 1968, 3 ff., identifies five main types.
(21) However, given the presence of the Gorgoneion in his painting, the earliest dating should be moved to the second century BC.
(22) Ach. Tat. 3,8.
(23) See Paribeni 1965, 485, and Gisler 1994, 548.
(24) Winter 1908, no. 168, 175-180, pl. 25, and fig. 168a; LIMC s. v. Prometheus, no. 73.
(25) Dawson 1944, no. 63, 110; LIMC s. v. Prometheus, no. 59.
(26) Phillips 1968, 5, affirms that 'the sculptural group is a translation of Evanthes' Prometheus and Heracles into stone'.
(27) Bieber 1961, 122; Phillips 1968, 4-5.
(28) This seems to be the only fact on which classicists and art historians agree, for they both take for granted that at least the union of the paintings must have been a product of Achilles Tatius' invention. Mentioning Achilles Tatius in relation with the frescoes in Pompeii, Schefold talks about 'gedankliche Bildverbindung'. See Schefold 1962, 81.
(29) It is interesting to notice that the same house in Pompeii, the Casa dei Capitelli Colorati, contained the fresco with Prometheus and one of the frescoes with Andromeda (belonging to the type with Perseus helping her down the rock). However, the two should not be considered specifically associated, since they were in different parts of the building.
(30) Winter, perhaps having this in mind, says that the decoration to which the Prometheus group in Pergamon belonged was not constituted by that piece alone, and hypothesizes that it might have included, opposite to Prometheus, a group with Andromeda, as in Evanthes' double painting. An example of rather naive exploitation of the novelist's descriptions. See Winter 1908, 178.
(31) Bartsch 1989, 55.
(32) Something very different from a sequence of connected paintings, the well attested product of the so-called continuous method (Wickhoff 1900, 11-17). In that case the sequence aims at telling a story by placing side by side the representations of its different moments, as seems to be the case of the paintings in Longus' Daphnis and Chloe (see Mittelstadt 1967). Here we are not dealing with narrative painting, but, as stated by Goldhill, with 'the first example in Western art history of a pair of paintings being analysed precisely as a diptych with significant links.'. See Goldhill 1995, 72.
(33) However, attention must be drawn to the fact that a connection between Andromeda and Prometheus occurs in an author who lived approximately at the same time as Achilles Tatius, namely Lucian. In Prometheus 1, Hermes describes the rock where the Titan is about to be chained as a place where one can only stand on tip toe ('[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]'), and a few lines below uses the verb [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], meaning 'to nail' ('[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]', Prometheus 2). In Dialogi Marini 14, where Triton is giving to the Nereids an eyewitness account of Perseus' deed, Andromeda is said to be nailed to a protruding rock ('[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]', Dialogi Marini 14,3), and, when she is finally freed, to be descending from the rocks on tip toe ('[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]', Dialogi Marini 14,3). The similarity in the choice of words indicates that in Lucian's mind the two figures were exclusively joined, thus testifying to the existence of their association and at the same time suggesting a possible connection between Lucian and Achilles Tatius.
(34) On this topic see Trendall--Webster 1971, Trendall 1991, and Taplin 1993.
(35) The classic references on the Apulian vases are the works of A. D. Trendall. See especially Trendall--Cambitoglou 1978.
(36) Taplin 1993, 12 ff..
(37) See Trendall--Webster 1971, 78. It is widely accepted that fr. 118 Nauck and fr. 125 Nauck of Euripides' Andromeda indicate the presence of a cave. But see contra Phillips 1968, 2.
(38) Ovid, Metamorphoses 4,668 ff.. Since it is clear that he had Euripides in mind (see the comparison with the statue at 673 ff., inspired by Euripides' fr. 125 Nauck), the shift to the rocky cliff shows the influence of the new iconography.
(39) Trendall 1970. See also Vollkommer 1988, 61 no. 465, 63. LIMC s. v. Prometheus, no. 72.
(40) For instance a fragment of pelike from Tarentum (LIMC s. v. Andromeda I, no. 10), a loutrophoros from Fiesole (LIMC s. v. Andromeda I, no. 15), a calyx-krater from Caltagirone (LIMC s. v. Andromeda I, no. 23), a loutrophoros from Bari (LIMC s. v. Andromeda I, no. 18). See Trendall 1970, 168, n. 27.
(41) Moret 1975, 184-187.
(42) Moret 1975, 186. See especially the loutrophoros from Bari (LIMC s. v. Andromeda I, no. 18), with Perseus in the same position as Heracles in the Prometheus krater.
(43) Trendall 1970, 168, says that Prometheus is 'fettered at the wrists to a large rock, which is drawn in the normal manner for such rocks in South Italian vase-painting, probably under the direct inspiration of the stage, since they are generally to be found on vases with dramatic themes, especially Andromeda.'. See also Trendall--Cambitoglou 1982, 477.
(44) Trendall--Cambitoglou 1982, 477, Vollkommer 1988, 61, and Gisler 1994, 550.
(45) Moret talks about 'motifs d'atelier' that lead the artist to apply 'le schema a une scene swur, pour laquelle il n'existait pas encore de tradition imagee.'. Moret 1975, 186-187.
(46) For the presence of caves in Greek plays see Jobst 1970, especially on Aischylus' Prometheus Bound (30), on Sophocles' Andromeda (37), and on Euripides' Andromeda (46). Hourmouziades suggests the use of the ekkyklema in order to raise Andromeda above the stage, and of a panel behind her to represent the rock. See Hourmouziades 1965, 47.
(47) As a result, its painter is more likely to have come from the area where the joint iconography had already been estabilished, which supports Phillips' assumption that Evanthes was Tarentine. Phillips' connection between Evanthes and Tarentum was solely based on Andromeda's iconography, but he was unaware of the Prometheus krater, the first publication of which (Trendall 1970) appeared a few years after his article. As to a question that might be raised, that is how did the diptych later arrive in North Africa to be seen by Achilles Tatius, the answer is that it could have been a copy: after all, the words '[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]' 'the painter had been written' can mean that the painting was not signed by Evanthes, but tagged as one of his works.
(48) For theatrical elements in the novels see in general Fusillo 1989, 33-55, and Bartsch 1989, 109-143. For examples of connections between Leucippe and Clitophon and tragedy see Mignogna 1997 (with reference to book 3), and Liapis 2006.
(49) This follows the motif where the tragic heroine about to be sacrificed moans over the unfulfillment of her life, especially with regard to her marriage. Usually, the elements of the wedding are turned into elements of death, to the point that the act of dying takes on the meaning of becoming the bride of Hades (see for instance Sophocles, Antigone 815 ff). Here the situation is different, for still nobody knows that Leucippe will be sacrificed. Hence the elements of the wedding are transferred with a slight variatio into elements of captivity: 'Here are fine trappings for your wedding! A prison is your bridal chamber, the earth your marriage bed, ropes and cords your necklaces and bracelets, a robber sleeps without as your bridesman, a dirge is your marriage hymn.' (3,10,5-6, Gaselee 1917). Nevertheless, at this point the readers have already read the passage where Andromeda is described as the bride of Hades (3,5,7), so it is likely that the figure of a fully tragic Leucippe is taking shape in their minds.
(50) Connections between this episode and Euripides' Iphigenia in Tauris have been underlined by Mignogna 1997.
(51) The pathetic tone is here accentuated by sentences such as '[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]' 'do you prefer that I should die by a death that never dies?' (3,17,4), which, apart from the language, recalls tragedy inasmuch as it falls very close to an iambic trimeter. For iambic trimeters in Achilles Tatius see Liapis 2006, 223-227.
(52) The role of Alcestis belongs of course to Leucippe: at first she does not speak (see Alcestis 1143); she is said to be a '[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]' 'a shocking and horrible sight' (3,17,7), recalling the description of the Gorgoneion in 3,7 ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), and in Euripides Admetus holding his wife's hand after the resuscitation is as scared and cautious as someone who is cutting the Gorgon's head (see Alcestis 1118). Menelaus plays the role of Heracles: he brings Leucippe back to life; Clitophon invokes over him the duties of hospitality (see Alcestis 1120, 1128); Clitophon wonders whether he is a wizard (see Alcestis 1128). Finally, Clitophon is the unaware, incredulous and then happy Admetus (compare his words in 3,18,1 with Alcestis 1129 ff).
(53) It is tempting to try to trace the same procedure in the other paintings in Leucippe and Clitophon, but it is what makes the diptych different that triggered our analysis, so we can hardly expect the results to be applicable to the other paintings. Besides, as we said before, the same rule rarely applies to all the cases. The painting of Europa described by Achilles Tatius is, with the exception of the presence of the garden, compatible with Europa's popular iconography, therefore with no specific specimen. The complex painting of Philomela and Procne, on the other hand, finds no parallel whatsoever in the very few extant works of art representing the subject.
(54) Unlike us, they might have also known the Andromeda and the Prometheus Unbound.
(55) Referring to an Apulian vase representing Medea, Taplin underlines that 'the pleasure for the owner of these vases and for his fellow-viewers would be enhanced by knowing the powerful final scene of the tragedy'. See Taplin 1993, 17.
Nicolo D'Alconzo is a PhD candidate at Swansea University, where he is about to submit his thesis on works of art in the Greek novels. His research focuses on Greek novels, rhetorical theory and practice, theory of art.
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|Date:||Jan 1, 2013|
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