Thebes also, which attained to a
short-lived importance in the political world after the
battle of Leuctra (371 B.C.), developed a school of
painting, which seems to have been in close touch with
that of Athens. There were painters besides, who seem to
have had no connection with any one of these centers of
activity. The fourth century was the Golden Age of Greek
painting, and the list of eminent names is as long and
as distinguished for painting as for sculpture.
The most famous of all was Apelles.
He was a Greek of Asia Minor and received his early
training at Ephesus. He then betook himself to Sicyon,
in order to profit by the instruction of Pamphilus and
by association with the other painters gathered there.
It seems likely that his next move was to Pella, the
capital of Macedon, then ruled over by
father of Alexander.
At any rate, he entered into
intimate relations with the young prince and painted
numerous portraits of both father and son. Indeed,
according to an often repeated story,
probably after his accession to the throne, conferred
upon Apelles the exclusive privilege of painting his
portrait, as upon Lysippus the exclusive privilege of
representing him in bronze. Later, presumably when
Alexander started on his eastern campaigns (334 B.C.),
Apelles returned to Asia Minor, but of course not even
then to lead a settled life. He outlived Alexander, but
we do not know by how much.