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 Philip, the 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, Alexander, 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.
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