Polygnotus, a Greek painter, born in the island of Thasos about 493 B. C., died about 426. On Cimon's return to Athens from the expedition against Thasos in 463, Polygnotus accompanied him, and was employed by him in the decoration of the temple of Theseus, the Anaceum, and the Poecile. About 460 he was engaged with Phidias on the temple of Athena Area at Plataaa, where in conjunction with Onatas he painted the walls of the portico. Soon after the death of Cimon he went with other artists to Delphi to decorate the edifices connected with the great temple. He returned to Athens in 435, and was employed upon the Propyla3a. Polygnotus painted both on walls and, in the more usual manner of Grecian artists, on panels, which were afterward let into the walls. In the Stoa Pcecile at Athens he represented the Greeks, after the fall of Troy, assembled to judge the case of Cassandra's violation by Ajax. In the Anaceum, or temple of the Dioscuri, he painted the "Marriage of the Daughters of Leucippus." Polygnotus was recognized in his time as at the head of his art. He was the first who gave variety to the expression of the countenance, or ease or grace to the outlines of figures or the flow of drapery.

According to Pliny, he was the first who nsed the sil or yellow ochre found in the Attic silver mines, and he also made a new pigment of black from the husks of pressed grapes.