Parrhasius, a Greek painter, born in Ephe-sus, flourished about 400 B. C. He was the son and pupil of Evenor, and, although belonging to the Ionian school of art, passed the greater part of his life in Athens." He established certain canons of proportion for the human figure which were adopted by succeeding artists; and Pliny says: " He first gave to painting true proportion, the minute details of the countenance, the elegance of the hair, the beauty of the face, and by the confession of the artists themselves obtained the palm in his drawing of the extremities." In epigrams inscribed on his own productions he called himself 'Aftpodiairog, the elegant, claiming a divine descent, and announcing that in his works the art of painting had reached its highest excellence. His most celebrated work was an allegorical representation of the Athenian people, in which every quality, good or bad, ascribed to the Athenians, found its expression. Among other famous works by him were a Theseus, "Ulysses feigning Insanity," a Mele-ager, Hercules, etc. He also painted pictures of a gross and licentious character, two of which, the " Archigallus " and the " Meleager and Atalanta," were so highly prized by the emperor Tiberius that he caused them to be hung in his own chamber.

The story told by Seneca, that Parrhasius, when painting a "Prometheus Chained," put an Olynthiancaptive to the torture to obtain the proper expression of bodily suffering, is unfounded.