Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.35.6-9.35.7

ὅστις δὲ ἦν ἀνθρώπων ὁ γυμνὰς πρῶτος Χάριτας ἤτοι πλάσας ἢ γραφῇ μιμησάμενος, οὐχ οἷόν τε ἐγένετο πυθέσθαι με, ἐπεὶ τά γε ἀρχαιότερα ἐχούσας ἐσθῆτα οἵ τε πλάσται καὶ κατὰ ταὐτὰ ἐποίουν οἱ ζωγράφοι· καὶ Σμυρναίοις τοῦτο μὲν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ τῶν Νεμέσεων ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀγαλμάτων χρυσοῦ Χάριτες ἀνάκεινται, τέχνη Βουπάλου, τοῦτο δέ σφισιν ἐν τῷ Ὠιδείῳ Χάριτός ἐστιν εἰκών, Ἀπελλοῦ γραφή, Περγαμηνοῖς δὲ ὡσαύτως ἐν τῷ Ἀττάλου θαλάμῳ, Βουπάλου καὶ αὗται· καὶ πρὸς τῷ ὀνομαζομένῳ Πυθίῳ Χάριτες καὶ ἐνταῦθά εἰσι Πυθαγόρου γράψαντος Παρίου· Σωκράτης τε ὁ Σωφρονίσκου πρὸ τῆς ἐς τὴν ἀκρόπολιν ἐσόδου Χαρίτων εἰργάσατο ἀγάλματα Ἀθηναίοις. καὶ ταῦτα μέν ἐστιν ὁμοίως ἅπαντα ἐν ἐσθῆτι, οἱ δὲ ὕστερον— οὐκ οἶδα ἐφʼ ὅτῳ—μεταβεβλήκασι τὸ σχῆμα αὐταῖς· Χάριτας γοῦν οἱ κατʼ ἐμὲ ἔπλασσόν τε καὶ ἔγραφον γυμνάς.

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[Qui le premier représenta les Charites nues, que ce soit en sculpture ou en peinture, je n'ai pas pu le découvrir. Dans les temps archaïques, il est sûr que les sculpteurs comme les peintres les représentaient drapées. À Smyrne, par exemple, dans le sanctuaire de Némésis, au-dessus des statues de culte, sont consacrées des Charites en or, oeuvre de Boupalos]. Et dans l'Odéon de la même ville, il y a un portrait d'une Charite, peint par Apelles. [De même, à Pergame, dans la chambre d'Attale, il y a d'autres images des Charites faites par Boupalos. Et tout proche, dans ce qu'on appelle le Pythion, il y a des Charites, peintes par Pythagoras le Parien.]

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Created by Valérie Toillon

Commentary

  1. Same text as 78a. On the Charites and their cult see commentaries on text 78a. Same for the sculptor Bupalos.

  2. About Apelles (375-70 BCE - end of the fourth century BCE): see text 400 (Suda s.v. Ἀπελλῆς).

  3. The Charis of Apelles (LIMC III s.v. Charis, Charites 1) was a fourth-century painting which was placed in the Odeon of Smyrna (see below). This Charis was painted dressed, as it is usual in the depiction of archaic and classical Charites (see commentaries on text 78 a). Pausanias does not give more details. It is very likely that the Charis of Apelles was a pure personification who embodied the idea of "Charis" which is grace, beauty, favor or goodwill (see LSJ s.v. χάρις). Perhaps this personification stems out of Charis, the Homeric wife of Hephaistos (LIMC III s.v. Charis, Charites, pp. 200-201). There is a few representations of Charis alone as a personification in art (mostly dated ca. 460-420 BCE). In this case, she can replace the usual triad. For example, on a red-figure pyxis in Ancona (National Museum 3130), and on the base of the statue of Zeus in Olympia by Pheidias (Pausanias 5.11.8 = Muller-Dufeu 2002, p. 872), where Charis witnesses the birth of Aphrodite (LIMC III s.v. Charis, Charites 2,3). On the base of the Athena Parthenos by Pheidias (known by a copy of the second century BCE), Charis was attending the birth of Pandora (LIMC III s.v. Charis, Charites 4; Pausanias, 1.24.7; Pliny, N.H. 36.19; Muller-Dufeu 2002, pp. 293-303, n. 820, 833). Also on an epinetron attributed to the Eretria painter (Athens, National Museum 1629), Charis is among the attendants at Alcestis wedding (LIMC III s.v. Charis, Charites 5).

  4. Smyrna is the modern-day city of Izmir in Turkey. So far, only the "Old Smyrna" (i.e. the archaic and classical city) received comprehensive excavations (See: Cook et al. 1998). Concerning the Hellenistic and Roman city, only the Agora has been partially excavated. To date, the location of the Odeon remains unknown (Kantar S. & Naumann 1950, pp. 70-75; Petzl & Berger 2006). An Odeon is a theater with a roofed auditorium. Odea were used mostly by the Roman elite which adorned them with precious materials and works of art (Isler 2006). Therefore, a painting by Apelles, especially a portrait of Charis, inside such building is not surprising.

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Bibliography

Cook, J.M., Nicholls, R.V. & Pyle, D.M., 1998. Old Smyrna Excavations: the Temples of Athena. The British School at Athens. Supplementary Volumes 30. London: British School at Athens.

Isler, H.-P. 2006. Odeum. Available at: http://referenceworks.brillonline.com.ezproxy.library.tufts.edu/entries/brill-s-new-pauly/odeum-e828280?s.num=64&s.start=60.

Kantar S. & Naumann, R., 1950. Die Agora von Smyrna. In Kleinasien & Byzanz, gesammelte Aufsätze zur Altertumskunde und Kunstgeschichte. Ed. Bittel K. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 69–114.

Muller-Dufeu, M., 2002. La sculpture grecque: sources littéraires et épigraphiques, Paris: École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts.

Petzl, G. & Berger, A. 2006. Smyrna. Available at: http://referenceworks.brillonline.com.ezproxy.library.tufts.edu/entries/brill-s-new-pauly/smyrna-e1115860?s.num=239&s.start=220.

Annotation Authors and Editors
Created by Valérie Toillon