Ekphrasis in the Second Sophistic. Philostratus , Lives of the Sophists (1.481 on name)
‘Ecphrasis is a descriptive account which brings what is illustrated vividly (enargos) before one’s sight…the virtues of ecphrasis are in particular clarity and vividness, such that one can almost see what is narrated’
Aphthonius: animals and plants
Nicolaos: statues and paintings
Zeuxis and Parrhasius entered into competition. Zeuxis exhibited a painting of some grapes so true to nature that birds flew up to the wall of the stage. Parrhasius exhibited a linen curtain which was painted with such realism that Zeuxis demanded that his rival remove the curtain and show the picture. When he realised his error he yielded the victory, admitting that whereas he had deceived the birds, Parrhasius had deceived Zeuxis himself, a painter.
Proem ‘Whoever scorns painting is unjust to truth’
Comus 1.2.4: ‘I praise the dewy look of the roses, and assert that they are painted fragrance and all’
Cupids 1.6.1 ‘Do you catch any of the fragrance hovering over the garden or are your senses dull ?’
Second Sophistic Literature:
S. Goldhill ed., Being Greek under Rome, 2001.
T. Whitmarsh, Greek Literature and the Roman Empire, 2001
S. Bartsch. Decoding the Ancient Novel, 1989. ch. 1.