Pliny the Elder, Natural History (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Plin. Nat.].
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35.6 CHAP. 6.—THE ANTIQUITY OF PAINTING IN ITALY.

But already, in fact, had the art of painting been perfectly developed in Italy. [Note] At all events, there are extant in the temples at Ardea, at this day, paintings of greater antiquity than Rome itself; in which, in my opinion, nothing is more marvellous, than that they should have remained so long unprotected by a roof, and yet preserving their freshness. [Note] At Lanuvium, too, it is the same, where we see an Atalanta and a Helena, without drapery, close together, and painted by the

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same artist. They are both of the greatest beauty, the former being evidently the figure of a virgin, and they still remain uninjured, though the temple is in ruins. The Emperor Caius, [Note] inflamed with lustfulness, attempted to have them removed, but the nature of the plaster would not admit of it. There are in existence at Cære, [Note] some paintings of a still higher antiquity. Whoever carefully examines them, will be forced to admit that no art has arrived more speedily at perfection, seeing that it evidently was not in existence at the time of the Trojan War. [Note]



Pliny the Elder, Natural History (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Plin. Nat.].
<<Plin. Nat. 35.5 Plin. Nat. 35.6 (Latin) >>Plin. Nat. 35.7

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