Apelles əpĕl´ēz [key], fl. 330 BC, Greek painter, the most celebrated in antiquity but now known only through descriptions of his works. He is thought to have studied under Ephorus of Ephesus and under Pamphilus of Amphipolis at Sicyon. He was court painter to Philip II of Macedon and to Alexander the Great. His portraits of Alexander included one in the Temple of Diana at Ephesus that showed Alexander wielding the thunderbolts of Zeus. Apelles excelled in painting horses, and according to Pliny the portrait of Antigonus Cyclops on horseback was his masterpiece. Most famous, perhaps, was the painting of Aphrodite rising from the sea. A painting made by Botticelli from Alberti's description of Apelles' Calumny is in the Uffizi. Apelles is said to have been the first to recognize the talents of Protogenes. He also influenced Mantegna and Titian.
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