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Antiphilus (Ἀντίφιλος) was an ancient Greek painter from Naucratis, Egypt, in the age of Alexander the Great. He worked for Philip II of Macedon and Ptolemy I of Egypt. Thus he was a contemporary of Apelles, whose rival he is said to have been, but he seems to have worked in quite another style. Quintilian speaks of his facility: the descriptions of his works which have come down to us show that he excelled in light and shade, in genre representations, and in caricature.

Paintings of Antiphilus on display in ancient Rome

In ancient Rome, according to Pliny the Elder, the Schola Octaviae was ornamented by paintings by Antiphilus, among which were his Hesione and his painting of the group of Alexander and Philip with Minerva. The Curia Pompeii, famous as the place of assassination of Julius Caesar, was of the form called an exedra, or hall furnished with seats, and was decorated with pictures of Cadmus and Europa by Antiphilus.


Pliny, Hist, Nat XXXV. 1 14, uses the word gryllus for a class of grotesque figures first used in painting by Antiphilus of Alexandria. The word also means a cricket, but is commonly used to denote any grotesque monster which is made up of several masks or portions of different animals. --The Lewis Collection of Gems and Rings in the Possession of Corpus Christi

In chapter 37, titled "Various other kinds of painting":

"[Antiphilus] he painted a figure in a ridiculous costume, known jocosely as the Gryllus; and hence it is that pictures of this class are generally known as "Grylli."

See also

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