Butades  

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The Invention of the Art of Drawing (1791) by Joseph-Benoît Suvée, in the collection of the Groeningemuseum, Bruges.
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The Invention of the Art of Drawing (1791) by Joseph-Benoît Suvée, in the collection of the Groeningemuseum, Bruges.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Butades of Sicyon, sometimes mistakenly called Dibutades, was the first ancient Greek modeller in clay. The period at which he flourished is unknown, but has been put at about 600 BC. The story is that his daughter, Kora (also called Callirhoe), smitten with love for a youth at Corinth where they lived, drew upon the wall the outline of his shadow, and that upon this outline her father modelled a face of the youth in clay, and baked the model along with the clay tiles which it was his trade to make. This model was preserved in Corinth until Lucius Mummius sacked that town. This incident led Butades to ornament the ends of roof-tiles with human faces, a practice which is attested by numerous existing examples.

He is also said to have invented a mixture of clay and ruddle (red ochre), or to have introduced the use of a special kind of red clay.

The Butades myth in the arts

The following chronological list is based on Robert Rosenblum's essay "The Origin of Painting: A Problem in the Iconography of Romantic Classicism" and on the further expansion by George Levitine. One may also consult Andor Pigler's Barockthemen.

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Butades" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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