(b. 1668, Paris, d. 1737, Roma)

Apelles Painting Campaspe

Oil on canvas, 126 x 97 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Apelles, the celebrated painter of ancient Greece, was court painter to Alexander the Great. The elder Pliny (Nat. Hist. 35:36) tells how Apelles was engaged by the emperor to paint his favourite concubine, the beautiful Campaspe, and how while doing so he fell in love with her. Alexander, as a mark of his appreciation of the painter's work, made him a present of her.