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On this page: Pignokis Capio – Pignoraticia Actio – Pignus

PICTURA.

amongst the Romans ; Varro made a collection of the portraits of 700 eminent men. (Plin. //. N. xxxv. 2.) The portraits or statues of men who had performed any public service were placed in the temples and other public places ; and several edicts were passed by the emperors of Rome re­specting the placing of them. (Sueton. Tiber. 26, Calig. 34.) The portraits of authors also were placed in the public libraries; they were appa­rently fixed above the cases which contained their writings, below which chairs were placed for the convenience of readers. (Cic. ad Attie. iv. 10 ; Sueton. Tiber. 70, Calig. 34.) They were painted also at the beginning of manuscripts. (Martial, xiv. 186.) Respecting the imagines or wax portraits, which were preserved in "armaria " in the atria of private houses (Plin. H. N. xxxv. 2 ; Senec. de Benef. iii. 28), there is an interesting account in Polybius (vi. 53). With the exception of Action, as already mentioned, not a single painter of this period rose to eminence: although some were of course more distinguished than others; as the profligate Arellius ; P'abullus, who painted Nero's golden house ; Dorotheus, who copied for Nero the Venus Anadyomene of Apelles ; Cornelius Pinus, Accius Priscus, Marcus Ludius, Mallius, and others. (Plin. H. N. xxxv. 37, &e.) Portrait, decorative, and scene painting seem to have engrossed the art. Pliny and Vitruvius regret in strong terms the de­plorable state of painting in their times, which was but the commencement of the decay ; Vitruvius lias devoted an entire chapter (vii. 5) to a lament­ation over its fallen state -, and Pliny speaks of it as a dying art. (H. N. xxxv. 11.) The latter writer instances (H, N. xxxv. 3-3) as a sign of the madness of his time (nostrae aetatis insaniani), the colossal portrait of Nero, 120 feet high, which was painted upon canvas, a thing unknown till that time.

Marcus Ludius, in the time of Augustus, became very celebrated for his landscape decorations, which were illustrated with figures actively employed in occupations suited to the scenes ; the artist's name, however, is doubtful. (See Diet, of Biog. s. v.*) This kind of painting became universal after his time, and apparently with every species of licence. Vitruvius contrasts the state of decorative painting in his own age with what it was formerly, and he enumerates the various kinds of wall painting in use amongst the ancients. They first imitated the arrangement and varieties of slabs of marble, then the variegated frames and cornices of panels, to which were afterwards added architectural decora­tions ; and finally in the exedrae were painted tragic, comic, or satyric scenes, and in the long galleries and corridors, various kinds of landscapes, or even subjects from the poets and the higher walks of history. But these things were in the time of Vitruviua tastelessly laid aside, and had given place to mere gaudy display, or the most phantastic and wild conceptions, such as many of th,e paintings which have been discovered in Pompeii.

Painting now came to be practised by slaves, and painters as a body were held in little or no esteem. Respecting the depraved application of the arts at this period see Plin. H. N. xxxv. 33 ; Petron. Sat, 88 ; Propert. ii. 6 ; Sueton. Tib. 43 ; Juven. ix. 145, xii. 28.

Mosaic, or pictura de musivo, opus musivum, was rery general in Rome in the time of the early em-

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PIGNUS.

perors. It was also common in Greece and Asia Minor at an earlier period, but at the time of which we are now treating it began to a great extent even to supersede painting. It was used chiefly for floors, but walls and also ceilings were sometimes ornamented in the same way. (Plin. //. Ar. xxxvi. 60, 64 ; Athen. xii. p. 542, d. ; Senec. Ep. 86; Lucan, x. 116.) There were various kinds of mosaic ; the lithostrota, were dis­ tinct from the picturae de musivo. There were several kinds of the former, as the sect-He, the tes- sellatum, and the vermiculatum, which are all mechanical and ornamental styles, unapplicable to painting, as they were worked in regular figures. As a general distinction between musivum and lithostrotmn, it may be observed that the picture itself was de micsivo or opus musivum, and its frame, which was often very large and beautiful, was lithostrotitm. The former was made of various coloured small cubes (tesserae or tessellae), of dif­ ferent materials, and the latter of small thin slabs, erustae, of various marbles, &c. ; the artists were termed musivarii, and quadratarii or tessellarii re­ spectively. Pliny (//. N. xxxvi. 60) attributes the origin of mosaic pavements to the Greeks. He men­ tions the " asarotus oecus " at Pergamum, by Sosus, the most celebrated of the Greek musivarii, the pavement of which represented the remnants of a supper. Pie mentions also at Pergamum the famous Cantharus with tbe doves, of which the * Doves of the Capitol' is supposed to be a copy. (Mas. Cap. iv, 69,) Another musivarius of antiquity was Bdoseoiddes of Sanies, whose name is found upon two mosaics- of Pompeii. (Mus. Borb. iv. 34.) Five otheirs are mentioned by Mtiller. (Arch'doL § 322. 4.) There are still many great mosaics of the ancients extant. (See the works of Ciampini, Furietti, and Laborde.) The most interesting and most valuable is the one lately discovered in Pom­ peii, which is supposed to represent the battle of Issus. This mosaic is certainly one of the most valuable relics of ancient art, and the design and composition of the work are so superior to its exe­ cution, that the original has evidently been the production of an age long anterior to the degenerate period of the mosaic itself. The composition is simple,, forcible, and beautiful, and the design ex­ hibits in many respects merits of the highest order. (See Nicolini, Quadra in musaico scoperto in Pom­ peii; Mazois, Pompei,iv. 4 8 and 4.9 ; and M tiller, Denkmaler der alien Kunst, i. 55.) [R.N.W.]

PIGNORATICIA ACTIO. [pignus.]

PIGNOKIS CAPIO. [per pignoris ca-

PIONEJJ.]

PIGNUS, a pledge or security for a debt or de­mand, is derived, sa}rs Gaius (Dig. 50. tit. 16. s. 238), from pugnus " quia quae pignori dantur, maim traduntur." This is one of several instances of the failure of the Roman Jurists when they at­tempted etymological explanation of words. [Mu-tuum.] The element of pignus (pig} is contained in the word pa(n)g-o., and its cognate forms.

A thing is said to be pledged to a man when it is made a security to him for some debt or demand. It is called, says Ulpian, Pignus when the posses­sion of the thing is given to him to whom it is made a security, and Hypotheca, when it is made a security without being put in his possession. (Dig. 13. tit. 7. s. 9. § 2; Isidor. Grig. v. 25 ; see also Cic. ad Fam. xiii. 56.) The agreement for pledge which was made without delivery of the

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