Zeuxis choosing helen of troy from among the life models of Agrigentum

Zeuxis selecting his models

For his painting of Helen of Troy, the Greek painter Zeuxis, unable to find any girl beautiful enough to serve as a model, inspected the teens of the city and chose out four, whose peculiar beauties he proposed to reproduce in his picture.

zeuxis choosing his models for the image of helen of troy from among the women of croton

Zeuxis choosing his models for the image of Helen of Troy from among the women of Croton

Zeuxis worked in Croton (Cicero was right) or Agrigentum (Pliny the elder was right). Being in two places at once like the electron of the quantic theory, Zeuxis was (apologizing for the metaphor) qubit-like and Helen an aesthetic upgrade of the average life model.


"One can't paint Troy as it is, but rather as it is felt."

helen zeuxis

Zeuxis painting Helen of Troy.

Georges Braque, "The egg from which Helen of Troy hatched"

zeuxis thinking of helen of troy

About death and ancient Greek mythology

Zeuxis attempted to create an ideal whole from disparate parts. Fixation on antiquity and mimesis is regarded as a particularly pernicious decadence.