powerful apelle

Alexander the Great and Campaspe in the Studio of Apelles (c.1740). Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, 1696-1770). Oil on canvas. J. Paul Getty Museum.

According to Pliny’s Natural History of 77 A.D., Alexander commissioned Apelles to paint a portrait of his favorite concubine, Campaspe. The story illustrates art’s transformative powers: Apelles fell in love with his sitter as he captured her beauty on canvas. Alexander so esteemed his painter that he presented Campaspe to Apelles as a reward for the portrait.