artist's studio

  1. (pictōris) pergola-ae f.
    • Idem perfecta opera proponebat in pergulâ transeuntibus atque, ipse post tabulam latens, vitia quae notarentur auscultabat, vulgum diligentiorem iudicem quam se praeferens.
      PLIN., 35, 12, in an oft-quoted anecdote about the painter Apelles
    • Nam Lucilius eorum stultitiam, qui simulacra deos putant esse, deridet his versibus: ‘Terricolas Lamias Fauni, quas Pompiliique instituere Numae, tremit has; hic omnia ponit. Ut pueri infantes credunt signa omnia ahena vivere et esse homines, sic ista omnia ficta vera putant; credunt signis cor inesse in ahenis. Pergula pictorum; veri nihil; omnia ficta.’
      LACT., Inst. 1, 22, quoting Lucilius
  2. zōgraphēum-ī, n.
    • ζωγραφεῖον
      PLU., 2.471f,ζωγραφεῖον


PERGULA, appears to have been a kind of booth or small house, which afforded scarcely any protection except by its roof, so that those who passed by could easily look into it. It served both as a workshop (Dig. 5, 1, 19) and a stall where things were exhibited for sale. We find, for instance, that painters exhibited their works in a pergula that they might be seen by those who passed by (Lucil. ap. Lactant. 1, 22), and Apelles is said to have concealed himself in his pergula behind his pictures that he might overhear the remarks of those who looked at them (Plin. H. N. 36, 12). Such places were occupied by persons, who, either by working or sitting in them, wished to attract the attention of the public (Salmas. ad Script. Hist. Aug. pp. 458, 459). Hence we find them inhabited by poor philosophers and grammarians who gave instruction and wished to attract notice in order to obtain pupils (Suet. Aug. 94, de Illustr. Grammat. 18; Flav. Vopisc. Saturnin. 10; Juven. 11, 137). It should be observed that scholars do not agree as to the real meaning of pergula: Scaliger (ad Plaut. Pseud. I.2.79) describes it as a part of a house built out into the street, as in some old houses of modern times; Ernesti (ad Suet. Aug. 94) thinks that a pergula is a little room in the upper part of a house which was occasionally used by poor philosophers as an observatory. But neither of these two definitions is so applicable to all the passages in which the word occurs as that which we have proposed.” ~SMITH


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