Fabius, Caius pseudonym: Pictor
4th century, male.
Fabius, a member of the illustrious family of the Fabii, was criticised for dishonouring the family name by becoming a painter - it is thought that the epithet Pictor (the painter) was given to ridicule him. He is cited as the first Roman painter. In 304 BC he decorated the temple of Salus in Rome, probably with a scene showing the battle in which Bibulus defeated the Samnites. These paintings existed until the time of the emperor Claudius when the temple was destroyed by fire. He cannot have been very famous in his time for Pliny seems not to have known of him and makes no mention of him in his writings. An interval of some 150 years was to pass before the advent of the next named Roman painter....