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Another Apelles was the founder of a Gnostic sect in the 2nd century; Apelles (theologian).
Apelles was a renowned painter of ancient Greece. Probably born at Colophon in Ionia, he became a student at Sicyon under Pamphilus. At the court of Macedon he painted Phillip II and the young Alexander the Great with such success that he became the recognised court painter.

His most famous paintings included Alexander weilding a thunderbolt, Aphrodite Anadyomene, showing the goddess rising from the sea, and a portrait of Antigonus I Monophthalmus on horseback. None of his work survives.

Such was Apelles' fame that several Renaissance painters modelled themselves on him. Raphael may have portrayed himself as Apelles in the School of Athens and Sandro Botticelli based two paintings, The birth of Venus and Calumny of Apelles, on his works.

This mural from Pompeii is believed to be based on Anadyomene Venus, a lost painting by Apelles.