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Protogenes (prōtŏj´ənēz), fl. c.300 BC, one of the most celebrated Greek painters of Rhodes and Athens. Apelles is said to have been the first to recognize the talents of Protogenes, then 50 years old and known only as a painter of decorations for ships. For 20 years he enjoyed a reputation second only to that of Apelles. Ancient writers, notably Pliny the Elder, record that his works were held in high esteem by the Rhodesians. His best-known work was the Ialysus, which was removed by Vespasian to Rome, where it perished in the burning of the Temple of Peace.