The absence of original paintings of the Classical and Hellenistic periods was compensated by the discovery of works which had survived in subterranean edifices. In this way the frescoes of burial monuments were added to the copies made in Roman times to acquaint us with notable Greek painting.
In close relation to their contemporary art forms of painted pottery and mosaic, the depictions stand out from their surroundings in either lively animation (Kyane, e.g.) or serene poses ("Rhadamanthys",e.g.); they represent mythological subjects with plasticity and delicate chiaroscuro shading ("The Abduction of Persephone"), or historical events (e.g. battle of Issos) exalting the personality of Macedonian rulers, or reproduce the stucco or stonework of walls (Amphipolis).
In the Roman period many subjects were copied for the adornment of houses in Italy, from which we can deduce the extent to which the development of 'Pompeian styles' was influenced by Hellenistic painting.