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by nature for the perception and en- celebrity; but the prime quality of sy page joyment of whatever was beautiful their excellence lay in the splendour Hlj
; and majestic. He whose mind was and beauty of colouring, as that of the servis
, it filled even to overflowing with all the former consisted in the grandeur and images of antique grandeur and love. accuracy of design. The works of these and studs ·liness, as his numerous writings on the great luminaries of Upper Italy
, and a car dir relics of ancient days bear ample tes. the other founders and followers timony, could not do otherwise than the Venetian and Lombard schools
, winter write successfully on the more modern are treated of in the third and fourth win Time bistory of the art of painting, although volumes. To these succeeded the stry fee he himself had never exercised it. " It school of Bologna, which desired and emery was sufficient," says Boni, “ to listen attempted to unite in itself the chanxi the to him in familiar conversation, as I racteristic excellencies of all theothers
; Epo have often had the happiness to do, with it Lanzi commences his fifth va od met while he discoursed concerning some lume, and adds to it that of Ferrara
, beautiful picture, to be convinced that and Úpper and Lower Romagna. Then are the most practised artist could not follow the school of Genoa, which, at have a higher relish of its beauties a later period, acquired its celebrity; at than he. The judicious opinions, the "and that of Piedmont, which, without in descriptions of the chief works men- the succession of ancient masters of smith tioned by him in his history, the ana- which the other states can boast, has
, aut lysis of the great masters, such as however, certain merits of its own, Raffael, Michael Angelo, Titian, and which render it worthy of a place in many others, would do honour to the the history of painting. The sixth
, *** most accomplished painter, had such and last volume, consists of three inattempted to write a history of the art. dexes, which greatly add to the utility Hence it comes, that he was so often of the work. The first contains the consulted by professional men, not names of the painters, with the years alone regarding the inventive part, in which they were born and died; which may be said to be the common the second presents a catalogue of the property of the painter and the poet, authors quoted in the body of the with this difference, that the former is work, with the names of their writings of limited to the representation of a single critical and historical ; and the third is circuinstance or state of any fact, composed of an alphabetical arrange whereas the other may represent it ment of the subject matter, classed under its changes and succession ; but under different heads in common form. his opinion was also much sought for Having now presented you with a in all the other matters which compose brief view of the nature and contents the excellence of painting.'
of a work, which, by all who are in the The latest and most complete edition habit of studying it, is admitted to conof Lanzi's work was published by Ca- tain the most valuable bodyof historical purro of Pisa, in the years 1816-17, and critical information which has yet and consists, including the volume of been given to the public on the subject indexes, of six volumes, 8vo. The first of painting, I may ask how it happens
I and second volumes embrace the schools that in a country like our own, where of that part of Italy which, through so many either feel, or affect to feel
, the unrivalled talents of Leonardo da so deep an interest in the fine arts, Vinci, Michael Angelo, and Raffael, no translation of it has yet appeared? was the first to exhibit the uncloud. This is the more to be wondered at, rhi ed splendour of the art ; these men when we consider the deplorable igno were the chiefs of the two greatschools, rance, even of our cleverest artists
, the Florentine and Roman, to which, concerning both the true character and on account of their proximity of place, occasional variation of style observable our author has added those of Sienna in the works of Italian painters. We and Naples. Shortly afterwards, the find people in abundance who are suffame of Giorgione, Titian, and Coreg- ficiently
versed in all the details of the gio, began to spread itself through Dutch and Flemish schools ;
but & Italy; they also obtained the highest real and substantial knowledge of the
* Elogio dell'Abate Don Luigi Lanzi tratto dalle sue opere del Cavaliere Onofrio Boni di Cortona. Pisa, 1816.
rise, progress, and decline of the art things more, in the presence of some in Italy, where alone, with few ex- grey-eyed pensioner of the palace, ceptions, it is much worth thinking whose sole occupation, for three quarabout, is nearly as rare as if the num- ters of a century, had been the silent ber of students and travellers who vi and heart-felt study of those mastersit that divine country, corresponded pieces of the art, and who would as with the amount of those Dilletanti Lief mistake a grashopper for a crocowho winter in Kamschatka, and sum dile, or Lady Morgan for a connoismer in Timbuctoo. Perhaps in Italy seur, as the production of one age for the very facilities afforded the travel that of another. ler may, in some respects, tend to Our young man of genius having check the progress of his knowledge, tried in vain to distinguish himself by more especially when we consider how an “original observation," endeavours. much more gratifying to vanity and to express, by signs, to his Valet de self-conceit is the display of superficial Place, how pleasant it would be to knowledge, quickly acquired, which have a copy of a printed catalogue of glances from point to point without the collection ; but he is informed that entering into any, than that more sub- none such exist. By this time he feels stantial information, which, carrying himself completely dumfoonder'd, and along with it its own reward, and con- is sensible of a dizziness in his head, scious of the difficulty with which it such as Jupiter may have experienced is obtained, is usually regardless of when Minerva, å goddess armed," the multitude, who speak much, think was working her way out of his ear at little, and know less.
the point of the bayonet, or Satan him. In fact, any young gentleman of this self, when a somewhat similar accident country who has been for some months befel that great author of evil. He is in possession of a copy of Pilkington's now obliged to have recourse to other Dictionary, and has once or twice read resources than his own; he finds famiover the works of Richardson, Barry, liar names assigned to pictures execuReynolds, Opie, Fuseli, and a few more ted in a style quite opposite to that in English writers, with perhaps a trans- which he had supposed such artists "lation of Fresnoy, or Du Bos, and some ever painted ; and, what is still more extracts from Winkelmann, Mengs, perplexing, many of the noblest picand D'Argenville, and who having a tures are alleged to be the productions most extraordinary memory, may pos- of men of whose very names he had sibly remember to have heard the till that moment remained in igno names of Vasari, Borghini, Baldin- rance. What is to be done when Mr ucci
, looks upon himself as all accom- Tims and his party shall have arrived ? plished in the history of ancient and He had anticipated the pleasure of enmodern art, and sets out like another lightening their benighted intellects,
conquering and to as an electric flash brightens the darkconquer.” The first great collection ness of a thunder-cloud, and he has he arrives at is entered with all the just discovered that he is himself too confidence of a perfect adept. Galileo deeply enveloped in the mists of error himself never gazed with more tran- to be able to exhibit even his ignorance. quil assurance on the brightness of a But as it is the semblance rather than starry sky, than does our accomplished the substance of wisdom for which he practitioner on the surrounding lumi- searches, and as his character might naries of his favourite art. But, alas ! suffer an irreparable blow were he for the weakness even of one so well found incompetent to answer all the appointed ; for the race is not always questions which the said Mister and to the swift, nor the battle to the the Misses Tims should please to put strong! He blunders out one unfore to him, he rouses himself, like a lion tunate name after another ; makes an awakening from a trance, shaking artist die before his father was born; the dew-drops from its mane," and calls another into existence about á addresses himself manfully to the hundred and fifty years after his pa- work. The famed prescription of Merents had been consigned to the tomb dea accomplished no greater change of the Capulets ; distinguishes the on the enfeebled body of Æson. In style of Cigoli from that of Ludovico ten days he becomes a perfect Cicerone, Cardi, who were one and the same a walking Index of dates and names, person, and all this, and a thousand and in ten years he is nothing more.
1892 * But, to come at last to the point.- English lovers of painting, might be propose, for my own amusement, and likened unto the sowing of grain in the edification of your readers, to de- barren places. In as far, therefore, as vote two or threeevenings every month, my hitherto untried judgment will during the course of the ensuing win- yield me safe conduct, I shall for the ter, to the translation of such passages most part confine myself to subjects of Delen in Lanzi, and other Italian writers on general interest, to the lives and prothe art, as hit my fancy, and which ductions of the great masters of colourhave not, as far as I can ascertain, ing and design, to the criticisms on been as yet presented in an English the comparative merits, or characterdress to the reading public of Great istic excellences or defects, of the difBritain and Ireland." It might per- férent schools, and to the observations haps be better if the Storia Pittorica on the origin, progress, and decline were translated in toto, as a separate of the art.
In so doing, I trust I work ; but in so far as regards myself, shall render no unacceptable service to I have not sufficient confidence either the young students of my own country
; in my own perseverance, or ability for whose attention to the more practical such a task. Neither can it be denied part of their profession, may have that many hundreds of its pages are hitherto excluded the attainment of care occupied in tracing the history, and the Tuscan language. I shall occasionin discussing the merits, of artists, ally too, for the sake of contrast
, bring who, though deservedly esteemed in together the opinions of the German, their own country, where their works the French, and the English critics
, in the are known, are by no means objects comparison with those of the Italiano of equal interest in this, where they authors. are unknown; and therefore, however May you live for ever, useful such criticism may be deemed
THOMAS GEDDES. in a general history of the art abroad, To the Editor of Blackwood's Magazine. its introduction, for the benefit of the
Here follow sundry observations on the doings of Andrea del Sarto. He is not, indeed, the first of the Florentine series, whether we regard time or passin quality'; but we are anxious to bring him forward at an early period, because we think justice has not been done to him, either in this country or his own. Whoever has seen the Madonna del Sacco of Florence, will not deny him the praises of a beautiful imagination, and most chaste design, and his merit as 8 colourist has never been denied. It was a hasty and
unjust criticism by Foro syth, that he had “ neither poetry in his head, nor pathos in his heart.”. I has been quoted and referred to, rather, I should hope, through its pithin and alliteration, than its truth.' The picture above mentioned proves that he possessed both.
Andrew had no
ther's trade, (which was that of a tai ly in invention ;" and without doubt
Andrea Vannuchi, * from his fa- Baldinucci criticises him as "niggard- bato lor,), called Andrea del Sarto, is prai. there is not in him that elevation of the school, for having worked “ with painters as in poets. sed by Vasari, as one of the heads of sentiment which forms the heroic in
other Florentine such gift-by nature modest, gentle, understood light and shade, and for a similar character wherever he exerted painter, for having excellently well sensible, he seems to have expressed having painted with a lively sweetness; his pencil. The portico of the Annuabesides shewing the method of paint- ziata at Florence, by him converted in ing in Fresco, with the most perfect to a gallery beyond price, is the fittest union, and without the necessity of place in which to form a judgment of re-touching, so that each of his works his merits. Those pure contours of the appear as if painted in one single day.” figure render him worthy ofhis surname
of Andrea senza errori—those elegant had withdrawn such things as had been countenances, in the smile of which erroneously affirmed in the first ? one is so often reminded of the simpli. The professional success of Andrea, city and grace of Coreggio; the well and his passage from one excellency to arranged buildings; the garments adapt- another, were less sudden than in cered to every condition; the graceful dra- tain others, but rather seem to have peries ; the popular effects of curiosity, been attained gradually at Florence in of wonder, of faith, of compassion, and a course of many years.
“ There,” of joy, are united with such perfect says Vasari, “ reflecting by little and decorum, that all is intelligible at first little on that which he had seen, he glance, and penetrate the heart with- made such progress that his works have out disturbing it. He who feels, says been held in high estimation, and adLanzi, what Tibullus is in poetry, may mired, and imitated more since his feel what Andrea is in painting. death, than when he was alive." He
In this artist we may see how much may have been indebted to Rome for stronger is the force of genius than of his advancement to a certain extent, precepts. Whilst a boy, he was di- but more however to his own nature, rected by Giovanni Barile, a good car- which seems to have led him by the ver in wood, who, with the designs of hand from one step to another, as may Raphael, worked among
the pews and be seen at Florence, in the Fraternity at the gates of the Vatican, but he was of the Scalzo, and in the convent of nameless as a painter. When a young the Servi, where there are works paintman, he was assigned to the care of ed by him at different times. At the Pier di Cosimo, a practised colourist, Scalzo he painted in chiar' oscuro some though not distinguished in design or passages of the life of St Giovanni, the composition ; in these latter qualities cartoons for which are in the Palazzo he formed his taste on the cartoons of Rinuccini, and in these works there Buonarotti and Da Vinci ; and, as ap- are several noted imitations, even some pears by many tokens, on the frescoes figures of Albert Durer. In the story of Masaccio and of Ghirlandajo, among of the Baptism of Christ, we see his which were subjects more allied to his first manner ; his advancement in mild genius. I know not in what year others, as the Visitation, painted some he visited Rome, but it certain that years after ; and finally, as in the birth he did so--nor do I see how it can be of the Baptist, his most excellent and disputed, as has been done in regard grandest style. Thus too, in the lesser to Coreggio. I do not argue on this cloisters at the Servi, the histories of point from his style, which, though the life of St Filippo Benezii, are very certainly less ideal, has been regarded graceful, though among the first moveby Lomazzo and other writers, as soments of his genius; a greater work Raffaelesque, for he and Raffael had in the same place is the Epiphany of studied together in Florence from the our Saviour, and the birth of the Virsame models, and independently of gin; but above all, and the greatest of such circumstance, nature may have his productions, is the Holy Family in provided them with a similarity of sen- repose, painted over the door of the timent in their selection of the beauti- greater cloister, which, from a sack of ful. I go on the statement of Vasari. grain on which Joseph supports himHe asserts that he was in Rome, and self, is commonly called the Madonna saw, the works of the scholars of Raf- of the Sack-a noble picture in the fael, and being, through his timid history of the art, and equalled by few nature, inspired with no hope of imi- others. Several prints have been taken tating them, he quickly returned to of it, and after the lapse of two centuFlorence. If we credit so many other ries and a half, it has found an artist proofs of the pusillanimity of Andrea, worthy of itself, having been recently why should we discredit this? or how engraved by Morghen, along with anoshall we rely on the faith of Vasari, if ther analogous composition taken from he errs in a fact regarding his own the Camere of Raphael. These two master, written in Florence shortly af- prints form part of every rich cabinet, ter the death of Andrea, while his and to him who has not visited Floscholars, his friends, and even his wife, rence and Rome, they would induce were still alive ; and maintained in the the belief that Andrea was rather the
e second edition, from which the author rival than the follower of the first masVOL. X.
ter of the art. In beholding close by tonishing a manner? The Supper of us the picture itself, we know not how our Lord, in the Monastery of St Salto cease gazing upon it; it is finished vi, would be no less admired, were it as if it had been worked for a study; not so shutup and concealed. Assuredly every hair is distinct, every tint gra- it was admired by the soldiers who
De duated with the highest art, each con- besieged Florence in 1529, and detour marked out with a wonderful va- stroyed the suburbs of the city. Hariety and grace. But amid all this di- ving demolished the belfry, the church
, ligence, there is expressed, at the same and a part of the monastery itself
, time, an ease and facility, which makes on seeing the picture, they remained, all appear as if it were natural and as it were, immoveable, and had no spontaneous.
heart to proceed further in their work At the Poggio of Cajano there is a of destruction-thus imitating that representation of Cæsar, seated con- Demetrius, who, having conquered spicuously in a place ornamented with Rhodes, shewed respect, it is said, only statues, and presented as in tribute of to a picture of Protogenes. his victories, with eastern birds and As Andrea painted a great number beasts of chase ;-a picture quite in of pictures, he is well known also bethe antique taste, and sufficient of it. yond his own country. His best work self to render Andrea highly eminent in the hand of strangers * is, perhaps, as a perspective painter. The order that which passed into a palace of to embellish this villa was from Leo Genoa, from the church of the Domithe Tenth, and Andrea, whose com- nicans of Sarzana, who still have a fine petitors there were Franciabigio and copy of it. It is composed much in Pontormo, made every effort to please the taste of Fra Bartolommeo ; and, bem si the great supporter of the art, and to sides the saints placed around the Virexcel his rivals. But it appears that gin, and upon the steps, there are in neither he nor they were encouraged front of the picture, and rising from to continue their labours in that place, its lower plane, two pretty large figures
, for it is known that the great hall was seen only as far as the knees. I know some years afterwards finished by that this division is not satisfactory to Alessandro Allori. Of Andrea's pic- the critics, but it certainly there astures in oil, the Sovereign Palace sists in placing variously so many (Palazzo Pitti) is adorned with many. figures, and renders more apparent Besides the paintings of St Francis, the the distance between the nearest and Assumption, the History of Joseph, the furthest removed, by which the and the other works collected by the theatre appears to increase
, and there family of the Medici, the Grand Duke is consequently a triumph of art
. Leopold purchased from the monks of There is no scarcity of his Holy Faye Lugo a most beautiful Piety, and milies in the best collections. There placed it in the Tribune, to sustain the are two in the possession of the Marcharacter of the School. The Saints chese Rinuccini at Florence, and others Peter and Paul being there represent in the possession of Roman princes
, ed together, contrary to the history, all differing from each other, with this was not the fault of the painter who exception, perhaps, that the likeness imagined them with such beauty, but of the Virgin, which Andrea was in of him who commissioned the picture. the habit of drawing from his own In the Dead Christ, the skilful have wife, are almost always the same. I noted some defects, such as his ap- have also seen many in the cities subpearing too much as if self-supported, ject
to Rome and Florence, and not even and having the veins more highly re- few in Lombardy, besides
those which lieved than is found in death. But one reads of in the Catalogues of the what is that to the rest of the picture, Ultramontane Cabinets. ť designed, coloured, disposed in so as- With so much genius, be certainly
* In Italy, the words Stranciri, Forestieri, &c. are frequently applied by the inhobitants of one district or dukedom to those of another.
+ About eighteen months ago, an English gentleman, Mr B., equally versed in the theory and practice of the art, in journeying by an unusual route from Florence to Rome, discovered in an old convent a painting by Andrea del Sarto. He perceived, through the cobwebs and discoloured varnish by which it was obscured, that it was a picture in the highest style of the master.
It was a Holy Family of great size-the