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migrated with the ducal library to Rome, and may now be in the Vatican. It would be desirable to know what they were; for although Raphael was never remarkable for a servile imitation of the antique, we find that he sometimes adopted his subjects, and often improved his drapery and his forms, from such examples.
the shoulders of Atlas.' From the expres sion I am not ashamed to be called a professor of this noble art,' coupled with the evidence of no inconsiderable possessions, it may be inferred that Giovanni yielded to a strong inclination for the pursuit, having other sufficient means of subsistence.
The military exploits and public life of the Duke Federigo are the subjects of his. tories almost as copious as the rhymes in question; but some domestic details lose nothing from appearing in a poetical dress, especially as the poet seems to write better when he trusts least to imagination. The death of the accomplished Countess Battista,* at the age of twenty-six, is among the most touching of his descriptions. This lady, whose acquirements merited the praises of Bernardo Tasso, had pronounced an extempore Latin address, at the age of twenty, to Pope Pius II., and the princes and ambassa. dors who were with him in Milan, when the learned pontiff, with probably as much truth as gallantry, declared that he was unable to reply to her with equal eloquence. On hearing of her dangerous illness, her hus band left the command of the Florentine army, and arrived only to see her expire. The poet describes her embracing her lord for the last time, her causing their infant son Guidubaldo to be placed in his father's arms, while the bystanders melted in tears, and concludes—
The influence of classic monuments of art has been too much overlooked, generally, in the early history of painting. In modern times we are accustomed to consider a direct imitation of sculpture as the evidence of such an influence in the infancy and gradual development of art, the effect was much less pronounced but not the less real. Those who, like the Germans, are in the habit of drawing a strong line of demarcation between the classic and Christian taste, are too apt to neglect the consideration of this question, and, except in decided instances, like Mantegna, of the adoption of antique forms, appear to think that Italian art was as independent in its infancy as it was in its perfection. We shall not now stay to examine this subject further, but merely remark that, although Rome was ultimately the centre of the classic taste, almost every Italian city preceded it in forming collections of antique sculpture. The examples at Pisa from which the early sculptors of that city caught their first inspiration, the school of Squarcione at Padua, the garden of the Medici at Florence, and the gallery of Urbino, were all exercising their influence before the treasures of the Roman territory were exhumed, Poggio Bracciolini, who had himself employed agents to import specimens of sculpture from the Levant to Florence, could only count six statues in Rome towards the middle of the fifteenth century,
That the account above quoted relating to Urbino was not exaggerated, is abundantly evident from the corroborating testimonies of local historians, and, we may add, from the architecture of the palaces of Urbino and Gubbio, considered with reference to its age. Perhaps the most interesting of the historians just alluded to is the father of Raphael, Giovanni Santi, who, in a MS. poem preserved in the Vatican, consisting of twenty-three books in terza rima, celebrates the martial and peaceful virtues of the Duke Federigo. The chronicle is so far complete that it ends with the death of its hero in 1482 (the year before Raphael was born), and is dedicated to his son and successor Guidubaldo I. In the dedication Giovanni * Passavant is wrong in calling her Duchess; Santi speaks of having been early induced the title of Duke was conferred on Count Federigo to embrace the admirable art of painting, by Sixtus IV. in 1474, (two years after the death of Battista,) on the marriage of the Pope's nephew, the difficulty of which,' he says, 'added to Giovanni della Rovers, with Giovanna, daughter of domestic cares, would be a burden even for Federigo,
Chiuse quel santo, onesto e grave ciglio,
The chronicle of Giovanni Santi is in no re spect more important than in his occasional allusions to the painters, sculptors, and ar. chitects of his time in Urbino and elsewhere in Italy. These notices, corroborated by the testimony of other historians, by the documents brought to light by Pungileoni, and still more by his own researches on the spot, have enabled Passavant to give a sufficiently full account of the artists who constantly or occasionally exercised their talents at Urbi, no during Raphael's youth, and of others whose works, done at earlier periods, were accessible to him in and near his native city.
We cannot accompany the historian far in these researches, and must follow his own example in expressing our reluctance to acquiesce in eulogies, where we have not had opportunities of judging for ourselves.
Luciano Lauranna, the architect of the pa. became acquainted with Oderigi, the missal laces of Urbino and Gubbio, undoubtedly painter; to which circumstance alone, prodeserves to have his name recorded. The bably, the artist owed his immortality. style of these buildings resembles, in its To come at once to the painters whose tasteful imitation of the antique, that of Leon merit was sufficient to attract the attention, Battista Alberti, and may thus not have or influence the style of the best of their been without its influence on Raphael and successors, we find that Gentile da Fabriano his townsman Bramante. Francesco di painted occasionally at and near Urbino, as Giorgio, of Siena, to whom the design of well as at Rome and other places. A Ma. the Urbino palace is erroneously ascribed donna and Child, from his pencil, won the by Vasari, seems to have been employed in admiration of Michael Angelo himself, who, the fortifications, and in some works of orna- according to Vasari, used to say that Gentile mental sculpture, which still adorn the inte. had a hand like his name. Paolo Uccello, rior and exterior of the palace. In these celebrated for his skill in perspective and decorative works, Ambrogio Baroccio, the celebrated for the colossal equestrian figure ancestor of the painter, assisted, and merited of the English condottiere, Hawkwood, the praises of Giovanni Santi, for the taste which he painted on the walls of the catheand spirit of his architectural foliage. The dral at Florence—appears among the paintwalls of many of the apartments were paint- ers who left specimens of their talents in ed with frescoes, which have long disap- Urbino; his works, indeed, are no longer peared. Baldi, in bis • Descrizione del Pa- to be found there, but the recorded payments, lazzo ducale d'Urbino,' speaks of a room, dated 1468, are sufficient proofs. Giovanni annexed to the library, which contained por. Santi, alluding to the wonders of perspective traits of celebrated men of all ages : these done in his time, observes have perished; but one of Raphael's early
• Et si perfectamente hogi riluce, sketch-books, preserved in the academy at Che como scorge la vertù visiva Venice, contains drawings of this descrip- Perfectamente in disegnio reduce. tion, probably done from the representations
Et benchè el fin di lei l'huom sì non trova,
Pur è dela pictura membro intero in ques:ion. Even the panelling was here
E invention del nostro secul nova.' and there of a costly kind : it appears to have been the work of Maestro Giacomo, of A curious picture by Giorgio Andreoli
, Florence, who wrought in tarsia, (inlaid erroneously ascribed to Bramante, is prewood,) a mode of imitation which Vasari served in the church of Sta. Chiara. It reincludes among the arts of design, and in presents an architectural composition in per. which original and fine compositions were spective : the round building with Corinthian sometimes, perhaps we should say, thrown pilasters, which forms the chief object, ap. away. The curious specimens still existing pears to have been a favourite perspective in both the palaces alluded to may have been lesson with the artists of the time and neighthe work of this artist. The English travel. bourhood, and occurs, variously modified, in ler who paces the grand apartments, (some the works of Perugino and Raphael. A very of which, in the Gubbio edifice, are now similar design was afterwards introduced in filled with silk-looms !) recognises among the architectural decoration of a theatre at these inlaid ornaments the insignia of the Urbino, when the first regular Italian come. Order of the Garter, a distinction conferred dy, the Calandra of Cardinal Bibiena, was on more than one sovereign of Urbino, and represented there in 1513, (and not as Tira. of which the Montefeltri were justly proud. boschi supposes, in 1508.) These decora.
The history of the painters of Urbino and tions, the work of Girolamo Genga, a fellow its neighbourhood might be traced to a much scholar of Raphael with Perugino, are miearlier date, from the specimens still exist- nutely described in one of Castiglione's ing. These, for the most part, possess but I letters. little interest ; but we cannot omit the name, Pietro della Francesca, one of the most though nothing but the name remains, of the accomplished painters of his time, deserves Oderigi, mentioned by Dante, (Purg. c. 11.) more especial attention. He was the guest An appropriate inscription marks the house of Giovanni Santi, in Urbino, in 1469. His in Gubbio, where the poet for a time resided, portraits of the Duke (then Count) Federigo, and where, it is said he composed part of and 'his consort Battista Sforza, forming a his great work. It was in this place he dyptich, are now in the gallery at Florence. The rage in Italy for putting up lapidi, to com- mains at Urbino ; but in his native city,
A single specimen only of his talents re. memorate all kinds of events, has been sometimes ridiculed; but we observe, in passing, that none which all must cherish are gradually lost from the would object to see such a practice somewhat more neglect of this. Many a house in the older streets prevalent than it is in England. Associations of London well deserves such memorials.
Borgo S. Sepolchro, many of his works are | rini family at Borgo S. Sepolchro. The still extant. At Arezzo, in the church of most distinguished contemporary painters of S. Francesco, Pietro painted the History Romagna and Umbria are said to have stuof the Cross;' and, among other subjects, died under Pietro della Francesca. Among 'the Vision of Constantine. In this,' says these, Melozzo da Forlì and Luca Signorelli Vasari, 'an angel, foreshortened, descends confirm such a tradition by their works head downwards, with the sign of Victory, more than Pietro Perugino. The name of to Constantine, who sleeps in his tent, guard- Melozzo da Forlì, of whom Giovanni Santi ed by some armed figures, dimly seen, while speaks in terms of regard, is associated with the light from the angel, which is managed an epoch in the art, from his having first with great skill, illumines the tent, the figures attempted that kind of foreshortening when in armour, and the surrounding objects. Pi- figures are supposed to be seen above the etro,' he continues, 'thus taught the import-eye, (di sotto in sù ;) and in this respect he ance of copying effects from nature, and is to be considered the precursor of Corregcontriving them originally-indeed, he did gio. Vasari, speaking of a work of this na. this himself so successfully, that he was the ture by him, the Ascension,' formerly in means of other more modern masters follow- the church of the SS Apostoli at Rome, ing in the same track, and attaining the great says, 'the figures of Christ and the angels excellence which we have witnessed in our seemed to pierce the roof.' This artist apown times.' The defeat of Maxentius was pears to have been employed in a villa of also among these subjects; and Vasari, after the sovereigns of Urbino. Of the celebrated praising the picturesque effect of certain por- Luca Signorelli it is unnecessary to say tions, goes on to describe the flight and sub- more than that Michael Angelo did not dismersion of Maxentius, where a group of dain to borrow from his original and wellhorses, foreshortened, is so admirably man- studied groups at Orvieto. aged, that, considering the time when the work was done, it must be admitted to be surpassingly well.' He speaks also of some figures skilfully designed in regard to anatomy, so little known at the time.' The remains of these frescoes, badly retouched, are still to be seen at Arezzo. The sketch for a portion of the Vision of Constantine' is in the Lawrence collection, and when published by Ottley, was ascribed to Giorgione a remarkable confirmation of the truth of Vasari's praises. Pietra della Francesca and Bramantino da Milano had painted some frescoes in the Vatican. These, Vasari informs us, were destroyed, to make way for Raphael's 'Deliverance of Peter,' and the Miracle of Bolsena.' What Pietro's subject was, it may now be impossible to learn; but it was probably one of those striking effects of chiaro-scuro, of which he seems to have given the first examples; it appears to have occupied the place where the Deliverance of Peter' now is. The coincidence between his treatment of such subjects, (as described by Vasari above, in the Vision of Constantine,') and the remarkable effect of light and shade in Raphael's Deliverance of Peter,' is, perhaps, more than accidental, and Passavant might safely have ventured to allude to it. Lastly, this master was skilled, above all his contemporaries, in perspective and geometry; and Vasari goes so far as to say, the most important information that exists on such subjects is derived from him.' His MSS. were deposited in the ducal library at Urbino, and some of them are now in the possession of the Ma.
In the prominent characteristics of these painters we may trace a more decided connection with the style of Andrea Mantegna than with any Florentine example; and as some corroboration of this it may be men. tioned, that Giovanni Santi places Mantegna at the head of the painters of his time :
'Perchè de tucti i membri de tale arte Lo integro e chiaro corpo lui possede Più che huom de Italia o dele externe parte.' The poet concludes a long eulogy on the same artist, by repeating that
in ciò (la pittura) tien lo impero.' The physical elements of the art had, in fact, made great progress in the hands of the artists above mentioned. Perspective and geometry introduced a taste for architecture; and the same love of perspective, in its application to form, led to foreshorten. ing and to depth in composition: with these, chiaro scuro necessa essarily advanced. stances are quoted, in which some, like Luca Signorelli, approached the modern* richness in colour; but for a decided progress in this respect, and still more for expression, and a very marked religious feel. ing, we should rather look to another group of painters in the same neighbourhood, most of them somewhat later in date, with Pietro Perugino at their head.
The period when Pietro della Francesca, and the artists named with him, produced
* The modern manner' is Vasari's term for the
perfection of the art in the hands of Raphael, Titian, and their contemporaries.
their principal works, was soon after the of the celebrated artists of his time. On middle of the fifteenth century. Several the other hand, the poet makes honourable were employed at Rome by Pope Nicholas mention of Van Eyck under the name of V., about 1455; but Signorelli and Perugi- •il gran Joannes.' A passage in which he no were painting in the Vatican much later. asserts the powers of imitation, as generally The artists in question had been the wonder developed in the fifteenth century, also seems of their age, yet many of their productions to have reference to the style of the early were swept away to make room for the Flemish masters :frescoes of Raphael, and afterwards for the
Chi serra (sara) quel che possi el chiar colore Last Judgment' of Michael Angelo. Thus,
Lucido e trasparente de un rubino in Venice, the Pietro Martire of Titian Contrafar mai, o el suo vago splendore ? supplanted the same subject at the same Chi è quel che possi el sol in sul mattino altar by Jacobello del Fiore. Signorelli
Dipingere mai, o un spechiar del' acque
Cum fronde e fior vicini allor (al lor) confino ? and Pietro Perugino were, it appears, in Qual mai si excellente al mondo nacque Rome when a fresco by the former was de. Che un bianco giglio facci, o fresca rosa stroyed, because a young man of five-and- Cum quel bel pur che a natura piacque ? twenty could far surpass it. The venerable El paragon se trova : ove ogni cosa
Vinta riman,' &c. artists might have witnessed this without a painful humiliation : they had the conscious. The peculiar characteristics of the school ness of having themselves improved on the of Umbria, represented chiefly by Pietro works of their predecessors, and of having Perugino, have been ably defined by Ru. enabled Raphael himself to reach the per- mobr; but in order to take a just view of fection it was not in the nature of things this subject, we must first refer to the earlier they should attain.
state of Italian art, and to the causes of For the works of Giovanni Santi, those its first ramifications. The ancient Christian who are curious to trace the few that re. modes of representation, the technical me. main will find ample details in Pungileoni thods of the middle ages, and the usual range and Passavant. We merely observe, that of subjects had been in a great measure set the picture, which was always supposed to aside by Giotto, whose fame and example represent the family of the artist, with the decided the tendency of the Florentine infant Raphael kneeling by his mother's school for more than a century. With a side, is unfortunately proved to be an ex feeling for richness of composition and draa volo of another person, whose portrait, with matic interest, he had rejected or modified those of his family, Giovanni has introduced. the formal but sometimes awe-inspiring
Federigo da Montefeltro's great love for types of the older painters. The subjects the arts was in no respect more conspicuous derived from the legends of modern saints, than in his being one of the first of the and especially S. Francesco d'Assisi, were Italian princes to possess a work by Van preferred by this most original artist and his Eyck, and to employ one of that celebrated followers, less perhaps from a devotional painter's scholars, Justus van Ghent, on a feeling, than from the opportunities such considerable work in Urbino. The picture scenes afforded for variety in composition, in question—a scripture subject, treated in and for the direct imitation of nature. In a somewhat fantastic manner-still exists Siena, on the other hand, and again in Ro. in the church of S. Agata, at Urbino. In magna and elsewhere, the attachment to the the back.ground the painter has introduced ancient types remained in a great measure the Duke Federigo, with two of his suite unchanged; and if modern saints were as (one being the painter's portrait), and a frequently represented, the religious feeling Venetian, Caterino Zeno, who was at that which suggested their introduction into altar. time at the court of Urbino, as ambassador pieces was paramount to any aim of art. from Persia. The picture is painted in oil; At the same time, each progressive improve. the date 1474. Other works by the same ment in imitation was by slow degrees enartist have disappeared. Passavant traces grafted on the traditional types. Among the influence of this early Flemish style in the individual talents that had a share in prosome Italian works of the same time and moting this tendency in the Umbrian school; place; but Justus appears to have kept his Taddeo and Domenico Bartoli, of Siena, secret of oil painting to himself; at all may be especially mentioned. Traces of events, the older Italian painters continued their influence, both in general treatment to work in distemper. This circumstance and in the religious feeling alluded to, are may have produced a misuuderstanding be. to be met with in Assisi. In the mechanitween the Flemish painter and Giovanni cal imitation of Giotto, which so long cha. Santi, and may account for the omission of racterised the Florentine school, no remark. the name of Justus in Giovanni's cataloguel able example of this religious spirit appeared
till Fra Giovanni Angelico da Fiesole, al with art:-it suggested a subdued humility Dominican monk, afterwards beatified, pour-of demeanour, contrasting in a fascinating. ed forth a quantity of works, in which the manner with a certain fervour of expression, exquisite purity and sanctity of the expres- a soul-felt, unearthly longing, the origin or sions still excite the liveliest admiration. type of which is to be sought in the legen. One of the most remarkable of his paintings dary visions of the saint. The following represents the coronation of the Virgin. passage in Vasari, relating to Raphael's She is surrounded by angels and saints, so figure of St. Francis in the picture of the well portrayed,' says Vasari, so varied in Madonna di Foligno,' is applicable to many mien and in the airs of the heads, that one representations of the saint by earlier painthas incredible delight in gazing on them; ers: it will hardly bear translating:-' Nè nay, the spectator feels that these blessed mancò Raffaello fare il medesimo nella spirits, assuming them to appear in human figura di S. Francesco, il quale, ginocchioni shape, could not look otherwise in heaven in terra-guarda in alto la nostra Donna, than as they are here represented.' This ardendo di carità, nell' affetto della pittura, picture, which appears to have gained the la quale nel lineamento e nel colorito mostra painter the surname of Angelico,* is now in che e' si strugga di affezione, pigliando conthe Louvre; it hangs in one of the rooms forto e vita dal guardo della bellezza di Lei where the drawings are placed. The upper e del Figliuolo.'
portion only is in good preservation. Schorn, The characteristics above described will in his notes to Vasari, says that the late Mr. be found to present the greatest possible Ottley had a similar picture: it is probably contrast to the principle of ancient or classic an early copy; but even as such it would be art. Instead of action and form we have an interesting acquisition for the National inward life. The general distinction is well Gallery. Two reputed scholars of this pointed out by Fuseli, when he observes, artist, Centile da Fabriano and Benozzo the heroism of the Christian and his majes. Gozzoli, painted at Perugia and its neigh-ty were internal, and powerful or exquisite bourhood. In Florence itself, however, the forms allied him no longer exclusively to example can hardly be said to have been his God.' But the nature of the art itself followed with effect; Masaccio, who had, to is unchangeable, and however mcdified by a certain extent, a similar feeling, died young, the influence of a spiritual religion, must and was outlived by Fiesole himself; a long still assert its qualities, if it is to maintain a interval elapsed before Fra Bartolommeo separate character and aim, as compared appeared, and the constantly increasing with other modes of expression. This was taste for classic antiquity-a taste carried so gradually felt, and in the end the desired far by some men of letters as to induce a combination was attained in perfection by disgust for sacred subjects-was with diffi- Raphael. Angelico da Fiesole may be culty stemmed even by that painter. The considered the representative of the Chris works of Angelico, spread early in the fiftian painters who underrated the physical teenth century throughout central Italy, are, elements of the art; and the productions of on the other hand, to be included among the some of his imitators, no longer informed inspiring causes of the devotional tendency by his sincerity and intenseness of feeling, of the Umbrian painters. One other, and have little to recommend them. Vasasi, by no means the least of these influences, after praising, as we have seen, the works was the neighbourhood of Assisi, the shrine of this extraordinary painter, makes the of St. Francis himself. The church of following judicious observation:-'I would Assisi is the arena where the early Italian not that any one should deceive himself, painters contended for fame, and where the mistaking awkwardness and want of skill in vestiges of their works are still to be seen. works of art for a devout character, and on The history of St. Francis, as affording sub- the other hand confounding the beautiful jects for the pencil, mainly contributed, as and true with the indelicate.' we have seen, to form the outward character The painters who were most remarkable of some Italian schools from the first. But for the qualities we have been describing, the influence of the peculiar religious spirit united with considerable power of colour, which emanated from this centre was still were Nicolo Alunno of Foligno, Pietro more important as regards its connection Vannucci, called Perugino, Andrea Luigi of Assisi, and Bernardino Pinturicchio. The first-named is the earliest of the four in whom the impulse alluded to is remarkable, and although but little anterior to the rest, from the dryer style of his works, and from having only painted in distemper, he may
* Vasari, speaking of the manners of this holy personage, who refused the archbishopric of Florence, says, with his usual naïveté, he was never seen out of temper with the monks of his convent; a most remarkable circumstance (grandissima cosa) which to me seems almost incredible.'