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from a monastery at mount Athos; but this treasure did not arrive till after the death of Lorenzo, who, in his last moments, 'expressed to Politian and Picus his regret that he could not live to complete the collection which he was forming for their accommodation. On the discovery of the invaluable art of printing, Lorenzo was solicitous to avail himself of its advantages in procuring editions of the best works of antiquity corrected by the ablest scholars, whose labours were rewarded by his munificence. When the capture of Constantinople by the Turks caused the dis. persion of many learned Greeks, he took advantage of the circumstance, to promote the study of the Greek lan. guage in Italy. It was now at Florence that this tongue was inculcated under the sanction of a public institution, either by native Greeks, or learned Italians, who were their powerful competitors, whose services were procured by the diligence of Lorenzo de Medici, and repaid by his bounty. “ Hence,” says Mr. Roscoe, “succeeding scholars have been profuse of their acknowledgments to their great patron, who first formed that establishment, from which, to use their own classical figure, as from the Trojan horse, many illustrious champions have sprung, and by means of which the knowledge of the Greek tongue was extended, not only through all Italy, but through France, Spain, Germany, and England; from all which countries numerous pupils attended at Florence, who diffused the learning they had 'there acquired throughout the rest of Europe."
The services of Lorenzo to the fine arts were not less conspicuous than those which he rendered to letters, by augmenting his father's collection of the remains of antient taste and skill. It is not, however, on this account only that he is entitled to the esteem of the professors and admirers of the arts. He determined to excite, among his countrymen, a good taste, and, by proposing to their imitation the remains of the ancient masters, to elevate their views beyond the forms of common life, to the contemplation of that ideal beauty which alone distinguishes works of art from mere mechanical productions. With this view he appropriated his gardens in Florence to the establishment of an academy for the study of the antique, which he furnished with a profusion of statues, busts, and other relics of art, the most perfect in their kind that he could procure. The
attention of the higher, sąnk of, bis fellow-citizens .was incited to these pursuits by the example of, Lorenzo; that of the lower class by his liberality. To the latter be not only allowed competent stipends, while they attended to their studies, but appointed considerable premiums, as rewards of their proficiency. To this institution, more than any other circumstance, Mr., Roscoe, ascribes the sudden and astonishing proficiency which, towards the close of the 15th century, was evidently made in the arts, and which, commencing at Florence, extended itself to the rest of Eu. rope. In 1488, his domestic comfort was much impaired by the loss of his wife ; and after that his constitution appears to have given way, and in April 1492, he sunk under the debilitating power of a slow fever, and expired in the fortyfourth year of bis age. For bis general character,., as well as the history of his age, we must refer to the very interesting work from wbich this brief account has been taken,
MEDINA (Sir John), a portrait-painter, was the son of Medina de l’Asturias, a Spanish captain, who had settled at Brussels, where this son was born in 1659, and, structed in painting by Du Chatel. He married young, and came into England in 1686, where he drew portraits for several years. The earl of Leven encouraged him to go to Scotland, and procured him a subscription of five hundred pounds worth of business. He accepted the otfer, and, according to Walpole, carried with him a large number of bodies and postures, to which he painted, beads. He returned to England for a short time, but went again to Scotland, where he died in 1711, aged fifty-two, and was buried in the Grey Friars, church-yard. He was knighted by the duke of Queensbury, lord bigh commis. sioner, being the last instance of that honour conferred in Scotland while a separate kingdom. He painted most of the Scotch nobility ; but was not rich, baving, twenty children. The portraits of the professors in the Surgeons'hall at Edinburgh were painted by him. Walpole notices other portraits, by him in England, and adds, that he was capable both of history and landscape. The duke of Gordon presented his portrait to the grand duke of 'Tuscany, who placed it in the gallery at Florence, among the series of eminent artists painted by themselves. The prints ia
1 Roscoe's Life of Lorenzo, abridged in Rees's Cyclopædia.
an octavo edition of Milton were designed by him, but Mr. Walpole does not tell us of what date. Sir John's grandson, John Medina, the last of the family, died at Edinburgh in 1796. He practised painting iu some measure, although all we have heard specified is the repair he gave to the series of Scottish kings in Holyrood-house, which are well known to be imaginary portraits.'
MEERMAN (GERARD), a very learned lawyer and pensionary of Rotterdam was born at Leyden in 1722 ; of his early history, pursuits, &c. our authorities give no account, nor have the bibliographers of this country, to whom he is so well known, supplied this deficiency. All we know is, that he died December 15, 1771, in the forty-ninth year of his age, after a life spent in learned research and labour, which produced the following works : 1. “ De rebus mancipi et nec mancipi.” Leyden, 1741, 4to.
2. “ Specimen calculi fluxionalis," ibid. 1742, 4to.
3. “ Specimen animadversionum în Cazi institutiones," Mantuæ Carpetunorum (i. e. Madrid), reprinted with additions by the author, at Paris, 1747, 8vo. 4. “ Conspectus novi thesauri juris civilis et canonici," Hague, 1751, 8vo. This conspectus was immediately followed by the work itself. 5. “Novus Thesaurus juris civilis," &c. 1751—1753, 7 vols. folio; a' book of high reputation, to which his son John added an eighth volume, in 1780. 6. “ Conspectus Originum Typographicarum proxime in lucem edendarum," 1761, 8vo. This prospectus is very scarce, as the author printed but a very few copies : it is however in demand with collectors, as containing some things which he did not insert in the work itself. The abbé Gouget published a French translation, with some additions, in 1762. The entire work appeared in 1765, under the title of, 7.“ Origines Typographicæ,” Hague, 2 vols. 4to. An analysis of this valuable work was drawn up by Mr. Bowyer, and printed in “ The Origin of Printing, in two Essays, 1. The substance of Dr. Middleton's Dissertation on the origin of printing in England. 2. Mr. Meerman's account of the first invention of the art," 1774, 8vo. This volume was the joint composition of Messrs. Bowyer and Nichols. Meerman's partiality to Haerlem, as the origin of printing, was attacked with much severity by Heinecken, who being a German, betrayed as much partiality to Mentz
1 Walpole's Anecdotes.--Edwards's Continuation.
and Strasburgh. It seems, however, now to be agreed among typographical antiquaries, that Heinecken paid too little atiention to the claims of Haerlem, and Meerman infinitely too much. The dissertation of the latter, however, has very recently been reprinted in France, by Mons. Ja sen, with useful notes, and a catalogue of all the books published in the Low Countries during the fifteenth century.'
MEHEGAN (WILLIAM ALEXANDER), a French bistorian, of Irish extraction, as his name sufficiently denotes, was born in 1721 at Salle in the Cévennes. He addicted himself very early to letters, and the history of his life is only the history of his publications. He produced in 1752, 1. “ The origin of the Guebres, or patural religion put into action.” This book has too much of the cast of modern philosophy to deserve recommendation, and has now become very scarce. 2. In 1755 he published “Considerations on the Revolutions of Arts,” a work more easily to be found; and, 3. A small volume of “ Fugitive Pieces" in verse, far inferior to his prose. In the ensuing year appeared, 4. His “ Memoirs of the Mar. chioness de Terville, with the Letters of Aspasia,”. 12mo. The style of these memoirs is considered as affected, which, indeed, is the general fault prevalent in his works. In his person also be is said to have been affected and finical; with very ready elocution, but a mode of choosing both his thoughts and expressions that was rather brilliant than natural His style, however, improved as he advanced in life. In 1759 he gave the world a treatise on, 5. “ The origin, progress, and decline of Idolatry,” 12mo; a production in which this improvement in his mode of writing is very evident. It is still more so in his, 6. “ Picture of modern History,” “Tableau de l'Histoire moderne," which was published in 1766, in 3 vols. 12mo.
His chief faults are those of ill-régulated genius, wbich is very strongly apparent in this work; it is eloquent, full of those graces of elocution, and richness of imagination, which are said to have made his conversation so peculiar : but it becomes fatiguing from an excessive ambition to paint every thing in brilliant colours. He speaks of every thing in the present tense, and be embellishes every subject with images
i Dict. Hist.-Bowyer and Nichols's “ Origin of Printing.”—Dibdin's Bibliomania and Typographical Antiquities.--Saxii Onomast.
and allusions. He died Jan. 23, 1766, before this most considerable of his works was quite ready for publication. He was married, and his wife is said to have been a woman who in all respects did honour to the elegance of his taste. All his writings are in French.
MEIBOMIUS, is the name of several learned men, who were Germans. JOHN-HENRY Meibomius was a professor of physic at Helmstadt, where he was born in 1590, and was afterwards first physician at Lubeck, where he died in 1655. He was the author of several learned works on medical subjects, such as “ Jusjurandum Hippocratis,” Gr. & Lat. 1643, 4to; “ De usu fagrorum in re medica,' Leyden, 1639, &c. &c. He is known in the literary world by a work published at Leyden in 1653, 4to, and entitled, “ Mæcenas, sive de C. Cilnii Mæcenatis vita, moribus, & rebus gestis,” in which he seems to have quoted every passage from antiquity, where any thing is said of MæceDas ; but having employed neither criticisin nor method, he cannot claim any higher merit than that of a mere collector.
MEIBOMIUS (Henry), son of the former, was born at Lubeck in 1638; and after laying a proper foundation in literature at home, went in 1655 to the university of Helmstadt, where he applied himself to philosophy and medicine. Afterwards he went to study under the professors at Groningen, Franeker, and Leyden ; and upon his return to Germany, projected a larger tour through Italy, France, and England, which he executed; he contracted an acquaintance with the learned wberever he went; and took a doctor of physic's degree in 1663, as he passed through Angers in France. He was offered a professorship of physic at Helmstadt in 1661: but his travelling scheme did not permit him to take possession of it till : 1664. This, and the professorships of history and poetry, joined to it in 1678, he held to the time of bis death, which happened in March, 1700. Besides a great number of works relating to his own profession, he published, in 3 vols. folio, in 1688, “ Scriptores rerum Germanicarum,” a very useful collection, which had been begun, but not finished, by his father,
I Necrologie pour 1767.—Dict. Hist.