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ever, paying Ihe cost. Thus the plan and contract were changed forthe fourth and last time, and Paul was enabled to gratify his eagerness tobecomethe patron of the great artist. The monument to Julius, after all the various changes and the different impediments which have been noticed, was at last finished, and put up in St. Pietro in Vinculis. Of the seven statues of which it is composed, only three are the work of Michael Angelo, viz. the celebrated Moses,' and the two figures on the side personifying Virtue and Religion; the remaining four were the work of others. The other statues which were executed or begun for this monument were not used. The two which were completed are, or were, in the public collection at Paris; and the other four, which were only commenced, support the roof of a grotto in the Boboli gardens at Florence.
Paul, on the commencement of the painting of the Last Judgment, remunerated Michael Angelo by a considerable pension for life. The grant commences by stating that, " Wishing to remunerate you for the fresco painting representing ihelast judgment, in consideration of your labour and ability, which is an honour to our age; we promise," &c. This grand work was finished in 1541, and was opened at Christmas to the admiration of the world. In a future page, when considering the works executed by Michael Angelo, we shall lay before the reader the remarks both of Sir Joshua Reynolds and M. Fuseli on this picture, perhaps the most remarkable that was ever executed by any painter.
After the completion of the Last Judgment, the pope directed the painting in fresco of the walls of a chapel which had been built by San Gallo, and which was called the Pauline chapel. The subjects chosen were the Conversion of St. Paul, and the Crucifixion of St. Peter. The smoke of the tapers during the frequent celebration of high mass in this chapel, has so totally obscured these pictures that the subjects are now scarcely to be distinguished. These were the last works n fresco by Michael Angelo, then of the age of seventy-five years, who feeling his powers much diminished, complained to his friend Vasar i that fresco painting was not a fit work for old men. Fuseli considers these as the dotage of his style, yet as possessing parts which
*A sketch of this figure is girts in the frontispiece to this memoir.
make that dotage more enviable than the vigour of mediocrity.
San Gallo was the architect generally employed by the pope, but Michael Angelo's experience during the siege of Florence, was the cause of his being consulted respecting some fortifications of the castle of St. Angelo, then in progress. From the consciousness of his talents, he appears to have given his opinion freely on the proposed plans; and this so completely proved them to be erroneous that the works were never completed. This freedom however led to many disputes and jealousies between the rival artists. Though his age prevented his continuing to paint in fresco, Vasari states, that he continued to work in marble, saying that he found the exercise of the mallet and chisel necessary to keep him in health. After his last painting he commenced a large group, the principal figure of which was a dead Christ: this, though never entirely finished, was taken to Florence and placed behind the great altar in the me tropolitan church, where an inscription records that it was the last work in marble which he executed.
We are now arrived at that period of the life of Michael Angelo which is marked by his great work in architecture: he had already executed both in sculpture and painting the most extraordinary productions ever completed by any one man in any age; and at the age of seventy-five years was about, in the manner, to commence a new career.
What has hitherto been written has related to the painting and sculpture of Michael Angelo, we shall next have to consider him as an architect, particularly as regards his share in the construction of St. Peter's. Before, however, entering on this, we shall make some general observations on his works in sculpture and painting, prefacing these with a few remarks on the revival of painting in Italy.
It is not perhaps generally known that we possess in this country an unfmished has relief by Michael Angelo, cut in marble; which was purchased in Italy by the late Sir George Beaumont, and by him bequeathed to the Royal Academy. It is of a circular form, consisting of three figures, representing the Virgin, the Infant Saviour, and St. John; it is composed with much grace. A small outline of this is added from a drawing made by the leave of the President of the Royal Academy. We may here be
Chapter VI. On the revival of Painting in Italy.
The notices contained in the works of several of the most distinguished of the Italian historians, prove that there were painters in Italy during the dark ages, and Rome still possesses several specimens of art which prove this. Lanzi, in- his history of painting in Italy,* adduced in proof of this statement, amongst others, the two vast works unrivalled by any others in Italy. The first is the series of popes, which, in order to prove the succession of the papal chair down to the time of St. Leo, this pontiff caused to be painted; a work of the fifth century, and which was subsequently continued until our own time.
The second is the decoration of the whole church of San Urbano, where there are several evangelical acts represented on the walls, along with some histories of the tutelar saint and St. Cecilia, a production which Lanzi considers as not partaking either of the Greek lineaments or style of drapery, and which, he says, may justly be attributed to an Italian pencil: this has subscribed
• The materials for this chapter have been compiled from the translation by Mr. Thomas Roscoe, of the^ work of Lori, by far the most complete and satisfactory history of painting in Italy which exists.
upon it the date of 1011. The evidences afforded by the catacombs at Rome of the continued existence of art during the early ages has been already noticed.
The painters, however, of those times produced little else than mere mechanical efforts, chiefly following the examples afforded by the Greeks, and it was not till the improvement in sculpture, in the middle of the thirteenth century, that any sensible progress in painting is really discoverable.
Though the principal share in the honour of the revival of the arts is due to Tuscany, the Pisans led the way; as they were the first to throw off the trammels imposed by the Greek artists, and first began the study of the ancient monuments of Greek and Roman sculpture, and from these drew the true prmciples of art.
The improvement in sculpture was followed by that of the art of executing designs in Mosaic by Fra Jacopo, or Fra Mino da Turrita, also a Tuscan. \
Lanzi says it is not known whether he was instructed in his art by the Romans or by the Greek workers of Mosaic; but that it is well ascertained be far surpassed them, and that on examining what remains of his works in Santa Maria Maggiore, at Rome, one can hardly be persuaded that they were the production of so rude an age, did not history constrain us to believe it; adding, that it appears probable he took the ancients for his models, and deduced his rules from the more chaste specimens of Mosaic still remaining in several of the Roman churches, the design of which is less crude, the attitudes less forced, and the composition more skilful than were exhibited by the Greeks, who ornamented the church of St. Mark at Venice.
It is common to date the revival of the art of painting in Italy from the time of Cimabue, but the facts stated by Lanzi and several other modern writers, fully prove that before his time there were not only painters in Italy who had made some progress in the art, but that Pisa had a school for each of the fine arts as early as the end of the eleventh century. Guinta, a Pisan, and Guido da Siena were amongst the most important artists, who appeared before the time of Cimabue, and who distinguished themselves by abandoning the tame and formal manner of the Greeks; in which one artist appears to have been content with an imitation of his predecessor, almost with the same precision as was observable in the works of the Egyptians.
Giovanni Cimabue was both a painter and architect, he was born about the year 1240. Although it appears probable he originally studied under the Greek artists, who had been invited to Florence, yet he early deviated from their manner. Lanzi observes, he consulted nature, corrected in part the rectilinear forms of his design, gave expression to the heads, folded the drapery, and grouped the figures with much greater art than the Greeks. His talent did not consist in the graceful; his Madonnas had no beauty, his angels in the same piece have all the same forms. Wild as the age in which he lived, he succeeded admirably in heads full of character, especially in those of old men, impressing an indescribable degree of bold sublimity, which the moderns have not been able greatly to surpass. Vast and inventive in conception, he executed large compositions, and expressed them in grand proportions.
Giotto.another name eminent amongst the early painters of Florence, was a shepherd-boy; a sheep drawn by him from nature on a stone attracted the notice of Cimabue, who happened to see it as he was passing; Cimabue, with the consent of Giotto'sfather, t ook him to Florence for instruction. Giotto commenced by imitating, but quickly surpassed his master; through him, symmetry became more chaste, design more pleasing, and colouring softer than before: the meagre hands, the sharp pointed feet, and staring eyes, (remnants of the Grecian manner,) all acquired more correctness under him. If Cimabue is to be considered as the Michael Angelo of his age, Giotto was the Raphael. There is much learned controversy as to the share to which the two great Florentine artists, Cimabue and Giotto, are 'entitled as the founders of the modern school of painting in Italy. The" impartiality and ingenuity with which this question has been investigated by Lanzi, entitles him of all others to the merit of being the best authority, and he decides that the improvement in painting is not due to Florence alone; that the career of human
genius in the progress of the fine arts is the same in every country. That when the man is dissatisfied with what the child learned, he gradually passes from the ruder elements to those which are less so, and from thence to diligence and precision, afterwards advancing to the grand and select, at length attains facility of execution. Such was the progress of the fine arts in Greece, and such has been that of painting in Italy.
The Pisani (one of whom has been before noticed as a sculptor) and their scholars preceded the Florentine painters, and diffused a new system of design over Italy. It would be injustice, observes Lanzi, to overlook them in the improvement of painting, in which design is of so much importance, or to suppose that they did not signally contribute to its improvement; again, if all the early Italian painters were to be exclusively derived from the two Florentine masters, every style of painting ought to resemble the style of those masters, yet in examining the old paintings of Siena, of Venice, of Bologna, and of Parma, they are found to be dissimilar in idea, in choice of colouring, and in taste of composition.
Lanzi's second proposition is, that if the improvement of painting was not solely due to the Florentines, yet no people excelled or contributed by example so much to the progress of art as they did; that Giotto was as much the father of the new method of painting, as Boccaccio was the father of the new species of prose composition; after the time of the latter any subject could be elegantly treated of in prose; after the time of ..the former painting could express all subjects with propriety. A Simon da Siena, a Stefano da Firenze and others, added charms to the art, but that they and others owe to Giotto the transitions from the old to a new manner. The services of Giotto were sought by the greatest potentates and families in every part of Italy, and after his death the same universal applause followed his disciples throughout Italy :— thus becoming the model for the students during the fourteenth century, as was Raphael in the sixteenth, and the Cairacci in the seventeeth century.
The revival of Painting from the time of Cimabue and Giotto to that of Leonardo Da Vinci, M. Angelo, and Raphael.
The works of the Italian writers on the fine arts are filled with long disquisitions on the causes which are supposed to have led to the improved style of Giotto; each party advancing some particular reasons for his theory, though it is evident that the true cause was the discovery and study of the specimens of ancient Grecian sculpture. The effect of these on the productions of the Pisani, and others, (among the first who improved modern sculpture,) is sufficient to show that they were also the principal cause of the change of style in the arts of design and painting. A slight inspection of the works of Giotto manifests how much he was indebted to the newly-found monuments. The secret once discovered, it only required the
genius of such a painter to attain excellence. It was not, however, in the Florentine school alone that this improvement is discernible; an examination of the early pictures of the schools of Siena, Bologna, and Parma sufficiently shows that a similar cause was operating nearly at the same time in different places; and the progress of the art was rapid and universal throughout the whole of Italy.
The genius of Giotto, however, formed an era in the rapid advance of the Florentine school; his example incited others to exertion, and his disciples, by availing themselves of his discoveries, and following in his track, assisted in diffusing a knowledge of his principles and improved method; thus laying the groundwork for still higher perfection in the art, though in the capacity of humble imitators of his style.
Amongst the most important of the successors of Giotto, was Masaccio (Maso di S, Giovanni), ll name which D
forms an aura in the history of art. His principles were founded on the works of Ghiberti and Donatello; he had acquired perspective from Brunelleschi.and had lone studied the remains of ancient sculpture at Rome. From his works, it is apparent that he had made a great advance in diversifying the positions and characters; and in foreshortening his figures he appears to have studied the anatomy of the body more carefully than his predecessors. The expression of his heads is often graceful and elegant; he exhibits considerable freedom and simplicity in the folds and arrangement of his drapery, and much truth, variety, and delicacy in his colouring. His pictures became the study of all the best artists in his own time, and in that of Pietro Perugino, and of his great pupil Raphael. This artist died in 1443.*
Amongst the imitators of Masaccio, one of the most eminent was Ghirlandaio, the artist in whose school Michael Angelo studied ; his works exhibit clearness and purity of outline, correctness of form, considerable invention and facility of expression; and he is considered by Menus as the first Florentine who, by means of true perspective, was successful in grouping and in depth of composition.
These labours of the Tuscan painters bring us to the beginning of the sixteenth century, when much that was excellent in art had been attained by the careful study and imitation of nature, which had the effect of imparting more variety and life, especially to the heads. Indeed, the artists of later times have not much surpassed their predecessors in this respect. The whole, however, that was accomplished, amounted to little more than a careful imitation; ideal beauty, fulness and grandeur of design, harmony of colouring, aerial perspective, and variety and freedom, were still wanting, in order to carry the art to the perfection which it subsequently attained.
The taste for magnificent edifices having revived throughout Italy, many of the most splendid of those public and private buildings, which still remain at Rome, Florence, Milan, Mantua, and Venice, were erected about this period. The demand for ornamental architecture, as well as for interior embellishments, necessarily created a spirit of rivalry
• The celebrated epitaph on Sir C. Wren, in St. Paul's, was borrowed from that on Masaccio, which is in the Carmelite Church in Rome, the walls of which he had painted in fresco.
If anyone seeks to know my tomb, or dame, tbU church la my monument," &c.
and emulation amongst the artists of the times, and not only tended mainly to the advancement of the art, but probably called into action powers and genius which, at a less fortunate period, would have remained dormant. The schools of Italy, before this attainment of excellence by mutual emulation, strongly resembled each other, but having arrived at maturity, each began to display a marked and peculiar character. This soon became more conspicuous, from the introduction into Italy, about the middle of the fifteenth century, of the art of painting in oil, which enabled artists, m their smaller works, to obtain more brilliancy and depth. The invention of the arts of engraving on copper and wood was also one of the great causes of the advancement of design, by spreading over the whole of Europe the compositions of the great masters, whose works, till then, had been confined to a single spot.
Of the three great artists, whose genius was to bring to maturity all that was excellent in painting, and to expound and simplify the rules of art to their successors, Leonardo da Vinci appeared the first. He was bor n in 1432, twentythree years before Michael Angelo. His biographers concur in representing him as " endowed by nature with a genius uncommonly elevated and penetrating, eager after discovery, and diligent in the pursuit not only of what related to the three arts dependent on design, but to mathematics, mechanics, hydrostatics, music, and poetry. He was versed also in the accomplishment of horsemanship, fencing, and dancing. His manners were polished and affable, fitting him for the society of the great, with whom he lived on a footing of familiarity and friendship."
In addition to his great attainments as an artist, he was distinguished as a scientific writer; he was a discoverer in optics and mechanics; his hydraulic works on the Adda, which he rendered navigable for two hundred miles, continue to the present day monuments of his mechanical science. Some general observations contained in his writings, upon the inductive method of philosophizing, are almost couched in the same terms as were thegreat aphorisms which, in the succeeding age, rendered the name of Bacon immortal.
"Experiment," says he, "is the interpreter of the secrets of nature; it never misleads us. Though our reason may sometimes deceive itself, we must con