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vision on the Mount and the scene of demoniac possession below; only his genius supplied the pointing finger of the Apostle, indicating the vicinity of certain help, and connecting the subjects together. It would be a curious and interesting study to trace the treatment of the same subject by a succession of painters from the revival of art to the days of Michelangelo. Even he, the mightiest and most original of Italian masters, accepted the conceptions of his predecessors, and made them his own by his treatment. The Creation of Adam and Eve, on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, their Expulsion from Paradise, and the Last Judgment, exhibit little novelty in the composition; and the introduction even of the ferryman Charon, which Mr. Dennistoun censures as a novelty in his representation of the infernal regions, had before been adopted by Orcagna in his illustrations of the visions of Dante, in the church of St. Maria Novella.
It was in subjects drawn from profane history and fable that Raphael exhibited all the richness of his fancy. Here we trace that advancement in anatomical accuracy which Mr. Dennistoun deplores as the necessary consequence of the growing naturalism of his time'-(ii. 234). Our taste is, fortunately for us, less refined than Mr. Dennistoun's, and we can admire works of art that descend to a close imitation of nature.' It was this condescension that made Phidias the greatest of artists, and which afterwards placed Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian on a level not much beneath him. The frescoes of the Farnesina and the story of Cupid and Psyche, with other works, as preserved and multiplied by the graver of Marcantonio, exhibit all the freshness and invention of Raphael ; but to form an idea of his grandeur a visit to Rome is indispensable. The taste and partiality of Julius and Leo confided to him the decoration of the Vatican, and the works of preceding artists, however hitherto esteemed, were unhesitatingly destroyed to make room for the rising genius. Michelangelo had treated the subject of Theocracy in the Sistine Chapel. The spread of the true faith and the glory of the pontificate were the fitting themes in the palace which the popes were to inhabit. Every subject represented in this series illustrates the intended allegory. The triumph of the Cross and the establishment of Christianity are accomplished in the victory of Constantine, and the alliance of religion with the state in the baptism of that prince and the coronation of Charlemagne. The divine authority of the See is manifested in the Justification' of Leo and Miracle of the Borgo, and the retreat of Attila from the walls of the sacred city. The supremacy of the Church is typified in the expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple—and that of the Pope in the donation of Con
stantine and the captive Saracens brought in chains to his judgment seat. The ‘Dispute of the Sacrament’ is the revelation of the holy mystery, and the Miracle of Bolsena' establishes to the confusion of infidelity the doctrine of transubstantiation.
Great as the Italian masters are in their easel pictures, it is in their frescoes alone that they reach their highest excellence. To judge of the magnitude of the powers of Correggio, Parma must be visited, for of the numerous pictures which bear his name and that of Raphael, filling every collection in Europe, how small a proportion have any claim to originality! Yet many of these spurious pictures have been puffed into celebrity. The trade of criticism has fallen into the hands of men who have an interest in raising their own or their friends' possessions into importance, and their æsthetical raptures are, in fact, the best advertisement. Barry, the painter, shrewdly observed that no opinion should be received with so much caution as that of a petty collector. Whatever high-sounding words may be for ever in his mouth, he is often ignorant of high art, nay, even hostile to it; his standard of merit being formed by the specimens his own petty museum contains. Mr. Dennistoun has been indefatigable in his researches, and we are obliged to him for a vast deal of valuable information, but we lost much of our respect for his judgment when we discovered that he is a small collector.
German critics have lately attempted to establish for their country a sort of rivalry with Italy in the early cultivation of the arts, and some English writers have rashly admitted the pretension. This or that mechanical or chemical process may have been discovered in Germany or Flanders—though we believe it is now generally thought that even oil-painting had its real cradle among the Byzantine monks—but if any human achievement deserves the title of originality, it is the Art of Italy. If any influence can be traced to Germany at all, it was of a sinister character. Marcantonio wasted precious time in copying the engravings of Albert Durer, which considerably delayed his progress, and the stiff and angular foldings of the same artist may be found disfiguring the broad and monumental drapery of Andrea del Sarto.
Frederico Baroccio, born in 1528, eight years after the death of Raphael, belonged to a family of artists ; his grandfather was
a sculptor of no mean reputation, employed by Duke Federigo in the decoration of the castle of Urbino—and his elder brother was a skilful mechanician, much favoured by the princes of the house of Rovere, who all seem to have possessed an hereditary taste for jewellery and watchmaking. He was born at Urbino, and passed much of his youth at Pesaro, attracted thither by the picture gallery in the duke's favourite villa. He
afterwards visited Florence and Róme. His style was formed from the observation of the works of Correggio and Parmegiano; and he sometimes approaches these masters.
While at Urbino no single picture by Raphael is to be found, nor any building that can be assigned to Bramante--the pictures of Baroccio are numerous. They are all in churches or convents, and the subjects are consequently sacred ; they are, indeed, handled with so much licence of composition, such variety of light and shade, and such brilliancy of colouring, that all solemnity is lost---but the great ability of the artist is undeniable.
The Zuccari were also natives of Urbino, and contemporaries of Baroccio. They painted much in Spain, at Rome, at Florence, and at Caprarola. They belong to the class of decorative painters, of whom Italy has produced so many, and to whom her churches, palaces, and villas owe so much. Federico Zuccaro was in great vogue at Rome, and was made President of the Academy of Painters by the favour of the reigning Pope. He lived in the luxury of opulence, and decorated his residence on the Pincian hill with lunettes, medallions, and arabesques of his own invention, The house remained long in the possession of his descendants; but it was inhabited at the beginning of the present century by M. Bertoldy, the Prussian consul, and may be regarded, says Mr. Dennistoun, 6 as the cradle of the modern school of painting. The frescoes on which Overbeck, Cornelius, Schnor, and Veit first essayed that elevated and pure style which has regenerated European taste--these attract many'an admirer, little aware that the basement rooms, abandoned to menial uses, contain some of the latest efforts of Cinquecento decoration that have fair pretensions to merit.'--(Vol. iii. p. 348.).
We are sorry to hear this for the credit of the taste of our age. The productions of the Zuccari, faulty as they are, have life, spirit, invention, originality--in which the hard, flat, stiff novelties so admired by Mr. Dennistoun are totally deficient. The arts have no greater enemy to contend with than affectation, and it is the worst of affectation to imitate the defects of our predecessors.
The territory of Urbino was famous for having improved the manufacture of pottery, and, like all the material productions of Italy at that period, it sought the assistance of the fine arts. Many examples are graceful and elegant in form, and, though coarse in execution, have great beauty of design. The Robbia family at Florence had executed beautiful groups and bas-reliefs in vitrified clay, of which numerous specimens exist throughout Tuscany to this day. The secret of the manufactory died with the last member of the family, and the attempt to revive it in this practical age has not yet been crowned with success,
We shall pursue
this interesting subject no "farther at present. Mr. Marryat's clever and elegantly-illustrated History of Pottery and Porcelain in modern Europe and among the nations of the East has been for some time before the public, and would require a more comprehensive consideration than we have space to give it—we may discuss it perlaps at some future time in connexion with a work announced by Mr. Birch upon the still more beautiful specimens of the ceramic art which the Greeks and Etruscans have bequeathed to us.
It would be great injustice to take leave of Mr. Dennistoun without acknowledging the patient industry exbibited in the prosecution of his task. It is one obviously congenial to his taste and his feelings ; it is natural that he should entertain a very high admiration for the talents and the genius of the Italian people during the period which bas occupied so much of his attention—and it is pardonable that he should close his eyes on many of their faults ;- but he is not just when treating of other nations, nor even always, we must say, reasonable. The Spanish, the French, and the Germans he constantly speaks of as barbarous nations;'-(on one occasion he calls the Prince of Orange 'a fair-haired barbarian,' an epithet calculated to give a most false impression of that politic prince);—and he seems even to put a little affectation into his echo of the insolence of the Italian historians in this particular,
Besides examining many manuscripts himself, he has received valuable assistance in that department. in Italy the remark of Lord Chesterfield that nothing remains unedited which deserves to be published' will not hold good. Many interesting papers have been supplied him, he informs us, by Mr. Rawdon Brown, whose researches have been far more extensive than his own, and whose knowledge of the history of Italy is at once general and exact. We could wish that the very curious selections made by Mr. Brown from the journals of Marin Sanuto were better known in this country ; unfortunately they were published at Venice, and only in the original Italian, Mr. Dennistoun is not always so fortunate in his authorities and in his citations, nor has he done wisely we think in swelling his text with original documents of small interest, and with their wordy translations. The extracts from the chronicle of Giovanni Sanzio (the father of Raphael), for example, are far too copious; a rhyming annalist inspires little confidence, and the bald versions that regularly follow these profuse specimens of antiquated doggrel offer little relief to the suffering reader. All these, with many similar quotations, should have been omitted, or banished to an appendix. His accounts of battles and military movements are generally brief,
and he usually abstains from criticism on the faults and mistakes of the commanders-indications of sense and modesty upon which we congratulate him. We regret that other historians of the day have not adopted the same practice. Such descriptions and disquisitions from the pen of a civilian have seldom any sort of value; too vague and inaccurate to interest the military reader, their awkward tecbnicalities make them utterly unintelligible to others.
His admiration for friends and fellow-labourers is rather ostentatious. We get tired of the eloquent Lord This — the accomplished Mr. That-and the learned Mrs. T'other. Sundry mottoes to chapters, and other obtrusive flowers from contemporary classics, may as well be dropped in future editions. This perpetual bandying of compliments among living authorities (by no means confined to Mr. Dennistoun's pages), the transparent trick of a self-trumpeting .camaraderie,' reminds us of nothing so much as the bragging captains in Beaumont's King and no King, who are perpetually giving each other certificates of valour and conductfor ever called in question by everybody else.
Art. V.- The Correspondence of Horace Walpole, Earl of Orford,
and the Rev. William Mason. Now first published from the original MSS. Edited, with Notes, by the Rev. J. Mitford, 2 vols. 8vo. 1850. F all the qualities of Horace Walpole's pen, its fecundity
In our Number of September, 1843, we first noticed the extraordinary diligence with which, amidst the numerous and constant engagements of fashionable and political life, voluminous authorship, and a zealous pursuit of antiquities and virtù, he found time to write such a prodigious number of letters as we then already possessed, amounting to about two thousand, and filling ten closely-printed octavo volumes ; and we announced our conviction that there were probably considerable classes of his correspondence which had not yet seen the light. Since that we have received additional proofs of his indefatigability :- four thick volumes of his Memoirs of George III.--two volumes containing upwards of four hundred letters to Lady Ossory—and now two others of his correspondence with Mason, of which Walpole's share may perhaps amount to a couple of hundred more.* *And this is probably not all. The publisher, indeed, of these volumes advertises with great confidence that “this is the last series of the unpublished letters of this incomparable epistolary writer ; but
We are obliged to speak thus vaguely, because the editor has neither numbered the letters, nor given us either index or table of contents.