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a certain jolly gusto, that we long to have eat olives with him. In truth, these modern gettings up of renown, in the shape of busts and monuments to middling men of talent, appear misplaced, when you come to notice them. They look in the way. But the old pictures, which they seem to contradict and interfere with, reconcile them at last. Any thing and every thing mortal has its business here. The pretensions of mediocrity are exalted into the claims of the human being. One blushes to deny the writers of amiable books what one vould demand for one's own common nature; or to think of excluding a man for doing better than hundreds of the people there, merely because he has not done so well as some who are not there. Pignotti and Algarotti, at last, even harmonize with some sprightly figures who play their harps and their love-songs in the pictures, and who flourished hundreds of years ago, as their readers flourish now; and even the bustling and well-fed amenity of Monsignor Fabroni is but a temporary contradiction, which will be rendered serious some day by the crumbling away of his marble cheeks, or the loss of some over-lively feature. Let him, for God's sake, live in inscription, and look treats in stone.
Besides these modern pieces of sculpture, there has been for some years a collection of ancient marbles, chiefly urns and sarcophagi, together with some fragments of the early Italian school. It is so impossible to pay proper attention to any large collection of art, without repeated visits, that I do not pretend to have given it to the old pictures, much less to the marbles. The first impression is not pleasant, their orderly array, the numerals upon them, and the names of the donors upon the walls behind, giving the whole too much the air of a shew-room or common gallery. The pictures form part of the sentiment of the place as a burial
ground, and would certainly be better by themselves; but the antiquity of the marbles reconciles us at last. From the glance I took at them, many appear to be poor enough, but several very good. I noticed in particular one or two sarcophagi with reliefs of Bacchus and Ariadne, and a head supposed to be that of a Roman Emperor, and looking quite brutal enough. As to the Paganism, I do not quarrel, like Mr. Forsythe, with the presence of things Pagan in a Christian edifice; not only because the Pagan and Catholic religions have much that is in common externally, their draperies, altars, incense, music, winged genii, &c.; but because from a principle which the author of a new Comment on Dante has noticed, there is in fact an identity of interests and aspirations in all these struggles of mortal man after a knowledge of things supernatural. *
The paintings on the walls, the great glory of Pisa, are by Orgagna, Simon Memmi, Giotto, Buffalmacco, Benozzo, and others, -all more or less renowned by illustrious pens; all, with more or less gusto, the true and reverend harbingers of the greatest painters of Italy. Simon Memmi is the artist celebrated by Petrarch for his portrait of Laura; Buffalmacco is the mad wag (grave enough here) who cuts such a figure in the old Italian novels; and Giotto, the greatest of them all, is the friend of Dante, the hander down of his likeness to posterity, and himself the Dante of his art. High as this eulogy is, nobody will think it too high who has seen his works in the Campo Santo: They are of the same fine old dreaming character, the same imaginative mixture of things familiar with things unearthly, the same strenuous and (when they choose) gentle expression,-in short, the same true discernment of the “ differences of things,” now grappling with a fiend or a fierce thought, now sympathising with fear and sorrow, now setting the muscles of grim warriors, now dissolving in the looks and flowing tresses of women, or setting a young gallant in an attitude to which Raphael might have traced his cavaliers. And this is more or less the character of the very oldest pictures in the Campo Santo. They have the germs of beauty and greatness, however obscured and stiffened, the struggle of true pictorial feeling with the inexperience of art. As you proceed along the walls, you see gracefulness and knowledge gradually helping one another, and legs and arms, lights, shades, and details of all sorts taking their proper measures and positions, as if every separate thing in the world of painting had been created with repeated efforts, till it answered the original and always fair idea. They are like a succession of quaint dreams of humanity during the twilight of creation.
* See a “ Comment on the Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri," just published. It is written in the style of one who has been accustomed to speak another language, and ventures upon some singularly gratuitous assumptions respecting the doctrine of eternal punishment: but the poetical reader will consider it a valuable addition to the stock of criticism on Dante, and wish that the author may continue it. It contains some happy local illustrations, a complete account of the real history of Paulo and Francesca, a settlement of the question respecting Beatrice, and a variety of metaphysico-theological remarks in as good and deep a taste as those above-mentioned are idle.
I have already mentioned that the pictures are painted on the walls of the four cloisters. They occupy the greater part of the elevation of these walls, beginning at top and finishing at a reasonable distance from the pavement. The subjects are from the Old Testament up to the time of Solomon, from the legends of the middle ages, particularly St. Ranieri (the patron saint of Pisa) and from the history of the Crucifixion, Resurrection, &c. with the Day of Judgment. There is also a Triumph of Death. The colours of some of them, especially of the sky and ship in the voyage of St. Ranieri, are
wonderfully preserved. The sky looks as intensely blue as the finest out of doors. But others are much injured by the sea air, which blows into Pisa; and it is a pity that the windows of the cloisters in these quarters are not glazed, to protect them from further injury. The best idea perhaps which I can give an Englishman of the general character of the paintings, is by referring him to the engravings of Albert Durer, and the serious parts of Chaucer. There is the same want of proper costume—the same intense feeling of the human being, both in body and soul—the same bookish, romantic, and retired character-the same evidences, in short, of antiquity and commencement, weak (where it is weak) for want of a settled art and language, but strong for that very reason in first impulses, and in putting down all that is felt. An old poet however always has the advantage of an old painter, because he is not obliged to a literal description of arms, legs, and attitudes, and thus escapes half his quaintness. But they truly illustrate one another. Chaucer's Duke Theseus, clothed and behaving accordingly-his yawning courtiers, who thank king Cambuscan for dismissing them to bed-his god Janus keeping Christmas with his fire-side and his dish of brawn, &c.-exhibit the same fantastic alternations of violated costume and truth of nature. The way in which he mingles together personages of all times, nations, and religions, real and fictitious, Samson and Turnus with Socrates, Ovid with St. Augustin, &c. and his descriptions of actual “purtreyings on a wall," in which are exhibited at once, Narcissus, Solomon, Venus, Cræsus, and “the porter Idleness,” resemble the manner in which some of the painters of the Campo Santo defy all perspective, and fill one picture with twenty different solitudes. There is a painting for instance devoted to the celebrated anchorites or hermits of the desart. They are represented according to their several legends-reading, dying, undergoing temptations, assisted by lions, &c. At first they all look like fantastic actors in the same piece; but you dream, and are reconciled. The contempt of every thing like interval, and of all which may have happened in it, makes the ordinary events of life seem of as little moment; and the mind is exclusively occupied with the sacred old men and their solitudes, all at the same time, and yet each by himself. The manner in which some of the hoary saints in these pictures pore over their books and carry their decrepit old age, full of a bent and absorbed feebleness—the set limbs of the warriors on horseback-the sidelong unequivocal looks of some of the ladies playing on harps, and conscious of their ornaments—the people of fashion, seated in rows, with Time coming up unawares to destroy them-the other rows of elders and doctors of the church, forming part of the array of heaven--the uplifted hand of Christ denouncing the wicked at the Day of Judgment—the daring satires occasionally introduced against hypocritical monks and nuns—the profusion of attitudes, expressions, incidents, broad draperies, ornaments of all sorts, visions, mountains, ghastly looking cities, fiends, angels, sybilline old women, dancers, virgin brides, mothers and children, princes, patriarchs, dying saints ;-it is an injustice to the superabundance and truth of conception in all this multitude of imagery, not to recognise the real inspirers as well as harbingers of Raphael and Michael Angelo, instead of confining the honour to the Massacios and Peruginos. The Massacios and Peruginos, for all that ever I saw, meritorious as they are, are no more to be compared with them, than the sonnetteers of Henry the Eighth's time are to be compared with Chaucer. Even in the very rudest of the pictures, where the souls of the dying are going out of their mouths in the shape of little children, there are passages not unworthy of Dante or Mi