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permanent materials. The gold is represented by painting, not laid on with real gold, and the painting is so secure that nearly four hundred years have produced in it no harmful change." Secondly, “the figures are in perfect peace. Those are the two first attributes of the best art. Faultless workmanship and perfect serenity; a continuous, not momentary, action, or entire inaction ; you are to be interested in the living creatures, not in what is happening to them. Then the third attribute of the best art is that it compels you to think of the spirit of the creature, and therefore of its face, more than of its body. And the fourth is that in the face you shall be led to see only beauty or joy; never vileness, vice, or pain ” (Relation between Michael Angelo and Tintoret, pp. 14, 15). In fulfilling these essentials of the highest art, the picture becomes also one of the noblest embodiments of Christianity. Raphael is above all the painter of motherhood and childhood of the selfforgetting love of the one, and the fearless faith of the other
-the human relationship which of all others is the most divine. On either side are two saints—types both of them of the peace of Christianity. In the figure of St. John the Baptist on the left—with his rough camel skin upon him, and an expression of ecstatic contemplation on his face-the joy that comes from a life of self-sacrifice is made manifest ; in that of the good Bishop Nicholas of Bari, the peace that comes from knowledge. The three balls at his feet are a favourite emblem of the saint: typical partly of the mystery of the Trinity, but referring also to the three purses of gold which he is said to have thrown into a poor man's window that his daughters might not be portionless. Finally we may notice how the same impression of infinite peace is conveyed by the landscape, and especially by the open sky visible on either side of the throne. This open sky “is of all visible things the least material, the least finite, the farthest withdrawn from the earth prison-house, the most typical of the nature of God, the most suggestive of the glory of his dwelling-place. For the sky of night, though we may know it boundless, is dark; it is a studded vault, a roof that seems to shut us in and down; but
assured Mr. Gladstone that “their constituents and the whole nation will approve and applaud" a departure from "the hard line of severe economy in order at one stroke to raise to a higher level the collection of pictures of which the whole nation is proud, and which is a source of widespread and refined enjoyment to the poor as to the rich."
the bright distance has no limit, we feel its infinity, as we rejoice in its purity of light” (Modern Painters, vol. ii. pt. iii. sec. i. ch. v. S 5).
744. THE “GARVAGH MADONNA."
Raphael (Urbino : 1483-1520). See under 1171, p. 108.
This picture—known as the “Garvagh Madonna," from its former owner, Lord Garvagh, or the “Aldobrandini Madonna," from having originally belonged to the Aldobrandini apartments of the Borghese Palace at Rome—belongs to Raphael's third or Roman period, and a comparison with the “Ansidei” shows very clearly the changes in feeling between the painter's earlier and later manners. The devotional character of the Umbrian School has entirely disappeared. In the “ Ansidei Madonna" the divinity of the Virgin is insisted on; and above her throne is the inscription “Hail, Mother of Christ.” But here the divinity is only dimly indicated by a halo. And as the Madonna is here a merely human mother, so is the child a purely human child. The saints in contemplation of the "Ansidei” are replaced by a little St. John, and the two children play with a pink. The change marked by Raphael's third manner " was all the more fatal because at first veiled by an appearance of greater dignity and sincerity than were possessed by the older art. One of the earliest results of the new knowledge was the putting away the greater part of the unlikelihoods and fineries of the ancient pictures, and an apparently closer following of nature and probability. The appearances of nature were more closely followed in everything; and the crowned Queen-Virgin of Perugino sank into a simple Italian mother in Raphael's 'Madonna of the Chair'.... But the glittering childishness of the old art was rejected, not because it was false, but because it was easy ; and, still more, because the painter had no longer any religious passion to express. He could think of the Madonna now very calmly, with no desire to pour out the treasures of earth at her feet,
In this matter of the open sky also the “ Ansidei Madonna" is curiously transitional. “Raphael," says Mr. Ruskin (ibid. § 10), “in his fall, betrayed the faith he had received from his father and his master, and substituted for the radiant sky of the Madonna del Cardellino, the chamber-wall of the Madonna della Sediola, and the brown wainscot of the Baldacchino." Here we have both-the Baldacchino and the open sky behind.
or cover her brows with the golden shafts of heaven. He could think of her as an available subject for the display of transparent shadows, skilful tints, and scientific foreshortenings,
-as a fair woman, forming, if well painted, a pleasant piece of furniture for the corner of a boudoir, and best imagined by combination of the beauties of the prettiest contadinas ” 1 (Modern Painters, vol. iii. pt, iv, ch. iv. S$ 12, 13). 168. ST. CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA.
Raphael (Urbino : 1483–1520). See under 1171, p. 108.
This is a picture of Raphael's second period—“painted about the year 1507, to judge from its close resemblance in style to the celebrated picture of the Entombment in the Borghese (Rome), which is known to have been executed at that time.” There are several studies for the picture in the University Galleries at Oxford, and the finished cartoon in black and white chalk, pricked for transfer to the panel, is exhibited in the Louvre.
A perfect picture of saintly resignation. St. Catherine (for whose story see 693, p. 106), leans on the wheel, the instrument of her martyrdom, and “looks up to heaven in the dawn of the eternal day, with her lips parted in the resting from her pain." Her right hand is pressed on her bosom, as if she replied to the call from above, “I am here, O Lord ! ready to do Thy will.” From above, a bright ray is seen streaming down upon her, emblematic of the divine inspiration which enabled her to confound her heathen adversaries. The studies existing show the pains Raphael took with the exquisite expression ; but the result defies analysis. “ It is impossible to explain in language the exact qualities of the lines on which depend the whole truth and beauty of expression about the half-opened lips of Raphael's St. Catherine.” But these lines should be noticed as exemplifying the principle of “ vital beauty"-of beauty, that is to say, as consisting in the appearance in living things of felicitous fulfilment of function. Thus eyes and mouths become more beautiful precisely as they become more perfect means of moral expression. The mouth of a negro is ugly because it is only a means of eating ; the mouth of St. Catherine is beautiful for the feeling it expresses (Modern Painters, vol. i. pt. ii. sec. i. ch. vii. $ 47 ; vol. ii. pt. iii. sec. i. ch. xii. § 10, sec. ii. ch. v. $ 21). It may be noticed, lastly, how much the pathetic feeling of the picture is heightened by the herbage in the foreground, and especially perhaps by the carefully painted dandelion “ clock :" "so soon passeth it away and we are gone." 181. THE VIRGIN AND CHILD WITH ST. JOHN.
i It may be interesting to note what Raphael's method actually was. He writes to Count Baldassare Castiglione, in a complimentary way: " To paint a beautiful woman, I must see several, with this condition, that your lordship be near me to select the loveliest. But there being a dearth both of good judges and of beautiful women, I make use of a certain idea that comes into my mind. Whether with benefit to art, I know not ; but I strive to form such an ideal in my mind."
Perugino (1446-1524). See under 288, p. 102. If really by Perugino, this must be one of his early works. It is painted in tempera (see p. 67 n.) The Flemish process of oil-painting found its way to Venice, where Perugino is known to have been in or about 1495, and where he probably learnt it. The superiority of the new method may be seen in a moment by comparing the cracked surface and faded colours of this picture with 288, which was painted when Perugino had obtained complete mastery over the new medium, and which is still as bright and fresh as when it was painted. 751. MADONNA AND CHILD.
Giovanni Santi (Urbino : about 1440–1494). This picture is of interest because it is by Raphael's father. It does not, however, give a full idea of the extent to which Raphael's talent was hereditary, for Giovanni's easel pictures, such as this, are inferior to his wall pictures. The young Raphael had all the advantages of an atmosphere of artistic culture. Giovanni, like his father before him, was a well-to-do burgher, and kept originally a general retail shop, but he afterwards-under the teaching of Melozzo da Forli-took to painting, and his house, if one may judge from Piero della Francesca's visit in 1467, was a resort of painters. At the brilliant court of Duke Federigo of Urbino, Giovanni moreover acquired a taste for literature, and there is a long rhyming chronicle by him extant in which he describes the Duke's visit to Mantua, and amongst other things praises greatly the works of Mantegna, Melozzo, and Piero della Francesca. But to see how much of Raphael's genius was original, one has only to compare this picture by the father—with its hard and not very pleasing outlines --with the soft grace of one (say 744) by the son.
Can hands wherein such burden pure has been,
More oft than any else beneath the skies? Mr. Ruskin said of this picture in 1847 : "The attribution to him of the wretched panel which now bears his name is a mere insult" (Arrows of the Chace, i. 64).
Ah King, ah Christ, ah Son !
Must all less lowly wait
Sleep, sleep, my Kingly One ! 1075. VIRGIN AND CHILD, ST. JEROME, AND
ST. FRANCIS. Perugino (1446-1524). See under 288, p. 102. A very “Peruginesque" example—full, that is, of the peculiar sentiment and apparent affectation which caused Goldsmith to make the admiration of him the test of absurd connoisseurship. But “what is commonly thought affected in his design,” says Mr. Ruskin, “is indeed the true remains of the great architectural symmetry which was soon to be lost, and which makes him the true follower of Arnolfo and Brunelleschi," the great Florentine builders (Ariadne Florentina, $ 72). Here, for instance, the picture is built up on the principle of the pyramid : every figure, and in each figure every limb, is balanced one against the other. But, as in most great works, the symmetry is just broken enough to avoid its becoming monotonous : thus, St. Francis, on the right (with the stigmata, see under III, 598, p. 58), looks not (like St. Jerome) towards the Virgin, but away from her. 27. THE POPE JULIUS II.
Raphael (Urbino : 1483–1520). See under 1171, p. 108.
This is a replica, or contemporary copy, of the portrait in the Uffizi at Florence. Julius died in 1513 : the portrait belongs, therefore, to the earlier part of Raphael's Roman period.
The portrait of a Pope of the Church militant. “Raphael has caught the momentary repose of a restless and passionate spirit, and has shown all the grace and beauty which are to be found in the sense of power repressed and power at rest. Seated in an arm-chair, with head bent downward, the Pope is in deep thought. His furrowed brow and his deep-sunk eyes tell of energy and decision. The down-drawn corners of his mouth betoken constant dealings with the world” (Creighton's
1 "Upon asking how he had been taught the art of a cognoscento so very suddenly, he assured me that nothing was more easy. The whole secret consisted," Goldsmith said, “ in strict adherence to two rules : the one, always to observe that the picture might have been better if the painter had taken more pains : and the other to praise the works of Pietro Perugino" (Vicar of Wakefield, ch. xx.)