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for the picture in former centuries, and within the previous thirty years sovereigns, public bodies, and individuals had all been competing for it. 674 PORTRAIT OF A LADY.
Paris Bordone (Treviso : 1500-1570). A splendid specimen of this painter's portraits, and a type of the face which meets one in nearly every Gallery of Europe ; for Bordone (a native of Treviso, but a scholar for a short time of Titian at Venice), who had a great vogue as a lady's portrait painter-being specially invited to France to paint the ladies of the court—had yet a way, says Ridolfi, of making such works appear more like fancy portraits than individual portraits. This one is of a girl of the Brignole family of Genoa, aged eighteen, according to the inscription. The type is that of a cruel and somewhat sensual beauty—the eyes, especially, being, “like Mars, to threaten or command”
Cold eyelids that hide like a jewel
Hard eyes that grow soft for an hour;
SWINBURNE : Dolores. 3. A CONCERT.
Titian (Venetian : 1477-1576). See under 34, p. 138. The young man in the red velvet cap plays on the violoncello; the other on the oboe, of which only the reed is visible. The other three are vocalists. The master is keeping time, and is intent on the boy pupil. The young girl, with her hand on her husband's shoulder, is waiting to chime in, and looks far away the while to where the music takes her, “In Titian's portraits you always see the soul,-faces which pale passion loves.' Look at the Music-piece by Titian-it is all ear,'—the expression is evanescent as the sounds—the features are seen in a sort of dim chiaroscuro, as if the confused impressions of another sense intervened- and you might easily suppose some of the performers to have been engaged the night before in
Mask or midnight serenade
Hazlitt: Criticisms on Art, edition 1843, p. 10. Perhaps, it is indeed a travelling party of musicians practising
for a serenade. Certainly one thinks of this picture as one reads of a supper party at Titian's house. “Before the tables were set out, we spent the time in looking at the life-like figures in the excellent paintings of which the house was full, and in discussing the real beauty and charm of the garden, which was a pleasure and a wonder to every one. It is situated in the extreme part of Venice upon the sea, and from it may be seen the pretty little island of Murano, and other beautiful places. This part of the sea, as soon as the sun went down, swarmed with gondolas adorned with beautiful women, and resounded with varied harmonies--the music of voices and instruments till midnight” (Priscianese, describing a visit to Titian in 1540: cited in Heath's Titian, “Great Artists” series, p. 53). 1031. MARY MAGDALENE.
Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo (Brescian : about 1485-1548).
She is approaching the sepulchre, before which is a vase of ointment on a square stone-for she had "bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning, ... they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun” (Mark xvi. I, 2). “A vein of realism, combined with the mystery of his deep colours and half-lights, is seen in the picture of a woman shrouded in a mantle in the National Gallery” (Layard, ii. 585). 637. DAPHNIS AND CHLOE.
Paris Bordone (Treviso : 1500-1570).
See under 674, p. 167. Daphnis and Chloe, a shepherd and shepherdess, whose life and love in pastoral simplicity was a favourite Greek story, are about to be crowned by Cupid with a wreath of myrtle. “And not only then but ever after the greatest part of their life was pastoral. They purchased large flocks of sheep and goats. They relished no food so savourly as milk and fruit ; and their son they called Philopoemen, that is, a lover of shepherds, and their daughter Agelea, which signifies one that delights in flocks and herds” (From the Greek of Longus).
Come live with me and be my Love,
MARLOWE : The Passionate Shepherd to his Love. 595. PORTRAIT OF A LADY.
Battista Zelotti (Veronese : 1532-1592). Zelotti was one of Paul Veronese's scholars, and would seem to have shared the master's skill in painting pretty dresses. One of the many pictures in the Gallery from which the so-called “æsthetic” or “high art” gowns of the present day have been copied. 173. PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN. Jacopo da Ponte, called Il Bassano (Venetian : 1510-1592).
See under 277, p. 151. A fine portrait-somewhat recalling Rembrandt in style-of a very refined face. In the vase beside him is a sprig of myrtle. This painter is fond of introducing such vases : see one in 277. In the principal street of Bassano, where the artist was born and, after studying at Venice, continued to live, such vessels may still be seen placed out for sale. 297 THE NATIVITY.
Il Romanino (Brescian : about 1485-1566). Girolamo Romani was a native of Brescia and the son of a painter ; his family belonged originally to the small town of Romano, in the province of Bergamo: bence his name, “Romanino." Like Moretto (whose rival he was), he was little known outside the district of Brescia ; but he studied at Venice, where he took Giorgione for his pattern. His best works are remarkable for a brilliant golden colouring, which is unfortunately not conspicuous in this picture.
This altar-piece was painted (in 1525) for the church of St. Alexander of Brescia, the figure of whom is introduced below in the left. He is in armour, for he was a Roman warrior who died as a Christian martyr. Above him is St. Filippo Benizio, a man of noble family, who was one of the chief propagators of the Monastic order of Servites, or servants of God. On the right, above, is St. Gaudioso, a bishop of Brescia ; and below, St. Jerome.
97. THE RAPE OF EUROPA.
Paolo Veronese (Veronese : 1528-1588).
See under 26, p. 136. (A study for a larger picture now at Vienna.) Jupiter, enamoured of Europa, a Phænician princess, transformed himself into a white bull, and mingled with her father's herds whilst she was gathering flowers with her attendants. Europa, struck by the beauty and gentle nature of the beast, caressed him, and even mounted on his back. Two of her attendants are here assisting her, while a third remonstrates with her on her foolhardiness. Europa is replying that she has no fears. The amorous bull meanwhile is licking her foot. He is garlanded with a wreath of flowers, which is held by his inaster Cupid, forming thus the leading-string of Love. With the other hand Cupid has “taken the bull by the horn;" whilst above, two little winged loves are gathering fruit and scattering roses. In the middle distance Europa and the bull appear again, about to enter the sea; whilst farther on, the bull is swimming with her toward the land. For the story goes that as soon as Europa had seated herself on his back Jupiter crossed the sea and carried her safely to the island of Crete, and from this rape of Europa comes the name of the continent to which she was carried.
1239, 1240. THE MURDER OF THE INNOCENTS.
Girolamo Mocetto (Venetian : painted 1484–1493).? Mocetto was a native of Verona, but a pupil of Giovanni Bellini at Venice. He was “one of the earliest,” says Lanzi (ii. 167), “and least polished among Bellini's disciples.” And it is interesting to contrast the accomplished and beautiful work of the master (1233) with the almost ludicrous imperfections of these two pictures by the pupil. Notice especially the absurd attitude of the attendant to the left, in 1239; and in 1240, the expression of grief in the mother. It is, however, difficult to understand (as a writer in the Athenæum was the first to point out) “why 1239 is labelled the Massacre of the Innocents,' while it obviously represents the judgment of Solomon. The king sits on our right on a throne in a covered courtyard; behind him are numerous spectators. On our left a soldier with his left hand holds a child suspended in mid-air, in his right hand is a falchion. In the centre another soldier, kneeling, is about to stab a child ; behind him is the outline of part of a figure, doubtless of the mother, who has pounced upon the executioner and stopped his weapon." But Mocetto, whatever his imperfections as a painter, was an “all-round" artist. He left behind him some engravings on copper, and "was also the painter of the great window in the church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo (Venice), which, although badly restored, still remains a magnificent work” (Layard, i. 332). 1233. THE BLOOD OF THE REDEEMER.
1 The screens in each room are numbered in this Catalogue in the order of their position, as seen by visitors entering from the preceding room.
2 These are the years of two dated pictures by him.
Giovanni Bellini (Venetian : 1426-1516).
See under 280, p. 153. The recent addition of this picture to the Gallery enables the visitor to gauge the variety of Bellini's powers. The same hand has given us subjects of intense religious conviction, like the “Agony in the Garden” (726); sunny pictures of pure devotional sentiment, like the “ Virgin and Child” (280); scenes of frank paganism, like the Bacchanal at Alnwick Castle ; noble portraits of senators, like the “ Doge Loredano” (189); delicate landscape work, like the “Peter Martyr” (812); and here a mystico-devotional picture, recalling such reminiscences of mediæval mysticism as are found in many of our hymns,
Come let us stand beneath his Cross :
So may the blood from out his side
Jesus our Lord is crucified. “A cold sky with underlit clouds suggests the still and solemn hour of early dawn, a fitting time for the advent of this weird and livid apparition. Gaunt, bloodless, and with attenuated limbs, the Redeemer, we recognise, has passed through the Valley of 'the Shadow of Death'-not victoriously; there is no light of triumph in the lustreless eyes; no palm nor crown awaits this victim of relentless hate, the type of infinite despair and eternal sacrifice” (Times, September 19, 1887). Note, too, the symbolic conception in the decoration