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picture at once recalls Bellini's VII. 280, p. 153, and is in fact a copy of a Madonna by that painter in the Chiesa degli Scalzi at Venice.
1077. ALTAR-PIECE (dated 1501).
Ambrogio Borgognone (Lombard : about 1455–1524). Ambrogio Borgognone, called also Ambrogio da Fossano (from his birthplace in Piedmont) was a pupil of Foppa in Brescia. He was distinguished as an architect as well as a painter, and was employed on the facade of the Certosa of Pavia. In painting he has been called “the Perugino of the Lombard School ;" there is a tenderness of feeling in his works and a somewhat sentimental expression in his figures (as for instance in the Virgin here) which recalls the style of that Umbrian master,
A picture of the “man of sorrows." On either side of the infant Christ are shown the scenes of his suffering
In stature grows the Heavenly Child,
With death before his eyes ;
Prepared for sacrifice. For sacrifice — but also for redemption, and so above the throne are the angels of God, playing the glad music of death swallowed up in victory. In the right-hand compartment is Christ bearing his cross; in the left his agony in the garden. The three disciples are here crouched asleep lower down, and behind a wall are the Roman soldiers, whilst from above an angel brings a cup with a cross, two spears, and a crown of thorns in it: “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him” (Luke xxii. 42, 43).
298. THE TWO ST. CATHERINES.
Ambrogio Borgognone (Lombard : about 1455–1524). For St. Catherine of Alexandria, see under VI. 693, p. 105; for St. Catherine of Siena, under VI. 249, p. 99. Each of them was proclaimed the spouse of Christ for the love they bore him. And Borgognone here places them on either side of the Madonna's throne—the princess of Alexandria, crowned and robed in red, with her wheel of martyrdom, on the right hand, the nun of Siena on the left, while the infant Christ extends his hands and gives a ring to each in token of their marriage.
729. THE ADORATION OF THE KINGS.
Vincenzo Foppa (Lombard : 1425-about 1492). Foppa—" Il Vecchio” (the elder) as he is called to distinguish him from another painter of the same name—is an important person in the history of art. Born at Brescia, but removing in early manhood to Milan, he “holds both in the School of Brescia, and especially in that of Milan, the same place that the mighty Mantegna does at Padua, Cosimo Tura at Ferrara, Piero della Francesco in Umbria,” etc. (Morelli, p. 398). He is said to have been a scholar of Squarcione. Like Piero he was an authority on perspective, and many painters studied under him.
Traces of the older style of work, from which Foppa freed his school, may here be seen in the embossed ornaments in gilt stucco. Notice the daintiness of the picture throughout : the pretty flowers in the foreground, the splendid brocades of the kneeling king, the birds and weeds on the ruined stable. In the background are the star and city of Bethlehem, 700. THE HOLY FAMILY.
Bernardino Lanini (Lombard : 1508–about 1578). Lanini was a native of Vercelli, and a scholar of Gaudenzio Ferrari. There is an altar-piece by him at Borgo Sesia, near Varallo; his principal works are frescoes in the Cathedral at Novara. 1052. PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN.
Unknown (Lombard : 15th or early 16th century). 18. CHRIST AND THE PHARISEES.1
Bernardino Luini (Lombard : about 1475-1529). Bernardino, “dear little Bernard,” the son of Giovanni Lutero, called Luini from his birthplace, Luino on the Lago Maggiore, is per. haps, says Mr. Ruskin, “the best central type of the highly-trained Ital. ian painter," being “alone in uniting consummate art-power with untainted simplicity of religious imagination.” “The two elements, poised in perfect balance, are so calmed and restrained, each by the other, that most of us lose the sense of both.” Next to nothing is known of his life beyond journeys to various places in the lake district-Lugano, Legnano, and Saronno, to paint frescoes. “We have no anecdotes of him, only hundreds of noble works. Child of the Alps, and of their divinest lake, he is taught, without doubt or dismay, a lofty religious creed, and a sufficient law of life, and of its mechanical arts. Whether lessoned by Leonardo himself, or merely one of many, disciplined in the system of the Milanese School, he learns unerringly to draw, unerringly and enduringly to paint"..."a mighty colourist, while Leonardo was only a fine draughtsman in black, staining the chiaroscuro drawing like a coloured print.” Luini's "tasks are set him without question day by day, by men who are justly satisfied with his work, and who accept it without any harmful praise or senseless blame. Place, scale, and subject are determined for him on the cloister wall or the church dome; as he is required, and for sufficient daily bread, and little more, he paints what he has been taught to design wisely and has passion to realise gloriously : every touch he lays is eternal, every thought he conceives is beautiful and pure” (Queen of the Air, 8 157 ; Catalogue of the Educational Series, p. 43; Oxford Lectures on Art, SS 73, 92). This picture, formerly ascribed to Leonardo, belongs to Luini's second period, when he was under the influence of that master. To his third and independent manner belong the frescoes at Milan, Saronno, and Lugano, and the three pictures in Como Cathedral (Morelli, pp. 435-438).
1 The title usually given to this picture, “Christ Disputing with the Doctors," cannot be correct, for the figure of Christ is too old for an incident which occurred when he was twelve years old.
Christ is arguing with the Pharisees, but he wears the tender expression of the man who “did not strive nor cry, neither was his voice heard in the streets.” The disputant on the extreme right with the close-shaven face and firm-set features has his hand on a volume of the Scriptures, and is taking his stand (as it were) on the letter of the law. The one on the extreme left on the other hand, is almost persuaded. In contrast to him is the older man with the white beard, who seems to be marvelling at the presumption of youth. The remaining head is the type of the fanatic; “by our law he ought to die." This picture, besides its splendid colouring, is a good instance of that law of order or symmetry which is characteristic of all perfect art. The central figure faces us; there are two figures on one side, balanced by two on the other; the face in the left corner looks right, that in the right corner looks left, whilst to break any too obtrusive symmetry the head of Christ itself inclines somewhat to the left also. 15. ECCE HOMO!
Correggio (Parmese : 1494-1534). Antonio Allegri, called Correggio from his native village of that name, is one of the greatest and most distinctive of the old masters. What is it that constitutes what Carlyle calls the “Correggiosity of Correggio”? It is at once a way peculiar to him amongst artists, of looking at the world, and an excellence, peculiar to him also, in his methods of painting. Correggio “ looked at the world in a single mood of sensuous joy," as a place in which everything is full of happy life and soft pleasure. The characteristics of his style are "sidelong grace," and an all-pervading sweetness. The method, peculiar to him, by which he realised this way of looking at things on canvas, is the subtle gradation of colours, -a point, it is interesting to note, in which of all modern masters Sir Frederick Leighton most nearly resembles him (Art of England, p. 98). Correggio is, indeed, “the captain of the painter's art as such. Other men have nobler or more numerous gists, but as a painter, master of the art of laying colour so as to be lovely, Correggio is alone" (Oxford Lectures on Art, § 177). The circumstances of Correggio's life go far to explain the character of his style. He was the son of a modest, peaceful burgher family, and unlike Raphael and Michael Angelo, his life was spent in Correggio and Parma, away from the intellectual movements and political revolutions of his time. Ignorant of society, unpatronised by princes, his mind was touched by no deep passion other than love for his art, and “like a poet hidden in the light of thought,” he worked out for himself the ideals of grace and movement which live in his pictures (see Symonds, iii. 339). Of the details of his life little is known, but he seems to have been constantly employed, and the stories Vasari tells of his poverty are disproved by the adequate payments he is known to have received.
“Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the Man!”
-Ecce Homo ! (John xix. 5). Over the domain of tragedy Correggio-with his pretty grace and sentimentality—had little sway. In this respect he has been called “the Rossini of painting. The melodies of the Stabat Mater are the exact analogues in music of Correggio's voluptuous renderings of grave or mysterious motives” (Symonds, iii. 340). Thus here it is rather a not-unpleasant feeling of grief than any profound sense of sorrow or resignation that the painter expresses ; but within these limits the picture is a very effective one. “The features of Christ express pain without being in the least disfigured by it. How striking is the holding out of the fettered hands, as if to say, “Behold, these are bound for you!' The Virgin Mary, who, in order to see her son, has held by the balustrade which separates him from her, sinks with grief into the arms of Mary Magdalene. Her lips still seem to tremble, but the corners of the mouth are already fixed, it is involuntarily open; the arched eyelids are on the point of covering the closing eyes; the hands with which she has held fast let go the balustrade” (Waagen : Treasures of Art in Great Britain, i. 327). To the right is a Roman soldier, robust and rugged, yet with a touch of pity in his look ; whilst to the left, standing just within the judgment hall, is Pilate, the Roman proconsul, with a mild look of self-satisfaction on his face-as of the man who
" washed his hands” of the affair and left the populace to do with Christ as they would. 23. “THE VIRGIN OF THE BASKET.”
Correggio (Parmese : 1494-1534). See under 15, p. 199.
A celebrated and characteristic work of the master. A comparison of it with Raphael's great Madonna or any of those of the earlier masters (e.g. Bellini) will show in a moment wherein the peculiarity of Correggio consists. There is no religious sentiment in the picture at all. The mother has none of the rapt look of the woman who “laid these things in her heart," and the child has no prophetic sense of future suffering. There is nothing to mark the picture as representing the Holy Family except the introduction of Joseph, the carpenter, in the background. It is a picture painted solely in the “religion of humanity," and full only of artless grace and melodious tenderness. The child is full of play and fun ; the mother (with the household basket which gives the picture its name—“La l'ierge au panier ") is dressing him, and has just succeeded in putting his right arm through the sleeve of his little coat, and is endeavouring by gentle stratagem to do the same with the left; but something has caught his fancy, and she shares in his delight, smiling with all a young mother's fondness at the waywardness of her curly-haired boy. It is a pretty domestic scene-all the prettier from the probability that it was a piece of the painter's own home life, for the picture was painted just after the birth of his first child. The picture was bought for the nation in 1825 for £3800—"a sum that would cover the little panel with sovereigns just twenty-seven times over.” 33. THE VISION OF ST. JEROME.
Parmigiano (Parmese : 1503–1540). A picture of great interest both for itself and for the circumstances under which it was painted. Francesco Maria Mazzola, called Parmigiano from Parma, his birthplace, was painting it at Rome in 1527 when the city was sacked by the army of the Emperor Charles V. under Constable Bourbon. So intent, says Vasari, was our artist on his work that “when his own dwelling was filled with certain of these men, who were Germans, he remained undisturbed by their clamours, and did not move from his place; arriving in the room therefore, and finding him thus employed, they stood confounded at the beauty of the paintings they beheld, and, like good and sensible men as they must have been, they permitted him to continue his occupation." Parmigiano had other narrow escapes in his career, which ultimately