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690. HIS OWN PORTRAIT.

Andrea del Sarto (1487–1531). Mr. Browning's poem, in which he sets forth the pathos of the artist's life and character, is the best commentary on this portrait. The real name of Andrea del Sarto—" Andrew of the Tailor,” so called from his father's trade—was Andrea d'Agnolo : his monogram, formed of two inverted A's, may here be seen on the background to the left. The Italians called him “the faultless painter :" faultless, they meant, in all the technical requirements of painting. In drawing, composition, disposition of draperies and feeling for light and shadow, he was above criticism

All is silver-grey, . Placid and perfect with my art. But men may be “faultily faultless"; and what he lacked was just the one thing needful—the consecration and the poet's dream, which lift many works by less skilful hands than his into the higher region of imaginative art

There burns a truer light of God in them,
....... than goes on to prompt
This low-pulsed forthright craftsman's hand of mine.
Their works drop groundward, but themselves, I know,
Reach many a time a heaven that's shut to me, ...

My works are nearer heaven, but I sit here.
And the self-reproach was not less bitter for the know-
ledge of what might have been." There is a story that
Michael Angelo visited his studio, and said afterwards to
Raphael —

“ Friend, there's a certain little sorry scrub
“Goes up and down our Florence, none cares how,
“Who, were he set to plan and execute
“As you are, pricked on by your popes and kings,

“Would bring the sweat into that brow of yours !” Yet Andrea himself too was once pricked on by kings. Two pictures of his had been sent to the King of France, 1 who thereupon invited the painter to his court. And there for a time he worked and was honoured ; but in the midst of it all he sat reading the letters which Lucrezia, his wife, sent him to Paris. “ You called me and I came home to your heart”-not emptyhanded either, for Francis entrusted him with money to buy pictures, but Andrea spent it and some of his own in building a house for her in Florence. It is her face which we see everywhere in Andrea's Madonnas, and if at any time he took his model from any other face, there was always a resemblance to hers in the painting

1 It is interesting to note that the picture-dealer grievance was rife even in those days. One of the pictures sent to France was a Madonna (now in the Louvre) "of extraordinary beauty," but, adds Vasari (iii. 201) "the merchants received four times as much for the work as they had paid for it to the painter."

You smile ? why, there's my picture ready made ! But Lucrezia served as his model, not his ideal. She had been married before to a hatter, but was remarkable, says Vasari, who worked in Andrea's studio and had a grudge against her, " as much for pride and haughtiness, as for beauty and fascination." 1 And

Had the mouth there urged
“God and the glory! never care for gain ...
“Live for fame, side by side with Agnolo !
“Rafael is waiting : up to God, all three !"

I might have done it for you. So it seems. It is in some such mood of communing with himself that we seem here to see the painter; yet there is a certain undercurrent of contentment below the look of melancholy. “The force of a beautiful face carries me to heaven;" so sang Michael Angelo. Lucrezia dragged her husband down ; his rivals overcame him

Because there's still Lucrezia, -as I choose.
And so

the whole seems to fall into a shape
As if I saw alike my work and self
And all that I was born to be and do,

A twilight piece.
21. PORTRAIT OF A FLORENTINE LADY.

Cristofano Allori (1577-1621). Notice the richly embroidered head-dress, resembling in form the Venetian rolled coif or turban which often occurs in pictures of Titian. 698. THE DEATH OF PROCRIS.

Piero di Cosimo (1462–1521). A very characteristic work by Piero, called di Cosimo, after his godfather and master, Cosimo Rosselli (II. 227, p. 41). Piero's peculiarities are well known to all readers of George Eliot's Romola, where everything told us about him by Vasari is carefully worked up. The first impression left by this picture-its quaintness—is precisely typical of the man. He shut himself off from the world, and stopped his ears; lived in the untidiest of rooms, and would not have his garden tended, “preferring to see all things wild and savage about him.” He took his meals at times and in ways that no other man did, and Romola used to coax him with sweets and hard-boiled eggs. His fondness for quaint landscape (" he would sometimes stand beside a wall,” says Vasari, “and image forth the most extraordinary landscapes that ever were ") may be seen in this picture : so also may his love of animals, in which, says Vasari, he took “indescribable pleasure.”

1 Lucrezia's character has, however, been whitewashed of late years : see Gazette des Beaux Arts, December 1876 and three following months.

The subjects of his pictures were generally allegorical. In Romola he paints Tito and Romola as Bacchus and Ariadne ; here he shows the death of Procris, the story in which the ancients embodied the folly of jealousy. For Procris being told that Cephalus was unfaithful, straightway believed the report and secretly followed him to the woods, for he was a great hunter. And Cephalus called upon “aura," the Latin for breeze, for Cephalus was hot after the chase : “Sweet air, O come,” and echo answered, “Come, sweet air.” But Procris, thinking that he was calling after his mistress, turned to see, and as she moved she made a rustling in the leaves, which Cephalus mistook for the motion of some beast of the forest, and let fiy his unerring dart, which Procris once had given him.

But Procris lay among the white wind-flowers,
Shot in the throat. From out the little wound
The slow blood drained, as drops in autumn showers
Drip from the leaves upon the sodden ground.
None saw her die but Lelaps, the swist hound,
That watched her dumbly with a wistful fear,
Till at the dawn, the horned wood-men found
And bore her gently on a sylvan bier,
To lie beside the sea,—with many an uncouth tear.

AUSTIN DOBSON : Old World Idylls.

651. AN ALLEGORY: “ALL IS VANITY.”

Angelo Bronzino (1502-1572). Angelo di Cosimo, called Il Bronzino, was born in a suburb of Florence, of poor parents ; he became a popular artist, “nor have we any one in our day,” says Vasari, “who is more ingenious, varied, fancisul,

and spirited, in the jesting kind of verse.” Vasari was a great friend of his, and speaks in the warmest terms of his generosity and kindness. He was a pupil of Pontormo (see 649, p. 22). In the history of Florentine art he belongs to the period of decline. Mr. Ruskin cites him as an instance of the “base grotesque of men who, having no true imagination, are apt, more than others, to try by startling realism to enforce the monstrosity that has no terror in itself” (Modern Painters, vol. iii. pt. iv. ch. viii. $ 8).

Venus, crowned as Queen of Life, yet with the apple of discord in her hand, turns her head to kiss Cupid, whose wings are coloured in Delight, but behind whom is the gaunt figure of Jealousy, tearing her hair. Folly, with one foot in manacles and the other treading on a thorn, is preparing to throw a handful of roses

Sweet is Love and sweet is the Rose,

Each has a flower and each has a thorn. A Harpy, the personification of vain desire and fitful passion, with a human face, but with claws to her feet and with a serpent's body, is offering in one hand a piece of honey-comb, whilst she holds her sting behind her in the other. In one corner, beneath the God of Love, doves are billing and cooing ; but over against them, beneath Folly, there are masks, showing the hideous emptiness of human passion. And behind them all is Time, with wings to speed his course and the hour-glass on his shoulders to mark his seasons, preparing to let down the veil which Pleasure, with grapes twined in her hair, and with the scowl of angry disappointment on her face, seeks in vain to lift

“ Know'st thou not me?" the deep Voice cried ;

So long enjoyed, so oft misused -
Alternate, in thy fickle pride,

Desired, neglected, and accused ?
“Redeem mine hours—the space is brief-

While in my glass the sand-grains shiver,
And measureless thy joy or grief,
When Time and thou shalt part for ever!”

Scott: The Antiquary. 589. THE VIRGIN AND CHILD.

Fra Filippo Lippi (about 1406-1469).

See under III. 666, p. 52. Combined with Lippi's realism of representation, “there is also an unusually mystic spiritualism of conception. Nearly all the Madonnas, even of the most strictly devotional schools,

themselves support the child, either on their knees or in their arms. But here, the Christ is miraculously borne by an angel” (Fors Clavigera, 1875, p. 308). 915. MARS AND VENUS. Sandro Botticelli (1446-1510). See under III. 1034, p. 56.

So the picture is usually called — Mars, the God of War, asleep, and the young satyrs playing with his discarded armour, while one of them attempts to rouse him by blowing a shell. But the subject is almost identical with that which Spenser draws in the Faërie Queene, where Sir Guyon, the Knight of Purity, overthrows the Bower of Bliss in which Acrasia (or Pleasure) dwells—the last and worst of Sir Guyon's trials, for “it is harder to fight against pleasure than against pain.” Note especially the expression of the sleeping youth : he is overcome with brutish paralysis, and they cannot awaken him. Note also the swarm of hornets issuing from the tree-trunk by his head-significant of the power that sensual indulgence has of venomously wounding. Visitors who have been in Venice may remember similar details in Carpaccio's picture of St. George and the Dragon (J. R. Anderson in St. Mark's Rest, Second Supplement, p. 20).

Upon a bed of Roses she was layd,
As faint through heat, or dight to pleasant sin ;
And was arrayd, or rather disarrayd,
All in a vele of silke and silver thin,
That hid no whit her alabaster skin ...

The young man, sleeping by her, seemd to be
Some goodly swayne of honorable place,
That certes it great pitty was to see
Him his nobility so fowle deface . ..

His warlike armes, the ydle instruments
Of sleeping praise, were hong upon a tree ...
Ne for them ne for honour cared hee,
Ne ought that did to his advauncement tend ,
But in lewd loves, and wastfull luxuree,
His dayes, his goods, his bodie, he did spend :
O horrible enchantment, that him so did blend !

Faërie Queene, bk. ii. 12, SS lxxvii.-lxxx. 8. A DREAM OF HUMAN LIFE.

From a design by Michael Angelo. See under 790, p. 14.

The naked figure, typical of the human race, and reclining on a slippery globe, is awakening, at the sound of a trumpet froni

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