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above, from the dream of life to the lasting realities of eternity. It may be the sound of the “last trump" or the call to a “ new life” that comes before. Behind his seat are several masks, illustrating the insincerity or duplicity of a world in which “all is vanity ;” and around him are visions of the tempting and transitory hopes, fears, and vices of humanity. On the right sits a helmed warrior, moody and discomfited ; his arms hang listlessly and his face is unseen – hidden perhaps from the cruelty of War. Above him are battling figures — emblematic of Strife and Contention. A little detached from this group is a son dragging down his parent by the beard — “bringing his grey hair with sorrow to the grave.” On the other side sits Jealousy, gnawing a heart ; and above are the sordid hands of Avarice, clutching a bag of gold. On the left-hand Lust and Sorrow are conspicuous; Intemper. ance raises a huge bottle to his lips ; and Gluttony turns a spit (see Landseer's Catalogue of the National Gallery, 1834, p. 41). Thus all around the figure of Human Life there wait
The ministers of human fate
And black Misfortune's baleful train !...
The vultures of the mind,
And Shame that sculks behind;
That inly gnaws the secret heart;
GRAY: Ode on a distant prospect of Eton College.
1131. JOSEPH IN EGYPT.
Pontormo (1494-1557). See under 649, p. 22. A drama in five acts describing incidents in the life of Joseph in Egypt (see Genesis xlvii. 1-6, 13-26; xlviii. 1-14). (1) On the left Pharaoh, in a white turban, and surrounded by attendants, is met by Joseph and his brethren, who stand before him in attitudes of supplication. The youth sitting on the steps with a basket in his hand is a portrait (Vasari tells us) of the painter's pupil, Bronzino. (2) On the right of the foreground Joseph, seated on a triumphal car drawn by naked
children, stoops forward towards a man who kneels and presents a petition. (3) In the middle distance there is an animated group of men—(“Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land ?"). (4) On the steps leading up to the circular building on the right, Joseph is leading one of his sons to see the dying Jacob; he is followed by the * steward of the house," a conspicuous figure in a long crimson robe. The other boy appears at the top of the steps and is embraced by his mother. (5) Inside the room Jacob is represented as giving his blessing to the two boys, Ephraim and Manasseh, who are presented to him by their father. The antique statues which adorn the building were often given by mediæval artists as characteristic of Egypt, from which the art of Greece was believed to have been derived (see Richter, pp. 36-40).
The removal of this picture has been blasted by a woman's curse. It was painted for a Florentine noble, named Borgherini; and when he was exiled, the civic authorities sent to his house to buy up all its works of art, which were to be sent as a present to the King of France. But Borgherini's wife received the official with “reproaches of intolerable bitterness," says Vasari, “such as had never before been hurled at living man: How then ! Dost thou, vile broker of frippery, miserable huckster of twopences, dost thou presume to come hither with intent to lay thy fingers on the ornaments which belong to the chambers of gentlemen ? despoiling, as thou hast long done, and as thou art for ever doing, this our city of her fairest ornaments to embellish strange lands therewith ? Depart from this house, thou and thy myrmidons ; depart, and say to those who have permitted themselves to send thee hither that I am here ; I, who will not suffer that one iota shall be disturbed from where it stands.'” The lady's angry eloquence preserved the picture-only to be afterwards seduced away, by English gold, into the Duke of Hamilton's collection, from which it was bought for the National Gallery in 1882.
ON THE SCREEN
645. VIRGIN AND CHILD.
Albertinelli (1474-1515). Mariotto Albertinelli, a pupil of Cosimo Rosselli, was the friend and assistant of the painter - monk, Fra Bartolommeo. He himself, being of an impatient character, “was so offended with certain criti. cisms of his work,” says Vasari, “that he gave up painting and turned publican.”
This picture is often now attributed to a later painterSogliani, 1492-1544.
275. VIRGIN AND CHILD, ST. JOHN AND AN
ANGEL. Sandro Botticelli (1446-1510). See under III. 1034, p. 56.
A beautiful and characteristic work. “At first glance you may think the picture a mere piece of affectation. Well-yes, Botticelli is affected in the way that all men of his century necessarily were. Much euphuism, much studied grace of manner, much formal assertion of scholarship, mingling with his force of imagination. And he likes twisting the fingers of hands about ”—just as he likes also dancing motion and waved drapery (see III. 1034, p. 56) (Mornings in Florence, iii. 59). The picture is characteristic also of two faculties which Botticelli acquired from his early training as a goldsmith : first, his use of gold as a means of enriching the light (as here in the Madonna's hair); and, secondly, the “incomparable invention and delicacy” with which he treated all accessory details and ornaments (as here in the scarves and dresses). But chiefly is the picture characteristic of his “sentiment of ineffable melancholy, of which it is hard to penetrate the sense, and impossible to escape the spell.” It may help one in understanding the spirit of such pictures to remember that in Botticelli there met in perfect poise the tenderness of Christian feeling with the grace of the classical Renaissance. He was "a Greek reanimate. The first Greeks were distinguished from the barbarians by their simple humanity ; the second Greeks- these Florentine Greeks reanimate-are human more strongly, more deeply, leaping from the Byzantine death at
the call of Christ, Loose him, and let him go.' And there is upon them at once the joy of resurrection and the solemnity of the grave" (Ariadne Florentina, § 161; and Fors Clavigera, 1872, xxii.)
928. APOLLO AND DAPHNE.
Antonio Pollajuolo (1429-1498). See under 292, p. 18. The Greeks, seeing the perpetual verdure of the laurel, personified it in the story of Apollo and Daphne ( = laurel), which told how the sun-god was enamoured of her. But she, praying to be delivered from his pursuit, was changed by the gods into a laurel — her two arms are here sprouting, just as the god has caught her in his embrace; and he, crowning his head with the leaves, ordained that the tree should for ever bloom and be sacred to his divinity (see further for the story of Apollo and Daphne under XXII. 520, p. 611). The fact that Phæbus Apollo was also the god of song has suggested a pretty adaptation of the legend to the case of poets who sing for love and earn the laurel wreath
Yet, what he sung in his immortal strain,
i Mr. Pater, in a well-known passage, gives a different explanation of the peculiar sentiment in Botticelli's Madonnas. "Perhaps you have sometimes wondered why they attract you more and more, and often come -although conformed to no obvious type of beauty-back to you when the Madonnas of Raphael and the Virgins of Fra Angelico are forgotten. At first, contrasting them with those, you may have thought that there was something even mean or abject in them, for the lines of the face have little nobleness, and the colour is wan. For with Botticelli she too, though she holds in her hands the 'Desire of all Nations,' is one of those who are neather for God nor for his enemies (see under III. 1126, p. 59), and her choice is on her face. She shrinks from the presence of the Divine Child, and pleads in unmistakable undertones for a warmer, lower humanity" (W. H. Pater : Studies of the Renaissance).
You promise heavens free from strife,
Pure truth and perfect change of will;
So sweet I fain would breathe it still :
IONICA: Mimnermus in Church,
“SINCE we are teachers to unlearned men, who know not how to read,
of the marvels done by the power and strength of holy religion, ... and since no undertaking, however small, can have a beginning or an end without these three things,—that is, without the power to do, without knowledge, and without true love of the work; and since in God every perfection is eminently united ; now, to the end that in this our calling, however unworthy it may be, we may have a good beginning and a good ending in all our works and deeds, we will earnestly ask the aid of the Divine grace, and commence by a dedication to the honour of the Name, and in the Name of the most Holy Trinity” (Extract from the Statutes of the Painters'
Guild of Siena, 1355). In this room are hung the Sienese pictures, as well as some more of the Florentine. It is of the former that a few remarks will here be made. The school of Siena, though in the main closely resembling that of Florence, has yet an independent origin and a distinct character. There is a “Madonna” at Siena, painted in 1281, which is decidedly superior to such work as Margaritone's (IV. 564, p. 76). But the start which Siena obtained at first was soon lost; and at a time when Florentine art was finding new directions, that at Siena was running still in the old grooves. This was owing to the markedly religious character of its painting, shown in the tone of the statutes above quoted. Such religious