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the purity of blue with which Titian has gifted his flower. But the master does not aim at the particular colour of individual blossoms; he seizes the type of all, and gives it with the utmost purity and simplicity of which colour is capable." A second point to be noticed is the way in which one kind of truth has often to be sacrificed in order to gain another. Thus here Titian sacrifices truth of aerial effect to richness of tone-tone in the sense, that is, of that quality of colour which makes us feel that the whole picture is in one climate, under one kind of light, and in one kind of atmosphere. “It is difficult to imagine anything more magnificently impossible than the blue of the distant landscape ; impossible, not from its vividness, but because it is not faint and aerial enough to account for its purity of colour; it is too dark and blue at the same time; and there is indeed so total a want of atmosphere in it, that, but for the difference of form, it would be impossible to tell the mountains intended to be ten miles off, from the robe of Ariadne close to the spectator. Yet make this blue faint, aerial, and distant; make it in the slightest degree to resemble the tint of nature's colour; and all the tone of the picture, all the intensity and splendour, will vanish on the instant” (Modern Painters, vols. i., xxvii., xxx. (Preface to Second Edition), pt. i, sec. ii. ch. i. § 5, pt. ii. sec. ii, ch. i. $ 15 ; vol. iii. pt. iv. ch. ix. $ 18; vol. v. pt. ix, ch. ii. $ 31; Arrows of the Chace, i. 58). We may notice lastly what Sir Joshua Reynolds points out (Discourse viii.), that the harmony of the picture—that wonderful bringing together of two times of which Lamb speaks above, is assisted by the distribution of colours. “To Ariadne is given (say the critics) a red scarf, to relieve the figure from the sea, which is behind her. It is not for that reason alone, but for another of much greater consequence ; for the sake of the general harmony and effect of the picture. The figure of Ariadne is separated from the great group, and is dressed in blue, which, added to the colour of the sea, makes that quantity of cold colour which Titian thought necessary for the support and brilliancy of the great group; which group is composed, with very little exception, entirely of mellow colours. But as the picture in this case would be divided into two distinct parts, one half cold, and the other warm ; it was necessary to carry some of the mellow colours of the great group into the cold part of the picture, and a part of the cold into the great group; accordingly, Titian gave
Ariadne a red scarf, and to one of the Bacchante a little blue drapery."
It is interesting to know that this great picture took Titian three years, off and on, to finish. It was a commission from the Duke of Ferrara, who supplied canvas and frame for it, and repeatedly wrote to press for its delivery: it reached him in 1523. 932. A KNIGHT OF MALTA.
Unknown (Italian : 16th century). This portrait—which came to the National Gallery from the Wynn Ellis collection—was formerly in that of King Louis Philippe, when it was ascribed to Sebastiano del Piombo. 636. PORTRAIT OF ARIOSTO.
Titiani (Venetian : 1477-1576). See under 34, p. 138. A portrait of one of the greatest of Italian poets by one of the greatest of Italian painters. Titian and Ariosto (14741533), who were nearly contemporaries, were also intimate acquaintances. Ariosto commemorates the painter in this poem as one “ who honours Cadore not less than Sebastiano del Piombo and Raphael honour Venice and Urbino." About 1516 Titian went to Ferrara, when Ariosto was also there, and it may have been then that Titian painted this portrait. The painter returns the poet's compliments, places leaves of laurel behind him—the proper background for a poet,—and paints them with exquisite care. There is some sensuality in the poet's face, but there are also the “mildness and clemency,” “the modesty and independence” which are celebrated in his written epitaph.
1 Both the ascription of this picture to Titian, and its title as a portrait of Ariosto, are now disputed (see Richter, p. 85). With regard to the latter point Titian made a drawing for the woodcut in the 1532 edition of the Orlando Furioso. That woodcut rather resembles the “Titian's portrait of Ariosto" in Lord Darnley's collection than this one. On the other hand this portrait answers to the one described by Ridolfi as being by Titian, and it may have been painted, as suggested above, in 1516, whereas the drawing for the woodcut would probably have been taken fifteen years later, when Ariosto was nearly at the end of his life.
? " The relative merit of the great schools of figure design might, in absence of all other evidence, be determined, almost without error, by observing the precision of their treatment of leaf curvature. The leafpainting round the head of Ariosto by Titian, in the National Gallery, might be instanced" (On the Old Road, i. 719, hereafter referred to as 0. O. R.)
816. THE INCREDULITY OF ST. THOMAS. Cima da Conegliano (Venetian : painted 1489–1517).
See under 300, p. 156. A picture interesting amongst other things for its history. It was painted as a commission for a religious fraternity, for the altar of their patron saint, St. Thomas, at Portogruario (near Conegliano). The price paid for it was equal to about £17 sterling, at that time representing a considerable sum. For 328 years it remained in its original place; it was then removed by the local authorities, and in 1870 was sold to our Government. When bought it “was greatly disfigured by various repaints, and was otherwise in bad condition. Judicious cleaning and restoration (by Mr. Wm. Dyer) have brought out its fine qualities. The heads are highly expressive and some of the figures ... of great dignity" (Layard, i. 325). 735. ST. ROCH WITH THE ANGEL.
Paolo Morando (Veronese : 1486–1522). Paolo Morando, otherwise known as Cavazzola (his father was Taddeo Cavazzola di Jacobi di Morando), was a pupil of Morone (see 285, p. 189). He “ infused a higher life, and a fine system of colouring into the Veronese School, making thus a great advance upon his contemporaries, and preparing the way for Paul Veronese. . . . He shows, as Dr. Burckhardt has justly observed, “a marvellous transition from the realism of the fifteenth century to the noble free character of the sixteenth, not to an empty idealism'” (Layard, i. 270). His masterpieces are still in his native Verona, and nowhere else, except in the National Gallery, can he be studied.
St. Roch (who may be known for a saint by the halo round his head) is the patron of the sick and plague-stricken. The legend says that he left great riches to travel as a pilgrim to Rome, where he tended those sick of the plague, and by his intercession effected miraculous cures. Through many cities he laboured thus, until at last in Piacenza he became himself plague-stricken, and with a horrible ulcer in his thigh he was turned out into a lonely wood. He has here laid aside his pilgrim staff and hung his hat upon it, and prepared himself to die, when an angel appears to him and drops a fresh rose on his path. There is no rose without a thorn, and no thorn in a saint's crown without a rose. He bares his thigh to show his wound to the angel, who (says the legend) dressed it for him.
whilst his little dog miraculously brought him every morning a loaf of bread. 234. A WARRIOR ADORING THE INFANT CHRIST.
Unknown 1 (Venetian : School of Bellini). Observe, for the technical merits of this picture, the horsebridle : “An example of true painter's work in minor detail; unsurpassable, but not, by patience and modesty, inimitable" (Academy Notes, 1875, p. 48). As for the subject, the warrior portrayed is nameless. This is suggestive; it is not a peculiar picture, it is a type of what was the common method of Venetian portraiture. “An English gentleman, desiring his portrait, gives probably to the painter a choice of several actions, in any of which he is willing to be represented. As for instance, riding his best horse, shooting with his favourite pointer, manifesting himself in his robes of state on some great public occasion, meditating in his study, playing with his children, or visiting his tenants ; in any of these or other such circumstances, he will give the artist free leave to paint him. But in one important action he would shrink even from the suggestion of being drawn. He will assuredly not let himself be painted praying. Strangely, this is the action which, of all others, a Venetian desires to be painted in. If they want a noble and complete portrait, they nearly all choose to be painted on their knees” (Modern Painters, vol. v. pt. ix. ch. iii. $ 15). Notice also the little dog in the corner —" one of the little curly, short-nosed, fringy-pawed things which all Venetian ladies petted.” “The dog is thus constantly introduced by the Venetians (in Madonna pictures) in order to give the fullest contrast to the highest tones of human thought and feeling. ... But they saw the noble qualities of the dog too—all his patience, love, and faithfulness...," and introduced him into their sacred pictures partly therefore in order to show “that all the lower creatures, who can love, have passed, through their love, into the guardianship and guidance of angels" (Modern Painters, vol. v. pt. ix. ch. iii. $ 21, ch. vi. § 14; Fors Clavigera, 1877, P. 31). 287. LUDOVICO MARTINENGO.
Bartolommeo Veneziano (painted 1505-1530). The Martinengo family seems to have patronised this painter, as the Senator Count Martinengo, of Venice, possesses as an heirloom a
1 Ascribed to Catena by Morelli, p. 151.
small picture by the master which is signed “ Bartolommeo mezzo Veneziano e mezzo Cremonese." The present picture is signed “Bartolom. Venetus," so that he was perhaps a Cremonese by birth and a Venetian by artistic training, being probably a pupil of Giovanni Bellini (see Morelli, p. 138).
A portrait of a young man, at the age of twenty-six (as the inscription tells us), in the costume of the Compagnia della Calza (the guild of the stocking). 1203. MADONNA AND CHILD. Giovanni Busi, called Cariani (Bergamese : about 1480-1541).
Notice the rustic type of the Madonna ; she is a daughter of the mountains—the mountains above Bergamo from which the painter came, and which figure in the background. The picture is a characteristic piece of provincial art; the expression of “a simple, sturdy, energetic mountain-folk who do not always know how to unite refinement and grace with their inbred strength and vigour” (Morelli, p. 4). 277. THE GOOD SAMARITAN. Jacopo da Ponte, called Il Bassano (Venetian : 1510–1592).
Jacopo da Ponte, called Bassano from his native town, was nearly contemporary with the great Tintoretto. But while the latter was the last of the Venetian painters in the great style, what gives Bassano a distinguishing place in the history of art is that he was the first Italian genre painter-a painter, that is, du genre bas, painter of a low class of subjects, of familiar objects such as do not belong to any other recognised class of paintings (as history, portrait, etc.) : see for instance, his picture, XIII. 228, p. 308. This and the other picture by him in this room, 173 (p. 169), are only incidentally characteristic in this respect.
The wounded Jew, who had fallen among thieves, is beneath the shadow of a great rock. The Levite is behind, engaged in sanctimonious prayer. The good Samaritan is busy in good works. He has brought out his flask and is raising the Jew to place him on his mule. The picture is of additional interest as having been a favourite with Sir Joshua Reynolds, to whom it once belonged, and who is said to have kept it always in his studio. 930. THE GARDEN OF LOVE.
School of Giorgione (Venetian : early 16th century) So ascribed in the Catalogue. “But, we venture to ask, Is this really an Italian picture ?” (Richter, p. 87). At any rate it must not be taken as typical of Giorgione.