The Project Gutenberg eBook of The History of Painting in Italy, Vol. 2 (of 6)

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Title: The History of Painting in Italy, Vol. 2 (of 6)

Author: Luigi Lanzi

Translator: Thomas Roscoe

Release date: December 8, 2010 [eBook #34585]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Barbara Tozier, Carol Brown, Bill Tozier and
the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at














From the Original Italian












J. M'Creery, Tooks Court,
Chancery Lane, London.





Epoch I. The old masters 1
Epoch II. Raffaello and his school. 48
Epoch III. The art declines, in consequence of the public calamities of Rome, and gradually falls into mannerism 124
Epoch IV. Restoration of the Roman school by Barocci and other artists, subjects of the Roman state and foreigners 177
Epoch V. The scholars of Pietro da Cortona, from an injudicious imitation of their master, deteriorate the art—Maratta and others support it 262


Epoch I. The old masters 345
Epoch II. Modern Neapolitan style, founded on the schools of Raffaello and Michelangiolo 368
[Pg ii]Epoch III. Corenzio, Ribera, Caracciolo, flourish in Naples—Strangers who compete with them 389
Epoch IV. Luca Giordano, Solimene, and their scholars 426

[Pg 1]






I have frequently heard the lovers of art express a doubt whether the Roman School possesses the same inherent right to that distinctive appellation as the schools of Florence, Bologna, and Venice. Those of the latter cities were, indeed, founded by their respective citizens, and supported through a long course of ages; while the Roman School, it may be said, could boast only of Giulio Romano and Sacchi, and a few others, natives of Rome, who taught, and left scholars there. The other artists who flourished there were either natives of the cities of the Roman state, or from other parts of Italy, some of whom established themselves in Rome, and others, after the close of their labours there, returned and died in their native places. But this question is, if I mistake not, rather a dispute of words than of things, and similar to those objections advanced by the peripatetic sophists [Pg 2] against the modern philosophy; insisting that they abuse the meaning of their words, and quoting, as an example, the vis inertiæ; as if that, which is in itself inert, could possess the quality of force. The moderns laugh at this difficulty, and coolly reply that, if the vis displeased them, they might substitute natura, or any other equivalent word; and that it was lost time to dispute about words, and neglect things. So it may be said in this case; they who disapprove of the designation of school, may substitute that of academy, or any other term denoting a place where the art of painting is professed and taught. And, as the learned universities always derive their names from the city where they are established, as the university of Padua or Pisa, although the professors may be all, or in great part, from other states, so it is with the schools of painting, to which the name of the country is always attached, in preference to that of the master. In Vasari we do not find this classification of schools, and Monsignor Agucchi was the first to divide Italian art into the schools of Lombardy, Venice, Tuscany, and Rome.[1] He has employed the term of schools after the manner of the ancients, and has thus characterised one of them as the Roman School. He has, perhaps, erred in placing Michel Angiolo, as well as Raphael, at the head of this [Pg 3] school, as posterity have assigned him his station as chief of the school of Florence; but he has judged right in classing it under a separate head, possessing, as it does, its own peculiar style; and in this he has been followed by all the modern writers of art. The characteristic feature in the Roman School has been said to consist in a strict imitation of the works of the ancients, not only in sublimity, but also in elegance and selection; and to this we shall add other peculiarities, which will be noticed in their proper place. Thus, from its propriety, or from tacit convention, the appellation of the Roman School has been generally adopted; and, as it certainly serves to distinguish one of the leading styles of Italian art, it becomes necessary to employ it, in order to make ourselves clearly understood. We cannot, indeed, allow to the Roman School so extensive a range as we have assigned to that of Florence, in the first book; nevertheless, every one that chooses may apply this appellation to it in a very enlarged sense. Nor is the fact of other artists having taught, or having given a tone to painting in the capital, any valid objection to this term; since, in a similar manner, we find Titiano, Paolo Veronese, and Bassano, in Venice, though all of them were strangers; but, as they were subjects of her government, they were all termed Venetians, as that name alike embraces those born in the city or within the dominions of the Republic. The same may be said of the subjects of the Pope. Besides the natives of [Pg 4] Rome, there appeared masters from many of her subject cities, who, teaching in Rome, followed in the steps of their predecessors, and maintained the same principles of art. Passing over Pier della Francesca and Pietro Vannucci, we may refer to Raffaello himself as an example. Raffaello was born in Urbino, and was the subject of a duke, who held his fief under the Roman see, and who, in Rome, held the office of prefect of the city; and whose dominions, in failure of male issue, reverted to the Pope, as the heritage of the church. Thus Raffaello cannot be considered other than a Roman subject. To him succeeded Giulio Romano and his scholars; who were followed by Zuccari, and the mannerists of that time, until the art found a better style under the direction of Baroccio, Baglione, and others. After them flourished Sacchi and Maratta, whose successors have extended to our own times. Restricted within these bounds, the Roman may certainly be considered as a national school; and, if not rich in numbers, it is at least so in point of excellence, as Raffaello in himself outweighs a world of inferior artists.

The other painters who resided in Rome, and followed the principles of that school, I shall neither attempt to add to, nor to subtract from the number of its followers; adopting it as a maxim not to interfere in the decision of disputes, alike idle and irrelevant to my subject. Still less shall I ascribe to it those who there adopted a totally different style, as Michelangiolo da Caravaggio, an artist whom Lombardy [Pg 5]may lay claim to, on account of his birth, or Venice, from his receiving his education in that city, though he lived and wrote in Rome, and influenced the taste of the national school there by his own example and that of his scholars. In the same manner many other names will occasionally occur in the history of this school: it is the duty of the historian to mention these, and it is, at the same time, an incomparable triumph to the Roman School, that she stands, in this manner, as the centre of all the others; and that so many artists could not have obtained celebrity, if they had not seen Rome, or could not have claimed that title from the world unless they had first obtained her suffrage.

I shall not identify the limits of this school with those of the dominions of the church, as in that case we should comprise in it the painters of Bologna, Ferrara, and Romagna, whom I have reserved for another volume. In my limits I shall include only the capital, and the provinces in its immediate vicinity, as Latium, the Sabine territories, the patrimony of the Church, Umbria, Picenum, and the state of Urbino, the artists of which district were, for the most part, educated in Rome, or under the eyes of Roman masters. My historical notices of them will be principally derived from Vasari, Baglione, Passeri, and Leone Pascoli. From these writers we have the lives of many artists who painted in Rome, and the last named author has included in his account his fellow countrymen [Pg 6] of Perugia. Pascoli has not, indeed, the merits of the three first writers; but he does not deserve the discredit thrown on him by Ratti and Bottari, the latter of whom, in his notes to Vasari, does not hesitate to call him a wretched writer, and unworthy of credit. His work, indeed, on the artists of Perugia, shows that he indiscriminately copied what he found in others, whether good or bad; and to the vulgar traditions of the early artists he paid more than due attention. But his other work, on the history of the modern painters, sculptors, and architects, is a book of authority. In every branch of history much credit is attached to the accounts of contemporary writers, particularly if they were acquaintances or friends of the persons of whom they wrote; and Pascoli has this advantage; for, in addition to information from their own mouths, he derived materials from their surviving friends, nor spared any pains to arrive at the truth, (see Vita del Cozza). The judgment, therefore, which he passes on each artist, is not wholly to be despised, since he formed it on those of the various professors then living in Rome, as Winckelmann has observed (tom. i. p. 450); and, if these persons, as it is pretended, have erred in their judgment on the Greek sculptors, they have certainly not erred in their estimate of modern painters, particularly Luti, to whom I imagine Pascoli, from esteem and intimacy, deferred more than to any other artist.

We have from Bellori other lives, written with [Pg 7]more learning and criticism, some of which are supposed to be lost. He had originally applied himself to painting, but deserted that art, as we may conjecture from Pascoli (vita del Canini), and attached himself to poetry, and the study of antiquities: and his skill in both arts manifests itself in the lives he has left, which are few, but interspersed with interesting and minute particulars of the characters of the painters and their works. In his plan, he informs us he has followed the advice of Niccolo Poussin. He composed also a "Description of the figures painted by Raffaello, in the churches of the Vatican;" a tract which contains some severe reflections on Vasari,[2] but is nevertheless highly useful. We also find a profusion of entertaining anecdotes in Taja, in his "Description of the Vatican;" and in Titi, in his account of the pictures, sculpture, and architecture of Rome. This work has recently been republished, with additions; and we shall occasionally quote it under the name of the Guide. Pesaro is indebted for a similar Guide to Signor Becci, and Ascoli and Perugia to Signor Baldassare Orsini, a celebrated architect. We have also the Lettere Perugine of Sig. Dottore Annibale Mariotti, which treat of the early painters of Perugia, with a store of information and critical acumen that render them highly valuable. To these may also be added, the Risposta of the above named Sig. Orsini, whom I regret to [Pg 8]see entering on Etruscan ground, as he there repeats many ancient errors, which have been long exploded by common consent: in other points it is a treatise worth perusal. If we turn to Descriptions, we have them of several periods, as that of the Basilica Loretana, and that of Assisi, composed by P. Angeli; and the account of the Duomo of Orvieto, written by P. della Valle; and the works on the churches of S. Francesco di Perugia, and S. Pietro di Fano, by anonymous writers. The Abbate Colucci has favoured us with recent notices on various artists of Piceno and Umbria, and Urbino, in his Antichità Picene, extended, as far as my observation goes, to tom. xxxi.[3] The learned authors whom I have named, and others to whom I shall occasionally refer, have furnished the chief materials of my present treatise, although I have myself collected a considerable part from artists and lovers of art, either in conversation, or in my correspondence. Thus far in the way of introduction.

[1] Bellori, Vite de' Pittori, p. 191. "The Roman School, of which Raffaello and Michel Angiolo were the great masters, derived its principles from the study of the statues and works of the ancients."

[2] Lett. Pittor. tom. ii. p. 323; and Dialoghi sopra le tre Arti del Disegno. In Lucca, 1754.

[3] This work contains contributions from various quarters. I have not, however, made an equal use of all; as I believe some pictures to be copies, which are there referred to as originals; and as several names there mentioned, may with propriety be omitted. In my references, I shall often cite the collections; sometimes also the authors of some more considerable treatises, as P. Civalli, Terzi, Sig. Agostino Rossi, Sig. Arciprete Lazzari, respecting whom I must refer to the second index, where will be found the titles of their respective works.

[Pg 9]



Early Artists.

If we turn our eyes for a moment to that tract of country which we have designated as falling within the limits of the Roman School, amidst the claims of modern art, we shall occasionally meet with both Greek and Latin pictures of the rude ages; from the first of which we may conclude, that Greek artists formerly painted in this part of Italy; and from the latter, that our own countrymen were emulous to follow their example. One of these artists is said to have had the name of Luca, and to him is ascribed the picture of the Virgin, at S. Maria Maggiore, and many others in Italy, which are believed to be painted by S. Luke the Evangelist. Who this Luca was, or whether one painter or more of that name ever existed, we shall presently inquire. The tradition was impugned by Manni,[4] and after him by Piacenza, (tom. ii. p. 120,) and is now only preserved among the vulgar, a numerous [Pg 10]class indeed, who shut their ears to every rational criticism as an innovation on their faith. This vulgar opinion is alike oppugned by the silence of the early artists, and the well attested fact, that in the first ages of the church the Virgin was not represented with the holy Infant in her arms;[5] but had her hands extended in the act of prayer. This is exemplified in the funeral vase of glass in the Museo Trombelli at Bologna, with the inscription maria, and in many bassirilievi of christian sarcophagi, where she is represented in a similar attitude. Rome possesses several of these specimens, and several are to be found in Velletri.[6] It is however a common opinion, that these pictures are by a painter of the name of Luca. Lami refers to a legend of the 14th century of the Madonna dell'Impruneta, where they are said to be the works of a Florentine of the name of Luca, who for his many christian virtues obtained the title of saint.[7] They are not however all in the same style, and some of them bear Greek inscriptions, whence we may conclude that they are by [Pg 11]various hands; although they all appear to be painted in or about the 12th century. This tradition was not confined to Italy alone, but found its way also into many of the eastern churches. The author of the Anecdotes des Beaux Arts, relates that the memory of a Luca, a hermit, who had painted many rude portraits of the Virgin, was held in great veneration in Greece; and that through a popular superstition he had succeeded to the title of S. Luke the Evangelist. Tournefort (Voyage, &c.) mentions an image of the Virgin at Mount Lebanon, attributed by the vulgar to S. Luke; but which was doubtless also the work of some Luke, a monk in one of the early ages.

More considerable remains both of the Greek and Italian artists of the 13th century are to be found in Assisi, as related in my first book; and to those already mentioned as painted on the walls, may be added others on panel, and all by unknown artists; particularly a crucifixion in S. Chiara, of which there is a tradition, that it was painted before Giunta appeared. Another picture anterior to this period, and bearing the date of 1219, is to be seen at Subiaco; it is a consecration of a church, and the painter informs us that Conciolus pinxit. If in addition to these artists we inquire after the miniature painters, we may find specimens of them in abundance, in the library of the Vatican, and other collections in Rome. I shall name S. Agostino, in the public library of Perugia, where the Redeemer is seen in the midst of saints, and the opening of Genesis is painted in miniature; [Pg 12]a design which, from the angular folds of the drapery, partakes of the Greek style, but still serves to prove this art to have been known at that time in Umbria. In addition to what I have remarked, I may also observe, that in Perugia, in the course of the same century, the artists were sufficiently numerous to form an academy, as we may collect from the Lettere Perugine, and these, when we consider the time, must have been in great part miniature painters.

It is now time to notice Oderigi of Gubbio, a town very near to Perugia. Vasari tells us that he was a man of celebrity, and a friend of Giotto, in Rome; and Dante, in his second Cantica, calls him an honour to Agobbio, and excelling in the art of miniature. These are the only authorities that Baldinucci could have for transferring this ancient artist to the school of Cimabue, and ingrafting him in his usual manner on that stock. Upon these he founded his conjecture; and, according to his custom, gave them more weight than they deserved. His opinion, however amplified, reduces itself to the assumption that Giotto, Oderigi, and Dante, were lovers of art, and common friends, and became therefore acquainted in the school of Cimabue; a very uncertain conclusion. We shall consider this subject more maturely in the school of Bologna, since Oderigi lived there, and instructed Franco, from whom Bologna dates the series of her painters. It is thought, too, that he left some scholars in his native place, and not long after him, in 1321, we find Cecco, and Puccio da [Pg 13]Gubbio, engaged as painters of the Cathedral of Orvieto; and about the year 1342, Guido Palmerucci of the same place, employed in the palace of his native city. There remains a work of his in fresco in the hall, much injured by time; but some figures of saints are still preserved, which do not yield to the best style of Giotto. Some other vestiges of very ancient paintings are to be seen in the Confraternita de' Bianchi; in whose archives it is mentioned that the picture of S. Biagio was repaired by Donato, in 1374; whence it must necessarily be of a very early period. This and other interesting information I obtained from Sig. Sebastiano Rangliasci, a noble inhabitant of Gubbio, who has formed a catalogue of the artists of his native city, inserted in the fourth volume of the last edition of Vasari.

We are now arrived at the age of Giotto, and the first who presents himself to us is Pietro Cavallini, who was instructed by Giotto, in Rome,[8] in the arts of painting and mosaic, both of which he followed with skill and intelligence. The Roman Guide makes mention of him, and that of Florence refers to a Nunziata at S. Mark; and there are others mentioned by Vasari as being in [Pg 14]the chapels of that city; one of which is in the Loggia del Grano. The most remarkable of his works is to be seen in Assisi. It is a fresco, and occupies a large façade in one division of the church. It represents the crucifixion of our Saviour, surrounded by bands of soldiers, foot and horse, and a numerous crowd of spectators, all varying in their dress and the expression of their passions. In the sky is a band of angels, whose sympathizing sorrow is vividly depicted. In extent and spirit of design it partakes of the style of Memmi, and in one of the sufferers on the cross he has shewn that he justly appreciated and successfully followed his guide. The colours are well preserved, particularly the blue, which there, and in other parts of the church, presents to our admiring gaze, to use the language of our poets, a heaven of oriental sapphire.

Vasari does not appear to have been acquainted with any scholar of Pietro Cavallini, except it be Giovanni da Pistoja; but Pietro, who lived in Rome the greater part of his life, which was extended to a period of eighty-five years, must have contributed his aid in no small degree to the advancement of art, in the capital, as well as in other places. However this may be, in that part of Italy, pictures of his school are still found; or at least memorials of art of the age in which he flourished. We have an Andrea of Velletri, of whom a specimen is preserved in the select collection of the Museo Borgia, with the Virgin surrounded by saints, a common subject at that period in the [Pg 15]churches, as I have before observed. It has the name of the painter, with the year 1334, and in execution approaches nearer to the school of Siena than any other. In the year 1321 we find Ugolino Orvietano, Gio. Bonini di Assisi, Lello Perugino, and F. Giacomo da Camerino, noticed by us in another place, all employed in painting in the Cathedral of Orvieto. Mariotti, in his letters, mentions other artists of Perugia, and the memory of a very early painter of Fabriano is preserved by Ascevolini, the historian of that city, who informs us, that in the country church of S. Maria Maddalena, in his time, there was a picture in fresco, by Bocco, executed in 1306. A Francesco Tio da Fabriano, who in 1318 painted the tribune of the Conventuals at Mondaino, is mentioned by Colucci, (tom. xxv. p. 183). This work has perished; but the productions of a successor of his at Fabriano are to be seen in the oratory of S. Antonio Abate, the walls of which remain. Many histories of the saint are there to be found, divided into pictures, in the early style, and inscribed, Allegrettus Nutii de Fabriano hoc opus fecit 136.... The art in these parts was not a little advanced by their proximity to Assisi, where Giotto's scholars were employed after his death, particularly Puccio Capanna of Florence. This artist, who is esteemed one of the most successful followers of Giotto, after painting in Florence, in Pistoja, Rimino, and Bologna, is conjectured by Vasari to have settled in Assisi, where he left many works behind him.

[Pg 16]We shall find the succeeding century more fruitful in art, as the Popes at that time forsook Avignon, and, re-establishing themselves in Rome, began to decorate the palace of the Vatican, and to employ painters of celebrity both there and in the churches. There does not appear any person of distinction amongst them as a native of Rome. From the Roman State we find Gentile da Fabriano, Piero della Francesca, Bonfigli, Vannucci, and Melozzo, who first practised the art of sotto in su; and amongst the strangers are Pisanello, Masaccio, Beato Angelico, Botticelli and his colleagues. Amongst these too, it is said, was to be found Mantegna, and there still remains the chapel painted by him for Innocent VIII. although since converted to another purpose. Each of these artists I shall notice in their respective schools, and shall here only mention such as were found in the country from the Ufente to the Tronto, and from thence to the Metauro, which are the confines of our present class. The names of many others may be collected from books; as an Andrea, and a Bartolommeo, both of Orvieto, and a Mariotto da Viterbo, and others who worked at Orvieto from 1405 to 1457; and some who painted in Rome itself, a Giovenale and a Salli di Celano, and others now forgotten. But without pausing on these, we will advert to the artists of Piceno, of the State of Urbino, and the remaining parts of Umbria: where we shall meet with the traces of schools which remained for many years.

[Pg 17]The school of Fabriano, which seems very ancient in Picenum, produced at that time Gentile, one of the first painters of his age, of whom Bonarruoti is reported to have said, that his style was in unison with his name. The first notice we have of him is among the painters of the church of Orvieto, in 1417; and then, or soon afterwards, he received from the historians of that period the appellation of magister magistrorum, and they mention the Madonna which he there painted, and which still remains. He afterwards resided in Venice, where, after ornamenting the Palazzo Publico, he was rewarded by the republic with a salary, and with the privilege of wearing the patrician dress of that city. He there, says Vasari, became the master, and, in a manner, the father of Jacopo Bellini, the father and preceptor of two of the ornaments of the Venetian school. These were Gentile, who assumed that name in memory of Gentile da Fabriano, born in 1421; and Giovanni, who surpassed his brother in reputation, and from whose school arose Giorgione and Titian. He (Gentile da Fabriano) was employed in the Lateran, at Rome, where he rivalled Pisanello, in the time of Martin V.; and it is to be regretted that his works, both there and in Venice, have perished. Facio, who eulogizes him, and who had seen his most finished performances, extols him as a man of universal art, who represented, not only the human form and edifices in the most correct manner, but painted also the stormy appearances of nature in a style that [Pg 18]struck terror into the spectator. In painting the history of St. John, in the Lateran, and the Five Prophets over it, of the colour of marble, he is said to have used more than common care, as if he at that time prognosticated his own approaching death, which soon afterwards occurred, and the work remained unfinished. Notwithstanding this, Ruggier da Bruggia, as Facio relates, when he went to Rome, in the holy year, and saw it, considered it a stupendous work, which placed Gentile at the head of all the painters of Italy. According to Vasari and Borghini, he executed a countless number of works in the Marca, and in the state of Urbino, and particularly in Gubbio, and in Città di Castello, which are in the neighbourhood of his native place; and there still remain in those districts, and in Perugia, some paintings in his style. A remarkable one is mentioned in a country church called la Romita, near Fabriano.[9] Florence possesses two beautiful specimens: the one in S. Niccolo, with the effigy and history of the sainted bishop, the other in the sacristy of S. Trinità, with an Epiphany, having the date of 1423. They bear a near resemblance to the style of B. Angelico, except that the proportions of [Pg 19]the figures are not so correct, the conception is less just, and the fringe of gold and brocades more frequent. Vasari pronounces him a pupil of Beato, and Baldinucci confirms this opinion, although he says that Beato took religious orders at an early age in 1407, a period which would exclude Gentile from his tuition. I conjecture both the one and the other to have been scholars of miniature painters, from the fineness of their execution, and from the size of their works, which are generally on a small scale. The name of an Antonio da Fabriano appears in a Crucifixion, in 1454, painted on wood, which I saw in Matelica, in the possession of the Signori Piersanti; but it is inferior to Gentile in style.[10]

On an ancient picture, which is preserved in Perugia, in the convent of S. Domenico, is the name of a painter of Camerino, a place in the same neighbourhood, who flourished in 1447. The inscription is Opus Johannis Bochatis de Chamereno. In the same district is S. Severino, where we find a Lorenzo, who, in conjunction with his brother, painted in the oratory of S. John the Baptist in Urbino, the life of that saint. These two artists were much behind their age. I have seen some other works by them, from which it appears that they were living in 1470, and painted in the Florentine [Pg 20]style of 1400. Other artists of the same province are named in the Storia del Piceno, particularly at S. Ginesio, a Fabio di Gentile di Andrea, a Domenico Balestrieri, and a Stefano Folchetti, whose works are cited, with the date of their execution attached to them.[11] In this district also resided several strangers, scarcely known to their native places, as Francesco d'Imola, a scholar of Francia, who, in the convent of Cingoli, painted a Descent from the Cross; and Carlo Crivelli, a Venetian, who passed from one state to another, and finally settled in Ascoli. His works are to be met with there more frequently than in any other city of Picenum. I shall speak of his merits in the Venetian school, and shall here only add, that he had for a pupil Pietro Alamanni, the chief of the painters of Ascoli, a respectable quattrocentista, who painted an altarpiece at S. Maria della Carità, in 1489. About this time also we find amongst their names a Vittorio Crivelli, a Venetian, of the family, as I conjecture, and perhaps of the school of Carlo. There is frequent mention of him in the Antichità Picene.

Urbino, too, had her artists, as her princes were not behind the other rulers of Italy in good taste. At the restoration of the art, we find Giotto, [Pg 21]and several of his scholars, there; and afterwards Gentile da Fabriano,[12] a Galeazzo, and, possibly, a Gentile di Urbino. At Pesaro, in the convent of S. Agostino, I have seen a Madonna, accompanied with beautiful architecture, and an inscription—Bartholomaeus Magistri Gentilis de Urbino, 1497; and at Monte Cicardo, I saw the same name on an ancient picture of 1508, but without his birthplace. (Ant. Pic. tom. xvii. 145.) I am in doubt whether this M. Gentilis refers to the father of Bartolommeo or his master, as the scholars at that time often took their designation from their masters. At all events, this artist is not to be confounded with Bartolommeo from Ferrara, whose son, Benedetto, subscribes himself Benedictus quondam Bartholomaei de Fer. Pictor. 1492. This is to be seen in the church of S. Domenico di Urbino, on the altarpiece in the Chapel of the Muccioli, their descendants.

In the city of Urbino there remain some works of the father of Raffaello, who, in a letter of the Duchess Giovanna della Rovere, which is the first of the Lettere Pittoriche, is designated as molto virtuoso. There is by him in the church of S. Francis, a good picture of S. Sebastian, with figures in an attitude of supplication. There is one attributed also to him in a small church dedicated to the same saint, representing his martyrdom, with a figure foreshortened, which Raffaello, when [Pg 22]young, imitated in a picture of the Virgin, at Città di Castello. He subscribed himself Io. Sanctis Urbi. (Urbinas). So I read it in the sacristy of the Conventuals of Sinigaglia in an Annunciation in which there is a beautiful angel, and an infant Christ descending from the father; and which seems to be copied from those of Pietro Perugino, with whom Raffaello worked some time, though it has a still more ancient style. The other figures are less beautiful, but yet graceful, and the extremities are carefully executed. But the most distinguished painter in Urbino was F. Bartolommeo Corradini d'Urbino, a Domenican, called Fra. Carnevale. To an accurate eye his pictures are defective in perspective, and retain in the drapery the dryness of his age, but the portraits are so strongly expressed that they seem to live and speak; the architecture is beautiful, and the colours bright, and the air of the heads at the same time noble and unaffected. It is known that Bramante and Raffaello studied him, as there were not, at that time, any better works in Urbino. In Gubbio, which formed a part of this dukedom, were to be seen in that age the remains of the early school. There exists a fresco by Ottaviano Martis in S. Maria Nuova, painted in 1403. The Virgin is surrounded by a choir of angels, certainly too much resembling each other, but in their forms and attitudes as graceful and pleasing as any contemporary productions.

Borgo S. Sepolcro, Foligno, and Perugia, present [Pg 23]us with artists of greater celebrity. Borgo was a part of Umbria subject to the Holy See, and was, in 1440, pledged to the Florentines,[13] by Eugenius IV. at the time Piero della Francesca, or Piero Borghese, one of the most memorable painters of this age, was at the summit of his reputation. He must have been born about 1398, since Vasari states that "he painted about the year 1458,"[14] and that he became blind at sixty years of age, and remained so until his death, in his eighty-sixth year. From his fifteenth year he applied himself to painting, at which age he had made himself master of the principles of mathematics, and he rose to great eminence both in art and science.[15] I have not [Pg 24]been able to ascertain who was his master, but it is probable that as he was the son of a poor widow, who had barely the means of bringing him up, he did not leave his native place; and that under the guidance of obscure masters he raised himself, by his own genius, to the high degree of fame which he enjoyed. He first appeared, says Vasari, in the court of the elder Guidubaldo Feltro, Duke of Urbino, where he left only some pictures of figures on a small scale, which was the case with such as were not the pupils of the great masters. He was celebrated for a remarkable drawing of a Vase, so ingeniously designed that the front, the back, the sides, the bottom, and the mouth, were all shewn; the whole drawn with the greatest correctness, and the circles gracefully foreshortened. The art of perspective, the principles of which he was, as some affirm, the first among the Italians to develope and to cultivate, was much indebted to him;[16] and painting, too, owed much to his example in imitating the effects of light, in marking correctly the muscles of the naked figure, in preparing models of clay for his figures, and in the study of his drapery, the folds of which he fixed on the model itself, and drew very accurately and [Pg 25]minutely. On examining the style of Bramante and his Milanese contemporaries, I have often thought that they derived some light from Piero, for, as I have before said, he painted in Urbino where Bramante studied, and afterwards executed many works in Rome, where Bramantino came and was employed by Nicholas V.

In the Floreria of the Vatican is still to be seen a large fresco painting, in which the above named pontiff is represented with cardinals and prelates, and there is a degree of truth in the countenances highly interesting. Taja does not assert that it is by Pietro, but says that it is attributed to him.[17] Those which are pointed out in Arezzo doubtless belong to him, and the most remarkable are the histories of the holy cross in the choir of the church of the Conventuals, which shew that the art was already advanced beyond its infancy; there is so much new in the Giotto manner of foreshortening, in the relief, and in many difficulties of the art overcome in his works. If he had possessed the grace of Masaccio he might with justice have been placed at his side. At Città S. Sepolcro there still remain some works attributed to him; [Pg 26]a S. Lodovico Vescovo, in the public palace, at S. Chiara a picture of the Assumption, with the apostles in the distance, and a choir of angels at the top, but in the foreground are S. Francis, S. Jerome, and other figures, which injure the unity of the composition. There are, however, still traces in them of the old style; a poverty of design, a hardness in the foldings of the drapery, feet which are well foreshortened, but too far apart. As to the rest, in design, in the air, and in the colouring of the figures, it seems to be a rude sketch of that style which was ameliorated by P. Perugino, and perfected by Raffaello.

In the latter part of this century there flourished several good painters at Foligno, but it is not known from whom they derived their instructions. In the twenty-fifth volume of the Antichità Picene we read, that in the church of S. Francesco di Cagli there exists (I know not whether it be now there) a most beautiful composition, painted in 1461, at the price of 115 ducats of gold, by M. Pietro di Mazzaforte and M. Niccolo Deliberatore of Foligno. At S. Venanzio di Camerino is a large altarpiece on a ground of gold, with Christ on the Cross, surrounded by many Saints, with three small evangelical histories added to it. The inscription is Opus Nicolai Fulginatis, 1480; it is in the style of the last imitators of Giotto, and there is scarcely a doubt that the artist studied at Florence. I believe him to be the same artist as Niccolo Deliberatore, or di Liberatore; and [Pg 27]different from Niccolò Alunno, also of Foligno, whom Vasari mentions as an excellent painter in the time of Pinturicchio. He painted in distemper, as was common before Pietro Perugino, but in tints that have survived uninjured to our own times. In the distribution of his colours he was original; his heads possess expression, though they are common, and sometimes heavy, when they represent the vulgar. There is at S. Niccolò di Foligno a picture by him, composed in the style of the fourteenth century, the Virgin surrounded by saints, and underneath small histories of the Passion, where the perspicuity is more to be praised than the disposition. In the same style some of his pieces in Foligno are painted after 1500. Vasari thinks they are all surpassed by his Pietà in a chapel of the Duomo, in which are represented two angels, "whose grief is so vividly expressed, that any other artist, however ambitious he might be, would find it difficult to surpass it."

Perugia, from whence the art derived no common lustre, abounded in painters beyond any other city. The celebrated Mariotti formed a long catalogue of the painters of the fourteenth century, and among the most conspicuous are Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, and Bartolommeo Caporali, of whom we have pictures of the date of 1487. Some strangers were also to be found amongst them, as that Lello da Velletri, the author of an altarpiece, and its lower compartments, noticed by Signor Orsini. Benedetto Bonfigli was distinguished [Pg 28]above all others, and was the most eminent artist of Perugia in his day. I have seen by him, besides the picture in fresco in the Palazzo Publico, mentioned by Vasari, a picture of the Magi, in S. Domenico, in a style similar to Gentile, and with a large proportion of gold; and another in a more modern style, an Annunciation, in the church of the Orfanelli. The angel in it is most beautiful, and the whole picture would bear comparison with the works of the best artists of this period, if the drawing were more correct.[18]

What I have already adduced sufficiently proves that the art was not neglected in the Papal States, even in the ruder ages; and that men of genius from time to time appeared there, who, without leaving their native places, still gave an impulse to art. Florence, however, has ever been the great capital of design, the leading academy, and the Athens of Italy. It would be idle to question her indisputable claim to this high honour; and Sixtus IV., who, as we have before mentioned, sought through all Italy for artists to ornament the Sistine chapel, procured the greatest number from Tuscany; nor [Pg 29]were there to be found amongst them any who were his own subjects, except Pietro Perugino, and he too had risen to notice and celebrity in Florence. These then are the first mature fruits of the Roman school, for until this period they had been crude and tasteless. Pietro is her Masaccio, her Ghirlandajo, her all. We will here take a short view of him and his scholars, reserving, however, the divine Raffaello to the next epoch, which indeed is designated by his illustrious name.

Pietro Vannucci della Pieve,[19] as he calls himself in some pictures, or of Perugia in others, from the citizenship which he there enjoyed, had studied under a master of no great celebrity, if we are to believe Vasari; and this was a Pietro da Perugia, as Bottari conjectured, or Niccolò Alunno, as it was reported in Foligno. Mariotti pretends that Pietro advanced himself greatly in Perugia in the schools of Bonfigli, and Pietro della Francesca, from which he not only derived that excellence in perspective, which, from the testimony of Vasari was so much admired in Florence, but also much of his design and colouring.[20] Mariotti [Pg 30]then raises a doubt whether, when he went as an artist to Florence, he became the scholar of Verrocchio, as writers report, or whether he did not rather perfect himself from the great examples of Masaccio, and the excellent painters who at that time flourished there; and he finally determines in favour of the opinion held by Pascoli, Bottari, and Taja, and adopted by Padre Resta, in his Galleria Portatile, p. 10, that Verrocchio was never his master. It is well worth while to read the disquisitions of this able writer in his fifth letter, where we may admire the dexterity with which he settles a point so perplexed and so interesting to the history of art. I will only add that it appears to me not improbable, that Pietro, when he arrived at Florence, attached himself to this most celebrated artist, and was instructed by him in design, and in the plastic art particularly, and in that fine style of painting with which Verrocchio, without much practising it himself, imbued both Vinci and Credi. Traditions are seldom wholly groundless; they have generally some foundation in truth.

The manner of Pietro is somewhat hard and dry, like that of other painters of his time; and he occasionally exhibits a poverty in the drapery of his figures; his garments and mantles being curtailed and confined. But he atones for these faults by the grace of his heads, particularly in his boys [Pg 31]and in his women; which have an air of elegance and a charm of colour unknown to his contemporaries. It is delightful to behold in his pictures, and in his frescos which remain in Perugia and Rome, the bright azure ground which affords such high relief to his figures; the green, purple, and violet tints so chastely harmonized, the beautiful and well drawn landscape and edifices, which, as Vasari says, was a thing until that time never seen in Florence. In his altarpieces he is not sufficiently varied. There is a remarkable painting executed for the church of S. Simone, at Perugia, of a Holy Family, one of the first specimens of a well designed and well composed altarpiece. In other respects Pietro did not make any great advances in invention; his Crucifixions and his Descents from the Cross are numerous, and of an uniform character. He has thus represented, with little variation, the Ascensions of our Lord and of the Virgin, in Bologna, in Florence, Perugia, and Città di S. Sepolcro. He was reproached with this circumstance in his lifetime, and defended himself by saying that no one had a right to complain, as the designs were all his own. There is also another defence, which is, that compositions, really beautiful, are still seen with delight when repeated in different places; whoever sees in the Sistine his S. Peter invested with the keys, will not be displeased at finding at Perugia the same landscape, in a picture of the Marriage of the Virgin. On the contrary, this picture is one of the [Pg 32]finest objects that noble city affords; and may be considered as containing an epitome of the various styles of Pietro. In the opinion of some persons, his frescos exhibit a more fertile invention, and greater delicacy and harmony of colour. Of these, his masterpiece is in his native city, in the Sala del Cambio. It is an evangelical subject, with saints from the Old Testament, and with his own portrait, to which his grateful fellow citizens attached an elegant eulogy. He is most eminent, and adopts a sort of Raffaellesque style, in some of his latter pictures. I have observed it in a Holy Family, in the Carmine in Perugia. The same may be said too of certain small pictures, almost of a miniature class; as in the grado of S. Peter, in Perugia, than which nothing can be more finished and beautiful; and in many other pieces in which he has spared no pains,[21] but which are few in comparison to the multitude by his scholars, attributed to him.

In treating of the school of Pietro Perugino, it is necessary to advert to what Taja,[22] and after him the author of the Lettere Perugine, notices respecting his scholars, "that they were most [Pg 33]scrupulous in adhering to the manner of their master, and as they were very numerous, they have filled the world with pictures, which both by painters and connoisseurs are very commonly considered as his." When his works in Perugia are inspected, he generally rises in the esteem of travellers, of whom many have only seen paintings incorrectly ascribed to him. In Florence there are some of his pictures in the Grand Duke's collection: and in the church of S. Chiara, his beautiful Descent from the Cross, and some other works; but in private collections both here and in other cities of Tuscany, many Holy Families are assigned to him, which are most probably by Gerino da Pistoja, or some of his Tuscan scholars, of whom there is a catalogue in our first book. The Papal states also possessed many of his scholars, who were of higher reputation, nor so wholly attached to his manner as the strangers. Bernardino Pinturicchio, his scholar and assistant in Perugia and in Rome, was a painter little valued by Vasari, who has not allowed him his full share of merit. He has not the style of design of his master, and retains more than consistent with his age, the ornaments of gold in his drapery; but he is magnificent in his edifices, spirited in his countenances, and extremely natural in every thing he introduces into his composition. As he was on the most familiar footing with Raffaello, with whom he painted at Siena, he has emulated his grace in some of his figures, as in his picture of S. Lorenzo in the [Pg 34]church of the Francescani di Spello, in which there is a small S. John the Baptist, thought by some to be by Raphael himself. He was very successful in arabesques and perspective; in which way he was the first to represent cities in the ornaments of his fresco paintings, as in an apartment of the Vatican, where in his landscapes he introduced views of the principal cities of Italy. In many of his paintings he retained the ancient custom of making part of his decorations of stucco, as the arches, a custom which was observed in the Milanese school to the time of Gaudenzio. Rome possesses some of his works, particularly in the Vatican, and in Araceli. There is a good picture by him in the duomo of Spello.[23] His best is at Siena, in the magnificent sacristy of which we have already made mention. They consist of ten historical subjects, containing the most memorable passages in the life of Pius II., and on the outside is an eleventh, which represents the Coronation of Pius III., by whom this work was ordered.

Vasari has added to the life of Pinturicchio that of Girolamo Genga, of Urbino, at first a scholar of Signorelli, afterwards of Perugino, and who remained some time pursuing his studies in Florence. He was, for a long period, in the service [Pg 35]of the Duke of Urbino, and attached himself more to architecture than to painting, though, in the latter, he was sufficiently distinguished to deserve a place in the history of art. We cannot form a correct judgment of him, as a great part of his own works have perished; and as he assisted Signorelli in Orvieto and other places; and was assisted by Timoteo della Vite in Urbino, and in the imperial palace of Pesaro by Raffaelle del Colle, and various others. In the Petrucci palace at Siena, which now belongs to the noble family of Savini, some historical pieces are ascribed to him near those of Signorelli. They are described in the Lettere Senesi, and in the notes published at Siena to the fourth volume of Vasari. These pieces are praised as superior to those of Signorelli, and as in many parts approaching the early style of Raffaello. Nor do I see how, in the above mentioned letters, they could be supposed to be by Razzi, or Peruzzi, or Pacchiarotto, "in their hard dry manner" when history assures us that Girolamo was with Pandolfo a considerable time, which cannot be asserted of the other three; and as it appears that Petrucci, to finish the work of Signorelli, selected Genga from among his scholars. If we deprive him of this work, which is the only one which can be called his own, what can he have executed in all this time? In this house there is no other picture that can be assigned to him, although Vasari asserts that he there painted other rooms. A most beautiful picture by Genga, and of the greatest rarity, [Pg 36]is to be seen in S. Caterina da Siena in Rome; the subject is the Resurrection of our Saviour.

Of the other scholars of Perugino we have no distinct account; but we find some notice of them in the life of their master. Giovanni Spagnuolo, named Lo Spagna, was one of the many oltramontani whom Perugino instructed. The greater part of these introduced his manner into their own countries, but Giovanni established himself at Spoleti, at which place, and in Assisi, he left his best works. In the opinion of Vasari the colouring of Perugino survived in him more than in any of his fellow scholars. In a chapel of the Angioli, below Assisi, there remains the picture described by Vasari, in which are the portraits of the brotherhood of S. Francis, who closed his days on this spot, and, perhaps, no other pupil of this school has painted portraits with more truth, if we except Raffaello himself, with whom no other painter is to be compared.

A more memorable person is Andrea Luigi di Assisi, a competitor of Raffaello, although of more mature years, who, from his happy genius was named L'Ingegno. He assisted Perugino in the Sala del Cambio, and in other works of more consequence; and he may be said to be the first of that school who began to enlarge the style, and soften the colouring. This is observable in several of his works, and singularly so in the sybils and prophets in fresco in the church of Assisi; if they are by his hand, as is generally believed. It is [Pg 37]impossible to behold his pictures without a feeling of compassion, when we recollect that he was visited with blindness at the most valuable period of his life. Domenico di Paris Alfani also enlarged the manner of his master, and even more than him Orazio his son, and not his brother, as has been imagined. This artist bears a great resemblance to Raffaello. There are some of his pictures in Perugia, which, if it were not for a more delicate colouring, and something of the suavity of Baroccio, might be assigned to the school of Raffaello; and there are pictures on which a question arises whether they belong to that school or to Orazio; particularly some Madonnas, which are preserved in various collections. I have seen one in the possession of the accomplished Sig. Auditor Frigeri in Perugia; and there is another in the ducal gallery in Florence. The reputation of the younger Alfani has injured that of the other; and even in Perugia some fine pieces were long considered to be by Orazio, which have since been restored to Domenico. An account of these, and other works of eminent artists, may be found in modern writers; and particularly in Mariotti, who mentions the altarpiece of the Crucifixion, between S. Apollonia and S. Jerome, at the church of the Conventuals, a work by the two Alfanis, father and son. In commendation of the latter he adds, that he was the chief of the academy for design, which was founded in 1573, and which, after many honourable struggles, has been revived in our own time.

[Pg 38]There are other artists of less celebrity in Perugia, though not omitted by Vasari. Eusebio da S. Giorgio painted in the church of S. Francesco di Matelica, a picture with several saints, and on the grado, part of the history of S. Anthony, with his name, and the year 1512. We may recognize in it the drawing of Perugino, but the colouring is feeble. His picture of the Magi at S. Agostino is better coloured, and in this he followed Paris. The works of Giannicola da Perugia, a good colourist, and therefore willingly received by Pietro to assist him in his labours, however inferior to that artist in design and perspective, are recognized in the Cappella del Cambio, which is near the celebrated sala of Perugino, and was painted by him with the life of John the Baptist. In the church of S. Thomas, is his picture of that Apostle about to touch the wounds of our Saviour, and excepting a degree of sameness in the heads, it possesses much of the character of Perugino. Giambatista Caporali, erroneously called Benedetto by Vasari, Baldinucci, and others, holds likewise a moderate rank in this school, and is more celebrated among the architects. Giulio, his natural son, afterwards legitimatized, also cultivated the same profession.

The succeeding names belonging to this school are not mentioned by Vasari; a circumstance which does not prove the impropriety of their admission, as there are many deserving of notice. Mariotti, our guide in the chronology of this age, and a correct judge of the conformity of style, notices [Pg 39]Mariano di Ser Eusterio, whom Vasari calls Mariano da Perugia (tom. iv. p. 162), referring to a picture in the church of S. Agostino in Ancona, which is "not of much interest." In opposition to this opinion of Vasari, however, Mariotti adduces another picture, of a respectable class, by Mariano, to be found in S. Domenico di Perugia; whence we may conclude that this painting is deserving of a place in the history of art. He also mentions Berto di Giovanni, whom Raffaello engaged as his assistant to paint a picture for the monks of Monteluci (of which we shall speak in our notice of Penni) and who was appointed in this contract by Raphael himself to paint the grado. This grado is in the sacristy, and is so entirely in the manner of Raffaello, in the history of the virgin which it represents, that we may conclude either that Raffaello made the design, or that it was painted by one of his school. If it was by Berto, it proves him to have been one of those who exchanged the school of Perugino for that of Raffaello; and if he did not paint it, he must always be held in consideration for the regard he received from the master of the art. Of this artist more information may be obtained from Bianconi, in the Antologia Romana, vol. iii. p. 121. Mariotti enumerates also Sinibaldo da Perugia, who must be esteemed an excellent painter from his works in his native place, and more so from those in the cathedral at Gubbio, where he painted a fine picture in 1505, and a gonfalon still more beautiful, which would rank him [Pg 40]among the first artists of the ancient school. To the above painters Pascoli adds a female artist of the name of Teodora Danti, who painted cabinet pictures in the style of Perugino and his scholars.

From tradition, as well as conjecture, we may notice in Città di Castello a Francesco of that city, a scholar of Perugino, who, in an altarpiece in the church of the Conventuals, left an Annunciation with a fine landscape. He is named in the Guida di Roma, in the account of the chapel of S. Bernardino in Ara Caeli, where he is supposed to have worked with Pinturicchio and Signorelli. There is a conjecture, though no decided proof, that a Giacomo di Guglielmo was a pupil of Pietro, who, at Castel della Pieve, his native place, painted a gonfalon, estimated by good judges in Perugia at sixty-five florins; and also a Tiberio di Assisi, who, in many of the coloured lunettes in the convent degli Angeli, containing the history of the Life of S. Francis, shews clearly that Perugino was his prototype, though he had not talent enough to imitate him. Besides Tiberio, some have assigned to the instructions of Perugino, the most eminent painter of Assisi, Adone (or Dono) Doni, not unknown to Vasari, who often mentions him, and particularly in his life of Gherardi (vol. v. p. 142). He is there called of Ascoli, an opinion which Bottari maintains against Orlandi, who, on the best grounds, changed it to Assisi. In Ascoli he is not at all known, but he is well known in Perugia by a large picture of the Last Judgment in the church [Pg 41]of S. Francis, and still better in Assisi, where he painted in fresco, in the church of the Angeli, the life of the founder, and of S. Stephen, and many other pieces, which, for a long period, served as a school for youth. He had very little of the ancient manner; the truth of his portraits is occasionally wonderful; his colouring is that of the latest of the scholars of Perugino; and he appears to be an artist of more correctness than spirit. I find also a Lattanzio della Marca, of the school of Perugino, commemorated by Vasari in the above mentioned life. He is thought to be the same as Lattanzio da Rimino, of whom Ridolfi makes mention, among the scholars of Giovanni Bellino, as painting a picture in Venice in rivalship with Conegliano.[24] We are enabled more correctly to ascertain this from a document in the possession of Mariotti, of which we shall shortly speak, from which we not only learn to a certainty his native place, but further, that he was the son of Vincenzo Pagani, a celebrated painter, as will hereafter be seen, and that both were living in the year 1553. It appears, therefore, very probable that Lattanzio was instructed by his father, and that we may doubt of his being under Bellini, who died about 1516, or under Perugino, among whose disciples he is not enumerated by the very accurate Mariotti. [Pg 42]It seems certain, that on the death of Vannucci he succeeded to his fame, and obtained for himself some of the most important orders in Perugia, as, for instance, the great work of painting the chambers in the castle. He accomplished this task by the assistance of Raffaellino del Colle, Gherardi, Doni, and Paperello. He there commenced the picture of S. Maria del Popolo, and executed the lower part, where there is a great number of persons in the attitude of prayer; a fine expression is observable in the countenances, the figures are well disposed, the landscape beautiful, and there is a strength and clearness in the colouring, and a taste which, on the whole, is different from that of Perugino. The upper part of the picture, which is by Gherardi, has not an equal degree of force. Lattanzio finished his career by being sheriff of his native city; and of this office, a more honourable distinction than at the present day, it appears he took possession in the year 1553, and at that time renounced the art. It is certain, that, in the before mentioned paper, the Capitano Lattanzio di Vincenzo Pagani da Monte Rubbiano acknowledges to have received six scudi of gold from Sforza degli Oddi, as earnest money for a picture representing the Trinity, with four saints; and engages that in the ensuing August it should be executed by his father Vincenzo and Tommaso da Cortona, and this must be the picture still existing in the chapel of the Oddi in S. Francesco, since the figures particularized in the agreement [Pg 43]are found there; we shall have an opportunity of noticing it again.

In the Antichità Picene, tom. xxi. p. 148, Ercole Ramazzani di Roccacontrada is recorded as a scholar of Pietro Perugino, and for some time of Raffaello. A picture of the circumcision, by him, is there mentioned to be at Castel Planio, with his name and the date of 1588; and in speaking of the artist it is added, that he possessed a beautiful style of colour, a charming invention, and a manner approaching to Barocci. I have never seen the above mentioned picture, nor the others which he left in his native city, mentioned in the Memorie of Abbondanziere: but only one by a Ramazzani di Roccacontrada, painted in the church of S. Francesco, in Matelica, in 1573. Although I cannot affirm to a certainty that this painter called himself Ercole, I still suspect him to be the same. It represents the conception of the Virgin, in which the idea of the subject is taken from Vasari, where Adam, and others of the Old Testament, are seen bound to the tree of knowledge of good and evil, as the heirs of sin, while the Virgin triumphs over them in her exemption from the penalty of the first parents. Ramazzani has adopted this design, which he had probably seen, but he has executed his picture on a much larger scale, with better colouring, and much more expression in the countenances. To conclude, we do not see a trace of the manner of Perugino, and the period at which he lived seems too late for him to have received instructions from [Pg 44]that artist; and it is most probable that he was taught by some of his latter scholars, in whom, if I mistake not, that more fascinating than correct style of colouring had its origin, before it was adopted by Barocci.

I may further observe, that as Perugino was the most celebrated name at the beginning of the sixteenth century, many other artists of the Roman States, who studied the art about his time, are given to his school without any sufficient authority; and particularly those who retained a share of the old style. Such was a Palmerini of Urbino, a contemporary of Raphael, and probably his fellow scholar in early life, of whom there remains at S. Antonio, a picture of various saints, truly beautiful, and approaching to a more modern style. In the same style I found, in the Borghese Gallery at Rome, the Woman of Samaria at the Well, painted by a Pietro Giulianello, or perhaps da Giulianello, a little district not far from Rome; an artist deserving to be placed in the first rank of quattrocentisti, although not mentioned by any writer. There are besides, some pictures by Pietro Paolo Agabiti, who in tom. xx. of the Ant. Pic. is said to be of Masaccio, where he painted in 1531, and some time afterwards. But I have seen a work by him in the church of S. Agostino in Sassoferrato, a series of small histories, with an inscription in which he names Sassoferrato as his native place, with the date of 1514; a date that will carry him from the moderns to the better class [Pg 45]of the old school. Lorenzo Pittori da Macerata painted in the church of the Virgin, highly esteemed for its architecture, a picture of Christ in 1533, in a manner which has been called antico moderno. Two artists, Bartolommeo, and Pompeo his son, flourished in Fano, and painted in 1534 in conjunction, in the church of S. Michele, the resurrection of Lazarus. It is wonderful to observe how little they regarded the reform which the art had undergone. These artists strictly followed the dry style of the quattrocentisti, with a thorough contempt of the modern style. Nor was the son at all modernized on leaving his father's studio. I found at S. Andrea di Pesaro a picture by him of various saints, which might have done him honour in the preceding age. Civalli mentions other works by him in a better style: and he certainly in his lifetime enjoyed a degree of reputation, and was one of the masters of Taddeo Zuccaro. There are a number of painters of this class, of whom a long list might be compiled; they are generally represented to be pupils of some well known master, and in such cases Pietro Perugino is selected; though it would be more candid to confess our ignorance on the subject.

It would be improper to pass on to another epoch of art, without adverting to the grotesque. This branch of the art is censured by Vitruvius[25] [Pg 46]as a creation of portentous monsters beyond the reign of nature, transferring to canvas the dreams and ravings of a disordered fancy, as wild as the waves of a convulsed sea, lashed into a thousand varying forms by the fury of the tempest. This style took its name from the grotte, for so those beautiful antique edifices may be called, where paintings of this kind are found, covered with earth, and with buildings of a later period. This style was revived in Rome, where a greater proportion of these ancient specimens is found, and was restored at this epoch. Vasari ascribes the revival of them to Morto da Feltro, and the perfecting of the style to Giovanni da Udine. But he himself, notwithstanding the little esteem he had for Pinturicchio, calls him the friend of Morto da Feltro, and allows that he executed many works in the same manner in Castel S. Angelo. Before him too Pietro his master had painted some of the same kind in the Sala del Cambio, which Orsini says are well conceived, and to him likewise a precedent had been afforded by Benedetto Bonfigli, of whom Taja, in his description of the Vatican palace, says, that he painted for Innocent VIII. in Rome some singularly beautiful grotesques. This branch of art was afterwards cultivated in many of the schools of Italy, particularly in that of Siena. Peruzzi approved [Pg 47]of it in architecture, and adopted it in his painting, and gave occasion to Lomazzo to offer a defence of it, and precepts, as I before noticed, and as may be seen in the sixth book of his Trattato della Pittura, chapter forty-eight.

[4] Dell'errore, che persiste, &c. see the second index. It was opposed by Crespi, in his Dissertazione Anticritica, referred to in the same index. It was also opposed by P. dell'Aquila, in the Dizionario portatile della Bibbia, tradotto dal francese, in a note of some length, on the article S. Luca.

[5] See the Opuscoli Calogeriani, tom. xliii. where a learned dissertation is inserted, which shews that this custom was introduced about the middle of the fifth century, on occasion of the Council of Ephesus.

[6] Engraved by command of the learned Cardinal Borgia. The artists began about the middle of the fifth century, to represent her with the Infant in her arms. See Opuscoli Calogeriani, as above.

[7] "The painter was a man of holy life, and a Florentine, whose name was Luca, and who was honoured by the common people with the title of saint." Lami, Deliciæ Eruditorum, tom. xv.

[8] So says Vasari, who writes his life, but Padre della Valle thinks it highly probable that he was the scholar of Cosimati, and not of Giotto; as Cavallini was contemporary with Giotto. I agree that he was only a very few years younger, and might have received some instructions in the school of Cosimati: but who, except Giotto himself, could have taught him that Giottesque and improved style scarcely inferior to Gaddi?

[9] In the archives of the Collegiate Church of S. Niccolo, in Fabriano, is preserved a catalogue of the pictures of the city, which has been communicated to me by Sig. Can. Claudio Serafini. This picture, which is divided into five compartments, is there mentioned; and it is added, that "many celebrated painters visited the place to view this excellent work, and in particular, the illustrious Raffaello."

[10] In the archives before alluded to, are also mentioned two ancient pictures of a Giuliano da Fabriano, the one in the church of the Domenicans, the other in the Church of the Capuchins.

[11] Tom. xxiii. page 83, &c. By the first, is the ancient picture of S. Maria della Consolazione in that church, erected in 1442. By the second, are the pictures in the church of S. Rocco, painted about the year 1463. The third artist painted a picture in the church of S. Liberato, in 1494.

[12] Galeazzo Sanzio and his sons will be noticed in the second epoch.

[13] See Vasari, Bologna edition, p. 260.

[14] The commentators of Vasari remark, that when he uses this phrase, he refers to the year of the death of the artist, or to the period when he relinquished his art. Pietro must therefore have become blind about the year 1458, in the sixtieth year of his age, and must have died about 1484, aged eighty-six. This painter was intimately connected with the family of Vasari. Lazaro the great-grandfather of Vasari, who died in 1452, was the friend and imitator of Pietro, and some time before his death assigned him his nephew Signorelli as a scholar. We must, therefore, give credit to Vasari's account of Borghese; for if we discredit him on this occasion, as some have done, when are we to believe him? It is true, indeed, that he is guilty of a strange anachronism in mentioning Guidubaldo, the old Duke of Urbino, as his first patron; but this kind of error is frequent in him, and not to be regarded.

[15] "Fu eccellentissimo prospettivo, e il maggior geometra de' suoi tempi." Romano Alberti, Trattato della nobiltà della pittura, p. 32. See also Pascoli, Vite, tom. i. p. 90.

[16] It appears that in this art he was preceded by Van Eych of Flanders. See tom. i. p. 81, &c.; and also the eulogium on him by Bartolommeo Facio, p. 46, where he praises his skill in geometry, and refers to several of his pictures, which prove him to have been highly accomplished, and almost unrivalled in perspective.

[17] If there be any truth in Pietro having been blind for twenty-four years, I do not know how he could have painted Sixtus IV. On the other hand this tradition of his blindness comes from Vasari, whose family was so intimately connected with that of Pietro della Francesca, that there was less room for error in the life of that artist than in any other. This excellent picture, of which I have seen a beautiful copy in the possession of the Duke di Ceri, I should myself rather attribute to Melozzo.

[18] He is favorably mentioned by Crispolti, in the Perugia Augusta; by Ciatti, in the Istorie di Perugia; Alessi, in the Elogi de' Perugini illustri; and by Pascoli, in the Vite de' Pittori Sc. Arch. Perugini; with whom I can in no manner concur in opinion, that "Benedetto was equal to the best artists of his time, and probably the first among the early masters who contributed to the introduction of an improved style," (p. 21). An assertion singularly unjust to Masaccio.

[19] He subscribed himself de Castro Plebis, now Città della Pieve. There, according to Pascoli, the father was born, who afterwards removed to Perugia, where Pietro was born; but the greater probability is, that Pietro also was born in Città della Pieve. Mariotti.

[20] This resemblance might have arisen from his imitation of the works of Borghese, (Pietro della Francesca) which he saw in Perugia, as it most assuredly cannot be proved that Perugino was ever in his school. P. Valle and others express great doubts of it, and when I reflect that Vannucci was only twelve years old when Borghese lost his sight, I regard it as an absurd tradition.

[21] Vasari, at the close of his Life observes, "none of his scholars ever equalled Pietro in application or in amenity of colour." Padre della Valle asserts on the contrary, "that he was indebted for a great portion of his celebrity to the talents displayed by his scholars;" and says that he detected the touch of Raffaello in his picture in the Grand Duke's collection; but we must have a stronger testimony before we submit ourselves to this decision.

[22] Descrizione del Palazzo Vaticano, p. 36.

[23] Consisting of three subjects from the Life of Christ, in the Chapel of the Holy Sacraments. The Annunciation, the Birth of Christ, and the Dispute with the Doctors, the best of the three. In one of these he introduced his own portrait. Vasari does not mention this fine production.

[24] He probably came to Venice from Rimino, or resided there for some time. We find other early painters assigned first to one country and then to another, as Jacopo Davanzo, Pietro Vannucci, Lorenzo Lotto, &c.

[25] It is said that Mengs, who was desirous of being considered a philosophical painter, coincided with Vitruvius in opinion. But this opinion should be restricted to some indifferent specimens; for when he afterwards saw them painted in the true style of the ancients, he regarded them with extraordinary pleasure; as in Genoa, which possesses some beautiful arabesques by Vaga. So the defender of Ratti assures us.

[Pg 48]



Raffaello and his School.

We are now arrived at the most brilliant period, not only of the Roman School, but of modern painting itself. We have seen the art carried to a high degree of perfection by Da Vinci and Bonarruoti, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, and it is a remarkable fact that the same period embraces not only Raphael, but also Coreggio, Giorgione, and Titian, and the most celebrated Venetian painters: so that a man enjoying the common term of life might have seen the works of all these illustrious masters. The art in but a few years thus reached a height to which it had never before attained, and which has never been rivalled, except in the attempt to imitate these early masters, or to unite in one style their varied and divided excellences. It seems indeed an ordinary law of providence, that individuals of consummate genius should be born and flourish at the same period, or at least at short intervals from each other, a circumstance of which Velleius Paterculus, after a diligent investigation, protested he could never discover the real cause. I observe, he says, men [Pg 49]of the same commanding genius making their appearance together, in the smallest possible space of time; as it happens in the case of animals of different kinds, which, confined in a close place, nevertheless each selects its own class, and those of a kindred race separate themselves from the rest, and unite in the closest manner. A single age was sufficient to illustrate Tragedy, in the persons of Æschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides: ancient comedy under Cratinus, Aristophanes, and Eumolpides; and in like manner the new comedy under Menander, Diphilus, and Philemon. There appeared few philosophers of note after the days of Plato and Aristotle, and whoever has made himself acquainted with Isocrates and his school, is acquainted with the summit of Grecian eloquence. The same remark applies also to other countries. The great Roman writers are included under the single age of Octavius: Leo X. was the Augustus of modern Italy; the reign of Louis XIV. was the brilliant era of French letters, that of Charles II. of the English.

This rule applies equally to the fine arts. Hoc idem, proceeds Velleius, evenisse plastis, pictoribus, sculptoribus, quisquis temporum institerit notis reperiet, et eminentiam cujusque operis arctissimis temporum claustris circumdatam.[26] Of this union of men of genius in the same age, Causas, he says, quum semper requiro, numquam invenio quas veras [Pg 50]confidam. It seems to him probable that when a man finds the first station in art occupied by another, he considers it as a post that has been rightfully seized on, and no longer aspires to the possession of it, but is humiliated, and contented to follow at a distance. But this solution I confess does not satisfy my mind. It may indeed account to us why no other Michelangiolo, or Raffaello, has ever appeared; but it does not satisfy me why these two, and the others before mentioned, should all have appeared together in the same age. For myself, I am of opinion that the age is always influenced by certain principles, universally adopted both by professors of the art, and by amateurs: which principles happening at a particular period to be the most just and accurate of their kind, produce in that age some supereminent professors, and a number of good ones. These principles change through the instability of all human affairs, and the age partakes in the change. I may add, nevertheless, that these happy periods never occur without the circumstance of a number of princes and influential individuals rivalling each other in the encouragement of works of taste; and amidst these there always arise some persons of commanding genius, who give a bias and tone to art. The history of sculpture in Athens, a city where munificence and taste went hand in hand, favours my opinion, and it is further confirmed by this golden period of Italian art. Nevertheless I do not pretend to give a verdict on this important [Pg 51]question, but leave the decision of it to a more competent tribunal.

But although it be a matter of difficulty to account for this developement and union of rare talent at one particular period, we may however hope to trace the steps of a single individual to excellence; and I would wish to do so of Raffaello. Nature and fortune seemed to unite in lavishing their favours on this artist; the first in investing him with the rarest gifts of genius, the other in adding to these a singular combination of propitious circumstances. In order to illustrate our inquiry it will be necessary to observe him from his earliest years,[27] and to note the progress of his mind. He was born in Urbino in 1483; and if climate, as seems not improbable, have any influence on the genius of an artist, I know not a happier spot that could have been chosen for his birth, than that part of Italy which gave to architecture a Bramante, supplied the art of painting with a successor to Raffaello in Baroccio, and bestowed on sculpture the plastic hand of a Brandani, without referring to many less celebrated, but still deserving artists, who are the boast of Urbino and her state. The father of this illustrious artist [Pg 52]was Giovanni di Santi,[28] or as he has been commonly called Giovanni Sanzio, an artist of moderate [Pg 53]talents, and who could contribute but little to the instruction of his son; although it was no small advantage to have been initiated in a simple style, divested of mannerism. He made some further progress from studying the works of F. Carnevale, an artist of great merit, for the times in which he flourished; and being placed at Perugia, under Pietro, he soon became master of his style, as Vasari observes, and had then probably already formed the design of excelling him. I was informed in Città di Castello, that at the age of seventeen he painted the picture of S. Nicholas of Tolentino in the church of the Eremitani. The style was that of Perugino, but the composition differed from that of the age, being the throne of our Saviour surrounded by saints. The Beato (beatified saint) is there represented, while the Virgin and St. Augustine, concealed in part by a cloud, bind his temples with a crown; there are two angels at the right hand, and two at the left, graceful, and in different attitudes; with inscriptions variously folded, on which are inscribed some words in praise of S. Eremitano. Above is the Eternal Father surrounded by a majestic choir of angels. The actors [Pg 54]of the scene appear to be in a temple, the pillars of which are ornamented in the minute and laboured style of Mantegna, and the ancient manner is still perceptible in the folds of the drapery, though there is an evident improvement in the design, as in the figure of Satan, who lies under the feet of the saint. This figure is free from the singular deformity with which the ancient painters represented him; and has the genuine features of an Ethiopian. To this picture another of this period may be added in the church of S. Domenico; a Crucifixion, with two attendant angels; the one receives in a cup the sacred blood which flows from the right hand, the other, in two cups, collects that of the left hand and the side; the weeping mother and disciples contribute their aid, while the Magdalen and an aged saint kneeling in silence contemplate the solemn mystery; above is the Deity. These figures might all pass for those of Pietro, except the Virgin, the beauty of which he never equalled, unless perhaps in the latter part of his life. Another specimen of this period is noticed by the Abate Morcelli, (de Stylo Inscript. Latin, p. 476). He states, that in the possession of Sig. Annibale Maggiori, a nobleman of Fermo, he saw the picture of a Madonna, raising with both hands a veil of delicate texture from the holy Infant, as he lies in a cradle asleep. Nigh at hand is S. Joseph, whose eyes rest in contemplation on the happy scene, and on his staff the same writer detected an inscription in extremely minute characters, [Pg 55]r. s. v. a. a. xvii. p. Raphael Sanctius Urbinas an. ætatis 17 pinxit. This must have been the first attempt of the design which he perfected at a more mature age, and which is in the Treasury of Loreto, where the holy Infant is represented, not in the act of sleeping, but gracefully stretching out his hand to the Virgin: of the same epoch I judge the tondini to be, which I shall describe in the course of a few pages, when I refer to the Madonna della Seggiola.

Vasari informs us, that before executing these two pictures, he had already painted in Perugia an Assumption in the church of the Conventuals, with three subjects from the life of Christ in the grado; which may however be doubted, as it is a more perfect work. This picture possesses all the best parts of the style of Vannucci; but the varied expressions which the apostles discover on finding the sepulchre void, are beyond the reach of that artist's powers. Raffaello still further excelled his master, as Vasari observes, in the third picture painted for Città di Castello. This is the marriage of the Virgin, in the church of S. Francesco. The composition very much resembles that which he adopted in a picture of the same subject in Perugia; but there is sufficient of modern art in it to indicate the commencement of a new style. The two espoused have a degree of beauty which Raffaello scarcely surpassed in his mature age, in any other countenances. The Virgin particularly is a model of celestial beauty. A youthful band festively [Pg 56]adorned accompany her to her espousals; splendour vies with elegance; the attitudes are engaging, the veils variously arranged, and there is a mixture of ancient and modern drapery, which at so early a period cannot be considered as a fault. In the midst of these accompaniments the principal figure triumphantly appears, not ornamented by the hand of art, but distinguished by her native nobility, beauty, modesty, and grace. The first sight of this performance strikes us with astonishment, and we involuntarily exclaim, how divine and noble the spirit that animates her heavenly form! The group of the men of the party of S. Joseph are equally well conceived. In these figures we see nothing of the stiffness of the drapery, the dryness of execution, and the peculiar style of Pietro, which sometimes approaches to harshness: all is action, and an animating spirit breathes in every gesture and in every countenance. The landscapes are not represented with sterile and impoverished trees, as in the backgrounds of Pietro; but are drawn from nature, and finished with care. The round temple in the summit is ornamented with columns, and executed, Vasari observes, with such admirable art, that it is wonderful to observe the difficulties he has willingly incurred. In the distance are beautiful groups, and there is a figure of a poor man imploring charity depicted to the life, and, more near, a youth, a figure which proves the artist to have been master of the then novel art of foreshortening. I have purposely described [Pg 57]these specimens of the early years of Raphael, more particularly than any other writer, in order to acquaint the reader with the rise of his divine talents. In the labours of his more mature years, the various masters whose works he studied may each claim his own; but in his first flight he was exclusively supported by the vigour of his own talents. The bent of his genius, which was not less voluptuous and graceful than it was noble and elevated, led him to that ideal beauty, grace, and expression, which is the most refined and difficult province of painting. To insure success in this department neither study nor art is sufficient. A natural taste for the beautiful, an intellectual faculty of combining the several excellences of many individuals in one perfect whole, a vivid apprehension, and a sort of fervour in seizing the sudden and momentary expressions of passion, a facility of touch, obedient to the conceptions of the imagination; these were the means which nature alone could furnish, and these, as we have seen, he possessed from his earliest years. Whoever ascribes the success of Raffaello to the effects of study, and not to the felicity of his genius, does not justly appreciate the gifts which were lavished on him by nature.[29]

[Pg 58]He now became the admiration of his master and his fellow scholars; and about the same time Pinturicchio, after having painted with so much applause at Rome before Raffaello was born, aspired to become, as it were, his scholar in the great work at Siena. He did not himself possess a genius sufficiently elevated for the sublime composition which the place required; nor had Pietro himself sufficient fertility, or a conception of mind equal to so novel an undertaking. It was intended to represent the life and actions of Æneas Silvius Piccolomini, afterwards Pope Pius II.; the embassies entrusted to him by the council of Constance to various princes; and by Felix, the antipope, to Frederick III., who conferred on him the laurel crown; and also the various embassies which he undertook for Frederick himself to Eugenius IV., and afterwards to Callistus IV., who created him a Cardinal. His subsequent exaltation to the Papacy, and the most remarkable events of his reign, were also to be represented; the canonization of S. Catherine; his attendance on the Council of Mantua, where he was received in a princely manner by the Duke; and finally his death, and the removal of his body from Ancona to Rome. Never perhaps was an undertaking of such magnitude entrusted to a single master. The art itself had not as yet attempted any great flight. The principal figures in composition generally stood isolated, as Pietro exhibited them in Perugia, without aiming at composition. In consequence [Pg 59]of this the proportions were seldom true, nor did the artists depart much from sacred subjects, the frequent repetition of which had already opened the way to plagiarism. Historical subjects of this nature were new to Raffaello, and to him, unaccustomed to reside in a metropolis, it must have been most difficult, in painting so many as eleven pictures, to imitate the splendour of different courts, and as we may say, the manners of all Europe, varying the composition agreeably to the occasion. Nevertheless, being conducted by his friend to Siena, he made the sketches and cartoons of all these subjects, says Vasari in his life of Pinturicchio, and that he made the sketches of the whole is the common report at Siena. In the life of Raffaello he states that he made some of the designs and cartoons for this work, and that the reason of his not continuing them, was his haste to proceed to Florence, to see the cartoons of Da Vinci and Bonarruoti. But I am more inclined to the first statement of Vasari, than the subsequent one. In April, 1503, Raffaello was employed in the Library, as is proved by the will of Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini.[30] While the Library was yet unfinished, Piccolomini was elected Pope on the twenty-first day of September; and his coronation following on the eighth of October, Pinturicchio commemorated the event on the outside of the Library, [Pg 60]in the part opposite to the duomo. Bottari remarks, that in this façade we may detect not only the design, but in many of the heads the colouring also of Raffaello. It appears probable therefore that he remained to complete the work, the last subject of which might perhaps be finished in the following year, 1504, in which he departed to Florence. We may here observe, that this work, which has maintained its colours so well that it almost appears of recent execution, confers great honour on a young artist of twenty years of age; as we do not find a composition of such magnitude, in the passage from ancient to modern art, conceived by any single painter. So that if Raffaello stood not entirely alone in this work, the best part of it must still be assigned to him, since Pinturicchio himself was improving at this time, and the works which he afterwards executed at Spello and Siena itself, incline more to the modern than any he had before done. This will justify us in concluding that Raffaello had already, at that early age, far outstripped his master; his contour being more full, his composition more rich and free, accompanied by an ornamental and grander style, and an ability unlimited, and capable of embracing every subject that was presented to him.

The works which he saw in Florence did not lead him out of his own path, as, to mention one instance, afterwards happened to Franco, who, coming from Venice, applied himself to a style of design and a career entirely new. Raffaello had formed [Pg 61]his own system, and only sought examples, to enlarge his ideas and facilitate his execution. He therefore studied the works of Masaccio, an elegant and expressive painter, whose Adam and Eve he afterwards adopted in the Vatican. He also became acquainted with Fra Bartolommeo, who, about this time, had returned to the exercise of his profession. To this artist he taught the principles of perspective, and acquired from him, in return, a better style of colouring. We have not any record to prove that he made himself known to Da Vinci; and the portrait of Raffaello, in the ducal gallery in Florence, which is said to be by Lionardo, is an unknown head. I would willingly, however, flatter myself, that a congeniality of mind and an affinity of genius, emulous in the pursuit of perfection, must have produced a knowledge of each other, if it did not conciliate a mutual attachment. No one certainly was more capable than Da Vinci, of communicating to Raffaello a degree of refinement and knowledge, which he could not have received from Pietro; and to introduce him into the more subtle views of art. As to Michelangiolo, his pictures were rare, and less analogous to the genius of Raffaello. His celebrated Cartoon was not yet finished, in 1504, and that great master was jealous of its being seen, before its entire completion. He finished it some few years afterwards, when he returned to Florence on his flight from Rome, occasioned by the anger of Julius II. Raffaello therefore could not have had the opportunity of studying [Pg 62]it at that time, nor did he then long remain in Florence, for, as Vasari states, he was soon obliged to return to his native place, in consequence of the death of his parents.[31] In 1505 we find him in Perugia: and to this year belongs the chapel of S. Severo, and the Crucifixion, which was severed from the wall, and preserved by the Padri Camaldolensi. From these works, which are all in fresco, we may ascertain the style which he acquired in Florence; and I think we may assert, that it was not anatomical, no traces of it being visible in the body of the Redeemer, which was an opportunity well adapted for the exhibition of it. Nor was it the study of the beautiful, of which he had previously exhibited such delightful specimens; nor that of expression, as there were not to be found in Florence, heads more expressive and lovely than those he had painted. But after his visit to Florence, we find his colouring more delicate, and his grouping and the foreshortening of his figures improved; whether or not he owed it to the example [Pg 63]of Da Vinci or Bonarruoti, or both together, or to some of the older masters. He afterwards repaired to Florence, but soon quitted it again, in order to paint in the church of S. Francis, in Perugia, a dead Christ entombed, the cartoon of which he had designed at Florence; and which picture was first placed in the church of S. Francis, was afterwards, in the pontificate of Paul V., transferred to Rome, and is now in the Borghese palace. After this he returned again to Florence, and remained there until his departure for Rome, at the end of the year 1508. In this interval, more particularly, he executed the works which are said to be in his second style, though it is a very delicate matter to attempt to point them out. Vasari assigns to this period the Holy Family in the Rinuccini gallery, and yet it bears the date of 1506. Of this second style is undoubtedly the picture of the Madonna and the infant Christ and S. John, in a beautiful landscape, with ruins in the distance, which is in the gallery of the Grand Duke, and others, some of which are to be found in foreign countries. His pictures of this period are composed in the more usual style of a Madonna, accompanied by saints, like the picture of the Pitti palace, formerly at Pescia, and that of S. Fiorenzo in Perugia, which passed into England. The attitudes, however, the air of the heads, and smaller features of composition, are beyond a common style. The dead Christ above mentioned, is in a more novel and superior style. Vasari calls it a most divine picture; the figures [Pg 64]are not numerous; but each fulfils perfectly the part assigned to it; the subject is most affecting; the heads are remarkably beautiful, and the earliest of the kind in the restoration of art, while the expression of profound sorrow and extreme anguish does not divest them of their beauty. After finishing this work, Raphael was ambitious of painting an apartment in Florence, one, I believe, of the Palazzo Pubblico. There remains a letter of his, in which he requests the Duke of Urbino to write to the Gonfaloniere Soderini, in April, 1508.[32] But his relative, Bramante, procured him a nobler employ in Rome, recommending him to Julius II. to ornament the Vatican. He removed thither, and was already established there in the September of the same year.[33]

We at length, then, behold him fixed in Rome, and placed in the Vatican at a period, and under circumstances calculated to render him the first painter in the world. His biographers do not mention his literary attainments; and, if we were to judge from his letter just cited, and now in the [Pg 65]Museo Borgia, we might consider him grossly illiterate. But he was then writing to his uncle; and therefore made use of his native dialect, as is still done even in the public acts in Venice; though he might be master of, and might use on proper occasions, a more correct language. Raffaello, too, was of a family fully competent to afford him the necessary instructions in his early years. Other letters of his are found in the Lettere Pittoriche, in a very different style; and of his knowledge in matters of importance, it is sufficient to refer to what Celio Calcagnini, an eminent literary character of the age of Leo, states of him to Giacomo Zieglero: "I need not," he says, "mention Vitruvius, whose precepts he not only explains, but defends or impugns with evident justice, and with so much temper, that in his objections there does not appear the slightest asperity. He has excited the admiration of the Pontiff Leo, and of all the Romans, in such a way, that they regard him as a man sent down from heaven purposely to restore the eternal city to its ancient splendour."[34] This acknowledged skill in architecture must suppose an adequate acquaintance with the Latin language and geometry; and we know from other quarters, that he assiduously cultivated anatomy, history, and poetry.[35] But his principal pursuit in Rome was the study of the remains of [Pg 66]Grecian genius, and by which he perfected his knowledge of art. He studied, too, the ancient buildings, and was instructed in the principles of architecture for six years by Bramante, in order that on his death he might succeed him in the management of the building of S. Peter.[36] He lived among the ancient sculptors, and derived from them not only their contours and drapery, and attitudes, but the spirit and principles of the art itself. Nor yet content with what he saw in Rome, he employed artists to copy the remains of antiquity at Pozzuolo and throughout all Italy, and even in Greece. Nor did he derive less assistance from living artists whom he consulted on his compositions. "The universal esteem which he enjoyed,"[37] and his attractive person and engaging [Pg 67]manners, which all accounts unite in describing as incomparable, conciliated him the favour of the most eminent men of letters of his age; and Bembo, Castiglione, Giovio, Navagero, Ariosto, Aretino, Fulvio, and Calcagnini, set a high value on his friendship, and supplied him, we may be allowed to suppose, with hints and ideas for his works.

His rival Michelangiolo, too, and his party, contributed not a little to the success of Raffaello. As the contest between Zeuxis and Parrhasius was beneficial to them both, so the rivalship of Bonarruoti and Sanzio aided the fame of Michelangiolo, and produced the paintings of the Sistine chapel; and at the same time contributed to the celebrity of Raffaello, by producing the pictures of the Vatican, and not a few others. Michelangiolo disdaining any secondary honours, came to the combat, as it were, attended by his shield bearer; for he made drawings in his grand style, and then gave them to F. Sebastiano, the scholar of Giorgione, to execute; and by these means he hoped that Raffaello would never be able to rival his productions either in design or colour. Raffaello stood alone; but aimed at producing works with a degree of perfection beyond the united efforts of Michelangiolo and Sebastian del Piombo, combining in himself a fertile invention, ideal beauty founded on a correct imitation of the Greek style, grace, ease, amenity, and an universality of genius in every department of the art. The noble [Pg 68]determination of triumphing in such a powerful contest animated him night and day, and did not allow him any respite. It also excited him to surpass both his rivals and himself in every new work which he produced. The subjects, too, chosen for these chambers, aided him, as they were in a great measure new, or required to be treated in a novel manner. They did not profess to represent bacchanalian or vulgar scenes, but the exalted symbols of science; the sacred functions of religion; military actions, which contributed to establish the peace of the world; important events of former days, under which were typified the reigns of the Pontiffs Julius and Leo X.: the latter the most powerful protector, and one of the most accomplished judges of art. More favourable circumstances could not have conspired to stimulate a noble mind. The eulogizing of Augustus was a theme for the poets of his age, which produced the richest fruits of genius. Propertius, accustomed to sing only of the charms or the disdain of his Cinthia, felt himself another poet when called on to celebrate the triumphs of Augustus; and with newborn fervour invoked Jove himself to suspend the functions of his divinity whilst he sang the praises of the emperor.[38] It is certain that such elevated subjects, in minds richly stored, must excite corresponding ideas, and thus both in poets and painters, give birth to the sublime.

[Pg 69]Raffaello, on his arrival in Rome, says Vasari, was commissioned to paint a chamber, which was at that time called La Segnatura, and which, from the subject of the pictures, was also called the chamber of the Sciences. On the ceiling are represented Theology, Philosophy, Poetry, and Jurisprudence. Each of them has on the neighbouring façade a grand historical piece illustrative of the subject. On the basement are also historical pieces which belong to the same sciences; and these smaller performances, and the caryatides and telamoni distributed around, are monocromati or chiaroscuri, an idea entirely of Raffaello, and afterwards, it is said, continued by Polidoro da Caravaggio. Raffaello commenced with Theology, and imitated Petrarch, who in one of his visions has assembled together men of the same condition, though living in different ages. He there placed the evangelists, whose volumes are the foundation of theology; the sacred writers, who have preserved its traditions; the theologists, S. Thomas, S. Bonaventura, Scotus, and the rest who have illustrated it by their arguments; above all, the Trinity in the midst of the beatified, and beneath on an altar the eucharist, as if to express the mystery of that doctrine. There are traces of the ancient style in this piece. Gold is made use of in the glories of the saints, and in other ornamental parts; the upper glory is formed on the plan of that of S. Severo, which I have already noticed: the composition is more symmetrical and less free [Pg 70]than in other pieces; and the whole, compared with the other compositions, seems too minute. Nevertheless, whosoever regards each part in itself, will find it of such careful and admirable execution, that he will be disposed to prefer it to all other works. It has been observed, that Raffaello began this piece at the right side, and that by the time he had arrived at the left side portion, he had made rapid strides in the art. This work must have been finished about the year 1508: and such was the surprise and admiration of the Pope, that he ordered all the works of Bramantino, Pier della Francesca, Signorelli, l'Abate di Arezzo, and Sodoma (though some of the ornamental parts by this last are preserved) to be effaced, in order that the whole chamber might be decorated by Raffaello.

In the subsequent works of Raffaello, and after the year 1509, we do not find any traces of his first style. He had adopted a nobler manner, and henceforth applied all his powers to the perfecting of it. He had now to represent, on the opposite side, Philosophy. In this he designed a gymnasium in the form of a temple, and placed the learned ancients, some in the precincts of the building, some on the ascent of the steps, and others in the plain below. In this, more than on any other occasion, he was aided by his favourite Petrarch in the third capitolo of his Fame. Plato, "che in quella schiera andò più presso al segno," is there represented with Aristotle, "più d'ingegno," in [Pg 71]the act of disputation; and they possess also in the composition, the highest place of honour; Socrates is represented instructing Alcibiades; Pythagoras is seen, and before him a youth holds a tablet with the harmonious concords; and Zoroaster, King of Bactriana, appears with an elementary globe in his hand. Diogenes is stretched near on the ground, with his wooden bowl in his hand, "assai più che non vuol vergogna aperto:" Archimedes is seen "star col capo basso," and turning the compasses on the table, instructs the youth in geometry; and others are represented meditating, or in disputation, whose names and characters it would be possible, with careful observation, to distinguish more truly than Vasari has done. This picture is commonly called the School of Athens, which in my judgment is just as appropriate, as the name of the Sacrament bestowed on the first subject. The third picture, representing Jurisprudence, is divided into two parts. On the left side of the window stands Justinian, with the book of the Civil Law; Trebonian receives it from his hand with an expression of submission and acquiescence, which no other pencil can ever hope to equal. On the right side is seen Gregory IX. who delivers the book of the Decretals to an advocate of the Consistory, and bears the features of Julius II., who is thus honoured in the character of his predecessor. In the concluding picture, which is a personification of Poetry, is seen Mount Parnassus, where, in company of Apollo and the muses, the Greek, [Pg 72]Roman, and Tuscan poets are represented in their own portraitures, as far as records will allow. Homer, seated between Virgil and Dante, is, perhaps, the most striking figure; he is evidently gifted with a divine spirit, and unites in his person the characters of the prophet and the poet. The historical pieces in chiaroscuro contribute, by their ornaments, to charm the sight, and preserve the unity of design. Beneath the Theology, for instance, is represented S. Augustine on the borders of the sea, instructed by the angels not to explore the mystery of the Trinity, incomprehensible to the human mind. Under the Philosophy, Archimedes is seen surprised and slain by a soldier, whilst immersed in his studies. This first chamber was finished in 1511, as that year appears inscribed near the Parnassus.

Vasari, until the finishing of the first chamber, does not speak of the improvement of his manner; on the contrary, in his life of Raffaello, he says, "although he had seen so many monuments of antiquity in that city, and studied so unremittingly, still his figures, up to this period, did not possess that breadth and majesty which they afterwards exhibited. For it happened, that the breach between Michelangiolo and the Pope, which we have before mentioned in his life, occurred about this time, and compelled Bonarruoti to flee to Florence; from which circumstance, Bramante obtaining possession of the keys of the chapel, exhibited it to his friend Raffaello, in order that he might make [Pg 73]himself acquainted with the style of Michelangiolo;" and he then proceeds to mention the Isaiah of S. Agostino, and the Sibyls della Pace, painted after this period, and the Heliodorus. In the life of Michelangiolo, he again informs us of the quarrel which obliged him to depart from Rome, and proceeds to say, that when, on his return, he had finished one half of the work, the Pope suddenly commanded it to be exposed; "whereupon Raffaello d'Urbino, who possessed great facility of imitation, immediately changed his style, and at one effort designed the Prophets and Sibyls della Pace." This brings us to a dispute prosecuted with the greatest warmth both in Italy and other countries. Bellori attacked Vasari in a violent manner, in a work entitled: "Se Raffaello ingrandì e migliorò la maniera per aver vedute le opere di Michelangiolo," (Whether Raffaello enlarged and improved his style on seeing the works of Michelangiolo). Crespi replied to him in three letters, inserted in the Lettere Pittoriche,[39] and many other disputants have arisen and stated fresh arguments.

It is not, however, our province to engage the reader in these disputations. It was greatly to the advantage of Michelangiolo's fame to have had two scholars, who, while he was yet living, and after the death of Raffaello, employed themselves in writing his life; and a great misfortune to Raffaello not to have been commemorated in the same [Pg 74]manner. If he had survived to the time when Vasari and Condivi wrote, he would not have passed over their charges in silence. Raffaello would then have easily proved, that when Bonarruoti fled to Florence, in 1506, he himself was not in Rome, nor was called thither until two years afterwards; and that he could not, therefore, have obtained a furtive glance of the Sistine chapel. It would have been proved too, that from the year 1508, when Michelangiolo had, perhaps, not commenced his work, until 1511, in which year he exhibited the first half of it,[40] Raffaello had been endeavouring to enlarge his style; and as Michelangiolo had before studied the Torso of the Belvidere, so Raffaello also formed himself on this and other marbles,[41] a circumstance easily discoverable in his style. He might too have asked Vasari, in what he considered grandeur and majesty of style to consist; and from the example of the Greeks, and from reason herself, he might have informed him, that the grand does not consist in the enlargement of the muscles, or in an extravagance of attitude, but in adopting, as Mengs has observed, the noblest, and neglecting [Pg 75]the inferior and meaner parts;[42] and exercising the higher powers of invention. Hence he would have proceeded to point out the grandeur of style in the School of Athens, in the majestic edifice, in the contour of the figures, in the folds of the drapery, in the expression of the countenances, and in the attitudes; and he would have easily traced the source of that sublimity in the relics of antiquity. And if he appeared still greater in his Isaiah, he might have refuted Vasari from his own account, who assigns this work to a period anterior to 1511, and therefore contemporary as it were with the School of Athens: adding, that he elevated his style by propriety of character, and by the study of Grecian art. The Greeks observed an essential difference between common men and heroes, and again between their heroes and their gods; and Raffaello, after having represented philosophers immersed in human doubts, might well elevate his style when he came to figure a prophet meditating the revelations of God.[43] All this might have been advanced by Raffaello, in order to [Pg 76]relieve Bramante and himself from so ill supported an imputation. As to the rest, I believe he never would have denied, that the works of Michelangiolo had inspired him with a more daring spirit of design, and that in the exhibition of strong character, he had sometimes even imitated him. But how imitated him? In rendering, as Crespi himself observes, that very style more beautiful and more majestic, (p. 344). It is indeed a great triumph to the admirers of Raffaello to be able to say, whoever wishes to see what is wanting in the Sibyls of Michelangiolo, let him inspect those of Raffaello; and let him view the Isaiah of Raffaello, who would know what is wanting in the prophets of Michelangiolo.

After public curiosity was gratified, and Raffaello had obtained a glimpse of this new style, Bonarruoti closed the doors, and hastened to finish the other half of his work, which was completed at the close of 1512, so that the Pope, on the solemnization of the Feast of Christmas, was enabled to perform mass in the Sistine chapel. In the course of this year, Raffaello was employed in the second chamber on the subject of Heliodorus driven from the Temple by the prayers of Onias the high priest, one of the most celebrated pictures of the place. In this painting, the armed vision that appears to Heliodorus, scatters lightnings from his hand, while the neighing of the steed is heard amidst the attendant thunder. In the numerous bands, some of which are plundering the riches of the Temple, and others are ignorant of the cause of [Pg 77]the surprise and terror exhibited in Heliodorus, consternation, amazement, joy, and abasement, and a host of passions, are expressed. In this work, and in others of these chambers, Raffaello, says Mengs, gave to painting all the augmentation it could receive after Michelangiolo. In this picture he introduced the portrait of Julius II., whose zeal and authority is represented in Onias. He appears in a litter borne by his grooms, in the manner in which he was accustomed to repair to the Vatican, to view this work. The Miracle of Bolsena was also painted in the lifetime of Julius.

The remaining decorations of these chambers were all illustrative of the history of Leo X., whose imprisonment in Ravenna, and subsequent liberation, is typified by St. Peter released from prison by the angel. It was in this piece that the painter exhibited an astonishing proof of his knowledge of light. The figures of the soldiers, who stand without the prison, are illuminated by the beams of the moon: there is a torch which produces a second light; and from the angel emanates a celestial splendour, that rivals the beams of the sun. He has here, too, afforded another proof how art may convert the impediments thrown in her way to her own advantage; for the place where he was painting being broken by a window, he has imagined on each side of it a staircase, which affords an ascent to the prison, and on the steps he has placed the guards overpowered with sleep; so that the painter does not seem to have accommodated himself [Pg 78]to the place, but the place to have become subservient to the painter. The composition of S. Leo the Great, who checks Attila at the head of his army, and that of the other chamber, the battle with the Saracens in the port of Ostium, and the victory obtained by S. Leo IV., justify Raffaello's claim to the epic crown: so powerfully has he depicted the military array of men and horse, the arms peculiar to each nation, the fury of the combat, and the despair and humiliation of the prisoners. Near this performance, too, is the wonderful piece of the Incendio di Borgo (a city enveloped in fire), which is miraculously extinguished by the same S. Leo. This wonderful piece alternately chills the heart with terror, or warms it with compassion. The calamity of fire is carried to its extreme point, as it is the hour of midnight, and the fire, which already occupies a considerable space, is increased by a violent wind, which agitates the flames that leap with rapidity from house to house. The affright and misery of the inhabitants is also carried to the utmost extremity. Some rush forward with water, but are driven back by the scorching flames; others seek safety in flight, with naked feet, robeless, and with dishevelled hair; women are seen turning an imploring look to the Pontiff; mothers, whose own terrors are absorbed in fear for their offspring; and here a youth, who bearing on his shoulders his aged and infirm sire, and sinking beneath the weight, collects his almost exhausted strength to place him out of danger. The [Pg 79]concluding subjects refer to Leo III.; the Coronation of Charlemagne, by the hand of that Pontiff, and the Oath taken by the Pope on the Holy Evangelists, to exculpate himself from the calumnies laid to his charge. In Leo, is meant to be represented Leo X., who is thus honoured in the persons of his predecessors; and in Charlemagne is represented Francis I., King of France. Many persons of the age are also figured in the surrounding group, so that there is not an historical subject in these chambers that does not contain the most accurate likenesses. In this latter department of art, also, Raffaello may be said to have been transcendant. His portraits have deceived even persons the most intimately acquainted with the subjects of them. He painted a remarkable picture of Leo X., and on one occasion the Cardinal Datary of that time, found himself approaching it with a bull, and pen and ink, for the Pope's signature.[44]

The six subjects which relate to Leo, elected in 1513, were finished in 1517. In the nine years which Raphael employed on these three chambers, and also in the three following years, he made additional decorations to the Pontifical Palace; he observed the style of ornament suitable to each part of it, and thus made the Pope's residence a model of magnificence and taste for all Europe. Few have adverted to this instance of his merit. He superintended the new gallery of the palace, [Pg 80]availing himself in part of the design of Bramante, and in part improving on him. "He then made designs for the stuccos, and the various subjects there painted, and also for the divisions, and he then appointed Giovanni da Udine to finish the stuccos and arabesques, and Giulio Romano the figures." The exposure of this gallery to the inclemencies of the air, has left little remaining besides the squalid grotesques; but those who saw it at an early period, when the unsullied splendor of the gold, the pure white of the stuccos, the brilliancy of the colours, and the newness of the marble, rendered every part of it beautiful and resplendent, must have thought it a vision of paradise. Vasari, in eulogizing it, says, "It is impossible to execute, or to conceive, a more exquisite work." The best which now remain are the thirteen ceilings, in each of which are distributed four subjects from holy writ, the first of which, the Creation of the World, Raffaello executed with his own hand as a model for the others, which were painted by his scholars, and afterwards retouched and rendered uniform by himself, as was his custom. I have seen copies of these in Rome, executed at great cost, and with great fidelity, for Catherine, Empress of Russia, under the direction of Mr. Hunterberger, and from the effect which was produced by the freshness of the colours, I could easily conceive how highly enchanting the originals must have been. But their great value consisted in Raffaello having enriched them by his invention, [Pg 81]expression, and design, and every one is agreed that each subject is a school in itself. It appears certain too, that he was desirous of competing with Michelangiolo, who had treated the same subject in the Sistine chapel; and of appealing to the public to judge whether or not he had equalled him. To describe in a suitable manner the other pictures in chiaroscuro, and the numerous landscapes and architectural subjects, the trophies, imitations of cameos, masks, and other things which this divine artist either designed himself or formed into new combinations from the antique, is a task, says Taja, far above the reach of human powers. Taja has however himself given us a delightful description of these works.[45] It confers the highest honour on Raffaello, to whom we owe the fifty-two subjects, and all the ornamental parts.

Nor were the pavements, or the doors, or other interior works in the palace of the Vatican, completed without his superintendence. He directed the pavements to be formed of terra invetriata, an ancient invention of Luca della Robbia, which having continued for many generations as a family secret, was then in the hands of another Luca. Raffaello invited him to Florence to execute this vast work, employed him in the gallery, and in many of the chambers, which he adorned with the arms of the Pope. For the couches and other ornaments of the Camera di Segnatura he brought to Rome F. Giovanni da Verona, who formed them [Pg 82]of mosaic with the most beautiful views. For the entablatures of the chambers, and for several of the windows and doors, he engaged Giovanni Barile, a celebrated Florentine engraver of gems. This work was executed in so masterly a manner, that Louis XIII., wishing to ornament the palace of the Louvre, had all these intaglios separately copied. The drawings of them were made by Poussin, and Mariette boasted of having them in his collection. Nor was there any other work either of stone or marble for which a design was required, which did not come under the inspection of Raffaello, and on which he did not impress his taste, which was consummate also in the sister art of sculpture. A proof of this is to be seen in the Jonah, in the church of the Madonna del Popolo, in the Chigi chapel, which was executed by Lorenzetto under his direction, and which, Bottari says, may assume its place by the side of the Greek statues. Among his most remarkable works may be mentioned his designs for the tapestry in the papal chapel, the subjects of which were from the lives of the Evangelists, and the Acts of the Apostles. The cartoons for them were both designed and coloured by Raffaello; and after the tapestries were finished in the Low Countries, the cartoons passed into England, where they still remain. In these tapestries the art attained its highest pitch, nor has the world since beheld anything to equal them in beauty. They are exposed annually in the great portico of S. Peter, in the procession of the Corpus Domini, [Pg 83]and it is wonderful to behold the crowds that flock to see them, and who ever regard them with fresh avidity and delight. But all these works of Raffaello would not have contributed to the extension of art at that period, beyond the meridian of Rome, if he had not succeeded in extending the fruits of his genius, by the means of prints. We have already noticed M. A. Raimondi, in the first book, and we have shewn that this great engraver was courteously received, and was afterwards assisted by Sanzio, whence an abundance of copies of the designs and the works of this master have been given to the world. A fine taste was thus rapidly propagated throughout Europe, and the beautiful style of Raffaello began to be justly appreciated. In a short time it became the prevailing taste, and if his maxims had remained unaltered, Italian painting would probably have flourished for as long a period as Greek sculpture.

In the midst of such a variety of occupations, Raffaello did not fail to gratify the wishes of many private individuals, who were desirous of having his designs for buildings, in which branch of art he was highly celebrated, and also of possessing his pictures. I need only to refer to the gallery of Agostini Chigi, which he ornamented with his own hand, with the well known fable of Galatea. He afterwards, with the assistance of his pupils, painted the Marriage of Psyche, at the banquet of which he assembled all the heathen deities, with such propriety of form, with their attendant symbols [Pg 84]and genii, that in these fabulous subjects he almost rivalled the Greeks. These pictures, and those also of the chambers of the Vatican, were retouched by Maratta, with incredible care; and the method he adopted, as described by Bellori, may serve as a guide in similar cases. Raffaello also painted many altarpieces, with saints generally introduced; as that Delle Contesse at Foligno, where he introduced the Chamberlain of the Pope, alive, rather than drawn from the life: that for S. Giovanni in Monte, at Bologna, of S. Cecilia, who, charmed to rapture by a celestial melody, forgets her musical instrument, which falls neglected from her hands; that for Palermo, of Christ ascending Mount Calvary, called dello Spasimo, which, however much disparaged by Cumberland, for having been retouched, is a noble ornament of the royal collection at Madrid; and the others at Naples and at Piacenza, which are mentioned by his biographers. He also painted S. Michael for the King of France, and many other holy families[46] and devotional subjects, which neither Vasari nor his other biographers have fully enumerated.

[Pg 85]But although the creation of these wonderful works was become a habit in this great artist, still every part of his productions cannot be considered as equally successful. It is known, that in the frescos of the palace, and in the Chigi gallery, he was censured in some naked figures for errors committed, as Vasari says, by some of his school. Mengs, who varied his opinions at different periods of his life, insinuates, that Raffaello for some time seemed to slumber, and did not make those rapid strides in the art, which might have been expected from his genius. This was, probably, when Michelangiolo was for some years absent from Rome. But when he returned, and heard it reported that many persons considered the paintings of Raffaello superior to his in colour, of more beauty and grace in composition, and of a correspondent excellence in design, whilst his works were said to possess none of these qualities except the last; he was stimulated to avail himself of the pencil of Fra Sebastiano, and at the same time supplied him with his own designs. The most celebrated work which they produced in conjunction, was a Transfiguration, in fresco, with a Flagellation, and other figures, in a chapel of S. Peter in Montorio. Raffaello being subsequently employed to paint a picture for the Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, afterwards Clement VII., Sebastiano, in a sort of competition, painted another picture of the same size. In the latter was represented the raising of Lazarus; in the former, with the master's [Pg 86]accustomed spirit of emulation, the Transfiguration. "This is a picture which combines," says Mengs, "more excellences than any of the previous works of Raffaello. The expression in it is more exalted and more refined, the chiaroscuro more correct, the perspective better understood, the penciling finer, and there is a greater variety in the drapery, more grace in the heads, and more grandeur in the style."[47] It represents the mystery of the Transfiguration of Christ on the summit of Mount Tabor. On the side of the hill he has placed a band of his disciples, and with the happiest invention has engaged them in an action conformable to their powers, and has thus formed an episode not beyond the bounds of probability. A youth possessed is presented to them, that they may expel the evil spirit that torments him; and in the possessed, struggling with the presence of the demon, the confiding faith of the father, the affliction of a beautiful and interesting female, and the compassion visible in the countenances of the surrounding apostles, we are presented with perhaps the most pathetic incident ever conceived. Yet this part of the composition does not fix our regard so much as the principal subject on the summit of the mountain. There the two prophets, and the three disciples, are most admirably delineated, and the Saviour appears enveloped in a glory emanating from the fountain of eternal light, and surrounded by that chaste and celestial radiance, [Pg 87]that is reserved exclusively for the eyes of the elect. The countenance of Christ, in which he has developed all his combined ideas of majesty and beauty, may be considered the masterpiece of Raffaello, and seems to us the most sublime height to which the genius of the artist, or even the art itself, was capable of aspiring. After this effort he never resumed his pencil, as he was soon afterwards suddenly seized with a mortal distemper, of which he died, in the bosom of the church, on Good Friday, (also the anniversary of his birthday,) 1520, aged thirty-seven years. His body reposed for some days in the chamber where he was accustomed to paint, and over it was placed this noble picture of the Transfiguration, previous to his mortal remains being transferred to the church of the Rotonda for interment. There was not an artist that was not moved to tears at this affecting sight. Raffaello had always possessed the power of engaging the affections of all with whom he was acquainted. Respectful to his master, he obtained from the Pope an assurance that his works, in one of the ceilings of the Vatican, should remain unmolested; just towards his rivals, he expressed his gratitude to God that he had been born in the days of Bonarruoti; gracious towards his pupils, he loved them, and intrusted them as his own sons; courteous even to strangers, he cheerfully lent his aid to all who asked his advice; and in order to make designs for others, or to direct them in their studies, he sometimes even neglected [Pg 88]his own work, being alike incapable of refusing or delaying his inestimable aid. All these reflections forced themselves on the minds of the spectators, whose eyes were at one moment directed to the view of his youthful remains, and of those divine hands that had, in the imitation of her works, almost excelled nature herself; and at another moment, to the contemplation of this his latest production, which appeared to exhibit the dawn of a new and wonderful style; and the painful reflection presented itself, that, with the life of Raffaello, the brightest prospects of art were thus suddenly obscured. The Pope himself was deeply affected at his death, and requested Bembo to compose the epitaph which is now read on his tomb; and his loss was considered as a national calamity throughout all Italy. True indeed it is, that soon after his decease, Rome herself, and her territory, experienced such unheard of calamities, that many had just cause to envy him, not only the celebrity of his life, but the opportune period of his death. He was not doomed to see the illustrious Leo X., at a time when he extended the most exalted patronage to the arts, poisoned by a sacrilegious hand; nor Clement VII., pressed by an enraged enemy, seeking shelter in the Castle of S. Angelo, afterwards compelled to fly for his life, and obliged to purchase, at enormous sums, the liberty of his servants. Nor did he witness the horrors attending the sacking of Rome, the nobility robbed and plundered in their own palaces, [Pg 89]the violation of hapless females in the convents; prelates unrelentingly dragged to the scaffold, and priests torn from the altars, and from the images of their saints, to whom they looked in vain for refuge, slaughtered by the sword, and their bodies thrown out of the churches a prey to the dogs. Nor did he survive to see that city, which he had so illustrated by his genius, and where he had for so many years shared the public admiration and esteem, wasted with fire and sword. But of this we shall speak in another place, and shall here adduce some observations on his style, selected from various authors, and more particularly from Mengs, who has ably criticised it in his works already enumerated by me, as well as in some others.

Raffaello is by common consent placed at the head of his art; not because he excelled all others in every department of painting, but because no other artist has ever possessed the various parts of the art united in so high a degree. Lazzarini even asserts, that he was guilty of errors, and that he is only the first, because he did not commit so many as others. He ought, however, to have allowed, that his defects would be excellences in any other artist, being nothing more in him than the neglect of that higher degree of perfection to which he was capable of attaining. The art, indeed, comprehends so many and such difficult parts, that no individual artist has been alike distinguished in all; even Apelles was said to yield to Amphion in disposition and harmony, to Asclepiadorus [Pg 90]in proportion, and to Protogenes in application.

The style of design of Raffaello, as seen in those drawings, divested of colours, which now form the chief ornaments of cabinets, presents us, if we may use the term, with the pure transcript of his imagination, and we stand in amaze at the contours, grace, precision, diligence, and genius, which they exhibit. One of the most admired of his drawings I once saw in the gallery of the Duke of Modena, a most finished and superior specimen, uniting in style all the invention of the best painters of Greece, and the execution of the first artists of Italy. It has been made a question whether Raffaello did not yield to Michelangiolo in drawing; and Mengs himself confesses, that he did, as far as regards the anatomy of the muscles, and in strong expression, in which he considers Raffaello to have imitated Michelangiolo. But we need not say with Vasari, that in order to prove that he understood the naked figure as well as Michelangiolo, he appropriated to himself the designs of that great master. On the contrary, in the figures of the two youths in the Incendio di Borgo, criticised by Vasari, one of whom is in the act of leaping from a wall to escape the flames, and the other is fleeing with his father on his shoulders, he not only proved that he had a perfect knowledge of the action of the muscles and the anatomy requisite for a painter, but prescribed the occasion when this style might be used without impropriety, as in [Pg 91]figures of a robust form engaged in violent action. He moreover commonly marked the principal parts in the naked figure, and indicated the others after the example of the better ancient masters, and where he wrought from his own ideas, his execution was most correct. On this subject Bellori may be consulted at page 223 of the work already quoted, and the annotations to vol. ii. of Mengs, (page 197,) made by the Cavaliere d'Azzara, minister of the king of Spain at Rome, an individual, who, in conferring honour on the artist, has by his own writing conferred honour on art itself.

In chasteness of design, Raffaello was by some placed on a level with the Greeks, though this praise we must consider as extravagant. Agostino Caracci commends him as a model of symmetry; and in that respect, more than in any other, he approached the ancients; except, observes Mengs, in the hands, which being rarely found perfect in the ancient statues, he had not an equal opportunity of studying, and did not therefore design them so elegantly as the other parts. He selected the beautiful from nature, and as Mariette observes, whose collection was rich in his designs, he copied it with all its imperfections, which he afterwards gradually corrected, as he proceeded with his work. Above all things, he aimed at perfecting the heads, and from a letter addressed to Castiglione on the Galatea of the Palazzo Chigi, or of the Farnesina, he discovers how intent he was to select the best models of nature, [Pg 92]and to perfect them in his own mind.[48] His own Fornarina assisted him in this object. Her portrait, by Raffaello's own hand, was formerly in the Barberini palace, and it is repeated in many of his Madonnas, in the picture of S. Cecilia, in Bologna, and in many female heads. Critics have often expressed a wish that these heads had possessed a more dignified character, and in this respect he was, perhaps, excelled by Guido Reni, and however engaging his children may be, those of Titian are still more beautiful. His true empire was in the heads of his men, which are portraits selected with judgment, and depicted with a dignity proportioned to his subject. Vasari calls the air of these heads superhuman, and calls on us to admire the expression of age in the patriarchs, simplicity of life in the apostles, and constancy of faith in the martyrs; and in Christ in the Transfiguration, he says, there is a portion of the divine essence itself transferred to his countenance, and made visible to mortal eyes.

This effect is the result of that quality that is called expression, and which, in the drawing of Raffaello has attracted more admiration of late years than formerly. It is remarkable, that not only Zuccaro, who was indeed a superficial writer, but that Vasari, and Lomazzo himself, so much more [Pg 93]profound than either of them, should not have conferred on him that praise which he afterwards received from Algarotti, Lazzarini, and Mengs. Lionardo was the first, as we shall see in the Milanese School, to lead the way to delicacy of expression; but that master, who painted so little, and with such labour, is not to be compared to Raffaello, who possessed the whole quality in its fullest extent. There is not a movement of the soul, there is not a character of passion known to the ancients, and capable of being expressed by art, that he has not caught, expressed, and varied, in a thousand different ways, and always within the bounds of propriety. We have no tradition of his having, like Da Vinci, frequented the public streets to seek for subjects for his pencil; and his numerous pictures prove that he could not have devoted so much time to this study, while his drawings clearly evince, that he had not equal occasion for such assistance. Nature, as I have before remarked, had endowed him with an imagination which transported his mind to the scene of the event, either fabulous or remote, in which he was engaged, and awoke in him the very same emotions which the subjects of such story must themselves have experienced; and this vivid conception assisted him until he had designed his subject with that distinctness which he had either observed in other countenances, or found in his own mind. This faculty, seldom found in poets, and still more rarely in painters, no one possessed in a more [Pg 94]eminent degree than Raffaello. His figures are passions personified; and love, fear, hope, and desire, anger, placability, humility, or pride, assume their places by turns, as the subject changes; and while the spectator regards the countenances, the air, and the gestures of his figures, he forgets that they are the work of art, and is surprised to find his own feelings excited, and himself an actor in the scene before him. There is another delicacy of expression, and this is the gradation of the passions, by which every one perceives whether they are in their commencement or at their height, or in their decline. He had observed their shades of difference in the intercourse of life, and on every occasion he knew how to transfer the result of his observations to his canvas. Even his silence is eloquent, and every actor

"Il cor negli occhi, e nella fronte ha scritto:"

the smallest perceptible motion of the eyes, of the nostrils, of the mouth, and of the fingers, corresponds to the chief movements of every passion; the most animated and vivid actions discover the violence of the passion that excites them; and what is more, they vary in innumerable degrees, without ever departing from nature, and conform themselves to a diversity of character without ever risking propriety. His heroes possess the mien of valour; his vulgar, an air of debasement; and that, which neither the pen nor the tongue could describe, the genius and art of Raffaello would delineate [Pg 95]with a few strokes of the pencil. Numbers have in vain sought to imitate him; his figures are governed by a sentiment of the mind, while those of others, if we except Poussin and a very few more, seem the imitation of tragic actors from the scenes. This is Raffaello's chief excellence; and he may justly be denominated the painter of mind. If in this faculty be included all that is difficult, philosophical, and sublime, who shall compete with him in the sovereignty of art?

Another quality which Raffaello possessed in an eminent degree was grace, a quality which may be said to confer an additional charm on beauty itself. Apelles, who was supremely endowed with it among the ancients, was so vain of the possession that he preferred it to every other attribute of art.[49] Raffaello rivalled him among the moderns, and thence obtained the name of the new Apelles. Something might, perhaps, be advantageously added to the forms of his children, and other delicate figures which he represented, but nothing can add to their gracefulness, for if it were attempted to be carried further it would degenerate into affectation, as we find in Parmegiano. His Madonnas enchant us, as Mengs observes, not because they possess the perfect lineaments of the Medicean Venus, or of the celebrated daughter of Niobe; but because the painter in their portraits and in their expressive smiles, has personified modesty, maternal love, purity of [Pg 96]mind, and, in a word, grace itself. Nor did he impress this quality on the countenance alone, but distributed it throughout the figure in its attitude, gesture, and action, and in the folds of the drapery, with a dexterity which may be admired, but can never be rivalled. His freedom of execution was a component part of this grace, which indeed vanishes as soon as labour and study appear; for it is with the painter as with the orator, in whom a natural and spontaneous eloquence delights us, while we turn away with indifference from an artificial and studied harangue.

In regard to the province of colour, Raffaello must yield the palm to Titian and Correggio, although he himself excelled Michelangiolo and many others. His frescos may rank with the first works of other schools in that line: not so his pictures in oil. In the latter he availed himself of the sketches of Giulio, which were composed with a degree of hardness and timidity; and though finished by Raffaello, they have frequently lost the lustre of his last touch. This defect was not immediately apparent, and if Raffaello's life had been prolonged, he would have been aware of the injuries his pictures received from the lapse of time, and would not have finished them in so light a manner. He is on this account more admired in his first subject in the Vatican, painted under Julius II., than in those he executed under Leo X., for being there pressed by a multiplicity of business, and an idea of the importance of a grander style, he became less rich and firm in [Pg 97]his colouring. That, however, he excelled in these respects is evinced by his portraits, when not having an opportunity of displaying his invention, composition, and beautiful style of design, he appears ambitious to distinguish himself by his colouring. In this respect his two portraits of Julius II. are truly admirable, the Medicean and the Corsinian: that of Leo X. between the two cardinals; and above all, in the opinion of an eminent judge, Renfesthein, that of Bindo Altoviti, in the possession of his noble descendants at Florence, by many regarded as a portrait of Raphael himself.[50] The heads in his Transfiguration are esteemed the most perfect he ever painted, and Mengs extols the colouring of them as eminently beautiful. If there be any exception, it is in the complexion of the principal female, of a greyish tint, as is often the case in his delicate figures; in which he is therefore considered to excel less than in the [Pg 98]heads of his men. Mengs has made many exceptions to the chiaroscuro of Raffaello, as compared with that of Correggio, on which connoisseurs will form their own decision. We are told that he disposed it with the aid of models of wax; and the relief of his pictures, and the beautiful effect in his Heliodorus, and in the Transfiguration, are ascribed to this mode of practice. To his perspective, too, he was most attentive. De Piles found, in some of his sketches, the scale of proportion.[51] It is affirmed by Algarotti, that he did not attempt to paint di sotto in su. But to this opinion we may oppose the example we find in the third arch of the gallery of the Vatican, where there is a perspective of small columns, says Taja, imitated di sotto in su. It is true, that in his larger works he avoided it; and in order to preserve the appearance of nature, he represented his pictures as painted on a tapestry, attached by means of a running knot to the entablature of the room.

But all the great qualities which we have enumerated, would not have procured for Raffaello such an extraordinary celebrity, if he had not possessed a wonderful felicity in the invention and disposition of his subjects, and this circumstance is, indeed, his highest merit. It may with truth be said, that in aid of this object he availed himself of every example, ancient and modern; and that these two requisites have not since been so united [Pg 99]in any other artist. He accomplishes in his pictures that which every orator ought to aim at in his speech—he instructs, moves, and delights us. This is an easy task to a narrator, since he can regularly unfold to us the whole progress of an event. The painter, on the contrary, has but the space of a moment to make himself understood, and his talent consists in describing not only what is passing, and what is likely to ensue, but that which has already occurred. It is here that the genius of Raffaello triumphs. He embraces the whole subject. From a thousand circumstances he selects those alone which can interest us; he arranges the actors in the most expressive manner; he invents the most novel modes of conveying much meaning by a few touches; and numberless minute circumstances, all uniting in one purpose, render the story not only intelligible, but palpable. Various writers have adduced in example the S. Paul at Lystra, which is to be seen in one of the tapestries of the Vatican. The artist has there represented the sacrifice prepared for him and S. Barnabas his companion, as to two gods, for having restored a lame man to the use of his limbs. The altar, the attendants, the victims, the musicians, and the axe, sufficiently indicate the intentions of the Lystrians. S. Paul, who is in the act of tearing his robe, shews that he rejects and abhors the sacrilegious honours, and is endeavouring to dissuade the populace from persisting in them. But all this were vain, if it had not indicated the miracle [Pg 100]which had just happened, and which had given rise to the event. Raffaello added to the group the lame man restored to the use of his limbs, now easily recognized again by all the spectators. He stands before the apostles rejoicing in his restoration; and raises his hands in transport towards his benefactors, while at his feet lie the crutches which had recently supported him, now cast away as useless. This had been sufficient for any other artist; but Raffaello, who wished to carry reality to the utmost point, has added a throng of people, who, in their eager curiosity, remove the garment of the man, to behold his limbs restored to their former state. Raffaello abounds with examples like these, and he may be compared to some of the classical writers, who afford the more matter for reflection the more they are studied. It is sufficient to have noticed in the inventive powers of Raffaello, those circumstances which have been less frequently remarked; the movement of the passions, which is entirely the work of expression, the delight which proceeds from poetical conceptions, or from graceful episodes, may be said to speak for themselves, nor have any occasion to be pointed out by us.

Other things might contribute to the beauty of his works, as unity, sublimity, costume, and erudition; for which it is sufficient to refer to those delightful poetical pieces, with which he adorned the gallery of Leo X., and which were engraved by Lanfranco and Badalocchi, and are called the Bible [Pg 101]of Raffaello. In the Return of Jacob, who does not immediately discover, in the number and variety of domestic animals, the multitude of servants, and the women carrying with them their children, a patriarchal family migrating from a long possessed abode into a new territory? In the Creation of the World, where the Deity stretches out his arms, and with one hand calls forth the sun and with the other the moon, do we not see a grandeur, which, with the simplest expression, awakes in us the most sublime ideas? And in the Adoration of the Golden Calf, how could he better have represented the idolatrous ceremony, and its departure from true religion, than by depicting the people as carried away by an insane joy, and mad with fanaticism? In point of erudition it is sufficient to notice the Triumph of David, which Taja describes and compares with the ancient bassirelievi, and is inclined to believe that there is not any thing in marble that excels the art and skill of this picture. I am aware that on another occasion he has not been exempted from blame, as when he repeated the figure of S. Peter out of prison, which hurts the unity of the subject; and in assigning to Apollo and to the muses instruments not proper to antiquity. Yet it is the glory of Raffaello to have introduced into his pictures numberless circumstances unknown to his predecessors, and to have left little to be added by his successors.

In composition also he is at the head of his art. In every picture the principal figure is obvious to [Pg 102]the spectator; we have no occasion to inquire for it; the groups, divided by situation, are united in the principal action; the contrast is not dictated by affectation, but by truth and propriety; a figure absorbed in thought, often serves as a relief to another that acts and speaks; the masses of light and shade are not arbitrarily poised, but are in the most select imitation of nature; all is art, but all is consummate skill and concealment of art. The School of Athens, as it is called, in the Vatican, is in this respect amongst the most wonderful compositions in the world. They who succeeded Raffaello, and followed other principles, have afforded more pleasure to the eye, but have not given such satisfaction to the mind. The compositions of Paul Veronese contain a greater number of figures, and more decoration; Lanfranco and the machinists introduced a powerful effect, and a vigorous contrast of light and shade: but who would exchange for such a manner the chaste and dignified style of Raffaello? Poussin alone, in the opinion of Mengs, obtained a superior mode of composition in the groundwork, or economy of his subject; that is to say, in the judicious selection of the scene of the event.

We have thus concisely stated the perfection to which Raffaello carried his art, in the short space allotted him. There is not a work in nature or art where he has not practically illustrated his own axiom, as handed down to us by Federigo Zuccaro, that things must be represented, not as they [Pg 103]are, but as they ought to be; the country, the elements, animals, buildings, every age of man, every condition of life, every affection, all was embraced and rendered more beautiful by the divine genius of Raffaello. And if his life had been prolonged to a more advanced period, without even approaching the term allowed to Titian or Michelangiolo, who shall say to what height of perfection he might not have carried his favourite art? Who can divine his success in architecture and sculpture, if he had applied himself to the study of them; having so wonderfully succeeded in his few attempts in those branches of art?

Of his pictures a considerable number are to be found in private collections, particularly on sacred subjects, such as the Madonna and Child, and other compositions of the Holy Family. They are in the three styles which we have before described: the Grand Duke has some specimens of each. The most admired is that which is named the Madonna della Seggiola.[52] Of this class of pictures [Pg 104]it is often doubted whether they ought to be considered as originals, or copies, as some of them have been three, five, or ten times repeated. The same may be said of other cabinet pictures by him, particularly the S. John in the desart, which is in the Grand Ducal gallery at Florence, and is found repeated in many collections both in Italy and in other countries. This was likely to happen in a school where the most common mode was the following:—The subject was designed by Raffaello, the picture prepared by Giulio, and finished by the master so exquisitely, that one might almost count the hairs of the head. When the pictures were thus finished, they were copied by the scholars of Raffaello, who were very numerous, and of the second and third order; and these were also sometimes retouched by Giulio and by Raffaello himself. But whoever is experienced in the freedom and delicacy of the chief of this school, need not fear confounding his productions with those of the scholars, or of Giulio himself; who, besides having a more timid pencil, made use of a darker tint than his master was accustomed to do. I have met with an experienced person, who declared that he could recognize the character of Giulio in the dark parts of the flesh tints, and in the middle dark tints, not of a leaden colour as Raffaello used, nor so well harmonized; in the greater quantity of light, and in the eyes designed more roundly, [Pg 105] which Raffaello painted somewhat long, after the manner of Pietro.

On this propitious commencement was founded the school which we call Roman, rather from the city of Rome itself, than from the people, as I have before observed. For as the inhabitants of Rome are a mixture of many tongues, and many different nations, of whom the descendants of Romulus form the least proportion; so the school of painting has been increased in its numbers by foreigners whom she has received and united to her own, and who are considered in her academy of S. Luke, as if they had been born in Rome, and enjoyed the ancient rights of Romans. Hence is derived the great variety of names that we find in the course of it. Some, as Caravaggio, derived no assistance from the study of the ancient marbles, and other aids peculiar to the capital; and these may be said to have been in the Roman School, but not to have formed a part of it. Others adopted the principles of the disciples of Raffaello, and their usual method was to study diligently both Raffaello and the ancient marbles; and from the imitation of him, and more particularly of the antique, resulted, if I err not, the general character, if I may so express it, of the Roman School: the young artists who were expert in copying statues and bassirelievi, and who had those objects always before their eyes, could easily transfer their forms to the panel or the canvas. Hence their style is formed on the antique, and their beauty is [Pg 106]more ideal than that of other schools. This circumstance, which was an advantage to those who knew how to use it, became a disadvantage to others, leading them to give their figures the air of statues, beautiful, but isolated, and not sufficiently animated. Others have done themselves greater injury from copying the modern statues of saints; a practice which facilitated the representation of devout attitudes, the disposition of the folds in the garments of the monks and priests, and other peculiarities which are not found in ancient sculpture. But as sculpture has gradually deteriorated, it could not have any beneficial influence on the sister art; and it has hence led many into mannerism in the folds of their drapery, after Bernino and Algardi; excellent artists, but who ought not to have influenced the art of painting, as they did, in a city like Rome. The style of invention in this school is, in general, judicious, the composition chaste, the costume carefully observed, with a moderate study of ornament. I speak of pictures in oil, for the frescos of this later period ought to be separately considered. The colouring, on the whole, is not the most brilliant, nor is it yet the most feeble; there being always a supply of artists from the Lombards, or Flemings, who prevented it being entirely neglected.

We may now return to the original subject of our inquiry, examine the principles of the Roman School, and attend it to its latest epoch. Raffaello at all times employed a number of scholars, constantly [Pg 107]instructing and teaching them; whence he never went to court, as we are assured by Vasari, without being accompanied by probably fifty of the first artists, who attended him out of respect. He employed every one in the way most agreeable to his talent. Some having received sufficient instruction, returned to their native country, others remained with him as long as he lived, and after his death established themselves in Rome, where they became the germs of this new school. At the head of all was Giulio Romano, whom, with Gio. Francesco Penni, Raffaello appointed his heir, whence they both united in finishing the works on which their master was employed at his death. They associated to themselves as an assistant Perino del Vaga, and to render the connexion permanent, they gave him a sister of Penni to his wife. To these three were also joined some others who had worked under Raffaello. On their first establishment they did not meet with any great success, for, as Vasari informs us, the chief place in art being by universal consent assigned to Fra Sebastiano, through the partiality of Michelangiolo, the followers of Raffaello were kept in the back ground. We may also add, as another cause, the death of Leo X., in 1521, and the election of his successor, Adrian VI., a decided enemy to the fine arts, by whom the public works contemplated, and already commenced by his predecessor, remained neglected; and many artists, in consequence of the want of employment, occasioned by this event, [Pg 108]and by the plague, in 1523, were reduced to the greatest distress. But Adrian dying after a reign of twenty-three months, and Giulio de' Medici being elected in his place under the name of Clement VII., the arts again revived. Raffaello, before his death, had begun to paint the great saloon, and had designed some figures, and left many sketches for the completion of it. It was intended to represent four historical events, although the subjects of some of them are disputed. These were the Apparition of the Cross, or the harangue of Constantine; the battle wherein Maxentius is drowned, and Constantine remains victor; the Baptism of Constantine, received from the hands of S. Silvester; and the Donative of the city of Rome, made to the same pontiff. Giulio finished the two first subjects, and Giovanni Francesco the other two, and they added to them bassirelievi, painted in imitation of bronze under each of the same subjects, with some additional figures. They afterwards painted, or rather finished the pictures of the villa at Monte Mario, a work ordered by the Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, and suspended until the second or third year of his papal reign. This villa was afterwards called di Madama, and there still remain many traces, although suffering from time, of the munificence of that prince, and the taste of the school of Raffaello. Giulio meanwhile, with the permission of the pope, established himself in Mantua, Il Fattore went to Naples; and some little time afterwards, in 1527, in consequence of the sacking of Rome, and the [Pg 109]unrestrained licence of the invading army, Vaga, Polidoro, Giovanni da Udine, Peruzzi, and Vincenzio di S. Gimignano left Rome, and with them Parmigianino, who was at this time in the capital, and passionately employed in studying the works of Raffaello. This illustrious school was thus separated and dispersed over Italy, and hence it happened that the new style was quickly propagated, and gave birth to the florid schools, which form the subjects of our other books. Although some of the scholars of Raffaello might return to Rome, yet the brilliant epoch was past. The decline became apparent soon after the sacking of the city, and from the time of that event, the art daily degenerated in the capital, and ultimately terminated in mannerism. But of this in its proper place. At present, after this general notice of the school of Raffaello, we shall treat of each particular scholar and of his assistants.

Giulio Pippi, or Giulio Romano, the most distinguished pupil of Raffaello, resembled his master more in energy than in delicacy of style, and was particularly successful in subjects of war and battles, which he represented with equal spirit and correctness. In his noble style of design he emulates Michelangiolo, commands the whole mechanism of the human body, and with a masterly hand renders it subservient to all his wishes. His only fault is, that his demonstrations of motion are sometimes too violent. Vasari preferred his drawings to his pictures, as he thought that the fire of his [Pg 110]original conception was apt to evaporate, in some degree, in the finishing. Some have objected to the squareness of his physiognomies, and have complained of his middle tints being too dark. But Niccolo Poussin admired this asperity of colour in his battle of Constantine, as suitable to the character of the subject. In the picture of the church dell'Anima, which is a Madonna, accompanied by Saints, and in others of that description, it does not produce so good an effect. His cabinet pictures are rare, and sometimes too free in their subjects. He generally painted in fresco, and his vast works at Mantua place him at the head of that school, which indeed venerates him as its founder.

Gianfrancesco Penni of Florence, called Il Fattore, who when a boy was a servant in the studio of Raffaello, became one of his principal scholars, and assisted him more than any other in the cartoons of the tapestries: he painted in the gallery of the Vatican the Histories of Abraham and Isaac, noticed by Taja. Among other works left incomplete by his master, and which he finished, is the Assumption of Monte Luci in Perugia, the lower part of which, with the apostles, is painted by Giulio, and the upper part, which abounds with Raffaellesque grace, is ascribed to Il Fattore, although Vasari assigns it to Perino. Of the works which he performed alone, his frescos in Rome have perished, and so few of his oil pictures remain, that they are rarely to be found in any collection. He is characterised by fertility of conception, grace [Pg 111]of execution, and a singular talent for landscape. He was joint heir of Raffaello with Giulio, and wished to unite himself with him in his profession; but being coldly received by Giulio in Mantua, he proceeded to Naples, where he, as we shall see, contributed greatly to the improvement of art, although cut off by an early death. Orlandi notices two Penni in the school of Raffaello, comprehending Luca, a brother of Gianfrancesco, a circumstance not improbable, and not, as far as I know, contradicted by history. We are also told by Vasari, that Luca united himself to Perino del Vaga, and worked with him at Lucca, and in other places of Italy; that he followed Rosso into France, as we have before observed; and that he ultimately passed into England, where he painted for the king and private persons, and made designs for prints.

Perino del Vaga, whose true name was Pierino Buonaccorsi, was a relation and fellow citizen of Penni. He had a share in the works of the Vatican, where he at one time worked stuccos and arabesques with Giovanni da Udine, at another time painted chiaroscuri with Polidoro, or finished subjects from the sketches and after the style of Raffaello. Vasari considered him the best designer of the Florentine School, after Michelangiolo, and at the head of all those who assisted Raffaello. It is certain, at least, that no one could, like him, compete with Giulio, in that universality of talent so conspicuous in Raffaello; and the subjects from the New Testament, which he painted in the papal [Pg 112]gallery, were praised by Taja above all others. In his style there is a great mixture of the Florentine, as may be seen at Rome, in the Birth of Eve, in the church of S. Marcello, where there are some children painted to the life, a most finished performance. A convent at Tivoli possesses a S. John in the desart, by him, with a landscape in the best style. There are many works by him in Lucca, and Pisa, but more particularly in Genoa, where we shall have occasion again to consider him as the origin of a celebrated school.

Giovanni da Udine, by a writer of Udine called Giovanni di Francesco Ricamatore, (Boni, p. 25,) likewise assisted Sanzio in arabesques and stuccos, and painted ornaments in the gallery of the Vatican, in the apartments of the pope, and in many other places. Indeed, in the art of working in stucco, he is ranked as the first among the moderns,[53] having, after long experience, imitated the style of the baths of Titus, discovered at that time in Rome, and opened afresh in our own days.[54] His foliage and shells, his aviaries and [Pg 113]birds, painted in the above mentioned places, and in other parts of Rome and Italy, deceive the eye by their exquisite imitation; and in the animals more particularly, and the indigenous and foreign birds, he seems to have reached the highest point of excellence. He was also remarkable for counterfeiting with his pencil every species of furniture; and a story is told, that having left some imitations of carpets one day in the gallery of Raffaello, a groom in the service of the Pope coming in haste in search of a carpet to place in a room, ran to snatch up one of those of Giovanni, deceived by the similitude. After the sacking of Rome he visited other parts of Italy, leaving wherever he went, works in the most perfect and brilliant style of ornament. This will occasion us to notice him in other schools. At an advanced age he returned to Rome, where he was provided with a pension from the Pope, till the time of his death.[55]

[Pg 114]Polidoro da Caravaggio, from a manual labourer in the works of the Vatican, became an artist of the first celebrity, and distinguished himself in the imitation of antique bassirelievi, painting both sacred and profane subjects in a most beautiful chiaroscuro. Nothing of this kind was ever seen more perfect, whether we consider the composition, the mechanism, or the design; and Raffaello and he, of all artists, are considered in this respect to have approached nearest to the style of the ancients. Rome was filled with the richest friezes, façades, and ornaments over doors, painted by him and Maturino of Florence, an excellent designer, and his partner; but these, to the great loss of art, have nearly all perished. The fable of Niobe, in the Maschera d'Oro, which was one of their most celebrated works, has suffered less than any other from the ravages of time and the hand of barbarism. This loss has been in some measure mitigated by the prints of Cherubino Alberti, and Santi Bartoli, who engraved many of these works before they perished. Polidoro lost his comrade by death in Rome, as was supposed, by the plague, and he himself repaired to Naples, and from thence to Sicily, where he fell a victim to the cupidity of his own servant, who assassinated him. With him invention, grace, and freedom of hand, [Pg 115] seem to have died. This notice of him as an artist may suffice for the present, as we shall again recur to him in the fourth book, as one of the masters of the Neapolitan School.

Pellegrino da Modena, of the family of Munari, of all the scholars of Raffaello, perhaps resembled him the most in the air of his heads, and a peculiar grace of attitude. After having painted in an incomparable manner the history of Jacob, before mentioned, and others of the same patriarch, and some from the life of Solomon, in the gallery of the Vatican, under Raffaello, he remained in Rome employed in the decoration of many of the churches, until his master's death. He then returned to his native place, where he became the head of a numerous succession of Raffaellesque painters, as we shall in due time relate.

Bartolommeo Ramenghi, or as he is sometimes named, Bagnacavallo, and by Vasari Il Bologna, is also included in the catalogue of those who worked in the gallery. There is not however any known work of his in Rome, and we may say the same of Biagio Pupini, a Bolognese, with whom he afterwards united himself to paint in Bologna. Vasari is not prodigal of praise towards the first, and writes with the most direct censure against the second. Of their merits we shall speak more fully in the Bolognese School, to which Bagnacavallo was the first to communicate a new and better style.

Besides these, Vasari mentions Vincenzio di S. [Pg 116]Gimignano, in Tuscany, to whom, as a highly successful imitator of Raffaello, he gives great praise, referring to some façades in fresco by him, which have now perished. After the sacking of Rome he returned home, but so changed and dispirited, that he appeared quite another person, and we have no account of any of his subsequent works. Schizzone, a comrade of Vincenzio, a most promising artist, shared the same fate; and we find also, in the Bolognese School, Cavedone losing his powers by some great mental affliction. Among the subjects of the Vatican we do not find any ascribed to Vincenzio, but we may perhaps assign to him the history of Moses in Horeb, which Taja, on mere conjecture, ascribes to the bold pencil of Raffaele del Colle, who was employed by Raffaello in the Farnesina, and in the Hall of Constantine, under Giulio. Of this artist and his successors we have spoken in the first book, where we have made some additions to the account of Vasari.

Timoteo della Vite, of Urbino, after some years spent at Bologna in studying under Francesco Francia, returned to his native city, and from thence repaired to the academy which his countryman and relation Raffaello had opened in the Vatican. He assisted Raffaello at the Pace, in the fresco of the Sybils, of which he retained the cartoons; and after some time, from some cause or other, he returned to Urbino, and there passed the remainder of his days. He brought with him to [Pg 117]Rome, a method of painting which partook much of the manner of the early masters, as may be seen in some of his Madonnas, at the palace Bonaventura, and the chapter of Urbino; and in a Discovery of the Cross in the church of the conventuals of Pesaro. He improved his style under Raffaello, and acquired much of his grace, attitudes, and colour, though he always remained a limited inventor, with a certain timidity of touch, more correct than vigorous. The picture of the Conception at the Osservanti of Urbino, and the Noli me Tangere, in the church of S. Angelo, at Cagli, are the best pieces that remain of Timoteo. Pietro della Vite, who is supposed to have been his brother, painted in the same style, but in an inferior manner. This Pietro is, perhaps, the relative and heir of Raffaello, whom Baldinucci mentions in his fifth volume. The same writer affirms, at the end of his fourth volume, that the artists of Urbino included amongst the scholars of Raffaello one Crocchia, and assign to him a picture at the Capuchins in Urbino, of which I have no further knowledge.

Benvenuto Tisi, of Ferrara, or as he is generally called, Il Garofalo, also studied only a little time under Sanzio; but it was sufficient to enable him to become, as we shall notice hereafter, the chief of the Ferrarese School. He imitated Raffaello in design, in the character of his faces, and in expression, and considerably also in his colouring, [Pg 118]although he added something of a warmer and stronger cast, derived from his own school. Rome, Bologna, and other cities of Italy, abound with his pictures from the lives of the apostles. They are of various merit, and are not wholly painted by himself. In his large pictures he stands more alone, and many of these are to be found in the Chigi gallery. The Visitation in the Palazzo Doria, is one of the first pieces in that rich collection. This artist was accustomed, in allusion to his name, to mark his pictures with a violet, which the common people in Italy call garofalo. It does not appear from Vasari, Titi, and Taja, that Garofalo had any share in the works which were executed by Raffaello and his scholars.

Gaudenzio Ferrari is mentioned by Titi, as an assistant of Raffaello in the story of Psyche, and we shall advert to him again in another book as chief of the Milanese School. Orlandi, on the credit of some more modern writers, asserts, that he worked with Raffaello also at Torre Borgia; and before that time, he considers him to have been a scholar of Scotto and Perugino. In Florence, and in other places in Lower Italy, some highly finished pictures are attributed to him, which partake of the preceding century, though they do not seem allied to the school of Perugino. Of these pictures we shall resume our notice hereafter; at present it may be sufficient to remark, that in Lombardy, where he resided, there is not a [Pg 119]picture in that style to be found with his name attached to it. He is always Raffaellesque, and follows the chiefs of the Roman School.

Vasari also notices Jacomone da Faenza. This artist assiduously studied the works of Raffaello, and from long practice in copying them, became himself an inventor. He flourished in Romagna, and it was from him that a Raffaellesque taste was diffused throughout that part of Italy. He is also mentioned by Baldinucci, and we shall endeavour to make him better known in his proper place.

Besides the above mentioned scholars and assistants of Raffaello, several others are enumerated by writers, of whom we may give a short notice. Il Pistoja, a scholar of Il Fattore, and probably employed by him in the works of Sanzio, as Raffaellino del Colle was with Giulio, is mentioned as a scholar of Raffaello by Baglione, and, on the credit of that writer, also by Taja. We mentioned him among the Tuscans, and shall further notice him in Naples, where we shall also find Andrea da Salerno, head of that school, whom Dominici proves to be a scholar of Raffaello.

In the Memorie di Monte Rubbiano, edited by Colucci, at page 10, Vincenzo Pagani, a native of that country, is mentioned as a pupil of the same master. There remains of him in the collegiate church there, a most beautiful picture of the Assumption; and the Padre Civalli points out another in Fallerone and two at Sarnano, in the [Pg 120]church of his religious fraternity, much extolled, and in a Raffaellesque manner, if we are to credit report. This painter, of whom, in Piceno, I find traces to the year 1529, again appears in Umbria in 1553, where Lattanzio his son, being elected a magistrate of Perugia, he transferred himself thither, and was employed to paint the altarpiece of the Cappella degli Oddi, in the church of the Conventuals, as we have already mentioned. According to the conditions of the contract, Paparelli had a share with him in this work, and he must be considered as an assistant of Vincenzo, both because he is named as holding the second place, and because he is reported by Vasari on other occasions, as having been an assistant. But as history mentions nothing relative to this picture, except the contract, we shall content ourselves with observing, that this praiseworthy artist, who was passed over in silence for so many years, still painted in the year 1553. Whether he was a scholar of Raffaello, or whether this was a tradition which arose in his own country in progress of time, supported only on the consideration of his age and his style, is a point to be decided by proofs of more authority than those we possess. I agree with the Sig. Arciprete Lazzari, when, writing of F. Bernardo Catelani of Urbino, who painted in Cagli the picture of the great altar in the church of the Capucins, he says, that he had there exhibited the style of the school of Raffaello, but he does not consider him his scholar.

[Pg 121]It has been asserted, that Marcantonio Raimondi painted some pictures from the sketches of Raffaello, in a style which excited the admiration of the designer himself; but this appears doubtful, and is so considered by Malvasia. L'Armenini also assigns to this school, Scipione Sacco, a painter of Cesena, and Orlandi, Don Pietro da Bagnaja, whom we shall mention in the Romagna School. Some have added to it Bernardino Lovino, and others Baldassare Peruzzi, a supposition which we shall shew to be erroneous. Padre della Valle has more recently revived an opinion, that Correggio may be ranked in the same school, and that he was probably employed in the gallery, and might have painted the subject of the Magi, attributed by Vasari to Perino. This is conjectured from the peculiar smile of the mother and the infant. But these surmises and conjectures we may consider as the chaff of that author, who has nevertheless presented us with much substantial information. We shall now advert to the foreigners of this school. Bellori has enumerated, among the imitators of Raffaello, Michele Cockier, or Cocxie, of Malines, of whom there remain some pictures in fresco in the church dell'Anima. Being afterwards in Flanders, where several works of Raffaello were engraved by Cock, he was accused of plagiarism, but still maintained a considerable reputation; as to a fertile invention he added a graceful style of execution. Many of his best pictures passed into Spain, and were there [Pg 122] purchased at great prices. Palomino acquaints us with another excellent scholar of Sanzio, Pier Campanna, of Flanders, who, although he could not entirely divest himself of the hardness of his native school, was still highly esteemed in his day. He resided twenty years in Italy, and was employed in Venice by the Patriarch Grimani, for whom he painted several portraits, and the celebrated picture of the Magdalen led by Saint Martha to the Temple, to hear the preaching of Christ. This picture, which was bequeathed by the Patriarch to a friend, after a lapse of many years, passed into the hands of Mr. Slade, an English gentleman. Pier Campanna distinguished himself in Bologna, by painting a triumphal arch on the arrival of Charles V., by whom he was invited to Seville, where he resided a considerable time, painting and instructing pupils, among whom is reckoned Morales, who, from his countrymen, had the appellation of the divine. He was accustomed to paint small pictures, which were eagerly sought after by the English, and transferred to their country, where they are highly prized. Of his altarpieces, several remain in Seville, and we may mention the Purification, in the Cathedral, and the Deposition at S. Croce, as the most esteemed. Murillo, who was himself a truly noble artist, greatly admired and studied this latter picture, which, even after we have seen the masterpieces of the Italian School, still excites our astonishment and admiration. This artist, to some [Pg 123]one, who, in his latter years, inquired why he so often repaired to this picture, replied, that he waited the moment when the body of Christ should reach the ground. Mention is also made of one Mosca, whether a native or foreigner I know not, as a doubtful disciple of this school. Christ on his way to Mount Calvary, now in the Academy in Mantua, is certainly a Raffaellesque picture, but we may rather consider Mosca an imitator and copyist, than a pupil of Raffaello. In the edition of Palomino, published in London, 1742, I find some others noticed as scholars of Raffaello, who being born a little before or after 1520, could not possibly belong to him; as Gaspare Bacerra, the assistant of Vasari; Alfonso Sanchez, of Portugal; Giovanni di Valencia; Fernando Jannes. It is not unusual to find similar instances in the history of painting, and the reports have for the most part originated in the last age. Whenever the artists of a country began to collect notices of the masters who had preceded them, their style had become the prevailing taste; and as if human genius could attain no improvement beyond that which it receives subserviently from another, every imitator was supposed to be a scholar of the artist imitated, and every school, arrogating to itself the names of the first masters, endeavoured to load itself with fresh honours.

[26] Hist. Rom. vol. i. ad calcem.

[27] Besides his life by Vasari, another was published by Sig. Abate Comolli, which I consider posterior to that of Vasari. Memoirs of him were also collected by Piacenza, Bottari, and other authors whom I shall notice; and I shall also avail myself of the information derived from the inspection of his pictures, and their character, and the various dates of his works.

[28] We find his name written Io. Sanctis in the Nunziata of Sinigaglia; and it appears that he was born of a father called, according to the expression of that age, Santi or Sante; a name in common use in many parts of Italy. In support of the surname of Sanzio, Bottari produces a portrait of Antonio Sanzio, which exists in the Palazzo Albani, representing him holding in his hands a document, with the title of Genealogia Raphaelis Sanctii Urbinatis. Julius Sanctius is there named as the head of the family, familiæ quæ adhuc Urbini illustris extat, ab agris dividendis cognomen imposuit, and was the progenitor of Antonio. From the latter, and through a Sebastiano, and afterwards through a Gio. Batista, descends Giovanni, ex quo ortus est Raphael qui pinxit a. 1519. It is also recorded that Sebastiano had a brother, Galeazzo, egregium pictorem, and the father of three painters, Antonio, Vincenzio, and Giulio, called maximus pictor. Thus in this branch of the Sanzii are enumerated four painters, of whom I do not find any memorial in Urbino. The family also boasts of a Canon in divinity, and a distinguished captain of infantry. The anonymous writer of Comolli confirms this illustrious origin of Raffaello; but it is highly probable, that in that age, when the forgery of genealogies, as Tiraboschi observes, was a common practice, he may have adopted it without any examination. The portrait of Antonio is well executed, but it has been said that it would have been much more so, if Raffaello had painted it a year before his death, according to the inscription. If connoisseurs (who alone ought to decide this point) should be of this opinion, it may be suspected that the person that counterfeited the hand of the artist, might also substitute the writing; or we may at least conclude, that the etymology of Sanzio should be sought for in the word Sanctis, the name of the grandfather of Raffaello, not in sancire, (to divide fields or property). In tom. xxxi. of the Ant. Picene, a will is produced of Ser Simone di Antonio, in 1477, where a Magister Baptista, qu. Peri Sanctis de Peris, who is called Pittor di grido e di eccellenza, leaves his son Tommaso his heir, to whom is substituted a son of Antonio his brother, of the name of Francesco. I may remark, that in this Batista di Pier Sante de' Pieri, we may find the surname of a family different from that of Sanzia. But on this subject I hope we shall shortly be favoured with more certain information by the Sig. Arciprete Lazzari, who has obliged me with many valuable contributions to the present edition of this work.

[29] Condivi, in his Life of Bonarruoti, (num. 67.) assures us that Michael Angelo was not of a jealous temper, but spoke well of all artists, not excepting Raffaello di Urbino, "between whom and himself there existed, as I have mentioned, an emulation in painting; and the utmost that he said was, that Raffaello did not inherit his excellences from nature, but obtained them through study and application."

[30] See the Preface to the Life of Raffaello, by Vasari, ediz. Senese, p. 228, where the will is quoted.

[31] Vasari states, that that event occurred either whilst Michaelangelo was employed upon the Statues in S. Pietro in Vincoli, or whilst he was painting the vault of the Sistine Chapel, that is, some years afterwards, when Raffaello was in Rome. To this second opinion, which is the most common one, I formerly assented; but since, on perusal of a Brief of Julius II. (Lett. Pittoriche, tom. iii. p. 320) in which that Pope invites Michael Angelo back to Rome, and promises that illæsus, inviolatusque erit, I am inclined to believe that the Cartoon was finished in 1506, which is the date of the brief; so that Raffaello, if he could not see it on his first visit to Florence, might at least have done so on his second or third.

[32] See Vasari, ed. Sen. tom. v. p. 238, where we find the Letter written from him to one of his uncles, with all the provincialisms common to the inhabitants of Urbino and its neighbourhood.

[33] Malvasia, Felsina Pittrice, tom. i. p. 45. There are some facts, however, in opposition to this letter, and which seem to prove that Raffaello did not go to Rome until 1510. But the Sig. Abate Francesconi is now employed in rectifying the chronology of the Life and Works of Sanzio; and from his critical sagacity we may expect the solution of this difficulty.

[34] See Le Aggiunte al Vasari. Ed. Senese, p. 223.

[35] A sonnet by him is referred to by Sig. Piacenza, in his notes to Baldinucci, tom. xi. p. 371.

[36] In compliance with the wishes of Leo X. he made drawings of the buildings of Ancient Rome, and accompanied them with descriptions, employing the compass to ascertain their admeasurement. We owe this information to Sig. Abate Francesconi, who has restored to Sanzio a letter, formerly attributed to Castiglione. It is a sort of dedication of the work to Leo X.; but the work itself and the drawings are lost; and many of the edifices measured by Raffaello were destroyed in the following Pontificates. The Abate Morelli has made public a high eulogium on this work, by a contemporary pen, in the notes to the Notizia, page 210. It is written by one Marcantonio Michiel, who asserts, that Raffaello had drawn the ancient buildings of Rome in such a manner, and shewn their proportions, forms, and ornaments so correctly, that whoever had inspected them might be said to have seen Ancient Rome.

[37] In a brief of Leo X. 1514, mentioned by Sig. Piacenza, tom. ii. p. 321.


Cæsaris in nomen ducuntur carmina: Cæsar Dum canitur, quæso, Jupiter ipse vaces. Prop. lib. iv. Eleg. vi.

[39] Vol. ii. p. 323 et seq.

[40] See the first letter of Crespi, Lettere Pittoriche, tom. ii. p. 338.

[41] Mengs has observed, that Raffaello diligently studied the bassirelievi of the arches of Titus and Constantine, which were on the arch of Trajan, and adopted from them his manner of marking the articulations of the joints, and a more simple and an easier mode of expressing the contour of the fleshy parts. Riflessioni sopra i tre gran Pittori, &c. cap. 1.

[42] Riflessioni su la bellezza e sul gusto della Pittura, parte iii. cap. 1, and see the Osservazioni of the Cav. Azara on that tract, §. xii.

[43] A doubt has arisen on the exact time in which he painted the Prophet and the Sybils, and from the grandeur of their style doubts have been thrown on Vasari's account, that they were painted anterior to 1511. But a painter who is the master of his art, elevates or lowers his style according to his subject. The Sybils are in Raffaello's grandest style; and that they are amongst his earliest works, is proved from his having had Timoteo della Vite, as his assistant in them.

[44] Lett. Pittor. tom. v. p. 131.

[45] Commencing at p. 139.

[46] I do not find that any mention has been made of his picture in the possession of the Olivieri family at Pesaro, or of the one in the Basilica di Loreto in the Treasury, which seems to be the same which was formerly in the church of the Madonna del Popolo, or a copy of it. I have seen a similar subject in the Lauretana, belonging to the Signori Pirri, in Rome. At Sassoferrato also, on the great altar of the church of the Capucins, there is a Virgin and child, said to be by him; but it is more probably by Fra Bernardo Catelani. There exist engravings of the two first, but I have not seen any of the last.

[47] Riflessioni sopra i tre gran Pittori, &c., cap. i. § 2.

[48] Lo dico con questa condizione che V. S. si trovasse meco a far la scelta del meglio: ma essendo carestia e di buoni giudici e di belle donne, mi servo di una certa idea che mi viene in mente. Lett. Pittor. tom. i. p. 84.

[49] Plin. Hist. Natur. lib. xxxv. cap. 10. Quintil. Instit. Orat. xii. 10.

[50] Portraits of Raffaello are to be found in the Duomo, and in the Sacristy of Siena, in more than one picture; but it is doubtful whether by his own hand or that of Pinturicchio. That which is mentioned in the Guida di Perugia, as being in a picture of the Resurrection at the Conventuals, is said to be by Pietro Perugino: and in the Borghese gallery in Rome, there is one, supposed to be by the hand of Timoteo della Vite. The portrait in the gallery in Florence, by Da Vinci, bears some resemblance to Raffaello, but it is not he. Another which I have seen in Bologna, ought, perhaps, to be ascribed to Giulio Romano. One of the most authentic portraits of Raffaello, by his own hand, next to the one in the picture of S. Luke, is that in the Medici Collection in the Stanza de' Pittori, though this is not in his best manner.

[51] Idée de Peintre parfait, chap. xix.

[52] Engraved by Morghen. The three figures, the Madonna, the Infant, and St. John, appear almost alive. It should seem that Raffaello made several studies for this picture, and he painted one without the St. John, which remained for some time in Urbino. I saw a copy in the possession of the Calamini family, at Recanati, which was said to be by Baroccio, and at all events belonging to his school. I have seen the same subject in the Casa Olivieri, at Pesaro, and at Cortona, in the possession of another noble family, to whom it had passed by inheritance from Urbino, and was considered to be by Raffaello. The faces in these are not so beautiful, nor the colours so fine; they are round, and in a larger circle, with some variations: I have also seen a copy in the Sacristy of S. Luigi de' Franzesi, in Rome, and in the Palazzo Giustiniani.

[53] Morto da Feltro sotto Alessandro VI., cominciò a dipingere a grottesco, ma senza stucchi. Baglione, Vite, p. 21.

[54] The entrance into these baths was designedly and maliciously closed. Serlio, in speaking of the various arabesques in Pozzuolo, Baja, and Rome, says that they were injured or destroyed by the artists who had copied them, through a jealous feeling lest others should also avail themselves of the opportunity of studying them, (lib. iv. c. 11). The names of these destroyers, which Serlio has suppressed, posterity has been desirous of recovering, and some have accused Raffaello, others Pinturicchio, and others Vaga, or Giovanni da Udine, or rather his scholars and assistants, "of whom," says Vasari, "there were an infinite number in every part of Italy." This subject is ably discussed by Mariotti, in Lettera ix. p. 224, and in the Memorie delle belle Arti, per l'anno 1788, p. 24.

[55] It was charged on the office of the Piombo, or papal signet, when Sebastiano da Venezia was invested with it, and was a pension of three hundred scudi. Padre Federici observes that the one was designated Fra Sebastiano, but that the other was not called Fra Giovanni; nor is this remarkable, for a Bishop is called Monsignore, but the person who enjoys a pension charged upon a Bishoprick has not the same title. It cannot however be deduced from this, as Federici wishes to do, that Sebastiano was first Frate di S. Domenico, by the name of F. Marco Pensaben, and afterwards secularized by the Pope, and appointed to the signet, and that he retained the Fra in consequence of his former situation.

[Pg 124]



The art declines in consequence of the public calamities of Rome, and gradually falls into mannerism.

After the mournful events of the year 1527, Rome for some time remained in a state of stupor, contemplating her past misfortunes and her future destiny; and, like a vessel escaped from shipwreck, began slowly to repair her numerous losses. The soldiers of the besieging army, among other injuries committed in the Apostolic palace, had defaced some heads of Raffaello; and F. Sebastiano, an artist by no means competent to such a task, was employed to repair them. This, at least, was the opinion of Titian, who was introduced to these works, and ignorant of the circumstances, asked Sebastiano what presumptuous wretch had had the audacity to attempt their restoration;[56] an impartial observation, against which even the patronage of Michelangiolo could not shield the artist. Paul III. was now in possession of the papal chair, and under his auspices the arts again began to revive. The decoration of the palace of Caprarola, and other works of Paul and his nephews, [Pg 125]gave employment to the painters, and happy had these patrons been, could they have found a second Raffaello. Bonarruoti, as we have observed, was engaged by the Pope, and gave to the Roman School many noble specimens of art, though he formed but few scholars. Sebastiano, after the death of Raffaello, freed from all further competition with that great artist, and honoured with the lucrative office of the papal signet, seemed disposed to rest from his labours; and as he had never, at any time, discovered great application, he now resigned himself to a life of vacant leisure, and Vasari does not mention with commendation any pupil of his school except Laureti.[57] Giulio Romano was now invited back to Rome, and the superintendence of the building of S. Peter's offered to him, but death prevented his return to his native city. Perino del Vaga, however, repaired to Rome, and might, himself, have effected the restoration of art, if his magnanimity had corresponded with the sublimity of his mind. But he did not inherit the daring genius of his master. He communicated his instructions with jealousy, and worked with a spirit of gain, or to speak correctly, [Pg 126]he did not paint himself, but undertaking works of more or less consequence, he allowed his scholars to execute them, often to the injury of his own reputation. He continued to secure to himself artists of the first talents, as we shall see; but this was done with the intention of making them dependant on him, and to prevent their interfering with his emoluments and commissions. But together with the good, he engaged also many indifferent and inferior artists, whence it happens, that in the chambers of the castle of S. Angelo, and in other places, we meet with so marked a difference in many of his works. Few of his scholars attained celebrity. Luzio Romano is the most noted, and possessed a good execution. Of him there exists a frieze in the Palazzo Spada; and for some time, too, he had for an assistant Marcello Venusti of Mantua, a young man of great talents, but diffident, and probably standing in need of more instruction than Perino afforded him. He afterwards received some instructions from Bonarruoti, whose ideas he executed in an excellent manner, as I have mentioned before, and by his aid he became himself also a good designer.[58] Perino, by these means, always abounded in work and in money. A similar traffic in the art was carried on by Taddeo Zuccaro, if we are to believe Vasari; [Pg 127]and by Vasari himself, too, if we may be allowed to judge from his pictures.

The actual state of the art at this period may be ascertained from a view of the numerous works produced; but none are so distinguished as the paintings in the Sala Regia, commenced under Paul III., and scarcely finished, after a lapse of thirty years, in 1573. Of these Vaga had the direction, as Raffaello had formerly had, of the chambers of the Vatican. He planned the compartments, ornamented the ceiling, directed all the stuccos, cornices, devices, and large figures, and all in the style of a great master. He then applied himself to design the subjects for his pencil, and was employed on them when he was carried off by death in 1547. Through the partiality of Michelangiolo, he was succeeded by Daniel di Volterra, who had already worked in stucco, under his direction, in the same place. Volterra resolved to represent the donations of those sovereigns who had extended or consolidated the temporal dominion of the church, whence the chamber was called Sala dei Regi, and this idea was, in some degree, though with variations, continued by succeeding artists. Volterra was naturally slow and irresolute, and after painting the Deposition from the Cross, which we have mentioned as being executed with the assistance of Michelangiolo, he produced no more of these prodigies of art. He had indeed begun some designs, but on the death of the Pope, in 1549, he was compelled, in order to accommodate the conclave, to [Pg 128]remove the scaffolding, and expose the work unfinished. It did not meet with public approbation, nor was it continued under Julius III., and still less under Paul IV., in whose reign the art was held in so little respect, that the apostles, painted by Raffaello in one of the chambers of the Vatican, were displaced.

Pius IV., who resumed the work, on the suggestion of Vasari, in 1561, had intended to charge Salviati with the entire execution of it; but, by the intercessions of Bonarruoti, was at length prevailed on to assign one half of the apartment to Salviati, and the other half to Ricciarelli, though this did not contribute to expedite the work. Pirro Ligorio, a Neapolitan, was at this time held in high esteem by the Pope. He was an antiquarian, though not of great celebrity, but a good architect, and a fresco painter of some merit;[59] an enthusiast too, and alike jealous of Ricciarelli, for the homage he paid to Bonarruoti, and of Salviati, for the respect which he did not shew to Ligorio himself. Remarking that the Pope wished to hasten the completion of the work, he proposed to select a number of scholars, and to divide the work amongst them. Vasari adds, that Salviati was disgusted and left Rome; where, on his return, he died, without finishing his work; [Pg 129]and that Ricciarelli, who was always slow, never touched it again, and died also after the lapse of some little time. The completion of the work was then entrusted, as far as possible, to the successors of Raffaello. Livio Agresti da Forli, Girolamo Siciolante da Sermoneta, and Marco da Pino, of Sienna, although they had received their first instructions from other masters, had been instructed by Perino del Vaga, and had assisted in his cartoons. Taddeo Zuccaro had accomplished himself under Giacomone da Faenza, and had made his younger brother Federigo an able artist. To these the work was assigned, and there were added to them Samacchini and Fiorini, Bolognese artists; and Giuseppe Porta della Garfagnana, called Giuseppe Salviati. This latter had been the pupil of Francesco Salviati, from whom he learnt the principles of design; he was afterwards a follower of the school of Venice, where he resided. Of these numerous artists Vasari assigns the palm to Taddeo Zuccaro, but the court was so much pleased with Porta, that it was in contemplation to destroy the works of the other artists, in order that the apartment might be finished by him alone. He represented Alexander III. in the act of bestowing his benediction on Frederick Barbarossa, in the Piazza of S. Mark, in Venice; and he here indulged his taste for architectural ornaments, in the Venetian manner. When however this work is viewed and compared with that of other artists, we discover a sameness of style, the character of [Pg 130]the time; a deficiency of strength in the colours and shadows is the common failing. It seems as if the art, through a long course of years, had become debilitated: it discovers the lineaments of a better age, but feebly expressed and deprived of their primitive vigour. That portion of the work which remained unfinished, was, after the death of Pius IV., completed by Vasari and his school, under his successor; and some little was supplied under Gregory XIII., who was elected in 1572.

With that year a reign commenced but little auspicious to art, and still less so was the Pontificate of Sixtus V., the successor of Gregory. These Pontiffs erected or ornamented so many public buildings, that we can scarcely move a step in Rome, without meeting with the papal arms of a dragon or a lion. Baglione has accurately described them, and to him we are indebted for the lives of the artists of this and the following period. It is natural for men advanced in years to content themselves with mediocrity in the works which they order, from the apprehension of not living to see them, if they wait for the riper efforts of talent. Hence those artists were the most esteemed, and the most employed, who possessed despatch and facility of execution, particularly by Sixtus, of whose severity towards dilatory artists we shall shortly adduce a memorable instance. This inaccuracy of style was continued to the time of Clement VIII., when a number of works were hastily finished to meet the opening of the holy year [Pg 131]1600. Under these pontiffs the painters of Italy, and even the oltramontani, inundated Rome with their works, in the same manner that the poets and philosophers had filled that city with their writings in the time of Domitian and Marcus Aurelius. Every one indulged his own taste; and the style of many was deteriorated through rapidity of execution. Thus the art, particularly in fresco, became the employment of a mechanic, not founded in the just imitation of nature, but in the capricious ideas of the artist.[60] Nor was the colouring better than the design. At no period do we find such an abuse of the simple tints, in none so feeble a chiaroscuro, or less harmony. These are the mannerists, who peopled the churches, convents, and saloons of Rome with their works, but in the collections of the nobility they have not had the same good fortune.

This era, nevertheless, is not wholly to be condemned, as it contains several great names, the relics of the preceding illustrious age. We have enumerated the painters who flourished in Rome in the first reigns of this century, and we ought to notice a number of others. They were for the most part foreigners, and ought to be introduced in other schools. I shall here describe those particularly, who were born within the limits of the Roman School, and those who, being established in it, taught and propagated their own peculiar style.

Girolamo Siciolante da Sermoneta, who adopted [Pg 132]Raffaello's style, may be enumerated among the scholars of that great man, from his felicitous imitation of their common master. In the Sala de' Regi, in the Vatican, he painted Pepin, King of France, bestowing Ravenna on the church, after having made Astolfo, King of the Lombards, his prisoner. But he approached Raffaello more closely in some of his oil pictures than in his frescos, as in the martyrdom of S. Lucia, in the church of S. Maria Maggiore; in the Transfiguration in Ara Cœli, and in the Nativity in the church della Pace, a subject which he repeated in the most graceful style in the church of Osimo. His masterpiece is in Ancona on the great altar in the church of S. Bartolommeo, a vast composition, original and rich in invention, and commensurate with the grandeur of the subject, and the multitude of saints that are introduced in it. The throne of the Virgin is seen above, amidst a brilliant choir of angels, and on either side a virgin saint in the attitude of adoration. To this height there is a beautiful ascent on each side, and the picture is thus divided into a higher and lower part, in the latter of which is the titular saint, a half naked figure vigorously coloured, together with S. Paul and two other saints, the whole in a truly Raffaellesque style. This altarpiece possesses so much harmony, and such a force of colour, that it is esteemed by some persons the best picture in the city. If any thing be wanting in it, it is perhaps a more correct observance of the perspective. Sermoneta [Pg 133]did not paint many pictures for collections. He excelled in portrait painting.

A similar manner, though more laboured, and formed on the styles of Raffaello and Andrea del Sarto, was adopted by Scipione Pulzone da Gaeta, who was educated in the studio of Jacopino del Conte. He died young in his thirty-eighth year, but left behind him a great reputation, partly in the painting of portraits, of which he executed a great number for the popes and princes of his day, and with so much success, that by some he is called the Vandyke of the Roman School. He was a forerunner of Seybolt in the high finishing of the hair, and in representing in the pupil of the eye the reflexion of the windows, and other objects as minute and exact as in real life. He also painted some pictures in the finest style, as the Crucifixion in the Vallicella, and the Assumption in S. Silvestro at Monte Cavallo, a composition of chaste design, great beauty of colouring, and brilliant in effect. In the Borghese collection is a Holy Family by him, and in the gallery in Florence, a Christ praying in the garden; and in other places are to be found some of his cabinet pictures, deservedly held in high esteem.

Taddeo and Federigo Zuccaro have been called the Vasaris of this school; for as Vasari trod in the steps of Michelangiolo, so these artists professed to follow Raffaello. They were the sons of an indifferent painter of S. Angiolo in Vado, called Ottaviano Zuccaro, and came to Rome one after [Pg 134]the other, and in the Roman state executed a vast number of works, some good, some indifferent, and others, when they allowed their pupils to take a share in them, absolutely bad. A salesman, who dealt in the pictures of these artists, was accustomed, like a retailer of merchandize, to ask his purchasers whether they wished for a Zuccaro of Holland, of France, or of Portugal; intimating by this that he possessed them of all qualities. Taddeo, who was the elder of the two, studied first under Pompeo da Fano, and afterwards with Giacomone da Faenza. From the latter and other good Italian artists, whom he assiduously studied, he acquired sufficient talent to distinguish himself. He adopted a style which, though not very correct, was unconstrained and engaging, and very attractive to such as do not look for grandeur of design. He may be compared to that class of orators who keep the attention of their hearers awake, not from the nature of their subject, but from the clearness of their language, and from their finding, or thinking they find, truth and nature in every word. His pictures may be called compositions of portraits; the heads are beautiful, the hands and feet not negligently painted, nor yet laboured, as in the Florentine manner; the dress and ornaments, and form of the beard, are agreeable to the times; the disposition is simple, and he often imitates the old painters in shewing on the canvass only half figures in the foreground, as if they were on a lower plain. He often repeated the same countenance, and his own portrait. In [Pg 135]his hands, feet, and the folds of his drapery, he is still less varied, and not unfrequently errs in his proportions.

In Rome are vast works of Taddeo, in fresco, and amongst the best may be ranked the history of the Evangelists, in the church of the Consolazione. He left few pictures in oil. There is a Pentecost by him in the church of the Spirito Santo in Urbino, which city also possesses some other of his works, though not in his best style. He is most pleasing in his small cabinet pictures, which are finished in the first style of excellence. One of the best of these, formerly possessed by the Duke of Urbino, is now in the collection of the noble family of Leopardi, in Osimo. It is a Nativity of our Lord, in Taddeo's best manner, but none of his productions have added so much to his celebrity as the pictures in the Farnese Palace of Caprarola, which were engraved by Preninner in 1748. They represent the civil and military history of the illustrious family of the Farnesi. There occur also other subjects, sacred and profane, of which the most remarkable is the Stanza del Sonno, the subject of which was executed in a highly poetical manner, from the suggestions of Caro in a delightful letter, which was circulated among his friends, and is reprinted in the Lettere Pittoriche, (tom. iii. l. 99). Strangers who visit Caprarola, often return with a higher opinion of this artist than they carried with them. It is true that a number of young artists, fully his equal, or [Pg 136]perhaps superior to him, were employed there, both in conjunction with him and after his death, whose works ought not to be confounded with his, though it is not always easy to distinguish them. Like Raffaello, he died at the age of thirty-seven, and his monument is to be seen at the side of that illustrious master in the Rotunda.

Federigo, his brother and scholar, resembled him in style, but was not equal to him in design, having more mannerism than Taddeo, being more addicted to ornament, and more crowded in his composition. He was engaged to finish in the Vatican, in the Farnese Palace, in the church of La Trinità de' Monti, and other places, the various works which his brother had left incomplete at his death; and he thus succeeded, as it were, to the inheritance of his own house. He had the reputation of possessing a noble style, and was invited by the Grand Duke Francis I. to paint the great dome of the metropolitan church at Florence, which was commenced by Vasari, and left unfinished at his death. Federigo in that task designed more than three hundred figures, fifty feet in height, without mentioning that of Lucifer, so gigantic that the rest appeared like children, for so he informs us, adding, that they were the largest figures that the world had ever seen.[61] But there is little to admire in this work except the vastness [Pg 137]of the conception,[62] and in the time of Pier da Cortona, there was an intention of engaging that artist to substitute for it a composition of his own, had not the apprehension that his life might not be long enough to finish it, frustrated the design. After the painting of this dome, every work on a large scale in Rome was assigned to Federigo, and the Pope engaged him to paint the vault of the Paolina, and thus give the last touch to a work commenced by Michelangiolo. About this period, in order to revenge himself on some of the principal officers of the Pope who had treated him with indignity, he painted, and exposed to public view, an allegorical picture of Calumny,[63] in which he introduced the portraits of all those persons who had given him offence, representing them with asses' ears. His enemies, on this, made such [Pg 138]complaints, that he was compelled to quit the dominions of the Pope. He therefore left Rome and visited Flanders, Holland, and England, and was afterwards invited to Venice to paint the submission of the Emperor Federigo Barbarossa to Pope Alexander III., in the Palazzo Pubblico, and he was there highly esteemed and constantly employed. The Pontiff being by this time appeased, Federigo returned to finish the work he had left imperfect, and which is perhaps the best of all he executed in Rome, without the assistance of his brother. The larger picture also of S. Lorenzo in Damaso, and that of the Angels in the Gesù, and other of his works in various churches, are not deficient in merit. Federigo built for himself a house in the Monte Pincio, and decorated it with pictures in fresco, portraits of his own family, conversazioni, and many novel and strange subjects, which he painted with the assistance of his scholars, and at little expense; but on this occasion more than on any other, he appears an indifferent artist, and may be called the champion of mediocrity.

Federigo was afterwards invited to Madrid by Philip II.; but that monarch not being satisfied with his works, they were effaced, and their places supplied by Tibaldi, and he himself, with an adequate pension, was sent back to Italy. He undertook another journey late in life, visiting the principal cities of Italy, and leaving specimens of his art in every place where he was called to exercise [Pg 139]his talents. One of the best of these is an Assumption of the Virgin, in an Oratory of Rimino, on which he inscribed his name, and the Death of the Virgin, at S. Maria in Acumine, with some figures of the Apostles, more finished than usual with him. A simple and graceful style is observable in his Presepio, in the cathedral of Foligno, and in two pictures from the life of the Virgin, in a chapel of Loreto, painted for the Duke of Urbino. The Cistercian monks, at Milan, possess two large pictures in their library on the Miracle della Neve, with a numerous assemblage of figures, the countenances in his usual lively manner, the colouring varied and well preserved. In the Borromei college, in Pavia, is a saloon painted in fresco, with subjects from the life of S. Carlo. The most admired of these is the saint at prayer in his retirement; the other pieces, the Consistory in which was his chapel, and the Plague of Milan, would be much better, if the figures were fewer. He returned to Venice, where his great picture remained, and which had not been so much injured by time, as by a sarcasm of Boschini on certain sugar [Zucchero] of very poor quality lately imported into Venice, in consequence of which he retouched his work, and wrote on it, by way of a memorial, Federicus Zuccarus f. an. sal. 1582, perfecit an. 1603. It is one of his best works, copious, and, agreeably to Zanetti, beautiful and well sustained. He then went to Turin, where he painted a S. Paul, for the Jesuits, and began to ornament a [Pg 140]gallery for Charles Emanuel, Duke of Savoy; and it was in that city that he first published La idea de' Pittori, Scultori, e Architetti, which he dedicated to the Duke. He afterwards returned into Lombardy, where he composed two other works, the one intitled La Dimora di Parma del Sig. Cav. Federigo Zuccaro: the other, Il Passaggio per Italia colla dimora di Parma del Sig. Cav. Federigo Zuccaro, both printed in Bologna, in 1608. In the following year, on his return to his native place, he fell sick in Ancona, where he died. Baglione admired the versatility of talent in this artist, which extended to sculpture and architecture; but more than all he admired his good fortune, in which he exceeded all his contemporaries. This distinction he owed in a great measure to his personal qualities, to his noble presence, his encouragement of letters, his quality of attaching persons to him, and his liberality, which led him to expend in a generous manner the large sums he derived from his works.

He appears to have written with the intention of rivalling and excelling Vasari. Whatever was the cause, Vasari was disliked by him, as may be gathered from the notes to his Lives, occasionally cited by the annotator of the Roman edition; and is charged by him with spleen and malignity, particularly in the life of Taddeo Zuccaro. In order to excel Vasari, it seems he chose an abstruse mode of writing, in opposition to the plain style of that author. The whole work, printed in Turin, [Pg 141]is involved in its design, and instead of precepts, contains speculative metaphysical opinions, which tend more to raise disputes than to convey information. The language is incongruous and affected, and even the very titles to the chapters are interwoven with many absurdities, as that of the 12th, Che la filosofia e il filosofare è disegno Metaforico similitudinario. This style may perhaps impose on the ignorant, but cannot deceive the learned.[64] The latter do not esteem a writer for pedantic expressions adopted from the Greek and Latin authors; but for a correct mode of definition, for an accuracy of analysis, for a sagacity in tracing effects to their true causes, and for a manner strictly adapted to the subject. These qualities are not to be found in the works of Federigo, where we find philosophical expressions mingled with puerile reflections, as in the etymology of the word disegno, which after much circumlocution, he informs us, owes its derivation to Segno di Dio; and instead of affording any instructive maxims to youth, he presents them with a mass [Pg 142]of sterile and ill directed speculations. Hence we may be said to derive more information from a single page of Vasari, than from this author's whole work. Both Mariette and Bottari have shewn the little esteem in which they held this work, by their correspondence, inserted in the 6th volume of the Lettere Pittoriche. Nor are his other two works of greater utility, one of which contains some arguments in the same style, which are proposed as a theme for disputation in the Academy of the Innominati, in Parma.

It is generally thought that this treatise of Zuccaro was composed in Rome, where he presided in the Academy of S. Luke. That academy was instituted in the pontificate of Gregory XIII., who signed the brief for its foundation at the instance of Muziano, as Baglione relates in the life of that artist. He further states, that when the ancient church of S. Luke, on the Esquiline, was demolished, the seat I believe of the society of painters, the church of S. Martina was allotted to them, at the foot of the Campidoglio. But this brief does not seem to have been used until the return of Zuccaro from Spain, as according to the same writer, it was he who put it in execution. And this must have occurred in 1595, if the year which was celebrated by the painters of S. Luke in 1695, was the true centenary of the Academy. But the origin of the institution may be dated, agreeably to some persons, from the month of November, 1593, as mentioned by the Sig. Barone Vernazza, [Pg 143]who, among the first promoters, or members, includes the Piedmontese Arbasia, on the relation of Romano Alberti. Baglione says that Federigo was declared president by common consent; and that that day was a sort of triumph to him, as he was accompanied on his return home by a company of artists and literary persons; and in a little time afterwards he assigned a saloon in his own house for the use of the academy. He wrote both in poetry and in prose in the Academy of S. Luke, which is referred to more than once in his greater work. He evinced an extraordinary affection for this institution, and according to the example of Muziano, he named it the heir of his estate, in the event of the extinction of his family. He was succeeded in the presidency by Laureti, and a series of eminent artists down to our own time. The sittings of the academy have now for a long time past been fixed in a house contiguous to the church of S. Martina, which is decorated with the portraits and works of its members. The picture of S. Luke, by Raffaello, is there religiously preserved, together with his own portrait; and there too is to be seen the skull of Raffaello, in a casket, the richest spoil ever won by death from the empire of art. Of this academy we shall speak further towards the conclusion of this third book. We will now return to Federigo.

The school of this artist received distinction from Passignano and other scholars, elsewhere mentioned by us. To these we may add Niccolo [Pg 144]da Pesaro, who painted in the church of Ara Cœli; but whose best piece is a Last Supper in the church of the sacrament at Pesaro. It is a picture so well conceived and harmonized, and so rich in pictorial ornament, that Lazzarini has descanted on it in his lectures as one of the first of the city. It is said that Baroccio held this artist in great esteem. Baglione commended him for his early works, but it must be confessed that he did not persevere in his first style, and fell into an insipid manner, whence he suffered both in reputation and fortune. Another artist of Pesaro, instructed by Zuccaro, was Gio. Giacomo Pandolfi, whose works are celebrated in his native city, and do not yield the palm to those of Federigo, as the picture of S. George and S. Carlo in the Duomo. He ornamented the whole chapel in the Nome di Dio, with a variety of subjects in fresco, from the Old and New Testament; but as he was then become infirm from age and the gout, they did not add much to his fame. His greatest merit was the instilling good principles into Simon Canterini, of whom, as well as of the Pesarese artists his followers, we shall write at large in the school of Bologna. One Paolo Cespede, a Spaniard, called in Rome Cedaspe, also received his education from Zuccaro. He commenced his career in Rome, and excited great expectations from some pictures in fresco, which are still to be seen at the church of Trinità de' Monti, and other places. He had adopted a natural style, and was in a way to rise in his profession, [Pg 145]when he obtained an ecclesiastical benefice in his native country, and retired to reside upon it. Marco Tullio Montagna accompanied Federigo to Turin as an assistant; and a small picture of S. Saverio and other saints in a church of that city, generally attributed to the school of Zuccaro, is probably by him. He painted in Rome in the church of S. Niccolo in Carcere, in the vaults of the Vatican, and in many other places, in a tolerable style, but nothing more.

After the above named artists a crowd of contemporaries present themselves, more particularly those who had the direction of the works under Gregory XIII. The Sala de' Duchi was entrusted to Lorenzino of Bologna, who was invited to Rome from his native city, where he enjoyed the reputation of an excellent painter, and deservedly so, as we shall see in his place. He undertook the decoration of the gallery of the Vatican, which, from the vast size of that building, forms a boundless field of art. Niccolò Circignani, or delle Pomarance, already mentioned in the first book, distributed the work amongst a number of young artists, who there painted historical subjects, landscapes, and arabesques. The Pope was desirous that the walls also should serve the cause of science, and ordered the compartments to be adorned with geographical delineations of ancient and modern Italy, a task which was assigned to Padre Ignazio Danti, a Domenican, a mathematician and geographer [Pg 146]of his court, and who was afterwards promoted to the bishopric of Alatri. Ignazio was born in Perugia, of a family devoted to the fine arts, and had two brothers, painters; Girolamo, of whom there remain some works in S. Pietro, on the model of Vasari; and Vincenzio, who in Rome assisted Ignazio, and there died, and was a good fresco painter. Another grand work was also undertaken about this time, which was the continuation of the gallery of Raffaello, in an arm of the building contiguous to it, where, in conformity to the plan of Raffaello, it was intended to paint four subjects in every arcade, all from the New Testament. Roncelli, the scholar of Circignano, our notice of whom we shall reserve to a subsequent epoch, was charged with the execution of this plan, but was himself subject to the direction of Padre Danti, experience having shewn that the entire abandonment of a design to the direction of practical artists is injurious to its execution, as there are few that, in the choice of inferior artists, are not governed by influence, avarice, or jealousy. The selection, therefore, was reserved to Danti, who to an excellent practical knowledge of the art of design, united moral qualities that insured success: and under his direction the whole work was regulated and conducted in such a manner, that the spirit of Raffaello seemed to be resuscitated in the precincts of the Vatican. But the hand was no longer the same, and the imbecility which was apparent in the new productions, when compared [Pg 147]with the old, betrayed the decline of the art, though we occasionally meet with subjects by Tempesti, Raffaellino da Reggio, the younger Palma, and Girolamo Massei, which reflect a ray of honour on the age.

Another superintendant of the works of the Vatican, but rather in architecture than in painting, was Girolamo Muziano da Brescia, who, undistinguished in his native place, came young to Rome, and was there considered the great supporter of true taste. He derived his principles both in design and colour from the Venetian School, and early acquired such skill in landscape, that he was named in Rome Il Giovane de' Paesi. But he soon afterwards adopted a more elevated style, and devoted himself with such obstinate assiduity to study, that he shaved his head in order to prevent himself from going out of the house. It was at this time that he painted the Raising of Lazarus, afterwards transferred from the church of S. Maria Maggiore to the Quirinal Palace; and which, when exposed to public view, immediately conciliated to him the esteem and protection of Bonarruoti. His pictures occur in various churches and palaces of Rome, and are often ornamented with landscapes in the style of Titian. The church of the Carthusians possesses one of singular beauty. It represents a troop of Anchorets attentively listening to a Saint. There is great elegance and good disposition in the picture of the Circumcision in the Gesù, and the Ascension in [Pg 148]Ara Cœli displays an intimate knowledge of art. The picture too of S. Francis receiving the Stigmata, in the church of the Conception, is an enchanting piece, both as regards the figures and the landscape. Nor was he beneath himself in the pictures which he executed in the Duomo at Orvieto, which are highly commended by Vasari. The chapel of the Visitation in the Basilica Loretana, possesses three pictures by him, and that of the Probatica discovers great originality and expression. In the Duomo of Foligno, a picture by him in fresco, of the Miracles of S. Feliciano is pointed out, which was formerly hidden by dust, but was a few years ago restored in a wonderful manner to all its original freshness and charm of colour.

The figures of Muziano are accurately drawn, and we not unfrequently trace in them the anatomy of Michelangiolo. He excelled in painting military and foreign dresses; and above all, in representing hermits and anchorets, men of severe aspects, whose bodies are attenuated by abstinence, and his style, in general, inclines rather to the dry than the florid. We are indebted to this artist for the engraving of the Trajan Column. Giulio Romano had begun to copy it, and the laborious undertaking was continued and perfected by Muziano, and so prepared for the engraver.

The most celebrated scholar of Muziano, was Cesare Nebbia of Orvieto. He presided over the works of Sixtus, entrusting the completion of his [Pg 149]own designs to the younger painters. In this task he was assisted by Gio. Guerra da Modena, who suggested to him the subjects, and apportioned the work among the scholars. Both the one and the other of these artists, was endowed with a facility which was essential to the vast works on which they were employed in the five years reign of Sixtus, in the chapel of S. Maria Maggiore, in the library of the Vatican itself, in the Quirinal and Lateran palaces, and at the Scala Santa, and many other places. But in other respects, Muziano left his scholars far behind, as he was possessed of a great and inventive genius, while Nebbia was more remarkable for the mechanism of his art; particularly when he decorated walls. There are, however, some beautiful and well coloured pictures by him; among which may be mentioned the Epiphany, in the church of S. Francis at Viterbo, quite in Muziano's style. Baglione associates with Nebbia Giovanni Paolo della Torre, a gentleman of Rome, who was raised by Girolamo above the rank of a mere dilettante. Taja too, adds Giacomo Stella da Brescia, who, he observes, had degenerated in some degree from the style of his master. He was employed, nevertheless, both in the gallery of Gregory XIII., and in other places, not without commendation. It may be observed, that M. Bardon states him to have been a native of Lyons, long resident in Italy.

Another foreigner, but who came a considerable time after Muziano, was Raffaellino da Reggio, [Pg 150]who, after being instructed in the first principles of the art by Lelio di Novellara, formed a master style in Rome. Nothing was wanting to this artist except a greater knowledge of design, as he possessed spirit, disposition, delicacy, relief, and grace; qualities not common in that age. His pictures in oil are occasionally, though not often, found in galleries, but his best works are his frescos of small figures, such as the two charming fables of Hercules, in the ducal hall at Florence, and the two gospel stories in the gallery adjoining to that of Raffaello d'Urbino. He painted also at Caprarola in competition with the Zuccari, and Vecchi, and with such success, that his figures seem living, while those of his comrades are inanimate. This excellent artist died immaturely, greatly lamented, without leaving any pupil worthy of his name. He was however considered as the head of a school in Rome, and his works were studied by the youth of the academy. Many artists adopted his manner of fresco, particularly Paris Nogari of Rome, who left there numerous works, which are known for their peculiar manner; amongst others, some subjects in the gallery. He had another follower in Gio. Batista della Marca, of the family of Lombardelli, a young man of great natural talents, but which were rendered unavailing from his want of application. Many pictures in fresco by him remain in Perugia and in Rome, but the best are in Montenovo, his native place. None, however, approached so near to Raffaellino as Giambatista [Pg 151]Pozzo, who also died young, and who, as far as regards ideal beauty, may be considered the Guido of his day. To be convinced of this it is only necessary to see the Choir of Angels, which he painted in the chapel of the Gesù. If he had survived to the time of the Caracci, it is impossible to say to what degree of perfection he might not have attained.

Tommaso Laureti, a Sicilian, already noticed with commendation by us among the scholars of F. Sebastiano, and deserving honourable mention among the professors of Bologna, was invited to Rome in the pontificate of Gregory XIII., and was entrusted with a work of an invidious nature. This was the decoration of the ceiling and lunettes in the Hall of Constantine, the lower part of which had been illustrated by the pencils of Giulio Romano and Perino. The subjects chosen by this master were intended to commemorate the piety of Constantine, idols subverted, the cross exalted, and provinces added to the church. Baglione informs us that Laureti was entertained by the Pope in his palace in a princely manner; and either from his natural indolence, or his reluctance to return to a laborious profession, procrastinated the work so much, that Gregory died, and Sixtus commenced his reign before it was completed. The new pontiff was aware that the artist had abused the patience of his predecessor, and became so exasperated, that Laureti, in order to avert his wrath, proceeded in all haste to finish his labours. [Pg 152]When the work however was exposed to public view, in the first year of the new pontificate, it was judged unworthy of the situation. The figures were too vast and heavy, the colouring crude, the forms vulgar. The best part of it was a temple in the ceiling, drawn in excellent perspective, in which art indeed Laureti may be considered as one of the first masters of his day. Misfortune was added to his disgrace; for he was not only not rewarded as he had expected, but the cost of his living and provisions were placed to his charge, even to the corn supplied to his horse. So that he gained no remuneration, and actually died in poverty in the succeeding pontificate. He had however an opportunity afforded him of redeeming his credit, particularly in the stories of Brutus and Horatius on the bridge, which he painted in the Campidoglio, in a much better style. Intimately acquainted with the theory of art, and possessing an agreeable manner of inculcating its principles, he taught at Rome with considerable applause. He had a scholar and assistant in the Vatican, in Antonio Scalvati, a Bolognese, who in the time of Sixtus was employed among the painters of the Library, and who was afterwards engaged in painting portraits under Clement VIII., Leo XI., and Paul V.; and was highly celebrated in this department.

A better fortune attended Gio. Batista Ricci da Novara, who arrived at Rome in the pontificate of Sixtus, and who from his despatch manifested in the works at the Scala Lateranense, and the [Pg 153]Vatican Library, was immediately taken into employ by the Pope, who appointed him superintendant for the decorations of the palace of the Quirinal. He was also held in favour by Clement VIII., in whose time he painted in S. Giovanni Laterano the history of the consecration of that church: and there, according to Baglione, he succeeded better than in any other place. He left not a few works in Rome, and elsewhere his pictures display a facility of pencil, and a brilliancy and elegance which attract the eye. He was born in a city into which Gaudenzio Ferrari had introduced the Raffaellesque style, and where Lanini, his son-in-law had practised it; but in whose hands it seemed to decline, and still more so under Ricci, when he came to Rome; so that his style was Raffaellesque reduced to mannerism, like that professed by Circignani, Nebbia, and others of this age.

Giuseppe Cesari, also called Il Cavaliere d'Arpino, is a name as celebrated among painters, as that of Marino among poets. These two individuals, each in his line, contributed to corrupt the taste of an age already depraved, and attached more to shew than to reality. Both the one and the other exhibited considerable talents, and it is an old observation, that the arts, like republican states, have received their subversion from master spirits. Cesari discovered great capacity from his infancy, and soon attracted the admiration of Danti, and obtained the protection of Gregory XIII., with the reputation of [Pg 154]the first master in Rome. Some pictures painted in conjunction with Giacomo Rocca,[65] from designs of Michelangiolo, (in which Giacomo was very rich,) established his reputation. So much talent was not required to secure him general applause, as the public of that day were chiefly attracted by the energy, fire, tumult, and crowds, that filled his composition. His horses, which he drew in a masterly manner, and his countenances, which were painted with all the force of life, won the admiration of the many; while few attended to the incorrect design, the monotony of the extremities, the poverty of the drapery, the faulty perspective and chiaroscuro. Of these few however were Caravaggio, and Annibale Caracci. With these he became involved in disputes, and challenges were mutually exchanged. Cesari refused the challenge of Caravaggio, as he was not a cavaliere, and Annibale declined that of the Cavaliere d'Arpino, alleging that the pencil was his proper weapon. Thus these two eminent professors met with no greater obstacle in Rome in their attempts to reform the art, than Cesari and his adherents.

The Cavaliere d'Arpino survived both these masters more than thirty years, and left behind him progeniem vitiosiorem. To conclude, he was born [Pg 155]a painter, and in so vast and difficult an art, he had endowments sufficient to atone, in part, for his defects. His colouring in fresco was admirable, his imagination was fruitful and felicitous, his figures were animated, and possessed a charm that Baglione, who himself entertained very different principles, could not refrain from admiring. Cesari moreover practised two distinct manners. The one, the most to be commended, is that in which he painted the Ascension, at S. Prassede, and several prophets, di sotto in su: the Madonna in the ceiling of S. Giovanni Grisogono, which is remarkable for its fine colouring; the gallery of the Casa Orsini; and in the Campidoglio, the Birth of Romulus, and the battle of the Romans and the Sabines, a painting in fresco, preferred by some to all his other works. Others of his pictures may be added, particularly some smaller works, with lights in gold, exquisitely finished, as if they were by an entirely different artist. Of this kind there is an Epiphany in possession of the Count Simonetti, in Osimo, and S. Francis in extacies, in the house of the Belmonti at Rimino. His other style was sufficiently free, but negligent, and this latter he used too frequently, partly through impatience of labour, and partly through old age, as may be seen in three other subjects in the Campidoglio, painted in the same saloon forty years after the first. His works are almost innumerable, not only in Rome, where he worked in the pontificates of Gregory and Sixtus, and where, under Clement [Pg 156]VIII., he presided over the decorations in S. Gio. Laterano, and there continued under Paul V., but also in Naples, at Monte Casino, and in various cities of the Roman state, without mentioning the pictures sent to foreign courts, and painted for private individuals. For the latter indeed, and even for persons of inferior rank in life, he worked more willingly than for princes, with whom, like the Tigellius of Horace, he was capricious and morose. He was indeed desirous of being solicited by persons of rank, and often affected to neglect them, so much had the applause of a corrupted age flattered his vanity.

Cesari had many scholars and assistants, whom he more particularly employed in the works of the Lateran; as he did not deign in those times often to take up the pencil himself. Some of these pupils adopted his faults, and as they did not possess the same genius, their works proved intolerably bad. A vicious example, easy of imitation, is, as Horace has observed, highly seductive. There were however some of his school, who in part at least corrected themselves from the works of others. His brother, too, Bernardino Cesari, was an excellent copyist of the designs of Bonarruoti, and worked assiduously under the Cav. Giuseppe, but little remains of him, as he died young. One Cesare Rossetti, a Roman, served under Arpino a longer time, and of him there are many works in his own name. There are also to be found some public memorials of Bernardino Parasole, who was cut [Pg 157]off in the flower of his age. Guido Ubaldo Abatini of Città di Castello, merited commendation from Passeri as a good fresco painter, particularly for a vault at the Vittoria. Francesco Allegrini di Gubbio was a fresco painter, in design very much resembling his master, if we may judge from the cupola of the Sacrament in the Cathedral of Gubbio, and from another at the Madonna de' Bianchi. We there observe the same attenuated proportions, and the same predominant facility of execution. He nevertheless shewed himself capable of better things, when his mind became matured, and he worked with more care. He is commended by Ratti for various works in fresco, executed at Savona, in the Duomo, and in the Casa Gavotti, and for others in the Casa Durazzo at Genoa; where one may particularly admire the freshness of the colouring, and the skill exhibited in his sotto in su. He is also commended by Baldinucci for similar works in the Casa Panfili, and merits praise for his smaller pieces and battles frequently found in Rome and Gubbio. He also added figures to the landscapes of Claude, two of which are to be seen, in the Colonna palace. He lived a long time in Rome, and his son Flaminio with him, commemorated by Taja for some works in the Vatican. Baglione has enumerated not a few other artists, in part belonging to the Roman state, and in part foreigners. Donato of Formello (a fief of the dukes of Bracciano) had greatly improved on the style of Vasari his master, as is proved by his histories of S. Peter, [Pg 158]in a staircase of the Vatican, particularly the one of the piece of money found in the fish's mouth. He died whilst yet young, and the art had real cause to lament his loss. Giuseppe Franco, also called dalle Lodole, in consequence of his painting a lark in one of his pieces in S. Maria in Via, and on other occasions, and Prospero Orsi, both Romans, had a share in the works prosecuted by Sixtus. When these were finished, the former repaired to Milan, where he remained some years; the latter, from painting historical subjects, passed to arabesque, and from his singular talents in that line, was called Prosperino dalle Grottesche. Of the same place was Girolamo Nanni, deserving of particular mention, because, during all the time that he was engaged in these works, he never hurried himself, and to the directors who urged him to despatch, he answered always poco e buono, which expression was ever afterwards attached to him as a surname. He continued to work with the same study and devotion, as far as his talents would carry him, at S. Bartolommeo all'Isola, at S. Caterina de' Funai, and in many other places: he was not however much distinguished, except for his great application. Of him however, and of Giuseppe Puglia, or Bastaro, and of Cesare Torelli, also Romans; and of Pasquale Cati da Jesi, an inexhaustible painter of that age, though somewhat affected, and of many professors, that are in fact forgotten in Rome itself, I have thought it my duty to give this short notice, as I had [Pg 159]pledged myself to include a number of the second rate artists. It would be an endless task to enumerate here all the foreign artists. It may be sufficient to observe, that in the Vatican library more than a hundred artists, almost all foreigners, were employed. In the first book I have mentioned Gio. de' Vecchi, an eminent master, who, from the time of his works for the Farnese family, was considered a first rate artist; and the colony of painters, his fellow citizens, whom Raffaellino brought to Rome. In the same book we meet with Titi, Naldini, Zucchi, Coscj, and a number of Florentines, and in the following book Matteo da Siena and some others of his school. Again, in the fourth book, Matteo da Leccio and Giuseppe Valeriani dell' Aquila will have place; and in the third volume will be described Palma the younger (amongst the Venetians) who worked in the gallery; about which time Salvator Fontana, a Venetian, painted at S. Maria Maggiore, whom it is sufficient to have named. We may also enumerate Nappi and Paroni of Milan, Croce of Bologna, Mainardi, Lavinia Fontana, and not a few others of various schools, who in those times painted in Rome, without ultimately remaining there, or leaving scholars.

A more circumstantial mention may be made of some oltramontani, who, in conjunction with our countrymen, were employed in the works in these pontificates; and it may be done with the more propriety, as we do not speak of them in any other part of our work. But those who worked in Rome [Pg 160]were very numerous in every period, and it would be too much to attempt to enumerate them all in a history of Italian painting. One Arrigo, from Flanders, painted a Resurrection in the Sistine chapel, and also worked in fresco in other places in Rome; and is commended by Baglione as an excellent artist. Francesco da Castello, was also of Flanders, and of a more refined and correct taste. There is a picture by him at S. Rocco, with various saints; and it is perhaps the best piece the world possesses of him; but almost all his works were painted for the cabinet, and in miniature, in which he excelled. The Brilli we may include among the landscape painters.

The states of the church possessed in this epoch painters of consideration, besides those in Perugia, where flourished the two Alfani and others, followers of a good style; but whether they were known or employed in Rome, I am not able to say. I included them in the school of Pietro, in order that they might not be separated from the artists of Perugia, but they continued to live and to work for many years in the 16th century. To these may be added Piero and Serafino Cesarei,[66] [Pg 161]and others of less note. In the city of Assisi, there resided, in the beginning of the 16th century, a Francesco Vagnucci, and there remain some works by him in the spirit of the old masters. There, also, afterwards resided Cesare Sermei Cavaliere, who was born in Orvieto, and married in Assisi, and lived there until 1600, when he died at the age of 84. He painted both there and in Perugia, and if not in a grand style of fresco, still with a felicity of design, with much spirit in his attitudes, and with a vigorous pencil. He was a good machinist, and of great merit in his oil pictures. At Spello I saw a picture by him of the Beatified Andrea Caccioli; and it seems to me, that few other painters of the Roman School had at that time equalled him. His heirs, in Assisi, possess some pictures by him of fairs, processions, and [Pg 162]ceremonies which occur in that city on occasion of the Perdono; and the numbers and variety and grace of the small figures, the architecture, and the humour displayed, are very captivating. At Spello, just above mentioned, in the church of S. Giacomo, is a picture which represents that saint and S. Catherine before the Madonna: where we read Tandini Mevanatis, 1580; that is, of Tandino di Bevagna, a place near Assisi; nor is it a picture to be passed over.

Gubbio possessed two painters, brothers of the family de' Nucci; Virgilio, who was said to be the scholar of Daniel di Volterra, whose Deposition he copied for an altar at S. Francis in Gubbio; and Benedetto, a disciple of Raffaellino del Colle, considered the best of the painters of Gubbio.[67] Both of them have left works in their native place, and in the neighbouring districts; the first of them always following the Florentine, and the second the Roman School. Of the latter there are many pictures at Gubbio, which shew the progress he had made in the style of Raffaello; and to see him in his best work, we must inspect his S. Thomas in the Duomo, which would be taken for a picture of Garofalo, or some such artist, if we were not acquainted with the master. A little time afterwards flourished Felice Damiani, or Felice da Gubbio, who is said [Pg 163]to have studied in the Venetian School. The Circumcision at S. Domenico has certainly a good deal of that style; but in pencil he inclines more to the Roman taste, which he, perhaps, derived from Benedetto Nucci. The Decollation of St. Paul, at the Castel Nuovo, in Recanati, is by him: the attitude of the saint excites our sympathy: the spectators are represented in various attitudes, all appropriate and animated: the drawing is correct, and the colours vivid and harmonious. It is inscribed with the year 1584. About ten years afterwards, he painted two chapels at the Madonna de' Lumi, at S. Severino, with subjects from the life of Christ; and there likewise displayed more elegance than grandeur of style. His most studied and powerful work is at S. Agostino di Gubbio, the Baptism of the Saint, painted in 1594, a picture abounding in figures, and which surprises by the novelty of the attire, by its correct architecture, and by the air of devotion exhibited in the countenances. He received for this picture two hundred scudi, by no means a low price in those times; and it should seem that his work was regulated by the price, since in some other pictures, and particularly in one in 1604, he is exceedingly negligent. Federigo Brunori, called also Brunorini, issued, it is said, from his school, and still more decidedly than his master, followed the Venetian style. His portraits are natural; and he was a lover of foreign drapery, and coloured with a strong effect. The Bianchi have an Ecce Homo by him, in which the [Pg 164]figures are small, but boldly expressed, and shew that he had profited from the engravings of Albert Durer. Pierangiolo Basilj, instructed by Damiani, and also by Roncalli, partakes of their more delicate manner. His frescos, in the choir of S. Ubaldo, are held in esteem; and at S. Marziale, there is by him a Christ preaching, with a beautiful portico in perspective, and a great number of auditors: the figures in this are also small, and such as are seen in the compositions of Albert Durer. The pictures appear to be painted in competition. Brunori displays more energy, Basilj more variety and grace.

In the former edition of this work I made mention of Castel Durante, now Urbania, in the state of Urbino. I noticed Luzio Dolce among the ancient painters, of whom I had at that time seen no performance, except an indifferent picture, in the country church of Cagli, in 1536. Since that period Colucci has published (tom. xxvii.) a Cronaca di Castel Durante, wherein he gives a full account of Luzio, and of others that belong to that place. Bernardino, his grandfather, and Ottaviano, his father, excelled in stucco, and had exercised their art in other places; and he himself, who was living in 1589, is commended for his altarpieces and other pictures, in the churches, both in his native city and other places: and further, it is stated that he was employed by the duke to paint at the Imperiale. He also makes honourable mention of a brother of Luzio, and extols Giustino [Pg 165]Episcopio, called formerly de' Salvolini, who, in conjunction with Luzio, painted in the abbey the picture of the Spirito Santo, and the other pictures around it. He also executed many other works by himself in Castel Durante and elsewhere, and in Rome as well, where he studied and resided for a considerable time. It is probable that Luzio was, in the latter part of his life, assisted by Agostino Apolonio, who was his sister's son, married in S. Angelo in Vado, and who removed and settled in Castel Durante where he executed works both in stucco and in oils, particularly at S. Francesco, and succeeded alike to the business and the property of his maternal uncle.

At Fratta, which is also in the state of Urbino, there died young, one Flori, of whom scarcely any thing remains, except the Supper of our Lord, at S. Bernardino. But this picture is composed in the manner of the best period of art, and deserves commemoration. Not far from thence is Città di Castello, where, in the days of Vasari, flourished Gio. Batista della Bilia, a fresco painter, and another Gio. Batista, employed in the Palazzo Vitelli, (tom. v. p. 131). I know not whether it was from him, or some other artist, that Avanzino Nucci had his first instructions, who repairing to Rome, designed after the best examples, and was a scholar and fellow labourer in many of the works of Niccolo Circignano. He had a share in almost all the works under Sixtus, and executed many others, in various churches and palaces. He possessed facility [Pg 166]and despatch, and a style not very dissimilar to that of his master, though inferior in grandeur. He resided some time in Naples, and worked also in his native place. There is a picture by him, of the Slaughter of the Innocents, at S. Silvestro di Fabriano. Somewhat later than he, was Sguazzino, noticed by Orlandi for the pictures painted at the Gesù in Perugia; though he left better works in Città di Castello, as the S. Angelo, in the Duomo; and the lunettes, containing various histories of our Lady, at the Spirito Santo, besides others in various churches. He was not very correct in his drawing, but had a despatch and a contrast of colours, and a general effect that entitled him to approbation.

Another considerable painter, though less known, was Gaspare Gasparrini, of Macerata. He was of noble birth, and followed the art through predilection, and painted both in fresco and oils. From the information which I received from Macerata,[68] it seems he learned to paint from Girolamo di Sermoneta.[69] However this may be, Gasparrini pursued a similar path, although his manner is not so finished, if we may judge from the two chapels [Pg 167]at S. Venanzio di Fabriano, in one of which is the Last Supper, and in the other the Baptism of Christ. Other subjects are added on the side walls, and the best is that of S. Peter and S. John healing the Sick, a charming composition, in the style of Raffaello. We find by him, in his native place, a picture of the Stigmata, at the Conventuals, and some cabinet pictures, in the collection of the Signori Ferri, relations of the family of Gaspare. Others too are to be found, but either doubtful in themselves, or injured by retouching. Padre Civalli M. C., who wrote at the close of the sixteenth century, mentions this master with high commendation, as may be seen on reference to the Antichità Picene, tom. xxv. In a recent description of the pictures at Ascoli, I find that a Sebastian Gasparrini, of Macerata, a scholar of the Cav. Pomaranci, decorated a chapel of S. Biagio in that city with historical paintings in fresco. But it is probable that this may be Giuseppe Bastiani, the scholar of Gasparrini. Another chapel at the Carmelites in Macerata, contains many pictures by him, with the date of 1594.

Of Marcantonio di Tolentino, mentioned by Borghini in his account of the Tuscan artists, and after him by Colucci (tom. xxv. p. 80), I do not know whether or not he returned to practise his art in his native country. In Caldarola, in the territory of Macerata, flourished a Durante de' Nobili, a painter who formed himself on the style of Michelangiolo. A picture of a Madonna by him [Pg 168]is to be seen in Ascoli, at S. Pier di Castello, on which he inscribed his name and country, and the year 1571. From another school I believe arose a Simon de Magistris, a painter as well as sculptor, who left many works in the province. One of his pictures of S. Philip and S. James, in the Duomo of Osimo, in 1585, discovers a poverty in the composition, and little felicity of execution; but he appears to greater advantage, at a more advanced period of life, in the works he left at Ascoli. There is one, of the Rosario, at S. Domenico, where Orsini found much to commend in the arrangement of the figures, in the design, and in the colouring. There is another, of the same subject, at S. Rocco, which is preferred to the former, except for the shortness of the figures, and which we have described in writing of Andrea del Sarto, and afterwards of Taddeo Zuccaro. For the same reason he reproaches Carlo Allegretti, who, in the same city, committed a similar fault. He painted in various styles, as may be seen from an Epiphany, in Bassano's manner, which he placed in the cathedral, a picture which will apologize for the others. Baldassini, in his Storia di Jesi, speaking of Colucci, records there the priest Antonio Massi, who studied and gave to the world some pictures in Bologna; and Antonio Sarti, whom I esteem superior to Massi; praising highly his picture of the Circumcision, in the collegiate church of Massaccio. This city gave birth to Paolo Pittori, who ornamented his native place and its vicinity. These [Pg 169]may serve as an example of the provincial painters of this age. I purposely omit many names, several of whom are fresco painters, who were indifferent artists; and others who were below mediocrity. It is indeed true, that many have escaped, from being unknown to me, and there still remain, in the Roman state, many works highly beautiful, deserving of research and notice.

From the time of the preceding epoch, the art became divided into various departments; and at this period, they began to multiply, in consequence of many men of talent choosing to cultivate different manners. After Jacopo del Conte and Scipione da Gaeta, the portraits of Antonio de' Monti, a Roman, are celebrated, who was considered the first among the portrait painters under Gregory; as also those of Prospero and Livia Fontana, and of Antonio Scalvati; all three of the School of Bologna; to whom may be added Pietro Fachetti, of Mantua.

With regard to perspective, it was successfully cultivated by Jacopo Barocci, commonly called Il Vignola, an illustrious name in architecture; owing to which his celebrity in the other branches has been overlooked. But it ought to be observed that his first studies were directed to painting, in the school of Passarotti, in Bologna; until he was led by the impulse of his genius, to apply himself to perspective, and by the aid of that science, as he was accustomed to say, to architecture, in which he executed some wonderful works, and [Pg 170]amongst others the palace of Caprarola. There, and I know not whether in other places, are to be seen some pictures by him. As a writer, we shall refer to him in the second index, where, omitting his other works, we shall cite the two books which he wrote in this department of art. Great progress was made in Rome, in the art of perspective, after Laureti, by the genius of Gio. Alberti di Città S. Sepolcro, whose eulogy I shall not here stop to repeat, having already spoken of it in the first volume. Baglione names two friends, Tarquinio di Viterbo and Giovanni Zanna, of Rome; the first of whom painted landscapes, and the second adorned them with figures. He mentions the two brothers, Conti, of Ancona; Cesare, who excelled in arabesques, and Vincenzio in figures: these artists painted for private persons. Marco da Faenza was much employed under Gregory XIII., in arabesques, and the more elegant decorations of the Vatican, and had also the direction of other artists. Of him we shall make more particular mention amongst the artists of Romagna.

The landscapes in the Apostolic palace, and in various places of Rome, were many of them painted by Matteo da Siena, and by Gio. Fiammingo, with whom Taja makes us acquainted, in the ducal hall, and particularly the two brothers Brilli, of Flanders, who painted both in fresco and oil. Matteo always retained his ultramontane manner, rather dry, and not very true in colour. Paolo, who survived him, improved his [Pg 171]style, from the study of Titian and the Caracci, and was an excellent artist in every department of landscape, and in the power of adapting it to historical subjects. Italy abounds with his pictures. Two other landscape painters also lived in Rome at this time, Fabrizio of Parma, who may be ranked with Matteo, and Cesare, a Piedmontese, more attached to the style of Paolo. Nor ought we to omit Filippo d'Angeli, who, from his long residence in Naples, is called a Neapolitan, though he was born in Rome, where, and as we have observed in Florence, he was highly esteemed. His works are generally of a small size; his prospects are painted with great care, and ornamented with figures admirably introduced. There are also some battle pieces by him.

But in battles and in hunting pieces, none in these times equalled Antonio Tempesti. He was followed, though at a considerable interval, by Francesco Allegrini, a name not new to those who have read the preceding pages. To these we may add Marzio di Colantonio, a Roman, though he has left fewer works in Rome than in Turin, where he was employed by the Cardinal, prince of Savoy. He was also accomplished in arabesque and landscapes, and painted small frescos in an agreeable manner.

It is at this epoch that Vasari describes the manufacture of earthen vases, painted with a variety of colours, with such exquisite art, that they seemed to rival the oil pictures of the first masters. [Pg 172]He pretends that this art was unknown to the ancients, and it is at any rate certain that it was not carried to such perfection by them. Signor Gio. Batista Passeri, who composed l'Istoria delle pitture in Majolica fatte in Pesaro e ne' luoghi circonvicini, derives the art from Luca della Robbia, a Florentine, who discovered a mode of giving to the clay a glazing to resist the injuries of time. In this manner were formed the bassirelievi and altars which still exist, and the pavements which are described at page 81. Others derive this art from Cina, whence it passed to the island of Majolica, and from thence into Italy; and this invention was particularly cultivated in the state of Urbino. The coarse manufacture had been for a long time in use. The fine earthenware commenced there about 1500, and was manufactured by an excellent artist, of whom there exists in the convent of Domenicans, of Gubbio, a statue of an abbot, S. Antonio, well modelled and painted, and many services in various noble houses with his name M. Giorgio da Ugubio. The year is also inscribed, from which it appears that his manufacture of these articles began in 1519, and ended in 1537. At this time Urbino also cultivated the plastic art, and the individual of his day, who most excelled, was Federigo Brandani. Whoever thinks that I exaggerate, may view the Nativity, which he left at S. Joseph, and say, whether, except Begarelli of Modena, there is any one that can be compared with him for liveliness and grace [Pg 173]in his figures, for variety and propriety of attitude, and for natural expression of the accessory parts; the animals, which seem alive; the satchels and a key suspended; the humble furniture, and other things admirably appropriate, and all wonderfully represented: the figure of the divine Infant is not so highly finished, and is perhaps the object which least surprises us. Nor in the meanwhile did the people of Urbino neglect to advance the art of painted vases, in which fabric a M. Rovigo of Urbino is much celebrated. The subjects which were first painted in porcelain, were poor in design, but were highly valued for the colouring, particularly for a most beautiful red, which was subsequently disused, either because the secret was lost, or because it did not amalgamate with the other colours.

But the art did not attain the perfection which Vasari describes, until about the year 1540, and was indebted for it to Orazio Fontana, of Urbino, whose vases, for the polish of the varnish, for the figures, and for their forms, may perhaps be ranked before any that have come down to us from antiquity. He practised this art in many parts of the state, but more especially in Castel Durante, now called Urbania, which possesses a light clay, extremely well adapted for every thing of this nature. His brother, Flamminio, worked in conjunction with him, and was afterwards invited to Florence by the grand duke of Tuscany, and introduced there a beautiful manner of painting [Pg 174]vases. This information is given us by the Sig. Lazzari, and for which the Florentine history of art ought to express its obligations to him. The establishment of this fine taste in Urbino, was, in a great measure, owing to the Duke Guidobaldo, who was a prince enthusiastically devoted to the fine arts, and who established a manufactory, and supported it at his own expense. He did not allow the painters of these vases to copy their own designs, but obliged them to execute those of the first artists, and particularly those of Raffaello; and gave them for subjects many designs of Sanzio never before seen, and which formed part of his rich collection. Hence these articles are commonly known in Italy by the name of Raphael ware, and from thence arose certain idle traditions respecting the father of Raffaello, and Raffaello himself; and the appellation of boccalajo di Urbino (the potter of Urbino), was in consequence applied, as we shall mention, to that great master.[70] Some designs of Michelangiolo, and many of Raffaele del Colle, and other distinguished masters, were adopted for this purpose. In the life of Batista Franco, we are informed that that artist made an infinite number of [Pg 175]designs for this purpose, and in that of Taddeo Zuccaro it is related that all the designs of the service, which was manufactured for Philip II., were entrusted to him. Services of porcelain were also prepared there for Charles V. and other princes, and the duke ordered not a few for his own court. Several of his vases were transferred to, and are now in the S. Casa di Loreto; and the Queen of Sweden was so much charmed with them, that she offered to replace them with vases of silver. A large collection of them passed into the hands of the Grand Duke of Florence, in common with other things inherited from the Duke of Urbino, and specimens of them are to be seen in the ducal gallery, some with the names of the places where they were manufactured. There are many, too, to be found in the houses of the nobility of Rome, and in the state of Urbino, and, indeed, in all parts of Italy. The art was in its highest perfection for about the space of twenty years, or from 1540 to 1560; and the specimens of that period are not unworthy a place in any collection of art. If we are to believe Lazzari, the secret of the art died with the Fontani, and the practice daily declined until it ended in a common manufactory and object of merchandize. Whoever wishes for further information on this subject, may consult the above cited Passeri, who inserted his treatise in the fourth volume of the Calogeriani, not forgetting the Dizionario Urbinate, and the Cronaca Durantina.

[Pg 176]The art of painting on leather deserves little attention; nevertheless, as Baglione mentions it with commendation in his life of Vespasian Strada, a fresco painter of some merit in Rome, I did not think it right to pass it over without this slight notice.

[56] Dolce, Dial. della Pittura, p. 11.

[57] We shall notice him again in the school of Bologna, where he passed his best years, and also in the Roman School, in which he was a master. Sebastiano had also another scholar, or imitator, as we find a Communion of S. Lucia, painted in his style, in the collegiate church of Spello. The artist inscribes his name, Camillus Bagazotus Camers faciebat.—Orsini Risposta, p. 16.

[58] He painted the S. Catherine in S. Agostino, the Presepio in S. Silvestro at Monte Cavallo, and left works in many other churches.

[59] He painted some façades in Rome. In the oratory of S. Giovanni Decollato, there remains the Dance before Herod, not very correctly designed, and feeble in colouring; but the perspective, and the richness of the drapery in the Venetian style, may confer some value on the picture.

[60] Bellori, Vite de' Pittori, p. 20.

[61] Idea de' Pittori, Scultori, e Architetti, reprinted in the Lett. Pitt. tom. vi. p. 147.

[62] The charming poet Lasca noticed this work as soon as the Cupola was opened to public view, in a madrigal inserted in the edition of his poems in the year 1741. He blamed Giorgio d'Arezzo (Vasari) more than Federigo, that for sordid motives he had designed and undertaken a work, which in the judgment of the Florentines, injured the Cupola of Brunellesco, which was the admiration of every one, and which Benvenuto Cellini was accustomed to call, la Maraviglia delle cose belle. He concludes by saying, that the Florentine people

"Non sarà mai di lamentarsi stanco Se forse un dì non le si dà di bianco."

[63] This is not the large picture of the Calumny of Apelles painted in distemper for the Orsini family, and engraved, and which is now to be seen in the Palazzo Lante, and is one of the most finished productions of Federigo.

[64] The same inflated style has of late become prevalent in some parts of Italy, with no little injury to our language and to good taste. In the Arte di vedere we find for example le pieghe longitudinali, la trombeggiata resurrezzione del Bello, &c. Some one has also attempted to illustrate the qualities of the art of painting by those of music, which has given occasion to a clever Maestro di Capella to write a humorous letter, an extract of which is given in the Difesa del Ratti, pag. 15, &c., and is the most entertaining and least ill tempered thing to be met with in that work.

[65] A scholar of Daniel di Volterra, from whom he inherited these designs, with many others by the same great master. He painted but little, and generally from the designs of others, and which he did not execute in a happy manner; and Baglione says, his pictures were deficient in taste.

[66] There remained, in the time of Pascoli, some pitture saporite, as he terms them, by this artist, at Spoleto, where Piero established himself, and in the neighbouring towns; and which often pass for the works of Pietro Perugino, from a similarity of names. It appears however that Cesarei was desirous of preventing this error, as he inscribed his name Perinus Perusinus, or Perinus Cesareus Perusinus, as in the picture of the Rosary at Scheggino, painted in 1595. Vasari, in the life of Agnol Gaddi, names among his scholars Stefano da Verona, and says, that "all his works were imitated and drawn by that Pietro di Perugia, the painter in miniature, who ornamented the books at the cathedral of Siena, in the Library of Pope Pius, and who worked well in fresco." These words have puzzled more than one person. Pascoli (P. P. p. 134.) and Mariotti (L. P. p. 59.) consider them as written of Piero Cesarei; as if a man born in the golden age should so far extol an old trecentista; or as if the canons of Siena could approve such a style after possessing Razzi and Vanni. Padre della Valle interprets it to mean Pietro Vannucci, and not finding the books of the Choir adorned in such a style as he wished, reproves Vasari for having confounded so great a master with a common fresco painter and a Miniatore. It is most likely that this Miniatore and Frescante of Vasari was a third Pietro, hitherto unknown in Perugia, and whom we shall notice in the Venetian School.

[67] See Il Sig. Cav. Reposati Appendice del tomo ii. della Zecca di Gubbio; and the Sig. Conte Ranghiasci in the Elenco de' Professori Eugubini, inserted in vol. iv. of Vasari (ediz. Senese), at the end of the volume.

[68] I am indebted for it, to the noble Sig. Cav. Ercolani, who obligingly transmitted it to me, after procuring it from the Sig. Cav. Piani and the Sig. Paolo Antonio Ciccolini, of Macerata.

[69] In a former edition, on the authority of a MS. I called him Serj, and was doubtful whether Siciolante was not his surname. Sig. Brandolese has informed me of an epitaph, in the hands of Mons. Galletti, in which he is called Siciolante, whence Serio was most probably his surname.

[70] Another probable cause of this appellation, is to be found in the name of Raffaello Ciarla, who was one of the most celebrated painters of this ware, and was appointed by the duke to convey a large assortment of it to the court of Spain. Hence the vulgar, when they heard the name of Raffaello, might attribute them to Sanzio.

[Pg 177]



Restoration of the Roman School by Barocci, and other Artists, Subjects of the Roman State, and Foreigners.

The numerous works carried on by the Pontiffs Gregory and Sixtus, and continued under Clement VIII., while they in a manner corrupted the pure taste of the Roman School, contributed, nevertheless, at the same time, to regenerate it. Rome, from the desire of possessing the best specimens of art, became by degrees the resort of the best painters, as it had formerly been in the time of Leo X. Every place sent thither its first artists, as the cities of Greece formerly sent forth the most valiant of their citizens to contend for the palm and the crown at Olympia. Barocci, of Urbino, was the first restorer of the Roman School. He had formed himself on the style of Correggio, a style the best calculated to reform an age which had neglected the true principles of art, and particularly colouring and chiaroscuro. Happy indeed had it been, had he remained in Rome, and retained the direction of the works which were entrusted to Nebbia, Ricci, and Circignani! He was there, indeed, for some time, and assisted the Zuccari in the [Pg 178]apartments of Pius IV., but was compelled to fly in consequence of some pretended friends having, in an execrable manner, administered poison to him through jealousy of his talents, and so materially injured his health, that he could only paint at intervals, and for a short space of time. Forsaking Rome, therefore, he resided for some time in Perugia, and a longer period in Urbino, from whence he despatched his pictures from time to time to Rome and other places. By means of these, the Tuscan School derived great benefit through Cigoli, Passignano, and Vanni, as we have before observed; and it is not improbable, that Roncalli and Baglione may have profited by them, if we may judge from some works of both the one and the other of these artists to be seen in various places.

However this might be, at the commencement of the seventeenth century, these five were in the highest repute as artists who were not corrupted by the prevailing taste. An idea had subsisted from the time of Clement VIII., of decorating the church of the Vatican, with the History of S. Peter, and of employing in that work the best artists. The execution of this design occupied a considerable time, the pictures being reduced to mosaic, as the painting on wood and slate did not resist the humidity of the church. The five before mentioned artists were selected to paint each a subject; and Bernardo Castelli, one of the first painters of the Genoese School, was the sixth, and the least celebrated. These artists were all liberally [Pg 179]paid, and the five first raised to the rank of Cavalieri, and their works had a beneficial influence on the rising generation, and proved that the reign of the mannerists was on the decline. Caravaggio gave it a severe shock by his powerful and natural style, and Baglione attests, that this young artist, by the great applause which he gained, excited the jealousy of Federigo Zuccaro, then advanced in years, and entered into competition with Cesare, his former master. But the most serious blow the mannerists received, was from the Caracci and their school. Annibale arrived in Rome not much before the year 1600, invited by the Cardinal Farnese to paint his gallery; a work which occupied him for nearly eight years, and for which he received only five hundred scudi, a sum so inadequate that we can scarcely believe it to be correct. He also decorated several churches. Lodovico, his cousin, was with him for a short time; Agostino, his brother, for a longer period; and he had his scholars with him, amongst whom we may enumerate Domenichino, Guido, Albano, and Lanfranc. They came thither at different periods, matured in their talents, and able to assist their master not only in execution but design.

Rome had for some years seen only the two extreme styles of painting. Caravaggio and his followers were mere naturalists; Arpino and his scholars pure idealists. Annibale introduced a style founded in nature, yet ennobled by the ideal, and supported his ideal by his knowledge of nature. [Pg 180]He was at first denounced as cold and insipid, because he was not affected and extravagant, or rather because great merit was never unaccompanied by envy. But though envy for a time, by her insidious suggestions and subterfuges, may derive a mean pleasure in persecuting a man of genius, she can never hope to succeed in blinding the public, who ever decide impartially on the merits of individuals, and whose judgment is not disregarded even by princes. The Farnese gallery was opened, and Rome beheld in it a grandeur of style, which might claim a place after the Sistine chapel, and the chambers of the Vatican. It was then discovered, that the preceding Pontiffs had only lavished their wealth for the corruption of art; and that the true secret which the great ought to put in practice lay in a few words: a judicious selection of masters, and a more liberal allowance of time. Hence, though somewhat tardy indeed in consequence of the death of Annibale, came the order from Paul V., to distribute the work among the Bolognese; for so the Caracci and their scholars were at that time designated; one of whom, Ottaviano Mascherini, was the Pope's architect.[71] A new spirit was thus introduced into the Roman School, which, if it did not wholly destroy the former extravagance of style, still in a great degree repressed it. The pontificate of Gregory XV. (Lodovisi) [Pg 181]was short, but still, through national partiality, highly favourable to the Bolognese, amongst whom we may reckon Guercino da Cento, although a follower of Caravaggio rather than Annibale. He was the most employed in St. Peter's, and in the villa Lodovisi. This reign was followed by the pontificate of Urban VIII., favourable both to poets and painters, though, perhaps, more so to the latter than the former; since it embraced, besides the Caracci and their school, Poussin, Pietro da Cortona, and the best landscape painters that the world had seen. The leading masters then all found employment, either from the Pope himself, or his nephew the Cardinal, or other branches of that family, and were engaged in the decoration of St. Peter's, or their own palaces, or in the new church of the Capucins, where the altarpieces were distributed among Lanfranc, Guido, Sacchi, Berrettini, and other considerable artists. The same liberal plan was followed by Alexander VII. a prince of great taste, and by his successors. It was during the reign of Alexander, that Christina, Queen of Sweden, established herself in Rome, and her passion for the fine arts inspired and maintained not a few of the painters whom we shall mention. It must indeed be premised, that we are under the necessity of deferring our notice of the greatest names of this epoch to another place, as they belong of right to the school of Bologna, and some we have already recorded in the Florentine School. But to proceed.

[Pg 182]Federigo Barocci might from the time of his birth be placed in the preceding epoch, but his merit assigns him to this period, in which I comprise the reformers of art. He learned the principles of his art from Batista Franco, a Venetian by birth, but a Florentine in style. This artist going young to Rome, to prosecute his studies there, was struck with the grand style of Michelangiolo, and copied both there and in Florence, all his works, as well his paintings and drawings as statues. He became an excellent designer, but was not equally eminent as a colourist, having turned his attention at a late period to that branch of the art. In Rome he may be seen in some evangelical subjects painted in fresco, in a chapel in the Minerva, and preferred by Vasari to any other of his works. He also decorated the choir of the Metropolitan church of Urbino in fresco, and there left a Madonna in oil, placed between S. Peter and S. Paul, in the best Florentine style, except that the figure of S. Paul is somewhat attenuated. There is a grand picture in oil by him in the tribune of S. Venanzio, in Fabriano; containing the Virgin, with the titular and two other protecting Saints. In the sacristy of the cathedral of Osimo, I saw many small pictures representing the life of Christ, painted by him in the year 1547, as we learn from the archives of that church; a thing of rare occurrence, as Franco was scarcely ever known to paint pictures of this class. Under this artist, whilst he resided in Urbino, Barocci designed and studied [Pg 183]from the antique. He then went to Pesaro, where he employed himself in copying after Titian, and was instructed in geometry and perspective by Bartolommeo Genga, the architect, the son of Girolamo and the uncle of Barocci. From thence he passed to Rome, and acquired a more correct style of design, and adopted the manner of Raffaello, in which style he painted the S. Cecilia for the Duomo of Urbino, and in a still more improved and original manner, the S. Sebastian, a work which Mancini, in point of solid taste, sets above all the works of Barocci. But the amenity and gracefulness of his style led him almost instinctively to the imitation of Correggio, in whose manner he painted in his native city the delightful picture of S. Simon and S. Judas, in the church of the Conventuals.

Nevertheless this was not the style which he permanently adopted as his own, but as a free imitation of that great master. In the heads of his children and of his female figures, he approaches nearly to him; also in the easy flow of his drapery, in the pure contour, in the mode of foreshortening his figures; but in general his design is not so grand, and his chiaroscuro less ideal; his tints are lucid and well arranged, and bear a resemblance to the beautiful hues of Correggio, but they have neither his strength nor truth. It is however delightful to see the great variety of colours he has employed, so exquisitely blended by his pencil, and there is perhaps no music more finely harmonized [Pg 184]to the ear, than his pictures are to the eye. This is in a great measure the effect of the chiaroscuro, to which he paid great attention, and which he was the first to introduce into the schools of Lower Italy. In order to obtain an accurate chiaroscuro, he formed small statues of earthenware, or wax, in which art he did not yield the palm to the most experienced sculptors. In the composition and expression of every figure, he consulted the truth. He made use of models too, in order to obtain the most striking attitudes, and those most consonant to nature; and in every garment, and every fold of it, he did not shew a line that was not to be found in the model. Having made his design, he prepared a cartoon the size of his intended picture, from which he traced the contours on his canvass; he then on a small scale tried the disposition of his colours, and proceeded to the execution of his work. Before colouring, however, he formed his chiaroscuro very accurately after the best ancient masters, (vol. i. p. 187,) of which method he left traces in a Madonna and Saints, which I saw in Rome in the Albani palace, a picture which I imagine the artist was prevented by death from finishing. Another picture unfinished, and on that account very instructive and highly prized, is in possession of the noble family of Graziani in Perugia. To conclude, perfection was his aim in every picture, a maxim which insures excellence to artists of genius.

Bellori, who wrote the life of Barocci, has given [Pg 185]us a catalogue of his pictures. There are few found which are not of religious subjects; some portraits, and the Burning of Troy, which he painted in two pictures, one of which now adorns the Borghese gallery. Except on this occasion his pencil may be said to have been dedicated to religion; so devout, so tender, and so calculated to awaken feelings of piety, are the sentiments expressed in his pictures. The Minerva, in Rome, possesses his Institution of the Sacrament, a picture which Clement X. employed him to paint; the Vallicella has his two pictures of the Visitation and the Presentation. In the Duomo of Genoa is a Crucifixion by him, with the Virgin and S. John, and S. Sebastian; in that of Perugia, the Deposition from the Cross; in that of Fermo, S. John the Evangelist; in that of Urbino, the Last Supper of our Lord. Another Deposition, and a picture of the Rosario, and mysteries, is in Sinigaglia; and, in the neighbouring city of Pesaro, the calling of St. Andrew, the Circumcision, the Ecstacy of S. Michelina on Mount Cavalry, a single figure, which fills the whole picture, and esteemed, it is said, by Simon Cantarini, as his masterpiece. Urbino, besides the pictures already noticed, and some others, possesses a S. Francis in prayer, at the Capucins; and at the Conventuals, the great picture of the Perdono, in which he consumed seven years. The perspective, the beautiful play of light, the speaking countenances, the colour and harmony of the work, cannot be imagined by [Pg 186]any one who has not seen it. The artist himself was delighted with it, wrote his name on it, and etched it. His Annunciation, at Loreto, is a beautiful picture, and the same subject at Gubbio, unfinished; the Martyrdom of S. Vitale, at the church of that saint, in Ravenna, and the picture of the Misericordia, painted for the Duomo of Arezzo, and afterwards transferred to the ducal gallery of Florence. The same subject exists also in the hospital of Sinigaglia, copied there by the scholars of Barocci, who have repeated the pictures of their master in numerous churches of the state of Urbino, and of Umbria, and in some in Piceno, and these are, occasionally, so well painted, that one might imagine he had finished them himself.

The same may be said of some of his cabinet pictures, which are to be seen in collections; such is the Virgin adoring the Infant Christ, which I remarked in the Ambrosian Library at Milan, in the Casa Bolognetti in Rome, and in a noble house in Cortona, and which I find mentioned also in the imperial gallery at Vienna. A head of the Ecce Homo has also been often repeated, and some Holy Families, which he varied in a singular manner; I have seen a S. Joseph sleeping, and another S. Joseph, in the Casa Zaccaria, in the act of raising a tapestry; and in the Repose in Egypt, which was transferred from the sacristy of the Jesuits at Perugia to the chamber of the Pope, he is represented plucking some cherries for the Infant Christ, a picture, which seems painted to rival Correggio. [Pg 187]Bellori remarks, that he was so fond of it that he frequently repeated it.

The school of Barocci extended itself through this duchy and the neighbouring places; although his best imitator was Vanni of Siena, who had never studied in Urbino. The disciples of Federigo were very numerous, but remaining in general in their own country they did not disseminate the principles, and few of them inherited the true spirit of their master's style: the most confining themselves to the exterior of the art of colouring; and even this was deteriorated by the use of large quantities of cinnabar and azure, colours which their master had employed with greater moderation; and they were not unfrequently condemned for this practice, as Bellori and Algarotti remark. The flesh tints under their pencil often became livid, and the contours too much charged. I cannot give an accurate catalogue of these scholars, but independent of the writers on the works in Urbino, and other guides and traditions in various parts, I am certain, that if they were not instructed by Barocci himself, they must at all events, from their country, and from the period at which they flourished, have formed themselves on his pictures. There is little to be observed respecting Francesco Baldelli, the nephew and scholar of Federigo. I do not find any memorial of him, except a picture which he placed in the Capella Danzetta, of S. Agostino, in Perugia, and which is mentioned by Crispolti, in his history of that city, at page 133.

[Pg 188]Of Bertuzzi and Porino I have not seen any works, except copies in the style of Barocci, or feeble productions of their own. An excellent copyist was found in Alessandro Vitali of Urbino, in which city, at the Suore della Torre, is found the Annunciation of Loreto, copied by him in such a manner that it might be taken for the original picture. Barocci was pleased with his talent, and willingly retouched some of his pictures, and probably favoured him in this way in the S. Agnes and S. Agostino, placed by Vitali, the one in the Duomo, the other in the church of the Eremitani, where he may be said to surpass himself. Antonio Viviani, called il Sordo of Urbino, also made some very accurate copies of his master, which are still preserved by his noble posterity. He too was a great favourite of Federigo, and was in his native city called his nephew; although Baglione, who wrote his life, is silent on this head. He left some pictures in Urbino, in the best style of Barocci; particularly the S. Donato, in a suburban church of the saint of that name. This however cannot be called his own style, for he visited Rome at various times, where, having received instructions from Mascherini, and employed himself for a time in the imitation of Cesari, and of the rapid manner of the practicians recorded by us, he exhibited in that metropolis various styles, and some of the most feeble which he adopted. Assuredly his fresco pictures, which remain in various places in Rome, do not support [Pg 189]the opinion which is inspired by a view of the vast work which he conducted in the church de' Filippini at Fano. There, in the vault, and in the chapel, are executed various histories of the chief of the apostles to whom the church is dedicated. His style in these exhibits a beautiful imitation of Barocci and Raffaello, in which the manner of the latter predominates. Lazzari maintains that this Antonio Viviani repaired to Genoa, and that Soprani changed his name to Antonio Antoniani; thus giving to Barocci a scholar who never existed. Of this supposition we shall speak with more propriety in the Genoese School. Another Viviani is mentioned by tradition in Urbino, Lodovico, a brother or cousin of the preceding. This painter sometimes imitates Barocci, as in the S. Girolamo in the Duomo, and sometimes approaches the Venetian style, as in the Epiphany at the Monastery della Torre.

Another painter almost unknown in the history of art, but of singular merit, is Filippo Bellini of Urbino, of whom I have not seen any works in his native place, but a number in oil and fresco scattered through many cities of the March. He is in general an imitator of Barocci, as in the picture of the Circumcision in the church of Loreto, in the Espousals of the Virgin in the Duomo in Ancona, and in a Madonna belonging to the Counts Leopardi at Osimo. He affords, however, sometimes an example of a vigorous and lively style, and exhibits a powerful colouring, and a grandeur [Pg 190]of composition. He discovered this character in some works in Fabriano in his best time, and particularly in the Opere della Misericordia, which are fourteen subjects taken from Scripture, and represented in the church della Carità.[72] They are beheld by cultivated foreigners with admiration, and it appears strange that such a painter, whose life and works are alike worthy of remembrance, should not have found a place in the catalogues. He is also extolled for his works in fresco, in the chapel of the Conventuals in Montalboddo, where he has represented the Martyrdom of S. Gaudenzio, and which is described in the guide book of that city.

We may next notice Antonio Cimatori, called also Antonio Visacci, not only by the vulgar, but also by Girolamo Benedetti, in the Relazione, which in the lifetime of the artist he composed on the festival at Urbino, in honour of Giulia de' Medici, married to the Prince Federigo. Cimatori was there engaged to paint the arches and pictures, which were exhibited, in conjunction with the younger Viviani, Mazzi, and Urbani. His forte lay in pen drawing, and in chiaroscuro; as may be seen from his Prophets, in a grand style, transferred from the Duomo to the apostolic palace. He did not leave many works in his native place; but amongst them is his picture of S. Monica, at [Pg 191]S. Agostino. His copies from the original pictures of Barocci are to be found in various places, particularly in the Duomo of Cagli. He resided, and worked for a long time in Pesaro, where he instructed Giulio Cesare Begni, a bold and animated artist, a good perspective painter, and in a great degree a follower of the Venetian School, in which he studied and painted. He left many works in Udine, and many more in his native place, in a rapid and unfinished style, but of a good general effect. In the Descrizione odeporica della Spagna, (tom. ii. p. 130), we find Giovanni and Francesco d'Urbino mentioned, who about the year 1575, it seems, were both engaged by the court to decorate the Escurial. The latter came early in life to Spain, and being endowed with a noble genius, soon became an excellent artist, and is extolled by his contemporary P. Siguenza, and by all who have seen the Judgment of Solomon, and his other pictures in a choir in that magnificent place: he died young. That these works belong to the pencil of Barocci might be suspected from their era, and the practice of that splendid court, which was in the habit of engaging in its service the first masters of Italy or their scholars. But not possessing positive information, nor finding any indication of their style, I dare not assign these two to Barocci. I feel a pleasure however in restoring them to the glorious country from which they had been separated.

Passing from the fellow countrymen of Barocci [Pg 192]to foreigners, some persons have imagined Andrea Lilio, of Ancona, to have been his disciple. I rather consider him to have been an imitator of him, but more in respect to colour than any thing else. He had a share in the works which were carried on under Sixtus, and painted for the churches, chiefly in fresco, and sometimes in partnership with Viviani of Urbino. He went to Rome when young, and lived there until the reign of Paul V., but suffered both in body and mind from domestic misfortunes, which interrupted not a little his progress in art. Ancona possesses several of his pictures in fresco, varying in their merit, as well as some of his oil pictures at the Paolotti in S. Agostino, and in the sacristy some pieces, from the Life of S. Nicholas, highly prized. The most celebrated is his Martyrdom of S. Lorenzo, by many ascribed to Barocci, for which I refer to the Guida of Montalboddo, and the church of S. Catherine, where it is placed. His greatest work is the altarpiece in the Duomo at Fano, representing all the saints, containing a vast number of figures well grouped and well contrasted, and if not very correctly designed, still possessing Barocci's tone of colour.

Giorgio Picchi of Durante I included in a former edition among the scholars of Barocci, in conformity to the general opinion prevalent in Pesaro and Rimini; but I have not found this confirmed in the chronicle of Castel Durante, published by Colucci, which contains a particular account of [Pg 193]this artist, written soon after his death. I am therefore inclined to think him only a follower, like Lilio, with whom he was associated in Rome in the time of Sixtus V., if the chronicle is to be relied on. It relates that he worked in the library of the Vatican, at the Scala Santa, and at the Palazzo di S. Giovanni; and it appears unaccountable that all this was unknown to Baglione, who narrates the same circumstances of Lilio and others, and makes no mention of Picchi. However this may be, he was certainly a considerable artist, and was attached to the style of Barocci, which was in vogue at that period, as we may perceive from his great picture of the Cintura, in the church of S. Agostino, in Rimini, and still more from the history of S. Marino, which he painted in the church of that saint in the same city. Others of his works are to be found both in oil and fresco in Urbino, in his native place, at Cremona, and elsewhere; and although on a vast scale, embracing whole oratories and churches, they could not have cost him any great labour, from the rapid manner which he had acquired in Rome.

In S. Ginesio, a place in the March, Domenico Malpiedi is considered as belonging to Federigo's school, and of him there are preserved in the collegiate church, the Martyrdoms of S. Ginesio and S. Eleuterio, which are highly commended. From Colucci we learn that there also remain other works by him; and from the prices paid, we may conclude that he was esteemed an excellent artist. [Pg 194]He was living in 1596, and about the same time there flourished also another Malpiedi, who painted a Deposition from the Cross in S. Francesco di Osimo, and inscribed on it Franciscus Malpedius di S. Ginesio, a picture feeble in composition, deficient in expression, and little resembling the school of Barocci, except in a distant approximation of colour.

The Guida of Pesaro assigns to the same school Terenzio Terenzj, called il Rondolino, whom it characterises as an eminent painter, and of whom there exist four specimens in public, and many more in the neighbourhood of the city (page 80). It is also mentioned that he was employed by the Cardinal della Rovere in Rome, and that he placed a picture in the church of S. Silvestro. The picture of S. Silvestro in capite, which represents the Madonna, attended by Saints, is ascribed by Titi to a Terenzio of Urbino, who, according to Baglione, served the Cardinal Montalto. It is most probable, that in the records of Pesaro there arose some equivoque on the name of the cardinal, and that these two painters might, or rather ought to be merged in one. Terenzio Rondolino, it appears to me, is the same as Terenzio d'Urbino, and very probably in Rome took his name from Urbino, the capital of Pesaro. But by whatever name this painter may be distinguished, we learn from Baglione that Terenzio d'Urbino was a noted cheat; and that, after having sold to inexperienced persons many of his own pictures for those of ancient [Pg 195]masters, he attempted to pass the same deceit upon the Cardinal Peretti, the nephew of Sixtus V. and his own patron, offering to his notice one of his own pieces as a Raphael: but the fraud was detected, and Terenzio in consequence banished from the court; a circumstance which he took to heart, and died whilst yet young.

Two brothers, Felice and Vincenzio Pellegrini, born and resident in Perugia, are recorded by Orlandi and Pascoli, as scholars of Barocci. The first became an excellent designer, and in the pontificate of Clement VIII. was called to Rome, probably to assist Cesari, though it is not known that he left any work in his own name. Some copies after Barocci by him exist in Perugia, and it is well known that his master was highly satisfied with his labours in that line. The other brother is mentioned by Bottari in the notes to his life of Raffaello; and I recollect having seen in Perugia a picture in the sacristy of S. Philip, in rather a hard manner, in which it is difficult to recognize the style of his supposed master. It is possible that these two artists might have had their first instructions from Barocci, and that they afterwards returned to another manner. A similar instance occurs in Ventura Marzi. In the Biographical Dictionary of the Painters of Urbino he is given to the school of Barocci. His manner however is different, and I should say bad, if all his pictures were similar to that of S. Uomobuono, which I saw in the sacristy of the metropolitan church; [Pg 196]but he did indeed paint some better, and it is an ancient maxim, that to improve we must sometimes err. Benedetto Bandiera, of Perugia, who approaches nearer to the style of Barocci than most others, is said to have been a relative of Vanni, from whom he derived that manner, if we may believe Orlandi. But Pascoli, both on this point, and on the period in which he flourished, confutes him, and considers him to have been instructed by Barocci in Urbino for many years, and that afterwards he became a diligent observer of all his pictures which he could discover in other places.

Whilst Italy was filled with the fame of Barocci, there came to Urbino, and resided in his house for some time, Claudio Ridolfi, called also Claudio Veronese, from his native city, of which he was a noble. He was there instructed by Dario Pozzo, an author of few but excellent works, and after these first instructions he remained many years without further applying himself. Being afterwards compelled by necessity to practise the art, he became the scholar of Paolo, and the rival of the Bassani; and not finding employment in his native place, which then abounded with painters, he removed to Rome, and from thence to Urbino. It is said that he derived from Federigo the amenity of his style, and the beautiful airs of his heads. He married in Urbino, and afterwards fixed his residence in the district of Corinaldo, where, and in the neighbouring places, he left a great number of pictures, which yield little in tone to the [Pg 197]best colourists of his native school, and are often conducted with a design, a sobriety, and a delicacy sufficient to excite their envy. Ridolfi, who wrote a brief life of him, enumerates scarcely one half of his works. There are some at Fossombrone, Cantiano, and Fabriano; and Rimino possesses a Deposition from the Cross, a beautiful composition. There are several mentioned in the Guida di Montalboddo, lately edited. Urbino is rich in them, where the Nascita del S. Precursore, (the Birth of S. John the Baptist), at S. Lucia, and the Presentation of the Virgin at the Spirito Santo, are highly valued. Many of his works are also to be seen in the Palazzo Albani, and in other collections of the nobility in Urbino. He there indeed formed a school, which gave birth to Cialdieri, of whom there are works remaining, both public and private; the most noted of which is a Martyrdom of S. John, at the church of S. Bartholomew. He possessed a facility and elegance of style, was highly accomplished in landscape, which he often introduced into his pictures, and is remarkable for his accurate perspective. Urbinelli, of Urbino, and Cesare Maggieri[73] of the same city, lived also about this time. The first was a vigorous painter, an excellent colourist, and partial to the Venetian style. The second an industrious artist, inclining to the style of Barocci and Roman School. The history of art does not assign either of these to the school [Pg 198]of Ridolfi; but there is a greater probability of the first rather than the second belonging to it. Another painter of uncertain school, but who partakes more of Claudio than of Barocci, is Patanazzi, who is mentioned in the Galleria de' Pittori Urbinati, (v. Coluc. tom. xvi.), and poetic incense is bestowed on his risentito pennello e l'ottima invenzione. I have seen by him in a chapel of the Duomo a Marriage of the Virgin, the figures not large, but well coloured and correctly drawn, if indeed some of them may not be thought rather attenuated than slender and elegant. A celebrated scholar of Ridolfi, Benedetto Marini, of Urbino, went to Piacenza, where he left some highly valued pictures in several churches, in which the style of Barocci is mixed with the Lombard and Venetian. The work which excites our greatest admiration is the Miracle of the Loaves in the Desert, which he painted in the refectory of the Conventuals in 1625. It is one of the largest compositions in oil which is to be seen, well grouped and well contrasted, and displaying uncommon powers.[74] I should not hesitate to prefer the scholar to the master in grandeur of idea and vigour of execution, though in the fundamental principles of the art he may not be equal to him. The history of his life, as well as his works, scattered in that neighbourhood, in Pavia, and elsewhere, were deserving of commemoration; yet this artist as well as Bellini remains unnoticed by the catalogues, and what is more, [Pg 199]he is little known in his native place, which has no other specimen of his pencil than a picture of S. Carlo at the Trinità, with some angels, which does not excite the same admiration as his works in Lombardy.[75] Some other scholars of Claudio are found in Verona, to which city he returned, and remained for a short time; and in the Bolognese School mention will be made of Cantarini, among the masters of which he is numbered. In the meantime let us turn from these provincial schools, which were the first that felt the reviving influence of the age, to the capital, where we shall find Caravaggio, the Caracci, and other reformers of the art.

Michelangiolo Amerighi, or Morigi da Caravaggio, is memorable in this epoch, for having recalled the art from mannerism to truth, as well in his forms, which he always drew from nature, as in his colours, banishing the cinnabar and azures, and composing his colours of few but true tints, after the manner of Giorgione. Annibale Caracci extolling him, declares that he did not paint, but grind flesh, and both Guercino and Guido highly admired him, and profited from his example. He was instructed in the art in Milan, from whence he went to Venice to study Giorgione; and he adopted at the commencement of his career that subdued [Pg 200]style of shadow, which he had learnt from that great artist, and in which some of the most highly prized works of Caravaggio are executed. He was however afterwards led away by his sombre genius, and represented objects with very little light, overcharging his pictures with shade. His figures inhabit dungeons, illuminated from above by only a single and melancholy ray. His backgrounds are always dark, and the actors are all placed in the same line, so that there is little perspective in his pictures; yet they enchant us, from the powerful effect which results from the strong contrast of light and shade. We must not look in him for correct design, or elegant proportion, as he ridiculed all artists who attempted a noble expression of countenance, or graceful foldings of drapery, or who imitated the forms of the antique, as exhibited in sculpture, his sense of the beautiful being all derived from visible nature. There is to be seen by him in the Spada palace a S. Anne, with the Virgin at her side, occupied in female work. Their features are remarkable only for their vulgarity, and they are both attired in the common dress of Rome, and are doubtless portraits, taken from the first elderly and young women that offered themselves to his observation. This was his usual manner; and he appeared most highly pleased when he could load his pictures with rusty armour, broken vessels, shreds of old garments, and attenuated and wasted bodies. On this account some of his works were removed from the altars, and [Pg 201]one in particular at the Scala, which represented the Death of the Virgin, in which was figured a corpse, hideously swelled.

Few of his pictures are to be seen in Rome, and amongst them is the Madonna of Loreto, in the church of S. Agostino; but the best is the Deposition from the Cross, in the church of the Vallicella, which forms a singular contrast to the gracefulness of Barocci, and the seductive style of Guido, exhibited on the adjoining altars. He generally painted for collections. On his arrival in Rome he painted flowers and fruit; afterwards long pictures of half figures, a custom much practised after his time. In these he represented subjects sacred and profane, and particularly the manners of the lower classes, drinking parties, conjurors, and feasts. His most admired works are his Supper at Emmaus, in the Casa Borghese; S. Bastiano in Campidoglio; Agar, with Ishmael Dying, in the Panfili collection; and the picture of a Fruit Girl, which exhibits great resemblance of nature, both in the figures and accompaniments. He was still more successful in representing quarrels and nightly broils, to which he was himself no stranger, and by which too he rendered his own life scandalous. He fled from Rome for homicide, and resided for some time in Naples; from thence he passed to Malta, where, after having been honoured with the Cross by the Grand Master, for his talent displayed in his picture of the Decollation of S. John, in the oratory of the church of the Conventuals, [Pg 202]he quarrelled with a cavalier and was thrown into prison. Escaping from thence with difficulty, he resided for some time in Sicily, and wished to return to Rome; but had not proceeded further on his journey than Porto Ercole, when he died of a malignant fever, in the year 1609. He left numerous works in these different countries, as we learn from Gio. Pietro Bellori, who wrote his life at considerable length. Of his chief scholars we shall treat in the following book. At present we will enumerate his followers in Rome and its territories.

His school, or rather the crowd of his imitators, who were greatly increased on his death, does not afford an instance of a single bad colourist; it has nevertheless been accused of neglect, both in design and grace. Bartolommeo Manfredi, of Mantua, formerly a scholar of Roncalli, might be called a second Caravaggio, except that he was rather more refined in his composition. His works are seldom found in collections, although he painted for them, as he died young, and is often supplanted by his master, as I believe was the case with some pictures painted for the Casa Medicea, mentioned by Baglione.

Carlo Saracino, or Saraceni, also called Veneziano, wishing to be thought a second Caravaggio, affected the same singular mode of dress as that master, and provided himself with a huge shagged dog, to which he gave the same name that Caravaggio had attached to his own. He left many [Pg 203]works in Rome, both in fresco and oils. He too was a naturalista, but possessed a more clear style of colour. He displayed a Venetian taste in his figures, dressing them richly in the Levant fashion, and was fond of introducing into his compositions corpulent persons, eunuchs, and shaven heads. His principal frescos are in a hall of the Quirinal; his best oil pictures are thought to be those of S. Bonone, and a martyred bishop in the church dell'Anima. He is seldom found in collections; but, from the above peculiarities, I have more than once recognized his works. He returned to Venice, and soon afterwards died there; hence he was omitted by Ridolfi, and scarcely noticed by Zanetti.

Monsieur Valentino, as he is called in Italy, who was born at Brie, near Paris, and studied in Rome, became one of the most judicious followers of Caravaggio. He painted in the Quirinal the Martyrdom of the Saints Processo and Martiniano. He was a young artist of great promise, but was cut off by a premature death. His easel pictures are not very rare in Rome. The Denial of S. Peter, in the Palazzo Corsini, is a delightful picture.

Simone Vovet, the restorer of the French School, and the master of Le Brun, formed his style from the pictures of Caravaggio and Valentino. In Rome there are some charming productions by him both in public and private, particularly in the Barberini gallery. I have heard them preferred to many others that he painted in France in his noted rapid style.

[Pg 204]Angiolo Caroselli was a Roman, in whose works, consisting chiefly of portraits and small figures, if we except the S. Vinceslao of the Quirinal palace, and a few similar pictures, we find the style of Caravaggio improved by an addition of grace and delicacy. He was remarkable for not making his design on paper, or using any preparatory study for his canvass. He is lively in his attitudes, rich in his tints, and finished and refined in his pictures, which are highly prized, but few in number, when we consider the term of his life. Besides practising the style of Caravaggio, in which he frequently deceived the most experienced, he imitated other artists in a wonderful manner. A S. Elena by him was considered as a production of Titian even by his rivals, until they found the cipher A. C. marked on the picture in small letters, and Poussin affirms, that he should have taken his two copies of Raffaello for genuine pictures, if he had not known where the originals were deposited.

Gherardo Hundhorst is called Gherardo dalle Notti, from having painted few subjects except illuminated night pieces, in which he chiefly excelled. He imitated Caravaggio, adopting only his better parts, his carnations, his vigorous pencil, and grand masses of light and shade: but he aimed also at correctness in his costume, selection in his forms, gracefulness of attitude, and represented religious subjects with great propriety. His pictures are very numerous, and the Prince Giustiniani possesses the one of Christ led by night [Pg 205]to the Judgment Seat, which is one of his most celebrated works.

The school of Caravaggio flourished for a considerable period, but its followers, painting chiefly for private individuals, have in a great degree remained unknown. Baglione makes particular mention of Gio. Serodine, of Ascona, in Lombardy, and enumerates many works by him, more remarkable for their facility of execution than their excellence. There remains no public specimen of him, except a Decollation of S. John at S. Lorenzo fuor delle Mura. One of the latest of the school of Caravaggio was Tommaso Luini, a Roman, who, from his quarrelsome disposition, and his style, was called Il Caravaggino. He worked in Rome, and appeared most to advantage when he painted the designs of his master, Sacchi, as at S. Maria in Via. When he embodied his own ideas, his design was rather dry and his colouring dark. About the same time Gio. Campino of Camerino, who received his first instructions under Gianson in Flanders, resided in Rome for some years, and increased the number of this school. He was afterwards painter to the court of Madrid, and died in Spain. It is not known whether or not Gio. Francesco Guerrieri di Fossombrone ever studied in Rome, but his works are to be seen at Filippini di Fano, where he painted in a chapel, S. Carlo contemplating the Mysteries of the Passion, with two lateral pictures from the life of that saint; and in another chapel, where he represented [Pg 206]the Dream of S. Joseph, his style resembles that of Caravaggio, but possesses more softness of colour, and more gracefulness of form. In the Duomo of Fabriano is also a S. Joseph by him. He has left, in his native place, an abundance of works, which, if distributed more widely, would give him a celebrity which it has not hitherto been his lot to receive. I there saw, in a church, a night piece of S. Sebastian attended by S. Irene, a picture of most beautiful effect; a Judith, in possession of the Franceschini family; other works in the Casa Passionei and elsewhere, very charming, and which often shew that he had very much imitated Guercino. His female forms are almost all cast in the same mould, and are copied from the person of a favorite mistress.

We now come to the Caracci and their school. Before Annibale arrived in Rome, he had already formed a style which left nothing to be desired, except to be more strongly imbued with the antique. Annibale added this to his other noble qualities when he came to Rome; and his disciples, who trod in his steps, and continued after his death to paint in that city, are particularly distinguished by this characteristic from those who remained in Bologna under the instruction of his cousin Lodovico. The disciples of Annibale left scholars in Rome; but no one except Sacchi approached so near in merit to his master, as they had done to Annibale, nor did there appear, like them, any founder of an original style. Still they [Pg 207]were sufficient to put a check on the mannerists, and the followers of Caravaggio, and to restore the Roman School to a better taste. We shall now proceed to enumerate their scholars in their various classes.

Domenichino Zampieri, to his talents as a painter, added commensurate powers of instruction. Besides Alessandro Fortuna, who under the direction of his master painted some fables from Apollo, in the villa Aldobrandini in Frescati, and died young, Zampieri had in Rome two scholars of great repute, mentioned only by Bellori; Antonio Barbalunga, of Messina, and Andrea Camassei of Bevagna, both of whom honoured their country with their name and works, although they did not live many years. The first was a happy imitator of his master, who had long employed him in copying for himself. In the church of the P. P. Teatini, at Monte Cavallo, is his picture of their Founder, and of S. Andrea Avellino, attended by angels, which might be ascribed to Zampieri himself, whose forms in this class of subjects were select, and his attitudes elegant, and most engaging. To him I shall return in the fourth book. The second, who had also studied in the school of Sacchi, lived longer in Rome; and whoever wishes justly to appreciate him, must not judge from the chapel which he painted whilst yet young in his native place, but must inspect his works in the capital. There, in S. Andrea della Valle, is the S. Gaetano, painted at the same time, and in competition [Pg 208]with the S. Andrea of Barbalunga, before mentioned with commendation; the Assumption at the Rotonda, and the Pietà at the Capucins; and many excellent frescos in the Baptistery of the Lateran, and in the church of S. Peter; which evince that he had almost an equal claim to fame with his comrade. If, indeed, he was somewhat less bold, and less select, yet he had a natural style, a grace, and a tone of colour, that do honour to the Roman School, to which he contributed Giovanni Carbone, of S. Severino, a scholar of some note. It has been remarked, that his fate resembles that of Domenichino, as his merits were undervalued, and himself persecuted by his relatives, and he was also prematurely cut off by domestic afflictions.

Francesco Cozza was born in Calabria, but settled in Rome. He was the faithful companion of Domenichino during the life of that master, and after his death completed some works left unfinished by that artist, and executed them in the genuine spirit of his departed friend, as may be seen in Titi. He appears to have inherited from his teacher his learning rather than his taste. One of his most beautiful pictures is the Virgin del Riscatto at S. Francesca Romana a Capo alle Case. Out of Rome there are few public or private works to be met with by him. He was considered exceedingly expert in his knowledge of the hands of the different masters, and on disputed points, which often arose on this subject in Rome, [Pg 209]his opinion was always asked and acted on, without any appeal from his judgment. Of Pietro del Po, also a disciple of Domenichino, and of his family, we shall speak more at large in the fourth book.

Giannangiolo Canini, of Rome, was first instructed by Domenichino, and afterwards by Barbalunga, and would have obtained a great reputation for his inventive genius, if, seduced by the study of antiquities, he had not for his pleasure taken a short way to the art; which led him to neglect the component parts, and to satisfy himself with a general harmonious effect. He possessed, however, great force and energy in subjects which required it, as in the Martyrdom of S. Stephen at S. Martino a' Monti. The works which he executed with the greatest labour and care, were some sacred and profane subjects, which he was commissioned to paint for the Queen of Sweden. But although he was appointed painter to that court, and was also a great favourite with the queen, it should seem that he did not much exercise his profession either for her or others, as his great pleasure was in designing from the antique. He filled a large volume with a collection of portraits of illustrious ancients, and heads of the heathen deities, from gems and marbles. This book, the Cardinal Chigi having carried it with him into France, he presented to Louis XIV., and received a collar of gold as a remuneration for it. On his return to Rome he [Pg 210]was intending to eulogize the queen in verse, and to continue in prose the lives of the painters, which he had in part prepared when he died. His biographical work probably afforded assistance to Passeri or to Bellori, his intimate friends.

With Canini worked Giambatista Passeri, a Roman, a man of letters, and who became afterwards a secular priest. It is recorded, that in the early part of his life he lived on very intimate terms with Domenichino at Frescati, and he adhered much to his style. There exists by him a Crucifixion between two Saints at S. Giovanni della Malva, but no other work in public, as most of his pictures are in private collections. In the Palazzo Mattei are some pictures representing butcher's meat, birds, and game, touched with a masterly pencil; to these are added some half figures, and also some sparrows (passere), in allusion to his name. There is also, by his hand, at the academy of S. Luke, the portrait of Domenichino, painted on the occasion of his funeral; on which occasion Passeri, and not Passerino, as Malvasia states, recited a funeral oration, and probably paid some poetical tribute to his memory, since he was accustomed to write both verse and prose as Bellori did; and his silence on the Lives of Bellori, which had then appeared, and which he had numerous opportunities of noticing, probably arose from feelings of jealousy. He is esteemed one of the most authentic writers on Italian art; and if Mariette expressed himself dissatisfied [Pg 211]with him, (v. Lett. Pitt. tom. vi. p. 10,) it probably arose from his having seen only his Life of Pietro da Cortona, which was left unfinished by the author. He possessed a profound knowledge of the principles of art, was just in his criticisms, accurate in his facts; if, indeed, as has been pretended by a writer in the Pittoriche Lettere, he did not in some degree depreciate Lanfranc, in order to raise his own master, Zampieri. His work contains the lives of many painters, at that time deceased, and was published anonymously, it is supposed, by Bottari, who in many places shortened it, and improved the style, which was too elaborate, containing useless preambles, and was occasionally too severe against Bernino and others, on which account the work remained unedited for more than a century.

Vincenzio Manenti, of Sabina, who was first the scholar of Cesari, and afterwards of Domenichino, left many works in his native place. Some pictures by him are to be seen in Tivoli, as the S. Stefano in the Duomo, and the S. Saverio at the Gesù, which do not exhibit him as an artist of very great genius, but assiduous and expert in colouring. Of Ruggieri, of Bologna, we shall speak elsewhere.

Guido cannot be said to have contributed much to the Roman School, except in leaving in the capital a great number of works displaying that charm of style, and distinguished by that superhuman beauty, which were his characteristics. We [Pg 212]are told of two scholars who came to him at the same time from Perugia, Giandomenico Cerrini, and Luigi, the son of Giovanni Antonio Scaramuccia. The pictures of Cerrini, (who was commonly called Il Cav. Perugino) were frequently touched by his master Guido, and passed for originals of that artist, and were much sought after. In his other works he varies, having sometimes followed the elder Scaramuccia. His fellow disciple is more consistent. He displays grace in every part of his work, and if he does not soar, still he does not fall to the ground. There are many of his paintings in Perugia, both in public and private, amongst which is a Presentation at the Filippini, from all accounts a beautiful performance. He left many works in Milan, where in the church of S. Marco, is a S. Barbera by him; a large composition, and extremely well coloured. He published a book in Pavia, in 1654, which he intituled Le Finezze de' Pennelli Italiani. It is full, says the Abbate Bianconi, di buona volontà pittorica. It possesses nevertheless some interesting remarks.

Gio. Batista Michelini, called Il Folignate, is almost forgotten in this catalogue; but there are in Gubbio various works by him, and particularly a Pietà, worthy of the school of Guido. Macerata possessed a noble disciple of Guido, in the person of the Cav. Sforza Compagnoni, by whose hand there is, in the academy de' Catinati, the device of that society, which might be taken [Pg 213]for a design of Guido. He gave a picture to the church of S. Giorgio, which is still there, and presented a still more beautiful one to the church of S. Giovanni, which was long to be seen over the great altar, but is now in the possession of the Conte Cav. Mario Compagnoni. Malvasia mentions him in the life of Viola, but makes him a scholar of Albano. The Ginesini boast of Cesare Renzi, as a respectable scholar of Guido, and, in the church of S. Tommaso, they shew a picture of that saint by his hand. In addition to the scholars of Guido, whose names have been handed down to us, I shall here beg leave to add an imitator of Guido, who from the time in which he flourished, and from his noble style of colour, probably belonged to the same school. I found his name subscribed Giorgio Giuliani da Cività Castellana, 161.., on a large picture of the Martyrdom of S. Andrew, which Guido painted for the Camaldolesi di S. Gregorio at Rome: and which this artist copied for the celebrated monastery of the Camaldolesi all'Avellana. It is exposed in the refectory, and notwithstanding the dampness of the place, maintains a freshness of colour very unusual in pictures of that antiquity.

The Cav. Gio. Lanfranco came to Rome whilst yet young, and there formed that free and noble style, which served to decorate many cupolas and noble edifices, and which pleases also in his cabinet pictures when he executed them with care. Giacinto Brandi di Poli was his most celebrated scholar [Pg 214]in Rome. He at first adopted his master's moderate tone of colour, the variety and contrast of his composition, and his flowing pencil; but in consequence of his filling, as he did, Rome and the state with his works, he neglected correctness of design, and never arrived at that grandeur of style which we admire in Lanfranc. He sometimes indeed went beyond himself, as in the S. Rocco of the Ripetta, and in the forty martyrs of the Stigmata in Rome; but his inordinate love of gain would not allow him to finish many works in the same good style. I have been informed by a connoisseur, on whose opinion I can rely, that the best works of this artist are at Gaeta, where he painted at the Nunziata a picture of the Madonna with the Holy Infant; and where, in the inferior part of the Duomo, he painted in the vault three recesses and ten angles, adding over the altar the picture of the martyrdom of S. Erasmus, bishop of the city, who was buried in that church. Brandi did not perpetuate the taste of his school, not leaving any pupil of eminence except Felice Ottini, who painted in his youth a chapel at the P. P. di Gesù e Maria, and did not long survive that work. Orlandi also mentions a Carlo Lamparelli di Spello, who left in Rome a picture at the church of the Spirito Santo, but nothing further. An Alessandro Vaselli also left some works in another church in Rome.

After Brandi, we ought to commemorate Giacomo Giorgetti, of Assisi, who is little known beyond [Pg 215]his native city, and the neighbouring towns. He is said to have first studied the art of design in Rome, when he learned colouring from Lanfranc, and became a good fresco painter. There is by him in a chapel of the Duomo at Assisi, a large composition in fresco, and in the sacristy of the Conventuals, various subjects from the Life of the Virgin, also in fresco; works coloured in a fine style, and much more finished than was usual with Lanfranc. If there be any fault to be found with them, it is the proportions of the figures, which not unfrequently incline to awkwardness. His name is found in the Descrizione della Chiesa di S. Francesco di Perugia, together with that of Girolamo Marinelli, his fellow citizen and contemporary, of whom I never found any other notice.

Lanfranc instructed in Rome a noble lady, who filled the church of S. Lucia with her pictures. These were designed by her master, and coloured by herself. Her name was Caterina Ginnasi. There were also with Lanfranc in Rome, Mengucci, of Pesaro, and others, who afterwards left Rome, and will be mentioned by us elsewhere. Some have added to these Beinaschi, but he was only an excellent copyist and imitator, as we shall see in the fourth book. At the same time, we may assert, that none of the Caracci school had a greater number of followers than Lanfranc; as Pietro di Cortona, the chief of a numerous family, derived much of his style from him, and the whole tribe of machinists [Pg 216]adopted him as their leader, and still regard him as their prototype.

Albano too, here deserves a conspicuous place as a master of the Roman School. Giambatista Speranza, a Roman, learned from him the principles of the art, and became a fresco painter of the best taste in Rome. If we inspect his works at S. Agostino, and S. Lorenzo in Lucina, and in other places where he painted religious subjects, we immediately perceive that his age is not that of the Zuccari, and that the true style of fresco still flourished. From Albano too, and from Guercino, Pierfrancesco Mola di Como derived that charming style, which partook of the excellences of both these artists. He renounced the principles of Cesari, who had instructed him for many years; and after having diligently studied colouring at Venice, he attached himself to the school of the Caracci, but more particularly to Albano. He never, however, equalled his master in grace, although he had a bolder tone of colour, greater invention, and more vigour of subject. He died in the prime of life whilst preparing for his journey to Paris, where he was appointed painter to the court. Rome possesses many of his pictures, particularly in fresco, in the churches; and in the Quirinal palace, is Joseph found by his Brethren, which is esteemed a most beautiful piece. There are also many of his pictures to be found in private collections; and in his landscapes, in which he excelled, it is doubted whether the figures are by him or Albano. He had [Pg 217]in Rome three pupils, who, aspiring to be good colourists, frequented the same fountains of art as their master had done, and travelled through all Italy. They were Antonio Gherardi da Rieti, who on the death of Mola frequented the school of Cortona; and painted in many churches in Rome with more despatch than elegance;[76] Gio. Batista Boncuore, of Abruzzo, a painter in a grand though somewhat heavy style;[77] and Giovanni Bonatti, of Ferrara, whom we shall reserve for his native school.

Virgilio Ducci, of Città di Castello, is little known among the scholars of Albano, though he does not yield to many of the Bolognese in the imitation of their common master. Two pictures of Tobias, in a chapel of the Duomo, in his native place, are painted in an elegant and graceful style. An Antonio Catalani, of Rome, is mentioned to us by Malvasia, and with him Girolamo Bonini, of Ancona, the intimate friend of Albani. These artists resided in Bologna, and were employed there, as [Pg 218]we shall see in our history of that school. Of the second we are told that he painted both in Venice and in Rome; and Orlandi praises his works in the Sala Farnese, which either no longer exist, or are neglected to be mentioned in the Guida of Titi.

Lastly, from the studio of Albani issued Andrea Sacchi, after its chief the best colourist of the Roman School, and one of the most celebrated in design, in the practice of which he continued until his death. Profoundly skilled in the theory of art, he was yet slow in the execution. It was a maxim with him that the merit of a painter does not consist in giving to the world a number of works of mediocrity, but a few perfect ones; and hence his pictures are rare. His compositions do not abound with figures, but every figure appears appropriate to its place; and the attitudes seem not so much chosen by the artist, as regulated by the subject itself. Sacchi did not, indeed, shun the elegant, though he seems born for the grand style—grave miens, majestic attitudes, draperies folded with care and simplicity; a sober colouring, and a general tone, which gave to all objects a pleasing harmony, and a grateful repose to the eye. He seems to have disdained minuteness, and, after the example of many of the ancient sculptors, to have left some part always unfinished; so at least his admirers assert. Mengs expresses himself differently, and says, that Sacchi's principle was to leave his pictures, as it were, merely indicated, and to take his ideas from natural objects, without giving them any determinate form: [Pg 219]on this matter the professors of the art must decide. His picture of S. Romualdo surrounded by his monks, is ranked among the four best compositions in Rome; and the subject was a difficult one to treat, as the great quantity of white in the vestures tends to produce a sameness of colour. The means which Sacchi adopted on this occasion have always been justly admired. He has placed a large tree near the foreground, the shade of which serves to break the uniformity of the figures, and he thus introduced a pleasing variety in the monotony of the colours. His Transito di S. Anna at S. Carlo a' Catinari, his S. Andrea in the Quirinal, and his S. Joseph at Capo alle Case, are also beautiful pictures. Perugia, Foligno, and Camerino, possess altarpieces by him which are the boast of these cities. He enjoyed the reputation of an amiable and learned instructor. One of his lectures, communicated by his celebrated scholar, Francesco Lauri, may be read in the life of that artist, written by Pascoli, who, as I have before remarked, collected the greater part of his information from the old painters in Rome. He has probably engrafted on them some sentiments either of his own or of others, as often happens in a narrative when the related facts are founded more in probability than in certainty; but the maxims there inculcated by Sacchi are worthy of an artist strongly attached to the true, the select, and the grand; and who, to give dignity to his figures, seems to have had his eyes on the [Pg 220]precepts of Quintilian respecting the action of his orator. He had a vast number of scholars, among whom we may reckon Giuseppe Sacchi, his son, who became a conventual monk, and painted a picture in the sacristy, in the church of the Apostles. But his most illustrious disciple was Maratta, of whom, and of whose scholars, we shall speak in another epoch.

We find a follower of the Caracci, though we know not of what particular master, in Giambatista Salvi, called from the place in which he was born, Sassoferrato,[78] and whom we shall notice further when we speak of Carlo Dolci, and his very devotional pictures. This artist excelled Dolci in the beauty of his Madonnas, but yielded to him in the fineness of his pencil. Their style was dissimilar, Salvi having formed himself on other models; he first studied in his native place under Tarquinio, his father,[79] then in Rome and afterwards in Naples; it is not known precisely under what masters, except that in his MS. Memoirs we read of one Domenico. The period in which Salvi studied [Pg 221]corresponds in a remarkable manner with the time in which Domenichino was employed in Naples, and his manner of painting shews that he adopted the style of that master, though not exclusively. I have seen in the possession of his heirs many copies from the first masters, which he executed for his own pleasure. I observed several of Albano, Guido, Barocci, Raffaello, reduced to a small size, and painted, as one may say, all in one breath. There are also some landscapes of his composition, and a vast number of sacred portraits; several of S. John the Baptist, but more than all of the Madonna. Though not possessing the ideal beauty of the Greeks, he has yet a style of countenance peculiarly appropriate to the Virgin, in which an air of humility predominates, and the simplicity of the dress and the attire of the head corresponds with the expression of the features, without at the same time lessening the dignity of her character. He painted with a flowing pencil, was varied in his colouring, had a fine relief and chiaroscuro; but in his local tints he was somewhat hard. He delighted most in designing heads with a part of the bust, which frequently occur in collections; his portraits are very often of the size of life, and of that size, or larger, is a Madonna, by him, with the infant Christ, in the Casali palace at Rome. The picture of the Rosario, that he painted at S. Sabina, is one of the smallest pictures in Rome. It is, however, well composed, and conducted with his usual spirit, and is regarded as a gem. In other [Pg 222]places the largest picture by him which is to be seen, is an altarpiece in the cathedral of Montefiascone.

A follower of the Caracci also, though of an uncertain school, was Giuseppino da Macerata, whom a dubious tradition has assigned to Agostino. His works are to be seen in the two collegiate churches of Fabriano; an Annunciation, in oils, in S. Niccolò, and at S. Venanzio two chapels, painted in fresco, in one of which, where he represented the miracles of the apostles, he surpassed himself in the beauty of the heads and in the general composition; in other respects he is somewhat hasty and indecisive. Two of his works remain in his native place; at the Carmelites the Madonna in Glory, with S. Nicola and S. Girolamo on the foreground; and at the Capucins, S. Peter receiving the Keys. Both these pictures are in the Caracci style, but the second is most so; corresponding in a singular manner with one of the same subject which the Filippini of Fano have in their church, and which is an authentic and historical work of Guido Reni. The second, therefore, is probably a copy. There is written on it Joseph Ma. faciebat 1630, but the figures of the year are not very legible. Marcello Gobbi, and Girolamo Boniforti,[80] a tolerable good imitator of Titian, lived [Pg 223]at this time in Macerata. Perugia presents us with two scholars of the Caracci, Giulio Cesare Angeli and Anton. Maria Fabrizzi, the one the pupil of Annibale in Rome, the other of Lodovico in Bologna. They were attracted by the fame of their masters, and secretly leaving their native place for about the space of twelve years, they obtained admission for some time into their school, if we may rely on Pascoli. Fabrizzi, who is also said to have worked under Annibale, does not shew great correctness; and the cause may be ascribed to his too ardent temperament, and the want of more mature instruction; for Annibale dying after three years, from a scholar he became a master, and was celebrated for his vigorous colouring, his composition, and the freedom of his pencil. Angeli was more remarkable for expression and colour than design, and excelled rather in the draped than in the naked figure. There is a vast work by him in fresco in the oratory of the church of S. Agostino in Perugia, and in part of it a limbo of saints, certainly not designed by the light of Lodovico's lamp, if indeed it ought not to be considered that this lunette is by another hand. This branch of the Bolognese School, which was constantly degenerating from the excellence of its origin, being at such a distance from Bologna as not to be able to be revivified by the pictures of the Caracci, still survived for a long time. Angeli instructed Cesare Franchi, who excelled in small pictures, which were highly prized in collections; and Stefano Amadei [Pg 224]also, who was formed more on the Florentine School of that age than on the School of Bologna. Stefano was also attached to letters, and opened a school, and by frequent meetings and instructive lectures improved the minds of the young artists who frequented it. One of the most assiduous of these was Fabio, brother of the Duke of Cornia, of whom some works are mentioned in the Guida di Roma, and who entitled himself to a higher rank than that of a mere dilettante.

Besides the Bolognese, a number of Tuscans who were employed by Paul V. in the two churches of S. Peter and S. M. Maggiore, also contributed to the melioration of the Roman School; and some others who, deprived of that opportunity of distinguishing themselves, are yet memorable for the scholars they left behind them. Of the diocese of Volterra was Cristoforo Roncalli, called Il Cav. delle Pomarance, cursorily noticed by us among the Tuscans. I now place him in this school, because he both painted and taught for a considerable time in Rome; and I assign him to this epoch, not from the generality of his works, but from his best having been executed in it. He was the scholar of Niccolò delle Pomarance, for whom he worked much with little reward; and from his example he learnt to avail himself of the labour of others, and to content himself with mediocrity. Yet there are several pictures by him, in which he appears excellent, except that he too often repeats himself in his backgrounds, his foreshortened heads, and full [Pg 225]and rubicund countenances. His style of design is a mixture of the Florentine and Roman. In his frescos he displayed fresh and brilliant colours; in his oil pictures, on the contrary, he adopted more sober tints, harmonized by a general tone of tranquillity and placidness. He frequently decorated these with landscapes gracefully disposed. Among his best labours is reckoned the death of Ananias and Sapphira, which is at the Certosa, and which was copied in mosaic in S. Peter's. Other mosaics also in the same church were executed after his cartoons, and in the Lateranense is his Baptism of Constantine, a grand historical composition. But his most celebrated work is the cupola of Loreto, very rich in figures, but injured by time, except some prophets, which are in a truly grand style. He painted considerably in the treasury of that church; and there are some histories of the Madonna not conducted with equal felicity, particularly in the perspective. He obtained this vast commission through the patronage of the Cardinal Crescenzi, in competition with Caravaggio, who, to gratify his revenge, hired an assassin to wound him in the face; and in rivalship too with Guido Reni, who retaliated in a more laudable manner, by proving his superiority by his works. Roncalli from this time was in great request in the cities of Picenum, which in consequence abound with his pictures. There is to be seen at the Eremitani at S. Severino, a Noli me tangere; at S. Agostino in Ancona, a S. Francis [Pg 226]praying; and at S. Palazia in Osimo, a picture of a saint, one of his most finished productions. In the same city, in the Casa Galli, he painted di sotto in su the Judgment of Solomon; and this is perhaps the best fresco that he ever executed. He could vary his manner at will. There is an Epiphany in the possession of the Marquis Mancinforti in Ancona, quite in the style of the Venetian School.

There were two artists who approached this master in style, the Cav. Gaspare Celio, a Roman, and Antonio, the son of Niccolò Circignani. Celio was the pupil of Niccolò, according to Baglione, but of Roncalli, if we are to believe Titi. He designed and engraved antique statues, and painted in a commendable manner whilst young, after the designs of P. Gio. Bat. Fiammeri, at the Gesù, and at a more mature age after his own, in numerous churches. The S. Francis, on the altar of the Ospizio, at Ponte Sisto, is by him; and he also painted the history of S. Raimondo at the Minerva, and the Moses passing the Red Sea, in a vault of the Mattei gallery, where he competed with other first rate artists. Antonio is not well known in Rome, where he worked with his father, after whose death he decorated by himself a chapel at the Traspontina, another at the Consolazione, and painted also in private houses. Città di Castello, where he passed some of the best years of his life, possesses many of his pictures, and amongst the rest, that of the Conception, at the Conventuals, [Pg 227]which may be called a mixture of Barocci and Roncalli, from whom he probably learned to improve the style he had inherited from his father.

The Cav. delle Pomarance instructed the Marchese Gio. Batista Crescenzi, who became a great patron of the fine arts, and who was so much skilled in them, that Paul V. appointed him superintendent of the works which he was carrying on in Rome; and Philip III., the Catholic, also availed himself of his services in the Escurial. He did not execute many works, and his chief talent lay in flower painting. His house was frequented by literary men, and particularly by Marino; he formed in it a gallery containing an extensive collection of pictures and drawings, of which he himself says, "I believe I may indeed safely affirm that there is not a prince in Europe that does not yield to me in this respect." (Lett. p. 89.) There the artists were always to be found, one of whom, his disciple, was called Bartolommeo del Crescenzi, of the family of Cavarozzi of Viterbo. He was a most correct artist, a follower first of Roncalli, and afterwards became the author of a captivating natural style. There exist many excellent pictures by him in collections, and in the church of S. Anna, a picture of that saint, executed, says Baglione, in his best taste, and with a vigorous pencil.

Among the scholars of Roncalli may also be ranked Giovanni Antonio, father of Luigi Scaramuccia, who also saw and imitated the Caracci. [Pg 228]His works are often met with in Perugia. The spirit and freedom of his pencil are more commended than his tints, which are too dark, and which in the churches easily distinguish him amidst a crowd of other artists. It is probable that he used too great a quantity of terra d'ombra, like others of his day. Girolamo Buratti, of the same school, painted in Ascoli the beautiful picture of the Presepio at the Carità, and some subjects in fresco, highly commended by Orsini. Of Alessandro Casolani, who belongs to this master, we spoke in the Sienese School. With him, too, was included Cristoforo his son, who, with Giuseppe Agellio of Sorrento, may be ranked with the inferior artists.

Francesco Morelli, a Florentine, demands our notice only as having imparted the rudiments of the art to the Cav. Gio. Baglione of Rome. His pupil, however, did not remain with him for any length of time, but formed a style for himself from a close application to the works of the best masters, and was employed by Paul V., by the Duke of Mantua, and by persons of distinction. He is less vigorous in design and expression, than in colour and chiaroscuro. We meet with his works, not only in Rome, where he painted much, but also in several provincial towns, as the S. Stephen in the Duomo of Perugia, and the S. Catherine at the Basilica Loretana. In his colours he resembled Cigoli, but was far behind him in other respects. The picture which procured [Pg 229]him great applause in the Vatican, the Resuscitation of Tabitha, is defaced by time; but both there and at the Cappella Paolina in S. Maria Maggiore, which was the most considerable work of Paul V., his pieces in fresco still remain, and are not unworthy of their age. He is not often found in collections, but in that of the Propaganda I saw a S. Rocco painted by him with great force of colour. He lived to a considerable age, and left behind him a compendium of the lives of professors of the fine arts, who had been his contemporaries in Rome from 1572 to 1642. He wrote in an unostentatious manner, and free from party spirit, and was on all occasions more disposed to commend the good than to censure the bad. Whenever I peruse him, I seem to hear the words of a venerable teacher, inclined rather to inculcate precepts of morals, than maxims on the fine arts. Of the latter, indeed, he is very sparing, and it would almost lead one to suppose that he had succeeded in his profession, more from a natural bias, and a talent of imitation, than from scientific principles and sound taste. It was, perhaps, in order that he might not be tied to treat of the art theoretically, and to write profoundly, that he distributed his work in five dialogues, in the course of which we do not meet with professors of art, but are introduced to a foreigner and to a Roman gentleman, who act the respective parts of master and scholar. Dialogues, indeed, were never composed in a more simple style, in [Pg 230]any language. The two interlocutors meet in the cloisters of the Minerva, and after a slight salutation, one of them recounts the lives of the masters of the art, to the number of eighty, which are commenced, continued, and ended, in a style sufficiently monotonous, both as to manner and language; the other listens to this long narrative, without either interrupting or answering, or adding a word in reply: and thus the dialogue, or rather soliloquy, concludes, without the slightest expression of thanks on the part of the auditor, or even the ceremony of a farewell. We shall now return to the Tuscan scholars.

Passignano was at Rome many times, without, however, leaving there any scholars, at least of any name. We may indeed mention Vanni, and he left there, too, a Gio. Antonio, and a Gio. Francesco del Vanni, who are mentioned in the Guida di Roma. The school of Cigoli produced two Roman artists of considerable reputation; Domenico Feti, who distinguished himself in Mantua, and Gio. Antonio Lelli, who never left his native place. They painted more frequently in oil, and for private collections, than in fresco, or in churches. Of the first, no public work remains except the two Angels at S. Lorenzo in Damaso; of the second some pictures, and some histories on the walls, among which the Visitation in the choir of the Minerva is much praised.

Comodi and Ciarpi are said to have been the successive masters of Pietro di Cortona; and on [Pg 231]that account, and from his birthplace, he has by many been placed in the school of Florence; although others have assigned him to that of Rome. It is true, indeed, that he came hither at the age of fourteen only, bringing with him from Tuscany little more than a well-disposed genius; and he here formed himself into an excellent architect, and as a painter became the head of a school distinguished for a free and vigorous style, as we have mentioned in our first book. Whoever wishes to observe how far he carried this style in fresco, and in large compositions, must inspect the Sala Barberina in Rome; although the Palazzo Pitti, in Florence, presents us with works more elegant, more beautiful, and more studied in parts. Whoever, too, wishes to see how far he carried it in his altarpieces, must inspect the Conversion of S. Paul at the Capucins in Rome, which, placed opposite the S. Michael of Guido, is, nevertheless, the admiration of those who do not object to a variety of style in art: nor am I aware that we should reject this principle in what we designate the fine arts; as it is invariably acknowledged in eloquence, in poetry, and history, where we find Demosthenes and Isocrates, Sophocles and Euripides, and Thucydides and Xenophon, equally esteemed, though all dissimilar in style.

The works of Pietro in Rome, and in the states of the church, are not at all rare. They are to be found also in other states of Italy, and those pieces [Pg 232]are the most attractive in which he had the greatest opportunity of indulging his love of architecture. His largest compositions, which might dismay the boldest copyist, are S. Ivo at the Sapienza of Rome, and the S. Charles in the church of that saint, at Catinari, in the act of relieving the infected. The Preaching of S. James in Imola, in the church of the Domenicans, is also on a vast scale. The Virgin attended by S. Stephen, the Pope, and other saints in S. Agostino, in Cortona, is a picture of great research, and is considered one of his best performances. There is an enchanting picture of the Birth of the Virgin, in the Quirinal palace; and the Martyrdom of S. Stephen, at S. Ambrogio, in Rome, and Daniel in the Den of Lions, in the church of that saint, in Venice, are most beautiful works, superior to those of most of his competitors in this school, in regard to composition, and equal to them in colour. His historical subjects are not met with in the galleries of the Roman nobility. In that of the Campidoglio, is the battle between the Romans and the Sabines, full of picturesque spirit; and in possession of the Duke Mattei, is the Adultery, half figures, more studied and more highly finished than was customary with him. This brief notice of him may suffice for the present. Of the scholars whom he formed in the Roman School, I shall speak more opportunely in the subsequent epoch.

At this period we find three Veronese artists, Ottini, Bassetti, and Turchi, studying in Rome; [Pg 233]and we shall speak of them more at length in the Venetian School. The first returned home without executing any public work. The second left, in the church dell'Anima, in Rome, two pictures in fresco, the Birth, and the Circumcision of Christ. The third, known under the name of Orbetto, took up his residence, and died in that capital; but I am not aware that he left there any disciples of merit, except some of his own countrymen, who returned to their native place. This engaging and elegant painter, who possessed great originality and beauty of colour, worked still more in Verona than in Rome, and we ought to see his works in the former city, in order justly to appreciate them. But he is not on that account held in the less esteem in Rome for his cabinet pictures, which are highly prized, as the Sisara de' Colonnesi, and for his scriptural subjects, as the Flight into Egypt, in the church of S. Romualdo, and the S. Felice Cappuccino, at the Conception, where, as we before observed, the Barberini family employed the most eminent artists.

Many other Italians worked in Rome in the time of the Caracci, but their schools, as well as the places of their birth, are uncertain; and of these, in a city so abounding in pictures, a slight notice will suffice. In the Guida di Roma, we find only a single notice of Felice Santelli, a Roman, in the church of the P. P. Spagnuoli del Riscatto Scalzi, where he painted in competition with Baglione; he is a painter full of truth, and one of his pictures [Pg 234]in Viterbo, in the church of S. Rosa, is inscribed with his name. In Baglione, we read of Orazio Borgianni, a Roman, the rival of Celio, and we find pictures and portraits by him in a good natural style. Gio. Antonio Spadarino, of the family of Galli, painted in S. Peter's, a S. Valeria, with such talent, that Orlandi complains of the silence of biographers respecting him. He had a fellow disciple in Matteo Piccione, of the March, and Titi mentions their peculiar style. Nor is Grappelli much known, whose proper name or country I cannot accurately ascertain; but his Joseph Recognized, which is painted in fresco, in the Casa Mattei, commands our admiration. Mattio Salvucci, who obtained some reputation in Perugia, came to Rome, and although he was graciously received by the Pope, yet, from his inconstant temper, he did not remain there, nor does Pascoli, his fellow countrymen and biographer, mention any authentic pictures by him. Domenico Rainaldi, nephew of the architect, Cav. Carlo Rainaldi, who was employed by Alexander VII., is mentioned in the Roman Guida, as also Giuseppe Vasconio, praised too by Orlandi. In the same description of books, and particularly in those which treat of the pictures of Perugia, mention is made in this epoch of the Cav. Bernardino Gagliardi, who was domiciled for many years in that city, though born in Città di Castello. Although a scholar of Avanzino Nucci, he adopted a different style, after having seen in his travels [Pg 235]the best works of every school of Italy, from Rome to Turin. In historical composition he particularly followed the Caracci and Guido, but in what I have seen of him, both in his own and his adopted city, he appears exceedingly various. The noble house of Oddi, in Perugia, amongst some feeble productions of his, have a Conversazione of young people, half figures, and truly beautiful. In the Duomo of Castello is a Martyrdom of S. Crescenziano, a picture of fine effect, though inferior in other respects. He there appears more studied and more select in the two pictures of the young Tobias, which are included among his superior works. His best is perhaps the picture of S. Pellegrino, with its accompaniments, in the church of S. Marcello in Rome. I do not recollect any other provincial painters of this period whom I have not assigned to one or other of the various masters.

A more arduous task than recording the names of the Italian artists now awaits us in the enumeration of strangers. About the beginning of the century Peter Paul Rubens came young to Rome, and left some oil pictures at the Vallicella, and in S. Croce in Gerusalemme. Not many years afterwards Antonio Vandyck arrived there also, with an intention of remaining for a long period; but many of his fellow countrymen, who were there studying, became offended at his refusing to join them in their convivial tavern parties and dissipated mode of life; he in consequence left Rome. Great numbers too of that nation who professed [Pg 236]the lower school of art, remained in Italy for a considerable period, and some are mentioned in their classes. Others were employed in the churches of Rome, and the ecclesiastical state. The master is unknown who painted at S. Pietro in Montorio, the celebrated Deposition, which is recommended to students, as a school of colour in itself; by some he is called Angiolo Fiammingo. Of Vincenzio Fiammingo there is at the Vallicella a picture of the Pentecost; of Luigi Gentile, from Brussels, the picture of S. Antonio at S. Marco, and others in various churches in Rome; he painted also at the church of the Capucins, at Pesaro, a Nativity and a S. Stephen, pictures highly finished and of a beautiful relief. He executed others at Ancona, and in various cities, with his usual taste, which is still more to be admired in his easel pictures. He excelled, says Passeri, who was very sparing in his praise of artists, in small compositions; since besides finishing them with great diligence, he executed them in an engaging style, and he concludes with the further encomium, that he equalled, if not surpassed, most artists in portrait painting.

About the year 1630, Diego Velasquez, the chief ornament of Spanish art, studied in Rome and remained there for a year. He afterwards returned thither under the pontificate of Innocent X., whose portrait he painted, in a style which was said to be derived from Domenico Greco, instructed by Titian, at the court of Spain. Velasquez renewed [Pg 237]in this portrait the wonders which are recounted of those of Leo X. by Raffaello, and of Paul III. by Titian; for this picture so entirely deceived the eye as to be taken for the Pope himself. At this time too a number of excellent German artists were employed in Rome, as Daniel Saiter, whom I shall notice in the school of Piedmont, and the two Scor, Gio. Paolo, called by Taja, Gian. Paolo Tedesco, whose Noah's Ark, painted in the Quirinal palace, has excited the most enthusiastic encomiums; and Egidio, his brother, who worked there for a considerable time in the gallery of Alexander VII. There were also in Rome Vovet, as we have observed, and the two Mignards, Nicolas, an excellent artist, and Pierre, who had the surname of Romano, and who left some beautiful works at S. Carlino and other places; and a master who claims more than a brief notice, Nicolas Poussin, the Raffaello of France.

Bellori, who has written the Life of Poussin, introduces him to Rome in 1624, and informs us that he was already a painter, and had formed his style more after the prints of Raffaello than the instruction of his masters. At Rome he improved, or rather changed his style, and acquired another totally different, of which he may be considered the chief. Poussin has left directions for those who come to study the art in Rome: the remains of antiquity afforded him instruction which he could not expect from masters. He studied the beautiful [Pg 238]in the Greek statues, and from the Meleager of the Vatican (now ascertained to be a Mercury) he derived his rule of proportions. Arches, columns, antique vases, and urns, were rendered tributary to the decoration of his pictures. As a model of composition, he attached himself to the Aldobrandine Marriage; and from that, and from basso-relievos, he acquired that elegant contrast, that propriety of attitude, and that fear of crowding his picture, for which he was so remarkable, being accustomed to say, that a half figure more than requisite was sufficient to destroy the harmony of a whole composition.

Leonardo da Vinci, from his sober and refined style of colour, could not fail to please him; and he decorated that master's work Su la Pittura with figures designed in his usual fine taste. He followed him in theory and emulated him in practice. He adopted Titian's style of colour, and the famous Dance of Boys, which was formerly in the Villa Lodovisi, and is now in Madrid, taught him to invest with superior colours the engaging forms of children, in which he so much excelled. It should seem that he soon abandoned his application to colouring, and his best coloured pictures are those which he painted on first coming to Rome. He was apprehensive lest his anxiety on that head might distract his attention from the more philosophical part of his picture, to which he was singularly attentive; and to this point he directed his most serious and assiduous care. Raffaello [Pg 239]was his model in giving animation to his figures, in expressing the passions with truth, in selecting the precise moment of action, in intimating more than was expressed, and in furnishing materials for fresh reflection to whoever returns a second and a third time to examine his well conceived and profound compositions. He carried the habit of philosophy in painting even further than Raffaello, and often executed pictures, whose claim to our regard is the poetical manner in which their moral is inculcated. Thus, in that at Versailles, which is called Memoria della morte, he has represented a group of youths, and a maid visiting the tomb of an Arcadian shepherd, on which is inscribed the simple epitaph, "I also was an Arcadian."

He did not owe this elegant expression of sentiment to his genius alone, but was indebted for it, as well to the perusal of the first classic authors, as the conversation of literary men, and his intercourse with scholars. He deferred much to the Cav. Marini, and might do so with advantage where poetry was not concerned. In the art of modelling, in which he excelled, he accomplished himself under Fiammingo; he consulted the writings of P. Zaccolini for perspective; he studied the naked figure in the academy of Domenichino and in that of Sacchi; he made himself acquainted with anatomy; he exercised himself in copying the most beautiful landscapes from nature, in which he acquired an exquisite taste, which he communicated [Pg 240]to his relative Gaspar Dughet, of whom we shall speak in a short time. I think it may be asserted without exaggeration, that the Caracci improved the art of landscape painting, and that Poussin brought it to perfection.[81] His genius was less calculated for large than small figures, and he has generally painted them a palm and a half, as in the celebrated sacraments, which were in the Casa Boccapaduli: sometimes of two or three palms size, as in the picture of the Plague in the Colonna gallery, and elsewhere. Other pictures of his are seen in Rome, as the Death of Germanicus in the Barberini palace, the Triumph of Flora in the Campidoglio, the Martyrdom of S. Erasmus, in the Pope's collection at Monte Cavallo, afterwards copied in mosaic in S. Peter's. Although he had established himself in Rome, he afterwards left that city for Paris, where he was appointed first painter to the court; after two years time, however, he again returned to Rome, but had his appointment confirmed, and, though absent, enjoyed the same place and stipend. He remained in Rome for twenty three years, and there closed his days. It is not long since his bust in marble, with an appropriate eulogy, was placed in the church of the Rotonda, at the suggestion [Pg 241]and generous expense of the Sig. Cav. d'Agincourt.

In the class of portrait painters, we find at the beginning of the seventeenth century, Antiveduto Grammatica, and Ottavio Lioni of Padua, who engraved the portraits of the painters; and, on his death, Baldassare Galanino was preeminent. It must however be remarked, that these artists were also designers; and that even those who were held the first masters in composition were employed in portrait painting, as Guido for example, who executed for the Cardinal Spada one of the finest portraits in Rome.

Thus far of historical painters. We may now recur to landscape and other inferior branches of the art, whose brightest era may be said to have been in the reign of Urban VIII. Landscape, indeed, never flourished so greatly as at that period. A little time before this pontificate, died in Rome, Adam Elzheimer, or Adam of Frankfort, or Tedesco, who had already, under the pontificate of Paul V., established a school (in which David Teniers was instructed); an artist of an admirable fancy, who in an evening committed to the canvass, with singular fidelity, the scenery which he had visited in the early part of the day, and he so refined his style in Rome, that his pictures, which generally represented night scenes, were there held in the greatest request. Only a short time too had elapsed since the death of Giovanni Batista Viola in Rome, one of the first artists who, profiting [Pg 242]from the instructions of Annibal Caracci, reformed the old, dry style of the Flemish, and introduced a richer mode of touching landscape. Vincenzio Armanno had also promoted this branch of art, adding to his landscapes a similitude to nature, which without much selection of ground, or trees, or accompaniments, charms us by its truth, and a certain stilness of colour, pleasingly chequered with lights and shades. He is highly to be commended too in his figures, and is copious in his invention. But the three celebrated landscape painters, whose works are so much sought after in the collections of princes, appeared under Urban; Salvator Rosa, a Neapolitan, and a poet of talent; Claude Gellée, of Lorraine; and Gaspar Dughet, also called Poussin, the relative of Niccolas, as I have already mentioned. That kind of fashion, which often aspires to give a tone to the fine arts, alternately exalted one or other of these three, and thus also obliged the painters in Rome to copy in succession, and to follow their various styles.

Rosa was the most celebrated of this class at the commencement of this century. A scholar of Spagnoletto, and the son, as one may say, of Caravaggio, as in historical composition he attached himself to the strong natural style and dark colouring of that master, so in landscape he seems to have adopted his subject without selection, or rather to have selected the least pleasing parts. Le selve selvagge, to speak with Dante, savage [Pg 243]scenery, Alps, broken rocks and caves, wild thickets, and desert plains, are the kind of scenery in which he chiefly delighted; his trees are shattered, torn, and dishevelled; and in the atmosphere itself he seldom introduced a cheerful hue, except occasionally a solitary sunbeam. He observed the same manner too in his sea views. His style was original, and may be said to have been conducted on a principle of savage beauty, as the palate of some persons is gratified with austere wines. His pictures too were rendered more acceptable from the small figures of shepherds, mariners, or banditti, which he has introduced in almost all his compositions; and he was reproached by his rivals with having continually repeated the same ideas, and in a manner copied himself.

Owing to his frequent practice, he had more merit in his small than in his large figures. He was accustomed to insert them in his landscapes, and composed his historical pictures in the same style as the Regulus, so highly praised in the Colonna palace, or fancy subjects, as the Witchcrafts, which we see in the Campidoglio, and in many private collections. In these he is never select, nor always correct, but displays great spirit, freedom of execution, and skill and harmony of colour. In other respects he has proved, more than once, that his genius was not confined to small compositions, as there are some altarpieces well conceived, and of powerful effect, particularly where the subject demands an expression of terror, as in a Martyrdom of [Pg 244]Saints at S. Gio. de' Fiorentini at Rome; and in the Purgatory, which I saw at S. Giovanni delle Case Rotte in Milan, and at the church del Suffragio in Matelica. We have also some profane subjects by him, finely executed on a large scale; such is the Conspiracy of Catiline, in the possession of the noble family of Martelli, in Florence, mentioned also by Bottari, as one of his best works. Rosa left Naples at the age of twenty, and established himself in Rome, where he died at the age of about sixty. His remains were placed in the church degli Angeli, with his portrait and eulogy; and another portrait of him is to be seen in the Chigi gallery, which does not seem to have been recognised by Pascoli; the picture represents a savage scene; a poet is represented in a sitting attitude, (the features those of Salvator,) and before him stands a satyr, allusive to his satiric style of poetry, but the picture is described by the biographer as the god Pan appearing to the poet Pindar. He had a scholar in Bartol. Torregiani, who died young, and who excelled in landscape, but was not accomplished enough to add the figures. Giovanni Ghisolfi, of Milan, a master of perspective, adopted in his figures the style of Salvator.

Gaspar Dughet, or Poussin, of Rome, or of the Roman School, did not much resemble Rosa, except in despatch. Both these artists were accustomed to commence and finish a landscape and decorate it with figures on the same day. Poussin, contrary to Salvator, selected the most enchanting [Pg 245]scenes, and the most beautiful aspects of nature; the graceful poplar, the spreading plane trees, limpid fountains, verdant meads, gently undulating hills, villas delightfully situated, calculated to dispel the cares of state, and to add to the delights of retirement. All the enchanting scenery of the Tusculan or Tiburtine territory, and of Rome, where, as Martial observes, nature has combined the many beauties which she has scattered singly in other places, was copied by this artist. He composed also ideal landscapes, in the same way that Torquato Tasso, in describing the garden of Armida, concentrated in his verses all the recollections of the beautiful which he had observed in nature.

Notwithstanding this extreme passion for grace and beauty, it is the opinion of many, that there is not a greater name amongst landscape painters. His genius had a natural fervour, and as we may say, a language, that suggests more than it expresses. To give an example, in some of his larger landscapes, similar to those in the Panfili palace, we may occasionally observe an artful winding of the road, which in part discovers itself to the eye, but in other parts, leaves itself to be followed by the mind. Every thing that Gaspar expresses, is founded in nature. In his leaves he is as varied as the trees themselves, and is only accused of not having sufficiently diversified his tints, and of adhering too much to a green hue. He not only succeeded in representing the rosy tint of morning, the splendour of noon, evening twilight, or a sky [Pg 246]tempestuous or serene; but the passing breeze that whispers through the leaves, storms that tear and uproot the trees of the forest, lowering skies, and clouds surcharged with thunder and rent with lightning, are represented by him with equal success. Niccolas, who had taught him to select the beauties of nature, instructed him also in the figures, and the accessary parts of the composition. Thus in Gaspar every thing displays elegance and erudition, the edifices have all the beautiful proportions of the antique; and to these may be added arches and broken columns, when the scene lay in the plains of Greece or Rome; or, if in Egypt, pyramids, obelisks, and the idols of the country. The figures which he introduces are not in general shepherds and their flocks, as in the Flemish pictures, but are derived from history, or classic fables, hawking parties, poets crowned with laurel, and other similar decorations, generally novel, and finished in a style almost as fine as miniature. His school gave birth to but few followers. By some Crescenzio di Onofrio is alone considered his true imitator, of whom little remains in Rome; nor indeed is he much known in Florence, although he resided there many years in the service of the ducal house. It is said that he executed many works for the ducal villas; and that he painted for individuals may be conjectured from some beautiful landscapes which the Sig. Cancelliere Scrilli possesses, together with the portrait of Sig. Angelo, his ancestor, on which the artist has inscribed [Pg 247]his name and the year 1712, the date of his work. After him we may record Gio. Domenico Ferracuti, of Macerata, in which city, and in others of Piceno, are to be found many landscapes painted by him, chiefly snow pieces, in which kind of landscape he was singularly distinguished.

Claude Lorraine is generally esteemed the prince of landscape painters, and his compositions are indeed, of all others, the richest and the most studied. A short time suffices to run through a landscape of Poussin or Rosa from one end to the other, when compared with Claude, though on a much smaller surface. His landscapes present to the spectator an endless variety; so many views of land and water, so many interesting objects, that like an astonished traveller, the eye is obliged to pause to measure the extent of the prospect, and his distances of mountains or of sea are so illusive, that the spectator feels, as it were, fatigued by gazing. The edifices and temples, which so finely round off his compositions, the lakes peopled with aquatic birds, the foliage diversified in conformity to the different kinds of trees,[82] all is nature in him; every object arrests the attention of an amateur, every thing furnishes instruction to a professor; [Pg 248]particularly when he painted with care, as in the pictures of the Altieri, Colonna, and other palaces of Rome. There is not an effect of light, or a reflection in the water, or in the sky itself, which he has not imitated; and the various changes of the day are no where better represented than in Claude. In a word, he is truly the painter, who in depicting the three regions of air, earth, and water, has embraced the whole universe. His atmosphere almost always bears the impress of the sky of Rome, whose horizon is, from its situation, rosy, dewy, and warm. He did not possess any peculiar merit in his figures, which are insipid, and generally too much attenuated; hence he was accustomed to observe to the purchasers of his pictures, that he sold them the landscape, and presented them with the figures gratis. The figures indeed were generally added by another hand, frequently by Lauri. A painter of the name of Angiolo, who died young, deserves to be mentioned as the scholar of Claude, as well as Vandervert. Claude also contributed to the instruction of Gaspar Poussin.

To the preceding may be added those artists who particularly distinguished themselves by sea views and shipping. Enrico Cornelio Vroom is called Enrico di Spagna, as he came to Rome immediately from Seville, although born in Haerlem in Holland. He was a pupil of the Brills, and seems rather to have aimed at imitating the national art of shipbuilding, than the varying appearances [Pg 249]of the sea and sky. No one is more diligent, or more minute in fitting up the vessels with every requisite for sailing; and some persons have purchased his pictures, for the sole purpose of instructing themselves in the knowledge of ships, and the mode of arming them. Sandrart relates that he returned to Spain, and there painted landscapes, views of cities, fishing boats, and seafights. He places his birth in 1566, whence he must have flourished about the year 1600. Guarienti makes a separate article of Enrico Vron of Haerlem, as if he had been a different artist. Another article is occupied upon Enrico delle Marine, and on the authority of Palomino, he says, that that artist was born in Cadiz, and coming to Rome, there acquired that name; and that, without wishing ever to return to Spain, he employed himself in painting in that city shipping and sea views until his death, at the age of sixty in 1680. I have named three writers, whose contradictions I have frequently adverted to in this work, and whose discordant notices require much examination to reconcile or refute. What I have advanced respecting Enrico was the result of my observations on several pictures in the Colonna gallery, six in number, and which, as far as I could judge, all partake of a hard and early style, and generally of a peculiar reddish tone, often observed in the landscapes of Brill. Any other Enrico di Spagna, a marine painter, or of a style corresponding with that of him who died in 1680, I have not met with [Pg 250]in any collection, nor is any such artist to be found in the works of Sig. Conca, as any one may ascertain by referring to the index of his work. Hence, at present, I can recognize the Dutch artist alone, and shall be ready to admit the claims of the Cadiz painter whenever I am furnished with proofs of his having really existed.

Agostino Tassi, of Perugia, whose real name was Buonamici, a man of infamous character, but an excellent painter, was the scholar of Paul Brill, though he was ambitious of being thought a pupil of the Caracci. He had already distinguished himself as a landscape painter, when he was condemned to the galleys at Leghorn, where through interest the laborious part of his sentence was remitted, and in this situation he prosecuted his art with such ardour, that he soon obtained the first rank as a painter of sea views, representing ships, storms, fishing parties, and the dresses of mariners of various countries with great spirit and propriety. He excelled too in perspective, and in the papal palace of the Quirinal and in the palace de' Lancellotti displayed an excellent style of decoration, which his followers very much overcharged. He painted many pictures in Genoa, in conjunction with Salimbeni and Gentileschi, and was assisted by a scholar of his born in Rome, and domiciled in Genoa, where he died. This scholar is called by Raffaello Soprani, Gio. Batista Primi, and he eulogizes him as an esteemed painter of sea views.

[Pg 251]Equal to Tassi in talent, and still more infamous in his life, was Pietro Mulier, or Pietro de Mulieribus, of Holland, who, from his surprising pictures of storms, was called Il Tempesta. His compositions inspire a real terror, presenting to our eyes death, devoted ships overtaken by tempests and darkness, fired by lightning, or driving helpless before the demons of the storm; now rising on the mountain waves, and again submerged in the abyss of ocean. His works are more frequently met with than those of Tassi, as he almost always painted in oil. He was assisted in Rome by a young man, who in consequence obtained the name of Tempestino, though he often exercised his genius in landscape in the style of Poussin. He afterwards married a sister of this young artist, and subsequently procured her assassination, for which he was sentenced to death in Genoa, but his sentence was commuted for five years imprisonment. His pictures of storms, which he painted in his dungeon, seem to have acquired an additional gloom from the horrors of his prison, his merited punishment, and his guilty conscience. These works were very numerous, and were considered his best performances. He excelled also in the painting of animals, for which purpose he kept a great variety of them in his house. Lastly, he acquired celebrity from his landscapes, in some of which he has shewn himself not an unworthy follower of Claude in invention, enriching them with a great variety of scenery, hills, lakes, and beautiful [Pg 252]edifices, but he is still far behind that master in regard to tone of colour and finishing. He was however superior to Claude in his figures, to which he gave a mixed Italian and Flemish character, with lively, varied, and expressive countenances. There are more specimens of his talents in Milan than in any other place, as he passed his latter years in that and the neighbouring cities, as in Bergamo, and particularly in Piacenza. His epitaph is given in the Guida di Milano, page 129.

Il Montagna, another artist from Holland, was also a painter of sea views, which may almost indeed be called the landscapes of the Dutch. He left many works in Italy, more particularly in Florence and in Rome, where he is sometimes mistaken for Tempesta in the galleries and in picture sales; but Montagna, as far as I can judge, is more serene in his skies, and darker in his waves and the appearance of the sea. A large picture of the Deluge, which is at S. Maria Maggiore in Bergamo, placed there in 1668, in which the figures are by the Cav. Liberi, is supposed to be by Montagna, from the tone of the water. This however is an error, for the Montagna of whom we speak, called by Felibien (tom. iii. p. 339,) Montagna di Venezia, certainly died in Padua; and in a MS. by a contemporary author, where he is mentioned as a distinguished sea painter, he is said to have died in 1644. I apprehend this is the same artist whom Malvasia (tom. ii. p. 78,) calls Mons. Rinaldo della Montagna, and states that he was held in esteem by [Pg 253]Guido for his excellence in sea views. I also find a Niccolo de Plate Montagna, favourably mentioned by Felibien, also a marine painter, who died about 1665; and I formerly imagined that this might be the artist who painted so much in Italy, but I now retract that opinion.

Tempesti was the first to introduce the custom of decorating landscapes with battles and skirmishes. A Flemish artist of the name of Jacopo succeeded to him in this branch, but his fame was eclipsed by his own scholar Cerquozzi, a Roman, who from his singular talent in this respect, was called Michelangiolo delle Battaglie. He was superior to Tempesti in colouring, but inferior to him in designing horses. In the human figure, too, he is less correct, and more daring in the style of his master Cesari. It must however be remembered, that when Cerquozzi painted battles he was not in his prime, and that his chief merit lay in subjects on which I shall presently make some remarks.

Padre Jacopo Cortese, a Jesuit, called from his native country Il Borgognone, carried this branch of the art to a height unknown before or since. M. A. Cerquozzi discovered his genius for this department, and persuaded him to abandon the other branches of painting which he cultivated, and to confine himself to this alone. The Battle of Constantine, by Giulio Romano in the Vatican, was the model on which he founded his style. His [Pg 254]youth had been dedicated to arms, and his military spirit was not to be extinguished by the luxury of Rome, or the indolence of the cloister. He imparted a wonderful air of reality to his compositions. His combatants appear before us courageously contending for honour or for life, and we seem to hear the cries of the wounded, the blast of the trumpet, and the neighing of the horses. He was indeed an inimitable artist in his line, and his scholars were accustomed to say that their own figures seemed to fight only in jest, while those of Borgognone were the real occupants of the field of battle. He painted with great despatch, and his battle pieces are in consequence very frequent in collections; his touch was rapid, in strokes, and his pencil flowing, so that the effect is heightened by distance; and this style was probably the result of his study of Paolo at Venice, and of Guido in Bologna. From whatever cause it may be, his colouring is very different from that of Guglielmo Baur, who is considered his master, and of whom there are some works in the Colonna gallery. There also may be seen several specimens of his scholars, Bruni, Graziano, and Giannizero, who adopted from Borgognone their colouring, and the selection of a distant point of view for their subject. Others of his scholars occur in various schools.

It was also during the pontificate of Urban, about the year 1626, that the burlesque style was [Pg 255]first brought into notice in Rome. It had been practised by Ludius in the time of Augustus, and was not wholly unknown to our early artists; but I am not aware that any one had exercised this branch as a profession, or on so small a scale as was practised by Pietro Laar, who was called Bamboccio, from his deformity, as well as from the subjects of his pencil; and the appellation of bambocciate is generally applied to these small pictures, which represent the festivities of the vintage, dances, fights, and carnival masquerades. His figures are usually of a span in size, and the accompanying landscape and the animals are so vividly coloured, that we seem, says Passeri, to see the very objects themselves from an open window, rather than the representation on canvass. The great painters frequently purchased the pictures of Pietro, in order to study his natural style of colour, though at the same time they lamented that so much talent should be misapplied to such low subjects.[83] He resided many years in Rome, and then retired to Holland, where he died at an advanced age, and not a young man, as Passeri has imagined.

His place and his employ in Rome were soon filled up by Cerquozzi, who had for some time past exchanged the name of M. A. delle Battaglie, [Pg 256]for that of M. A. delle Bambocciate. Although the subjects which he represents are humourous, like those of Laar, the incidents and the characters are for the most part different. The first adopted the Flemish boors, the other the peasantry of Italy. They had both great force of colour, but Bamboccio excels Cerquozzi in landscape, while the latter discovers more spirit in his figures. One of Cerquozzi's largest compositions is in the Spada palace at Rome, in which he represented a band of insurgent Lazzaroni applauding Maso Aniello.

Laar had another excellent imitator in Gio. Miel, of Antwerp, who having imbibed a good style of colouring from Vandyke, came to Rome and frequented the school of Sacchi. From thence, however, he was soon dismissed, as his master wished him to attempt serious subjects, but he was led both by interest and genius to the burlesque. His pictures pleased from their spirited representations and their excellent management of light and shade, and brought high prices from collectors. He afterwards painted on a larger scale, and besides some altarpieces in Rome, he left some considerable works in Piedmont, where we shall notice him again. Theodore Hembreker, of Haerlem, also employed himself on humourous subjects, and scenes of common life, although there are some religious pieces attributed to him in the church della Pace in Rome, and a number of landscapes in private collections. He passed many years in Italy, and visited most [Pg 257]of the great cities, so that his works are frequently found not only in Rome, where he had established himself, but in Florence, Naples, Venice, and elsewhere. His style is a pleasing union of the Flemish and Italian.

Many artists of this period attached themselves to the painting of animals. Castiglione distinguished himself in this line, but he resided for the most part of his time in another country. M. Gio. Rosa, of Flanders, is the most known in Rome and the State, for the great number of his paintings of animals, in which he possessed a rare talent. It is told of him, that dogs were deceived by the hares he painted, thus reviving the wonderful story of Zeuxis, so much boasted of by Pliny. Two of his largest and finest pictures are in the Bolognetti collection, and there is attached to them a portrait, but whether of the painter himself, or some other person, is not known. We must not confound this artist with Rosa da Tivoli, who was also an excellent animal painter, but not so celebrated in Italy, and flourished at a later period, and whose real name was Philip Peter Roos. He was son-in-law of Brandi, and his scholar in Rome, and rivalled his hasty method in many pictures which I have seen in Rome and the states of the church; but we ought not to rest our decision of his merits on these works, but should view the animals painted by him at his leisure, particularly for the galleries of princes. These are to be found in Vienna, Dresden, Monaco, and other capital [Pg 258]cities of Germany; and London possesses not a few of the first value in their way.[84]

After Caravaggio had given the best examples of flowers in his pictures, the Cav. Tommaso Salini, of Rome, an excellent artist, as may be seen in a S. Niccola at S. Agostino, was the first that composed vases of flowers, accompanying them with beautiful groups of corresponding foliage, and other elegant designs. Others too pursued this branch, and the most celebrated of all, was Mario Nuzzi della Penna, better known by the name of Mario da' Fiori; whose productions during his life were emulously sought after, and purchased at great prices; but after the lapse of some years, not retaining their original freshness, and acquiring, from a vicious mode of colouring, a black and squalid appearance, they became much depreciated in value. The same thing happened to the flower pieces of Laura Bernasconi, who was his best imitator, and whose works are still to be seen in many collections.

Orsini informs us, that he found in Ascoli some [Pg 259]paintings of flowers by another of the fair sex, to whose memory the Academy of S. Luke in Rome erected a marble monument in their church, not so much in compliment to her talents in painting, as in consequence of her having bequeathed to that society all her property, which was considerable. In her epitaph she is commemorated only as a miniature painter, and Orlandi describes her as such, adding, that she resided for a long time in Florence, where she left a large number of portraits in miniature of the Medici, and other princes of that time, about the year 1630. She also painted in other capitals of Italy, and died at an advanced age in Rome, in 1673.

Michelangiolo di Campidoglio of Rome, was greatly distinguished for his masterly grouping of fruits. Though almost fallen into oblivion from the lapse of years, his pictures are still to be met with in Rome, and in other places. The noble family of Fossombroni in Arezzo, possess one of the finest specimens of him that I have ever seen. More generally known is Pietro Paolo Bonzi, called by Baglione, Il Gobbo di Cortona, which was his native place; by others, Il Gobbo de' Caracci, from his having been employed in their school; and by the vulgar, Il Gobbo da' Frutti, from the natural manner of his painting fruit. He did not pass the bounds of mediocrity in historical design, as we may see from his S. Thomas, in the church of the Rotonda, nor in landscapes; but he was unrivalled in painting fruits, and designing [Pg 260]festoons, as in the ceiling of the Palazzo Mattei; and in his elegant grouping of fruit in dishes and baskets, as I have seen in Cortona, in the house of the noble family of Velluti, in the Olivieri gallery in Pesaro, and elsewhere. The Marchesi Venuti, in Cortona, have a portrait of him painted, it is believed, by one of the Caracci, or some one of their school, and it is well known, that the drawing of caricatures was a favourite amusement of that academy.

At this brilliant epoch, the art of perspective too was carried to a high degree of perfection in deceiving the eye of the spectator. From the beginning of the seventeenth century, it had made great advances by the aid of P. Zaccolini, a Theatine monk of Cesena, in whose praise it is sufficient to observe, that Domenichino and Poussin were instructed by him in this art. S. Silvestro, in Montecavallo, possesses the finest specimen of this power of illusion, in a picture of feigned columns, and cornices and other architectural decorations. His original drawings remain in the Barberini library. Gianfrancesco Niceron de' P. P. Minimi added to this science by his work entitled Thaumaturgus opticus, 1643; and in a gallery of his convent at Trinità de' Monti, he painted some landscapes, which, on being viewed in a different aspect, are converted into figures. But the most practised artist in the academy of Rome, was Viviano Codagora, who drew from the ruins of ancient Rome, and also painted compositions of his own invention [Pg 261]in perspective. He engaged Cerquozzi and Miel, and others in Rome, to insert the figures for him, but he was most partial to Gargiuoli of Naples, as we shall mention in our account of that school. Viviano may he called the Vitruvius of this class of painters. He was correct in his linear perspective, and an accurate observer of the style of the ancients. He gave his representations of marble the peculiar tint it acquires by the lapse of years, and his general tone of colour was vigorous. What subtracts the most from his excellence is a certain hardness, and too great a quantity of black, by which his pictures are easily distinguished from others in collections, and which in the course of time renders them dark and almost worthless. His true name is unknown to the greater number of the lovers of art, by whom he is called Il Viviani; and who seem to have confounded him with Ottavio Viviani of Brescia, who is mentioned by the Dictionaries; a perspective painter also, but in another branch, and in a different style, as we shall hereafter see.

[71] He excelled chiefly in architecture, although he had given a proof of his talents in painting, in some subjects in the gallery, executed under Gregory XIII.

[72] In the, not very accurate, catalogue of the pictures in Fabriano, besides the above mentioned fourteen, seven more are mentioned by the same master.

[73] Mention is also made of one Basilio Maggieri, an excellent painter of portraits.

[74] V. Le Pitture pubbliche di Piacenza, p. 81.

[75] In a letter of the Oretti correspondence, written in 1777, from Andrea Zanoni to the Prince Ercolani, I find Marini classed in the school of Ferraù da Faenza, and there still remain many pictures by him in the style of that master.

[76] Pascoli has restored to him the picture of S. Rosalia at the Maddalena, which Titi had ascribed to Michele Rocca, called Il Parmigianino, an artist of repute, and proper to be mentioned, as by those who are not acquainted with his name and style, he might be mistaken for Mazzuola, or perhaps Scaglia. The same author, soon afterwards, mentions Grecolini, and thereby renders any further notice of that artist on my part unnecessary.

[77] We ought to judge of him from the Visitation, at the church of the Orfanelli, rather than from the picture of various Saints, in Ara Cœli. This kind of observation may be extended to many other artists, who are commemorated for the sake of some superior work.

[78] Memoirs of this painter have been long a desideratum, as may be seen from the Lett. Pitt. tom. v. p. 257. I give such information as I have been able to procure in his native place, assisted by the researches of the very obliging Monsignore Massajuoli, Bishop of Nocera. Gio. Batista was born in Sassoferrato on the 11th July, 1605, and died in Rome on the 8th August, 1685. And I may here correct an error of my first edition, where it is printed 1635.

[79] There is a picture of the Rosario in the church of the Eremitani, with his name, and the year 1573. It is a large composition.

[80] In the Oretti Correspondence there is a letter from an anonymous writer to Malvasia respecting this painter, who is there called Francesco, and is declared to be Pittore di molta stima. He then painted in Ancona, as appears from letters under his own hand to Malvasia, where he invariably subscribes himself Francesco.

[81] Passeri, Vite de' Pittori, page 363. He was remarkable for being the first to adopt a new style in trees in landscapes, where by a strong character of truth and attention to the forms of the trunk, foliage, and branches, he denoted the particular species he wished to express.

[82] He painted for his studio a landscape enriched with views from the Villa Madama, in which a wonderful variety of trees was introduced. This he preserved for the purpose of supplying himself, as from nature, with subjects for his various pictures, and refused to sell it to the munificent pontiff, Clement IX., although that prince offered to cover it with pieces of gold.

[83] V. Salvator Rosa, sat. iii. p. 79, where he reprehends not only the artists, but also the great, for affording such pictures a place in their collections.

[84] He was the ancestor of the Sig. Giuseppe Rosa, director of the imperial gallery in Vienna, who has given us a catalogue of the Italian and Flemish pictures of that collection, and who will, we hope, add the German. Of this deserving artist he possesses a portrait, engraved in 1789, where we find a list of the various academies that had elected him a member, and these are numerous, and of the first class in Europe. We find him also amongst those masters whose drawings were collected by Mariette; and he is also mentioned in the Lessico Universale delle Belle Arti, edited in Zurich, in 1763.

[Pg 262]



The Scholars of Pietro da Cortona, from an injudicious imitation of their Master, deteriorate the art. Maratta and others support it.

It may with equal justice be asserted of the fine arts, as of the belles lettres, that they never long remain in the same state, and that they experience often great changes even in the common period assigned to the life of man. Many causes contribute to this; public calamities, such as I mentioned to have occurred after the death of Raffaello; the instability of the human mind, which in the arts as in dress is guided by fashion and the love of novelty; the influence of particular artists; the taste of the great, who from their selection or patronage of particular masters, silently indicate the path to those artists who seek the gifts of fortune. These and other causes tended to produce the decline of painting in Rome towards the close of the seventeenth century, at a time too when literature began to revive; a clear proof that they are not mutually progressive. This was in a great measure occasioned by the calamitous events which afflicted Rome and the state, about the [Pg 263]middle of that century; by the feuds of the nobles, the flight of the Barberini family, and other unfortunate circumstances, which, during the pontificate of Innocent X., as we are informed by Passeri, (p. 321,) rendered the employment of artists very precarious; but more than all the dreadful plague of 1655, under Alexander VII. To this state of decay too the evil passions of mankind contributed in no small degree, and these indeed in all revolutions are among the most active and predominant sources of evil, and often even in a prosperous state of things sow the seeds of future calamities.

The Cav. Bernini, a man of more talents as an architect than as a sculptor, was under Urban VIII. and Innocent X., and also until the year 1680, in which he died, the arbiter of the public taste in Rome. The enemy of Sacchi and the benefactor of Cortona, he obtained more employ for his friend than for his rival; and this was easily accomplished, as Cortona was rapid as well as laborious, while Sacchi was slow and irresolute, qualities which rendered him unacceptable even to his own patrons. In course of time Bernini began to favour Romanelli, to the prejudice of Pietro; and, instructing that artist and Baciccio in his principles, he influenced them to the adoption of his own style, which, though it possessed considerable beauty, was nevertheless mannered, particularly in the folds of the drapery. The way being thus opened to caprice, they abandoned the true, and substituted [Pg 264]false precepts of art, and many years had not elapsed before pernicious principles appeared in the schools of the painters, and particularly in that of Cortona. Some went so far as to censure the imitation of Raffaello, as Bellori attests in the Life of Carlo Maratta, (p. 102,) and others ridiculed, as useless, the study of nature, preferring to copy, in a servile manner, the works of other artists. These effects are visible in the pictures of the time. All the countenances, although by different artists, have a fulness in the lips and nose like those of Pietro, and have all a sort of family resemblance, so much are they alike; a defect which Bottari says is the only fault of Pietro, but it is not the only fault of his school. Every one was anxious to avoid the labour of study, and to promote facility at the expense of correct design; the errors in which they endeavoured to conceal by overcharging rather than discriminating the contours. No one can be desirous that I should enter into further particulars, when we are treating of matters so very near our own times, and whoever is free from prejudice may judge for himself. I now return to the state of the Roman School about one hundred and twenty years back.

The schools most in repute, after the death of Sacchi, in 1661, and of Berrettini, in 1670, when the best scholars of the Caracci were dead, were reduced to two, that of Cortona supported by Ciro, and that of Sacchi, by Maratta. The first of these expanded the ideas, but induced negligence; the second [Pg 265]enforced correctness, but fettered the ideas. Each adopted something from the other, and not always the best part; an affected contrast pleased some of the scholars of Maratta, and the drapery of Maratta was adopted by some of the followers of Ciro.[85] The school of Cortona exhibited a grand style in fresco; the other school was restricted to oils. They became rivals, each supported by its own party, and were impartially employed by the pontiffs until the death of Ciro, that is, until 1689. From that time a new tone was given to art by Maratta, who, under Clement XI., was appointed director of the numerous works which that pontiff was carrying on in Rome and in Urbino. Although this master had many able rivals, as we shall see, he still maintained his superiority, and on his death, his school continued to flourish until the pontificate of Benedict XIV., ultimately yielding to the more novel style of Subleyras, Batoni, and Mengs. Thus far of the two schools in general: we shall now notice their followers.

[Pg 266]Besides the scholars whom Pietro formed in Tuscany, as Dandini of Florence, Castellucci of Arezzo, Palladino of Cortona, and those whom he formed in other schools, where we shall see them as masters, he educated others in the Roman state, of whom it is now time to speak. The number of his scholars is beyond belief. They were enumerated by Sig. Cav. Luzi, a nobleman of Cortona, who composed a life of Berrettini with more accuracy than had been before done, but his death prevented the publication of it. Pietro continued to teach to the close of his life, and the picture of S. Ivo, which he left imperfect, was finished by Gio. Ventura Borghesi, of Città di Castello. Of this artist there are also at S. Niccola, two pictures, the Nativity, and the Assumption of the Virgin, and I am not acquainted with any other public specimens of his pencil in Rome. His native place possesses many of his performances, and the most esteemed are four circles of the History of S. Caterina, V. M., in the church of that saint. Many of his works are to be found also in Prague, and the cities of Germany. He follows Pietro with sufficient fidelity in design, but does not display so much vigour of colour. Carlo Cesi, of Rieti, or rather of Antrodoco, in that neighbourhood, was also a distinguished scholar of Pietro. He lived in Rome, and in the Quirinal gallery, where the best artists of the age painted under Alexander VII., he has left a large picture of the Judgment of Solomon. [Pg 267]He worked also in other places; as at S. M. Maggiore, at the Rotunda, and was patronized by several cardinals. He was correct in his design, and opposed, both in person and by his precepts and example, the fatal and prevailing facility of his time. Pascoli has preserved some of his axioms, and this among others, that the beautiful should not be crowded, but distributed with judgment in the composition of pictures; otherwise they resemble a written style, which by the redundancy of brilliant and sententious remarks fails in its effect. Francesco Bonifazio was of Viterbo, and from the various pictures by him, which Orlandi saw in that city, I do not hesitate to rank him among the successful followers of Pietro. We may mention Michelangiolo Ricciolini, a Roman by birth, although called of Todi, whose portrait is in the Medici gallery, where is also that of Niccolo Ricciolini, respecting whom Orlandi is silent. Both were employed in decorating the churches of Rome; the second had the reputation of a better designer than the first, and in the cartoons painted for some mosaics for the Vatican church, he competed with the Cav. Franceschini. Paolo Gismondi, called also Paolo Perugino, became a good fresco painter, and there are works remaining by him in the S. Agata, in the Piazza Nova, and at S. Agnes, in the Piazza Navona. Pietro Paolo Baldini, of whose native place I am ignorant, is stated by Titi to have been of the school of Cortona. Ten pictures by him are counted [Pg 268]in the churches of Rome, and in some of them, as in the Crucifixion of S. Eustace, a precision of style derived from another school is observable. Bartolommeo Palombo has only two pictures in the capital. That of S. Maria Maddelena de' Pazzi, which is placed at S. Martino a' Monti, entitles him to rank with the best of his fellow scholars, the picture possesses so strong a colouring, and the figures are so graceful and well designed. Pietro Lucatelli, of Rome, was a distinguished painter, and is named in the catalogue of the Colonna gallery, as the scholar of Ciro, and in Titi, as the disciple of Cortona. He is a different artist from Andrea Lucatelli, of whom we shall shortly speak. Gio. Batista Lenardi, whom, in a former edition, I hesitated to place in the list of the pupils of Pietro, I now consider as belonging to that school, though he was instructed also by Baldi. In the chapel of the B. Rita, at S. Agostino, he painted two lateral pictures as well as the vault; he also ornamented other churches with his works, and particularly that of Buonfratelli, at Trastevere, where he painted the picture of S. Gio. Calibita. That of the great altar was ascribed to him, probably from a similarity of style; but is by Andrea Generoli, called Il Sabinese, a pupil either of Pietro himself, or of one of his followers.

Thus far of the less celebrated of this school. The three superior artists, whose works still attract us in the galleries of princes, are Cortesi, and the two elder scholars of the academy of [Pg 269]Pietro, Romanelli and Ferri. Nor is it improbable that having competitors in some of his first scholars, he became indisposed to instruct others with the same degree of good will, as those noble minds are few, in whom the zeal of advancing the art exceeds the regret at having produced an ingrate or a rival.

Guglielmo Cortesi, the brother of P. Giacomo, like him named Il Borgognone, was one of the best artists of this period; and a scholar rather than an imitator of Pietro. His admiration was fixed on Maratta, whom he followed in the studied variety of his heads, and in the sobriety of the composition, more than in the division of the folds of his drapery or in colour; in which latter he manifested a clearness partaking of the Flemish. His style was somewhat influenced by that of his brother, whose assistant he was, and by his study of the Caracci. He often appears to have imitated the strong relief and azure grounds of Guercino. His Crucifixion of S. Andrea, in the church of Monte Cavallo, the Fight of Joshua in the Quirinal palace, and a Madonna attended by Saints, in the Trinità de' Pellegrini, merit our attention. In these works there is a happy union of various styles, exempt from mannerism.

Francesco Romanelli was born at Viterbo, and, as well as Testa, studied some time under Domenichino. He afterwards placed himself with Pietro, whose manner he imitated so successfully, that on Pietro going on a journey into Lombardy, he left him, together with Bottalla (called Bortelli by Baldinucci) [Pg 270]to supply his place in decorating the Barberini palace. It is reported that the two scholars, in the absence of their master, endeavoured to have the work transferred to themselves, and were on that account dismissed. It was at this time that Romanelli, assisted by Bernini, changed his style, and adopted by degrees a more elegant and a seductive manner in his figures, but possessing less grandeur and science than that of Pietro. He used more slender proportions, clearer tints, and a more minute taste in folding his drapery. His Deposition in S. Ambrogio, which was extolled as a prodigy, stimulated Pietro to paint opposite to it that wonderful picture of S. Stephen, on seeing which Bernini exclaimed, that he then perceived the difference between the master and the scholar. Romanelli was twice in France, having found a patron in the Cardinal Barberini, who had fled to Paris; and he participated in the spirited manner of that country, which gave an animation before unknown to his figures. This at least is the opinion of Pascoli. He decorated a portico of Cardinal Mazarine with subjects from the metamorphoses of Ovid, and afterwards adorned some of the royal saloons with passages from the Æneid. He was preparing to return to France with his family for the third time, when he was intercepted by death at Viterbo. He left in that city, at the grand altar of the Duomo, the picture of S. Lorenzo, and in Rome, and in other cities of Italy, numerous works both public and private, although he died at about forty-five years of age. [Pg 271]He had the honour of painting in the church of the Vatican. The presentation which he placed there is now in the church of the Certosa, the mosaic in S. Peter. He did not leave behind him any scholars who inherited his reputation. Urbano, his son, was educated by Ciro after the death of his father. He is known for his works in the cathedral churches of Velletri and Viterbo: those in Viterbo are from the life of S. Lorenzo, the patron saint of the church, and prove him to have been a young man of considerable promise, but he was cut off prematurely.

Ciro Ferri, a Roman by birth, was, of all the disciples of Cortona, the one the most attached in person, and similar to him in style; and not a few of the works of Pietro were given to him to complete, both in Florence and in Rome. There are indeed some pictures so dubious, that the experienced are in doubt whether to assign them to the master or the scholar. He displays generally less grace in design, a less expansive genius, and shuns that breadth of drapery which his master affected. The number of his works in Rome is not proportioned to his residence there, because he lent much assistance to his master. There is a S. Ambrogio in the church of that saint just mentioned, and it is a touchstone of merit for whoever wishes to compare him with the best of his fellow scholars, or with his master himself. His works in the Pitti palace have been already mentioned in another place, and we ought not to forget another grand composition by him in [Pg 272]S. M. Maggiore in Bergamo, consisting of various scriptural histories painted in fresco. He speaks of them himself in some letters inserted in the Pittoriche, (tom. ii. p. 38,) from which we gather, that he had been reprehended for his colouring, and contemplated visiting Venice in order to improve himself. He did not leave any scholar of celebrity in Rome. Corbellini, who finished the Cupola of S. Agnes, the last work of Ciro, which has been engraved, would not have found a place in Titi and Pascoli, if it had not been to afford those writers an opportunity of expressing their regret at so fine a composition being injured by the hand that attempted to finish it.

But another scion of the same stock sprung up to support the name and credit of the school of Ciro, transferred from Florence to Rome. We mentioned in the first book, that when Ciro was in Florence he formed a scholar in Gabbiani, who became the master of Benedetto Luti. Ciro was only just dead when Luti arrived in Rome, who not being able to become his scholar, as he had designed when he left his native place, applied himself to studying the works of Ciro, and those of other good masters, as I have elsewhere remarked. He thus formed for himself an original style, and enjoyed in Rome the reputation of an excellent artist in the time of Clement XI., who honoured him with commissions, and decorated him with the cross. It is to be regretted that he attached himself so much to crayons, with which he is said [Pg 273]to have inundated all Europe. He was intended by nature for nobler things. He painted well in fresco, and still better in oils. His S. Anthony in the church of the Apostles, and the Magdalen in that of the Sisters of Magnanapoli, which is engraved, are highly esteemed. Nor would it add a little to his reputation, if we had engravings of his two pictures in the Duomo of Piacenza, S. Conrad penitent, and S. Alexius recognised after death; where, amidst other excellences, a fine expression of the pathetic predominates. Of his profane pieces, his Psyche in the Capitoline gallery, is the most remarkable, and breathes an elegant and refined taste. Of the few productions which Tuscany possesses by him, we have written in the school of Gabbiani. We shall here mention a few of his scholars, who remained in Rome, noticing others in various schools.

Placido Costanzi is often mentioned with approbation in the collections of Rome for the elegant figures he inserted in the landscapes of Orizzonte; he also painted some altarpieces in a refined style. In the church of the Magdalen is a picture of S. Camillo attended by Angels, so gracefully painted, that he seems to have aspired to rival Domenichino. He also distinguished himself in fresco, as may be seen in the S. Maria in Campo Marzio, where the ceiling in the greater tribune is the work of Costanzi.

Pietro Bianchi resembled Luti more than any of his scholars in elegance of manner, and excelled [Pg 274]him in large compositions, which he derived from his other master, Baciccio. His extreme fastidiousness and his early death prevented him from leaving many works. A very few of his pictures are found in the churches of Rome. At Gubbio is his picture of S. Chiara, with the Angel appearing, a piece of grand effect, from the distribution of the light. The sketch of this picture was purchased by the King of Sardinia at a high price. He painted for the church of S. Peter a picture, which was executed in mosaic in the altar of the choir: the original is in the Certosa, in which the Cav. Mancini had the greatest share, as Bianchi did little more than furnish the sketch.

Francesco Michelangeli, called l'Aquilano, is known to posterity from a letter written by Luti himself, (Lett. Pitt. tom. vi. p. 278,) where the annotator informs us, that his master frequently employed him in copying his works, and that he died young. This notice is not without its use, as it acquaints us with the origin of the beautiful copies of Luti which are so frequently met with.

We may lastly notice an artist of mediocrity of this school, who is nevertheless said to be the painter of some beautiful pictures; the two pictures of S. Margaret, in Araceli; S. Gallicano, in the church of that saint; and the Nativity, in the church of the Infant Jesus. His name was Filippo Evangelisti, and he was chamberlain to the Cardinal Corradini, through whose influence he obtained many commissions. Being himself incapable [Pg 275]of executing these well, (if we may rely on a letter in the Pittoriche) he engaged Benefial, whom we shall shortly notice, to assist him. They thus painted in partnership, the gain was divided between them, but the celebrity was the portion of the principal; and if any piece came out under the name of the assistant, it was rather censured than praised. The poor artist at last became impatient of this treatment, and disdaining any longer to support a character which did him no honour, he left his companion to work by himself; and it was then that Evangelisti, in his picture of S. Gregory, in the church of the Saints Peter and Marcellino, appeared in his true colours, and the public thus discovered that he was indebted to Benefial for genius as well as labour.

The school of Sacchi may boast of one of the first artists of the age in Francesco Lauri, of Rome, in whom his master flattered himself he had found a second Raffaello. The disciple himself, in order to justify the high expectation which the public had conceived of him, before opening a school in Rome, travelled through Italy, and from thence visited Germany, Holland, and Flanders, and resided for the space of a year in Paris; thus adding greatly to the funds of knowledge and experience already obtained by him in his native place. He was, however, cut off very early in life, leaving behind him, in the Sala de' Crescenzi, three figures of Goddesses painted in the vault in fresco; but no other considerable work, as far as my knowledge [Pg 276]extends. This artist must not be confounded with Filippo, his brother, and scholar in his early years, who was afterwards instructed by Caroselli, who espoused his sister. He was not accustomed to paint large compositions; and the Adam and Eve, which are seen in the Pace, it should seem, he represented on so much larger a scale, lest any one should despise his talent, as only capable of small works, on which he was always profitably employed. We meet with cabinet pictures by him in the Flemish style, touched with great spirit, and coloured in good taste, evincing a fund of lively and humorous invention. He sometimes painted sacred subjects, and at S. Saverio, in the collection of the late Monsignor Goltz, I saw an enchanting picture by him, a perfect gem, and greatly admired by Mengs. He painted in the Palazzo Borghese some beautiful landscapes in fresco, in which branch his family was already celebrated, as his father, Baldassare, of Flanders, who had been a scholar of Brill, and lived in Rome in the time of Sacchi, was ranked among the eminent landscape painters, and is commemorated by Baldinucci.

The immature death of Lauri was compensated for by the lengthened term of years accorded to Luigi Garzi and Carlo Maratta, who continued to paint to the commencement of the eighteenth century; enemies to despatch, correct in their style, and free from the corrupt prejudices which afterwards usurped the place of the genuine rules of art. The first, who is called a Roman by Orlandi, [Pg 277]was born in Pistoja, but came while yet young to Rome. He studied landscape for fifteen years under Boccali, but being instructed afterwards by Sacchi, he discovered such remarkable talents, that he became highly celebrated in Naples and in Rome in every class of painting. In the former city, his decoration of two chambers of the royal palace is greatly extolled; and in the latter, where he ornamented many churches, he seemed to surpass himself in the Prophet of S. Giovanni Laterano. He is praised in general for his forms and attitudes, and for his fertile invention and his composition. He understood perspective, and was a good machinist, though in refinement of taste he is somewhat behind Maratta. In his adherence to the school of Sacchi we may still perceive some imitation of Cortona, to whom some have given him as a scholar, as well in many pictures remaining in Rome, as in others sent to various parts; among which is his S. Filippo Neri, in the church of that saint at Fano, which is a gallery of beautiful productions. But on no occasion does he seem more a follower of Cortona, or rather of Lanfranco, than in the Assumption in the Duomo of Pescia, an immense composition, and which is considered his masterpiece. It is mentioned in the Catalogo delle migliori Pitture di Valdinievole, drawn up by Sig. Innocenzio Ansaldi, and inserted in the recent History of Pescia. Mario, the son of Luigi Garzi who is mentioned twice in the Guida di Roma, [Pg 278]died young. We may here also mention the name of Agostino Scilla of Messina, whom we shall hereafter notice more at length.

Carlo Maratta was born in Camurano, in the district of Ancona, and enjoyed, during his life, the reputation of one of the first painters in Europe. Mengs, in a letter "On the Rise, Progress, and Decline of the Art of Design," assigns to Maratta the enviable distinction of having sustained the art in Rome, where it did not degenerate as in other places. The early part of his life was devoted to copying the works of Raffaello, which always excited his admiration, and his indefatigable industry was employed in restoring the frescos of that great master in the Vatican and the Farnesina, and preserving them for the eyes of posterity; a task requiring both infinite care and judgment, and described by Bellori. He was not a machinist, and in consequence neither he nor his scholars distinguished themselves in frescos, or in large compositions. At the same time he had no fear of engaging in works of that kind, and willingly undertook the decoration of the Duomo of Urbino, which he peopled with figures. This work, with the Cupola itself, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1782; but the sketches for it are preserved in Urbino, in four pictures, in the Albani palace. He was most attached by inclination to the painting of cabinet pictures and altarpieces. His Madonnas possess a modest, lively, and dignified air; his angels are graceful; and his saints [Pg 279]are distinguished by their fine heads, a character of devotion, and are clothed in the sumptuous costume of the church. In Rome his pictures are the more prized the nearer they approach to the style of Sacchi, as the S. Saverio in the Gesù, a Madonna in the Panfili palace, and several others. Some are found beyond the territories of the church, and in Genoa is his Martyrdom of S. Biagio, a picture as to the date of which I do not inquire, but only assert that it is worthy of the greatest rival of Sacchi. He afterwards adopted a less dignified style, but which for its correctness is worthy of imitation. Though he had devoted the early part of his life to the acquisition of a pure style of design, he did not think himself sufficiently accomplished in it, and again returned, when advanced in years, to the study of Raffaello, of whose excellences he possessed himself, without losing sight of the Caracci and Guido. But many are of opinion that he fell into a style too elaborate, and sacrificed the spirit of his compositions to minute care. His principal fault lay in the folding of his drapery, when through a desire of copying nature he too frequently separates its masses, and neglects too much the naked parts, which takes away from the elegance of his figures. He endeavoured to fix his principal light on the most important part of his composition, subduing rather more than was right, the light in other parts of his picture, and his scholars carried this principle afterwards so far as to produce an indistinctness [Pg 280]which became the characteristic mark of his school.

Though not often, he yet painted some few pictures of an extraordinary magnitude, as the S. Carlo in the church of that saint at the Corso, and the Baptism of Christ in the Certosa, copied in mosaic in the Basilica of S. Peter. His other pictures are for the most part on a smaller scale; many are in Rome, and amongst them the charming composition of S. Stanislaus Kostka, at the altar where his ashes repose; not a few others in other cities, as the S. Andrea Corsini in the chapel of that noble family in Florence, and the S. Francesco di Sales at the Filippini di Forli, which is one of his most studied works. He contributed largely, also, to the galleries of sovereigns and private individuals. There is not a considerable collection in Rome without a specimen of his pencil, particularly that of the Albani, to which family he was extremely attached. His works are frequently met with in the state. There is a valuable copy of the Battle of Constantine, in possession of the Mancinforti family in Ancona. It is related, that, being requested to copy that picture, he proposed the task to one of his best scholars, who disdained the commission. He therefore undertook the work himself, and on finishing it, took occasion to intimate to his pupils, that the copying such productions might not be without benefit to the most accomplished masters. He had a daughter whom he instructed in his own art; and her portrait, [Pg 281]executed by herself, in a painting attitude, is to be seen in the Corsini gallery at Rome.

Maratta, in his capacity of an instructor, is extolled by his biographer, Bellori (p. 208); but is by Pascoli accused of jealousy, and of having condemned a youth of the most promising talents in his school, Niccolo Berrettoni di Montefeltro, to the preparation of colours. This artist, however, from the principles which he imbibed from Cantarini, and from his imitation of Guido and Coreggio, formed for himself a mixed style, delicate, free, and unconstrained, and the more studied, as that study was concealed under the semblance of nature. He died young, leaving very few works behind him, almost all of which were engraved, in consequence of his high reputation. The Marriage of the Virgin Mary, which he executed for S. Lorenzo in Borgo, was engraved by Pier Santi Bartoli, a very distinguished engraver of those times, an excellent copyist, and himself a painter of some merit.[86] Another of his pictures, a Madonna, attended [Pg 282]by saints at S. Maria di Monte Santo, and the lunettes of the same chapel, were engraved by Frezza. An account of this artist may be found in the Lettere Pitt. tom. v. p. 277.

Giuseppe Chiari of Rome, who finished some pictures of Berrettoni and of Maratta himself, was one of the best painters of easel pictures of that school. Many of his works found their way to England. He painted some pictures for the churches of Rome, and probably the best is the Adoration of the Magi in the church of the Suffragio, of which there is an engraving. He also succeeded in fresco. Those works in particular, which he executed in the Barberini palace, under the direction of the celebrated Bellori, and those also of the Colonna gallery, will always do him credit; he was sober in his colours, careful and judicious; rare qualities in a fresco painter. He did not inherit great talents from nature, but by force of application became one of the first artists of his age. Tommaso Chiari, a pupil also of Maratta, and whose designs he sometimes executed, did not pass the bounds of mediocrity. The same may be observed of Sigismond Rosa, a scholar of Giuseppe Chiari.

To Giuseppe Chiari, who was the intimate friend of Maratta, we may add two others, who were, according [Pg 283]to Pascoli, the only scholars whom he took a pleasure in instructing; Giuseppe Passeri, the nephew of Giambatista, and Giacinto Calandrucci of Palermo. Both were distinguished as excellent imitators of their master. Passeri worked also in the state. In Pesaro is a S. Jerome by him, meditating on the Last Judgment, which may be enumerated among his best works. In the church of the Vatican, he painted a pendant to the Baptism of Maratta, S. Peter baptizing the centurion, which after being copied in mosaic, was sent to the church of the Conventuals in Urbino. This picture, which was executed under the direction of Maratta, is well coloured; but in many of his works his colouring is feeble, as in the Conception at the church of S. Thomas in Parione, and in other places in Rome. Calandrucci, after having given proof of his talents in the churches of S. Antonio de' Portoghesi, and S. Paolino della Regola, and in other churches of Rome, and after having been creditably employed by many noble persons, and by two pontiffs, returned to Palermo, and there, in the church del Salvatore, placed his large composition of the Madonnas, attended by S. Basil and other saints, which work he did not long survive. He left behind him in Rome a nephew, who was his scholar, called Giambatista; and he had also a brother there of the name of Domenico, a disciple of Maratta and himself; but there are no traces of their works remaining.

Andrea Procaccini and Pietro de' Petri, also [Pg 284]hold a distinguished place in this school, although their fortunes were very dissimilar. Procaccini, who painted in S. Giovanni Laterano, the Daniel, one of the twelve prophets which Clement XI. commanded to be painted as a trial of skill by the artists of his day, obtained great fame, and ultimately became painter to the court of Spain, where he remained fourteen years, and left some celebrated works. Petri on the contrary continued to reside in Rome, and died there at a not very advanced age. He was employed there in the tribune of S. Clement, and in some other works. He did not, however, obtain the reputation and success that he deserved, in consequence of his infirm health and his extreme modesty. He is one of those who engrafted on the style of Maratta, a portion of the manner of Cortona. Orlandi calls him a Roman, others a Spaniard, but his native place in fact was Premia, a district of Novara. Paolo Albertoni and Gio. Paolo Melchiorri, both Romans, flourished about the same time; less esteemed, indeed, than the foregoing, but possessing the reputation of good masters, particularly the second.

At a somewhat later period, the last scholar of Maratta, Agostino Masucci presents himself to our notice. This artist did not exhibit any peculiar spirit, confining himself to pleasing and devout subjects. In his representations of the Virgin he emulated his master, who from his great number of subjects of that kind, was at one time called Carlo dalle Madonne; as he himself has commemorated [Pg 285]in his own epitaph. Like Maratta he imparted to them an expression of serene majesty, rather than loveliness and affability. In some of his cabinet pictures I am aware that he occasionally renounced this manner, but it was only through intercession and expostulation. He was a good fresco painter, and decorated for pope Benedict XIV. an apartment in a casino, erected in the garden of the Quirinal. He painted many altarpieces, and his angels and children are designed with great elegance and nature, and in a novel and original style. His S. Anna at the Nome S. S. di Maria, is one of the best pictures he left in Rome; there is also a S. Francis in the church of the Osservanti di Macerata, a Conception at S. Benedetto di Gubbio, in Urbino a S. Bonaventura, which is perhaps his noblest composition, full of portraits (in which he was long considered the most celebrated painter in Rome), and finished with exquisite care. Lorenzo, his son and scholar, was very inferior to him.

Stefano Pozzi received his first instructions from Maratta, and afterwards became a scholar of Masucci. He had a younger brother, Giuseppe, who died before him, ere his fame was matured. Stefano lived long, painting in Rome with the reputation of one of the best masters of his day; more noble in his style of design than Masucci, and if I err not, more vigorous, and more natural in his colouring. We may easily estimate their merits in Rome in the church just mentioned, where we find the Transito di S. Giuseppe of Pozzi, near the S. [Pg 286]Anna of Masucci. Of the Cav. Girolamo Troppa, I have heard from oral tradition that he was the scholar of Maratta. He was certainly his imitator, and a successful one too, although he did not live long. He left works both in oil and fresco in the capital, and in the church of S. Giacomo delle Penitenti, he painted in competition with Romanelli. I have found pictures by him in the state; and in S. Severino is a church picture very well conducted. Girolamo Odam, a Roman of a Lorena family, is reckoned among the disciples of the Cav. Carlo, and is eulogized in a long and pompous article by Orlandi, or perhaps by some friend of Odam, who supplied Orlandi with the information. He is there described as a painter, sculptor, architect, engraver, philosopher, mathematician, and poet, and accomplished in every art and science. In all these I should imagine he was superficial, as nothing remains of him except some engravings and a very slender reputation, not at all corresponding to such unqualified commendation.

Of other artists who are little known in Rome and its territories, such as Jacopo Fiammingo, Francesco Pavesi, Michele Semini, there is little information that can be relied on. Respecting Subissati, Conca is silent, though information might possibly be obtained of him in Madrid, at which court he died. In Urbino, which was his native place, I find no picture of him remaining, except the head of a sybil: Antonio Balestra of Verona and Raffaellino Bottalla will be found in their native [Pg 287]schools, but I must not here omit one, a native of the state, who after being educated in the academy, returned to his native country, and there introduced the style of Carlo, at that time so much in vogue. Orlandi mentions with applause Gioseffo Laudati of Perugia, as having contributed to restore the art, which after the support it had found in Bassotti and others, had fallen into decay.

Lodovico Trasi, of Ascoli, is deserving of particular notice. He was for several years a fellow disciple of Maratta in the school of Sacchi, and was afterwards desirous of becoming his scholar. After studying some time in his academy, he returned to Ascoli, where he has left a great number of works both public and private, in various styles. In some of his smaller pictures he discovers a good Marattesque style; but in his fresco and altarpieces he is negligent, and adheres much to Sacchi, yet in a manner that discovers traces of Cortona. His picture of S. Niccolo at the church of S. Cristoforo is beautiful, and is one of the pieces which he finished with more than usual care. He has there represented the enfranchisement of a slave, at the moment the pious youth is serving at his master's table. There are some remarkable pictures of this artist in the cathedral, painted in distemper, particularly that of the martyrdom of S. Emidio. Trasi was the instructor of D. Tommaso Nardini, who continued on his master's death the decoration of the churches of the city, and his best work is perhaps in S. Angelo Magno, a church [Pg 288]of the Olivetani. The perspective was by Agostino Collaceroni of Bologna, a scholar of Pozzi. Nardini supplied the figures, representing the mysteries of the Apocalypse and other scriptural events. It displays great spirit and harmony, richness of colouring and facility, which are the distinguishing characteristics of this master, and are perhaps better expressed in this picture than in any other. We may add to the two before mentioned painters, Silvestro Mattei, who studied under Maratta, Giuseppe Angelini, the scholar of Trasi, and Biagio Miniera, also of Ascoli, whom Orsini has noticed in his Guida.

There flourished about the same time in the neighbouring city of Fermo, two Ricci, scholars of Maratta, who were probably instructed before going to Rome by Lorenzino di Fermo, a good artist, though doubtful of what school, and who is said to have painted the picture of S. Catharine at the church of the Conventuals, and other pictures in the adjoining territories. The one was named Natale, the other Ubaldo; the latter was superior to the former, and is much extolled for his S. Felice, which he painted for the church of the Capucins, in his native place. He did not often pass the bounds of mediocrity, which is frequently the case with artists residing at a distance from a capital, and who have not the incitement to emulation and an opportunity of studying good examples. The same observation is, I think, applicable also to another scholar of Maratta, Giuseppe Oddi, of Pesaro, [Pg 289]where one of his pictures remains in the church della Carità. We shall now return to the metropolis.

A fresh reinforcement to support the style of the Caracci in Rome, was received from the school of Bologna. I speak only of those who established themselves there. Domenico Muratori had been the scholar of Pasinelli, and painted the great picture in the church of the Apostles, which is probably the largest altarpiece in Rome, and represents the martyrdom of S. Philip and S. James. The grandeur of this composition, its judicious disposition and felicity of chiaroscuro, though its colouring was not entirely perfect, gave him considerable celebrity. He was also employed in many smaller works, in which he always evinced an equally correct design, and perhaps better colouring. He was chosen to paint one of the prophets in the Basilica Lateranense, and was employed also in other cities. In the cathedral of Pisa, he painted a large picture of S. Ranieri, in the act of exorcising a demon, which is esteemed one of his most finished works. Francesco Mancini di S. Angiolo in Vado, and Bonaventura Lamberti di Carpi, had better fortune in Bologna, in having for their master Carlo Cignani. Mancini, when he came to Rome, did not adhere exclusively to his master's manner, as he was rather more attached to the facility and freedom of Franceschini, his fellow scholar, whom he somewhat resembles in style. He seems, however, to have had less despatch, and certainly painted less. He was [Pg 290]chaste in his invention, and followed the example of Lazzarini; he designed well, coloured in a charming manner, and was numbered among the first artists of his age in Rome. He painted the Miracle of S. Peter at the beautiful gate of the temple, a picture which is preserved in the palace of Monte Cavallo, and is copied in mosaic in S. Peter's. This picture, which is a spirited composition, and well arranged in the perspective, is his principal work, and does not suffer from a comparison with those mentioned in the Guida di Roma, and others scattered through the dominions of the church. Such are pictures with various saints in the church of the Conventuals of Urbino, and in that of the Camaldolesi of Fabriano; the appearing of Christ to S. Peter in that of the Filippini, in Città di Castello, and the various works executed in oil and in fresco at Forli and at Macerata. He painted many pictures for foreign collections, and was commended for his large compositions. From his studio issued the Canonico Lazzarini before named, whom, as he lived amongst other followers of Cignani, I shall reserve with them to the close of the Bolognese school. Niccola Lapiccola, of Crotone, in Calabria Ultra, remained in Rome; and a cupola of a chapel in the Vatican painted by him, was copied in mosaic. There are some pictures by him in other churches; the best are, perhaps, in the state, particularly in Velletri. I have heard that he was a disciple of Mancini, though in his colouring he somewhat adhered to his native school.

[Pg 291]Bonaventura Lamberti is numbered by Mengs among the latest of the successful followers of the school of Cignani, whose style he preserved more carefully than Mancini himself. He did not give many works to the world. He had, however, the honour of having his designs copied in mosaic by Giuseppe Ottaviani, in S. Peter's, and one of his pictures engraved by Frey. It is in the church of the Spirito Santo de' Napolitani, and represents a miracle of S. Francesco di Paola. The Gabrieli family, which patronised him in an extraordinary manner, possesses a great number of historical pictures by him, which are in themselves sufficient to engage the attention of an amateur for several hours. Lamberti had the honour of giving to the Roman School the Cav. Marco Benefial, born and resident in Rome, a painter of great genius, though not always equal to himself, rather perhaps from negligence, than deficiency of powers.

The Marchese Venuti[87] extols this master above all others of his time for his accurate design, and his Caracciesque colouring. His monument is placed in the Pantheon, among those of the most celebrated painters, and to his bust is attached the eulogy bestowed on him by the Abate Giovenazzo, where he is particularly commended for his power of expression. The factions to which he gave rise still subsist, as if he were yet living. His admirers not being able to defend all his works, have fixed on [Pg 292]the Flagellation at the Stimmate, painted in competition with Muratori,[88] and S. Secondino at the Passionisti, as the subjects of their unqualified approbation; pictures indeed, of such science, that they may challenge any comparison. To these may be added his S. Lorenzo and S. Stefano, in the Duomo of Viterbo, and a few others of similar merit, in which he evidently imitated Domenichino and his school. His enemies have designated him as an inferior artist, and adduce several works feeble in expression and effect. The impartial consider him an eminent artist, but his productions vary, being occasionally in a grand style, and at other times not passing the bounds of mediocrity. This is a character which has been ascribed to many poets also, and even to Petrarch himself.

Our obligations are due to the Sig. Batista Ponfredi, his scholar, for the memoirs of this eminent man. They were addressed to the Count Niccola Soderini, a great benefactor of Benefial, and more rich in his works than any other Roman collector. His letter is in the fifth volume of the Pittoriche, and is one of the most instructive in the collection, although altered by the editor in some points. I shall transcribe a passage from it, as it may be satisfactory to see the actual state of the [Pg 293]art at that time, and the way in which Marco contributed to its support. "He was so anxious to revive the art, and so grieved to see it fall into decay, that he frequently consumed several hours in the day in declaiming against the prevailing conception of style, and urging the necessity of shunning mannerism, and adopting a style founded in truth, which few did, or if they did, attempted not to imitate its simplicity, but adapted it to their own manner. He directed the particular attention of his pupils to the difference between the production of a mannerist, and one which was studied and simple, and founded in nature; that the first, if it were well designed, and had a good chiaroscuro, had at first sight a striking effect from the brilliancy of its colours, but gradually lost ground at every succeeding view, while the other appeared the more excellent the longer it was inspected."—These and other precepts of the same kind he delivered in terms perhaps too cynical; not only in private, but in the school of design at the Campidoglio, at the time that he presided there; the consequence was that the inferior artists combined against him, deprived him of his employment, and suspended him from the academy. Some further information respecting Benefial was communicated to the public in the Risposta alle Lett. Perugine, p. 48.

From a scholar also of Cignani, (Franceschini,) Francesco Caccianiga received instructions in Bologna, whence he came to Rome, where he perfected [Pg 294]his style and established himself. He was a painter to whom nothing was wanting, except that natural spirit and vigour which are not to be supplied by industry. He was employed by several potentates, and two of his works executed for the king of Sardinia were engraved by himself. Ancona possesses four of his altarpieces, among which are the Institution of the Eucharist, and the Espousals of the Virgin; pictures coloured in a clear, animated, and engaging style, and easily distinguished among a thousand. Rome has few public works by him. In the Gavotti palace is a good fresco, and there are others in the palace and villa of the Borghesi, who generously extended to him a permanent and suitable provision, when overtaken by poverty and age.[89]

From the school of Guercino came Sebastiano Ghezzi of Comunanza, not far from Ascoli. He was eminent both in design and colouring, and at the church of the Agostiniani Scalzi di Monsammartino is a S. Francesco by him, which is esteemed an exquisite picture, and wants only the finishing hand of the artist. He was the father and teacher of Giuseppe Ghezzi, who studied in Rome, and was also a tolerable writer, considering the period at which he wrote. In his painting he seemed [Pg 295]to adopt the style of Cortona. His name is frequently mentioned in the Guida di Roma, and more than once in the Antichità Picene, where it is stated that he was held in great esteem by Clement XI., and that he died secretary to the academy of S. Luke, (tom. xxv. p. 11). Pascoli, who has written his life, extols him for his skill in restoring pictures, in which capacity the queen of Sweden employed him exclusively on all occasions.

Pierleone, his son and scholar, possessed a style similar to that of his father, but less hurried, and became a more distinguished artist. He was selected with Luti and Trevisani, and other eminent masters, to paint the prophets of the Lateran, as well as other commissions. But for his chief reputation he is indebted to the singular talent he possessed in designing caricatures, which are to be found in the cabinets of Rome and other places. In these he humourously introduced persons of quality, a circumstance particularly gratifying in a country where the freedom of the pencil was thought a desirable addition to the licence of the tongue.

Other schools of Italy also contributed artists to the Roman School, who however did not produce any new manner, except that in respect of the two principal masters then in vogue, Cortona and Maratta, they have afforded an occasional modification of those two styles.

Gio. Maria Morandi came whilst yet a youth from Florence, and forsaking the manner of Bilivert, his first instructor, formed for himself a new style. [Pg 296]This was a mixture of Roman design and Venetian colouring (for in travelling through Italy, he resided some time at Venice, and copied much there), while some part of it partakes of the manner of Cortona, and was esteemed in Rome. He established himself in this latter city, in the Guida of which he is often mentioned, and his works are not unfrequently found in collections. His Visitation at the Madonna del Popolo is a fine composition; and still more highly finished, and full of grand effect, is his picture of the death of the Virgin Mary, in the church della Pace. This may indeed be considered his masterpiece, and it has been engraved by Pietro Aquila. He was also celebrated for his historical pictures, which he sometimes sent into foreign countries, and more than in any other branch, he acquired a reputation in portraits, in which he was constantly employed by persons of quality in Rome and Florence, and was also called to Vienna by the emperor. There, besides the imperial family, he painted also the portraits of many of the lesser princes of Germany. Odoardo Vicinelli, a painter of considerable merit in these latter times, in vol. vi. of the Lett. Pitt. is said to have been a scholar of Morandi, and Pascoli does not hesitate to assert that he conferred greater honour than any other of his scholars on his master; I believe, in Rome, where Pietro Nelli alone could dispute precedence with him.

Francesco Trevisani, a native of Trevigi, was educated by Zanchi in Venice, where, in order to [Pg 297]distinguish him from Angiolo Trevisani, he was called Il Trevisani Romano. In Rome, he abandoned his first principles, and regulated his taste by the best manner then in vogue. He possessed a happy talent of imitating every manner, and at one time appears a follower of Cignani, at another of Guido; alike successful whichever style he adopted. The Albiccini family, in Forli, possess many of his pictures in various styles, and amongst them a small Crucifixion, most spirited and highly finished, which the master esteemed his best work, and offered a large sum to obtain back again. His pictures abound in Rome, and in general exhibit an elegance of design, a fine pencil, and a vigorous tone of colour. His S. Joseph dying, in the church of the Collegio R., is a remarkably noble production. A subject painted by him to accompany one by Guido in the Spada palace is also highly esteemed. He enjoyed the patronage of Clement XI. by whom he was not only commissioned to paint one of the prophets of the Lateran, but was also employed in the cupola of the Duomo in Urbino, in which he painted the four quarters of the world; a work truly estimable for design, fancy, and colouring. In other cities of the state we find pictures by him painted with more or less care, in Foligno, at Camerino, in Perugia, at Forli, and one of S. Antonio at S. Rocco in Venice, of a form more elegant than robust.

Pasquale Rossi, better known by the name of Pasqualino, was born in Vicenza, and from long [Pg 298]copying the best Venetian and Roman pictures, attained without the instruction of a master, a natural mode of colour, and a good style of design. Few of his public works remain in Rome; Christ praying in the garden in the church of S. Carlo al Corso, the Baptism also of our Saviour at the Madonna del Popolo. The Silvestrini of Fabriano have several pictures by him, and among them a Madonna truly beautiful. His S. Gregory, in the Duomo of Matelica, in the act of liberating souls from purgatory, is in the style of Guercino, and is one of his best works. In private collections we find his cabinet pictures representing gaming parties, conversations, concerts, and similar subjects, carefully finished on a small scale, and little inferior to Flemish pictures. I have met with numerous specimens of them in various places; but in no place have I admired this artist so much as in the royal gallery at Turin, in which are some ornaments over doors, and pictures of considerable size by him, chiefly scriptural subjects, executed in an animated and vigorous style, and with so much imitation of the Roman School, that we should think them to be by some other master.

Giambatista Gaulli, commonly called Baciccio, studied first in Genoa. Whilst still young he went to Rome, where under the direction of a Frenchman, and by the more valuable aid of Bernino, he formed himself on the style of the great machinists. As he was endowed by nature with a ready genius and a dexterity of hand, he could not [Pg 299]have chosen any branch of the art more adapted to his talent. The vault of the Gesù is his most conspicuous work. The knowledge of the sotto in su, the unity, harmony, and correct perspective of its objects, the brilliancy and skilful gradation of the light, rank it among the best, if indeed it be not his best picture in Rome. It must, however, be confessed, that we must inspect it with an eye to the general effect, rather than to the local tints, or the drawing of the figures, in which he is not always correct. His faults in his easel pictures, which are very numerous in Italy and in foreign countries, are less obtrusive, and are abundantly atoned for by their spirit, freshness of tints, and engaging countenances. He varies his manner with his subject, assigning to each a peculiar style. There is a delightful picture in his best manner, gracefully painted in the church of S. Francesco a Ripa, representing the Madonna with the divine Infant in her arms, and at her feet S. Anna kneeling, surrounded by Angels. In a grave and pathetic style on the contrary, is the representation of S. Saverio dying in the desert island of Sanciano, which is placed near the altar of S. Andrea at Monte Cavallo. His figures of children are very engaging and highly finished, though after the manner of Fiammingo, more fleshy and less elegant than those of Titian or the Greeks. He painted seven pontiffs, and many persons of rank of his day, and was considered the first portrait painter in Rome. In this branch of his art he followed a custom of Bernino, that of engaging the person he painted in an animated [Pg 300]conversation, in order to obtain the most striking expression of which the subject was susceptible.

Giovanni Odazzi, his first scholar, was ambitious of emulating him in celerity, but not possessing equal talent, he did not attain the same distinction. He is the most feeble, or at all events, the least eminent of the painters of the prophets of the Lateran, where his Hosea is to be seen; and indeed, in every corner of Rome, his pictures are to be met with, as he never refused any commission. Pascoli has preserved the memory of another of his scholars, a native of Perugia, in the lives of the painters of his native country. This was Francesco Civalli, initiated in the art by Andrea Carlone; he was a youth of talent, but impatient of instruction. He painted in Rome and other places, but did not pass the bounds of mediocrity. The Cav. Lodovico Mazzanti, was the scholar of Gaulli, and emulated his manner to the best of his ability; but his talents were not commanding, nor were his powers equal to his ambition. Gio. Batista Brughi, a worker in mosaic, rather than a painter, left notwithstanding some public pictures in Rome. He is called in the Guida sometimes Brughi, and sometimes Gio. Batista, the disciple of Baciccio, which makes it there appear as if they had been distinct individuals. I do not recollect any other artist contributed by Gaulli to the Roman School.

The Neapolitan School, which was in the beginning of this age supported by Solimene, sent some scholars to Rome, who adopted a Roman style. [Pg 301]Sebastiano Conca was the first that arrived there with an intention of seeing it, but he established himself there, together with Giovanni, his brother, to meliorate his style of design. Resigning the brush, he returned at forty years of age to the pencil, and spent five years in drawing after the antique, and after the best modern productions. His hand, however, had become the slave of habit in Naples, and would not answer to his own wishes; and he was kept in constant vexation, as he could appreciate excellence, but found himself incapable of attaining it. The celebrated sculptor, Le Gros, advised him to return to his original style, and he then became in Rome an eminent painter, in the manner of Pietro da Cortona, with considerable improvements on his early manner. He possessed a fertile invention, great facility of execution, and a colour which enchanted by its lucidness, its contrast, and the delicacy of the flesh tints. It is true, that on examination we find that he was not in reality a profound colourist, and that to obtain a grandeur of tone, he adopted in the shadows a green tint, which produced a mannerism. He distinguished himself in frescos, and also in pictures in the churches, decorating them with choirs of angels, happily disposed in a style of composition that may be called his own, and which served as an example to many of the machinists. He was indefatigable too in painting for private individuals, and in the states of the church there is scarcely a collection without its Conca. His most studied, finished, [Pg 302]and beautiful work is the Probatica at the hospital of Siena. Of great merit in Rome is the Assumption at S. Martina, and the Jonah among the prophets in the S. Giovanni Laterano. His works were in high esteem in the ecclesiastical state; his best appear to be the S. Niccolo at Loreto, S. Saverio in Ancona, S. Agostino at Foligno, S. Filippo in Fabriano, and S. Girolamo Emiliano at Velletri. Giovanni, his brother, assisted Sebastiano in his commissions, had an equal facility, a similar taste, though less beautiful in his heads, and of not so fine a pencil. He shewed great talent in copying the pictures of the best masters. In the church of the Domenicans of Urbino are the copies which he made of four pictures to be executed in mosaic; they were by Muziani, Guercino, Lanfranco, and Romanelli. Conca is eulogized by Rossi with his usual intelligence and discrimination (v. tom. ii. of his Memorie, p. 81.)

Mengs perhaps censures him too severely, where he says, that by his precepts he contributed to the decay of the art. He had his followers, but they were not so numerous as to corrupt all the other schools of Italy. Every school, as we have seen, had within itself the seeds of its own destruction, without seeking for it elsewhere. It is true, indeed, that some of his scholars inherited his facility and his colouring, and left many injurious examples in Italy. Nor shall I give myself much trouble to enumerate his disciples, but shall content myself with the names of the most celebrated. [Pg 303]Gaetano Lapis di Cagli was one of these, and brought with him good principles of design when he came to study under Conca. He was a painter of an original taste, as Rossi describes, not very spirited, but correct. Many of his works are found in the churches of his native place, and in the Duomo are two highly prized pieces on each side the altar, a Supper of our Lord, and a Nativity. In the various pictures I have seen of him at S. Pietro, S. Niccolo, and S. Francesco, I generally found the same composition of a Madonna of a graceful form, attended by Saints in the act of adoring her and the Holy Infant. We find some of his works also in Perugia and elsewhere. The Prince Borghese, in Rome, has a Birth of Venus by him, painted on a ceiling, with a correctness of design, and a grace superior to any thing that remains of him, and no one can justly appreciate his talents, who has not seen this work. It should seem, that a timidity and diffidence of his own powers, prevented his attaining that high station which his genius seemed to have intended for him. Salvator Monosilio, who resided much in Rome, was of Messina, and trod closely in the footsteps of his master. In a chapel of S. Paolino della Regola, where Calandrucci furnished the altarpiece, he painted the vault in fresco; and others of his works are to be seen at the S. S. Quaranta, and at the church of the Polacchi. In Piceno, where Conca was in great reputation, Monosilio was held in high esteem, and was employed [Pg 304]both in public and in private. At S. Ginesio is a S. Barnabas by him, in the church of that saint, which in the Memorie so often quoted by us, is designated as an excellent work. Conca educated another Sicilian student, the Abbate Gaspero Serenari, of Palermo, who was considered a young man of talents in Rome, and painted in the church of S. Teresa, in competition with the Abate Peroni of Parma. On his return to Palermo he became a celebrated master, and besides his oil pictures he executed some vast works in fresco, particularly the cupola of the Gesù, and the chapel of the monastery of Carità.

Gregorio Guglielmi, a Roman, is not much known in his native place, although his fresco pictures in the hospital of the S. Spirito in Sassia, intitle him to be numbered amongst the most eminent young artists who painted in Rome in the pontificate of Benedict XIV. He left Rome early and went to Turin, where, in the church of S. S. Solutore e Comp. is a small picture of the Tutelar Saints. He was afterwards in Dresden, Vienna, and St. Petersburgh, where he painted in fresco with much applause, for the respective sovereigns of those cities. He was facile in composition, pleasing in his colour, and attached to the Roman style of design, which, like Lapis, he seemed to have carried from some other school into that of Conca. Among his most esteemed works is a ceiling, painted in the university of Vienna, and another in the imperial palace at Schoenbrunn. [Pg 305]He did not succeed so well in oils, in which his efforts are mostly feeble; a proof that he belongs more to the school of Conca than that of Trevisani, to which some have assigned him.

Corrado Giaquinto was another scholar of Solimene. He came from Naples to Rome, where he attached himself to Conca to learn colouring, in which he chiefly followed his master's principles, though he was less correct and more of a mannerist, and was accustomed to repeat himself in the countenances of his children, which resemble the natives of his own country. He was not, however, without merit, as he possessed facility as well as vigour, and was known in the ecclesiastical state for various works executed in Rome, Macerata, and other places. He went afterwards to Piedmont, as we shall mention at the proper time; then to Spain, where he was engaged in the service of the court, and gave satisfaction to the greater part of the native artists. The public taste in Spain, which had for a long time retained the principles of the school founded by Titian, had been changed within a few years. Luca Giordano was become the favorite, and they admired his spirit, his freedom, and his despatch; qualities which were combined in Corrado. This partiality lasted even after Mengs had introduced his style, which in consequence appeared at first meagre and cold to many of the masters and connoisseurs of the day, when compared with that of Luca [Pg 306]Giordano; until prejudice there, as in Italy, ultimately yielded to truth.

Some other artists flourished in Rome at the commencement, and as far as the middle of the century, and somewhat beyond, who may perhaps have a claim to be remembered. Of Francesco Fernandi, called L'Imperiali, the Martyrdom of S. Eustachio in the church of the saint of that name, is well conceived and scientifically coloured. Antonio Bicchierai, a fresco painter, is more particularly known at S. Lorenzo in Panisperna, in which church he painted a sfondo which did him honour. Michelangiolo Cerruti, and Biagio Puccini, a Roman, about the time of Clement XI. and Benedict XIII., were esteemed artists of good execution. Of others who acquired some reputation in the following pontificate, I shall write in other schools, or if I should not mention them, they may be found in the Guida of the city.

I shall now pass from native to foreign artists, and shall take a brief notice of them, since my work has grown upon me with so many new Italian names, which are its proper object, that I have not much spare room for foreigners, and a sufficient notice of them may be found in their own country. Not a few oltremonti painted at this period in Rome, celebrated for the most part in the inferior branches of painting, where they deserve commemoration. Some of them were employed [Pg 307]in the churches, as Gio. Batista Vanloo di Aix, a favorite scholar of Luti, who painted the picture of the Flagellation at S. Maria in Monticelli. But he did not remain in Rome, but passed to Piedmont, and from thence to Paris and London, and was celebrated for his historical compositions, and highly esteemed in portrait. Some years after Vanloo, Pietro Subleyras di Gilles settled in Rome, and conferred great benefit on the Roman School; for whilst it produced only followers of the old manner, and thus fell gradually into decay, he very opportunely appeared and introduced an entirely new style. An academy had been founded in Rome by Louis XIV., about the year 1666. Le Brun had there cooperated, the Giulio Romano of France, and the most celebrated of the four Carli, who were at that time considered the supporters of the art; the others were Cignani, Maratta, and Loth. It had already produced some artists of celebrity, as Stefano Parocel, Gio. Troy, Carlo Natoire, by whom many pictures are to be found in the public edifices in Rome. There prevailed, however, in the style of this school a mannerism, which in a few years brought it into disrepute. Mengs designated it by the epithet of spiritoso, and it consisted, according to him, in overstepping the limits of beauty and propriety, overcharging both the one and the other, and aiming at fascinating the eyes rather than conciliating the judgment. Subleyras, educated in this academy, reformed this taste, retaining the good, and [Pg 308]rejecting the feeble part, and adding from his own genius what was wanting to form a truly original manner. There was an engaging variety in the air of his heads, and in his attitudes, and he had great merit in the distribution of his chiaroscuro, which gives his pictures a fine general effect. He painted with great truth; but the figures and the drapery, under his pencil, took a certain fulness which in him appears easy, because it is natural; it remained his own, for although he left some scholars, none of them ever emulated the grandeur of style which distinguished their master.

He was mature in talent when he left the academy, and the portrait which he in preference to Masucci, painted of Benedict XIV., established his reputation as the first painter in Rome. He was soon afterwards chosen to paint the history of S. Basil, for the purpose of being copied in mosaic for the church of the Vatican. The original is in the church of the Carthusians, and astonishes, by the august representation of the Sacrifice solemnly celebrated by the saint in the presence of the emperor, who offers bread at the altar. The countenances are very animated, and there is great truth in the drapery and accompaniments, and the silks in their lucid and light folds appear absolutely real. From this production, and others of smaller size, and particularly the Saint Benedict at the church of the Olivetani di Perugia, which is perhaps his masterpiece, he deserves a place in the first collections, where, indeed, [Pg 309]his pictures are rare and highly prized. Further notices of this artist may he found in the second volume of the Giornale delle belle Arti.

Egidio Alè, of Liege, studied in Rome, and became a spirited, pleasing, and elegant painter. His works in the sacristy dell'Anima, in fresco and oil, painted in competition with Morandi, Bonatti, and Romanelli, do him honour. Ignazio Stern was a Bavarian, who was instructed by Cignani in Bologna, and worked in Lombardy. An Annunciation in Piacenza, in the church of the Nunziata, exhibits a certain grace and elegance, which is peculiar to him, as is observed in the description of the public pictures in that city. Stern afterwards established himself in Rome, where he painted in fresco the sacristy of S. Paolino, and left some oil pictures in the church of S. Elisabetta, and in other churches. He was more particularly attached to profane history, conversations, and similar subjects, which have a place even in royal collections. Spain possessed a disciple of the school of Maratta, in Sebastiano Mugnoz, but dying young he left few works behind him.

In this place I ought to notice an establishment designed to revive the art in that quarter, where it seemed to have so much declined, as D. Francesco Preziado, of that country, says, in a letter which we shall shortly have occasion to mention with commendation. "The royal academy of S. Ferdinand, in Madrid, which owed its origin to Philip [Pg 310]V., and was completed and endowed by Ferdinand VI., sent several students to Rome, and provided for their maintenance." They there selected the master the most agreeable to their genius, and had, in addition, a director, who was employed to superintend their studies; as I am informed by Sig. Bonaventura Benucci, a Roman painter, educated in that academy. Bottari and all Rome called it the Spanish academy, and I myself, in a former edition, followed the common report, and the two above named sovereigns I described as the founders of the academy. Having been censured for this statement, I have here thought proper to specify my authorities. It may without dispute be asserted, that the Spanish students have left in Rome many noble specimens of their talents and taste. D. Francesco Preziado was for many years the director of this academy, and painted a Holy Family at the S. S. Quaranta, in a good style. He made also a valuable communication to the Lettere Pittoriche (tom. vi. p. 308), on the artists of Spain, very useful to any one desiring information respecting this school, which is less known than it deserves to be.

An institution very much on the plan of the French academy was founded in Rome a few years ago, by his most faithful majesty, for Portuguese students, to the promotion of which, two celebrated Portuguese, the Cav. de Manique, intendant general of the police in Lisbon, and the Count de Souza, minister of that court in Rome, had [Pg 311]the merit of contributing their assistance; the one having projected, and the other executed, the plan in the year 1791. The government of the academy was entrusted to the Sig. Gio. Gherardo de' Rossi, known for his very numerous and able writings, to which he has recently added an ingenious little work, intitled, Scherzi poetici e pittorici, with engravings by a celebrated academician. These establishments are of too recent a date to allow me to speak further respecting their productions.

The provincial painters have been occasionally noticed in connexion with their masters. I here add a supplement, which may be useful in the way of completion. Foligno possessed a Fra Umile Francescano, a good fresco painter, engaged in Rome by Cardinal Castaldi, to ornament the tribune of S. Margaret, while Gaulli and Garzi were commanded to paint the pictures for it. The Abbate Dondoli lived at Spello at the beginning of this century. He was more to be commended for his design than for his colouring. Marini has some celebrity in S. Severino, his native place. He was the scholar of Cipriano Divini, whom he surpassed in his art. Marco Vanetti, of Loreto, is known to me more from his life of Cignani, who was his master, than from his own works. Antonio Caldana, of Ancona, painted a very large composition in Rome, in the sacristy of S. Niccola da Tolentino, from the life of that saint. I do not know whether there remain any works of his in his native place; [Pg 312]but there are a great number by a respectable artist, one Magatta, whose name was Domenico Simonetti, and who painted the gallery of the Marchesi Trionfi; he furnished many churches with his paintings, and distinguished himself in that of the church of the Suffragio, which is his most finished production. Anastasi di Sinigaglia was a painter less elegant and finished, but free and spirited. His works are not scarce in that city, and his best are the two historical subjects in the church della Croce. Three pictures by him also in S. Lucia di Monte Alboddo, are highly prized, and are called by the writer of the Guida, "Capi d'opera dell'Anastasi." Camillo Scacciani, of Pesaro, called Carbone, flourished at the beginning of the age we are writing on, and had a Caracciesque style allied to the modern. There is a S. Andrea Avellino by him in the Duomo of Pesaro; his other works are in private collections. This notice I deem sufficient, always excepting the living artists, whom I of course omit.[90]

[Pg 313]Three masters who died successively in the pontificate of Pius VI. seem to require from me more than a transient notice, and with them I shall conclude the series of historical painters of the fifth epoch. I shall first commemorate the Cav. Raffaello Mengs, from whom our posterity may perhaps date a new and more happy era of the art. He was born in Saxony, and brought to Rome by his father while yet a boy, and was at that time skilled in miniature, and was a careful and correct draughtsman. On his arrival in Rome, his father employed him in copying the works of Raffaello, and chastised the young artist for every fault in his work, with an incredible severity, or rather inhumanity, inflicting on him even corporeal punishment, and reducing his allowance of food. Being thus compelled to study perfection, and endowed with a genius to appreciate it and perceive it, he acquired a consummate taste in art; he communicated to Winckelmann very important materials for his Storia delle belle arti, and was himself the author of many profound and valuable [Pg 314]essays on the fine arts, which have materially contributed to improve the taste of the present age. They have different titles, but all the same aim, the discrimination of the real perfection of art.[91]

The artist, as characterized by Mengs, may be compared to the orator of Cicero, and both are endued by their authors with an ideal perfection, such as the world has never seen, and will probably never see; and it is the real duty of an instructor to recommend excellence, that in striving to attain it, we may at least acquire a commendable portion of it. Considered in this point of view, I should defend several of his writings, where in the opinion of others he seems to assume a dictatorial tone, in the judgment he passes on Guido, Domenichino, and the Caracci; the very triumvirate whom he proposes as models in the art. Mengs assuredly [Pg 315]was not so infatuated as to hope to surpass these great men, but because he knew that no one does so well but that it might be done still better, he shews where they attained the summit of art, and where they failed. The artist, therefore, described by Mengs, and to whose qualifications he also aspired, and was anxious that all should do the same, ought to unite in himself the design and beauty of the Greeks, the expression and composition of Raffaello, the chiaroscuro and grace of Coreggio, and, to complete all, the colouring of Titian. This union of qualities Mengs has analyzed with equal elegance and perspicuity, teaching the artist how to form himself on that ideal beauty, which is itself never realised. If, on some occasions, he appears too enthusiastic, or in some degree obscure, it cannot excite our surprise, as he wrote in a foreign language, and was not much accustomed to composition. His ideas therefore stood in need of a refined scholar to render them clear and intelligible; and this advantage he would have procured, had he been resolved to publish them; but his works are all posthumous, and were given to the world by his excellency the Sig. Cav. Azara. Hence it frequently happens in his works, that one treatise destroys another, as Tiraboschi has observed in regard to his notice of Coreggio, in his Notizie degli Artefici Modenesi; and hence concludes that the Riflessioni di Mengs su i tre gran Pittori, where he finds much to censure in Coreggio, were written by him before he saw the works of that master; and that [Pg 316]his Memorie on the life of the same master, where he extols Coreggio to the skies, and calls him the Apelles of modern painting, were written after having seen and studied him.[92] In spite however of all objections, he will retain a distinguished place, as well among the theorists or writers, as among professors themselves, as long as the art endures.

We perhaps should not say that Mengs was a whetstone which gave a new quality to the steel, which it could not otherwise have acquired; but that he was the steel itself, which becomes brighter and finer the more it is used. He became painter to the court of Dresden; every fresh work gave proof of his progress in the art. He went afterwards [Pg 317]to Madrid, where in the chambers of the royal palace he painted the assembly of the Gods, the Seasons, and the various parts of the day, in an enchanting manner. After repairing a second time to Rome to renew his studies, he again returned to Madrid, where he painted in one of the saloons the Apotheosis of Trajan, and in a theatre, Time subduing Pleasure; pictures much superior to his former pieces. In Rome there are three large works by him; the painting in the vault of S. Eusebio; the Parnassus in the saloon of the Villa Albani, far superior to the preceding one;[93] and lastly, the cabinet of manuscripts in the Vatican was painted by him, where the celestial forms of the angels, the majesty of Moses, and the dignified character of S. Peter, the enchanting colour, the relief, and the harmony, contribute to render this chamber one of the most remarkable in Rome for its beautiful decorations. This constant endeavour to surpass himself, would be evident also from his easel pictures, if they were not so rare in Italy; as he painted many of this description for London and the other capitals of Europe. In Rome itself, where he studied young, where he long resided, to which he always returned, and where at last he died, there are few of his works to be found. We [Pg 318]may enumerate the portrait of Clement XIII. and his nephew Carlo, in the collection of the prince Rezzonico; that of Cardinal Zelada, secretary of state; and a few other pieces, in the possession of private gentlemen, more particularly the Sig. Cav. Azara. Florence has some large compositions by him in the Palazzo Pitti, and his own portrait in the cabinet of painters, besides the great Deposition from the Cross in chiaroscuro, for the Marchese Rinuccini, which he was prevented by death from colouring; and a beautiful Genius in fresco in a chamber of the Sig. Conte Senatore Orlando Malevolti del Benino.

Returning from the consideration of his works to Mengs himself, I leave to others to estimate his merit, and to determine how far his principles are just.[94] As far as regards myself, I cannot but extol [Pg 319]that inextinguishable ardour of improving himself by which he was particularly distinguished, and which prompted him, even while he enjoyed the reputation of a first rate master, to proceed in every work as if he were only commencing his career. Truth was his great aim, and he diligently studied the works of the first luminaries of the art, analysed their colours, and examined them in detail, till he entered fully into the spirit and design of those great models. Whilst employed in the ducal gallery in Florence, he did not touch a pencil, until he had attentively studied the best pieces there, and particularly the Venus of Titian in the tribune. In his hours of leisure he employed himself in carefully studying the fresco pictures of the best masters of that school, which is so distinguished in this art. He was accustomed to do the same by every work of celebrity which fell in his way, whether ancient or modern; all contributed to his improvement, and to carry him nearer to perfection; he was in short a man of a most aspiring mind, and may be compared to the ancient, who declared that he wished "to die learning." If maxims like these were enforced, what rapid strides in the art might we not expect! [Pg 320]But the greater part of artists form for themselves a manner which may attract popularity, and then relax their efforts, satisfied with the applause of the crowd; and if they feel the necessity of improving, it is not with a design of acquiring a just reputation, but of adding to the price of their works.

Notwithstanding the considerable space which Mengs has occupied in our time, he has nevertheless left room for the celebrity of Pompeo Batoni, of Luca. The Cav. Boni, who has honoured this artist with an elegant eulogium, thus expresses himself in comparing him with Mengs. "The latter," he says, "was the painter of philosophy, the former of nature. Batoni had a natural taste which led him to the beautiful without effort; Mengs attained the same object by reflection and study. Grace was the gift of nature in Batoni, as it had formerly been in Apelles; while the higher attributes of the art were allotted to Mengs, as they were in former days to Protogenes. Perhaps the first was more painter than philosopher, the second more philosopher than painter. The latter, perhaps, was more sublime, but more studied; Batoni less profound, but more natural. Not that I would insinuate that nature was sparing to Mengs, or that Batoni was devoid of the necessary science of the art, &c." If it were ever said with truth of any artist, that he was born a painter, this distinction must be allowed to Batoni. He learned only the principles of the art in his native [Pg 321]country, and of the two correspondents from whom I have received my information, the one considers him to have been the scholar of Brugieri, the other of Lombardi, as already mentioned, vol. i. p. 360, and probably he was instructed by both. He came young to Rome, and did not frequent any particular school, but studied and copied Raffaello and the old masters with unceasing assiduity, and thus learnt the great secret of copying nature with truth and judgment.

That boundless and instructive volume, open to all, but cultivated by few, was rightly appreciated by Batoni, and it was hence that he derived that beautiful variety in his heads and contours, which are sometimes wanting even in the great masters, who were occasionally too much addicted to the ideal. Hence, too, he derived the gestures and expressions most appropriate to each subject. Persuaded that a vivid imagination was not alone sufficient to depict those fine traits in which the sublimity of the art consists, he did not adopt any attitudes which were not found in nature. He took from nature the first ideas, copied from her every part of the figure, and adapted the drapery and folds from models. He afterwards embellished and perfected his work with a natural taste, and enlivened all with a style of colour peculiarly his own; clear, engaging, lucid, and preserving after the lapse of many years, as in the picture of various saints at S. Gregorio, all its original freshness. This was in him not so much an art as the natural [Pg 322]ebullition of his genius. He sported with his pencil. Every path was open to him; painting in various ways, now with great force, now with a touch, and now finishing all by strokes. Sometimes he destroyed the whole work, and gave it the requisite force by a line.[95] Although he was not a man of letters, he yet shows himself a poet in conception, both in a sublime and playful style. One example from a picture in the possession of his heirs, will suffice. Wishing to express the dreams of an enamoured girl, he has represented her wrapped in soft slumbers, and surrounded by loves, two of whom present to her splendid robes and jewels, and a third approaches her with arrows in his hand, while she, captivated by the vision, smiles in her sleep. Many of these poetical designs, and many historical subjects, are in private collections, and in the courts of Europe, from which he had constant commissions.

Batoni possessed an extraordinary talent for portrait painting, and had the honour of being employed by three pontiffs in that branch of the art, Benedict XIV., Clement XIII., and Pius VI.; to whom may be added, the emperor Joseph II. and his august brother and successor, Leopold II., the Grand Duke of Muscovy, and the Grand Duchess, besides numerous private individuals. He for some [Pg 323]time painted miniatures, and transferred that care and precision which is essential in that branch to his larger productions, without attenuating his style by hardness. We find an extraordinary proof of this in his altarpieces, spread over Italy, and mentioned by us in many cities, particularly in Lucca. Of those that remain in Rome, Mengs gave the preference to S. Celso, which is over the great altar of that church. Another picture, the Fall of Simon Magus, is in the church of the Certosa. It was intended to have been copied in mosaic for the Vatican, and to have been substituted for a picture of the same subject by Vanni, the only one in that church on stone. But the mosaic, from some cause or other, was not executed. Perhaps the subject displeased, from not being evangelical, and the idea of removing the picture of Vanni not being resumed, the subject was changed, and a commission given to Mengs to paint the Government of the church conferred on S. Peter. He made a sketch for it in chiaroscuro with great care, which is in the Palazzo Chigi, but did not live to finish it in colours. This sketch evinces a design and composition superior to the picture of Batoni, but the subject of the latter was more vigorously conceived. At all events, however, Batoni must henceforth be considered the restorer of the Roman School, in which he lived until his 79th year, and educated many pupils in his profession.

The example of the two last eminent artists was not lost on Antonio Cavallucci da Sermoneta, whose [Pg 324]name when I began to print this volume, I did not expect would here have found a place. But having recently died, some notice is due to his celebrity, as he is already ranked with the first artists of his day. He was highly esteemed both in Rome and elsewhere. The Primaziale of Pisa, who in the choice of their artists consulted no recommendation but that of character, employed him on a considerable work, representing S. Bona of that city taking the religious habit. It breathes a sacred piety, which he himself both felt and expressed in a striking manner. In this picture he wished to shew that the examples of christian humility, such as burying in a cloister the gifts of nature and fortune, are susceptible of the gayest decoration. This he effected by introducing a train of noble men and women, who, according to custom, assisted in the solemnity. In this composition, in which he follows the principles of Batoni rather than those of Mengs, we may perceive both his study of nature, and his judgment and facility in imitating her. Another large picture of the saints Placido and Mauro, he sent into Catania, and another of S. Francesco di Paola, he executed for the church of Loreto, and which was copied in mosaic. In Rome are his S. Elias and the Purgatorio, two pictures placed at S. Martino a' Monti, and many works in the possession of the noble family of Gaetani, who were the first to encourage and support this artist. His last work was the Venus and Ascanius, in the Palazzo Cesarini, which has been described to me [Pg 325]as a beautiful production by the Sig. Gio. Gherardo de' Rossi, who has declared his intention of publishing the life of Cavallucci, which will no doubt be done in his usual masterly manner.

The Roman School has recently had to regret the loss of two accomplished masters; Domenico Corvi of Viterbo, and Giuseppe Cades of Rome, who although younger than Corvi, and for some years his scholar, died before him. In my notice of them, I shall begin with the master who has been honoured and eulogized more than once in the respectable Memorie delle belle Arti, as well as his scholar, and also some other disciples; as there was not in Rome in the latter times any school more productive in talent. He was truly an accomplished artist, and there were few to compare with him in anatomy, perspective, and design; and from Mancini his instructor, he acquired something of the style of the Caracci. Hence, his academy drawings are highly prized, and I may say, more sought after than his pictures, which indeed want that fascination of grace and colour which attracts the admiration alike of the learned and the vulgar. He maintained an universal delicacy of colour, and was accustomed to defend the practice by asserting, with what justice I cannot say, that pictures painted in that manner were less liable to become black. His most esteemed works are his night pieces, as the Birth of our Saviour in the church of the Osservanti at Macerata, which is perhaps the summit of his efforts. Some amateurs [Pg 326]went thither express towards the close of day; a lofty window opposite favoured the illusion of the perspective of the picture; and Corvi, who in other pictures is inferior to Gherardo delle Notti, viewed in this manner, here excels him, by an originality of perspective and general effect. He worked much both for his own countrymen and foreigners, besides the pictures which he kept ready by him, to supply the daily calls of purchasers, and many of which are still on sale in the house of his widow.

Cades recommends himself to our notice, principally by a facility of imitation, dangerous to the art when it is not governed by correct principles. No simulator of the character of another handwriting, could ever rival him in the dexterity with which at a moment's call he could imitate the physiognomy, the naked figure, the drapery, and the entire character of every celebrated designer. The most experienced persons would sometimes request from him a design after Michelangiolo or Raffaello, or some other great master, which he instantly complied with, and when confronted with an indisputable specimen of the master, and these persons were requested to point out the original, as Buonaruoti for example, they often hesitated, and frequently fixed on the design of Cades. He was notwithstanding, extremely honourable. He made on one occasion, a large design in the style of Sanzio, to deceive the director of a foreign cabinet, who boasted an infallible knowledge of the [Pg 327]touch of Raffaello; and employing a person to shew it to him, with some fictitious history attached to it, the director purchased it at 500 zecchins. Cades wishing to return the money, the other refused to receive it, insisting on retaining the drawing, and disregarding all the protestations of the artist, and his request to be remunerated by a smaller sum; and this drawing is at this moment probably considered as an original, in one of the finest cabinets of Europe. He was confident in his talents from his early years, and on a public occasion, he made a drawing after the bent of his own genius, regardless of the directions of Corvi, who wished it to be done in another style, and he was in consequence dismissed from that school. This drawing obtained the first premium, and now exists in the academy of S. Luke, where it is much admired. In the art of colouring, too, he owed little to the instruction of masters, and much to his native talent of imitation. I have seen exhibited in the church of the Holy Apostles, a picture by him, which in the upper part represents the Madonna with the Holy Infant, and in the inferior part five saints, an allegorical picture, as I have heard suggested, relating to the election of Clement XIV. That Pope was elected by the suffrages of the Cardinal Carlo Rezzonico and his friends, and contrary to the expectation of P. Innocenzio Buontempi, who ordered the picture, and who after this election was promoted by the Pope to the eminent station of Maestro nel S. Ordine [Pg 328]Serafico, and afterwards to that of the Pope's confessor. Hence this piece represents in the centre S. Clement reading the sacred volume; on his right is S. Carlo, who appears to admire his learning, and by his attitude seems to say, "This is a man justly entitled to the pontificate;" and in the last place S. Innocent the Pope, which representing the person of the P. Maestro, must here for the sake of propriety yield the place to the Cardinal S. Carlo. In the background are S. Francis and S. Anthony, half figures. Cades here took for his model the picture of Titian in the Quirinal, which he imitated as well in the composition as in the colour. And in this, indeed, he proceeded too far, giving it that obscure tone which the works of Titian have acquired only by the lapse of time. Cades here defended himself by saying that this piece was intended to be placed in the church of S. Francesco di Fabriano in a very strong light, where if the colours had not been kept low, they would have been displeasing to the spectator. There is an error in the perspective which cannot be overlooked. The allegorical figure of P. M. Innocenzio, who stands amazed at the sudden phenomenon, appears to be out of equilibrium, and would fall in real life. Other faults of colour, of costume, or of vulgarity of form, are noticed in others of his pictures by the author of the Memorie, in tom. i. and iii. But as he advanced in life he improved his style from study, and attending to the criticisms of the public. In tom. iii. just referred to, we find the description [Pg 329]of one of his works executed for the Villa Pinciana, the subject of which is taken from Boccaccio; Walter Conte di Anguersa recognized in London. Let us weigh the opinion which this eminent author gives of this most beautiful composition, or let us compare it with the picture of S. Joseph of Copertino, which he painted at twenty-one years of age, as an altarpiece in the church of the Apostles, and we shall perceive the rapid strides which are made by genius. Other princely families, besides the Borghesi, availed themselves of his talents to ornament their palaces and villas; as the Ruspoli and the Chigi, and he executed several works for the empress of Russia. He died before he had attained his fiftieth year, and not long after he had so much improved his style. In the opinion of some, his execution still required to be rendered more uniform, since he sometimes displayed as many different manners in a picture, as there were figures. But in that he might plead the example of Caracci, as we shall notice on a proper opportunity.

We shall now pass to other branches of the art, and shall commence with landscapes. In this period flourished the scholars of the three famous landscape painters, described in their proper place, besides Grimaldi, mentioned in the Bolognese School, who resided a considerable time in Rome; and Paolo Anesi, of whom we made mention in speaking of Zuccherelli. With Anesi lived Andrea Lucatelli, a Roman, whose talents are highly celebrated in every inferior branch of the art. In the [Pg 330]archbishop's gallery in Milan are a number of his pictures, historical, architectural, and landscapes. In these he often appears original in composition, and in the disposition of the masses; he is varied in his touch, delicate in his colouring, and elegant in his figures, which, as we shall see, he was also accustomed to paint in the Flemish style, separate from his landscapes.

Francis Van Blomen was a less finished artist, and from the hot and vaporous air of his pictures, obtained the name of Orizzonte. The palaces of the Pope and the nobility in Rome, abound with his landscapes in fresco and oil. In the character of his trees, and in the composition of his landscapes, he commonly imitated Poussin. In his general tone there predominates a greenish hue mixed with red. His pictures are not all equally finished, but they rise in value as those of older artists become injured by time, or rare from being purchased by foreigners. At the side of Van Blomen we often find the works of some of his best scholars, as Giacciuoli and Francis Ignazio, a Bavarian.

At the same time lived in Rome Francesco Wallint, called M. Studio, who painted small landscapes and sea views, ornamented with very beautiful figures; devoid however of that sentiment which is the gift of nature, and that delicacy which charms in the Italian School. He imitated Claude: Wallint the younger, his son, attached himself to the same manner with success, but did not equal his father.

[Pg 331]At the beginning of this epoch, or thereabouts, there flourished two artists in Perugia in the same line; Ercolano Ercolanetti, and Pietro Montanini, the scholar of Ciro Ferri and of Rosa. The last was ambitious of the higher walks of art, and attempted the decoration of a church, but failed in the attempt, as his talent was restricted to landscape; and even when he added figures to these, they were not very correct, and possessed more spirit than accuracy of design. He was nevertheless a pleasing painter, and his pictures were sought after by foreigners. In Perugia there is an abundance of his works, and some are to be seen in the sacristy of the Eremitani, which might be said to discover a Flemish style.

Alessio de Marchis, a Neapolitan, is not much known in Rome, although in the Ruspoli and Albani palaces, some pleasing pieces by him are pointed out. He is better known in Perugia and Urbino, and the adjacent cities. It is said that, in order to obtain a study for a picture from nature, he set fire to a barn. For this act he was condemned to the galleys for several years, and was liberated under the pontificate of Clement XI. whose palace in Urbino he decorated with architectural ornaments, distant views, and beautiful seapieces, more in the style of Rosa than any other artist. There is an extraordinarily fine picture by him of the Burning of Troy, in the collection of the Semproni family, and some landscapes in other houses in Urbino, in which he has displayed all his genius, and [Pg 332]extended it also to figures. But in general there is little more to praise in him than his spirit, his happy touch, and natural colouring, particularly in fires, and the loaded and murky air, and the general tone of the piece, as the detached parts are negligent and imperfect. He left a son, also a landscape painter, but not of much celebrity.

At the beginning of the century Bernardino Fergioni displayed in Rome an extraordinary talent in sea views, and harbours, to which he added a variety of humourous figures. He was first a painter of animals, and afterwards tried this line with better success; but his fame was a few years afterwards eclipsed by two Frenchmen, Adrian Manglard, of a solid, natural, and correct taste; and his scholar, Joseph Vernet, who surpassed his master by his spirit and his charming colouring. The first seemed to paint with a degree of timidity and care, the latter in the full confidence of genius; the one seemed to aim at truth, the other at beauty. Manglard was many years in Rome, and his works are to be seen in the Villa Albani, and in many other palaces. Vernet is to be seen in the Rondanini mansion, and in a few other collections.

There were not many painters of battles during this epoch, except the scholars of Borgognone. Christiano Reder, called also M. Leandro, who came to Rome about 1686, the year of the taking of Buda, devoted himself, in conformity with the feelings of the times, to painting battles between the Christians and the Turks; but his pictures, though [Pg 333]well touched, were soon depreciated from the great number of them. The best in the opinion of Pascoli, was that in the gallery de' Minimi; and he left many also in the palaces of the nobility. He was also expert in landscape and humourous subjects, and was assisted by Peter Van Blomen, called also Stendardo, the brother of Francis Orizzonte. Stendardo also painted battle pieces, but he was more attached to Bambocciate, in the Flemish style, wherein he delights to introduce animals, and particularly horses, in designing which he was very expert, and almost unrivalled. His distances are very clear, and afford a fine relief to his figures.

In Rome, and throughout the ecclesiastical state, we find many pictures of this sort by that Lucatelli who has been mentioned among the landscape painters. The connoisseurs attribute to him two different manners; the first good, the second still better, and exhibiting great taste, both in colouring and invention. In some collections we find Monaldi near him, who although of a similar taste, yielded to him in correctness of design, in colour, and in that natural grace which may be called the Attic salt of this mute poetry.

I have not ascertained who was the instructor of Antonio Amorosi, a native of Comunanza, and a fellow countryman of Ghezzi, and his co-disciple also in the school of the Cav. Giuseppe (Vernet). I only know that he is in his way equally facetious, and sometimes satirical. Like Ghezzi he painted pictures in the churches, which are to be found in [Pg 334]the Guida di Roma; he did not, however, succeed so well in them as in his bambocciate, which would appear really Flemish if the colours were more lucid. He is less known in the metropolis than in Piceno, where he is to be seen in many collections, and is mentioned in the Guida d'Ascoli. He pleased also in foreign countries, and represented subjects from common life, as drinking parties in taverns in town and country, on which occasion he discovered no common talent in architecture, landscape, and the painting of animals.

Arcangelo Resani, of Rome, the scholar of Boncuore, painted animals in a sufficiently good taste, accompanying them with large and small figures, in which he had an equal talent. In the Medici gallery is his portrait, with a specimen attached of the art in which he most excelled, the representation of still life. In the same way Nuzzi added flowers, and other artists landscapes, to their portraits.

Carlo Voglar, or Carlo da' Fiori, was a painter of fruit and flowers in a very natural style, and was also distinguished in painting dead game. He had a rival in this style in Francesco Varnetam, called Deprait, who was still more ingenious in adding glass and portraits, and composed his pieces in the manner of a good figurist. This artist after residing several years in Rome, was appointed painter to the Imperial Court, and died in Vienna, after having spread his works and his fame through all Germany. In the time of the two preceding artists, Christian Bernetz was celebrated, who on [Pg 335]the death of the first, and the departure of the second artist, remained in Rome the chief painter in this style. All the three were known to Maratta, and employed by him in ornamenting his pictures; and he enriched theirs in return with children and other figures, which have rendered them invaluable. The last was also a friend of Garzi, in conjunction with whom he painted pictures, each taking the department in which they most excelled. Scipione Angelini, of Perugia, improperly called Angeli by Guarienti, was celebrated by Pascoli for similar talents. His flowers appear newly plucked and sparkling with dew drops. In the Memorie Messinesi, I find that Agostino Scilla when he was exiled from Sicily, repaired to Rome, where he died. Whilst in Rome, he seemed to shun all competition with the historical painters, and occupied himself (with a certainty of not being much celebrated), in designing animals, and in other inferior branches of the art. In this line both he and Giacinto, his younger brother, had great merit. Saverio, the son of Agostino, who, on the death of them both, continued to reside and to paint in Rome, did not equal them in reputation.

During this period of the decline of the art, one branch of painting, perspective, made an extraordinary progress by the talents of P. Andrea Pozzo, a Jesuit, and a native of Trent. He became a painter and architect from his native genius, rather than from the instruction of any master. [Pg 336]His habit of copying the best Venetian and Lombard pictures, had given him a good style of colour, and a sufficiently correct design, which he improved in Rome, where he resided many years. He painted also in Genoa and Turin, and in these cities and in both the states, we find some beautiful works, the more so as they resemble Rubens in tone, to whose style of colour he aspired. There are not many of his oil paintings in Italy, and few of them are finished, as S. Venanzio in Ascoli, and S. Borgia at S. Remo. Even the picture of S. Ignatius at the Gesù in Rome, is not equally rendered in every part. Nevertheless, he appears on the whole a fine painter, his design well conceived, his forms beautiful, his colours fascinating, and the touch of his pencil free and ready. Even his less finished performances evince his genius; and of the last mentioned picture, I heard from P. Giulio Cordara, an eminent writer in verse and prose, an anecdote which deserves preservation. A painter of celebrity being directed to substitute another in its place, declared that neither himself nor any other living artist could execute a superior work. His despatch was such, that in four hours he began and finished the portrait of a cardinal, who was departing the same day for Germany.

He occupies a conspicuous place among the ornamental painters, but his works in this way would be more perfect if there was not so great a redundance of decoration, as vases, festoons, and [Pg 337]figures of boys in the cornices, though this indeed was the taste of the age. The ceiling of the church of S. Ignatius is his greatest work, and which would serve to show his powers, if he had left nothing else, as it exhibits a novelty of images, an amenity of colour, and a picturesque spirit, which attracted even the admiration of Maratta and Ciro Ferri; the last of whom, amazed that Andrea had in so few years, and in so masterly a manner, peopled, as he called it, this Piazza Navona, concluded that the horses of other artists went at a common pace, but those of Pozzo on the gallop. He is the most eminent of perspective painters, and even in the concaves has given a convex appearance to the pieces of architecture represented, as in the Tribune of Frascati, where he painted the Circumcision of Jesus Christ, and in a corridor of the Gesù at Rome. He succeeded too in a surprising manner in deceiving the eye with fictitious cupolas in many churches of his order; in Turin, Modena, Mondovi, Arezzo, Montepulciano, Rome, and Vienna, to which city he was invited by the emperor Leopold I. He also painted scenes for the theatres, and introduced colonnades and palaces with such inimitable art, that it renders more credible the wonderful accounts handed down to us by Vitruvius and Pliny of the skill of the ancients in this art. Although well grounded in the theory of optics, as his two volumes of perspective prove, it was his custom never to draw a line without first having made a model, and thus ascertained the correct [Pg 338]distribution of the light and shade. When he painted on canvass, he laid on a light coat of gum, and rejected the use of chalk, thinking that when the colours were applied, the latter prevented the softening of the lights and shadows, when requisite.

He had many scholars who imitated him in perspective; some in fresco; others in oil, taking their designs from real buildings, and at other times painting from their own inventions. One of these was Alberto Carlieri, a Roman, a painter also of small figures, of whom Orlandi makes mention. Antonio Colli, another of his scholars, painted the great altar at S. Pantaleo, and decorated it in perspective in so beautiful a manner, that it was by some taken for the work of his master. Of Agostino Collaceroni of Bologna, considered of the same school, we have before spoken.

There were also architectural painters in other branches. Pierfrancesco Garoli, of Turin, painted the interior of churches, and Garzi supplied the figures. Tiburzio Verzelli, of Recanati, is little known beyond Piceno, his birthplace. The noble family of Calamini of Recanati, possess perhaps his best picture, the elevation of S. Pietro in Vaticano, one of the most beautiful and largest works of this kind that I ever saw, which occupied the master several years in finishing. Gaspare Vanvitelli, of Utrecht, called Dagli Occhiali, may be called the painter of modern Rome; his pictures, which are to be found in all parts of Europe, represent [Pg 339]the magnificent edifices of that city, to which landscapes are added, when the subject admits of it. He also painted views of other cities, seaports, villas, and farm houses, useful alike to painters and to architects. He painted some large pictures, though most of his works are of a small size. He was correct in his proportions, lively and clear in his tints, and there is nothing left to desire, except a little more spirit and variety in the landscape or in the sky, as the atmosphere is always of a pale azure, or carelessly broken by a passing cloud. He was the father of Luigi Vanvitelli, a painter, who owed his great name to architecture, as we shall see was the case also with the celebrated Serlio.

But no painter of perspective has found more admirers than the Cav. Gio. Paolo Pannini, mentioned elsewhere; not so much for the correctness of his perspective, in which he has many equals, as for his charming landscape and spirited figures. It cannot indeed be denied, that these latter are sometimes too high in proportion to the buildings, and that also, to shun the dryness of Viviani, he has a mannered style of mixing a reddish hue in his shadows. For the first defect there is no remedy; but the second will be alleviated by time, which will gradually subdue the predominant colour.

Lastly, to this epoch the art of mosaic owes the great perfection which it attained, in imitating painting, not only by the means of small pieces of [Pg 340]marble selected and cemented together, but by a composition which could produce every colour, emulate every tint, represent each degree of shade, and every part, equal to the pencil itself. Baglione attributes the improvement in this art to Muziani, whom he calls the inventor of working mosaics in oil; and that which he executed for the Cappella Gregoriana, he praises as the most beautiful mosaic that has been formed since the time of the ancients. Paolo Rossetti of Cento was employed there under Muziani, and instructed Marcello Provenzale, his fellow countryman. Both left many works beautifully painted in mosaic; and the second, who lived till the time of Paul V. painted the portrait of that Pope, and some cabinet pictures. An extensive work, as has often been the case, was the cause of improving this art. The humidity of the church of S. Peter was so detrimental to oil paintings, that from the time of Urban VIII. there existed an idea of substituting mosaics in their place. The first altarpiece was executed by a scholar of Provenzale, already mentioned, Giambatista Calandra, born in Vercelli. It represents S. Michael, and is of a small size, copied from a picture of the Cav. d'Arpino. He afterwards painted other subjects in the small cupolas, and near some windows of the church, from the cartoons of Romanelli, Lanfranco, Sacchi, and Pellegrini; but thinking his talents not sufficiently rewarded, he began to work also for individuals, and painted portraits, or copied the best productions of the [Pg 341]old masters. Among these Pascoli particularly praises a Madonna copied from a picture of Raffaello, in possession of the Queen of Sweden, and of this and other similar works he judged that from their harmony of colour and high finishing, they were deserving of close and repeated inspection.

At this time great approaches were made towards the modern style of mosaic; but this art was afterwards carried to a much higher pitch by the two Cristofori, Fabio, and his son Pietro Paolo. These artists painted the S. Petronilla, copied from the great picture of Guercino, the S. Girolamo of Domenichino, and the Baptism of Christ by Maratta. For other works by him and his successors, I refer the reader to the Descrizione of the pictures of Rome above cited. I will only add, that when the works were completed for S. Peter's, lest the art might decay for want of due encouragement, it was determined to decorate the church of Loreto with similar pictures, which were executed in Rome, and transferred to that church.

Before I finish this portion of my work, I would willingly pay a tribute to the numerous living professors, who have been, or who are now resident in Rome; but it would be difficult to notice them all, and to omit any might seem invidious. We may be allowed, however, to observe that the improvement which has taken place in the art of late years, has had its origin in Rome. That city at no period wholly lost its good taste, and even in the decline of the art was not without connoisseurs and [Pg 342]artists of the first merit. Possessing in itself the best sources of taste in so many specimens of Grecian sculpture, and so many works of Raffaello, it is there always easy to judge how near the artists approach to, and how far they recede from, their great prototypes of art. This criterion too is more certain in the present age, when it is the custom to pay less respect to prejudices and more to reason; so that there can be no abuse of this useful principle. The works too of Winckelmann and Mengs have contributed to improve the general taste; and if we cannot approve every thing we there find, they still possess matter highly valuable, and are excellent guides of genius and talent. This object has also been promoted by the discovery of the ancient pictures in Herculaneum, the Baths of Titus, and of the Villa Adriana, and the exquisite vases of Nola, and similar remains of antiquity. These have attracted every eye to the antique; Mengs and Winckelmann have admirably illustrated the history of ancient sculpture, and the art of painting may be more advantageously studied from the valuable engravings which have been published, than from any book. From these extraordinary advantages the fine arts have extended their influence to circles where they were before unknown, and have received a new tone from emulation as well as interest. The custom of exhibiting the productions of art to a public who can justly appreciate them, and distinguish the good from the bad; the rewards assigned to the most [Pg 343]meritorious, of whatever nation, accompanied by the productions of literary men, and public rejoicings in the Campidoglio; the splendour of the sacred edifices peculiar to the metropolis of the Christian world, which, while the art contributes to its decoration, extends its protection in return to the professors of that art; the lucrative commissions from abroad, and in the city itself, from the munificence and unbounded liberality of Pius VI. and that of many private individuals;[96] the circumstance of foreign sovereigns frequently seeking in this emporium for masters, or directors for their academies; all these causes maintain both the artists and their schools in perpetual motion, and in a generous emulation, and by degrees we may hope to see the art restored to its true principles, the imitation of nature and the example of the great masters. There is not a branch, not only of painting, but even of the arts depending on it, as miniature, mosaic, enamel,[97] and the weaving of tapestry, [Pg 344]that is not followed there in a laudable manner. Whoever desires to be further informed of the present state of the Roman School, and of the foreign artists resident in Rome, should peruse the four volumes entitled, Memorie per le belle arti, published from the year 1785, and continued to the year 1788, a periodical work deserving a place in every library of the fine arts, and which was, I regret to add, prematurely discontinued.

[85] With regard to drapery, Winckelmann conjectures, (Storia delle Arti del Disegno, tom. i. p. 450,) that the erroneous opinion that the ancients did not drape their figures well, and were surpassed in that department by the moderns, was at that time common among the artists. This opinion still subsists among some sculptors, who disapprove particularly of the ancient custom of moistening the drapery, in order to adapt it the better to the form of the figure. The ancients, they say, ought to be esteemed, not idolized. To carry nature to the highest degree of perfection, was always allowable, but not so to degrade her by mannerism.

[86] He was the pupil of Niccolas Poussin, and from him acquired his taste for drawing after the antique. He employed this talent in copying the finest bassirilievi, and the noblest remains of ancient Rome. These were engraved by him, and circulated through Europe. He also copied a great number of ancient pictures from the Sotterranei, which passed into private hands unpublished. Pascoli mentions many more of his works in engraving, the pursuit of which branch of the art led him gradually to forsake painting. Of his pictures we find one in the church of Porto, and a very few more of his own designing. He devoted himself to the copying the pictures of the best masters, and carried his imitation even to the counterfeiting the effects of time on the colours; and he copied some pictures of Poussin with such dexterity, that it was with difficulty the painter himself could distinguish them.

[87] In the Risposta alle Riflessioni Critiche di Mons. Argens.

[88] This artist had painted one of the two laterals of the chapel, asserting that there was no artist living capable of painting a companion to it. Benefial painted one very superior, and represented in it an executioner with his eyes fixed on and deriding the picture of Muratori.

[89] See Memorie per le Belle Arti, tom. ii. p. 135, where Sig. Giangherardo de' Rossi gives an account of this artist, derived principally from information furnished by Sig. Cav. Puccini, who has been occasionally mentioned with approbation in the first volume of this work.

[90] Francesco Appiani, of Ancona, a scholar of Magatta, and not long since deceased, did not find a place in my former edition, but is fully entitled to one in this. He studied a considerable time in Rome, whilst Benefial, Trevisani, Conca, and Mancini, flourished there; and through the friendship of these masters (particularly of the latter), was enabled to form an agreeable style, of which he there left a specimen at S. Sisto Vecchio. It is the death of S. Domenico, painted in fresco, by order of Benedict XIII. who remunerated him with a gold medal. He went afterwards to Perugia, where he was presented with the freedom of the city, and continued his labours there with unabated ardour, until ninety years of age, an instance of vigour unexampled, except in the case of Titian. Perugia abounds with his paintings of all kinds, and his best works are to be found in the churches of S. Pietro de' Cassinensi, S. Thomas, and Monte Corona. He also decorated the church of S. Francis, and the vault of the cathedral, where he rivalled the freedom of style and composition of Carloni. Both he himself, and one of his pictures, placed in a church of Masaccio, are eulogised in the Antich. Picene (tom. xx. p. 159). He painted many pictures also for England.

[91] For a more particular catalogue of these works, see the Memorie delle belle arti, 1788, in which year they were republished in Rome, with the remarks of the Sig. Avvocato Fea, in one vol. 4to. and 2 vols. 8vo. The most celebrated treatise of Mengs is the Riflessioni sopra i tre gran pittori, Raffaello, Tiziano, e Coreggio, e sopra gli antichi. On the life and style of Coreggio he wrote a separate paper, which was afterwards the subject of a controversy; for as, at the close of the year 1781, appeared the Notizie storiche del Coreggio of Ratti, accompanied by a letter from Mengs, dated Madrid, 1774, in which he entreats Ratti to collect and publish them, Ratti was by several writers accused of plagiarism, and of having endeavoured, by a change of style and the addition of some trifling matter, to appropriate to himself what in reality belonged to Mengs. Not long afterwards there appeared an anonymous Defence of Ratti, without date or place, for which I refer to the next note.

[92] In the Difesa del Ratti, accused de repetundis, this very obvious contradiction is adduced as a proof that the Memorie were really composed by that author. It is there asserted that he wrote them in a clear and simple style, and then communicated them to Mengs, on whose death they were found among his writings, and published as his. Some other things are indeed said, that do not favour the cause of Ratti; as that when he was in Parma he consulted Mengs on what he should say of the works of Coreggio in that city, and as he could not see those in Dresden, he had from him a minute account of them; and also that Mengs was accustomed to add remarks to the MS. on which his friends consulted him. If, therefore, it be conceded that Mengs had such a share in this MS. (which would appear to have been drawn up by the scholar under the direction of the master, as to opinions on art, and as to a catalogue of the best pictures, accompanied too with remarks,) who does not perceive that the best part of that work, and the great attraction of its matter and style, is due to Mengs?

[93] This picture is one of the most finished compositions since the restoration of art. Each muse is there represented with her peculiar attribute, as derived from antiquity; and the artist is deservedly eulogized by the Sig. Ab. Visconti, in the celebrated Museo Pio Clementino, tom. i. p. 57.

[94] This eminent man was not without his enemies and calumniators, excited by his criticisms on the great masters, and still more by his animadversions on artists of inferior fame, and some recently deceased. Cumberland wrote against him with manifest prejudice; and the anonymous author of the Difesa del Cav. Ratti, the work of Ratti himself, or for which at least he furnished the materials, speaks of him in a contemptuous manner. He particularly questions his literary character and his discernment, and ascribes to his confidential friend, Winckelmann, the merit of his remarks. In point of art he estimates Mengs as an excellent, but by no means an unrivalled painter. Descending to particulars, he publishes not a few criticisms, which he received either in MS. or from the mouths of different professors, and adds others of his own. Of these the experienced must form their own judgment. With regard to his colouring, indeed, with which his rival Batoni found great fault, the most inexperienced person may perceive that it is not faultless, as the flesh tints are already altered by time, at least in some of his works. Lastly, in the Difesa are some personal remarks regarding Mengs, which, if Ratti, from respect to his late deceased friend, thought it right to omit them in his life of him, printed in 1779, might with still greater propriety have been spared in this subsequent work.

[95] See the Elogio di Pompeo Batoni, page 66, where the illustrious author, who, to his other accomplishments, adds that of painting, expatiates at length, and in the style of a professor, on this wonderful talent of Batoni.

[96] The decoration of the Villa Pinciana, in which the prince Borghesi has given encouragement to so many eminent artists, is an undertaking that deserves to be immortalized in the history of art.

[97] I refer to what I have written on the art of enamel, in the school of Ferrara, in which city the art may be said to have been revived by the Sig. Ab. Requeno. It was also greatly improved in the school of Rome, where in 1788 an entire cabinet was painted in enamel for the empress of Russia, as was publicly noticed in the Giornale di Roma, of the month of June. Il Sig. Consigl. Gio. Renfestein, had the commission of the work, which was executed from the designs of Hunterberger, by the Sigg. Gio. and Vincenzio Angeloni. They were both assisted in their task by the Sig. Ab. Garcia della Huerta, who greatly facilitated the inventions of Requeno, as well by his experience as by his work, intitled Commentarj della pittura encaustica del pennello, published in Madrid, a very learned work, and which obtained for the author from Charles IV. an annuity for life.

[Pg 345]




We are now arrived at a school of painting which possesses indisputable proofs of having, in ancient times, ranked among the first in Italy; as in no part of that country do the remains of antiquity evince a more refined taste, no where do we find mosaics executed with more elegance,[98] nor any thing more beautiful than the subterranean chambers which are ornamented with historical designs and grotesques. The circumstance of its deriving its origin from ancient Greece, and the ancient history of design, in which we read of many of its early artists, have ennobled it above all others in Italy; and on this account we feel a greater regret at the barbarism which overwhelmed it in common with other schools. We may express a similar sentiment with regard to Sicily, which from its affinity in situation and government, I shall include in this Fourth Book; but generally in the notes.[99] That [Pg 346]island, too, possessed many Greek colonies, who have left vases and medals of such extraordinary workmanship, that many have thought that Sicily preceded Athens in carrying this art to perfection. But to proceed to the art of painting in Naples, which is our present object, we may observe that Dominici and the other national writers, the notice of whom I shall reserve for their proper places, affirm, that that city was never wholly destitute of artists, not only in the ancient times, which Filostrato extols so highly in the proemium of his Immagini, but even in the dark ages. In confirmation of this, they adduce devotional pictures by anonymous artists, anterior to the year 1200; particularly many Madonnas in an ancient style, which were the objects of adoration in various churches. They subjoin moreover a catalogue of these early artists, and bitterly inveigh against Vasari, who has wholly omitted them in his work.

The first painter whom we find mentioned at the earliest period of the restoration of the art, is Tommaso [Pg 347]de' Stefani, who was a contemporary of Cimabue, in the reign of Charles of Anjou.[100] That prince, according to Vasari, in passing through Florence, was conducted to the studio of Cimabue, to see the picture of the Virgin, which he had painted for the chapel of the Rucellai family, on a larger scale than had ever before been executed. He adds, that the whole city collected in such crowds thither to view it, that it became a scene of public festivity, and that that part of the city in which the artist resided, received in consequence the name of Borgo Allegri, which it has retained to the present day. Dominici has not failed to make use of this tradition to the advantage of Tommaso. He observes that Charles would naturally have invited Cimabue to Naples, if he had considered him the first artist of his day; the king however did not do so, but at the same time employed [Pg 348]Tommaso to ornament a church which he had founded, and he therefore must have considered him superior to Cimabue. This argument, as every one will immediately perceive, is by no means conclusive of the real merits of these two artists. That must be decided by an inspection of their works; and with regard to these, Marco da Siena, who is the father of the history of painting in Naples, declares, that in respect to grandeur of composition, Cimabue was entitled to the preference. Tommaso enjoyed the favour also of Charles II. who employed him, as did also the principal persons of the city. The chapel of the Minutoli in the Duomo, mentioned by Boccaccio, was ornamented by him with various pictures of the Passion of our Saviour. Tommaso had a scholar in Filippo Tesauro, who painted in the church of S. Restituta, the life of B. Niccolo, the hermit, the only one of his frescos which has survived to our days.

About the year 1325, Giotto was invited by King Robert to paint the church of S. Chiara in Naples, which he decorated with subjects from the New Testament, and the mysteries of the Apocalypse, with some designs suggested to him at a former time by Dante, as was currently reported in the days of Vasari. These pictures were effaced about the beginning of the present century, as they rendered the church dark; but there remains, among other things in good preservation, a Madonna called della Grazia, which the generous piety of the religious possessors preserved for the veneration of [Pg 349]the faithful. Giotto painted some pictures also in the church of S. Maria Coronata; and others which no longer exist, in the Castello dell'Uovo. He selected for his assistant in his labours, a Maestro Simone, who, in consequence of enjoying Giotto's esteem, acquired a great name in Naples. Some consider him a native of Cremona, others a Neapolitan, which seems nearer the truth. His style partakes both of Tesauro and Giotto, whence some consider him of the first, others of the second master; and he may probably have been instructed by both. However that may be, on the departure of Giotto he was employed in many works which King Robert and the Queen Sancia were prosecuting in various churches, and particularly in S. Lorenzo. He there painted that monarch in the act of being crowned by the Bishop Lodovico, his brother, to whom upon his death and subsequent canonization, a chapel was dedicated in the Episcopal church, and Simone appointed to decorate it, but which he was prevented from doing by death. Dominici particularly extols a picture by him of a Deposition from the Cross, painted for the great altar of the Incoronata; and thinks it will bear comparison with the works of Giotto. In other respects, he confesses that his conception and invention were not equally good, nor did his heads possess so attractive an air as those of Giotto, nor his colours such a suavity of tone.

He instructed in the art a son, called Francesco di Simone, who was highly extolled for a Madonna [Pg 350]in chiaroscuro, in the church of S. Chiara, and which was one of the works which escaped being effaced on the occasion before mentioned. He had two other scholars in Gennaro di Cola, and Stefanone, who were very much alike in their manner, and on that account were chosen to paint in conjunction some large compositions, such as the pictures of the Life of S. Lodovico, Bishop of Tolosa, which Simone had only commenced, and various others of the Life of the Virgin, in S. Giovanni da Carbonara, which were preserved for a long period. Notwithstanding the similarity of their styles, we may perceive a difference in the genius of the two artists; the first being in reference to the second, studied and correct, and anxious to overcome all difficulties, and to elevate the art; on which account he appears occasionally somewhat laboured: the second discovers more genius, more confidence, and a greater freedom of pencil, and to his figures he gives a spirit that might have assured him a distinguished place, if he had been born at a more advanced period of art.

Before Zingaro (who will very soon occupy our attention) introduced a manner acquired in other schools, the art had made little progress in Naples and her territories. This is clearly proved by Colantonio del Fiore, the scholar of Francesco, who lived till the year 1444, of whom Dominici mentions some pictures, though he is in doubt whether they should not be assigned to Maestro [Pg 351]Simone; which is a tacit confession, that in the lapse of a century the art had not made any considerable progress. It appears, however, that Colantonio after some time, by constant practice, had considerably improved himself; having painted several works in a more modern style, particularly a S. Jerome, in the church of S. Lorenzo, in the act of drawing a thorn from the foot of a lion, with the date of 1436. It is a picture of great truth, removed afterwards, for its merit, by the P. P. Conventuali, into the sacristy of the same church, where it was for a long time the admiration of strangers. He had a scholar of the name of Angiolo Franco, who imitated better than any other Neapolitan the manner of Giotto; adding only a stronger style of chiaroscuro, which he derived from his master.

The art was, however, more advanced by Antonio Solario, originally a smith, and commonly called lo Zingaro. His history has something romantic in it, like that of Quintin Matsys, who, from his first profession, was called il Fabbro, and became a painter from his love to a young girl, who promised to marry him when he had made himself a proficient in the art of painting. Solario in the same manner being enamoured of a daughter of Colantonio, and receiving from him a promise of her hand in marriage in ten years, if he became an eminent painter, forsook his furnace for the academy, and substituted the pencil for the file. There is an idle tradition of a queen of [Pg 352]Naples having been the author of this match, but that matter I leave in the hands of the narrators of it. It is more interesting to us to know that Solario went to Bologna, where he was for several years the scholar of Lippo Dalmasio, called also Lippo delle Madonne, from his numerous portraits of the Virgin, and the grace with which he painted them. On leaving Bologna he visited other parts of Italy in order to study the works of the best artists in the various schools; as Vivarini, in Venice; Bicci, in Florence; Galasso, in Ferrara; Pisanello, and Gentile da Fabriano, in Rome. It has been thought that he assisted the two last, as Luca Giordano affirmed that among the pictures in the Lateran he recognized some heads which were indisputably by Solario. He excelled in this particular, and excited the admiration of Marco da Siena himself, who declared that his countenances seemed alive. He became also a good perspective painter for those times, and respectable in historical compositions; which he enlivened with landscape in a better style than other painters, and distinguished his figures by drapery peculiar to the age, and carefully drawn from nature. He was less happy in designing his hands and feet, and often appears heavy in his attitudes, and crude in his colouring. On his return to Naples, it is said, that he gave proof of his skill, and was favorably received by Colantonio, and thus became his son-in-law nine years after his first departure; and that he painted and taught there under King [Pg 353]Alfonso, until the year 1455, about which time he died.

The most celebrated work of this artist was in the choir of S. Severino, in fresco, representing, in several compartments, the life of S. Benedict, and containing an incredible variety of figures and subjects. He left also numerous pictures with portraits, and Madonnas of a beautiful form, and not a few others painted in various churches of Naples. In that of S. Domenico Maggiore, where he painted a dead Christ, and in that of S. Pier Martire, where he represented a S. Vincenzio, with some subjects from the life of that saint, it is said that he surpassed himself. Thus there commenced in Naples a new epoch, which from its original and most celebrated prototype, is called by the Cav. Massimo, the school of Zingaro, as in that city those pictures are commonly distinguished by the name of Zingaresque, which were painted from the time of that artist to that of Tesauro, or a little later, in the same way that pictures are every where called Cortonesque, that are painted in imitation of Berettini.

About this time there flourished two eminent artists, whom I deem it proper to mention in this place before I enter on the succeeding scholars of the Neapolitan School. These were Matteo da Siena, and Antonello da Messina. The first we noticed in the school of Siena, and mentioned his having painted in Naples the Slaughter of the Innocents. It exists in the church of S. Caterina a [Pg 354]Formello, and is engraved in the third volume of the Lettere Senesi. The year m.cccc.xviii. is attached to it, but we ought not to yield implicit faith to this date. Il P. della Valle, in p. 56 of the above mentioned volume, observes, that Matteo, in the year 1462, when he painted with his father in Pienza, was young, and that in the portrait which he painted of himself in 1491, he does not appear aged. He could not therefore have painted in Naples in 1418. After this we may believe it very possible, that in this date an L has been inadvertently omitted, and that the true reading is m.cccc.lxviii. Thus the above writer conjectures, and with so much the more probability, as he advances proofs, both from the form of the letters and the absence of the artist from his native place. Whoever desires similar examples, may turn to page 141 of vol. i., and he will find that such errors have occurred more than once in the date of books. Guided by this circumstance we may correct what Dominici has asserted of Matteo da Siena having influenced the style of Solario. It may be true that there is a resemblance in the air of the heads, and the general style, but such similarity can only be accounted for by Matteo deriving it from Solario, or both, as often happens, deriving it from the same master.

Antonello, of the family of the Antonj, universally known under the name of Antonello da Messina, is a name so illustrious in the history of art, that it is not sufficient to have mentioned him in the [Pg 355]first book and to refer to him here again, as he will claim a further notice in the Venetian School, and we must endeavour too to overcome some perplexing difficulties, to ascertain with correctness the time at which he flourished, and attempt to settle the dispute, whether he were the first who painted in oil in Italy, or whether that art was practised before his time. Vasari relates, that when young, after having spent many years in Rome in the study of design,[101] and many more at Palermo, painting there with the reputation of a good artist, he repaired first to Messina, and from thence passed to Naples, where he chanced to see a large composition painted in oil by Gio. da Bruggia, which had been presented by some Florentine merchants to King Alfonso. Antonello, smitten with this new art, took his departure to Flanders, and there, by his affability, and by a present of some drawings of the Italian School, so far ingratiated himself with Giovanni, as to induce him to communicate to him the secret, and the aged painter dying soon afterwards, thus left him instructed in the new art. This must have happened about the year 1440, since that time is required to support the [Pg 356]supposition that Giovanni, born about 1370, died at an advanced age, as the old writers assert, or exactly in 1441, as is asserted by the author of the Galleria Imperiale. Antonello then left Flanders, and first resided for some months in his native place; from thence he went to Venice, where he communicated the secret to Domenico Veneziano; and having painted there a considerable time, died there at the age of forty-nine. All this we find in Vasari, and it agrees with what he relates in the life of Domenico Veneziano, that this artist, after having learnt the new method from Antonello in Venice, painted in Loreto with Piero della Francesca, some few years before that artist lost his eyesight, which happened in 1458. Thus the arrival of Antonello in Venice must have occurred about the year 1450, or some previous year; but this conclusion is contrary to Venetian evidence. The remaining traces of Antonello, or the dates attached to his works there, commence in 1474, and terminate according to Ridolfi in 1490. There does not appear any reason whatever, why he should not have attached dates to his pictures, until after residing twenty-four years in Venice. Besides, how can it be maintained, that Antonello, after passing many years in Rome as a student, and many in Palermo as a master, and some years in Messina and Flanders, should not in Venice, in the forty-ninth year after the death of Giovanni, have passed the forty-ninth year of his age. Hackert quotes the opinion of Gallo, who in the Annali [Pg 357]di Messina, dates the birth of Antonello in 1447, and his death at forty-nine years of age, that is, in 1496. But if this were so, how could he have known Gio. da Bruggia? Yet if such fact be denied, we must contradict a tradition which has been generally credited. I should be more inclined to believe that there is a mistake in his age, and that he died at a more advanced period of life. Nor on this supposition do we wrong Vasari; others having remarked what we shall also on a proper opportunity confirm; that as far as regards Venetian artists, Vasari errs almost in every page from the want of accurate information. I further believe that respecting the residence of Antonello in Venice, he wrote with inaccuracy. That he was there about the year 1450, and communicated his secret to Domenico, is a fact, which after so many processes made in Florence on the murder of Domenico, and so much discussion respecting him, must have been well ascertained, not depending on the report contained in the memoirs of the painters by Grillandajo, or any other contemporary, in whose writings Vasari might search for information. But admitting this, I am of opinion, that Antonello did not reside constantly in Venice from the year 1450 until his death, as Vasari insinuates. It appears that he travelled afterwards in several countries, resided for a long time in Milan, and acquired there a great celebrity; and that he repaired afresh to Venice, and enjoyed there for some years a public salary. This [Pg 358]we gather from Maurolico, quoted by Hackert: Ob mirum hic ingenium Venetiis aliquot annos publicè conductus vixit: Mediolani quoque fuit percelebris, (Hist. Sican. pl. 186, prim. edit.), and if he was not a contemporary writer, still he was not very far removed from Antonello. This is the hypothesis I propose in order to reconcile the many contradictory accounts which we find on this subject in Vasari, Ridolfi, and Zanetti; and when we come to the Venetian School, I shall not forget to adduce further proofs in support of it. Others may perhaps succeed better than I have done in this task, and with that hope I shall console myself: as in my researches I have no other object than truth, I shall be equally satisfied whether I discover it myself, or it be communicated to me by others.

That therefore Antonello was the first who exhibited a perfect method of practising painting in oil in Italy, is an assertion that, it seems to me, may be with justice maintained, or at least it cannot be said that there is proof to the contrary. And yet in the history of the art in the Two Sicilies, this honour is strongly disputed. In that history we find the description of a chapel in the Duomo of Messina, called Madonna della Lettera, where it is said there exists a very old Greek picture of the Virgin, an object of adoration, which was said to be in oil. If this were even admitted, it could not detract from the merit of Antonello in having restored a beautiful art that had [Pg 359]fallen into desuetude; but in these Greek pictures, the wax had often the appearance of oil, as we observed in vol. i. p. 89. Marco da Siena, in the fragment of a discourse which Dominici has preserved, asserts, that the Neapolitan painters of 1300 continued to improve in the two manners of painting in fresco and in oil. When I peruse again what I have written in vol. i. p. 90, where some attempt at colouring in oil anterior to Antonello is admitted, I may be permitted not to rely on the word of Pino alone. There exist in Naples many pictures of 1300, and I cannot imagine, why in a controversy like this, they are neither examined nor alluded to, and why the question is rested solely on a work or two of Colantonio. Some national writers, and not long since, Signorelli, in his Coltura delle due Sicili (tom. iii. p. 171), have pretended, that Colantonio del Fiore was certainly the first to paint in oil, and adduce in proof the very picture of S. Jerome, before mentioned, and another in S. Maria Nuova. Il Sig. Piacenza after inspecting them, says, that he was not able to decide whether these pictures were really in oil or not. Zanetti (P. V. p. 20) also remarks, that it is extremely difficult to pass a decided judgment on works of this kind, and I have made the same observation with respect to Van Eyck, which will I hope, convince every reader who will be at the trouble to refer to vol. i. p. 87. And unless that had been the case, how happened it that all Europe was filled with the name of Van Eyck in the course [Pg 360]of a few years; that every painter ran to him; that his works were coveted by princes, and that they who could not obtain them, procured the works of his scholars, and others the works of Ausse, Ugo d'Anversa, and Antonello; and of Ruggieri especially, of whose great fame in Italy we shall in another place adduce the documents.[102] On the other hand, who, beyond Naples and its territory, had at that time heard of Colantonio? Who ever sought with such eagerness the works of Solario? And if this last was the scholar and son-in-law of a master who painted so well in oil, how happened it that he was neither distinguished in the art, nor even acquired it? Why did he himself and his scholars work in distemper? Why did the Sicilians, as we have seen, pass over to Venice, where Antonello resided, to instruct themselves, and not confine themselves to Naples? Why did the whole school of Venice, the emporium of Europe, and capable of contradicting any false report, attest, on the death of Antonello, that he was the first that painted in oil in Italy, and no one opposed to him either Solario or Colantonio?[103] [Pg 361]They either could not at that time have been acquainted with this discovery, or did not know it to an extent that can contradict Vasari, and the prevailing opinions respecting Antonello. Dominici has advanced more on this point than any other person, asserting that this art was discovered in Naples, and was carried from thence to Flanders by Van Eyck himself, to which supposition, after the observations already made, I deem it superfluous to reply.[104]

[Pg 362]We shall now return to the scholars of Solario, who were very numerous. Amongst them was a Niccola di Vito, who may be called the Buffalmacco of this school, for his singular humour and his eccentric invention, though in other respects he was an inferior artist, and little deserving commemoration. Simone Papa did not paint any large composition in which he might be compared to his master; he confined himself to altarpieces, with few figures grouped in a pleasing style, and finished with exquisite care; so that he sometimes equalled Zingaro, as in a S. Michele, painted for S. Maria Nuova. Of the same class seems to have been Angiolillo di Roccadirame, who in the church of S. Bridget, painted that saint contemplating in a [Pg 363]vision the birth of Christ; a picture which even with the experienced, might pass for the work of his master. More celebrated and more deserving of notice, are Pietro and Polito (Ippolito) del Donzello, sons-in-law of Angiolo Franco, and relatives of the celebrated architect Giuliano da Maiano, by whom they were instructed in that art. Vasari mentions them as the first painters of the Neapolitan school, but does not give any account of their master, or of what school they were natives, and he writes in a way that might lead the reader to believe that they were Tuscans. He says that Giuliano, having finished the palace of Poggio Reale for King Robert, the monarch engaged the two brothers to decorate it, and that first Giuliano dying, and the king afterwards, Polito returned to Florence.[105] Bottari observes, that he did not find the two Donzelli mentioned by Orlandi, nor by any one else; a clear proof that he did not himself consider them natives of Naples, and on that account he did not look for them in Bernardo Dominici, who has written at length upon them, complaining of the negligence or inadvertent error of Vasari.

The pictures of the two brothers were painted, according to Vasari, about the year 1447. But as he informs us that Polito did not leave Naples until the death of Alfonso, this epoch should be [Pg 364]extended to 1463, or beyond; as he remained for a year longer, or thereabouts, under the reign of Ferdinand, the son and successor of Alfonso. He painted for that monarch some large compositions in the refectory of S. Maria Nuova, partly alone and partly in conjunction with his brother, and both brothers combined in decorating for the king a part of the palace of Poggio Reale. We may here with propriety also mention, that they painted in one of the rooms the conspiracy against Ferdinand, which being seen by Jacopo Sannazzaro, gave occasion to his writing a sonnet, the 41st in the second part of his Rime. Their style resembles that of their master, except that their colouring is softer. They distinguished themselves also in their architectural ornaments, and in the painting of friezes and trophies, and subjects in chiaroscuro, in the manner of bassirilievi, an art which I am not aware that any one practised before them. The younger brother leaving Naples and dying soon afterwards, Pietro remained employed in that city, where he and his scholars acquired a great reputation by their paintings in oil and fresco. The portraits of Pietro had all the force of nature, and it is not long since, that on the destruction of some of his pictures on a wall in the palace of the Dukes of Matalona, some heads were removed with the greatest care, and preserved for their excellence.

We may now notice Silvestro de' Buoni, who was placed by his father in the school of Zingaro, and on his death attached himself to the Donzelli. [Pg 365]His father was an indifferent painter, of the name of Buono, and from that has arisen the mistake of some persons, who have ascribed to the son some works of the father in an old style, and unworthy the reputation of Silvestro. This artist, in the opinion of the Cav. Massimo, had a finer colouring and a superior general effect to the Donzelli; and in the force of his chiaroscuro, and in the delicacy of his contours, far surpassed all the painters of his country who had lived to that time. Dominici refers to many of his pictures in the various churches of Naples. One of the most celebrated is that of S. Giovanni a Mare, in which he included three saints, all of the same name, S. John the Baptist, the Evangelist, and S. Chrysostom.

Silvestro is said to have had a disciple in Tesauro, whose Christian name has not been correctly handed down to us; but he is generally called Bernardo. He is supposed to have been of a painter's family, and descended from that Filippo who is commemorated as the second of this school, and father or uncle of Raimo, whom we shall soon notice. This Bernardo, or whatever his name may have been, made nearer approaches to the modern style than any of the preceding artists; more judicious in his invention, more natural in his figures and drapery; select, expressive, harmonized, and displaying a knowledge in gradation and relief, beyond what could be expected in a painter who is not known to have been acquainted with any other schools, or seen any pictures beyond those [Pg 366]of his own country. Luca Giordano, at a time when he was considered the Coryphæus of painting, was struck with astonishment at the painting of a Soffitto by Tesauro at S. Giovanni de' Pappacodi, and did not hesitate to declare that there were parts in it, which in an age so fruitful in fine works, no one could have surpassed. It represents the Seven Sacraments. The minute description which the historian gives of it, shews us what sobriety and judgment there were in his composition; and the portraits of Alfonso II. and Ippolita Sforza, whose espousals he represented in the Sacrament of Marriage, afford us some light for fixing the date of this picture. Raimo Tesauro was very much employed in works in fresco. Some pictures by him are also mentioned in S. Maria Nuova, and in Monte Vergine; pictures, says the Cav. Massimo, "very studied and perfect, according to the latest schools succeeding our Zingaro."

To the same schools Gio. Antonio d'Amato owed his first instructions; but it is said, that when he saw the pictures which Pietro Perugino had painted for the Duomo of Naples, he became ambitious of emulating the style of that master. By diligence, in which he was second to none, he approached, as one may say, the confines of modern art; and died at an advanced period of the sixteenth century. He is highly extolled for his Dispute of the Sacrament, painted for the Metropolitan church, and for two other pictures placed in the Borgo di Chiaia, the one at the Carmine, the [Pg 367]other at S. Leonardo. And here we may close our account of the early painters, scanty indeed, but still copious for a city harassed by incessant hostilities.[106]

[98] In the Museo of the Sig. D. Franc. Daniele, are some birds, not inferior to the doves of Furietti.

[99] I adopt this mode because "little has hitherto been published on the Sicilian School," as the Sig. Hackert observes in his Memorie de' Pittori Messinesi. I had not seen that book when I published the former edition of the present work, and I was then desirous that the memoirs of the Sicilian painters should be collected together and given to the public. I rejoice that we have had memoirs presented to us of those of Messina, and that we shall also have those of the Syracusans and others, as the worthy professor gives us reason to hope in the preface to the Memorie before mentioned, which were written by an anonymous writer, and published by Sig. Hackert with his own remarks.

[100] The history of the art in Messina enumerates a series of pictures from the year 1267, of which period is the S. Placido of the cathedral, painted by an Antonio d'Antonio. It is supposed that this is a family of painters, which had the surname of Antonj, and that many pictures in S. Francesco, S. Anna, and elsewhere, are by different Antonj, until we come to Salvatore di Antonio, father of the celebrated Antonello di Messina, and himself a master; and there remains by him a S. Francis in the act of receiving the Stigmata, in the church of his name. Thus the genealogy of this Antonello is carried to the before mentioned Antonio di Antonio, and still further by a writer called il Minacciato (Hack. p. 11), although Antonio never, to my knowledge, subscribed himself degli Antonj, having always on his pictures, which I have seen, inscribed his country, instead of his surname, as Messinensis, Messineus, Messinæ.

[101] The Memorie de' Pittori Messinesi assert, that at Rome he was attracted by the fame of the works of Masaccio, and that he there also designed all the ancient statues. They add, too, that he arrived at such celebrity, that his works are equal to those of the best masters of his time. I imagine it must be meant to allude to those who preceded Pietro Perugino, Francia, Gio. Bellini, and Mantegna; as his works will not bear any comparison with those of the latter masters.

[102] In the first epoch of the Venetian School.

[103] The following inscription, composed at the instance of the Venetian painters, is found in Ridolfi, p. 49. "Antonius pictor, præcipuum Messanæ suæ et totius Siciliæ ornamentum hâc humo contegitur: non solum suis picturis, in quibus singulare artificium et venustas fuit: sed et quod coloribus oleo miscendis splendorem et perpetuitatem primus Italiæ Picturæ contulit, summo semper artificum studio celebratus."

[104] A letter of Summonzio, written on the 20th March, 1524, has been communicated to me by the Sig. Cav. de' Lazara, extracted from the 60th volume of the MSS. collected in Venice by the Sig. Ab. Profess. Daniele Francesconi. It is addressed to M. A. Michele, who had requested from him some information respecting the ancient and modern artists of Naples; and in reference to the present question he thus speaks. "Since that period (the reign of King Ladislaus), we have not had any one of so much talent in the art of painting as our Maestro Colantonio of Naples, who would in all probability have arrived at great eminence, if he had not died young. Owing to the taste of the times, he did not arrive at that perfection of design founded on the antique, which his disciple Antonello da Messina attained; an artist, as I understand, well known amongst you. The style of Colantonio was founded on the Flemish, and the colouring of that country, to which he was so much attached, that he had intended to go thither, but the King Raniero retained him here, satisfied with showing him the practice and mode of such colouring." From this letter, which seems contrary to my argument, I collect sufficient, if I err not, to confirm it. For, 1st, the defence of those writers falls to the ground, who assume that the art of oil colouring was derived from Naples, while we see that Colantonio, by means of the king, received it from Flanders. 2ndly, Van Eyck himself is not here named, but the painters of Flanders generally; which country first awakened, as we have observed, by the example of Italy, had discovered new, and it is true, imperfect and inefficient methods, but still superior to distemper; and who knows if this were not the mode adopted by Colantonio. 3rdly, It is said that he died young, a circumstance which may give credit to the difficulty that he had in communicating the secret: in fact, it is not known that he communicated it even to his son-in-law, much less to a stranger. 4thly, Hence the necessity of Antonello undertaking the journey to Flanders to learn the secret from Van Eyck, who was then in years, and not without difficulty communicated it to him. 5thly, If we believe with Ridolfi that Antonello painted in 1494 in Trevigi, and credit the testimony of Vasari, that he was not then more than forty-nine years of age, how could he be the scholar of Colantonio, who, according to Dominici, died in 1444? It is with diffidence I advance these remarks on a matter on which I have before expressed my doubts, and I have been obliged to leave some points undecided, or decided rather according to the opinions of others than my own.

[105] In the ducal gallery in Florence, is a Deposition from the Cross, wholly in the style of Zingaro: and I know not whether it ought to be ascribed to Polito, who certainly resided in Florence, or to some other painter of the Neapolitan School.

[106] In Messina, towards the close of the fifteenth century, or at the beginning of the sixteenth, some artists flourished who practised their native style, not yet modernised on the Italian model, as Alfonso Franco, a scholar of Jacopello d'Antonio, and a Pietro Oliva, of an uncertain school. Both are praised for their natural manner, the peculiar boast of that age, but in the first we admire a correct design and a lively expression, for which his works have been much sought after by strangers, who have spared only to his native place a Deposition from the Cross, at S. Francesco di Paola, and a Dispute of Christ with the Doctors, at S. Agostino. Still less remains of Antonello Rosaliba, always a graceful painter. This is a Madonna with the Holy Infant, in the village of Postunina.

[Pg 368]



Modern Neapolitan Style, founded on the Schools of Raffaello and Michelangiolo.

It has already been observed, that at the commencement of the sixteenth century, the art of painting seemed in every country to have attained to maturity, and that every school at that time assumed its own peculiar and distinguishing character. Naples did not, however, possess a manner so decided as that of other schools of Italy, and thus afforded an opportunity for the cultivation of the best style, as the students who left their native country returned home, each with the manner of his own master, and the sovereigns and nobility of the kingdom invited and employed the most celebrated strangers. In this respect, perhaps, Naples did not yield precedence to any city after Rome. Thus the first talents were constantly employed in ornamenting both the churches and palaces of that metropolis. Nor indeed was that country ever deficient in men of genius, who manifested every exquisite quality for distinction, particularly such as depended on a strong and [Pg 369]fervid imagination. Hence an accomplished writer and painter has observed, that no part of Italy could boast of so many native artists, such is the fire, the fancy, and freedom, which characterizes, for the most part, the works of these masters. Their rapidity of execution was another effect of their genius, a quality which has been alike praised by the ancients,[107] and the moderns, when combined with other more requisite gifts of genius. But this despatch in general excludes correct design, which from that cause is seldom found in that school. Nor do we find that it paid much attention to ideal perfection, as most of its professors, following the practice of the naturalists, selected the character of their heads and the attitudes of their figures from common life; some with more, and others with less discrimination. With regard to colour, this school changed its principles in conformity to the taste of the times. It was fertile in invention and composition, but deficient in application and study. The history of the vicissitudes it experienced will occupy the remainder of this volume.

The epoch of modern painting in Naples could not have commenced under happier auspices than those which it had the good fortune to experience. Pietro Perugino had painted an Assumption of the Virgin, which I am informed exists in the Duomo, or S. Reparata, a very ancient cathedral church, [Pg 370]since connected with the new Duomo. This work opened the way to a better taste. When Raffaello and his school rose into public esteem, Naples was among the first distant cities to profit from it, by means of some of his scholars, to whom were also added some followers of Michelangiolo, about the middle of the century. Thus till nearly the year 1600, this school paid little attention to any other style than that of these two great masters and their imitators, except a few artists who were admirers of Titian.

We may commence the new series with Andrea Sabbatini of Salerno. This artist was so much struck with the style of Pietro, when he saw his picture in the Duomo, that he immediately determined to study in the school of Perugia. He took his departure accordingly for that city, but meeting on the road some brother painters who much more highly extolled the works of Raffaello, executed for Julius II., he changed his mind and proceeded to Rome, and there placed himself in the school of that great master. He remained with him however, only a short time, as the death of his father compelled him to return home, against his wishes. But he arrived a new man. It is related that he painted with Raffaello at the Pace, and in the Vatican, and that he became an accomplished copyist of his works, and successfully emulated the style of his master. Compared with his fellow scholars, although he did not rival Giulio Romano, he yet surpassed Raffaele del Colle, and [Pg 371]others of that class. He had a correctness of design, selection in his faces and in his attitudes, a depth of shade, and the muscles rather strongly expressed; a breadth in the folding of his drapery, and a colour which still preserves its freshness after the lapse of so many years. He executed many works in Naples, as appears from the catalogue of his pictures. Among his best works are numbered some pictures at S. Maria delle Grazie; besides the frescos which he executed there and in other places, extolled by writers as miracles of art, but few of which remain to the present day. He painted also in his native city, in Gaeta, and indeed in all parts of the kingdom, both in the churches and for private collections, where many of his Madonnas, of an enchanting beauty, are still to be seen.[108]

[Pg 372]Andrea had several scholars, some of whom studied under other masters, and did not acquire much of his style. Such was Cesare Turco, who rather took after Pietro; a good painter in oil, but unsuccessful in fresco. But Andrea was the sole master of Francesco Santafede, the father and master of Fabrizio; painters who in point of colouring have few equals in this school, and possessing a singular uniformity of style. Nevertheless [Pg 373]the experienced discover in the father more vigour, and more clearness in his shadows; and there are by him some pictures in the Soffitto of the Nunziata, and a Deposition from the Cross in the possession of the prince di Somma, highly celebrated. But of all the scholars of Andrea, one Paolillo resembled him the most, whose works were all ascribed to his master, until Dominici restored them to their right owner. He would have been the great ornament of this school had he not died young.

Polidoro Caldara, or Caravaggio, came to Naples in the year of the sacking of Rome, 1527. He was not, as Vasari would have us believe, in danger of perishing through want at Naples; for Andrea da Salerno, who had been his fellow disciple, generously received him into his house, and introduced him in the city, where he obtained many commissions, and formed several scholars before he went to Sicily. He had distinguished himself in Rome by his chiaroscuri, as we have related; and he painted in colours in Naples and Messina. His colour in oil was pallid and obscure, at least for some time, and in this style I saw some pictures of the Passion in Rome, which Gavin Hamilton had received from Sicily. In other respects they were valuable, from their design and invention. Vasari mentions this master with enthusiasm, calls him a divine genius, and extols to the skies a picture which he painted in Messina a little while before his death. This was a composition of Christ on his way to Mount [Pg 374]Calvary, surrounded by a great multitude, and he assures us that the colouring was enchanting.

Giambernardo Lama was first a scholar of Amato, and afterwards attached himself to Polidoro, in whose manner he painted a Pietà at S. Giacomo degli Spagnuoli, which, from its conception, its correctness, and vigour of design, variety in attitude, and general style of composition, was by many ascribed to that master. In general however, he displayed a softer and more natural manner, and was partial to the style of Andrea di Salerno. Marco di Pino, an imitator of Michelangiolo, as we have observed, though sober and judicious, was held in disesteem by him. In the Segretario of Capece, there is an interesting letter to Lama, where amongst other things he says, "I hear that you do not agree with Marco da Siena, as you paint with more regard to beauty, and he is attached to a vigorous design without softening his colours. I know not what you desire of him, but pray leave him to his own method, and do you follow yours."

A Francesco Ruviale, a Spaniard, is also mentioned in Naples, called Polidorino, from his happy imitation of his master, whom he assisted in painting for the Orsini some subjects illustrative of the history of that noble family; and after the departure of his master, he executed by himself several works at Monte Oliveto and elsewhere. The greater part of these have perished, as happened [Pg 375]in Rome to so many of the works of Polidoro. This Ruviale appears to me to be a different artist from a Ruviale, a Spaniard, who is enumerated among the scholars of Salviati, and the assistants of Vasari, in the painting of the Chancery; on which occasion Vasari says, he formed himself into a good painter. This was under Paul VII. in 1544, at which time Polidorino must already have been a master. Palomino has not said a word of any other Ruviale, a painter of his country; and this is a proof that the two preceding artists never returned home to Spain.

Some have included among the scholars of Polidoro an able artist and good colourist, called Marco Calabrese, whose surname is Cardisco. Vasari ranks him before all his Neapolitan contemporaries, and considers his genius a fruit produced remote from its native soil. This observation cannot appear correct to any one who recollects that the Calabria of the present day is the ancient Magna Græcia, where in former times the arts were carried to the highest pitch of perfection. Cardisco painted much in Naples and in the state. His most celebrated work is the Dispute of S. Agostino in the church of that saint in Aversa. He had a scholar in Gio. Batista Crescione, who together with Lionardo Castellani, his relative, painted at the time Vasari wrote, which was an excuse for his noticing them only in a cursory manner. We may further observe that Polidoro [Pg 376]was the founder of a florid school in Messina, where we must look for his most able scholars.[109]

[Pg 377]Gio. Francesco Penni, or as he is called, il Fattore, came to Naples some time after Polidoro, but soon afterwards fell sick, and died in the year 1528. He contributed in two different ways to [Pg 378]the advancement of the school of Naples. In the first place he left there the great copy of the Transfiguration of Raffaello, which he had painted in Rome in conjunction with Perino, and which was afterwards placed in S. Spirito degl'Incurabili, and served as a study to Lama, and the best painters, until, with other select pictures and sculptures at Naples, it was purchased and removed by the viceroy Don Pietro Antonio of Aragon. Secondly, he left there a scholar of the name of Lionardo, commonly called il Pistoja, from the place of his birth; an excellent colourist, but not a very correct designer. We noticed him among the assistants of Raffaello, and more at length among the artists of the Florentine state, where we find some of his pictures, as in Volterra and elsewhere. After he had lost his friend Penni in Naples, he established himself there for the remainder of his days, where he received sufficient encouragement from the nobility of that city, and painted less for the churches than for private individuals. He chiefly excelled in portrait.

Pistoja is said to have been one of the masters of Francesco Curia, a painter, who, though somewhat of a mannerist in the style of Vasari and Zucchero, is yet commended for the noble and agreeable style of his composition, for his beautiful countenances, and natural colouring. These qualities are singularly conspicuous in a Circumcision painted for the church della Pietà, esteemed by Ribera, Giordano, and Solimene, one of the [Pg 379]first pictures in Naples. He left in Ippolito Borghese an accomplished imitator, who was absent a long time from his native country, where few of his works remain, but those are highly prized. He was in the year 1620 in Perugia, as Morelli relates in his description of the pictures and statues of that city, and painted an Assumption of the Virgin, which was placed in S. Lorenzo.

There were two Neapolitans who were scholars and assistants of Perino del Vaga in Rome; Gio. Corso, initiated in the art by Amato, or as others assert by Polidoro; and Gianfilippo Criscuolo, instructed a long time by Salerno. There are few remains of Corso in Naples, except such as are retouched; nor is any piece so much extolled as a Christ with a Cross painted for the church of S. Lorenzo. Criscuolo in the short time he was at Rome, diligently copied Raffaello, and was greatly attached to his school. He followed, however, his own genius, which was reserved and timid, and formed for himself rather a severe manner; a circumstance to his honour, at a time when the contours were overcharged and the correctness of Raffaello was neglected. He is also highly commended as an instructor.

From his school came Francesco Imparato, who was afterwards taught by Titian, and so far emulated his style, that a S. Peter Martyr by him in the church of that saint in Naples was praised by Caracciolo as the best picture which had then been seen in that city. We must not confound this [Pg 380]Francesco with Girolamo Imparato, his son, who flourished after the end of the sixteenth century, and enjoyed a reputation greater than he perhaps merited. He too was a follower of the Venetian, and afterwards of the Lombard style, and he travelled to improve himself in colouring, the fruits of which were seen in the picture of the Rosario at S. Tommaso d'Aquino, and in others of his works. The Cav. Stanzioni, who knew him, and was his competitor, considered him inferior to his father in talent, and describes him as vain and ostentatious.

To these painters of the school of Raffaello, there succeeded in Naples two followers of Michelangiolo, whom we have before noticed. The first of these was Vasari, who was called thither in 1544, to paint the refectory of the P. P. Olivetani, and was afterwards charged with many commissions in Naples and in Rome. By the aid of architecture, in which he excelled more than in painting, he converted that edifice, which was in what is commonly called the Gothic style, to a better form; altered the vault, and ornamented it with modern stuccos, which were the first seen in Naples, and painted there a considerable number of subjects, with that rapidity and mediocrity that characterize the greater part of his works. He remained there for the space of a year, and of the services he rendered to the city, we may judge from the following passage in his life. "It is extraordinary," he says, "that in so large and noble a city, there should have been found no masters [Pg 381]after Giotto, to have executed any work of celebrity, although some works by Perugino and by Raffaello had been introduced. On these grounds I have endeavoured, to the best of my humble talents, to awaken the genius of that country to a spirit of emulation, and to the accomplishment of some great and honourable work; and from these my labours, or from some other cause, we now see many beautiful works in stucco and painting, in addition to the before mentioned pictures." It is not easy to conjecture why Vasari should here overlook many eminent painters, and even Andrea da Salerno himself, so illustrious an artist, and whose name would have conferred a greater honour on his book, than it could possibly have derived from it. Whether self love prompted him to pass over that painter and other Neapolitan artists, in the hope that he should himself be considered the restorer of taste in Naples; or whether it was the consequence of the dispute which existed at that time between him and the painters of Naples; or whether, as I observed in my preface, it sometimes happens in this art, that a picture which delights one person, disgusts another, I know not, and every one must judge for himself. For myself, however much disposed I should be to pardon him for many omissions, which in a work like his, are almost unavoidable, still I cannot exculpate him for this total silence. Nor have the writers of Naples ever ceased complaining of this neglect, and some indeed have bitterly inveighed [Pg 382]against him and accused him of contributing to the deterioration of taste. So true is it, that an offence against a whole nation is an offence never pardoned.

The other imitator, and a favourite of Michelangiolo (but not his scholar, as some have asserted) that painted in Naples, was Marco di Pino, or Marco da Siena, frequently before mentioned by us. He appears to have arrived in Naples after the year 1560. He was well received in that city, and had some privileges conferred on him; nor did the circumstance of his being a stranger create towards him any feeling of jealousy on the part of the Neapolitans, who are naturally hospitable to strangers of good character; and he is described by all as a sincere, affable, and respectable man. He enjoyed in Naples the first reputation, and was often employed in works of consequence in some of the greater churches of the city, and in others of the kingdom at large. He repeated on several occasions the Deposition from the Cross, which he painted at Rome, but with many variations, and the one the most esteemed was that which he placed in S. Giovanni de' Fiorentini, in 1577. The Circumcision in the Gesù Vecchio, where Parrino traces the portrait of the artist and his wife,[110] the adoration of the Magi at S. Severino, [Pg 383]and others of his works, contain views of buildings, not unworthy of him, as he was an eminent architect, and also a good writer on that art. Of his merit as a painter, I believe I do not err, when I say that among the followers of Michelangiolo, there is none whose design is less extravagant and whose colour is more vigorous. He is not however, always equal. In the church of S. Severino, where he painted four pictures, the Nativity of the Virgin is much inferior to the others. A mannered style was so common in artists of that age, that few were exempt from it. He had many scholars in Naples, but none of the celebrity of Gio. Angelo Criscuolo. This artist was the brother of Gio. Filippo, already mentioned, and exercised the profession of a notary, without relinquishing that of a miniature painter, which he had learnt in his youth. He became desirous of emulating his brother in larger compositions, and under the direction of Marco succeeded in acquiring his style.

These two painters laid the foundation of the history of the art in Naples. In 1568, there issued from the Giunti press in Florence, a new edition of the works of Vasari, in which the author speaks very briefly of Marco da Siena, in the life of Daniello da Volterra. He only observes that he had derived the greatest benefit from the instructions of that master, and that he had afterwards chosen Naples for his country, and settled and continued his labours there. Marco, either not satisfied with [Pg 384]this eulogium, or displeased at the silence of Vasari with regard to many of the painters of Siena, and almost all those of Naples, determined to publish a work of his own in opposition to him. Among his scholars was the notary before mentioned, who supplied him with memoirs of the Neapolitan painters taken from the archives of the city, and from tradition; and from these materials Marco prepared a Discorso. He composed it in 1569, a year after the publication of this edition of Vasari's works, and it was the first sketch of the history of the fine arts in Naples. It did not, however, then see the light, and was not published until 1742, and then only in part, by Dominici, together with notes written by Criscuolo in the Neapolitan dialect, and with the addition of other notes collected respecting the subsequent artists, and arranged by two excellent painters, Massimo Stanzioni, and Paolo de' Matteis. Dominici himself added some others of his own collecting, and communicated by some of his learned friends, among whom was the celebrated antiquarian Matteo Egizio. The late Guida or Breve Descrizione di Napoli says, this voluminous work stands in need of more information, a better arrangement, and a more concise style. There might also be added some better criticisms on the ancient artists, and less partiality towards some of the modern. Still this is a very lucid work, and highly valuable for the opinions expressed on the talents of artists, for the most part by other artists, whose names [Pg 385]inspire confidence in the reader. Whether the sister arts of architecture and sculpture are as judiciously treated of, it is not our province to inquire.

In the above work the reader may find the names of other artists of Naples who belong to the close of this epoch, as Silvestro Bruno, who enjoyed in Naples the fame of a good master; a second Simone Papa, or del Papa, a clever fresco painter, and likewise another Gio. Ant. Amato, who to distinguish him from the first is called the younger. He was first instructed in the art by his uncle, afterwards by Lama, and successively imitated their several styles. He obtained considerable fame, and the infant Christ painted by him in the Banco de' Poveri, is highly extolled. To these may be added those artists who fixed their residence in other parts of Italy, as Pirro Ligorio, honoured, as we have observed, by Pius IV. in Rome, and who died in Ferrara, engineer to Alfonso II.; and Gio. Bernardino Azzolini, or rather Mazzolini, in whose praise Soprani and Ratti unite. He arrived in Genoa about 1510, and there executed some works worthy of that golden age of art. He excelled in waxwork, and formed heads with an absolute expression of life. He extended the same energetic character to his oil pictures, particularly in the Martyrdom of S. Agatha in S. Giuseppe.

The provincial cities had also in this age their own schools, or at least their own masters; some of [Pg 386]whom remained in their native places, and others resided abroad. Cola dell'Amatrice, known also to Vasari, who mentions him in his life of Calabrese, took up his residence in Ascoli del Piceno, and enjoyed a distinguished name in architecture and in painting, through all that province. He had somewhat of a hard manner in his earlier paintings, but in his subsequent works he exhibited a fulness of design and an accomplished modern style. He is highly extolled in the Guida di Ascoli for his picture in the oratory of the Corpus Domini, which represents the Saviour in the act of dispensing the Eucharist to the Apostles.

Pompeo dell'Aquila was a finished painter and a fine colourist, if we are to believe Orlandi, who saw many of his works in Aquila, particularly some frescos conducted in a noble style. In Rome in S. Spirito in Sassia, there is a fine Deposition from the Cross by him. This artist is not mentioned either by Baglione or any other writer of his time. Giuseppe Valeriani, another native of Aquila, is frequently mentioned. He painted at the same period and in the same church of S. Spirito, where there exists a Transfiguration by him. We perceive in him an evident desire of imitating F. Sebastiano, but he is heavy in his design, and too dark in his colours. He entered afterwards into the society of Jesuits, and improved his first manner. His best works are said to be a Nunziata in a chapel of the Gesù, with other subjects from the life of Christ, in which are some most beautiful [Pg 387]draperies added by Scipio da Gaeta. This latter artist also was a native of the kingdom of Naples; but of him and of the Cav. di Arpino, who both taught in Rome, we have already spoken in that school.

Marco Mazzaroppi di S. Germano died young, but is known for his natural and animated colouring, almost in the Flemish style. At Capua they mention with applause the altarpieces and other pictures of Gio. Pietro Russo, who after studying in various schools returned to that city, and there left many excellent works. Matteo da Lecce, whose education is uncertain, displayed in Rome a Michelangiolo style, or as some say, the style of Salviati. It is certain that he had a strong expression of the limbs and muscles. He worked for the most part in fresco, and there is a prophet painted by him for the company of the Gonfalone, of such relief, that the figures, says Baglione, seem starting from the wall. Although there were at that time many Florentines in Rome, he was the only one who dared in the face of the Last Judgment of Michelangiolo, to paint the Fall of the Rebel Angels, a subject which that great artist designed to have painted, but never put his intentions into execution. He chose too to accompany it with the combat between the Prince of the Angels and Lucifer, for the body of Moses; a subject taken from the epistle of S. James, and analogous to that of the other picture. Matteo entered upon this very arduous task with a noble spirit; but, [Pg 388]alas! with a very different result. He painted afterwards in Malta, and passing to Spain and to the Indies, he enriched himself by merchandise, until turning to mining, he lost all his wealth, and died in great indigence. We may also mention two Calabrians of doubtful parentage. Nicoluccio, a Calabrian, who will be mentioned among the scholars of Lorenzo Costa, but only cursorily, as I know nothing of this parricide, as he may be called, except that he attempted to murder his master. Pietro Negroni, a Calabrian also, is commemorated by Dominici as a diligent and accomplished painter. In Sicily, it is probable that many painters flourished belonging to this period, besides Gio. Borghese da Messina, a scholar also of Costa, and Laureti, whom I notice in the schools of Rome and Bologna, and others whose names I may have seen, but whose works have not called for my notice. The succeeding epoch we shall find more productive in Sicilian art.

[107] Plin. Hist. Nat. lib. xxxv. cap. 11. Nec ullius velocior in picturâ manus fuit.

[108] The style of Raffaello found imitators also in Sicily, and the first to practise it was Salvo di Antonio, the nephew of Antonello, by whom there is, we are told, in the sacristy of the cathedral, the death of the Virgin, "in the pure Raffaellesque style," although Salvo is not the painter who has been called the Raffaello of Messina: this was Girolamo Alibrandi. A distinguished celebrity has of late been attached to this artist, whose name was before comparatively unknown. Respectably born, and liberally educated, instead of pursuing the study of the law, for which he was intended, he applied himself to painting, and having acquired the principles of the art in the school of the Antonj of Messina, he went to perfect himself in Venice. The scholar of Antonello, and the friend of Giorgione, he improved himself by the study of the works of the best masters. After many years residence in Venice he passed to Milan, to the school of Vinci, where he corrected some dryness of style which he had brought thither with him. Thus far there is no doubt about his history; but we are further told, that being recalled to his native country, he wished first to see Coreggio and Raffaello, and that he repaired to Messina about the year 1514; a statement which is on the face of it incorrect, since Lionardo left Milan in 1499, when Raffaello was only a youth, and Coreggio in his infancy. But I have before observed, that the history of art is full of these contradictions; a painter resembling another, he was therefore supposed his scholar, or at all events acquainted with him. On this subject I may refer to the Milanese School in regard to Luini, (Epoch II.) and observe that a follower of the style of Lionardo almost necessarily runs into the manner of Raffaello. Thus it happened to Alibrandi, whose style however bore a resemblance to others besides, so that his pictures pass under various names. There remains in his native place, in the church of Candelora, a Purification of the Virgin, in a picture of twenty-four Sicilian palms, which is the chef d'œuvre of the pictures of Messina, from the grace, colouring, perspective, and every other quality that can enchant the eye. Polidoro was so much captivated with this work, that he painted in distemper a picture of the Deposition from the Cross, as a precious covering to this picture, in order that it might be transmitted uninjured to posterity. Girolamo died in the plague of 1524, and at the same time other eminent artists of this school; a school which was for some time neglected, but which has, through the labours of Polidoro, risen to fresh celebrity.

[109] I here subjoin a list of them. Deodato Guinaccia may be called the Giulio of this new Raffaello, on whose death he inherited the materials of his art, and supported the fame of his school: and like Giulio, completed some works left unfinished by his master; as the Nativity in the church of Alto Basso, which passes for the best production of Polidoro. In this exercise of his talents he became a perfect imitator of his master's style, as in the church of the Trinità a' Pellegrini, and in the Transfiguration at S. Salvatore de' Greci. He imparted his taste to his scholars, the most distinguished of whom for works yet remaining, are Cesare di Napoli, and Francesco Comandè, pure copyists of Polidoro. With regard to the latter, some errors have prevailed; for having very often worked in conjunction with Gio. Simone Comandè, his brother, who had an unequivocal Venetian taste, from having studied in Venice, it not unfrequently happens, that when the pictures of Comandè are spoken of, they are immediately attributed to Simone, as the more celebrated artist; but an experienced eye cannot be deceived, not even in works conjointly painted, as in the Martyrdom of S. Bartholomew, in the church of that saint, or the Magi in the monastery of Basicò. There, and in every other picture, whoever can distinguish Polidoro from the Venetians, easily discovers the style of the two brothers, and assigns to each his own.

Polidoro had in his academy Mariano and Antonello Riccio, father and son. The first came in order to change the manner of Franco, his former master, for that of Polidoro; the second to acquire his master's style. Both succeeded to their wishes; but the father was so successful a rival of his new master, that his works are said to pass under his name. This is the common report, but I think it can only apply to inexperienced purchasers, since if there be a painter, whose style it is almost impossible to imitate to deception, it is Polidoro da Caravaggio. In proof, the comparison may be made in Messina itself, where the Pietà of Polidoro, and the Madonna della Carità of Mariano, are placed near each other.

Stefano Giordano was also a respectable scholar of Caldara, and we may mention, as an excellent production, his picture of the Supper of our Lord in the monastery of S. Gregory, painted in 1541. With him we may join Jacopo Vignerio, by whom we find described, as an excellent work, the picture of Christ bearing his Cross, at S. Maria della Scala, bearing the date of 1552.

We may close this list of the scholars of Polidoro with the infamous name of Tonno, a Calabrian, who murdered his master in order to possess himself of his money, and suffered for the atrocious crime. He evinced a more than common talent in the art, if we may judge from the Epiphany which he painted for the church of S. Andrea, in which piece he introduced the portrait of his unfortunate master.

Some writers have also included among the followers of Polidoro, Antonio Catalano, because he was a scholar of Deodato. We are informed he went to Rome and entered the school of Barocci; but as Barocci never taught in Rome, we may rather imagine that it was from the works of that artist he acquired a florid colouring, and a sfumatezza, with which he united a portion of the taste of Raffaello, whom he greatly admired. His pictures are highly valued from this happy union of excellences; and his great picture of the Nativity at the Capuccini del Gesso is particularly extolled. We must not mistake this accomplished painter for Antonio Catalano il Giovane, the scholar of Gio. Simone Comandè, from whose style and that of others he formed a manner sufficiently spirited, but incorrect, and practised with such celerity, that his works are as numerous as they are little prized.

[110] These traditions are frequently nothing more than common rumour, to which, without corroborating circumstances, we ought not to give credit. It has happened more than once, that such portraits have been found to belong to the patrons of the church.

[Pg 389]



Corenzio, Ribera, Caracciolo, flourish in Naples. Strangers who compete with them.

About the middle of the sixteenth century, Tintoretto was considered one of the first artists in Venice; and towards the close of the same century Caravaggio in Rome, and the Caracci in Bologna, rose to the highest degree of celebrity. The several styles of these masters soon extended themselves into other parts of Italy, and became the prevailing taste in Naples, where they were adopted by three painters of reputation, Corenzio, Ribera, and Caracciolo. These artists rose one after the other into reputation, but afterwards united together in painting, and assisting each other interchangeably. At the time they flourished, Guido, Domenichino, Lanfranco, and Artemisia Gentileschi, were in Naples; and there and elsewhere contributed some scholars to the Neapolitan School. Thus the time which elapsed between Bellisario and Giordano, is the brightest period of this academy, both in respect to the number of excellent artists, and the works of [Pg 390]taste. It is however the darkest era, not only of the Neapolitan School, but of the art itself, as far as regards the scandalous artifices, and the crimes which occurred in it. I would gladly pass over those topics in silence, if they were foreign to my subject, but they are so intimately connected with it, that they must, at all events, be alluded to. I shall notice them at the proper time, adhering to the relation of Malvasia, Passeri, Bellori, and more particularly of Dominici.

Bellisario Corenzio, a Greek by birth, after having passed five years in the school of Tintoretto, settled in Naples about the year 1590. He inherited from nature a fertile imagination and a rapidity of hand, which enabled him to rival his master in the prodigious number of his pictures, and those too of a large class. Four common painters could scarcely have equalled his individual labour. He cannot be compared to Tintoretto, who, when he restrained his too exuberant fancy, was inferior to few in design; and excelled in invention, gestures, and the airs of his heads, which, though the Venetians have always had before their eyes, they have never equalled. Corenzio successfully imitated his master when he painted with care, as in the great picture, in the refectory of the Benedictines, representing the multitude miraculously fed; a work he finished in forty days. But the greater part of the vault resembles in many respects the style of the Cav. d'Arpino,[111][Pg 391]other parts partake of the Venetian School, not without some character peculiar to himself, particularly in the glories, which are bordered with shadowy clouds. In the opinion of the Cav. Massimo, he was of a fruitful invention, but not select. He painted very little in oil, although he had great merit in the strength and harmony of his colours. The desire of gain led him to attempt large works in fresco, which he composed with much felicity, as he was copious, varied, and energetic. He had a good general effect, and was finished in detail and correct, when the proximity of some eminent rival compelled him to it. This was the case at the Certosa, in the chapel of S. Gennaro. He there exerted all his talents, as he was excited to it by emulation of Caracciolo, who had painted in that place a picture, which was long admired as one of his finest works, and was afterwards transferred into the monastery. In other churches we find some sacred subjects painted by him in smaller size, which Dominici commends, [Pg 392]and adds too, that he assisted M. Desiderio, a celebrated perspective painter, whose views he accompanied with small figures beautifully coloured and admirably appropriate.

The birthplace of Giuseppe Ribera has been the subject of controversy. Palomino, following Sandrart and Orlandi, represents him as a native of Spain, in proof of which they refer to a picture of S. Matteo, with the following inscription. Jusepe de Ribera espanol de la ciutad de Xativa, reyno de Valencia, Academico romano ano 1630. The Neapolitans, on the contrary, contend that he was born in the neighbourhood of Lecce, but that his father was from Spain; and that in order to recommend himself to the governor, who was a Spaniard, he always boasted of his origin, and expressed it in his signature, and was on that account called Spagnoletto. Such is the opinion of Dominici, Signorelli, and Galanti. This question is however now set at rest, as it appears from the Antologia di Roma of 1795, that the register of his baptism was found in Sativa (now San Filippo) and that he was born in that place. It is further said, that he learnt the principles of the art from Francesco Ribalta of Valencia, a reputed scholar of Annibale Caracci. But the History of Neapolitan Artists, which is suspicious in my eyes as relates to this artist, affirms also, that whilst yet a youth, or a mere boy, he studied in Naples under Michelangiolo da Caravaggio, when that master fled from Rome for homicide, and fixing [Pg 393]himself there about 1606, executed many works both public and private.[112] But wherever he might have received instruction in his early youth, it is certain that the object of his more matured admiration was Caravaggio. On leaving him, Ribera visited Rome, Modena, and Parma, and saw the works of Raffaello and Annibale in the former place, and the works of Coreggio in the two latter cities, and adopted in consequence a more graceful style, in which he persevered only for a short time, and with little success; as in Naples there were others who pursued, with superior skill, the same path. He returned therefore to the style of Caravaggio, which for its truth, force, and strong contrast of light and shade, was much more calculated to attract the general eye. In a short time he was appointed painter to the court, and subsequently became the arbiter of its taste.

His studies rendered him superior to Caravaggio in invention, selection, and design. In [Pg 394]emulation of him, he painted at the Certosini that great Deposition from the Cross, which alone, in the opinion of Giordano, is sufficient to form a great painter, and may compete with the works of the brightest luminaries of the art. Beautiful beyond his usual style, and almost Titianesque, is his Martyrdom of S. Januarius, painted in the Royal Chapel, and the S. Jerome at the Trinità. He was much attached to the representation of the latter saint, and whole lengths and half figures of him are found in many collections. In the Panfili Palace in Rome we find about five, and all differing. Nor are his other pictures of similar character rare, as anchorets, prophets, apostles, which exhibit a strong expression of bone and muscle, and a gravity of character, in general copied from nature. In the same taste are commonly his profane pictures, where he is fond of representing old men and philosophers, as the Democritus and the Heraclitus, which Sig. March. Girolamo Durazzo had in his collection, and which are quite in the manner of Caravaggio. In his selection of subjects the most revolting were to him the most inviting, as sanguinary executions, horrid punishments, and lingering torments; among which is celebrated his Ixion on the wheel, in the palace of Buon Ritiro at Madrid. His works are very numerous, particularly in Italy and Spain. His scholars flourished chiefly at a lower period of art, where they will be noticed towards the conclusion of this epoch. With them we shall name those [Pg 395]few who rivalled him successfully in figures and half figures; and we must not, at the same time, neglect to impress on the mind of the reader, that among so many reputed pictures of Spagnoletto found in collections, we may rest assured that they are in great part not justly entitled to his name, and ought to be ascribed to his scholars.

Giambatista Caracciolo, an imitator, first of Francesco Imparato, and afterwards of Caravaggio, attained a mature age without having signalised himself by any work of peculiar merit. But being roused by the fame of Annibale, and the general admiration which a picture of that master had excited, he repaired to Rome; where by persevering study in the Farnese Gallery, which he carefully copied, he became a correct designer in the Caracci style.[113] Of this talent he availed himself to establish his reputation on his return to Naples, and distinguished himself on some occasions of competition, as in the Madonna at S. Anna de' Lombardi, in a S. Carlo in the church of S. Agnello, and Christ bearing his Cross at the Incurabili, paintings praised by connoisseurs as the happiest imitations of Annibale. But his other works, in the breadth and strength of their lights and shades, rather remind us of the school of Caravaggio. He was a finished and careful painter. There are however some feeble works [Pg 396]by him, which Dominici considers to have been negligently painted, through disgust, for individuals who had not given him his own price, or they were perhaps executed by Mercurio d'Aversa his scholar, and an inferior artist.

The three masters whom I have just noticed in successive order, were the authors of the unceasing persecutions which many of the artists who had come to, or were invited to Naples, were for several years subjected to. Bellisario had established a supreme dominion, or rather a tyranny, over the Neapolitan painters, by calumny and insolence, as well as by his station. He monopolized all lucrative commissions to himself and recommended, for the fulfilment of others, one or other of the numerous and inferior artists that were dependant on him. The Cav. Massimo, Santafede, and other artists of talent, if they did not defer to him, were careful not to offend him, as they knew him to be a man of a vindictive temper, treacherous, and capable of every violence, and who was known through jealousy to have administered poison to Luigi Roderigo, the most promising and the most amiable of his scholars.

Bellisario, in order to maintain himself in his assumed authority, endeavoured to exclude all strangers who painted rather in fresco than in oil. Annibale arrived there in 1609, and was engaged to ornament the churches of Spirito Santo and Gesù Nuovo, for which, as a specimen of his style, he painted a small picture. The Greek and [Pg 397]his adherents being required to give their opinion on this exquisite production, declared it to be tasteless, and decided that the painter of it did not possess a talent for large compositions. This divine artist in consequence took his departure under a burning sun for Rome, where he soon afterwards died. But the work in which strangers were the most opposed was the chapel of S. Gennaro, which a committee had assigned to the Cav. d'Arpino, as soon as he should finish painting the choir of the Certosa. Bellisario leaguing with Spagnoletto, (like himself a fierce and ungovernable man,) and with Caracciolo, who aspired to this commission, persecuted Cesari in such a manner, that before he had finished the choir he fled to Monte Cassino, and from thence returned to Rome. The work was then given to Guido, but after a short time two unknown persons assaulted the servant of that artist, and at the same time desired him to inform his master that he must prepare himself for death, or instantly quit Naples, with which latter mandate Guido immediately complied. Gessi, the scholar of Guido, was not however intimidated by this event, but applied for and obtained the honorable commission, and came to Naples with two assistants, Gio. Batista Ruggieri and Lorenzo Menini. But these artists were scarcely arrived, when they were treacherously invited on board a galley, which immediately weighed anchor and carried them off, to the great dismay of their master, who, although he made the most diligent [Pg 398]inquiries both at Rome and Naples, could never procure any tidings of them.

Gessi also in consequence taking his departure, the committee lost all hope of succeeding in their task, and were in the act of yielding to the reigning cabal, assigning the fresco work to Corenzio and Caracciolo, and promising the pictures to Spagnoletto, when suddenly repenting of their resolution, they effaced all that was painted of the two frescos, and entrusted the decoration of the chapel entirely to Domenichino. It ought to be mentioned to the honor of these munificent persons, that they engaged to pay for every entire figure 100 ducats, for each half figure 50 ducats, and for each head 25 ducats. They took precautions also against any interruption to the artist, threatening the viceroy's high displeasure if he were in any way molested. But this was only matter of derision to the junta. They began immediately to cry him down as a cold and insipid painter, and to discredit him with those, the most numerous class in every place, who see only with the eyes of others. They harassed him by calumnies, by anonymous letters, by displacing his pictures, by mixing injurious ingredients with his colours, and by the most insidious malice they procured some of his pictures to be sent by the viceroy to the court of Madrid; and these, when little more than sketched, were taken from his studio and carried to the court, where Spagnoletto ordered them to be retouched, and, without giving him time to [Pg 399]finish them, hurried them to their destination. This malicious fraud of his rival, the complaints of the committee, who always met with some fresh obstacle to the completion of the work, and the suspicion of some evil design, at last determined Domenichino to depart secretly to Rome. As soon however as the news of his flight transpired, he was recalled, and fresh measures taken for his protection; when he resumed his labours, and decorated the walls and base of the cupola, and made considerable progress in the painting of his pictures.

But before he could finish his task he was interrupted by death, hastened either by poison, or by the many severe vexations he had experienced both from his relatives and his adversaries, and the weight of which was augmented by the arrival of his former enemy Lanfranco. This artist superseded Zampieri in the painting of the catino of the chapel; Spagnoletto, in one of his oil pictures; Stanzioni in another; and each of these artists, excited by emulation, rivalled, if he did not excel Domenichino. Caracciolo was dead. Bellisario, from his great age, took no share in it, and was soon afterwards killed by a fall from a stage, which he had erected for the purpose of retouching some of his frescos. Nor did Spagnoletto experience a better fate; for, having seduced a young girl, and become insupportable even to himself from the general odium which he experienced, he embarked on board a ship; nor is it known whither he fled, [Pg 400]or how he ended his life, if we may credit the Neapolitan writers. Palomino however states him to have died in Naples in 1656, aged sixty-seven, though he does not contradict the first part of our statement. Thus these ambitious men, who by violence or fraud had influenced and abused the generosity and taste of so many noble patrons, and to whose treachery and sanguinary vengeance so many professors of the art had fallen victims, ultimately reaped the merited fruit of their conduct in a violent death; and an impartial posterity, in assigning the palm of merit to Domenichino, inculcates the maxim, that it is a delusive hope to attempt to establish fame and fortune on the destruction of another's reputation.

The many good examples in the Neapolitan School increased the number of artists, either from the instructions of the above mentioned masters, or from an inspection of their works; for there is much truth in the observation of Passeri, "that a painter who has an ardent desire of learning, receives as much instruction from the works of deceased artists as from living masters." It was greatly to the honour of the Neapolitan artists, amidst such a variety of new styles, to have selected the best. Cesari had no followers in Naples, if we except Luigi Roderigo,[114] who exchanged [Pg 401]the school of Bellisario for his, but not without a degree of mannerism, although he acquired a certain grace and judgment, which his master did not possess. He initiated a nephew, Gianbernardino, in the same style; who, from his being an excellent imitator of Cesari, was employed by the Carthusian monks to finish a work which that master had left imperfect.

Thus almost all these artists trod in the steps of the Caracci, and the one that approached nearest to them was the Cav. Massimo Stanzioni, considered by some the best example of the Neapolitan School, of which, as we have observed, he compiled some memoirs. He was a scholar of Caracciolo, to whom he bore some analogy in taste, but he availed himself of the assistance of Lanfranco, whom in one of his MS. he calls his master, and studied too under Corenzio, who in his painting of frescos yielded to few. In portrait he adopted the principles of Santafede, and attained [Pg 402]an excellent Titianesque style. Going afterwards to Rome, and seeing the works of Annibale, and, as some assert, making acquaintance with Guido, he became ambitious of uniting the design of the first with the colouring of the second, and we are informed by Galanti, that he obtained the appellation of Guido Reni di Napoli. His talents, which were of the first order, enabled him in a short time to compete with the best masters. He painted in the Certosa a Dead Christ, surrounded by the Maries, in competition with Ribera. This picture having become somewhat obscured, Ribera persuaded the monks to have it washed, and he purposely injured it in such a way with a corrosive liquid, that Stanzioni refused to repair it, declaring that such an instance of malice ought to be perpetuated to the public eye. But in that church, which is in fact a museum of art, where every artist, not to be surpassed by his rivals, seems to have surpassed himself, Massimo left some other excellent works, and particularly a stupendous altarpiece, of S. Bruno presenting to his brethren the rules of their order. His works are not unfrequent in the collections in his own country, and are highly esteemed in other places. The vaults of the Gesù Nuovo and S. Paolo entitle him to a distinguished place among fresco painters. His paintings were highly finished, and he studied perfection during his celibacy, but marrying a woman of some rank, in order to maintain her in an expensive style of living, he painted [Pg 403]many hasty and inferior pictures. It may be said that Cocchi, in his Ragionamento del Matrimonio, not without good reason took occasion to warn all artists of the perils of the wedded state.

The school of Massimo produced many celebrated scholars, in consequence of his method and high reputation, confirming that ancient remark, which has passed into a proverb, primus discendi ardor nobilitas est Magistri. (The example of the master is the greatest incentive to improvement). Muzio Rossi passed from his school to that of Guido, and was chosen at the age of eighteen to paint in the Certosa of Bologna, in competition with the first masters, and maintained his station on a comparison; but this very promising artist was immaturely cut off, and his own country does not possess any work by him, as the Tribune of S. Pietro in Majella, which he painted a little time before his death, was modernized, and his labours thus perished. This is the reason that his works in the Certosa just mentioned, and which are enumerated by Crespi, are held in great esteem. Another man of genius of this school, Antonio de Bellis, died also at an early age; he painted several subjects from the life of S. Carlo, in the church of that saint, which were left imperfect by his death. His manner partakes somewhat of Guercino, but is in fact founded like that of all the scholars of Massimo, on the style of Guido.

Francesco di Rosa, called Pacicco, was not acquainted with Guido himself, but under the direction [Pg 404]of Massimo, devoted himself to the copying of his works. He is one of the few artists commemorated by Paolo de' Matteis, in one of his MSS. which admits no artists of inferior merit. He declares the style of Rosa almost inimitable, not only from his correct design, but from the rare beauty of the extremities, and still more from the dignity and grace of the countenances. He had in his three nieces the most perfect models of beauty, and he possessed a sublimity of sentiment which elevated his mind to a high sense of excellence. His colouring, though conducted with exquisite sweetness, had a strong body, and his pictures preserve a clear and fresh tone. These are frequently to be found in the houses of the nobility, as he lived long. He painted some beautiful altarpieces, as S. Tommaso d'Aquino at the Sanità, the Baptism of S. Candida at S. Pietro d'Aram, and other pieces.

This artist had a niece of the name of Aniella di Rosa, who may be called the Sirani of the Neapolitan School, from her talents, beauty, and the manner of her death, the fair Bolognese being inhumanly poisoned by some envious artists, and Aniella murdered by a jealous husband. This husband was Agostino Beltrano, her fellow scholar in the school of Massimo, where he became a good fresco painter, and a colourist in oil of no common merit, as is proved by many cabinet pictures and some altarpieces. His wife also painted in the same style, and was the companion of his [Pg 405]labours, and they jointly prepared many pictures which their master afterwards finished in such a manner that they were sold as his own. Some, however, pass under her own name, and are highly extolled, as the Birth and Death of the Virgin, at the Pietà, not however without suspicion that Massimo had a considerable share in that picture, as Guido had in several painted by Gentileschi. But at all events, her original designs prove her knowledge of art, and her contemporaries, both painters and writers, do not fail to extol her as an excellent artist, and as such Paolo de' Matteis, has admitted her name in his catalogue.

Three young men of Orta became also celebrated scholars in this academy, Paol Domenico Finoglia, Giacinto de' Popoli, and Giuseppe Marullo. By the first there remains at the Certosa at Naples, the vault of the chapel of S. Gennaro, and various pictures in the chapter house. He had a beautiful expression, fertility, correctness, a good arrangement of parts, and a happy general effect. The second painted in many churches, and is admired more for his style of composition, than for his figures. The third approached so near to his master in manner, that artists have sometimes ascribed his works to Massimo; and in truth he left some beautiful productions at S. Severino, and other churches. He had afterwards a dry style of colouring, particularly in his contours, which on that account became crude and hard, and he gradually lost the public favour. His example may [Pg 406]serve as a warning to every one to estimate his own powers correctly, and not to affect genius when he does not possess it.

Another scholar who obtained a great name, was Andrea Malinconico, of Naples. There do not exist any frescos by him, but he left many works in oil, particularly in the church, de' Miracoli, where he painted almost all the pictures himself. The Evangelists, and the Doctors of the church, subjects with which he ornamented the pilasters, are the most beautiful pictures, says the encomiast, of this master; as the attitudes are noble, the conception original, and the whole painted with the spirit of a great artist, and with an astonishing freshness of colour. There are other fine works by him, but several are feeble and spiritless, which gave a connoisseur occasion to remark that they were in unison with the name of the painter.

But none of the preceding artists were so much favoured by nature as Bernardo Cavallino, who at first created a jealous feeling in Massimo himself. Finding afterwards that his talent lay more in small figures than large, he pursued that department, and became very celebrated in his school, beyond which he is not so well known as he deserves to be. In the galleries of the Neapolitan nobility are to be seen by him, on canvass and copper, subjects both sacred and profane, composed with great judgment, and with figures in the style of Poussin, full of spirit and expression, and accompanied by a native grace, and a simplicity peculiarly [Pg 407]their own. In his colouring, besides his master and Gentileschi, who were both followers of Guido, he imitated Rubens. He possessed every quality essential to an accomplished artist, as even the most extreme poverty could not induce him to hurry his works, which he was accustomed frequently to retouch before he could entirely satisfy himself. Life was alone wanting to him, which he unfortunately shortened by his irregularities.[115]

Andrea Vaccaro was a contemporary and rival of Massimo, but at the same time his admirer and friend, a man of great imitative powers. He at first followed Caravaggio, and in that style his pictures are frequently found in Naples, and some cabinet pictures, which have even imposed upon connoisseurs, who have bought them for originals of that master. After some time Massimo won him over to the style of Guido, in which he succeeded in an admirable manner, though he did not equal his friend. In this style are executed his most celebrated works at the Certosa, at the Teatini and Rosario, without enumerating those in collections, [Pg 408]where he is frequently found. On the death of Massimo, he assumed the first rank among his countrymen. Giordano alone opposed him in his early years, when on his return from Rome he brought with him a new style from the school of Cortona, and both artists were competitors for the larger picture of S. Maria del Pianto. That church had been lately erected in gratitude to the Virgin, who had liberated the city from pestilence, and this was the subject of the picture. Each artist made a design, and Pietro da Cortona being chosen umpire, decided against his own scholar in favour of Vaccaro, observing, that as he was first in years, so he was first in design and natural expression. He had not studied frescos in his youth, but began them when he was advanced in life, in order that he might not yield the palm to Giordano, but by the loss of his fame, he verified the proverb, that ad omnem disciplinam tardior est senectus.

Of his scholars, Giacomo Farelli was the most successful, who by his vigorous talents, and by the assistance of his master, painted a picture in competition with Giordano. The church of S. Brigida has a beautiful picture of that saint by Farelli, and its author is mentioned by Matteis as a painter of singular merit. He declined however, in public esteem, from wishing at an advanced age to change his style, when he painted the sacristy of the Tesoro. He was on that occasion [Pg 409]anxious to imitate Domenichino, but he did not succeed in his attempt, and indeed he never afterwards executed any work of merit.

Nor did Domenichino fail to have among the painters of Naples, or of that state, many deserving followers.[116] Cozza, a Calabrian, who lived in Rome, I included in that school, as also Antonio Ricci, called il Barbalunga, who was of Messina, and well known in Rome. I may add, that he returned to Messina, and ornamented that city with many works; as at S. Gregorio, the saint writing; the Ascension at S. Michele; two Pietàs of different designs at S. Niccolo and the Spedale. He is considered as one of the best painters of Sicily, where good artists have abounded more than is generally imagined. He formed a school there and left several scholars.[117]

[Pg 410]I ought after him to mention another Sicilian, Pietro del Po da Palermo, a good engraver, and better known in Rome in that capacity, than as a [Pg 411]painter. There is a S. Leone by him at the church of the Madonna di Costantinopoli; an altarpiece which however does not do him so much honour [Pg 412]as the pictures which he painted for collections, some of which are in Spain; and particularly some small pictures which he executed in the manner of miniatures with exquisite taste. Two of this kind I saw in Piacenza, at the Sig. della Missione, a Decollation of S. John, and a Crucifixion of S. Peter in his best manner, and with his name. This artist, after working in Rome, settled in Naples with a son of the name of Giacomo, who had been instructed in the art by Poussin and himself. He also taught a daughter of the name of Teresa, who was skilled in miniatures. The two Pos were [Pg 413]well acquainted with the principles of the art, and had taught in the academy of Rome. But the father painted little in Naples; the son found constant employ in ornamenting the halls and galleries of the nobility with frescos. His intimacy with letters aided the poetic taste with which his pictures were conceived, and his varied and enchanting colours fascinated the eye of every spectator. He was singular and original in his lights, and their various gradations and reflections. In his figures and drapery he became, as is generally the case with the machinists, mannered and less correct; nor has he any claim as an imitator of Domenichino, except from the early instructions of his father. In Rome there are two paintings by him, one at S. Angiolo in Pescheria, the other at S. Marta; and there are some in Naples; but his genius chiefly shines in the frescos of the gallery of the Marchese Genzano, and in the house of the Duke of Matalona, and still more in seven apartments of the Prince of Avellino.

A more finished imitator of Zampieri than the two Pos was a scholar of his, of the name of Francesco di Maria, the author of few works, as he willingly suffered those reproaches of slowness and irresolution which accompanied the unfortunate Domenichino to the grave. But his works, though few in number, are excellent, particularly the history of S. Lorenzo at the Conventuals in Naples, and also many of his portraits. One of the latter exhibited in Rome, together with one [Pg 414]by Vandyke, and one by Rubens, was preferred by Poussin, Cortona, and Sacchi, to those of the Flemish artists. Others of his pictures are bought at great prices, and are considered by the less experienced as the works of Domenichino. He resembled that master indeed in every quality, except grace, which nature had denied him. Hence Giordano said of his figures, that when consumption had reduced the muscles and bones, they might be correct and beautiful, but still insipid. In return he did not spare Giordano; declaring his school "heretical, and that he could not endure works which owe all their merit to ostentatious colour, and a vague design," as Matteis, who is partial to the memory of Francesco, attests.

Lanfranco in Naples had contributed, as I have observed, to the instruction of Massimo, but that artist renounced the style of Lanfranco for that of Guido. The two Pos, however, were more attached to him, and imitated his colouring. Pascoli doubts whether he should not assign Preti to him, an error which we shall shortly confute. Dominici also includes among his countrymen Brandi, a scholar of Lanfranco; collecting from one of his letters that he acknowledged Gaeta for his native place. His family was probably from thence, but he himself was born in Poli.[118] I included him among the painters of Rome, where he studied and painted; and I mentioned at the same time the Cav. Giambatista Benaschi, as he is called by some, or [Pg 415]Beinaschi by others. This variation gave occasion to suppose, that there were two painters of that name; in the same way there may be a third, as the name is sometimes written Bernaschi. Some contradictions in his biographers, which it is not worth our while to enter on, have contributed to perpetuate this error. I shall only observe, that he was not born until 1636, and was not a scholar of Lanfranco, but of M. Spirito, in Piedmont, and of Pietro del Po, in Rome. Thus Orlandi writes of him, who had a better opportunity than Pascoli, or Dominici, of procuring information from Angela, the daughter of the Cavaliere, who lived in Rome in his time, and painted portraits in an agreeable style. He is considered both by Pascoli and Orlandi, as a painter of Rome, but he left very few works there, as appears from Titi. Naples was the theatre of his talents, and there he had numerous scholars, and painted many cupolas, ceilings, and other considerable works, and with such a variety of design, that there is not an instance of an attitude being repeated by him. Nor was he deficient in grace, either of form or colour, as long as he trod in the steps of Lanfranco, as he did in the S. M. di Loreto, and in other churches, but aspiring in some others to a more vigorous style, he became dark and heavy. He excelled in the knowledge of the sotto in su, and displayed extraordinary skill in his foreshortenings. The painters in Naples have often compared among themselves, says Dominici, the two pictures of S. Michael, [Pg 416]the one by Lanfranco, and the other by Benaschi, in the church of the Holy Apostles, without being able to decide to which master they ought to assign the palm of merit.

Guercino himself was never in Naples, but the Cav. Mattia Preti, commonly called il Cav. Calabrese, allured by the novelty of his style, repaired to Cento, to avail himself of his instructions. This information we have from Domenici, who had heard him say, that he was in fact the scholar of Guercino, but that he had, moreover, studied the works of all the principal masters; and he had indeed visited almost every country, and seen and studied the best productions of every school, both in and beyond Italy. Hence in his painting he may be compared to a man whose travels have been extensive, and who never hears a subject started to which he does not add something new, and indeed the drapery and ornaments, and costume of Preti, are highly varied and original. He confined himself to design, and did not attempt colours until his twenty-sixth year. In design he was more vigorous and robust than delicate, and sometimes inclines to heaviness. In his colouring he was not attractive, but had a strong impasto, a decided chiaroscuro, and a prevailing ashy tone, that was well adapted for his mournful and tragical subjects; for, following the bent of his genius, he devoted his pencil to the representation of martyrdoms, slaughters, pestilence, and the pangs of a guilty conscience. It was his custom, says Pascoli, at least [Pg 417]in his large works, to paint at the first conception, and true to nature, and he did not take much pains afterwards in correction, or in the just expression of the passions.

He executed some large works in fresco in Modena, Naples, and Malta. He had not equal success at S. Andrea della Valle, in Rome, where he painted three histories of that saint, under the tribune of Domenichino; a proximity from which his work suffers considerably, and the figures appear out of proportion, and not well adapted to the situation. His oil pictures in Italy are innumerable, as he lived to an advanced age; he had a great rapidity of hand, and was accustomed, wherever he went, to leave some memorial of his talents, sometimes in the churches, but chiefly in private collections, and they are, in general, figures of half size, like those of Guercino and Caravaggio. Naples, Rome, and Florence, all abound with his works, but above all Bologna. In the Marulli palace is his Belisarius asking alms; in that of Ratti, a S. Penitente, chained in a suffering position; in the Malvezzi palace, Sir Thomas More in prison; in that of the Ercolani, a Pestilence, besides many more in the same, and other galleries of the nobility. Amongst his altarpieces, one of the most finished is in the Duomo of Siena, S. Bernardino preaching to and converting the people. In Naples, besides the soffitto of the church de' Celestini, he painted not a little; less however than both he himself and the professors of a better [Pg 418]taste desired, and in conjunction with whom he resisted the innovations of Giordano. But that artist had an unprecedented popularity, and in spite of his faults triumphed over all his contemporaries, and Preti was himself obliged to relinquish the contest, and close his days in Malta, of which order, in honour of his great merit as a painter, he was made a commendatore. He left some imitators in Naples, one of whom was Domenico Viola; but neither he, nor his other scholars passed the bounds of mediocrity. The same may be said of Gregorio Preti, his brother, of whom there is a fresco at S. Carlo de' Catinari, in Rome.

After this enumeration of foreign artists, we must now return to the national school, and notice some disciples of Ribera, It often happens that those masters who are mannerists, form scholars who confine their powers to the sole imitation of their master, and thus produce pictures that deceive the most experienced, and which in other countries are esteemed the works of the master himself. This was the case with Giovanni Do, and Bartolommeo Passante, in regard to Spagnoletto, although the first in progress of time softened his manner, and tamed his flesh tints; while the second added only to the usual style of Spagnoletto, a more finished design and expression. Francesco Fracanzani possessed a peculiar grandeur of style, and a noble tone of colour; and the death of S. Joseph, which he painted at the Pellegrini, is one of the best pictures of the city. Afterwards however [Pg 419]his necessities compelled him to paint in a coarse manner in order to gratify the vulgar, and he fell into bad habits of life, and was finally, for some crime or other, condemned to die by the hands of the hangman, a sentence, which for the honour of the art, was compounded for his secret death in prison by poison.[119]

[Pg 420]Aniello Falcone and Salvator Rosa are the great boast of this school; although Rosa frequented it but a short time and improved himself afterwards by the instructions of Falcone. Aniello possessed an extraordinary talent in battle pieces. He painted them both in large and small size, taking the subjects from the sacred writings, from profane history, or poetry; his dresses, arms, and features, were as varied as the combatants he represented. Animated in his expression, select and natural in the figures and action of his horses, and intelligent in military affairs, though he had never been in the army, nor seen a battle; he drew correctly, consulted truth in every thing, coloured with care, and had a good impasto. That he taught Borgognone as some have supposed, it is difficult to believe. Baldinucci, who had from that artist himself the information which he published respecting him, does not say a word of it. It is however true, that they were acquainted and mutually [Pg 421]esteemed each other; and if the battle pieces of Borgognone have found a place in the collections of the great, and have been bought at great prices, those of Aniello have had the like good fortune. He had many scholars, and by means of them and some other painters his friends, he was enabled to revenge the death of a relation and also of a scholar, whom the Spanish authorities had put to death. On the revolution of Maso Aniello, he and his partisans formed themselves into a company called the Band of Death; and, protected by Spagnoletto, who excused them to the Viceroy, committed the most revolting and sanguinary excesses; until the state was composed, and the people reduced to submission, when this murderous band fled, to escape the hands of justice. Falcone withdrew to France for some years, and left many works there; the remainder fled to Rome, or to other places of safety.

The most celebrated of the immediate scholars of Falcone was Salvator Rosa, whom we have elsewhere noticed, who began his career by painting battles, and became a most distinguished landscape painter; and Domenico Gargiuoli, called Micco Spadaro, a landscape painter of merit, and a good painter in large compositions, as he appears at the Certosa, and in other churches. He had an extraordinary talent too in painting small figures, and might with propriety be called the Cerquozzi of his school. Hence Viviano Codagora, who was an eminent landscape painter, after becoming [Pg 422]acquainted with him, would not permit any other artist to ornament his works with figures, as he introduced them with infinite grace; and this circumstance probably led to their intimate friendship, and to risking their lives in the same cause as we have before related. The Neapolitan galleries possess many of their pictures; and some have specimens of capricci, or humourous pictures, all by the hand of Spadaro. He indeed had no equal in depicting the manners and dresses of the common people of his country, particularly in large assemblies. In some of his works of this kind, the number of his figures have exceeded a thousand. He was assisted by the etchings of Stefano della Bella, and Callot, both of whom were celebrated for placing a great body of people in a little space; but it was in the true spirit of imitation, and without a trace of servility; on the contrary, he improved the principal figures (where bad contours are with difficulty concealed) and corrected the attitudes, and carefully retouched them.

Carlo Coppola is sometimes mistaken for Falcone from their similarity of manner: except that a certain fulness with which he paints his horses in his battle pieces, may serve as a distinction. Andrea di Lione resembles him, but in his battles we easily trace his imitation. Marzio Masturzo studied some time with Falcone; but longer with Rosa in Rome, and was his best scholar; but he is sometimes rather crude in his figures, and rocks, and trunks of trees, and less bright in his skies. [Pg 423]His flesh tints are not pallid, like those of Rosa, as in these he followed Ribera.

I shall close this catalogue, passing over some less celebrated artists, with Paolo Porpora, who from battles, were directed by the impulse of his genius to the painting of animals, but succeeded best in fish, and shells, and other marine productions, being less skilled in flowers and fruit. But about his time Abraham Brughel painted these subjects in an exquisite style in Naples, where he settled and ended his days. From this period we may date a favourable epoch for certain pictures of minor rank, which still add to the decoration of galleries and contribute to the fame of their authors. After the two first we may mention Giambatista Ruoppoli and Onofrio Loth, scholars of Porpora, excelling him in fruits, and particularly in grapes, and little inferior in other respects.

Giuseppe Cav. Recco, from the same school, is one of the most celebrated painters in Italy, of hunting, fowling, and fishing pieces, and similar subjects. One of his best pictures which I have seen, is in the house of the Conti Simonetti d'Osimo, on which the author has inscribed his name. He was admired in the collections also for his beautiful colouring, which he acquired in Lombardy; and he resided for many years at the court of Spain, whilst Giordano was there. There was also a scholar of Ruoppoli, called Andrea Belvedere, excelling in the same line, but most in flowers and fruit. There arose a dispute between him and Giordano, [Pg 424]Andrea asserting that the historical painters cannot venture with success on these smaller subjects; Giordano, on the contrary, maintaining that the greater included the less; which words he verified by painting a picture of birds, flowers, and fruit, so beautifully grouped that it robbed Andrea of his fame, and obliged him to take refuge among men of letters; and indeed in the literary circle he held a respectable station.

Nevertheless his pictures did not fall in esteem or value, and his posterity after him still continue to embellish the cabinets of the great. His most celebrated scholar was Tommaso Realfonso, who to the talents of his master, added that of the natural representation of every description of utensils, and all kinds of confectionery and eatables. He had also excellent imitators in Giacomo Nani, and Baldassar Caro, employed to ornament the royal court of King Charles of Bourbon; and Gaspar Lopez, the scholar first of Dubbisson, afterwards of Belvidere. Lopez became a good landscape painter, was employed by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, and resided a considerable time in Venice. According to Dominici he died in Florence, and the author of the Algarotti Catalogue in Venice, informs us, that that event took place about the year 1732. We may here close the series of minor painters of the school of Aniello,[120] and may [Pg 425]now proceed to the succeeding epoch, commencing with the historical painters.

[111] In tom. iii. of the Lett. Pittoriche, is a letter of P. Sebastiano Resta dell'Oratorio, wherein he says, it is probable that the Cav. d'Arpino imitated him in his youth: which cannot be admitted, as it is known that Cesari formed himself in Rome, and resided only in Naples when an adult. As to the resemblance between them, that applies as well to other artists. In the same letter Corenzio is called the Cav. Bellisario, and some anecdotes are related of him, and among others, that he lived to the age of a hundred and twenty. This is one of those tales to which this writer so easily gives credit. In proof of this we may refer to Tiraboschi, in the life of Antonio Allegri, where similar instances of his credulity are noticed.

[112] Caravaggio had another scholar of eminence in Mario Minniti of Syracuse, who however passed a considerable part of his life in Messina. Having painted for some time in Rome with Caravaggio, he imbibed his taste; and though he did not equal him in the vigour of style, he displayed more grace and amenity. There are works remaining of him in all parts of Sicily, as he painted much, and retained in his service twelve scholars, whose works he retouched, and sold as his own. Hence his pictures do not altogether correspond with his reputation. Messina possesses several, as the Dead of Nain at the Church of the Capucins, and the Virgin, the tutelar saint, at the Virginelle.

[113] Among the scholars of Annibale, I find Carlo Sellitto mentioned, to whom Guarienti assigns a place in the Abbeccadario, and I further find him commended in some MS. notices of eminent artists of the school.

[114] There is a different account of him in the Memorie de' Pittori Messinesi, where it is said that his true family name was Rodriguez. It is there said that he studied in Rome, and went from thence to work in Naples, in the Guida of which city he is frequently mentioned. It is added that, from his Roman style, he was called by his brother Alonso, the slave of the antique; and that he returned the compliment by calling his brother, who was instructed in Venice, the slave of nature. But Alonso, who spent his life in Sicily, surpassed his brother in reputation; and it is a rare commendation that he painted much and well. He particularly shone in the Probatica in S. Cosmo de' Medici, and the picture of two Founders of Messina in the senatorial palace, a work rewarded with a thousand scudi. His fame declined, and he began to fail in commissions on the arrival of Barbalunga. But he did not, on that account, refuse him his esteem, as he was accustomed to call him the Caracci of Sicily.

[115] I find in Messina, Gio. Fulco, who imbibed the principles of the art under the Cav. Massimo; a correct designer, a lively and graceful painter, particularly of children, excepting a somewhat too great fleshiness, and a trace of mannerism. Many of his works in his native country were destroyed by an earthquake. Some remain at the Nunziata de' Teatini, where in the chapel of the Crucifix are his frescos, and a picture by him in oil of the Nativity of the Virgin.

[116] Gio. Batista Durand, of Burgundy, was established in Messina. He was the scholar of Domenichino, and was always attached to his manner. Of his larger works we find only a S. Cecilia in the convent of that saint, as he was generally occupied in painting portraits. He had a daughter called Flavia, the wife of Filippo Giannetti, skilled in portraits, and an excellent copyist.

[117] Domenico Maroli, Onofrio Gabriello, and Agostino Scilla, were the three painters of Messina who did him the most honour, although from being engaged in the revolutions of 1674 and 1676, the first lost his life, and the other two were long exiles from their country. Maroli did not adopt the style of Barbalunga exclusively, but having made a voyage to Venice, and there studied the works of the best Venetian artists, and particularly of Paolo, he returned with many of the excellences of that great master, brilliant flesh tints, a beautiful air in his heads, and a fine style in his drawings of women, a talent which he abused as much or more than Liberi. To this moral vice he added a professional one, which was painting sometimes on the imprimiture, and generally with little colour; whence his works, which were extolled and sought after when new, became, when old, neglected, like those dark paintings of the Venetian School, which we have mentioned. Messina has many of them: the Martyrdom of S. Placido at the Suore di S. Paolo, the Nativity of the Virgin in the church della Grotta, and some others. In Venice there must also be remaining in private collections, some of his paintings of animals in the style of Bassano, as we have before mentioned. Onofrio Gabriello was for six years with Barbalunga, and for some further time with Poussin, and then with Cortona in Rome, until passing another nine years in Venice with Maroli, he brought back with him to Messina that master's vicious method of colour, but not his style. In the latter he aimed at originality, exhibiting much lightness, grace, and fancy, in the accessory parts, and in ribbons, jewels, and lace, in which he particularly excelled. He left many pictures in Messina, in the church of S. Francesco di Paola: many also in Padua, in the Guida of which city various pictures by him are enumerated, without mentioning his cabinet pictures and portraits in private collections. I have seen several in possession of the noble and learned Sig. Co. Antonio Maria Borromeo; amongst which is a family piece with a portrait of the painter.

Agostino Scilla, or Silla, as Orlandi calls him, opened a school in Messina, which was much frequented while it lasted, but the scholars were dispersed by the storm of revolutions, in which they took a part, not without great injury both to the art and themselves. He possessed an elegant genius for painting, which he cultivated, and added to it a taste for poetry, natural history, and antiquities. His genius raised such high expectations in Barbalunga, that he procured a pension for him from the senate, in order to enable him to reside in Rome under Andrea Sacchi. After four years he returned to Messina, highly accomplished, from his study of the antique and of Raffaello, and if his colouring was at first somewhat dry, he soon rendered it rich and agreeable. He excelled in figures and in heads, particularly of old men, and had a peculiar talent in landscapes, animals, and fruit. For this I may refer to the Roman School, where he is mentioned with his brother and son. There are few of his works in Rome, but many in Messina. His frescos are in S. Domenico, and in the Nunziata de' Teatini, and many paintings in other places, among which is S. Ilarione dying, in the church of S. Ursula, than which work there is no greater favourite with the public.

Of the scholars of Scilla, who remained in Messina after the departure of their master, there is not much to be said. F. Emanuel da Como we have mentioned elsewhere. Giuseppe Balestriero, an excellent copyist of the works of Agostino, and a good designer, after painting some pictures, became a priest, and took leave of the art. Antonio la Falce was a good painter in distemper and in oil. He afterwards attempted frescos, and painted tavern scenes. Placido Celi, a man of singular talents, but bad habits, followed his master to Rome. He there changed his style for that of Maratta and Morandi; after whose works he painted in Rome, in the churches dell'Anima and Traspontina, and in several churches of his own country, but he never passed the bounds of mediocrity. A higher reputation belongs to Antonio Madiona, of Syracuse, who although he separated himself from Scilla in Rome, to follow il Preti to Malta, was nevertheless an industrious artist, and painted both there and in Sicily, in a strong and vigorous style, which partakes of both his masters. And this may suffice for the members of this unfortunate school.

To complete the list of the chief scholars of Barbalunga, I may mention here Bartolommeo Tricomi, who confined himself to portrait painting, and in this hereditary gift of the school of Domenichino, he greatly excelled. He had notwithstanding in Andrea Suppa a scholar who surpassed him. The latter learned also of Casembrot, as far as regards landscape and architecture; but he formed himself principally on the antique; and by constantly studying Raffaello and the Caracci, and other select masters, or their drawings, he acquired a most enchanting style of countenance, and indeed of every part of his composition. His works are as fine as miniature, and are perhaps too highly finished. His subjects, in unison with his genius, are of a pensive and melancholy cast, and are always treated in a pathetic manner. He excelled in frescos, and painted the vaults in the Suore in S. Paolo; he excelled equally in oils, as may be seen from the picture of S. Scolastica, there also. Some of his works were lost by earthquakes. His style was happily imitated by Antonio Bova, his scholar, and we may compare their works together at the Nunziata de' Teatini. He painted much in oil, as well as fresco, and from his placid and tranquil disposition, took no part in the revolutions of Messina, but remained at home, where he closed his days in peace, and with him expired the school of Barbalunga.

[118] Pascoli, Vite, tom. i. p. 129.

[119] I may insert at the close of this epoch the names of some Sicilian painters, who flourished in it, or at the beginning of the following, instructed by various masters. They were furnished to me by the Sig. Ansaldo, whose attentions I have before acknowledged, and were transmitted to him by a painter of that island. Filippo Tancredi was of Messina, but is not assigned to any of the before mentioned masters, as he studied in Naples and in Rome under Maratta. He was a skilful artist, composed and coloured well; was celebrated in Messina, and also in Palermo, where he lived many years, and where the vault of the church de' Teatini, and that also of the Gesù Nuovo were painted by him. The Cav. Pietro Novelli (or Morelli, which latter however I regard as an error) called Monrealese from his native place, also enjoyed the reputation of a good painter, and an able architect. He there left many works in oil and fresco, and the great picture of the Marriage at Cana, in the refectory of the P. P. Benedettini, is particularly commended. He resided for a long time in Palermo, and the greatest work he there executed, was in the church of the Conventuals, the vault of which was divided into compartments, and wholly painted by himself. Guarienti eulogises him for his style, as diligent in copying nature, correct in design, and graceful in his colouring, with some imitation of Spagnoletto; and the people of Palermo confer daily honour on him, since, whenever they meet with a foreigner of taste, they point out to him little else in the city, than the works of this great man. Pietro Aquila, of Marzalla, a distinguished artist, who engraved the Farnese gallery, left no works to my knowledge in Rome; in Palermo there remain of him two pictures in the church della Pietà, representing the parable of the Prodigal Son. Lo Zoppo di Gangi is known at Castro Giovanni, where in the Duomo he left several works. Of the Cav. Giuseppe Paladini, a Sicilian, I find commended at S. Joseph di Castel Termini, the picture of the Madonna and the tutelar saint. I also find honourable mention among the chief painters of this island, of a Carrega, who I believe painted for private individuals. Others, though I know not of what merit, are found inscribed in the academy of S. Luke, from the registers of which I have derived some information for my third and fourth volumes, communicated to me by the Sig. Maron, the worthy secretary of the academy.

[120] In this epoch flourished in Messina one Abraham Casembrot, a Dutchman, who was considered one of the first painters of his time, of landscape, seapieces, harbours, and tempests. He professed architecture also, and was celebrated for his small figures. He was accustomed to give the highest finish to every thing he painted. The church of S. Giovacchino has three pictures of the Passion by him. Some individuals of Messina possess delightful specimens of him, though not many, as he sold them at high prices, and generally to Holland. Hence most of the collectors of Messina turned to Jocino, the contemporary of Casembrot; a painter of a vigorous imagination, and rapid execution. His landscapes and views are still prized, and maintain their value. I do not find that Casembrot wholly formed any scholar at Messina. He communicated, however, the elements of architecture and perspective to several, as well as the principles of painting. For this reason we find enumerated among his scholars the Cappucin P. Feliciano da Messina (Domenico Guargena) who afterwards studied Guido in the convent of Bologna, and imbued himself with his style. Hackert makes honourable mention of a Madonna and Child and S. Francesco by him at the church of that order in Messina, and he assigns the palm to him among the painters of his order, which boasted not a few.

[Pg 426]



Luca Giordano, Solimene, and their scholars.

A little beyond the middle of the 17th century, Luca Giordano began to flourish in Naples. This master, though he did not excel his contemporaries in his style, surpassed them all in good fortune, for which he was indebted to his vast talents, confidence, and unbounded powers of invention, which Maratta considered unrivalled and unprecedented. In this he was eminently gifted by nature from his earliest youth. Antonio, his father, placed him first under the instructions of Ribera, and afterwards under Cortona in Rome,[121] [Pg 427]and having conducted him through all the best schools of Italy, he brought him home rich in designs and in ideas. His father was an indifferent painter, and being obliged in Rome to subsist by his son's labours, whose drawings were at that time in the greatest request,[122] the only principle that he instilled into him was one dictated by necessity, despatch. A humorous anecdote is related, that Luca, when he was obliged to take refreshments, did not retire from his work, but, gaping like a young bird, gave notice to his father of the calls of hunger, who, always on the watch, instantly supplied him with food, at the same time reiterating with affectionate solicitude, Luca fa presto. Upon this incident he was always afterwards known by the name of Luca fa presto, among the students in Rome, and which is also his most frequent appellation in the history of the art. By means like these, Antonio acquired for his son a [Pg 428]portentous celerity of hand, from which quality he has been called il Fulmine della pittura. The truth however is, that this despatch was not derived wholly from rapidity of pencil, but was aided by the quickness of his imagination, as Solimene often observed, by which he was enabled to ascertain, from the first commencement of his work, the result he proposed to himself, without hesitating to consider the component parts, or doubting, proving, and selecting like other painters. He also obtained the name of the Proteus of painting, from his extraordinary talent in imitating every known manner, the consequence of his strong memory, which retained every thing he had once seen. There are numerous instances of pictures painted by him in the style of Albert Durer, Bassano, Titian, and Rubens, with which he imposed on connoisseurs and on his rivals, who had more cause than any other persons to be on their guard against him. These pictures are valued by dealers at more than double or triple the price of pictures of his own composition. There are examples of them even in the churches at Naples; as the two pictures in the style of Guido at S. Teresa, and particularly that of the Nativity. There is also at the court of Spain a Holy Family, so much resembling Raffaello, that, as Mengs says in a letter, (tom. ii. p. 67,) whoever is not conversant with the quality of beauty essential to the works of that great master, would be deceived by the imitation of Giordano.

[Pg 429]He did not however permanently adopt any of these styles as his own. At first he evidently formed himself on Spagnoletto; afterwards, as in a picture of the Passion at S. Teresa a little before mentioned, he adhered to Paul Veronese; and he ever retained the maxim of that master, by a studied decoration to excite astonishment, and to fascinate the eye. From Cortona he seems to have taken his contrast of composition, the great masses of light, and the frequent repetition of the same features, which, in his female figures, he always copied from his wife. In other respects he aimed at distinguishing himself from every other master by a novel mode of colouring. He was not solicitous to conform to the true principles of art; his style is not natural either in tone or colour, and still less so in its chiaroscuro, in which Giordano formed for himself a manner ideal and wholly arbitrary. He pleased, notwithstanding, by a certain deceptive grace and attraction, which few attempt, and which none have found it easy to imitate. Nor did he recommend this style to his scholars, but on the contrary reproved them when he saw them disposed to imitate him, telling them that it was not the province of young students to penetrate so far. He was well acquainted with the principles of design, but would not be at the trouble of observing them; and in the opinion of Dominici, if he had adhered to them too rigidly he would have enfeebled that spirit which is his greatest merit; an excuse which perhaps will not [Pg 430]appear satisfactory to every amateur. Another reason may with more probability of truth be assigned, which was his unbounded cupidity, and his habit of not refusing commissions from the meanest quarter, which led him to abuse his facility to the prejudice of his reputation. Hence, among other things, he has been accused of having often painted superficially, without impasto, and with a superabundance of oil, so that some of his pictures have almost disappeared from the canvass.

Naples abounds with the works of Giordano both public and private. There is scarcely a church in that great city which does not boast some work by him. A much admired piece is the Expulsion of the sellers and buyers from the Temple at the P. P. Girolamini: the architectural parts of which are painted by Moscatiello, a good perspective painter. Of his frescos, those at the Treasury of the Certosa are esteemed the best. They were executed by him when his powers were matured, and appear to unite in themselves all the best qualities of the artist. Every one must be forcibly struck by the picture of the Serpent raised in the desert, and the throng of Israelites, who, assailed in a horrible manner, turn to it for relief. The other pictures on the walls and in the vault, all scriptural, are equally powerful in effect. The cupola of S. Brigida is also extolled, which was painted in competition with Francesco di Maria, and in so very short a time, and with [Pg 431]such fascinating tints, that it was preferred by the vulgar to the work of that accomplished master, and thus served to diffuse less solid principles among the rising artists. As a miracle of despatch we are also shewn the picture of S. Saverio, painted for the church of that saint in a day and a half, full of figures, and as beautiful in colour as any of his pictures. Luca went to Florence to paint the Capella Corsini and the Riccardi Gallery, besides many works in the churches and for individuals, particularly for the noble house of Rosso, who possessed the Baccanali of Giordano, afterwards removed to the palace of the Marchese Gino Capponi. He was also employed by the Grand Duke; and Cosmo III., in whose presence he designed and painted a large picture in less time than I dare mention, complimented him by saying that he was a fit painter for a sovereign prince. The same eulogium was passed on him by Charles II. of Spain, in whose court he resided thirteen years; and, to judge from the number of works he left there, it might be supposed that he had consumed a long life in his service. He continued and finished the series of paintings begun by Cambiasi of Genoa, in the church of the Escurial, and ornamented the vault, the cupola, and the walls with many scriptural subjects, chiefly from the life of Solomon. He painted some other large compositions in fresco in a church of S. Antonio, in the palace of Buonritiro, in the Hall of the Ambassadors; and for the Queen Mother a Nativity, [Pg 432]most highly finished, which is said to be a surprising picture, and perhaps superior to any other of his painting. If all his works had been executed with similar care, the observation, that his example had corrupted the Spanish School, might perhaps have been spared.[123] In his old age he returned to his native place, loaded with honours and riches, and died lamented and regretted as the greatest genius of his age.

His school produced but few designers of merit; most of them were contaminated by the maxim of their master, that it is the province of a painter to please the public, and that their favour is more easily won by colour than by correct design; so that, without much attention to the latter, they gave themselves entirely to facility of hand. His favorite scholars were Aniello Rossi of Naples, and Matteo [Pg 433]Pacelli della Basilicata, whom he took with him to Spain as assistants, and who returned with him home with handsome pensions, and lived after in leisure and independence. Niccolo Rossi of Naples became a good designer and colourist in the style of his master, although somewhat too red in his tints. In some of his more important works, as in the soffitto of the royal chapel, Giordano assisted him with his designs. He painted much for private individuals, and was considered next to Reco in his drawings of animals. The Guida of Naples commends him and Tommaso Fasano, for their skill in painting in distemper some very fine works for Santi Sepolcri and Quarantore. Giuseppe Simonelli, originally a servant of Giordano, became an accurate copyist of his works, and an excellent imitator of his colouring. He did not succeed in design, though he is praised for a S. Niccola di Tolentino in the church of Montesanto, which approaches to the best and most correct manner of Giordano. Andrea Miglionico had more facility of invention, and equal taste in colour, but he has less grace than Simonelli. Andrea also painted in many churches in Naples, and I find him highly commended for his picture of the Pentecost in the S. S. Nunziata. A Franceschitto, a Spaniard, was so promising an artist that Luca was accustomed to say, that he would prove a greater man than his master. But he died very young, leaving in Naples a favourable specimen of his genius in the S. Pasquale, which he [Pg 434]painted in S. Maria del Monte. It contains a beautiful landscape, and a delightful choir of angels.

But his first scholar, in point of excellence, was Paolo de' Matteis, mentioned also by Pascoli among the best scholars of Morandi, and an artist who might vie with the first of his age. He was invited to France, and during the three years that he resided there, obtained considerable celebrity in the court and in the kingdom at large. He was then engaged by Benedict XIII. to come to Rome, where he painted at the Minerva and at the Ara Cœli. He decorated other cities also with his works, particularly Genoa, which has two very valuable pictures by him at S. Girolamo; the one, that saint appearing and speaking to S. Saverio in a dream; the other, the Immaculate Conception with an angelic choir, as graceful as ever was painted. His home was, notwithstanding, in Naples, and that is the place where we ought to view him. He there decorated with his frescos the churches, galleries, halls, and ceilings in great number; often rivalling the celerity without attaining the merit of his master. It was his boast to have painted in sixty-six days a large cupola, that of the Gesù Nuovo, a few years since taken down in consequence of its dangerous state; a boast which, when Solimene heard, he sarcastically replied, that the work declared the fact itself without his mentioning it. Nevertheless there were so many beauties in it in the style of Lanfranco, that its rapid execution excited admiration.

[Pg 435]When he worked with care, as in the church of the Pii Operai, in the Matalona Gallery, and in many pictures for private individuals, he left nothing to desire, either in his composition, in the grace of his contour, in the beauty of his countenances, though there was little variety in the latter, or in any of the other estimable qualities of a painter. His colouring was at first Giordanesque; afterwards he painted with more force of chiaroscuro, but with a softness and delicacy of tint, particularly in the madonnas and children, where he sometimes displays the sweetness of Albano, and a trace of the Roman School, in which he had also studied. He was not very happy in his scholars, who were not numerous. Giuseppe Mastroleo is the most distinguished, who is much praised for his S. Erasmus at S. Maria Nuova. Gio. Batista Lama was a fellow disciple, and afterwards a relative of Matteis, and received some assistance from him in his studies. Excited by the example of Paolo, he attained a suavity of colour and of chiaroscuro, much praised in his larger works, as the gallery of the Duke of S. Niccola Gaeta, and particularly in his pictures of small figures in collections. In these he was fond of representing mythological stories, and they are not unfrequent in Naples and its territories.

Francesco Solimene, called L'Abate Ciccio, born at Nocera de' Pagani, was the son of Angelo, a scholar of Massimo. Early imbibing a love of painting, he forsook the study of letters, and after [Pg 436]receiving the first rudiments of the art from his father, he repaired to Naples. He there entered the school of Francesco di Maria, but soon left it, as he thought that master too exclusively devoted to design. He then frequented the academy of Po, where he industriously began at the same time to draw from the naked figure and to colour. Thus he may be said to have been the scholar of the best masters, as he always copied and studied their works. At first he imitated Pietro da Cortona, but afterwards formed a manner of his own, still retaining that master as his model, and copying entire figures from him, which he adapted to his new style. This new and striking style of Solimene approached nearer than any other to that of Preti. The design is not so correct, the colouring not so true, but the faces have more beauty: in these he sometimes imitated Guido, and sometimes Maratta, and they are often selected from nature. Hence by some he was called il Cav. Calabrese ringentilito. To the style of Preti he added that of Lanfranco, whom he named his master, and from whom he adopted that curving form of composition, which he perhaps carried beyond propriety. From these two masters he took his chiaroscuro, which he painted strong in his middle age, but softened as he advanced in years, and then attached himself more to facility and elegance of style. He carefully designed every part of his picture, and corrected it from nature before he coloured it; so that in preparing his works, he may be included [Pg 437]among the most correct, at least in his better days, for he latterly declined into the general facility, and opened the way to mannerism. He possessed an elegant and fruitful talent of invention, for which he is celebrated by the poets of the day. He was also characterised by a sort of universality in every style he attempted, extending himself to every branch of the art; history, portrait, landscape, animals, fruit, architecture, utensils; and whatever he attempted, he seemed formed for that alone. As he lived till the age of ninety, and was endowed with great celerity of pencil, his works, like those of Giordano, were spread over all Europe. Of that artist he was at the same time the competitor and the friend, less powerful in genius, but more correct in his principles. When Giordano died, and Solimene became the first painter in Italy, notwithstanding what his rivals said of his colours not being true to nature, he began to ask extravagant prices for his pictures, and still abounded in commissions.

One of his most distinguished works is the sacristy of the P. P. Teatini detti di S. Paolo Maggiore, painted in various compartments. His pictures also in the arches of the chapels in the church of the Holy Apostles deserve to be mentioned. That work had been executed by Giacomo del Po, to correspond with the style of the tribune, and the other works which Lanfranco had painted there: but Po did not satisfy the public expectation. The whole work was therefore effaced, and Solimene was [Pg 438]employed to paint it over again, and proved that he was more worthy of the commission. The chapel of S. Filippo in the church of the Oratory, is a proof of his extreme care and attention; every figure in it being almost as finely finished as a miniature. Among private houses the most distinguished is the Sanfelice, so called from the name of his noble scholar Ferdinand, for whom he painted a gallery, which afterwards became an academy for young artists. Of his large pictures we may mention that of the great altar in the church of the monks of S. Gaudioso, without referring to others in the churches and in various parts of the kingdom; particularly at Monte Cassino, for the church of which he painted four stupendous pictures in the choir. They will be found in the Descrizione Istorica del Monistero di Monte Cassino, edited in Naples, in 1751. He is not often met with in private collections in Italy, beyond the kingdom of Naples. In Rome the princes Albani and Colonna have some large compositions by him, and the Bonaccorsi family a greater number in the gallery of Macerata; and among them the death of Dido, a large picture of fine effect. His largest work in the ecclesiastical state, is a Supper of our Lord, in the refectory of the Conventuals of Assisi, an elegant composition, painted with exquisite care, where the artist has given his own portrait among the train of attendants.

Solimene instilled his own principles into the minds of his disciples, who formed a numerous [Pg 439]school, which extended even beyond the kingdom of Naples, about the beginning of the eighteenth century. Among those who remained in Naples, was Ferdinando Sanfelice, lately noticed by us, a nobleman of Naples, who put himself under the instructions of Francesco, and became as it were the arbiter of his wishes. As the master could not execute all the commissions which crowded on him from every quarter, the surest mode to engage him was to solicit him through Sanfelice, to whom alone he could not deny any request. By the assistance of Solimene, Sanfelice attained a name among historical painters, and painted altarpieces for several churches. He took great delight in fruit, landscapes, and views, in which he particularly excelled, and had also the reputation of an eminent architect. But perhaps none of the disciples of Solimene approached nearer to the fame of their master than Francesco de Mura, called Franceschiello. He was a Neapolitan by birth, and contributed much to the decoration of his native city, both in public and private. Perhaps no work on the whole procured him a greater degree of celebrity than the frescos painted in various chambers of the Royal Palace of Turin, where he competed with Beaumont, who was then in the height of his reputation. He there ornamented the ceilings of some of the rooms which contain the Flemish pictures. The subjects which he chose, and treated with much grace, were the Olympic Games, and the Deeds of Achilles. In other parts [Pg 440]of the palace he also executed various works. Another artist, who was held in consideration, was Andrea dell'Asta, who after being instructed by Solimene, went to finish his studies in Rome, and engrafted on his native style some imitation of Raffaello and the antique. We may enumerate among his principal works, the two large pictures of the Nativity, and the Epiphany of Christ, which he painted in Naples for the church of S. Agostino de' P. P. Scalzi. Niccolo Maria Rossi was also reputably employed in the churches of Naples, and in the court itself. Scipione Cappella excelled all the scholars of Solimene in copying his pictures, which were sometimes touched by the master and passed for originals. Giuseppe Bonito had a good invention, and was a distinguished portrait painter, and was considered one of the best imitators of Solimene. He was at the time of his death painter to the court of Naples. Conca and he excel their fellow disciples in the selection of their forms. Other scholars in Naples and Sicily,[124] less known [Pg 441]to me, will be found in the history of painting in Naples, which has been recently published by the accomplished Sig. Pietro Signorelli, a work which [Pg 442]I have not in my possession, but which is cited by me, as is the case with several more, on the authority of others.

Some artists, who resided out of the kingdom, we shall notice in other schools, and in the Roman School we have already spoken sufficiently of Conca and Giaquinto; to whom we may add Onofrio Avellino, who resided some years in Rome, executing commissions for private persons, and painting in the churches. The vault of S. Francesco di Paola is the largest work he left. The works of Maja and Campora are to be found in Genoa, those of Sassi in Milan, and of others of the school of Solimene in various cities. These artists, it is to be regretted, sometimes passed the boundaries prescribed by their master. His colouring, though it might be more true to nature, is yet such as never offends, but possesses on the contrary a degree of amenity which pleases us. But his scholars and imitators did not confine themselves within their master's limits, and it may be asserted, that from no school has the art suffered [Pg 443]more than from them. Florence, Verona, Parma, Bologna, Milan, Turin, in short, all Italy was infected with their style; and by degrees their pictures presented so mannered a colouring, that they seemed to abandon the representation of truth and nature altogether. The habit too of leaving their pictures unfinished after the manner of Giordano and Solimene, was by many carried so far, that instead of good paintings, many credulous buyers have purchased execrable sketches. The imitation of these two eminent men carried too far, has produced in our own days pernicious principles, as at an earlier period did the imitation of Michelangiolo, Tintoretto, and even of Raffaello himself, when carried to an extreme. The principal and true reason of this deterioration is to be ascribed generally to the masters of almost all our schools; who, abandoning the guidance of the ancient masters, endeavoured in their ignorance to find some new leader, without considering who he might be, or whither he might lead them. Thus, at every proclamation of new principles, they and their scholars were ready to follow in their train.

In the time of Giordano and Solimene, Niccola Massaro was considered a good landscape painter. He was a scholar of Salvator Rosa, but rather imitated him in design than in colour. In the latter he was insipid, nor even added the accompaniment of figures to his landscapes, but was assisted in that respect by Antonio di Simone, not a [Pg 444]finished artist, but of some merit in battle pieces.[125] Massaro instructed Gaetano Martoriello, who was a landscape painter of a free style, but often sketching, and his colouring not true to nature. In the opinion of connoisseurs a better style was displayed by Bernardo Dominici, the historiographer, and the scholar of Beych in landscape, a careful and minute painter of Flemish subjects and bambocciate. There were two Neapolitans, Ferraiuoli and Sammartino, who settled in Romagna, and were good landscape painters. In perspective views Moscatiello was distinguished, as we observed, when we spoke of Giordano. In the life of Solimene, Arcangelo Guglielmelli is mentioned as skilled in the same art. Domenico Brandi of Naples, and Giuseppe Tassoni of Rome, were rivals in animal painting. In this branch, and also in flowers and fruits, one Paoluccio Cattamara, who flourished in the time of Orlandi, was celebrated. Lionardo Coccorante, and Gabriele Ricciardelli, the scholar of Orizzonte, were distinguished in seaviews and landscapes, and were employed at the court of King Charles of Bourbon.[126]

[Pg 445]By the accession of this prince, a munificent patron of the fine arts, wherever he reigned, the Neapolitan School was regenerated and invigorated; employment and rewards awaited the artists; the specimens of other schools were multiplied, and Mengs, who was invited to paint the Royal Family, and a large cabinet picture, laid the foundations of a more solid style, at the same time improving his own fortune, and giving a considerable impulse to art. But the greatest benefit this monarch has conferred on the arts is to be found at Ercolano, where under his orders so many specimens of sculpture and ancient paintings, buried for a long lapse of ages, have been brought to light, and by his direction accurately drawn and engraved, and illustrated with learned notes, and communicated to all countries. Lastly, in order that the benefits which he had conferred on his own age, might be continued to the future masters of his country, he turned his attention to the education of youthful artists. Of this fact I was ignorant at the time of my first edition, but now write on the information afforded me at the request of the Marchese D. Francesco Taccone, treasurer [Pg 446]of the kingdom, by the very learned Sig. Daniele, Regio Antiquario, both of whom, with truly patriotic feelings, have devoted themselves to the preservation of the antiquities of their country, and are equally polite in communicating to others that information for which they are themselves so distinguished. There formerly existed at Naples the academy of S. Luke, founded at the Gesù Nuovo, in the time of Francesco di Maria, who was one of the masters, and taught in it anatomy and design. This institution continued for some years. King Charles in some measure revived this establishment by a school for painting, which he opened in the Laboratory of mosaics and tapestry. Six masters of the School of Solimene were placed there as directors, and some good models being provided in the place, young artists were permitted to attend and study there. Bonito was engaged as the acting professor, and after some time Mura was associated with him, but died before the professor. Ferdinand IV. treading in the steps of his august father, has, by repeated instances of protection to these honorable pursuits, conferred fresh honours on the Bourbon name, and rendered it dearer than ever to the fine arts. He transferred the academy to the new royal Museum, and supplied it with all requisites for the instruction of young artists. On the death of Bonito he bestowed the direction of it on the first masters, and having established pensions for the maintenance in Rome of a certain number of [Pg 447]young men, students in the three sister arts, he assigned four of these to those students who were intended for painters; thus confirming by his suffrage to the city of Rome, that proud appellation which the world at large had long conceded to her, the Athens of Modern Art.

[121] Cortona had in Sicily a good scholar in Gio. Quagliata, who, in the Memorie Messinesi, is said to have been favored and distinguished by his master; and to have afterwards returned to his native country to paint in competition with Rodriguez, and what surprises me still more, with Barbalunga. If we may be allowed to judge of these two artists by their works which remain in Rome, Barbalunga in S. Silvestro at Monte Cavallo, appears a great master; Quagliata at the Madonna di C. P. a respectable scholar. The former is celebrated and known to every painter in Rome, the latter has not an admirer. In Messina he perhaps painted better. His biographer commends him as a graceful and sober painter, as long as his rivals lived; and adds, that after their death he devoted himself to frescos, when the exuberance of his imagination is evident in the strong expression of character, and in the superfluity of architectural and other ornaments. Andrea, his brother, was not in Rome; he is, however, in Messina, considered a good artist.

[122] Giordano is said at this period to have copied the Chambers and the Gallery of Raffaello no less than twelve times, and perhaps twenty times the Battle of Constantine, painted by Giulio Romano, without reckoning his designs after the works of Michelangiolo, Polidoro, and other great masters. See Vite del Bellori, edited in Rome in 1728, with the addition of the life of Giordano, page 307.

[123] It may be observed, that if he had followers, some of them did not copy him implicitly. Palomino, although much attached to Giordano, forsaking letters for painting, when his style was so much in vogue, did not imitate him servilely, but in conjunction with the style of other distinguished painters of his age; a good artist, and appointed by Charles II. painter to himself. This is the same Palamino who has merited the appellation of the Vasari of Spain, and whom I have so often cited. They who are acquainted with that noble language highly commend his style, which is perhaps the reason that copies of his Teorica e Pratica della Pittura (2 vol. fol.) are so rare out of Spain. But in point of accuracy, like Vasari himself, he often errs. I fancy that he frequently adopted traditions, without sufficiently weighing them, which I am led to suspect from the circumstance that in the scholars assigned to masters, he is guilty of many anachronisms.

[124] The Memorie de' Messinesi Pittori mentions a Gio. Porcello, who, after studying under Solimene, returned, it is said, to his native country, where he found the art at an extremely low ebb; and he attempted to revive it by opening an academy in his house, and diffusing the taste of his master, which he fully possessed. A still better style of painting was brought from Rome by Antonio and Paolo, two brothers, who, fresh from the school of Maratta, also opened an academy in Messina, which was greatly frequented. They worked in conjunction in many churches, and excelled in fresco, but in oil Antonio was much superior to his brother. There was also a third brother, Gaetano, who executed the ornamental parts. Their works on the walls and on canvass are to be seen in S. Caterina di Valverde, in S. Gregorio delle Monache, and elsewhere. There flourished at the same time with the Filocami, Litterio Paladino, and Placido Campolo, a scholar of Conca in Rome, where he derived more benefit from the antique marbles than from the instructions of his master. Both these artists executed works on a very large scale; and of the first they particularly commend the vault of the church of Monte Vergine, and, of the second, the vault of the gallery of the Senate. Both are esteemed for their correct design; but the taste of the second is more solid and more free from mannerism. The above named five artists all died in the fatal year of 1743. Luciano Foti survived them, an excellent copyist of every master, but particularly of Polidoro, whose style he adopted in his own composition. But his characteristic merit consisted in his penetration into the secrets of the art, which enabled him to detect every style, every peculiar varnish, and the various methods of colouring, so that he not only ascertained many doubtful masters, but restored pictures, damaged by time, in so happy a manner as to deceive the most experienced. A man of such talents outweighs a host of common artists.

To these we may add other artists of the island itself, born in different places. Marcantonio Bellavia, a Sicilian, who painted in Rome, at S. Andrea delle Fratte, is conjectured, though not ascertained, to be a scholar of Cortona. Calandrucci, of Palermo, is named among the scholars of Maratta. Gaetano Sottino painted the vault of the oratory at the Madonna di C. P., a respectable artist. Giovacchino Martorana, of Palermo, was a machinist, and in his native city they boast of the Chapel de' Crociferi, and at S. Rosalia, four large pictures from the life of S. Benedict. Olivio Sozzi, of Catania, painted much in Palermo; particularly at S. Giacomo, where all the altars have pictures by him, and the tribune three large subjects from the infancy of Christ. Another Sozzi, of the name of Francesco, I find praised for a picture of Five Saints, Bishops of Agrigentum, in the Duomo of that city. Of Onofrio Lipari, of Palermo, there are two pictures of the Martyrdom of S. Oliva in the Church de' Paolotti. Of Filippo Randazzo, there are to be seen in Palermo some vast works in fresco, as well as of Tommaso Sciacca, who was an assistant of Cavalucci in Rome, and who left some large compositions at the Duomo and at the Olivetani of Rovigo.

[125] Gio. Tuccari of Messina, the son of an Antonio, a feeble scholar of Barbalunga, although he painted much in other branches of the art, owes the celebrity of his name to his battle pieces, which, by the despatch of his pencil, were multiplied beyond number. They were frequently sent into Germany where they were engraved. He had a fruitful and spirited genius, but was not a correct designer.

[126] Among the painters of Messina is mentioned Niccolo Cartissani, who died in Rome with the name of a good landscape painter, and Filippo Giannetti, a scholar of Casembrot, who in the vastness of his landscapes and his views surpassed his master; but he will not bear a comparison in the correctness of his figures and in finishing; though he was, from his facility and rapidity of pencil, denominated the Giordano of landscape painters. He was esteemed and protected by the Viceroy Co. di S. Stefano, and painted in Palermo and Naples.

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