(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The art of the Italian renaissance; a handbook for students and travellers"

C:/,. 


5 


\n: 




1 - 


o 




aiarnell Mtttucraita Hibratg 



3tl)ara, Kfm lork 



BOUGHT WITH THE INCOME OF THE 

SAGE ENDOWMENT FUND 

THE GIFT OF 

HENRY W. SAGE 

1891 




Cornell University 
Library 



The original of this book is in 
the Corneii University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924032642708 



Cornell University Library 
N6915 .W84 1903 

The art of the Italian renaissance: 



olin 



3 1924 032 642 708 



THE ART OF THE 
ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



DEDICATED 
TO THE MEMORY OF 

JAKOB BURCKHARDT 




Portrait of Count Oistiglioiie, bj- Raphael. 



THE ART OF THE 

ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



A HANDBOOK FOR 
STUDENTS AND TRAVELLERS 



FROM THE GERMAN OF 

HEINRICH WOLFFLIN 

Professor of Arl-Hisiory at Berlin University 
WITH A PREFATORY NOTE BY 

SIR WALTER ARMSTRONG 

Director of the National Gallery^ Dublin 



ILLUSTRATED 



LONDON : WILLIAM HEINEMANN 
NEW YORK : G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS 

MCMIII 



PREFATORY NOTE 

In this interesting treatise a German writer has made an 
attempt, and a curiously successful one, to deal with the great 
period of the High Renaissance in Italy from a somewhat novel 
point of view — that, in fact, of the craftsman himself, rather 
than that of the interpreter. Passing over the anecdotic and 
historical aspects of schools and periods, he has made a syn- 
thetic study of that completed form of art which has been 
described — mistakenly, he contends — as a return to classic ideals 
brought about by the discovery of antique models. He has 
confined himself for purposes of demonstration to the works 
of the great masters of Central Italy. The book is of modest 
dimensions, and its author does not claim to have dealt ex- 
haustively with his vast theme, but rather to be one of the 
pioneers in a field that has been strangely neglected by art- 
historians and the newest school of art-critics — the field of 
pure aesthetics. Insisting strongly on the necessity of systematic 
work on this fruitful ground, Herr Wolfflin does not wander 
haphazard among the artistic phenomena of the period. The 
whole question of colour, for instance, has been left for future 
consideration. He deals here with problems of form alone. 
From this point of view he has given us an excellent treatise 



PREFATORY NOTE 



on composition, or design, to use that word in its widest sense, 
dealing chiefly with the character and action of figures, and the 
pattern made by them. The result is a trustworthy guide to 
the minds of those painters who belonged to the Schools of 
Florence and Rome — the schools of pure design, as distinguished 
from those which placed their chief dependence on colour and 
chiaroscuro. Speaking broadly, his reasoning is the unconscious 
reasoning of the painter put into Mords, so that he conveys to 
the reader the whys and wherefores of things fi-oni the artist's 
own standpoint. Anyone reading Herr "\\^6lfflin carefully may 
fairly assume that he is following the workings of Raphael's 
mind as he built up things like the Dispiita, the School o/' 
Alliens and the Madonna di Sun Sisio. 

WALTER ARMSTRONG. 



CONTENTS 



INTRODUCTION 

Classic Art 1 

PAET I 

I. Preliminary Survey 7 

II. Leonardo 25 

1. The Last Supper 29 

2. The Monna Lisa 35 

3. St. Anne with the Virgin and the Infant Christ 40 

4. The Battle of Anghiari 42 

III. Michelangelo (to 1520) 46 

L Early Works 47 

2. The Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel 58 

3. The Prophets and Sibyls 64 

4. The Slaves 67 

5. The Tomb of Julius 72 

IV. Eaphael -^ 78 

1. The Marriage of the Virgin and the Entombment 80 

2. The Florentine Madonnas 85 

3. The Camera della Segnatura 90 

The Disputa 92 

The School of Athens 96 

Parnassus 99 

Jurisprudence 102 



CONTENTS 



IV. Raphael (continued) 

4. The Camera d'Eliodoro 103 

The Chastisemenc of HeHodorus 104 

The Deliverance of Peter 106 

The Mass of Bolsena 108 

5. The Cartoons for Tapestries 111 

6. The Roman Portraits 120 

7. Roman Altar-pictures 131 

V. Fra Baktolommeo 143 

VI. Andrea del Sarto 157 

1. The Frescoes of the Annunziata 158 

2. The Frescoes of the Scaizo 162 

3. Madonnas and Saints 169 

4. A Portrait of Andrea 177 

VII. Michelangelo (after 1520) 185 

1. The Chapel of the Medici 185 

2. The Last Judgment and the Pauline Chapel 194 

3. The Decadence 195 



PART II 

I. The New FEELiNr; 201 

II. The New Beauty 225 

III. The New Pictorial Form 247 

1. Repose, .Space, Mass and Size 248 

2. Simplification and Lucidity -251 

3. Enrichment 

4. Unity and Inevitability 



263 
275 



Conclusion 



284 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

PAG I 

Portrait of Count Castiglione, by Raphael Frontispiece 

David, by Donatello 12 

David, by Verrocchio 13 

Madonna. Relief by Rossellino 14 

Angel bearing Candelabrum, by Luca della Robbia 15 

Angel bearing Candelabrum, by Benedetto da Majano 16 

Allegory of Spring, by Botticelli / 17 

\ Raphael's Madonna di Foligno. From Marc Antonio's 

engraving 23 

Study of a Girl's Head, by Leonardo da Vinci 27 

The Last Supper, by tfhirlandajo 30 

The Last Supper, from an engraving by Marc Antonio 33 

Bust of a Florentine Girl, by Desiderio 35 

Portrait of Monna Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci 37 

. St. Anne with the Virgin and Infant Christ, by Leonardo 

da Vinci 41 

Abundantia, by Gianpietrino 45 

Pieta, by Michelangelo 47 

The Madonna of Bruges, by Michelangelo 48 

Madonna and Child, by Benedetto da Majano 4& 



LIST OP ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGF 



Madonna with the Book. Relief by Michelangelo 50 

Holy Family, by Michelangelo 51 

David, by Michelangelo 54 

Apollo, by Michelangelo 55 

Fragment from the Cartoon of the Bathing Soldiers, by 

Michelangelo 5 1 

The Erythrwan Sibyl, by Michelangelo 66 

Figures of Slaves, by Michelangelo. (From the first group) 68 
Figures of Slaves, by Michelangelo. (From the third group) 69 

Figure of a Slave, by INIichelangelo 70 
Tomb of the Cardinal of Portugal, by Antonio Rossellino 73 

Tomb of a Prelate, by Andrea Sansovino 75 

The Virgin with SS. Sebastian and John the Baptist, by 

Perugino 79 

The Entombment, by Perugino 82 

The Entombment, by Raphael 83 

The Madonna del Granduca, by Raphael 86 

The Madonna della Sedia, by Raphael 87 

The Madonna del Cardellino, by Raphael 88 

The Madonna della Casa Alba, by Raphael 89 

The Deliverance of St. Peter, by Domenichino 107 

The Miraculous Draught of Fishes 113 

" Feed my Lambs " 115 

The Death of Ananias 117 

Portrait of Francesco dell' Opere, by Perugino 123 

Portrait of a Cardinal, by Raphael 125 

The Violin-Player, by Sebastiano del Piombo 127 

Dorothea (Portrait), by Sebastiano del Piombo 129 



LIST OP ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 

La Donna Velata, by Raphael 131 

Madonna with two kneeling Saints, by Albertinelli 135 

The Transfiguration, by Giovanni Bellini 138 

Fragment from the Transfiguration, by Raphael 139 

The Transfiguration, by L. Carracci 141 

Vintage. From the Engraving by Marc Antonio 142 
The Virgin appearing to St. Bernard, by Fra Bartolommeo 147 

Madonna with Saints, by Fra Bartolommeo 149 
The Risen Christ with the Four Evangelists, b}' Fra 

Bartolommeo 152 

Pieta, by Fra Bartolommeo 153 

The Holy Trinity, by Albertinelli. 154 

The Annunciation, by Albertinelli 155 

The Birth of the Virgin, by Andrea del Sarto 159 
The Preaching of John the Baptist, by Andrea del Sarto 164 

The Preaching of John the Baptist, by Ghirlandajo 165 

Salome Dancing before Herod, by Andrea del Sarto 167 

Justice, by A. Sansovino 169 

The Annunciation, by Andrea del Sarto 170 

The Madonna delle Arpie, by Andrea del Sarto 171 

Disputa, by Andrea del Sarto 172 
The Madonna with six Saints (1524), by Andrea del Sarto 174 

The Madonna del Sacco, by Andrea del Sarto 175 

St. John the Baptist, by Andrea del Sarto 177 

Supposed Portrait of Himself, by Andrea del Sarto 179 

Portrait of a Youth, by Franciabigio 183 

The Tomb of Lorenzo de' Medici, with the figures of 

Morning and Evening, by Michelangelo 187 



LIST OP ILLUSTRATIONS 



PA^iE 



The Medici Madonna, by Michelangelo 190 

Crouching Boy, by Michelangelo 191 

Christ, by Michelangelo 192 

An Allegory, by Bronzino 193 

Venus and Amor (// Giorno), by Vasari 197 

The Adoration of the Shepherds, by P. Tibaldi 198 

Baptism of Christ, by Verrocchio 202 

Baptism of Christ, bj' A. Sansovino 203 

Pieta. (From Marc Antonio's engraving after Kaphael) 205 

The Visitation, by Sebastiano del Piombo 207 

Madonna and Child with Angels, by Filippino Lippi 216 

The youthful St. John Preaching, by Kaphael 22-1 

The Birth of John the Baptist, bj' Ghirlandajo 226 
Tobias with the Angel, by Verrocchio (1) (or perhaps 

Botticini) 227 

Attendant carrying Fruit, by Ghirlandajo 228 

Woman carrying Water, by Raphael 229 

Venus, by Lorenzo di Credi 230 

Venus, by Franoiabigio (?) 231 

La bella Simonetta, by Piero di Cosimo 232 

Vittoria Colonna (so-called), b}' ]Michelangelo 233 

Allegory, by Filippino Lippi O-tO 

Venus. (Copy from Marc Antonio's engraving) 246 
Three Female Saints (fragment), by Sebastiano del Piombo 253 

Prudence, by Pollaiuolo •>-,(; 

Reclining Venus (fragment), by Piero di Cosimo 260 

Reclining Venus, by Titian o,5j 

Perseus (cast), by Benvenuto Cellini oq^ 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



PAGE 

Giovannino, in the Berlin Museum 265 

St. Cosmo, by Montorsoli 266 

St. John the Baptist, by J. Sansovino 267 

Madonna with eight Saints, by Andrea del Sarto 268 

Madonna with Angels and six Saints, by Botticelli 269 

Madonna with the two SS. John, by Botticelli 274 

The Death of Peter Martyr, by Gentile Bellini (?) 278 

The Death of Peter Martyr, by Titian 279 

St. Jerome, by Basaiti 280 

St. Jerome, by Titian 281 

Holy Family, by Bronzino 285 



INTRODUCTION 



CLASSIC ARTi 

I 

The word " classic " has a somewhat chilly sound. It seems to thrust 
us out of the brilliant, living world into an airless space, the abode of 
shadows, not of human beings with warm red blood. Classic Art represents 
for us eternal death, eternal age, the fruit of the academies, a product of 
teaching rather than of life. And our thirst for the living, the actual, 
the tangible is so insatiable ! The art the modern man demands is an art 
that savours of earth. The Quattrocento, and not the Cinquecento, is the 
darling age of our generation ; we love its frank sense of reality, its naivete 
of vision and emotion. We readily take a few archaisms of expressions 
into the bargain, so pleasant is it to admire and to smile at the same time. 
The traveller at Florence pores with unquenchable delight over the pictures 
of the old masters, who tell their story so artlessly and sincerely that 
he feels himself transported into the cheerful Florentine room where a 
woman receives her visitors after child-birth, or into the streets and squares 
of the mediasval citv where the people stand about, and whence one or the 
other of the actors in the scene looks out of the picture at us with a 
vitality positively startling. Everyone knows Ghirlandajo's paintings in 
Santa Maria Novella. How gaily the artist sets forth the legends of the 
Virgin and of St. John, telling the story in a homely, but not a sordid 
fashion, showing life under its holiday aspect, with a healthy delight in 
colour and profusion, costly raiment and ornaments, rich architecture and 
plenishings. What could be daintier than Filippino's picture in the Badia, 

1 It will, of course, be understood that throughout this work, the author uses the 
term "Classic Art" in a special sense, applying it to the Art of the High Renaissance 
in Italy.— Tk. 

B 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



of the Madonna appearing to St. Bernard, and laying her slender hand on his 
book ? And wheit an aroma of Nature breathes from the lovely girl-angels 
who attend the Virgin, and press forward, timid yet inquisitive, behind 
her mantle, their hands mechanically folded in the attitude of prayer, as 
thev look ^^'onderinglv at the strange man. Before Botticelli's charm even 
Raphael himself must yield, and he who has once fallen under the spell of 
his sensuous melancholy will be apt to find a Madonna della Sedia 
uninteresting. 

The early Renaissance calls up a vision of slender-limbed, virginal 
figures in variegated robes, blooming meadows, floating veils, spacious 
halls with wide arches on graceful pillars. It means all the fresh vigour of 
youth, shining eyes, all that is bright, transparent, lively, cheerful, natural 
and varied. Pure nature, yet nature with a touch of fairy splendour. 

"We pass unwillingly and distrustfully from this gay and many-coloured 
world into the still and stately halls of classic art. What manner of men 
are these .^ Their gestures seem strange to us. AVe miss the child-like 
unconscious charm of a more intimate art. Here there is no one who looks 
at us like an old friend. Here are no cosy rooms with homely utensils 
scattered about, but colourless walls and massive architecture. 

Indeed, the modern Northerner approaches \\orks of art such as the 
School of Athenx so wholly unprepared for their enjoyment, that his 
embarrassment at a first sight of them is not unnatural. " We can hardly 
blame him, if he secretly asks himself «hy Raphael did not rather choose 
to paint a Roman flo«er-market, or some such animated scene as that of 
the peasants coming to be shaved on Sunday mornings in the Piazza 
Montanara. The artistic problems solved in those other works have no 
points of contact M-ith modern dilettantism, and ^ye, with our archaic 
predilections, are fundamentally incapable of appreciating these master- 
pieces of form. We delight in primiti\e simplicity. We enjoy the hard, 
childishly clumsy construction, the jerky, breathless style of the precursors' 
and neither understand nor value the artistically rounded, sonorous periods 
of their successors. 

But even when the thesis is more familiar, as when the Cinquecentists 
treat the old simple themes of the Gospel cycle, the indifference of the 
public is still comprehensible. It feels itself on insecure ground and 
cannot tell whether it should accept the gestures and ideas of classic Lrt as 
genunie. It has had to shallow so much false classicism, that it turns with 



INTRODUCTION 



zest to coarser but purer fare. We have lost faith iu the grandiose. We 
have become wealv and distrustful, and evervwhcre we detect theatrical 
sentiment and empty declamation. 

And the factor that counts for most in our distrust is the perpetual 
suggestion that this art is not original, that it derives from the antique, 
that the marble world of the buried past laid a deathly hand on the 
blooming life of the Renaissance. 

Yet classic art is but the natural sequence of the Quattrocento, a 
perfectly spontaneous manifestation of the Italian genius. It Avas not the 
outcome of imitation of a foreign exemplar — the antique — it was no 
product of schools, but a hardy growth, springing up at a period of most 
vigorous life. 

This correlation has been obscured for us, because — and herein perhaps 
lies the real ground of the prejudice against Italian classicism — a purely 
national movement has been taken for universal, and forms which have life 
and meaning only under certain skies and on certain soil have been 
reproduced under wholly different conditions. The art of the High 
Renaissance in Italy is Italian art, and its idealisation of reality was after 
all, but an idealisation of Italian realities. 

\agari_himself so divided his work as to open a new section with the 
sixteenth centm-y, that period in relation to which the earlier stages were 
to appear but as preliminary and preparatory. He begins the third 
division of his art-history with Leonardo. Leonardo''s Last Supper was 
painted in the last decade of the fifteenth century. It was the first great 
work of the new art. Michelangelo made his debut at the same time. 
Nearly twenty-five years younger than the Milanese, he too had new things 
to say in his very first works. Fra Bartolommeo was his contemporary. 
Raphael followed at an interval of about ten years, and Andrea del 
Sarto came close upon him. Broadly speaking, the first tjventy-five years 
of the sixteenth century are taken as representative of the classic evolution 
in Romano-Florentine art. 

It is not altogether easy to take a general survey of this epoch. 
Familiar as its masterpieces have been made to us from our youth up 
by means of engravings and reproductions of all kinds, it is only by slow 
degrees that we can form a coherent and lively idea of the world that 
bore these fruits. It is otherwise with the Quattrocento. The fifteenth 
century still lives before our eyes in Florence. ]Much has disappeared, 

B 2 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



much has been removed from its natural setting to the prisons of the 
museums, but still, there are many places left in which one seems to 
breathe the \erv air of the period. The Cinquecento is represented in 
more fragmentary fashion ; in fact, it ne\er achie\ed complete expression. 
In Florence one feels that the vast substructure of the Cinquecento lacks 
its crown. The final development is not clearly apparent. I am not 
alluding to the early removal of easel pictures, in consequence of which 
there is very little of Leonardo's left in Italy, but to the dissipation of 
forces that took place in the very beginning. Leonardo's Last Supper, 
wliich belongs incontrovertibh- to Florence, was painted for Milan. 
Michelangelo became half-Roman, Raphael wholly so. But among their 
Roman achievements are the Sistine ceiling, an absurdity, a penance to 
the artist and the spectator, and those paintings Raphael was obliged to 
execute on walls in the ^'atican, where no one can see them properly. 
Of the rest, how much "as actualh* finished, how much of the .short 
period of perfection went further than the initial project, and how nmch 
escaped immediate destruction .'' Leonardo's Lu.st Suj)piT itself is a wreck. 
His great battle-piece, destined for Florence, was never completed, and 
even the cartoon is lost. ^Michelangelo's Bathing Soldier.s shared the same 
fate. Of the tomb of Julius II., only two figures were executed, and the 
facade of San Lorenzo, \\ hich was to have been a mirror reflecting the 
soul of Tuscan architecture and sculpture, was never carried out. The 
Medici Chapel is only a partial compensation ; alread\- it verges on the 
baroque. Classic art has left us no monument in the great style, in v\hich 
architecture and sculpture are welded together for perfect expi-ession ; and 
the great achievement of architecture, in which all the artistic forces of 
the age combined, St. I'eter's at Rome, was destined after all to be no true 
monument of the High Renaissance. 

Classic art then may be likened to the ruins of an unfinished buildino-, 
the original form of which must be reconstructed from fragments widely 
scattered and from imperfect tradition, and there is perhaps much justice 
in " 
obscure epoch than tliat of its golden ao-e. 



the assertion that in all the history of Italian art there is no more 



PART I 



I 

PRELBIINARY SUR\'EY 

Italian Painting begins with Giotto. It was he who loosened the 
tongue of art. ^Vhat he painted has a voice, and what he relates becomes 
an experience. He explored the wide circle of human emotion, he dis- 
coursed of sacred history and the legends of the saints, and every- 
where of actual, living things. The heart of the incident is always 
plucked out; the scene, with its effect upon the beholders, is always brought 
before us, just as it must have taken place. Giotto, like the preachers and 
poets of the school of St. Francis of Assisi, undertook to expound the 
sacred story, and to elucidate it by intimate details ; but the essence of 
his achievement is to be found, not in poetic invention, but in pictorial 
presentment, in the rendering of things that no one had hitherto been able 
to give in painting. He had an eye for the speaking elements of a scene, 
and perhaps painting never made such a sudden advance in expressive 
power as in his time. Giotto must not be looked upon as a kind of 
Christian Romantic, who bore about in his pocket the outpourings of a 
Franciscan brother, and whose art had blossomed under the inspiration 
of that infinite love by which the Saint of Assisi drew heaven down to 
earth, and made the world an Eden. He was no enthusiast, but a man 
of realities ; no poet, but an observer ; an artist who is never carried aA\ay 
by the ardour of his eloquence, but whose speech is always limpid and 
expressive. 

Others surpassed him in fervour of emotion and in force of passion. 
Giovanni Pisano, the sculptor, shows more soul in his more inflexible 
material than the painter Giotto. The story of the Annunciation could 
not have been more tenderly told in the spirit of that age than by Giovanni 
in his relief on the pulpit at Pistoja, and in his more passionate scenes 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



there is something of Dante's fiery spirit. But this very quahty was his 
undoing. He forced expression too far. "J'he desire to express emotion 
destroyed the sense of form, and the masters art ran riot. 

Giotto is cahner, cooler, more equable. His popularity will never 
wane, for all can understand him. The rough traits of national life 
appealed to him more strongly than its refinements, and he sought his ; 
, effects in clarity rather than in beauty of line. His ^^■orks are curiously 
lacking in that harmonious sw eep of draperies, those rhythmic movements 
and attitudes which constituted style in his generation. Compared with 
those of Giovanni Pisano, they are clumsy, and with those of Andrea 
Pisano, the master of the brazen gates of the Baptistery at Florence, 
absolutely ugly. The grouping of the t\\o Momen who embrace and the 
servant attending them in Andrea's Vmtdtion, is a sculptured melody. 
Giotto's rendering is hard, but extraordinarily expressive. One does not 
easily forget the line of his Elizabeth bending down to look into the 
Virgin's face (Chapel of the Arena, Padua) ; whereas of Andrea's group 
one retains but a vague impression of harmonious curves. 

Giotto's art reached its highest expression in the frescoes of Santa 
Croce. In clarity of rejDresentation he here went beyond all his earlier 
works, and in composition he essayed effects which entitle him, in intention 
at least, to rank beside the masters of the sixteenth century. His own 
immediate successors coidd not understand this aspect of his art. Simplicity 
and concentration were again abandoned ; painters desired above all things 
to be rich and varied ; in the effort to be profound, they produced pictures 
that were confused and ambiguous. Then, at the beginning of the fifteenth 
century, a painter appeared M-ho set things right by his vigorous initiative, 
and determined the pictorial aspects of the visible A\orld. This master 
was ]\I.\sACcio. 

The student at Florence should not fail to see Masaccio immediately 
after Giotto, in order to note the difference in all its intensity. The 
contrast is amazing. 

^'asari makes a remark about ^Nlasaccio, which has a somewhat trivial 
and obvious sound. " He recognised that painting is but the imitation of 
things as they are."^ One might ask why the same should not have been 
said of Giotto. Tiie sentence has probably a meaning deeper than^ the 
superficial one. AVhat now seems to us a connnonplace — that painting 
^ Vasari, Le Vile (ed. Milanesi), II. 288. 



PRELIMINARY SURVEY 



should give an impression of reality — was not always an axiom. There 
was a time when this reciuirement was quite unkno\\n, and for the sufficient 
reason, that it was believed to be essentially impossible to suggest the 
tactile quality of material objects on a flat surface. This was the received 
opinion of the whole mediaeval period. Men were content with a repre- 
sentation that merely suggested objects and their relation to one another 
in space, without any idea of inviting a comparison with Nature. It is 
a mistake to suppose that a medifieval picture was ever approached with 
our preconceptions of illusory effect. It \\as undoubtedly one of the 
greatest advances achieved by humanity, when this limitation was recog-. 
nised as prejudicial, and when men began to believe that it might be 
possible to achieve something which should come near to the actual 
impression made by Nature, though the effects might be produced by very 
different means. No one man could have brought about such a re-adjust- 
ment of ideas. A single generation indeed could not suffice. Giotto did 
something towards it ; but Masaccio added so much, that he was very 
justly described as the first artist who attained to " the imitation of things 
as they are." 

First of all, he amazes us by his thorough mastery of the problems of 
space. In his hands for the first time a picture became a stage, in the 
construction of which a certain fixed point of sight was kept steadilv 
in view, a space in which persons, trees and houses had then* duly and 
geometrically determined places. In Giotto's works everything was- still 
massed together ; he superimposed head above head, without jasking 
himself how their respective bodies -were to find places, and the archi- 
tecture of the background has the appearance of unsubstantial stage 
scenery, bearing no sort of actual proportion to the figures. Masaccio 
not only portrays possible, habitable houses, but gives a sense of space 
that extends to the last line of his landscapes. His point of sight is 
taken on a level with the heads, and the crowns of the heads of figures 
on the equal surfaces are therefore all of a height. This gives an extra- 
ordinary appearance of solidity to a row of three heads in profile, one 
behind the other, terminating perhaps with a fourth head, seen full-face. 
Step by step we are led into the depths of the given space ; everything 
is ranged in clearly defined strata, one behind the other. The student 
who wishes to see the new art in all its glory should go to Santa Maria 
Novella, and study the fresco of the Trinity. Here, by the aid of archi- 



10 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



tecture, and the use of intersections, four zones are developed towards the 
background, and the illusion of space is astonishing. Beside this, Giotto's 
work looks absolutely flat. His frescoes in Santa Croce have the effect of 
a carpet ; the uniform blue of the sky suffices in itself to bind the various 
pictures together in a connnon effect of flatness. It would seem as if the 
artist had had no idea of laying hold of some element of reality ; the • 
flat surface of the division is at best uniformly filled up to the top, as if 
the painter had been recjuired to decorate it in some ornamental fashion. 
All round the design are bands «ith mosaic patterns, and when these 
jDatterns are again repeated in the picture itself, the imagination is not 
constrained to make any distinction between the frame and the thing 
enframed, and the suggestion of a flat wall-decoration becomes unpleasantly 
obtrusive. Masaccio enframes his scenes between painted pilasters, and 
seeks to produce the illusion of a continuation of the picture behind 
these. 

Giotto barely indicates the shadows cast by solid bodies, and for the 
most part altogether ignores the shadow cast by a body in light upon a 
light ground. It was not that he had never noticed them, but that it 
seemed to him unnecessary to insist upon them. He looked upon them as 
disturbing accidents in a picture, by \\hich the subject was in no wise 
elucidated. In Masaccio's hands, light and shade become elements of first- 
rate importance. It seemed to him essential to render the actual condiliou 
of things, and to show the full force of natural effects on material objects. 
His manner of treating a head ^\•ith a few ^■igorous indications of form 
gives a totally ne«- impression. Bulk is expressed here with unprecedented 
power. And it is the same with all other forms. As a natural con- 
sequence of this treatment, the high tones of the earlier pictures with their ^ 
shadowy effects gi\e place to a more substantial system of colour. i 

The whole structure of pictures A\as consolidated, so to speak, and here 
we may appropriately cpiote another remark of X'asari's, to the effect that ., 
it was Masaccio who first made figures stand on their feet. ' 

Besides this there is something else, the intensified feeling for the 
personal, for the peculiarities of the individual. Exen Giotto differentiates 
his figures, Ijut his are only general distinctions. Masaccio gives us clearly 
marked indixidual characteristics. The new age is termed the century of 
'Realism.' The \vord has no« passed through so many hands that it 
no longer has any clear meaning. Something proletarian clings to it, a 



PRELIMINARY SURVEY 11 



semblance of bitter opposition, where coarse ugliness wishes to force itself 
in, and claims its rights, since it too exists in the «'orld. The quattro- 
centist realism is, however, essentially joyous. It is the higher estimate, 
which brings new elements. Interest is ne lenger confined to the individual 
head, but the vast variety of individual attitudes and movements is 
included in the realm of worthy motives for representation, attention is 
given to the will and mood of each particular material, and the artist 
rejoices in the stubborn line. The old laws of beauty seemed to do violence 
to nature ; the swaying attitude, the varied modulations of the drapery, 
were felt to be merely beautiful phrases, of which men had become weary. 
A mighty need arose for reality, and if one thing shows sincere belief in the 
value of the newly comprehended sense of vision more strongly than another, 
it is the circumstance that even supernatural beings for the first time 
appear credible in earthly dress, with individual features, and without a 
trace of idealism in their representation. 

It was not a painter, but a sculptor, in whom the new spirit was next 
destined to manifest itself most synthetically. Masaccio died young, and 
could therefore but briefly express himself, but Doxateij.o is a conspicuous 
figure throughout the entire first half of the fifteenth century ; his works 
form a long series, and he is indisputably the most important personality 
of the Quattrocento. He took up the peculiar tasks of the time with 
unrivalled energy, and yet he was never carried away by the one-sided- 
ness of an mibridled realism. He was a portray er of men who pursued 
the characteristic form to ihe very depths of ugliness, and then again in i 
|U_calm and purity, reproduced the image of a tranquil and bewitching 
beauty. There are statues of his in which he drains an abnormal 
individuality to the very dregs, as it were, and side by side with these are 
figures like the bronze David, where the High Renaissance feeling for 
beauty already rings out clear and true. He is withal a storyteller 
of unsurpassable vividness and dramatic force. A panel like the St. John 
relief at Siena may be fitly designated the best narrative of the century. 
At a later date, in jhe^JIirades of St. Anthony at^Padua, he attacks 
veritable cinquecentist problems, introducing excited and dramatic crowds, 
which, compared with the quiet rows of bystanders in contemporary 
pictures, represent a really memorable anachronism. 

The counterpart of Donatello in the second half of the Quattrocento is 
Verrocchio (1435-1488), who is in no way comparable to him in personal 



12 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



o-i-eatness, but is the manifest represent- 
ative of the new ideals of a ne\\' genera- 
tion. 

From the middle of the century a 
irro\\'ing desire for delicacy, grace of limb, 
and eleganc'e is discernible. The figures 
lose their ruggedness ; they are of a more 
slender type, small of \\Tist and ankle. 
The plain blunt stroke is resolved into 
a smaller, finer movement. The artist 
begins to take pleasure in exact model- 
ling. The most delicate undulations of 
surface are noticed. Tension and move- 
ment are aimed at rather than repose 
and reticence ; the fingers are spread out 
■with a conscious elegance, there is nmcli 
turning and bending of the head, much 
smiling and emotional uplifting of the 
eves. Affectation, bv the side of which 
natural feeling has not aluavs been able 
to hold its own, gains ground. The con- 
trast is alreadv evident when Verrocchio's 
])ron/.e Diivid is compared with the similar 
figure bv Donatello. The sturdy youth 
has Ijecome a lithe-lindjed bov, still very 
spare, so that manv outlines are visible, 
v\'ith a pointed elbow, which is deliberately 
included iu the chief silhouette by the 
placing of the hand on the hip.'^ Tension is expressed in every limb. 
The outstretched leg, the compressed knee, the straining arm with the 
sword are all in strong contrast to the repose which marks Donatello's 
figure. The whole conception is based on an impression of movement. 
The head e\en is now required to express movement, and a smile steals 
over the featru;es of the youthful con(|ueror. The master's desire for grace 

1 The illustration iiiifoi'tiinately ilnes iitit give quite the true front view. In the 
original there is also a ilifferenee of size; \ L-iTocduo's D'lrid is about one-third smaller 
than Donatello's. 




David, liy Uuuatullu. 



PRELIMINARY SURVEY 



finds satisfaction in the de- 
tails of the annouv, «hieh 

dehcately follows and inter- 
rupts the tine lines of the 

body, and when we note the 

thorough modelling of the 

nude, Donatello's sunniiarv 

process seems empty indeed 

compared with ^ errocchio"> 

wealth of form. 

The same spectacle is 

offered by a comparison of 

the two equestrian figures, 

those of Gattemelata at 

Padua and of C'oUeoni in 

\'enice. Verrocchio expresses 

the utmost tension in the 

seat of the rider and the 

moyement of the horse. His 

Colleoni is ridnig with rigid 

legs, and the horse presses 

forward in a wa\- that con- 

yeys the impression that it 

is being pulled. The manner 

in which the connnander's 
baton is grasped, and the 
turn of the head show the 
same intention. Donatello y- 

by contrast appears infinitehf^ simple and unpretentious! And again, he 
presents hisLlarge unljroken planes, | where \'errocchio breaks them up, 
and goes into minute details. The trappings of \\'rrocchio"s horse are 
meant to reduce the planes. The armour in itself, as well as the 
ti'eatment of the mane, is a ^'ery instructi\'e piece of late c|uattrocentist 
decorative art. The elaboration of the muscular parts was carried 
so far by the artist, that soon afterwards the criticism Mas passed that 
^ errocchio had made a horse from which the hide had been stripped. '^ 
' Poniponiiis Ciauricus, De Sc iilpt >'>'<-'- ■ 




David, l.y \\vru 



14 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

The danger of losing himself in petty details was clearly immi- 
nent. 

-^ Verrocc'hio's chief title to fame is his Avork in bronze. It was in his day 
that the real merits of the material were developed. ]Men set about to 
breaiv np the mass, to separate the figures and to silhouette them with 
delicacy. Even from the pictorial side Ijronze possessed beauties A\'hich were 
recognised and fully turned to account. The luxuriant wealth of folds in 
draperv, as in the group of f'ln-ist and St. Thomas at Or San Michele 




JIadulilM. Relief Ijj- Ho 



depends not only on tlic impression to be made by line, but also on the 
effect of glittering lights, dark shadoN\s, and scintillating reflections. 

Workers in marble soon turned the reaction in taste to account. The 
eye had learnt to aj)preciate the slightest nuances, and stone was 
worked with unprecedented delicacy. Desidcrio carves his dainty festoons 
of fruit, and shows us the joy of life in his busts of Florentine maidens. 
Antonio llossellino, and the somewliat broader Benedetto da Maiano, 
rival painters in wealth of expression. The chisel renders the soft flesh of 
children as accurately as the fine veil of a head-dress. And if we look care- 



PRELIMINARY SURVEY 



15 



fullv, the wind seems here and there 
to have hfted the end of a drapery, 
causing a pLiyful eruniphng of the 
folds. In the perspectives of archi- 
tecture or landscape the depth of 
the relief is greatly increased. It 
niav be said that all treatment of 
Hat surfaces shows a desire to leave 
an impression of life-lii<e (juiver- 



ing and treniblini 




ol Ijuaring- Caudelaljrilm, by Luca dul] 
Robljia. 



The typical ancient motiyes of 
plastic art are ^\here\er possible 
changed in style, so as to express 
movement. The kneelinij anijel 
with the calidlestick, as Luca della 
Robbia simply and beautifully de- 
picted him, is no longer sufficient ; 
he too is sunmioned to join in the 
tumult of movement, and thus a 
figure such as Benedetto's Augel 

bearing Candelabrum in Siena is conceived. With smiling countenance 
and playful turn of the head the little satellite makes his obeisance, his 
dress fluttering in many folds round his shapely ankles. The higher de- 
velopment of such running figures is seen in the flying angels. \vho seem to 
cleave the air with a stupendous commotion of lines in their clinging 
drapery, whereas being simply reliefs against a wall, they onh- simulate 
the impression of detached figures. (Antonio Rossellino, tomb of the 
C'ai-dinal of Portugal in San ]\Iiniato.) 

The painters in the second half of the century achance on parallel 
lines with this grouj) of sculjrtors of the delicate style. They are natiu'ally 
far better exponents of the spirit of the age. It is they who colour oiu' 
conception of quattrocentist Florence, and when the early Renaissance is 
mentioned, we think at once of Botticelli and Filippino and the sumptuous 
pictures of Ghirlandajo. 

FifA FiLii'PO Lii'Pi was the innnediate successor of ^Nlasaccio ; he 
modelled his style on the frescoes of the Brancacci Chapel : about the 
middle of the century he executed some very creditable \sork in the choir- 



16 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 




paintings of the Cathedral of Prato. 
^He is not wanting in dignity and 
as a Painter in the special sense 
he stands quite by himself. His 
' easel-pictures treat subjects like 
tlie twilit forest depths, which do 
not appear again in art till the 
time of Correggio, and in his 
frescoes he surpasses all the Floren- 
tines of his century in charm of 
colour. Everv one indeed who has 
seen the apse of the Cathedral of 
Spoleto, where he aimed at pro- 
ducing a tremendous marvel of 
colour in his Coronatioit of the 
Virix'iu, will acknowledge that it 
has no parallel. For all this, his 
2)ictures are faultih' constructed. 
Thev lack space and clarity, and 
haAe an incoherence that makes 
us regret that he ^^•as so little able 
to profit bv the achievenients of INIasaccio : the next generation had 
nuich to clarify, and it carried out the task. If after a yisit to Prato one 
a'oes on to Ghirlandaio and studies the frescoes of S. ]Maria Xoyella in 
Florence, it is amazing to find how] limpidly and calmly; ho works, how the 
space clears itself, as it were, how assured the effect is, how transparent 
and comprehensible the whole. Similar merits will be noticeable on a 
like comparison of the works of Filippino or Botticelli, in who.se veins, 
nevertheless, the blood ran far less calmly than in Ghirlandajo's. 

IJoTTicKLLi (l-i-16-1510) was a pupil of Fra Filippo, but only his very 
early ^\orks show any trace of this. They were men of quite distinct 
temperaments, the Frate with his broad laugh and his uniformly 
good-tempered pleasure in the things of this world, and Botticelli, impetu- 
ous, fiery, full of suppressed emotion, an artist to whom the superficial 
elements of painting appealed but little, who found expression in 
vigorous lines, and ga\e to his heads at all times a wealth of character and 
expression. Recall his ^Madonna with the thin oyal face, the silent mouth 



i-l lieuriny C;ilidolal.'rniL 
Majan 



1 \ LiUL ktt U 



PRELIMINARY SURVEY 10 



the sad and heavy eyes ; how different is liis outlook from FiHppo's con- 
tented twinkle. His saints are not healthy beings with whom all goes 
well ; he gives his Jerome the consuming tire of the spirit, and he thrills 
us with the expression of rapture and asceticism in his youthful St. John. 
He is earnest in his treatment of the sacred legends, and his earnestness 
grows with age, till he abandons all charm of outward appearance. His 
beauty has a careworn air, and even \\hen he smiles it seems but a passing 
gleam. How little mirth there is in the dance of the Graces in his 
Allegory of Spring, how strange are the forms ! The crude spareness of 
immaturity has become the ideal of the time. In representing motion the 
artist seeks the strained and angular, not rich curves, and every form is 
delicate and pointed, not full and rounded. The master's daintiness is all 
confined to the flowers and grasses on the ground, the gauzy raiment and 
jewelled ornaments, and here the style becomes almost fantastic. But 
contemplative lingering over details was far from characteristic of 
Botticelli. Even in the nude he soon wearied of minute elaboration, and 
tried to achieve a simpler method of representation by broader lines. 
Vasari, notwithstanding his training in the school of Michelangelo, admits 
that he was an eminent draughtsman. His line is always significant and 
impressive. It has a certain violence. He is incomparably effective in 
the representation of rapid motion, he even gives a certain fluidity to solid 
masses, and when he groups his picture homogeneously round a centre, 
some new result of great consequence is produced. His compositions for 
the Adoration of' the Magi are examples in point. 

FiLiPPixo Lippi (circa 14"59-1504) must be mentioned in the same breath 
with Botticelli. An identity of atmosphere unites two distinct indivi- 
dualities until they become similar. Filippino inherited from his father a 
fund of talent as a colourist, which Botticelli did not possess. The 
outer surface of things attracted him. He treated flesh-tints more 
delicately than anyone. He gives softness and lustre to the hair ; what 
was a question of lines to Botticelli, was a problem of painting to him. 
He shows great discrimination in his colours, especially in the blue and 
violet tones. His line is softer and more undulating ; it may be said that 
he has a certain effen^inacy of sentiment. Early pictures by Filippino 
exist which are charming in their grace of feeling and execution. Some- 
times he seems almost too soft. The St. John in the picture of the 
Virgin with Saints of 1486 (in the Uflfizi) is not the rugged desert-preacher, 

c 2 



20 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



but a sentimental enthusiast. The Uoniiniean in the same picture no 
longer holds a book finnlv in his hand, but merely balances it upon the 
ball of the thumb with a piece of cloth between, while the lithe delicate 
fingers move like sensitive feelers. The subsequent development does not 
correspond to these beginnings. The inner thrill becomes an irregular 
outward movement, the pictures are hurried and confused, and the painter 
M'ho was able to complete Masaccio's chapel with dignity and restraint, 
can hardly be recognised in the later frescoes in S. Maria Novella. He 
has an infinite ^^ealth of decorative ornament, and the fantastrv and 
exaggeration, of «hich Botticelli merely shows a trace, are in him strongly 
marked features. He threw himself eagerly into the representation of 
movement and often achieves magnificent results by a superabundance 
of motion. The An.SHinpth»i in S. Maria sopra ^Minerva with angelh 
revelling like Bacchantes, is a painted Jubilate — then again he sinks 
into mere uproar and becomes e\en crude and connnonplace. AVhen he 
paints the martyrdom of Philip, he chooses the moment when the cross, 
drawn up on ropes, dangles in the air, to say nothing of the grotesque 
costumes in the picture. The impression is conveyed that a consunnnate 
ability has been ruined from ^^■ant of mental discipline, and we understand 
why men of far coarser fibre, like Ghirlandajo, outstripped him. In 
S. Maria Novella, where the two are seen together on adjacent walls, we 
soon tire of Filij)pino's convulsi\e episodes, while Ghirlandajo, solid and 
sincere, fills the spectator with real pleasure. 

Ghiui.axda.to (l-149-l-i90) never suffered from excess of sensibility: he' 
was of phlegmatic temperament, but his frank cheerful spirit, and his 
delight in the pageants of life enlist men's sympathies. His work is very 
entertaining, and he is the painter who tells us most of social life in 
Florence. He jjiTys little attention to the subject of the le<i-ends. He had' 
to tell the story of the Mrgin and of the liaptist in the choir of S. Maria 
Novella ; he has indeed told it, but anyone who did not know it would 
hardly understand it. WXvAi a picture Giotto made of the Presentation of 
Mary in the Temple ! How cunningly he brings the whole scene before us; 
the little Mary, who of her own free will mounts the steps of the Temple, 
the priest bending towards her, the parents who follow the child with, eye 
and hand ! Ghirlandajo's :Mary is a smartly-dressed school-girl, casting 
coquettish side-glances in spite of her rapid advance ; the priest is hai-dly 
visible, for he is concealed by a pillar, and the parents look on at the scene 



PRELIMINARY SURVEY 21 



with indifference. In the :\laiTiage, :Marv makes undignified haste to 
exchange rings, and the \'isitati()n is a pretty l)nt quite secular present- 
ment of a greeting between two women in the street. In the Message of 
the Angel to Zacharias, Ghirlandajo cares nothing that the real action is 
completely obscured by the numerous portrait-figures in the foreground, who 
stand unsympathetically around. He is a painter, not a narrator. The 
object itself gives him pleasure. His heads are admirably life-like, but 
when ^'asari praises his delineation of emotion, no eulogy could be less 
appropriate. Ohirlanflgjn pvfiO-^jvij-i^p.w.. v^^fj^er than in ninvpi^T PTvl- Sceues 
such as the ^Massacre of the Innocents are better rendered by Botticelli than 
In- him. In general he restricts himself to a sjm £le, (juiet presentment, and 
pays his tribute to the prevailing taste for movement bv inserting a hurry- 
ing maid or some similar figure. His observation is never minute. AVhile 
many in Florence ^^•ere making the most searching enquiry into the 
problems of modelling and anatomy, of the technicjue of colour and aerial 
perspective, he was content with results already achieved. He was no 
experimentalist, no pioneer of pictorial science, but an artist who possessed 
the average culture of the day, and thus ecjuipped, aimed at new and 
monumental effects. He raised his art from the small -style to" one dealing 
w'ith the effects of large masses. He \vas rich and yet distinct, gay and 
sometimes even great. The group of the fi\e \\omen in The Birth of the 
Virgin has no equal in the fifteenth century. And the essays which he 
made in motives of composition, centralisation of episodes and treat- 
ment of corner-figures are such that the great masters of the Cinquecento 
could make them their starting point. 

We must take care, however, not to overestimate the value of his 
work. Ghirlandajo's paintings in S. ]\Iaria Novella were completed about 
1-190 ; in the years immediately succeeding Leonardo's Last Supper was 
painted, and if this were available for comparison in Florence, the ' monu- 
mental ' Ghirlandajo A\-ould at once appear poor and limited. The Last 
Supper is a picture infinitely grander in form, and form and subject are 
completely in harmony here. 

The assertion often erroneously made of Ghirlandajo, that he sunnned up 
in his art the results of the Florentine Quattrocento, is in the highest 
degree true of Leoxaiido (born 1452). He is subtle in his observation of 
detail, and sublime in his conception of the whole ; he is a distinguished 
draughtsman, and no less consunnnate a painter ; there is no artist who 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



has not found his o«n special prol^lems treated by him, and further 
drveloped, and lie excels all others in the depth and intensity of his 
J, rst. lalitv. 

As Leonardo is usually discussed among the C'iiiquecentists, we are 
prone to forget that he «as only a little younger than Ghirlandajo, and 
actually older than Filippino. He worked in \ errocchio's studio, and his 
fellow-pupils there were I'erugino and Lorenzo di Credi. The latter was a 
star, which did not shine itself, but receiyed its light from another planet ; 
his pictures seem like careful exen'ises t)n a set theme ; Perugino, on the 
contrary, had originality, and is of great significance in the contin- 
uity of Florentine art. as we shall see later. These pupils have made 
\'errocchio's teaching famous. His (itcTwr was clearly the most yersatile 
in Florence. The combination of painting and sculpture was the more 
desirable since it was precisely the sculptors who were disposed to make a 
methodical attack upon nature, and there was thus less danger of falling 
into the cul-de-sac of an arbitrary indiyidual style. An intimate affinity 
seems to ha\e existed between Leonardo and \'errocchio. We learn from 
Vasari how closely allied their interests were, and how many threads 
Leonardo took up which \'errocchio had begun to weave. Nevertheless 
it is a surprise to see the pupiPs youthful pictures. The Angel in 
Verrocchio's Bapfi.sm (Florence Academy) mo^•es us indeed, like a voice 
from another world, yet how entirely unique a picture like the Miidonna 
()f the Rocks seems in the series of Florentine Madonnas of the Quattro- 
cento ! 

Everything in it is significant and new ; the motive in itself as well 
as the treatment of form ; the freedom of movement in the details, and 
the strict observance of rules in the grouping of the whole, the infinitely 
subtle animation of forms, and the new pictorial \alue given to light 
and shadow, the intention evidently being to give the figures a powerful 
plastic effect by means of the dark background, and at the same time to 
entice the imagination into the depths by a novel method.^ 

' The picture of the Madonun of th: Rock, in the Louvre is so superior to the London 
example, that it seems inconceivable that there should have been any doubt as to its 
originality. The pointing finger of the angel is not beautiful, and the omission of the hand in 
the London picture is .juite intelligible in view of the later idea of beauty. Leonardo however 
if he had supervised the replica, Mould certainly have known how to fill up the' resulting 
gap : in spite of the more prominently advanced shoulder of the angel there is now a hole 



PRELIMINARY SURVEY 



23 




The predouiinant impression of 
the wol-iv at a distance is the reality 
of the %ures, and the painter's in- 
tention of gaining- the effect l)v 
means of pyramidal grouping 
strictly according to rule. The 
liicture has a tectonic structure 
(piite different to the mere sym- 
metrical arrangement of earlier 
pictures. Here there is at once 
more freedom and more observance 
of rule, and the parts have been 
essentially concei\ed in tlieii- con- 
nection «ith the whole. This is 
the Cin(|uecentist stvle. Leonardo 
early shows traces of it. Tliere is 
in the \'atican a kneeling Sf. Jerome 
icHh the Lion hy him. The figure 
is noteworthy and has been long- 
admired, as a study of niinement, 
but the question may well be asked 
whether anyone l)esides Leonardo would have so blended the lines of the 
lion with those of the saint. I know of no one. 

None of the early pictures of Leonardo have exercised greater influence 
than the unfinished Adoration of the Mitg't (Uffizi). This work dates 
from about 1480, and sho\('s traces of the old school in the multiplicity of 
objects. The Quattrocentist delight in comjjlexitv is still noticeable, but a 
new spirit is expressed by the prominence given to the principal moti-se. 
Both Botticelli and Ghirlandajo have painted the Jilonifion of the Mugt in 
such a \\-av that Mary sits in the centre of a circle, but she invariably loses 
by this arrangement. Leonardo was the first to make the main motive, 
dominate. The position of the outer figures at the edge of the picture 
forming a sharply defined enclosing line is again a motive fruitful in 
results, and the contrast between the thronging cro«(l, and the iNIadonna 

in the picture. The drawing and modelling have been strengthened and simplified in the 
Cinquecentist style, by which much delicacy has been destroyed, however spiritual the 
new expression of the angel may be felt to be. 



Rai'li'^*^ts ilurlriiiiia di Fi'ligin'. 
Fr<jiii !Marc Anti-'uio's engraving. 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



in the spacious freedom of her attitude, is a specimen of that most effective 
style which can be attributed to Leonardo alone. Had we nothing but this 
group of IVIother and Balje, we should have to reckon him as a creator, so 
unprecedently subtle is the posture and the co-ordination of the two figures. 
The others have represented Alarv straddling more or less upon the throne, 
he gives her the more graceful feminine attitude, with knees drawn together. 
Later painters took all this from him, and the charming motive of the turn 
of the figure with the Boy bending away to the side \vas repeated exactly 
by Raphael in the Madonna d'l FoVigno. 



II 

LEONARDO 
1452—1519 

No artist of the Renaissance took more delight in the world than 
Leonardo. All phenomena attracted him, corporeal life and hmnan 
emotions, the forms of plants and animals and the crystal brook with the 
pebbles in its bed. The narrowness of the mere figure-painter was 
incomprehensible to him. " Do you not see how many various kinds of 
beasts there are, Avhat different trees, herbs, and flowers, what variety of 
mountains and of plains, of springs, rivers and towns, what diversity of 
dresses, ornaments and arts ? " '■ 

He is a born aristocrat among painters, very susceptible to all that is 
delicate. He appreciated taper hands, transparent drapery, tender skins. 
He especially lo\ed beautiful soft, ^\aving hair. In Verrocchio's picture of 
the Baptism he painted a tuft or two of grass ; one sees at a glance that 
they are his work. No one else has his feeling for the beauty of plants. 

Strength and tenderness are equally sympathetic to him. If he paints 
a battle he surpasses evervone in the expression of unchained passion and 
mightv movement, and yet he can surprise the most delicate emotion, and 
fix the most fleeting expression. He seems when painting some typical 
head to have been seized A\ith the unruliness of a sworn realist ; then 
suddenlv he casts off that mood, abandons himself to ideal visions of 
almost supernatural beauty, and dreams of that soft, sweet smile which 
seems the reflection of an inner radiance. He feels the pictorial charm 
of superficial things, and yet has the mind of a man of science and an 
anatomist. Qualities, which would seem incompatible, are combined in 
^ Leonardo, Tratlato della Pittura. 



26 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



him, i.e. the enquirer''s un^earving zeal to observe and collect, and the 
most subtle artistic sensibility. | 

He is never satisfied to judge things, as a painter, by their outward |» 
appearance, but witli the same passionate interest he eagerly explores the ''■• 
inner structure and the conditions of life in every creature. ', He was. the ■•■ 
first artist who systematically examined the proportions of the body in • 
men and animals, and took account of the mechanical conditions in walking, 
lifting, climbing or carrying, and he was also the one Avho carried out the ■ 
most comprehensive physiognomical observations, and consistently thought 
out the method of expressing the emotions. 

The j)ainter is to him the keen universal eye, which ranges over all 
visible things. Suddenly, the inexhaustible treasure-house of the universe 
was unlocked, and Leonardo seems to have felt himself bound by an 
intense love to every form of life. Vasari relates a characteristic trait ; he 
was sometimes seen to buy birds in the market in order to set them at 
liberty. The fact appears to ha\e made a great impression on the « 
Florentines. ji 

In so universal an art there are no higher and lower problems ; the last t 
subtleties of chiaroscuro are not more interesting than the most elementary * 
task of giving corporeal shape to tlie three dimensions on the flat surface, ' 
and tlie artist, \\ho made the human face the mirror of the soul with 'j, 
unrivalled skill, can still repeat that modelling is the chief consideration, £ 
the very soul of painting. f 

Leonardo had so many new conceptiojis of things that he was forced «' 
to discover new technical means of expression. He became an ex- i 
perimentalist, \\ho could hardly ever satisfy himself. He is said to have I 
considered the Moiiiiii Li.s-a unfinished \\hen he delivered it to the owner. 
Its technique is a mystery. But «here the work is (juite transparent, as in 
the ordinary silver-point drawings, -ivhich all belong to his earlier period, the 
effect is none the less astonishing. It may be said that he was the first to 
treat line sympathetically. His manner of making his outline rise and , 
fall in waves is absolutely unique. He compasses modellino- merely "^ 
by parallel straight strokes ; it is as if he only needed to stroke the surface 
in order to bring out relief. No greater result was ever achieved by 
simpler means, and the parallel lines, akin to those of the older Italian en- 
gravings, give an inestimable homogeneity of effect to the sheets. "\\^e have 
only a few completed « orks by Leonardo. He was an indefatigable observer 




ytiul}- of a Girl's Head, )>y Leonardo da Vinci. 
(Tho ej-cbvoKs and lines on lids addrd by a later inferior hand.) 



LEONARDO 



20 



and an insatiable student, always setting himself new problems, but it seems 
as if he only wished to solve them for himself. He did not care to decide 
or definitely complete any subject, and the problems he set himself were 
so enormous, that he may well ha\e considered any conclusions merely 
provisional. 

1. The Last Suri'Kit 

After Raphael's Sistine Madonna, Leonardo's Last Siippi'r is the most | 
popular picture in all Italian Art. It is so simple and expressive that it 
stamps itself on all memories : Christ in the middle of a long table, the 
Apostles symmetrically arranged on either side of Him. He has said 
" One among you shall betray me ! " and this unexpected saA'ing throws the 
whole assembly into confusion. He alone remains calm, and keeps His 
eyes fixed downwards, and His silence seems to repeat the utterance ; 
" Yea, it is so, one there is among you, who will betray me." It would 
seem as if the story could not have been told in any other way, and vet 
everything is new in Leonardo's picture, and its very simplicity is the 
triumph of the highest art. 

If we look back at the preliminary stages in the Quattrocento, we shall 
find it well represented by Ghirlandajo's Last Supper in Ognissanti, which 
bears the date 1480, and was therefore painted some fifteen years earlier. 
The picture, one of the most sterling works of the master, contains the 
old typical elements of the composition, the conventional scheme which 
came down to Leonardo ; the table ^^ith the return at either end : Judas 
sitting in front by himself ; the twelve others in a row behind ; St. John, 
asleep by the side of the Lord, his arms on the table. Christ has raised 
His right hand, and is speaking. The announcement of the treachery 
must, however, have been already made, for the disciples are full of con- 
sternation ; some are asserting their innocence, and Judas is challenged to 
speak by St. Peter. Leonardo has at once broken with tradition in two 
points. He takes Judas out of his isolation, placing him among the rest, 
and a,bandons the incident of St. John lying on his Lord's breast 
(sleeping, as was added by a later tradition) ; in the modern ^v&y of sitting \ 
this incident must have always produced an intolerable effect. He thus 
obtained a more perfect uniformity of scene, and the disciples could be 
symmetrically divided on each side of the Master. The necessity for a 



30 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 




The Last Supper, liy Ghirlaiidajo. 



tectonic arrangement governs him. But he at once goes further, and forms 
two triad groups on the right and on the left. Thus Christ becomes the 
dominating central figure, differing from any other. In Ghirlandajo's 
work there is an assemblage -H'ithout a centre, -a juxtaposition of more 
or less independent half-length figures, enframed between the two great 
horizontal lines of the table, and of the wall at the back, the cornice of 
\\hich is close over their heads. Unfortunately a corljel of the vaulted 
roof is placed exactly in the middle of the wall. AVhat does Ghirlandajo 
do ? He moves his Christ ijuietly to one side, and does not feel any 
hesitation in doing so. Leonardo, who considered it most important to 
bring out the chief figure prominently, ^Nould never have tolerated such a 
corbel. On the contrary, he looks for new aids to his object in the forma- 
tion of the background ; it is not a mere accident that his Christ is seated ' 
exactly in the light of the door behind. Then he breaks a\\-ay from the 
tyranny of the two horizontal lines. He naturally retains that of the 
table, but the silhouettes of the groups are free abo^■e. Novel effects are 
aimed at. The perspective of the room, the shape and decoration of the 
walls, are made to reinforce the effect of the figures. -^His chief preoccupa- 
tion is to make the l)odies appear plastic and imposing. Hence the depth 



LEONARDO 31 



:)f the room, and the partitioning of the wall w itli tapestried panels. The 
intersections assist the plastic illusion, and the repetition of the vertical 
line emphasizes the divergence of direction. It will be noticed that there 
are nothing but small surfaces and lines, which in no way seriously distract 
the eye from the figures. A painter of the older generation such as 
Ghirlandajo, with his background of great arches, at once created a standard 
of proportion in his picture, measured bv which the figures necessarily 
appear insignificant.' Leonardo, as we ha\e said, only retained a single 
great line, the inevitable line of the table. And even out of this he made 
something new. I do not mean the omission of the rectangular corners, 
in which he had been anticipated ; the new point is the courageous repre- 
sentation of the impossible in order to secure a greater effect ; Leonardo's 
table is far t oo small ! If the covers are counted, we find that the re<juired 
number could not possibly be seated. Leonardo wished to avoid the 
dispers al of the disciples down the lon ^ ta b le, and the imprpssivpnpMs tJuifi 
giv en to the figures has such force that no one not ices the want of room. 
T hus it bec a me possible to bring the figures into com pact groups, and keep 

them inclose ^ contact w ith the central figure. 

And what groups these are ! What action they convey ! The word of 
the Lord has struck like a thunderbolt. A storm of passionate feeling 
bursts forth. The demeanour of the Disciples is not undignified ; they 
bear themselves like men from whom their most sacred possession is to be 
taken away. An immense fund of completely new expression is here 
added to Art, and when Leonardo works on the same lines as his prede- 
cessors, it is the unprecedented intensity of _e'yp''ps<'fn which makes his 
figures appear unrivalled. When such power is brought into play, it is 
obvious that many pleasing accessories of conventional art are necessarily 
omitted. Ghirlandajo still reckons on a public which will thoughtfully 
scrutinize every corner of a picture, and must be gratified by rare garden- 
flowers, birds, and other living creatures. He devotes nmch care to the 
service of the table, and counts out a certain number of cherries to each 
guest. ^Leo nardo restricts himself tn_ bgre essentials. — He is entitled to 

1 The outer lines of Leonardo's picture do not correspond with the section of the room ; 
there is a considerable space above the upper edge of the picture. This intersection is one of 
the devices which makes it possible to compose with large figures in a confined space, with- 
Dut a cramped effect. Both the representation of the room and the effect aimed at hy this 
motive were alien to Quattrocento tradition. 



32 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



expect that the dramatic interest of his picture will prevent the spectat 
from regrettinff the absence of such minor attractions. This tendency 
simplify was carried much farther at a later date. 

It is not our present purpose to describe in detail the figures accordii 
to the motives, yet we must notice the scheme obser\"ed in the distributi( 
of the characters. 

The fitrures at the edtres a re ti-gngnil . Two profiles, absoiiiteU:- vertic! 
enfra nie the whole. Th es e reposef ul lines_arg^jnaintained-4H--the,aecm 
group. Then there is moven]eivU_ri sina: to a mighty crescendo in ti 
groups on the right and left of —tb c Saviour . The figure on his left hai 
throws his arms out w idely " as if he suddenly saw an abyss opening befo 
him." On the right, quite close to the Saviour, Judas recoils with j 
abrupt gesture.' The greatest contrasts are juxtaposed. St^j^ohn si ts. 
the same group with Judas. 

The ma nner in w hi ch the gr oups are contrasted, the relatixJiv-ihfii! Jbe 
to_each other, a nd their skilfuLcoimfiction in the foregi-ound on the _oi 
side, and in the backgronnd_uHjJ}£,other, offer matter for constant refle 
tion to every student, all the more that intention is so skilfully conceal( 
by the apparent in evitability of the ^j j'ran gxiiueat. These are, howevt 
points of secondary importance compared with the one great effect, which 
reserved for the main figure. In the midst of the tumult Christ si 
motionless. His hands are stretched out listlessly with the gesture of oi 
who has said all that he has to say. He is not speaking, as He is in eve: 
earlier picture ; He does not even look up, but His silence is more eloquei 
than words. It is that terrible silence, which leaves no hope. 

In the gesture of Jesus and in His form there is that tranquil grander 
which we term aristocratic, in the sense akin to the term " noble." Tl 
epithet does not suggest itself before the work of any Quattrocentist. V 
should have thought that Leonardo had gone for his model to a dift'ere 
class of men, if we did not know that he himself created the type. I 
has here worked out the best of his own nature, and certainly this distin 
tion is the connnon property of the Italian race of the sixteenth centui 
How the Germans from Holbein onwards ha\e striven to achieve the char 
of such a gesture ! 

' Goethe's mistake, wliicli has since been repeated, must be coiTected. He thou£ 
that St. Peter's movement Mas to be e.xplained bj- his having strucli Judas iu the side w 
a knife. 



LEONARDO 



33 




The Last Supper, from an engraving hy ihirc Antonio. 

It might, however, be said again and again that the point, wliich 
makes the Christ in this picture appear so absohitel\' different from the 
older presentations, is not completely explained hv His form and mien, but 
that the essential difference is found rather in the jjart assigned Him in the 
composition. The unity of the scene is lacking in the earlier painters. 
The Disciples are talking together, and the Saviour is speaking, and it is 
open to question whether a distinction has always been made between the 
announcement of the treachery and the institution of the Lord's Supper. 

In any case i-tA!nas-qui±£ ^ien to the Quattrocentist conception to make 
the u tterance of the speech tli e mof/f of tlie cliief figure. Leonardo was 
the first to venture to do so, and by this boldness he gains the boundless 
advantage that he can now hold fast the dominant tone throughout an 
infinity of supplementary notes. That which has caused the outbreak of 
excitement still continues to ring in our ears. The scene is at once 
momentjnw^_j)erm anent. and exl iauatixe. 

Raphael is the one master who has grasped Leonardo's meaning here. 

D 



34 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

There exists a La<it Supper of his school, which Marc Antonio h 
engraved, Avhere Christ is depicted in a psychohjgically similar attituc 
motionless, gazing fixedly before Him. AVith widely opened eyes He loo 
into space. His is the only full face in the picture, an absolutely vertic 
line.^ Andrea del Sarto appears very niferior by contrast. In a coi 
position of much pictorial Ijeauty he chose the moment when the trait 
is made known, by the dipping of the sop, and 'thus depicts Christ 
turning to St. John, whose hand he takes soothingly into ^is ow 
(Florence, S. Salvi). A beautiful idea, but this single trait destroys t 
domination of the principal figure and the unity of feeling. Andrea ni; 
have certainly said to himself that it was impossible to compete wi 
Leonardo. 

Others have attempted to effect a new result by the introduction 
the trivial; in Baroccio's large Iii.s-fifiition of the LoriT.s Supper (Urbin 
some of the Disciples during the speech of the Sa^•iour are ordering 
servant in the foreground to bring up fresh wine, as if there were son 
question of drinking a health. 

There is one last remark to Ije made on tlie relation of Leonard( 
picture to the space in which it was painted. As is well known, it fori: 
the decoration of the upper end of a long narrow refectory. The roo 
is only lighted from one side, and Leonardo took the existing light in- 
consideration, in determining the illumination of his picture, a proceedir 
by no means unique. It conies from high on the left, and partial 
illuminates the opposite wall in the picture. The differences of tone 
the light and shade are so marked that Ghirlandajo seems monotonoi 
and flat in comparison. The table cloth stands out clearly, and the heai 
irradiated with the light are thrown into strong relief against the dai 
wall. One further result followed from this acceptance of the actu; 
source of light. Judas, who no longer sits apart as in earlier pictures, bi 
is introduced among the rest of the Disciples, is nevertheless isolated. E 

;^ thf ""\v "HP who sits quite Avith bis back tn thp-JiglU.- -and-wfeo 

features are therefore in s hadow. A simple but effective means of eh; 
racterisation, \\hich the young Rubens perhaps bore in mind, when 1 
painted his Lust Supper, now in the Brera. 

' The pen and ink drawing in the AUiertina (Fischel, Baffaefx Zeichnungen, 387) wht 
is now correctly ascribeil to (iiov. F. Penni, cannot be accepted as the drawing made f 
ITarc Antonio's engraving ; it is quite different in composition. 



LEONARDO 



35 



2. Thk, ^Ioxxa Lisa 

The Quattrocentists liad already attempted at various times to o-o 

beyond the mere draw.ny of a model i„ a portrait, tiiev had attempted 

to present sometluno- more than the sum of separate features which make 

up likeness, to show more than the permanent hxerl forms ^vhk■h stamp the 

character. Something of the sj)irit of 

the hoi*r, some indication of the [lassino' 

emotion of the soul, -was to be reflected 

on the face. There are busts of vouno- 

girls by Desiderio which })rt)duce this 

effect completely. They are smiling, and 

the smile is not stereotyped, but seems 

the reflection of the hapjiv moment. 

AVho does not kno«- these young Floren- 
tines with laughing mouths, and eyebrows 
uplifted above eyes «hich even' in the 
marble seem to Hash .'' 

There is a smile, too, on the face of 
Monna Lisa, but only a faint smile : ^ it 
rests in the corners of the mouth, and Uust ..f a Fiurrntiuo Giii, i.y iicsidcrio. 
ripples almost imperceptibly over the 

features. Like a breath of wind which ruffles the Avater, a movement 
passes over the soft contours of this face. There is a play of lights and 
shadows, a whispered dialogue, to A\hich A\e never ■v\eary of listening. 

The brown eyes look at us from the narrow oval of the lids. They are 
not the flashing Quattrocentist eves ; their glance is veiled. The lower 
lids run almost horizontally and recall the Gothic forms of e\'es, in which 
this motive is used to produce the effect of fulness and liquidity. The 
whole surface under the eyes speaks of an intense sensitiveness, of delicate 
nerves beneath the skin. One striking trait is the absence of eyebrows. 
The curved planes of the eye-sockets pass without any sort of accentuation 
into the excessively high forehead. This is no individual peculiarity. It 
can be shown from a passage in // Cortlgiano- that it vas fashionable for 

^ Politian, Gioatra I. 50. " Lampeggiu d'un dolce e vago riso." 

- Baldassare Castiglione, // Cortiijiano (1516). It is said tlieru (in I!k. I.) that the 

men copy tlie women in plucking out the hairs of tlie eyebrows ami fureliead (jidarsi le 

•Aglia e lafronte). 

D 2 




36 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



ladies to pluck out their evebrows. It was also considered a beauty to 
show a wide expanse of forehead, and therefore the hair on the front of 
the head was sacrificed. This accounts for the immense foreheads in the 
statues of voung girls bv Mino and Desiderio. The delight in the 
modelling of the white surfaces, which the chisel reproduced so tenderly 
in marble, outweighed every other consideration. The natural divisions 
were eliminated and the upper parts exaggei-ated out of all measure. The 
style of the Monna Lisa in this respect is thoroughly Quattrocentist. The 
fashion changed immediately afterwards. The forehead was made lower, 
and a distinct advance is noticeable in the rigorously defined eye-brows. 
In the Madrid copy of the J/o«wrt Lisa the eyebrows have been deliberately 
added. Even in Leonardo's own drawings (for example in the beautiful 
full-face with the head inclined in the Uffizi) they have been inserted by 
a later hand (cf the illustration on p. 27). The hair, chestnut brown 
lii<e the eyes, falls along the cheeks in graceful waves, together with a 
loose veil which is thrown over the head. 

The lady sits in an arm-chair, and it is astounding to note the stiff 
perpendicular carriage of her head in the midst of such softness of exe- 
cution. She clearly holds herself according to the fashion of the day. 
An uprightjbearin gj m pi i ed d istinctio n. AVe notice this peculiarity in the 
Tornabuoni ladies in Ghirlandajo's frescoes ; -ijhen they pay visits they 
sit bolt upright. Popular opinion on this point changed, and the altered 
ideas reacted directly on the position of the figures in portraits. 

For the rest, the picture is not deficient in animation. Here Leonardo 
pa ssed for t he first time from the bust with its scanty segment'of the body-, 
to the t hree-quarters lent^^th. He now makes the model sit in profile, givino- 
a half-turn to the head and shoulders and bringing the face full to the froflt. 
The action of the arms is also expressive. The one rests on the arm of 
the chair, the other comes foreshortened from the background, and one 
hand is laid o\er the other. Leonardo does not add the hands as a mere 
superficial enrichment to the portrait. Their e asy indolence of p ose a^l^s 
innnensely to t he imlividiiality of the sit t^i". We can trace the delicacy 
of the sense of touch in these truly soulful fingers. Verrocchio anticipat ed 
Leonardo hcre^ in intr nil ucinu; t luiJia nds even in hjsjiusts; 

The costume is fastidiously simple, almost prim. The line of the 
bodice must have seumc 1 hard to a ripar Cinquecentist. The pleated o-own 
is green, of that green « hich Luini retains ; the sleeves, a yellow-brown ; 




Portrait of Monna Lisa, l.iy LeouarJo da A'inci. 



LEONARDO 39 

nut, as fonnerly, short and narrow, hut reaching to thu wrists, and 
crumpk'd into many transverse folds, thev form an effective accompani- 
ment to the rounded compact surfaces of the liands. The shapelv 
fingers are not burdened l)v any rings. The neck too is without any 
ornament. ^^^ 

'llie JmcktfyowHt-^^»4>t~all-a-iaudatapsL. as in the \\ _orka. of n1d.T 
painters^ Hut it i j^^Bg^- a'^ ft ) rn uirly^,^inniiejliciteLy^c\)niiected _^^^ljh tlie 
figure ;jthen^js^_iL_bivIualrade_het\veeu, and the view is enframed by two 
pillars^ It requires minute inspection to detect this motive, \\hich is not 
unimportant in its conse([uences, for the pillars have the a])pearance of mere 
narrow stripes, save at the bases. The later stvle was not long content with 
such suggestixe dra\\'ing.i The landscape itself, \Nhich stretches away to\\'ards 
the top of the picture above the level of the sitter's eyes, is of a strange 
kind ; ffintastically peaked mountain-labyrinths, w ith lakes and streams in 
the foreground. The st range re sult of the shadowy execution is, that the 
background _jms_ji_dr£ani-like_£.ttiict. Its realii v js of a dif ferent degree to 
that of t he fig ui'e^ and this is no caprice, but a means of achieving the 
impression of corporeality. Leonar do here applies certai n theories as 
to the appearance of distant objetj:s, which he has discussed in his treatise 
on painting {Tratfato dclht Pitturu No. 128. 201). The consequence is 
that in the Salon Carre of the Louvre, \\here the Monna Lisa hangs, e\ery- 
thing else, even pictures of the seventeenth century, seem Hat by com- 
parison. The gradations of colour in the landscape are precisely the same 
as in Perugino's Apollo and Mdrsyas — bro\Mi, greenish-blue, and bluish- 
ffreen into which the blue sky blends. 

Leonardo^'alled modelling the soul of painting. It is before the JI/o«;(a 
Lha, if anywhere, that the meaning of this dictum may be learnt. 1'he soft 
undulations of the surface become a living fact, as if the observer himself 
were gliding over them with a spirit-hand. The aim in view is as yet not 
simplicity, but complexity. Anyone who has studied the picture repeatedly 
will agree that it calls for close inspection. At a distance it soon loses its 
real effect. (This is true also of photographs.) It is in this respect that it 
is principally to be distinguished from the later portraits of the Cinque- 
cento, and in a certain sense it represents the conclusion of a tendency, 
which had its beginnings in the fifteenth century, the completion of that 
"subtle" style, to which the n)asters of plastic art above all devoted their 
' CJ. the sketch for the Maihlalena Donl by Raphael in the Louvre. 



40 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



energits. The iieo-Florentiiie school did not sympathise with this. It 
was only in Lonibardy that its delicate threads ^^ere gathered up and 
continued.^ 

3. St. Axne with the Vihgix and tm|^i-axt Christ 

In comparison with the Moiina Lisa, Leon^^ other picture in the 
Salon Carre, the St. Anne icith the Virgin and the Infant Chri.it fails to 
attract the sympathies of the public. This picture, which was perhaps not 
entirely the work of Leonardo's own hand, has deteriorated in colour, and 
the essential merit of the drawing is little valued and hardly perceived by 
modern eves. And yet in its time (1501) the mere cartoon caused great 
excitement in Florence, so that there was a general pilgrimage to the 
monastery of the Annunziata, where Leonardo's new miracle was to be 
.seen.- The theme might have been barren enough. We remember 
the chilly combination of the three figures in the older masters, 
one in the lap of the other, and all facing the spectator. Out of this 
unattractive arrangement Leonardo developed a group of the richesi 
beauty, and the lifeless framework was transformed into a motive of tht 
liveliest animation. 

/*' Marv sits diagonally on the lap of her mother ; she bends forwarc 
/smilingly and with both hands seizes the boy at their feet, who is trying tc 
bestride a lamb. The Child looks round enquiringly ; He grasps- the pool 
shrinking animal firmly by the head, and has ah-eady thrown one leg acrosi 
its back. The (youthful) grandmother also looks on smilingly at thi 
merry sport. 
~ The problems of grouping attacked in the Last Supper ^re^furihe 
de ^•elopec^ here. The composition is most inspiriting ; much is said in j 
limited .space ; al l the figures sliow a contrast of movement and ^_t be ''"" 
fli cting directions are brough t t<>gftlipi- in tfi n compnct fnrii i It will bi 
noticed that the whole groupjn ay be containe d injui^cj^uilateiul triangle 

' It lias been frequently felt tliiit the BtUe Ferronien (Louvre) is not in harmony wit 
Leonardo's work. This tine picture has lately, by way of experiment, been ascribed t 
BoltratKo. It may be remarked that the figures of the saints at the feet of the Hinen Lor 
in Berlin may belong to this same Boltratiio ; its affinity to the Madonna icitk the Child, 
half length, in the National (iallery, is obvious. It extends even to the pattern of th 
flowered robe of 8t. Leonard. 

- The cartoon no longer exists. The execution of the picture took, place much latei 
Cf. Gazette den Beaux-Art^ 1S97 (Cook). 



LEIONAKDO 



41 



This isjheJivst-oLcffortiv 
which ha^'e be«wj.h'ea(lv 
n oti ced in the Madonna 
of the Bocks, to arrange 
the com posi tion accoixl- 
ing to simple geoine1|'i- 
cal forms. But how loose 
is the eft'ect of the older 
Mork as compared with 
the compact richness of 
the St. Anne group !^ It 
was^ jio__artifitic __ caprice 
which led Leonardo to 
paclc more and more 
action into a continually 
diminishing space ; the 
strength of the impres- 
sion increases in projjor- 
tion. The only difficulty 
was to pre\x'nt any injury 
to the clarity and repose 
of the representation. 
This was the stone» on 
which the weaker imita- 
tors stumbled. Leonardo 




St. Aiiiic with the yirgm iuid Infant Christ, 
liy J.uuuardu da ViiiL'i. 



attained a pe rfect lucidity, and the chief motiye, the inclination of IVIary's 
hodj^-JS— hTesLitibl\iJiumau_an.d_Jjeautiful. All the lunneaning prettiness 
by which the Quattrocento was so often beguiled, has here melted away 
before an unparalleled power of expression. It is well to realise in detail 
the conditions under which the lines of the shoulder and of the neck 
are deyeloped — light against dark — in all their maryellous bloom and 
brilliance. How (juiet and how forceful ! The reticent figure of Anne 
forms an excellent contrast, and at the bottom the boy w ith his upturned 
face and his lamb, rounds off the group most happily. 

There is a small picture of RaphaeFs in ^ladrid ^^■hich reflects the 

' impression made by this composition. As a young man at Florence he 

/ attempted to work out a similar problem — taking St. Joseph in place 



42 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



of St. Anne— but with very poor success. How wooden is the lamb! 
Raphael never became an animal-painter, while Leonardo succeeded in 
all he attempted. (In the Alba Madonna he afterwards more successfully 
adopted the motive of Leonardo's Mary in the turn of the head.) But 
a stronger rival than Raphael entered the lists against Leonardo in the 
person of ^Michelangelo. Of this we shall speak iiter. 

Tjiere are n o traces here of the grasses, the flowers, and the shi mnjemg 
pools of \\ni Madonna_j) f the R ock^ The figure _s_are everything. They 
are life-size. But more important to the impression than the absolute 
scale of size, is the relation of the figures to the space. They.f3llJbhe 
canvas__n)ore eli£ctuaibLjJian__forinei-ly, or, to put it differently, the 
canvas is here smaller in proportion to the contents. This is the scale of 
dimensions which became typical of the C'incjuecento.^ 

4. The Baitle of Axghiaei 

()f the battle-scene, which was intended for the Council Chamber at 
Florence we can sav but little, since the composition no longer exists 
even in the cartoon, but only in an incomplete copy by a later- hand. 
It cannot, houever, be passed over, for the whole question of its origin 
is full of interest. I^eonardo had studied horses more perhaps than any 
other Cin(juecentist. He \\as familiar with the animal from habitual 
intercourse.- He was occupied at ]Milan for vears in designing an 
equestrian statue of Duke Francesco Sforza, a figure which was never 
cast, though a completed model of it once existed, the disappearance 
of which must be reckoned among the great losses of art. As regards 
the motive, he seems at first to have intended to surpass Verrocchio's 
CoUeoni in movement : he achieved the type of the galloping horse, which 
has a prostrate foeman at its feet ; the same idea which occurred to 
Antonio Follaiuolo.^ 

' The impression iimile on contemporaries is clearly depicted in a report of Fra Piero 
di Novellara to the Maroliesa of Mantua dated April 3, 1501, where he speaks thus of the 
cartoon in this connection : " These iigures are life-size, but stand on a small canvas, 
because all are either seated or bending forward, and one rather in front of the other." 
(Ai-chirio xtoriro dell' Aiiv, I.) The London cartoon (Royal Academy) of a group of two 
women with two boys does nut possess the same charm, and might well be a slightly earlier 
and less limpid composition. It plays its part again in Leonardo's school. (Luini, 
Ambrosiana. ) 

- Vasari, IV, 21. 3 Vasari, III. 297. Cf. drawing in Munich. 



LEONARDO 43 



The misgiving, which has lu'tni fxpressed now and again, that 
Leonardo's figuve might have beeoine too pictorial, can, if it is at all 
justified, only refer to sketches of this kind : in anv case his idea of the 
prancing horse cannot be looked upon as definitive : on the contrary in 
the course of the work a gradual adNanee towards repose and simplicity 
seems to have taken place similar to that which may be observed in 
the sketches for the Last Supper. Leonardo ended bv representing the 
horse stepping forward, and thus modifying the marked opposition of 
direction in the turn of the head of horse and rider. ^Ve still find the 
arm with the btdon somewhat bent backwards, bv which contrivance 
Leonardo wished to enrich the silhouette, and to fill up the empty right 
hand corner at the back of the rider. ^ 

A sketch in the Louvre, ascribed to Rubens, is the onlv original 
document from \\hich we may gather a true notion of that great battle- 
picture of the Florentine Council Chamber, in which Leonardo turned 
his [Milanese studies to account. As is well known, Edelingk engraved an 
excellent plate from it.'- It is hard to sav how far the drawing may be 
considered trust^vorthy in detail, but it corresponds in essentials to the 
description ^'asari gives of it. 

Leonardo intended once for all to show the Florentines how to draw 
horses. He took a cavalry episode as the chief motive of his battle-piece : 
the Fight for the Standard. Four horses and four riders in the most 
violent excitement and the closest juxtaposition. The problem of plastic 
richness of grouping has here reached a height which almost verges on 
indistinctness. The northern engraver's interpretation of the picture from 
the pictorial side, is that a border of lights would have surrounded a dark 
central passage, an arrangement with which we may certainly credit 
Leonardo in the first instance. " 

The representation of crowded masses ^\■as then the real "modern'" 
task. It is surprising that battle-pictures are not more often met with. 
The school of Raphael is the only one ^^•hich produced a large work of the 

' The results of the latest researches connected with the Milanese monument, and with 
a later mounted figure with a tomb beneath, for General Trivnlzio, are recorded Ijy ilidler- 
Walde in the Jahrbuch dtr Preiissisrhen Kunilsamm/iinyeii , 1S97. 

= I do not venture to give an opinion as to Rubens' authorship of the drawing in the 
Louvre. Rooses emphatically supports it. In any case Rubens was familiar with the 
composition. His Lioii. Hunt at Munich clearly proves this. 



44 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



sort, and the Battle of Con.stantinc represents the one classical battle- 
piece in the conception of the ^^"est. Art has advanced from the mere 
episode to the representation of real masses in action, but if the famous 
picture by this means shows far more than Leonardo did, it is on the other 
hand so fettered bv indistinctness of conception that the coarsening of 
taste and the decay of art are already apparent. Raphael had certainly 
nothing to do with this composition. 

Leonardo left no school behind in Florence. All indeed, learnt from 
him, but his influence was dimmed by that of Michelangelo. It is obvious 
that Leonardo de vel oped the idea of larai e- fiffures ; t h e fis"'"^ ^imlly 
became all in all for him . Nevertheless Florence would have had a 
different physiognomy, had she been more Leonardesque. The traces of 
Leonardo that survive in Andrea del Sarto or in Franciabigio and 
Bugiardini signify on the \\hole very little. A direct continuation of his 
art is only found in Lombardy, and even here it is a partial one. The 
Lombards are artistically gifted, but they are entirely \\anting in a sense 
of the architectonic. Not one of them ever understood the structure of 
the Last Supper. Leonardo's grouping and his crowded movement were 
unfamiliar problems to them. The more vivacious temperaments among 
the Milanese became confused and wild A\hen they attempted movement ; 
the others are wearisome in their uniformitv. It is typical of the art of 
the Milanese that thev could treat the Beheading of John the Baptist as 
still-life; placing the severed head neatly on an agate-dish. (Picture by 
Solario in the Louvre, L507.) Tliis would have been inconceivable in 
Florence. And equally so the crudeness with which in another case a 
naked arm without anv figure belonging to it protrudes from behind the 
frame to present the severed head to Salome. This was done bv Luini 
(Milan, Borromeo). In such districts the soil is not favourable to great art. 
What the Lombards assimilated was the feminine side of Leonardo's art, the 
passive emotions, and the delicately suggested modelling of youthful forms, 
especially female forms. Leonardo was highly susceptible to the beauty 
of the female form. He it was who first perceived the softness of the skin 
It is therefore surprising that the nude is not more frequent in hi: 
pictures. The femininely delicate St. John in the Louvre (the authenticit} 
of which indeed is not beyond suspicion), is not a favourite ; most peopli 
will feel a desire for less andiiguous female forms. The Leda with th( 
swan would have been the ideal picture. It is only know n from drawincp; 



LEONARDO 



45 



and imitations, in the two versions, standing and crouching. (Cf. Jahrlmch 
der Pirusshchcn Kunstsammhingen. 189) (:M idler- Walde). In both the 
action is of consummate interest. The Lombard followers however 
studied only the treatment of the surfaces, and were quite content with the 
half-length figure as a design. Even the subject of Suxaniia at the Bath, 




Aljiindaiitia, ).>y Giaiil'ictrinu 



where if anywhere a richly modelled figure miglit reasonaljly be expected, 
is restricted to this Imrren design. (Picture bv Luini in Milan, Borromeo. ) 
The unpretentious half-length Abiindantia by Gianpietrino may be given 
here as a type of such Avorks.^ 

' The picture is in the Borromeo (iallery in ilihm. It should be compared with 
Leonardo's Jlonna Lisa. Cf. also the rough life-study in the .St. Petersburg Gallery, which 
shows a model in the attitude of the Jloniia Lim, but with none of Leonardo's art. " It is 
inconceivable how "Waagen could have taken this miserable pasticirio for a study of 
Leonardo's. " F. Harck, Beperlc7-itmi XIX. 4'21. 



Ill 

MICHELANGELO (to 1520) 
1475—1564 

Michelangelo o\er\vhelmed Italian art like a mighty mountain-torrent, 
at once fertilising and destructive ; irresistible in impression, carrying 
everything away with him, he became a liberator to few, a destroyer to 
many. From the first moment Michelangelo was a complete personality, 
almost terrible in his isolation. His conception of the world was that of 
a sculptor, and of a sculptor alone. AYhat in tevpsted bim was tj-ip— xleiiiiitp 
form, and t he biim.anbnd^^loii p sppnipd to Jiim_ worthvj af__repres_ei:ita- 
jtiorh The complexity of things did not exist for him. His humanity was 
not the humanity of this world differentiated in thousands of individuals, 
but a race in itself, a genus that approached the gigantic. 

In contrast to Leonardo's joyousness, Michelangelo stands before us as 
the lonely figure, the scorner to ^\honi the world as it is offers nothing. 
Once indeed he drew an Eve, a woman in all the superb beauty of 
luxuriant nature. For a moment he retained the image of indolent soft 
loveliness, but only for a moment ; consciously or unconsciously, all that 
he created was steeped in bitterness. 

His styl e aims at concentration, at massive concentrated effects. The 
'widely comprehensive, undefined outline repelled him. The condensed 
' method of arrangement, restraint in demeanour, were the outcome of 
temperament with him. 

The ^•igour of his grasp of form and the clearness of his inward con- 
ception are absolutely incomparable. There is no groping, no uncer- 
tainty ; with the first stroke he gives the definite expression. Sketclies bx 
him have _.a , strangely p^i'uetriitiug— powei\ JEliey aj^ji Jm.{jreguated_4V'ith 
form ; every trace of the iiuier structure, the mecli^nisni of_ juovemenU. 



MICHELANGELO 



47 



seems to Jiavejbeen trans- 
muted into expression. 
Thus Ik' forc'os tlie spec- 
tator to share diruetlv in 
his feehngs. , 

And it is niarvL-Uous 
how e\ery turn, eA-er\' 
bend of the hnibs has a 
mysterious power. A erv 
trifling changes of posi- 
tion work with incon- 
ceivable force, and the 
impression is often so 
great that we do not 
in(|uire into the motives 
of the action. It is a 
characteristic of ]\Iichel- 
angelo that he strains his 
means remorselessly to 
secure the greatest pos- 
sible results. He enriched 
Art with unsuspected 
new effects, but he also 

impoverished her, by taking from her her pleasure in the simplicity of 
evei-yday life. K is through h im tJia±_jjiej.mlmrijMnio^us__fouiid its__jray 
into^ the_IieiLaiiiaaiice. B\^ his^causciooiii— eiiijiloyuieutjjf dissonance _on a 
large scale, he prepared the ground for a ne^v st^^le, the baroque. "We 
shall not discuss this till later-. The works of the first half of his life (to 
1520) speak another language. 




Pieta, by Michulangeln 



1. Early Wouks 

The Pietd is the first great work from which we can judge ]\Iichel- 
angelo's aims. It is at present most barbarously placed in a chapel of 
St. Peter's, where neither the delicacy of the details, nor the charm of 
the action can be felt. The group is lost in the vast space, and is 
raised so high that it is impossible to get the chief point of view . 



48 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



To combine into a group two 
life-sized bodies in marble was some- 
thing new in itself, and the task of 
placing the body of a full grown 
man on the lap of the seated woman, 
was one of the most difficult ima- 
ginable. AVe might expect a hard 
horizontal line of intersection, and 
harsh right angles ; Michelangelo 
accomplished what no other artist 
then living could have done. 

BjL.a_iieue?LjJilj^n<lerfu]_Jjends 
and turns, the lines of the bodies 
are Tu might into an easy harmony. 
^Nlarv supports, and yet is not 
crushed h\. the burden ; the corpse 
stands out clearly on all sides and 
is also full of expression in every 
line. The contraction of the 
shoulders and the backward droop 
of the head give an accent of agony 
of incomparable force to the dead 
figure. The Virgin's attitude is still 
more surprising. The tearful count- 
enance, the distortion of sorrow, the 
fainting form, had been portrayed 
bv others. Vlichelangelo savs : the 
Mother of God shall not weep like 
an eartlih' woman. She bends h«- head cabnly ; the features betray 
no emotion and onlv the drooping left hand is eloquent : half-opened, 
it accentuates the nnite monologue of ])ain. 

This is the sentiment of the C'in(|neccnto. Even the Christ shovts, 
none of tlie disligurement of suffering. On tlie formal side the traces of 
Florence and tlie st\le of tlie fifteenth century are more obvious. Tl]£ 
head of ^Nlary is, indeedj like no otlicr, _but it is of the delicate narrow 
tv]ic, jireferred h\ tlie older Florentines. The bodies are in a similar 
st\le. Miclielaiiirelo soon afterwards iK'comes bi'oader and fuller, and even 




Madonna 'A JJniycs, hj- MichulaiigL-li.. 



MICHELANGELO 



49 



the actual i;rour)inir of these tiii'ures, 
would have afterwards seemed to 
him too slight, too transpareut, too 
loose. The corpse, more heavily 
modelled, \\ould ha\e been a greater 
burden, the lines would not have 
diverged so widelv, and tiie two 
figures would ha^•e been coiTdjined 
into a more compact mass. 



A somewhat o.btrusix 



L-hnes 



prevails in the draperies. There 
are bright ridges of folds, and deep 
shadowy hollows, wliich the sculp- 
tors of the Cincjuecento gladly took 
as models. The marble, as later 
also, is highly polished, producing 
intensely brilliant lights. There is, 
on the other hand, no longer any 
trace of gilding. 

Clos ely conne ctedjdih_the-£/<4tf 
is the seatcd_figure_ oiAhe-JIadoiuiu 
of B>iifff.s-^ a work which went out 
of the country immediately after its 
completion, and therefore left no 
marked traces in Italy, although the 
conrpletehu T'"' proble m treated in 
- it - would have made the greatest 
impression. 

The seated ]\Iadonna with the Child, the endlessly varied theme of the 
altar-picture, is rarely found among the Florentines as a plastic group. 
It is more frecjuent in clay than in marble, and the material, unattractive 
in itself, was usually elaborately painted.. But with the sixteenth century 
the use of clay became less popular. Increased pretensions to monu- 
mentality could only be satisfied in stone, and when clay was still used, 
as in Lombardx", it was left uncoloui'ed by preference. 

'■The figure shows in suliordiiiate parts a second weaker hand. JlicheUuigelo seems 
to have left it behind unfinished on his second journey to Rome in 1.5U.3. 

K 




:M.adonna and Child, Ijj' Ucnedcttu da Majanu. 



50 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 







^Michelangelo at once 
dherges from _ ,,-alL_thf.. 
older representations bv 
taking the Child out of 
the ^lother's lap aM'" 
]ilacing Him ,■" a^figure of 
c-onsiderahte "size aiiS" 
strength^ Fjetween Jier ' 
knees, clamberino- about. 



iMadomia with tlif Jl"Ok. Utliuf liy .Mic1k'1,i 



He ^^as enabled bv this 
m()ti^e of the Cliiljl, 
standing ujyi-ight ap.d 
moving, to give new in- 
tei'e^t to the grou p, and 
as a direct consequence, 
the \arietv of effect wja* 
also enhanced bv theiui- 
equal le\-e] of the feet^.of 
the sitting figure. ' 

The Bov is occupied 
with a cliild-like game. l)ut He is serious, far more serious than He 
had been even when He «as in act of blessing. Similarly, the 3Iadonna 
is tlioughtful. nurte : none would \X'nture to address her. A grave, 
almost solenm earnestness broods o\er them both. This manifestation 
of a new a«e and reverence foi' sacred thing> must be comjiared v ith 
tigiu'cs so fullv expressi\i' of Quattrocento sentiment as the terra 
cotta grouj) bv Benedetto da iMajano in the Berlin iNIuseum. We 
feel convinced that anc ha\e ali'eadv seen tliis \\orthv dame somewhere, 
good naturedlv managing her household, and the Child is a merry 
little urchin. He certainly lifts His hand to bless, but there is no 
jieed to take the midter seriouslw The mirthfuhiess which lights 
up the flees and smiles from the s[)eaking e\es is quite (juenched 
in i\Iichelangelo's figures. The head of liis ^'irgin is as little sui;- 
gestive of a niiddle-cl;iss \\oman as is her dress of worldh- pomp and 
magnificence. 

The spirit of a ne\v art sounds stronglv and audiblv, with long drawn 
chords, in the JIiuJoiiiki of Bni^rx. Indeed it nun be said that the 



MICHELANGELO 



.51 




Uuly Family, l.y Jlieheliiiiyx' 



\'ei-tical pose of the head alone is a iiioti\e n\ liieli in its grandeur trans- 
rends any produet of the Vuattroeento. 

In one very ejirly work, tire small relief w itli tlie Mddoiniii on flu- 
Steps; i\Iich elangelo h ad tried to rralise a similar conception. lie wished 
to represent the Madonna gazino; into, vacancy with the Child asleep 
against her breast. His al)solutely unconventional pnrpose is apparent 
in the still timid sketch. Now, in full possession of the re(|uired expression 
he once more reverts to the motive in a relief, the unhm'shed toiido in the 
Bargello ; the Child, tired and serious, resting on the i\lother, and ^lary, 
like a prophetess, gazing out of the composition, upright and fall-faced 
The relief is noteu'orthy also from another aspect. A new ideal of the 
female form is eyohed, a more forceful type, which entirely abandons the 
earlv Florentine delicacy. Large eyes, full ; cheeks, a strong chin. Xe\\ 
motives in the drapery enforce the impression.j* The neck is exposed, and 
the important tectonic attachments are emphasised. The impression of force- 
fulness is supported by a new way of filling the space, with the figures 
touching the frame. No longer the flickering profusion of an ^Vntonio 
Kossellino, with its unceasing undulation of light and shade, fi'om the 



52 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



great projections down to the last ripples of the surface, but a few 
impressive accents. Once more the strict vertical of the head strikes as 
it were the kevnote of the whole. 

The Florentine tablet has a pendant in London, a scene of the most 
charming invention and of a perfected beauty which only flashes forth 
momentarilv in Michelangelo in exceptional cases. 

How strange in comparison is the joyless Holy Family of the 
Tribuna, and how stronglv opposed to the long series of Quattrocento 
Holy Families. The Afadonnn. is a m asculine wo m an with mighty Jxmes, 
her arms and feet bare. Her legs bent under her, she crouches on the 
ground and reaches over her shoulder for the Child, whom Joseph, seated 
in the background, hands to her. A tangle of figures,_cuxi ously crowded 
in action,. This is neither the maternal IVIary (this is indeed never found 
in Michelangelo's work), nor the solemn Virgin, but mei'ely the heroine. The 
contradiction to the treatment demanded by the subject is too marked for 
the observer not at once to notice that the artist here aimed at the mere 
representation of an interesting motif, and at the solution of a definite 
problem of composition. The picture was painted to order ; there may 
be some truth in Vasari's anecdote that Angelo Doni, who gave the com- 
mission, made some difficulties about accepting it. In his portrait 
by Raphael he looks as if he would not have been easily attracted by 
the ideal " Tart pour Tart." 

The artistic problem was clearly this : how is it possible,, to-rxpress 
the greatest amount of- actiojijn a very- limited space ? Tbe-^'ealj:alue 
of t he pic ture liesjiijts conj^entrated plastic richness. It is perhaps to be 
regarded as a sort of competitive >\ork, with which Leonardo was to be 
surpassed. It^belonged to the_periodj\ hen Leonardo's cartoon of St. Anne 
wrth the \'irgin and Child caused a sensation byTRe~c^5ncenTranbirof the 
figures in a newstyle^ Michelangelo puts Joseph in the place of StT^nSe; 
TiT'dtber respects the task is similar ; two adults and a child were to be 
brought into as close a juxtaposition as possible, without confusion and 
without a cramped effect. Certainly ^Michelangelo excelled Leonardo in 
wealth of axis, but at what a cost ! The outlines and modelling are of a 
metallic accuracy. It is in fact no picture, but a painted relief. The 
strength of the Florentines lay at all times in plastic presentment ; they 
were a race of sculptors, not of painters, but here the national talent rises 
to a height which discloses ([uite new ideas as to the province of "good 



MICHELANGELO 53 



drawing." Even Lcoiiaxdo- lia s iiothi i^tg--w4tk4i-atl-iuibi- of iiompaiition with 
the-\"-irgm."'.&-Qubitr etched arm. All is jistmiishinglYJife--liUe^%ttd-.sigiiificaiit. 
every joint and every nuisc'le. It was to some purpose that the arm «as 
bared up to the shoulder,. 

The impression made by this painting with its sharply deKned contours 
and bright shadows did not die away in Florence. Again and again in 
this land of drawing the opposition to the obscurantists in painting crops 
up, and Bronzino and Vasari, for example, are in this respect, the direct 
successors of jNIichelangelo, although neither even remotely attained the 
expressive strength of his modelling. From the Pkta and the seated Madonna 
of Bntfl-es, the Madonna reliefs and the tondo of the Holy Family, wc 
look round with eager anticipation for those works of Michelangelo s youth, 
in which he must have displayed his personality most distinctly, i.e., nude 
male figures. He h^ connnenced with a gigantic nude Hercules which 
has not come down to us ; then, he_executed in_RomejdJ^i«^aineJ;j^ 
the Pie la a drunken ^flc<;/j)/.» (the figure in the Bargello), and soon after- 
w"ards the work -ivhickimtshinfes allin fame, the Florentine Dav'id.^ 



1 The Giovanniao of the Berlin Museum, which is there ascribed to Michelangelo and 
is assigned a date about 1495, i.e. earlier than the Bacchus, cannot be passed over here 
entirely in silence, but I do not wish to repeat what I have already- said elsewhere about 
this figure, which I cannot associate with Michelangelo nor indeed with the Quattrocento 
at all." (Cf. Wdlfflin, Die Jwjemhcerke des Michelangelo, 1891.) The excessivelj- artificial 
motif and the general smoothness of the treatment point to an advanced period of the 
sixteenth century. The treatment of the joints and drawing of the muscles are derived from 
the school of Michelangelo, but not that of his youth : the motive with the freely over- 
stretched arm would have been hardly possible even to the master himself before 1520, and 
the soft modelling, which does not admit of the indication of a rib or the fold of skin in 
the armpits, would find no analogy among the most effeminate of the Quattrocentists. 
But who then was the author of this puzzling figure ? It must have been a man who 
perished young it has been said, otherwise it would have been impossible for us to know 
nothing more of him. I believe that he must be looked for in the person of the Neapolitan 
Girolamo Santacroce (born c. 1502, died 15,37), whose life is to be found in Vasari. (Cf. 
de Domenici, Vite.dei Pittori, Scnltori, ed Architeiti NapoliUuii, II. 1843.) He died early 
and was spoilt still earlier, sinking in the waters of Mannerism. His coming mannerism is 
unmistakeable even in the Giorannino. He was called the second Michelangelo, and the 
greatest hopes were entertained of him. A work, closely akin to tlie Giomnnino, is the 
splendid Altar of the Pezzo family (1524) in Montoliveto at Naples, by which the 
remarkable ability of the precocious artist may be thoroughly judged. It stands near a 
similar design of Giovanni da Nola's, who is usually called the representative of Neapolitan 
plastic art in the Cinquecento, but is much less important. How little the relation of these 
works in Naples is understood is shown by the fact that the scanty and inappropriate 
mention made of them by Jacob Burckhardt has stood unaltered from the first to the 
last edition of the Cicerone. 



54 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 




Daviil, Ijy ilichrlaugclu 



111 the Barchiis and the David 
is to 1)^ recognised the concluding 
expression of Florentine Naturalism 
in tlie sense of tlie fifteenth century. 
It was a thought quite in the spirit of 
Donatello to represent the drunken 
stagger si^^fgested in the Bacchus. ' 
Michelangelo seizes the moment 
when liis toper, no longer quite 
secure on his feet, blinks at the full 
cup Avhich he raises aloft, and is 
obliged to look to a small com- 
panion for support. He chose for 
his model a plump young fellow and 
completed the body with intense 
pleasure in the individual form and 
the ert'enunatelv tender structure. 
He never again experienced this 
pleasure. Both motive and treat- 
ment are here pronouncedly Quattro- 
centistic. This Bacchux is not an 
amusing figure ; it will move no one 
to laughter ; but still there lurks 
a trace of vouthfid humour in it, 
so far as Michelangelo ever could 
be voung. 

The David is still more striking 



from the harshness of the figure. A 
David ought to be the likeness of a handsome and youthful victor. Dona- 
tello thus portra\ed him as a stalwart boy ; thus too, in a different 
taste, Verrocchio represented him as a slim angular youth. "What does 
]\Iichelangelo put forth as his ideal of youthful beauty .'' A gigantic 
hobbledehoy, no longer a boy and not yet a man, at the age when the body 
stretches, when the size of the lindjs does not appear to match the 
enormous hands and feet. Michelangelo's sense of realism must have been 
completely satisfied for once. He shrank from no consetjuences, he even 
ventured to enlarge the uncouth model into the colossal. Then we have 



MICHELANGELO 



55 



the unplcafsaiit attitude, hard and 
anguhir, and the hideous triangle 
between the legs. Not a single con- 
cession has been made to the line 
of beauty. The tigure slious a re- 
production of nature, which on this 
scale approaches the marvellous. It 
is astonishing in everv detail, and 
causes renewed surprise frt)ni the 
elasticitv of the body as a whole, 
but, frankly speaking, it is abso- 
lutely ugly."^ 

In this connection it is note- 
worthy that the David has become 
the most popular piece of sculpture 
in Florence. There exi-sts in the 
Florentines together « ith the speci- 
fically Tuscan grace, — which is some- 
thing distinct from the Roman 
dignity — a feeling for expressi\'e 
ugliness, which did not die out with 
the Quattrocento. AVhen some time 
ago the David was removed from 
its public position near the Palazzo 
Vecchio into the shelter of a closed 
Museum, it was found necessary to 
let the people have a view of their 

" Giant," if only in a bronze cast. It was then indeed that the au- 
thorities decided on an unfortunate manner of exhibiting it, which is 
illustrati\'e of the modern want of taste. The Ijronze figure has been 
erected in the centre of a large (jpen terrace, where the most monstrous 
aspects have to be endured before any sight of the man can be obtained. 
The question of position was discussed in its day, immediately after the 
completion of the figure, bv an assembly of artists, and the minutes of 




Apullo, by ^[ichelaiigelo. 



^ For an explanation of the motive, cf. Symonds, Life nf Jlidielaiige/o Buonarroti, 
I, 99. According to him David is hokling in his right liand the wooden handle of a sling, 
the bag of which (Sj'monds says, " centre,") lies with the stone in tlie left hand. 



56 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

the iiieetino- are still extant ; everyone then held that the work should be 
placed in some recess, either in an arcade of the Loggia dei Lanzi or in 
front of the walls of the Palace of the Signoria. The figure requires this, 
for it is flat in workmanship, and is not intended to be looked at from all 
sides. The main result of its present central position is that its ugliness 
has been intensified. 

What indeed was ^Michelangelo's own later opinion of his David? 
Apai't from the fact that such a careful study from the model became 
absolutely contrary to his ideas, he would also have felt the motive to be 
too barren. We may perceive his matured idea of the excellence of a 
statue, if we examine the so-called Apollo of the Bargello, A\hich was 
finished twenty-five years after the David. It is a youth about to draw 
an arrow from the <|uiver. Simple in its detail, the figure is infinitely 
rich in action. It shows no especial expenditure of force, no prominent 
gestures. The body as a bulk is closely compacted. There is however 
such an impression of depth, such animation and movement in the back 
planes that the David appears poor in comparison, a mere panel. The 
same holds good of the Bacchus. The flat expansion of the surface, the 
projection of the limbs, the perforation of the marble block, are merely 
Michelangelo's youthful mannerisms. He afterwards looked to compact- 
ness and restraint for effect. He must certainly have soon perceived the 
value of such treatment, for it is conspicuous in the flgure of St. Mattheze 
the £va>iffeli.st (Florence, courtyard of the Accademia), which was designed 
immediately after the David.^ 

Nude forms and movement — these were the objecti^•e of Michelangelo's 
art. He had commenced with them \\lien as a mere boy he chiselled the 
Battle of the Centaia-x. On reaching man's estate he repeated Jiis task and 
performed it so excellently that a whole generation of artists modelled 
themselves upon it. ' The cartoon of the Bather.s is certainly the most 
important monument of the early Florentine period, the most compre- 
hensive revelation of the new method of studying the human body. The 
few samples of the lost cartoon which the burin of IMarc Antonio - has 
preserved for us are sufficient to give some idea of the scope of the " great 
drawing" (gran diseg-no). 

1 The Sf. Mal/heir lielongs to a series of the Twelve Apostles which was intended for 
the Cathedral at Florence, but not even this tirst figure was ever completed. 
■' Bartscli. 487, 4S8, 472. Also A'j. Vene-Jano, B. 423. 



MlCHELANG jlg yQJ 



57 




111 1 1 t t 1 tl C t t tl I! tl 

s UiLi 1 M 1 1 1 



It is reasonable to suppose that 
Michelano-elo had a shave in the 
ehoiee of the subjeet. A battle 
seene in which sWords had been 
drawn and armour donned had evi- 
dently been proposed as a pendant 
to Leonardo's fresco in the Coiui- 
cil Chamber. The artist, liowever, 
was permitted to de})ict the moment 
when a company of bathing sol- 
diers were called out of the riyer 
by an alarm. This incident had 
occurred in the Pisan wars. Nothing 
ho-i\'eyer speaks more clearly for 
the high tone of the general artistic 
feeling in Florence than the fact 
that such a scene was admitted 
as the subject of a monmnental 
fresco. 

The clambering up the steep bank, the kneeling and reaching down to 
the water, the erect figures donning armour, and seated forms hastily 
drawing on their garments, the shouting and running, gave opportunities 
for the most varied movement ; and the artist could represent nude forms 
to his heart's content without \iGlating historical accuracy. Later his- 
torical painters would have gladly accepted the idea of the nude figures, 
but would have condennied the subject as too insignificant and too 
anecdotic. 

The anatomists among the Florentine artists had always taken as 
subjects fights between nude combatants. \\c know of two engravings of 
this kind by Antonio Pollaiuolo, and we are told that \'errocchio made a 
sketch of nude warriors, Avhich was intended to be reproduced on the facade 
of some house. Michelangelo's work should be compared with such 
productions. It would then be seen that he has not only invented, so 
to speak, all movement afresh, but that the human figure first becomes 
coherent in his hands. 

The older scenes might exhibit excited combatants, but the figures 
seem as if they \\-ere fixed between invisible barriers. Michelangelo first 



58 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



exhibits the utmost power of movement of which the human form is 
capable. There is more resemblance between all the earlier figures than 
between any two figures of Michelangelo. He seems to have first dis- 
covered the third dimension and foreshortening, although most earnest 
attempts had already been made in that directit>«.. 

The reason of this liberal employment of movement can be traced to 
his intimate knowledge of anatomy. He was not the first to prosecute 
anatomical studies, but he was the first to realise the organic connection of 
the human bod v. He knew on what the impression of movement 
depended, and brought out the expressi\e forms, giving eloquence to every 
joint. 

2. Thk Paintixcis ox thk C'eii.ixg of the Sistixk Chapel 

The spectator mA\ ju«itlv complain that the Sistine ceiling is a torture 
to him. He is forced to study a series of episodes with his head bent back. 
The whole place seems alive with figures which claim to be seen. He is 
drawn this wav and that, and finallv has no option left but to capitulate 
to redundance and abandon the exhausting sight. 

It was ^Michelangelo's own choice. The original design was far 
simpler. The Twelve Apontles were to have been in the spandrils, 
and the flat surface in the middle would have been filled with a mere 
geometrical ornamentation. A drawing of ^VlichelangeloV in London,^ 
shows us how the whole woidd have looked. Some competent critics are of 
opinion that it is a pity he did not adhere to this project, since it would 
have been " more organic."' In anv case such a ceiling would have been 
easier to examine than the present one. The Apostles ranged along the 
sides would have been comfortably seen, and the ornamental patterns of 
the flat middle surface would have given the spectator no trouble. 
Michelangelo refused for a long time to undertake the commission at all. 
But it was his own desire that the ceiling should be painted on this colossal 
scale. It was he who represented to the Pope that the figures of the 
Apostles alone would make but a meagre decoration. In the end he was 
given a free hand to paint whatever he wished. If the figures on the 
ceiling did not so clearly show the triumphant joy of a creator, we might 
say that the painter vented his ill humour and took his revenge for the 
' Publislied in tlie Jahrhneh <hr PrtiixsUrhen KnnstsammUmgen 1892 (WolfHin). 



MICHELANGELO 59 



uncongenial commission. The Lord of the Vatican should have his ceiling, 
but he should be forced to stretch his neck to looi< at it ! 

In the Sistiiie; Chapel A I i ch p1 a n gelaiirst- eiiuuciated the axiom uhi^h 
became signi ficant for the whole cent ury, that uo beauLv is compa rablejo 
that of the human figure. JChe_p.riiaci{Je_rf^ihe jlecojration of flat surfaces 
b^boianiicai de,signs i.s abandoned, aui_where we niight expect the tendrils 
of foHage we have npthing^but hunian forms. There is not an atom of 
ornamental filling on which the eve can rest. ^Michelangelo certainly 
employed gradations and treated certain classes of figures as subordinate. 
In their colour, too, he made distinctions, giving them the tints of stone 
or of bronze, but this is no equivalent, and howe\ er one may regard the 
matter it is certain that the complete covering of the flat surface with 
human figures implies a sort of ruthlessness which furnishes subject for 
reflection. 

On the other hand, the Sistine ceiling remains a marvel, which can 
hardlv be matched in Italy. This decoration is as the thunderous reve- 
lation of a new force in its contrast to the timid pictures, which the masters 
of the previous genei'ation had painted on the walls beneath. The spectator 
should always begin by studying these Quattrocentist frescoes, and should 
not raise his eyes upwards until he has familiarised himself somewhat 
with them. Then and then only will the mighty waves of life on the 
vaulted ceiling exercise their full power on him, and he will feel the 
, 'Sublime harmony which links and joins the huge masses above him. In 
any case, on entering the chapel for the first time the visitor will do well 
to ignorei, i.e. turn his back on, the La.it Judgment, painted on the wall 
above the Vltar. By this work of his old age Michelangelo greatly injured 
the impression produced by the ceiling. The colossal picture has destroyed 
the proportions of everything round, and has set up a standard of size 
which dwarfs the ceiling. 

If we attempt to explain to ourselves the causes which produce the 
effect of this ceiling painting we shall meet with a series of ideas even 
in the arrangement which Michelangelo was the first to conceive. In the 
first place he treated the entire surface of the vaulted roof as a whole. 
Any other artist would have separated the spandrils (as for example 
Raphael did in the Villa Farnesina). Michelangelo did not wish to break 
up the space. He devised a comprehensive structural system, and the 
thrones of the prophets which rise within the spandrils are so incorporated 



00 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



s 



^\ith the central franle^^ol•k that they cannot be detached from the 

whole. 

The distribution lays little stress on the existing formation of the 
ceiling. It was far from the artist's intention to accept and explain the 
given conditions of structure and space. He certainly carried the. main 
cornice over the triangles above the lunettes with much precision, but as 
the thrones of the prophets in the spandrils disregard the triangular shape 
of these parts, so also is the rhythm that informs the entire system quite 
independent of the real structure. The contraction and the expansion 
of the intervals in the central axis, and the alternation of large and small 
paces between the transverse arches, in combination \\ith the striking 
groups in the spandrils, appearing at intervals on the less accentuated 
parts, make up so splendid a composition that ]\Iichelangelo in this alone 
surpasses all earlier achievements. He helps the effect by the darker 
colouring of the neighbouring divisions — the ground of the medallions is 
violet, the triangular segments near the thrones are green — by w hich the 
lighter main motiffi are shown off, and the shifting of the accent from 
the centre to the sides, and then back again to the centre, becomes more 
impressive. 

Combined with this, we get a new standard of size, and a new gradation 
in the dimensions of the figures. The seated Prophets and Sibyls are of 
colossal proportions. Next to them come small and still smaller figures. 
We do not notice at once how far the scale of size diminishes ; we only 
note the wealth of forms and accept it as inexhaustible. 

A further factor in the composition is the distinction between figures 
which were meant to make a plastic effect, and historical subjects which appear 
merely as pictures. 'J'he Prophets and Sibyls and all their accompaniments 
exist as material objects, and have a reality quite distinct from that of the 
figures in the historical subjects. Occasionally the figures (Slaves) seated on 
the frame-work invade the surface of the picture. This distinction is connected 
with a contrast in direction. The figures in the spandrils are at right 
angles to the pictures. They cannot be seen together, and vet they cannot 
be entirely separated. A part of another group is always included in the 
view, and thus the imagination is kept continually on the alert. 

It is marvellous that a collection of so many striking figures could ever 
have been combined so as to present a unit\- of effect. This would have 
been impossible but for the extreme simplicity of the strongly marked 



MICHELANGELO 61 

architectonic framework. Festoons, cornice and thrones are of plain white, 
and this is the first great example of monochrome. The many-coloured 
daintv patterns of the Quattrocento would in fact have been meaningless 
here. The repetition of the white tint and the simple forms is admirably 
adapted to bring an element of i-epose into the prexailing tumult. 



The SruJKCT Pictures 

Michelangelo claims from the first the right to tell his stories by means 
of nude figures. The Sacrifice of Noah, and the Dninkenncs.s of' 
Noah are compositions mainly of nudities. The buildings, costumes, 
furniture, all the magnificent details which Benozzo Gozzoli presents to us 
in his Old Testament pictures, are absent, or are indicated as slightly as 
possible. Tliere is no attempt to introdj^cejkndsxiape. Not a blade of gi'ass, 
if not absolutely necessary. Here and there in a corner a roughly drawn 
fernlike yegetation appears. This symbolised the creation of the yegetable 
world. A tree signifies the Garden of Eden. All means of expression are 
combined in these pictures. The sweep of the lines and the spacing are 
made to add to the expressiveness, and the story is told with a concen- 
trated pregnancy ^^•ithout parallel. This does not apply so much to the 
earlier pictures as to the more advanced works. We shall note the process 
of development.- 

Of the first three pictures the Drunkcmics.s of Xoah takes the foremost 
place for concentration of composition. The Sacrifice of Xoah, notwith- 
standing a clever motive, of which later artists made full use, stands on a 
lower plane. The Flood, which from its subject might be compared with 
the Bathing Soldiers, and is crowded with large figures, appears as a whole 
somewhat fragmentary. The idea that the people behind the mountain 
are advanc-ing to\vanis th&-*^pe'-'tator-is .arei 
^tjon of space. We do not see how luauy there are, and imagine avast 
multitude. It would have been well if many painters, who have attempted 
to represent the Crossing of the Red Sea or similar scenes of crowding 
masses, had been able to achieve such results. The Sistine Chapel itself 
show s in its frescoes an example of the older and poorer style. 

As soon as [Michelangelo obtained more space his powers grew. In the 
picture of the Fcdl and the E.rpidsion he spreads his wings, now fully 



62 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



grown, and in the succeeding pictures soars up\\-ards to heights which no 
other painter has ever reached. \ 

The Fall is famihar to us in earlier art as a group of two standing , 
figures, hardly turned towards each other, and only connected by the inci-; 
dent of the proffered apple. The tree forms the centre of the picture. 
Michelangelo strikes out a new conception of the .scene. Eve, rec-li ning wi th 
all the indojent ease of aljxjinaiiJierback jo the tree. turnsJorjJlKiment 
towards the serpent, and receives the apple from him with apparent indif- 
ference. Adam, who is standing, stretches his hfuid_oyer t_he woman into 
tlie l)raTicTies; ^His moj^;e ment is not ^ very intelligible^ aad_the_ figure is, 
rather iiidist mct But we see from the Eve, that the story is treated by 
an artist, who not only has new ideas of form, but has been able to inter- 
pret theji]2intual£sseBceijf tlie Jsceiie4--tlie^iH4<4eiweH>^the-womaH-^^ 
_ders_ sin f ul t ho ughts^. 

The vegetation of the Garden of Eden is indicated by a few leaves 
onlv. ^Michelangelo did not wish to characterise the spot materially. 
Yet l)v the sweej5 of the lines of the ground and the expanse of atmos- 
phere behind he produced an expression of richness and vividness, which is 
strongly contrasted with the Ijare horizontal lines of the neighbouring 
.scene, in which the misery of the Expulsion from the Garden is depicted. 
The figures of the imhapp\' sinners are thrust forward to the farthest edge 
of the picture, and an empty yawning space is produced, as sublimely 
grandiose as a pause of Beethoven's. The woman with bent back and 
sunken head hurries on, loudly lamenting ; Adam walks away with more 
dignity and composure, trying however to avert the menacing sword of 
the angel — a significant gesture which Jacopo della Quercia had already 
created. 

T/ic Creation of Eve. (iod Almighty appears for the first time in an 
act of creation, which takes place at his word. All the details of earlier 
painters, the grasping of the woman ))y the forearm, the more or less 
violent parting of body from Ijody, are omitted. The Creator does not touch 
the A\onian ; without any exercise of force, but \x ith a quiet gesture, he 
utters the connnand " Aiise !" Eve obeys, in a way that shows how depend- 
ent she is on the movement of her Creator, and tht're is iiifinite beauti:.in 
the manner in whicli the act of rising becomes the gestui-ejif.adQration. 
Michelangelo has shown liere his conception of sensuous physical beauty. It 
is of Roman blood. Actam Ties sleeping by a rockrainneTFcorpse-rite form, 



MICHELANGELO 03 



with the left shoulder proinhient. A stump of wood in the oroimd, on 
which his hand partly rests, produces a further eflf'ect of dislocation in the 
joints. The line of the hill covers and enfolds tlie sleeper. A short houn-h 
corresponds in direction with Eve. The whole is sharply concentrated, 
and there is so little margin to the picture that the Almighty could 
not have held himself upright. The action of creation is repeated four 
times, but ever with new and enhanced powers of movement. First, the 
Creation of ]Man. God does not stand before the recumbent Adam, but 
hovers above him, with a choir of angels, all enclosed in the swelling folds of 
His mantle. The creation is performed bv contact. The Ahnightv touches 
the outstretched hand of the man with the tij) of His finger. Adam lying 
on the hill-side is one of the most famous figures conceived by Miclielangelo. 
He is a combination of latent power and absolute helplessness. The man 
lies there in such an attitude tliat we are sure he cannot rise of himself. 
The drooping fingers of the outstretched hand are elocjuent ; all he can do 
is to turn his head towards God. And yet what gigantic action lies 
dormant_Jn that motionless form, in the upraised leg, in the turn of the 
hips ! How powerful the contrast between the torso which we see con- 
fronting us, and the profile of the lower limbs. 

God upon the Waters. An unsurpassable representation of the all- 
pervading benediction of the Almighty. The Creator appears in the air 
and stretches out His beneficent hands over the face of the waters. The 
right arm is sharply foreshortened. The picture is very abruptly terminated 
bv the frame. Next, the sun and the moon. The motive force grows str(;nger. 
We recall Goethe's words : " A mighty crash heralds the coming of the 
sun." God tlie Father, with thunder in His wake, stretches out His arms, 
while He abruptly turns and throws Ijack the upper part of His Ijodv. A 
momentary check to His flight, and sun and moon are already created. 
Both the arms of the Creator are in motion simultaneously. The right is 
the more strongly emphasised, not merely because the eye follows it. but 
becau.se it is more boldly foreshortened. IMovement always produces a 
more vigorous effect when fo4-eshortened. The figures are still larger than 
before. There is not an inch of superfluous space. 

We here notice the exti'aordinarv licence that ^Michelangelo ttjok when 
he represented God AlmigMv twice in the same picture. His Ijack only is 
seen, hurrying into the deptlV^of the l)ackground, as if shot fi-om a cannon. 
He might be taken at first for the departing demon of dai'kness, but the 



61 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

creation of herbs and plants is intended by this. ^Michelangelo thought that 
a mere hasty gesture was sufficient for this creative act. The countenance 
of the Creator is already turned towards new purposes. There is a trace of 
primitive art in the double appearance of the same figure in the picture, 
but the spectator can convince himself by covering up the one side of the 
composition how greatly the impression of movement is enhanced by 
the repetition of the flying figure. 

In the last picture, \\here Light and Darkness are separated, and God 
Almighty is borne along on sweeping clouds, we can no longer follow the 
• artist quite devoutly. Yet this fresco is calculated above all the others to 
'bring before our eves the marvellous technique of Michelangelo: It is 
clearly apparent how at the last moment, that is, during the actual 
painting, he abandoned the hastily drawn outlines of the preliminary 
sketch, <'ind tried something different. This, it must be noted, was done 
w ith colossal figures and hx an artist who, lying on his back, was unable 
to study the A\hole effect. 

It has been said of Michelangelo that he was interested in motives of 
form as such, and would not accept them as expressive of some given 
subject. This may be true of many of his single figures, but where he 
had a story to tell he always respected its meaning. The Sistine ceiling 
is a proof of this, as well as the frescoes painted by him at a very advanced 
age in the Pauline Chapel. At the corners of the ceiling there are four 
soffits, on which, among other figures, is Judith, giving the head of 
Holofernes to a sla\e. This subject had often been treated and always 
as a more or less indifferent process of giving and receiving. No special 
emotion was usually shown by Judith or by the servant. Michelangelo 
makes his Judith look round towards the bed on which Holofernes is Iving, 
at the very moment when the attendant bends down to receive the head on 
the uplifted charger. It is as if the corpse had moved. The scene thus 
gains inmeasurably in interest. If we knew nothing of ^Michelangelo this 
sample of his powers would be enough to^mark its author out as a 
dramatic painter of the first rank. 



3. The ritopiiKTs axd Sibyls 

A commission for standing figures of the twelve Apostles for the 
Cathedral at Florence had been given to IMichelangelo. and twelve seated 



MICHELANGELO tio 



Apostles had also figured in the first scheme of the Sistine Chapel. 
Prophets and Sibvls were afterwards substituted for these. The unfinished 
St. Matthac sho\\s how ]\Iichelangclo proposed to heighten the expression 
of outward and inward emotion in the case of an Apostle ! A\'hat might 
not be expected of him when he created prophetic types ! He paid no 
attention to conventional attributes, and soon abandoned even the 
traditional scrolls. He \\ent far beyond a representation, in ^vhich the 
names were the first consideration, and the figures were merely intended to 
proclaim with violent gesticulation that thev had said something in life. 
He depicts moments of spiritual life, inspiration itself, rapt soliloquy and 
deep absorbing reflection, tranquil study and eager search through the 
pages of a book. In the midst of such scenes a connnonplace motive is 
introduced, such as the fetching of a book from the shelf, the whole interest 
being concentrated on the physical movement. 

The series contains youthful and aged figures. The expression of 
prophetic contemplation has been reserved by ^Michelangelo for the 
youthful figures. He does not conceive this as a look of longing ecstasy 
in the spirit of Perugino, or as an absorption, a passive receptivity, in the 
manner of Guido Reni, in whose pictures it is often hard to distinguish 
between a Danae and a Sibyl. In ^Michelangelo it is an active condition, 
as of the soul going out to meet an esoteric influence. The types have 
little of the individual. The costumes are completely ideal. What 
characteristic then marks out the Delphic Sibyl from all figures of the 
Quattrocento .'' What gives such grandeur to her action and invests the 
figure with such fateful inevitability ? The motive is the sudden listening 
attention of the prophetess, as she turns her head and raises her arm with 
the scroll for an instant. The head is shown in the simplest aspect, 
absolutely full face. This attitude is a triumph over difficult conditions. 
The upper part of the body is turned aside and bent forward, and the 
outstretched arm forms another opposition which the head had to overcome 
by a turn. Its force is due to the very peculiarity, that the full face is 
presented, notwithstanding difficulties, and that the vertical is elaborated 
from contradictory elements. It is evident that the sharp encounter with 
the horizontal line of the arm lends energy to the direction of the head. 
The treatment of light is also important ; the shadow bisects the face and 
accentuates the middle line, while the vertical line is again emphasised by 
the pointed head-cloth. 



66 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 




The Erythraean Sibyl, by Michelaiigelu. 



The eyes of the pro- 
phetess follow the turn of 
the head to the right 
with a peculiar move- 
ment. It is the power- 
ful, widely opened eyes 
that fix the spectator 
from afar. But the effect 
would be less strong with- 
out the accompanying 
lines, which take up and 
continue the movement 
of the eves and head. 
The hair streams in the 
same direction, as well 
as the great enfolding 
mantle, which surrounds 
the whole figure like a 
sail. 

In this motive of 
drapery there is a con- 
trast between the right 
and left of the silhouette 
On the one side the line 



which is frequent in IVIichelangelo's ^^■orks, 
is smooth and unbroken, on the other jagged and agitated. The same 
principle of contrast is repeated in the various limbs. While the 
one arm is raised aloft with vigorous action, the other seems a mere 
dead weight. The fifteenth century thought it necessary to give equal 
animation to every detail, the sixteenth century obtained more powerful 
results by laying the accent on isolated points. The Erythraean Sibyl is 
seated with one leg thro^Mi across the other. In parts the figure is com- 
pletely in profile. Tiie one arm is extended, the other hangs down and 
follows the compact outline. The drapery here is peculiarly monu- 
mental. An interesting comparison may be made bv glancing back 
at the figure of Rhetoric on PoUaiuolo's tomb of Sixtus, where a very 
similar motive has produced a very dissimilar eft'ect under the fanciful 
treatment of a Quattrocentist. 



MICHELANGELO 67 



Michelangelo represents the ao-ed Sibyls crouching with l)o\\e(l backs. 
The Persian Sibvl holds a book liefore her dim eves. The Cunuean Sibyl 
rrasps with both hands a book which lies at her side, thus giving a 
•ontrast of action in the lower limbs and the bodv. 

The action of the Libyan Sibyl is most complex. She fetches down 
1 book from the wall behind the seat. She does not rise for this operation, 
but reaches for the book with both arms, and looks in another direction. 
Much ado about nothing. 

The line of development in the male figures passes from Isaiah and 
Joel (not from Zacharias) to the more grandly concei\ed figure of Daniel 
rtriting, and past the strikingly simple Jeremiah to Jonah, who with a 
Titanic gesture bursts through all the tectonic bounds enframing him. 

We cannot do justice to these figures if ^\■e do not carefully analyse 
the motives, and consider in every case the posture of the body as a whole, 
md the movement of the limbs in detail. Our eves are st) unaccustomed 
to grasp the relations of bodies to space as thus rendered that we shall 
find it difficult to recall to memory one of the motives, even directly after 
looking at it. Any description seems pedantic and also gives the erroneous 
mpression that the limbs are arranged on a definite system, ^\•hereas the 
diosyncrasy of the conception consists in the blending of formal intention 
ivith the overpowering expression of a psychological moment. This is not 
equally the case everywhere. The Libyan Sibyl, one of the last figures on 
;he ceiling, shows a splendid wealth of line and curve, but the conception 
)f the figure is superficial. In the same group of later figures is Jeremiah, 
lunk in profound reverie, and tiiis form, though simpler than any other, 
;ouches our hearts the most. 

4. The Slaves 

Nude youthful figures are seated above the pillars of the thrones of the 
i'rophets. Facing each other, in pairs, each couple has one of the bronze 
nedallions between them, and seems about to garland it « ith festoons of 
ruit. These are the so-called Slaves. Drawn on a smaller scale than the 
'rophets, their part in the tectonic scheme is to furnish a freely tieated 
inial to the pillars. As crowning figures they display the greatest liberty 
(f gesture. 

This gives us twenty more seated figures ! Tliey present new possi- 
)ilities, for they do not sit fiicing the spectator, but in profile and on very 

F 2 



68 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 




Figures of Slaves, by Michelangelo. (From the first gioup.) 



low seats. Tliev are also — and this is the most important point — nude 
figures. ^Michelangelo wished for once to treat the nude to his heart's 
content. Once more he entered the domain which he had trodden in his 
cartoon of the Bathing Soldiav. Here, if anywhere in the decoration of 
the ceiling, he threw himself body and soul into the task. Bovs with 
garlands of fruit were no unusual subject. ^Michelangelo demanded more 
athletic figures. AVe must not inquire too precisely what each is doing. 
The motive was chosen, because it justified an infinite variety of o-estures 
incidental to pulling, lifting, or carrying. AA'c cannot bind the artist 
down to a direct explanation of each gesture. 

There is no peculiar tension of muscles, but this series of nude figures 
seem to ha\e the faculty of infusing currents of \ italitv into the spec- 
tator ; they constitute " a life-communicating art," to use the words of 
B. Berenson. The proportions are so massive, and the contrasts afforded 
by the disposition of the limbs are so powerful that \\e feel ourselves face 
to face with a new phenomenon. ANHiat parallels can the whole fifteenth 



MICHELANGELO 



69 






1^ 


^^ 


"»-» 

r 1 




i 


IK. % 


* 1 




l^o 




1 :' 




fj^^ 


wff^ 


1 ' i 


u^mbhWssks 


sem 




Wk 






HlB^^ 


iM 




^^ggpp^njz 







Figures uf Slaves, bj- Jlichekuigelo. ([■'ruui the third gruuii.) 



century produce to these imposing figures ? Tlie divergence from the 
normal type in the structure of the bodies is unimportant in comparison 
with the conditions under which Michelangelo presents the limbs. He 
discovered entirely new effects of proportion. He l^rings the one arm and 
the shins closely together as three parallel lines, he then mai<es the do^\'n- 
stretched arm cut the line of the thigh almost at right angles, and keeps 
the figure, from the foot to the crown of the head, in an almost vertical 
line. These are not mathematical variations of some problem A\hich he 
set himself. The unusual gesture has a convincing effect. He is master 
of the figures because of his anatomical knowledge. This is the secret of 
his drawing. An^'one \\'ho has seen the right arm of the Delphic Sibyl 
knows that there is much in store. He treats a simple problem like tlie 
support of an arm in such a way as to convey an entirely new impression. 
The truth of this may be seen by a comparison of the nude youth in 
Signorelli's fresco of Mo-sr.s in the Sistine Chapel with ^NlichelangeloV Slaves 
above the figure of the prophet Joel. And these Slaves are among the 



70 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



earlier and tamer figures. Later, 
he added the effects of fore- 
shortening, more and more boldly, 
until he arrived at the hasty .tcorrd 
of the last figures. The wealth 
of movement gradually increases. 
At first the coupled figures have 
some sort of synunetrical corre- 
spondence, luit at the last they 
form almost complete contrasts. 
^Michelangelo, far from A\-earving 
at length of the ten times repeated 
nioti\"e, found that ideas occurred 
to him in ever fresh profusion. 

To judge of this gradual 
de\X"lopment, we may compare 
an earlv group, the Sla^'cs over 
Joel, with a late group, that 
o\er Jeremiah. In the one a 
simple seated posture in profile, 
no great difference in the ar- 
ran<i'ement of the lindis, and an approximately svmmetrical correspond- 
ence between the figures. In the otl:ier we have two figures, which have 
no points of resemblance either in structure, gesture, or illumination, but 
Avhich mutually enhance their effect by contrast. The indolent figure of 
this pair may well be acclaimed the finest of them all, and not merelv so 
because he has the noblest features. The figure is in repose, but he 
presents grandiose contrasts of direction, and the peculiar movement, with 
the forward inclination of the head, leaves a marvellous impression. The 
most daring foresliortening is combined witli absolute claritv and breadth 
of a])])earance. Even taking into account the important effects due to 
the light here, it is marvellous that the figure can look so motionless. 
This effect woidd not be made but for the clear relief-like breadth of the 
painting. As a mass the figure is very compact, and can even be inscribed 
in a i-egidar geometrical figure. I'he centre of gra\itv is high up, and 
this produces an extraordinary liglitness in the vhole, in spite of the 
herculean liml)s. Ivlodern art has certaiidv never surpassed the negligent 




Figiirt; 'if a Slave, liy ^Uchclangelo. 



MICHELANGELO 71 



ease of this type of seated figure. Strangely onougli, we involuntarilv 
recall a figure from the distant foreign world of Greek Art, the figure of 
the so-called Theseus of the Parthenon. 

The remaining decorative figures on the ceiling cannot be discussed 
here. The small surfiices with the lightly sketched figures look like a 
sketch book of Michelangelo's and are full of interesting motives, showing 
the dawning possibility of figures such as those on the Tombs of the 
Aledici. Far more important are the fillings of the pointed arches, 
recumbent groups covering broad triangular spaces, such as later art 
rec]uired in abundance. Then in the lunettes we have those gviur scenes, 
doubly marvellous in Michelangelo's work, the most astonishing conceptions 
and improvisations. The artist himself seems to have felt the necessity for 
letting the excitement die down here, after the violent physical and 
psychological stress of the upper compartments. These " Ancestors of 
Christ" depict a peaceful uniform existence, the ordinarv life of man. 

A few words in conclusion as to the course of the work. The ceiling 
is not absolutely homogeneous. There are seams in it, so to speak. Every- 
one will notice that the Flood and its two companion pictures the 
Drunlcennes.s and the Sacripcc of Xoah are painted with much smaller 
figures than the other episodes. The work was begun with these three, 
and there is good reason to assume that ]\Iichelangelo found the size of 
the figures inadequate from below. But it is a pity that the scale had 
to be altered, for it was clearly intended that the size should gradually 
diminish in the various classes of figures. There is at first a uniform 
gradation from the Prophets to the nude Slaves, and thence to the figures 
in the episodes, and this produces a pleasantly calm effect. Later the 
inside figures tower far over the heads of the Sla\es, and the scale becomes 
uncertain. If the original proportions had been adhered to, the smaller 
surfaces would have been as successful as the larger, for the scale was 
uniform. Later a change, inevitable but not profitable, ensued. The 
figure of the Almighty in the Creation of Adam is gigantic, and in the 
Creation of Eve we find the same figure considerably smaller.^ 

1 It is probable that with the new scale of proportion a change in the general scheme 
was made and a new series of scenes adopted, for it cannot be imagined that the scenes of 
the Creation with their few figures could have tilled up the space if drawn on the scale o f 
the Flood. Some such change in the general scheme must be assumed, because the Sdcrijici-. 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



The second " seam " appears in the middle. A fresh increase in size is sud- 
denly noticeahle. This time the change is in every part, and the Prophets 
and Slaves are so large that the architectonic system could no longer be 
uniformly carried out. The engravers have indeed disguised the irregula- 
rities, but photographs afford a convincing proof of it. We know that 
there was a long interru23tion in the middle of the -iNork, and Michelangelo, 
when he resumed the painting, ^vas bent on an increase of scale. At the 
same time the colour-scheme was altered. The early historical scenes are 
bright in tone. The skies are blue, the fields green, and there are only 
brilliant tints and light shadows. Later everything is subdued, the sky is 
A\hitish gre\', the draperies dull. The colours lose body and become watery. 
The gold disappears. The shadows become more intense. 

From the commencement Michelangelo worked at the ceiling in its full 
breadth, and therefore progressed simultaneously with the " histories " and 
the figures of the Prophets. He continued similarly after the great inter- 
ruption and it \\as only quite at the last that he rapidly painted in the 
lower figures in the pointed arches and lunettes continuously. 

5. The Tomd of Jui.irs 

The ceiling in the Sistine Chapel is a monument of that pure style of 
the High Renaissance which did not yet know, or did not yet acknowledge, 
any discordant note. The tomb of Pope Julius, if it had been carried out 
according to the original intention, would have been its plastic counterpart. 
As is well known, it was executed much later on a ver}^ reduced scale, 
and in a different style. Of the original figures carved by the master only 
the Moses found a place on the monument. The so-called Dying Slaves went 
their separate way, and eventually found a resting place in the Louvre. 
"We have not only to lament that a monument planned on a grand scale 
was reduced to insignificance, but that its suppression left us absolutely 
without a monument of INIichelangelo's " pure "' style. The work nearest to 
it, but separated by a ^^•ide interval, the San Lorenzo Chapel, is in a very 
different manner. 

It will not be out of place here to make some general remarks on 

ofXoali is admittedly out of its place, so much so that early critics (Condivi) described it 
as the Sacritice of Cain and AhJ, to preserve tlie chronological continuity. This 
explanation, however, is not tenable. 



MICHELANGELO 



sepulchral niominieiits. 
The Florentines had de- 
veloped a type of gorge- 
ous nuiral tombs, ^^'hit■h 
niav be best exenn)litied 
bv the tomb of the Car- 
dinal of Portugal h\ 
Antoni Rossellino in San 
Miniato. The character- 
istic feature is the Hat 
niche, in which the sarco- 
phagus is placed x\ith 
the figure of the deceased 
abo\e it on a couch. In 
a roundel above it is the 
IVIadonna who looks down 
smilingly on the corpse, 
while laughing angels up- 
hold the garlanded me- 
dallion as they fly. Two 
little nude boys, seated 
on the bier, try to show 
tearful faces. Abo\e 

them, on the top of the pilasters, are two full-grown angels, gra^'c and 
majestic, offering the crown and palms. The niche is enframed by a 
draped curtain in stone. 

In order to picture to ourseb'es the original effect of the monument 
an important factor has to be imagined, i.e. colour. The \'iolet marble 
of the background, the green surfaces between the jnlasters, and the 
mosaic pattern of the floor under the sarcophagus are still visible, since 
stone does not lose its colour, but all the painted colours have disappeared, 
destroyed by an age hostile to colour. Traces still remain however, 
enough to allow us to imagine the original effect. E-very detail was 
coloured. The robes of the cardinal, the cushion, and the brocade of the 
pall in which the pattern is also suggested in Ioav relief. The monument 
glittered -with gold and purple. The lid of the sarcophagus had a brightly 
coloured scale patteni, and the ornamental pilasters as Avell as the 




Tomb of the Cardinal of Purtuga], Ijy Antonio Rosscliino. 



74 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



mouldings of the frame were gilded. The rosettes of the soffit were 
gold on a dark ground. The festoons and the angels were also orna- 
mented with gold. The triviality of a stone curtain is only endurable if 
carried out ^\ith colour. The pattern of the brocaded surface and the 
checkers of the lining are still (juite discernible. 

This colouring of statues and monuments ceased suddenly with the 
sixteenth century. The grandiose tombs of Andrea Sanso-\ino in Santa 
]Maria del Popolo show no trace of it. Colour is replaced by effects of 
licrht and shade. The figures stand out white from the dark niches. 

A second element appears in the sixteenth century ; the architectonic 
sense makes itself felt. The early Renaissance was still fanciful in its 
buildings, and according to our ideas there is something adventitious in 
its combination of figures and architecture. Rossellino's tomb is itself 
a striking example of the inorganic style of the fifteenth century. Take, 
for instance, the kneeling angels. Their tectonic coherence is nil, or at 
any rate of the very loosest. The manner in ^^■hich thev stand on the 
top of the pilasters with one foot, with the other in space, offends a later 
taste. Still more offensive is the intersection of the enframing moulding 
by the out-thrust foot, and the absence of any incorporation of the figure 
with the surface of the A\all. The topmost angels also float in space 
without any form or setting. The series of pilasters inserted in the 
niche have no real relation to the whole conception. The crudeness 
of the architectonic feeling generally is shown by the treatment of 
the soffit, \\hich is lined from top to bottom with over-large 
coffered compartments, no distinction being made between the arch and 
the impost. The same strictures apply to the moti\e of the marble 
curtain. 

In Sanso\ iuo's work a definitely organised architectural system is the 
governing idea. Every figure has its appropriate place, and the paiis 
form a homogeneous ^vhole. There is a large niche with a flat back- 
ground, smaller ^•auIted side-niches, and all three are blended into a 
harmonious arrangement of semi-cokunns ^\•ith a complete entablature 
running right across. 

:\Iichelangelo's Tomb of Pojje Julius would lia\e been a similar 
combination of architecture and sculpture. Not a nuu-al tomb, but a free 
structure of si\eral storeys — an clalioratc marble erection, in which 
sculpture and architecture were to combine, as in the Santa Casa at 



MICHELANGELO 



Lovetto. In wealth of 
sfulptuve it Avould have 
surpassed all existing 
nioninnents, and the mas- 
ter who created the Sis- 
tine ceiling would ha\e 
been the man to ha^•e 
breathed a mightv rhythm 
into the whole. The 
tigiu'e of the deceased \n as 
usually represented in the 
fifteenth century as re- 
cumbent, as if sleeping, 
file legs stretched out 
straight, the hands sim- 
ply folded one on the 
other. Sansovino retained 
the idea of sleej), but the 
traditional way of lying 
A\as too simple and con- 
ventional for him. His 
figure lies on its side ; 
the legs are crossed, one 
arm is thrust under the 

head, and the hand hangs a\\ay from the pilloAW Later the figures become 
more agitated, as if evil dreams tormented the sleeper. Lastly the idea 
of sleep is abandoned and the figure is represented as reading or praying. 
Michelangelo's conception was (juite original. He })lanned a group show- 
ing the Pope laid to rest by two angels. The figure is still partly raised 
so that it is quite visible ; presently it was to be entombed like a Dead 
Christ.i 

This A\ould have been a inere incident in comparison with the wealth 
of figures which had been planned. AVe have, as has been said, only 
three of them, the two Slaves from the lower storey of the monument and 
the INIoses from the upper storey. 

1 Cf. Jahrh. d. Freu.ix. KnnstxfimmlmKjen, 1884 (Schmarsow), in which the chief 
document, the drawing in the possession of Herr von Beckerath of Berlin, is publislied. 




ijf a Prelate, by Andrea Saiisuvinu. 
(The upper part omitted.) 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



These Slaves are fettered, less by their actual bonds, than by 
their structural purpose. Tliev Mere to be placed in front of pillars 
and thev share the restraint of the architectonic form. They are 
subject to a force ^^•hich prohibits any movement of their own. 
The tense posture of the body, giving the impression that the limbs 
could not move from a definite spot, which is noticeable in the unfinished 
.SY. Mattheic at Florence, is repeated here with a more pronounced reference 
to the function of the figure. The repi'esentation of the gradual awakening 
of movement in the body is misurpassable. The sleeper stretches himself, 
his head still languidly inclined ; his hand passes mechanically over his 
breast, and the thighs rub one against the other. There is the deep 
drawing of a breath before complete \\aking consciousness. The block of 
marble that remains unhewn so enhances the impression of self-liberation 
that it seems essential to the composition. 

The second slave is not presented full-face, but in profile. 

In his Moses Michelangelo again represents a certain restraint of move- 
ment. The cause of this is to be sought here in the ^•olition of the person 
himself: it symbolises the last moment of self-control before giving way to 
impulse, i.e. before starting up. It is interesting to compare the Moses 
with the earlier series of colossal seated figures sculptured bv Donatello and 
his contemporaries for the cathedral at Florence. Donatello even then tried 
to represent the typical seated figure as instinct with life, but how different is 
Michelangelo's conception of nio\ement ! The relation of this figure to the 
Prophets of the Sistine ceiling is at once apparent. iVIichelangelo required 
an absolutely compact mass for a plastic as opposed to a pictorial presenta- 
tion. This constituted his strength. "We must go back very far to find 
a similar appreciation of coherent bulk. Quattrocentist sculpture seems 
very fragile even ^\here it aims at powerful effects. The Moses displays 
clear traces of Michelangelo's early style. Later he would hardlv have 
approved of the multiplicity of the folds and the deep hollows. In this 
statue as also, e.g., in the Pkia, he aimed at obtaining bright reflections 
by means of a highly polished surface. 

The figure ^^-as intended to stand diagonally ; it is in semi-profile. It 
is necessary to get a clear sight of the leg which is drawn back, since the 
action of the figure depends chiefly on this. From this point of view the 
main directions, the angle formed by the arm \\ith the leg, and the jagged 
outline of the left side, are remarkably distinct. The head, which is turned 



MICHELANGELO 



round, gradually dominates the whole ^^'ith its vertical line. The side 
turned away from the spectator is carelessly executed, and the action of 
the arm and of the hand which pulls at the beard could never have 
produced an interesting effect. 

The figure was finally placed to confront the spectator, and it is difficult 
to realise what the effect would be if it ^^•ere seen obliquelv- The colossus 
was thrust into a niche, and the detached shrine projected by the master 
became a mural tomb of modest proportions. Forty years after its incep- 
tion the work was brought to an end ^\'ith this lamentable compromise. 
Meanwhile the artist's style had undergone a complete modification. The 
statue of Moses was intentionally brought into surroundings which 
seem too cramped for him. He was put into a frame which he 
threatens to burst. The necessary resolution of this dissonance lay in 
the accessory figures. This is a baroque conception. 



/ 



RAPHAEL 

148!3— 1520 

Raphael spent his youth in Unibria. He won special distinction in 
the school of Perugino, and so completely assimilated the emotional style 
of the master that in ^'asal•i's judgment it is impossible to distinguish 
between the pictures of the teacher and his pupil. Never perhaps did a 
pupil of genius so entirely absorb the manner of his master as did Raphael. 
The angel which Leonardo painted in ^'errocchio"s Baptism of' Christ at 
once strikes the spectator as something peculiar, the boyish productions of 
]\Iichelangelo resemble nothing else, but Raphael in his early works is not 
to be diyorced from Perugino . Then he went to Florence. Michelangelo 
had just completed all the great works of his youth, had set up his David, 
and was employed on his Bathing- Soldiers. Leonardo meantime had 
designed the cartoon of his battle-piece, and in his Monna Lisa was achieving 
unprecedented results. He was already in the prime of life and had won 
a brilliant reputation ; ^lichelangelo was on the threshold of manhood 
with an assured future liefore him, ■while Raphael had barely passed his 
twentieth year. What prospect of success could he hope for when pitted 
against these giants .'' J 

Perugino was highly esteemed on the Arno. The youthful Raphael 
may well have been told that he might alway find a public for his master's 
style. He may have l)een encouraged to hope that he would become a 
second or even a better Perugino. His pictures did' not seem to promise 
any more strongly marked individuality. 

Free from any trace of Florentine realism, simple in his conception, 
and modest in his treatment of the line of beauty, Raphael entered the 
lists against the great masters \\ith very slight prospects of success. But 



RAPHAEL 



79 




he brought \\ itli liim a 
talent pecuhar to hini- 
seh', a capacity for grasp- 
ing fresh notions, and 
changing preconceived 
ideaa^. He gave the tirst 
great proof of this when 
lie abandoned the tenets 
of the Unibrian School 
and devoted himself to 
Florentine problems. Few- 
artists «ould have been 
able to do so, but if we 
survey the brief career 
of Kaphael ^\■e shall be 
compelled to admit that 
no one else has ever 
shown similar develojj- 
ment in so limited a time. 
The Umbrian visionary 

became the painter of great dramatic scenes : the \outh who hardh* \en- 
tnred on contact with the things of earth, became a portrait-painter 
whoJiad__a__jp!OwerfLd - grasp of his subject. The draughtsmanship of 
Perugino's style changed into a pictorial manner, and the narrow taste for 
beauty_ in repose ga^e place to the craving for l:)old effects of moving 
ina^aes. We note the first indication of the virile Roman master. 

Raphael had not the fine ner\es and the delicac\- of Leonardo, still less 
the strength of Michelangelo. Wa might sav that he possessed average 
powers, abilities that all could understand, if this expression were not 
liable to be misinterpreted as a disparagement. That happy mean of 
temperament is a thing so rare among us that nowadays it would he far 
easier for most of us to understand a Michelangelo than the frank, briglit 
and kindly personality of a Raphael. The attracti\e amiability of his 
nature, the trait which impressed itself most deeply oh all his associates 
still radiates unmistakeably from his pictures. 

We cannot discuss the art of Raphael without first dealing with 
Peruffino. Praise of Perugino was once considered an infallible means for 



Virgin with SS. hJiistiin iiid Julm tlie Baptist, 
bj Pel ugUK . 



80 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



acquiring a reputation as a connoisseur (Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield). 
At the present day it would be advisable to adopt the opposite course. It 
is known that he employed assistants to repeat his sentimental heads, and 
that the copies escape detection if looked at from a distance. But if only 
one of his heads weve admittedly genuine, we should still be impelled to 
ask what artist had won from the Quattrocento that marvellously intense 
look, so full of soul. Giovanni Santi knew why he coupled Perugino and 
Leonardo in his rhyming Chwnkie, as " par d'etade e par damori." 
• Perugino further possesses a rhythm of line he owes to himself alone. He is 
not only far simpler than the Florentines, but he has an appreciation of 
calm and repose which forms a striking contrast to the restless nature of the 
Tuscans and the elaborate daintiness of the late Quattrocento style. We 
must compare two such pictures as Filippino's Appearance of the 
Madonna to St. Bernard in the Badia of Florence, and the same subject 
treated by Periigino in the Pinacothek at ^Municb. In the former the line 
is sprawling, and there is a confused medley of detail in the picture ; in the 
latter there is absolute repose, quiet lines, noble architecture with a wide 
outlook into a distant landscape, a range of hills fading away delicately on 
the horizon, an absolutely clear sky, an all-pervading silence, so intense 
that one might think to hear the rustling of the leaves when the breath of 
evening stirs the slender trees. Perugino felt the harmony of landscape 
and architecture. He built his simple, spacious halls, not as fanciful decora- 
tions to his pictures, as Ghirlandajo sometimes does, but as an effective 
resonance. No one before him had so wedded figures and architecture. 
(Cf the illustration of the Madonna of 1493 in the Uflizi.) He is from the 
first a master of the art of construction. Where he has to deal with 
several figures together, he builds up a group on a geometrical plan. The 
composition of his Pieta (1495) in the Pitti would have been judged by 
Leonardo to be empty and tame, but in Florence it had then a special 
significance. Perugino with his fundamental doctrines of simplicity and 
observance of law was an important factor \\hen Classical Art was dawn- 
ing, and we realise ho«- greatly he shortened the road which Raphael was 
to take. 

1. Thk Markiage of thk Viiu;ix and the Extombmext 

UaphaijVsJJarriag-cgfth' J "jSi'Uin the BrexaatJjIilaii)I>ea*s4be-^f 
J.5()4^ It ^\as the work of the artist in his t"entv-first year, lle-pupilol 



RAPHAEL 81 

I'erugiuQ -here shows what he had learnt from his master, and we can easily 
distinguish the original and the borro^^■ed features in the picture, because 
Perugino has painted the same subject (the picture is at Caen). ^ The 
compositjoi iis practically ident ical, except that Raphael has reversed the 
two sides, putting the men on the right and the women on the left. The 
other points of divergence are slight. Yet the two pictures are separated 
bv all the difference between a painter who works on traditional lines and 
a more accomplished pupil of fine susceptibilities who, while still restricted 
in stvle, tries to put fresh life into every particle of the accepted motive. 

It is necessarv first to realise this motive. The ceremony of the 
marriase differs somewhat in detail from the usual renderintjs. There is 
no exchange of rings, but the bridegroom holds out to the bride a ring, 
in which she places her finger. The Priest holds the wrists of both and 
joins their hands. The minute detail of the procedure presented great 
difficulties to the artist. It is necessarv to look verv closely into 
Perugino^s picture to discover the real meaning of the act. Raphael has 
here worked independently. He places ]Marv and Joseph farther apart 
and alters their attitudes. Joseph has already made his gesture and the 
■ ring has been brought into the middle of the picture. It is Mary's turn 
to act, and the attention of the spectator is directed to the movement of 
her right arm. This arm forms the real centi'e of action in the group, and 
the reason why Raphael alteredjthe position of the figures is easily under- 
stood. He wanted to display -the important^ lijrib in the front of jthe^ 
pic±urejmdj.mcovered- Noi' is this all : the direction of the movement is 
now taken up by the Priest who guides ]Mary's hand, and instead of stand- 
ing as in Perugino''s painting, a stiff' central line, follows the action with 
his whole person. The movement of his body suggests the " Put it on " at 
any distance. This shows the genius of the born painter, wliose instinct 
at once fastens upon the true pictorial elements of the legend. The idea of 
the standing figures of ^lary and Joseph is the common property of the 
.school, but Raphael endeavoured to individualise and differentiate \vhile 
retaining the types. How delicate is the differentiation of the way in which 
the two hands are grasped by the Priest ! 

The subordinate figures .are^iio arranged that they do not distract 
the eye, but rather se r^•e to concentrate the effect. There is an almost 

^ Berenson assigns the picture to Lo Spagna, painting under the influence of 
Raphael {Gazette des Beaux-Art-i. 1896). 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



audacious interruption of 
the svnuiietry by ^the 
tigure of the suitor break- 
ing his rod in the right- 
hand corner 'of the pic- 
ture. Perugino also has 
this figure, but brings it 
further back. 

The lieautiful httle 
temple in the background 
is placed so high that it 
in no wa^" interferes with 
the lines of the figures. 
This again is in Peru- 
gino's purest style. He 
adopted the same ar- 
rangement in the great 
fresco of Christ ildiver- 
ing the Keys at Home. 
Figures and architecture 
stand apart like oil 
and water. His figures arc intended to stand out in clear silhouette 
against a synnnetricalh" paved floor. How different is the story of 
the Marriage of Marv when told by a Florentine ! Everything is 
clamorous. Gailv coloured fashionable dresses are de r'lguair. The 
public stand and gape, and instead of the quietly i-esigned suitors there is 
a band of stabvart \ (.jivths who ponnnel the bridegroom with their fists. 
There seems to be a general free fight, and the wonder is how Joseph can 
remain calm. What was the meaning of this ? The motive occurs in the 
fourteenth century ^ and has a juristic significance : the blows are intended to 
make the marriage vow impressive. Tlie reader may perhaps recall a similar 
scene in Immermami's Ohcrhnf, where, ho\ve\er, the motive is rationalised 
thus : the future husljand ought to know how it feels to be beaten ! 

Into this Florence Raphael came to create a second school. He was 
hardly recognisable when, three or four \ears after, he produced the 




The Eiitumbiuciit, \'y rorugiiio 



^ Cf. TacUleo Go.l.li (S. Croccl. 
(S. Anmuiziatal. 



Also Ghiilamlajo (S. Jlaiia Novella) and Franciabigio 



RAPHAEL 



83 




The Eiilombment ; I.13- Uiiphacl. 



Entombment in the Bory-hese Gallery. He had abandoned all his char 



tenVticSj_soft lines, clear g roupin"; and gentle .s ensibTTify . Florence had 
worked a revolution in him. IVIovement an d the nude had b ecome th e 
problems that absorbed him. He wished to present lively action, displays 
of_ mechanical p ower , stron o- contrasts. ^Michelangelo and Leonardo had 
made a profound impression on liim. How poor his V'niljrian st\le must 
have seemed to him compared with their achievement ! 

The picture of the Entombment was a connnission from Perugia, but 
the order was certainly giA'en not for this subject but for a Plda such as 
Perugino had painted (his picture in the Palazzo Pitti is well known i). 
Perugino avoids all movement, and only represents the weejjing Ijystanders 

' It may be mentioned in tliis place that tlic j-outliful iigure on tlie extreme right of 
tlie picture corresponds in every detail to the Akis. Braccesi of the Utiizi, \\-liich '^^-as 
former!}' ascriljed to Lorenzo di Credi. 

G 2 



84 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



round the dead bodv, a collection of mournful faces and gracefully drawr 
figures. Raphael's first idea was a Pktd. Sketches for this subject an 
extant. He then adopted the new idea of the carr ying o f the dead body 
He painted two men hfiaring the^pjtiful__burden up to the rock-tomb 
He assigns^ ajdiffeivejit ag£_aud±y:peJoj^cJi,aiid makes the motive complej 
bv drawing- one of^fcbe4H-goii;g backwards, and therefore obliged to^grope 
with his heels for tht^steps^heJiasJx)jnouiit. 

Amateurs are slow to grasp the merit of such purely physical motives, 
and would prefer as much psvchological expression as possible. Everyone 
^^•ill however admit that under any circumstances it is a gain to introduce 
contrasts into the picture, that repose is more impressive side by side with 
movement, and that the sym pathy of the mourners is em phasised byijihf 
i ndifFerence of those who are only concerned with th eir mechanical labo ur. 
Perugino chills our emotion by the uniform expression of his heads, 
whereas Raphael strives to heighten the intensity of the effect by strong 
contrasts. 

The most beautiful feature of the picture is the body of Christ, with 
the shoulder thrust forward and the drooping head. The motive is the 
same as in Michelangelo's Picta. "Htp ai-ti\t''i lnnw]pdgp n f anatp iTij i> 
still superficial, and the heads show no strength of _charaeteri6atten. The 
articulations of the limbs are but slightly defined. The younger of the two 
bearers is not very firm on his legs, and the indistinctness of his right hand 
is distressing to the eye. The inclination of the elder man's head is the 
same as that of Christ's, and the effect of this is disturbing. The preliminary 
studies had avoided this result. Then the whole composition is confused, 
The disagreeable medley of legs has always been criticised, and we may 
further ask, what is the meaning of the second old man .? Once more ar 
originally lucid idea seems to have become obscure. In the original sketcl] 
he was looking down on the Magdalen as she hurried towards him, bul 
here he gazes incomprehensibly into the air, and by the Aagueness of his 
action only accentuates the disagreeable impression produced by the clustei 
of the four heads. The beautiful motive of the Magdalen Wding the 
hand of Christ as she follows the procession may have beai ad(j|)ted from 
an anticpie model.i The action of her right arm is indistinct, "tit^e grouj 
of the fainting \'irgin surpasses as a moti^•e anything of P^^t^k The 

1 Relief in tlie Capitoline Museum (Hector?). Riglietti, CrT»!ptrfosifc^^il|l. I 
plate 171. H. Giinim lias already referred to it in this connection. ', ' 




RAPHAEL 85 

kneeling figure in the foreground was certainly suggested by Michelangelo's 
jMadonna in the Hohj Familij. It is strange that we should liave to 
accept such harsh intersections of arms from the refined Raphael. This 
group as a whole is unpleasantly compressed in the picture. Kaj)haers 
original design was more justly conceiyed. He brought the women into 
the moying procession of the chief group, but let them follow at a short 
distance. The picture is incoherent as it stands. It must be added that 
the square shape is in itself injurious to its effect. To produce the 
idea of a procession the field of action must haye a definite direction. 
Titian's Entombment owes much to the mere proportions of the can\'as. 
What share in the Borghese Entombment must be ascribed to the second 
hand which finished it is a disputed point. It was certainly a task which 
at the time Raphael could not satisfactorily accomplish. He had attacked 
the Florentine problems with a maryellous capacity for learning, but for 
the moment he lost his way oyer the work. 



2. The Flouextike Madoxxas 

Intention and execution are moi'e equal in the Madonna pictures than 
in the Entombment. It is as a painter of Madonnas that Raphael has ^^ 
achieyed popularity, and it may indeed seem superfluous to test the charm 
of these pictures by the coarse methods of formal analysis. They have 
been familiar to us all from our youth up through reproductions more 
numerous than the works of any other artist in the world haye called 
forth. 

The traits of deep maternal loye and of childish innocence, of solemn 
dignity and of a strange supernatural beauty appeal to us so strongly that 
we do not ask for any further artistic meaning. And yet a glance at 
Raphael's drawings would teach us that the problem for the artist did not 
lie where the public thought. The task was not merely the crea liuu^of 
somebeau tiful head or delicious childish attitude, but inyohed the arrange- 
m ent of the group as a whole, the harmonising of the directions of lim bs 
an d bodies in yg r'""* at+ij-ndps No one need be debarred from approach- 
ing Raphael on the emotional side ; but a large proportion of his artistic 
intention will only be reyealed to the spectator when he disregards the 
pleasurable emotions produced by the picture, and proceeds to consider >- 
its form. 



86 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



It will be well to arrange pic- 
tures representing the same subject 
according to a scheme of progres- 
sive development. In this connec- 
tion it is unimportant whether the 
^Madonna holds a book or an apple, 
whether she is seated in the open 
air or not. The basis of classifica- 
tion must not depend on material 
but on formal distinctions. The 
important cjuestions artisticalh' are : 
Avhether the ]\Iadonna is depicted as 
a half-length or full-length figure, 
whether she forms a group with one 
or t^^•o children, or whether other 
adult figures are added. Let us 
begin with the simplest motive, the 
half-length IMadonna, and consider 
first the MadoiDia del Granduca in 
the Pitti Gallery. ArL_absolute. 
simplii dtv marks the ve rtical liii e. 
of^-yre_jtanding principal figure and the_(as vet) somewhat timid aiti-,, 
tude of the_seatedChild_^ The vitality of the picture_js_due_ta— the 
slight inclination of the one head. However perfect the oval of the face 
and however marvellouslv conceived the expression, the effect would not 
have been attained without this simple svstem of direction, in which the 
diagonal line of the head which is inclined, but still seen full face, marks 
the only deviation. The atmosphere of Perugino still breathes from-tbis 
tranquil_ picture. At Florence something more was demanded, greater 
freedom and more vigorous movement. The rectangular disposition of the 
seated Child is discarded in the Cam Tempi Madonna at ]\Iunich, and is 
as a rule superseded by a half-recumbent posture ; the Child has turned 
round and throws his limbs vigorously about (Orlean.'i and Bridgricater 
Madonna.^) ; the ]\Iother is no longer standing but seated, and as she bends 
forward and then again turns aside, the picture becomes at once rich in 
axes of direction. From the Grauduea. and the Tempi there is a regular 
progressive develo]jment to the Sedia (Pitti), in which the little_St._John 




The jMadonna del C4randaca ; by Raphael. 



RAPHAEL 



87 




The JIadunna clclla Wedia ; by Raphael. 



first appears, thus giving 

scope for_ the utmost 

wealth of plastic_ effect 

by the^plajjaf limbs and 

depth of treatment ; and 

these are the more strik- 
ing owing to the com- 
pression of the group, 

which is adapted to a 

closely fitting frame. 

Quite analogousis the 

development of a second 

theme, that of the fulL 

length Madonna Avith 

Jesus and St. John. _ 

Iiaphajj.Jjr,st ti midly c on - 

structed the simple, del i- 
cately-outlined ^pyramid 
of the Madonna del^_Ccir^ 

dellino (in the Uffizi), where the children stand symmetrically on each side 
of the seat«JTTrgnT This i.s a composition on the lines of the equilateral 
triangl e. The lines are draAvn with a delicacv of feeling Ullkno^^■n in 
Florence, and the proportions of the figures are balanced with all the 
accuracy of the goldsmith''s scales. Why does the \ irgin's robe slip from 
her shoulder ? To prepare for the projection of the Ijook in the silhouette ; 
by this device the line glides downA\'ards in a harmonious rhythm. 
Gradually the mast er feels the need of more movement. Th e children 
are distinguished more clearly ;JlLe^..SL--Jahn-is-4ttade-to-kneeLdQi5'n (Bette 
Jardimh'e in the Louvre) or both children are placed on one side {Madonna' 
in the Meadow at Vienna). At the same time the Madonna is seated 
further in the background, so that the figures may be more closely knit, 
and the contrasts of direction more sharply expressed, till at last a pictiire 
is evolved of the marvellously compressed richness seen in the Casa Alba 
Madonna (at St. Petersburg), which, like the Madonna della Sedla, belongs 
to Raphael's Roman period.^ In this we note an unmistakeable reminiscence 

' The Madonna icith the Diadem (Louvre) which enjoys a curious popularity 
(engraving by F. Weber) shows lio-w little of this art permeated Raphael's immediate 



88 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 




Tlie JladouiKi dtl Cardelliuo, Ijy Raphael. 



tioii, far be\'oiul the powers jjt' 
clearness, and 



r 



erucruio. 



of Ix'onardo's Madonna 
icith St. Anne (in the 
Louvre j.-*^ 

A still richer theme 
is treated in the Holy 
Families in the style of 
the Madonna ddla Cam 
Canigiani at Munich, in 
which Mary, Joseph, and 
the mother of St. John 
are collected round the 
two children, i.e. a group 
of five figures had to be 
arranged. Here again 
the first solution of the 
problem was a simply con- 
structed pyramid. The 
two kneeling women who 
hold the children between 
them form the base, and 
the standing figure of 
Joseph the apex. The 
Canig'iani Mjj(lojmM:j§^ 
masterp iece of composj- 
It^ has the U mbxiaiLJxans- 



parency and clearness, and^s_i_iLstiutrL_mtli__the— £lai£ntiiie_ wealtJl.-.Qf, 
movement. Raplraers . Hoiuan dexelopnieirt^^vas in the direction of 8t)lid 
effects and_strong contrasts. An instructive antithesis of the later Roman 
period might be found in the Madonna del divin Aware (Naples), which, 
though not original in execution, affords a thorough illustration of the new 
ideas.'' The typical changes are, that the former ec|uilatcral triangle has de- 
circle. The coarse nioti\-e of the JIailonna, the awkwardnei?s of the posture and the move- 
ment of tlie hand ]jroc]ude all idea of an original composition. {According to Dollmayr 
the picture is by (i. Y. Peniii. ) 

' Cf. tlie almost identical circular composition of the so-called Madonna (hi Lago of 
the school of Leonardo. Titc engraving hy *t. Longhi is a\c11 kno\\"n. 

- Dollmayr (■Jahrhiii-h iltr Snmnil iiiKjin (h:i Alhrhurhstiii /i«/sc)7(i(».<t.5, 1895) assigns the 
picture both as regards execution and design to 0. F. Penni (// Fallon). 



RAPHAEL 



89 




The Jladomm dcUa Casa Allia, Ijy Rarihacl. 



VL'loped unequal sides, that tlie apex 
has been considerably lowered, and 
that what was formerly light and 
limpid has become ponderous and 
heavy. The two women now sit 
together on one side, and Joseph, 
an isolated figure, thrust far into 
the background, balances the com- 
position on the other side. 

In the Madoinut of Francis I. 
(Louvre), a picture with many 
figures, the construction of a group 
is definitely abandoned, and in its 
place we have a picturesque re- 
presentation of intricate masses 
which negatives any sort of comparison with the earliei' compositions.^ 

Finally, the Florentine Raphael ga\e us his conception of the Madonna 
enthroned, and surrounded by Saints, in his large altar-piece, the Madonna 
dd Baldacchino. The simplicity of Perugino is here blended with motives 
in the style of IVa Bartolonnneo, that mighty personality who of all the 
Florentines approached Raphael the most closely. The })lainness of the 
throne is quite in the manner of Perugino. The magnificent firmly 
modelled figure of St. Peter, on the other hand, is clearly due to the 
influence of Fra Bartolonnneo. A complete estimate of the picture would 
have to take into account not only these two factors, but the additions 
made much later in Rome, i.e. the angels above the INIadomia, probably 
all the architecture in the background, and certainly the extensive addition 
to the height of the picture.- Roman taste required more space. If 
Raphael had been gi\-en a completely free hand, he ^^•ould ha\c brought 
the two pairs of Saints into closer groups, would have placed the ^Madonna 
lower down, and would have given a more compact form to the combmed 
figures. A comparison that may be made on the spot, in the Palazzo 



1 DollmajT is inclined to believe that Raphael designed at least tlie group with the 
Virgin. Tenni and Giulio Romano may have shared the execution. 

'- The St. Augustine appear,s to liave been added by an inferior hand. On the other 
hand the boy-angels certainly belonged to the original picture. (This point is disputed, 
e.ij. in the Cicerone.) 



90 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



Pitti, will clearly show how the taste of a decade later would have decidei 
these questions. It is only necessary to compare Raphael's picture wit) 
Fra Bartolommeo''s Risen Christ tcith the four Evangelists. This is a 
once simpler and richer, more diversified and more homogeneous. Ii 
making the comparison we shall also feel that the maturer Raphael woul( 
not have introduced the two nude boy-angels standing before the throne 
charming as they are. There are sufficient vertical lines in the picture 
lines of contrast are required; and therefore the boys are seated in Fri 
Bartolommeo's ^^■ork. 

3. Thk Cameiia della Segxatuiia 

It w_as__£Qrtuiiaie_for^laphael that no subjects of a dramatic natur 
were required from him at the beginiiii]g_of his sojourn in Rome. Hi 
task was to paint calm assemblies of philosophers, pictures of^peacefii 
intercourse, ^v here all depende d on the^ artist' s inve nti\'eness_l!i._ thp trp ^ 
ment of simple movements and his deli cacy of arrangemeut. The se wer 
undertakings peculiarly suited to his talents. He could now display on j 
Targe scale that appi-eciation^ qOMi™21li^^ proportion whicl 

he had dejieloped^LuJjie^compositiou of his MadoiHwis. He found ii 
the Disputa and t he Sc hool of' Athens scope for that skill in the filling o 
spaces and grouping of figureswhichToi'med the basis~df his later 'dramati 
paintings. ' 

It is difficult for the modern public to do justice to the artistic qualitie 
of these frescoes. It looks for the merit of the works in the expression c 
the heads, in the thoughtful relation of one figure to the other. Th 
traveller wishes above all to learn \\hat the figures mean, and is no 
satisfied until he knows their names. He therefore listens gratefully t 
the information given by the guide, who knows the name of each persor 
and is convinced that he understands the picture better after receivinj 
this information. Many people are quite satisfied ^^•ith this, while sora 
more conscientious visitors try to realise thoroughlv the expression of th 
heads, and rivet their attention on the features. Few are able to wras 
the movement of the figures as a whole in addition to studying the facei 
and to appreciate the beauty of motive in the various postures of th 
leaning, standing, or sitting figures. Still fewer have any suspicion tha 
the real value of these works does not lie in the details but in the arrange 



RAPHAEL 



n 



nient of the Avhole, in the harmonious animation of the space. Thev are 
decorative works of the grandest style, decorative, however, in a sense 
other than that in A\hich the word is connnonly used ; I mean that they 
are paintings where the chief jiccgut-i^laid not on the individual head, 
or the psychological connection, but o n the arrangement of the figure s 
njwiji givpn -'urfiice, niuH n their relative positions in the spac e. Raphae l 
had a^txomteiu iistinct for all that ple ases the human eye than any painter 
befoi;e_him^ A profound knowledge oTTiistory is not essential to the 
comprehension of these frescoes. ^ The subjects are familiar ones, and 
it is a mistake to try and find any expression of abstruse philosophical or 
historical ideas in the School of' Athens, or an epitome of ecclesiastical 
history in the Dlspida. Where Raphael wished to be distinctly under- 
stood, he added inscriptions, but such cases are few. AVe are left without 
explanation even of the chief figures, the very pillars of the composition. 
The contemporaries of Raphael did not ask for such explanations. The 
material or spiritual motives of action seemed to them everything ; the 
names were unimportant. No questions \\ere asked as to the meaning of 
the figures. Men took them as they were. 

To share such a point of view as this a sensitiveness of eye is necessary, 
rarely found in modern daj's, and it is peculiarly hard for the Germanic 
races to appreciate fully the importance attached by the Roman to physical 
deportment and bearing. The northern traveller must not therefore become 
prematurely impatient if he finds himself foi'ced to repress a feeling of 
disappointment in this place, where he expected to see a representation of 
the highest spiritual forces. Rembrandt would certainly have painted 
Philosophy differently. 

Anyone who honestly intends to enter closely into the spirit of these 
paintings will find that the only method is to analyse each figure separately, 
learning it by heart, and then noticing the chain of connection, how 
each link presupposes and requires another. This advice has already been 
given in the Cicerone. Probably few have followed it, travellers cannot 
spare the time. Much practice is needed before any firm footing is to be 
found. Our power of vision has become so superficial through its dealings 
with the mass of illustrative painting of the day, the end and aim of which 
is a vague general impression, that when dealing with such works of the 
old masters we have to spell out the rudiments. 

1 Cf. Wickhoff's lucid essay (Jahrh. der K. Preuss. Kviutsammlimfjen, 1893). 



92' THE ART OF. THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



The Disputa 

The four Doctors of the Church to whom the formulation of tli 
dogma is referred, Jerome, Gregory, Ambrose and Augustine are seate 
round an altar on which is a monstrance. The faithful are groupe 
around ; dignified divines, standing in calm meditation ; fiery youths impetu 
ous in prayer and praise. On the one hand reading, on the other demon 
stration. Nameless figures and famous types are assembled in close juxta 
position. A place of honour is reserved for Pope Sixtus I\'., uncle of th 
reigning Pope. 

That is the earthly scene. But above it the Persons of the Trinity ar 
enthroned and with them in a wide semicircle sit a band of saints. A 
the top are hovering angels in parallel lines. Christ, seated and showing 
His wounds, dominates the whole. The Virgin and St. John attend Him 
Over Him is God the Father in the act of benediction, beneath Him, th 
dove. Its head is the exact centre of the vertical axis of the picture. Vasar 
calls the picture La D'isputa dd .santissimo Sacramento and the name .ha 
survived to the present time, inappropriate as it is. T^re is no disputa 
tion in this assembly, hardly any speech. It is intended to repre^ 
the profSuTidestl^'taihty, the assured presencp of the supreme secret n 
t he church, confirmed by the manifestation of the Divine Person 
themselves. -^ n; i ". '*' ^ 

Let us try to realise how the problem would have been solved in the spiri 
of the earlier school. The elements demanded had furnished the theme o1 
innumerable altar-pictures : a number of holy men tranquilly co-existent 
and above them the denizens of Heaven, calm as the moon above the forest 
Raphael .saw at once that n m;e_motive s of stand ing_or sitting WQul dJbj 

inadequate^ The tran quil community nuist be i;;e£la ced by an assembh 

wTthniovement, and a more yignrniis activit}:^ He first differentiated thi 
four figures of the main group (the Doctors of the Church) by the motive! 
of reading, contemplation, rapture and dictation. He created the fiiii 
group of the impetuous youths, and so obtained a contrastliTthrpfiacfifu 
aspect_o^thejtaidiiig_diVines. The emotion portrayed is echoed in i 
more subdued fashion in the pathetic figure in front at the altar steps, turn 
ing his back to the spectator. As a contrast to this, Pope Sixtus stands oi 
the other side, calm and confident, looking to the front with uplifted head 
the true prince of the church. Behind him is a purely secular motive : i 



RAPHAEL 93 

lad leaning over the balustrade, to whom a bystander points out the Pope.i 
Opposite in the other corner of the picture is the same motive reversed, a 
youth who invites the attention of an old man. The old man stands 
bending over a book on a balustrade, others are looking at it, and he 
seems to be expounding the contents. The youth, however, invites him to 
go up to the altar in the middle to which all are pressing. It may be said 
that Raphael wished to depict here heterodoxy or sectarianism," i)ut each 
pei-son in the composition was certainly not determined beforehand with 
such precision, and the motive in itself can hardlv have figured in the 
programme prescribed to Raphael. He had to introduce the Doctors of 
the Church, Pope Sixtus, and other celebrities of popular interest. This he 
did, but in other respects he retained absolute freedom, and Mas able to 
work out the motives he required in anonymous figures. This then is the 
kernel of the matter. The significance of the m ork does^ not lie in ils_^ 
detai ls, but in its genera l composition^ and justice can only be done to it, 
when it is understood that every separate part serves to h elp^the treiipva) 
effect and is d esigned with due regard to the whole. 

But let none feel disappointed at the conclusion that the p.sychological 
aspec t is not the most i nteresting factor here. Ghirlandajo « ould haxe gi\en 
his heads more individuality, and Botticelli « ould have been more convinc- 
ing in the expression of religious feeling. No single figure here could be put 
on a level with the St. Augustine in the Ognissanti. RaphaeFs work is on 
a different plane ; to paint a picture of such dimensions, with such depth, 
such wealt h of action, yet clear in itsjievelopment-and Jiarmouious in every 
component part, was an unprecedented achie\ement. The first problem of 
composition was in connection with the Doctors of the Church. These 
constituted the chief group and had to be brought into due prominence. 
If the figures were to be large, they could not be placed too far back, but on 
the other hand, if this condition had been observed the picture would have 
become a mere strip. After some preliminary hesitation, Raphael, in order 
to give depth to the picture, ventured to remove the Fathers of the Church- 
to the background, raising them on a step. By this expedient the com- 
position was started upon the happiest course. The idea of the step proved 

' As has been often observed, the figure of the pointing man comes from Leonardo's 
Adoration of the Magi, where it appears in a similar place. 

2 Cf. a similar group in Filippino's picture Th>: Triumph of St. Thomas (S. JIaria 
iopra Minerva). 



94 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



most fertile : all the figures join hands to some extent and lead up to tl 
centre of the picture. A further result was achieved by the addition of tl 
gesticulating men on the further side of the altar ; they are placed the] 
in order to call attention to Jerome and Ambrose, who are sitting i 
the back.i 

There is a d istin ct trend from th ej eft side to the centre of the pictur 
The young man «ho is pointing, the praying figures, aiidTthe pathetic figui 
seen from behind combine to produce a sum of uniform action which readil 
attracts the eye. Late Hn his care iiiiJiaph ael continued tn show this s;an 
g ,ttention to the guidance of the spectator's ey e. If then the last of tl: 
central figures, Augustine, who is dictating, has turned round, the objec 
of this posture is apparent : it is intended to be the connecting link wit 
the right side, where movement becomes quiescent. Such considerations c 
form are complete innovations on the methods of the fifteenth centur 
In other respects Raphael has presented the Fathers of the Church in tl 
most simple aspects. A lowered profile and a raised profile differential 
the first two figures, while the third sho^\'s but a slight divergence c 
attitude. They are also seated as natui-ally as possible. This is his svsten 
The remoter figures, if they are to produce the effect of size, admit of n 
other treatment. A Quattrocento picture like Filippino's Triumph c 
St. Thomas fails in this very respect. 

Theacti on is more diversified a s the figures a|iprpachJheforegrounc 
The most varied movements are presented by tlu; bending figures wit 
their companions in the corners. jTbese-eomfiTr ffl-oups are arra nged sy a 
met i-ically, and arejshmlarly^ connected with the more central personagi 
bxiwmtingjigures^,^ Sxmm^trA^^HHideZth^^ole^pkSH^but^^ 
where m ore or les.s disguised in ^jarticular cases._ The greatest divergena 
exist in the middle zone. Even here however there are no violent disloca 
tions. Raphael stiU proceeds cautiously, he wishes to combine and to_caln 
ilotJo.agita±e_and_t^ar asunder. Thejines,are drawn with a del ica cy c 

' They were an afterthought, 

■- The motive of the parapet is due on the one side to the gap caused by a door, whic 
Raphael tried to remedy by Iniilding a little wall above it. He then repeats the motive c 
the other side as a balustrade. The advanced Cinijuecentists could not tolerate sue 
encroachments ni a picture. In the H,J!odon,s room therefore the ground-line of tl 
jncture is taken at the height of the lintel of the door. It is characteristic of Venice th. 
Titian in hisPre.enlntwu of the V,nn» did not hesitate to sacrifice tlie lower limbs of son 
figures to a door. ,Such a solecism would liavc been impossible in Rome. 



RAPHAEL 93 

Feelinff^hatj iijght be called revertuit^ so that no one jai-s on the other, and 
ami dst all the prevailing- abundance the impression of tranquillity 
predominates^ The two portions of the assendjlv are united bv the line 
ofTheJandscape in the backgrolmd andliarmonised with the upper belt of 
fi gure&-a :ith a like in tentiovT 

Throughout this system of tranquil lines a higher object is kept in view 
in the individual distinctness which Raphael gives to every person. Where 
the earlier masters crowded their figures together, and placed one head 
behind another, the artist who had been educated in the simplicity of 
Perugino separated his fig-ures so t hat each is clearly perceptible . Here 
again a novel regard for the eve of the spectator determines the treatment. 
The treatment of masses of figures by Botticelli or Filippino required a 
concentrated examination at close quarters, if one really wished to grasp 
any particular point of the surging mass. The first requi rement of the 
Art ofjjie six teenth c entury, which _ri^■ets ,i\tteiition__ on_the wliole, was 
simplification^ 

Such qualities as these determine the value of the work, and not its 
details of draughtmanship. No one will be able to den\' that the compo- 
sition contains a ^'onjidgrable^ am ount of es sentialLv new movement. INluch 
of it, however, is still timid and uncertain . The figure of Sixtus IV. is 
vague in its effect. It is not clear whether he is moving or standing still, 
and it takes some time io discover that he is propping a book against his 
knee. The pointing youth opposite him is an unfortunate figure derived 
from a motive of Leonardo's. The want of character in the heads, when 
they are not portraits, has an unpleasant effect. We hardly ventui-e to 
think how the picture would l^a^•e looked, had Leonardo represented the 
congi-egation of the faithful by men of Iii.s creation. 

But, as we have already said, the great qualities of RaphaeFs Dispida 
and the real conditions of its effectiveness are the general motives. The 
division n£_t-hp pictorial sni-facp as a whole, the conduct of the lower figures, 
bhe bold sweep of the upper .semi-circle with the saints, the contrast be- 
tween movement and stately enthr onement , the cqmj)ination of richness 
ind repose produce— a^pietm'e— which— bas-oft en been praised as a perfect 
example of the monumental religiou.s^style. Its special characteristic 
s given itHby Ihe most charming commingling of youthful timidity 
vith the consciousness of dawni ng pow er. 



96 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



The School of Athexs 

Theology has its antithesis in Philosophy, the pursuit of profane kiioM 
ledge. The name given to the next fresco, The School of Athena, is almos 
as fanciful as that of the Dispnta. It would be more p e rmissible, indeec 
to call this a Dispnta, for the central m ot ive is th e two leaders c 
pIuTosop hy, Plalio a nd AristotleTengaged in argumen t. Kows of atteii 
five listeners stand around them. Socrates is near them with his ow: 
circle of scholars. He i.s engaged in his favourite interrogation, and count 
off his premisAes on his fingers. Diogenes, in the costume of one who ha 
no needs, is lying on the steps; An elderly man writing, before whom i 
displayed a tablet containing the musical scale, may be Pythagoras. If w 
name Ptolemy and Zoroaster, the astronomers, and Euclid, the geome 
trician, we have exhausted the historical components of the picture. 

The difficulty of the composition was greater Jiere^^ because of th 
absence of the heavenly zone. Raphael was driven to c all architpcti ,irp_ti 
his aid^ He constructed an immense vaulted hall, and placed in the fore 
ground a flight of four steps which extend the full breadth of the picture 
He thus obtained a double stage, the space bejow^ the— steps-and-±hi 
platform above thenx^ 

In contradisiinctkm to Jlie^DM;2i£M,_j5iere_alLth^^ 
the centre, the wh ole picture is hei-e broken up ^ into a num ber-^ 
i>u)lai^djrroup s and even iso lat ed figure s. This is the natiiyal express imi..q 
th£_dixeia>it y of scientific inv fs tigatinu . Any search for definite historica 
allusions is as misplaced here as in the Dlapnta. We seem to divine ai 
illuminating thought in the manner in which the master has grouped th( 
physical sciences below, and left the upper space free for speculative philo 
sophy ; but perhaps even this interpretation overshoots the mark. Th( 
material and spiriti iajjimtues are far richeiihere than in the nixpirtg. J']yi 
subject required a greater variety of treatment, but it is noticeablejlii! 
JiajjlmeTs ^\ni_power_of_ had developed. The 'si tuations -aH 

more clearly defined, the gestures niore significant. It is easier to r em embej 
these f igures. 

RaphaeFs treatment of the group of Plato and Aristotle is especiall} 
noteworthy. The theme \\as no new one. We may take, for comparison 
Luca della Robbia^s relief of Philosophy on the Campanile at Florence 
Two Italians are engaged in a hot dispute with characteristic southerj 



RAPHAEL gy 

energy. The one insists on the text of liis ])ook, the other, gestieulating 
with all his ten fingers, shows him that his argument is absurd. Other 
disputations are to be found on Donatello's bronze doors at St. Lorenzo. 
Raphael was obliged to reject all these motives. The taste of tlie sixteenth 
centurx-jnsu ^ on ret icciiee of gestim^. The great jjliilosophers siand 
side bv side in digniKed composure; the one who extends his arm and 
stretches his outspread hand over the earth is Aristotle, the great con- 
structor ; the other, Plato, points up\\ards with his tijiger. We do not 
kno\/ whence Raphael gained the iviiowledge that enabled him to bring 
out the distinctive characteristics of the two philosophers so ablv, that 
these two figures seem to us crediljle portraits. 

The figures which stand to the right against the frame are also full 
of expression. The isolated figure with the white beard, wrapped in a 
cloak, quite simple in silhouette, is marked l)v a grand trancjuillitv. Near 
him another, leaning on the parapet, looks at the writing bov, who sits 
bending over his work, with legs crossed, facing the spectator. It is l)v 
such figures that the progress made by Raphael nuist be estimated. 

The motive of Diogenes' recumbent position was new. It is that of the 
beggar who lies lazily on the steps of the church. 

Th e richness of detail increases more an d mor e^ Not on ly is the scen e 
of the geometrical demonstration excellently conceived from the ))svcho- 
logical point of view — not only are the different degrees of intelligence in 
the scffoTars w^mcoiitrasted — but the movements of kneelintr and bendintr 

o o 

in the individual characters deserve to be accurately studied and impressed 
on the memory. 

The Pythagoras group is still more interesting. ^V man writing, in 
profile, sitting on a low seat, with one foot on a stool, and behind him 
other figures, pressing for\\ard and bending over ; a perfect garland of 
curve.s. Then a second scribe, also seated, but confronting the spectator, 
his limbs in a more complicated posture. Between the two a standing 
figure, who holds an open book against his thigh and seems to be cjuoting a 
passage from -it. There is no ueed to trouble about the meaning of all 
this'. The figure was not a link in a spiritual sequence ; it owes its being 
to its material motive. The upraised foot, the outstretched arm, the 
turn of the upper part of the body and the contrasted inclination of the 
head give it a distinctly plastic character. If the northern student is in- 
clined to think that this fertile motive has been introduced too artificially, 

H 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



he must be warned against hasty criticism. The Italian has so much mon 
capacity for movement than we ha\e, that liis limits of the natural do no 
coincide \\ith ours. Raphael here is clearly treading in the steps o 
Michelangelo, and in following that stronger will he has temporarili 
abandoned his natural tendency.^ 

We need not limit our examination to the individual figures. Th( 
motives of mo\ement that Raphael presents here and there are a minoi 
achievement compared with the art displayed in the grouping. Earliei 
Art can show nothing in the least comj^arable to the varied arrangemeni 
of these figures. The group of geometrici ans solves a problen i\vliicl 
verv few have essa\"ed : fi\ e jiersons facingj bowards one point, clea rh 
developed, "jure " in line, and displa ying a marvellous variety of a ttitudes 
The same may be said of the group opposite, conceived on a still largei 
scale : the wav in which the nudtiple movements complete each other, ir 
which the numerous figures are brought into the required connection, form- 
ing as it were a chorus of many voices, evervthing appearing natural and 
inevitable, is aproof of consunnnate art. If we look at the construction as 8 
whole, we shall understand what place the youthful figure at the very back 
has in this company. It is conjectured to be a portrait of some prince— 
that may be, but its formal function is merelv to supply the necessary 
vertical line in the tangle of curved lines. 

As in the Dlsputa, the wealth of motives has been brought to the fore- 
ground. At the back on the platform, a forest of perpendicular lines: 
in the foreground, A\here the figures are large, curved lines and compli- 
cated groupings. 

Everything round the cpntral ti^rm-ps is svinniPJ-nVnl ; then the t^nsior 
relaxes^ and on one side the upper mass itself spreadiLJiasy4»metricall} 
down^the steps, a di.sturbance of the equilibrium which is rectified bj_ths 
irregularity of the groups in the foreground. It is x.ertaiiiLY _astouishm^ 
that in this crowd the figures o|;jIljita_aud_A_ristot le in ihe_kista}rt-4)ftet 
ground produce the effect of being the tiiief_fiigiu-e^. This is doublj 
incomprehensible, if we notice the scale of size, which according to an 

1 The ideas borrowea from Donatello's Paduan reliefs (cf. VGge, Eaffad und DonafeltO: 
1896) appear in such subordinate figures that they seem to have been introduced as a jest, 
In any case there is no question of borrowings due to poverty of ideas or difficulties oi 
execution. Koopmann (iJo/oe/'.v Hawlzuchnuwjcu, 1897, p. 380 et seq.) has attempted tc 
prove on remarkaUe evidence that they were introduced without the sanction of the master. 
He treats the matter altogether in too serious a spirit. 



RAPHAEL 99 

ideal calculation, diminishes too rapidly. Thus the Diogenes on the 
steps is abruptly drawn on a scale different to tliat of the nearest figures 
in the foreground. The marvel is explained by the use made of the 
architecture. The disputuig philoso phers stand exactly in the light under 
theJasLaxch. Their figures \\-ould be lost, but fbTtT^s halo, which finds 
an effective repetition in the concentric lines of the nearer vaulting. 
A similar motive, it may be remembered, is emjjloyed in Leonardo's 
LasrSuppeF. ~Ifth!rarc;hitecteiiic element were rem oved the w hole com - 
position_ would fa ll to pieces. 

Tfae^ r elation o f the figures to the space is^onceiyed iji an entirely new 
spirit. The inunense vaulted roof extends far above the heads of the 
persons, and the tranc^uil, solenui atmosphere of this atrium communicates 
itself t6~T;he spectator. Bramante's new St. Peter's was designed in this , 
spirit, and accwding to ^asari, JJramante should be considered the creator , 
of the architecture of this fresco.i - 

Pauxassus 

It may be imagined that Raphael was glad not to find himself con- 
fronted with a similar wall for the third task, the fresco of The Poets. 
The narrower surface here with the window in the niijMle naturally 
sugge sted ii ew_ ideas. Rapliael_jiurjjiounted the window with a hill, a 

' The Dinputa and the School of Athena are chiefly known in Germany Ijy engravings, 
and the profound impression of space given Ijy the frescoes is reproduced better bj' even a 
superficial engraving than bj' any photograpli. Volpato in the eigliteentli centur}' engraved 
the Stanze in a set of seven plates. These have been for generations the mementoes the 
traveller brings homo with him from Kome, and these jilates are not to be despised even 
now that Keller and Jacoby have essaj'ed the task with otlier eyes and diflferent means. 
Jos. Keller's Dispula, which appeared 1841-1856, puts all earlier reproductions into the 
shade by the size of the plate, and, while V^olpato only attempted to reproduce the general 
configuration, the pencil of the German explored all the depths of Raphael's individual 
manner. He places his figures on the surface clearly and firmly with strong shadows. He 
wishes above everything to be distinct, and makes no attempt to reproduce tlie light 
tone of the fresco. Here Jacob}' takes up the task. His School of Athens is the result of 
ten years' work (1872-1882). The layman can have no idea what an amount of consideration 
it required to find equivalent tones for each colour- value of the original on the copper-plate, 
to reproduce the softness of the painting, and to achieve distinctness while retaining the 
light scale of tones of the original. The engraving was an unparalleled achievement. 
Jacoby, in his essay, went perhaps altogether beyond the limits imposed on the graphic 
arts in such cases. There are still many amateurs who in such reductions of the original 
prefer the abbreviated expression of the simple old line-engraving, because in this it is 
easier to retain some trace of the monumental impression. 

H 2 



10(3 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

veritable Parnassus, and thus oljtained Uvo small foregrounds below ani 
a somewhat Ijroader podiu m at the, top. Here Apollo is seated wit] 
the Muses. Homer too is there, and further in the background Danti 
and \ irgil ^ are recognisable. The other poets throng the slopes of th( 
hill, strolling alone or standing togetljer in groups. Here a desulton 
conversation is ))eing kept up, there Vonie spirited recitation arresti 
attention. As the^j^ompositi ^n of poetrv is _jiot a social task, it wai 
djffitiilt — to i/nc any psycholdtfjcal cliaracteristics to a group of poets 
Raphael confined himself to giving the expression of inspiration twice 
to Apollo, who is plavu itrTJie violi n an d lookiiig jipwards^nTapture, aii^ 
to^Homer, \vTro^Ts reciting in jjpetic frenzy and also looking heavenward. 
_but «ith sightless eyes. Arti.stic economics required a diminution ol 
excitement in the other groups. The divine madness shows itself only 
in the vicinity of the god. Beneath, we are amongst mortals like our- 
selves. Here again we ilo not feel called upon to give anv definite names. 
Sappho is pointed out ])y an inscription, since otherwise no one would 
have kno\\-n -iNho the maiden Mas. Raphael clearly \\anted a female 
figure as a contrast. Dante is insignificant, almojit an accessory. 
The really striking figures are typtiTlo whom no names are iissignable. 
Two portraits only are distinguishable among the crowd ; one, quite on 
the edge of the j)icture to"" the right, is probiJi)ly Sanna/aro ; the other, 
to whom RajAael has given the pose'" of his portrait, of himself, has not 
yet been satisfactorilv identified. "^ -^ •» 

Apollo is seated, as are the two :Muses at his side. He is painted full- 
face, while the :\luses are in profile. They thus f\)rm a broad triangle^ tlie 
centre of the ami position . The other Muses stand about in the back- 
ground. The line is terminated on the right by a dignified figure, turned 
away from the spectator, and balanced by the full face of the Homer on 
the opposite side. These t«<) forms are the corner pillars of the Parnassian 
assemlily. This grandly constructed group resolves itself in the boy at 
Homer's feet, who transcribes his verses. On tlie opposita side the 
composition takes an unexpected direction, extending into the background; 
the man next to the female figure, turning her Iwk, is only three parts 
visible ; he is walking from the farther side of tlic hill into the picture. 

1 Virgil is no longer fantastically arraye.l, with poinrcd crown, as Botticelli still 
represented lum, l,ut in the antique dress ot tlie Ron.an poet. Signorelli was the first to 
represent hun thus. (Orvieto). Cf. Volkniann, leouo./ntlia l>aHti:.,cu S 7'> 



RAPHAEL 101 

The impression of this niovemeiit is intensified by the laurel-bushes 
which appear in the background. Attentive study of the disposition o f 
tVip__trpes in th e picture will show how important their share in it is . 
They introduce a diagon al movement into the composition and mod ify the 
stif fness of the symmetrical arrangement . W ere it not for the trees i njjie 
p°nt'T I -^pnllri wn|]]f1 l ie lost amono' the ^fuse s 

A contrast between the groups of the foreground is attained, in so far 
as the left group, with a tree as its focus, appears Vjuite isolated, while 
on the right the connection with the upper figures is maintained. There 
is the same trend of movement as in the iJjchool of Athens. 

The Pa/-n as.si<.t shows les.s ___beautv of space tlian the o ther pictures \ 
There is a sense of jiarrowness and c rowding on the hill, and few of the 
figures are con vincing^ Too man\- of them suffer from a certain pettiness. 
T he most unsuccessful creations are the Muses, mere shapes who are non e 
t he more interesting for certain details taken from "anti(iue'' a rt. One of 
the seated figures imitates Ariadne in her drapery, the attitude of the other - 
might be traced back to a figure like that of the so-called " Suppliant 
Woman." The exposure of the shoulder, a moti^ e obtrusiveh- repeated, i s 
also taken from the anti c] ue. If only Raphael could have shown us more 
life-like shoulders ! In spite of all the roundness of form we think regret- 
fully of Botticelli's angular Graces. One simple touch of naturalism 
strikes us, that is the neck of the figure standing with its back towards us ; 
it is the true neck of a Roman woman. Tlie healiiirk ii'es are the abso lutely 
simple ones. T he contorted Sappho shows t ojyh at })reposterous invention s 
flie desire to be interesting jn_ nimeinent could lead the_ai^ti.st. Here 
Rapha el momentarily lost his way, and entered into competition '> yith_ 
Michelangelo withoutj)roj)erlv understanding him. AVe need but compare 
one of the Sistine Sibyls v\-ith this unfortunate poetess to appreciate the 
difference. 

Another tour-de-fonv, which we do not wish to censure, is the sharp 
foreshortening of the arm of the man \\ho is pointing to the front. Every 
artist of that day had to solve problems of this sort. ^Michelangelo 
expressed hi.s opinion on the subject in his figure of God Almighty creatnig 
the sun. 

Something must now be said of a peculiarity in the calculation of 
space in the picture. It is apparent that the Sappho and the figure 
corresponding to her project over the frame of the ^\indow. This effect is 



102 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



unpleasant, because the figures thus seem to leave the flat surface. It is 
difficult to understand how Raphael could have perpetuated such a 
brutalitv. The truth is that he calculated quite otherwise. He thought 
that, by means of the archway, painted in perspective, which encircles the 
picture, he ^You\d be able to push the window back, and give the impres- 
sion that it was somewhere in the background of the picture. This 
calculation was false, and Raphael never again made a similar attempt. 
Modern engravers have however intensified the mistake, by engraving the 
picture ^\ithout the outside border, which alone explains the arrangement 
of the space. ^ 

Jurisprudence 

Raphael was spared the task of painting an assembly of Jurists. Eoj^ 
the fo urth wall only two small ceremonial scenes from legal history were 
r equired at th e sides j)f_th e window, and over it, in the filling of j th.e 
arch, are the sitting figures of Fortitude, Prudfiice,, amLTemperancp,. th^ 
virtues necessary for jlie administration of tlie-laiv. 

As an expression of the virtues thev are intended to typify, these 
symbolic figures will rouse but faint enthusiasm. Thev are uninterestin g 
female figures, t he_ two outside ones animated in gesture, th e other calme r. 
They are all placed low down, in order to secure ampler motives of 

movement. Tempei-ance is sf^pn to VJUKP—Ufen hi t anr\ hvirllp w ith JiTf^m, 
jreh ejisible, del i bpra t i nn Tn h*^'' ggnpral a(±iaH-r. ho i !i a - ^^endant t ti-thp 

Sapphojjl the Ptirnn.ixiis. The turn of thg upper part of the bodvyj hg 

o utstretched arms, and the posture of _t he legs are sim ilar. S he is howe ver 
drawn on aj petter and larger scale and is more compac t^ Thejiofeasiflg^ 
strength of style is ^vpl1 sppn hoviL. Th e Pmdenc gjjjie jrepose of whi_c hJ^ 
inj tself pleasant, further possesses great beauty _oiL4iHe. Iii_tli£_diawnj^ 
it shows a^high er conce})tiou of clarity than th^ ^Juima^m^. We may 
compare the arm on which the figure leans \\ ith the same motive in the 

' The (jfimiUe under the Parnnsans cannot in nij' opinion be considered as co-temporary 
with the other paintings in the room. As opposed to tlic new interpretation of them lately 
propounded by WicUhoff, tlie ohlcr reading, which takes them to represent Augustus 
preventing the burning of the Jineid, and Alexander hiding Homer's poems in a coffin, 
seems still to have its advantages, since the gestures at least cannot be otlierwise accounted 
for. Tliere is no Ijurning of books represented, but a prevention of the act, and the 
documents are being placed in a sarcophagus, not taken out. Every unprejudiced observer 
will, in my opinion, come to this conclusion. 



RAPHAEL 103 

Muse to the left of Apollo, « here the ineaiiiiig of the attitude is uot well 
expressed. Froui this point there is gradual development, culminating in 
the Sibvls in S. ^Nlaria della Pace : there is an enormous addition to the 
wealth of action, and a similar progress in lucidity of motive. The third 
of the Sibvls nuist be specially mentioned in this connection. How 
convincingly are the structural elements worked out in the head, the 
neck, and the turn of the elbow. 

The Sibyls are placed upon a dark background of tapestry, while the 
legal \'irtues stand out against a brilliantly blue sky. This is an essential 
mark of the difference of style. 

The two scenes from the history of Jurisprudence, the delivery of the 
secular and the ecclesiastical codes, are interesting as the representation of 
a ceremonial function in the spirit of the dawning sixteenth century. But 
jj-. i s al s o .j ^nrprising to s ee here, just j»^lif^ri^jJTf^_7j^v^/^ff jnins nn^ how 
■Raphael at t he c lose of his la bour s in the Camera delja Segnatiira,j3£gaii.- 
to work with gr^ gter bread th and repose, and liaj£,.jry(MiJn the_size_of Jhis 
figure s, he had far exceeded the original scale. It is a })ity that the room 
no longer has its old ^vood panelling. The effect ^^•ould at any rate be 
more restful than at present, with the white standing figures painted on 
the plinth. There is always some danger in placing figures below figures. 
The motive is repeated in the follo\ving rooms. It is far more endurable 
where it is part of the original arrangement, since these plastically treated 
Caryatides form a distinct contrast to the picturescpie style of the 
paintings. It may be said that it is largely due to them that the 
pictures look like paintings, since they drive them back to the flat surface. 
But this relation does not exist in the first room, where the style is still 
far from picturesque. 

4. Thic Casieua u'Ei.iodouo 

L eaving the em blem atic picture s of tjie Camera della _Segnatura we 
enterJly^_roonL_QfLJiie_JiiiitQr^^ More than this r ItJsalsoJJie 

vn^pT of tV.o npv.- gran d pir^tnyinl sty le. The fi gures are lai-geiMujize, and 
mo re imp osjngl^4jh^ti<^i-H-effectr It looks as if a hole had been made ni 
the wall. The figure^^taiid out from a deep and dark recess, and the 
enframing mouldings are treated wit h pa inted shadows that gi\e a plastic 
illusion. If we look back at the Dlsputa, it appears like a piece of 



104 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

tapestry, flat and light. XhcL paintings co ntain less, but this less produc^ 
a more strikintr ettect. There are no artificial and subtle conflffurations, 

z.; o . , ^ ' 

but impo sing masses strongly contraste d] No Fi-ace is lertTj jf^specions^* 
daintiness, no display of a ttitudinising philosopher s _ and^ poets. In plac^ 
o f this, there is abundance of passion and expressjye moyenie iit. The. firsL. 
fl partnipiit Avill a 1"flys V i inl-' liv fl ipv t^ flt^foi-itivo iri ^ hui in thp Stanza o f 
He liodorus Raphael has i)royidcd a model of monumen tal narrative for all 
tinifi. 



The C'hastisejikxt of Heliodokus 
t 

We read in the second book of the IMaccabees how the Syrian general, 
Heliodorus, set out for Jerusalem, at the connnand of his king, to carry off 
from the temple the money belonging to tiie \yidows and orphans. The 
women and children, thus threatened with the loss of their property, ran" 
weeping about the streets. The High Priest, pale ^^■ith fear, prayed before 
the altar. No representations or entreaties could deter Heliodorus from 
his purpose. He broke into the treasury and emptied the coffers. Then 
suddenly a heavenly horseman, in golden armour, appeared and hurled the 
robber to the ground, trampling him beneath his horse's hoofs, while t^vo 
youths scourged him with rods. 

This is the received story. RayA ael has comb ined the ^ a rious incLd£lLt& 
into _onc_jiu±mx', not in the manner of the old painters, who did not 
hesitate to place different scenes in close juxtaposition, b ut wit hout 

v iolating the unities o f_fiine and pUice He does not give the scene in 

the treasury, but shows H eUud orus in the act of h . nvinrr th p tp.nplp.lq f^eij^ 
with th c_plund£.r. He introduces the women and children, \\ho are 
described as running screaming through the streets, into the same place, 
and makes them w itncsses of the divine interposition. The High Priest, 
who prays to God for hel]), naturally finds a place in the picture. 

Thc4rKate.^surprise_faiL_±Iic^?tibht^-ef^ th o day w ;»m— thc-yvav-iM-wJiick 
Raphael arranged his scenes. It was caist omary to find the chief acti«« 
in the middle of the picture, but here there is a great empty space ixLihe 
centre and thc^ curn'irnaling:_scene._i;i^mshe d away to jtlie extreme edge. of 
the pitlui-e. At the present day we can hardly adequately appreciate the 
impression produced l)y such a composition, for we have since been educated 
to accept very different manifestations of " formlessness." People then 



RAPHAEL 



105 



must liavc millv hclicvr.l that thvy saw the stoiv taking j.larc under their 
very eyes, with all the siuldeiiiiess of iniraele. 

In addition to this, thej^iie ofjtl ie punishment is ^wor ked o utMni new 
drmiiivtiejaws, Thevayin whieli tlie Quattroeento would have told the 
story is obvious, lleliodorus would lie bleeding under the lun-se's hoots, 
and the youths, one on eaeh side, would h^ striking him with their 
scourges.i Kaphael depiets the moment of suspens e. ^The e\il-d()er has 
just been thrown do\\n, the rider wheels his horse in' order to trample him. 
The youths are only just rushing forN\ard with the rods. Giulio ]{omano, 
later, eomposed the beautiful Stoiun^ nf Stephen (in Genoa) on a similar 
plan ; the stones are lifted, but the saint is still unharmed.- HereJlif 
niovemenLiillJJiJija mtli^ has the sp eeiaj_advantage t.h;vt^t,]ie impi.tnosity 
of thei^rushkiuls a(l(htii)iial spirit to the horse, repeating as it does, the 
s^me motive of lightning s\\-iftness. The' spe ed of m ovement, in whieh 
tTeir feet^Jiardh^seem to touch the gro und, i s depl eted with m arvellous 
skill. The horse is le.ss good-,- for Jlaphael wa,s no animal paiiitta-. 

The prostrate Heliodorus, on whom vengeanee falls, \\oul(l have been 
depicted Ijy the Quattrocento as a common rascal, a nurserv ogre without a 
single redeeming feature. The sixteenth centurv held other vie^^■s. 
Raph ael did no t^make him^ignoble. His companions are shouting;. He 
himself, though fallen, is calm and digiiified. The head itseltUs a 
masterpiece of Cinquecentist force of expression. The painful upraising of 
the head, the essentials of which are indicated in the fewest possible forms, 
is unparalleled in earlier artists, and the motive of the bod\- must be 
considered both new and far-reaching in its influence. ■• 

The women and children stand opposite to the group of the horseman, 
huddl_edjtQgelli£r,_all -movc^meiit arrested, and showing a compact outline. 
The impression of numbers is produced by very simple means. If \\e count 
the figures, we shall be surprised to find how few the\' are, but all the 
moyemai1>ijJ:h^mj:p upward-glaucevthepointing hand, the shrinking 

aiKJ s geki ng for concealment, are developecLiii telling lines and extremely 
effective contrasts. 

' This is the version adopted by Michelangelo, who int,i'0{luces the stor}' in the Sistine 
ceiling, on a small scale (in one of the lii-on/.c medallions). 

- The same idea had been "worked out in the Stoinii'j of Sftpli'ii in the Sistine 
tapestries. 

^ I do not sui^port the vieu-, occasionally put forvvavd, that the idea is Ijorrowed from 
the antique, (ilotive of a river-god.) 



106 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

Po|jp ,Tn1iiis, .sp;i,ted calmly ill li is jittcr, is seen a bove the cro\\d. He is 
lookin g into tlie pietur ej_lxr u ards t he _j3aekg,roimd. His retinue. als(j_ 
portrait-tigures, take iw jjart in the eyeiiL and iL i^ ditticult to u jidci-staiid^ 
how Raphael eouldjKiTe_i:oiiseutet-l--tixjiLaiulou-i^ 

picture- It ^^'as probably a concession to t h£_laste__of ^tllg^^gp^; ^vho 
^^islled to bejpresent in person in the fash ionj^j ^^^^' tifteenth centu ry^ The 
canons of art might insist that e\erv person in the picture should be 
represented as taking part in the action, bnt there «ere perpetual devia- 
tions from this rule. In this particular instance tlie Pope's wliini -Has so 
far salutary, that it gaveUa phael the adva ntage of a j)eat-eful contrast to 
the general excitement of his stor_y. 

Two boys ma.yL-JjE-^si-u- 'n clnn xlierino ; on the pill av tnwai-ds +Vi n bu fkj 
grqrmd. ^Miat are they there for ? It may be supposed that so con- 
spicuous a moti\ e is no mere incident, ^\ hich might be t)mitted at will. Thev_ 
are necessa ry for the coinpo sit ic)n, as a set off to the fallen Heliodorus. Tlie. 
scjxLe_u£-the balancf, depre .ssed_xiiL the one side, rises c) u_-tb£ - atbt^rr The 
" Down, do'\\n !" of the victor is ert'ecti\ely accentuated liy this contrast.^ 

The treatment of the clambering boys discharges another function : 
they giiide the eve towari ls the centr e of the picture, where we finally dis 
cover the priestjira ying . He is kneeling at the altar, and does not know 
tliat his].5rayer has been already heard. l4npkH4ttg-4rekple)sf««ii_ 
k eynote of_fhe__c(.i ntr(> of the (^imp osition. 



The Det.ivehaxce oe PErEit 

Raphael has told us in three frescoes how Peter lay in prison and was 
called by an angel at night ; how, still dreaming, he went out accompanied 
by the angel, and how the watch was roused w hen his Hight was discovered. 
The pictures seem almost to huA e arranged themseh es, on the scanty surface 
of a wall broken by a window. In the middle we have the dungeon, the 
front of which is merely a grating affording an unimpeded view. 
Right and left are steps, which lead up from the foreground and are im- 
portant as giving the imjn-ession of depth and distance to the picture. 
The master thus a\(iidetl the disagreealile effect which a\ ould haveljeen 

' Tlie iudicatiou of ;i similar motive in 1)o]1,'UoI1o'n relief, tlie Minirli of tlii- .4.v.s, is not 
to lie taken as an inaietmeiit against Raphael. It woulcl be absurd to talk of lioiTOwiug in 
this case. ' 



"ta 



RAPHAEL 



107 



produced if the recess of 

the dungeon had seemed 

to be innnediatelv aliove 

the recess of tlie •» indow- 

niehe. 

I'eter sits asleep on 

the floor, his hands fohled 

o\er his knees as in 

praver, his liead a little 

bowed. The angel, in a 

glorv, bends down to 

liiiii, lavs a hand on liis 

shoulder and points with 

the other. Two i\arders, 

encased in armour, stand 

on either side leaning 

against the wall overcome 

with sleep. Could the 

scene be nnn-e simplv 

presented .'' ^Vnd \et it 

recjuired a llapliael to see 

it thus. Never since has 

the storv been told so 
I ■ — ' 

.s imply and so inipi-e ^- T'"^ ndivcnmce .a St. l\fcr; l.y DMi.ienicliiii.i. 

^si'\"ely. ■ There is a picture 

of the Deliverance of Peter by Domenichino, -i^hich is uni\ersall\- 
known, for it hangs in the clun-ch wliere the holv chains are pjreserved, 
in S. Pietro in \'incoli. There too the angel is bending down and grasp- 
ing Peter bv the shoulder. The old man awakes and starts back in 

terror at the apparition. A\^hv dix] R aphael |-epresent him sleep ing.^ 

JBecause onl y tlius_cwil(I_he_xxpLix;ja__thii_pimLi_lX'Mgna^ of the j ^i'i.s/me.i:, 
for fear is an_e motion com mmito tlK'_good^ ail'^1 t he Ijad. Domenichino 
attempted foreshortening, and the effect is distin-bing. IJaphael jjainted 
a simple full-length h'gure, and the etfecti^ reposeful and (piiet. In 
Uomenichino''s picture again there are two Awarders in the prison, the 
one lying on the floor, the other leaning against the wall. A\'itli tlieir 
obtrusive movement and their carefully executed heads, thev claim 




108 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

attention as insistoiitlv as the chief figures. A\'hat delicate discrimina- 
tion Raphael shows here ! His warder s lilend into the M all, they are 
merely living adjuncts to the walls, and we do not retjuire to notice 
their coarse features, in which we take absolutely no interest. It need 
hardly be said that Kapliael aYoids_,_all_LLetaILin the di-a\\-ing o L-tbe 
prison--\yalls. 

In the Ed'h fr(»ii the Pr/.wn, which earlier art used to represent as the 
kernel of the story, Peter was always represented in the act of talking with 
the angel. Kaphael renuanbered the words of the text : he went out as if in 
a dream. The angel lead s him by the hand, but h e does not see the angelj 
he does not look at theoioiicLL stari ng into \ acancy.yN itli widely opened e\es, 
he walks_a\^'ay llke„a__drc;iiiier. The impression is greatly enhanced by 
the A\ay:_ui.iviijch_the tigure_emcTge^^froni the darkness, partly hidden_hv 
tl ie radian ce of the angel. The painter's instinct speaks here in Raphael, 
who had already created a yery no\eJ ef|eeijiL±he_tu:iligJi±. of the dungegn. 
And what shall wc say of the angel ? He is the incomparable type of a 
swiftly-moving guiding force. 

The steps above and ]:)clo\v are oeeupied by sleeping soldiers. The 
sacred narrati\e mentions that the alarm was given. It is supposed to 
have been gi\en in the morning. Raphael observes the unity of time, and 
in___ordeM:o lialauc^^jL he light to the right , he places a.cresce nt m oon in the 
s ky, ^ \hilc_iiL_the,east the da«n begins to break. Then he yentures_on. a 
))ict orial audae it \- : the Hiekerin.o;_ ]i(drl^of a single torch casts a.niddy 
re Hection _()nJhe stones and polished armour. 

The Ddivcramr of Peter is the one of Raphaehs Avorks best calculated 
to win for him the admiration of doubtful adherents. 



Till-: jMass of Roi.skxa 

The Muss (if ]h)l\eiii( is the legend of an unbelie\ ing priest, in 
A\hose hands the wafei- l)egan to bleed at the altar. It may be imagined 
that this would pioduce a Jnghly etteetive ])ietui-e. The priest starting 
back awe-struck, the spectators o\ercome by tiie siglit of the miracle. The 
scene has been painted thus l)y other artists ; Raphael does not adopt this 
method. 'nie-4iL^i^iiMdiuJjiJinwd^^ altar and is seen in prolilc, 

docs not j,±arijj [Vlw+t H+otimdcisi^iolJsJlK^^ 



RAPHAEL 109 

strui;-gle is going on A\ithin liini nioiv interesting psvchologii-jillv than a 
sucklen outburst of ecstasy. I jy makint;: tlie t'liiet acj ur nw^timile^^ Unp li.yl 
ga.Lnsi_t !ie oppoitunity for a niar\ellous ci- CMriu Jo in the e ffect ot^J^he 
inixacle-on tlio cvnwd _of_be lievers. The chtnisters who are the_jiciare,st 
whisper toge ther, and s\\ - ay their bo dies.^ Tlie foremost ))ov involuntarily 
bows in adoration. On the steps men are pressing and )nishing. The 
excitement reaches^i ts climax in the w onian in the foi-eground. \\ho_.hai 
le apt up. and straining f on vard with look a n d t^-esture, indee d with Iier ■\\;hole 
ti£ur c', might be an cndiodiment ot l_belieL. Jvu'lier artists ha\e represented 
Faith in such an attitude, and there is a relief' l)y C'ivitali, •which shows a 
marked similarity in the upiturned head and the half-Iiidden })rofile. 
(Florence, i\Iuseo Nazionale.) Tiie end of the line is formed l)y crouching 
women and children grouped before tlie steps, the indifferent nmltitude, 
ignorant as vet of the miracle. 

In this fresco again the Pope wished to appe ar ^vith his retinu e. 
T{aphmd_rps prved one ]u df_o£jt he pictur e foi- him. After some preliminary 
hesitation he actually placed him on a level with tlie principal figure. 
Thus the two are kneeling opposrte^each other, --pi'otile to profile; the 
asto aished voung priest, and the old Pope in his formal attitude of prayer, 
calm and unmoved as the ecclesiastical principle. C'onsidei'aljly more to the 
background is a group of Cardinals, excellent portraits, but no one of them 
can compare with their sovereign. In the foreground are the Sw iss Guards 
with the papal litter. Thev too are kneeling, clearly pronounced types, 
nntouche cl bv saw sjiiritual excitement. The retlex-artitm of tlw HH-Kicle- 
expresicaJiself merelv in a prosaic eagerness among some of them to find 
ojjt what is happ ening. 

The composition is therefore based on a great c ontrast ^of^jn otiv es, 
s uggested by the nature o f the mural surfice. There could be no repre- 
sentation of the interior of a church. A window ^diich had to be taken 
into consideration again broke the wall. Raphael constructed a terrace with 
steps leading down at the sides, and placed the altar on it so as to form 
the centre of the picture. He surrounded the terrace with a circular 
parapet, and i n tl ie_backgi: oiind alone there is a trace of ecclesiastica l 
architecture. As the aniikIow is not in the middle of the wall, there is 
a^iTlnequaiitv between the two divisions of the fresco, wliich Rajjhael 
counteracted bv raising the left or narrower side somewhat higher. This 
justifies the introduction of the men who appear behind the i)riest on the 



110 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



v; 



parapet, and 'who ^\'ould not lia\e been necessary for the mere purpose of 
pointing out, and so ehicidating the phenomenon.^ 

The last picture in the room^^ite—Mesting^-q^Lfo L—aiul-Attila^is-ei 
disappointment, It is of course obvious that tl ie_g uiet di gnity jrf the 
Pope and his retinu_e_js dcsignadj o dominate the excited hordes of the 
Hmmish_Jdng ^iIthoug -b-4be— pa^jftlr-f position ,%?. 

regards space^jwl^thjs^effeti It cannot be said that the 

apparition of the divine helpers, Peter and Paul, ^vho threaten Attila from 
the sky, destroys its imprcssiveness. The cont i-ast in itself is not well 
worked out. It is difficult to hnd Attila at all. Subor dinate figures 

~Q -'O*** 

intrude themsehes j^erjilcxingh- ; there are discords in the lines jin^J 
obscurities~of th"trTnos t un fortunate kind, Raphaers authorship of this 
work, which does not agree with the others in tone, cannot be unreservedly 
accepted. It need not be reckoned \\'\t\\ in our demonstration.^ 

In the same Avav ^^'e cannot follow Raphael into the third room, and 
examine the Burning of the Borgo. The chief _picture,--i5iich. gives, it^ 
name to the room, contains very beaut iful ii idlyidua l motive s, but the good 
is mixed with the indifferent, and_the who le la cks_ tli^e compactness of an 
original composition. The •woman carrying water, the mail extinguishing 
the fire, and the^groj^)— cd;" Jligi±iy£sLJiiilLlie_^reaiiily^x^pted as inventions 
of Raphael's, and are typical instances of his creation ofLbeautiful individual 
fi gures in liis last years . But the furt her dev elopment of his grand 
narrative manner must be.Jooked-fbj^ift-fche-eaiioans-foii-tlie t;i,pestri-es.of 
the_ Sistinc Chapel.^- 

1 Raphael assiune.g tliat the spectator stands exactlj' in the middle axis opposite tlie 
picture, the leftdiand side of the window-frame therefore projects a little into the pictured 
space. 

2 I may draiv attention to certain obscurities in drawing which are incompatible with 
Rapliael's consummate mastery : 

(a) Attila's Iiorse. Tlie hinddegs are indicated, but in a ludicrously fragmentary 

manner, as far as the lioots. 
(h) Tlie gesticulating man, Ijctween the black horse and the wdiite. Only a piece of liis 

second leg appears. 
(c) One of the two spearmen in tlie foreground is very defective in form. 
The ground and the landscape are not in Rapliael's style. A strange hand, talented l)ut 
untrained, shared the work. The good portions are to the left. 



RAPHAEL in 



5. Thf. Cautooxs for Till': Tai'kstimks 

The sL'von cartoons in the South Kensint;-tou ^Museum, all that re- 
main of a series of ten, have lieen called the " Parthenon St'nljjtures "" of 
modern art. They certainly surpass the great N'atican frescoes l:)oth as 
regards fame and influence. Lending themselxes well to reproduction 
as compositions containing few figures, tlie\' ha\e l)een widely diffused 
as models, Ijv means of wood-cuts and engra\ings. Thev were the 
treasury, from which the various forms of expression of human emotions 
were obtained, and Raphael's fame as a draughtsman is mainlv based on 
these achievements. The A^'est, in many instances, has seemed (luite 
incapable of imagining other forms of gesture to express astonishment, 
fear, the distortions of grief, dignity, and majest\' of bearing. The number 
of expressive heads and of elo(|uent h'gures in these compositions is 
astonishing. This produces the loud, almost strident etf'eet of some of 
the pictures. Thev are une(|ual in merit, and not one contains KaphaeFs 
actual handiwork. 1 But some of them are so peit'ect that we recognise 
the immediate presence of llaphaers genius. 

The Miraculou.s Draiiffld of Flslics. Jesus had gone out on the lake 
with Peter and his brother. At Ilis command the nets had been once 
more let down, after the fishermen had toiled all night in vain. They 
then made so stupendous a draught that a second boat A\as called up to 
help haul the net in. Peter is stru ck by the evident iiiirack' — ntupefudus 
at, the ^'ulgate has it — ; he throws himself down at -the iox.is_ie£t-:_ 
"Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man." Christ therefore 
gently calms the excited man : " Fear not." 

That is the incident. Two_boats out on the lake. The net lias been 
hauled in ; the yessejsjHrefull of fish. jukT^ in the midst of thiA confusi ou- 
xveJraTejtTi£_,scene betvyeen Peter and Christ. 

Th e initial dijgc-ulty was how to give proper emphasis to the chief 
figures in the midst of so many men and objects, especially since Christ 
c-QuMhardly be jDresented -otlier«:ise than seated. I^rphaelJnade,tlle boats 
small, unnaturally sniall, in_.order_to_insure_the prt)nmience of the figures. 
Leonardo LlicT tKusj:educed_th.ejsi/ejjJl_^^ Slipper. The 

1 Cf. H. Dollmayr, BaffaeVs Werlsliille {Jahrhurh da- Kiiii^llii.~lor. Swiimhingen 
(Us Alhrhockiten KaiserhaiKfi-f, 1S95). "In the essential parts onl^s one hand worked on 
the cartoons, that of Penni '' (p. 2.").'?). 



112 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

(■la&>iicaljstYLe sacrificed realija'_ to the essential. The slialloAv l^oats are 
close together, aiicl are parallel to the picture-plane, the second beincr 
slightly overla})ped by the tirst. Alj_the_i)ier-hanica] work is assigned „t n 
t he second and farther Iw jit. Here two young men are seen draAving up 
tlie nets — llapliael shows the draught just at its completion, M'hile the 
oarsman is seated, and strains eyery nmscle to keep the boat balanced. 
These figures, however, have no independent action in the composition, 
but serye onl\' as a starting point or iiviroduction to the group in the 
foremost boat, A\here I'eier has sunk on his knees before Christ. With 
111 arvellous jikiIU±h e occupau ±a_aLJ:h£j }oats are all brouo'ht into one ^m'c;it 
Hue, wliich rises b\' the rower. m ounts_ o\ er the b ending^ ioi™JJi_ihLds_ifa 
adniimvH np- point in the uprig ht figure, then suddenly s ink s: jinrMiiinUY 
rises once more in the figure of Chi-i.st_ Everything tends toward a^Jj-i-m, 
He gi^es the moyement its object, and, altliQngii_in.significant in mass and 
placed ij^uiteattlie edge of the picture^ His iiguxe^QmiiiateiLall the-others, 
\o such composition had ever \ut been seen. __ 

The attitude of the central standing figure deternu'nes the inipvession 
of the wliole, and it is noteworthy that this Avas an afterthought. It hail 
long been part of the scheme that there should l)e an upright figure at 
this place in tlie jjicture, but it was to have l)een merely a rower, who, 
sa^e that he A\as re(|uii-ed for the boat, took no intimate share in the 
action, ritiniately Raphael felt the uecessit\' of strengthening the 
enu)tional effect. He associated the man — we uuist call him Andrew — in 
Peter's action and thus adds a singular intensity to the act of adoration. 
The kneeling down is to some degree expressed in two actions. The 
plastic artist represents a gradual process which he could not otherwise 
depict by sinudtaneous ])ictures. Raphael fre(|uently made use of this 
motive. \\'e may remind the reader of tlie horseman ^.\'itli his companions 
in the Ildiodoni.s. 

'JJie^gToupJ s developed Y 'dlLL±he_,idLmiist_ rhythmic freedom yet as 

im>\dtj;ibly_ jis_aji_imihitectujxul— (u-wnj>ositit)n: KrR'b-p);u-t,^xloAyn to the 

s mallest iletail, has its due_rcLlati(m to the rest. Note how the lines" are 
balanced, and how ea£h^ sec tion of the surf ice seems jnyciselv adapted for 
tlK^ subject w hichjillsjt_ It is this wbicli produces thc^ restful eftect.4* 
tlie_who]e_. 

'rh_e lines_of^ tlie landscape are a lso_d_rawn with a detiniti' iuieiiii<i»i. 
'l]^e_co;ist luic^e»ictK_fo]]owsllu^a_scxiricl^ gxoup, then the 



RAPHAEL 



ll.S 



^■«*".%r! '^^ 




Tliu .Miraculi.ns DraiiKlt "f Fishes. 
r'lMiii X. hi»n',y"iiy's Erigravin,^ a tcr iiiiiiliaul's L'artunii. 



horizon boc.oilLt:a_xipfft,-tui(l the oiitline^_ i^f^a hill again vises o^er _OiLi^. 
The landscape emphasises the important cjesura — in- the composition. 
The earlier representations showed t'ves, hills and dales, the more the 
Ijetter, it ^^'as thought. Now the landscape in a picture ser\es the same 
purpose as the arc h itecture, that of heljj^ing the h'gures. 

Kven the birds , which elsewhere dart aimlessly about in the air, aid _ 
thejiminjU±Lau^ V1vhmii'"r\Vf"'d tVom the liai'k-gronnd th i'V sink p r ecisely 

where t he caesura occurs, and eyen the w ind i s called u pon to_^:trengthen 
the g eiieral-e#ee%;- 

ThejTigliJht»i4<*H-4M--NOHHJwh*t-,'ii-U4^1ai-. Jiaphae l clearly wi shed to 
giye his figures on _th.e-j jui-face of the wa ^er_iwp iiet un iform background. 
Here he app lies ^vhat he hacWe arnt f rom l*er.ugijiD.^_who.sc DcUvcri/ (if the 
Keys sliQ5vs._a_ similar intention in th* buildings he has thrust far into the 
backgrouiuh The foreground is yaried and full of moA ement, in contrast with 
the uniform surface of the lake. A strij) of the foreshore is ^ isible, altliough 

r 



114 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



the scene is supposed to take ])lrtce in the middle of the hikc.^ Some herons 
stand there, spleiifhd l)irds, perhaps too conspicuous when the picture is onh' 
known hv repro(hictions in liLack and white. On the tapestry their brown 
tones lilend w itli tlie water, and are not very noticea])le liy the side of the 
hnnin(ais Inunau figuix's. 

llaphaeTs Miniciiloi/.s- Draft of Flsltc-s, like Ijconardo's iMst Supper, 
belongs to the pictuies which henceforth cannot be conceived otherwise. 
How inferior is Itubens to llaphael ! By the one motive, the starting up 
of Christ, he has robbed the scene of its iiobilitN'. 

'^ Feed III// Limihsr ]{aphael here deals A\ith a theme which had been 
already ])aiuted bv Pei'ugiuo in the Sistine C'hajjel, the place for ^vhich the 
tajiestrv vas intended. The scene as rendered by Perugino is only the 
DeUvcrij of the Kci/s, here the stress is laid on the words of the Lord ; 
" Feed my Land)s I "" The motive is the same, and in this connection it 
is innnaterial Avhether IVter already holds the key in his arms or not.- In 
order to indicate the charge, an actual flock had to be included in the 
picture, and Christ emphasises the command ])y a \'igort)us twofold gesture. 
What with Perugino \vas merely an emotional attitude, is here effective 
action. The ej)iso(le is treated with historic gravity. Peter, kneeling and 
gazing intently upwards, is full of the emotion projjer to the moment. 
And the rest P Perugino gixes us a series of beautiful motives with his 
standing figui'es and bowed heads. Ho«' could he do otherwise .^ The 
disciples, ho\\ever, iiave nothing to do «ith the incident. It is unfortunate 
that they were so nmnerons, for the scene liecomes somewhat monotonous. 
Q^^AhuI intr()(l^TT^^^-^^-w^AiLu^ld_Jrne xpected _effec't. They stand_jtogether^}ii 
a dense__ mass. from which Petei i_eine ro:es but slightly. But what a we;ilth 
of_vari£ d PYj-tressi o n animates thi-i _ai>w(L! TLe_Uiiaxcat_ disciples . attrac'te_d 
by thejadiaui fitj-ure of Jesus, feast their eyes on Him, ready to fall, lik e 
Pei£r, "n their knees, lliyj_J±iiiLtiJ^L_Qjiesitatkni,_a-tecl^^ cTf^doubt, a 
ca^itingjjL '"'!"''''"^ g lMiees^aiuLtheJast hold back in pronounced distrust^ 
It is the risen Christ who has appeared to the disciples, and has spoken 
to them ; Init is it -really He or is it a spirit .' Itaphaehs conception of the 
tjre me is to show hoAiiJJieJiiJiiig_jrfj:onyhiion gradu all\- s teals p\er,tbifi 

1 Was it an instinct of style that made Raphael reciuivo some solid object in the fore- 
ground ? Botticelli, too (/;//•//, of Vniiix), did not bring the water up to the edge of llie 
picture. The Cnliil,,, is an instance to the contrary, but a fresco is not bound ))y\lic same 
conditions. 

'' The latter was at any rate Raphael's original idea. 



RAPHAEL 




'i^'i' oup, how first tlie foreniost iiieiiiher s ;irc iitlrn titcd, u:lil]j' tln' nunv rfni otc 
ones remain unmoved. Thiji_(A)rice2 rl:i()n re(|uii x>i_miicli pouer of psyflio - 

Jogi«U — taqiLiejsion,. and was (|uite hevoud the eapaeities of the elder 
g'eneration.^ 

Perugino shows Christ in the middle of the pieture and the b\standers 
synnnetrieallv distributed on either side, hut in Raphaers cartoon Christ 
stands al() iie__ facino- th e otliers. He does not turn tt)wards them, Init is 
passing bv them. The disciples only see Him from one side. In another 
instant He will be there no longer. He_Js_jLhjLO"ly fig ure \\hich reflects 
the Ikl 



i road surfaces. The others ha\e the light again st them. 
Tlic HtaJing of the Ldiiie Man. The spectator looking at this picture 
always begins by incjuiring the meaning of the great twisted colunms. He 
recalls the halls of the Quattrocento, those transparent structures, and 
cannot comprehend how Raphael arrived at the elephantine forms Avhich 
are so conspicuous here. The _source of the nu)ti\e of th e_Lwisted cnhnnn 
' This interpretation follows (Ji'innn, Lrhcii Jidfiie/s. 

1 2 



y 



no THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

can be traced. There \vnsjTne_ji LI''^'' '" ^^"- i^'ter's, whi ch, nerprding to 
tTaT riTyfon, w as^ liroii'dit. Iroin t h i^ Te'"}^1i^ -^^ .Ti'msuli'm, :iih1 +hp "l^pg iitjfii] 
Gate"' of that very temple was the scene »f the liealinti; of the lanie _uiaji. 
The conspicuous feature ]iere i s not so niucli t l ^^' peculinv ^liapc , nc the.,^. 
combination of human forms with a rchitecture. J taphael does not (h'aw 
the pi11ars^;i>^stao;e-scenerA:-Oj^-aj^— •jJia ckt);ronn i1 Hlijshows_thepe()ple in 
jJTej2mjjmjj]_seethiii<); tlirono;. and lie g ets tin's e ffect wi tli comi jat^itiyHj;^ 
few tii;ures, I jecanse the columns themselves til l U]) t he_space. 

It is indeed easy to see that the pillars w ere \qv\ desiraljle as a means 
of dividing and enframing the subjects. It was no longer sufficient to 
present the jieople standing about, arranged in rows, as the Quattrocentists 
ha<l done. Yet if a real crowd were painted, there Avas considerable risk 
that the chief figures ivould be lost in it. This danger has been obviated 
and the spectator notices the beneficial effect of such an arrangement 
before he can account for the Avay in A\hich it is done. The scene of t he 
liealing itscltL ls a splendid example of the virile and powevful nm j^^^y^n- 
Mhich^Rajjl iael was now able to _re j)resent suc h_jin__iiKiil(^nt. St. Peter 
■\\ho works the cure, does not strike an attitude ; he is not the exorcist, 
who utters a magic fornuila, but the capable physician, who simply grasps 
the hand of the cripple, and with his right hand niakes the sign of beiie- 
'liftion- llie-imident is flepicted with very little action . The Apostle 
staiids j,ipright and oidy slightly bows his massive n eck. Earlier artists 
rej)resented hnii bending down to the sufferer, but the miracle of raisincr 
him up appears less marvellous so ; St . Pnter lonkv ■.ft.a.lf .^^fly jj^Jj ie crjp plf^ 
^^2^o_gazes_aUn)^^ The Uo profiles are op])osite 

each other, and the teaision__o f the t^^o _tigllres is evi dent. The psychical 
illumination of the scene is unparalleled. 

St. Peter has a companion figure in St. John, who stands by, his head 
slightly bent, ^^ ith a kindly gesture of encouragement. The cripple has 
his antithesis in a colleague who looks on \N'ith dull envy. The crowd 
pi-essing for\vard in doubt or cui-iosity, presents a great' variety of ex- 
pression, and contrast is afforded by a propoition of indifferent passers-by. 
Raphael has introduced into this scene .of luuiian misery a contra_st^ 
another kind ; two naked (■luldreu, ideal ibrms,_whose lundnous fieA-tint^ 
shine _QuLf r()m_ the ))ictjire. 

71>c Iknth of Amnrw. is a thankless subject for a picture, since it is 
nnpossibk. to represent death as the result of transgression. The painter 



RAPHAEL 



117 




The Ilftitli tif Ananias. 
FruUL X, Itiirignys Engraving after Uapliael's Cartoon. 



can depict the coiinnotioii, tlic awe-stnick hv.stander.'^, but liow can the 

moral le.-ison of the incident be enforced, ov how can it be shown that thi.s 

is the death of the unrighteous f ]{aphael has done his best to express this, 

at least superficially. The composition of the picture is very austere. On a 

podium in the middle sFands the en tire band of ^ Vpostles, a _compact and 

im pressive mass againsF a dark^bjujjgilOHpd. On the left the gifts are 

being brought, on the right they are being distributed, a very simple and 

perspicuous motive. I n the foreground is the dramatic incid ent. Ananias 

lies convulsed on the ground. Those nearest tojiim start back in horror. 

The circle of these tigures in the foreground is so constructed that Anania s, 

falling b ackwards, mak e s a ga)) in the ^comp psition which is visible f rom_a 

d istance. AVe now understand why everything else is so severely ordered. 

The object vrs to gi\ f all p'-^sil^lc pinphp^^j s to this one break in the 

_symmetry. The j udgment has fallen like a thunder-bolt, and the victin i 

lies low. Now it is impossible to overlook the connection of this with the 

other group of the Apostles, who stand - for de.stiiw- here. U'he eve is 



US THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

Tnrm£|i|vfl_hJ v iHi-('i't>-i1 tiiiVMrik iho ct^iitTf. « hprc Ppj-i'i- , > ; 1- . -iiifl. ^^ iifl ■^f'^t fjxe^ 

out nil elo(|iient ar m to wanj s t he prostrate iiiai o. Tliei'e is no noisy 

movciiieiit : he does not fuhiiinate, he wishes only to say " (tO(1 hath judged 
tliee." Paul, close by, repeats the verdiet \\ith uphfted liaud. gazing at 
Sapphira, who is entering. The Apostles are not lunierved at what has 
happened ; they all remain eahn ; the crowd alone, m hichjloes not jjerc eiye 
tjuw'orini'r-tion r if events, lireaks u]) in yjolent alarm. Rajyhael introduces 
f ew figures, Init they ai-e ty])es of intense bewildered fear, whic-hliav^ ^ 
lleen repeated countless times by the art of succeedinsj cent uries. The^; 
have become academical models of expression. Infinite harm ligs been 
done by transplanting this Italian gesture-language to a northern soil. 
Hut eyen the Italians have sometimes completely lost the feeling for natural 
expression and haye lapsed into artificiality. As foreigners we will not 
attempt to decide how far the action in this picture is natural. But we 
may note here how t he delineation of types p;ives w ^^y to the rlplnien+ifjii^ 
of expression, 'rhejjrte rest in the expression of passionate emotions _was_, 
sojitrnmrjji^i^tsi-lf tliMt i ndi ' v;<1ii n1 jty ,if f,.-iti ive was wi bin^ ly aband i.)jued-4^1..i 
its favoiu'. 

The JH/ikJ/ii^- <>/' Elijmus. Klyinas the sorcerer is suddenly struck 
lilind, when he attempts to ^^'itllstand the Ajjostle Paul in the presence of 
tlie pro-consul of Cyprus. It is the old legend of the CJu-istian saint 
con(|uering his adversary in the presence of the heathen ruler. The schenie 
of composition which Raphael used, is thus the same that (iiotto i<new, 
when he jjainted St. Francis in the scene before the Sultan with the 
Mohannnedan priests. The pro-consul is in the centre and to the front, 
right and left, the two parties face each other, as ^^ith Giotto, only the 
incidents of the picture are more vigorously concentrated. Elymas has.. 
ii.clviuiced_toM4wdsJJi«^^ucldla.-x)f-the--pittuxe,_imd_jucLden.K recoils, as it 
ga-ows ckrlvJxfOTe hjsej^es, strelx^inj; oiit and throwing up his_ 

head— an unsur^jassabl e picture of the _jnan_jjt i-uci< bli nd. Paul has - 
remained c;tlrn-;-lTe is ([uite~oiT-1iTC-rdg*^-4-)ll-tLie-_piclure, liis back-partly 
tmw^djojdie^spec 
(2nJilynmsXiiniLapptt«>^-lH-^«si-}^rof41.e." He gesticidates with the arm 

\\hich is stretched out towards the sorcerer. It is^ no_Lm|iiVssioned 

gestuiT;JnilJ_lie_aimpI^^ which j oins tlie grc^ 

\erticaLline ofjhejinjwsiiig tipri^t-Jigure^Jia^ a very ^striking effect.^ 
He is tlie ro ck from whicli ev il inust_xecoj'l. In comparison wrth the 



RAPHAEL III! 

protagonists in the scone, the other tiguros, e\en if thev liad l)eeu treated 
with less inchtt'erenee, eonld lumllv liave jjroveil interesting. The pro-consul 
Sergius, who is only a spectator in the scene, throws Ijack liis arms, 'a 
characteristic attitnde of tlie C'in<[ueceiito. He may have l)een thns con- 
ceiyecl in the original sketch, hut the otlier persons are conip le nientai' V 
fi_g iires. ni( vre_or les s superHuous and distracting, which, conih ined with 
slovenly architecture and certain cheap pictin-es(|ue eftects, make the ])ictni'e 
somewhat restless. l^apTme^Tl()es^Tlot'^«^^n^^x)1l;ive3 si^ tlie 

comj)letioii of this Avork. 

Th^s impression Is conyeyed still more strongly l)v tlie Sacr/ficc at 
Ijiatxu- — nTr?riiiuc]i-praised picture is a complete enigma. Xoliody coiild 
guess tliat a cripple had been healed~tTie're, that the people wished to 
sacrifice to t he mau jvho had__wroug]it t he mira cle as to iL_giid . and that , 
he — th e Apostle P aul — was rending h is garm ents in deprecat ion^jjtl^tlie 
act. The cji ief stress is laid on tlie re])reseiitation of an antique sacri - 
fi cial scene, imitat e d flH)lll a rel ief on an .-im-ient savi'opli; iLr ns, :ini1 _j^yei'y - 
thin g is made subservient t( )the archa'olog-ical i nterest. The extensive use 
made of this model is in itself a reason for rejecting Kaphael's authorship, 
to say iiotliing of the fact that every de\ iation from the original has 
been for the worse. Tlie composition is awkwardly arranged and c onfuse d 
in direc 'tion. 'T he pic ture of St. Pind preatli'tiii!,' ut Athens is, on the other 
hand, a gre at an d origi nal creatio n! 'ilie preacher, botli arms upliftetl, 
dispensing alike with the ad juncts of lofty attitude and Howing drape ries, 
is gnui diose Jh-Tu-s- -eaiuie.stn.est». He is seen only from one side, al most 
JVoni l)ehind. He is standing on a hciigTit, preaching into the j)ieture, 
and has ste pped fo rward, to the very ed ge of the step s. This gives him 
an air of pa ssionate appeal, in spite ot ^is calm. His features are in 
shadow. T he w hol e^ xpre ssioii is concentrated in the simple and imposing 
line of the figure, which triumphantly dominates the picture. All the 
preaching saints of the fifteenth century are mere tinkling cymbals in 
comparison with this orator. 

By an ideal calculation the listeners below are far smaller figures. It 
Avas a task entirely congenial to the Raphael of that day to represent the 
working of the speech on so many faces. Some figures are Avorthy of him ; 
in others it is difficult to resist the -Impression that some other jjencil has 
been at work (especially in the coarse heads of the foreground). 

'Tlie arch it ecture is s omewhat obtrusive. The background to the figure 



120 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



t)f St. Paul is o-ood ill its ])lace, l)utj one would gladly sec the eircular 
temple (of 15raniante) replaced bv some other building. The Christian 
orator is echoed, in a diagonal line, In- the statue of ]\Iars, an effective 
method of enforcing the direction of the composition. 

W'v \\ ill omit the compositions ^^hich no longer exist as cartoons, and 
are known onh' in the textile form, but we nnist make a general oliservation 
as to the relation of the drawings to the tapesfrv. The jii'ocess of 
working, as is well kn()^vll. reverses tlie picture, and it would be expected 
that the models should pro\-ide for this. Strangely enough, the cartoons 
are not uniform in this respect. The Miracitloii.i Drmight of Fi.the-s; the 
Cliuri^r to Flier, the Hcolhig (if flic Cr'ipple, and the Datth if Ananias are 
drawn in such a \\av that their fidl effect is reserved for the tapesfrv, 
while the Sacr'ificc (it Li/stra and the Blinding- (f Ebpnas lose in being 
reversed. (The Prcailiing at Athens is not affected.) ' It is not merelvthe 
fact that the left hand becomes the right hand, and that a blessing given 
with the left hand woidd be incongruous : a composition of Raphaers in 
this style cannot be re\ersed at will, without destroying some elements of 
its Ijeauty. llaphael, according to flu,- stvle-hLeleai'iltjieads-llie eve from, 
left to right. Even in the compositions which show no movement, suchas 
the Di-sj)tit((, the trend is in this direction. In the great representations 
of action no other arrangement will be found : Heliodorus had to be thrust 
into the right hand corner, to add cogency to the movement. When in 
the Mirai-idoiis Drdiiglit (f Fisltcn Raphael wishes to guide us past the 
curve of the fishermen to the figure of Christ, it is again natural for him 
to go from left to right ; but -where he wishes to emphasise the sudden 
prostration of Ananias, he makes him fall in a contrary direction. 

Our rej)i-oductions, which have been made from N. Dorigny's engravings, 
give the right view, tor the engra\er, working without a mirror, uninten- 
tionally reversed the picture. 

(J. 'I'hk Roalw l'or,ri!.\ii\s 

In passing from the historical picture to the portrait it nmy be fitly 
said that the portrait was now destined to become the historical picture. 
Quattrocentist likenesses ha\e a something naive and an air of being 

' It seems liowcvef to reijuive to lie reversed, since it is only then tliat the figure of 
JIars hoMs tlie sliieM ami sjieav con-ectly. 



RAPHAEL l-il 

studies tVoni models. Tlie\' present tin' pei'soii witliout any very definite 
e\[)ressioii. The sitters i^aze out fVoni tlieir portraits with an indift'ereiit, 
an ahuost diseoneertini;' self-possession. Tlie aim of the artist was a 
striking likeness, not any s|)eeial emotion. ]''xcej)tions oceur, hut, on 
the whole, it was thought suflieient to perpetuate the sitter in his habitual 
character, and the impression of realit\' did not seem to suffer A\hen con- 
\entionalities t)f attitude were preser\ed. 

^rhe newjjrt, de mands tl mj^ portraits should show a personally I'harac^ 
te ristie situation, a de tiniti- ni nnicnt of individual life. The painter will 
no longer trust to the forms of the heads to speak for themsehes, the 
moNemenf and gestures nurst now he full of expression. There is a 
t ransition fro m the descrip t ive io the dramatic sty li'. 

The heads too, show a new yigour ()f expressjcm. It will he readily 
seen that this art has ampler means of characterisation at its cormnand. 
The treaJ:ni^nt_fliLlLglrLauuijiha<k'^the use of Jjne, the distnbutimi_of_iua:S>^ 

have been enlisted in its seryice l'j\ery thing is intended to produce_j;i 

d efinite im jjression. And in order to accentuate the personality further, 
certain forms are iu)w brought into special prominence, while others are 
repressed, whereas Quattroeentists gave an almost eciual yalue to each part. 

We cannot vet look for this style in Raphaeks Florentine portraits. 
It wa.s o n ly in Home that he became an accomplished portr ait-pa inter. 
The youthful artist hovered round the model like a butterfly, and as yet 
he failed to grasp the iiidiyidualitv of form, to extract its characteristic 
essence. The^Mudii/jIenu Duid is. a superficial } )ortrai t. and it seems to 
me impossible to ascribe ft) the same author the excellent female portrait 
of the Tribuna (the so-called DoiiTs Sister). ' In his Florentine period 
liaphael clearly did not possess the power of thus assimilating the object 
before his eves.i His de\elopment presents this curious spectacle : his 
strength of characterisation increases jxo-l /la.s.sii with the grandeur or 
his style. 

The portraij^ of Juliii.f II. will always be lo oked upon as his first^ great 
es.say in this^'r^nr. I refer to the I'ffizi example, for that in the Pitti is dis- 
tinctly later, even allowing it to be original. It assuredly deserves the name 
of a historical picture. The Pope, as he sits there, his mouth firmly closed, 
his head somewhat bent in a nioment of reflection, is no model placed in 

' The attribution to Perugino seems to nie iiTefutal)le, taking into account its great 
affinity witii the TimeJe TJeiini heail in the Uffizi ([Kirtrait of Francesco dell' Opere). 



12-2 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

the correct jxjsitioii, hut rntlu M- a fragment of liistorv. the Tope iii_a_h:picai 
ivttitude. JlTtti;ijj;i-iioJwHiw^:rt.i4t^-t^^ Their ca\ ities are in 

shadow, l)ut OH tlie other hand the massive foreliead, aii.l the powerful nose, 
the chief me(hunis of expression, stand out prominently in a uniform hi^'li 
light. These are the accentuations of the ne\\- style, and later they would 
have heen still more pronounced. One would gladly have seen this very 
head treated by Sebastiano del Piomlio. The problem was different in the 

Leu X. (I'itti). The Topt^ -hrH-1— a-4*t— he;4-VJ^— tiu^e H«a^-llie_jnajjtt'j; 

set'ksj^) divert att ention from the ^bnmxlexpansc^ of_ _sallo_\\Mit'_slv- by t hf.v 
play of light, and to bring out tlie spir ituality of the head, thejjelicacy^of 
the nostrils, and the wit_jjf_ the sensu<)iisrc^)>| uentJTii) uth. _ It is marvellous 
how the dull short-sighted eye has gained in power, without changing in 
character. The l\ipej^_repr esented su ili]aih^ li)()kinu- -aLp_JxLUXLt_ he study 
of an_ il luminated code x. There is something in his looi< \\hich charac- 
terises the ruler better than if he had been represented on his throne, 
wearing the tiar;u The hands are e\en more individual than those of 
Julius. The accomjjanving figures, \er\- signific'antlv treated in themselves, 
onlv ser\e as a foil, and are in ever\' respect suliordinate to the chief 
motive.^ liaphael has given no inclina tion to an\- ot Mli e thre x^Jieads.iind wi' 
must admi t that tlds th _rice:^-epeateij_yertical linej<])reads-Xi.,,sortj2ll-SiJ.cn^ 
calm thro ughout tlie pict ure. The JiiVni.s portrait lias an uniform (green) 
baci<gr()und, whereas we see here a foreshortened wall with pillars, which 
possesses the don))le advantage of heightening the plastic illusion, and of 
giving alternations of light and dari< surfaces as foils to the chief tones. 
The colour, howe\er, has l)een toned down cousiderablv and tends to neutral 
tints. The old gailv coloured l)aci<ground is abandoned, and all emphasis 
is reserved_Jj) r the coloui's of the f oreg round. _Thus the papal crimson 
makes as splendid a show as possible against the greenish grey 
background. 

Jtaphael has gi\en another sort of momentary animation to a s(|uinting 
scholar, hii^-hhinii'i. (The original foiinerlv at N'olterra is now at Boston, 
an old copy in the Pitti (iallery.) \\'ithout suppressing or cont'ealing the 
ija^tural defect, he was_able ±o neutralise it by the intensity of the .serioua, 
and tJlOJQghtfjjlexpiLessum. A look of indifference would lu' unendurable 
under the circumstances, but the spectator's attention is diverted from the 

' Is it l)y nil ai-tistic li.;eiu'i' that (liey ai)iiear so luw down, or are we to assume that 
tlie I'ope is seated on a ])oiliuni '; 



RAPHAEL 




r^rrtiait .if Fn 



ac-11' (ipciv. I.y r.j 



^listiirureinent to the ex^)l'e^^ion of intelled:naLintpiisity in tliis git'tfil 
Nav ant's jjj>turiieiLJai:t^ 

The Iiij^-hlrai ni is one of the e a rheNt Koniaii portrait s. If I am not 
mistaken, R aphael, at a later date, wonkl liave avoided tliis sti-onij; ae - 
centuation ot'a_nK )mentarv aeti on. and Avoi _i1dJia_vi- cl iosen a (piieter moti a' 
for a portrait \v1iii4)_j^e2rmi!ib' ^""''' '"^'^ I'epe ated^ inspectio n. Perfect art 
can ii-ive all the charm of momentariness e\en to repose. Thus the Count 
Cd-stiiilionc (Louvre) is verv sim])le in the action, but the slight inclination 
of the head and the folding of tlie hands are full of a momentarv and 



124 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



individual attraction. The man looks out of the picture with a calni^ 
soulful gaze, unmarked bv any obtrusive sentiment. Here Raphael had to 
paint the noble courtier, the embodiment of the type of the perfect cavalier 
described bv C'astiglione himself in his little book, // Cortigiano. 
]\Iodestv is the kevnote of his character. The nobleman here adopts no 
aristocratic pose ; he is distinguished l5v an unpretentious and unobtrusive 
tranquillity of liearing. The richness of efl'ect of the picture is won by 
the turn of the figiu-e, — on the same plan as the Momia Lisa, — and the. 
grandlv arranged costume. How imposing is the development of the 
silhouette ! If for })ur}jose of comparison we take a somewhat earlier 
picture, such as the Portriiif of a Man bv Perugino in the Uffizi, we shall 
discover that the figure bears cphte a novel relation to the surface, and we 
shall feel \\qw nuich thc;jyi(fe spac:e.,_aiidJ.argp, quiet planesu^J^lifiJaaiikgrOinicLi 
enhance th e imposing appearance of th e_sitter^ The hands now begin to 
d isappear. The master seems to have feared that thev wou ld divpr| , 
attentio n from the featiu-es in a half-len gth_^_po-rirait. If thev were 
intended to play a conspicuous part, the picture was made a three-quarters 
length, llie badxgrouiidJiMie ijs a_neu^ grev full of shadows . The 
costume is also grey and black, so that the flesh-tiiits remain the only 
v'^rm tones. IMasters of colom-, such as Andrea del Sarto and Titian, 
have, like Kaphael, introduced the white tones of the shirt in a similar 
scheme of colour. 

Clarity of dra\\-in g_haa_43jerha,ps reached^-ibi— higheat- perfet±ioiLjn__thg, 
MacMd T'wf r«i^ <>fa_Ca}'dJ2''-'IA-. The whol e effect is obtaine d b^' flbsohitel Li- 
sii^iipl(yjnes,jj.nd_has the_ grandeur and repo se of archi t£c±u¥e. 

The portraits of the two \'enetian scholars, Navagero and Beazzano 
(in the Uoria Gallery) cannot be positively assigned to Raphael's own 
brush, but they are in any case splendid examples of the new style, and 
instinct with life and character. In the Nai'agrro we ha-\e the vigorous 
vertical line ; the head is abruptly turned tt) look over the shoulder, and 
a Ijroad light falls on the nuiscular neck. The power of the bony frame- 
work is accentuated, and every detail adds to the expression of vigorous 
activity. Beazzano is the antithesis, the gentle self-indulgent nature, with 
the head mildly inclined and softlv ilhuninated. 

' The title of the picture is still doubtful. The statement in the Cireroin- that the 
Cttriliiial Bihhievn in tlie Pitti is an "inferior copy " of the ilailrid picture is incorrect. 
The two pictures liaye no connection whatever. 




r. rli-dit of a. Cardinal, liy KapluiL'l. 



RAPHAEL 



1:27 




Till' \'i..liii-ri;iVLi-, liV SL'l.;istiaiin del rini,,!,,,. 



The Vldrni-Phitjcr (at one time in the Palaz/o Sciarni, ]{<)iiie, iiov in 
the Itothsehild collection, Paris) was tbnnerlv attributed to Raphael, but 
is now universalh' considered a work of Sebastiano del Pionibo. This 
highly attractive head, with its wistful look and determined mouth, eloquent 
of some intimate traged\', is noteworthy as a product of C'in(|uecentist 
portraiture, eyen if compared « ith Rapliaers youthful ])ortrait of himself. 
It is not a mere difference in the models, but a difference in gi-asp of the 



128 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

subject that is evident. There is new restraint in expression, and an 
amazing po«er and certainty in the effect. Kaphael had ah-eady tried 
the experiment of putting the head to one side of the can\-as. Sebastiauo 
goes still farther in this respect. A slight inclination, almost imperceptible, 
is shown. The arrangemeirt of the light is i,'erv simple, one side being 
completely in shadow. The contours are ^-ery strongly marked. Then \ye 
have a great contrast of direction, the eyes turned to look over the shoulder. 
At the same time enough of the right arm is shown to make a decisive 
contrast of direction to the upright line of the head. 

Raphael painted fe^v female portraits, and has left the curiosity of 
succeeding ages as to the beauty of his Fnrnnrind unsatisfied. Formerly, 
liberal loans were made from Sebastiano's wuvrc, and any beautiful woman 
bv him was attril^uted to Raphael and assumed to be his mistress. This 
^vas the case \\'ith the Vcmi'nui Maidtii in the Tribuna, and the Dorothea 
from Blenheim (Berlin). More recent criticism has been warier; the 
Donna Velata (in the Pitti), universallv accepted as the work of Raphael, 
has been declared not only to have been the model for the Sistine Madonna, 
but also to be the idealised portrait of the missing Foniarina. The 
connection in the first case is obvious ; in the second it has at least an old 
tradition in its favour. 

ThcFornarina in the Tribuna, dated 1512, is a somewhat expressionless 
\"enetian beauty, and in no -way to be compared to the Berlin Dorothea, 
This later production possesses all the aristocratic calm, the majestic 
harmony, and the spacious movement of the High Renaissance. i We in- 
voluntarily think of Andrea del Sarto's beautiful \voman in the Birth of the 
Virgin of 1514. In contrast to these voluptuous creations of Sebastiano's, 
Rapl-iaeHu_ his J'o;»frf. Vehdii represents majestic ^ ^ oni£ml:ujnd Her bearing 
Ts^ erect and dignified: the cost ume ri cLh,_but,_siib(lued_bv^ the __s:oJ.emn 
sniiplicitTot^ the enfr aming ^e il. The eyes^ are not se arching;, but f irm 
and clear^ The Hesh -tints gain great warm tbJV om the n eu tral g imind! 
and hold their own triumphantly against the white satin. If we compare 
this with an c^rljer female portrait, s uch as the Modd ulciia ZJw/^lhe great 
grasp gj' J'oj™j__ an'crThe u uerrliu^IZeJ:tn^nty jn fly T^^FiT^jti£in5^'~t^^^^^^^^ 

1 The Berlin catalogue, on the contrary, dates the Dorolh .1, earlier than the picture in 
the Tribuna, following the untenaljlc arguments of ,lul. Jleyer. (JahrJi. ,1. Pruir-is. Kii}i!<t- 
m,amhni,jpii ISS(i). It heloiigs to tlie iuiniediate jieriod' of the Violin-Ph< ifn- anil the 
splendid Mdrlijnloin 0/ Sf. A<jr<th(i in the T'itti. (1.120.) 




Dorothea (Portrait), b}' Sebastiano del Piombo. 



RAPHAEL 



\:n 



ehararteristic of th i s st\lc. \\ ill lii- 
obvious. But the vt'rv found atioii 
of this is a conco[ )tioii of the 
( hfflity of the human fonn, to 

Avhich_th(^_,Yrii i thf ul — Kaphael jvas 

still a stranger. 

The DoniHi Vdiita sIioms such a 
surprising similarity to the Dorotlicti 
in composition, that we are natur- 
ally led to think the two pictures 
may have been painted in some sort 
of competition. If this were so, it 
might be permissi])le to couple Avith 
these the Bella formerh' in the 
Sciarra collection, which certainly 
is an early Titian ^ and must have 
been painted about the same time. 
It A\ould l)e a remarkable spectacle 

to see the new-born beauty of the C'in(|uecento displayed in three such 
different examples side In' side. 

However, we nnist hasten from these prototypes of the Sistine Madonna 
to the picture itself. The road has several stages, and among the Roman 
altar-pieces the .SV. CccU'ui has the first claim on our consideration. 




La Donna Valuta, by Haphacl. 



7. KOMAX Al.T.\r>-PICTUUES 

St. CecUia (Bologna Gallery). The saint is represented in the centre 
with four others, St. Paul and ]\Iary ^lagdalen, a l^ishop (Andirose) and 
St. John the Evangelist, not as a privileged person, not as a specially 
distinguished member of the group, but as a sister of the rest. They are 
all standing. She has let her organ fall, and is listening to the song of 
the angels above their heads. I'mbrian harmonies are unmistakeably 
re-echoed in this sympathetic figure. And yet, when we make a comparison 
with Perugino, we are astonished at Baphaers moderation. The way in 

1 It is now universally ascribed to I'alma, but tbe correspondence witli tlie so-called 
M(ulre<xe tie Titien in tbe Salon Carn'' of tbe Louvre is so evident, tbat it would be 
advisable to return to tbe old name. 



132 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



which the further foot is planted, and the head bent back is simpler than 
Perugino would ha^e made it. There is n o longer the vparninp- face witk 
■H-TojT^prl lljK tliP n pntimpn+qli+y in whic h Raphael still delighted, even^^. 
when he painted the St. Caihenne of the Lo ndon Nation aIJjflIl£r.v. The 
nifCture artist presents less, but he makes the little he does present more 
effective by contrasts. He calculates on pictorial effects which ai'e lasting. 
Excessive rapture shown in a single head is offensive. The picture derives 
its freshness from the restrained expression,' suggesting possible intensifica- 
tion, and from the contrast of divergent figures. St. Paul and the Alagdaleu 
are conceived in this v,-&\ : the former manly and collected, gazing before 
him, the latter quite unconcerned, a neutral foil. The two others stand 
apart, and whisper one to the other. 

It is an injury to the artist to take the chief figure out of its setting, as 
modern engravers have done. The sentiment of the picture requires 
completion as much as the line of the bent head calls for a contrast. The 
down-cast eyes of St. Paul balance the upturned face of St. Cecilia, 
and the unconcerned ]\Ifi|j^alen fornrs the pure vertical line, bv which 
all deviations from the perpendicular may be measured. 

AVe will not examine further the subsequent development of contrasts 
in the position and aspect of the figures. Raphael is still discreet ; a later 
artist would certainly not have grouped five standing figures without some 
strong contrast of mo^•ement. The engraving of the picture by ]\Iarc 
Antonio (B. 116) displays interesting variations in the composition. 
If the design is assumed to be Raphaefs o\\-n, and no other conclusion 
can be arrived at, it must be an earlier sketch, for the arrangement is 
defective. The very features ^xhich make the picture interesting are 
lacking. The Magdalen, full of emotion, looks upward, and so competes 
with the chief figure, and the t«-o saints standing in the background are 
obtrusive. In the revision of the picture tire change has been made ^^'hich 
is the criterion of progress, i.e. the substitution of subordination for 
co-ordination. There is a careful choice of motives, so that everything 
occurs only once, but each motive forms an integral part of the com- 
position. ^ 

Th^_Ma cl(mna of Foli^vio (in the \atican t rt_ Rome) nuist ha ve beeii_ 
p ainted at nearly the same date as the AY Av;7;^ _oW,f 1 K-\o ^Ve have 

' Ecclesiastical pnKiry seems to liavc leiigtheneil tlie dress of St. Cecilia in the 
picture, for originally lier luldes seem to liave been visible. 



RAPHAEL 133 

mjtj the t heme of the ]\ Iadonn a in ;i glory , an old motive, and yet to some 
extent new, sinee the Quattroeentists seldom adopted it. T he intr enuous 
eentur v ]n'et e iTed to seat the ^Madonna on a s ubstantial th rone rather than 
to exalt her in the elouds, while a ehany-e of sentiment in the sixteenth 

w ■ ;— ' ^ 

and seventeenth centuries, tending to the avoidance of any immediate 
contact between the earthly and the heavenly, led to the adojjtion of this 
ideal scheme for an altar-picture. A picture v\hich dates from the close 
of the Quattrocento, (ihirlandajo's Madoima in Glor/j at ]\Iunich, is a 
convenient one for purposes of comparison. 

In this picture also there are four men, who stand below on earth, and 
Ghirlandajo already felt the necessity of distinguishing between the atti- 
tudes. Two of them are kneeling, as in Itaphaers picture. But Raphael 
at once surpasses his predecessor by the variety and the intensity of the 
physical and. emotional contrasts, in a way which forbids any possibility of 
comparison, and at the same time he adds another feature, the cond^ination 
oi contrasts. T he figures are intended to participate ecjually in the ex - 
pression of emotion, N\'liereas earlier, no fault was fou nd with ai wdtai'- 
j^ece if the attendant saints st ood round in stolid indiffere nce^ One of the 
knetling figures is the tionor, an unusually ugly man, but his ugliness is 
forgotten in the imposing dignity of the treatment. He is praying, while 
his patron, St. Jerome, lavs his hand on his head and presents him to the 
Madonna. His formal prayer finds a splendid antithesis in the figure of 
St. Francis, who looks fervently upward, and including by a significant 
gesture of one hand the vyhole congregation of believers in his intercession, 
shows how the saints pray. His gesture is taken up, and vigorously 
continued by the St. John behind him, who is pointing to the Madonna. 

The Madonna^s gloryJs_ pictu res(|uely_di ssolved, though not as y^ t com - 
pletely ; the old formal disc of radiance is retainedail43art^is_a background ; 
T)ut all around clouds are ffoati ng. and the cherubs w ho^encircle her, to 
whom the yijattrQceutQ_cjinceded^ai_. most a shred^oivstrip of cloud on ^vhich 
to rest a foot, no\\^rJo1^in_thei£jdement like fish in the water^. 

llaphaef introduces an exceedingly beautiful and fertile motive in 
rppvpspiitTnfHj ie ATadonna seated . AVe have already said that he did not 
cic^ate this motive. T'JK^ distinctive character of the low e r lindjs, the t urn 
of the body, and the incl inat io n of the head may be tr aced to the ]\Iadonna 
i\r'Leo nari(i i[J do!-ation of the Khigs .^ _ The LlidtLt^llLLltLJjij^-ery affected 
in attitude, buj ^ was a charming thought to represent Him as look ing 



134 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



\vlir)starirk_giiioii p; t1ip inpn ]^e]ow ill the centre, and who, for his .paxt, 
is_Jfloking__ujuiiaid)*^ 

^^^hat is the meaning of this naked boy ^^'ith his tablet ? It may l^e said 
that in any case it is desirable that a type of childish innocence should be 
found among all these severe and serious male types. Besides this, the 
child^i^^jidia pen sable as a formal connecting l ink. Tliereas_a_ga£in the 
picture_hexe_ Ghirlandajo did not concern himself about this. Tlie 
C'in(]uecento st\-le, however, demanded that the masses should be in touch 
one with the other, and here in particular some liorjzo iital line is j;g(|uired. 
l{aplia&k4ne^4bks-4vai-itJ3-YJiL e introdiic tionofji^ov^angel. holding a blank 

tablet. Wpvi^>U2^J^PpJJTP_jf1pfl]jt;111 nf jfl-pqt ,\yJ^ 

lj ..aphael makes his effec ts Avith larger masses than Ghirla ndaio. The 
Madonna has been brought doA\'n so knv, that her foot comes to the level 
of the shoulder of the standing figures, A\hile on the other hand, the lower 
figures come quite to the edge of the picture. The eye Js_ not -intended 
ta_ A\ander a'wav bc liind them into the lands cape, as in the older works, 
an arrangement which produced a certain looseness and slightness of effect.^ 

The Madonna icith the Fi.fh (in the Prado at Madrid). In the Madonna 

del Pe.sce w e have Kaphaers Koman versio ir_of t he pn thxonefi iSIadonua. 

A Madonna was required, with the t^NO companion figures of St. Jerome 

and the Archangel Kaphael. The voung Tobias with a fish in his hand is 

usually added as a distincti\-e attribute of the latter. Whereas the Ijoy 

used to stand quite by himself, and Mas felt to be oidv a disturbing 

feature, he bLt;oni es in Kaphaefs hands the centre _oJLiyi.,..e|)isode. and 

the old typical votive-picture has been changed into a " narrative." The 

angel introduces Tobias to the \'irgin. AVe need not look for any 

special allusion in this. Jt -i-^+ho natmyd nn4-r.»)iiP of I^nphn"]'s firt theit, 

every character in his picture sh(Hdd take p!ivt in +hp aftim-v- St. Jerome 

is kneeling on the other side of the throne, and looks up for a moment from 

his volume to the group of the angels. The Infant Christ seems first to 

have been turned towards hnn, but now He looks towards the new arrivals, 

childishly stretching out one hand to them, while His other hand still 

' The landscape lias ah-eady been recognised )-\y Q-cowa and Caralcaselle as Ferrarese in 
construction. (Dosso DoK^i). Pciliaps the famous apparition of tlie thunderbolt in the 
liackground is only one of the Mcll-know-n Ferrarese pyroteclnuc displays, to which no 
further importance shonld be attached. The minutely-treated tussocks in the foreground 
are of course by the auxiliarj' hand. 



RAPHAEL 



rests on tlic old man's 
liook. i\Iar\\ a vcr\ di<^- 
nitied and noljlo fii;-uiv, 
looks down on Tobias 
without bending her 
head. She fornrs an al)- 
solutely vertical line in 
the composition. The 
timid boy ajiproaclnng 
the jyTQUpT-a nil the ~(I yl 
<|uisihd\^Jjcan^^ aiujel, 

j\ ti gure with ^ ill the 

Leouardesque bloom a jid 
delicacy, combine to form 
a g roup M-hich has no _ 



rl(' 



The 




Jlai.lijuiKi with twu kiictliug- Saints, )iy Alljuiiiiiflli. 



r ival m tlie -worh 
upward glance of tlie 
pleacOng iingc Trs st rengfi i- 
ened_b\^^thi^ d i a m m a 1 of 
the gre en curtain, ^\h ich 

runs parallel to it. This^ urtain, standing out sharply from _ti )e bviid it 
s1?\7 constitutes tlTe onTFembellishinent of this extremely simijle couiposi - 
iioiiL_ The throne shos\s a r enigin iisque plainness of constrnctiim The 
richness of the picture is due entirely to the correlation of all niovement. 



and the close t>Tc 



of the fit 



As Frizzoni lately demonstrated, 

the execution is not original, but the perfect cohei-ence of the composition 
shows clearly that Kaphael superintended the work to the end. 

The Sist'nic Mitdonna (Dresden). She is no longei-repir^scnted seated 
on cloud s ^ as in the Madii/uia di F( i!] g'ii<), l)ut upv'ndit, nioving- oxer th e 
clouds, like an apparitio n which is only visible for a moni jiul. Raphael 
painted this Madonna for the Carthusians of Piacenza. She is attended 
by St. Barbara and Pope Sixtus II., fi-om whom the picture takes its name 
of the Sht'tnc Madonna. The merits of this composition have already been 
discussed by so many writers that only a few points need be mentioned 
here. 

The effect of a figure a))parentl\' emerging from the picture and 



i])pare 



advancing upon the spectatcn' must be to some extent impleasant. Some 



136 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



modem pictures indeed aim at this coarse effect. Raphael, on the other 
hand, employed every -me4hod-~-a£--j£dxaimiig-jaoveHieutjaidJveepiu 
■\\Ttliin bounds. It is not hard to recognise ^\■hat these methods A\ere. 
The motive of action is a marve llously light, fl oating proQ-ressioii. If we 
analyse the peculiar conditions of equilibrium in this figure, and in the 
line of the inflated mantle and floating drapery, the marvel will be only 
partially explained. It is an important point, that t he saints oi i_ei ther 
sidp^are not kneel iny on the cloud s, but sinking into them, and tliaiJJi&- 
feet of the Virgin are in shadow, the light shining only on the bill owy 
clouds on ^^-hichshe_ stands . The floating movement of the figure js 
greatly re-inforced by these de tails. 

The whole is so arranged that the central figure has no counterpart, hut ^ 
a nu mber of faroili'abltrTontrasts^ Tlie MadonuaTaTone is 'stahding ; _the^ 
oT:he rs are kneeling , and on a lower level. ^ Sh e alone confronts t he__spec-_ . 
tator in a n absolutely vertical line, a simple mass, completely silhouet ted 
jiwrm st a bright background . The others are incorporated ^\■ith the 
wall ; their costumes are multi-partite, and they are fragmentary as masses. 
They have no ratnon d\'trc in themselves. They exist only in referen ce, to 
tlretorn r in the central axis, for which th e iitnii^igt^^j^ijt^^j^iid^pi-iwpr are 
reserxecb This sets the standai'd, the others sho\v the deviations, but in 
such a \vay that e\en these appear regulated by hidden law. The scheme 
of direction is clearly as follows : tlie upward line of the Pope had to be 
counterbalanced liv a downward line in the St. Barbara, the pointing 
outwards in the one case by an iiuvard movement in the other.- Nothing 
in this picture is left to chance. The Pope looks up at the ]\Iadonna, 
St7 Barbara dowindrThe children on the edge of the picture, and thus 
care is taijen, .tliaLJ:Le,,ex(LJ?£jy]JL_iitJC ctator is at once led injia^certain , 

channels. 

I need not dwell on the strange effect of the trace of embarrassment 
in the expression of the Virgin, who is given an alnK)st architechoiiic 
yigoLir of form . The God is the Child in her arms : her function is only 
to carry Him. He is borne aloft, not because He could not walk, but 

> We may coiiiiiare with this Albertinelli's arrangement in his picture of 1506 in the 
Louvre, wliieh is in every respect an instructive iiarallel to the Sistine Madonna. (See 
illustration). 

- The two female saints in Fra liartolommeo's picture at Lucca of God Almiijhiy 
(painted l')09) represent a i>reliminary stage. 



RAPHAEL 137 

because He is a prince. His Ijodv is ou a supeduini an'scale. and the way 
in whic h He lies lias something licroic i njt. The~niil(t is not giving" a 
lienediction, but He gazes at the people in front of Him with a steady, 
michildlilve look. He fixes them in a manner uiii<nown among mortal 
children. H is hair is dishevelled, like that of a prophet . The two " p utti " 
bj;;^lmvj->ft'er tlie con trast of normal infant nature. ^ The picture had to be 
hung high, the Madonna is descending. If it is placed too low, the finest 
effect is lost.- The frame which has been gi\en it at Dresden is perhaps 
over-heavy : the figures would look more imposing without the large 
pilasters.* 

The Tran.sfiguratlon (\'atican). Tlie picture of the Transfiguratio n 
sho ws a double scene: the transfiguration .nbiive. and th p 'iicidp"t nf th>' 
fjpiiinnif^ie boy t^pl'^'v, This combination is certainlv exceptional. It was 
only once treated by Raphael. In it he has given us his last word as to the 
representation of historical events. The Transfiguration has alwavs been 
a difficult subject. Three men standing upright close together, and three 
others semi-recumbent at their feet. A picture as sincere as that of 
Bellini in the ^luseum at Naples, with all its charm of colour and detail, 
cannot disguise from us the difliculty experienced bv the artist himself, 
when he was compelled to lav before the feet of the glistening transfigured 

' Has it been noticed that the larger angel has only one wing ? Raphael shrank from 
the overlapping a second would have entailed. He did not wish to make the bottom of the 
picture too massive. This licence agrees with others of the classical style. 

- This may be seen from the cop}' which hangs in the Leipzig Museum. 

3 The Sl.^fiiie Madonna, as is well known, has been reproduced in many excellent 
engravings. First of all by F. Miiller (1815) in a greatly admired masterpiece of engraving, 
which many even now consider the finest of all the reproductions. The expression of the 
heads comes very close to the original, and the plate is distinguished by an incomparably 
beautiful and tender brilliance. (There is a cojjy of it by Nordheim.) Then Steinla essayed 
the task (1848). He was the fir.st who gave the top of the picture correctly (the cnrtain- 
rod). Xotwithstanding some improvements in detail his work is not equal to that of 
F. Miiller. It any engraving can be compared to this, it is that of J. Keller (1871.) Very 
discreet in the means he employed, he yet succeeded in reproducing the shimmer of the 
apparition in a wonderful manner. Later critics discovered that he had lost too much of the 
definite modelling of the original in the process, and Mandel accordingly set to work making 
extraordinary efforts to realise the expressive drawing of Raphael. He extracted an un- 
expected wealth of form from the picture, but the charm of the whole has suffered, and in 
places his very conscientiousness has resulted in absolute ugliness. Instead of the luminous 
vapour he gives us a blurred raincloud. Kohlschein lately made another departure. He 
exaggerated the lights, and changed the shimmer into a flare, wilfully abandoning the effect 
aimed at by Raphael. 



138 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 




The Traii^fiyiiratiMii, li\ (_.iij\.\niii Bellini. 



Lord and His companions the threo prostrate figures of the dazzled 
disciples. But there was an earlier, more ideal scheme, according to which 
Chi'ist did not stand on the groinid, but was represented in a nimbus 
raised aliove the earth. Perugino had painted the scene thus in the 
Cambio at Perugia. Bv this device the picture certainly gained much in 
form, but with Kaphael there can have ])een from the first no question as 
to which type ho should choose. His heightened perception felt the need 
of the miraculous. He found the gesture i)f the outspread arms already 
existing, but the fl(2ating.aii4(i-44i t' expression (> f-^wpt44«.j-xu)uId^iQt ..have 
bc'enjl erived f rom any soiu-ce Attracted by the action of fliglit, iVIoses 
and Elijah follow the C'ln'ist, turning towards Him and dependent on Him. 
He is the source of their strength and the centre of the light. The 
others only approach the l)orders of tiie radiance which surrounds the 



RAPHAEL 



18! I 




Fragment fruui the Transtiguratinii, liy L!;qiliae[. 



Saviour. Tliejliscij:)le.s beneath complete the circle. Raphael drew them 
on a niucli smaller .scale, .so as to coni Tect__them closely nith the ground. 
They are no longer separateJjidepeudent persQrLali±ies,-5\hich. distract ±he 
attention^ They seem essential components of tke- circle -_w:hicJv ^he 
transfigured Lord has dra\\n i-ound Him, and it is bv contrast ^\•ith these 

circumscribed fonns thgj_ fh*'' T^nHf'"f'; ^^'['i'lrp [•■■flin^ thfi — ^tSC-effeet-— of 

freedom and emai icTpation. If Raphael had becjueathed nothing to the 

world but this group, it would be a complete monument of art as he 
conceived it.^ 

' The feeling for proportion and arrangement was soon completely dulled in the 
Bolognese Academician.^, who es.sayed to continue the tradition.? of the cla.ssical period. 
Chri-st, haranguing the di.sciples from the clouds, squeezed in between the sprawling seated 
figures of Moses and Elijah, and tlie herculean disciples, beneath, vulgarlj- exaggerated in 
gesture and attitude — this is Liidoyico Carracci's picture in the Hologna Gallery. (See 
illustration). 



140 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



But he did not wish to end there. He-vvaiited-a^^ttfe Hg contrast, a sd 
this he^ found in the episode _oiLthe—dem-omae-43»v. -It~is__the logical 
development of those principles of composition which he had adopted in 
the Heliodorus Stan7a___jVhnvP; ppa^p, snlpirin ity and c elest.iaL jjaptviyp -^ 
beneath^ noi sycrow ds and earthly l amentatio n. 

The Apostles stand there, closely packed together. There are confused 
groups and strident outlines. The chief moti\-e is a diagonal path, over 
Avhich the crowd has spread. The figures in the lower part of the picture 
are on a larger scale than those in the upper, but there is no danger of 
their outweighing the Transfiguration scene. The clear geometrical 
disposition triumphs over all the tumult of the multitude. Raphael was 
not able to finish this picture. IMany details of form are repellent, and 
the whole is unattractive in colour. But the great contrast in arrangement 
must have been his original thought. 

Titian's A.%sumption was produced in Venice at about the same time 
(1518). The object here is different, but in principle the two pictures are 
akin. The Apostles beneath form of themselves a close wall, a sort of 
plinth, in ■\\-hich the individual counts for nothing. The Virgin stands 
above them, in a great circle, the upper circumference of which coincides 
with the semi-circular frame of the picture. It mav be asked why Raphael 
did not also choose this semi-circular form for the completion of his picture. 
Perhaps he ■\\-as afraid of exaggerating the ascending mo\enient of the 
Christ. 

The pupils who finished the Transfiguration, worked their will iu 
other places also under the name of their master. It is onlv in very 
recent times that any attempt has been made to free Raphael from this 
partnership. The products of Raphael's atelier, harsh in colour, mean in 
conception, false in gesture, and above all, devoid of proportion, are, for the 
most part, strangely unpleasant productions. 

AVe can understand the anger of Sebastiano when he found his road 
blocked by such people in Rome. Sebastiano was all his life a spiteful 
rival of Raphael, but his talent entitled him to aspire to the highest tasks. 
He never completely freed himself from a certain Venetian a^^•kwardness. 
In the middle of monumental Rome he still adhered to the scheme of the 
half-length picture, and he may be said ne\-er to ha\e attained a thorough 
mastery over the dra\ving of the human body. He was deficient also in 
the finer feeling for space, he ^^•as easily be^^•ildered, and as a consequence 



RAPHAEL 



141 



he appears cranii)e(l and confused 
at times. But lie had tnilv 
great powers of coneeptioii. As a 
painter of portraits he stood in 
the very first rank, and in histori- 
cal pictures he achieved now and 
again powerful effects, oiil\- com- 
parable to those of ^Michelangelo. 
We do not indeed kno\v how nuich 
he was indebted to the latter. His 
Flagdhdion in S. Pietro in ]Mon- 
torio at Home and the P'uia in 
\ iterbo are among the most mag- 
nificent creations of the golden 
age. The Ka/vii/o- of Larsdni.s, 
painted in competition -with 
Haphaefs Tran.spg-urdtiou, hardlv 
deserves to be ranked so liigldv. 
Sebastiano excelled in the re])re- 
sentation of a fe\s' figures ratlier 
than in depicting a crowd, and 
the half-length may be considered, 
generally, the domain in which he 
felt himself most secure. His \ery 

distinguished style finds its best expression in the Vl^/fiitidii in the I^ouvre. 
The Vi-s/t{ifioii of the school of Raphael in the Prado, in spite of its 
large figures, looks commonplace Ijy comparison. ^ Even the Christ hearing 
His Cross in ^Madrid (replica in Dresden) may be considered superior 
in the expression of its chief figure to the suffering Christ of Paphaefs 
Spasbno. ( Prado). - 




Tlie Traustit,air;itinii, liy L. C;in;icci. 



1 It is impossible that this very poor composition was designed b}' Rapliael. (Cf. 
Dollmayr, p. 344 ; by Penni). 

- This celel^rated pictui'e was not only executed hy otlier liands, but must also liave 
been copiously "edited" in composition. Tiie chief motive of Christ looking round over 
His shoulder is strilcing, and is undouljtedly genuine, as is also the development of the 
procession as a w'hole. But, together with tliis, there are lamentable obscurities and 
motives borrowed from other works by Raphael, so that any idea of tlie personal share of 
tlie master in the composition is precluded. 



142 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



If any painter may be named as a third with the two great masters 
ill Rome, it is Sebastiano. He gives us the impression of a pei'sonality 
destined for the liighest ae]iie\-ements, who had ne\er completely developed ; 
who never produced what he might htxve done i\ith his talents. He 
lacked the sacred enthusiasm for work. In this he '«as the antithesis to 
Raphael, Avhose diligence Michelangelo praised as his essential character- 
istic. What he meant by this was obviously RaphaePs capacity for 
ii'aining fresh strength from everv fresh task. 




\int;igc. From tli3 ciigraviuy Ijy .Mare Aiituniu 



V 

FRA BARTOLO^NHIEO 

1475—1517 

L\ Fi-a Bartoloinnieo the High Hcnaissancc has its type of the monastic 
painter. 

The gix'at experience of his youth liail been tlie preaching of Savonarola 
and the spectacle of his death. After that he retired to a monastery and 
renounced painting for a time. This must have been a painful resolution, 
for in him, more than in most painters, we divine the need of pictorial, 
expression. He had not nmch to say, Init the thought that inspired him 
\\-as a noble thought. The pupil of Sa\-onarola cherished an ideal of a 
potent simplicity, by force of which he v\ould annihilate the ^vorldh- vanity 
and the petty conceits of the Florentine diurch-pictures. Ho was no 
fanatic, no soured ascetic. His songs are joyous lays of triumph. He 
mu.st be seen in his voti\e pictures, where the saints stand in serried masses 
round the enthroned Madonna. In these his utterance is clear and 
pathetic. Ponderous masses, co-ordinated by strict rule, imposing con- 
trasts of direction, and a splendid energy of combined mo\'ement are his 
characteristics. His is the style which dwells in the resounding vaults of 
the High Renaissance. 

Nature endowed him with a feeling for the grandiose, for majestic 
beai'ing, stately draperies, and magnificently undulating line. Can any- 
thing be compared to his St. Sehanttan for buoyant beauty, or «here can 
the gesture of his Risen Saviour be equalled in Florence f A robust 
sensuality preserved him from mere hollow pathos. His Evangelists are 
full-necked and athletic. Those who stand are absolutely firm on their 
feet, and those who are holding anything have an iron grip. He makes 
the gigantic his normal scale, and anxious to give his pictures the most 



144 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



powerful plastic effect, he so intensifies the darkness of his shadows and 
backgrounds, that many of his pictures, owing to the inevitable deepenintr 
in tone, no longer give us any pleasure. He felt but a qualified interest in 
the accurate presentment of the indi\idual. He aimed at general effects 
not particular tvpes. He treated the nude superficially, because he 
calculated on the impression produced bv the motive of movement and line 
as a ^\'hole. His characters are always significant from the sinceritv witli 
which the\' are conceived, but exen here he hardly goes beyond general 
traits. We accept his generalisations because we are carried away by the 
gestures of his figures, and feel his personality in the rhythm of the 
composition. Very occasionally he ^vent beyond his depth, as in the heroic 
seated figures of prophets. The influence of Michelangelo bewildered him for 
a moment. In attempting to compete with the movement of this giant he 
became empty and insincere. It is obvious that, among the older painters, 
Perugino -with his simplicity nmst have been the one who most strongly 
appealed to him. He found in him what he himself was seeking, disregard 
of amusing detail, quiet spaces, and concentrated expression. He foUows 
him even in beauty of movement, adding to this, however, his individual 
feeling for strength, mass, and compact outline. Compared ^\ith him, 
Perugino at once seems petty and affected. 

How nuich of his broad pictorial style can be traced to Leonardo, and 
how far the latter was responsible for his bold treatment of light and 
shade, and his rich gradations, are questions for a monograph. Such 
discussion would further have to take into account the impression 
produced by Venice, which the Frate visited in the j-ear 1508. He saw 
there a style adapted to large surfaces in its highest development, and 
found in Bellini a perception and a feeling for the beautiful whicii must 
have affected him like a revelation. ^Ve shall return to this point 
presently. 

It is not easy to predict the future development of Bartolonnneo from 
his fresco of the Laii Judgment (in the Hospital of Sta. JNIaria Nuova, 
Florence), a work of the expiring Quattrocento. The upper group, the 
only part of the picture he himself executed, suffers especially from want 
of cohesion. The chief figure, the Saviour, is too small, and among the 
rows of seated saints, \\hich con\erge towards the background, the cramped 
arrangement and the close juxtaposition of the heads has a dry and anti- 



PRA BARTOLOMMEO 14.-, 

i|iiated effect. If it has Ijeen ju^th said that the composition was the 
stiiiiiilatiiifr iiiHueiice in llaphael's ])'iHpiit(u a comparison of the t»o woi'ks 
also sliows very clearly the real achievement of Jlaphael, and the difficulties 
he surmounted. The inorf^anic arrani>ement of the whole a)id the removal 
of the principal figure into the liackgi'ound are defects found in the 
preliminary sketches for the iyi.sj)iit(i, and fi]iall\- o\ercome. JIaphael, on 
the other hand, from the fii'st found no flifficultv in tlie clear de\elopment 
of the seated saints. He shared Peiiigino's taste for perspicuitv and 
spacious grouping, whereas all the Florentines expected the spectator to 
j)ick out pai'ticular heads from denseh' packed ic)ws. 

Very different is the appeal made to the spectator In' the Virgin ap- 
pearing- to St. licrnard ( l-5()6, Florence, Accademia), the first picture painted 
fjv liartolomnieo as a monk. It is not a jjleasing work, and its condition 
leaves much to be desii'ed, Ijut it is a jjicture which jiroduces an impression. 
'J'he apparition is represented iji an unexjjected manner. It is no longer 
I'llipjiino's delicate, tiniifl uoinan who advances to the desk of the holv 
man a]id lays her hand on the book. It is a supernatural apjjarition, which 
floats down in the majestic wa\es of a cloak, escoi'ted bv a choir of angeb, 
in crowded masses, all filled witfi reverence and adoi'ation. FilipjMiio 
had painted girls half-shv, half-curious, who accompany the Virgin on hei' 
visit. Bartolommeo does not wish to I'aise a smile, Init to stir devotion, 
1 'nfortuiiately his angels are so iiglv that the devout feeling is slighth' 
chilled. The saint i-eceives the nn'racle with pious astonishment, and this 
impression is so beautifully i-eiidered that in compju-ison Filippino seems 
ordinary, and even Pei'ugino in Iiis picture at Munich, mediocre. The 
heavy, trailii^g wliite robe has a no\el grandeur of line. 

The accompanying details of landscape and architecture still show the 
uncertain touch of the young artist. The space is on the whole ciamped, 
so that the apparition has a somewhat overwlielming effect. Three years 
later the inspii-ation which gave rise to the St. Bernard Hanied out once 
'more in the picture of (jod the Fatlier with two kneeling female saints 
(1509, Academy at Lucc;i), where the worshipping Catherine of Siena, 
•rejjeats the motive in a largo- and more emotional form. The turn of 
the head v. il!i its "lost profile,'" and the forwai-d inclination of the bofly 
strengthen 1 r:e impression, just as the movement of the dark habit blown 
out by the .<ind, is a very effective translation of mental excitement into 
agitated ext rnal form. 

T, 



U6 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



The other saint, the ^lagdalen, is motionless. She holds out the 
box of ointment with hieratic solemnity, and raises an end of her mantle 
high before her breast, while her lowered eyes rest on the congregation. 
AVe have here a contrast of arrangement of the kind Kaphael afterwards 
repeated in the Sisiiiic Madonna. Both figures are kneeling, not oii 
the surface of the earth, but on clouds. In addition to this Bartolommeo 
gives an architectonic framework with two pillars. The eye is carried 
into the distance of the background over a Hat (juiet landscaj)e. The 
faint line of the horizon and the great expanse of atmosphere produce 
a marvellouslv solenui effect. Similar intentions are noticeable in Peru- 
gino's works, as the reader mav remember, but it is rather impressions 
of A'enice that are re-echoed here. In contrast to the palpitatini;- 
abundance of Florentine motives this picture speaks significantlv of 
new ideals. Where Bartolommeo takes in hand the ordinarv picture of 
the Virgin with Saints, as for example, the marvellouslv painted picture 
of 1508 in the Cathedral of Lucca, '^ his chief concern is once more a 
simplification of effects, (juite in the manner of Perugino : plain draperies, 
(|uiet backgrounds, and a mere cube as a throne. He surpasses Perugino 
in his more vigorous movement, his lustier figures, and more compact 
design. His line is rounded and undulating, averse to all harsh 
intersections. How admirably the silhouettes of ]\Iarv and Stephen are 
harmonised ! - The uniform tilling up of the surface has an antiquated 
effect, but with a new feeling for mass, the standing figures are 
brought close to the edge of the picture, -ixhich is enframed bv two 
lateral pillars, whereas the earlier artists alwavs allowed a glimpse of 
space between the pillars and the margin. 

Henceforward Bartolommeo strikes chords ever fuller and richer in 
his altar-pieces, creating rhythms more and more spirited and sweeping, 
in the arrangement of his iigures. He understood how to subordinate 
his crowds to a grand leading motive, and to oppose contrasting groups 
of dark and liijuid tones. AVitli all this ^^■ealth of effect his pictures are 
full of breadth and space. The most perfect expression of his art is found 

1 He yh-es a memento of his Venetian journey to Florentine art in tlie 2)iillo playing 
the lute. 

'- Inartistie engra\ers, sneh as Jesi, have iilaee.l the Madonna higher in the 
pieture, misled hy an arbitrary ilesire to iniiivove it, ami thus have lisloeateil the 
araljesnue. 



FRA BARTOLOMMEO 



147 




Thc Virgin appearing to .St. Bernard, liy Fra Bartolomnie 



in the Marrhinr of St. Catherine (Pitti) and in the cartoon of the Patron 
Saints of Florence with St. Ainie and two others (Uttizi) : both were 
painted in \o\'-l. 

The space in these pictures is closely filled in. Bartolomnieo wanted 
a dark background. A wide landscape claiming the attention of the 
spectator would have been disturbing to the harmony of his pictures. 
He demanded the accompaniment of hea\y, solemn architecture. A large 
empty semicircular niche is often the motive ; he may have learnt the 
elFect of this at \'enice. The shadow thrown by the vaulting constitutes 
the value of this motive. Strong colour is abandoned, just as the 
Venetians themselves, bv the sixteenth century, had gi\en up bright 
hues in favour of neutral tints. 

To secure animation of line for his figures. Bartolonnneo placed 
two or three steps rising from the foreground to the l)ackground. This 

1. 2 



148 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



motive of steps, which Raphael used with grandiose effect in the SchooJ^ 
of Athens, became indispensable in the Frate's altar-pieces with theii 
numerous figures. 

The point of sight is thus put far back, so that the figures behind 
are lowered. This mav have been intended as the natural point of sight: 
for the spectator in the church. Bartolonuneo''s strongly accentuated 
composition is especially Ijenefited by this perspective. The rise and 
fall of the rhythmical theme is clearly marked. With all his fulness^ 
Bartolommeo never produces a disturbing or confusing effect. H© 
constructs his pictures on a definite plan, and the pillars on which his, 
composition rests are at once apparent. 

In the Marridfft;^ the figure in the right-hand corner is a singularly 
characteristic type, a motive proper to the wealth of movement of the 
sixteenth centur\-, and one \\hich Pontormo and Andrea del Sarto have 
made their own : one foot planted on the step, the arm outstretched, th| 
turn of the head contrasting \\ith that of the body. The grasping hand* 
and curving body are full of energy. In order to display the muscles and 
the joints the arm is nude to the elbow. Michelangelo had set thi^ 
fashion, but he would certainly ha\e drawn this arm differently. The* 
wrist lacks expression. 

The St. George on the left side forms a happy contrast bv its simplicity^ 
The gleaming armour emerging from the dark background was a noveltjl 
to Florentine eves. 

Lastly, the suggesti^ e group of the Child and His iMother, who directs 
the movement downwards by giving the wedding-ring to St. Catherine, is 
of \\onderful sweetness, and \ery characteristic of Bartolonnneo in the liquid 
flow of the line. 

Pictures of this type, with their rich rhythmic life, the severe correctness 
of their tectonic structure, and their unfettered movement, made a great 
impression on the Florentines. 

That which had been so much admired formei-ly in Perus'ino's o-eoraet- 
rically arranged Pitid (IMH), was here presented in a higher form. In 
his fresco of the Vixttdt'ioii (outer court of the Annunziata) Pontormo has 
attempted, and not unsuccessfully, to imitate the composition of the Frate. 
He raises the chief group in front of a niche, he sets powerfully con- 

1 The niariiage of ,St. Catheiiiii; is not the central motive of the picture, but the name 
must be tolerated for purposes of lUstinction. 



FRA BARTOLOMMEO 



143 



trastwlcornei'-tigurus near 
the margin in the fore- 
ground, lie einpk)vs the 
motive of the steps to 
fill lip the middle spaee, 
and In' these means 
aehieves a truly monu- 
mental inipression. The 
value of each individual 
figure is increased h\ its 
forming part of so strik- 
ing a whole. 

The M((ih))uui at Be- 
sancon claims particular 
notice, in that it con- 
tains a most beautiful 
figure of a St. Sebastian. 
The movement is magni- 
ficently fluent, and the 
painting has the Venetian 
breadth. The combined 
influences of Perugino 
and Bellini are noticeable. 
The light falls only on the 

right side of the body, where the action is most lively, and so, to the 
immense advantage of the figure, the essentials of the motive are made 
prominent. But the picture is also noticeable for its subject. The 
Madonna is represented on clouds, and these clouds are enclosed in an 
architectonic interior, which only allows a glimpse into the open air 




Madijiiiia witli Suiiits, by Fra BartDbiminco. 



through a door in the background. This is idealism of 



rel kind. 



Bartolonnneo seems to have wanted the dark background and the depth of 
shadow. He also obtained in this way new contrasts in the figures of the 
standing saints. The imjjression of space is, however, inadequate, and the 
open door, instead of increasing this, seems to contract it further. The 
picture originally terminated differently at the toj). There was a Corona- 
tion in the lunette. It is possible that by this means the general 
effect was improved. This picture seems to have been painted al)out 1512. 



150 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



The Frate's emotional power culminated in the deep pathos of the 
Madonna clella Mhiricordht of the year 1515 at Lucca (Academy). These 
Misericordia pictures in their familiar form are oblong in shape: the 
Madonna stands in the middle, and clasps her hands in prayer. To the 
right and left under her cloak kneel the devout persons \\ho place them- 
selves under her protection. In liartolommeo's hands they become large 
upright pictures rounded at the top. The Mrgin stands raised above- the 
earth. Angels spread out her ck)ak, and thus she offers her loud and 
urgent intercession with a magnificently triumphant gesture, her arms ex- 
tended, one upwards, the other down wards ; Christ, granting her prayer, 
answers her from heaven. His figure, too, is enveloped in a fluttering 
mantle. 

In order to i;i\e ease to ilarv"s action Bartolommeo was forced to 
raise one of her feet above the other. What was to be excuse for 
this inequalitv of height 't He was not for a moment at a loss ; to 
carrv out the idea, he placed a small step under one foot. The classical 
age found no fault with these expedients, at which the modern critic would 
cry out. The congregation is ranged in stages from the podium down 
to the foreground, and grouj)s are formed of mothers and children, of 
praving and gesticulating persons, who may from the standpoint of form 
be compared with those in the HtViodorKs. This comparison is somewhat 
dangerous, for it at once reveals the real defect in the picture. It is 
deficient in continuity of movement ; the movement, that is, which is carried 
on from one member of the group to another. Bai'tolonuneo continually 
renewed his attempts to represent such mass-movements, but he seems 
hei'e to have reached the limit of his talent.^ 

Titian's A.wiimjjfion \\as painted a few years after the Madonna delhi 
Misericordia. A reference to this unique creation can hardly be avoided, 
seeing how closely the motives of the two works are connected, but it 
would be unfair to measure Bartolommeo's merit by Titian. The import- 
ance of Bartolonnneo for Florence was inunense, and the picture at Lucca 
is a convincing expression of the lofty spirit of that time. How quickly 
such lofty conceptions ai-e debased is best shown by Baroccio's popular 
picture on the same theme, known as the Madonna del Popolo (Uffizi). 
Admirably bold and bright in its picturescjue design, it is absoluteh' trivial 

" ^ The relation to the Huliodonis is still clearer in the liapc of li!imh in Vienna, the 
di'a\\-int; for wliicli \»'as due to Lai'toloninieo, 



FRA BARTOLOMMEO 1.51 



ill essence. Akin to the Madotiiut dellu Mlscy'icordui is the liisoi Christ 
of tlie Pitti (1517). All that was uncertain and false in the former is 
eliminated here. The picture may be regarded as the most ])erfect of the 
Frate's works. He had l^ecome more tranc|uil. But the restrained pathos 
of this gentle, beneliceiit Christ has a more searching and convincing 
effect than anv violent gesture : " Behold I live, and ve shall live also ! '^ 
Bartolommeo had been in Rome just previously, and may have seen the 
Sisfiiic Mudo)nm there. The magniHcent simplicity of the folds of the 
drapery is of a very similar kind. In the silhouette he introduces a 
gradually ascending triple undulation, a splendid motive which was destined 
to be further employed in his pictures of the ^ladonna. The drawing of 
the uplifted arm and the knowledge of anatomv shown in it A\()uld have 
satisfied Michelangelo. Here again we have the great niche in tlie back- 
ground. Christ rises above it, and His figure thus gains in dignity. He 
is raised above the Evangelists by a pedestal, an apparently obvious con- 
trivance, which is cjuite alien to the whole Florentine Quattrocento. The 
first examples of it are found in \ enice. 

The four evangelists are sterling personalities, firm and niassi\e of 
t\'pe. Only tM"o are accentuated. The two at the back are completely 
subordinated to the two in front, \\\i\\ whom tliev combine in silhouette. 
This illustrates BartolommeoV feeling for mass. The profiles and full- 
faces, the upright and stooping positions, are distributed with an abso- 
lutely mature calculation of effect. The vertical line of the full-face to 
the right is not so impressive in itself; it acquires special force from its 
connection, and from the architectonic accompaniments. We recognise 
their inevitability. 

Lastly, the group of mourners, the Pieta, has been treated by Barto- 
lommeo with the most noble restraint of expression, as the greatest artists 
of his time treated it. All the details of this picture combine with and 
emphasise the rest. (Picture in the Pitti.) The lamentation is subdued. 
There is a gentle meeting of two profiles ; the mother has raised the dead 
hand, and .stoops to imprint a last kiss on the forehead. That is all. The 
Christ .shows no trace of the sufferings He has undergone. The position of 
His head is not that of a corpse. Even here idealism prevails. The features 
of the Magdalen, who has thrown herself in passionate grief at the feet of 
the Lord, are indistinguishable. The expression of the St. John, however, 
shows, as Jacob Burckhardt remarked, traces of the exertion of bearing 



152 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



the body — a truly dramatic 
touch. Tlie emotions are 
thus strongly differentiated, 
and the paj-allelism of ex- 
pression, found in Perugino's 
works, is replaced by ^•igor- 
ous contrasts, reciprocalh' 
enhanced. A similar ecoii- 
t)my go\erns the physical 
moycments. Two figures are 
now wanting in the compo- 
sition, for a St. Peter and a 
St. Paul Mere once in the 
picture. AVe must imagine 
them also bending down, 
aboye the ^Magdalen, the 
ugliness of whose silhouette 
would thus be modified. i 
The absence of these figures 
has shifted the accent of 
the whole. There was, how- 
e\'er, no synunetrical distri- 
bution of masses, such as 
the picture now seems to 
suggest ; a free rhythmical 
arrangement was aimed at, l)ut the three heads to the left certainly 
require some counterpoise. Later, the base of a cross \yas added in the 
middle of the group, obyiously incorrectly ; for this particular place should 
he unaccented. 

(.'ompared with Perugino, ^\\\o seemed so calm among his contempo- 
raries, Bartolonnneo is even more restrained and impressive in line. The 
great parallel horizontal lines on the liorder of the foreground only serve to 
express the very simple, irUcvo-Yike grouping of the figures^, with the two 
dominating pi'ofiles. IJartolonmieo nuist ha\e realised the beneficial results 
of thus giving repose to the picture. lie succeeds in conveying a similar 

1 The tigiu'es were put in, but Merc expunged. For the complete group see Albertiuelli's 
J'iiJd in the Academy. 




The Risen Christ with tlie l''"ur Eviuigelists, Ijy 
rr;i UartuluinuiOLi. 



PRA BARTOLOMMEO 



153 




I'ictii, Ijy Fra Ijartoluiiimeo. 



iuipre.ssion of repose by 
loweviiiii; the irroiij). Pei-u- 
yino's lofty triangle has 
become an obtuse-ang-led 
group of inconsiderable 
height. The oblong shape 
i>f the picture \\as per- 
haps selected Avith the 
same object. 

Bartolonmieo might 
have been able to con- 
tinue his Asork still 
further, trancjuilly bring- 
ing the whole range of 

Christian subjects nearer to their classical form. AVe gather from his 
sketches that his imagination rapidly kindled, evoking definite pictorial 
forms, to Avhich he applied the laws of effect with unerring precision. 
Vet it was not the application of rule which decided the effect in his 
case, but the personality whicli had created rules of its own. How little 
academic instruction could he gleaned in his studio is shown by the 
example of Albertinelli, who A\'as one of his closest intimates. 

Mariotto Albertinelli (14<7-1-1515) was called l)y Vasari "a second 
Bartolommeo." He was long his collaborator, but lie \\as of a ver\' 
different temperament. He lacks the Frate's cou\iction. Endowed A\ith 
great talents, he essayed problems noA\' and again, but arri\ed at no logical 
result, and at intervals he aba.ndoned painting altogether, and took to 
inn-keeping. 

The early picture of the Vinltdtion (ISO.'i) shows him at his best; the 
conception of the group is pure and beautiful, Ijlending harmoniously with 
the background. The subject of the mutual greeting is not very easy to 
master ; to get the four hands into their places is a difficult feat. Ghirlandajo 
had treated the theme not long before (picture in the Louvre, dated 1491). 
He makes Elizabeth kneel and stretch out her arms, while INIary lays her 
hands soothingly on her shoulders. But by this arrangement one of the 
four hands has entirely disappeared, and the parallel moAement of the arm 
of ]Mary is not one Mhich we shoidd care to see repeated. Albertinelli is 
at once richer and clearer. The women clasp their right hands, and the 



134 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



disengaged left arms are 
differentiated by makini;- 
Elizabeth euilirace her 
visitor, while Marv mo- 
destly places her hand 
Ijefore her Ijosom. The 
motive of kneeling is 
abandoned. Albertinelli 
wanted to luring the two 
profiles quite close to- 
gether. By the rapid 
step of the elder woman 
and the slight inclination 
of her head, he has clearly 
marked her subordination 
to j\Iary, M'hile bv casting 
a strong shadow on her 
face he further emphasises 
the idea. No Quattro- 
eentist would have yet 
thought of making the 
distinction thus. The 
two stand in front of a 
vestibule, the architecture 
of which clearly owes its 
origin to Perugino, and 
the \ast peaceful back- 
ground of sky is conceived 
quite in his style. Later 
artists wouldhave avoided 
the further glimpses of landscape on either side of the picture. The drapery 
and the floxN'cry foregi'ound still sliow traces of the Quattrocento. 

The great Cnicifi.vio/i in the Certosa (1506) also shows Perugino's 
influence. But four years afterwards Alljertinclli created the new and 
classic emendation of the figure on the cross in his picture of the Trinity 
(Academy, Florence). All earlier artists separate the legs widely at the 
knees. But a finer jjictorial result is olitained when subordination takes 




'Uio Holy Trinity, liy Allicrtiiic 



FRA BARTOLOMMEO 



the place of co-ovdina- 
tiou, /'.(■. when one leg is 
j)ushed DAer the other. 
Hereafter, the painter 
went further still, and 
made a eoanter-ino\e- 
nient of the head eorre- 
sponil to this movement 
of the legs. If the direc- 
tion of the lower limbs is 
towards the right, then 
the head leans towanls 
the left. Thus the theme, 
ajiparentlv so stitf and 
incapable of anv beantv 
of rendering, gains a 
rhythm which is ne\er 
afterwards wanting. 

The interesting Jit- 
iiinicliitioii (in the Acade- 
my) of the same \ ear 
nnist be mentioned. He 
de\oted much labour to 
this picture, which is im- 
portant- in the liistt)rv of 
general development. A\\' 
ma\' remend)er how in- 
signiticant a role was 
commonly assigned to the 

First Person of the Trinitx' in pictures of the Aitiiiuindt'ion. He aj)pears 
as a small half-length figure somewhere in the top corner, and sends 
down the Do\e. Here he is depicted full length, pilaeed in the centre, 
and surrounded bv a garland of angels. These flving angels, w ith their 
instruments of music, demanded labour, and the artist, who in disgust 
exchanged the duties of a painter for those of an innkeeper, in cnxler to 
be freed from the eternal talk about foreshortening, has made a creditable 
effort here. In the celestial motive some trace of the nimbi of the 




The AnniuiL'iaTio 



156 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



seventeenth century is already discernible. Everything, however, is still 
synnnetrical, and on one plane, while the celestial figures of the seventeenth 
century usually ad\'ance diagonally from the depth of the picture. The 
calmly dignified Mary harmonises with the increased solemnity of the 
rendering. She stands in a graceful posture, and does not face towards the 
angel, but looking at him over her shoulder, receives his reverent saluta- 
tion. Without this picture, Andrea del Sarto would never have created 
his Anmimiatwii of 1512. It is interesting also pictorially, since it shows 
as background a large dark interior in greenish tints. The work was 
intended to be hung high up, and the perspective takes this into account, 
but the abruptly descending line of the cornice produces a harsh eflFect in 
relation to the figure. 



VI 

ANDREA DEL SAIITO 

1486—1531 

Andrea del Sarto has l)een termed superficial and soulless, and it is 
true that there ai-e commonplace pictures by him, and that in his later 
years he was prone to become stereotyped. He is the only one among the 
painters of the first rank \\ho seems to have had some defect in his moral 
constitution. By liirth he was the refined Florentine of the race of the 
Filippinos and Leonardos, most fastidious in his taste, a painter of 
elegance, of soft luxurious attitudes and dignified movements of the hand. 
He A\as a child of the world, and his Madonnas have a certain \\orldlv 
elegance. He does not aim at strong movement and effect, and hardly 
ever goes beyond stateh* standing and walking. In this way, however, he 
develops a fascinating sense of beauty. \'asari reproaches him with excessive 
timidity and tameness, and a want of proper audacity. It is only necessary 
to have seen one of the great •' machines " ^'asari was accustomed to paint 
himself, to understand this criticism, but Andrea's \\"orks also appear tame 
and simple by the side of the mighty constructions of Fra Bartolonnueo or 
the Roman school. Yet he was gifted with versatile and Ijrilliant powers. 
Brought up to admire Michelangelo, he could claim for a period to be 
reckoned the best draughtsman in Florence. He treated the articulations 
with an incisiveness, and brought out their functions \\ith an energy and 
vio-our which must have secured wide-spread admiration for his pictures, 
even if the hereditary Florentine skill in draughtsmanship had not in his 
case been coupled with a gift for painting which was almost unique in 
Tuscany. He paid little attention to picturescjue phenomena, and did not, 
for example, show much perception of the material characteristics of 



158 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



things, but the mild radiance of his flesh-tints and the soft atmosphere in 
■\vhich his figures repose have a great charm. In his feeling for colour, 
as in his feeling for line, he has the soft, almost languid beauty, which 
makes him appear more modern than any one else. 

Without Andrea del Sarto, Cinquecentist Florence would have lacked 
her festal painter. In the great fresco of the Birth of Mary in the outer 
court of the Annunziata we have that 'whicli Raphael and Bartolommeo do 
not give : humanity's exquisite delight in life at the moment when the 
Renaissance was at its apogee. We would gladly have had many more 
such pictures of real life from Andrea ; he should not have painted any 
other. It '\vas, howe\-er, not entirely his own fault that he did not / 
become the Paolo Veronese of Florence. / 

1. The Fhescoes of the AxxuxzejiTA 

The traveller usually receives his first great impression of Andrea in 
the outer court of the Annunziata. Here ^\■e have nothing but early 
and serious subjects. Five scenes from the life of San Filippo Benizzi, 
the last dated 1511, and then the Birth qf'the Virgin and the Procession of' 
the Three Kings (1514). The pictures are in a beautiful light tone, at 
first still so)newhat dry in the juxtaposition of colours, but in the 
picture of the Birth the rich harmonious modelling bf Andrea is fully 
apparent. In the first two pictures his handling of the composition is 
loose and insouciant, but in the third he becomes severe, and builds up 
a design with an accentuated centre and syunnetrically developed side 
scenes. He drives a \^'edge into the croM'd, making the central figures 
retreat, and the picture gains depth, in contrast to that array of lines along 
the front edge of the picture, ^hich Ghirlandajo still employed almost 
exclusively. This central scheme is in itself no innovation in an historical 
picture, but the Avay in which the figures stretched out their hands to each 
other is novel. There are no separate rows placed one behind the other, 
but the various members emerge from the depth of the background in a cleai'ly 
arranged and unbroken sequence. This is the identical problem which 
Raphael set himself at this same time, but on a far larger scale, in the 
Dispnta and the School of Athens. The last picture, the Birth of the 
Virgin, marks Sarto's transition from the strictly tectonic to the freely 
rhythmical style. The composition swells in a mainiifi«ent curve: 



ANDREA DEL SARTO 



159 




The Birth of the Virgin, by Andrea del fiarto. 
(The upper part omitted.)! 



beginning from the left ^vith the women by the tire-place, the movement 
reaches its climax in the two walking women, and dies away in the gronp 
by the bed of the mother. The freedom of this rhythmical arrangement 
is indeed very different from the licence of the earlier unrestrained style. 
Law exists here, and the way in which the standing women dominate and 
bind the whole picture together first becomes imaginable as a motive in 
the sixteenth century. 

As soon as he substituted strict composition for the preliminary loose 
juxtaposition, Andrea del Sarto felt the necessity of calling in architecture 
to his aid. He looked to it to bind the whole together and to give stability 
to the figures. This was the beginning of that combined idea of space 
and figures, ■\\hich may be said to have been on the A\hole quite alien to 
the Quattrocento pictures, in which buildings played rather the part of an 
incidental accompaniment and embellishment. Andrea was but a beginner, 
and it can never be said that he was successful in his treatment of archi- 
tecture. We notice the difficulty he found in dealing adequately with a 



16(1 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



very large space. His architectural background is generally too heavy. 
Where he makes an opening in the centre, its effect is to contract rather 
than to expand, and where he allows a glimpse of the landscape at the 
sides of the picture, he only distracts the attention of the spectator. 
His figures throughout have a somewhat forlorn appearance. It is the 
interior of the Btrth of the Virgin that first solves the problem. 

Any comparison with Raphael shows how little competent Andrea was 
to deal with the dramatic nature of the scenes here represented. The 
gestui'es of the wonder-working Saint are neither imposing nor convincing, 
and the spectators are content to stand by listlessly with some languid 
gesture of surprise. Where for once he has treated some scene of vigorous 
action, where the lightning causes the triflers and scoffers to fly in terror, 
he shows these figures quite small in the middle distance, although this 
would have been a suitable opportunity for applying his studies of Michel- 
angelo's cartoon of the Bathing Soldiers. The chief motives are all 
([uiet, yet it is ^\•orth while to trace out the thought of the artist 
in each particular case, and we shall find very beautiful motives conceived 
Avith the delicacy of vouth in these very pictures, where he had three 
times successi\ely the task of working from a centre, and arranging 
the figures, whether standing, approaching or sitting, synnnetrically as a 
whole, though unsymmetrically in detail. The simplicity has often the 
effect of timidity, but we gladly abandon for a moment the forms made 
interesting merely by antithesis of position. Andrea first achieves absolute 
freedom in the picture of the Birth of the Virgin. Aristocratic noncha- 
lance, and indolent self-abandonment have found no more able interpreter. 
The whole rhythm of the Cinquecento li\es in the two advancing women. 
The lying-in mother is also more richly treated. The flat position and 
the stiff" back given her in Ghirlandajo's work now seem as barbarously 
antiquated as the manner in which Masaccio makes her lie on her stomach 
nuist have seemed vulgar to the noble Florentines. 

The lying-in woman went through a development similar to that of 
the recumbent figure on tombs. In both there is now much turning 
and differentiation of the limbs. 

The most fertile motive of a lying-in room from the point of view 
of rich effects is the cluster of women \\ho are busied with the baby. 
Here is scope for a splendid multiplicity of curves, and the sitting and 
stooping figures combine into a close knot of movement. Sarto is still 



ANDREA DEL SARTO 101 

reticent in working out this theme, hut Liter artists make it tiie central 
idea of such pictures. The group of women is put right into the fore- 
ground, and the bed with the motlier is pushed l)ack. In this way the 
idea of the \'isit naturally disappears. In a colossal picture in S. Maria 
del Popolo (Rome) Sebastiaiio del Piombo presents the scene for the first 
time in this form, which was luiiyersally adopted during the seyenteenth 
century. 

In the upper part of the picture an angel is seen swinging a censer. 
Familiar as the cloud-motiye in this place is to us from examples of the 
sixteenth century, we are still much surprised to find it introduced here 
■' by Sarto. We haye become so accustomed to the Ijright clear realism 
of the Quattrocento, that such miraculous appearances are not accepted as 
matters of course. A change of sentiment has obyiously taken place. 
^Men's thoughts are once more fixed on the ideal, and scope is giyen to the 
miraculous. We shall meet with a similar symptom in the Annuiutation} 

In spite of this ideality Andrea retained the Florentine fashion of his 
day in the costume of the women, and in the furniture of the room. It is 
a Florentine room in the modern style, and the dresses — as V'asari 
expressly states — are those worn at the date of the picture (1514). 

If in this Bhili of the Virgin Andrea attempted the free rhythmical 
style, this does not mean that he regarded the stricter tectonic composition 
as a preliminary stage he had accomplished. He returns to it in another 
place, the cloisters of the Scalzo. The entrance coiu't of the Annunziata 
itself contains an admirable example of the kind in the Vmfation by 
Pontormo, which was painted immediately after. Va.sari was right in 
saying that anyone who wished to ri\al Andrea del Sarto in this field must 
create a work of extraordinary beauty. Pontormo has done this. The 
Visitation not only produces an imposing effect by the increased size of the 
figures ; it is intrinsically a great composition. The central scheme, 
according to the design which Andrea had thoroughly tested fl\e years 
before, is now for the first time raised to the height of an architectonic 
effect. The greeting of the two women takes place on a platform, raised 
on steps, in front of a niche. By means of these steps, \\-hicli are brought 

1 Andrea knew Diirer and made use of him. This is clear from otlier cases. It is 
possible that even here the angel was suggested by Diirer's Life of 3I(i,ry. Tlie artist must 
ha\-e been glad to be able to fill up the superfluous space at the top of the picture in some 
wa}' or otlier. 



11)2 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



^vt■ll into the foreground, ;i sui;'oesti\e ditt'ereiiee of lieiglit is given to the 
accessory figures, and a spirited undulation of lines results. Amid all this 
movement the great structiu'al notes are still clearly heard : the vertical 
lines at the marifins, and between them a line risintr aujl fallini;, a triano-le. 
its apex formed bv the bending figures of Mary and Elizabeth, and its base 
terminated bv the seated woman on the left and the bov on the right, 
'i'lie ti'iangle is not equilateral, the longer line is on Marv's side, tlie 
shorter on that of Elizabeth. The nude bo\- beneath has not stretched 
out his leg bv chance : it was essential that he should contiiuie the line in 
this direction. E\er\thiug \\orks together, and e\erv single tio'ure 
p^u'ticipates in the (lignit\' and solemnitv of the great and uiiifornilv 
harmonious theme. It is obviinis that tlie ])icture is greatlv indebted 
to the altar-pieces of Ei-a ]?artolomnieo. A'n artist of the second rank, 
sustained by the great epocli, has ])roduced a reallv important and 
ett'ective work here. 

The Spo.sitViz'io of I'^rauciabigio seems somewhat thin and meagre in 
comparison, in spite of tlie delicacy of its detiuls. AVe mav therefore pass 
it over. 

2. TuK l''i{Kscoi;s OK riiK Sc.vrzo 

On the walls of the little colonnaded c'ourtvard of the Scalzi 
(Uarefooted Eriars), Andrea del Sarto painted the story of John the 
Baptist, not in colour, but in nu)nochronie, and in )nodest dimensions. 

Two of the frescoes are by Eranciabigio, the other ten and the four 
allegorical figures aiv entirely by Sarto's own hand. Thev are not uniform 
in style, for the work dragged on for fifteen years with many interruptions, 
so that almost the whole de\elopment of the artist mav be traced here. 

Painting in chiaroscuro or monochrome had long been practised, 
Cennino Annini says that it is adopted on surfaces Vhich are exposed 
to the weather. It is also found in conjunction with colour painting in 
places of minor importance, such as paivipets or dark walls with windows. 
But in the sixteenth centur\- a certain pi'edilection was shown for it, which 
is comprehensible in connection with the new style. 

Tiie small courtyard has a delightful air' of repose. The unity of 
colour, the harmony of frescoes and architecture, the style of the frame- 
work, all combine to give the pictures an admirable setting. The student 
of Sarto will not expect to lind the significance of these works in their 



ANDREA DEL SARTO 103 

jisychicjil inonicnts. The St. John is :x (hill preacher of I'epeiitance and 
the seeiies of terror have no strikinir dramatic effects. ^^\■ must not 
oxpect strong characterisation, Init Sarto is al\\avs clear and full of beau- 
tiful movement, ^'e see here how the interest of the aoe tended more 
and more to concentrate itself on l)caut\' of form, and how the merit of a 
storv was assessed according to its adaptation to a gi\en space. 
We "vvill discuss the frescoes in the order of their completion. 
1. The Btipt'is)!! of Clirlst. (lr)W). I'his picture mav at once he recog- 
nised as the earliest of the series, h\ the A\av in which the figures fail to 
iill the space, hut stand about in detached groujjs. There is too much 
room. The line^t ligure is that of ( 'hrist, which is mar\ellouslv delicate 
in the action and light in effect. The \\eight of the bodv is taken off 
the right leg, but' the heels jii'e cpiietU' bi'ought together. I'he legs are 
])artly crossed, and the Jiarrowing of the silhouette near the knees give.s 
an unusuallv elastic eft'ect. It is to l)e noticed that the feet ai'e not 
innnersed in the water, but are still visible. Some minor schools of idealists 
had alwaA s so represented them, but the interests of plastic clearness now 
required it. Similarh', the unco\ering of the hips meets the demand for 
a more distinct image. The old loin-cloth, tied horizontally, interrupted 
the line of the bodv precisely where the greatest claritv was rec[uired. 
Here the apron which falls diagonally not only gives distinctness but a 
pleasing line of contrast results spontaneously. The hands of the Saviour 
are crossed on His breast, not clasped in pi-ayer as formerly. 

AVe shall not find the same delicac\' in the St. John. There is still 
some timidity in the angular irregular figure. The only improvement is 
that he is standing still; (xhirlandajo and \"errocchio had represented him 
in the act of stepping forward. The angels have a family-likeness to the 
still more beautiful pair in the picture of the Annunciation (151,'2). 

2. The Prccuhi)ig- of Jolut the B((pti.st. ((v/. 1515). Here the figures are 
larger in proportion to the pictorial space, and the more massive filling of 
the .surfiice at once gives the picture a different appearance. The scheme 
of composition suggests Gliirlandajo's fresco in S. IVIaria Novella. The 
raised figure in the middle and the disposition of the circle of listeners 
with the standing figures at the sides are identical ; as is also the turn of 
the preacher towards the right. Thus so)ne examination of the deviations 
in details is all the more justifiable. 

Ghirlandajo represents his orator as enforcing his words by stepping 



104 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 





;:-;-^::4^iv: ■; '. 




lf.'i:cMtil 




-... 






t ^t.**^ 


'^11: 






|M|M^Pw*-l 




45^ 


^1! 


■9 

is 






PI 




■5 '^i ■.■- 






y ' ' ' 


fh^HB^^^I^k^ t^^^^f 


Uifi 


* 


















^^^^^B \fl 


i>0 



Thf I'viai'hiii!;- nf .Tulm the Baptist, l.j' Aiulvca ilil Siirtu 



forward ; Sarto places all the niovenient in a turn of the figure upon its 
own axis. This turn is at onee cpueter and more expressive. Here, too, 
the marked contraction of tlie silhouette at the knees is especially 
effective. The anti(|uated oratorical gestiu'e, the extended forefinger, 
now seems petty and feeble. The hand is made to he effective as a mass, and 
while in the one picture the arm is kept stiff in the same plane, in the 
other it is extended more freely and accpiires a new vitalitv from the 
foreshortening. The expressive action of the limljs, and the clear 
definition of the whole figure afford a splendid example of C'incjuecentist 
drawing. 

Sarto has less space to exhil)it his audience. He was able however to 
produce the effect of iunnl)ers more con\ incinglv than Ghirlandajo, who 
only creates bewildei-ment with his score of heads, each intended to be 
seen singly. 'I'be figures ■\\'hich close the composition on either side give 



ANDREA DEL SARTO 



Uiii 




'Jlic i'roafliiiiy of .Idhii tliu JiapCist, Ijy (ihiiLuidijn 



an effect of mass,! and the preacher's gesture, addressed to j)ei'soiis not 
not visible in the picture, tends to heighten the impression of multitude. 

The imposing effect of the central figure in Sarto's fresco is to be 
explained not only bv the relative scale of size, Ijut Ijy the fact that e\erv- 
thing is calculated to throw the chief accent upon it. l^en the landscape 
is designed with this end in view. It forms a solid background to the 
preacher and gives him atmosphere in front. The orator stands out as a 
detached tangible silhouette, whereas in Ghirlandaj o's version not only is 
he planted in the middle of the crowd, but he conflicts unhappily with 
the lines of the background. 

ii. The Bapti.vn of the People. (1517). The style now tends to become 
restless. The draperv is jagged and irregular, the movement exaggerated. 

1 As is well known, the man with the cowl, as well as the woman sitting and holding 
up her child are horrowed from Diirer. 



lilii THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

The minor ii^uix's, A^liicli N\crc intciuk'd to relieve the sexere desig-n l)v the 
charm of tlie ineideirtal, exceed tlieir function. The figui'e of a nude 
youth who, «itli his l:)ack turned to tlie spectatcn-, looks listlessly down, is 
very chnractei'istic of the master. 

4. The Arrc-4. (I.'SIT). This ejjisode also, though sinyularlv ill adapted 
for the purpose, is made the main sul)ject of a composition. Herod and 
John are not placed opposite each other, profile to profile, but the prince 
sits in the middle, the Ba})tist opposite to liim diagonally on the right, 
Mhile to restore the s\iiuiietr\- we liave on the left the impressive figure of a 
spectator ^\\\\\ his back turned. ]5ut as Jolni has a gaoler on each side, the 
fresco recpures another counterpoise, and this is given by the (unsynnnetrical) 
figm-e of the captain of tlie watch advancing from the depth of the ])icture 
ft) the left. Tlie rich yroup of the arrest has a ver\- vivid effect compared 
^^■ith the niassi\e rejxise t)f the one stan<ling ligure seen from behind. 
^W' ma\- iri-aut that this is notliin"- more than a drained lav titrure ; never- 
theless such calculations of contrast impl\' an athance in art for Florence. 
Formerly it A\as eustomar\' to arrange the figures iniifornd\', and to express 
movement uniformly. Besides this, the figure of .John, who has some diflK- 
culty in fixing the king w ith his eve, is \erv beautiful. Even if the gaolers 
might be more \ igorous in their action, the mistake at an\' rate is avoided, 
into which others have fallen, of making their gestures so violent that 
attention is distracted from the central figure. 

5. Siiloii/c Dininiio: (15;2!:2). The dance y\'hich was formerlv inappro- 
priately cond)ined with the scene where the head of John is brought to 
Salome, is here treated in a sep;n-ate picture. Andrea seems to have found 
the subject \ery attracti\e, and the dancing Salome is one of his most 
l)eautiful creations, enchantingly harmonious in movement. The figure 
shows no violeid movement, tlie action being coiitiued to the upper part oi 
the body. A contrast to the dancer is proxided bv the figure of the 
retainer, his l)ack turned to the spectator, who brings in the platter. It is 
necessary to compare the two figures : the one is the complement of the 
other, and it is due to the position of the retainer further back in the 
picture that the momentary pause of Salome, a most dramatic toucli, 
produces its full effect. The style has bet'ome calmer again, the line more 
flowing. The ])icture is an admirable example of itleal simplicitv of scene 
and suppression of all umiccessar\ details. 

(). The Bchiddiiio; (1.3:-^;J). It nu'ght liave been thought impossible for 



ANDREA DEL SARTO 



Hi; 




Salume Daiuiiiy l.cf.iiv '[k'nij, l>y Aiulrta del Sartn. 



Sarto, in this theme, to ha\ e avoidect the representation of violent physical 
action. The headsman brandishin"' :his sword is a fa\ourite tiii'ure with 
artists who ha\e sought movement foi> its ow n sake. But Sarto e\aded the 
obligation. He dt)es not y-ixe the execution, Init the (luiet incident of the 
gaoler placing the head in the platter.' which Sahnne holds out. He stands 
in the middle, with legs far apart • slie is on the left, and on the other 
side stands an otHcer ; thus again we haxe a central composition. Tlie 
sight of the bloody head is obtruded as little as possible. 

7. The ()lf'cring. (lo2;3). Once more the bancjueters. This time tlie 
figures are placed further fiack ; it is a narrower picture. The Aoung girl 
carr\ing the head is as graceful as she was in the dance. The stiff 
attitudes of the spectators form the contrast to tlie elegant turn of her 
figure. The more lively action is brouglit into the middle. The sides 
of the picture are filled in with pairs of figures. 

8. The Aiuiounccmcuf to Zdclidrids. (1.5!2;5). 'I'lie artist was now sure of 
himself He had methods of his own b\- which he attained definite results 



168 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



under all conditions, and i'i.'lvinii; on this, lie allowed himself more and more 
airiness of treatment. 'Die eon\entiou of the side-figures does duty onee 
more. The angel advances into the background ; he hows silently with 
crossed arms hefore the ])riest, who recoils in amazement. Ever\ thing is super- 
ficially suggested, but the absolute coutiilence sliow n in the economy of 
ett'ects and the c-alm solcnuiitv of the architectonic setting gi\e a dignity 
to the representation, whicli Ciiotto himself, \\ ho felt so nuich more deeply, 
would have found it difficult to ecpial. 

9. Tlic V'lsUiit'iiiii. (I.")i24). The synnnetiical side-figures are al)andoued. 
The main group of the women eml)racing is pbu-ed diagonally, and this 
diagonal determines the whole composition. 'I'he figures form a (jii/iicini.i; 
i.e. they are arranged like the live jiips on a die. The architectonic l)ack- 
groiind gi\es a sense of calm. 

10. I'hc XiDiiiiii;: (15'^()). Oin'e more a fresh scheme. The nurse 
with the new-born child stands in the t'cntre of the first zone, facing 
Joachim seated at the side. A seated female figure on the i)ther side is an 
exact pendant. The motiier in bed and a serxant are synnnetrieally inserted 
in the second zone betw een the figures of the foreground, \asari speaks of 
a " ringrandimento della maniern" (increased grandeiu- of style), and eulo- 
gises the picture. So far as I see there is no specially new style in it. All 
the elements had serxed l)efore, and the |)c(adiarly bad condition of this 
fresco does not e\en prompt the u ish to see more of it. ^^\• can see all 
that Sarto cared to give at that late period. 

The two pictures which Francial)igio contributed to this cycle both 
bear early dates. As the inferior artist lie does not aj)pear to advantage 
l)y the side of Sarto. :\Ierely to instance one case, where the infant John 
receives the paternal blessing (1518), the impetuosity of movement in the 
figure of the father ])roduces ^^m^v an anti(|uated effect. Subordinate 
figures, in themsebes \ery beautifid, such as the boys on the balustrade, 
are too conspicuous, and a more refined artist would never have introduced 
the broad staircase in this connection. It is the only motive in the 
Scalzo cloisters which offends the eye. Tin's frt'sco innnediatelv adjoins 
the earliest work of Andiva, the Ihipi'i.siii of ( V/r/V, whic-h it surpasses in 
size, but not in beauty. 

The series of historical pictinvs is interrupted — as already noticed by 

four allegorical figures, all of which Sarto painted. They are intended to 
imitate statues standing in niches. The arts ouiv more be>dn to amah'-a- 



ANDREA DEL SARTO 



169 



mate. Hardly any laryv piftorial 
composition of this epoch can he 
found in wiiiclirefourse lias nt)t been 
had to plastie art, either real or 
imitated. The liest of the figures 
here is perhaps the i'ar'ttii.t who 
with one child in her arms, is stooj)- 
ing down to a seeoud one, mereh' 
bending her knee, in order to pre- 
serve her et|uilibrium. There is a 
similar group on the eeiling of the 
Ilc/ioiloiiis Stanza, in the pietnre of 
Xoiih. The Just/fid is elearlv sug- 
gested l)y Sansovino's similar tiginv 
in Kome (S. ^laria del Popolo). 
< )ne foot, however, is raised, to ob- 
tain more movement.' The figure re- 
appears in the Madoiiiui dcUc Arpic. 

O. ~SI\\>0\S\S AND .S.^IXJS 

llie abatement ot earnestness oi 
conception and execution, which is 

perceptible in the Scalzi frescoes from about the year 1552;i onwards, does 
not mean that the artist was wearied of that particular task; for the same 
symptoms are found in his easel pictures of the same date. Andrea became 
careless, stereotyped, c(jntident in the splendid resources of his art. His 
works, even where he makes an ol)vious effort, no longer show traces of 
enthusiasm. The biographer will tell us why this came about. His 
youthful works do not lead us to foresee any such development. No better 
example can be found to show what spirit originally animated him, than 
the large picture of the Annuucuit'iou in the Pitti Palace, «hieh Andrea 
must ha\e painted in his 2-5th or 26th year. 

The ]Mary is noble and severe, as Albertinelli painted her, but the 




' i^iuattrocentist taste ilemamled that the .sword should Ije held upwards, Cimjueeentist 
that it should be lowered. Sansovino here represents the old, Sarto the new style. The 
same remark may be made of St. Paul with his sword. A colossal statue, like that of 
St. Pitul by P. Romano on the bridge of St. Angelo, still represents the old type. 



17(1 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 







' - %. ^#' 


W 







■iali.iii, lij ,\i 



llKIXCllU'llt sluiws DlOlf <k'- 

licacx ol'lcrliiii;-. TIr' ;ini;t'l 
is ;is iH'.'Uilifiil as lA'oiiai'do 
cDiild liaw made him, 
with all the chanii of 
Miiithl'nl rapiiii'o in ihv 
hiiwt'd and slin-hth' in- 
ch nrd head. IK- uttors his 
i;rcrting, stretching (uit his 
arm towards the astonished 
Mar\. \\hih' he heiuls his 
knee. It is a re\c'i'ent salu- 
tation from a distance, not 
I the im|K'tiious (.'ntranee of 
a sehool-girl, as with Cihir- 
landa|i) or Lorenzo di 
Crt'di. 'I'he angel comes 
on clouds, for the lirst 
I ime since the (iothic ceu- 
1ur\. 'riu' nn'raculous is once more allow ed in sa(M'ed pit'tiu'cs. The strain 
of rapture which has lieen struck is taken U|i and contiuui'd in two 
attendant augt'ls, with c-urling hair and softh shadowed e\es. 

('onti-ar\ to liaditional arrangi'meut, Mar\ stands to tln' left, and the 
angel comes from tlu' right. Andix-i |)erha|)s was anxious that the out- 
stretched arm should not cowr the l)od\. It is this that gives the iigure 
its perfei't and expressive clarit\. 'The arm is nude, as are also the legs of 
the aceompauving angels, and the draughtsmanship certaildv betrays the 
teaching of IMichelangelo. The manner in which the K'ft hand holds the 
stalk of the lilv is (juitt' !\Iichelaugelesi|ui'. Tlu' picture is not entirely 
i'wv tVoui distracting detail, hut tlu' architecture of the background is 
ext-elleut of its kind and \erv no\el. It gi\es forci' and cohesion to the 
ligui'cs. The lines of the landscape also harmonise with the principal 
at'tion. 

The I'itti Palace contains a second J iiiiiiiicliilioii, of Anilrea's later 
])ei'i()d (15;2.S), originally paiulcd in a lunette, and now made into a scpiare 
picture. It is a eoinplele illustiatiou of the diHerenci' l)^'lw^'en his early 
and his linal mamiei'. l'',ar supi'i'ior to the lirst in its piclurcs(|ue l)ra\ura. 



ANDREA DEL SARTO 



I Inssccond rcprcsciilal ion 
^llO\^^ .-ill i.ni|)t ilicss ot' 
cxprt'sMoii. mil h) ])r ilis- 
H'liisi'd l)\ ;ill I lie fli.inii 
of llic 1 1 cil iiK'nt of ;il - 
lU()^|llu■|■(■ ,Miiil (lr.'i|«'r\ .' 

Ill i\\v Miiiloiiiiii ilcllc 
Arp'ic, !\l;ii\ aiipuai's as 
tlu' iiialiirc woiiiaii anil 
Anilica as \\\v inatiirc 
artisf. 'I'his is tlu' iiiosl 
r('i;al Mailoiiiia in I'lor- 
ciicc, (|iU'C'iil\ ill Ikt ap- 
pearance, and eonseioiis 
III' lier dienifv, \ev\' ilil'- 
I'ereiit to KapiiaeFs ,S7.v('/«c 
MiiiIdiiiiii, who is ntlerl\ 
selt'-fo|-i;ctt'ul. She slaiids 
statiK'sipK'K on a pi.'- 
destal, lookini;- down. 
'I'hi' ( 'hihl hangs on her 
neck, and she supports 

tlie ]u'a\ v weig'ht h'ghtl\- on one arm. Tlie other is stretchi'd dowiiuards 
and holds a hook rcstiiii;- on lier thiij;li. This again is a niotixe of tlie 
inonunR'ntal style. 'I'hcre is nothing niotherh- or intimate, no i;iv/r(-likc 
toying \\ith the l)ook ; mereh' the ideal pose. She can iK'\er ha\e read 
"oruislu'd to read thus. The \\a\' in which file hand is outspread (i\ei 
the edges of the book is a ri'iiiarkahh tine example of the grand gestnrcs. 
of tlu' ( 'in(|neceirto.- 

The I'ompanion (igiires, St. I'Vancis and St. -lolni the Mxangelist, both 
rich in nioxement, are made snhordinate to the Madonna l)\ oiiK appearing 

' Tlif iiii'turcs art' (.■i)nf<minU'(l in the f'irn'oin\ ami a lliird A innmriif/itm in llir 
t'itti I'alari; ma\" lie .sot aside aU(it;(4li(.'r. 't'lic tluliious i>aiiitiiiL;" (an ^[iniinj'i'irmii witli 
two attend.uU saints) is — as [(.'^arils llir lii^ure nf Mary — only a icjietitioii of llu' liL;iiru of 
l.")'JS, anil is olcarh' liyail infi'iior hand. Other tnoti\"L's ha\'e luaai laken fium ditlorelit 
sources. The notii'e in Vasari, \'. 17 (noli' 'J) is olixiously an error: tlie woik eaiinot 
lielon^ to the jieriod of l.-|U. 

- On the model of the I'eter in Kaiihael's Mudoinin (hi Jln/ilnrc/iiiin. 





■ 


W^ 


; '^SdH 


^^^^H *^ ^81 




^m 


^r , 


M'Wil 


Hh^ 'fHI 




m 


iM 




HBH'vk *^^B 




m^ 


H 


PiK--^'' 


H^B Mfc^'wt^BMB 










^K/j^^^^o ^1 


^K^ 




2 


BBE 


^H 



Ari.iu, l.^- AihIivm .IlI ,S;ntn 



172 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



in profile. The figures, 
brought closely together, 
form one complex whole. 
The suggestive group ac- 
cjuires fresh force from 
the conditions of space in 
the picture ; there is not 
an inch of superfluous 
room, the figures actually 
touch the frame. Yet, 
straugely enough, no feel- 
ing of contraction is 
produced. One of the 
counteracting causes is 
the up\\ard spring of the 
two pilasters. 

The pictorial rich- 
uess of the presentation 
etjuals its plastic force. 
Andrea tries to entice 
the eve from the sil- 
houettes on which it 
might dwell, and, in place of the connected line, offers it isolated brilHant 
eontours. Here and there an illuminated [})art gleams out of the dim 
light, only to disajjjjear once more in the shadow. The uniforndy l)riglit 
expansion of the contours in the light is discontinued. The eve is con- 
tiimally passing with pleasure from one point to another, and the result 
is a living, tactile (|uality in the figures, far surpassing all preceding 
splendours of modelling on the flat. 

A still higher i)ictorial stage is marked l)y the picture of the Dhpiita 
in the Pitti Palace. Four men standing, engaged in conversation. We 
are involuntarily renunded of Nanni di Jianco's group in Or San Michele. 
Here, however, we have no mere indifferent Quattrocentist gathering, but a 
real argument in which the roles are distinctly distril)uted. The Bishop 
{Augustine.^) is .speaking, and the person addressed is Peter Martyr, the 
Donnnican, a refined intellectual head, in comparison with which all 
]5artolonnueo's ty])es secern coarse. He is listening intently. St. Francis, 





w 


m 


■ lifc'.':"^ 


fe'-'i ■ 


% :•■' 


1 


" ..M<- ■ % 


f ^:|' 


■r 


*iM^.^ 






^^^^^^^Bh 


' w 


'^ 




WFm 


m 


-.iffi " 


"'^^^ 


mii»/gi4h-':, 



JHsi^uta, l,y 



ANDREA DEL SARTO 17.t 

(111 the contrary, liivs his liaiul on his heart and shakes iiis head: lie is 
IK) (haleetieian. St. Lawrence, as the Nounu'est, refrains t'roni aii\ 
expression of opinion. lie is the neutral foil, and phus the same part 
here, as the Alagdalen in llaphaeFs picture oi St. Cni/iii ; like hers, his 
Hgure makes a strongly accentuated \ertical line. 

The stiffness of a group of four standing figures is lesseiU'd 1)\ the 
addition of two kneeling figures in the foreground (a little lower down). 
These are St. Sebastian and the ]\Iagdalen, who take no part in the 
discussion, hut, in conipensation, form the richest colour-passages of the 
composition. Sarto giyes them bright Hesh-tints, while the ineii are in a 
sober key, chiefly grey, black and brown, with a passage of subdued 
carmine (piite in tiie background (in the figure of St. Lawrence), 'i'he 
background is dark. 

In colour and drawing this picture marks the zenith of Andrea's art. 
The nude back of the Sebastian and the upturned head of the Magdalen 
are marxellous interj)retatious of liumaii form. And then tlie hands 1 
How feminine is their delicate clasp in the Alagdalen, and how expressixe 
their form in the disputants ! It may be said that no artist has drawn 
hands with such skill as ^Vndrea, if we except Leonardo. 

There is a second picture of four standing figures in the Acadeim,, 
which was painted some ten years later (L5!28), and indicates the deyelop- 
meiit and the decay of jVndrea's style. It is bright in tone, like all his 
later work ; the heads are loosel\- modelled, but the grouping and treatment 
of the figures are marked l)y all jViidreaV skill and brilliance.' AVe see how- 
easy it was for him to produce compositions so ricii in effect, but the im- 
pression produced is purely superficial. 

The(xl/«Jo»;(«u/(7/ry/ry;/V)had no worthy successor. The theme, wiiich 
had recenth become fashionable, of the iSIadonna in a nimbus or rather 
in clouds, must haye been [leculiarly well adapted to Andrea's taste, lie 
opened the heayens, and let an intense brilliance appear, and, in accoi'd- 
ance with the style of the day, brought the Madonna low dow n on her 
clouds, into the middle of a band of encircling saints. The \ariatioiis on 
standing and kneeling figures, and the systematic employment of contrasts 
between turning outwards or inwards, of looking up or down, etc., are 
more oi' less matters of course, but Sarto adds to tjiis the contrasts ot 

' Tlu'ie wci'L' originally twi> " piUti " in the centir, wiiiili lunf lieeii liken ovit.ainl 
luuii,' separately. 



174 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



bright and dark heads, 
and in the (hstribution 
of these accents no re- 
spect is paid to tlie source 
of the light and shadow. 
A general strongly 
marked undidation in the 
picture is kept in view 
throughout. Wa soon 
perceive that the effects 
are won bv a somewhat 
stereot\pe(l receipt, but 
there is undeniably a 
certain inevitability in 
the impression produced, 
which springs from An- 
drea's own temperament. 
Ijct us iuhtance, as an 
example, the Madonna of 
1524 (Pitti). We must 
not look for character; 
the ^ladonna is indeed 
absolutelv connnonj)lace. The two kneeling figures are ivpeated from 
the picture of the J)/.y)iitii, -with the chai'acteristic additions of the more 
practised hand. The St. Sebastian may have been painted from the same 
model as the well-known half-length of the \ outhful St. John (see below). 
Here the )uaster"s taste has led him so to treat the contour, that it is 
comparativelv meaningless ; all the expression is given to the bright 
expanse of the bare breast. 

Finallv all his powers are exhibited in the great Berlin picture of 1528. 
The clouds are here enclosed in a well-defined ai'chitectonic framework, 
just as thev appear in Bartolomnieo's pictiu'es. Then there is a niche, 
intersected bv the frame : and a\ e ha^ e the nioti\ e of the staircase, with 
the saints on the ste[)s, who could thus be strongly differentiated b\' their 
position in the space. The foremost figures appear otdv as half-lengths, a 
motive which high art had hithei'to intentionallv a\oided. 

Of the Ho'ij FdiiiU'ics we ma\- sa\- what has already been said of 




liii with six Siiints (1.'>-JI), liv Aiidr 



ANDREA DEL SARTO 



I7r> 




Kaphaers versions of this thcanf. .Vndrea's artistic aim also "as to 
produce rich effects in a siiiafi s])ace. He makes jiis figures stoop 
and l^neel, thus bringing them close to the bottom of the picture, and 
making knots of three, four, and five persons. The ground is usuallv 
black. There is a series of pictures of the kind. The best are those 
where the spectator is first impressed by the naturalness of the gestures, 
and afterwards thinks of the problems of form. The Madojuia del Sacco 
of 152-1 (Cloisters of the Annunziata, Florence) holds a special position 
even compared ^\"ith the works of Kaphael. This picture is a splendid 
example of tender and accomplished fresco-work in general, and of pictur- 
esque effects of drapery in particular. It has the further merit of a bold- 
ness of design in the arrangement of the figures never again achieved by 
the master. I\Iary is not sitting in the middle of the picture, but to one 
side. The balance of tlie composition is restored h\ the Joseph opposite. 
Being further in the background he appears smaller as a mass, but owing 
to his greater distance from the central axis of the picture he lias an 
ecjual value in its equilibrium. A few clear general indications f direction 
ensure a monumental effect at a distance. \ ery simple outlines are 



176 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



coiiiljiiied with great richness of content. The nmgniticent breadth of the 
moti\'e of the Madonna is due to the low position in ^\•hich she is seated. 
Her upturned liead A\ill never fail to impress, even if we feel the impression 
to be sujoerhcial. The point of sight is low, corresponding to the actual 
position of the fresco, which is over a door. 

Among xVndrea's single figures of saints, the youthful John the 
Baptist in the Pitti is world-famed. It is one of the half-dozen pictures 
« hich are invariably to be found in the windows of the photograph- 
sellers during the tourist-season in Italy. It might not be uninteresting to 
ask how long it has held this position, and to «'hat fluctuations of fashion 
these recognised favourites of the public are liable. The strenuous, 
impassioned beauty, for which it is praised (Cicerone), evaporates at once 
\\-hen it is compared Avitli Raphaers boyish St. John in the Tribuna. But 
it must be admitted to be the presentment of a handsome lad.^ The 
picture imfortunateh' has been nuich damaged, and we can only guess at 
the intended yuctorial effect of the flesh-tints emerging from the dark 
background. The grip of the hand \\ith the turn of the wrist is in 
Andrea's best marnier. A characteristic point is the way in which he 
interrupts the outline, and allows one side of the body to disajapear com- 
pletely. The bunch of drapery, which was intended to suggest a contrast 
in direction to the dominating vertical line, foreshadows the extravagance 
of the seventeenth century. It may be compared with Sebastiano's Violiii- 
Plaijer as regards the shifting of the figure to one side and the empty space 
to the riglit. 

This St. John has a companion picture in the seated figure of St. 
Agnes in the Cathedral of Pisa, one of the most charminff works of the 
master, in which he seems for once to have approached the expression of 
the ecstatic, though the actual result is merely a half timid upward glance. 
Those highest realms of inspiration were c[uite beyond his reach, and it 
was a mistake to entrust such a subject as the Assumption to him. He 
painted it twice, and the pictures hang in the Pitti. As might ha\-e been 
foreseen, neither expression nor movement is adecpiate. What can we 
think when, after 1520, we find the Mrgin of the Assumption depicted as 
a seated figure ! E\cn so, howe\er, some more suitable solution might 
ha^-e been found. Put Sarto's rendering of prayer is as meaningless as 

1 Sai'to used tlie same model for the Isaac of his Ahr,tham\^ Stin-rfire (Dresden), which 
was painted soon after 1520. I think he is to be recognised also in the Jlnflouna of I'rH. 



ANDREA DEL SARTO 



tlio liulitTous look of enil);u'rassiiK'iit 
with which ^larv grasps the mantle 
<m hev lap. He has twice made 
St. .Tohii the chief tigure of the 
Apostles round the gra\ e, and gi\en 
him that delicate movement of the 
hands which is found in his youthful 
pictures. It is impossihle. however, 
to entirely shake off the impression 
of conscious elegance, and the ex- 
citement of the astonished Apostles 
is never very intense. Yet after all, 
this placidity is far pleasanter than 
the noisiness of the Roman school 
among the follow ers of liaphael. 

The illumination is so con- 
trived that the brilliancy of Hea\en 
should tind a contrast in the dark- 
ness of the scene on earth. In the 
second and later picture, however, he 

left a bright rift open from the very bottom, and a greater master of 
movement, Rubens, follo\red him in this, for it is inadvisable to bisect 
a picture of the Assmnption with so stronglv defined a horizontal line. 

The two kneeling saints in the first Assumption are derived from 
Fra Bartolonnneo. In the second version the motive of the three-(|uarter 
length figures in the foreground was retained, and for the sake of a contrast, 
a certain petty detail was again achnitted : one of the men, here an 
Apostle, looks out of the picture at the spectator during the solenni scene. 
This is the beginning of the unconcerned figures in the foregrounds of the 
Seicentists. The forms of art liad already been misused as meaningless 
formulfe. 

We need sav nothing about the P'icta in the Pitti Palace. 




^t. .l"liu the i;apti-t, l.y Audv. 



4. A Por>ruArr of AxnitKA 

Andrea did not paint many portraits, and he would not prDiui facie 
be credited w ith any special qualifications for the task, but there are some 



178 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

Youthful iiiiiIl' portraits hv him, which attract the spectator Ijy a 
uivsterious charm. These are the two well-known heads in the Uffizi and 
the Fitti, and the lialf-length tigure in the National Gallery, London. 
Thev show all the nobilit\- of Andrea's l)est manner, and we feel that the 
painter has expressed himself here with peculiar significance. It is not 
surprising that they liaye passed for portraits of himself. But it may 
he definitely said that ■ the\- camiot be such. Tlie case is identical with 
that of Hans Holbein the yoiuiger, where a prejudice, hard to eradicate, 
was earl\- formed in fayour of the handsome unknown. 

A genuine ])ortrait is extant (a drawing in the collection of portraits 
of painters in Florence) but there is a reluctance to draw the obyious 
conclusion that it excludes others, because the idea of the more beautiful 
type is reluctantly al)andoned. The genuine portrait of the youthful 
Andrea is found in the fresco of the Procession of the Khig.s in the court 
of the Annunziata, and his likeness as an older man is in the collection of 
Faintei-s' Fortraits (I'tiizi). They can be positiyely identified ; Vasari speaks 
of both. The pictures mentioned above are irreconcilable with these, 
in fact they do not seem to agree with each other ; the London example 
and the l''k)rentine pictiu-es niiglit well rejn-esent a different man. The two 
latter may be reduced to one, since they correspond line for line, to the 
very details of the folds. The example in the l^flRzi is clearly the copy, 
and the original is the picture in the Fitti, which, although not intact, 
shows more delicate workmanship.^ AV^e shall only speak of this one. 

The head stands out from a dark liackground. It is not sharply 
relieved against a black surface, as is sometimes the case in Feruo-ino's 
portraits, but remains almost modestly in the greenish shadow. The 
strongest light, does not fall on the face, but on a scrap of shirt accidentally 
displayed at the neck. The hood and collar are neutral in tint, grey 
and bi-own. The large eyes look cahnly out of their orbits. With all it's 
(|uivering pictorial \itality, the form gains absolute Hrnniess by the vertical 
line of tlie head, tlie full-face Niew, and the ((uiet application of light, 
which relieves one half of the head, and illuminates exactly the necessary 
points. The head seems to have suddenly turned round and to have 

' The Cieaoiii: linl.ls ,i, (■..iitnuy o|,inioii : "The hnest (|iioI.al)lv his own portrait) is 
HI the Utiizi (X,,. 1147) : there rs a rei.lica, of inferior merit, in the Pitti (Xo. titil." In the 
].ostliu,„o,is y,v;/,vy;,e --'o- K„„.l<i,..-hi,hlr rou //„//, »,,T. Ihirehlianlt protested for the first 
tui.e against tlie presnmption that the ). inures are |mrtraits of tl,o painter liiniself. 







Siiiiposeil I'oitiait lit Himself. I>y Ai-ch'ea ik-.l Sartn. 



ANDREA DEL SARTO 181 

})reseut(.Ml foi- a moment the view, in whieli tlie vertical and lioiizinital axes 
are seen in absolute puritv. The vertical line passes right up to the peak 
of the cap. The simjjlicitv of the line, and the repose given bv the great 
masses of light and shade, are combined with that clear detinition of form 
cliaracteristic of Andrea's mature stvle. A firm touch is evcrvwhere 
distinguishalile. The way in which the angle between the e\e and 
nose is lirought out, in which the chin is modelled, and the cheek-bone 
indicated, recalls the st\le of the Dispufii, which was obviously painted 
at the same period. i 

This delicate and intellectual head may fairh' be considered an ideal 
example of sixteenth century ccmceptions. One would be glad to include it 
and the Violht-pJdijcr, to which it l)ears an intrinsic and extrinsic affinity, 
in the series of Artists" Portraits. In any case it is one of the finest 
examples of those lofty concejjfions of the human form in the C'inquecento, 
whose comnu)n inception is to be traced to ^Michelangelo. The impression 
of the genius which created the Delphic Sibyl is unmistakable here. 

The meditative youth in the Salon Carre of the Louvre may be men- 
tioned as a more Leonardesque pendant to this portrait of Andrea's. 
This tine picture has borne the most various names, but is now rightly, in 
my opinion, ascribed to Franciabigio, as is also the dark head of a youtli 
(of 1514) in the Pitti Palace, whose left hand rests on the balustrade 
with a somewhat antiquated gesture.- The Paris picture was painted later 
tiian this (about 1520), and the last traces of stiffness or embarrassment 
have disappeared. The young man, ^\hose soul is stirred bv some sorrow, 
gazes before him with downcast eves. The slight turn and inclination of 
the head ha\e an extraordinarily characteristic effect. One arm rests on a 
balustrade, and the right hand is laid on it. This action again has some- 
thing personal in its gentleness. The motive is not dissimilar to that of the 
Monna Lisa. Here, however, everything resolves itself into a momentary 
expression, and the imposing poi-frait becomes an emotional study with 
all the charm of a genre painting. The spectator does not at once ask 
who the sitter is, but is interested aljove all in the emotion depicted. The 

^ This portrait cannot possibly be one of the painter liy himself, for when he painted 
in this style he was no longer the young man here represented. 

- The movement of the hand reappears in the chief figure of Franciabigio's Last Supper 
(t'alza, Florence), and might, in the last instance, be traced back to the Christ in 
Leonardo's Ctnarolo, which was known and used by Franciabigio. 



y-i-2 THE ^RT OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



deep shadow that veils the eves serves in jjartieular to eharaeterise the 
jjeiisive dreamer. The distant Iioi'izoii is also an expressive factor. The 
onlv disturbing effect is produced hy the space, which has been enlarged 
on each side. Onr reproduction attempts to restore the original look of 
tlie picture. 

Peculiarly inodeni tones echo from this dreaniv ^\()rk. It is conceived 
with far greater delicacv than liaphaeFs \outhful portrait of himself The 
sentiment of the fifteenth centur\- aluavs seems somewhat obtrusive when 
compared with the restrained expi'ession of emotion in the classical age. 




Porti'ait of a Yoiitli, by Franciabigici. 



\II 
Mi('iii;LAN(ii;i,() (AiiiK i.i'io) 

Nom; of tlic o-reiit aitjhts (■x(■|■(■i^(■(l fVoiii tlic \ci'\' (iisl so pi-ofoiiiif] uir 
iriHiK'Hcc oil his (;oiiteiii|)orurii's as AI iclii'lan^'t'lo, and fate willed that this 
iiiii^hticst and most oriniiial i^ciiius slioiild also enjoy unusual lenf^th of 
lite. He remained at work almost a, veneration at'tei- all his contempo- 
r-aries had sunk into the f;i-a\-e. J{a|thael died in 15^0, Leonardo and 
IJartolommeo even e.arliei'. Sarto li\cd until 15!31, hut his last decade was 
the least import/uit of his c-ai'cei', and we see no si^ii of his ha\int>; had vet 
a further sta^'e of de\elopinent hefoi-e him. Miehelani^'elo ne\ei' was 
statioiiaiv for a moment, and does not seem to lia\e concentrated his 
powers fullv till the second half of his life. Then he f^ave the world the 

T [)s of the .Medici, the Iji.\t .Iii(lfj;iiiciit^ and St. I'etei's. Ilencefoi'th 

one ai't onh' existed for Central Ibil\', and Leonai-do and Raphael uei'o 
completeh' forirotteu in the new re\'elations of .Michelani^elo. 



]. 'I'm-: CnAri.i. oi' ww. .Miinici j 

'J'he memorial chapel of S. J^orenzo is one of the rare instances in the 
historv of art, in which buildiufr and lii^ui'es were cieated not oidy con- 
temporaneouslv, hut with a delinite rci^aid one for thi' oHiei-. 'I'he whole 
fifteenth centui-y was disposed to i-e^ard thinfrs apart from their surrouni]- 
ings, and fouiid Ijeauty in the beautiful object whei'ever it iiu'fi;ht be placed. 
In maii;nificent fjuilflirif^-s such as the iiiemoi'ial chajjel of the Cai'cb'nal of 
l'o}-tuf;al at S. Miniato the toml) is an erection which ha|)|)ens to be 
|)lHced there, t)iit which mif^-ht just as well have been anywhere else, without 



ls(i THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

(letrinient to its ottect. Vlwn in tlic proposed toml) of Julius, Mit-liel- 
aiii;-elo would have had no routrol over the suri-ouiidini^^s ; it was to have 
been a Iniildiuo; inside a huildin'i;-. ]?ut the jjropositiou that he should 
liiiild a fii<;i((Jc to S. Lorenzo as an arehiteetural and ])lastie monument to 
the iAIediei in their familv ehureh at Florenee ottered the possibility of 
eoinhiiiini;- figures and areliiteeture on a large seale with a definite 
ealeulatioii of effect. The ])lau fell through. Though the architecture 
would only have been the frame, it was artistically more desiiuble that the 
new scheme for the chapel should not only afford space for a more liberal 
use of sculj)ture, but should |)ut the lighting entirely into the hands of the 
artist. Michelangelo indeed aecepteil it as an important factcn- in his 
scheme. In his figures o^ Xiii-lit and of the I'ciiscro.so he contrived that the 
features should l)e entireU' in shadow, an effect unjtrecedented in sculpture. 

Tile chapel contains the niomnnents of two members of the family who 
died in \()utli, Didvc ].,oren/o of T'rbiuo and (iiuliano, Duke of Nemours. 
An earlier plan, ^^luch aimed .at a more extensi\e ivpresentation of the 
famil\-, had been abandoned. 

Tlie scheme of the tombs is based on the grouping of three figures: the 
deceased, not s]eej)ing, but a li\ing, seated figure, and on the sloping lids of 
each sai'cophagus, two recumbent figures in attendance. In this case Night 
.and I)a\ wert' i-jiosen in place of the Mrtues, out of which it was usual to 
form a guard of honour for the dead. 

A peeuliai- feature in this arr.angement is immediately noticeable. The 
tomb does not consist of an ai'chiteetural design with figures, ])laced against 
the \\;A\. The sarcophagus alone, with its crowning figures, .stands free; 
the hero is seated in the wall itself. 'I'wo elements of space, (|uite distinct, 
.are combined t(j produce a united effect, and in such a manner that 
the seated figui'e is l)rought down as low as the heads of the recv'nnbent 
figui'cs. 

'J'hesi' Latter bear the strangest relation to their supj)orting surfaces. 
Tlie lids of the sarcofihagi .are so narrow and so steep that the figures 
seem doomed to slip down. It has been conjectured that the lids were 
})ei-ha])s intended to be complett'd 1)\' terminal \ohites, i-ising from the ends, 
which would ha\e given the figures suj)port and security. This was actually 
ilone in the 'I'omb of Paul III. in St. Peter's, a monument inspired by 
.Michelangelo. On the other hand it is asserted that the figinvs would be 
prejudict'd b\- such .additions, that tlu'v woulii become tame, and lose 



MICHELANGELO 



is: 



tlir i'l.'i,stii'it\ wliirli tlii'X 
now cxliihiL II: is in 
am rase |)i-()l)al)lL' tliat sk 
iiiuisiial an ai'i'aiii;(.'nR'nt, 
w liirli cliallonu.'i's tlu' cri M- 
cisni of every aniateui', 
iiuist he line to an aiitlior 
\\lio coulil ad'ord to y\.\\\ 
risks. In u\\ o|)inion il 
\\as MiclK'lansj;el()\ de- 
iilierate intention to lea\e 
till' nioiHinient in its 
present state. 

Tin' manner in whieli 
I he liynres ai'e snpported 
is not i he onl\' |arrini;- 
element ; liii;lua- up tliere 
.are ihseoi'ds, .ahnosi ni- 
eompreiiensihle at lii'st 
sii^'ht. Tht' lin'Ui'es ai't' 
allowed to lait the line 
of the eorniee of the 

stvlohate hehind with an nnprt'eedented reeklessiiess. Ilei'e the scailpture 
is cleaih- at war with its lord and master, arehiteetnre. 'i'his airtai;()nism 
\v()ul(l he unendurable, it it <lid not find some mitigation. This is atfoi'deil 
hv the third and eonehidine; (igure, in its peifeet union witii its niehe. 
The seheme therefore was not oidy to l)ni]d np a triang'idar struetuiv 
with the tignres, l)nt to develop tiie figures in their relation to the ai'elii- 
teeture. In Sansovino's work evej'vthing appears iinifonnly linslied anil 
eoneealed within the spaee of the niehes, hnt here we are met by a diseord 
which has to be resolveil. The principle is identical with that adopted 
bv ^Michelangelo in his last ]ilan for the tond) of Julius, when the com- 




I M li I iMi tl t 

llill"-, l.V .Mii'llfllLllKul". 



ii-ession of the central figuiv is disguised liy the spacious adjoimng 



1 TlitTC is al.so .a direct pnu.f of tliis. In a chawing in llic IJritisli Museum, luililislie.l 
h\ ,SymoiKl.s {Lljl of M ivluhnnj, In, I. 3S4), tliere is a figure ..n a siuiilarly eciustructed lid. 
It is drawn liastily, liut is (juite distinct. 



IHS THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

c-oinj)iU-tineiits. He further eni])loyed these new artistie effects on the 
vastest scale in the exterioi- elevation of St. I'eter's.' 

The niche enshrines the general closely, tliere is no superfluous space to 
weaken the effect. It is ^•ery shallow, so that the statne projects. We 
cannot here discuss the further working- of the master's thought, why for 
instance, the central niche has no pediment and the accent is shifted to 
the sides. The chief intention of the architectonic arrangement was to set 
off the figures h\ means of a variety of small adjuncts, and this perhaps 
was also the justification of the short lids of tlie sarcophagus. The figures 
resting on them are cok)ssal, but thev are intended to produce a colossal 
effect. Nowhere in the world does sculpture produce a more powerful 
impression on the spectator. The architecture with its slender panels and 
its s])aring use of massive motives is entirelv subordinated to the effect of 
the figures. 

A\"e might almost suppose that the figures were deliberatelv made 
dis])roportionatelv large for the sj)ace. One remembers how hard it is 
to stand at the proper distance from them and how cramj)ed one feels. 
And then we read that four more figures (reciunbent river-gods)- were 
to have been introduced. The impression would have been overpowering. 
'I'iiese are effects which have nothing in common with the liberating beauty 
of the Ileuaissance. 

IVIichelangelo was not permitted to finish his work unaided (the 
chapel, as is well knowji, received its present form from V'asari), but we 
ma\ assume that we ha\e l)efore us the main featiu'cs of his plan. 

Some portions of the chapel liave been stained dark, otherwise it is 
t'ompletely in monochrome, wjiite on wliite. It is the greatest example of 
the modem disuse of colour (achromatism).-' 

Tlie recumbent figures of J)n/j and Xi^^-ht, Moni'nii^- and Kvcit'iuii- take 
the place of the customary \'irtues. Later artists continued to make use 
of the latter in a similar connection, but the motives of Daij and Night 
offered ])ossil)ilities of characteristic mo\ement so nuicli greater that 
Alichelangelo's determination is sufficiently explained. The first considera- 
tion was the necessity of a recumbent motive, ])v which, in combination 

' Cf. WiiltHin, lUiiiiinmiirr inn/ /l<irnr/:, ]t. 4S. 
- Michelangelo, LeI/ere (ed. Milaiiesi) l'^'2. 

■' If paintings ever existed in tliis ohajiel tliey were in any ease merely nuiniK'lu'omcs. 
Tile i)nilialiility seems reninte, and is not suppoited liy the reedvds. 



MICHELANGELO isii 

with the p(.'r|)t>n(hc-ular line of tlie seatL'd tii^-iire, he was able to aehieve 
an entirely new coiitig'in-ation. 

The ancients liad their rixer-gods, and a comparison with the two 
splendid anti([ue tig-ures, for which Michelangelo himself prepared a [)lace 
of lionour on the Capitol, throws an instructive light on his st\le. He 
em-iches the plastic motive in a maimer that lea\es all previous achiexe- 
nients far behind. The turn of the bodv in Moniii/o; who faces the spec- 
tator, and the wav in which the upraised knee of Xiff-Jit cuts tlie outline, 
are incomparable. The figures are niarvellouslv stinndating, because of 
their di\ergences of surface and contrasts of direction. Vet in spite of 
this varielv the effect is full of repose. 'The strong tendenc\' towards 
forndessness encounters a stroniier desire for form. The fisfures are not 
only clear in the sense that all essential clues to the idea are furnished and 
that the main features are at once iinpressivelv pronu'nent,^ hut thev are 
enclosed bv very simple boundaries. Thev are enframed and stratified, 
and might be considered as pure reliefs. The Morn'nig; with all her move- 
ment, is strangeh' panel-like in effect. Her raised left arm (|uietly suggests 
the level of the background, and e\erv thing in front is on a parallel plane. 
Later artists learned movement from Michelangelo and attempted to 
surpass him in it, but they never comprehended his repose. Bernini least 
of all. 

Recumbent figures give scope for very striking effects of contraposition, 
as the limbs, with their opposing movements, can be brought closely 
toirether. But the significance of these figures is not confined to the 

& o n 

problem of form they offer ; physical phenomena contribute strongly to 
the effect. The wearied man, whose limbs relax, is a touching representa- 
tion of Evening, which seems also to typify the evening of life, and a 
reluctant waking was never more convincingly depicted than here. 

A change of feeling is perceptible in all these figures. ]\Jichelaiigelo 
no longer breathes as freely and gladly as in the Sistine Chapel. All his 
movement is harsher, stiffer, more abrupt. His bodies are ponderous as 
mountain-boulders, and they seem to obey the will reluctantly and un- 
equally. The two pairs of figures are far from uniform in style. Dtiij 
and Night -were obviously later than the others. The force of the contrasts 
is accentuated in them, and they conflict still more xiolently with the 

' In the Nighl the right arm seems to be lost to x-iew, but this is only apparent : it is 
in the unworked piece of marble above the mask. 



1 on 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



architcrtiiro. The deceased appear 
as seated figures. Tliese tombs do 
not present the sleeping image ot 
the dead, l)iit are memorials of the 
li\ing. This idea had been antici- 
pated bv PoUaiuolo in the tomb of 
Innocent \'III. in St. Peter's. There, 
ho\\e\er, the tigm-e of the Pope, 
giving a hle.ssing, docs not appear 
alone, but is introduced together 
NN ith the recumbent ct)rpse. 

^Michelangelo had to deal with 
the figures of two great soldiers. It 
mav seem surprising that he should 
have selected a sitting posture, and 
intleed an indolently sitting posture, 
in w hich there is nuich individuality. 
The one tigiu'e is aljsorbed in medi- 
tation, the other casts a momentary 
side-glance. Neither takes an otHcial 
or representative pose. The concep- 
tion of distinction had changed since 
the times when \ errocchio made his 
CoHcoiii, and the tv})e of the seated 
general was afterwards retained for 
the statue of no less a connnander 
than Gnivtiiiii'i dcV.c Biiiidc Xcrc (in 
the Pia/za before S. Lorenzo). The 
ti-eatmeut of the seated figures as such is interesting from the numerous 
earlier solutions of the problem which Alichelangelo had alreadv gi\en. 
The one resembles the Jcniii'iiih of the Sistine ceiling, the other the J/o.vcv. 
In lioth, howexer, «'e note characteristic alterations all tending to increased 
richness of ett'ect. In the Giiiliiiiio (with the ^larshahs baton) we may 
instance the differentiation of the knees and the inei]ualit\ of the sln)ulders. 
Henceforth these models formed the standard bv whit'h the plastic value 
of all seated tigin'cs was judged. There was soon no end to the jiainful 
efforts made to arouse interest b\ twisting a shouldei', raising a 'oot, and 




MICHELANGELO 



19 r 




Cinneliiiig B(>y, liy ,Mitljul;uii,'c 



turiiiiii;- a licad, ctt'oi't^ \vliic-h iR'ct.'>- 
Mirilvciitailfd the 1(ins of an \- spiritual 
iiieaiiiiii;'. 

MicliL-laiinelu iiiadi.' iid attempt 
in chai'aftcri^e the ik-eeaseil, or to 
portra\' thciv feature--. Their eo.^ 
tame i-~ also ideal. No viord of 
inscription explains tlie monimient. 
This mav have been in deference to 
express orders, for the tomb of Julius 
again bears no inscription. 

"l"he cliapel of the ]\[edici con- 
tains a seated tigiu'e of a different 
kind, a Mndonuii ic'itli the Child. 
This shows the mature stvle of 
Michelangelo in its most perfect 
t'orni, and is all the more \alu- 
able, as a comparison of it with 

the anak)gous youthful \M)rk, the M/kIoii/ki iif Briii^rs, elucidates his 
artistic deA'elopment, and leaves no further doubt as to liis intentions. 
All iiKjuirx into the growth of the Maddinni (if the Mcd'ui out of the 
MfidoiuKi itf Bni<ii\s \\()uld be a suitable prelude to initiation into the 
secret of ^Michelangelo's de\"elopnient. It might be pointed out ho^\ 
the simpler possibilities are replaced bv the more complicated. How. 
for example, the knees are no longer close together, but one leg crosses 
the other ; how- the arms arc differentiated, one being advanced, and the 
other drawn back, so that the two shoulders are distinct in ever\' dimen- 
sion ; how the bust is lient forward, and the head turned to one side ; 
how the Child sits astride on His mother's knee, His figure confronting 
the spectator, but turns His head back and feels for her breast. This 
motive thoroughlv mastered, there A\ould be another consideration : whv 
is the effect so full of repose, in spite of the ricln^.e^s of the action r 
The first (pialitv, variet\, is easilv imitated, but the second, unitw is \erv 
difficult to achieve. The group appears simple because it is clear and can 
be comprehended at a glance, and its effect is reposeful, becau^e its whole 
sio-niticance is brought into one coiin)act form. The origin.d block of 
niar})le seems to have been but slighth' modified. 



19-J 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



Alichelangelo afliie\e(l jierhaps 
tlic liighest success of this kind in 
tlic figure of tlie boy at St. Peters- 
liui'g', who is crouching down and 
ten(hng his fcet.^ The woriv looks 
hke the solution of a definite pro- 
blem. Wq might imagine that his 
object had been to produce the 
most varied figure possible with the 
smallest amount of disturbance and 
disru[)tion of the block. It is thus 
that Michelangelo would have re- 
])resented the bov extl'acting the 
thorn. It is an absolute cube, but 
full of stimulating motives for plastic 
representation. 

The CItrlst of the ^Minerva in.- 
Rome sho^vs hofl' a standing figure 
\\as treated at this epoch. This 
statue, which was spoilt in its final 
execution, nui.st be termed a great 
work in conception and highlv im- 
portant in its consequences. Michel- 
angelo had obviously renounced 
draped figures ; he therefore repre- 
sents the Christ nude, as the Risen 
Lord, giving Him in place of the 
banner of victory, the cross (and 
This was required to ensure a massive 




Clivist, Ijy .Michelimgcli 



with it the reed and sponge), 
effect. The cross stands on the ground, and Christ grasps it with both 
hands. The immediate result is the important motive of the outstretched 
arm, wliich crosses the l)reast. It nuist be borne in mind that the idea 
was new, and that in the Bacchus, for example, such a possibility Avould 
never have been entertained. The sweep of the arm is intensified by 
the sharp turn of the head in the opposite direction. A further variation 

' Springer, erroneously, refers him tollie tonili of .Julius and supposes him to represent 
a. eonijuered foe. Itaphdil iiii'l Mirhtlnmiclo, il. ."i30. 



MICHELANGELO 



1 US- 



is brought about in the 
hips. b\- drawing back the 
left leg. while the breast 
is turned toA\ards the 
right. The feet are 
planted one behind the 
other. The figure there- 
fore shows a surprising 
depth. This development 
is, however, onlv etfeetive 
when seen, or photo- 
graphed, in its normal 
aspect. The normal as- 
pect is that in which all 
tlie contrasts are sinnd- 
taneouslv etfecti^"e.^ 

INIichela'iigelo entered 
a domain ^Jresenting still 
richer possibilities when 
he combined standing and 
kneeling figures, as in the 
so-called Victorij in the 
Bargello. This is not a 

pleasing creation, according to our taste, but it had a peculiar charm for 
his disciples, as the countless imitations of the moti\e prove. \\c ma\ 
pass it over and consider the last plastic ideas of the master, the different 
designs for a Pieta, the richest of which, a composition of four figures 
(now in the Cathedral at Florence) was destined for his own tomb.'- The 
feature connnon to them all is that the bod\" of the dead Christ no longer 
lies diagonallv across His mother's lap, but is partly upright, and huddled 
together on her knees. It was hardlv possible to get a beautiful outline 
with such a figure, nor did ^Michelangelo attempt it. The last thought he 
wished to express with his chisel was the shapeless collapse of a heavv 

^ Unfortunately no such photograph could be obtaincil for reproduction in this volume. 
The point from which it .should be taken is more to the left. 

- Besides the familiar group in the Palazzo Eondauini at Rome a similar sketch in the 
Castle of Palestrina might also be examined. 

O 




All AlleijurT. Ijv Br. 



194 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



mass. Fainting appropriated this scheme, and when we see Bronzino's 
version of snch a group, with its harsh, zigzag lines, and offensive 
crowding of the figures, it seems hardly credible that this ^\•as produced 
bv the generation which succeeded to the age of Kaphael and Fra 
Bartolommeo. 



^. The Last Jiidgjient and the Paulixk. Chapei, 

Michelangelo certainly did not enter upon the great pictorial tasks of 
his extreme old age with the repugnance with \\hich he had painted the 
Sistine ceiling. He felt the need of luxuriating in masses. In the Last 
Judgment (1534-41) he enjoyed the " Fromethean happiness" of being 
able to realise all the possibilities of movement, position, foreshortening 
and grouping of the nude human form. He wished to make these masses 
stupendous and to overwhelm the spectator. He attained his purpose. 
The picture seems too large for the chapel : the one enormous painting 
extends frameless along the \vall, and annihilates all that A\as left of the 
earlier frescoes. Michelangelo showed no respect for his own painting on 
the ceiling. It is impossible to look at the two works together, without 
feeling the harsh discord. The arrangement is in itself magnificent. The 
figure of Christ, raised high in the picture, is intensely effective. About to 
spring up, He seems to grow as the eye dwells on Him. Around Him is an 
awe-inspiring throng of martyrs, calling for \engeance. Thev approach in 
e^■er denser throngs : their forms become more and more colossal — the 
scale is wilfully altered — and the gigantic figures combine into uiiprece- 
dentedly powerful masses. No individual objects are now emphasised, 
nothing is considered but the grouping of masses. The figure of Mary 
is attached to that of Christ just as in architecture a single pillar is 
strengthened by a companion half or quarter pillar. 

The secondary lines are two diagonals, which meet in the Christ. 
The movement of His hand passes down through the whole picture like a 
lightning-flash, not dynamically, but as an optical line, and this line is 
repeated on the other side. It would not have been possible to give any 
emphasis to the chief figure without this svnunetrical arrangement. 

In the Fauline Chapel on the other hand, where we find the historical 
pictures of ^lichelangelo's last ycixrs {Conversion of St. Paul and Cruci- 
fi.vkm of St. Peter), all synnnetry is thrown to the w inds, and there is once 



MICHELANGELO 195 



more a growing tendeiicv to sacrifice form. Tlie pictures come into 
immediate contact with the real pillars, and half-length figures rise from 
the lower border. This is indeed far from the spirit of classic art. There 
is, however, no senile feebleness. ^Michelangelo excels himself in the vigour 
of his rendering. The Conversion of St. Paul could not be rendered more 
powerfulh' than here. Christ appears high up in the corner of the picture. 
A beam of His radiance strikes Paul, and he, ^^ ith eyes staring out of the 
picture, listens for the voice wjiich conies from the heavens behind him. 
Thus the storv of the Conversion is told once for all, in a way that com- 
pletely surpasses the rendering of the theme in llaphaePs tapestries. In 
this latter, apart from the individual movement, the main point of the 
incident is not grasped. The prostrate Paul has the ^vrathful God too 
fully before his eyes. ]\Iiclielangelo, ^^'ith true genius, places the Christ 
above Paul, on his neck, as it were, so that the latter cannot see Him. As 
Paul raises his head and listens, we fancy we see before us the blinded man 
in Avhose ears the heavenly voice rings. On the tapestry, the horse is 
represented galloping away to the side ; Michelangelo placed it near Paul, 
in a diametrically opposite direction, facing into the fresco. The whole 
group is unsynnnetrically pushed towards the left edge of the picture, and 
the one great line, which descends steeply from the Christ, is then con- 
tinued at a less acute inclination towards tlie other side. This is his last 
style. Harsh lines seam the picture. Heavy conglomerations of mass 
alternate with yawning gaps. The companion picture, the Crucifixion of 
St. Peter, is made up of equally glaring discords. 

3. The Uecadexce 

No one would wish to make Michelangelo personally responsible for 
the destiny of central Italian art. He was what he Avas bound to be, and 
he remained sublime even amid the distortions of his later style. But his 
influence was disastrous. All beauty was measured by the standard of his 
Avorks, and an art 's\-hich had been created under exclusively individual 
conditions became universal. 

It is necessary to examine somewhat more closely this phenomenon of 
" Mannerism."' 

All artists began to aim at bewildering effects of mass. RaphaeFs 
methods of construction ^\^ive forgotten. Spaciousness and beauty of form 

o" 2 



19G THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



were ignored. ^Nlen'.s ideas of the capacities of surface had l)ecoiiie dulled. 
Painters vied with each otlier in the hideous crowding of their canvases, 
and in a disregard of form which intentionally aimed at an opposition 
between the space and its contents. It was not necessary that there 
should be numerous figures. Even a single head was given a size dis- 
pro})ortionate to its frame, and in isolated sculptures, colossal figures 
were placed on minute pedestals (AnimannatiV Neptune in the Piazza 
della Signoria, Ploreiice). 

The greatness of ]\Iichel;uigelo •\\as referred to the ^vealth of move- 
ment in his pictures. jNIichelangelescjue work composition became a synonym 
for the bringing into action of every muscle, and thus we enter that world 
of complicated turns and bends, in Avhich the uselessness of the action 
cries aloud to heaven, and in which simple gestures and natural move- 
ments were unknown. If we think of the reclining nude female figures of 
Titian, how' happy may he Ije accounted 'when compared ^^•ith a Vasari, 
who was compelled to introduce the most artificial movements, in order to 
make a Vciuis attracti\'e to the eves of his public. (As an example of this, 
the Venus in the C'olonna Gallery may be compared with the motive of the 
HeUudorus.) The worst aspect of the (juestion is that any sympathetic 
regret would ha\'e l^een \'igort)usly deprecated bv the later artist. 

Art became absolutely formal and no longer regarded nature. It 
constructed schemes of movement after receipts of its own, and the 
human body became a mere mechanism of joints and muscles. If we 
stand before Bronzino's Christ in I/nnho we fancy we are looking at an 
anatomicalVmuseum. Tliere is nothing but anatomical pedantry, not a 
trace of unsophisticated vision. The sense of the material, the feeling 
for the delicacy of the human skin, and the charm of the surface of things 
seemed to be extinct. Plastic art I'eigned su])reme, and painters became 
pictorial sculptors. In their infatuation they threw away all their wealth 
and found themsehes paupers. The chai'ming subjects of earlier times, 
such as the Adortition of the Shepherds, or of Tlw Three Kiu^-s, were now 
merely pretexts for more or less ))erfunctory combinations of curves, a 
multiplicity of nude forms. , (Cf. Til)aldi's Adoration ofthe Shej)herds.) 

It may be asked, what had Ix-come of the splendid scenes of the 
Renaissance P Why should a picture like Titian"s Presentation in the Temple 
of 1540 !ia\e become inconceivable in Central Italy ,^ INlcn had lost all 
joy in themselves. They looked for some universal principle, which lay 



MICHELANGELO 




and Aiiuir (// (.■io,',/"), liy V;is; 



hovond this j)rescnt Morld, and svstcniatisint;' tbniiod a proHtahlc alliaiu-e 
w itii learned unti(|uaTianisin. Tlie diti'ereiiee I)et\\eeii tlie loeal schools dis- 
api)eared. There was no longer a jiopiilar art. Under these eirenmstanees 
art was beyond all aid, it \vas dying at the roots, and the hanefid 
ainl)ition to jn-cnluee nothing Init monumental works only liastcned the 
ealanutv. 

It could not revi\e bv its o\\ n ettbrts, its sabation had to come 
from witliout. It was in the (iernianic North of Italy that the fountain of 
a new naturalism began to How. Caravaggio caused a memorable 
impression at a time when men had ga/ed until they were stupid at the 
spiritless productions of the ^lannerists. Once more there was originality 
of idea and sentiment, based on the real experience of the artist. The 
Kiitotnbtiiott in the \'atican (iallery may ajipeal to few of the modern 
pul)lic bv its main features, but the reasons nurst have been good which 
induced an artist who felt such gigantic powers in himself as the young 



198 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



Rubens, to cop\' it on a large scale. If M'e siniplv look at a single figure 
like that of the weeping girl, we shall find in it a shoulder, painted with 
such colour and such light, that all the false pretensions of Mannerism 
melt awav like an evil dream in the beams of this sunshine. Once more 
the world becomes rich and io\-ous. Tlie Xatin-alism of the seventeenth 
century, and not the Holognese ^Vcademv «as the true heir of the 
Renaissance. Why it was doomed to succinnb in the conflict with the 
•' ideal " art of the Eclectics is one of the most interesting questions which 
can be propounded in the historv of art. 




The Aduratinii uf llie slKiihenls, l,y p. Tilnildi. 



PART II 



THE NE^V FEELING 

I\ the C'ampo Santo of I'isa, Benozzo (iozzoli depicts the DniiiliCnncs.s (>f 
Xuitli, among' other incidents of Old Testament h*istor\-. The storv was 
tokl witli the brcadtli and detail characteristic of the yuattrocentist 
narrator, A\iio shows his pleasure in representing the course of the 
patriarch's debauch as circumstantiall)' as possible. He Ix'gins at the very 
beginning : it is a tine afternoon in autumn, and the old man takes 
his two grandchildren with him to see the vintage. A\'e are shown the 
men and women pici<ing the grapes, tilling the baskets with them, and 
treading them in the vats. The scene is enlivened l)v happv creatures 
everywhere; birds perch near the tiny pools, and one of the children 
busies himself with a dog. The grandfather stands and enjoys the 
cheerful scene. jMeantime the new wine has been pressed and is handed 
to the master for ajjproval. His own wife brings him the cup and all 
wait exjiectant while he tastes the liquor critically. The \erdict Avas 
fa\ourable, for the patriarch no\\' disajipears into a retired arboiu-, where 
a large cask of " vino nuovo '" has been placed. Then the disaster occurs. 
The old man lies in drunken stupor before the door of his tine brightly- 
painted house, indecently exposed. The children see the strange trans- 
formation Avith deep astonishment, while the wife takes care to seiid the 
maidservants at once about their business. They hide their faces with 
their hands, but reluctantly, and one of theiu tries to catch a glimpse 
of the spectacle through her outspread fingers. 

After 1500 we find no more_qf the se_ narratives. Tlie scene is 
crisply \\-orked out in a few figures, A\:^Jiu)ut^axressories. Tliere are no 
descriptions ; only the dramatic kernel of tlie_stpj^^i;iji-4ii^ajmto The 



202 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



subject is not spun out, 
it is treated seriouslv. 
The artist does not wish 
to amuse the spectator, 
but to stir his emotions. 
Human passion becomes 
the main preoccupation, 
and, compared with the 
interest taken in man, all 
that the world contains 
is of small account. 

A spectator in a gal- 
lery «"here the Cinque- 
centists hang side bv side, 
is struck tirst hx the nar- 
row range of material. 
Cincpiecentist art depicts 
nothmg butliuman forms, 
init^-htv ~IoriTTs^ th at fill 
the whole _picture, and 
secondary incidents are 
rigorously excluded. ^Miat is true of the easel-pictures holds good of the 
frescoes. In both we behold a new race of men. and art aims at effects 
which are no longer compatible with contemplative jov in the rich variety 
of inanimate thinn's. 




Lai^tlMii lA Llirist, )iy \'ulTuCL'lliu. 



1 

The ( HUjuecento set^ out w ith a tt)tall\- ne\\ - conception of hunjaa- 
gTe£r^i4;s^in( l dignity T All_jnoyement bec()nies nit)re_jem^ati^and 
einotit)JLik'!"^<\f i'-'gp^'i' antL aioi:e-.tftaiii*Jj.iate breath. A general exaltation' 
of human nature is noticealjle. :Men developed a feeling for the important, 
the solemn, and the grandiose, in comparison Avith which the fifteenth 
century mu^t have appeared awkward and timid in its attitude. Thus 
every expression \\as translated into a new language. The curt bright 
tones became deep and sonorous, and the world once more heard the 
splendid periods of an emotit)nal style. AN'hen the Baptism of Chri.si is 
dej)icted — let us say, for example, by \ crrot-chio — the ceremony is performed 



THE NEW PEELING 



\\illi ,•! |)i('ssiiii;' li.'istc, .'iiiil u con- 
scicnl ions ciii-c, \iliicli niiiy have 
hccii hdiicslh I'cll, hill ;i|i|)c;irc(l 
viilnai' Id IIic new t;c'iicr:ili(iii. l,('l 
Us (■(iin|)iirc A, S;iiiMi\ iiid's i;'r()ii|) in 
I he |{,'ij)l islcr\ \hIIi \ I'iroccliioV 
HdjiliMii. 'I'll!' I'diincr f;i\('s -a. per- 
iod Iv novel i-cndcrinn' of tlii' iJicnir. 
'I'lir Hupiisl is nol luhiinciiif;-, lie 
sl;ili(ls (■.•illIlK' in his |)l;icc. His 
hicisl is liinicd lowurds the spcc- 
liilor.nol lowiu'ds Cliiisl. 'riic head 
:ilon(', holdl\ liiciiij^' sidru a\ s, I'ollows 
I \\v <lircrl ion of I In- hand, w Inch 
holds I he howl of walcr al aniTs 
l('ni;lli o\c|- Mil' l{('dccincr\ head. 
'I'licic is no anxions follow ino- aflcr 
.Icsns, no si raiiinii;' foiwaid of I he 
hod\. 'I'hc |{a|>lisl, calm and re- 
I iceni , |)ellonns I lie cereinoiu , a s\'jn- 
holie aelioii, which does nol de|)en(l 

hn' ils ellieac\ on an\ precise inelliod of execiil ion. \ erroeeliKrs .lohii 
IS hendiiiL;' over like an apolheearv poiiriiiii,' a, draiiL^hl, nilo a hoffle, and 
full of aiixielv lesl a drop should he waslcd. His eve follows I lie waler; 
III Saiiso\ iiio's uroiip il rests on llie face of Chrisl .' 

Aiiioiil;' I he pencil-drawings in llie Idli/.i there is a corres|)ondnin 
skelch for a /{iip/'/.s'i/i in the ( 'iM(|iiecenlo st\'le l)\' I'Va, Hartolonnneo. 

The (lifure of [\\v C/ni.s/ is likewise cliaiin'cd. He is represenled as a 
ruler, not as a poor leaclier. \Crrocclno depicis him slaiidint;' iinsleadih in 
I he river, the water swirlini;' round his shrunkt'ii lei;s. A later aj;'e graduallv 
dis|)ensed \\'][\\ the standing!; in I he water, unwilliiiii; to sacrilici' the clear 
repi'esenlal ion of llie lin'ui'es lo commonplace realism, hiil llie pose itsell 
liecame eas\- and diii'nilied. SunsovincKs altitude is i!;raceful and hnoyaiit ; 
llielci;- on which no weif^hf is thrown, is thrust out to the side. 'I'lieiv 

' S.ins()\-inii's It.-tptist liulils tli(^ linwl ;ilni(i,s(, lioi-i/,iinliilIy. I''()niii'iiy (In: invei-ti;il 
\ csM-j w ,i,s rc|)rrsciitril with arciiiiic i'.\;u:ln(.'ss, ;trnl Mrlliiii itiiikrs the loiitcDts drain away 
til tlir last, ilrup. (I'icliircat ViccTiza.) 




ipliHiH cif Clirisl, liy A. Sansnviri 



204 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



is a Ix'autiful continuous lino in ])lafL' of the angular jagged nioveijient. 
The shoulders are squai'ed, the head only being slightly sunk. The arms 
are crossed over the lireast, the natural de\'elopnient of the con\entional 
motive of the hands clasped in praverd 

This is the grand gesture of the sixteenth century. Leonardo had 
already used it \\ ith all the reticence and refinemeht characteristic of him. 
Fra Bartolonnneo \ibrates \\ith the new pathos, and carries his public away 
as -(vith the blast of a hiniicane. The pra\er of his Mater Mhcricordiw, 
and the benediction of his Salvatur are creations of the highest class. The 
way in \\hich entreaty breathes from every line of the Virgin, the ini- 
pressi\e dignity with which Christ giyes the blessing, make all earlier 
representations appear as child's plaw Alichelangelo was from the first 
no emotionalist. He makes no long speeches, and his pathos is subdued 
as the murmur of a mighty subterranean spring, but in force of gesture 
he was incomjjaralile. It is enough to instance the figure of the Cirafor 
on the Sistine ceiling. Kaphael, during the years of his manhood at Rome, 
had drunk deeply of the new ideas. What intense emotion lives in the 
sketch for the tapestry of the Coroitdtinn of the Virgin, \\ ith what vigour 
do the gestures express the action of donor and recipient ! A strong per- 
sonality is re(]uired to keep these moti\ es of vigorous expression well under 
control. An instructive example of tlie ^vav in which they sometimes run 
away with the artist is given Ijy the composition of the so-called Five 
Siihit.s -At Parma.- It is a work of the schooF of Kaphael, which might 
be compared with the still timidly-di'awn group of Christ in the Dlsputa 
of the youthful blaster. 

We have the literary parallel to this excess of pathos in Samiazaro's 
famous poem of the Birth of Christ {De j>artii Virgin i.s).' The poet had 
determined to avoid as far as possible the simple style of Biblical narrative, 
and to adorn the story with all the pomp and pathos w hieh he could 
contrive. Mary is from the first the goddess, the Queen. The lunnble 
Fiat iiiihi .sveiuidiim verbum taiaii (" Be it unto me according to Thy 

1 A similar criticism might be applied to the bronze group of Christ und Si. Thomas by 
Verrocchioin Or San Michele. Christ, who is exposing the woinuls witli His own hands and 
following the action with His eyes, is too trivial in motive. A later artist woidd have 
conceived the scene differently'. 

- Engraving by Marc' Antonio, E. no. 113. 

= The work appeared in l.j20. 'I'he author is supposed to have elaboratc<l it feu- twenty 
years. 



THE NEW FEELING 



205 



word") is changed into a 
long' hig'htlown spcct-h, 
which (li)cs not corre- 
s|K)n(l in the least with 
the Bil)hcal sitnation ; she 
looics up to heaven. 

" . . . . oculos atl siJei'a tollens 
arlmiit et tales eniisit pectore 

A'Oces : 
Jam. jam vinco lidew. \-ince 

ob^e(]iiiosa voluntas : 
En adsum : aecipio VL'nerans 

tua jussa tuiinnjue 
iliiU'e saciaim patei' omnipo- 

tens," ^ etc. 

Brightness fills the 

room. She conceives. 

Thundev is heard in a 

clear sk\' 

'■ ut onmes 
amlii'ont late popnili, quos 

maxinius aniljit 
Oceanus Tlietysipie el rauci- 
sona AniphiLiite. "" - 

2 

Together with a desire 
for large and prominent 
forms we find a tendenc\' 

to -iveaken the expression of emotion, ivhich characterises the ph^siognomv 
of the century in a still higher degree. This is the quality referred to b\- 
those ^^■ho .speak of the " classic repose " of these figures. Examples are not 
far to seek. At a moment of the most intense emotion, when ]\Iary sees 
her Son dead before her. .she does not scream, nor even weejx Calm and 
tearless, her featm-es undistorted }i\' grief, she stretches out her arms and 




Pieta. 
om ^[arc Antonio's eiigraviiii 



after Itaiiliael. 






' " raising her eyes to the stars, she bowed lier liead and utteretl tliese words from her 
heart : Prevail, faith, prevail, willing obedience ! Behold I am here ; I recei\"e ami 
worship thy commands, Omni20otent Father," &c. 

- "that all the lands miglit hear, wliich mightiest Ocean and Thetys and lioarse- 
sonnding Amphitrite encircle.'' 



206 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



gazes upwards. ]{aphael has drawn her thus (engra\iiig by .Marc. Antonio). 
Fra Bartolonnneo makes her imprint a ([uiet passionless l<iss on the fore- 
head of a dead Christ who shows no trace of His recent sufferings. Michel- 
angelo, still greater and more restrained than the others, had already repre- 
sented the scene on these lines in the Pkta of his first visit to Rome. 

When, in the Visitation, ]\Iary and Elizalx-th, great with child, embrace 
each other, it is the meeting of two tragedy queens, a slow, solemn, silent 
greeting (Sebastiano del Piombo, I.ouvre). We have done ^\ ith the cheerful 
hastv visit, when a kindly young woman with a graceful gesture tells the 
old cousin not to stand so much on ceremony. 

In the scene of the Annuiuiatlon ]\Iarv is no longer the girl gazing in 
jovful alarm at the unexpected visitor, as Filippo, Baldovinetti or Lorenzo 
di Credi painted her, nor the modest maiden, casting her eyes down like a 
candidate for confirmation but, aljsolutely composed, w-ith a royal bearing, 
she receives the angel like a fashionable lady who is not to be taken by 
surjjrise.'^ 

Even the emotions of maternal love and tenderness are subdued. The 
Madonnas of RaphaeFs Roman period are very different in expression to 
his first conceptions. It would no longer seem decorous for the Madonna, 
now become so stately, to press the child to her cheek, as the Madonna 
delta Ca.sa Tempt does. A distance is put between them. E\en the 
Madonna delta Scdia is the proud mother, not the loving mother who 
forgets the world around her, and if in the Madonna of Francis I. the 
Child hastens to His mother, it should be noticed ho\^ little the latter 
advances towards Him. 

3 

Italy in the sixteenth century stereotyped the idea of distinction which 
still j)revails in the west. A number of gestures and movements dis--^ 
appeared from pictures; they were felt to be too connnonplace. We 
have a distinct sense of passing into another rank of society. Art 

' Leoiiai'ilo Idames a contemporary painter, wlio represents Mary in sucli agitation at 
the message that she seems ready to leap out of the window. Albertinelli and Andrea del 
Sarto first struck the true Cinquecento note. Piero dei Franceechi anticipated this 
representation ill his .■i/(»///(r(V(//o« at Arezzo. Tlie subject has found its mo.st grandiose 
realisation in tlie picture by Marcello Venusti (Luteran), a conception whicli betrays the 
spirit of Michelangelo. (There is a replica in the rarely accessible Church of S. Caterina 
ai Funari in Rome.) 



THE NEW FEELING 



'JII7 



is no loiiN-cr iniddlc-cldss, 

liiil .•irislocr-al ic. All I lie 

clisl iiicl i\ (■ i-iilcii.'i of 

iii.uiiH'i- .'iml fccliiiti; |ii'i' 

\.'iiliii^' III llic liit;licr 

I'l.'issi'S were ,'i(l(>|)l cd, .iihI 

I lie w liolc crlcsl iiil world 

dl' I III- ( 'lirisi iali, ills sainls 

.■ind heroes, li:id lo 1,'ike 

oil iiii Miisl ocr.'il IC sl,-nii|i. 

The ,L!,'nll l)eh\cen I he 

|>o|iill.'ir mill I he reliiied 

was Iheii (Ixeil. When 

III ( diiilaiid.'i|o's l.d.sl 

.Sii/i/iir of 1 I'SO i'eler 

lioiiils uilh his Ihiiiiil) 

al ( 'hrisi, we liaxe a 

|io|iiilar j^esliire, whieh 

I I le'h A rl a I, onee re|ecl ed 

as niadniissihle. I .eonardo 

was lasliihoils eiioiii;li, 

\el. e\cii he now and 

aeain eoiniMils an oU'enee 

ai;ainsl pine ( 'iiiijiie- 

renlisi lasle. I place in Ihis calei;or\ I he eeslnre of the Apostle al 

I he /.as/ Siipjicr (In I he liehl), who has placed one hand open on I he 

lahle, and sirikes il \\illi I, he hack of I, he ol her, a ^esliire slill ordinars 

and inlellinihlc, liiil one which I he "liii;h slyle" \\ill adniil, no more Ihaii 

I he ol her. II, would lake lis loo I'ar, if we were lo alleinpl. lo descrilie 

Inlh' Ihis processor " piirilical ion." ( )iie or I \\ o inslances will he t\pical 

III' niaii\'. 

Al Hie hanipiel of I lerod, when I he head of John is placed on llie 
lahle, (ihirlanila|o makes I he Kine' how his heail and cliaicli his hands; \( e 
hear linn laineni ilij^'. The laler a^e Ihoiiehl, Ihis iiiikine|\. /\iidrea del 
Sarlo shows Ihe arm onlsl relched and laiie'indly deprecal or\ , a sileiil 
reptidial ion. 

When Salome (lances, Mlippoor ( ihirlaiida |o makes her sprine' round 




Vi»itnlinll, liy H.l,;,;,lil 



2(i,s THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



the room with the wild inipetuositv of a schoolgirl. The decorum of the 
sixteenth centurv demands a more reticent bearing : a princess should 
dance onlv stately measures, and Andrea has represented her thus engaged. 

General ideas are formed as to decorous sitting and walking. 
Zacharias, the father of John, was a plain man, hut the laying of his 
leg ovei- his knee, when he wrote down the name of the new-born bov, as 
])ictured by Ghii'landajo, was an attitude iui«orth_y of the hero of a 
t'incjuecentist story. 

The true aristocrat is careless in his bearing and movements. He does 
not attitudinise, nor stiffen his hack in order to make himself presentable ; 
he is content to appear as lie is, for he is always tit for any company. The 
heroes A\hom C'astagno painted are for the most ]iart common swaggerers ; 
no gentleman A\oiild look like them. K\on the type of the Colleoni in 
\enice nuist ba^e l)een felt by the sixteenth century to be that of a 
braggadocio. The way in which the women march bolt-upright when, in 
Ghirlandajo's picture, the\' visit the lying-in room, seemed latei- to have a 
middle-class touch about it ; the bigb-bt)rn dame's deportment should be 
marked by an easy negligence. 

If we A\ ant Italian testimony to these new conceptions, it is to be found 
in Count Castiglioue's Cortiff/iiiio, the treatise on the Perfect Cavalier 
(151()). It gives the idea prevalent at Urbino, and ITvbino \\as then the 
place whei-e all who laid claim to rank and In-ceding resorted, the 
recognised school of polite manners. The expression for high-l)red, elegant 
nonchalance was " la sprezzata disin\oltura." The duchess, who dominated 
the court, \\ as famed for tlie unpretentious distinction of her manners : the 
" modestia " and '• gramlezza " of her \\ t)rds and gestures made her regal. 
Wii glean many further details as to what was compatible with the dignity 
of a nobleman. A sober gra\ity of demeanom- is repeatedly put forward 
as his essential characteristic, that " gravita riposata" which marks the 
Spaniard. ^N'e'are told (and this was clearly a new departure) that it is 
indecorous for a man of breeding tt) take part in rapid dances (" non entri in 
quella prestezza de' piedi e duplicati ribattimenti ''). The ladies were 
similarly advised to avoid all hasty movements (" non vorrei \ederle usar 
niovimenti troppo gagliardi e sforzati ■■'). E\erything was to be marked 
In* " la niolle delicatura."" 

The discussion of good manners naturally extends to language, and if 
Castiglione still allows considerable freedom, the jwpular book on decorous 



THE NEW FEELING '200 

l)L'liavi()ur l)v Drlla C'asa (il Galatco) contains far sti-icter niks. K\L'n tlie 
old poets are taken to task, and the critic of the .sixtecntli century is 
surprised tliat Dante should put the locutions of the pothouse into the 
mouth of his Beatrice. 

In the sixteenth century men strove perpetually for dignity of 
demeanour, and became serious in the process. The Quattrocento nuist 
have seemed a petulant and thoug-htless cliild to the new generation. It 
was thouglit. for example, an incomprehensible piece of miivctt' to allow 
twii laughing boys to be .placed on a tond), holding the coats of arms, as 
on the tomb of Marsuppini In- Desiderio in S. Croce. There ought toha\e 
been weeping " Putti " in their places, or, better, large mourning figures 
(\ irtues), for children can never be really serious. ^ 

4- 

Only important events were considered w(2rthy of notice. In the 
stories of the yuattrocentists there are a nundx'r of homely idyllic touches, 
which have little to do \\\ih the real theme, but delight the modern 
spectator by their simplicity. Wq have gi\eu instances in the history of 
Noah by Gozzoli. The painter was not anxious to convey one definite 
impression, he wished to gratify the public by a wealth of incidents. 
When the Saints in Sia;norelli"s fresco in Oryieto are receiyinir their 
heavenly cro\\ ns, angels are making music in the skies. One of them finds 
it necessary to tune his instrument, and at the most solemn moment he 
graveh' sets about this task in the most conspicuous place. He miglit ha^■e 
seen to this beforehand ! 

Botticelli painted the E.vodun of the Jcicfi from Egijpt in the Sistine 
Chapel. The exodus of a nation, a tral\- heroic scene ! Yet what is the 
main motive ? A woman with two little bo^s ; the youngest is led by the 
elder brother, but he is rebellious ; he clings tearfully to his mother's arm 
and is being scolded. It is a charming incident, but A\'ho among the new 
generation would have been bold enough to introduce the moti\e in such a 
connection '^ 

Cosimo Rosselli represented the Lit.st Supper in the same chapel. He 
introduces into tlie foreground a still life of great polished metal dishes ; 

^ The mourning " Putti" are found as early as the fifteenth century in Rome, always 
more solemn than Florence. The seventeenth centurj' recurs to the artless motive of 
smiling children on sepulchral monuments. 'Jliese are, however, very infantine. 

r 



21(1 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



then ho jmiiits a dog and cat romping together, and another dog, begging 
on his liind legs. The tone of the sacred theme is of course quite ruined, yet 
he offended nobody, and the painter was decorating the private chapel of 
the Head of Christendom. 

Tliere were individual artists, like the great Donatello, who showed a 
perfect sense of uuitv in their conception of a historic moment. His historical 
pictures are the best narratives of the fifteenth century. It was extraordin- 
arily difficult for others to concentrate themselves, to abandon all that 
was merely entertaining, and to represent the subject seriously. Leonardo's 
axiom was that a jjicture telling a story, ought to make the same emotional 
impression on the spectator as if he had been present at the occurrence.^ 
But how was this possible so long as a cro\\d of persons was tolerated in 
the pictures who were uninterested bystanders or apathetic spectators ? 
In Giotto's scenes everyone present took, either actively or passively, a 
personal part in the action, but the Quattrocento ushered in that silent 
chorus of persons who were tolerated, because interest in the representation 
of mere existence and of characteristic life had become stronger than 
interest in action and the relation of individual to individual. It was often 
the purchaser of the picture and his family who wislied to figure on the 
stage, or jierhaps some local celebritN' whom the painter honoured in this 
way, without imposing any definite role on them. L. B. Alberti, in his 
treatise on painting, does not hesitate to solicit this honour for himself.- 

If we examine the cycle of frescoes on the ^^■alls of the Sistine Chapel, 
we are sti'uck l)y the indifference of the artist to his subject. It is strange 
how little he cares to emphasise the real f;actors in the story, how, more or 
less universally, in the conflict of various interests, the essential threatens 
to disappear before the unessential. Did ever Lawgiver like ]\Ioses have 
before liim so inattentive an audience as that in Signorelli's fresco ? It is 
almost impossible for the spectator to realise the situation. One might 
ha\'e thought that Botticelli was of all others the man to depict, in the 
lichcNion of A'ora/i, the passionate excitement which had spread among 
great masses of peo])le. But e\en with him how soon does the tire of 
mo\ement die out in the ranks of the stolid bystanders ! 

When llaphaefs tapestries with the stories of the Apostles appeared, 
they nurst lia\e joroduced a profound imjn-ession in contrast to tliese 
historical pictures of tlie Quattrocento. Ba})hael had treated his subject 
I Triillido ihlhi I'il/tira. 2 Minor U'riliin/s. 



THE NEW FEELING 211 



witli tin' uhiiost soriousiu'ss, liis stu^v was cleared of all superHuoiis (ifrures, 
aiul a vii;oiir of drainatie aniniatioii was displayed wliieli appealed directly 
to the feelino-s of the spectator. When I'aul is preaching at Athens, the 
bystanders are not mere supernumeraries with t\'pical heads, hut the 
features of each individual show what im))ression (he woi'ds make on him, 
and how far he can follow Hie speaker. When some marvellous event 
occurs, as tlu' sudden death of ^Vnanias, all who see it start back with the 
most elo(|uent gestuivs of surprise and horror, whei'eas the whole Egyptian 
nation might be drowned in the Red Sea, and a Quattrocentist [)ainter 
would not show a single Hebrew excited at the catastrophe. 

It was reser\ed for the sixteentii ceiitur\, not to discover the trreat 
w(U'ld of human emotions and passions, l) ut to tiu'n i t to _artiMtki accuuiit. 
Its art is characterised h\ keen interest in tlie psychological aspect of 
cNcnts. Tlie 'rcmptdtloii of Clir'i.st would ha\e been a theme entirely 
congenial to the neu' era. Uotticelli could make nothing of it, and tilled 
his picture with the representation of a mere ceremon\'. On the other 
hand, \v here the ('in(|uecentists had to treat subjects lacking in di'amatic 
elements the\' often made the mistake of introducing passion and intense 
lanotion into scenes where they are out of place, for example the idyllic 
st-enes of the J5ii'th of Christ. __ 

The intimate pleasure of the artist in his work ceased in the sixteenth 
centLU-\. Delight in \\\v l)rea(lth of iiatiu'i' and tlie wealth of objects dies 
awa\ . A (4)uattrocentist, painting an ^t(/i>nitii>ii (if the S/icji/ifrds, would 
introduce an\ and e\er\ motive. There is a jiicture of the sort; by 
(rhirlandajo in tin' Academ\ of l''lorence. How carefully the anim.ils are 
|)ainted, the ox. the ass, tin', shee|), the goldtinch ; then we liaxe flowers, 
pebl)les, a smiling landscape. \ We are introdui-ed to the family baggage; 
a well-worn saildle lies on the ground, and a w ine cask by it. The painter, 
to suit the antiquarian taste of the dav, has throw n in one or two ornamental 
adjuncts : a sarcoj)hagus, an anti(|ue pillar or t\To, and in the background 
a brand new triumphal arch, with an inscription in golden letters on :i^ 
blue frieze. 

The "great stvle " knows nothing of,these diversions offered to a sight- 
loving pu])lic. We shall sjjcak later of the way in which the eye looked 
else\vhere for pleasing effects ; it need only be said in this place that the 
interest of the later historical picture was concentrated entii'ely on the 
actual event, and that the attempt to produce the main elfect by great 



212 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



emotional action excluded the mere gratification of the eye by miscellaneous 
incidents. This entailed a rigorous condensation of the diffuse elements 
hitherto introduced in Liyes of the Virgin, and kindred subjects. 



Even portraits tended to l^ecome somewhat dramatic in the sixteenth 
century. From the time of IJonatello occasional attempts had Ijeen made 
to do more than merely descril)e the passive model, Init this \yas the 
exception, and the rule ^xas that the portrait exactly represented the 
person as he sat to the painter. The heads of the Quattrocento are in- 
valuable in their simplicitx'. They A\ere not intended to produce any 
special impression, but on comparison with the classical portraits they 
seem somewhat indifferent. The Cinrjuecento demanded definite ex- 
pression. We see at once what the person is thinking and A\hat he A\ishes 
to say. It was not enough to show the permanent features of a face ; some 
moment of vi\'id actuality had to be depicted. 

At the same time the painter tried to grasp the most significant aspect 
of his model. There is a higher conception of the dignity of man, and 
we receive the impression that the race which stood t)n this side of the 
threshold of the sixteenth century was one of fuller emotions and greater 
powers. Lomazzo in liis treatise has laid down as a rule for the portrait 
painter, that setting aside the imperfect traits, he should A\'ork out and 
strengthen the great dignified features. This is a belated theoretical fonnu- 
lation of what the Classics had done of themselves : " al pittore conviene 
che sempre accresca nelle faceie grandezza e maesta, coj)rendo il difetto del 
naturale, come si vede che hanno fatto gT anticlii pittori.""i ('-The 
painter's duty is to enhance the grandeur and dignit\- of the face, disguis- 
ing the natural defects, as Avas tlie custom of the ancient painters.") It is 
clear that there was innninent danger that such a tendency would destroy 
the characteristics of tlie individual and distort his jjersonality to bring it 
hito Jiarmonv with some scheme of expression foreign to it. Ikit it was only 
the " Epigoni,'" who succumbed to this danger. 

The (Hminished number of c»»ni|nJssjons for portraits may have been 
due to this more exalted conception of the individual. Obviously, artists 



' He refers to Titian, among others, who had shown in his A, -iosto "La facnndia 
e rornamento " and in his Bemhn "la maesti et I'accuratezzn.' Lomazzo, Trattura 
drJIii P'llliim. Ed. of L^iSS, p. 433. 



\ 
\ 



THE NEW FEELING 213 



fould not be asked to paint e\evv conunoiiplace eountenaiiee. It was said 
indeed of Michelanu'ek) that he regarded it as a degradation of art to copy 
any earthly oliject in its indiyidual limitations, iniless it was of the most 
surpassing beauty. 

6 

It was ineyitalile that this ideal of dignity should determine the con- 
ception and representation of celestial beings. Religious feeling might 
ex])ress itself for or against this yiew. The higher social grade of the 
sacred figures was a consequence w hich followed from yery different premisses. 
Attention has alreadx' been called to the dignified and reseryed figure of 
the Virgin in the Ainiunvhit'ioit. The shy maiden has become a princess, 
and the Madoiuui Kith the Baml/uio, \\ho in the fifteenth century might 
haye Ijeen an honest middle-class wife from the next street, becomes 
aristocratic, stately and unapproachable. 

She no longer smiles at the spectator w ith laughing eyes, nor is she the 
Mary who lowers her gaze niodesth' and humbly, nor the young mother 
intent ujjon her Babe. She regards the \\'orshipper with dignity and 
assurance, like a queen accustomed to see men kneeling before her. The 
characterisation is not luiiform ; at one time we see a worldly superiority, 
as with Andrea del Sarto, at another a heroic eleyation aboye the world, 
as with Michelangelo, but the transformation of the type is noticeable 
eyerywhere. 

The Infant Christ again is no more the merry playful Child, who 
examines a pomegranate and offers His mother a seed (Filippo Lippi), nor 
the lauffhing- urchin raisino; His hand to <A\q a blessinij; which cannot be 
taken sei'iously. If He is smiling, as in the Madonna del Arp'ic, it is at the 
spectator, with a rathef unpleasant coquetry, for ^vhich Sarto is responsible, 
but usually He is serious, yery serious. Kaphaers Roman pictures pro\e 
this. Michelangelo, howeyer, was the first who represented the Child thus 
without forcing Him into unchildlike attitudes (such as the act of blessing). 
He represents the Boy with absolutely natural gestures, but whether 
awake or asleep He is a joyless Child. '^ ■ 

' The highest period of German Art shows an analogy to this emancipation of the 
Infant Christ from the unchildlike function of blessing. The gesture of the Boj- in 
Holbein's Madonna at Darmstadt, as He stretches out His left arm, is no longer a 
benediction. 



214 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



Among the yuattrocentists, Botticelli elearly preludes in this strain ; 
he became more and more serious as he grew older, offering a vigorous 
protest against the smiling supei'ficiality of a Ghirlandajo. Yet he cannot 
be included in the tyjjes of the new centur\-. His Madonna certainly has 
a serious look, but she is a depressed and sorrowful being, and her Child 
is not yet the kingly Child. Am I mistaken in supposing the rarity of the 
representation of the ]\Iadonna A^itli the Babe at her breast to be connected 
with this development? It is imaginable that .the idea of the suckling 
mother appeared deficient in dignity to the Cinquecento. Bugiardini still 
represents iheMadoiuia del laUc, but his Mary points with her hand to 
her breast, as if she wished to sa^- to the spectator : " This is the breast 
which fed the Lord" (picture in the Uffizi). In the picture of the Betrothal 
of the Iiifant Christ and St. Catherine (Bologna Gallery), the same artist 
does not treat the ceremony as one incomprehensible to the Child ; in fact 
the little Boy is fully conscious of the situation, and seems to be 
admonishing the modest bride with upraised finger. 

Corresponding to the inner change there was a complete transformation 
in external form. All the treasures of the world had formerly been 
collected round the throne where Mary sat, and our Lady was endowed 
with every adornment of d;unty robes and costlv jewels. Brightly- 
patterned carpets from the East were unfolded, and marlile canopies 
glittered against the blue sky. ]Mary was enshrined in graceful foliage, 
or a hea\y purple ciu'tain drooped from above, brocaded « ith gold, edged 
with pearls and lined with rich ermine. A^■ ith the sixteenth centurv all this 
varied splendour disapjiears at once. No more carpets and flowers are seen, 
no artistically decorated throne, no charming landscapes. The figure is 
predominant, and if architecture is introduced, it is a great and serious 
motive, while all profane ornaments are banished from the dress. The 
queen of heaven nmst be shown in grandiose simplicity. I do not inquire 
if a deeper piety finds expression in this change. There are people indeed 
who affirm on the contrary that anxious avoidance of the " ])rofane " argues 
an uncertainty of religious conviction.^ 

An analogous elevation of types took place in the ranks of the saints. 

' Otliers may express an opinion as to tlie shave in those phenomena whieli may be 
ascrilied to the influence of Savonarola. There is some risk of making too nianv issues 
depend on this one personality. \Ve are dealing with a general and not an exclusively 
relii/io'us manifestation. 



THE NEW FEELING 215 



The artist is no longer allowed to introduce am' and every tv})e of person 
from the street, and place them near the throne of the Aladonna. The 
fifteenth ceuturv still accepted from Piero di Cosinio an old dotard, with 
spectacles on nose and somewhat dirtv attire, as a Saint Antonv. Other 
artists had aimed higher, but the sixteenth century insisted on a strii<ing 
personality. It \vas not necessary that the type should be ideal, but the 
painter had to select liis models. ]{aphael, \\ho represented incomparable 
characters, may be put out of the (|uestion, but eyen in his superficial 
moments Andrea del Sarto never gives us the mean and Ijourgeois type, 
and Bartolommeo strains every ner\e in coirsfaiitly renewed attempts to 
give his saints the expression of power. 

More might be said as to the relations of the persons who belong to 
the taniily of !Mary and her Child ; we might note how the former play- 
mate, John, becomes reverential and kneels in adoration ; but Me a\ ill 
confine ourselves to a few I'emarks about the angels of the new centur\'. 
The Cincjuecento took o\ er from its predecessor t\vo forms of angels, 
the child-angel and the half-grown girl-angel. Everyone will at once 
recall most charming examples of the latter by Botticelli and Filippino. 
Such figures were sometimes introduced into the })icture bearing tapers, as 
in Botticelli's "tondo" at Berlin, \\here one of them is looking at the 
flickering flame with a naive stupidity of expression ; sometimes they are 
allowed to linger round the Bambino as flower-girls or singers, as in the 
daintily conceived earlv picture by Filippino in the C'orsini Gallery, which 
we reproduce. One of the girl-angels, with downcast eyes, timidly ofl'crs a 
basket of flowers to the Infant Christ, and while He rolls over delightedly 
to one side and grasps at the present, two other angels graxelv sing a hynm 
from nmsic, although one glances up for a moment, and a smile passes over 
her features. Why did the sixteenth century never return to such motives ? 
The new angels have lost the charm of youHiful timidity, and have thrown 
off their ingenuous ndivetc. They now have some share in the kingly state 
and behave themselves with corresponding dignity. The spectator is no 
longer to be allowed to smile. 

In representing the movement of flying angels the ('in(|uecento reverts 
to the old solenni hovering familiar in Gothic art. Those incorporeal 
flgures with the beautiful outlines of flowing drapery had become incom- 
prehensible to the realism of the fifteenth century. It reipiired a more 
matter-of-fact movement, and represented, the angels not as ho\ering, but 



210 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 




Madnnua aiul Child witli Ang-cls. by Filii'piuo Lipi'i- 



as walking or running on a small substratum of cloud. Hence arose those 
figures of hurrying girls who, in a fashion neither beautiful nor dignified, 
but vei'v convincing, throw out their legs and naked heels. Attempts to 
represent the "swinuning" flight were once more revived, with \igorous 
action of the legs, but it was High Art which first disco\'ercd that ex- 
pression for deliberate and solenni movement in the air which has since 
l)een accepted. ^ 

' Tlie luodiajval flj'ing figures are directl}- derived from the antique. Tlie Renaissance, 
by the iii:-ention of the running scheme, reverted iinconsciouslj' to the stj'le of move- 
ment in flight with which the most ancient Greek art had l^egun, and whicli is known 
in archaeology as the " running with bent knee" scheme (the type is seen in the Xilce of 
Delos, to which the angel bj- Benedetto da Majano in the illustration on page II! may be 
compared.) The more perfect scheme, derived from the motion of the swimmer, continued 
for a time side by side with the other (cf. 8tudniczka, Dii: Siegesgiilliii 1898, p. 13), and 
there are parallels for this also in more modern art. Perugino's Assmnplioii of llic Virgin 



THE NEW FEELING 217 



The chief reniavk to be made aljout the chilcl-aiii;-els is that thev too 
are allowed to share in the childishness of the Bambino. Thev are onl\- 
expected to be children, and yet, to suit the occasion, the jn-evailing loftv 
and sustained atmosphere of the picture may l)e reHected in them. The 
" Putto "" witli his tablet in the Madonna d'l FoUgno produces a more 
serious impression, though he is not praying, than the two small naked 
boys, for example, on Desiderio's tabernacle (S. Lorenzo), who deyoutU 
draw near to Christ in the act of blessing. No one can accept the scene 
as anything but a playful one. Those youthful nmsicians at the feet 
of the ^ladonna who play the guitar and other instruments with skill 
and yigour, are well known from Venetian pictures. The Cinquecento 
considered this motiye unsuitable also, and entrusted the musical accom- 
paniment of a sacred assembly to older hands, that the loftiness of the 
sentiment might be sustained. The most popular example of the childish 
" Putti " of the new century is giyen by the two figures at the base of 
the Sistine Madonna. 



Giyen this manifest tendency to treat an altar-piece more reyerentially 
and to seyer the oyer-close connection between the heayenly and the earthly 
elements, it is not surprising that the miraculous was immediately adopted, 
not only by means of aureoles and n'unht, but by an ideal representation 
of eyents which hitherto had been depicted with great realism and 
circumstantiality.^ 

Fra Bartolonnneo \vas the first to represent the Madonna hoyering in 
the air when she appears to St. Bernard. Andrea del Sarto imitated him 
when he depicted the angel of the Annunciation approaching on clouds, 
a motiye for which he had thirteenth century precedents. Angels on clouds 

in the Academy of Florence shows both tj-pcs side by side, and while Botticelli and 
Filippino make their angels hold themselves upright in the air, one can still find in 
(xhirlandajo's works traces of the old running angel. Signorelli is possibly the one of 
the Quattrocentists who gained the most perfect form from the new scheme (Frescoes in 
Orvieto) ; Raphael relied on him in his BUpiita. Later, increased movement and fore- 
shortening became usual, as well as the motives of figures issuing from the depths of the 
picture, or "head-foremost," examples of which are to be found in the four Sibyls in 
fS. Maria della Pace and the Madonna del Baldacchino. 

' In the Quattrocento we encounter sucli inveterate realists as Francesco Cossa of 
Ferrara, who could never be persuaded to give the angel Gabriel in the Annunciation 
a proper aureole, but fastened a tin platter to his head (picture in Dresden). 



218 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



are introduced into the homely atmosphere of a lying-in room (Birth of 
the Vlrgiit by Andrea, 1514). The Quattrocento preferred to place its Ma- 
donna on a substantial throne, but after the end of the fifteenth century 
Alarv is once more raised to the skies, and appears as the Madonna in 
glory, an anti(|uated ujoti^e which in the Si.stinc Mudoinut underwent an un- 
expected and unicjue transformation in the direction of momentary action. 

This exaltation of the subject to supernatural aspects brings us to the 
more general i|uestion of the relation of the new art to reality. Reality 
was the first thought of the fifteenth century. I*'(n- example, whether 
the result were beautiful or not, the Christ of the Baptism had to stand 
with His feet in the stream. Once or twice some idealist of the minor 
schools had disregarded this necessity, and had allowed the feet of the 
Lord to rest on a level with the water (as P. Franceschi, London), but 
the Florentines would not ha\e tolerated this. ^Vnd yet ^^ ith the new 
centuiy this ideal conception was naturally adopted in representing the 
scene, and the same process took place with other subjects. Michelangelo 
made the Mary of his Pidcl (juite youthful, and disregarded all protests on 
tins point. The dimiinitive table in Leonardo's Lii.st Supper, and the 
impossible boals in Raphael's Mirariiloii.y Dranght of Fishes, serve further 
to show how reality was no longer the decisive factor for the new era 
of thought, and liow the unnatural was tolerated when it helj)ed the 
artistic effect. 

AVhen, however, people talk of the Idealism of the sixteenth century, 
they usually mean something cjuite diftcrent ; they imagine a general 
i-e\olt from limitations of j)lace, time, or indi\iduality, and the antithesis 
of Idealism and Realism is supposed to characterise the essential difference 
between Classical and Quattrocentist. The definition is not apt. No one 
probably would ha\e understood these ideas had they been fonnulated at 
that time, and it was not until the seventeenth centurx' that these antitheses 
i-eally made thenrselxes felt. At the beginning of the Cinciuecento the 
tendency was to ele\ate, not to repudiate the old art. 

Tlie fifteenth century never treated Biblical stories realisticallv in the 
sense of attempting to transfer the incidents to modern life, as "modern 
paniters do. The object iu view was to give a representation appealing 



THE NEW FEELING 21!) 



largely to the sonsus, and to this fiiil lainiliaf inotixrs wnc (■in|>l()\e(l, 
though the painter rc'scrvcd the right to go l)e\()ii(l them .so soon as this 
seemed necessary for his purpose. 

On the other hand, the sixteenth century was not ideal in the sense 
of ayoidirig contact with the natural woi'ld, and aspiring to procUice a 
monumental etfeet at the cost of ilelinite charactei-isation. Its trees were 
rooted in the okl soil, though tlie\- attained a greater lieight. Art \\as 
still illustrative of the life of the day, birt it thought that the increased 
<leMiand for dignified jiresentment could only be satistied by a selection of 
types, tlresses, and architecture which could hardh' be brought together in 
realit\'. 

It would be completely misleading to identify tin's classical ait with the 
imitation of the anti(pie. The antique ma\' speak to us more clistinctly 
from the works of the Cincpiecento than tVom tliost' of the oldei' generation 
— this ([uestion will be treated in a ditferent connection — but, pidging by 
their aim, the Classicists ai'e not (_'ssentiallv different from the yuattro- 
centists in their attitude towards anticpiity. 

It is necessary to particularise. Let ns l)egin with the treatment of 
localit\'. AVe know how much space (xhirlandajo de\i)ted to buildings of 
every sort in his pictures. Does he show us Florence.^ One certainl\- has 
;i view here and there of some street in the city, but he dra\\s on his 
imagination for his courts and halls. ThcN- are structures such as were 
never actualh' built, all that concerned him was the magnilicence of the 
impression produced. The sixteenth centin-\' retained this standpoint, but 
its ideas as to what was l)eautiful were ditferent. I'Jxtensix e \ie\\ s of a city 
and vistas of landscape were abandoned, not because artists w ished to 
produce a vague and iudetinite impression, but because no fiu'ther interest 
was taken in such matters. The iibiqiiitc of French Classicism had no 
part in their conceptions.^ 

The desire to idealise locality leads to results which certainly strike us 
as strange. A story like the Vi.sHiitioii, in whii'h one expects to see the 
entrance to a house, the home of Fdizabeth, is i-epresented b\- I'ontoiino in 
-such a way that the scene shows only a large niche with stei>s leaduigupto 
it. Hut here we nuist remember that (Jliirlandajo in his pit-ture ot the 

' Riiphael, however, peniiit.teil a Ferrarese to paint an elalniiate lanilstaiK- in his 
jM(ul.oitiia di FolUjno, erroneously suppo.sed to be Foligno. 'I'he Mmiunifi il i MonhJii'-' 
shows the Temple of Tivoli. Oilier eases will suggest themselves. 



L>20 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



V'l.sttnt'ujii (Louvre) took an archway for liis background, a setting not at 
all calculated to elucidate the text, and it may be said generally that on 
these questions our Northern taste is not a trustworthy guide. The 
Italians have a faculty for looking to the individuality of a man, and for 
disregarding all environment as mei'e detail, Avhich is incomprehensible to 
us, ^vho insist on some real correspondence between figure and place. For 
us, a mere niche, as the architectural background to a Vmtation, deprives 
the scene of all convincing \italitv, although «e })erceive the gain in 
formal effect : for the Italians anv background \vill ser\'e, if only the figures 
are vital. The vagueness of locality or, as we may say, the want of reality, 
can ne\ei' ha\e been felt by PontDi'mo as we are disposed to feel it.' 

A still higher degree of idealism led to the placing of the Madonna on 
a pedestal, as if she were a statue. Even that was a concession of the 
higher style to form, and must not be judged by northern ideas of 
reverence. The Italian was able, in this instance also, to overlook the 
disagreeable effect \\hich the motive, considered materially, must have 
produced, and he adopted the same line of thought in cases where for the 
sake of effect a cube or some such object was placed under the feet of the 
figure without any further explanation. 

Leonardo has incidentally raised a note of warning against the employ- 
ment of modern costumes ; they were, he said, usually inartistic, and only 
good enough for sepulchral monuments.'- He advises antique drapery, not 
in order to give the picture an antique tone, but merely because the figure 
is thus shown to better advantage. Nevertheless Andrea del Sarto 
ventured, later, to paint his fresco of the Birth of the Virgin (1514) 
as a modern picture of domestic life, perhaps showing himself here more 
consistent than any one of his predecessors, for even Ghirlandajo mixes 
ideal motives from the antique with costumes of the day, as was customary 
still later. Similar classic representations of the life of tlie day are shown 
in the pictures of the life of the N'irgin by Sodoma and Paccliia at Siena. 
The one example of RaphaePs frescoes in the Hdiodoru.s Stanza will be 
sufficient to show that the a'sthetics of that day were untouched by 
(piestions as to whether motives from contemporary daily life were cora- 

I Every foreigner is struck by tlie incidental sliocks to the sense of illusion so frequent on 
the Italian .stage. We may note, in tliis connection, the historically irrelevant pOTsona<;es 
« ho are found in the works of Pontornio and others, a tendency ol/served Ion.- before the 
sixteenth century. ° 

- Leonardo, Tmttalo iLIln Pillurfi. 



THE NEW PEELING 2-21 



|)atil)le uitli the iiu)iniiiieiital st\le, or whether it \\()iil(l he l)etter to 
h-aiis[)ose the theme into some hiolier sphere of reahtv', siicli as the aiiticjue. 
Tlie era of Classical Art was already past before these scrujiles were felt. 

What appears straiioe to us is the nude and the half-mide. ]{ealit\ 
seems here to Ix' sacrificed to artistic exigencies, and an ideal world is 
created. But it is not difficult to pro\-e in this case that the Quattrocento 
had already introduced the nude into historical j)ictni'es, and that .Mherti 
had even prescribed such an introduction. ^ A naked man, such as the one 
who sits on the Teniple-ste()s in Ghirlandajo's Prc-scjitiit'ion would ne\er 
have been seen in the Floience of that day, in s])ite of the )ji'e\ailinf»; 
freedom of manners. ]}Lit no one thought of finding fauU \\ ith it in the 
name of realism. Nor can it lie said of a composition lil\e tlie Iiicoid'io 
del Borffo that it marks a fundamental departtu'e fiom (j)uattrocentist 
ti'adition. The CiiKjuceeiito gives )nore nude forms, but this iN all. 

Allegorical figui'es especialh' proclaim the new tendeiic\. One garment 
after another was taken awav from them ; on the tombs of the prelates In' 
A. Sansovino an unlia])pv Fii'dh is seen seated in an anti(|ue bathing-cloak, 
and it is realh impossible to di\ine the meaning of the disrobed bod\'. 
This indifference to the jjuiport of the figiu'e is inexcusable, but even in 
earlier times these allegoi-ies were not national or familiar t\pes. 

The display of mule lindts Ijecomes absolutely unpleasant in sacred 
figures. Michelangelo's Madomui in the Tribnna must not, how (■\(i-. be taken 
as a t\ pical example of tlie age. But it must at least be allo\\e<l that, if 
any one person may be held I'esjionsible for great transformations in the 
history of culture, it was Miclielangelo, who introduced the universal 
heroic st\le and caused considerations of place and time to be disregarded. 
His idealism is in every respect of the vastest and most uncoiueutional 
oi-der. He convulsed the existing world of realities, and depriyed the 
J{enaissance of its Vjeautiful delight in itself. 

The last word in the question of realism and idealism will not, how e\xi-, 
deal with costume and locality. All the roma)icing of the fifteenth century 
in architecture and dress is after all harndess trifling, the convincing 
expression of reality depends on the indiA-idual chai-actci- of the heads aiifl 
figures in the picture. Ghirlandajo is free to adil any accessory details 
that he choo.se.s : on seeing his Zachanas hi the Tniijilc the spectator says 
"The place where these peojile stand must be Florence." Do painters stdl 
' L. B. Alberti, Thrte Books of I'niritiiuj, 



222 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

produce this iiiipression in the sixteenth century? It is evident that 
portraits ap])ear more rarely in pictures. One feels less prompted to ask 
who this or that figure represents. The interest in the characteristics of 
individuals and the capacity to reproduce them did not disappear — the 
reader need hut recall the portrait-groups of the HeUodorus frescoes or the 
pictures bv Sarto in the Annunziata — but the time was past when portrait 
heads were looked upon as the highest artistic achievement, and anv occur- 
rence was in itself important enough to justify its inclusion in a historical 
picture. As soon as the narrative was treated seriously, and the rows of 
indifferent spectators were dismissed, the situation was at once funda- 
meutalh- changed. Individualism now found a dangerous rival. The 
ix'presentation of emotion became a problem which seemed occasionallv 
to I'eplace the interest in character. The movement of the body can be 
made so interesting that the head may be overlooked to a certain extent. 
Figures possess a new value as factors of the composition since, without 
any pronounced interest of their own, they become important in connection 
with the "hole, as mere indications of forces in the architectonic scheme, 
and these effects of form of which the earlier generation knew nothing, 
lead of themselves to purely superficial characterisation. Such general 
tyj)es of heads had always been found in the fifteenth century — they are 
very plentiful in Ghirlandajo's works — and no fundamental antagonism 
l)etween the old and the new art, in obedience to which the latter had 
turned ixw.xy from individualisation, can be infei'red therefrom. Portrait 
motives ))ecame rarer, but it is not the case that the Classical Style postu- 
lated a univei'sal ideal humanity. Even Michelangelo, who here once more 
adopts a position of his own, still introduced many realistic heads in the 
earlier scenes in the Sistine Chapel (in the Flood, i'or example). His interest 
in the individual then begins to wane, while Raphael, who in the first 
Stanza seldom went beyond general types, took more and more interest in 
tlie particular. 

]5ut there is another (|uestion. AN'as the indixidual conceived and 
represented in the same way as before.^ The eagerness to reproduce 
uatui-e to the minutest detail, and the delight in reality for the sake of 
reality had subsided. In the picture of man the Cinquecento sought to 
pi-esent his greatness and importance, and thought to attain this end by 
simplification, and by suj)pression of all unessential details. It was not 
dinuiess of sight that made it overlook certain things, but on the contrary, 



THE NEW FEELING 



(111 iliti'iisilicd jxiwci- of (:()in[)l-ehensi()ii. Tlic loftiL-si- xisioii is that \\liirli 
i(lr;ili.scs the model from within ; it has iiothiiii;- in coimiioii w ith the 
hraiitilic.'itioii of the ohjcct, the idealisation of externals. ^ 

It may he fairly assumed that, at the period of e;i'eat ai't, dissatisfaction 
nnist ha\i' heen felt now and a^ain at what uas offered 1)\' nature. Sueli 
teelinj^s ai'e dillieult to dis(aiss, and it would he hold todeliiie the dilfei'enee 
hetueen two eras, such as the (j)natti-oceiito and ( 'in(|ueeento, hv catetroi'ical 
statements, whether positive oi- iieeati\e. Thei-e are huiid|-eds of steps in 
the conscious transfoi'mation of the model after the ai'tist takes it in hand. 
A statement made 1)\' Rajihael, at the time when lie «as wdikini^ at liis 
C/V(A//(Y^ has come (low II tons: that he could do nothiiifr with models, l)ut 
i-elied on tlie idea of heaiity which occurred to him spontaiieousl\-." Hqw 
we lia\e an authentic jiroof of Rajihaers idealism, but would not IJotti- 
celli lia\c said the same, anil is not his Vciiii.^ on the Shell a j)in-el\ 
iiiiae-inati\c creation .' 

Ideal lie'ures and heads were to he found even in the "realistic" 
(i)uattrocento ; e\ery where «e note Ikjw frrailualh- diffei'ences arose. ]}ut 
the ideal of course iills a far lai'frer sjjace in the sixteenth ceiitur\'. 
The aspirations of this a^e are not coiii|)atihle with the intiinac\ shown in 
the past century with ordinary life. It is notewortln' that at the \er\ 
time when art of itself disco\ered a hiij;lier heavitv, the Churcli also 
re(|uired increaserl dienit\' for the chief (iL,nires of the ('hristian faith. 
The Madonna was no loiieer to he any ordiiiar\- \'irtuous wdinaii, whose 
t\[)e was a familiar one in the streets • she had become a beiiie- who had 
cast off'all traces of lowh- human origin. And now once more Itafy owned 
minds that could conceive the ideal. Michelangelo, the greatest of realists, 
was also the greatest of idc'alists. Jvidowed with all the Morentine facultx' 
for characterisation, he was also the man who could most completely 
renounce the external world and work from the idea. He created his own 
world, and it was his example, though he must be accounted blameless in the 
matter, that nndei'inined reverence for nature in the coming generation. 

One last remark iiiiisl be made in this connection: an incr(.'ased need 

for the contem)>lation of the beautiful was felt in the CiiKpiecenlo. 'i'his 

craving was not constant, and ifnglit temporarily disajipear liefore otlK'r 

' In Ijoiiiazze, Ti<illiili, (l.'iK.")), ]i. i:V.\, i\\i: fullovvinn remark is niaili' on iIm- Ktylu of 
portraits liy tlio great masters: '"I'liey always Ijroiight out tlie l.esl i|ualities of th.' 
sitters." (Usavano seiiipre di far risplendere ([uello elie la natnia d .■.■rcll.iite a\eva 
ooncesso loro). - '■"!''. K-in,.'<//rr!,,-n'j; , I -. !!.">. 



'224 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



iutei'csts. '^i'lio aiitcceck'nt art of the yiinttrocciito had alsD a beauty of 
its own, l)ut sL'hloin o-av^. it pcj'fcct tonii, bci-ausc a far stronger dosii-e 
urged it towards mere expression, and the cliaraeterisation t)f individuals. 
Donatclh) mav onee more be cited. Tlie master \\li() ei'eated the bi'ouze 
Ddv'id in the Bargelk), had an insatiable appetite for ugliness ; he \-cntured 
e\en to make his saints rejndsive, because a convincing living individuality 
was evei'vthing, and impressed bv this, the public no longer asked if a 
Hiing Mas beautiful or uglv. The Magdalen in the Ba])tistcrv is an 
"oblong emaciated scarecrow " ((.''iicronc, 1st. cd.) and John the Baptist is 
a withered asceHe (marble iigmv in the Bargello), to sav nothing of the 
figures on the Campanile. Towards the end of the century, however, 
it is noticeable that the idea of Ix'autv is dawning, and in the 
('in(|Uecento that general transformation of tvpcs ajipeai's which not 
only replaces the lowei- culture l)v a higher, but banishes stercotvped 
forms bec.'uise they are unlovely. The ]\Iag(l;den is the frail beauty, 
and not the emaciated ])enitent, and the liaptist takes on the strong, 
virile beauty of a man who has grown u]) in wind and weather, 
without a trace of ))ri\ation or asceticism. 'i'he youthfid St. John, 
again, is depicted as the model of a ])erfectly beautiful boA , and became 
in this form a fa\()ui'ite figure of the epoch. 




'i'liu yiiuUiful St. .Inliii I'lvauliiiiy, liy Uapliiirl. 



ir 

THE NEW ]{1:AI 'r\' 

WiiEX 11 new slyle is suid to liuve uriseii the fifst tliouo-ht sugo-ested 
IS ;i traiisfonniitioii of tectonie elements. ]}iit on closei- investig-ation 
we sliall lind that it was not only the einifonnient of man, the varions 
forms of arehiteeture, the fiirniture and the costumes whieh had nnder- 
1^-one a change, hut man himself and his eoiporeality, and it is in this 
new conceptio)! of the hody, and in the new ideas of deportment and 
movement, that the i-eal essence of a style consists. ]''ai- moi'e import- 
ance must be attached to this conce()tion than it possesses in nn)dern 
days. In our age styles are changed as (piickly as one changes from one 
costume to another at a mascjuerade. Hut this eradication of styles only 
dates from our century, and we have properly no longer any right to sjjeak 
ot styles ; we .should onl\- discuss fashions. 

The new corporeality and the new movement of the CiiKjuecento 
manifest themsehes clearly when we compare such a work as Sarto's B'lytli 
(if the Virff/ii (1514) with the frescoes of (ihirlandajo and his lying-in- 
rooms. The gait of the women has (piite changed. Instead of a stiff, 
mincing step there is a dignified progression; the "tempo'" has slowed 
down to an "andante maestoso." There are no longer any short quick 
bends of the head or limbs, l)ut slow and complete turns of tJie bod\-, and 
instead of spi-awling attitudes and angular outlines there are easy positions 
and sustained rhythmic curves. The lean h'gui'es of the early Keuaissance 
with their sharp joints no longer realise the ideal of beauty ; Sarto depicts 
magnificently modelled forms and splendidly develo])ed necks. The 
drapery falls in heavy masses sweeping the ground, whei'eas Giiirlandajo 
painted short stiff dresses with tightly-fitting sleeves, (iai'ments, which 
formei'ly gave expression to rapid nuiscular movement, were now intended 
l)\' their fulnes.s to £;ive an effect of reticence in action. 



226 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 




Thu Diith uf Julm the BnlitiNt, l>y Uhirlundajn 



The movement in the second half of the fifteenth century is dainty, 
and often affected. When the Madonna has the Child in her arms, she 
usually thrusts out the point of her elbow, and extends the little finger 
of the hand with which she fastidiously holds the Balje. Ghirlandajo 
is not one of the subtler artists, but he comjiletelv assimilated this 
mannerism. Even a painter of such powerful indi\idualitv as Signorelli 
makes concessions to the prevailing taste, and aims at graceful effects by 
unnaturally refined methods. The ^Mother, worshipping the Child, does 
not clasp her liands simply ; only the two first fingers touch, Avhile the 
others are separated ;md point upwards. 

Sensiti\e persons like Filij)pino seem absolutely to shrink from the 
suggestion of grasjiing any object firmly. Suppose a holv monk has to 
hold a book, or the Jiaptist his cross ; they are rejiresented as merely 
touching these objects. So also UaHaclliuo del (iarl)o or Lorenzo di 
Credi : St. Sebastian holds out his arrow between two fintrers with a 



THE NEW BEAUTY 



227 



conscious (l;iin(ilicss, us 

if })e were offei-iiio- a 

]>encil. 

'i'he staiiiliiii^f figures 

somctiiiifs look as if t.lu'\' 

were djxiiciiijr, ;umI this 

unstciuly posture produces 

fi iriost uupleiisaiit effect 

in sculjjture. Ueiiedetto 

da i\[njiUio's St. Joint iji 

the liarirelh) is not be- 
yond rejn'oach in tin's le- 

speet. One locjks at it 

with a sincere h)noin<i; foi- 

the firm tread of the 

next generation. E\en 

the reeh'iifr lidcvlius of 

Michelangelo stands bet- 
ter on his feet. 

A complete sunnnary 

of this affectation of 

taste in the late Quat- 
trocento is furnislied by 

Verroechio's ])ic'ture of the Three Jrcliitiis^vls (Academy, Florence), with 

which the Tohiii.i in London may be coupled. h\ the presence of this 
elaborate ambling, the thought imoluntarily suggests itself that an 
ancient and delicate style is breaking uj), and tliat we are face to face 
with the ])henoniejion of a decadent ai'chaism. Th£_hiisteentli century 
brings back firnniess, simplicity, and natural movement. Gesture gfolvs 
calmer. Petty daintinesses, artificial stiffness and strutting are dis- 
carded. Andrea del Sarto's Mitdoiiiiii (IcUv .Irji'ic, standing so firmly and 
strongly on her feet, presents quite a new spectacle, and one can almost 
Ijelieve that she is really able to carry the hea\y ]5oy on one aim. The 
way in which she has jji'ofjped the bo(jk against her thigh, and rests her 
hand on the edge, so that a large and coherent design is formed, is a 
magiu'ficent example of C'inquecento style. AIo\ement everywhei'c shows 
fi-esh force and eneig\'. Let us take Uaphaers Madoiiiiii iVi Fol/o-iio. It 

a '2 




To)jiua with thu Anj^^c], hy V'crrocc)iii 
(Ur pc-rtiaiH liuttlcini.) 



CO. 



228 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



seems liui'dh' credible that 
we should have to tro 
back tf) Donatello to find 
an arm and a hand which 
grasp as firml\' ;is those 
of the St. John in this 
picture. 

I'he turn of the body 
and the inclination of the 
licad have something in- 
decisi\e about them in 
tlie fifteenth cejiturv, as 
if men had shi'unk from 
vigorous expression. But 
now pleasure in the 
poweiful mmements of a 
strong natiu'c is revived. 
Neu force is suddenly 
gi\en to the turn of 
a head or to an out- 
stretched aim. There 
are traces of a stronger 
])livsical life. The mere 
act of vision gains an 
unknown energy, and 
the sixteenth century 
is once more able to depict a keen, jjowerful gaze. 

The (^)uattroeento had enjoyed tlie highest degree of chai'ming move- 
ment in tlie light-footed figures that speed across its pictures. This motive 
was used, and with goofl reason, by every artist. The angel with tlie candle 
approaches swiftlv, and the servant, who brings fruit and wine from the 
country to the uomaii recovering from child-birth, comes bursting into 
the room, her dr;i])eries blown out bv the breeze. This figure, so charac- 
teristic of the age, finds its ('in(|uecentist counterpart in the water-carrier 
of the hicciidh) del Bar^o. The whole difference in the idea of form lies 
in the contrast l)efween these two figures. 'I'his viomaii carrying water, 
who supports her burden with stalwart ariirs as she walks along (|uietlv 




lit, l.y (aiirliiiKbij.i 



THE NEW BEAUTY 



229 



erect is one of the magnificent 
creations of HuplmerN mature and 
manly sense of beauty. 'J'lie kneel- 
ing woman in ttie foreground of the 
Tramji^-nrathm, with licr t)ack to 
the sf)ectator, comes of a kindred 
stock, and if we comjjai'e with her 
a similar figure in the group of 
women of the Ihi'iddDnix, we have 
a standai'd l)y which to judge the 
development of power and of strong 
and simple line in llaphaePs last 
style. 

On the other liand, nothing is 
more intolerable to the new taste 
than excessive tension and laboured 
movement. Verrocchio's mounted 
Colleoni possesses energy enough, 
and an iron sti'ength, but this does 
not produce beauty of movemenl. 
Notions of aristocratic nonchalance 
are combined with tfie new ideal, 
which sees beauty in flowing lines 
and absence of restraint. In Castig- 
lione's Cortigmno a remark is made 
about riding, which may approjjri- 
ately be quoted here. A man 
ought not to sit as stiff' as a 

ramrod on his saddle "alia Veneziana" (the Venetians were reckoned 
indifferent riders), but (juite negligently; "disciolto" is the word used. 
This, of course, can only apply to a rider without armour. A man 
lightly clad can sit on his horse, but heavy armour requires him almost 
to stand. " In the <me case the knees are bent, in the other they are 
kept stiff." ^ Art confined itself to the first form thenceforth. Peru- 
gino had once shown the Florentines what soft and pleasing movement 
vim. His motive of a standing figure with the leg on which there is no 
' Pomponius QauriouH, Da Sadplwra. 




Wuifiaii uurrylrig Wator, )jy J{!iphiiul. 



230 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



■weight thrown out to the side, and 
with a corresponding inclination of 
the head, was in his day a novelty 
in Florence. Tuscan grace was 
more sprawling and angular, and 
though others occasionally ap- 
proached him in motiye, no painter 
could show such softness of line. 
But the sixteenth century abandoned 
this motiye.^ Raphael, who as a 
\oung man had absolutely revelled 
in it, never recurred to it later. 
We can imagine ^Michelangelo's 
scorn of such poses. The new 
moti^"es are more concentrated, 
more strict in outline. Apart from 
the emotional expansion that had 
taken place, the beauty of Perugino 
was no longer adequate, since it 
failed to satisfy the taste for mass. 
Men desired, not the remote and 
isolated, Ijut the compact and firm. 
In this way a series of movements 
of hand and arm were transformed ; 
the arms crossed on the breast in 
prayer, for instance, became a char- 
acteristic moti\'e of the new centurv. 



\cuus, iij- Lorcnzu cii ciedi. It sccms as if all at once a new 

race of beings had sprung up in 
Florence. Rome had always possessed the full massive forms which had 
become the artists' ideal, but they may have been rarer in Tuscany. In 
any case, artists painted as if in Quattrocentist Florence no such models were 

' It occurs in iSansoviiiu's group of the Bnplhm of Chri-'f, liegun in 150'2, but is 
alreadj- modified liere. 




THE NEW BEAUTY 



■J." I 



cNcr sc'i'ii (IN lluisc Aiidi-ca del S.'iiio 

slious soiiicw li.'il later in liis I'lorcn- 

linc \Minirii. 'I'lic laslc of Iju' r.'ulv 

lu'iiaissaiH-c inclined lo nnde\ eKiued 

lornis, and slim, a^^'ile (ii;'ni'es. 'V\\r 

ani;iiiar i;raee and I lie salienl onl- 

hnes ol' \()iilli had a i^ieater eharni 

llian Ihe roinided ahinidanee (if 

wcinianliood or llie ripe ^l riaif;'! Ii of 

inanliodd. The i;ii'l an-^els ol' liolli- 

eelh and l^'ilippino, w i I h Iheii' sliarp 

joints and lean ai-nis repii'senl I lie 

ideal of \()ul lit'ul heani \ , and I his 

liarslniess is seari-el\ inodilied in 

Hollieelirs daneiiii;' (iraees, llioui;li 

lliev t\|)it'\ a ri|n-r ai;'e. 'The si\- 

leentli eentiir\ had a diU'erenl slaiid- 

ard. l'',\eii Leonardo's angels are 

soller, anil a (ui/iit(ii l)\ |{a|ihai'l or 

an /'.'i'e l)\ Mlelielani;-elo are lieiiii^s 

\er\ diU'erenl lo Ihe \ en uses of llii' 

lale (j)iial I roei'iilo. The lu'eL, I'or- 

luerU loiii;- and slim, rt'sliiii;' like an 

iinerU'd runnel on I he slopini;- shoill- 

liers, lieeoines round and shorl, while 

the shoulders are hroad and slroiii;-. 

'Ihe sl rainiiij;- action disappt'ars. 

'I'lie Iniihs assiniK' a lull, inassixe 

loiiii. Once nioi'e the ideal of lnvuil \ 

rec|uiri's the roundt'd bust and wide 

lii|)s ol' the anlicjue, and the e\i' 

(Kaiiands larj;v, harmonious sniraces. 

'I'lu' ('ini|iiecent ist counlerpail lo 

\ errocchio's I)ii\''nl is Ikantanilo 

Cellinis Pcr.siii.s. Thi' lean, siipph' lio\' is no longer consideri'c 

and it' an artist depicts a lii;ure in earh xoulli, he i;'i\es it i 

and fulness. UaphaePs lieiire in the 'J'r'/liinni, of the \i)iilhfnl 





HMI 




^B^'^'.^^Mr in^. il 




/ ^H'l 




' '^^' "wK^ 1 












1 '"# ml 




1 i Jlr 1 


^HTTj 


1 ^V7 1 




fjMKi 


[9K9i 


1 i^^o^ i 




^^fljjH J|vv^^^^|HPi^^'' ' vS 




^»_;^,3 \^^r^ " ' ''m 





MiiKio ('). 



heautifnl. 
■oundness 
St. rioliii 



232 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 




liL'llii Siiiiuuetta, Ijy I'ioro di C 



seated, is an iiistruetixe 
example, showing how 
mature forms were given 
to a bo\isli body, even 
to an unnatural degree. 

The artieulation of 
the beautiful body is 
elearlv sliown. The Cin- 
queceiito had sneh a 
sense ot structure and 
was so bent i)n express- 
ing the fabric that 
all charm of detail be- 
came insignificant in 
comparison. Idealisation 
was soon prevalent in 
this sphere, and tlie 
parallel between the nude 
study h\ Lorenzo di 
C'redi (in the l^ffi/i), 
and the ideal figure by 
Franciabigio in the Uor- 
ghese Gallery, are in- 
structive in more tlian 
one respect. 

The heads become 
lorizontal lines are accentuated. A firm chin 
nuist be nothing dainty and 



larffc and broad ; the 

and full cheeks are admired, and there 

small about the mouth. Formerly a high polished forehead was adniirt 

as a most beautiful feature in a woman's face (" la fronte superba," 

Folitian says), and the hair over the brow \\as sometimes plucked out 

in order that this charm might be displayed as much as possible. A 

low forehead appealed to the Cin(|uecentist as the more noble form. 

.since it was felt to give repose to the face. F^.ven in the eyebrows a 

straightcr, c|nieter line was now adopted. No longer do we find those 

highly arched In-ows which «e see in the girlish statues of Desiderio. 

where in the half-laughing, lialf-wondering faces the brows are drawn 



THE NEW BEAUTY 



•2Xi 



up even liis^liei', suggest- 
ing Folizian's I'hvnie ; 
thev all show — 

" . . . . iifl \'(ilto meraviglia 
Cull firnite ciespa e rilevatf 
L-iglia." {(;nj-iliri.)'^ 

'Jlie pert, rdroiis.sc 
noso mav once have had 
its admirers, Init it was 
no longer fashionable, 
and the portrait-jiainter 
would take everv pains to 
smooth dovvn the uneven 
line, and to give it a 
straight and dignified 
shape. Tliat '^^■hieh is now 
called a noble nose, and 
which is recognised as 
such ill antique statues, is 
an ideal which oiih- re- 
vived with the Classic 
Age. 

There is beautv in all 
that gives an impi-ession 
of repose and power, and 

the notion of " regular beautv " may have been formed at this period, 
with which it was in perfect harmonv. "Regular beauty" does not mean 
only a svinmetrical correspondence between the t\so hahes of the face, but 
an absolute distinctness and coherent proportion of features, difficult to 
define in detail, but at once discernible in the general impression. Portrait- 
painters began to insist on this regularity, and more and more was expected 
from them in the second generation of the Cinquecento. What smooth, 
regular features Bronzino paints in some of his undeniably excellent portraits ! 

Pictures are more explicit than words on these points ; an instructi\-e 
parallel may be drawn between Piero di Cosimo's .S'/Mr^/ifrtc/. and the so-called 

' " Her wonder each astonished maiden shows 
With wrinkling forehead and uplifted broM'S." 




\'ittoria Cululilia (su-cailud), Ijy .Michiilaiigulu 



234 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

Vittoria Colonna by Michelangelo,! both ideal types, which epitomise the 
taste of the two periods. The fifteenth century busts of Florentine 
maidens have no parallel in the sixteenth century. The Cinquecento 
galler\' of beauty contains none but mature types, e.g. the Donna Velata, 
the Dorothea at Berlin, the Fornariiia of the Tribuna, the magnificent 
female figure bv Andrea del Sarto at Madrid &c. Taste reverted to the 
fuUv developed woman. ^ 

3 

"■ The playful fanc\' of the fifteenth century let loose all its caprices in the 
treatment of tlie liair. Painters depicted magnificent coiffures with infinite 
wealth of plaits and braids of difi^'erent kinds, sprinkled with jewels and 
entwined with ropes of pearls. Tliis fantastically exaggerated adornment 
must be distinguished from the st\le in which the hair was really worn, 
and that \vas fanciful enough. The tendency was to divide and separate, 
and to produce delicate details, in contrast to the new style, which aimed 
at keeping the hair together in a mass, and prefen-ed simplicity of form. 
Even in ornamentation it did not allow the jewels to produce any separate 
effect, but only used them when condjined in a harmonious design. _Lo_ose, 
flowing hair was superseded by closelv bound tresses. The waving curls, 
dear to Gliirlandajo and his contemporaries, which fall do\\'n the cheek and 
cover the ear, disappear at once, as a merelv pretty moti\-e which detracts 
from the clearness of the picture. The painter insists on the importance 
of the function of the ear. The hair on the forehead is brought in a 
simple line over the temples. Its office was to enframe the face, whereas 
the (Quattrocento had no feeling for this motive, and heightened the unframed 
forehead beyond its natural limits. In this older st\-le the vertical tendency 
was further emphasised by placing a jewel on the top of the forehead, 
^vhile the broad Cinquecento taste jn-eferred to end off with a large hori- 
zontal line. 

And so the change of style progressed. The long, slender neck of the 
Vuattrocentist beauty, which had to appear free and supple, required 
ornaments different to those demanded by the niassi\e forms of the 
sixteenth century. The artist no longer trifled with single gems, hanging 
on a thread, but painted a solid chain, and the lip-ht, close-fittins necklace 
becomes pendant and heavy. 

1 MoreUi denie.s Michelangelo's author-ihip, Ijut tliat does not affect our present 
contention. 



THE NEW BEAUTY 235 

To sum up, ^\•eighty and sober eft'ects wtre ainied at, and capricious 
fancy was led into the path of plain simplicity. Voices were even raised, 
which extolled hair worn in natural dishevelment, and not a few thought 
that the complexion was more beautiful in its natural hue (" palidetta col 
suo cok)r nati\'o ■") tlian when painted red and white, so that the women 
never changed colour after they had once made their morning toilette. 
Count Castiglione speaks to this effect ; a noteworthv reaction against the 
gaudiness and artificiality of the later Quattrocentist fashions. 

Concerning the coitfure, of men we mav sav at any rate that their 
formerly tousled locks were now brushed close round the head. In the 
portraits by Credi or Perugino the hair \\aves as if stirred Ijy a gentle 
breeze, and this was an intentional etfect demanded bv the elaborate 
coquetry of the style. Pictures of the sixteenth century show the masses 
of hair brought into order and laid smoothlv against the head. 

In the sixteenth century men usually allowed their beards to grow. 
It added to the impression of dignity. Castiglione leaves each man to 
exercise his own judgment in this matter. In his own portrait bv 
Raphael he wears a fidl beard. 

The new inclination sjjeaks still more clearly and emphatically in the 
costumes. Clothing is the direct expression of men's conception of the 
human body and of its movement. The Cincjuecento necessarily had 
recourse to soft, heavv materials, long, full-sleeves, and immense trains. 
This is seen in the female tigures of Andrea del Sarto's Birth of the Virgin 
(1514), where, as Vasari expressly states, the fashionable costume of the day 
is represented. It is not our intention to examine the motives in detail ; 
the important points are the general wish for fulness and weight in the 
clothing of the body, the de^'elopment of broad lines, and accentuation of 
hanging and trailing effects, which gave stateliness to movement. The 
fifteenth century, on the contrary, emphasised agility. Sliort, tight- 
tittino- sleeves which left the wrist free. No exuberant folds, but a daintv 
trimness. One or two slashes and I'ibbons on the under-slecve, other- 
wise nothing but narrow hems and close seams. The CiiKjuecento 
demands heavy stuff's and a rustling fulness. It rejects a complicated 
cut and petty details. The flowered brocades disappear before 
the deep sweeping folds of drapery. Costume is determined by a 
system which looks to ol^tain great contrasts of surface, and only that is 
employed which produces a general effect, and does not reijuire close in- 



236 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



spection to be recognised. Bottieelli''s Grave.',- ha^•e a network over tlieir 
breasts : such archaic subtleties are as inco)nprehensible to the new 
generation as the conceits of fluttering ribbons, veils, and similar gauzy 
objects. Other ideas of contact })re\ail, and there is no longer the dainty 
touching with the tips of the fingers, but a firm grasp with the whole 
hand. 



From this standpoint we must glance at architecture and its new form 
in the Cinquecento. This again, like clothing, is a projection of man and his 
sense of corporeal structm-e. An age shows what it ^^■ishes to be and w^here 
it looks for \alue and importance not less accurately in the rooms which it 
builds and in the forms of its ceilings and walls, than in the fashion of its 
figures and their movement. The Cinquecento had a j)eculiarly strong 
sense of the relation of man and architecture, and of the resonance of 
a beautiful interioi'. It could hardly conceive of any existence without 
an architectural setting and basis. 

Architecture also becomes impressi\e and serious. It curbs the 
joyous liveliness of the earlv Renaissance and attunes it to a more sober 
measure. The various cheerful decorations, the wide-spanned arches and 
the slender cohnnns disappear, and heavy forms, solenm proportions, and the 
most severe simplicity take their place. Taste demands sjjacious rooms 
and echoing footsteps; it cares only for great ceremonials and rejects trivial 
amusements, and these solenm effects seem incompatible with all but the 
strictest conformity to law. 

Ghirlandajo gives us much useful information as to the internal 
decorations of Florentine houses at the end of the fifteenth century. The 
lying-in room in the B'uih of St. John probably represents with tolerable 
accuracy a patrician house, with pilasters in the corners, a cornice running 
round, a coffered wooden ceiling with gilded rosettes, and coloured 
tapestry, hung unsynnnetrically upon the wall. Then a medley of 
furniture, useful or ornamental, placed about without any system. The 
beautiful \\as considered to be beautiful in any place. 

The Ciufiuecento room appears stiff and cold by comparison. The 
severe architecture of the exteriors seems to ha\'e affected the interiors. 
There are no elaborate effects, no pictures(|ue corners. Everything in 
architecture conforms to the new style, not merely in form but in 



THE NEW BEAUTY 237 



(Icforation. All colour is abaiuloned. Such is the rooin in Andrea del 
Sarto's Bhi/i of the Viri^^in of 1514. 

l\Ionochrt>\ne is adopted as more compatible with dignitv of present- 
ment. Reticent colour, the neutral, unobtrusive tone, is demanded in 
place of lo(]uacious brightness. The nobleman, so Count C'astiglione says, 
should usually dress in dark, unpretentious colours. The Lombards alone 
go about in bright, elaborately slashed dresses. ^\ny one who attempted to 
do so in Central Italy would be thought niad.^ Variegated carpets dis- 
appear as well as gailv-striped girdles and oriental sliawls. The taste 
for them now seenrs childish. 

All ci)lour was therefore avoided in dignified architecture. It 
disappears entirelv from fac^'ades, and is onlv vei-y . sparingly used in 
interiors. The idea that noble architecture should be colourless had 
extensive after-effects, and many ancient monuments suffered from it, so 
that M'e are obliged to reconstruct the picture of the Quattrocento from 
compai'ativelv scanty remains. The architectural backgi'ounds of Gozzoli 
or Ghirlandajo are full of information on this subject, even if they cannot 
he taken literally in every detail. Ghirlandajo is almost insatiable in his 
\ariety of colours, — Ijlue friezes, vellow panels on pilasters, checjuered 
jiavements, — yet Va.sari praises him as a promoter of simplicity, because he 
abandoned the use of gold ornament in his pictures.- 

The same remarks apply to sculpture. A prominent example of 
yuattrocentist polychromy, the tomb by Antonio Rossellino in S. Miniato, 
has already been mentioned (.'itipra, page 73) ; the tomb of Marsuppini by 
Desiderio in S. Croce, which as we see it now is stripped of all its chai-acter, 
nnist have been another notable example. Traces of colour are found on 
careful examination, and in our age, when so nnich is restored, it would 
bo a meritorious task to reclaim these degenerates, and to make them 
shine once more with their former brightness. Very little colour is needed 
to produce a coloured effect. The mere gilding of a few places is enough 
to prevent the white stone from appearing colourless, in strong contrast to 
the many-coloured world around. The relief of the Madonna by Antonio 

' It was only a step further to adopt Spani.sh dress. Tlie .sympathy with the Spanish 
nature— " grave e riposato"— is frequently e.-cpressed in Castiglione's book. He thought 
tlie Spaniards far more akin to the Italians than the mercurial French. 

- The use of gold was more firmly established among the Umbrians than the 
Florentines. It is interesting to mark its gradual disappearance in Raphael's works in 
tlie Vatican. 



238 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



Rossellino in the Bargello is treated thus, as also the figure of St. John by 
Benedetto da Majano. A gleam of colour is given to the hair and the 
fur garment by a few strokes, without any heavy gilding. Gold blends 
naturally with bronze, and there are remarkably beautiful combinations of 
bronze and marble with gold, for instance, the tomb of Bishop Foscari in 
S. Maria del Popolo at Rome, where the bronze figure of the deceased lies 
on a marble cushion with gold decorations. 

Michelangelo from the first abandoned colour, and monochrome was 
therefore at orrce adopted all along'the^lme. Even terracottas, which are 
so dependent on the embellishment of painting, lost their colouring, as we 
find in the works of Begarelli. 

I cannot endorse the often repeated assertion that the modern 
reluctance to colour sculpture comes from the wish to imitate antique 
statues. The rejection of colour was a settled matter before any 
archaeological purist could have lighted upon this idea, and suchTadical 
changes of taste are not usually governed by historical considerations 
The Renaissance accepted colour as an element of the antique, as long as it 
retained colour in its own works, and all antique monuments when 
represented in pictures were treated polychromatically. From the very 
moment that the desire for colour ceased, the antique also was deemed to 
have been white, but it cannot be said that it originated the disuse of 
colour. 



Each generation sees in the world that which is congenial to itself 
The fifteenth century was obviously bound to hold a standard of the 
beauty of the visible world different to that proper to the sixteenth, for it 
regarded it with different eyes. In Politian's Giostra we find in his descrip- 
tion of the garden of Venus, a concise expression of the Quattrocentist 
sense of beauty. He speaks of the bright glades and the springs of clear 
water, he names the many beautiful colours, the flowers, he goes from 
one to the other and describes them in long enumeration, without any 
fear of wearying the reader (or listener). With what daintiness of feeling 
he tells of the little green meadow where 

" Solierzando tra fior lascive aurette 
Fan doloemente tremolar I'erbette."' 

' Wanton breezes sporting with the flowers make the tiny blades of grass quiver sweetly. 



THE NEW BEAUTY 239 



The flowery meadow was thus to the painter a world of individuals, 
whose little life and feelings he shared. It is recorded of Leonardo that 
he once painted a bunch of flowers in a vase with extraordinary skill.i 
I mention this one case as typical of many pictorial productions of the 
age. The reflections and sheen on jewels, cherries, and metal dishes were 
noted with a fresh delicacy of perception, derived from the pictures of the 
Dutch Quattrocentists. This peculiar priciosite of style induced painters 
to represent John the Baptist holding in his hand a glass crucifix with copper 
rings. Glittering foliage, bright flesh-tints and white cloudlets on an azure 
sky were favourite pictorial refinements, and every effort was made to 
secure the greatest brilliance of colour. 

The sixteenth century knew nothing of these joys. The bright blending 
of beautiful colours had to give way to strong shadows and skilful 
effects of perspective. Leonardo makes merry over the painters who were 
unwilling to sacrifice beautiful colour-effects to modelling. He compares 
them to orators who use fine phrases without any meaning.^ 

Quivering blades of grass, and the reflections of a crystal are no 
longer subjects for Qinquecentist painters, who did not cultivate minute- 
ness of vis ion. They only realised great actions and represented only the 
great phenomena of light. Nor was this all. Their interest in the world 
became more and more limited to the human figure. It has been already noted 
how the painters of altar-pieces and historical pictures concentrated their 
efforts on the special effect aimed at, and refused to justify the popular taste for 
detail. The altar-piece was formerly the spot where every beautiful object 
under heaven might find a place, and in pictorial narrative the artist worked 
not as a " historical-painter " merely, but also as a painter of architecture, 
landscape and genre. Such interests became incompatible. Even where 
there was no attempt at dramatic effect, or an impression of religious 
solemnity, in idyllic scenes and prosaic representations of secular and 
mythological subjects, the beauty of the figures swallows up almost every 
other consideration. To which of the great classic masters would one have 
entrusted Leonardo's vase of flowers ? If Andrea del Sarto draws any- 
thing of the sort, it is dashed in perfunctorily, as if he feared to destroy 

^ Vasari III. 25. It was in a picture of the Virgin. Venturi quotes the passage in 
reference to the "tondo" (No. 433) of the Borghese Gallery, by Lorenzo di Credi. 

'^ Trattato della Pittura. The strengthening of the effects of shadow both in architec- 
ture and sculpture must be considered as a step towards the disuse of colour. 



24C 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



the purity of the iiionu- 
mental style. '^ And vet 
he sometimes gives us 
a beautiful landscape. 
Raphael -ivho, at any 
I'ate potentially, was per- 
haps the most \'ersatile 
of them all from the 
pictures(|ue point of view, 
produced little in this 
domain. The means were 
still everywhere to hand, 
but e\ervthing tended 
towards an exclusive style 
of tigure-painting, which 
did not condescend to 
notice any subjects but 
figures. It is worthy of 
remark that a native of 
Upper Italy, Gio\anni da 
Udine, was employed in 
RaphaeFs atelier on the 
smaller details in his 
pictures. Later, the Lombard Cara\'aggio caused a positive storm in 
liomc with a flower-\ase ; it was the sign of a new art. 

If a Quattrocentist like Filippino paints Music (picture in Berlin), as 
a young woman, who is decking the swan of Apollo, while the wind makes her 
mantle, gay with the liright hues of the Quattrocento, flutter round her, the 
picture with its " putti " and animals, its \\ater and foliage, has all the charm 
of a myth rendered ])y Bocklin. The sixteenth century would have selected 
only the sculpturesque motive. 'Lhe general feeling for nature narro wed. 
There can Ije no doubt that the development of art was not thereby bene- 
fited. The High Renaissance stood in a restricted domain, and there was 
consideralile danger that it would exhaust itself. 

The tendency towards a seulpturescpie style coincides in Italian art 

' There A\as now a (lill'ei'encc between nionnniental ami non-monumental. Other 
con-siilerations of style are clearly n(]ticeable in the small " Cassone " pictures. 




AUtjgiiry, tiy Filippino Ijippi. 



THE NEW BEAUTY 241 



with an approximation to antique beauty. There is an inchnation to 
assume that the wish to imitate was the effectual motive in both cases, 
as if the picturesque world had been abandoned in favour of antique 
statues. But one must not judge from the analogies of our historical 
century. If Italian art showed a new impulse at its apogee, it can only 
have been due to a development from within. 



6 

In summing up we must once more speak of the relation of Italian 
art to the antique. The popular idea is, that the fifteenth century had 
certainly studied the antique monuments, but that it forgot alien influences 
in the fervour of its own production, whereas the sixteenth century, less 
gifted with a strong originality, never escaped from the impression once 
received. This argument tacitly assumes that both centuries regarded the 
antique in the same light, but the assumption is not unassailable. If the 
Quattrocentist eye saw effects in nature other than those beheld by the 
Cinquecentist, it follows that, in presence of the antique, the same features 
of the surface of observation were not impressed upon the consciousness. 
Men only see that which they look for, and a long training, such as cannot 
be presupposed in an age artistically productive, is required to overcome 
this naivete of vision, for the mere impression of objects on the retina is 
not sufficient. A more correct supposition is that, moved by a similar 
desire to assimilate the antique, the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were 
bound to attain different results, because each understood the antique 
differently^.^, sought its own image therein. But if the C inquecento 
strikes us as more antique, the reason is that its own spirit was ml)re~akirf 
toThaJLofantLqiiity.— 

The relation between ancient and modern is most clearly seen in 
Architecture, where one cannot doubt the honest intention of the Quattro- 
centists to reintroduce the " good, old style," and where the new works 
are nevertheless so unlike the old. The attempts of the fifteenth century 
architects to comply with Roman formulae almost give one the impression 
that the antique was only known to them from hearsay. They adopt the 
idea of the pillar, the arch, and the cornice, but their way of constructing 
and combining these features makes it hard to imagine that they had seen 
Roman ruins. Yet they had seen, admired, and studied them, and were 

R 



242 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



convinced that they were reproducing antique effects. When every detail 
of the J'a^ade of S. Marco in Rome, built in imitation of the arcades of 
the Colosseum, became different, i.e. Quattrocentist, in the all important 
matter of proportions, this result was not due to any deliberate deviation 
from the model, but to the idea that the building might be so con- 
structed and still be antique. Architects borrowed the material part of 
the system of form, but remained quite independent in feeling. It is an 
instructive task to investigate some example, such as the antique triumphal 
arches, which were equally available for imitation in early and later styles, 
and to observe the attitude of the Renaissance, how it passed by the 
classical model of the Arch of Titus, and adopted archaic methods of 
expression, which had their analogies in the Augustan buildings at Rimini 
and farther away, until the hour came when artists had themselves become 
classical.^ The same is true of antique figures. With the most unerring 
feeling, artists only adopted from these admired models such parts as they 
understood, i.e. what they themselves possessed, and it may certainly be 
said that the world of antique monuments, which contained the produc- 
tions of a ripe and of an over-ripe art, far from determining the progress 
of the modern development of style, did not even conduce to a premature 
har\'est of results. When the early Renaissance took an antique motive 
in hand, it never reproduced it without the most sweeping alterations. It 
treats the antique just as the Baroque or Rococo periods, so marked 
in style, would have done. In the sixteenth centurv art reached 
such a pinnacle that for a short time it was on a level with the 
antique. This was a distinctly individual development, and not the 
result of a deliberate study of the remains of antiquity. The broad 
stream of Italian art flowed on, and if there had been no antique 
figures the Cinquecento must have become what it actually became. " 
Beauty of line came not from the Jpollo Belvedere, nor classic repose from 
the Niobide.s.^ 

It takes a long time to discern the antique in the Quattrocento, but 
there can be no doubt that it is there. When Botticelli set to work on a 
mythological subject, he wished to create an antique impression. Strange 

1 Cf. Reim-torium fur Kunstwi^senichaft, 1893: " Antique Triumphal Arches, a study 
in the development of Roman Arcliitecture, and its relation to the Renaissance." (Wolfflin.) 

2 The Florentine Dawjhters of Niohe were indeed unknown at the beginning of the 
sixteenth century. 



THE NEW BEAUTY 243 

as it may seem to us, in his Birth of Venus or his Calumny of Apelles he 
certainly did not intend to represent his subject otherwise than as an 
antique painter would have represented it, and his picture of Spring with 
the goddess of love in her scai'let gold-brocaded gown, with the dancing 
Graces and the Flora scattering flowers, was accounted a composition 
thoroughly in the spirit of the antique. The Venus on the Shell bears 
indeed but a faint likeness to her antique sister, and the group of Graces 
is far from antique in feeling, and yet no intentional wish to diverge from 
classic models need be assumed. Botticelli, after all, only did what his 
contemporaries and colleagues did in architecture, when they thought that 
they were erecting their arcades of slender columns and lofty spans and 
rich decorations in imitation of the antique.^ 

If a Winckelmann had therr~ariseH— to preach the quiet grandeur and 
the noble simplicity of antique art, no one would have understood such 
ideas. The early Quattrocento had approached this ideal far more nearly, 
but the earnest attempts of a Niccolo d'Arezzo, a Nanni di Banco, or even 
of a Donatello were not renewed. Men now looked for movement, and 
valued what was rich and decorative ; the feeling for form had completely 
changed, yet no one thought that the antique had been abandoned. Was 
it not the antique which offered the chief models of movement, and of 
fluttering drapery, and did not the ancient monuments furnish an inex- 
haustible store of decoration for furniture, clothing and buildings ? ^ Ancient 
buildings were thought to be the most appropriate background, and the 
enthusiasm for these monuments was so great that the Arch of Constantine, 
£.g. was repeatedly represented on frescoes in Rome, where the actual 
edifice was always before men's eyes, and sometimes more than once in the 
same picture. It was not indeed represented as it was, but as it ought to 
have been, brightly painted, and gorgeously tricked out. Wherever 
antique scenes were represented, there was an attempt to give the 
impression of a fantastic, almost fabulous, splendour. At the same 
time artists looked for mirthful, not for serious, subjects in the antiques. 

1 We have the antique treatment of a contemporarj' scene in Verrocchio's relief showing 
the -death of a Tornabuoni (from the tomb in the Minerva-at Rome, now in the Bargello). 
Rome always approached more closely to the antique than Florence, and marble seems 
almost to impose the necessity of classical conception. 

2 Filippino, according toVasari, was the first to employ antique motives wholesale to 

ornament his pictures. 

R 2 



244 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



They liked to see nude forms with bright scarves lying on the grass, 
and to call them Venus and Mars. Nothing was statuesque or marble- 
like, for men still loved a gay v£(riety of colours, luminous flesh-tints and 
flowery meadows. 

There was as yet no appreciation of the antique gj-avitas. Men read 
the ancient poets with altered emphasis. The pathos of Virgil resounded in 
their ears without effect. Their perceptions were not yet ripe for the splendid 
passages which have impressed themselves on later generations, such as 
the words of the dying Dido " et magna mei sub terras ibit imago." We 
may say this when looking at the illustrations of ancient poems, which 
conceive the subject on lines so utterly opposed to all that we could expect. 
We see from the charming description in Vespasiano ^ of a humanist — 
Niccoli — dining, how little was required to produce an antique impression. 
The table was covered with the whitest cloth. Costly cups and antique vases 
were placed on it, and he himself drank from a crystal goblet. " A vederlo 
in tavola," the narrator exclaimed enthusiastically, " cosi antico come era, 
era una gentilezza." The little picture is delicately archaic in conception, and 
accords with the Quattrocentist ideas of the antique, but how unimaginable 
such a conception would have been in the sixteenth century ! Who would 
have called it " antique " ? or who would have associated dining with 
antique themes ? The new ideals of human dignity and human beauty 
brought art of itself into new relations with classical antiquity. The t wo 
t^(^s met, and it is an intelligible consequence that nowfor the first time 
the eye Te^iit to regard arch^ological accuracy m the reproduction of 
ant ique figures. The fantastic dresses disappear ; Virgil Ts no K)nger the 

Is of mythology resume 



oriental wizard, but ^ the 
their proper nirms. 

Men began to see the Antique as it rea lly was. The childish conception 
of it w^s~abandbned. But from this moment it presente3^a danger, and 
the contact with antiquity necessarily proved fatal to the weak after they 
had once tasted of the tree of knowledge. 

Raphael's Parnas&us as compared with Botticelli's Spring, is an 
instructive example of the new conception of an antique scene, and in the 
School of Athens we find the figure of an Apollo which looks like a 



' Quoted by J. Burokhardt, Kvltur der Renaissance, and recently in his Beiirdge {Die 
Sammler). 



THE NEW BEAUTY 245 



genuine antique. We need not ask here whether the %ure was copied 
from an antique gem or not.^ The remarkable point is that the spectator 
is at once impelled to think of an antique. For the first time we have 
imitations of antique statues which have the right effect. The modem 
feeling for line and mass had been so developed that the distance between 
the centuries was bridged over. Not merely did the ideas of human beauty 
coincide, but a feeling for the dignity of antique drapery was revived, the 
germs of which had existed in the earlier Quattrocento. Men realised the 
dignity of the antique style, and the majesty of restrained gestures. The 
scenes from the JEeneid in Marc'' Antonio's Quos ego engi-aving form an 
instructive contrast to the Quattrocentist illustrations. The age had 
developed a feeling for the sculpturesque, and the tendency to place the 
plastic motive first and foremost, disposed men to assimilate ancient art. 
Nevertheless, all the great masters remained original in their conceptions, 
for otherwise they would not have been great. The adoption of some 
isolated motives, and the inspiration given by some ancient model, prove 
nothing to the contrary. TlTP^^^iv|jr| np Tfy ^p^ y \ , p '•■f iU'^d a fe '''t'^ T in th-'^ 
develop ment— tjf' the art of Michelangelo or Raphael, hnt it is nnly:^ 
second^^_^£tor. There was greater danger of loss of originality in 
sculpture than in painting. Sansovino, at the very commencement of the 
century, had begun the magnificent tombs in S. Maria del Popolo on truly 
antique lines, and, compared with earlier works, such as Pollaiuolo's tombs 
in St. Peter's, his style seems to herald a neo-Roman art. Michelangelo, 
however, himself sufficed to prevent art from entering the blind alley of 
an obsolete antique classicism. So too, where Raphael is concerned, 
increasingly large scope was given to the antique, but the highest 
productions of his art were always independent of its influence. 

It is a nntpwnrthv fact that architects ng j ^ e r f onn tenan ged nn a , fit, ual 
repr oduction of old buildin g. The~Roriiair ruins must have spoken more 
forcibly than ever. Their simplicity was now understood, since the unruly 
desire for decoration had been curbed. Men appreciated their symmetry, 
for they had themselves adopted similar proportions, and the keener eye 
now desired exact measurements. Excavations were made, and Raphael 
himself was half an archaeologist. One stage of development had been 

1 Von Pulsky (Beitrdue zu Rajfaeh Studium der Antique, 1877) is no doubt right 
in referring it to the Medicean gem of Marsyas and Apollo. 



246 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



])asse(l, and dittt'rent periods^ in tlio aiiti(|ue ^\ere distiiig-iiished, vet in 
spite of this clearer insight the age did not lose itself, but remained 
"modern,'" and the blossom of archaeologic-al study produced the fruit oftlie 
Harocpie period. 

' Cf. also the so-calleil lU/port of lidpluiil on the Roman excavations (printeil initr aliu 
in Ouhl, Kiiii-illerl/riefi I.), and the surprising criticism of Michelangelo on the architectural 
periods of the Pantheon, in which, so far as 1 can see, he forestalls the most modern 
research. (Vasari IV. ."il2. in the Lift of A. Sidisofiiio). 




Copy from Jliirc Antnnio's c 



iiigTaviii;; 



Ill 

THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 

In this last chapter we propose to discuss the new method of 
representing objects. We mean the way in which "the given object is 
arranged as a picture for the eye, in which sense the term " pictorial form " 
may be applied to the whole domain of the visible arts. It is obvious that 
the new feeling for the human body and its movements, explained above, 
would react upon the pictorial form of the same, and that conceptions of 
repose, grandeur, and importance in pictorial reproductions would impose 
themselves independently of the special subject of representation. But 
this enumeration does not exhaust the elements of the new pictorial form ; 
others must be added which cannot be deduced from the previous 
definitions, and are independent of feeling, the results merely of a more 
thorough development of the visual faculty. T hese are the ac tual artistic 
principlpsAJi'le qT dpfinjj'fflT "f the visible object, a sinrplified prpspiitmgiij 
on the one_Jiaiid,-aJtidajn^^^^^erTK^^^^^^^^i^a£^g^sugg^tiv^ 
cnmpi PYJtjp^rifl v\ pw The eye desires more, as its power oTreceptivity is 
"stfon^rTbut at the same time the picture gains in simplicity and clearness, 
in so far as the objects are made easier to the sight. Then there is a 
third element, viz. the power of seeing the parts collectively, the capacity to 
form a comprehensive conception of the various parts, which is 
connected with the desire for a composition in which each part of the 
whole is felt to be necessary in its place. 

This theme must be treated ei ther at great lengt h or very briefly, i.e. in 
short sections. An intermediate course would probably weary the reader 
without~mstructing him. I have chosen the second alternative, since a 
short sketch is alone suitable to the size of this book. If the chapter 
therefore appears unimportant, the author may be allowed to remark that 



248 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

it has not been written hurriedly, and that it is easier to collect running 
quicksilver than to grasp the various components which make up the ' 
idea of a rich and mature style. The novelty of my atbempt may be 
considered as a partial excuse, if this portion of iny book in particular 
should not prove easy reading. 

I. Repose, Spack, Mass and Size 

The pictures of an age have their distinct pulsation no less than the 
pictures of an individual master. Quite apart from the subject of the 
representation, the lines may run restlessly and hastily, or calmly and 
quietly, the space may be cramped, or spacious and convenient, the 
modelling may be small and jerky, or broad and coherent. From all that 
has been already said of the new idea of the Cinquecento as to the beauty 
of the body and its movements, a calmer tendency may be expected, iir 
pictures more mass and space. New relations between space and contents 
are established, the pictures become more impressive, and both in outline 
and in relief the same spirit of repose and the same reticence are felt, which 
are the indispensable characteristics of the new ideas of the beautiful. , 



The contrast is obvious when a youthful work of Michelangelo's, the 
Tondo of the Madonna with the Book, is placed by the side of a similar 
circular relief by Antonio Rossellino, whom we may take to represent the 
old generation. {Cf. the reproductions on page 14 and page 50.) In the 
latter we see a sparkling variety, in the former a broad simplicity of 
treatment. 

It is not merely a question of leaving out details, of a simplification 
of subject matter (as to which something has already been said) but 
of the treatment of surfaces generally. When Rossellino enlivens his 
background with the quivering lights and shadows of a rocky landscape, 
and fills the expanse of sky with crinkled clouds, it is only a continuation 
of the style in which the head and hands are modelled. Michelangelo 
sought broad, coherent surfaces in the human figure, and thus the question 
of how to treat the rest was spontaneously solved. The same taste prevails 
in painting as in sculpture. Here also pleasure is no longer felt in the 
fantastic, in innumerable petty inequalities of surface ; quiet, massive effects 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 249 



of light aiid ^ade have become the desiderata. The sign that governs 
'THe^movement is legato. 

The change of style is shown perhaps still more clearly in the 
treatment of line. Quattrocentist drawing is somewhat hasty. There are 
many petty flourishes and embellishments, harsh junctures and violent 
interruptions. The sixteenth century introduces a calmer flow of line, 
bold strokes and rhythmic cadences. A new sympathy with line would 
seem to- haveawakened everywhere, and once more it is allowed to develop 
freely. Perugino began, and Raphael with his incomparable delicacy of 
feeling continued in the same path. But even the others, who were very 
different in temperament, recognised the beauty of the broad sweep of line, 
and avoided the petty, breathless complexity of the earlier manner. It 
was still possible for Botticelli to make the point of an elbow press against 
the edge of the picture (Pieta, Munich). But now each line has to reckon 
with other lines ; they make mutual concessions, and the eye has become 
sensitive to the glaring intersections of the former style. 



2 

The universal desire for breadth necessarily entailed a new relation of 
the figures to the space in painting. It was felt that there was awairtof 
space in the old pictures. The figures stood sharply on the front edge 
of^the staged and thus an impression of narrowness was produced, which 
was not dissipated even by the extensive colonnades and landscapes in the 
background. Even Leonardo's Last Supper shows a certain Quattrocentist 
awkwardness, owing to the manner in which the table is brought to the 
extreme front of the scene.^ The normal relation of figures to space is 
best shown in the portraits. What an uncomfortable existence must have 
been passed in the small room in which Lorenzo di Credi placed his 
Verrocchio (Uffizi), compared with the wide breezy atmosphere of Cinque- 
centist portraits. The new generation required air and space to move in, 
and it obtained this primarily by increasing the length of the figure. The 
three-quarters length is an invention of the sixteenth century. But even 
where little of the figure was shown, painters were now able to give an 

1 Raphael Morghen disguised the fact in his engraving o£ the Lmt Siqiper, and in order 
not to offend modern taste, inserted that interval between the table and the edge of the 
picture to which we have become accustomed since the Cinquecento. 



250 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

impression of space. How much at his ease Castighone seems within the 
four enclosing lines of his frame ! 

Quattrocentist frescoes usually produce a contracted and cramped 
effect. Fra Angelico's frescoes in the Chapel of Nicholas V. in the 
Vatican have a compressed look, and in the chapel of the Palazzo 
Medici, where Gozzoli painted the Procession of' the Kings, the spectator, 
in spite of all the splendour, cannot shake off' a feeling of discomfort. 
Something of the same sort must be said even of Leonardo's Last Supper ; 
we expect a frame or a border, which the picture has not and never can 
have had. 

Raphael shows a characteristic development in the Stanze. If the 
spectator looks at one picture alone in the Camera della Segnatura he will 
not find fault with the relation between the picture and the wall ; but if 
he looks at two pictures together, as they meet in the corners, he will 
immediately become conscious of the antiquated dryness of the conception 
of space. In the second room the juncture at the corners is different, 
and the pictures, owing to the space available, are on a smaller scale 
altogether. ^ 



No contradiction is involved, if, notwithstanding the wish for space, 
the figures within the frame increase in size.^ Thev are intended to 
produce a more striking effect as a mass, conformably to the idea which 
identified solidity with beauty. Superfluous space was_avoided, because 
it was known that the figures thus lost' in power ;"and means were available 
to create the impression of breadth in the di'awing, in spite of any imposed 
limits. 

The teiidency_was towards compactness, weight, and solidity. More 
importance was attached to the" horizontal line. Hence the outline of 
groups was lowered and the tall pyramid became the triangular group 
with a broad base. The composition of Raphael's Madonnas furnishes 
the best examples. In the same way we may instance the combination of 
two or three standing figures into a compact group. The older pictures, 
where they represent groups, seem thin and fragmentary, and generally 
slight and light compared with the massive compactness of the new 
style. 

1 The plastic figure in the niche underwent the same change. ^, 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 251 



4 

Finally the inevitable consequence was a general increase in actual 
size. The figures grow as it were under the hands oFtKe artists. It is 
liotorious that Raphael continually enlarged the scale in the Stanze. 
Andrea del Sarto, in the Court of the Annunziata, surpassed himself in 
his picture of the Birth of the Virgin, and was immediately surpassed in 
turn by Pontormo. The pleasure afforded by the grandiose was so great 
that even the newly awakened idea of unity raised no protest. The same 
holds good of easel-pictures. The change may be noted in every gallery, 
for with the Cinquecento large canvases and large figures appear on the 
scenes. We shall have to speak again later of the way in which the single 
picture is brought into harmony with the architecture. It is no longer 
seen by itself, but together with the wall for which it is intended, and this 
point of view once accepted, painting would have been destined to increase 
in size, even if it had not advanced spontaneously in this direction. 

The characteristics of style noted here are of an essentially material 
kind, and correspond to a definite expression of feeling. But now, as we 
have already said, elements of a formal nature are found, which cannot be 
developed from the spirit of the new generation. The calculation cannot 
be made with mathematical accuracy : simplification in the sense of 
obtaining repose encounters a simplification, which aims at the greatest 
possible lucidity in the picture, and the tendency to concentration and 
mass encounters a strongly developed will to give pictures an increasing 
wealth of presentment, that will which created compactly grouped pictures 
and first found access to the dimension of depth. On one side there is the 
intention to facilitate perception, on the other the determination to make 
the contents of the picture as full as possible. 

We shall now classify the elements affected by the conception of 
simplification and lucidity. 

II. Simplification and Lucidity 

1 

Classical art goes back to the elementary directions of vertical and 

horizontal lines, and to the primitive aspects of pure full-face or profile. 

This admitted of completely ne^v effects, for the simplest of these had 



252 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



fallen into disuse in the Quattrocento. These primitive directions of line 
and primitive aspects had been assiduously set aside with the intention of 
producing movement at any cost. Even an artist so simple-minded as 
Perugino has, e.g: in his Pieta in the Pitti Palace, not a single pure profile, 
and nowhere a pure full-face. Now, when artists commanded the widest 
range of resources, a new value was all at once attached to primitive 
notions. Not indeed that there was any deliberate archaism, but artists 
recognised the effect to be won by a combination of simplicity and richness ; 
it gives an average and the whole picture gains in balance. Leonardo 
appeared as an innovator when he enframed the company in his Lasi 
Supper by two profiles in a pure vertical line. He could not have 
learnt that from Ghirlandajo.^ Michelangelo from the very first upheld 
the value of simplicity , and among the pictures of Raphael's maturity 
there is hardly one in which the deliberate application of simplicity to 
secure a powerful and emphatic effect is not apparent. Who of the 
older generation would have ventured to depict the Swiss guards in the 
Mass ofBolsena in such a way, three vertical lines in close juxtaposition ! 
Yet this very simplicity works wonders here. Again, in his most 
sublime essay, the Sisthie Madonna, he uses the pure vertical line with 
astounding effect, and we have the primitive element combined with the 
most consummate refinements of art. An architectonic scheme like those 
of Fra Bartolommeo ^^'ould be unimaginable without this reversion to 
elementary methods of presentment. 

If then we take a single figure, as for example, Michelangelo's 
recumbent Adam on the Sistine ceiling, which impresses us as so firm 
and secure, we shall be forced to say that this effect would not have 
been produced, if the torso had not been turned so as to present the 
full breadth of the chest to the spectator. The figure is impressive 
because the position, which to the eye is normal, was achieved under 
difficult conditions. The figure is thus, as it were, secured. It has a 
certain inevitability. 

Another example of the effect of such a tectonic aspect — if we may use 
the expression— is the sitting and preaching St. John by Raphael (Tri- 
buna). It would have been easy to give him a more pleasing (or more 

1 The portrait-heads in the Tornabuoni frescoes can hardly be instanced in this 
connection, for here it was not a question of formal intentions on the part of the artist, but 
of a definite social convention. This is evident from his other compositions. 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 



253 



pictorial) attitude but, as he sits 
there, with the full breadth of his 
breast towards us and his head 
erect, not only the mouth of the 
prophet speaks, Ijut the whole form 
cries aloud to us from the pictm-e. 
This efl'ect could not have Ijeen 
obtained in any other fashion. 

In their methods of illumin ation, 
again, Cinquecentists adopted simple 
schemes. We find heads, which 




Three Female Saints (fragment), by Sebaatiano 
del Piombo. 



seen en face are accurately di\ided 

by the line of the nose, i.e. one half 

is dark, the other light, and this 

method of distributing the light is 

compatible with the most perfect 

beauty. JMichelangelo's Delphiea and 

Andrea del Sarto's ideal youthful 

head are drawn in this wa^■. In other 

cases there was often an attempt to 

preserve a symmetrical shading of the eyes when the light was thrown 

strongly on the face, another device A\hich produces a very clear and 

restful effect. Examples are to be found in the St. John of Bartolommeo's 

Pietti, and in Leonardo's John the Baptist in the Louvre. This does not 

at all mean that this method of illumination was universal, for the axis 

of operation was not always so simple. But simplicity was understood, 

and its special value was realised. 

In the early picture by Sebastiano in S. Crisostomo at Venice three 
female .saints are seen standing together on the left. I must instance 
this group as a peculiarly striking example of the new method of distri- 
bution, and here I am not speaking of the bodies but only of the heads. 
The combination is apparently a very natural one. One profile, a three- 
quarters face (this the most prominent), and then a third inclined, less inde- 
pendent and le.ss strongly illuminated : a single inclination contrasting 
with two vertical lines. If we go through the stock of Quattrocentist 
examples in which a somewhat similar arrangement is found, we shall 
soon be convinced that the simple motixe was by no means the obvious 



•254 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



one. The feeling for it did not revive until the sixteenth century, anc 
in the year 1510 in the immediate vicinity of Sebastiano, |2arpaccio could 
still paint his Pi'esentation in the Temple (Academy, Venice), in which three 
female heads are placed together, quite in the old style, almost equivalent ir 
value, each differing slightly in inclination, yet with no marked variety ol 
type, without definite standard or clear contrast. 

The return to the elementary methods of presentment is not to be 
divorced from the inventio n of the compositio n of contrast. It is allowable 
to speak of invention, for a clear discernment of the truth that all values 
are relative, and that all size or direction of lines is effective only in 
reference to other sizes or directions was not to be found before the Classical 
Age. Now for the first time it was perceived that the vertical is necessary 
because it gives the standard by which all deviations from the perpen- 
dicular are recognised, and throughout the whole realm of visible objects up 
to the expression of human emotions by action the truth was manifested 
that the separate motive can only exercise its full effective force when com- 
bined with its antithesis. Objects surrounded by smaller objects seem large, 
whether they be separate limbs or whole figures ; that which stands beside the 
complex gains an air of simplicity, that which is opposed to the violently 
agitated looks calm, etc. 

The principle of effect by contrast was of the highest importance to the 
sixteenth century. All classical compositions are based on it, and it was 
a necessary consequence that each motive could only be admitted once in 
one picture. The eff'ect of such marvels of art as the Sisttne Madonna, rests 
on the completeness and the uniqueness of the contrasts. This picture, 
which might be supposed to be more free than any other from calculated 
effects, is simply filled with strong contrasts. In the St. Barbara, foi 
example — to take one case only — it had evidently been decided that, as 'i 
parallel figure to the Sixtus, who is looking up, she must be looking down 
before any special reason had been invented for a downward gaze. It is i 
characteristic of Raphael's pictures that the spectator, looking at the genera 
effect, does not think of the details, while Andrea del Sarto, who is somewhal 
later, obtrudes his treatment of contrasts on us from the very first moment 
The reason for this is, that with him, contrasts are mere formulae withou 
any special significance. 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 255 

There is also an application of the principle in the psychological domain : 
a passion must not be represented side by side with a lii<e passion, but 
should be contrasted with other emotions. 

Fra Bartolonnneo's Pkia is a model of psychical economy. Raphael 
introduces into the group round his St. Cecilia, where all the characters are 
under the influence of the heavenly music, the indifferent Mao-dalen. 
knowing that the intense rapture of the others will be more fully impressed 
upon the spectator by this means. The Quattrocento shows numerous 
examples of unsympathetic bystanders, but such considerations were un- 
known to it. It is unnecessary to say how completely compositions of 
contrast like the HiTwdoru.s and the Tran.sfig'uration soared above the 
horizon of the older art. 



The problem of contrasts is a problem of the increased i ntensity of 
pictorial effect. The whole sum of the efforts which were directed towards 
the simplification and elucidation of the presentment, had the same object 
in view. The processes then at work in architecture, the system of puri- 
fication, and of exclusion of all details which did not help towards the 
whole, the selection of a few grand forms, the reinforcement of the 
sculptures, all find complete parallels in pictorial art. 

Images were carefully selected. Great leading lines had to play a 
prominent part. The old way of considering details, of groping after 
isolated effects, and passing from one part of the picture to the other, 
is now abandoned. The composition must be effective as a whole and 
be clear even when viewed from a distance. Sixteenth century pictures 
are easily seen. Perception is facilitated, and the essentials are at once 
detected. There is a distinct scale of values, and the eye is led into 
definite paths. A reference to the composition of the Heliodorus will 
supply the place of examples. We can hardly imagine how many equally 
important and prominent details would have been forced on the spectator's 
view by a Quattrocentist painter working on so large a surface. 

The style of the whole is also the style of each detail in that whole. 
The drapery of the sixteenth century is distinguished from that of the 
Quattrocento by great continuous lines, by the marked contrast between 
plain and ornamented pai'ts, and by the visible outlines, beneath the 
drapery, of the body which ever remains the chief motive. 



256 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



An appreciable part of the Quat- 
trocento form-fantasy is found in its 
system of folds. Persons with little 
visual sensibility will pass by these 
fabrics unheeding, and will believe 
eenerallv that such a minor detail 
was more or less spontaneous. But 
if once an attempt be made to copv 
some such piece of drapery, it will 
immediately connuand respect, these 
displacements of a lifeless material 
will be felt to bear the impress of 
st\le, that is, the expression of a 
definite purpose, and attention will 
readily be given to all the rippling 
and rustling and murmuring of the 
stuff'. E\ery artist has his style. 
The most hasty is Botticelli, 
who with characteristic impetuosity 
dashes oft" long simple furrows, while 
Filippino and Pollaiuolo and Ghir- 
landajo linger lovingly over the con- 
struction of their nests of folds, so 
rich in form.^ 

The fifteenth century poured out 
its wealth with profusion over the 
whole body. If there are no folds, 
there is a slash, a slit, a puff' or the pattern of the stuff' to attract atten- 
tion. It is thought impossible to let the eye rest idle anywhere, even 
for a moment. 

We have already explained how the new interests of the sixteenth 
century aff'ected drapery. It is svifficient for a compi'ehension of the new 
style to have seen the female figures in Leonardo's picture of St Anne, 
Michelangelo's Madonna of the Tribuna or Raphael's Alba Madonna. The 

^ The draper}^ of Ohirlandajo's Madonna in the Uffizi (with two archangels and two 
kneeling saints) is closely akin to the famous and often copied study of drapery by 
Leonardo in the Louvre (Miiller-Walde, No. 18). 




by Pollaiuulo. 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 



257 



essential idea here is that the drapery shall not overload the -plastic 
motive.^ 

The jplds are to accentuate the body and not to intrude themselves on 
the eye as something independent. Even with Andrea del Sarto, who 
delighted to let his rustling stuffs gleam in picturesque folds, the drapery 
is never independent of the movement of the figure, whereas in the fifteenth 
century it repeatedly claims attention as a special motive. 

If in drapery the forms could be arranged according to taste (and it 
is clearly comprehensible how a new taste aimed at substituting the few 
for the many, at emphatic and strongly accentuated lines), the fixed forms, 
such as head and body, were not less subject to the transforming spirit of 
the new style. 

Fift eenth century heads have this common characteristic, that the 
glittering eye gives the chief accent. Contrasted with the light shadows, 
the dark pupil with its iris has such importance, that it is necessarily the 
first thing one sees in the head, and this indeed is perhaps the normal 
effect produced in nature. Thp sTvtppntVi ffnt ury suppresses this effpc t^ 
it dims the lustre of the glance. The bony sub-structure is now called 
upon to speak the emphatic word. The shadows are deepened in order to 
give more energy to the form. As great compact masses, not small 
scattered particles, their function is to combine, arrange, and organise. 
What formerly fell apart as pure detail is now made to cohere. Simple 
lines and emphatic directions are required. The trivial disappear s in the 
hngortant. No details may be prominent. The principal forms must be 
conspicuous enough to secure the proper effect at all distances. 

It is difficult to speak convincingly on such topics without adducing 
instances, and even demonstration will be useless, unless personal experience 
coincides with it. Instead of going into particulars we will let the question 
rest on a comparison of the two portraits by Perugino and Raphael, repro- 
duced on page 123 and as frontispiece. The observer will be able to con- 
vince himself that Perugino, while minutely elaborating his work, uses 
shadows only in small quantities without emphasis, and that he employs 
them cautiously, as if they were a necessary evil. Raphael, on the contrary, 
shades boldly, not only to strengthen the relief, but more especially as a 
means of welding the presentment together in a few large forms. By these 

' Leonardo, Trattato ddla Pittura : "Do not make your figures too rich in orna- 
mentations, lest these should interfere with the form and position of the figures." 

s 



258 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



means the orbits of the eyes and the nose are included in one stroke, and 
the eye appears clear and simple by the side of the quiet masses of shadow 
which surround it. The angle between nose and eyes is always emphasised 
in the Cinquecento ; it is of decisive importance for the physiognomy, a ■ 
centre where many threads of expression meet. 

The secret of the great stv ]eJs_to_sa y much in few woj ;ds^ 

We will not attempt to follow the new ideas to the point where they are, 
faced by the problem of the whole body, nor even to render a detailed 
account of the simplified method of representing the body by the selection 
of essentials. It is not the growth of anatomical knowledge which decides 
the question here, but a habit of seeing the figure in its great outlines. 
The way in which the articulations of the body are understood, and the 
essential points of development noted, presupposes a feeling for organic 
structure which is independent of anatomical erudition. 

The same development plays its part in architecture ; we need take but 
one example of it here. The fifteenth century allowed the profile of an 
arched niche to be continued uniformly all round ; now an abutment is 
required, i.e. the important point where the arch springs has to be empha- 
sised. A precisely similar definition of the articulations of the body was 
insisted upon. A new manner of setting the neck on the torso appears. 
The parts are moi-e distinctly differentiated, but at the same time the body 
as a whole acquires a more convincing unity. There was an effort made 
to grasp the important points of attachment ; men learnt to understand 
what had been so long shown them in the antique. The ultimate result 
indeed was that coi-poreal structure became a purely mechanical exercise — 
for which, however, the great masters are not to be held responsible. 

The question at issue now was not merely the representation of man in 
repose, but still more that of his emotions, his physical and spiritual 
functions. An interminable array of new problems arose in the domain of 
physical movement and of physiognomic expression. Standing, walking, 
lifting, carrying, running and flying — every physical action, in short, had 
to be elaborated in accordance with the new requirements, no less than 
the expression of the emotions. It seemed everywhere both possible and 
necessary to surpass the Quattrocento in clarity and in force of expression. 
Signorelli did most to prepare the way for representations of action in 
nude bodies ; independently of the laboriously minute study of details 
which the Florentines made, he arrived more certainly at a comprehension 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 



25!) 



of what was impressive to the eye and essential to the coiiccj)tion. JJut 
with all his art he seems merely to offer hints and suggestions as compared 
with Michelangelo. It was Michelangelo who first discovered those aspects 
of the functions of the nuiscles, which compel the spectator to realise the 
incident. The effects he wins from his material are as novel as if no artist 
before him had ever worked upon it. The series of Slaves in the Sistine 
Chapel, now that the cartoon of the Bathing Soldiers is lost, must be 
termed the real " School of the AVorld," the "Gradus ad raniassum." It 
is only necessary to look at the drawing of the arms, to get an idea of the 
significance of the work. Whereas the Quattrocento sought out the most 
ea.sily attainable ways of presentment, e.g. the profile view of the elbow, 
generation after generation continuing the scheme, one man suddenly 
broke down all barriers, and exhibited drawings of the joints which must 
have been an absolute revelation to the spectator. The mighty limbs of 
these Slaves, no longer uniformly shown in their full breadth, nor with a dull 
parallelism of contours, make an impression of life surpassing that of nature 
itself. The inward and outward sweep of the line, the expansion and con- 
traction of the form, bring about this effect. We shall have to speak of fore- 
shortening further on. Michelangelo is for all time the great teacher, who 
showed what the effective points of view are. To take a simple example 
in illustration, let us turn back to the figures of women carrying burdens 
by Ghirlandajo and Raphael (see the reproductions on p. 228 and p. 229). 
When we note the superiority of the lowered left arm holding a flagon in 
RaphaePs picture to that in Ghirlandajo's, we shall have a standpoint from 
which to estimate the difflsrence of draughtsmanship in the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries.^ 

As soon as the pictorial importance of the joints became evident, it was 
natural that artists should have desired to make them all visible, and hence 
arose that tendency to bare the arms and legs, which was not held in check 
even in the rendering of saintly figures. The sleeves of male saints were 
often thrown back, for the elbow-joint had to be seen. Michelangelo 
went further, and bared the arm of his Virgin up to the shoulder- 
joint {Madonna of the Tribuna). Although other painters do not follow 
him in this, yet the exposure of the junction of arm and shoulder is common 
in the case of angels. Beauty came to be identified with a clear definition 

' It is immaterial in this connection that we have reproduced Raphael's figure, not 
from an original drawing, but from an old copy of the fresco. 

s 2 






! ni: 



260 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 




RecliniBg Venus (fragment), by Piero di Cosimo. 



of the joints. As a prominent instance of the defective knowledge of 
organic structure which was pecuHar to the fifteenth century, we rnay cite 
the treatment of the loin-cloth in the figure of Christ or St. Sebastian. This 
piece of drapery is intolerable when it conceals the lines of transition 
between the torso and the extremities. Botticelli and Verrocchio do not 
seem to have felt any reluctance to mutilate the body in this way, but in 
the sixteenth century the loin-cloth is arranged in a manner which clearly 
expresses a comprehension of the structural idea and a wish to preserve the 
purity of presentment. It is not surprising that Perugino, with his archi- 
tectonic cast of thought, should have soon arrived at a similar solution. 

In order to end this discussion with a more weighty example, let us 
place side by side the Venus in Piei'o di Cosimo's Venus and Mars, in 
Berlin, and Titian's recumbent Vemis in the Uffizi, where Titian must be 
the i-epresentative of the Cinquecento for Central Italy also, since no 
figure equally good for purposes of comparison can be found. We have 
then in both pictures a nude recumbent female figure. The reader will at 
first naturally wish to explain the difference of effect by the difference of 
the model. But if he further says that the articulated beauty of the 
sixteenth century, as we showed it above (p. 231) in Franciabigio's study, 
is being compared with the inarticulated product of the fifteenth century, 
and that a form after the style of the Cinquecento, where the firm outline 
is emphasised in contrast to the swelling fleshy parts, must necessarily be 
superior in clarity, we shall still feel that there are other vast differences in 
the manner of representing the figure. In the one case it is rendered in 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 



•261 



p .1 


PH 




B 


H ' ""^Jbiii 


■^H' ^^f^^^ ^I^B^^^^^I 




■■■ 




v^^^^v^^^H 


^HhBI^- ' ''^"^ 


H^^H 


^ ^^^^^^^n^^T^ 


t^MiflSH 




k *- WH^^M 


^^■^^pirf**^ ^w *^^ , 'S^^^l 


HPv 


r ^'"''^v 


L '^^^1^^ 




• niiiliHl 


^HH^^^k'. .^mtM 


hH 




Hi 



Recliiiiiib^ Veiui:^, by Titian. 



a fragmentary and faulty fashion, in tlie other with the most consummate 
perspicuity. Even novices in the study of Itidian ai't Avill be puzzled when 
they examine PievoV drawing; of the right leg, a uniform line ])arallel to 
the frame of the picture. It is quite possible that the model presented 
this view, but why did the painter allow himself to be satisfied with it f 
Why does he show nothing of the conformation of the limb ? He had no 
desire to do so. The leg is stretched out ; it would nt)t look different were 
it absolutely stiff"; it is loaded and compressed from abo\e, but it looks as 
if it were withered. It is against such distortions of ])hysical development 
that the new style enters its protest. AVe nmst not say that Piero is merely 
an inferior draughtsman to Titian. The (piestion is one of generic differ- 
ence of style, and he who investigates the problem will be surprised at the 
extent of the analogies to be discovered in connection therewith. Durer's 
earlier drawings might supply parallels to Piero's figures. 



262 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

The body, bulging in the invariable Quattrocento style, leans over to 
one side. The attitude is far from pleasing, but we would allow the 
realist to gratify himself in this respect, if only he had not cut off the 
connection between the leg's and the body. There is a complete absence 
of the continuity of outline which is )-e(|uired by the representation. 

Ill the sanKM\ay the left arm suddenly disappears at the shoulder, with- 
out any hint as to its form, until we discover a hand which must belong to 
it, though it has no \isible connection with it. If A\e ask for any explana- 
tion of the functions, how the weight of the body on the right arm is 
suggested, the turn of the head, or the movement of the wrist, Piero tells 
us nothing. Titian not only exhibits the formation of the body with absolute 
clearness, leaving us in no uncertainty on any single point, but the action 
of each part is carefulh' \et ade(|uatel\- represented. We need not dwell on 
the harmony of line, how on the right side especially the contour flows 
downwards in an e\en rhythmic cadence. It may however l)e said generally 
that even Titian did not compose so admirably from the first. The simpler 
and earlier Vciiu.s with the dog in the Tribuna, may have the advantage of 
greater freshness, but it is not so mature a production. 

AVhat is true of the iiidi\idual figuix' applies in a still higher degree to 
a condiination of se\eral tigiu-es. The (()uattrocento made incredible 
demands on the eye. The spectator not only has the greatest difficulty in 
picking out individual faces from the closeh'-massed rows of heads, but i.s 
given fragmentary iigui'es to look at, of which it is almost impossible to 
imagine the complete forms. There seemed no limit to what might be 
done in the way of audacious intersections and concealments. I may 
instance the intolerable segments of figures in (ihirlandajo's V/sifation 
(Louvre) or Botticelli's Adonitton of the Khig-.s in the Uffizi, where the 
reader is invited to analyse the right half of the ])icture. Signorclli's 
frescoes at Orvieto, witli their ai)solutel\' inextricalile confusion of figures 
miglit he reconnnended to advanced students. On the other hand, how 
profound is the sense of satisfaction «ith which tlie eye dwells on those 
compositions of Jlaphaefs which are richest in figures ; I speak of his Roman 
works, for he is still indistinct in his Entotiihmoit. 

The same imjiropriety is found in the use of architcctiu-al details. The 
portico in Gliirlandajo's fresco of the Sacnficc o/' Jonchhn is so designed 
that the ])ilasters with their capitals al)uf on the upper margin of the 
picture, livery one at the present time would sa\- that he ouglit either to 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 



263 



have included the entablature or to have cut off the pilasters lower down. 
But it was the Cinquecentists who made this criticism inevitable. Peruo-ino 
was superior to the others in this point also, yet archaisms of the kind are 
still found with him, as when he imagines that he can indicate the span of 
an arch by means of the small ends of a cornice projecting from the edo-e 
of the picture. The proportions of rooms in old Filippo Lippi's works 
are positively ludicrous. They are taken into account in the judgment 
passed on him in the first chapter of this book. 



III. Enrichment 



Among' the achievements of the sixteenth century the first place must 
be awarded to the complete emancipation of physical movement. It is 
this quality which primarily determines the impression of richness in a 
Cinquecentist picture. The activity of body seems to be due to more 
lively organs, and the eye of the spectator is incited to increased activity. 

Movement does not now mean simple progression. The Quattrocento 
shows many examples of running and springing, and yet a certain poverty 
and emptiness is inseparable from it all, inasmuch as a very limited use is 
made of the joints, and the possibilities of turnings and bendings in the 
greater and lesser articulation of the body were only partially exhausted. 
At this point the sixteenth century steps in with such a development of 
the body, such an enriched presentment even of the figure at rest that we 
recognise the inauguration of a new era. The figure at once becomes rich 
in directions, and what was previously regarded as a flat surface acquires 
depth, and becomes a complex form in which the third dimension plays its 
part. 

It is a prevalent mistake among amateurs in art that everything is 
possible at all times, and that art, as soon as it has acquired some facility 
in expression, will at once be able to represent any movement. In reality 
art develops like a plant, which slowly puts forth leaf upon leaf, until at 
last it stands round and full and branching out on every side. This 
tranquil and regular growth is peculiar to all organic systems of art, 
but it can nowhere be observed so perfectly as in the antique and ill 
Italian art. 



264 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



I repeat that mq are not eoneerned 
here with luovements which aim at some 
new purpose, or ser\e some new form of 
expression. ^Ve are nierelv discussinEf 
the more or less elaborate picture of 
a seated, standing, or leaning figure, 
■where there is one main action, but 
where by contrasts in the turn of the 
njjper and the loiver part of the body, 
or i_)f the head and the Ijreast, by the 
raising of one foot, the extension of 
an arm, the thrusting forward of a 
shoulder, and such-like gestures, very 
varied contours of torso and limbs may 
be obtained. No sooner did these Ije- 
come general than certain rules for the 
application of motives of movement 
M'ere formulated, and the system of 
diagonal correspondence, in ^^•hich, for 
example, the bend of the left arm cor- 
responds to that of the right leg and 
via- vcrmi, is called " contraposition." 
But the term "contraposition" cannot 
l)e applied to the entire j)henonienon. 

It might now be thought desirable 
to draw up a scheme of the differen- 
tiation of the correlative parts, the 
arms and legs, shoulders and hips, and 
of the newly discovered possibiHties of 
movement in the three dimensions. But 
the reader must not expect this here, 
and, as so much has already been said 
aljout plastic richness, he must be 
satisfied with a few selected examples. . 
The methods of the new style will 
be most clearly shown in the cases where the artist has to deal with the 
perfectly motionless form, as in the theme of the Crucified Christ, a figure, 




rcrsuuB (cast), by lit.nveiuito Cellini. 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 



■205 



which owing to the hxitv of the ex- 
tremities, does not seem susceptihle 
of variation. Yet the art of tlie 
Cinquecento gave no\eltv even to 
this barren motive, bv doing awav 
with the symmetrical disposition of 
the legs, and placing one knee oxer 
the othei-, while bv a general turn of 
the tigm-e it produced a contrast of 
direction between the upper and 
lower parts of the body. This treat- 
ment has been already discussed in 
the case of Abertinelli (cf. p. 154). 
IMichelangelo worked out this motive 
to its logical conclusion. And it 
may be remarked incidentally that 
lie added the el ement of emotion ._ 
He created the figin-e of the Crucified 
Lord who is casting His eyes up- 
wards, and whose mouth is opened 
to utter the cry of anguish. ^ 

The motive of the bound figure 
presents richer possibilities. St. 
Sebastian fastened to the stake, or 
the Christ of the Flagellation, or 
even that series of Slaves fettered to 
pillars which ^Michelangelo proposed 
for the tomb of Julius. The influ- 
ence of these very " Captives" on re- 
ligious subjects can be clearly traced, 
and if Michelangelo had completed 
the full .series for the tomb, little more would have been left to discover. 

When we approach the subject of the unsupported standing figure, vast 
prospects naturally open out before us. AVe will only ask what the 

1 Vasari (VII. 275) gives another interpretation: " Alzato la testa raccomanda lo 
spirito al padre." The composition is preserved only in copies. (Reproduction in 
.Springer's liafael und Mkhelanijelo.) This is the origin of the Seiccntist Crucified Christ, 




(huvaiiuino, in the Berlin IMuseum. 



266 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



sixteenth century would ha\e done with 
DonateUo's bronze David ? It has such 
atfinitv to the classical style in the line 
of movement, and the differentiation 
of the limljs is so effective that, apart 
from the treatment of form, it might 
well have been expected to satisfv even 
this later generation. The ans\\er is 
given bv the Perseus of Ben\enuto 
Cellini, a late figure (1550) but re- 
latively simply in composition, and 
therefore suitable for purposes of com- 
parison. Here we see what was lack- 
ing in the David. Not only are the 
contrasts of the limbs accentuated, 
but j the figure is no longer in one 
plane, it extends backwards and for- 
wards. This change may be looked 
upon as an ominous one, portending 
the coming decay of plastic art, but I 
use the example Ix-cause it is character- 
i.stic of the tendency. 

^Michelangelo is certainly richer, yet 
his composition is compact and solid. 
His endeavours to give his figures more 
depth have been sutticienth' explained 
hv the comparison of his Apollo with 
the panel-like David. The turn of the 
statue, from the feet upwards, gives 
life to the figure in all dimensions, 
and the outstretched arm is valuable 
not merely as a contj-asting horizontal line, but possesses a space-value, 
since it marks a degree on the scale of the line of depth, and thus 
establishes a relation between back and front. The Christ of the ISIinerva 
is similarly concei\ed, and the Giuvainiiiio of Berlin (vide above, note on 
p. 5;5) comes into the same categor\', onlv Alicliclangelo \\ould not ha\e 
approved the I)reaking up of the mass here. Any one who analyses the 




St. LiiMiio, by .MiJiitov.siili. 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 



'207 



nu)\-c.'ineut in this figiiiv may pro- 
fitably refei- tt) jMit-liclaugelo's 
Biicc/iiis. The priinitixe Hatiirss 
and simphcity of the genuine youth- 
ful M'ork of the artist will be seen 
to eontrast clearly ^\ ith the compli- 
cated nu)yenicnt in the late -work 
of an imitator, and the difference, 
not of two indiyiduals, Ijut of two 
generations, will be brought home 
to the unprejuciiced niind.'^ 

The St. Cosmo from the Aledi- 
t'ean sepulchral chapel may be 
(|Uoted as an instance of a Cincjue- 
centist seated figiuv. It was 
modelled by ^Michelangelo and exe- 
cuted by ^lontorsoli, and is a beau- 
tiful quiet figure, a kind of tranquil- 
lised jMoses. There is nothing 
striking in the niotiye, and yet it 
formulates a problem which was in- 
accessible to the fifteenth century. 
Let us by way of comparison rcyie^^■ 
the Quattrocentist seated figures in 
the Cathedral. Not one of these 
earlier masters has eyen attempted 
to differentiate the lower extremities 
by the eleyation of one foot, to 
sav nothing of the bending forward 
of the upjier part of the l)ody. 
The head here once more sho\\'s a 
new direction, and the arms, not- 
withstanding the tranquillity and unj)retentiousncss of the gesture, form 
a most eft'ectiye contrast in the composition. 

1 The elaborate motive of raising a cup to tlie moutli— a simpler rendering would have 
given the act of drinking— occur.s contemiwraneouslj- in painting. Cf. Bugiarduii's 
Oiovannino in the Pinacothek of Bologna. 




St. -l-iliu thcj ilaiitlst, li.y J. Sansoviii 



268 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



Sitting figures have 
the advantage that the 
form is compact as a 
mass, and therefore the 
differences in axis are 
A'igorouslv contrasted. It 
is easier to make a sit- 
ting figure interesting 
than a standing figure, 
and it is not surprising 
that they are constantly 
recurring in the sixteenth 
century. The tvpe of 
the seated youthful St. 
.John almost completelv 
ousted that of the stand- 
ing figure, both in sculp- 
ture and painting. The 
late figure bv J. Sansovino 
from the Frari in A'enice 

JIadomia with ciglit Saints, by Andrta del Sarto. (1556) is VCrV exagger- 

ated, liut for that reason 
instructive, as it betravs the pains taken to secure an interesting presentment. 

The gi-eatest })ossibilities of concentrated richness are presented bv 
recumbent figures, in connccticm with which a mere mention of the Daij 
tittd Night in tlie ]\Iedici Chapel nnist suffice. Even Titian could not 
resist their influence. After he had been in Florence, the full-length 
prostrate figure of the lieautiful nude female, as it had lieen painted in 
Venice since Giorgione's times, seemed far too simple to him. He sought 
for stronger contrasts of direction in the lind:)s, and painted his Daiuic, who, 
with half-u])lifted body and the one knee raised, recei\cs the golden rain 
in her lap. It is also especially instructive to notice liow in the .sequel — for 
this pictin-e was thi'ice repeated in his atelier — the figure becomes mon 
and more crouching and how the contrasts (even in the accompanying figure), 
are emphasised. ^ 

' The ortlcr of tlie pictme.s can be exactly determineil. The jiieturc at Naples (15+S) 
begins the series, as is well known, then come the Madriil ami Peterslmrg pictmes with 




THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 



26!)' 



S| 


W^^ 


l^n 


M 


^'^^IMPi 


^mP 


^^^^ 




S 


^ 


1 


11 


^fi 




1 


1 


^fl tl 


1 jM^^^HI^M 


ffiK^m^'^BSI^p 


f k* 


t^^A^ ^i^wF|JHp ^)^ 


i^^fi 


^^mnbI 


|^^1| 


im^ 


Sp^S-'h 


^1 


^H 


^HB^H^l'^^Hj 


m 


jpEJ 


^b| 


P^1B| 


|hH 


m 


i^m 


M 


pH 


1^^^ 


i 


iM 


fmm 


m 


S 




1 


'^^^^^n^^^^^^^^^l 


H 


Bwim 




■m 


mill^niiiiilB^I 



Maduuna with AnycLs and six Saints, bj- Eottieolli. 

We ha^e hitherto spoken more of plastic than of pictorial examples. 
Not that painting had taken a different course, for the two develojiments 
were absoluteh" parallel, but the problems of perspecti\e ^t once obtrude 
themselves in sculpture, since here the same mo\-ement may have a richer 
or a poorer effect according to the point of view, and for a while we only 
had to deal with the increase of objective movement. But so soon as we 
wish to show this objective enrichment in a group of several figures, paint- 
ing can no longer be left in the background. Sculpture, it is true, forms 
its groups too, but it soon reaches its natural limits, and has to leave the 
field to painting. The tangle of movement which Michelangelo shows us 
in the " tondo " of the Maduruui of the Tribuna has no plastic analogies 



oonsideraljle variations, and the Danai' at Vienna contains the last and most complete 
revision. 



270 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

even in his works, and Sansovino's St. Anne in S. Agostino's at Rome 
(1512) appears very meagre by the side of Leonardo's composition. 

It is surprising that, in spite of all the vivacity of tiie later Quattro- 
cento, a crowd of persons, even with the most excitable painters — I have 
Filippino in my mind — never presents a rich appearance. There is much 
unrest on a small scale, but little movement on a large scale. There is a 
want of marked divergences of direction. Filippino can place five heads 
in close juxtaposition, all having practically the same inclination, and this, 
not in a procession but in a group of women, the eye-witnesses of a 
miraculous resuscitation {Remscitation of Drusiana, S. Maria Novella). 
What a variety of axis was displayed on the other hand in the group of 
women in Raphael's Heliodorus — to mention but one example ! 

When Andrea del Sarto brings his two fair Florentines to visit the 
lying-in-room (Annunziata) he gi^'es at once two totall}' distinct contrasts of 
direction, and the result is that with two figures he produces an impression 
of greater fulness than Ghirlandajo with a whole company. 

Sarto, again, depicting saints grouped tranquilly together in a votive 
picture in which all the figures are standing {Madonna delle Arpie), achieves 
a richness of effect which a painter like Botticelli does not possess, even 
where he alternates the positions, and inserts a central seated figure, as in 
the Berlin Madonna with the two Johns. (See pp. 171 and 274.) It is 
not the greater or less amount of individual movement that determines 
the difference ; Sarto wins his advantage from the one great motive of 
contrast, which consists in placing the side figures in sharp profile against 
the central full face figure.^ But how greatly the richness of movement in 
the picture is increased ^^•hen standing, kneeling and sitting figures are 
combined, and the distinctions of forward or backward, above and below, 
are introduced, as in Sarto's Madonna of 1524 (Pitti) or the Madonna of 
1528 at Berlin, pictures which have their Quattrocentist counterpart in 
that great composition of the Six Saints by Botticelli, where the six 
vertical figures stand together almost completely uniform and similar.^ 

' We may quote Leonardo, Trattato della Pktara : "I repeat that direct contrasts 
should be placed near each other and commingled, for one intensifies the effect of another, 
and the more so tlie nearer they are," &c. 

^ Our reproduction shows the well-known picture with the omission of the upper fifth 
of it, which is an obvious addition of a later date. The figures thus have their original 
effect, for a hollow empty upper space is quite incompatible with the Quattrocentist require- 
ments as to an equal filling of spaces. 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 271 



If, finally, we think of the varied compositions in the Camera della 
Segnatura, all points of contact with the Quattrocento cease in the presence 
af this contrapuntal art. We recognise that the eye, which had obtained 
a new power of perception must have required ever richer complexities of 
aspect before finding a picture attractive. 



If the sixteenth century brings ^\ith it a new wealth of directions, that 1 
change is connected with a general enlargement of space. The Quattro- 
cento remained under the spell of the flat surface, it places its figures close 
together in the breadth of the picture, and its composition takes the form 
of stripes. In Ghirlandajo's picture of the lying-in room (see illustration on 
p. 226) the chief figures are all developed on one plane ; the women with 
the child, the visitors, the maid ,with the priest, all stand on one line 
parallel with the margin of the picture. In Andrea del Sarto's com- 
position on the other hand (see illustration p. 159) there is nothing more 
of the sort. We have a series of curves, outward and inward movement ; 
there is the impression that the space has become instinct with life. Now_J 
such antitheses, as compositions on flat surfaces and compositions in space 
must be understood " cum grano salis.''' Even the Quattrocentists made 
frequent attempts to secure depth. There are compositions of the Adora- 
tion of the Kings in which every effort is made to remove the figures from 
the foremost edge of the stage into the middle distance and background, but 
the spectator generally loses the clue which was intended to guide him into 
the depth of the picture, in other words, the picture is broken up into 
distinct sections. The significance of Raphael's great space compositions 
in the Stanze is best shown by Signorelli's frescoes at Orvieto, which the 
traveller usually sees just before his entry into Rome. Signorelli, whose 
masses of figures rise before us like a wall, and who is only able to show, 
30 to say, the foreground on his vast surfaces, and Raphael, who from the 
first easily brings his wealth of figures out from the depth of the picture, 
seem to me to sum up the contrasts of the two ages. 

We may go still further and say that all conception of form in the 
fifteenth century is superficial. Not merely does the composition fall into 
stripes, even the separate figures are conceived as silhouettes. These ^yords 
ire not to be understood in their literal sense, but there is a difference 
between the drawing of the early Renaissance and the High Renaissance 



272 THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

which cannot be stated in any other way. I must once more adduce the 
example of Ghirlandajo's Birth of St. John, and especially the figures of the 
seated women. Might it not be said here that the painter has flattened 
out his figures upon the surface .? Contrast with this the group of servants 
in Sarto's Birth of the Virgin. Here the painter seeks for effect by 
bringing forward or thrusting back various portions of the composition ; 
in other words, the efforts of the draughtsman are directed to effects of 
perspective, not to a superficial presentment. As another example take 
Botticelli's Madonna ivith tioo Saints (Berlin) and Andrea del Sarto's 
Madonna delle Arpie. Why is the St. John the Evangelist so much 
richer in effect in the latter.'' He certainly is far superior in move- 
ment, but the movement is so represented that a plastic idea is at once 
suggested to the spectator, who is impressed by the salience and 
resilience of the form. Apart from light and shade, the impression of 
space is a different one, because the vertical plane is interrupted, 
and the panel-like figure is replaced by a body with three dimensions, in 
which the axis of depth, namely the foreshortened aspect, is ex- 
pressed on an extensive scale. Foreshortening had been employed before 
this, and the Quattrocentists had toiled at this problem from the first, but 
now the matter was so thoroughly settled once for all that a practically 
new conception may be said to have been formed. In the picture of 
Botticelli's referred to (see p. 274) there is once more a St. John, pointing 
xvith his finger, the typical gesture of the Baptist. The way in which the 
arm is laid flat on the surface, parallel to the spectator, is characteristic of 
the whole fifteenth century, and is found as often in the preaching as in 
the pointing St. John. But the new century had hardly dawned before 
attempts were being made on every side to get rid of this superficial style, 
and, within the limits of our illustrations a comparison of the preaching 
of St. John in the pictures of Ghirlandajo and Sarto will sufficiently 
demonstrate the fact. Foreshortening was reckoned the consummation 
of draughtsmanship in the sixteenth century. All pictures were judged 
by this standard. Albertinelli was at last so wearied of the everlasting 
talk about " scorzo," that he exchanged his easel for the tavern-bar, and a. 
Venetian dilettante like Ludovico Dolce would have endorsed his view: 
" Foreshortening is only a matter for connoisseurs, why should one take so 
much trouble about it ? " ^ 

' Ludovico Dolce, L'Arelino. 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 273 



This may have been the general view in Venice, and it may be allowed 
that Venetian painting certainly had means enough of gratifying the eye, 
and may have thought it superfluous to enquire into the attractions of 
Tuscan masters. But in the Romano-Florentine school the great masters 
all took up the problem of the third dimension. 

Particular motives, such as the arms pointing out of the picture, or the 
drooping full-face seen in perspective, appear everywhere almost simultane- 
ously, and it would not be uninteresting to enumerate instances. The 
matter does not however depend on individual " tours de force," and 
astounding " scorzi," the important point is the universal change in the 
projection of material objects on the flat surface, and the education of 
the eye to the representation of the three dimensions. Andrea del Sarto 
consistently attempted to modify the effect of the silhouette which attached 
the figure to the surface by perpetual intersections. 



It is obvious that light and shade were destined to play a new part in 
the domain of this new art. The tactile effect, it 'would naturally be 
supposed, was to be more directly achieved by modelling than by fore- 
shortening. As a matter of fact, efforts, both theoretical and practical, 
were made simultaneously in both dii'ections even by Leonardo. What 
Vasari describes as his ideal as a youthful artist : " dar sommo relievo alle 
figure," remained so all his life. Leonardo began with dark grounds, 
which were intended to set off the figures, a very diff'ei'ent matter from the 
plain black which had been previously employed as a foil. He intensified 
the depth of the shadow and expressly insisted on the point that in a 
picture deep shadows should appear by the side of high lights. (Trattato 
della Pittura.) Even an artist so essentially a draughtsman as Michel- 
angelo underwent this phase of the development, and an increasing 
accentuation of the shadows can be clearly traced in the course of his work 
on the Sistine ceiling, while one after another of those who were more espe- 
cially painters may be seen trying their hands at dark grounds and boldly 
salient lights. Raphael in his Heliodorus furnished an example, in com- 
parison with which not merely his own Disputa, but also the frescoes of 
the earlier Florentines must have all seemed flat ; and what Quattrocentist 
altar-piece would not have suffered by being hung near to a picture of 



274 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 




Wudonna with the two SS. John, l.»y Botticelli. 



Fra BartoloinniooV, with its niiirhtv plastic life ? 'i1ie tactile (|ualitv of his 
figures, and the convincing dignity of his niches « ith their great shadowy 
recesses, must have made an impression at that time which we can with 
difficulty realise at the present day. 

The general heightening of the relief naturally involved a change in the 
fVaine of the picture. The flat Quattrocentist frame of pilasters with a 
light entablature is discarded, and in its place we get a kind of shrine with 
half or three-quarter pillars, and a massive roof. The fanciful decorative 
treatment of such objects is set aside in favour of a solemn impressive archi- 
tecture to which a special chapter might be devoted.^ 

' I ilo not know to what nioilols the gablfil fiaincs are to lie lefenoil, which were made 
some years ago for two well-known pictures in the Municli I'inacolhek (I'enigino and 
Filippino), The}' seem to me rather too ponderous and architectonic. 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 



Light and shade were now not only employed in the service of 
modelling, but were very soon recognised as valuable aids to the enrichment 
of the representation. When Leonardo requires that a dark foil should 
be given to the bright side of the body and vice verm, he may have been 
thinking solely of effects by relief, but as a rule light and shade are 
employed on the analogy of plastic contraposition. Michelangelo himself 
yielded to the charm of partial shadow, and the later figures of the Slaves 
on the ceiling are a proof of this. There are cases in which the complete 
half of a body is immerged in shadow and this motive is almost enough to 
replace the plastic differentiation of the body. Franciabigio's Venus (see 
page 231) and the youthful St. John of Andrea del Sarto come into this 
category. If we turn from single figures and look at multiform com- 
positions we shall see more clearly how indispensable these elements are for 
the richer art. What would Andrea del Sarto be without those patches of 
shadow which give a vibrating effect to his compositions, and how greatly does 
the architectonic Fra Bartolommeo depend upon the effect of picturesque 
masses of light and shade ! Where these are wanting, as in the sketch of 
the St. Anne, the picture seems still to lack the breath of life. I will 
close this section with a quotation from Leonardo's Trattato della Pittura. 
In the works of one who paints for an uncritical public, he says incidentally, 
little movement, relief or foreshortening will be found. In other words, 
the artistic value of a picture, according to him, depends on the extent to 
which the author is able to solve the problems enumerated. Movement, 
foreshortening, and plastic efi^ect are precisely the elements which we tried 
to explain in their significance for the new style, and thus if we do not 
continue the analysis further, Leonardo may be held responsible. 

4. Unity and Inevitability 

The idea of " Composition " was not new and had been discussed even 
in the fifteenth century, but in its strict sense of co-ordination of parts, to 
be seen as a whole, it is not found before the sixteenth century, and what 
was considered a composition before this appeared as a mere aggregation 
without any real form. The Cinquecento not only conceived a vaster^ 
scheme_of_cohesion, and understood the position of the part wi^htrTthe 
Avhole, whereas^fonnerly one detail after another was regarded with close 
and separate attention ; it developed a union of the parts, an inevitability 

T 2 



276 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



of arrangement, in comparison with which all Quattroceatist work has an 
incoherent and arbitrary eifect. 

The meaning of this may be made clear by a single example. Let the 
reader compare the composition of Leonardo's Last Supper and of 
Ghirlandajo's. Li the former, one central figure, dominating and bringing 
all the component parts together ; a company of men, to each of whom a 
definite role is assigned within the general movement of the picture ; a 
building no stone of which could be removed without destroying the 
equilibrium of the whole. In the latter, a quantity of figures, closely 
packed together regardless of sequence or necessary numerical limitation. 
These might have been more or fewer, and if each one of them had been 
depicted in a different attitude, the look of the picture would not have 
been essentially changed. 

Symmetrical grouping had always been observed in sacred pictures, 
and there are pictures of profane subjects, like Botticelli's Sp-ing, which 
carry out the principle that there should be a central figure and that the 
two sides should be equally balanced. The sixteenth century, however, 
could not rest satisfied with this. The central figure was after all only 
one among the others, the whole was a combination of parts in which 
each had almost the same value. Instead of a chain of similar links, a 
structure was now required with a distinct system of super- and sub- 
ordination. Subordination took the place of co-ordination. 

I will take one of the simplest instances, the sacred picture with three 
figures. In Botticelli's picture at Berlin (see illustration on p. 274) there 
are three persons close together, each an independent figure, and the three 
similar niches in the background emphasise the idea that the picture could 
be cut up into three parts. This idea never presents itself in connection 
with the classical version of the theme, as we see it in Andrea del Sarto's 
Madonna of 1517 (see illustration on p. 171). The secondary figures are 
still indeed limbs which would have a certain importance by themselves, 
but the commanding position of the central figure is evident and the con- 
nection seems insoluble. The transformation to the new style was more 
difficult in historical pictures than in these sacred pictures, for the basis of 
a central scheme had to be invented here. The later Quattrocentists made 
frequent attempts, and Ghirlandajo in the frescoes of S. Maria Novella 
shows himself one of the most assiduous in this direction. It is notice- 
able that he is no longer content with the mere fortuitous juxtaposition 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM '277 



of figures. In places at least he has devoted himself with all seriousness to 
architectonic composition. 

Nevertheless Andrea surprises the spectator by his frescoes of the life of 
the Baptist in the Scalzo. Eager to avoid the incidental at any cost, and 
to obtain the impression of inevitability, he made most unpromising 
motives subject to the central scheme. His example was universally 
followed. The rules of arrangement forced their \\ay into the wild and 
crowded scenes of the Massacre of the Innocents (Daniele da Volterra, 
Uffizi), and e^-en stories like the Calumnij of Apelles, which so evidently 
require an oblong field, are worked up round a central motive, to the 
detriment of their claritv. Franciabigio on a small scale (Pitti), and 
Girolami Genga on a large scale (Pesaro, Villa Imperiale) supply instances.^ 

This is not the place to describe in detail how far the rule was again 
relaxed, and how the laws of representation were modified to permit of a 
more vivid impression. The Vatican frescoes contain well-known examples 
of broken symmetry in the midst of a style which remains purely tectonic. 
It must however be emphatically said that no one could make proper use 
of this freedom who had not been accustorfied to compose on the strictest 
system. The partial relaxation of form could only be effective on the 
basis of a firmly fixed idea of form. 

The same holds good of the composition of the single group, in which, 
since Leonardo, an analogous striving after tectonic configurations can be 
traced. The Madonna among the Rocks maybe contained in an equilateral 
triangle, and this geometrical property, which is at once ^'isible to the 
spectatoi', differentiates the work marvellously from all other pictures of the 
time. Artists felt the benefit of a compact arrangement, where the group 
appears inevitable as a whole, though no single figure has suffered any loss 
of free movement. Perugino followed on the same lines with his Pieta of 
1495, to which no analogy could have been found either with Filippino or 
Ghirlandajo. Raphael finally, in his Florentine Madonna pictures, devel- 
oped into the subtlest of master-builders. But here again the change 
from regularity to apparent irregularity was irresistible. The equilateral 

1 This is a suitable occasion to mention a motive of perspective. The later Quattro- 
cento attempted sometimes to produce an attractive effect by placing the vanishmg pomt 
of the lines at the side, not outside the picture, but yet towards the edge. This is seen m 
Filippino's Corsini Madomia (see illustration, p. 216 ) and in Ghirlandajo's fresco of the 
Visitation. Such divagations offended classical feeling. 



278 



THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 




Tliu Death of Peter Miirtyr, l.,y Gentile Bellini (■.'). 



triiing'le )x'c-ame a scalene triangle, and the .system of symmetrical axes 
\\as sjiifted, Init the kernel of the effect remained the same, and the 
impression of ineyitability would be kept up eyen in an entirely non-tectonic 
group. Thus we are led up to the great composition of the free style. 

AVe find with Raphael just as with Sarto a freely rhythmic composition 
combined « ith the tectonic scheme. In the court of the Annunziata the 
picture of the Birth (if the Virghi comes next to the seyere rendering of 
miraculous scenes, and in the tapestries we find an AiKiiiiii.s immediately 
beside the Miruculous Draught of Finhca or the Calling of Peter. These 
are not antifpiated motiyes which are merely tolerated. This free style is 
distinct from tlie former irregularity, where one thing might just as well 
ha\e been another. Some such emphatic expression is needed to accen- 
tuate the contrast. The fifteenth centur\- can in fact show nothing which 
eyen approximately possesses that character of absolute rightness and 
ineyitability which we find in the group of KaphaeFs Miraculous Draught 
of Fishes. The figures are not l)ound together by any architectLU-e, and 
yet they ft)rm a perfectly compact structure. Similarly — although in a 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 



279 



somewhat loss deoree in 

Sai-to's B'n-tli of the Viro-'.ii 
the figures are l)roiiolit 
into one line, and the 
whole line has a eonA ine- 
ingly harmonious ine\ita- 
bilitv. To make the case 
(|uitc clear I venture to 
illustrate it bv an in- 
stance from \'enetian art 
as here the conditions 
are especially favourable 
for observation. I refer 
to Tlic Murder iif Pdcr 
Martyr in the National 
Gallerv, London, as 
painted by a Quattro- 
centist,^ and as, on the 
other hand, it was re- 
duced to classical form 
by Titian in the burnt 
picture in the Church of 
S. Giovanni e Paolo. 

The Quattrocentist 
spells out the elements of 
the story. There is a 
\»'ood, and the persons at- 
tacked, namely, the saint 
and his companion ; the 

one riees this way, the other that. The one is stabljed to the right, the 
other to the left. Titian starts with the idea that two analogous scenes 
cannot be dej)icted in close proximity. 'J'he death of Peter is the chief 
motive, with which nothing nmst compete. He accordingly leaves the 
second murderer out, and treats the attendant friar only as a fugitive. At 
the same time he subordinates him to the main motive; he is included in 

^ The ascription of the picture to ("iiovaiiiii Bellini now appears to be universally 
aljandoned. Berenson attributes it to Gentile Bellini. (Venetiitu Puiii/er.s. 1S94.) 




The Death of Peter .Mmtyr, l)j- Titiiin 



280 



THE ART OF THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 



the same eoiineetoil iiiove- 
iiient, and l)v continuinu; 
tlie (lii-ection intensifies 
tlie fiir\' of tile onslaught. 
As if he A\ere a fragment 
hounding oft' from the 
main grou[) at the shoek, 
he hurls himself forward 
in the direction towards 
which the saint has fallen. 
'J'hus a distracting and 
iidiarmonious element has 
heeome an indispensahle 
lactor in the ettect. If 
we use |)hilos()phic terms 
to describe tlie ])roeess, 
we may say that deyelop- 
ment here implies in- 
tegration and ditt'erentia- 
tion. Ivieh inoti\e is 
only to appear once, the 
.■inti(|uated e(|uiyalence of 
the jiarts is to he replaced 
liy absolute distinction, 
and at the same time the 
ditt'erentiated elements 
must combine into a whole, where no jiart I'oiild be omitted without the 
collapse of the whole stnu-ture. This system of classical art had been 
anticipated by I.. 15. Albei'ti, when in an often (piott'd passage he defined 
])erfection as a condition in which the smallest part could not be changed 
without marring' the beaut v of the whole. Here we ha\e a visible proof 
of what he puts forw ard as a theorw 

The treatment of the ti'ces may teach us how in such a composition 
Titian employed all aci-essories to heighten the main effect, ^^'hereas in 
the older ])icture the forest seemed a thing apart. 'I'itian made the trees 
.share in the nioyement ; fhe\ take p.arf in the action, and thus lend 
grandeur ami spirit to tlie incitlent in a noyel way. 




Bt. Ju-oiiic, liy Basaiti. 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 



2,S1 



^^'li'''U ill llu' M'xciilcciilli crii- 
llirv, DciiiiriiuliiiH), ,-|i,srlv lullow inn- 
Titi.-ili, ivIiiM II,,. .,f,,iv in a „,.|| 
kll()\Ml picliiiv iiou ill III,, (iailciv 
.■ih Hi)l()i;ii;i, |||(. I'ccliiiM loi- ,.||| llij^ 

.irtisl ic W isdoill ll;i(| |,(.,-|)||||. Illlllilcil. 

U is iiiiiiccc'ss;i|-\ lo sl.-ilc lli;i| 
Hic ciniildyiiiiiil (if :, Ijiiidsc'i |)c- 
li;irkL;|-()iiii(l li,ii'iii(iiiisiiin' \(ilh I lie 

•■K'ti r tlic lin'iiics, \\;is ;is lainili;!]- 

in ( 'iii(|iiccciil isl Home /is in \Viiicc. 
'I'lic ini|i(irl.nicc of llic I;iiiiI,m-;i|ic in 
K;i|)li;icrs .]/'/r/i(ii!iiiix Draiii^iil liiis 
.•ilrc-idv Imh'Ii ilisciissiil. The ncxl 
la|)C.shv, llir Cliiiri^-c Id I'<I,i\ \)\c- 
scnfs the >.'nnr s|h'cI.'icIc : llic siinnnil 
lit Mic luiio' line i)f liilU cx.'u-tK 

coincide-, Milll llic (■aMII-.-i of till' 

i;i'iiil[i, .-Hid Hills i|uicll\ \r\ cm- 
))li;itically liclps to make tlie disciples 
a|)|)cara distinct oidiij) .ms conhrasled 
\hIIi file limine of Clirisl (cf. Hie 
illilsl lalioii on |i. I l;"i). JJiit if I 
may anain apjical to a \enctian 
<'N;ani|)le, Ijasaiti's ,S7. .liroiiic (London), x\hen compared wiHi Titian's 
correspond/no- (io-iire (ill ||„. l{|-ei-..|), |||.i\ represent with all desirable cleai- 
ness tlic (lillcreid way in which the t\\() ancs understood the snhject. In 
Hie former picture thci-e is a laiidsca|)e u liich is intt'iided to liaNCsome 
meaiiine- |)\- itself, and into which the saint is inserted, without aii\' sort of 
necessary connection. In Hie latter, the lieiire and Hie line of the niouii- 
tain have heen imaeined toi;'etlier from the lii'st inception : there is an 
ahni|)t wooded slope, \\hich pow crfuIlN assists the np\(ard action in tlie 
form of the r<'cliise, and ahsoliitcK' forces him hea\ I'liwards. The landscape 
IS as well adapted fo this particular (l^'iire as the other was inappropriate. 

Similaih, the archilectiiral hackf^roimds were no longer re^.irded as an 
arl)ilrar\ cinhellislimeii t of the picture, on the pi'inciplc of " tlii' nioi'c the 
ht'tti'i," hill the necessary fitness of sucli adjnncts was considered. There 




iSt. .luruiin.', by 'J'iti;i 



282 THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

had always been a feeling that the dignity of human forms could be in- 
creased by architectural surroundings, but usually the buildings over- 
whelmed the figures. Ghirlandajo's gorgeous architecture was far too 
rich to set off his figures favourably, and where it was simply a question 
of a figure in a niche, it is astonishing to see how little the Quattrocentists 
attempted effective combinations. Filippo Lippi carried his principle of 
isolated treatment so far that his sitting saints in the Academy do not even, 
correspond to the niches of the wall behind them, an exhibition of casual 
treatment which must have seemed intolerable to the Cinquecento. He 
evidently aimed at the charm of vivacity rather than at dignity. The 
Risen Christ in the Pitti Palace shows how Fra Bartolommeo was able to 
give his heroes grandeur in a very different way, by intersecting the top 
of the niche. It would be superfluous to refer to all the other examples 
of Cinquecentist employment of architecture, in cases where the architecture 
seems an imposing expression of the actual persons represented. 

While dealing with the universal wish to correlate the parts of the 
whole composition, we meet with a point of classical taste which invites 
criticism of the earlier art in general, and carries us far beyond the 
domain of mere painting. Vasari records a characteristic incident : the 
architect of the anteroom to the sacristy of S. Spirito in Florence 
was blamed because the lines of the compartments of the vaulted roof 
did not coincide with the axis of the pillars.^ This criticism might have 
been applied to a hundred other places. The deficiency of continuous 
lines, and the treatment of each part by itself without regard to the unity 
of the total effect, were among the most striking peculiarities of Quattro- 
centist art. 

From the moment when architecture shook off the playful irresponsi- 
bility of youth and became mature, sedate, and stern, it took the command of 
all the other arts. The Cinquecento conceived everything " sub specie 
architectural." The plastic figures on tombs had their appropriate place 
assigned to them ; they were enframed, enclosed, and pillowed. Nothing 
could be shifted or changed, even in thought. It is evident at once why 
each piece was there and not a little higher up or lower down. I may 
refer to the discussion of Rossellino and Sansovino on pp. 73, 74. Painting 
underwent a similar process. When as fresco-painting it came into relation 

' Vasari IV. 513 ( Vita di A. Conlucci), where also the excuses made by the architect 
mav be ead with interest. 



THE NEW PICTORIAL FORM 



28» 



with architecture, the latter always had the upper hand. Yet what 
marvellous liberties Filippino takes in the frescoes of S. Maria Novella ! 
He extends the floor of his stage so that the figures stand partly in front of 
the line of the wall, and then are brought into a remarkable relation with the 
real architectural portions of the framework. This had also been done by 
Signorelli at Orvieto. Sculpture shows an analogous case in Verrocchio's 
St. Thomas group, where the action is not confined to the inside of the 
niche, but takes place partly outside. No Cinquecentist would have done 
this. With him it was an obvious assumption that painting must produce 
the illusion of a space in the depth of the wall, and that its enframement 
must suggest the entrance to its stage. ' 

Architecture, which had now become homogeneous, demanded a like 
unity in frescoes. Leonardo had held that it was not permissible to paint 
picture above picture as in the choir-paintings of Ghirlandajo, where we 
look as it were into the different storeys of a house all at once.^ He 
would hardly have sanctioned the painting of two pictures close together 
on the wall of a choir or a chapel, while the path which Ghirlandajo struck 
out in the adjoining pictures of the Visitation and the Rejection of Joachim\f 
Sacrifice would have seemed preposterous. He carried the scenery behind 
the dividing pilaster, and each picture has its own pei'spective, which is 
not even similar to that of the neighbouring composition. 

The tendency- to paint uniform surfaces uniformly became prevalent in 
the sixteenth century-, but now a more advanced problem was taken up, the 
problem of harmonising the interior and the covering of the wall, so that 
the spaciously conceived picture seemed to have been created for the hall 
or chapel where it was, the one explaining the other. When this result 
is attained, there is a sort of melody of space, an impression of harmony, 
which must be included among the highest achievements attainable by 
pictorial art. 

We have already said how little the fifteenth century understood unity 
of treatment in an interior, and how indifferent it was to the effect of each 
detail in its place. The observation may be extended to larger spaces^ 

^ Though Masaccio Jiad established very clear ideas on the subject, in the course of 
the century they had again become so confused that frescoes are found which meet in 
angles without any borders between them. It would be interesting to follow out 
connectedly the architectural treatment of frescoes. 

'■' Trattato ddla Pittvra. 



m THE ART OP THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 

such as public squares. AVe might instance the great equestrian figures 
of Colleoni and Gattemelata, and ask whether anyone at the present day 
would venture to erect them so entirely independently of the chief axis 
•of the square or the church. Modern opinion is represented in Giovanni 
•da Bologna's mounted princes at Florence, but in such a way that much 
still remains for us to learn. Finally, the homogeneous conception of 
space makes itself most widely felt in cases where architecture and land- 
scape are included in one point of view. We might call to mind the 
grounds of villas and public gardens, the selection of wide prospects for 
points of view, &c. The Baroque period reckoned with these effects on 
a larger scale, but anyone who has looked from the high terrace of the 
magnificent and incomparably situated Villa Imperiale at Pesaro towards 
the hills over Urbino, where the whole country is subordinated to the 
castle, will have received an impression of the majestic ordination of the 
High Renaissance, which could hardly be surpassed by the most colossal 
achievements of later times. 

There is a conception of the history of Art, which sees in Art merely a , 
"translation of life" into pictorial language, and tries to make every style 
comprehensible as an expression of the prevalent spirit of the time. 
AVould any one denv that this is a profitable wav of looking at the 
c|uestion ? Yet it only leads to a certain fixed point, one might almost 
say only as far as the point where art begins. Anvone who restricts 
himself to the subject-matter in works of art will be satisfied with it, but 
as soon as he wishes to estimate things by artistic standards, he is compelled 
to deal with formal elements which are in themselves inexpressive, and 
belong to a development of a purely optical kind. 

Quattrocento and Cinquecento as terms for a style cannot be explained 
by material characteristics. The phenomenon has a double root, and points 
to a development of the artistic vision which is essentially independent of 
any particular feeling or particular ideal of beauty. 

The imposing gestures of the Cinquecento, its dignified attitudes, and 
its spacious and powerful beauty characterise the spirit of the generation 
of that day. At the same time, everything that ^\■e ha^■e said as to the 
increased clarity of pictorial representation, and the desire of the cultured 
•eye for richer and more suggesti%e aspects, until a multiplicity of effects 
fan be visualised as a collected whole, and the details comprehended as 



THE NEW" PICTORIAL FORM 



2S.-) 



jiarts of an iuevitahle unit\-, i-Diistituto i'ornial ek'nimts, ^^■lli^■ll caimot he 
infenvd from tho spirit of the ai;'o. 

Tho I'lassical t'haractcv of Ciiiqufct'iitist art rests on tliosf formal 
elements. ^Ve ha\ e to deal with reeurriiii;' phases of (le\elopmeiit and 
continuous forms of art. 'i^\\v merits which placed Raphael at the head 
of the older generation were the same as ttiose which made Ruysdael, 
under very different conditions, a classicist amoni;' the Dutch landscape 
painters. 

Bv savino; this we do not wish to advocate a formalistic \'iew of art. 
Kven the diamond re(|uires light to make it sparkle. 




Huly Family, liy lironziuo. 



Vf 



/^ 



INDEX OF PROPER NAMES 



A. 



Albertinelli, Mariotto (1474-1515): "The 
Annunciation,'' ill., 155; "The Cruci- 
fixion," 154; "The Holy Family," ill, 
154; "Madonna with two kneeling 
Saints," ill., 135-6; "The Visitation," 
153-4. 

AUegri, Antonio da Correggio (1494-1534), 
16. 

Amerighi, Michelangelo (1569-1609), 240. 

Araraannati, Bartolommeo (1511-1592), 
"Neptune," 196. 

Andrea del Sarto, see Sarto, Andrea del. 

Angelico, Fra Giovanni (1387-1455), 250. 

Antonio, Marc, 23, 34, 246, 142. 



B. 



Baroccio, Federigo (1528-1612) : "Institution 
of the Lord's Supper," 34; "Madonna del 
Popolo," 150-1. 

Bartolommeo, Fra (1475-1517) : "The An- 
nunciation," 155-6 ; " The Baptism of 
Christ," 203; "God Almighty," 136, 
145-6; "The Last Judgment," 144^5; 
"Madonna," 149; "Madonna della 
Misericordia," 150-1; "Madonna with 
Saints," ill., 149; "The Marriage of St. 
Catherine," 147-3; "Patron Saints of 
Florence," 147 ; "Pieti," ill., 151-2, 253, 
255 ; " The Risen Christ with Four Evan- 
gelists," ill, 90, 143-4, 151, 282; "St. 
Sebastian," 143-4; " Virgin appearing to 
St. Bernard," ill., 145, 217. 

Basaiti, Marco (c. 1503-c. 1521), " St. .Jerome," 
ill.,2%1. 

Bellini : Gentile (c. 1426-1507), " The Death 
of Peter Martyr," ill. , 279 ; Giovanni (c. 
1428-1516), "The Transfiguration," ill., 
.137. 

Beltraffio, Giovanni Antonio (1467-1516) : 
"La Belle Ferroniere," 40; "Madonna 
with the Child," 40 ; " The Risen Lord," 
40. 



Benedetto da Majano : "Angel bearing 
Candelabrum," ill., 15; "Madonna and 
Child," ill., 50 ; " St. John," 227, 238. 

Bigio, Francia (1482-1525): "Blessing of 
St. John," 1518, 168 ; " Portrait of a 
Young Man," ill, 181; " Sposalizio " 
(Annunziata), 162 ; "Venus," ill. ,232, 275. 

Bondone, Giotto di, see Giotto. 

Botticelli, Sandro, see Filipepi. 

Bronzino, Augelo (1502-1572): "An Alle- 
gory," IJS; "Christ in Limbo." 196; 
" Holy Family," ill., 285. 

Bugiardini : "Betrothal of St. Catherine," 
214; " Madonna del latte," 214. 

Buonarroti, Michelangelo (1475-1564) :, 
"Apollo," ill., 56, 266 ; "Bacchus," 1498, 
53-4, 227, 267; "Bathing Soldiers," ill., 
56, 61, 78, 160 ; " Tlie Battle of the Cen- 
taurs," 56 ; "Christ," ill., 192, 266 ; " The 
Conversion of St. Paul," 194-5; "The 
Creation of Adam," 71 ; "The Creation 
of Eve," 62-3, 71 ; "Crouching Boy," iff., 
91; "Crucifixion of St. Peter," 194-5;, 
"David," 2-«., 53-6, 78; "The Drunken 
ness of Noah," 61, 71 ; "Dying Slaves,'" 
72 ; " The Expulsion," 61-2 ; " The Fall," 
61-2; " Figures of Slaves," !'«., 66; "The 
Flood," 61, 71 ; " Giovannino," 53, 266 ; 
"Giovanni delle Bande Neri," 190; 
"Holy Family," ill. , 52, 85, 221, 2.56, 259, 
269-70; "Judith," 64; " The Last Judg- 
ment," 59, 185, 194; "Light and 
Darkness," 64; " Madonna, " 269 ; "Ma- 
donna with a Book," 50, 248; "Madonna 
of Bruges," ill., 48-50, 53, 191; "The 
Madonna of the Medici," ill., 191 ; " The 
Madonna on the Steps," 51; "Pieta": 
Cathedral, Florence, 53, 193-4 ; St. Peter's, 
Rome, ill, 47-9, 53, 76, 84, 206, 218; 
"The Prophets and Sibyls," ill, 64-7; 
"The Sacrifice of Noah," 61, 71; "St, 
Matthew," 56, 76 ; Ceiling of the Sistine 
Chapel, 58-72, 252 ; " The Slaves," 67-71 ; 
"The Tomb of Julius II," 72-7; "The 
Tombs of the Medici," ill, 185-190, 268 ; 
"Victory," 193; " Vittoria Colonna," j'«., 
234. 



88 



INDEX OP PROPER NAMES 



C. 



Jaravaggio, fsee Amerighi, Michelangelo. 
Jarpaccio, Vittore (c. 1450 — after 1522), 

"The Presentation in the Temple," 254. 
/ai'racci, L., "The Transfiguration," 141. 
Jellini, Benvenuto, " Perseus," 1550, ill., 

231, 266. 
Jorreggio, see Allegri, Antonio, 
/osimo, Piero di, see Piero di Cosimo. 
)redi, Lorenzo di (1459-1537): "Venus," 

ill, 212, 232; " Verrocchio," 249. 



D. 



of Joachim's Sacrifice," 262, 283; "The 

Visitation" : Louvre, 1491, 153, 219-220, 

262 ; Santa Maria Novella, Florence, 283 ; 

" Zacharias in tlie Temple," 221. 
Gianpietrino, " Abundantia," 45. 
Giotto di Bondoue (1266-1336) : Frescoes, 8, ' 

10; "Presentation of Mary in the 

Temple," 20. 
Giovanni da Udine, 240. 
Gozzoli, Benozzo (1420-1498) : " The 

Drunkenness of Noah, 201; "Procession 

of the Kings," 250. 
Guido, Tonimaso, see Masaocio. 



)esiderio da Settignano (1428-1464) : "Bust 
of a Florentine Girl," ill., 35 ; "Tomb of 
Marsuppini," 209, 237. 

)omenichino, see Zampieri, Domenico. 

)onatello (1.386-1466) : Bronze door of San 
Lorenzo, Florence, 97 ; "David," ill., 11, 
12, 54, 224, 266 ; " Gattemelata," 13, 284 ; 
"Miracles of St. Anthonj'," 11; "St. 
John," 11. 



fiesole, Mino da, see Mino da Fiesole. 

i'ilipepi, Sandro (1446-1510) (Sandro Bot- 
ticelli) : " Adoration of the Kings," 19, 23, 
262; "Allegory of Spring," ill., 19,244, 
236, 276; "Birth of Venus," 243; 
" Calumny of Apelles," 243, 277 ; " Exodus 
of the Jews from Egypt," 209 ; " Madonna 
with Angels and Six Saints," ill., 269 ; 
" Madonna with the two SS. John," ill., 
21-J, 276 ; " Fie.tk," 249 ; " The Rebellion 
of Korah," 210; "Venus on the Shell," 
223, 243. 

francesca, Piero della (1415-1492), "The 
Annvmciation," 206 



G. 



ihirlandajo, Domenico del (1449-1490) : 
" The Adoration of the Kings," 23, 271 ; 
" The Adoration of the Shepherds," 1485, 
211; "Attendant carrying Fruit," ill., 
228 ; "Birth of St. Jolin," ill., 236, 272 ; 
"Birth of the Virgin," 21; Frescoes, 
16,21, 276; "The Last Supper," 1480, 
iff., 29-.34, 207, 276 ; " Madonna in Glory," 
1.33-4; "The Marriage of the Virgin," 
20-1; "The Preaching of John the 
Baptist," 163-165 ; " The Presentation of 
Mary in the Temple," 20, 221 ; " Rejection 



Jacopo da Pontormo, see Pontormo, Jacopo 
da. 



Leonardo da Vinci, .sec Vinci. 

Lippi, Filippino (1459-1504) : " The Assump- 
tion," 20; "Madonna and Child with 
Angels," ill., 216; "Music," 240; "The 
Resuscitation of Drusiana," 270; "The 
Triumph of St. Thomas," 94; "Virgin 
appearing to St. Bernard," 80, 145 ; 
"Virgin with Saints," 19-20. 

Lippi, Fra Filippo (c. 1412-1469) ; " Coron- 
ation of the Virgin," 16; Frescoes, 15-6. 

Luciani, Sebastiano, c. 1485-1547 (Sebastian 
del Piorabo) : "Birth of the Virgin," 
160-1 ; " Christ Bearing the Cross," 141 ; 
"Dorothea," ill., 128, 234 ; " The Flagel- 
lation," 141 ; " PietA," 141 ; "The Resur- 
rection of Lazarus," 141 ; " Three Female 
Saints," ill., 253-4; "The Venetian 
Maiden," 128 ; " The Violin Player," ill., 
127, 176; " The Visitation," »7?. , 141, 206, 

Luini, Bernardino, c. 1475, " Susanna at the 
Bath," 45. 

M. 

Masaccio, Tommaso Guidi : "The Birth of 

the Virgin," 160 ; Frescoes, 9, 15. 
Michelangelo, see Buonarroti. 
Mino da Fiesole, 36. 
Montorsoli, " St. Cosmo," ill., 267. 

P. 

Pacchia, Girolamo del, b. 1477, " Scenes 
from the Life of tlie Virgin," 220. 

Palma, Jacopo (II Vecchio), 1480-1528, " St. 
Barbara," 254. 



INDEX OF PROPER NAMES 



289 



Perugino, nee ^'annllcci. 

Pievo di Cosiuio, U6-2-ir.21 : "La Bella 

Simonotta," i//., 233 ; '" Venus tuul Mavs," 

///.,2li0. 
Piero dei Francesolii, see Francesea. 
Pippi, Ciiulio (or de' (4iannuzzi), 1402-1540, 

"The Stoning of Stephen," 105. 
Pisano, Andrea : Baptislrj' Gates at Flo- 

venee, S. 
Pisano, (iiovauni, 7. 
PoUainolo, Antonio, 1429-1408 : Engravings 

by, o7 ; " Prudence,'' «//. , 2o(3. 
Pontornio, Jacopo da, 1494-1557: "The 

Visitation,'' 148, IGl, 219-20. 



R 



Raphael, xic Sanzio, Rart'aello. 

Rotibia, Luca della : "Angel bearing Can- 
delabrum,'' ///. , 15 : "Philosophy," 9t)-7. 

Romano, Giulio, .<(< Pippi, Giulio. 

Rosselli, Cosiino, " The Last Supper," 209- 
10. 

Rossellino, Antonio: "Madonna" (relief), 
///., 14, 248; "Tomb of the Cardinal," 
///., 15, 237. 

Rubens, Peter Paul (1577-1040): "The 
Entoudtoent," 108 ; " The Last Supper," 
34; " Lion Hunt," 43. 



S. 

•Sansovino, Andrea: "Baptism of Christ," 
(7/., 203 ; " Justitia,'' 109; "St, Anne," 
1512; ///. , 270 ; Tombs in Santa Maria del 
Popolo, Rome, i/i, 74. 

.Sansovino, J,, " St. John the Baptist," ill., 
208, 

.Sanzio, Raftaello (14S3-1520), (Raphael): 
"The Battle of Coustantine,'' 44; 
Cartoons at Soutli Kensington, 1515-1510 : 
"The Blinding of Elymas," 118-9, 120; 
"The Charge to St, Peter," 114-5, 
120, 278, 281 ; "The Death of Ananias," 
;//.,' 110-8, 120, 278 ; "The Healing of the 
Lame Man," 115-0, 120; "The Mira- 
culous Draught of Pishes," ///., 111-14, 
" 120, 278, 218 ; " Tlie Sacritiee at Lystra," 
1X9, 120 '; " St, Paul Preaching at Athens," 
119 120 ; " Tlie Chastisement of Helio- 
dorus," 104-0. 220-1, 255, 270, 273 ; " The 
Coronation of the Virgin" (Sketch for 
Tapestrv) 204; "The Deliverance of 
Peter," 100-8 ; "The Disputa," 90-5, 99, 
145 158, 273; "The Entombment,"///., 
85 197-8,202; " The Five Saints," school 



of, 204 ; "Incendio del Borgo," 110, 221, 
228 ; " Jurisprudence," 102-3 ; "The Last 
Supper," by school of, engraved bj' Marc 
Antonio, 34. Madonnas: "La Belle 
Jardiniere," 87 ; "Bridgewater Madonna," 
80; "Madonna del Baldacchiuo," 89; 
" Madonna del Cardellino," ■///,, 87 ; "'Ma- 
donna della Casa Alba," »//., 41-2,' 87, 
256; "Madonna della Casa Canigiani," 
88; " Casa' Tempi Madonna," 80, 200; 
"Madonna del divino Amore," 88-0; 
"iladouna with the Fish," 134-5 ; "Ma- 
donna di Foligno," ///., 24, 132-133, 135, 
217, 227-8: "Madonna of Francis I.,'' 
89,206; " INIadonna del Oranduca," ?'//,, 
86; "Madonna in the Meadow," 87; 
" Orleans Madonna," 86 ; " Madonna della 
Sediai," ill., 80-7, 206; " Sistine Ma- 
donna," 20, 135-7, 146, 171, 217, 252, 
254 ; " Marriage of the Virgin," 80-1 ; 
"The Mass of Bokena," 108-10, 252; 
" The Meeting of Leo I. and Attila," 110 ; 
"Mount Parnassus," 09-102, 244, Por- 
traits: " Beazzano and Navagero," 124; 
"Count Castiglione," 123-4; "Donna 
Velata," ///,, 128-9; "La Fornarina," 
12S, 234; " Ingliirami," 122-4; "Julius 
11., 121-2; "Maddalena Doni," 39, 121, 
128; "Portrait of a Cardinal," ///,, 124 ; 
"St, Catherine," 1.32; "St. Cecilia," 
131-2, 173, 255 ; "St. John the Baptist," 
170-7, 231, 252 ; " The School of Athens," 
00-1, 00-9, 148, 158, 244-5; " Spasimo," 
141 ; " The Story of Cupid and Psyche," 
59, 223; "The Transfiguration," ///, , 
137-40, 220, 255 ; " Women carrying 
Water," ///, , 229: "The Youthful St. 
John prcivching," ///., 224. 
Sarto, AniTrea "del (1486-1531): "Abra- 
ham's Sacrilice," 170; "The Announce- 
ment to Zacharias," 167-8; "The Annun- 
ciation," 1512 and 152S, ill., 156, 163, 
109-170, 170-1 ; "The Arrest," 100 ; "The 
Assumption," 176-7 ;" The Baptism of 
Christ," 1511, 163, 108 ; " The Baptism of 
the People," 165-6; "The Beheading," 
166-7; "Tlie Kirtli of the Virgin,'' ///., 
128, 158-102, 220, 225, 235, 237, 251 ; 
"The Disputa," ///., 172-3 ;" The Last 
Supper," ///.,34; " Madonna," 174, 270; 
"Madonna delle Arpie," ///., 169, 171-4, 
213, 227, 270, 272; "Madonna with two 
SS.'john," ///., 270; "The Madonna del 
Sacco," ///., 175-6 ; "The jNIadonna with 
Eight Saints," 208 ; " The Madonna with 
Six Saints," ///., 174; " The Naming," 
108 ; " Tlie Offering," 107 ; Portraits, ///,, 
177-182; "The Preaching of John the 



90 



INDEX OP PROPER NA! 



f ' 



Baptist," !'//., 163-5; "The Procession of 
theTliree Kings," 158, 178 ; " St, Agnes," 
176 ; " St. Jolm the Baptist," ;//., 176-9 ; 
"Salome dancing before Herod," 1522, 
i/L, 166 ; Scenes from the Life of San 
rilippo Benizzi, 158; "The Visitation," 
168. 

lebastiano del Piombo, see Lnciani. 

lignorelli, Luca (o. 14il-1523) : Frescoes at 
Orvieto, 217, 271. 

lodoma, "Scenes from the Life of the 
Virgin," 220. 

lolario, Andrea da (c. 1460-after 1515), "The 
Beheading," 1507, 44. 



T. 

'ibaldi, P., "The Adoration of the Shep- 
herds," i//., 198. 
'itian, see Vecellio, Tiziano. 



U. 
fdine, Giovanni da, see Giovanni. 



V. 

anmicei, Pietro (H Perugino or Pictro 
Perugino), (1446-1523) : " Apollo and 
Marsyas," 39; "Christ delivering the 
Keys," 82, 114; "The Emtombment," 
ill., 82; "Piet:V," 80, 83, 148, 252, 
277; "Portrait of a Man," ill., 124; 
"Virgin appearing to St. Bernard," 
80, 145 ; " The Virgin M'ith SS. Sebas- 
tian and John the Baptist," ill., 79. 



Vasari, "Venus," ill., 196. 

Vecellio, Tiziano (Titian) (1477-1576): "The 
Assumption," 140, 150; "La Bella," 
131 ; " Danae," 268 ; " The Entombment," 
85; " The Murder of Peter Martyr," ill., 
279 ; " The Presentation," 194, 196 ; " St. 
Jerome," ill., 281 ; " Venus," ill., 260. 

Venusti, Marcello, "The Annunciation," 
c. 1580, 206. 

Verrocohio, Andrea del (1435-1488) : " The 
Baptism of Christ," ill., 22, 78, 202-4; 
" Clirist and St. Thomas," 14 ; " CoUeoni," 
13, 42, 190, 229, 284 ; " David," ill., 12, 
54, 231 ; " Three Archangels," 227 ; 
" Tobias " (? Botticini), ill. , 227. 

Vinei, Leonardo da (1452-1519): "The 
Adoration of the Jlagi," 23-4, 133 1 
Angel in Verrocchio's " Baptism," 22, 
25 ; " The Battle of Anghiari," 42-3 ; 
"John the Baptist," 253; "The Last 
Supper," (■//., 21, 29-34, 40,' 99, 207, 218, 
249, 250, 252, 276; " Leda," 44; "The 
Madonna of the Rocks," 22, 41-2 ; " The 
Madonna with St. Anneal' 88 ; " Monna 
Lisa," ill., 26, 3.5-40, 78, 124 ; "St. Anne 
M'ith the Virgin and Infant Christ," 
ill., 40, 256 ; " St. Jerome with the Lion," 
23 ; " St. John," 44 ; " Study of a Girl's 
Head," ill., 27, 36. 

Volterra, Baniele da, "Massacre of tiie 
Innocents," 277. 



Zampieri, Bomenico (Domenichino), 
Deliverance of St. Peter," 107-8. 



'The 



Richard Clay and Sons, Limited, 

bread street hill, k.c., and 

bungay, suffolk.