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Full text of "The history of painting in Italy, from the period of the revival of the fine arts to the end of the 18th century;"

BOHN'S STANDARD LIBRARY. 



THE HISTORY OF PAINTING, 



VOLUME II. 



THE 



HISTORY OF PAINTING 



IN 



ITALY, 



FROM THE PERIOD OF THE REVIVAL OF THE FINE ARTS TO THE END 

OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY : TRANSLATED FROM 

THE ITALIAN OF THE 

ABATE LUIGI LANZI. 

BY THOMAS ROSCOE. 

VOLUME II. 

CONTAINING THE SCHOOLS OF NAPLES, VENICE, LOMBARDY, MANTUA, 
MODENA, PARMA, CREMONA, AND MILAN. 

0cto <ZHittton, rebisefc. 

LONDON: 

HENRY G. BOHN, YORK STREET, CO VENT GARDEN. 

1847. 




CONTENTS OF VOLUME II. 

HISTORY OF PAINTING IN LOWER ITALY. 
BOOK IV. 

NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. 

PAGE 

EPOCH I. The old masters 1 

EPOCH II. Modern Neapolitan style, founded on the 

schools of Raflaello and Michelangelo . . 16 
EPOCH III. Corenzio, Ribera, Caracciolo, flourish in 

Naples Strangers who compete with them ... 30 

EPOCH IY. Luca Giordano, Solimene, and their scholars 54 



UPPER ITALY. 
BOOK I. 

VENETIAN SCHOOL. 

EPOCH I. The ancients ... ... ... ... 72 

EPOCH II. Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Jacopo da 

Bassano, Paolo Veronese ... ... ...128 

EPOCH III. Innovations of the mannerists of the seven- 
teenth century. Corruption of Venetian paint- 
ing 233 

EPOCH IY. Of exotic and new styles in Venice ... 292 

BOOK II. 

SCHOOLS OF LOMBARD*. 

CHAP. I. 

MANTUAN SCHOOL. 

EPOCH I. Of Mantegna and his successors ... ... 325 

EPOCH II. Giulio Romano and his school ... ... 331 

EPOCH III. Decline of the school, and foundation of an 

academy in order to restore it ... ... 339 

VOL. ii. a 



VI CONTENTS. 

CHAP. II. 

MODENESE SCHOOL. 

PAGE 

EpocirT. The old masters ... ... ,.. ... 343 

EPOCH II. Imitation of Raffaello and Correggio in the 

sixteenth century ... ... ... ... 350 

EPOCH III. The Modenese artists of the seventeenth 
century chiefly follow the example of the 
Bolognese .. ... ... ... ... 360 

CHAP. III. 

SCHOOL OP PARMA. 

EPOCH I. The ancients ... ... ... ... 371 

EPOCH II. Correggio, and those who succeeded him in 

his school ... ... ... ... ... 374 

EPOCH III. Parmese school of the Caracci, and of 
other foreigners until the period of the foun- 
dation of the academy ... ... ... 410 

CHAP. IV. 

SCHOOL OP CREMONA. 

EPOCH I. The ancients 419 

EPOCH II. Camillo Boccaccino, II Soiaro, the Campi. . 428 
EPOCH III. Decline of the school of the Campi. Trotti 

and other artists support it ... ... ... 441 

EPOCH IV. Foreign manners introduced into Cremona 449 

CHAP. V. 

SCHOOL OF MILAN. 

EPOCH I. Account of the ancient masters until the time 

of Vinci ... 457 

EPOCH II. Vinci establishes an academy of design at 
Milan. His pupils and the best native artists 
down to the time of Gaudenzio ... ... 47 8 

EPOCH III. The Procaccini and other foreign and native 
artists form a new academy, with new styles, 
in the city and state of Milan ... ... 508 

EPOCH IV. After the time of Daniele Crespi the art 
declines. A third academy is founded for its 
improvement ... ... ... ... ... 522 



HISTORY OF PAINTING 

IN 

LOWER ITALY. 



BOOK IV. 

NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. 

EPOCH I. 

WE are now arrived at a school of painting whica possesses 
indisputable proofs of having, in ancient times, ranked among 
the first in Italy, as in no part of that country do the re- 
mains of antiquity evince a more refined taste, nowhere do 
we find mosaics executed with more elegance,* nor any thing 
more beautiful than the subterranean chambers which are 
ornamented with historical designs and grotesques. The cir- 
cumstance of its deriving its origin from ancient Greece, and 
the ancient history of design, in which we read of many of 
its e;ixly artists, have ennobled it above all others in Italy, 
and on this account we feel a greater regret at the barbarism 
which overwhelmed it in common with other schools. Wo 
may express a similar sentiment with regard to Sicily, which, 
from its affinity in situation and government, I shall include 
in this Fourth Book, but generally in the notes.t That 
island, too, possessed many Greek colonies, who have left 
vases and metals of such extraordinary workmanship, that 

* Tn the Museo of the Sig. D. Franc. Daniele, are some birds not 
inferior to the doves of Furietti. 

f 1 adopt this mode because " little has hitherto been published on the 
Sicilian school," as the Sig. Hackert observes in his " Memorie de' 
Pittori Messinesi." I had not seen that book when I published the for- 
mer rdition of the present work, and I was then desirous that the me* 

VCL. II. B 



NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

many have thought that Sicily preceded Athens in carrying 
this art to perfection. But to proceed to the art of painting 
:in Naples, which is our present object, we may observe, that 
Dominici and the other national writers, the notice of whom 
I shall reserve for their proper places, affirm, that that city 
was never wholly destitute of artists, not only in the ancient 
times, which Filostrato extols so highly in the proemium of 
his " Innnagini," but even in the dark ages. In confirmation 
of this,, they adduce devotional pictures by anonymous artists 
anterior to the year 1200 ; particularly many Madonnas in an 
ancient style, which were the objects of adoration in various 
churches. They subjoin a catalogue of these early artists, 
and bitterly inveigh against Vasari, who has wholly omitted 
them in his work. 

The first painter whom we find mentioned at the earliest 
period of the restoration of the art, is Tommaso de' Stefani, 
who was a contemporary of Cimabue, in the reign of Charles 
of Anjou.* That prince, according to Vasari, in passi.vg 
through Florence, was conducted to the studio of Cimabue to 
see the picture of the Virgin, which he had painted for the 
chapel of the Rucellai family, on a larger scale than had ever 
before been executed. He adds, that the whole city collected 
in such crowds thither to view it, that it became a scene of 
public festivity, and that that part of the city in which the 

moirs of the Sicilian painters should be collected together and given to 
the public. I rejoice that we have had memoirs presented to us of those 
<of Messina, and that we shall also have those of the Syracusans and 
others, as the worthy professor gives us reason to hope in the preface to 
the " Memorie " before mentioned, which were written by an anonymous 
writer, and published by Sig. Hackert with his own remarks. 

* The history of the art in Messina enumerates a series of pictures 
from the year 1267, of which period is S. Placi^o of the cathedral, 
painted by an Antonio d' Antonio. It is supposed that this is a family of 
painters, which had the surname of Antonj, and that many pictures in S. 
Francesco, S. Anna, and elsewhere, are by different Antonj, until we 
come to Salvatore 'di Antonio, father of the celebrated Antonello di 
'Messina, and himself a master ; and there remains by him a S. Francis 
in the act of receiving the Stigmata, in the church of his name. Thus 
<the genealogy of this Antonello is carried to the before-mentioned Antonio 
*T Antonio, and still further by a writer called II Minacciato (Hack. p. 11), 
although Antonio never, to my knowledge, subscribed himself degli Antonj, 
having always on his pictures, which I have seen, inscribed his country, 
instead of his surname, as Messinensis, Messineus, Messsicse. 



TOMMASO DE' STEFANI. 3 

artiso resided, received in consequence the name of Borgo Al- 
legri. which it has retained to the present day. Dominici has 
not failed to make use of this tradition to the advantage of 
Tommaso. He observes, that Charles would naturally have 
invitod Cimabue to Naples if he had considered him the first 
artist of his day ; the king, however, did not do so, but at the 
same time employed Tommaso to ornament a church which he 
had founded, and he therefore must have considered him su- 
perior to Cimabue. This argument, as every one will imme- 
diately perceive, is by no means conclusive of the real merits 
of these two artists. That must be decided by an inspection 
of their works ; and with regard to these, Marco da Siena, 
who : s the father of the history of painting in Naples, declares 
that in respect to grandeur of composition, Cimabue was en- 
titled to the preference. Tommaso enjoyed the favour also of 
Charles II., who employed him, as did also the principal per- 
sons of the city. The chapel of the JVIinutoli in the Duomo, 
mentioned by Boccaccio, was ornamented by him with various 
pictures of the Passion of our Saviour. Tommaso had a 
scholar in Filippo Tesauro, who painted in the church of S. 
Restituta, the life of B. Niccolo, the hermit, the only one of 
his frescos which has survived to our days. 

About the year 1325, Giotto was invited by King Robert 
to paint the church of S. Chiara in Naples, which he decorated 
with subjects from the New Testament, and the mysteries of 
the Apocalypse, with some designs suggested to him at a for- 
mer time by Dante, as was currently reported in the days of 
Vasari. These pictures were effaced about the beginning of 
the present century, as they rendered the church dark ; but 
there remains, among other things in good preservation, a 
Madonna, called della Grazia, which the generous piety of 
the religious possessors preserved for the veneration of the 
faithful. Giotto painted some pictures also in the church of 
S. Maria Coronata ; and others, which no longer exist, in the 
Castello dell' Uovo. He selected for his assistant in his 
labours, a Maestro Simone, who, in consequence of enjoying 
Giotto's esteem, acquired a great name in Naples. Some 
consMerhim a native of Cremona, others a Neapolitan, which 
seenu nearer the truth. His style partakes both of Tesauro 
and (Hotto, whence some consider him of the first, others of 

B2 



4 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

the second master ; and he may probably have been instructed 
by both. However that may be, on the departure of Giotto 
lie was employed in many works which King Robert and the 
Queen Sancia were prosecuting in various churches, and par- 
ticularly in S. Lorenzo. He there painted that monarch in 
the act of being crowned by the Bishop Lodovico, his brother, 
to whom, upon his death and subsequent canonization, a chapel 
was dedicated in the Episcopal church, and Simone appointed 
to decorate it, but which he was prevented from doing by 
death. Dominici particularly extols a picture by him of a 
Deposition from the Cross, painted for the great altar of the 
Incoronata ; and thinks it will bear comparison with the 
works of Giotto. In other respects, he confesses that his 
conception and invention were not equally good, nor did his. 
heads possess so attractive an air as those of Giotto, nor his 
colours such a suavity of tone. 

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

Before Zingaro (who will very soon occupy our attention) 
introduced a manner acquired in other schools, the art had 
made little progress in Naples and her territories. This 
is clearly proved by Colantonio del Fiore, the scholar of 



ANTONIO SOL A RIO. 

Francesco, who lived till the year 1444, of whom Dominici 
ment ons some pictures, though he is in doubt whether they 
should not be assigned to Maestro Simone ; which is a tacit 
confession, that in the lapse of a century the art had not 
made any considerable progress. It appears, however, that 
Colantonio after some time, by constant practice, had con- 
siderably improved himself, having painted several works in 
a more modern style, particularly a S. Jerome, in the church 
of S. Lorenzo, in the act of drawing a thorn from the foot of 
a lion, with the date of 1436. It is a picture of great truth, 
removed afterwards, for its merit, by the P. P. Conventuali, 
into the sacristy of the same church, where it was for a long 
time the admiration of strangers. He had a scholar of the 
name of Angiolo Franco, who imitated better than any other 
Neapolitan the manner of Giotto ; adding only a stronger 
style of chiaroscuro, which he derived from his master. 

The art was, however, more advanced by Antonio Solario, 
originally a smith, and commonly called lo Zingaro. His 
history has something romantic in it, like that of Quintin 
Matsys, who, from his first profession, was called il Fabbro, 
and became a painter from his love to a young girl, who 
promised to marry him when he had made himself a proficient 
in the art of painting. Solario, in the same manner, being 
enamoured of a daughter of Colantonio, and receiving from 
him a promise of her hand in marriage in ten years, if he 
became an eminent painter, forsook his furnace for the 
academy, and substituted the pencil for the file. There is an 
idle tradition of a queen of Naples having been the author 01 
this match, but that matter I leave in the hands of the nar- 
rator of it. It is more interesting to us to know that 
Solario went to Bologna, where he was for several years the 
scholar of Lippo Dalmasio, called also Lippo delle Madonne, 
from his numerous portraits of the Virgin, and the grace 
with which he painted them. On leaving Bologna he visited 
other parts of Italy, in order to study the works of the best 
urtist; in the various schools ; as Vivarini, in Venice ; Bicci, 
in Florence; Galasso, in Ferrara; Pisanello, and Gentile da 
Fabriano, in Rome. It has been thought that he assisted the 
two l.-iat, as Luca Giordano affirmed, that among the pictures 
in tho Lateran. he recognised some heads which were in- 



6 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

disputably by Solario. He excelled in this particular, and 
excited the admiration of Marco da Siena himself, who 
declared that his countenances seemed alive. He became also 
a good perspective painter for those times, and respectable in 
historical compositions, which he enlivened with landscape in 
a better style than other painters, and distinguished his figures 
by drapery peculiar to the age, and carefully drawn from 
nature. He was less happy in designing his hands and feet, 
and often appears heavy in his attitudes, and crude in his 
colouring. On his return to Naples, it is said that he gave 
proofs of his skill, and was favourably received by Golan ton io, 
and thus became his son-in-law nine years after his first 
departure ; and that he painted and taught there under King 
Alfonso, until the year 1455, about which time he died. 

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

About this time there flourished two eminent artists, whom 
I deem it proper to mention in this place before I enter on 
the succeeding scholars of the Neapolitan school. These 
were Matteo da Siena, and Antonello da Messina. The first 
we noticed in the school of Siena, and mentioned his having 
painted in Naples the Slaughter of the Innocents. It exists 
in the church of S. Caterina a Formello, and is engraved 
in the third volume of the Lettere Senesi. The year 
M.cccc.xvm. is attached to it, but we ought not to yield 



ANTONELLO DA MESSINA. 7 

implicit faith to this date. II P. della Valle, in p. 56 of the 
above-mentioned volume, observes, that Matteo, in the 
year 1462, when he painted with his father in Pienza, was 
your g, and that in the portrait which he painted of hiinself 
in 1491, he does not appear aged. He could not therefore 
have painted in Naples in 1418. After this we may believe 
it very possible, that in this date an L has been inadvertently 
omitted, and that the true reading is M.CCCC.LXVIII. Thus the 
aboTe writer conjectures, and with so much the more probabi- 
lity, as he advances proofs, both from the form of the letters 
and die absence of the artist from his native place. Whoever 
desires similar examples, may turn to page 119 of vol. i., 
and he will find that such errors have occurred more than 
once in the date of books. Guided by this circumstance, we 
may correct what Dominici has asserted of Matteo da Siena 
having influenced the style of Solario. It may be true that 
there is a resemblance in the air of the heads, and the general 
style, but such similarity can only be accounted for by Matteo 
deriving it from Solario, or both, as often happens, imitating it 
from the same master. 

Antonello, of the family of the Antonj, universally known 
under the name of Antonello da Messina, is a name so illus- 
trious in the history of art, that it is not sufficient to have 
mentioned him in the first book and to refer to him here 
again, as he will claim a further notice in the Venetian School, 
and we must endeavour too to overcome some perplexing diffi- 
culties, to ascertain with correctness the time at which he 
flourished, and attempt to settle the dispute, whether he were 
the iirst who painted in oil in Italy, or whether that art was 
prac tised before his time. Vasari relates, that when young, 
afte? having spent many years in Rome in the study of 
desi n,* and many more at Palermo, painting there with the 
repi tation of a good artist, he repaired first to Messina, and 

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



NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

from thence passed to Naples, where he chanced to see a large 
composition painted in oil by Gio. da Bruggia, which had been 
presented by some Florentine merchants to King Alfonso. 
Antonello, smitten with this new art, took his departure to 
Flanders, and there, by his affability, and by a present of some 
drawings of the Italian school, so far ingratiated himself with 
Giovanni, as to induce him to communicate to him the secret, 
and the aged painter dying soon afterwards, thus left him 
instructed in the new art. This must have happened about 
the year 1440, since that time is required to support the sup- 
position that Giovanni, born about 1370, died at an advanced 
age^ as the old writers assert, or exactly in 1441, as is asserted 
by the author of the " Galleria Imperiale." Antonelio then 
left Flanders, and first resided for some months in his native 
place ; from thence he went to Venice, where he communi- 
cated the secret to Domenico Veneziano ; and having painted 
there a considerable time, died there at the age of forty-nine. 
All this we find in Vasari, and it agrees with what he relates 
in the life of Domenico Veneziano, that this artist, after 
having learnt the new method from Antonello in Venice, 
painted in Loreto with Piero della Francesca, some few years 
before that artist lost his eyesight, which happened in i458. 
Thus the arrival of Antonello in Venice must have occurred 
about the year 1450, or some previous year ; but this con- 
clusion is contrary to Venetian evidence. The remaining 
traces of Antonello, or the dates attached to his works there, 
commence in 1474, and terminate according to Ridolfi in 1490. 
There does not appear any reason whatever, why he should 
not have attached dates to his pictures, until after residing 
twenty-four years in Venice. Besides, how can it be main- 
tained that Antonello, after passing many years in Rome 
as a student, and many in Palermo as a master, and 
some years in Messina and Flanders, should not in Ve- 
nice, in the forty-ninth year after the death of Giovanni, 
have passed the forty-ninth year of his age? Hackert 
quotes the opinion of Gallo, who in the " Annali di Mes- 
sina," dates the birth of Antonello in 1447, and his death 
at forty-nine years of age, that is, in 1496. But if this 
were so, how could he have known Gio. da Bruggia ? Yet if 
such fact be denied, we must contradict a tradition which has 



ANTONELLO DA MESSINA. 

been generally credited. I should be more inclined to believe 
that there is a mistake in his age, and that he died at a more 
advanced period of life. Nor on this supposition do we wrong 
Vasari, others having remarked what we shall also on a proper 
opportunity confirm, that as far as regards Venetian artists, 
Vasari errs almost in every page from the want of accurate 
information. I further believe that, respecting the residence 
of A utonello in Venice, he wrote with inaccuracy. That he 
was there about the year 1450, and communicated his secret 
to Domenico, is a fact which, after so many processes made in 
Florence on the murder of Domenieo, and so much discussion 
respecting him, must have been well ascertained, not depend- 
ing en the report contained in the memoirs of the painters by 
Grill andajo, or any other contemporary, in whose writings 
Vasa ri might search for information. But admitting this, I 
am of opinion that Antonello did not reside constantly in 
Venice from the year 1450 until his death, as Vasari insi- 
nuates. It appears that he travelled afterwards in several 
countries, resided for a long time in Milan, and acquired there 
a grt at celebrity, and that he repaired afresh to Venice, and 
enjoyed there for some years a public salary. This we gather 
from Maurolico, quoted by Hackert : Ob mirum hie ingenium 
Venrtiis aliquot annos publice conductus mxit : Mediolani 
quoque fuit per Celebris (Hist. Sican. pi. 186, prim, edit.), 
and if he was not a contemporary writer, still he was not very 
far removed from Antonello. This is the hypothesis I propose 
in order to reconcile the many contradictory accounts which 
we find on this subject in Vasari, Ridolfi, and Zanetti ; and 
when we come to the Venetian school, I shall, not forget to 
adduce further proofs in support of it. Others may perhaps 
euccoed better than I have done in this task, and with that 
hope I shall console myself ; as in my researches I have no 
.other object than truth, I shall be equally satisfied whether I 
discover it myself, or it be communicated to me by others. 

That therefore Antonello was the first who exhibited a per- 
fect method of practising painting in oil in Italy, is an asser- 
tion that, it seems to roe, may be with justice maintained, or 
at least it cannot be said that there is proof to the contrary. 
And yet in the history of the art in the Two Sicilies, this 
honour is strongly disputed. In that history we find the de- 



10 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

scription of a chapel in the Duomo of Messina, called Madonna 
della Lettera, where it is said there exists a very old Greek 
picture of the Virgin, an object of adoration, which was said 
to be in oil. If this were even adm ted, it could not detract 
from the merit of Antonello in having restored a beautiful art 
that had fallen into desuetude : but in these Greek pictures, 
the wax had often the appearance of oil, as we observed in 
vol. i. p. 86. Marco da Siena, in the fragment of a discourse 
which Dominici has preserved, asserts that the Neapolitan 
painters of 1300 continued to improve in the two manners of 
painting in fresco and oil. When I peruse again what I have 
written in vol. i. p. 86, where some attempt at colouring in 

011 anterior to Antonello is admitted, I may be permitted not 
to rely on the word of Pino alone. There exist in Naples 
many pictures of 1300, and I cannot imagine why, in a con- 
troversy like this, they are neither examined nor alluded to, 
and why the question is rested solely on a work or two of 
Colantonio. Some national writers, and not long since, Sig- 
norelli, in his " Coltura delle due Sicili," torn. iii. p. 171, have 
pretended that Colantonio del Fiore was certainly the first to 
paint in oil, and adduced in proof the very picture of S. Jerome, 
before mentioned, and another in S. Maria Nuova. ' II Sig. 
Piacenza, after inspecting them, says that he was not able to 
decide whether these pictures were really in oil or not. Zanetti 
(P. V. p. 20) also remarks, that it is extremely difficult to 
pass a decided judgment on works of this kind, and I have 
made the same observation with respect to Van Eyck, which 
will, I hope, convince every reader who will be at the trouble 
to refer to vol. i. p. 84. And unless that had been the 
case, how happened it that all Europe was filled with 
the name of Van Eyck in the course of a few years ; 
that every painter ran to him ; that his works were coveted 
by princes, and that they who could not obtain them, pro- 
cured the works of his scholars, and others the works of Ausse, 
Ugo d'Anversa, and Antonello ; and of Ruggieri especially, 
of whose great fame in Italy we shall in another place adduce 
the documents?* On the other hand, who, beyond Naples and 
its territory, had at that time heard of Colantonio ? Who ever 
sought with such eagerness the works of Solario ? And if this 

* In the first epoch of the Venetian School. 



ANTONE&LO DA MESSINA. 11 

last was the scholar and son-in-law of a master who painted 
so w<;ll in oil, how happened it that he was neither distin- 
guished in the art, nor even acquired it ? Why did he himself 
and his scholars work in distemper ? Why did the Sicilians, 
as wo have seen, pass over to Venice, where Antonello resided, 
to instruct themselves, and not confine themselves to Naples ? 
Why did the whole school of Venice, the emporium of Eu- 
rope, and capable of contradicting any false report, attest, on 
the ceath of Autonello, that he was the first that painted in 
oil ia Italy, and no one opposed to him either Solario or 
Colantonio ?* They either could not at that time have been 
acquainted with this discovery, or did not know it to an ex- 
tent that can contradict Vajsari, and the prevailing opinions 
respecting Antonello. Dominici has advanced more on this 
poini. than any other person, asserting that this art was dis- 
covered in Naples, and was carried from thence to Flanders 
by Van Eyck himself, to which supposition, after the obser- 
vations already made, I deem it superfluous to reply, f 

* The following inscription, composed at the instance of the Venetian 
painters, is found in Ridolfi, p. 49. " Antonius pictor, praecipuum 
Mess ma; suse et totius Sicilise ornamentutn, hac humo contegitur : non 
solum suis picturis, in quibus singulare artificium et venustas fuit : 
sed et quod coloribus oleo miscendis splendorem et perpetuitatem 
PRIMUS ITALIC PICTURE contulit, summo SEMPER artificum studio 
celeb ;-atus." 

f A letter of Summonzio, written on the 20th March, 1524, has been 
communicated to me by the Sig. Cav. de' Lazara, extracted from the 60th 
volume of the MSS. collected in Venice by the Sig. Ab. Profess. Daniele 
Franoesconi. It is addressed to M. A. Michele, who had requested from 
him t^ome information respecting the ancient and modern artists of Naples ; 
and in reference to the present question he thus speaks : " Since that 
period (the reign of King Ladislaus), we have not had any one of so much 
talent in the art of painting as our Maestro Colantonio of Naples, who 
woul 1 in all probability have arrived at great eminence, if he had not died 
youn. Owing to the taste of the times, he did not arrive at that perfec- 
tion of design founded on the antique, which his disciple Antonello da 
Mest ina attained, an artist, as I understand, well known amongst you. 
The style of Colantonio was founded on the Flemish, and the colouring of 
that country, to which he was so much attached, that he had intended to 
go tl ither, but the King Raniero retained him here, satisfied with shew- 
ing him the practice and mode of such colouring." From this letter, 
whic ti seems contrary to my argument, I collect sufficient, if I err not, to 
confrm it. For, 1st, the defence of those writers falls to the ground, 
who assume that the art of oil-colouring was derived from Naples, while 



'12 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

"VVe shall now return to the scholars of Solario, who were 
very numerous. Amongst them was a Niccola di Vito, who 
may be called the Buffalmacco of this school, for his singular 
humour and his eccentric invention, though in other respects 
he was an inferior artist, and little deserving commemoration. 
Simone Papa did not paint any large composition in which he 
might be compared to his master; he confined himself to 
altar-pieces, with few figures grouped in a pleasing style, and 
finished with exquisite care, so that he sometimes equalled 
Zingaro, as in a S. Michele, painted for S. Maria Nuova. 
Of the same class seems to have been Angiolillo di Roecadi- 
rame, who in the church of S. Bridget, painted that saint 
contemplating in a vision the birth of Christ, a picture which 
oven with the experienced might pass for the work of his 
master. More celebrated and more deserving of notice, are 
Pietro and Polito (Ippolito) del Donzello, sons-in-law of 
Angiolo Franco, and relatives of the celebrated architect 
Giuliano da Maiano, by whom they were instructed in that 
art. Vasari mentions them as the first painters of the Nea- 
politan school, but does not give any account of their master, 
or of what school they were natives, and he writes in a way 
that might lead the reader to believe that they were Tuscans. 
He says that Giuliano, having finished the palace of Poggio 
Jfceale for King Robert, the monarch engaged the two brothers 

we see that Colantonio, by means of the king, received it from Flanders. 
2ndly, Van Eyck himself is not here named, but the painters of Flanders 
generally, which country first awakened, as we have observed, by the 
example of Italy, had discovered new, and it is true, imperfect and in- 
efficient methods, but still superior to distemper ; and who knows if this 
were adopted by Colantonio. 3rdly, It is said that he died young, a 
circumstance which may give credit to the difficulty that he had in com- 
municating the secret : in fact, it is not known that he communicated it 
even to his son-in-law, much less to a stranger. 4thly, Hence the neces- 
sity of Antonello undertaking the journey to Flanders to learn the secret 
from Van Eyck, who was then in years, and not without difficulty com- 
municated it to him. 5thly, If we believe with Ridolfi that Antonello 
painted in 1494 in Trevigi, and credit the testimony of Vasari, that he 
was not then more than forty-nine years of age, how could it be the 
scholar of Colantonio, who, aceording to Dominici, died in 1444 ? 
It is with diffidence I advance these remarks on a matter on which I have 
before expressed my doubts, and T have been obliged to leave some points 
undecided, or decided rather according to the opinions of others than my 



THE TWO DONZELLI. 13 

to decorate it, and that first Giuliano dying, and the king 
afterr.-ards, Polito returned to Florence.* Bottari observes, 
that he did not find the two Donzelli mentioned by Orlandi, 
nor by any one else, a clear proof that he did not himself 
consider them natives of Naples, and on that account he did 
not look for them ia Bernardo Dominici, who has written at 
length upon them, complaining of the negligence or inad- 
vertent error of Vasari. 

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

Wu may now notice Silvestro de' Buoni, who was placed 

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



14 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

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

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



GIO. ANTONIO D'AMATO. 15 

are :ilso mentioned in S. Maria Nuova, and in Monte 
Vergine ; pictures, says the Cav. Massimo, " very studied 
and perfect, according to the latest schools succeeding our 
Zingaro." 

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

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



16 



NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. 

EPOCH II. 



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

IT has already been observed, that at the commencement of 
the sixteenth century, the art of painting seemed in every 
country to have attained to maturity, and that every school 
at that time assumed its own peculiar and distinguishing cha- 
racter. Naples did not, however, possess a manner so decided 
as that of other schools of Italy, and thus afforded an oppor- 
tunity for the cultivation of the best style, as the students 
who left their native country returned home, each with the 
manner of his own master, and the sovereigns and nobility 
of the kingdom invited and employed the most celebrated 
strangers. In this respect, perhaps, Naples did not yield 
precedence to any city after Rome. Thus the first talents 
were constantly employed in ornamenting both the churches 
and palaces of that metropolis. Nor indeed was that country 
ever deficient in men of genius, who manifested every requi- 
site quality for distinction, particularly such as depended on- a 
strong and fervid imagination. Hence an accomplished writer 
and painter has observed, that no part of Italy could boast of 
so many native artists, such are the fire, the fancy, and free- 
dom which characterize, for the most part, the works of these 
masters. Their rapidity of execution was another effect of 
their genius, a quality which has been alike praised by the 
ancients* and the moderns* when combined with other more 
requisite gifts of genius. But this despatch in general ex- 
cludes correct design, which from that cause is seldom found 

* Plin. Hist. Nat. lib. xzxv. cap. 11. Nee ullius velocior in pictura 
manus fait. 



ANDREA SABBATINI. 17 

in that school. Nor do we find that it paid much attention 
to i-leal perfection, as most of its professors, following the 
practice of the naturalists, selected the character of their 
heads and the attitudes of their figures from common life ; 
some with more, and others with less discrimination. With 
regard to colour, this school changed its principles in con- 
formity to the taste of the times. It was fertile in invention 
and composition, but deficient in application and study. The 
history of the vicissitudes it experienced will now occupy the 
attention of the reader. 

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

Wo may commence the new series with Andrea Sabbatini 
of Salerno. This artist was so much struck with the style of 
Pietro when he saw his picture in the Duomo, that he imme- 
diately determined to study in the school of Perugia. He 
took his departure accordingly for that city, but meeting on 
the road some brother painters who much more highly extolled 
the works of Raffaello, executed for Julius II., he changed 
liis mind and proceeded to Rome, and there placed himself 
in tho school of that great master. He remained with him, 
however, only a short time, as the death of his father com- 
pelled him to return home, against his wishes. But he arrived 
a new man. It is related that he painted with Raffaello at 
the Pace and in the Vatican, and that he became an accom- 
plished copyist of his works, and successfully emulated the 
style of his master. Compared with his fellow-scholars, al- 
though he did not rival Giulio Romano, he yet surpassed 

VOL. JI. C 



18 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

Raffaele del Colle, and others of that class. He had a cor- 
rectness of design, selection in his faces and in his attitudes, 
a depth of shade, and the muscles rather strongly expressed ; 
a breadth in the folding of his drapery, and a colour which 
still preserves its freshness after the lapse of so many years. 
He executed many works in Naples, as appears from the ca- 
talogue of his pictures. Among his best works are numbered 
some pictures at S. Maria delle Grazie ; besides the frescos 
which he executed there and in other places, extolled by 
writers as miracles of art, but few of which remain to the 
present day. He painted also in his native city, in Gaeta, 
and indeed in all parts of the kingdom, both in the churches 
and for private collections, where many of his Madonnas, of 
an enchanting beauty, are still to be seen.* 

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



ANDREA SABBATINI. 19 

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

Pclidoro Caldara, or Caravaggio, came to Naples in the 
year of the sacking of Rome, 1527. He was not, as Vasari 
would have us believe, in danger of perishing through want 
at Naples ; for Andrea da Salerno, who had been his fellow- 
disci] >le, generously received him into his house, and in- 
troduced him in the city, where he obtained many commis- 
sions- and formed several scholars before he went to Sicily. 
He had distinguished himself in Rome by his chiaroscuri, as 
we have related ; and he painted in colours in Naples and 
Messina. His colour in oil was pallid and obscure, at least 
for some time, and in this style I saw some pictures of the Pas- 
sion i n Rome, which Gavin Hamilton had received from Sicily. 
In o ;her respects they were valuable, from their design and 
inver tion. Vasari mentions this master with enthusiasm, calls 
him :;, divine genius, and extols to the skies a picture which 
lie pointed in Messina a little while before his death. This 
was i, composition of Christ on his way to Mount Calvary, 

much captivated with this work, that he painted in distemper a picture of 
the Deposition from the Cross, as a precious covering to this picture, 
in on.er that it might be transmitted uninjured to posterity. Girolamo 
died i i the plague of 1524, and at the same time other eminent artists of 
this s hool ; a school which was for some time neglected, but which has, 
the labours of Polidoro, risen to fresh celebrity. 
C 2 



20 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

surrounded by a great multitude, and he assures us that the 
colouring was enchanting. 

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

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

Some have included among the scholars of Polidoro, an 
able artist and good colourist, called Marco Calabrese, whose 
surname is Cardisco. Vasari ranks him before all his Nea- 
politan contemporaries, and considers his genius a fruit pro- 



CARDISCO. 21 

<luccd remote from its native soil. This observation cannot 
appear correct to any one who recollects that the Calabria of 
the present day is the ancient Magna Graecia, where in 
former times the arts were carried to the highest pitch of 
perfection. Cardisco painted much in Naples and in the 
State. His most celebrated work is the Dispute of S. Agos- 
tino in the church of that saint in Aversa. He had a scholar 
in Gio. Batista Crescione, who together with Lionardo Cas- 
tellani, his relative, painted at the time Vasari wrote, which 
was an excuse for his noticing them only in a cursory manner. 
We may further observe that Polidoro was the founder of a 
florid school in Messina, where we must look for his most 
able scholars.* 

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

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

Stofano Giordano was also a respectable scholar of Caldara, and we may 



22 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

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



mention 
Lord 



ion, as an excellent production, his picture of the Supper of our 
L in the monastery of S. Gregory, painted in 1541. With him we 
may join Jacopo Vignerio, by whom we find described, as an excellent 
work, the picture of Christ bearing his Cross, at S. Maria della Scala, 
bearing the date of 1552. 

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

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



PI8TOJA. 23 

nobility of that city, and painted less for the churches than 
for private individuals. He chiefly excelled in portrait. 

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

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

From his school came Francesco Imparato, who was after- 
wai ds taught by Titian, and so far emulated his style, that a 
S. Peter Martyr by him in the church of that saint in Naples 
was praised by Caracciolo as the best picture which had then 
bee i seen in that city. We must not confound this Francesco 
with Girolamo Imparato, his son, who flourished after the end 
of the 16th century, and enjoyed a reputation greater than be 
per laps merited. He, too, was a follower of the Venetian, 
and afterwards of the Lombard style, and he travelled to im- 
pro ye himself in colouring, the fruits of which were seen in 



24 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

the picture of the Rosario at S. Tommaeo d'Aquino, and in 
others of his works. The Cav. Stanzioni, who knew him, and 
was his competitor, considered him inferior to his father in 
talent, and describes him as vain and ostentatious. 

To these painters of the school of Raffaello, there succeeded 
in Naples two followers of Michelangelo, whom we have before 
noticed. The first of these was Vasari, who was called thither 
in 1544, to paint the refectory of the P. P. Olivetaui, and was 
afterwards charged with many commissions in Naples and in 
Home. By the aid of architecture, in which he excelled more 
than in painting, he converted that edifice, which was in what 
is commonly called the Gothic style, to a better form ; altered 
the vault, and ornamented it with modern stuccos, which wero 
the first seen in Naples, and painted there a considerable 
number of subjects, with that rapidity and mediocrity that 
characterize the greater part of his works. He remained there 
for the space of a year, and of the services he rendered to the 
city, we may judge from the following passage in his life. " It 
is extraordinary," he says, " that in so large and noble a city, 
there should have been found no masters after Giotto, to have 
executed any work of celebrity, although some works by 
Perugino and by Raffaello had been introduced. On these 
grounds I have endeavoured, to the best of my humble talents, 
to awaken the genius of that country to a spirit of emulation, 
and to the accomplishment of some great and honourable 
work ; and from these my labours, or from some other cause, 
we now see many beautiful works in stucco and painting, in 
addition to the before-mentioned pictures." It is not easy to 
conjecture why Vasari should here overlook many eminent 
painters, and even Andrea da Salerno himself, so illustrious an 
artist, and whose name would have conferred a greater honour 
on his book, than it could possibly have derived from it. 
Whether self-love prompted him to pass over that painter and 
other Neapolitan artists, in the hope that he should himself be 
considered the restorer of taste in Naples ; or whether it was 
the consequence of the dispute which existed at that time 
between him and the painters of Naples ; or whether as I 
observed in my preface, it sometimes happens in this art, that 
a picture which delights one person, disgusts another, I know 
not, and every one must judge for himself. For myself, how- 



MARCO DI PINO. 25 

ever much disposed I should be to pardon him for many omis - 
fcions, which in a work like his are almost unavoidable, still 
I cannot exculpate him for this total silence. Nor have the 
writors of Naples ever ceased complaining of this neglect, and 
.some indeed have bitterly inveighed against him, and accused 
him of contributing to the deterioration of taste. So true is it, 
that an offence against a whole nation is an offence never 
pardoned. 

The other imitator, and a favourite of Michelangelo (not 
his scholar, as some have asserted), who painted in Naples, 
was Marco di Pino, or Marco da Siena, frequently before 
mem ioned by us. He appears to have arrived in Naples after 
the year 1560. He was well received in that city, and had 
fiome privileges conferred on him ; nor did the circumstance 
of his being a stranger create towards him any feeling of jea- 
lousy on the part of the Neapolitans, who are naturally hos- 
pital le to strangers of good character ; and he is described 
by all as a sincere, affable, and respectable man. He enjoyed 
in Naples the first reputation, and was often employed in 
works of consequence in some of the greater churches of the 
city, and in others of the kingdom at large. He repeated on 
several occasions the Deposition from the Cross, which he 
painted at Rome, but with many variations, and the one the 
most esteemed was that which he placed in S. Giovanni de' 
Fiorontini, in 1577. The Circumcision in the Gesu Vecchio, 
where Parrino traces the portrait of the artist and his wife,* 
the Adoration of the Magi at S. Severino, and others of his 
works, contain views of buildings not unworthy of him, as 
he was an eminent architect, and also a good writer on that 
art. Of his merit as a painter, I believe I do not err when I 
say that, among the followers of Michelangelo, there is none 
ivho >e design is less extravagant and whose colour is more 
vigorous. He is not, however, always equal. In the church 
of 8. Severino, where he painted four pictures, the Nativity 
of the Virgin is much inferior to the others. A mannered 
stylo was so common in artists of that age, that few were 

* These traditions are frequently nothing more than common rumour, 
to \vhi h, without corroborating circumstances, we ought not to give credit. 
It has happened more than once, that such portraits have been found to 
belorg to the patrons of the church. 



26 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL EPOCH II. 

exempt from it. He Lad many scholars in Naples, but none of 
the celebrity of Gio. Angelo Criscuolo. This artist was the 
brother of Gio. Filippo, already mentioned, and exercised the 
profession of a notary, without relinquishing that of a minia- 
ture painter, which he had learnt in his youth. He became 
desirous of emulating his brother in larger compositions, and 
under the direction of Marco succeeded in acquiring his style. 
These two painters laid the foundation of the history of the 
art in Naples. In 1568, there issued from the Giunti press 
in Florence, a new edition of the works of Vasari, in which 
the author speaks very briefly of Marco da Siena, in the life 
of Daniello da Volterra. He only observes that he had de- 
rived the greatest benefit from the instructions of that master, 
and that he had afterwards chosen Naples for his country, 
and settled and continued his labours there. Marco, either 
not satisfied with this eulogium, or displeased at the silence 
of Vasari with regard to many of the painters of Siena, and 
almost all those of Naples, determined to publish a work of 
his own in opposition to him. Among his scholars was the 
notary before mentioned, who supplied him with memoirs of 
the Neapolitan painters taken from the archives of the city, 
and from tradition ; and from these materials Marco prepared 
a " Discorso." He composed it in 1569, a year after the pub- 
lication of this edition of Yasari's works, and it was the first 
sketch of the history of the fine arts in Naples. It did not, 
however, then see the light, and was not published until 1742, 
and then only in part, by Dominici, together with notes writ- 
ten by Criscuolo in the Neapolitan dialect, and with the addi- 
tion of other notes collected respecting the subsequent artists, 
and arranged by two excellent painters, Massimo Stanzioni, 
and Paolo de* Matteis. Dominici himself added some others 
of his own collecting, and communicated by some of h's 
learned friends, among whom was the celebrated antiquarian 
Matteo Egizio. The late " Guida or Breve Descrizione <li 
Napoli" says, this voluminous work stands in need of more 
information, a better arrangement, and a more concise style. 
There might also be added some better criticisms on the an- 
cient artists, and less partiality towards some of the modern. 
Still this is a very lucid work, and highly valuable for the 
opinions expressed on the talents of artists, for the most part 



VARIOUS ARTISTS. 27 

by other artists, whose names inspire confidence in the reader. 
Whether the sister arts of architecture and sculpture are as 
judiciously treated of, it is not our province to inquire. 

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

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

Potnpeo dell* Aquila was a finished painter and a fine 
colou fist, if we are to believe Orlandi, who saw many of his 
works in Aquila, particularly some frescos conducted in a 



28 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

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

Marco Mazzaroppi di S. Germane died young, but is known 
for his natural and animated colouring, almost in the Flemish 
style. At Capua., they mention with applause the altar- 
pieces and other pictures of Gio. Pietro Russo, who, after 
studying in various schools, returned to that city, and there 
left many excellent works. Matteo da Lecce, whose educa- 
tion is uncertain, displayed in Rome a Michelangelo style, or 
as some say, the style of Salviati. It is certain that he had 
a strong expression of the limbs and muscles. He worked 
for the most part in fresco, and there is a prophet painted by 
him for the company of the Gonfalone, of such relief, that 
the figures, says Baglione, seem starting from the wall. Al- 
though there were at that time many Florentines in Rome, he 
was the only one who dared in the face of the Last Judgment 
of Michelangelo, to paint the Fall of the Rebel Angels, a 
subject which that great artist designed to have painted, but 
never put his intentions into execution. He chose too to ac- 
company it with the combat between the Prince of the 
Angels and Lucifer, for the body of Moses ; a subject taken 
from the epistle of S. James, arid analogous to that of the 
other picture. Matteo entered upon this very arduous task 
with a noble spirit ; but, alas ! with a very different result. 
He painted, afterward;?, in Malta, and passing to Spain and 



MATTEO DA LECCE. 29 

to tli2 Indies, lie enriched himself by merchandise, until turn- 
ing t ) mining, he lost all his wealth, and died in great indi- 
gence '. We may also mention two Calabrians, of doubtful 
parentage. Nicoluccio, a Calabrian, who will be mentioned 
among the scholars of Lorenzo Costa, but only cursorily, as I 
know nothing of this parricide, as he may be called, except 
that he attempted to murder his master. Pietro Negroni, a 
Calabrian also, is commemorated by Dominici as a diligent 
and accomplished painter. In Sicily, it is probable that 
man}' painters flourished, belonging to this period, besides 
Gio. Borghese da Messina, a scholar also of Costa, and Lau- 
reti, whom I notice in the schools of Rome and Bologna, aud 
others, whose names I may have seen, but whose works have 
not called for my notice. The succeeding epoch we shalJ 
find more productive in Sicilian art. 



30 



NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. 

EPOCH III. 



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

ABOUT the middle of the 16th century, Tintoretto was con- 
sidered one of the first artists in Venice ; and towards the 
close of the same century Caravaggio in Rome, and theCaracci 
in Bologna, rose to the highest degree of celebrity. The 
several styles of these masters soon extended themselves into 
other parts of Italy, and became the prevailing taste in Naples, 
where they were adopted by three painters of reputation, 
Corenzio, Ribera, and Caracciolo. These artists rose one 
after the other into reputation, but afterwards united together 
in painting, and assisted each other interchangeably. At the 
time they flourished, Guido, Domenichino, Lanfranco, and 
Artemisia Gentilescbi, were in Naples ; and there and else- 
where contributed some scholars to the Neapolitan school. 
Thus the time which elapsed between Bellisario and Giordano 
is the brightest period of this academy, both in respect to the 
number of excellent artists and the works of taste. It is 
however the darkest era, not only of the Neapolitan school, 
but of the art itself, as far as regards the scandalous artifices, 
and the crimes which occurred in it. I would gladly pass over 
those topics in silence, if they were foreign to my subject, but 
they are so intimately connected with it, that they must, at 
all events, be alluded to. I shall notice them at a proper 
time, adhering to the relation of Malvasia, Passeri, Bellori, 
and more particularly of Dominici. 

Bellisario Corenzio, a Greek by birth, after having passed 
five years in the school of Tintoretto, settled in Naples about 
the year 1590. He inherited from nature a fertile imagina- 



31 

lion .Jinl a rapidity of hand, which enabled him to rival his 
mast* T in the prodigious number of his pictures, and those too 
of a *-irge class. Four common painters could scarcely have 
equalled his individual labour. He cannot be compared to 
Tint* ret to, who, when he restrained his too exuberant fancy, 
was inferior to few in design ; and excelled in invention, ges- 
tures, and the airs of his heads, which, though the Venetians 
have always had before their eyes, they have never equalled. 
CWeaiio successfully imitated his master when he painted 
with ear, as in the great picture in the refectory of the Bene- 
dict iites, representing the multitude miraculously fed ; a work 
he finished in forty days. But the greater part of the vault 
resembles in many respects the style of the Cav. d'Arpino,* 
othei parts partake of the Venetian school, not without some 
character peculiar to himself, particularly in the glories, which 
are liordered with shadowy clouds. In the opinion of the 
Cav. Massimo, he was of a fruitful invention, but not select 
He i aiuted very little in oil, although he had great merit in 
the strength and harmony of his colours. The desire of gain 
led I im to attempt large works in fresco, which he composed 
with much felicity, as he was copious^ varied, and energetic. 
Ho 1 ad a good general effect, and was finished in detail and 
comot, when the proximity of some eminent rival compelled 
him .. it. This was the case at the Certosa, in the chapel of 
. ( J Miiuiro. He there exerted all his talents, as ho was excited 
to it by emulation of Caracciolo, who had painted in that 
pl:u-i a picture, which was long admired as one of his finest 
wort s, and was afterwards transferred into the monastery. In 
othei churches we find some sacred subjects painted by him in 
smal er size, which Domiuici commends, and adds too, that he 

* )n torn. iii. of the " Lett. Pittoriohe." is a letter of P. Sebastiano 
Rests dell' Oratorio, wherein he says it is probable that the Cav. d'Arpino 
imit.ii ad him in his youth ; which canuot be admitted, as it is known 
that ( etari formed himsolt' in Rome, and resided only in Naples when an 
adult As to the resemblance between them, that applies as well to 
other artists. In the same letter Coreniio is called the Cav. Bellisario, 
and v me anecdotes are related of him, and among others, that he lived to 
the ai e of a hundred and twenty. This i$ one of those tales to which 
this v riter so easily gives credit. In proof of this we may refer to Tira- 
buscli , in the lite of Antonio Allegri, where similar instances of his ere- 
dxilit \ are noticed. 



32 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

assisted M. Desiderio, a celebrated perspective painter, whose 
views he accompanied with small figures beautifully coloured 
and admirably appropriate. 

The birthplace of Giuseppe Ribera has been the subject of 
controversy. Palomino, following Sandrart and Orlandi, 
represents him as a native of Spain, in proof of which they 
refer to a picture of S. Matteo, with the following inscription. 
" Jusepe de Ribera espanol de la ciutad de Xativa, reyno de 
Valencia, Academico romano ano 1630." The Neapolitans, 
on the contrary, contend that he was born in the neighbour- 
hood of Lecce, but that his father was from Spain ; and that 
in order to recommend himself to the governor, who was a 
Spaniard, he always boasted of his origin, and expressed it in 
his signature, and was on that account called Spagnoletto* 
Such is the opinion of Dominici, Signorelli, and Galanti. 
This question is, however, now set at rest, as it appears from 
the " Antologia di Roma" of 1795, that the register of his 
baptism was found in Sativa (now San Filippo), and that he 
was born in that place. It is further said, that he learnt the 
principles of the art from Francesco Ribalta of Valencia, a 
reputed scholar of Annibale Caracci. But the History of 
Neapolitan Artists, which is suspicious in my eyes as relates 
to this artist, affirms also, that whilst yet a youth, or a mere 
boy, he studied in Naples under Michelangiolo da Caravaggio, 
when that master fled from Rome for homicide, and fixing 
himself there about 1606, executed many works both public and 
private.* But wherever he might have received instruction in 
his early youth, it is certain that the object of his more matured 
admiration was Caravaggio. On leaving him, Ribera visited 
Rome, Modena, and Parma, and saw the works of Raffaello 
and Annibale in the former place, and the works of Correggio 

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



RISER A. 33 

in the two latter cities, and adopted in consequence a more 
graceful style, in which he persevered only for a short time, 
and with little success; as in Naples there were others who 
pursued, with superior skill, the same path. He returned 
therefore to the style of Caravaggio, which for its truth, force, 
and strong contrast of light and shade, was much more calcu- 
lated to attract the general eye. In a short time he was ap- 
pointed painter to the court, and subsequently became the 
arbiter of its taste. 

His studies rendered him superior to Caravaggio in inven- 
tion, selection, and design. In emulation of him, lib painted 
at th-3 Certosini that great Deposition from the Cross, which 
alone, in the opinion of Giordano, is sufficient to form a great 
painter, and may compete with the works of the brightest 
luminaries of the art. Beautiful beyond his usual style, and. 
almost Titianesque, is his Martyrdom of S. Januarius, painted 
in tho Royal Chapel, and the -S. Jerome at the Trinita. He 
was much attached to the representation of the latter saint, 
and whole lengths and half-figures of him are found in many 
collections. In the Panfili palace in Rome, we find about 
five, und all differing. Nor are his other pictures of similar 
character rare, as anchorets, prophets, apostles, which exhibit 
a strong expression of bone and muscle, and a gravity of cha- 
racter, in general copied from nature. In the same taste are 
commonly his profane pictures, where he is fond of represent- 
ing old men and philosophers, as the Democritus and the 
Heraclitus, which Sig. March. Girolamo Durazzo had in his 
collection, and which are quite in the manner of Caravaggio. 
In his selection of subjects, the most revolting were to him the 
most inviting, as sanguinary executions, horrid punishments, 
and lingering torments ; among which is celebrated his Ixioa 
on tho Wheel, in the palace of Buon Ritiro at Madrid. His 
work.s are very numerous, particularly in Italy and Spain. 
His scholars nourished chiefly at a lower period of art, where 
they will be noticed towards the conclusion of this epoch. 
With them we shall name those few who rivalled him success- 
fully in figures and half-figures ; and we must not, at the same 
time, neglect to impress on the mind of the reader, that among 
so many reputed pictures of Spagnoletto found in collections, 

VOL. II. D 



3'i NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

we may rest assured that they are in great part not justly en- 
titled to his name, and ought to be ascribed to his scholars. 

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

The three masters whom I have just noticed in successive 
order, were the authors of the unceasing persecutions which 
many of the artists who had come to, or were invited to 
Naples, were for several years subjected to. Bellisario had 
established a supreme dominion, or rather a tyranny, over the 
Neapolitan painters, by calumny and insolence* as well as by 
Jiis station. He monopolized all lucrative commissions to 
himself, and recommended, for the fulfilment of others, one or 
other of the numerous and inferior artists that were dependent 
on him. The Cav. Massimo, Santafede, and other artists of 
talent, if they did not defer to him, were careful not to offend 
him, as they knew him to be a man of a vindictive temper, 

* Among the scholars of Annibale, I find Carlo Sellitto mentioned, 
to whom Guarienti assigns a place in the Abbeccadario, and I fur- 
ther find him commended in some MS. notices of eminent artists of the 
school. 



BELLISARIO. 85 



treacherous, and capable of every violence, and who 
known, through jealousy, to have administered poison to 
Luip Roderigo, the most promising and the most amiable of 
his scholars. 

B3llisario, in order to maintain himself in his assumed 
authority, endeavoured to exclude all strangers who painted 
rathor in fresco than in oil. Annibale arrived there in 1609, 
and was engaged to ornament the churches of Spirito Santo 
and Gesu Nuovo, for which, as a specimen of his style, he 
painted a small picture. The Greek and his adherents being 
requ red to give their opinion on this exquisite production, 
declared it to be tasteless, and decided that the painter of it 
did not possess a talent for large compositions. This divine 
artis;; in consequence took his departure under a burning sun 
for Rome, where he soon afterwards died. But the work in 
which strangers were the most opposed was the chapel of S. 
Gennaro, which a committee had assigned to the Cav. d'Ar- 
pino, as soon as he should finish painting the choir of the 
Certosa. Bellisario leaguing with Spagnoletto (like himself 
a fierce and ungovernable man) and with Caracciolo, who as- 
pired to this commission, persecuted Cesari in such a manner, 
that before he had finished the choir he fled to Monte Cassino, 
and from thence returned to Rome. The work was then 
given to Guido, but after a short time, two unknown persons 
assaulted the servant of that artist, and at the same time de- 
sired him to inform his master that he must prepare himself 
for doath, or instantly quit Naples, with which latter mandate 
Guido immediately complied. Gessi, the scholar of Guido, 
was not however intimidated by this event, but applied for 
and obtained the honourable commission, and came to Naples 
with two assistants, Gio. Batista Ruggieri and Lorenzo Me- 
nini. But these artists were scarcely arrived, when they were 
treacherously invited on board a galley, which immediately 
weighed anchor and carried them off, to the great dismay of 
their master, who, although he made the most diligent in- 
quire s both at Rome and Naples, could never procure any 
tidings of them. 

Gessi also in consequence taking his departure, the com- 
mitte 3 lost all hope of succeeding in their task, and were in 
the act of yielding to the reigning cabal, assigning the fresco 

D 2 



SG NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

work to Corenzio and Caracciolo, and promising the pictures 
to Spagnoletto, when suddenly repenting of their resolution, 
they effaced all that was painted of the two frescos, and 
intrusted the decoration of the chapel entirely to Dome- 
nichino. It ought to be mentioned to the honour of these 
munificent persons, that they engaged to pay for every entire 
figure 100 ducats, for each half-figure 50 ducats, and for 
each head 25 ducats. They took precautions also against 
any interruption to the artist, threatening the viceroy's high 
displeasure if he were in any way molested. But this was 
only matter of derision to the junta. They began imme- 
diately to cry him down as a cold and insipid painter, and to 
discredit him with those, the most numerous class in every 
place, who see only with the eyes of others. They harassed 
him by calumnies, by anonymous letters, by displacing his 
pictures, by mixing injurious ingredients with his colours, 
and by the most insidious malice they procured some of his 
pictures to be sent by the viceroy to the court of Madrid ; 
and these, when little more than sketched, were taken from 
his studio and carried to the court, where Spagnoletto ordered 
them to be retouched, and, without giving him time to finish 
them, hurried them to their destination. This malicious 
fraud of his rival, the complaints of the committee, who 
always met with some fresh obstacle to the completion of the 
work, and the suspicion of some evil design, at last determined 
Domenichino to depart secretly to Rome. As soon however 
as the news of his flight transpired, he was recalled, and 
fresh measures taken for his protection ; when he resumed 
his labours, and decorated the walls and base of the cupola, 
and made considerable progress in the painting of his pictures. 
But before he could finish his task he was interrupted by 
death, hastened either by poison, or by the many severe 
vexations he had experienced both from his relatives and his 
adversaries, and the weight of which was augmented by the 
arrival of his former enemy Lanfranco. This artist super- 
seded Zampieri in the painting of the basin of the chapel ; 
Spagnoletto, in one of his oil pictures ; Stanzioni in another ; 
and each of these artists, excited by emulation, rivalled, if he 
did not excel, Domenichino. Caracciolo was dead. Belli- 
sario, from his great age, took no share in it, and was soon. 



DOMEMCH1NO. 37 

afterwards killed by a fall from a stage, which he had erected 
for the purpose of retouching some of his frescos. Nor did 
Spagnoletto experience a better fate ; for, having seduced a 
young girl, and become insupportable even to himself from 
the general odium which he experienced, he embarked on 
board a ship ; nor is it known whither he fled, or how he 
endod his life, if we may credit the Neapolitan writers. 
Palomino however states him to have died in Naples in 1656, 
aged sixty-seven, though he does not contradict the first part 
of our statement. Thus these ambitious men, who by violence 
or fraud had influenced and abused the generosity and taste 
of to many noble patrons, and to whose treachery and san- 
guinary vengeance so many professors of the art had fallen 
victims, ultimately reaped the merited fruit of their conduct 
in a violent death ; and an impartial posterity, in assigning 
the palm of merit to Domenichino, inculcates the maxim, that 
it is a delusive hope to attempt to establish fame and fortune 
on the destruction of another's reputation. 

The many good examples in the Neapolitan school in- 
creased the number of masters, either from the instruction of 
the above-mentioned masters, or from an inspection of their 
works ; for there is much truth in the observation of Passeri, 
" that a painter who has an ardent desire of learning, receives 
as much instruction from the works of deceased artists as 
from living masters." It was greatly to the honour of the 
Neapolitan artists, amidst such a variety of new styles, to 
have selected the best. Cesari had no followers in Naples, if 
we except Luigi Roderigo,* who exchanged the school of 
Bellisario for his, but not without a degree of mannerism, 
.although he acquired a certain grace and judgment, which his 

* There is a different account of him in the " Memorie de' Pittori 
Mestinesi," where it is said that his true family name was Rodriguez. 
It is there said that he studied in Rome, and went from thence to work in 
Naples, in the Guida of which city he is frequently mentioned. It is 
added that, from his Roman style, he was called by his brother Alonso 
the alave of the antique; and that he returned the compliment by 
calling his brother, who was instructed in Venice, the slave of nature. 
But Alonso, who spent his life in Sicily, surpassed his brother in reputa- 
tion : and it is a rare commendation that he painted much and well. He 
particularly shone in the Probatica in S. Cosmo de' Medici, and the 
picture of two founders of Messina in the senatorial palace, a work re- 



38 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

master did not possess. He initiated a nephew, Gianber- 
nardino, in the same style ; who, from his being an excellent 
imitator of Cesari, was employed by the Carthusian monks to 
finish a work which that master had left imperfect. 

Thus almost all these artists trod in the steps of the 
Caracci, and the one that approached nearest to them was the 
Cav. Massimo Stanzioni, considered by some the best example 
of the Neapolitan school, of which, as we have observed, he 
compiled some memoirs. He was a scholar of Caracciolo, to 
whom he bore some analogy in taste, but he availed himself 
of the assistance of Lanfranco, whom in one of his MS. he 
calls his master, and studied too under Corenzio, who in his 
painting of frescos yielded to few. In portrait he adopted 
the principles of Santafede, and attained an excellent Titian- 
esque style. Going afterwards to Rome, and seeing the 
works of Annibale, and, as some assert, making acquaintance 
with Guido, he became ambitious of uniting the design of the 
first with the colouring of the second, and we are informed 
by Galanti, that he obtained the appellation of Guido Reni 
di Napoli. His talents, which were of the first order, 
enabled him in a short time to compete with the best masters. 
He painted in the Certosa a Dead Christ, surrounded by the 
Maries, in competition with Ribera. This picture having 
become somewhat obscured, Ribera persuaded the monks to 
have it washed, and ho purposely injured it in such a way 
with a corrosive liquid, that Stanzioni refused to repair it, 
declaring that such an instance of malice ought to be per- 
petuated to the public eye. But in that church, which is in 
fact a museum of art, where every artist, not to be surpassed 
by his rivals, seems to have surpassed himself, Massimo left 
some other excellent works, and particularly a stupendous 
altar-piece, of S. Bruno presenting to his brethren the rules 
of their order. His works are not unfrequent in the col- 
lections of his own country, and are highly esteemed in other 
places. The vaults of the Gesu Nuovo and S. Paolo entitle 
him to a distinguished place amon^ fresco painters. His 

warded with a thousand scudi. His fame declined, and he began to fail 
in commissions on the arrival of Barbalunga. But he did not, on that 
account, refuse him his esteem, as he was accustomed to call him the 
Caracci of Sicily. 



FRANCESCO DI ROSA. 39 

paintings were highly finished, and he studied perfection 
during his celibacy, but marrying a woman of some rank, in 
ordei* to maintain her in an expensive style of living, he 
painted many hasty and inferior pictures. It may be said that 
Cocchi, in his " Ragionamento del Matrimonio," not without 
good reason took occasion to warn all artists of the perils of 
the wedded state. 

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

Francesco di Rosa, called Pacicco, was not acquainted with 
Guido himself, but under the direction of Massimo devoted 
him self to the copying of his works. He is one of the few 
artists commemorated by Paolo de' Matteis, in one of his MSS. 
whi-)h admits no artists of inferior merit. He declares the 
styl 3 of Rosa almost inimitable, not only from his correct de- 
sigc, but from the rare beauty of the extremities, and still 
more from the dignity and grace of the countenances. He had 
in Ids three nieces the most perfect models of beauty, and he 
possessed a sublimity of sentiment which elevated his mind to 
a high sense of excellence. His colouring, though conducted 
with exquisite sweetness, had a strong body, and his pictures 



40 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL EPOCH III. 

preserve a clear and fresh tone. These are frequently to be 
found in the houses of the nobility, as he lived long. He 
painted some beautiful altar-pieces, as S. Tomraaso d'Aquino 
at the Sanita, the Baptism of S. Candida at S. Pietro d' Aram, 
and other pieces. 

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

Three young men of Orta became also celebrated scholars 
in this academy ; Paol Domenico Finoglia, Giacinte de' 
Popoli, and Giuseppe Marullo. By the first there remains 
at the Certosa at Naples, the vault of the chapel of S. Gen- 
naro, and various pictures in the chapter-house. He had a 
beautiful expression, fertility, correctness, a good arrangement 
of parts, and a happy general effect. The second painted in 
many churches, and is admired more for his style of composi- 
tion, than for his figures. The third approached so near to 
his master in manner, that artists have sometimes ascribed 
his works to Massimo ; and in truth he left some beautiful 
productions at S. Severino, and other churches. He had 
afterwards a dry style of colouring, particularly in his con- 
tours, which on that account became crude and hard, and he 



BERNARDO CAVALLINO. 41 

gradually lost the public favour. His example may serve 
as a warning to every one to estimate his own powers cor- 
rectly, and not to affect genius when he does not possess it. 

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

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

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



42 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

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

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

Nor did Domenichino fail to have among the painters of 



COZZA* 43 

Naples, or of that state, many deserving followers.* Cozza, 
a CjJabrian, who lived in Rome, I included in that school, as 
also Antonio Ricci, called il Barbalunga, who was of Messina, 
and well known in Rome. I may add, that he returned to 
Messina, and ornamented that city with many works ; as at 
S. Gregorio, the saint writing ; the Ascension at S. Michele , 
two Pietas of different designs at S. Niccolo and the Spedale. 
He is considered as one of the best painters of Sicily, where 
good artists have abounded more than is generally imagined,' 
He formed a school there, and left several scholars. t 

* Gio. Batista Durand, of Burgundy, was established in Messina. He 
was ' he scholar of Domenichino, and was always attached to his manner. 
Of bis larger works we find only a S. Cecilia in the convent of that saint, 
as hi was generally occupied in painting portraits. He had a daughter 
calle 1 Flavia, the wife of Filippo Giannetti, skilled in portraits, and an ex- 
celle it copyist. 

f Domenico Maroli, Onoffio Gabriello, and Agostino Scilla, were the 
three painters of Messina who did him the most honour, although from, 
bein^ engaged in the revolutions of 1674 and 1676, the first lost his life, and 
the other two were long exiles from their country. Maroli did not adopt 
the ttyle of Barbalunga exclusively, but having made a voyage to Venice, 
and there studied the works of the best Venetian artists, and particularly 
of Paolo, he returned with many of the excellences of that great master, 
brilliant flesh-tints, a beautiful air in his heads, and a fine style in his 
drawings of women, a talent which he abused as much or more than Liberi. 
To this moral vice he added a professional one, which was painting some- 
times on the first ground, and generally with little colour ; whence his 
works, which were extolled and sought after when new, became, when old, 
neglected, like those dark paintings of the Venetian school, which we 
hav mentioned. Messina has many of them : the Martyrdom of S. 
Plat ido at the Suore di S. Paolo, the Nativity of the Virgin in the church 
dell i Grotta, and some others. In Venice there must also be remaining 
in private collections some of his paintings of animals in the style of 
Bas^ano, as we have before mentioned. Onofrio Gabriello was for six 
yea -s with Barbalunga, and for some further time with Poussin, and then 
with Cortona in Rome, until passing another nine years in Venice with 
Ma x)li, he brought back with him to Messina that master's vicious method 
of colour, but not his style. In the latter he aimed at originality, exhi- 
biti ig much lightness, grace, and fancy in the accessory parts, and in 
rib; nds, jewels, and lace, in which he particularly excelled. He left many 
pict ures in Messina, in the church of S. Francesco di Paola ; many also 
in 3'adua, in the Guida of which city various pictures by him are enume- 
rat< d, without mentioning his cabinet pictures and portraits in private 
collections. I have seen several in possession of the noble and learned 
Sig . Co. Antonio Maria Borromeo ; amongst which is a family piece with 
a portrait of the painter. 



44 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

I ought after him to mention another Sicilian, Pietro del 
Po da Palermo, a good engraver, and better known in Rome 
in that capacity than as a painter. There is a S. Leone by 
him at the church of the Madonna di Costantinopoli ; an 

Agostino Scilla, or Silla, as Orlandi calls him, opened a school in 
Messina, which was much frequented while it lasted, but the scholars were 
dispersed by the storm of revolutions, in which they took a part, not with- 
out great injury both to the art and themselves. He possessed an elegant 
genius for painting, which he cultivated, and added to it a taste for poetry, 
natural history, and antiquities. His genius raised such high expectations 
in Barbalunga, that he procured a pension for him from the senate, in 
order to enable him to reside in Rome under Andrea Sacchi. After four 
years he returned to Messina, highly accomplished, from his study of the 
antique and of Raffaello, and if his colouring was at first somewhat dry, 
jhe soon rendered it rich and agreeable. He excelled in figures and in 
heads, (particularly of old men, and had a peculiar talent in landscapes, 
animals, and fruit. For this I may refer to the Roman school, where he 
is mentioned with his brother and son. There are few of his works in 
Rome, but many in Messina. His frescos are in S. Domenico, and in the 
Nunziata de' Teatini, and many paintings in other places, among which is 
.S. Ilarione dying, in the church of S. Ursula, than which work there is no 
greater favourite with the public. 

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

To complete the list of the chief scholars of Barbalunga, I may mention 
here Bartolommeo Tricomi, who confined himself to portrait painting, 
and in this hereditary gift of the school of Domenichino, he greatly ex- 
celled. He had notwithstanding in Andrea Suppa a scholar who surpassed 
him. The latter learned also of Casembrot, as far as regards landscape 
and architecture ; but he formed himself principally on the antique ; 
-and by constantly studying Raffaello and the Caracci, and other select 
masters, or their drawings, he acquired a most enchanting style of coun- 
tenance, and indeed of every part of his composition. His works are as 



THE TWO POS. 45 

altar-piece which however does not do him so much honour as 
the pictures which he painted for collections, some of which 
are in Spain; and particularly some small pictures which he 
executed in the manner of miniatures with exquisite taste. 
Two of this kind I saw in Piacenza, at the Sig. della Missione, 
a Decollation of S. John, and a Crucifixion of S. Peter in his 
best manner, and with his name. This artist, after working 
in Rome, settled in Naples with a son of the name of Giacomo, 
who had been instructed in the art by Poussin and himself. 
He also taught a daughter of the name of Teresa, who was 
skilled in miniatures. The two Pos were well acquainted, 
with the principles of the art, and had taught in the academy 
of Rome. But the father painted little in Naples ; the son 
found constant employ in ornamenting the halls and galleries 
of the nobility with frescos. His intimacy with letters aided 
the poetic taste with which his pictures were conceived, and 
his varied and enchanting colours fascinated the eye of every 
spectator. He was singular and original in his lights, and 
their various gradations and reflections. In his figures and 
drapery he became, as is generally the case with the machinists, 
mannered and less correct; nor has he any claim as an imita- 
tor of Domenichino, except from the early instructions of his 
father. In Rome there are two paintings by him, one at 
S. Angiolo in Pescheria, the other at S. Marta ; and there are 
some in Naples ; but his genius chiefly shines in the frescos of 
the gallery of the Marchese Genzano, and in the house of the 
duke of Matalona, and still more in seven apartments of the 
prince of Avellino. 

A more finished imitator of Zampieri than the two Pos was 
a scholar of his, of the name of Francesco di Maria, the 

fine is miniature, and are perhaps too highly finished. His subjects, in 
unison with his genius, are of a pensive and melancholy cast, and are 
always treated in a pathetic manner. He excelled in frescos, and painted 
the vaults in the Suore in S. Paolo ; he excelled equally in oils, as may be 
seen from the picture of S. Scolastica, there also. Some of his works 
were lost by earthquakes. His style was happily imitated by Antonio 
Bova, his scholar, and we may compare their works together at the Nun- 
ziata de' Teatini. He painted much in oil, as well as fresco, and from hist 
placid and tranquil disposition, took no part in the revolutions of Messina, 
but remained at home, where he closed his days in peace, and with him 
expired the school of Barbalunga, 



46 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

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

Lanfranco in Naples had contributed, as I have observed, 
to the instruction of Massimo, but that artist renounced the 
style of Lanfranco for that of Guido. The two Pos, however, 
were more attached to him, and imitated his colouring. Pas- 
coli doubts whether he should not assign Preti to him, an error 
which we shall shortly confute. Dominici also includes among 
his countrymen Brandi, a scholar of Lanfranco : collecting 
from one of his letters that he acknowledged Gaeta for his 
native place. His family was probably from thence, but he 
himself was born in Poli.* I included him among the painters 
of Rome, where he studied and painted ; and I mentioned at 
the same time the Cav. Giambatista Benaschi, as he is called 
by some, or Beinaschi by others. This variation gave occasion 
to suppose that there were two painters of that name ; in the 
same way there may be a third, as the name is sometimes 
written Bernaschi. Some contradictions in his biographers, 
which it is not worth our while to enter on, have contributed 
to perpetuate this error. I shall only observe, that he was 
not born until 1636, and was not a scholar of Lanfranco, bat 
of M. Spirito, in Piedmont, and of Pietro del Po, in Rome. 

* Pascoli, Vite, torn. i. p. 129. 



PRETI. 47 

Thts Orlandi writes of him, who had a better opportunity 
than Pascoli, or Domiiiici, of procuring information from 
Angela, the daughter of the Cavaliere, who lived in Rome in 
his time, and painted portraits in an agreeable style. He is 
considered both by Pascoli and Orlandi as a painter of Rome, 
but he left very few works there, as appears from Titi. Naples 
was the theatre of his talents, and there he had numerous 
scholars, and painted many cupolas, ceilings, and other con- 
siderable works, and with such a variety of design, that there 
is not an instance of an attitude being repeated by him. Nor 
was he deficient in grace, either of form or colour, as long as 
he 1 rod in the steps of Lanfranco, as he did in the S. M. di 
Loieto, and in other churches, but aspiring in some others to 
a more vigorous style, he became dark and heavy. He ex- 
celled in the knowledge of painting figures seen from below, 
and displayed extraordinary skill in his fore-shortenings. The 
painters in Naples have often compared among themselves, 
says Dominici, the two pictures of S. Michael, the one by 
Lanfranco, and the other by Benaschi, in the church of the 
Holy Apostles, without being able to decide to which master 
they ought to assign the palm of merit. 

Guercino himself was never in Naples, but the Cav. Mattia 
Prcti, commonly called il Cav. Calabrese, allured by the 
novelty of his style, repaired to Cento, to avail himself of his 
instructions. This information we have from Dominici, who 
had heard him say, that he was in fact the scholar of Guer- 
cino, but that he had, moreover, studied the works of all the 
principal masters ; and he had indeed visited almost every 
country, and seen and studied the best productions of every 
school, both in and beyond Italy. Hence in his painting he 
ma y be compared to a man whose travels have been extensive, 
and who never hears a subject started to which he does not 
add something new, and, indeed, the drapery and ornaments, 
and costume of Preti, are highly varied and original. He 
confined himself to design, and did not attempt colours until 
his twenty-sixth year. In design he was more vigorous and 
rolust than delicate, and sometimes inclines to heaviness. In 
his colouring he was not attractive, but had a strong impasto, 
a lecided chiaroscuro, and a prevailing ashy tone, that was 
well adapted for his mournful and tragical subjects ; for, fol- 



48 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

lowing the bent of his genius, he devoted his pencil to the 
representation of martyrdoms, slaughters, pestileuce, and the- 
pangs of a guilty conscience. It was his custom, says Pascoli, 
at least in his large works, to paint at the first conception, 
and true to nature, and he did not take much pains afterwards 
in correction, or in the just expression of the passions. 

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

After this enumeration of foreign artists, we must now 



DISCIPLES OF RIBERA. 49 

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

* I may insert at the close of this epoch the names of some Sicilian 
painters, who flourished in it, or at the beginning of the following, in- 
structed by various masters. They were furnished to me by the Sig. 
Ansaldo, whose attentions I have before acknowledged, and were trans- 
mitted to him by a painter of that island. Filippo Tancredi was of 
Messina, but is not assigned to any of the before-mentioned masters, 
as he studied in Naples and in Rome under Maratta. He was a skilful 
artist, composed and coloured well ; was celebrated in Messina, and also 
in Palermo, where he lived many years, and where the vault of the church 
de' Teatini, and that also of the Gesu Nuovo were painted by him. The 
Cav. Pietro Novelli (or Morelli, which latter however I regard as an 
error), called Monrealese from his native place, also enjoyed the reputa- 
tion of a good painter and an able architect. He there left many works 
in oil and fresco, and the great picture of the Marriage at Cana, in the 
refectory of the PP. Benedettini, is particularly commended. He resided 
for a long time in Palermo, and the greatest work he there executed was 
in t) ie church of the Conventuals, the vault of which was divided into 
compartments, and wholly painted by himself. Guarienti eulogizes him 
for his style, as diligent in copying nature, correct in design, and graceful 
in hi s colouring, with some imitation of Spagnoletto ; and the people of 
Palermo confer daily honour on him, since, whenever they meet with a 
foreigner of taste, they point out to him little else in the city than the 
works of this great man. Pietro Aquila, of Marzalla, a distinguished 
artist, who engraved the Farnese gallery, left no works to my knowledge 

\OL. II. E 



50 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

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

in Rome : in Palermo there remain of him two pictures in the church 
della Pieta, representing the parable of the Prodigal Son. Lo Zoppo di 
Gangi is known at Castro Giovanni, where in the Duomo he left several 
works. Of the Cav. Giuseppe Paladini, a Sicilian, I find commended at 
S. Joseph di Castel Termini, the picture of the Madonna and the tutelar 
Saint. I also find honourable mention among the chief painters of this 
island, of a Carrega, who I believe painted for private individuals. Others, 
though I know not of what merit, are found inscribed in the academy of 
S. Luke, from the registers of which I have derived some information for 
my third and fourth volumes (Ital. ed.), communicated to me by the 
Sig. Maron, the worthy secretary of the academy. 



SCHOLARS OF FALCONE. 51 

years, and left many works there ; the remainder fled to 
Koine, or to other places of safety. 

The most celebrated of the immediate scholars of Falcone 
was Salvator Rosa, whom we have elsewhere noticed, who 
begin his career by painting battles, and became a most dis- 
tinguished landscape painter ; and Domenico Gargiuoli, called 
Micco Spadaro, a landscape painter of merit, and a good 
painter in large compositions, as he appears at the Certosa, 
and in other churches. He had an extraordinary talent too 
in painting small figures, and might with propriety be called 
the Cerquozzi of his school. Hence Viviano Codagora, who 
waf an eminent landscape painter, after becoming acquainted 
with him, would not permit any other artist to ornament his 
works with figures, as he introduced them with infinite grace ; 
and this circumstance probably led to their intimate friend- 
ship, and to risking their lives in the same cause as we have 
before related. The Neapolitan galleries possess many of 
their pictures ; and some have specimens of caprice^ or 
humorous pictures, all by the hand of Spadaro. He indeed 
had no equal in depicting the manners and dresses of the 
common people of his country, particularly in large assem- 
blies. In some of his works of this kind, the number of his 
figures has exceeded a thousand. He was assisted by the 
-etchings of Stefano della Bella, and Callot, both of whom 
were celebrated for placing a great body of people in a little 
space ; but it was in the true spirit of imitation, and with- 
out a trace of servility ; on the contrary, he improved the 
principal figures (where bad contours are with difficulty con- 
cealed) and corrected the attitudes, and carefully retouched 
them. 

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

E2 



52 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

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

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

Nevertheless his pictures did not fall in esteem or value, 
and his posterity after him still continue to embellish the 
cabinets of the great. His most celebrated scholar was 
Tommaso Realfonso, who to the talents of his master, added 
that of the natural representation of every description of 
utensils, and all kinds of confectionery and eatables. He 
had also excellent imitators in Giacomo Nani and Baldassar 



GASPAB LOPEZ. 53 

Caro, employed to ornament the royal court of King Charles 
of Bourbon ; and Gaspar Lopez, the scholar first of Dub- 
bis.son, afterwards of Belvedere. Lopez became a good land- 
scape painter, was employed by the grand duke of Tus- 
cany, and resided a considerable time in Venice. Accord- 
ing to Dominici he died in Florence, and the author of the 
Algarotti Catalogue in Venice, informs us, that that event 
took place about the year 1732. We may here close the 
series of minor painters of the school of Aniello," x ' and may 
now proceed to the succeeding epoch, commencing with the 
historical painters. 

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



54 



NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. 

EPOCH IV. 

Luca Giordano, Solimene, and their scholars. 

A LITTLE beyond the middle of the seventeenth century, Luca 
Giordano began to flourish in Naples. This master, though 
he did not excel his contemporaries in his style, surpassed 
them all in good fortune, for which he was indebted to his 
vast talents, confidence, and unbounded powers of invention, 
which Maratta considered unrivalled and unprecedented. In 
this he was eminently gifted by nature from his earliest youth. 
Antonio, his father, placed him first under the instructions of 
Bibera, and afterwards under Cortona in Rome,* and having 
conducted him through all the best schools of Italy, he brought 
him home rich in designs and in ideas. His father was an 
indifferent painter, and being obliged in Rome to subsist by 
his son's labours, whose drawings were at that time in the 
greatest request, t the only principle that he instilled into him 

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

f Giordano is said at this period to have copied the Chambers and the 
Gallery of Raffaello no lesss than twelve times, and perhaps twenty times 



LFCA GIORDANO. 55 

was one dictated by necessity, despatch. A humorous anec- 
doto is related, that Luca, when he was obliged to take re- 
freshments, did not retire from his work, but, gaping like a 
you ii g bird, gave notice to his father of the calls of hunger, 
who, always on the watch, instantly supplied him with food, 
at the same time reiterating with affectionate solicitude, Luca 
fa presto. Upon this incident he was always afterwards 
"known by the name of Luca fa presto, among the students 
in Rome, and which is also his most frequent appellation in 
the history of the art. By means like these, Antonio ac- 
quired for his son a portentous celerity of hand, from which 
quality he has been called il Fulmine delta pittura. The 
truth however is, that this despatch was not derived wholly 
from rapidity of pencil, but was aided by the quickness of 
his imagination, as Solirnene often observed, by which he was 
enabled to ascertain, from the first commencement of his 
work, the result he proposed to himself, without hesitating to 
consider the component parts, or doubting, proving, and se- 
lecting like other painters. He also obtained the name of 
the Proteus of painting, from his extraordinary talent in 
imitating every known manner, the consequence of his strong 
memory, which retained every thing he had once seen. There 
are numerous instances of pictures painted by him in the style 
of Albert Durer, Bassano, Titian, and Rubens, with which he 
imposed on connoisseurs and on his rivals, who had more 
cause than any other persons to be on their guard against 
him. These pictures are valued by dealers at more than 
double or triple the price of pictures of his own composition. 
There are examples of them even in the churches of Naples ; 
as the two pictures in the style of Guido at S. Teresa, and 
particularly that of the Nativity.* There is also at the court 
of Spain a Holy Family, so much resembling Raffaello, that, 
as Mengs says in a letter (torn. ii. p. 67), whoever is not 

the Battle of Constantine, painted by Giulio Romano, without reckoning 
his designs after the works of Michelangelo, Polidoro, and other great 
masters. See " Vite del Bellori," edited in Rome in 1728, with the addi- 
tion of the life of Giordano, page 307. 

* He painted for the noble house of Manfrin at Venice, the " Fortune," 
taken from Guido's picture, and confronted with the original, it is not 
easy to decide which to prefer. 



6 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

conversant with the quality of beauty essential to the works 
of that great master, would be deceived by the imitation of 
Giordano. 

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

Naples abounds with tbe works of Giordano both public 
and private. There is scarcely a church in that great city which 
does not boast some work by him. A much admired piece is 
the Expulsion of the Sellers and Buyers from the Temple at 



LUCA GIORDANO. 57 

the PP. Girolamini ; the architectural parts of which are 
painted by Moscatiello, a good perspective painter. Of his 
frescos, those at the Treasury of the Certosa are esteemed the 
best. They were executed by him when his powers were 
matured, and appear to unite in themselves all the best 
qualities of the artist. Every one must be forcibly struck 
by the picture of the Serpent raised in the Desert, and the 
throng of Israelites, who, assailed in a horrible manner, turn 
to it for relief. The other pictures on the walls and in the 
vault, all scriptural, are equally powerful in effect. The 
cupola of S. Brigida is also extolled, which was painted 
in competition with Francesco di Maria, and in so very 
short a time, and with such fascinating tints, that it was 
preferred by the vulgar to the work of that accomplished 
master, and thus served to diffuse less solid principles ameng 
the rising artists. As a miracle of despatch we are also 
shewn the picture of S. Saverio, painted for the church of 
that saint in a day and a half, full of figures, and as beau- 
tiful in colour as any of his pictures. Luca went to Flo- 
rence to paint the Capella Corsini and the Ricardi Gallery, 
besides many works in the churches and for individuals, 
particularly for the noble house of Rosso, who possessed 
the Baccanali of Giordano, afterwards removed to the palace 
of the Marcheee Gino Capponi. He was also employed 
by the grand duke ; and Cosmo III., in whose presence 
he designed and painted a large picture in less time than 
I dare mention, complimented him by saying that he was 
a tit painter for a sovereign prince. The same eulogium 
was passed on him by Charles II. of Spain, in whose court 
he resided thirteen years ; and, to judge from the num- 
bei of works he left there, it might be supposed that he 
had consumed a long life in his service. He continued and 
finished the series of paintings begun by Cambiasi of Genoa, 
in the church of the Escurial, and ornamented the vault, 
the cupola, and the walls with many scriptural subjects, 
chiefly from the life of Solomon. He painted some other 
large compositions in fresco in a church of S. Antonio, in 
the palace of Buonritiro, in the Hall of the Ambassadors ; 
and for the queen mother a Nativity, most highly finished, 
which is said to be a surprising picture, and perhaps superior 



58 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

to any other of his painting. If all his works had been 
executed with similar care, the observation, that his example 
had corrupted the Spanish school, might perhaps have been 
spared.'* In his old age he returned to his native place, 
loaded with honours and riches, and died lamented and re- 
gretted as the greatest genius of his age. 

His school produced but few designers of merit ; most of 
them were contaminated by the maxim of their master, that 
it is the province of a painter to please the public, and that 
their favour is more easily won by colour than by correct de- 
sign ; so that, without much attention to the latter, they gave 
themselves entirely to facility of hand. His favorite scho- 
lars were Aniello Rossi of Naples, and Matteo Pacelli della 
Basilicata, whom he took with him to Spain, as assistants, 
and who returned with him home with handsome pensions, 
and lived after in leisure and independence. Niccolo Rossi, 
of Naples, became a good designer and colourist in the style 
of his master, although somewhat too red in his tints. IB 
some of his more important works, as in the soffitto of the 
royal chapel, Giordano assisted him with his designs. He 
painted much for private individuals, and was considered 
next to Reco in his drawings of animals. The Guida^ of 
Naples, commends him and Tominaso Fasano for their skill 
in painting in distemper some very fine works for Santi Se- 
polcri and Quarantore. Giuseppe Simonelli, originally a ser- 
vant of Giordano, became an accurate copyist of his works, 
and an excellent imitator of his colouring. He did not suc- 
ceed in design, though he is praised for a S. Niccola di 

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



PAOLO DE MATTEIS. 59 

Tolentino in the church of Montesanto, which approaches to 
the best and most correct manner of Giordano. Andrea Mig- 
lionico had more facility of invention, and equal taste in 
colour, but he has less grace than Simonelli. Andrea also 
painted in many churches in Naples, and I find him highly 
com uended for his picture of the Pentecost, in the S.S. Nun- 
ziata. A Franceschitto, a Spaniard, was so promising an 
artist, that Luca was accustomed to say that he would prove 
a greater man than his master. But he died very young, 
leaving in Naples a favourable specimen of his genius in the 
S. Pasquale, which he painted in S. Maria del Monte. It 
contains a beautiful landscape, and a delightful choir of 
angels. 

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

When he worked with care, as in the church of the Pii 
Oj-erai, in the Matalona Gallery, and in many pictures for 
private individuals, he left nothing to desire, whether in his 



60 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

composition, in the grace of his contour, in the beauty of his 
countenances, though there was little variety in the latter, or 
in any of the other estimable qualities of a painter. His 
colouring was at first Giordanesque ; afterwards he painted 
with more force of chiaroscuro, but with a softness and deli- 
cacy of tint, particularly in the Madonnas and children, where 
he sometimes displays the sweetness of Albano, and a trace 
of the Roman school, in which he had also studied. He was 
not very happy in his scholars, who were not numerous. 
Giuseppe Mastroleo is the most distinguished, who is much 
praised for his S. Erasmus at S. Maria Nuova. Gio. Batista 
Lama was a fellow-disciple, and afterwards a relative of 
Matteis, and received some assistance from him in his studies 1 . 
Excited by the example of Paolo, he attained a suavity of 
colour and of chiaroscuro, much praised in his larger works, 
as the gallery of the duke of S. Niccola Gaeta, and particu- 
larly in his pictures of small figures in collections. In these, 
he was fond of representing mythological stories, and they are 
not unfrequent in Naples and its territories. 

Francesco Solimene, called L' Abate Ciccio, born at Nocera 
de' Pagani, was the son of Angelo, a scholar of Massimo. 
Early imbibing a love of painting, he forsook the study of 
letters, and after receiving the first rudiments of the art from 
his father, lie repaired to Naples. He there entered the 
school of Francesco di Maria, but soon left it, as he thought 
that master too exclusively devoted to design. He then fre- 
quented the academy of Po, where he industriously began at 
the same time to draw from the naked figure and to colour. 
Thus he may be said to have been the scholar of the best 
masters, as he always copied and studied their works. At 
first, he imitated Pietro da Cortona, but afterwards formed a 
manner of his own, still retaining that master as his model, 
and copying entire figures from him, which he adapted to his 
new style. This new and striking style of Solimene ap- 
proached nearer than any other to that of Preti. The design 
is not so correct, the colouring not so true, but the faces have 
more beauty : in these, he sometimes imitated Guido, and 
sometimes Maratta, and they are often selected from nature. 
Hence by some he was called il Cav. Calabrese ringentilito. 
To the style of Preti, he .added that of Lanfranco, whom he 



FRANCESCO SOLIMENE. 61 

namsd his master, and from whom he adopted that curving 
form of composition, which he perhaps carried beyond pro- 
priety. From these two masters he took his chiaroscuro, 
which he painted strong in his middle age, but softened as he 
advanced in years, and then attached himself more to facility 
and elegance of style. He carefully designed every part of 
his picture, and corrected it from nature before he coloured 
it ; so that in preparing his works, he may be included among 
the most correct, at least in his better days, for he latterly 
decbned into the general facility, and opened the way to 
mannerism. He possessed an elegant and fruitful talent of 
invention, for which he is celebrated by the poets of the day. 
He *vas also characterized by a sort of universality in every 
style he attempted, extending himself to every branch of the- 
art ; history, portrait, landscape, animals, fruit, architecture, 
utensils ; 'and whatever he attempted he seemed formed for 
that alone. As he lived till the age of ninety, and was en- 
dowed with great celerity of pencil, his works, like those of 
Giordano, were spread over all Europe. Of that artist, he 
was at the same time the competitor and the friend, less 
powerful in genius, but more correct in his principles. When 
Giordano died, and Solimene became the first painter in Italy, 
notwithstanding what his rivals said of his colours not being 
true to nature, he began to ask extravagant prices for his pic- 
tures, and still abounded in commissions. 

One of his most distinguished works is the sacristy of the 
PP. Teatini, of S. Paolo Maggiore, painted in various coir- 
partments. His pictures also in the arches of the chapels in 
the church of the Holy Apostles deserve to be mentioned. 
That work had been executed by Giacomo del Po, to corre- 
spon 1 with the style of the tribune, and the other works 
which Lanfranco had painted there : but Po did not satisfy 
the public expectation. The whole work was therefore 
effaced, and Solimene was employed to paint it over again, 
and proved that he was more worthy of the commission. The 
chapol of S. Filippo in the church of the Oratory, is a proof 
of his extreme care and attention ; every figure in it being 
almost as finely finished as a miniature. Among private 
housos the most distinguished is the Sanfelice, so called from 
the name of his noble scholar Ferdinand, for whom he- 



62 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IT. 

painted a gallery, which afterwards became an academy for 
young artists. Of his large pictures we may mention that of 
the great altar in the church of the monks of S. Gaudioso, 
without referring to others in the churches and in various 
parts of the kingdom ; particularly at Monte Cassino, for the 
church of which he painted four stupendous pictures in the 
choir. They will be found in the " Descrizione Istorica del 
Monistero di Monte Cassino," edited in Naples in 1751. He 
is -not often met with in private collections in Italy, beyond 
the kingdom of Naples. In Rome the princes Albani and 
Colonna have some large compositions by him, and the 
Bonaccorsi family a greater number in the gallery of Mace- 
rata ; and among them the Death of Dido, a large picture of 
fine effect. His largest work in the Ecclesiastical state, is a 
Supper of our Lord, in the refectory of the Conventuals of 
Assisi, an elegant composition, painted with exquisite care, 
where the artist has given his own portrait among ths train of 
attendants. 

Solimene instilled his own principles into the minds of his 
disciples, who formed a numerous school, which extended 
even beyond the kingdom of Naples, about the beginning of 
the eighteenth century. Among those who remained in 
Naples, was Ferdinando Sanfelice, lately noticed by us, a 
nobleman of Naples, who put himself under the instructions 
of Francesco, and became as it were the arbiter of his wishes. 
As the master could not execute all the commissions which 
crowded on him from every quarter, the surest mode to 
engage him was to solicit him through Sanfelice, to whom 
alone he could not deny any request. By the assistance of 
Solimene, Sanfelice attained a name among historical painters, 
and painted altar-pieces for several churches. He took great 
delight in fruit, landscapes, and views, in which he particu- 
larly excelled, and had also the reputation of an eminent 
architect. But perhaps none of the disciples of Solimene 
approached nearer to the fame of their master than Francesco 
de Mura, called Franceschiello. He was a Neapolitan by 
birth, and contributed much to the decoration of his native 
city, both in public and private. Perhaps no work on the 
whole procured him a greater degree of celebrity than the 
frescos painted in various chambers of the royal palace of 



FERDINANDO SANFELICE. G3 

Tur n, where he competed with Beaumont, who was then in 
the height of his reputation. He there ornamented the 
ceilings of some of the rooms which contain the Flemish 
pictures. The subjects which he chose, and treated with 
much grace, were the Olympic Games, and the Deeds t>f 
Achilles. In other parts of the palace he also executed 
various works. Another artist, who was held in consideration, 
was Andrea dell' Asta, who after being instructed by Soli- 
men e, went to finish his studies in Rome, and engrafted on 
his native style some imitation of Raffaello and the antique. 
"We may enumerate among his principal works, the two large 
pictures of the Nativity, and the Epiphany of Christ, which 
he painted in Naples for the church of S. Agostino de' PP. 
Scalzi. Niccolo Maria Rossi was also reputably employed in 
the churches of Naples, and in the court itself. Scipione 
Cappella excelled all the scholars of Solimene in copying his 
pictures, which were sometimes touched by the master and 
passed for originals. Giuseppe Bonito had a good invention, 
and was a distinguished portrait painter, and was considered 
one of the best imitators of Solimene. He was at the time of 
his death painter to the court of Naples. Conca and he 
excelled their fellow-disciples in the selection of their forms. 
Other scholars in Naples and Sicily,* less known to me, will 

* The " Memorie de' Messinesi Pittori " mentions a Gio. Porcello, 
who, after studying under Solimene, returned, it is said, to his native 
country, where he found the art at an extremely low ebb ; and he at- 
tempted to revive it by opening an academy in his house, and diffusing 
the taste of his master, which he fully possessed. A still better style of 
painting was brought from Rome by Antonio and Paolo, two brothers, 
who. fresh from the school of Maratta, also opened an academy in 
Messina, which was greatly frequented. They worked in conjunction in 
many churches, and excelled in fresco, but in oil Antonio was much 
superior to his brother. There was also a third brother, Gaetano, who 
executed the ornamental parts. Their works on the walls and on canvas 
are to be seen in S. Caterina di Valverde, in S. Gregorio delle Monache, 
and elsewhere. There flourished at the same time with the Filocami, 
Litterio Paladino, and Placido Campolo, a scholar of Conca in Rome, 
where he derived more benefit from the antique marbles than from the 
instructions of his master. Both these artists executed works on a very 
large scale ; and of the first they particularly commend the vault of the 
churoh of Monte Vergine, and, of the second, the vault of the gallery of 
the ' enate. Both are esteemed for their correct design ; but the taste of 
the second is more solid and more free from mannerism. The above- 



64 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

be found in the History of Painting in Naples, which has been 
recently published by the accomplished Sig. Pietro Signorelli, 
a work which I have not in my possession, but which is cited 
by me, as is the case with several more, on the authority of 
others. 

Some artists, who resided out of the kingdom, we shall 
notice in other schools, and in the Roman School we have 
already spoken sufficiently of Conca and Giaquinto ; to whom 
we may add Onofrio Avellino, who resided some years in 
Rome, executing commissions for private persons, and painting 
in the churches. The vault of S. Francesco di Paola is the 
largest work he left. The works of Maja and Campora are to 
be found in Genoa, those of Sassi in Milan, and of others of 
the school of Solimene in various cities. These artists, it is to 
be regretted, sometimes passed the boundaries prescribed i>y 
their master. His colouring, though it might be more true to 
nature, is yet such as never offends, but possesses on the con- 
named five artists all died in the fatal year of 1743. Luciano Foti sur- 
vived them, an excellent copyist of every master, but particularly of 
Polidoro, whose style he adopted in his own composition. But his cha- 
racteristic merit consisted in his penetration into the secrets of the art, 
which enabled him to detect every style, every peculiar varnish, and the 
various methods of colouring, so that he not only ascertained many 
doubtful masters, but restored pictures, damaged by time, in so happy a 
manner as to deceive the most experienced. A man of such talents out- 
weighs a host of common artists. 

To these we may add other artists of the island itself, born in different 
places. Marcantonio Bellavia, a Sicilian, who painted in Rome, at S. 
Andrea delle Fratte, is conjectured, though not ascertained, to be a scholar 
of Cortona. Calandrucci, of Palermo, is named among the scholars of 
Maratta. Gaetano Sottino painted the vault of the oratory at the Madonna 
di C. P., a respectable artist. Giovacchino Martorana, of Palermo, was 
a machinist, and in his native city they boast of the Chapel de' Crociferi, 
and S. Rosalia, four large pictures from the life of S. Benedict. Olivia 
Sozzi, of Catania, painted much in Palermo ; particularly at S. Giacomc 1 , 
where all the altars have pictures by him, and the tribune three large sub- 
jects from the infancy of Christ. Another Sozzi, of the name of Fran- 
cesco, I find praised for a picture of Five Saints, bishops of Agrigentum, 
in the Duomo of that city. Of Onofrio Lipari, of Palermo, there are 
two pictures of the Martyrdom of S. Oliva in the Church de' Paolotti. 
Of Filippo Randazzo, there are to be seen in Palermo some vast works 
in fresco, as well as of Tommaso Sciacca, who was an assistant of Cava- 
lucci in Rome, and who left some large compositions at the Duomo and 
at the Olivetani of Rovigo. 



NICCOLA MASSARO. 65 

trary a degree of amenity which pleases us. But his scholars 
and imitators did not confine themselves within their master's 
limits, and it may be asserted, that from no school has the art 
suffered more than from them. Florence, Verona, Parma, 
Bologna, Milan, Turin, in short, all Italy, was infected with 
their style ; and by degrees their pictures presented so man- 
nered a colouring, that they seemed to abandon the represen- 
tation of truth and nature altogether. The habit too of leaving 
their pictures unfinished, after the manner of Giordano and 
Solimene, was by many carried so far, that instead of good 
paintings, many credulous buyers have purchased execrable 
sketches. The imitation of these two eminent men carried 
too far, has produced in our own days pernicious principles, as 
at an earlier period did the imitation of Michelangelo, Tinto- 
rotto, and even of RafFaello himself, when carried to an ex- 
treme. The principal and true reason of this deterioration is 
to be ascribed generally to the masters of almost all our schools, 
who, abandoning the guidance of the ancient masters, endea- 
voured in their ignorance to find some new leader, without 
considering who he might be, or whither he might lead them. 
Thus, at every proclamation of new principles, they and their 
scholars were ready to follow in their train. 

In the time of Giordano and Solimene, Niccola Mas- 
saro was considered a good landscape painter. He was a 
scholar of Salvator Rosa, but rather imitated him in design 
than in colour. In the latter he was insipid, nor even 
added the accompaniment of figures to landscapes, but was 
as iisted in that respect by Antonio di Simone, not a finished 
ardst, but of some merit in battle-pieces.'"' Massaro in- 
structed Gaetano Martoriello, who was a landscape painter 
of a free style, but often sketchy, and his colouring not 
true to nature. In the opinion of connoisseurs, a better 
style was displayed by Bernardo Dominici, the historio- 
grapher, and the scholar of Beych in landscape, a careful 

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

VOL. II. F 



66 NEAPOLITAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

and minute painter of Flemish subjects and bamlocciate. 
There were two Neapolitans, Ferraiuoli and Sammartino, who 
settled in Romagna, and were good landscape painters. In 
perspective views Moscatiello was distinguished, as we ob- 
served when we spoke of Giordano. In the life of Solimene, 
Arcangelo Guglielmelli is mentioned as skilled in the same 
art. Domenico Brandi of Naples, and Giuseppe Tassoni of 
Rome, were rivals in animal painting. In this branch, and 
also in flowers and fruits, one Paoluccio Cattamara, who flou- 
rished in the time of Orlandi, was celebrated. Lionardo 
Coccorante, and Gabriele Ricciardelli, the scholar of Oriz- 
zonte, were distinguished in sea- views and landscapes, and 
were employed at the court of King Charles of Bourbon.* 
By the accession of this prince, a munificent patron of the 
fine arts, wherever he reigned, the Neapolitan school was 
regenerated and invigorated; employment and rewards 
awaited the artists; the specimens of other schools were mul- 
tiplied, and Mengs, who was invited to paint the royal 
family, and a large cabinet picture, laid the foundations of 
a more solid style,, at the same time improving his own for- 
tune, and giving a considerable impulse to art. But the 
greatest benefit this monarch has conferred on the arts is to 
be found at Ercolano, where, under his orders, so many speci- 
mens of sculpture and ancient paintings, buried for a long 
lapse of ages, have been brought to light, and by his direction 
accurately drawn and engraved, and illustrated with learned 
notes, and communicated to all countries. Lastly, in order 
that the benefits which he had conferred on his own age 
might be continued to the future masters of his country, he 
turned his attention to the education of youthful artists. Of 
this fact I was ignorant at the time of my first edition, but 
now write on the information afforded me at the request of 
the Marchese D. Francesco Taccone, treasurer of the kingdom, 

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



KING CHARLES OF BOURBON. 67 

ly the very learned Sig. Daniele, Regio Antiquario, both of 
T/hom, with true patriotic feelings, have devoted themselves 
to the preservation of the antiquities of their country, and 
are equally polite in communicating to others that information, 
for which they are themselves so distinguished. There for- 
merly existed at Naples the academy of S. Luke, founded at 
the Gesu Nuovo, in the time of Francesco di Maria, who was 
one of the masters, and taught in it anatomy and design. 
This institution continued for some years. King Charles in 
some measure revived this establishment by a school for 
painting, which he opened in the Laboratory of mosaics and 
tapestry. Six masters of the school of Solimene were placed 
tfcere as directors, and some good models being provided in 
the place, young artists were permitted to attend and study 
there. Bonito was engaged as the acting professor, and after 
some time Mura was associated with him, but died before the 
professor. Ferdinand IY. treading in the steps of his august 
fa<her, has, by repeated instances of protection to these 
honourable pursuits, conferred fresh honours on the Bourbon 
name, and rendered it dearer than ever to the fine arts. He 
transferred the academy to the new royal museum, and sup- 
plied it with all requisites for the instruction of young artists. 
On the death of Bonito he bestowed the direction of it on the 
fir;4 masters, and having established pensions for the mainte- 
nance in Rome of a certain number of young men, students in 
the three sister arts, he assigned four of these to those students 
who were intended for painters ; thus confirming by his suf- 
frage to the city of Rome that proud appellation which the 
world at large had long conceded to her, the Athens of 
Modern Art. 



F2 



68 



BOOK I. 



VENETIAN SCHOOL. 



THIS school would have required no farther illustration 
from any other pen, had Signor Antonio Zanetti, in his highly 
esteemed work upon Venetian Painting, included a more 
ample consideration of the artists of the state, instead of 
confining his attention wholly to those whose productions, 
ornamenting the churches and other public places, had all 
been completed in the city of Venice alone. He has, never- 
theless, rendered distinguished service to any one ambitious 
of succeeding him, and of extending the same subject beyond 
these narrower limits, since he has observed the most lucid 
order in the arrangement of epochs, in the description of 
styles, in estimating the merits of various painters, and thus 
ascertaining the particular rank as well as the age belonging 
to each. Those artists then, whom he has omitted to com- 
memorate, may be easily reduced under one or other of the 
divisions pointed out by him, and the whole history enlarged 
upon the plan which he first laid down. 

In cultivating an acquaintance with these additional names, 
the memorials collected by Vasari ; afterwards, on a more 
extensive scale, by the Cavaliere Ridolfi, in his Lives of tbo 
Venetian Painters ; and by Boschini, in the " Miniere della 
Pittura," in the " Carta del Navegar Pittoresco," and in 
other works : materials drawn from all parts of the Venetian 
state will be of signal advantage to us. No one, it is 
hoped, will feel displeased at the introduction of the name of 
Vasari, against whom the historians of the Venetian school 
were louder in their complaints than even those of the 
Roman, the Sienese, and the Neapolitan schools ; all whose 
causes of difference I have elsewnere recounted, adding to 



ERRORS OP EARLY WRITERS. 69 

tlem, whenever I found them admissible, my own refuta- 
tions.* These it would be needless now to repeat, in reply 
to the Venetian writers. I shall merely observe that Vasari 
tx stowed very ample commendations upon the Venetian 
professors, in different parts of his history, and more par- 
ticularly in the lives of Carpaccio, of Liberale, and of 
Pordenone. Let me add that if he was occasionally betrayed 
in:o errors, either from want of more correct information, 
or from a degree of jealousy or spirit of patriotic rivalry, 
which probably may have secretly influenced him in his 
opinions, it will be no difficult task in the present enlightened 
period, t to substitute the real names, more exact accounts, 
aul more impartial examinations of the earlier professors of 
tho school. J 

In respect to the more modern, up to whose period he did 
nor reach, I possess historical matter, which, if not very 
copious, is certainly less scanty than such as relates to many 
of the other schools of Italy. Besides Ridolfi, Boschini, 
and Zanetti, it includes the historians of the particular cities, 
the same from whom Orlandi selected his various notices of 
artists ; and among whom none is to be preferred to Signer 
.Za nboni for the fulness and authenticity of his materials, 
in his work entitled " Fabbriche di Brescia." I am, more- 
over, in possession of several authors who have distinctly 
treated of the lives, or published other accounts of those wha 
flourished in their own cities ; such as the Commendatore 

* Which of the schools, if we except that of Florence, has not cause to 
con plain at times of his too evident partiality ? Has he perhaps eulogized 
the Lombard school, and the early painters, its contemporaries ? Ital. ed. 

f It is observed by Signor Bottari, that Giorgio, in his life of Franco, 
was too sparing of his praises of Tintoret and Paul Veronese ; and the 
sain 3 might be said also of Gambera, and many others, who flourished at 
the >ame period, or were already deceased when he wrote. To his opin- 
ions have succeeded those of the Caracci, and of many other distinguished 
proressors of the art, which may be safely relied upon. 

+ There very opportunely appeared, in the year 1800, at Bassano, a 
" N Dtizia d'Opere di Disegno " " Upon works of Design," the anony- 
raois production, apparently, of some inhabitant of Padua, about 1550. 
It v as published and illustrated by the learned Abbate Morelli, and 
cont ains several anecdotes, relating more particularly to the Venetian. 



70 VENETIAN SCHOOL. 

del Pozzo, in his notice of the Veronese,* Count Tassi of 
those of Bergamo, and Signer Verci of the Baesanese artists. 
And no slight assistance may also be drawn from the dif- 
ferent " Guides," or descriptions of paintings, exhibited in 
many cities of the state, although they are far from being 
all of equal merit. There is the " Guida Trevigiana," of 
Rigamonti, that of Vicenza, printed by Vendramini Mosca, 
that of Brescia by Carboni, and that of Verona, expressly 
drawn from the " Verona Illustrata " of the Marquis Maffei, 
with the still more valuable one of Venice, dated 1733, from 
the able pen of Antonio M. Zanetti. To these we may 
likewise add that first published by Rossetti, now revised and 
improved by Brandolese, abounding with historical memoirs 
of the painters of Padua ; and the Guide of Rovigo by 
Bartoli, communicating much new and interesting informa- 
tion, which serves to point out more accurately certain eras 
among the professors of the art, while the same may, in part, 
be observed of that of Bergamo, by the Dottore Pasta. Nor 
are these all ; for I am not a little indebted to several notices 
published in the "Elogj" of Signor Longhi, and in some 
of the catalogues of private collections ; besides other anec- 
dotes, in part collected by myself, in partt communicated 
by my friends, and in particular by the very accomplished 
Sig. Gio. Maria Sasso,^: who has already promised to gratify 

* The celebrated painter Cignaroli, besides drawing up a complete 
Catalogue raisonne, of the painters of Verona, already published in the 
Chronicle of Zagata, vol. iii., left behind him MS. notes upon the entire 
work of Pozzo, in the margin, 

f I have been enabled in this edition, by means of Count Cav. de 
Lazzara, to avail myself of a MS. from the pen of Natal Melchiori, enti- 
tled, " Lives of the Venetian Painters," drawn up in 1728. The author 
is deserving of credit, no less on account of having been himself a painter, 
than from his personal acquaintance with the chief part of those whose 
lives he commemorated. 

J This excellent man is now no more, and his work has not hitherto 
appeared. That, however, by the Sig. Co. Canonico de Rinaldis, on the 
painters of Friuli, we have received. It embraces a much more correct 
and enlarged view of that noble school than we before possessed in the 
scantier notices from the pen of Altan. Still he is not always exact, and 
he would undoubtedly have written better, had he seen more. At length, 
however, we are in possession of the work of Padre M. Federici, in two 



VARIOUS "GUIDES" TO THE ART. 71 

us with his " Venezia Pittrice," accompanied with designs 
of the most esteemed paintings of this school, accurately 
engraved. 

volumes; relating to the artists of the " Marca Trevigiana," accompanied 
by d >cuments ; a work better calculated than the former to satisfy the 
expectations of a reader of taste. But, as is generally the case, when an, 
author hazards new opinions, we are sometimes compelled to suspend our 
assei t to his conclusions. 



72 

VENETIAN SCHOOL. 

EPOCH I. 

The Ancients. 

IF in the outset of each school of painting I were to pursue 
the example held up in the " Etruria Pittrice," of introducing 
the account of its pictures by that of some work in mosaic, 
I ought here to mention those of Grado, wrought in the 
sixth century, distinguished by the name of the Patriarch 
Elia, those of Torcello, and a few other specimens that 
appeared at Venice, in the islands, and in Terra Ferma, pro- 
duced at periods subsequent to the increase of the edifices, 
together with the grandeur of the Venetian state. But 
admitting that these mosaics, like many at Rome, may 
really be the production of the Greeks ; the title of my 
work, confined as it is to painting, and to the period of its 
revival in Italy, leads me to be little solicitous respecting 
those more ancient monuments of the fine arts, remnants of 
which are to be found scattered here and there, without any 
series of a school. I shall still, however, occasionally allude 
to them, according as I find needful, were it only for the 
sake of illustration and comparison, as I proceed. But 
such information ought to be sought for in other works ; 
mine professes only to give the history of painting from 
the period of its revival. 

The most ancient pictorial remains in the Venetian ter- 
ritories I believe to be at Verona, in a subterraneous part 
of the nunnery of Santi Nazario and Celso, which, however 
inaccessible to the generality of virtuosi, have, nevertheless, 
been engraved on a variety of plates by order of the in- 
defatigable Signor Dionisi. In this, which was formerly the 
Chapel of the Faithful, are represented several mysteries 
of our redemption ; some apostles, some holy martyrs, and 



FIRST ESSAYS IN THE ART. 73 

in particular the transit of one of the righteous from this life, 
on whom the archangel, St. Michael, is seen bestowing his 
assistance. Here the symbols, the workmanship, the at- 
titudes, the drapery of the figures, and the characters united, 
permit us not to doubt that the painting must be much an- 
terior to the revival of the arts in Italy. But most 
writers seem to trace the rudiments of Venetian painting 
from the llth century, about the year 1070, at the period 
when the Doge Selvo invited the mosaic workers from 
Greece to adorn the magnificent temple consecrated to St. 
Mark the Evangelist, Such artificers, however rude, must 
have been acquainted, in some degree, with the art of paint- 
ing ; none being enabled to work in mosaic who had not 
previously designed and coloured, upon pasteboard or cartoon, 
the composition they intended to execute. 

And these, observe the same writers, were the first essays 
of the art of painting in Venice. However this may be, it 
speedily took root, and began to flourish after the year 1 204, 
when Constantinople being taken, Venice was in a short 
time filled, not indeed with Grecian artists, but with their 
pictures, statues, and bassi-rilievi.* Had I not here restricted 
my observations to existing specimens of the art, bestowing 
only a rapid glance upon the rest, along with their authors, 
I might prove, that from the above period, the city was no 
longer destitute of artists ; and was enabled, in the 13th 
century, to form a company of them with their appropriate 
laws and institutions. 

But of these elder masters of the art, there remains either 
only the name, as of a Giovanni da Venezia and a Martinello 
da Bassano, or some solitary relic of their labours without a 
name, as in the sarcophagus, in wood, of the Beata Giuliana, 
painted about the year 1262, the same in which she died. 
This monument remains in her own monastery of San 
Bia^io alia Giudecca, long held in veneration, even after 
the body of the blessed saint had been removed, in the 
year 12,97, into an urn of stone. There are represented 
San Biagio, the titular saint of the church, San Cataldo, 
the bishop, and the blessed Giuliana, the two former in an 
upright, the latter in a kneeling posture ; their names are 

* Rannusio, Guerra di Costantinopoli, book iii. p. 94. 



74 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

written in Latin, and the style, although coarse, is never- 
theless not Greek. Probably, that of the painter is also 
in the same corner, a picture of whom, a Pieta, has recently 
been discovered by the Ab. Boni, who considers him 
a new Cimabue of the Venetian art. As it has already been 
described by him in his Florentine collection of " Opuscoli 
Scientific!,"* I shall not extend my account of it, for the 
reader will there find other names, as will afterwards be 
shewn, recently discovered by the indefatigable author of 
some early Venetian writers, until this period unknown to 
history. Among these, are Stefano Pievano, of S. Agnese, a 
picture by whom, dated 1381, is described; Alberegno, be- 
longing to the 15th century, and one Esegrenio, who Nourished 
somewhat later, to which time we may refer two fine and 
highly valued figures of holy virgins, not long since disco- 
vered, of Tommaso da Modena, and which, from the disputes 
they have elicited, have been subjected to experiments at 
Florence, to ascertain whether they are painted in oil or dis- 
temper experiments that tend only to prove that this Tom- 
maso was unacquainted with the art of colouring in oil. 

It was only subsequent to the year 1300, that the names, 
united to the productions of the Venetians, began to make 
themselves manifest ; when, partly by the examples held out 
by Giotto, partly by their own assiduity and talent, the 
painters of the city and of the state visibly improved, and 
softened the harshness of their manner. Giotto, according 
to a MS. cited by Rossetti,t was at Padua in 1306 ; accord- 
ing to Vasari, he returned from Avignon in 1316, and a 
little while afterwards he was painting at Verona, in the 
palace of Can della Scala, and at Padua, employed on a 
chapel in the church of the titular saint. He adds, that to- 
wards the close of his days, he was again invited there, and 
embellished other places with his pieces. Nothing, however, 
remains of him in Verona ; but in Padua there still exists 
the chapel of the Nunziata all' Arena, divided all round into 
compartments, in each of which is represented some scrip- 
tural event. It is truly surprising to behold, not less on ac- 

* Vol. vi. p. 88, anno 1808. 

f See his " Descrizione delle Pitture," &c. p. 19. The learned Morelli 
also, in his Annotations to the Notizia*, confirms by fresh arguments the 
same epoch, p. 146. 



CIUSTO PADOVANO. 75 

count of its high state of preservation beyond any other of 
hi^ frescos, than for its full expression of native grace, toge- 
ther with that air of grandeur which Giotto so well knew 
hew to unite. "With respect to the chapel, it is believed that 
V isari was less accurately informed, inasmuch as Savonarola, 
who has been cited by Sig. Morelli,* relates that Giotto or- 
namented the little church of the Arena, capitulumque An- 
to'.iii nostri) *and the chapter of our St. Antony. And, in 
fact, in the apartment of the chapter-house, there yet remain 
several traces of ancient painting, though turned white with 
age. In a very ancient MS., of the year 1312,t there is 
mude mention of his also having been employed in Palatio 
dmitis, which others suppose ought to be read Communis, 
intended to apply to the Saloon, of which I shall shortly have 
to give some account. 

To Giotto succeeded Giusto Padovano, so called from the 
pi; ice of his naturalization and usual residence, being, in 
truth, a Florentine, sprung from the family of the Menabuoi. 
AN a disciple of Giotto, Yasari attributes to him the very 
extensive work which adorns the church of St. John the 
Baptist. In the picture over the altar, if it be his, Giusto 
has exhibited various histories of St. John the Baptist; on! 
th 3 walls are represented both scriptural events and myste- 
ri( s of the Apocalypse ; and on the cupola he has drawn a 
Choir of Angels, where we behold, as if in a grand consistory, 
the blessed arrayed in various garments, seated upon the, 
ground; simple, indeed, in its conception, but executed 
w:th an incredible degree of diligence and felicity. It is 
mentioned in the " Notizia Morelli," that formerly there was 
to be read there an inscription over one of the gates " Opus 
J( hannis et Antonii de Padua," probably, companions of 
G usto, and, probably, as is conjectured by the author of the 
MS. above alluded to, the painters of the whole temple. 
Tiiis would seem to augment the number of the Paduan 
artists, no less than the imitators of Giotto, since the works, 
already described, are equally as much in his manner as 

* Page 101. 

f- This was given to the public by Muratori, with the following title 
" diccobaldi Ferrariensis, sive anonimi scriptoris compilatio chronolosjica 
usjue ad annum 1312." Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, vol. ix. p. 255. 



76 VENETIAN SCHOOL. -EPOCH I. 

those by Taddeo Gaddi, or any other of his fellow-pupils in 
Florence. The same commendation is bestowed upon Jacopo 
Davanzo, of whom I treat more at length in the school of 
Bologna. A less faithful follower of Giotto was Guariento, 
a Paduan, held in high esteem about the year 1360, as ap- 
pears from the honourable commissions he obtained from the 
Venetian senate. One of his frescos and a crucifixion yet 
remain at Bassano ;* and in the choir of the Eremitani, at 
Padua, there are many of his figures now retouched, from 
which Zanetti took occasion to commend him for his rich in- 
vention, the spirit of his attitudes, and the felicity with 
which, at so early a period, he disposed his draperies. At 
Padua, there is an ancient church, dedicated to St. George, 
erected about 1377, which boasts some history pieces of St. 
James, executed by the hand of Alticherio, or Aldigieri, da 
Zevio in the Veronese ; and others of St. John, the work of 
one Sebeto,t says the historian, a native of Verona. These, 
likewise, approach pretty nearly the style of Giotto, and 
more especially the first, who painted also a good deal in his 
native place. 

To these two, I may add Jacopo da Verona, known only 
by his numerous paintings in fresco, at San Michele of Padua, 
which remain in part entire ; and Taddeo Bartoli, of Siena, 
who has shewn himself ambitious, at the Arena, of emulating 
the contiguous labours of Giotto, without attaining the ob- 

* Sig. Sasso observed one extremely like it in Venice, with the sub- 
scription " Guglielmus pinxit, 1368;" from which he inferred that he 
had belonged to the school of Guariento. 

f This Sebeto of Vasari appeared so new to MafFei, that he would will- 
ingly have substituted Stefano (see Ver. Illust. p. iii. col. 152) ; but 
Stefano da Verona, or da Zevio, is a name posterior to these times. 
The " Notizia " of the anonymous writer, recently published, says, 
that the church of the before-mentioned S. George was ornamented 
by " Jacopo Davanzo, a Paduan, or a Veronese, if not, as some will 
have it, aBolognese ; by Altichiero Veronese, according to Campagnuola" 
(p. 6). It must be observed that Vasari also consulted the latter, or 
probably one of his Latin letters to Niccolo Leonico Tomeo, quoting it 
several times. (See Morelli, p. 101.) Now in this it was probably 
written, " ab Alticherio de Jebeto ;" that is, da Zevio, which was at one 
time called Jebetum, and Vasari believed it to be the name of an unknown 
painter. Such is the conjecture communicated to me by Sig. Brandolese, 
and it appears extremely probable. 



MINIATURE PAINTERS. 77 

iect in view. Another production of the same period is seen 
in the great hall at Padua, reported to be one of the largest 
in the world, consisting, as it does, of a mixture of sacred 
historic pieces, of celestial signs borrowed from Igino, and of 
the various operations carried on during the respective months 
of the year, besides several other ideas certainly furnished 
by some learned man of that age. It is partly the work, 
says Morelli, in his " Notizia," upon the authority of Cam- 
pagrjuola, of an artist of Ferrara, and partly that of Gio. 
Mire-tto, a Paduan. This recent discovery justifies my own 
previous opinions, having been unable to prevail upon myself 
to ascribe such a production to Giotto, although it partakes 
strorgly of his style, which appears to have spread pretty 
rapidly throughout the territories of Padua, of Yerona, of 
Bergamo, and great part of the Terra Ferma. 

Besides this manner, which may be, in some measure, pro- 
nounced foreign, there are others equally observable in 
Venice, no less than in Treviso, in the chapter of the Padri 
Predicatori, and in other of the subject cities, and these might 
more accurately be termed national, so remote are they from 
the style of Giotto, and that of his disciples before mentioned. 
I have elsewhere pointed out how far the miniature painters 
contributed to this degree of originality, a class of artists 
with whom Italy, at no time destitute, more fully abounded 
about that period, while they still continued to improve by 
employing their talents in drawing objects from the life, and 
not from any Greek or Italian model. Indeed, they had 
alrea ly made no slight advances in every branch of painting, 
when Giotto first arrived in those parts. I have myself seen, 
in th<3 grand collection of MSS. made in Venice by the Ab- 
bate Canonici, a book of the Evangelists, obtained in Udine, 
illustrated with miniatures in pretty good taste for the 13th 
century, in which they were produced; and similar relics arc 
by no means rare throughout the libraries of the state. I 
suspect, therefore, that many of those new painters, either 
having been pupils of the miniaturists, or induced to imitate 
them from the near connection between the arts, attempted to 
vie with them in design, in the distribution of their colours,, 
and in their compositions. Hence, it is clearly accounted for 
why they did not become the disciples, though acquainted. 



78 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

with the works, of Giotto, but produced several respectable 
pieces of their own. 

To this class belongs M. Paolo, whom Zanetti found re- 
corded in an ancient parchment, bearing the date of 1346. 
He is the earliest in the national manner, of whom there 
exists a work with the indisputable name of its author. It 
is to be seen in the great church of St. Mark, consisting of a 
tablet, or, as it is otherwise called, Ancona, divided into 
several compartments, representing the figure of a dead 
Christ, with some of the Apostles, and historic incidents from 
the holy Evangelist. There is inscribed underneath Ma- 
gister Paulus, cum Jacobo et Johanne Jiliis fecit hoc opus ; 
and Signor Zanetti, page 589, observes in regard to it as fol- 
lows : Among the specimens of simple painting, in St. 
Mark's, the ball centre of the great altar is remarkable for 
several small tablets of gold and silver, on which are painted 
several figures in the ancient Greek manner. San Pietro 
Urseolo had it constructed about the year 980, at Constanti- 
nople, and it was removed to this place in the time of the 
Doge Ordelafo Faliero, in 1102, though it was afterwards 
renovated by command of the Doge Pietro Ziani, in 1209. 
This historian did not discover the inscription which I found 
upon it in the year 1782. The artist is sufficiently distin- 
guished for the period in which he flourished, although the 
stiffness in the design, false action, and expression, beyond 
those of the best followers of Giotto, are perceptible, so much 
as to remind us of the Greek specimens of art.* 
, There can, likewise, be no doubt that a painter of the 
name of Lorenzo was one of these Venetians whose altar- 
piece in St. Antony of Castello, to which is attached his 

* Signer Abbate Morelli, since P. della Valle, has discovered another 
painting existing in the sacristy of the Padri Conventuali, at Vicenza, 
with this inscription, 1333, PAULUS DE VENETIIS PINXIT HOC OPUS 
(Notiz. p. 222). He adds also, two other Venetian painters, with whom 
I have enriched this new edition ; the name of one found in a small pic- 
ture of the Conventuali, at S. Arcangelo, under an image of the Virgin, 
among various saints, dated 1385. " Jachobelus de Bonomo Venetus 
pinxit hoc opus." The other, in the territory of Verruchio, on a cruci- 
fixion, with the symbols of the four Evangelists, is in the possession of the 
Agostiniani, and inscribed 1404 : " Nicbolaus Paradixi miles de Venetiis 
pinxit." 



NICCOLO SEMITECOLO. 79 

nane, with the date of 1358, paid him three hundred gold 
ducats, has been commended by Zanetti. Besides, we read 
ins< Bribed on a picture belonging to the noble house of Erco- 
lani, at Bologna, the words MANU LAURENTII DE VENETIIS, 
13C8 , and there is every appearance of his being the author 
of 1 he fresco in the church of Mezzaratta, not far from Bo- 
logna, representing Daniel in the lion's den, and bearing the 
signature of "Laorentius, P." It is a work that bears no 
resemblance to the style of Giotto, and appears to have been 
completed about the year 1370. It is equally certain that 
Niocolo Semitecolo was a Venetian, he having also in- 
scribed his name as we find it written upon a TRINITY, 
which represents the Virgin along with some histories of St. 
Sebastian, still preserved in the chapter library of Padua : 
" Nicoleto Semitecolo da Veniexia impense, 1367." The 
work is an excellent specimen of this school ; the naked parts 
are tolerably well drawn, and the proportions of the figures, 
though sometimes extravagantly so, are bold and free ; and 
what is more important to our present purpose, it discovers 
no resemblance to the style of Giotto, being inferior in point 
of design, though equal to him in regard to the colouring. 
Two other painters, whose style betrays nothing of Giotto, 
were discovered by Signor Sasso, in Venice, upon the strength 
of t wo altar-pieces, to which they had affixed their names. 
Upon one, found in the convent of " Corpus Domini," he read 
" Angel us pinxit ;"and upon the other, also in the same place, 
" Elatarinus pinxit." While on this subject, I ought not to 
pass over the opinion of Baldinucci himself, who always ap- 
pears to have respected the freedom and independence of the 
Ve letian as opposed to the Florentine school, by refusing to 
insort the name of a single Venetian in his tree of Cimabue. 
He merely maintained, that the Venetian painters had im- 
proved their style by the labours of Angiol Gaddi, and of one 
An tonio, a Venetian, whom, spite of the authority of Vasari, 
he lias declared to be a Florentine, on which point we must 
ref< T to what has already been stated in the first volume 
(p. 68) of this work. Moreover, he asserts of the same 
Antonio, that he took up his residence at Venice, and thence 
acq uired the appellation of Veneziano ; but that he took his 
departure again, owing to the intrigues of the national pro- 



80 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

fessors, as much as to say, of a school formed anterior to his 
arrival. And so long anterior was it, indeed, that the whole 
state, as well as the adjacent places, abounded not less with 
pictures than with pupils, although few of their names with 
their productions have survived.* 

Among these few is a Simon da Cusighe, who painted an 
altar-piece and a fresco, still remaining in his native parish, 
situated near the city of Belluno, where there exist memorials 
of one Pietro, and other artists of the thirteenth century, 
along with some very tolerably executed figures, bearing the 
epigraph of " Simon pinxit." To these I add a native of Friuli, 
of whom there are no authentic remains beyond Gemoua, 
where he painted the fa9ade of the dome, and under a picture 
of the martyrdom of I know not what saint, appears his 
name written, MCCCXXXII. MAGISTER NICOLAUS POTOR ME 
FECIT. To this artist is ascribed, by some writers, that vast 
and meritorious production, still in such a fine state of pre- 
servation, ornamenting the dome of Venzone, and which 
represents the solemn scene of the Consecration ; but its 
author is a matter of mere conjecture, founded in this instance 
upon the vicinity of the place and time, and resemblance of 
manner. There are also Pecino and Pietro de Nova, who 

* Among these is counted Stefano Pievano, of St. Agnese, an able 
artist, who left his name along with the date, 1381, on an altar-piece of 
the Assumption : a piece in which the Venetian colouring is displayed 
to advantage, while the expression, lively and full of meaning, compen- 
sates for its inaccuracy of design. Another artist, deserving of being 
known, is Jacopo di Alberegno, whose family still remains in Venice, and 
who has been ascertained to be the author of a painting without date, 
representing the Crucifixion of our Saviour, among various saints. 
Tommaso da Modena has also been referred to tke Venetian school, who, 
about the period of 1351, produced two Holy Virgins at Venice ; a St. 
Catherine, at present in the gallery of N. H. Ascanio Molin, together 
with the two preceding, and other rare Venetian pictures of the same 
epoch ; and a S. Barbara, belonging to the Abbate Mauro Boni, so 
fraught with expression, grace, and power of colouring, as to lead me to 
conjecture he had flourished at a much later period, were it not for the 
inscribed date. His beginning to be known at Venice is some reason 
why he should be referred to this school, if the name of his native 
place, de Mutina, did not restrain us from so doing without some further 
doubt. The Ab. Boni, who has given us an account of these pictures in. 
an article put forth by the Italian academy, was the first to discover 
them 



THE VIVARINI. 81 

employed their talents, during a period of many years subse- 
quent to 1363, in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, at 
Bergamo. But these, like the artist of Padua before men- 
tioned, approach very nearly the composition of Giotto, and 
possibly might have imbibed such a taste at Milan.* 

The splendour of Venetian painting becomes more strikingly 
manifest in the fifteenth century, a period that was gradually 
preparing the way for the grand manner of the Giorgioni and 
the Titians. The new style took its rise in one of the islands 
called Murano, but it was destined to attain its perfection in 
Yen ice. I first recognised the work of one of the oldest of 
these artists, subscribing himself " Quiricius de Muriano," in 
the studio of Signer Sasso. It represents our Saviour in a sitting 
posture, at whose feet stands a veiled devotee ; but there is 
no mark by which to ascertain its age. There is, likewise, of 
uncertain date, yet still very ancient, a Bernardino da Mu- 
rano, of whose productions Zanetti saw nothing more than a 
rude altar-piece. An Andrea da Murano flourished about 
the period 1400, whose style, whatever it may retain of 
harsli and dry, neither superior in composition, nor in choice 
of features, to that of his predecessors, discovers him to 
have been tolerably skilful in design, even in regard to the ex- 
tremities, and in placing his figures well on the canvas. 

There remains in his native place, at San Pier Martire, an 
altar-piece painted by his hand, in which a St. Sebastian forms 
so conspicuous a figure for the beauty of its torso, that Zanetti 
suspects it must have been copied from some ancient statue. 
It i he who introduced the art into the house of the Vivarini, 
his compatriots, who, in a continued line of succession, pre- 
served the school of Murano for nearly a century, and who 
produced as rich a harvest of their labours in Venice, a$ 
did the Campi afterwards in the city of Cremona, or the 
Prooaccini in Milan. I shall treat of them with bre- 
vity, but with such new sources of information as will 

* Before their time, however, Bergamo could boast a school of paint- 
ing, as witness what Count Tassi adduces in a parchment of the year 1296, 
naming a certain Guglielmo, pit tore. It does not appear in what style he 
drew. One of his successors, who painted the tree of St. Bonaventura, 
abounding in sacred figures, shews himself an artist more rude, indeed, 
but more original than either of the brothers de Nova. Of his name we 
are, however, ignorant, as he only attached the date of 1347. 

VOL. II. G 



82 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

at once serve to correct and amplify what has already been 
written. 

The first among the Vivarini mentioned by historians is 
Luigi, of whom a painting at Santi Giovanni e Paolo, has 
been cited by them, which represents our Redeemer bearing 
the cross upon his shoulders. The work has been a good deal 
re-touched, and there has been added to it another portion, 
which gives the name of the author, dated 1414. Not being 
an autograph, we are led to expect some kind of mistake 
attaching either to the name or the date; there having been 
another Luigi Vivarini, as we shall shew, towards the close of 
the century. The one in question, then, might probably be 
an ancestor to the latter, though it is difficult to persuade 
ourselves of it, as there remains no other superscription, or 
notice of any of that name so ancient. 

Next to this artist, according to Ridolfo and Zanetti, are to 
be enumerated Giovanni and Antonio Yivarini, who flourished 
about the year 1440. The authority they adduce for this is an 
altar-piece in San Pantaleone, which bears the inscription of 
"Zuane e Antonio da Muran pense 1444." But this Gio- 
vanni,* if I mistake not, is the same who signs his name on 
another picture in Venice, " Joannes de Alemania et Anto- 

* In the work entitled " Narrazione dell' Isola di Murano," by G. A. 
Moschini, the supposition I have above stated has been combated by its 
excellent author. A picture in the gallery of the N. H. Molin, at Venice, 
subscribed " Johannes Vivarinus," seems to have persuaded him of my 
mistake. In a work embracing an account of some thousand painters, I 
cannot pretend to boast of its being free from some human errors, and 
was about to express my gratitude to the above-mentioned author for 
having pointed one of them out. But I am now convinced that the pic- 
ture is from the hand of another artist, ano that the signature in question 
is a forgery, the author of which has confounded the character of what is 
called Gothic and Roman, in place of imitating the true character of those 
times, which he might very easily have done, inasmuch as he had before 
his eyes a small chart, with a most devout oration, Deus meus charitas, 
&c. in the most complete Gothic, or rather German character, that can be 
conceived. The impostor, therefore, must have been extremely ignorant 
of his art. The examination was made by the cavalier Gio. da Lazara, 
Abate Mauro Boni, Bartolommeo Gamba, names sufficiently known to 
the public to justify our adoption of their opinion. The very able Bran- 
dolese has likewise pronounced the inscription false, and published thereon 
a little work, entitled " Doubts respecting the existence of such a painter 
as Giovanni Vivarino da Murano, newly confirmed ; and a refutation of 



GIOVANNI AND ANTONIO VIVARINI. 83 

-de Muriano pinxit ;" or as it is thus written in Padua, 
"Antonio de Muran e Zohan Alamanus pinxit." Giovanni, 
therefore, was a companion of Antonio, a German by birth, 
and traces of a foreign style are clearly perceptible in his 
pai:itings. The reason of his omitting to insert his birth- 
place in the picture at San Pantaleone, arose, I suspect, from 
the fact of his name and acquaintance with Antonio being too 
well known to admit of doubt. After the year 1447 there is 
no more mention made of Giovanni, but only of Antonio ; 
son etimes alone, sometimes together with some other of the 
Vivarini. Thus, his name is subscribed alone in San Antonio 
Abnte di Pesaro, upon an altar-piece of the titular saint, sur- 
rounded by the figures of three young martyrs, with some 
smUler paintings attached, the production of a very ani- 
mated colourist, and displaying forms inferior to none in the 
school of Murano. I have seen two other specimens, in 
which he is mentioned together with a second Yivarino. 
Tho least excellent of these is to be found in San Francesco 
Grande at Padua, consisting of a Madonna, with some saints, 
In various compartments, and at the foot of it is the follow- 
ing memorandum, " Anno 1451, Antonius et Bartholomeus 
fratres de Murano pinxerunt hoc opus." Similar to this, the 
two brothers had produced another the year preceding, in the 
Certosa of Bologna, where it is still in a high state of preser- 
vation, beyond any other specimen I have seen belonging to 
this family. There is much worthy of commendation in 
each figure of the whole piece ; features dignified and devout, 
appropriate dresses, care in the disposition of the hair and 
beards, united to a colouring warm and brilliant. 

According to what appears, Bartolommeo must have been 
held of less account than Antonio, until the discovery of 
painting in oil being introduced into Venice, he became one 
among the first to profit by it, and, towards the period in 
which the two Bellini appeared, was held in pretty high 
rejute. 

The first specimen of his painting in oil exists at S. Gio- 
vanni e Paolo, not far from the gate, and exhibits, among 

son e recently asserted authority, to confirm them." And in this he dis- 
plays much sound criticism, and many arguments, all tending to strengthen 
my own conjecture. 

G 2 



84 VENETIAN SCIIOOL. EPOCH I. 

other saints, P. San Agostino, with an indication cf the year 
1473. From that period he continued to distinguish himself, 
producing a great number of pieces both in oil and in water- 
colour, sometimes with more, and sometimes with less care, 
but always in the ancient taste for subdividing the altar-piece 
into several parts, in each of which he represented separate 
heads or entire figures. In these he often marked the name 
of Vivarino, with the year of their production, and occa- 
sionally he has added a finch or linnet by way of allusion to 
his family name. His last work, bearing the date of the year, 
is a Christ risen from the dead, at San Giovanni, in Bragora, 
where Boschini read the date of 1498, which is now no 
longer apparent ; but it is a piece which, in every part, may 
be said to vie with that of the best Venetian artists who 
flourished during the same period. 

Contemporary with him was a Luigi of the same name, 
one of whose productions was seen by Zanetti, in a collection 
of paintings, with the date of 1490,* and as appeared to him, 
strongly approaching, in point of taste, to the best style of 
Bartolommeo. To Luigi, also, must undoubtedly be ascribed 
the altar-piece, which, in San Francesco di Trevigi, bears his 
name. There is another at the Battuti, in Belluno, repre- 
senting the saints Piero, Girolamo, and some others, a work 
which cost that school 100 gold ducats, besides the expenses 
of the artist, who has attached to it his name. But superior 
to every other of his existing specimens, is that fine picture 
in the school of San Girolamo, at Venice, in which he repre- 
sented a history of the titular saint, in emulation of Giovanni 
Bellino, whom he here equalled, and of Carpaccio, whom he 
surpassed. He has drawn the saint in the act of caressing a 
lion, while several monks are seen flying in terror at the 
sight. The composition is very fine; the passions are tole- 
rably well portrayed, the colours as soft and delicate as in 
any other of the Vivarini ; the architecture solid, and in the 
ancient taste, while the epoch is more modern than that 

* There is a half-figure in oil representing the Saviour now in the 
R. Pinacoteca at Milan, a work, which for high finish and care in the exe- 
execution may challenge comparison with any production of the contem- 
porary painters. It bears the following inscription: " Alovisius Viva- 
rinus de Muriano pinx. MCCCCLXXXXVIII." 



GENTILE DA FABRIANO. 85 

which could be ascribed to the supposed Luigi, the elder. 
Such is our exposition of the whole series of the school of 
Muiano, up to the period of its greatest improvement, so as 
to bring it under one point of view. I shall now, therefore, 
resume the thread of my narrative, relating to the elder 
artists of the fourteenth century, who competed with the 
oldest of the school of Murano, until the era of painting in 
oil ; and I shall afterwards proceed to treat apart of the 
more modern. 

In the early part of the century, an artist of the name of 
Gentile da Fabriano had been employed in the public palace 
at Venice, highly distinguished in his time, but of whom I 
must not here repeat what has been said in the first volume of 
this work. He there depicted a naval battle-scene, a pro- 
duction greatly extolled in former times, which has long 
since perished. He produced, also, some disciples, as we find 
mention of a Jacopo Nerito, from Padua, who, in a painting 
at San Michele di Padova, according to Rossetti, subscribes 
himself one of his pupils. Nasocchio di Bassano, the elder, 
is to be ranked also, either as one of his scholars or his 
imitators, if, indeed, a small picture pointed out to me by the 
late Signer Verci was by his hand. 

Among other Venetians, Jacopo Bellini, at once the father 
and the master of Gentile and Giovanni of the same name, 
of whom more hereafter, was certainly a pupil of Gentile da 
Fabriano. Jacopo, however, is better known by the celebrity 
of his sons than by his own works, at this time either de- 
stroyed or unknown. He had painted in the school of S. 
Giovanni Evangelista at Venice, and in the chapel of the 
Gatia Melata, at the Santo di Padova, about 1456 ; but 
theso labours survive only in history, nor have I met with 
any other specimen besides a Madonna, discovered by Sig. 
Sasso, bearing the signature of its author. The style appears 
taken from that of Squarcione, to which he is supposed to 
have applied himself in his more advanced years. 

There was also another Jacopo in very high repute,* called 

* This artist ought not to be confounded with Jacometto da Venezia, 
a miniature painter, and artist of the same age, but who flourished some- 
what later. He also was celebrated in his day, and is frequently recorded 
in the " Notizia Morelli" for his small pictures, adapted for private 



86 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

Jacobello del Fiore, who has been falsely accused by Vasari, 
of having drawn his figures all resting on the tip of their toes, 
in the manner of the Greeks. His father, Francesco, was 
considered in the light of a Coryphseus of the art, and his 
tomb is still to be seen at Santi Giovanni e Paolo, with a 
figure of him in his toga, and a commendatory epitaph in 
Latin verse. No works of his, however, are to be seen in 
Venice,* a dittico, or small altar, with his name, having been 
conveyed to London, bearing the date 1412. It was obtained 
by the Chevalier Strange, together with some other produc- 
tions of the old Venetian artists. The son of Francesco rose 
to a still higher degree of celebrity. He began to make 
himself known as early as 1401, by producing an altar-piece 
at San Cassiano di Pesaro, in which city I discovered another, 
with the date of 1409, and both bear the signature of " Jaeo- 
metto de Flor." A much nobler work is a Coronation of the 
Virgin, in the cathedral of Ceneda, extremely rich in figures, 
insomuch as to have deserved the name of the " Painting of 
Paradise," in a MS. of the lives of the bishops of that place, 
which is preserved in the episcopal residence, and declares 
the work to have been executed " ab eximio illius temporis 
pictore Jacobello de Flore, 1432," at the expense of the 
bishop, Ant. Correr. There is a Madonna, indisputably by 
his hand, in possession of Sig. Girolamo Manfrini, painted in 
1436, besides the " Giustizia," drawn between two archangels, 
in the " Magistrate del Proprio," bearing the date of 1421. 
I may venture to say that few artists of that time equalled 
him, both on account of his having few rivals who had so 
early ventured to attempt drawing figures as large as the life, 
and because of his power of conferring upon them a certain 
grace and dignity, and, where called for, a vigour and ease 
rarely to be met with in other paintings. The two lions 
which he represented as symbols of his Giustizia (Justice), 

rooms, his portraits, and his miniatures. It was sometimes doubted 
whether a certain work was from the hand of John of Bruges, of An- 
tonello da Messina, or of Jacometto da Venezia. See " Notizia Morelli," 
p. 74. 

* The picture referred to by the P. Moschini, in his " Narrazione dell* 
Isola di Murano," is not to be admitted as genuine, the inscription upon 
it being forged by the same author who counterfeited that of Giovanni 
Vivarini, before alluded to in the note to page 82. 



DONATO AND CRIVELLT. 87 

are truly grand, thougli the rest of the figures would have 
appeared to more advantage had they been less loaded with 
ornaments, and in particular the draperies glowing with gold 
laco, according to the custom of his age. He had a rival in 
Gic-como Morazone, known by an altar-piece seen in the 
island of St. Elena, of which I shall have to speak elsewhere. 

Two pupils of Jacobello are recorded by Ridolfi, one of 
whom, Donato, is superior to his master in point of style, and 
the other, Carlo Crivelli, of whom the capital can boast only 
one or two pieces, and of whom little mention is made in 
Venetian history. It would appear that he long resided out 
of his native place, and in the Marca Trevigiana,* from 
wh ch circumstance we find him repeatedly named in the 
" Sfcoria Picena," in the " Guida di Ascoli," and in the cata- 
logae of Fabrianese paintings. At San Francesco di Matelica, 
I saw an altar-piece and grado by his hand, with his name in 
the following inscription " Carolus Crivellus Venetus miles 
pin sit," as well as another with his name at the Osservanti, 
in Macerata, and a third which bears the year 1476, in pos~ 
session of the Cardinal Zelada. He is an artist more re- 
markable for his force of colouring than for his correctness of 
design ; and his principal merit consists in those little history- 
pieoes, in which he has represented beautiful landscapes, and 
given to his figures grace, motion, and expression, with some 
traces of the colouring of the school of Perugia. Hence his 
productions have occasionally been taken for those of Pietro, 
as n the instance of that in Macerata; and if I mistake not, 
such an opinion was entertained even by the learned Father 
Ch alii (p. 60). In Piceno, likewise, in Monsanmartino, or 
in Penna S. Giovanni, there remain altar-pieces by Vittorio 
Crivelli, a Venetian, most probably of the same family, and 
produced in the years 1489 and 90, from which period I lost 
sig it of him, whether owing to his early decease, or his 
having set out in pursuit of better fortune into foreign parts. 

Hitherto we have examined only the productions of the 
capital and of the annexed island. But in each of the other 
cities, now comprehended in the state, there flourished painters 

* Crivelli, in short, painted in the Marca more than elsewhere. His 
pic< ures abound there, and the R. Pinacoteca obtained thence a number of 
productions with the painter's name affixed to them. 



88 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

during the same period, guided by maxims differing botli from 
those of Venice and of Murano. The school of Bergamo had 
even then made distinguished progress under the direction of 
the two Nova, who died at the commencement of the century; 
and mention is made of a Commenduno, one of their pupils, 
besides some other contemporaries, whose works, however, 
cannot, with any degree of certainty, be pointed out. The 
same may be said of those in the adjacent city of Brescia, 
which could then, also, boast of possessing some excellent 
artists. Of these, there is nothing more than the name now 
remaining ; yet Brandolin Testorino and Ottaviano Brandino 
are names placed in competition with that of Gentile di 
Fabriano, and, perhaps, they are preferred to him. The 
former was supposed to have been engaged along with Alti- 
chiero, in ornamenting the great hall in Padua, entitled Sala 
de Giganti.* 

Subsequent to both of these appeared Vincenzio Foppa, of 
Brescia, founder of an ancient school at Milan, of which I 
shall treat more at length in the following book. Vasari 
makes mention of a Vincenzio da Brescia, or Vincenzio 
Verchio, who is the same Vincenzo Oiverchio di Crema, com- 
mended by Ridolfo, and so much admired by the French in 
the capture of Crema, that they fixed upon one of his 
pictures, then ornamenting the public palace, to be pre- 
sented to their king, and to this artist we shall also again 
allude. 

About the commencement of the fifteenth century there 
flourished, in Verona, an artist of the name of Stefano,t de- 
clared, as it appears to me, by Vasari, sometimes a native of 
Verona, sometimes of Zevio, a territory adjacent to the 
former. The same author makes honourable mention of him 
in several places, exalting him above the best disciples of 
Angiolo Gaddi, to whose style, judging from what I have my- 

* See " Morelli Notizia," p. 157. 

f I had supposed, in my first edition of this work, misled by the oppo- 
site names, that Sebeto was a different personage from this Stefano da 
2fevio. I was afterwards undeceived by the appearance of the work of 
the learned Brandolese, pronouncing them one and the same artist ; and 
I willingly here retract what 1 had before advanced, expressing at the 
same time my acknowledgments for the emendation. 



STEFANO DA ZEVIO. 89 

-self observed at San Fermo and elsewhere, he added a certain 
dignity and beauty of form, while such was his excellence 
in frescos, as to be extolled by Donatello beyond any of the 
artists who were then known for similar compositions in those 
parts.* 

The Commendatore del Pozzo brings his labours down as 
far as the year 1463, an incredible assertion, as applied to a 
scholar of Gaddi. To this period might better be referred 
Vircenzio di Stefano, apparently one of his sons, of whom 
nothing survives but his name, and the tradition of having 
con rerred the first lessons of the art upon Liberale. 

Highly distinguished, on the other hand, both by the con- 
sent of the Veronese and of foreigners, is the name of Vittore 
Pisunello ; although there exists great confusion of dates in his 
history. Vasari makes him a disciple of Castagno, who died 
about the year 1480, yet del Pozzo informs us that he has 
in his house a holy figure, with the annexed signature of 
Vittore, and dated 1406, most probably before the birth of 
Castagno. Again, we are told by Oretti that he was in pos- 
session of one of his medals, representing the Sultan Mahomet, 
struck in the year 1481, a supposition which, admitting the 
picture of Pozzo, we are unable to reconcile to facts, so that 
the medal was, perhaps, taken from some painting of Pisanello, 
coloured at a former time. To whatever master Vittore may 
have been indebted, certain it is that several of his too partial 

* " Drawn in the most perfect manner," are the words of Vasari, while 
Jie adds, that the whole of his works were imitated and copied by Pietro 
di Perugia, an experienced artist in fresco, and more especially in minia- 
ture, with which he ornamented the whole of the books in the library of 
Pope Pius, in the dome at Siena. He is not known, however, in Perugia, 
nor mentioned at Siena among those employed at the cathedral, as is 
noticed by Father della Valle, yet the present work abounds with examples 
of artists, unknown in their own cities, on account of having resided else- 
where ; and the before-mentioned annotator of Vasari was unable to dis- 
cover the name of Liberal da Verona, an undoubted illustrator of the 
books, in such registers. I think we ought not to refuse to give credit, 
therefore, to Vasari, as Father Guglielmo insists, but to admit a new 
Pietro di Perugia, anterior to Vanucci, who might design the frescos of 
St( fano in Verona and Mantua, so extolled in the early part of 1400, and 
who copied them in those very beautiful and graceful miniatures at Siena, 
an art which he probably acquired at Verona, where it was then in such 
high repute. 



90 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

admirers have placed him above Masaccio, in regard to the ser- 
vices rendered by him towards the progress of the art, though 
impartial judges will not refuse to give him a station near him. 
The whole of his labours, both in Venice and in Rome, have 
now perished. At Yerona, also, little remains; even that 
noble piece of San Eustachio, so highly extolled by Vasari 
himself, having been destroyed ; and his " Nunziata," at San 
Fermo, being greatly defaced by time, in which, however, is 
still visible a country-house, thrown into such admirable per- 
spective, as to delight the beholder. There remain several little 
altar-pieces, containing histories of San Bernardino, finished in 
the style of the miniaturists, in the sacristy of San Francesco ; 
but they are crude in their colouring, and the figures more than 
usually long and dry. The " Guide " of the city announces 
them as the productions of Pisanello ; but there is no authority 
for this, and upon the strength of a date of 1473, which is 
seen upon one of them, I do not scruple to pronounce them by 
another hand. He is commended by Facio (p. 47) for his 
almost poetical style of expression ; and there is a specimen of 
an effort at caricature, with which Vittore embellished his 
historic painting of Frederick Barbarossa, in the ducal palace 
at Venice. He is, moreover, praised by the same author for 
his skill in drawing horses and other animals, in which he 
surpassed every other artist. His name is not unknown to the 
antiquaries ; many medals struck by him, of different princes, 
being found in museums, which acquired for him, in an equal 
degree with his pictures, the esteem and applauses of Guarino, 
of Vespasiano Strozza, of Biondo, and of several other distin- 
guished scholars. 

In the adjacent city of Vicenza resided a Jacopo Tintorello, 
strongly resembling Vittore in his style of colouring, however 
inferior to him in the perfection of his design, as far as we 
are enabled to judge from a picture of the Saviour, with a 
crown of thorns, exhibited at Santa Corona, a piece which 
reflects credit upon that school. It is yet more highly ho- 
noured by an " Epiphany," painted in San Bartolommeo, by 
Marcello Figolino, an artist commemorated by Ridolfi, under 
the name of Giovanni Batista, and who flourished, according 
to his account, at the period of the two Montagna. He must, 
however, at that time, have been far advanced in years, if it 



JACOPO TINTORELLO. 91 

be t;-ue that the era of his birth preceded that of Gian Bellini.* 
His manner is undoubtedly original; so much so, that I find 
nothing resembling it,f either in Venice or elsewhere; it em- 
braces great diversity of countenance, and of costume, skilful 
gradation of light and shade, with landscape and perspective, 
and is remarkable for ornament, and the finish and smoothness 
of every part. It was fully entitled to render its author the 
fatber of a new epoch in the history of the art ; if, indeed, we 
are to believe him, which does not sufficiently appear to be as 
ancient as has been affirmed. 

Tip to this period I have described the merits of the artists 
of ',he city and of the state, who appeared in the early part 
of the century, but I have not yet recorded its greatest 
master, I mean Squarcione, of Padua, who, from his ability 
in bringing up pupils, was pronounced by his followers the 
firsj master of painters, and continued to educate them until 
they amounted to 137. Ambitious of seeing more of the 
world, he not only traversed the whole of Italy, but, passing 
into Greece, he took designs of the best specimens, both in 
painting and sculpture, of every thing he met with, besides 
purchasing several. On returning to his native place, he began 
to form a studio, which proved the richest of any known at 
thst period, not merely in designs, but in statues, torsos, bassi- 
rilievi, and funeral urns. Thus devoting himself to the in- 
struction of students, with such copies, aided by his precepts, 
ral her than by his own example, he continued to live in corn- 
pa rative affluence, and divided many of the commissions which 
lie received among his different pupils. In the church of the 
M isericordia is preserved a book of anthems, illustrated with 
very beautiful miniatures., commonly ascribed to Mantegna, 
th 3 ornament of that school ; but so great is the variety of the 
di iFerent styles, that the most competent judges conclude it 
to be one of the works committed to Squarcione, and by him 
distributed among his disciples. Of these we are not yet 

* See on this head, the " Descrizione delle Bellezze di Vicenza," 
P 1, p. 7. 

f* This painter, so truly graceful and pleasing, is foreign to the Vene- 
ti in school. His composition approaches RafFaello's manner when he 
emerged from Perugino's school, and he is in every respect deserving of 
h incurable mention. 



92 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I, 

prepared to treat, the chief part of whom are known to hare 
flourished subsequent to the introduction of painting in oils, 
while little can be said of the productions of Squarcione 
himself, though much in respect to his labours as a master. 
And, indeed, he may be considered the stock, as it were, 
whose branches we trace, through Mantegna, in the grand 
school of Lombardy ; through Marco Zoppo in the Bolognese; 
while it extended some degree of influence over that of Venice 
itself. For Jacopo Bellini, having come to exercise his talents 
in Padua, it would appear that he took Squarcione for his 
model, as before stated. 

There is nothing remaining from the hand of Squarcione, 
in Padua, that can be relied upon with certainty, except an 
altar-piece, formerly to be seen at the Carmelitani, but now 
in possession of the accomplished Conte Cav. de' Lazara. It 
is drawn in different compartments ; the chief place is occu- 
pied by the figure of San Girolamo. Around him appear 
other saints ; but the work is in parts re-touched, though 
there is sufficient of what is original to establish the cha- 
racter of the painter. Rich in colouring, in expression, and 
above all in perspective, it may be declared one of the best 
epecimens of the art produced in those parts. The painting 
of the altar-piece, here alluded to, was assigned him by the 
noble family of the Lazara, of which the contract is still pre - 
served by them, dated 1449, the salary being paid in 1452, 
the period at which it was completed. The artist subscribes 
himself " Francesco Squarcione," whence we are enabled to 
correct the mistake of Vasari, who, invariably unfortunate in 
his nomenclature of the Venetians, announces his name as 
Jacopo, an error repeated also in the dictionaries of artists. 
Besides this specimen, there still exist, in a cloister of San 
Francesco Grande, some histories of that saint in " terra 
verde," which are to be referred to the early part of his life, 
there being good authority for believing them to be by the 
same hand, though with the assistance of his school, as the 
more and less perfect parts render sufficiently apparent. Near 
them were placed some other pieces of Squarcione, also in 
" terra verde," which were defaced in the time of Algarotti, 
who regrets their loss in one of his elegant and pleasing let- 
ters. Their style is altogether analogous to that of his school ; 



ANONYMOUS PAINTERS. 93 

animated figures, neat in the folds, foreshortenings not usual in 
works of that age, and attempts, though yet immature, at ap- 
proaching towards the style of the ancient Greeks. 

Proceeding from Padua, in the direction of Germany, we 
meet with some anonymous paintings, in the districts of Trevigi 
and Friuli, which ought, apparently, to be referred to this 
epodi, so far removed are they in style from the nobler 
method we shall shortly have to describe. The name of An- 
tonio is well known in Treviso, an artist who produced a S. 
Crntoforo, of gigantic stature, tolerably well executed, in San 
Niecolo, and that of Liberale da Canipo, author of a Christ in 
the Manger, which is placed in the cathedral. Superior to both 
of these must have been Giorgio da Trevigi, if we are to 
believe Rossetti, where he mentions his introduction into Pa- 
dua, in 1437, in order to paint the celebrated tower of the 
Horologe. There exist other pictures of the 14th century, 
more or less perfect, interspersed throughout the Marca Tre- 
vigi ana, and more particularly in Serravalle. Other places 
in Italy, indeed, bear the same name, derived from the inclosed 
form of the mountains ; this, however, is the largest of the 
whole, being a rich and ornate city, where Titian was in the 
habit of spending some months in the year at the house of his 
son-in-law, by way of amusement, and has left there several 
memorials of his art. But the whole of the church of the 
Battuti appears ornamented in a more antique taste, executed 
in Kuch a manner, that I was assured, by a person who wit- 
nessed it, that it most of all resembled a sacred museum of art. 
Th< whole must have been the work of the same artists that 
we have just been recording in other cities, inasmuch as the 
names of no natives are known beyond the single one of Ya- 
lentina. He, indeed, verged upon the improved age ; but in 
Ceneda, that boasts various altar-pieces of his hand, as well 
as iu Serravalle itself, where he painted another, with some 
saints of the Holy Family, he still appears a disciple of the 
ancients, and a copyist of Squarcione, of Padua. We shall 
soon discover more celebrated artists rising up in this province, 
after the introduction into the Trevigiana, of the method of 
the Bellini. 

The artists of Friuli availed themselves of it less early, not 
having sufficiently imbibed the principles of modern taste, 



94 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

even as late as the year 1500, either, in the opinion of Rinal- 
dis, from the secluded situation of the place, or from the dis- 
turbed and revolutionary character of the times. Hence it is 
that the provincial painters of that period are to be referred 
wholly to this, not to the subsequent era of the art. To such 
belongs Andrea Bellunello, of San Vito, whose master-piece 
is a Crucifixion, among various saints, with the date of 1475, 
exhibited in the great council-chamber at Udine. It has 
some merit in regard to the size, and the distribution of its 
figures, but displays neither beauty of forms nor colour, and 
we might almost pronounce it an ancient piece of tapestry, 
when placed by the side of a beautiful picture. Nevertheless, 
in his own district, he was considered the Zeuxis and Apelles 
of his age.* Contemporary with him, was Domenico di 
Tolmezzo, who painted an altar-piece in various compartments 
for the cathedral of Udine ; a Madonna, in the taste of those 
times, with some saints, figures which all partake of the an- 
cient Venetian style, even to the colouring, insomuch that one 
might believe him to have been a disciple of that school. He 
has attached his name and the year 1479, and it would 
appear that there belonged to the same piece, exhibiting a 
figure of the blessed Bertrando, patriarch of Aquileja, two 
oblong tablets, one of which represents his offering of alms, 
the other the circumstances of the death he suffered. The 
whole of these paintings, which I have noticed, are tolerably 
executed, in particular the two histories, and are preserved in 
two chambers of the Canonica. Not far from the same place 
is seen a figure of the saint, in fresco, painted by Francesco de 
Alessiis, in 1494, and placed over the door of a house, for- 
merly the college of S. Girolamo. 

While the schools of the state thus continued to advance, a 
knowledge of design became more general in Venice ; and in 
the latter part of the century, its artists, for the most part, 
had acquired a taste similar to what I have already described 
as influencing those of other places a taste rather removed 
from the antique coarseness, than adorned with the elegance 

* In the cathedral of Pordenone, under one of his altar-pieces, we 
read 

" Andreas Zeusis nostrseque setatis Apelles 
Hoc Bellunellus nobile pinxit opus." Altan. 



DISCOVERY OF OIL-COLOUR. 95 

of the moderns. Although the use of canvas had been 
already adopted in Venice, like that of boards elsewhere, a 
circumstance for which Vasari accounts in treating of the 
Bellini, there was no composition besides water-colours or 
distemper, excellent, indeed, for the preservation of tints, as 
we perceive from unfaded specimens in the present day, but 
unfriendly to the production of union, smoothness, and soft- 
ness. At length appeared the secret of colouring in oils from 
Flanders, a discovery conferring a happier era upon the Italian 
schools, and in particular upon that of Venice, which availed 
itsolf of it above every other, and apparently the very first of all. 
In the Florentine school I have described the origin of this 
invention, ascribing it, along with Vasari, to Giovanni Van 
E} ch, and both there and in the Neapolitan I have also 
shewn that the first who communicated it to Italy was Anto- 
nello da Messina, having been instructed in it by Giovanni 
himself in Flanders. The historical account of this Messi- 
ne^e, as I have repeatedly before observed, has never been 
sufficiently elucidated. Vasari and Ridolfi state such facts 
respecting him as are not easily reconcilable to the period of 
life in general assigned to him, reaching only to forty-nine 
yes:>rs ; and I have proved, in collecting memorials to which 
they had no access, alluded to in the Neapolitan school, that 
there were two district visits made by Antonello to Venice. 
The first, it appears to me, must have taken place soon after 
his return into Italy, at which time he concealed the disco- 
veiy from every one, except it were Domenico Veneziano, 
who is known to have availed himself of it for many years, 
both in Venice and elsewhere. During that period Antonello 
vis ted other places, and more especially Milan, whence he 
ret irned to Venice for the second time, and, as it is said, 
" received a public salary," and then he divulged the method 
of painting in oils to the Venetian professors, a circumstance 
wh ch, according to the superscriptions attached to his pic- 
tur- ;s, appears to have taken place about the year 1 474. Other 
signatures are to be met with as late as 1490, insomuch that 
he nust have run a longer career than that which has above 
bee :i assigned him. And we are here arrived at an era at 
one ) the happiest and most controverted of any. But of the 
Vei tetians we shall treat presently, after alluding to the works 



96 VENETIAN SCHOOL* EPOCU I. 

of this foreign artist apart. Two altar-pieces by his hand are 
recorded, which were painted for the two churches of the 
Dominante, besides several Madonnas, and other holy pieces 
intended for private houses, together with some few produc- 
tions in fresco. There is no doubt but that he also produced 
many others, both at the instance of natives and of foreigners, 
relieving himself from the multiplicity of his commissions by 
the aid of Pino di Messina, the same who is commended in 
the memoirs of Hackert as the pupil and companion of An- 
tonello's labours at Venice. It is not mentioned whether he 
produced any specimens of his art in Sicily, nor am I certain 
whether he returned thither. In many Venetian collections, 
however, they are still preserved, and display a very correct 
taste, united to a most delicate command of the pencil ; and 
among others is a portrait in the possession of the family 
Martinengo, bearing the inscription "Antonellus Messaneus 
me fecit, 1474." 

In the council-hall of the Ten, is also to be seen one of his 
pictures of a Pieta, half-length, subscribed, " Antonius Mes- 
sinensis." The feature^ of the countenances, though animated, 
are not at all select, nor have much of the Italian expres- 
sion ; and his colours in this and other of his productions 
that I have seen, are less vivid than in some Venetian artists 
of that age, who carried the perfection of colouring to its 
highest pitch. 

There is good authority for believing that, together with 
Antonello, or very near the same period, there nourished in 
Venice one of the best Flemish disciples of Giovanni Van 
Eych, called by Vasari, Ruggieri da Bruggia. There ap- 
pears, in the Palazzo Nani, adorned by its present owner in 
the hereditary taste of his noble family, with the most splen- 
did monuments of antiquity, a San Girolamo between two 
holy virgins, a picture, as is shewn from the following in- 
scription, by his hand, " Sumus Rugerii manus." It is 
drawn with more merit in point of colouring than of design, 
upon Venetian pine-wood, not upon Flemish oak, and for 
this reason it is considered by Zanetti as the production of 
a native artist. But if the Venetians had really possessed a 
painter of so much merit towards the year 1500, how is it 
possible that he should be distinguished only by this solitary 



ANTONELLO DA MESSINA. 97 

specimen of his powers. Eyen the very imposing formula 
he made use of in subscribing his name, contrary to the 
usual practice of those times, without mention either of 
family or of place, is it not altogether like that of an artist 
who feels and displays his own celebrity ?* To me, it does 
not appear at all improbable that Ruggieri, on arriving in 
Italy, t sought to employ his talents upon some subject, in 
the same way as Ausse,^ his disciple, Ugo d'Anversa, and 
other Flemish painters of that period, whose names are corn*- 
mei aerated along with his by Vasari, in the twenty-first 
chapter of his introduction. 

Inverting to Antonello, we are told by Borghini and 
Ridolfi, that Gian Bellini, having assumed the dress and cha- 
racter of a Venetian gentleman, for the pretended purpose of 
having his portrait taken, penetrated by this disguise into 
the studio of the Messinese; and watching him while he 
painted, discovered the whole secret of the new method, 
which he speedily applied. But Zanetti conjectures that 
Antonello was not very jealous of his secret, by which means 
it was quickly diffused among the different professors of the 
art. And this is clearly shewn by a picture of Vivarini, 
coloured in oil, as early as 1473, no less than by others from 
different hands in the years following. Argenville even 
goe.s farther ; for he asserts that such was the generosity with 
which Antonello taught in Venice, that he drew a crowd of 

* Ruggieri indeed had acquired a great reputation in Italy as early as 1449, 
when Ciriaco Anconitano, being in Ferrara, saw a picture of Christ taken 
from the Cross, belonging to the duke. He thus writes respecting the 
artist: " Rugerus Brugiensis pictorum decus ArAOHITYXHI. Rugie- 
rius in Brussella post prseclarum ilium Brugiensem picturse decus 
Joannem, insignis N. T. Pictor habetur," &c. See Colucci A. P. 
vol. xxiii. p. 143. He is also commended in high terms by Bartolommeo 
Facio, in his little work " De Viris illustribus." See Morelli, Notizia, 
p. 239. 

f He arrived there, and was at Rome in the anno Santo. See Facius, 
lib. dt. p. 45. 

+ This is one of the usual mistakes foand in Vasari. Baldinucci 
(tom. iv. p. 17) calls him Ans or Hans. This is his Flemish appellation, 
whi< h, in our tongue, signifies Giovanni ; and in the " Notizia Morelli " 
he i.-- termed Gianes da Brugia ; somewhat nearer our own tongue. "With 
Sansovino he is Gio. di Bruggia, John of Bruges. See Morelli, p. 117 ; 
and by him he is distinguished from Gio. Van Eych. 
VOL. II. H 



98 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

pupils, who assisted in spreading a knowledge of the disco- 
very through all parts. And among these we find several 
foreigners, such as Theodore Harlem, Quintinus Messis, along 
with several others mentioned in the preface to the third 
volume, p. iii. This we are likewise inclined to admit dur- 
ing the period of his public instructions in the city. 

All that now remains, before we reach the times of Titian 
and Giorgione, is comprised in that last stage of the art 
which, in every school, has opened a path to the golden 
period which ensued. The masters who were to distinguish 
the stage alluded to, in Venice, as in almost all other parts, 
are found to retain traces of the ancient stiffness of manner, 
and sometimes exhibit, like the naturalists, imperfect forms 
copied from the life ; as, for instance, in those extravagantly 
long and spare figures which we noticed in Pisanello. In 
Venice, such forms were in high repute with Mansueti, Se- 
bastiani, and other of their contemporaries, nor were they 
disliked by the Bellini themselves. And, indeed, where they 
selected good proportions, they are apt to arrest the attention 
by that simplicity, purity, care, and, as it were, timidity of 
design, which attempts to avoid every approach to exaggera- 
tion. Such artists, we might suppose to have been educated 
by the more ancient Greek sculptors, in whose works the 
exhibition of truth attracts the spectator, like that of grandeur 
in others. Their heads, more particularly, are correct and 
fine ; consisting of portraits taken from the life, both among 
the populace, and among persons of superior birth, whether 
distinguished for learning, or for their military exploits. 
And to this practice, familiar also to artists of the 13th cen- 
tury, we are indebted for many likenesses which were copied 
at the instance of Giovio, for his museum. Thence they 
were again multiplied both by painting and engraving, in 
different parts of the world. Often also the artist of those 
times inserted his own portrait in his composition ; a circum- 
stance so favourable to Vasari's history ; but this species of 
ostentation was gradually abandoned, as real cultivation in 
Italy advanced. But then, as in the heroic and still more 
uncivilized times, such species of boasting was not esteemed 
offensive : and surely, if the literati of the 14th century were 
in the habit of extolling themselves in their own works ; if 



IMPROVEMENT IN DESIGN. 99 

the typographers were so fond of exalting themselves and 
their editions by superb titles, and more vaunting epigrams, 
even to a ridiculous degree; the more modest ambition of 
sometimes handing down their own features to posterity may 
be ( xcused in our painters. 

The colours of these artists are likewise simple and natu- 
ral, though not always in union, more especially with the 
ground, nor sufficiently broken by the chiaroscuro. But, 
above all, they are most remarkable for the extreme simpli- 
city of the composition of their pieces. It was very seldom 
thev inserted histories, it being sufficient for the ambition of 
thof e times to give a representation of our Lady upon a 
throne, surrounded with a number of saints, such as the de- 
votion of each was supposed to require. Nor were those 
drawn in the manner they had before been, all erect at equal 
distances, and in the least studied motions ; but their authors 
attempted to give them some degree of contrast, so that 
while one was drawn gazing upon the Virgin, another ap- 
peared reading a book ; if this were in a kneeling attitude, 
that is seen standing erect. The national genius, always 
lively and joyous, even then sought to develope itself in more 
brilliant colours than those of any other school. And, per- 
haps, in order that the figures, of such glowing tints, might 
stand in bolder relief, they kept the colour of the airs most 
generally pale and languid. They aimed, indeed, as much 
as lay in their power, at enlivening their compositions with 
the most pleasing images ; freely introducing into their sacred 
piec GS, sportive cherubs, drawn as if vicing with each other 
in airy grace and agility ; some in the act of singing, some of 
playing ; and not unfrequently bearing little baskets of fruit 
and flowers so exquisitely drawn as to appear moist with 
rece nt dew. In the drapery of their figures they were sim- 
ple md natural; the most exempt perhaps from that trite 
and exact folding, as well as from that manner of bandaging 
the bodies so common in Mantegna, and which infected some 
other schools. 

IS or did they lay small stress upon certain accessaries of 
thei;' art, such as the thrones, which they composed in the 
richest and most ostentatious manner; and the landscapes, 
whi ;h they drew with an astonishing degree of truth from 

H 2 



100 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

nature, besides the architecture frequently constructed in the 
forms of porticos or tribunes. It may sometimes be observed, 
also, that, adapting themselves to the workmanship and to 
the design of the altar, they feigned a continuation of it 
within the painting, so that by the resemblance of colour and 
of taste, the eye is deceived, the illusion produced rendering 
it doubtful where the exterior ornament* terminates, and 
where the picture begins. We ought not, therefore, easily 
to give credit to certain writers who have undervalued the 
merits of such masters, pronouncing their labours mechanical, 
as those of mere practical artificers, inasmuch as Serlio is 
known to have supplied several of them with architectural 
designs. t We ought rather to subscribe to the opinion of 
Daniel Barbaro, whose extensive learning did not prevent 
him, in his work entitled " Pratica di Prospettiva," from ex- 
pressing his admiration of them, even from the commence- 
ment, as follows : " In this art, they left many fine remnants 
of excellent works, in which we behold not only landscapes, 
mountains, woods, and edifices, all admirably designed ; but 
even the human form, and other animals, with lines drawn to- 
the eye, as if to a centre placed in the most exact perspective. 
But in what manner, and by what rules they proceeded, no 
author of whom I am aware has left any account to in- 
struct us." 

* In a similar taste was the perspective introduced by Giovanni Bellino 
in his celebrated altar-piece at San Zaccaria, in Venice. Another was 
placed in the great altar of the dome at Capo d'Tstria, by Carpaccio the 
elder, still more striking. In the back-ground of the picture, the Virgin 
appears seated on a magnificent throne, with the divine infant, in an up- 
right posture, upon her knees, surrounded by six of the most venerable 
patrons of the place, disposed around her, in three ranks, displaying a 
fine diversity of drapery as well as of action. To these are added some 
cherubs, engaged in playing upon musical instruments, and apparently 
beholding the spectator with an air of puerile simplicity, as if inviting 
him to caress them. A long and lofty colonnade, in excellent perspective, 
leads the way to the throne, at one time united to a fine stone colonnade, 
which extended from the altar-piece through the chapel, producing a fine 
illusion, amounting to a sort of enchantment of perspective. It was re- 
moved along with the stone columns, in order to enlarge the tribune. 
The oldest citizens, who witnessed this beautiful spectacle, speak of it to 
strangers with delight, and I am glad to cut it on record, before the re- 
collection of it be entirely obliterated. 

f Notizia, p. 63. 



GIOVANNI BELLINI. 101 

As this progress of style was more greatly promoted by 
Gian Bellini than by any other master, with him I shall com- 
merce my account, afterwards proceeding to treat of his con- 
temporaries, and such of his scholars as more or less resem- 
bled him. Nor, I flatter myself, will it be unpleasing to the 
reader, to find mention of the imitation of Giorgione and of 
Titian, as it were anticipated, inasmuch as it happens with 
the professors of the art of painting, as occasionally with 
those writers who have flourished on the confines of two 
aget; ; that their style to a certain degree seems to partake of 
the colour of both. Thus, Giovanni Bellini himself will 
afford us, in his numerous productions, which commence be- 
fore 1464, and continue down to the year 1516, a sort of 
regular gradation of his progress, that may be considered, at 
the same time, the progress of his school. Even in his ear- 
liest pictures, we trace the ambition of the artist to ennoble 
and to enlarge the national manner. The noble house of 
their Excellencies Corer, which at the time of the Queen of 
Cyprus, gave frequent commissions to his hand, possesses 
several specimens of his first style, proceeding gradually to 
others, appearing always to grow more beautiful. Among 
thete last, is a San Francesco drawn amidst a thick wood ; a 
piece that might well excite the envy of the best landscape 
masters themselves. Having reached the period of 1488, in 
which he produced an altar-piece still preserved in the 
sacristy of the Conventual!, we find he extorts the praises of 
Vasari, no less as a good mannerist than a fine designer. 
WLh still greater success he executed other works from the 
examples afforded by Giorgione. It was then he conceived 
his subjects more boldly, gave rotundity to his forms, and 
warmth to his colours ; he passed more naturally from con- 
tracted tints, his naked figures became more select, his dra- 
pery more imposing ; and if he had succeeded in acquiring a 
more perfect degree of softness and delicacy in his contours, 
he might have been held up as one of the most finished ex- 
amples of the modern style. Neither Pietro Perugino, Ghir- 
landajo, nor Mantegna attained to it in an equal degree. 
Tho lover of art will find various specimens of him, both in 
Venice and elsewhere. His altar-piece, painted for San 
Zaccaria, in 1505, is well worthy his attention, as well as 



102 YENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I, 

that of S. Giobbe, of the date of 1510. To these we may 
add a Bacchanal, in the villa Aldobrandini, at Rome, dated 
1514, which, on account of the artist's advanced age, was 
left imperfect. I have seen other pictures by his hand, with- 
out date, but of striking merit ; more especially a Virgin in 
the cathedral of Bergamo ; a Baptism of our Lord at Santa 
Corona, of Vicenza, a Holy Child slumbering on the lap of 
the Virgin, between two angels, a production that lies trea- 
sured up in a chest at the Capuchins, in Venice, and which 
truly fascinates the eye of the beholder. It displays a strik- 
ing union of that beauty, grace, and expression, of which, in 
this school, he may be said to have set the example. It 
would appear that he continued to employ his talents to an 
extreme old age, there remaining, in the select gallery of 
Santa Giustina, at Padua, one of his Madonnas, painted in. 
1516.* . Such figures, together with those of the Dead 
Christ, are the most frequent paintings of his hand that we 
meet with. Should any one, not content with the commenda- 
tions I have bestowed, feel inclined to prefer a Bellini to a 
Rafiaello, because he was his superior in architectural design,. 
let him consult the opinion of Boschini, p. 28 of his ^ Carta 
da Navigare," but let him recollect that the same writer pos- 
sesses nothing of the poet beyond the measure of the verse, 
and the exaggeration of his praises. 

The name of Giovanni ought not to go down unaccom- 
panied by that of his brother Gentile, who preceded him, 
alike in the period of his birth and of his death. Though 
living apart, in regard to family, they were of congenial mind 
and disposition, esteeming one another as friends and brethren, 
mutually encouraging and respecting each other, as superior 
in merit. But in Giovanni this was modesty, in Gentile only 
truth. For the latter had a more confined genius; but by 
diligence, that sometimes compensates the neglect of nature, 

* Albert Durer, arriving the same year at Venice bestowed on Gio- 
vanni one of the most favourable testimonies to his talents that re- 
mains. After rebuking the envy of the other painters, >* 
him with contempt, he says of him ,- Every one assures me that h 
Gran Galantuomo, for which reason I wish him well. He is already very 
old, but, notwithstanding, the best painter we have,' V. Morel. JNo 
p. 224. 



GENTILE BELLINI. 103 

he was enabled to attain an honourable station among his con- 
temporaries. He was employed by the republic upon an 
equal footing with his brother, to adorn the hall of the great 
council ; and when the Grand Turk sent to Venice in search 
of an eminent portrait painter, he was commissioned by the 
senate to go to Constantinople, where in the exercise of his 
profession he added glory to the Venetian name. Besides his 
works in painting, he there struck a fine medallion for Maho- 
met II., bearing the head of the emperor, with three crowns 
on the reverse ; a rare work, of which, however, I learn there 
is a specimen in possession of his Excellency Theodore Corer. 
However inferior we are to consider him to his brother, and 
tenacious of that ancient harshness in many of his works, 
there are still several of a more beautiful description, such as 
his histories of the Holy Cross at San Giovanni, and the 
Preaching of S. Mark, at the college of that saint ;* a piece 
which, placed near that of a Paris Bordone, does no discredit 
to its author. He shews himself a faithful copyist, inasmuch 
as every thing he remarked in a concourse of people is faith- 
fully portrayed. The features of the audience, and the pe- 
culiar conformations of the body, are as diversified as we see 
them in nature, including even instances of deformity, into 
which through her own general laws, nature is known to fall ; 
and we are thus presented with caricatures, with bald, and 
lean, and pursy, and, what is more remarkable, the auditors 
of S. Mark are drawn without regard to times, in the cos- 
tume of Venetians or of Turks. Yet from its exact imitation 
of the truth, its arrangement, and its animated style, the 
work does not fail to please and strike the beholder. I shall 
even go further ; for there are pictures on a smaller scale, by 
the same hand, executed with so much taste, that they may 
be esteemed not unworthy of the name of his brother. Such 
is r, Presentation of the infant Jesus at the Temple, in half- 
length, which adorns the Palazzo Barbarigo, at San Polo, a 
duplicate of which was painted for that of the Grimani, with 
stiil more delicacy and care. Opposite to this of Gentile is a 
fine picture of Gian Bellini, which, however superior in the 

*' This much-admired picture is in the R. Pinacoteca of Milan, and 
among the early productions ranks as one of the most beautiful and 
valuable. 



104 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

softness of its tints, is considered scarcely equal in point of 
beauty and other qualities of the art. 

The two Bellini and the last of the Vivarini had a compe- 
titor in Vittore Carpaccio, either a Venetian or a native of 
Capo d'Istria,* and along with these he was selected to orna- 
ment the ducal palace. It was destroyed by fire in 1576, 
when that noble collection of ancient historic pieces perished, 
though subsequently restored by the most celebrated artists of 
later times. Yet there still remains a specimen of Vittore's 
style in the oratory of Santa Ursula, sufficient to entitle him 
to rank among the best artists of the age. It consists of eight 
histories drawn from the acts of that saint, and of her eleven 
thousand companions, which were all about that time very 
generally admitted to be true. The production is not wanting 
in power of conception, developing numerous and novel com- 
binations, nor in the order of their distribution, in richness 
of ideas, both in varying the features and costume ; nor in 
architectural skill and landscape, serving to adorn them. Still 
more remarkable is its expression of nature and simplicity ; 
an expression which so frequently invited Zanetti himself to 
a renewed contemplation of it. He there remarked the va- 
rious passions of the people, who appeared to understand 
every thing passing ; and, in their earnest attention, expressed 
sentiments in unison with the representation ; whence he con- 
cludes his description by saying that Carpaccio felt the truth 
in his very heart. 

* The country is impressed with this persuasion in spite of his own 
signatures,^ attached even to the pictures in Istria. In that, cited at page 
100, it is written " Victor Charpatius Venetus pinxit, 1516 ;" in another, 
at San Francesco di Pirano, " Victoris Charpatii Veneti opus, 1519." 
Benedetto Carpaccio, probably a son or nephew of the preceding, was also 
a Venetian, of whom there remains a picture of the Coronation of the 
Virgin, at Capo d'Istria, in the Rotunda, subscribed, " Benetto Carpathio 
Veneto pingeva, 1537." At the Osservanti is the picture of the Nome 
di Gesii, with the same words, but dated 1541. He is not mentioned in 
Venetian history, though highly deserving a place in it ; for whatever 
traces he retains of the ancient stiffness of manner, in the extremity of 
his figures, yet. he yields not to many in softness of tints ; in the taste of 
his colours ; expression of features, and the effect of his chiaroscuro. I 
am led to think, that from residing out of the capital, this artist was sup- 
pofsd to be a native of Istria, but he was indisputably of a Venetian family, 
most probably tracing its origin from Murano 



VITTORE CARPACCIO. 105 

He produced still nobler specimens of his genius in the 
college of San Girolamo, which rivalled those of Giovanni 
Bel ini, without, in this instance, yielding to them. His cha- 
i'acter, which might frequently be confounded with that of 
Gentile, shines most conspicuous, perhaps, in his altar-pieces, 
whore he is original in almost every composition. The most 
celebrated in Venice is one of the Purification at San Giobbe, 
in which, however, the S. Vecchio Simeone is represented in 
a pontifical dress, between two servants arrayed like cardinals. 
If we except this error in point of costume, and add a little 
more warmth of colours to the flesh, more delicacy of contour, 
the piece would not discredit the first artist of any times. 
Owing to the fault of his early education, however, these 
qualities he never attained. This, also, happened to Lazzaro 
Sebastiani, his disciple and follower ; to Giovanni Mausueti, 
to Marco, and to Pietro Veglia, as well as to Francesco 
Hizzo, of San Croce, a territory in the district of Bergamo ;* 
artists who, however nearly touching upon the golden period, 
did not succeed in freeing themselves from the influence of the 
old and uniform taste, and for this reason are often confounded 
with each other. I do not here treat of the paintings left by 
them at Venice, as they have so frequently been described 
elsewhere. It will be enough to inform the reader that in 
these, also, we discover several noble traces of the style of 
Gentile and Carpaccio, more especially in the architecture, 
and that their colouring, which in this school is considered 

* We find traces of his paintings from the year 1507. See Tassi, in 
his " Lives of the Painters, &c." p. 56, where he corrects a mistake of 
Zanetti, who, instead of one painter, had divided him into two. One of 
his pictures, in the parish church of Endine, will remove every doubt. 
There he signed himself, " Franciscus Rizus Bergomensis habitator 
Venetiis, 1529." In another piece, in the parochial church of Serina, he 
wrote " Francesco Rizo da Santa Croxe depense, 1518." His last work 
of which I find any account is also in the parochial church of Chirignano, 
in the Mestrina, dated 1541. Father Federici, who describes it, makes 
Francesco the son of Girolamo da S. Croce, or S. Croce, whose name we 
find subscribed in both ways, but not ever Rizo. I cannot agree with 
him, first, because Ridolfi says only (p. 62) that they were of the same 
family ; second, because the pictures of Girolamo, according to Tassi, 
commence later, and are traced also later than those of Francesco, that 
is in 1549; and thirdly, because the style of Girolamo is incomparably 
more modernized, as we shall presently shew. 



106 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

cold and languid, would be termed, in several of the others, 
both soft and animated enough for that period. The one who, 
if I mistake not, approaches nearer to the modern, and in 
some degree towards the style of Giorgione, is Benedetto 
Diana, as well in his altar-piece of Santa Lucia, at the SS. 
Apostoli, as in the Limosina de' Confratelli di San Giovanni, 
painted at their college in competition with the Bellini. 

We next come to Marco Basaiti, sprung from a Greek 
family in the Friuli, and a rival also of Giovanni ; but more 
successful than Carpaccio. The church of San Giobbe, here 
mentioned for the third time, possesses his picture of Christ 
praying in the Garden, painted in 1510. It is now a little 
defaced, but has been highly extolled by Ridolfi and others, 
who beheld it in a more perfect condition. Above all his pro- 
ductions, however, the Vocation of San Pietro to the Apostle- 
ship, in the church of the Certosa, is the most celebrated ; a 
piece of which there is seen a duplicate in the imperial gallery 
at Vienna. It is certainly one of the most beautiful pictures 
of that age ; and most generally there is no kind of merit in 
Gian Bellini, in which Basaiti does not either equal, or very 
closely approach him. Indeed he appears to exhibit even a 
freer genius, a more happy composition, and a more skilful 
art in uniting the grounds of his pictures with the figures.*" 
These are beautiful, and for the most part incline to the free 
style ; their look is full of fire ; the tints of the fleshy parts 
of a rosy glow ; the middle tints inclining sometimes to pale- 
ness, but not without grace. Though not a native, he resided 
a long period at Venice, which contains a good number of his 
works, a few of which are in the ancient taste, but the most 
part bordering upon the modern. His native place of Friuli 
possesses no other specimen besides a Christ taken from the 
Cross, in the monastery of Sesto, consisting of large figures, 
with a fine group in the back-ground of the picture, and with 
a landscape full of nature. In several parts it is defaced by 
age ; but a true connoisseur will still, perhaps, prefer it to 
the others, for being free from the retouches of modern art. 

* To this praise might be added, a certain strength of chiaroscuro, 
which gives striking relief to his figures, and approaches the composition 
of Da Vinci. 



t PUPILS OF BELLINI. 107 

Among the pupils of Gian Bellini, who were very nume- 
rous, are some who ought to be referred to another epoch, like 
Giorgione, and to different schools, like Rondinello of 
Ravenna ; several, however, take their place here, who, in 
the opinion of their national contemporaries, did not fully 
attain to the possession of the new style. The family of the 
heads of the school produced also a Bellin Bellini, who being 
educated in that academy, very happily imitated its manner. 
He painted Madonnas for private individuals, which, their 
author being little known, are for the most part attributed to 
Gentile, or to Giovanni. The artist who is mentioned by 
Vasari as the pupil of Giovanni, named Girolamo Mocetto, 
was one of the earliest and least polished among his disciples. 
He did not reach the sixteenth century ; and left behind him 
some engravings upon copper, now become extremely rare ; 
besides small pictures, one of which, subscribed with the 
author's name, in 1484, is in the possession of the before- 
mentioned house of Corer. The Veronese, who are in pos- 
session of his portrait, amongst those of the painters of their 
town, in the Scuola del Nudo, can also boast one of his altar- 
pieces, bearing the name and date of 1493, in their church of 
S. Nazario e Celso. Such information I obtained from 
Signer Saverio dalla Rosa, a Veronese painter of merit. 
Another less distinguished, and somewhat stiff scholar or 
imitator of Bellini, has affixed his name in several places, at 
tho foot of sacred figures, as follows : " Marcus Martialis 
Vfnetus " and in a Purification, existing in the Conservatory 
of the Penitents, we meet with the year 1488. And from a 
Supper of Emaus, belonging to the family of the Contarini, 
with the painter's name, we learn that in the year 1506 he 
w;ts still alive. 

An artist of a better taste appeared in Vincenzio Catena, a 
woalthy citizen, who obtained a good deal of celebrity by his 
portraits and pictures for private rooms. His master-piece 
consists of a Holy Family, in the style of Giorgione, orna- 
menting the noble Pesaro gallery; and if he had produced 
nothing more than this, he would no longer be included in. 
tl:e present epoch ; but his other pieces, exhibiting more 
traces of the old style, which remain at San Maurizio, at San 
Simeone Grande, at the Carita, and elsewhere, authorize our 



108 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

enumeration of them here. They are beautiful ; but not 
sufficiently in the modern taste. His reputation, however, 
while living, was so great, that in a letter written by Marc 
Antonio Michiel from Rome, to Antonio di Marsilio in 
Venice, dated llth of April, 1520, when Raffaello was just 
deceased and Bonarruoti infirm, it is recommended to Catena 
to be upon his guard, " since danger seems to be impending 
over all very excellent painters."* One Giannetto Cordegli- 
aghi enjoyed also a high reputation, if he be rightly named 
by Vasari, who commends him for his soft and delicate man- 
ner, superior to many of his contemporaries ; adding, that he 
had produced an infinite number of pictures for private per- 
sons. In Venice, he is termed, I suppose for the sake of 
brevity, Cordelia ; and to him is attributed the beautiful por- 
trait of the Cardinal Bessarione in the college of La Carita, 
with a few other specimens, the rest having dropped into ob- 
livion. Probably his real name was double, Cordelia Aghi. 
It is certain that Zanetti read, upon a beautiful Madonna, 
belonging to the learned Zeno, " Andreas Cordelle Agi, F." 
This last is of the same family as Giannetto ; or perhaps also 
in place of Giannetto, Vasari ought to have written Andrea; 
as instead of Jacopo, he ought to have said Francesco Squar- 
cione. Nor can it be denied that, if we except the artists of 
Verona and Friuli, this historian was deficient in information, 
as he himself declares, relating to the Venetian school. It 
is sufficient to turn to his proemium of the life of Carpaccio, 
in order to observe how many times, in a very few lines, he 
is guilty of making mistakes. Of Lazzaro Sebastiani, he 
made two painters ; two others out of Marco Basaiti, divid- 
ing him into Marco Basarini and Marco Bassiti, and assign- 
ing to each his several works. Moreover, he wrote Vittore 
Scarpaccia, Vittor Bellini, Giambatista da Cornigliano, and 
confounded the labours of all the three together. Elsewhere 
we meet with Mansuchi for Mansueti ; Guerriero and Guar- 
riero, instead of Guariento ; Foppa is made into Zoppa, 
Giolfino into Ursino, Morazone into Mazzone, Bozzato into 
Bazzacco, Zuccati into Zuccheri and Zuccherini ; and thus he 
Continued to blunder through other Lombard and Venetian 

* Morelli Notizia, p. 212. 



GIROLAMO DI SAN CROCE. 109 

names, insomuch as almost to vie with Harms, with Cochin, 
and with similar inaccurate foreigners. 

The following names were slightly esteemed by or slightly 
known to Vasari, and therefore omitted in his history : Pier- 
maria Peiinacchi of Trevisi, and Pier Francesco Bissolo, a 
Venetian. Of the former there remain two entablatures, 
painted for churches, more excellent in point of colouring 
than design. One is in Venice, the other at Murano. Of 
these artists, Pier Francesco painted on the least extensive 
scale , but was more finished and beautiful. His altar-pieces 
in Murano, and in the cathedral of Trevigi, may be put in 
competition with those of the elder Palma ; and one in pos- 
session of the family of Renier, representing the Meeting 
of Simeon, still more nearly approaches to the fulness and 
softness of the moderns. 

Girolamo di San Croce was still more deserving of com- 
memoration than these. Yet Vasari omitted him ; Boschini 
is silent on the subject ; and Ridolfi has found in him more to 
blame than to praise, asserting that he had never freed him- 
self from the ancient style, though flourishing at a period 
when the less celebrated geniuses attempted to modernize 
their taste. Happily, however, for this distinguished man, 
not a few of his best labours have been preserved, of which 
Zanetti has pronounced his opinion that " he approaches 
nearer to the manner of Giorgione and Titian than any of 
the others." And such commendation is justified by his 
altar-piece of S. Parisio, so highly mentioned in the Guide of 
Treviso, and which is to be seen at the church of that saint. 
In Venice itself there are some of his pictures which display 
uncommon merit, such as the Supper of our Saviour, with 
the name of Santa Croce, which is in S. Martino ; and a 
Salvatore, at S. Francesco della Vigna, which though in a 
pre "ise taste, shews extreme richness of colouring. There 
also appears, at the same place, his picture of the Martyr- 
dom of S. Lorenzo ; a repetition of which is found in the 
noble house of Collalto, nearly resembling the original, and 
in ( ther places. It abounds in figures of about a palm's 
length, imitated, in some part, from the celebrated composi- 
tion of Bandinelli, engraved by Marc Antonio, whose impres- 
sions to Girolamo proved a rich mine of art, affording originals 



110 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

for those small but valuable paintings meant to adorn private 
rorms. In none of them, however, was he a mere copyist; 
he varied the figures, and more especially the landscapes, in 
which he was a very skilful hand. In this manner he pro- 
duced many of those Bacchanals, which are to be met with 
in different collections. In that of the Casa Albani, at Ber- 
gamo, is a S. Gio. Elemosinario (almsgiver) in grand archi- 
tecture, seen among a crowd of paupers ; and in the collection 
of Count Carrara, also at Bergamo, there is a " Saviour taken 
from the Cross," highly valued for the portrait of the artist, 
which points to a holy cross, the symbol of his name. Not 
any of these productions are embued with traces of the an- 
cient style. They display a grace of composition, study of 
foreshortening, and of the naked parts, a harmony of colours, 
forming a mixture of different schools, in which the Roman 
predominates, and least of all the Venetian. Further we 
would refer the reader to what has already been stated at 
page 105. 

To these Venetian professors, or at least, established, in 
Venice, it will be proper to add several educated by Giovanni, 
in the provinces, and in this way resume the thread of our 
pictoric history of the state. There was no place in the whole 
dominion which did not boast either of his disciples or 
imitators. We shall proceed to treat severally of these, begin- 
ning with the name of Conegliano, which he derived from a 
city in the Marca Trevigiana, his native place, whose moun- 
tainous views he has introduced into his paintings, as if to 
serve for his device. 

The artist's name, however, is Giambatista Cima, and his 
style most resembles the better part of that of Gian Bellini. 
The professors indeed may often be confounded together; to 
such a degree do we find Conegliano diligent, graceful, lively 
in his motions and his colouring, although less smooth than 
Bellini. Perhaps one of his best pieces that I have seen is 
in the cathedral at Parma, though it is omitted in the cata- 
logue of his works. That at the church of Santa Maria dell' 
OrtQ, one of the most rich in paintings in all Venice, possesses 
less softness ; but in point of architecture, in the air of its 
heads, and in the distribution of its colours, there is something 
iso extremely attractive, that we are never weary of contem- 



PUPILS OF BELLINI. Ill 

platirg it. The different collections in Italy, no less than 
those in other parts, are many of them in possession, or said 
to be in possession, of specimens from this artist's hand ; and 
if we add to these his altar-pieces, sufficiently numerous, they 
will le found to amount to a very considerable class. We are 
informed, however, by Padre Federici, that one of Cima's 
sons, of the name of Carlo, imitated so closely the style of his 
fathe *, that there are pictures which ought often to be attri- 
buted to the former instead of to the latter. 

The artist resided but a short time in his own province ; 
and the altar-piece placed by him in the cathedral of his native 
place in 1493, is considered a youthful performance. He con- 
tinued to exercise his art until the year 1517, according to 
BidoJ fi, and died in the maturity of his powers. The date of 
1542. which we find at San Francesco di Rovigo placed upon 
an altar-piece of Conegliano (if it be not a copy), marks only 
the era of the erecting of the altar, which was painted after- 
wards. He is said by Boschini to have been the tutor of 
Vittor Belliniano, by Vasari called Bellini ; the same who 
represented in the college of St. Mark's the martyrdom of the 
saint. The best portion of this history is the architecture it 
displays. 

The artists, educated in the school of Giovanni, who flou- 
rished at Friuli, were two natives of Udine : Giovanni di M. 
Martino, as he is entitled in some family documents, and Gio. 
Martini, by Yasari ; and Martino d'Udine, who in the "Storia 
Pittcrica," is called Pellegrino di S. Danielle. The style of the 
formor was harsh and crude, though not destitute of grace in 
the countenances and in the colouring. The name of Pelle- 
grinc was bestowed upon the latter by Bellini, in honour of 
his r ire genius, while the name of the country was attached 
to him from his long residence in S. Daniello, a territory not 
far from Udine. This city is, nevertheless, the place where 
he appears to most advantage, in competition with Giovanni ; 
as the same emulation they had felt while fellow-pupils, con- 
tinued, as sometimes happens, when they became masters. In 
that city appear the labours of each, and more particularly in 
the ; :wo chapels contiguous to the dome, where the first of 
them was employed in the year 1501, the second in 1502. Gio- 
vanri, in his altar-piece of St. Mark, there produced the 



112 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

richest specimen which appeared from his hand ; and Pel- 
legrino left that of his St. Joseph, preferred by Vasari, in some 
degree, to the work of Martini. I have seen the last-men- 
tioned picture in oil, faded indeed in colour, and in other 
respects defaced ; yet still worthy of admiration for its archi- 
tecture, which gives a graceful fulness to the whole canvas, 
and striking relief to the three figures, consisting of S. Joseph 
with the holy child in his arms, and S. John the Baptist, each 
of which displays the finest contours, and the best forms. 
Other specimens of the same pencil are to be seen in Udine, 
among which are the SS. Agostino and Girolamo, in the 
public council-hall, a picture remarkable also for its power of 
colouring. 

As this artist advanced in age, he improved in the softness 
of his tints, as well as in every other quality. The altar- 
piece at Santa Maria de' Battuti, which is in Cividale, and 
represents the Virgin seated between the four virgins of 
Aquileja, besides the Saints Batista and Donate, and a cherub, 
partakes of Giorgione ; it is enumerated among the rarest 
paintings of Friuli, and was executed in the year 1529. Yet 
above any of his productions, are esteemed those various 
histories of the life of our Saviour, painted in fresco at 
S. Daniele, in the church of S. Antonio, together with this 
titular saint, and several other portraits of the brethren of 
that chapel, so richly adorned by his hand, all breathing and 
glowing proofs of his art. By his means, also, one of the 
pictoric schools of Friuli rose into high repute, and will be 
elsewhere described. 

At Rovigo, in possession of the noble family of Casalini, is 
a picture of the Circumcision of our Saviour, bearing this 
memorandum : " Opus Marci Belli discipuli Johannis Bellini." 
He is a good disciple of the school, and would appear to be a 
different artist from that Marco, son of Gio. Tedesco, who 
was employed in 1463 at Rovigo. 

In the adjacent city of Padua, the style of the Bellini was 
less followed, a very natural circumstance in a place where 
Squarcione, the avowed rival of Giovanni, held supreme sway. 
Still there are several pictures belonging to this age remaining 
there, which partake of the Venetian style ; and Vasari, in 
his life of Carpaccio. records that in fact Niccolo Moreto 



MONTAGNANA OR MANTEGNA. 113 

executed many works in Padua,* besides many other artists 
connected with the Bellini. A picture of Christ risen from 
the dead merits particular mention ; it adorns the episcopal 
palace at Padua, along with the portraits of all the Paduan 
bishops, and the busts of the apostles, including several of 
their acts, executed with much elegance in chiaroscuro. The 
work is dated 1495, in which the painter subscribes his name 
Jacobus Montagnana ; not Mantegna, as it is written in Yasari 
and ftidolfi. 

There remains of his a very extensive altar-piece, at the 
Santo, the style inclining as much as in any others to the 
modern ; and to whatever degree it may partake of the Vene- 
tian in taste of colours, in its design it partakes of a more 
precise and spare expression, upon the principle of the Paduan 
school. To this, also, he very manifestly conformed himself 
in that celebrated picture left in Belluno, at the hall of coun- 
cil, in which he represented t Roman histories. It is an im- 
mense production, and at the first view would incline us to 
attribute it to the pencil of Mantegna, such are the design, the 
drapery, and the composition of the figures ; while even 
several of them are known to have been accurately copied, 
with the same forms and motions, from those Mantegna had 
already introduced into his grand chapel at the Eremitani. 
Here we have a clear proof that" both received the same edu- 
cation, or at least, that Montagnana had profited much by the 
Paduan school. I say only much, for in point of costume he 
does not shew any traces of the erudite instructions of 

* In the " Statuti de* Pittori," it is written Mireti ; and the same 
work contains memoirs of him in 1423 and 1441 ; years, however, which 
do nrt accord with his dependence on the Bellini. This Girolamo might 
possibly have been the brother, or other relation, of that Gio. Miretto, 
for w lorn see p. 77. These two names will do away with the Moreto of 
Vasari, and we must substitute Mireto or Miretto. 

| ( repeat the epigram, which is subscribed in ancient characters, on 
the strength of which we may believe that the work was esteemed one of 
the most valuable the art had produced up to that period, transcribed by 
the vrry frequently commended Sig. Co. Cav. Lazara ; it is thus : 
Non hie Parrhasio, non hie tribuendus Apelli, 

Hos licet Auctores dignus habere labor. 
Euganeus, vixdum impleto ter mense, Jacobus 

Ex Montagnana nobile pinxit opus. 
VOL. II. I 



114 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

Squarcione; but commits faults resembling those of the 
Bellini, to whom by popular opinion, recorded by the very 
diligent author of the new Guide of Padua, he has been given 
as a pupil. 

I have before treated of Squarcione, and of his method, re- 
serving for a fitter place the consideration of his disciples, 
more especially Andrea Mantegna. He will, however, be 
included in the present list as a scholar, although, as a mas- 
ter of the school of Lombardy, we are bound to speak of him 
with more commendation in another chapter. But even the 
first essays of great characters are valuable, and Yasari does 
not scruple to commend Andrea's first altar-piece as a work 
worthy of his old age. It was placed in Santa Sofia, where 
the artist has signed himself " Andreas Mantinea Patavinus 
annos VII. et X. natussuamanu pinxit, 1448." Squarcione 
was so much delighted with his early genius, that he adopted 
him for his son. But he afterwards regretted his own generosity, 
when the young artist took to wife the daughter of his rival, 
Jacopo Bellini ; so that he -then began to blame him, yet at 
the same time to instruct him better. Andrea having been 
educated in an academy which adopted the study of marbles, 
indulged great admiration of several Greek bassi-rilievi, in 
the ancient style, such as is that of the Primarii Dei, in an 
altar of the Capitol. He was therefore extremely bent upon 
acquiring the chasteness of the contours, the beauty of the 
ideas and of the bodies ; nor did he only adopt that straitness 
of the garment, those parallel folds, and that study of parts 
which so easily degenerate into stiffness, but he neglected 
that portion of his art which animates the otherwise unin- 
formed images expression. In this respect he greatly failed 
in his picture of the Martyrdom of S. Jacopo, placed in the 
church of the Eremitani, and from which Squarcione took 
occasion to reprehend him severely. These complaints led 
him to adopt a better method, and in his representation of the 
history of S. Cristoforo, placed opposite his S. Jacopo, he 
threw more expression into his figures ; and in particular his 
production about the same period of San Marco in the act of 
writing the gospel, painted for Santa Giustina, displays in the 
features the absorbed mind of the philosopher and the enthu- 



MANTEGNA'S PUPILS. 115 

siasrc of a saint.'"" If Squarcione thus contributed by his 
reproaches to render this artist great, the Bellini, perhaps, co- 
opera ted with him by friendship and relationship in producing 
the s;ime result. He resided little in Venice, but during that 
time he did not fail to avail himself of the best portion of that 
school ; and we thus perceive in some of his pictures, land- 
scapes and gardens quite in the Venetian character, besides a 
knowledge of colours not inferior to the best Venetian artists 
of hi 3 age. I am uncertain whether he or some other com- 
municated to the Bellini that species of perspective so much 
commended byBarbaro; but I know that Lomazzo, in his 
" Tempio della Pittura," page 53, has put on record that 
Man<egna was the first who gave us true notions relating to 
this v,rt : and I know that the most distinguished characters 
of those times were equally eager, either to become scholars in 
such points as they were themselves deficient in, or masters in 
such as were wanting in others. 

The style of Mantegna being known, it will not be difficult 
to divine that of his fellow-pupils, educated in the same 
maxims, and instructed by his examples. The chapel before 
mentioned exhibits specimens of three, the first of whom, 
Niccdo Pizzolo, is pointed out by Vasari. A picture of the 
Assumption of the Virgin in an altar-piece, with other figures 
on th'3 wall, are by his hand. There is also a fresco in one of 
the fagades with the motto " Opus Nicoletti ;" and in both 
places he not only strongly resembles, but approaches near the 
composition of Mantegna. Two other artists also painted 
there certain histories of S. Cristoforo, under one of which is 
insert ed " Opus Boni ;" under the other, " Opus Ansuini," an 
artist of Forli. Both of these might elsewhere have been ad- 
mired, but there they appear only as scholars by the side of 
their master. An artist more nearly approaching Mantegna, 
and v ho, in the chief part of his figures, might be mistaken for 
him, is Bernardo Parentino, who painted for a cloister of Santa 
Giust ina, ten acts in the life of San Benedetto, and little his- 
tories in chiaroscuro, representing upon each the portrait of a 
pontilf of the name of Benedettino. I have seen no painting 

* Tais picture, divided into several compartments, represents, in addi- 
tion to San Marco, other saints, and is also one of the ornaments of the 
Pinatoteca. 

12 



116 TENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

adapted to a religious cloister so well conceived in every part ; 
and it is known that it was superintended by a distinguished 
scholar of that learned order, the Abate Gaspero da Pavia. 
Attached to it is the name of Parentino, and the dates of 1489 
and 1494. The work was continued by a Girolamo da Padua, 
or Girolamo dal Santo, celebrated for his miniatures, as it is 
recorded by Vasari and Ridolfi. Here, however, he exhibits 
himself a poor artist in point of design, and still more so in 
expression, though praiseworthy in many accessories of his art, 
more particularly in his study of ancient costume, an acqui- 
sition as general in this, as rare in the Venetian school. Those 
histories, indeed, are frequently found ornamented with ancient 
bassi-rilievi, with sarcophagi, and with inscriptions copied, for 
the most part, from Paduan marbles ; a practice followed also 
by Mantegna, but with more moderation, in the chapel of the 
Eremitani. 

The rest of his contemporaries in Padua, were Lorenzo da 
Lendinara, esteemed an excellent artist, but of whom no traces 
remain ; Marco Zoppo, of Bologna, who more nearly resembled, 
perhaps, his master than his fellow-pupil, but of honourable 
account, as the head of the Bolognese school ; and Dario da 
Trevigi, whose productions are to be seen in S. Bernardino, at 
Bassano, opposite to those of Mantegna, as if to exhibit their 
inferiority. Girolamo, or rather Gregorio* Schiavone, whose 
style is between that of Mantegna and the Bellini, is a pleasing 
artist, whose pictures are frequently to be met with, orna- 
mented with architectural views, with fruits, and above all 
with joyous little cherubs. One of the most delightful I have 
seen was in Fossombrone, in possession of a private individual, 
and it bears inscribed, " Opus Sclavouii Dalmatici Squarzoni 
S. (Scholaris)." Hieronymus Tarvisio is another, but doubt- 
ful pupil of Squarcione, whose name I found subscribed in 
some pictures at Trevigi, an artist poor in colours, but not un- 
acquainted with design. We find mention in Sansovino, an 
author not always to be relied upon in his account of Ve- 
netian paintings, of Lauro Padovano, who produced several 
histories of S. Giovanni for the Carita in Venice ; but I so far 

* He is thus named in the " Statuti de' Pittori," of Padua, and in the 
" MS. Zen." whence we may correct Ridolfi, who calls him Girolamo. 



DA PONTE. 117 

agree with the above author, in pronouncing these altogether 
in tlia style of Mantegna. Nearly approaching also to the com- 
position of this school, is the style of Maestro Angelo, who 
painted in the ancient refectory of Santa Giustina, a Cru- 
cifixion of the Saviour, with figures, both in proportions and 
in spirit truly great. I have nothing to add to the name of 
Mattio dal Pozzo, enumerated in this class by Scardeone 
(p. 371), inasmuch as there are none of his works known to 
exist. 

At the period when the school of Padua was opposed 
to the Venetian, the ether cities of the state, as far as we 
can Jearn, had adopted a taste rather for the ornamental 
style of the latter, than the more erudite maxims of the 
former; it might, perhaps, be added, on account of its 
greater facility, because the beauty of nature is everywhere 
more obvious than the monuments of the antique. Bassano 
then boasted a Francesco da Ponte, Yicenza the two Mon- 
tagna and Bonconsigli, all of whom, though born in the 
immediate vicinity of Padua, became disciples of the Bellini. 
Da Ponte, a native of Yicenza, was pretty well eiubued 
with a taste for polite literature and philosophy, extremely 
desirable in the head of a school, such as he became in the 
instruction of Jacopo, and through him of the Bassanese ; a 
school highly distinguished during, and even beyond, the 
16th century. The style of his altar-pieces, when com- 
pared with each other, acquaints us with the earliest and 
latest specimens of his pencil. He is diligent, but dry 
in that of his S. Bartolommeo, in the cathedral at Bassano ; 
more soft in another at the church of S. Giovanni, but far 
better in one of the Pentecost, which he painted for the 
village of Oliero, almost in the style of the moderns, 
displaying studied composition, and a colouring various, 
beauti ful, and harmonious ; and what is still more, a fine 
expression of the passions, best adapted to the mystery. 
We are led to believe that he likewise painted, at another 
period, in Lombardy, from the account of Lomazzo ; observ- 
ing that a certain Francesco, of Vicenza, produced a work 
at the Grazie of Milan, well executed in point of design, 
but not so pleasing in the effect of its lights and shades. 

The two Moritagna nourished about the period 1500, in 



118 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

Vicenza, and were employed together, however unequal in 
genius, being equally followers of the Bellini, at least if we 
are to give credit to Ridolfi, who must have seen many of 
their productions, now no longer in existence. In those 
which I have seen, there appeared strong traces of the style 
of Mantegna. Benedetto is not mentioned by Vasari, who 
is apt to omit the names of all artists whom he accounted of 
inferior worth. He mentions Bartolommeo, as a pupil of 
Mantegna,* and he would certainly have done him more 
justice had he seen the works he produced in his native 
place, which, so far from having done, he asserts that the 
artist constantly resided in Venice. Vicenza boasts many 
of his pieces, which display the gradual progress of his style. 
If we wish to estimate the extent of his powers, we ought 
to consult his altar-piece at S. Michele, and another at S. 
Rocco, to which may be added a third, in that of the Semi- 
nary at Padua. In none of these are we able to discover 
any composition beyond what was in most general use at 
that period, already so frequently mentioned by us ; and 
they retain more of the practice of gilding, which, in other 
places, was then becoming obsolete. In fine, this artist will 
be found to rank equal with the chief part of his contem- 
poraries ; exact in design, skilful in the naked parts, while 
his colours are fresh and warm. His cherubs are peculiarly 
graceful and pleasing, and in his altar-piece, at S. Michele, 
he has introduced an architecture which recedes from and 
deceives the eye with a power of illusion sufficient of itself 
to have rendered him conspicuous. Of Giovanni Speranza, 
there remain a few pieces which are much esteemed, though 
not remarkable for strength of colouring. But we can meet 
with no public specimens of Veruzio, and most probably his 
name is a mere equivoque of Vasari. f Giovanni Bon- 

* In vol. iii. ed. Rom. p. 427, it is written by mistake Mantegna, 
where it says that he, Speranza, and Veruzio, studied design under Man- 
tegna. 

f Padre Faccioli, in his third volume of the " Inscrizioni della Citta 
e territorio di Vicenza," records the following epigraph " Jo. Sperantiae 
de Vangeribus me pinxit," in which Vangeribus may, perhaps, apply to 
some small village in the territory of Vicenza. He is wholly silent re- 
specting Veruzio, thus confirming the suspicion that his name is a mere 
mistake of Vasari, whom it is hoped our posterity will still continue to 



GIOVANNI BONCONSIGLI. 119 

consi^li, called Marescalco, or the steward, was esteemed 
beyor d any other of the artists of Vicenza who flourished 
at this period, and he certainly approaches nearest to the 
modem style and that of the Bellini. The practice, how- 
ever, of ornamenting friezes with tritons and similar figures, 
taken from the antique, he most likely derived from the 
adjacent cities of Padua or Yerona, one of which then pro- 
fessec. the study of antiquity, the other that of monuments. 
Neither Vasari nor Ridolfi gives any account of his produc- 
tions, except such as he painted in Venice, at this time either 
wholly perished or defaced. Those which he executed in 
Vicenza are still in good condition, nor ought a stranger of 
good taste to leave the place without visiting the chapel de' 
Turchini, to admire his Madonna in the style of Raffaello, 
seated upon a throne, between four saints, among which the 
figure of S. Sebastian is a master-piece of ideal beauty. 
Indeed, an able professor of the city considered it one of 
the finest specimens of the art the place could boast, though 
in possession of many of the first merit. In common with 
Montagna, Figolino, and Speranza, Bonconsigli abounds ia 
perspective views, and discovers a natural genius for archi- 
tecture ; like them, he appears to give promise of the ap- 
proach of a divine Palladio, the glory of his country and of 
his art : along with the Scamozzi, and many other citizens, 

correc:, and yet leave sufficient employment for their children. The fol- 
lowing is my conjecture. P. Faccioli gives an account of a picture that 
remains in Francesco di Schio ; it is composed in the manner usually 
adoptt d in the composition of the Marriage of S. Catherine ; and there are 
also o;her saints well executed in the Mantegna style, as is observed by the 
Cav. (Ho. de Lazara, whose authority I esteem excellent. It bears the in- 
scription, "FranciscusVerlus de Vicentia pinxit xx. Junii. M.D. XII.;"(c) 
and t< ' this is added by Faccioli another old painting by the same hand, 
remai ling at Sercedo. Now, I contend that the name of this painter, 
being reported to Vasari, with its diminutive termination, like many others, 
borrovved either from the stature or the age (in the Venetian dialect it was 
Verlu :io or Verluzo), it was afterwards given by him in his history as 
Veruno. The critics of the Greek writers will know how to do me justice 
in thi ;, for this mode of discovering and correcting names I. have derived 
from ;hem. 

(} Franciscus Verla is found inscribed upon a picture in canvas by the 
same artist, now in possession of the Royal Academy at Milan. 



120 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

who have rendered Vicenza at once the boast and wonder, 
as well as the school of architects. There are two altar- 
pieces of his hand remaining in Montagnana. This artist 
must not be confounded with Pietro Marescaico, surnamed 
lo Spada (the sword), whom the MS. history of Feltre men- 
tions as a native of this city, and complains of Vasari's 
silence upon it. One of his altar-pieces is to be seen at the 
Nunnery of the Angeli, at Feltre, where Signor Cav. de 
Lazara informs me that he read the name of Petrus Mares- 
calcus P. Among other figures is a Madonna, between 
two angels, upon a large scale, and in good design, sufficient 
to entitle Pietro to an honourable rank in the history of art. 
If we compare him with Giovanni, he will be found less 
vivid in point of colouring, and, apparently, of a somewhat 
later age. 

In the order of our narrative, we ought now to pass on to 
Verona, where Liberale, a disciple of Vincenzio di Stefano, at 
that time held sway. lie had also been a scholar or rather 
imitator of Jacopo Bellini, to whose style, says Vasari, he inva- 
riably adhered. Moreover, in his picture of the Epiphany, to 
be seen in the cathedral, there is a choir of angels with a 
graceful folding of drapery, and a taste so peculiarly that of 
Hantegna, that I was easily led to believe him an artist be- 
longing to that class. Certain it is that the vicinity of Mantua 
might also have facilitated his imitation of Mantegna, traces 
of which are visible in some other of his works, as well as in 
those of the more and less known Veronese artists of the time. 
He did not attain the excellence of Giovanni Bellini, nor did 
he give the same grandeur to his proportions, and the same 
enlargement of the ancient style, although he continued to 
flourish until the year 1535. The colour of his tints is 
strong ; his expression studied and graceful, a very general 
merit in the painters of Verona ; and his care is exquisite, 
especially in his diminutive figures, an art in which he became 
extremely expert, owing to his habit of illustrating books in 
miniature, which are still to be seen in Verona and in Siena. 

He had a competitor, at his native place, in Domenico 
Morone, or rather the latter, educated also by a disciple of 
Stefano, is to be held second to him. This artist was sue- 



GIROLAMO DA' LIBRI. 121 

ceeded in the course of time by bis son, Francesco Morone, 
superior to his father, and by Girolamo da' Libri. These two, 
bound by the strictest habits of friendship from their youth, 
were frequently employed in the same labours together, and 
maybe said to have adopted the same maxims. The first has 
been commended by Yasari for the grace, the design, the 
harmony, and the warm and beautiful colouring he contrived 
to bestow upon his pictures, in a degree inferior to none. 
From the same source we learn that the year of his decease is 
supposed to have been 1529. But Girolamo da' Libri was his 
superior, both in point of taste and general celebrity. The 
son of a miniature-painter of choral books and of anthems, who 
had hence acquired the name of Francesco da' Libri, from his 
father he received both a knowledge of the art and his sur- 
name, both of which he also transmitted to his son Francesco, 
as we again learn from Vasari. 

It is not, however, within my province to enter into a con- 
sideration of their books ; but in regard to the altar-pieces of 
Girolamo I cannot remain silent. That of S. Lionardo, 
near Verona, I have never seen, a picture in which the artist 
having drawn a laurel, the birds are said to have frequently 
entered at the church windows, fluttering around as if wishing 
to repose in its branches. Another which I beheld at S. 
Giorgio, with the date 1529, scarcely retains a trace of the 
ancient character. It represents the Virgin between two 
holy bishops, portraits select and full of meaning, together 
with three exquisitely graceful figures of cherubs, both in face 
and gesture. In this little picture may be traced, to a certain 
degree, the character of a miniaturist who paints, or a painter 
draw ing miniature ; while the charms of the several profes- 
sions are seen there exhibited in one point of view. The 
church, indeed, is a rich gallery, containing numerous master- 
pieces of the art; among which the S. Giorgio of Paolo 
(Veronese) too far transcends the rest ; but the painting of 
Giro'amo shines almost like a precious jewel, surprising the 
spectator by an indescribable union of what is graceful, 
bright, and lucid, which it presents to the eye. He survived 
many years after the production of this piece, highly esteemed, 
and in particular for his miniatures, in which he was accounted 
the iirst artist in Italy ; and as if to crown his reputation, he 



122 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

became the instructor, in such art, of Don Giulio Cloyio, a 
sort of Roscius, if we may so say, of miniature painting. 

However flourishing in valuable masters we may consider 
the city of Venice during this era, the fame of Mantegna, 
with the vicinity of Mantua, where he taught, attracted 
thither two artists from Verona, whom I reserve for that 
school, of which they were faithful followers. These were 
Monsignori and Gio. Francesco Carotto, formerly a pupil of 
Liberale. His brother Giovanni, a noble architect and de- 
signer of ancient edifices, was but a feeble imitator of his 
style. He richly deserves a place in history as the instructor 
of Paolo, an artist excellent in many branches of painting, 
and in architecture almost divine. It is supposed that Paolo 
must have acquired this degree of excellence by studying at 
first under Carotto, and afterwards perfecting himself, as we 
shall shew, by means of Badile. To such as are most known 
we might here add names less celebrated, which the Marchese 
MafFei, however, has already inserted in his history ; as, for 
instance, a Matteo Pasti, commended by us in the first vo- 
lume (p. 129); but I have, perhaps, already treated suffi- 
ciently of the merits of the old Veronese artists. 

About this period there flourished two distinguished artists 
in Brescia, who were present at the terrific sackage of that 
opulent city, in the year 1512, by Gaston de Foix. One of 
these is Fioravante Ferramola, who was honoured and remu- 
nerated upon that occasion by the French victor for his strik- 
ing merit, and became sufficiently conspicuous in various 
churches of the country. His painting of S. Girolamo is seen 
at Le Grazie, extremely well conceded, with fine landscape, 
and in a taste so like that of Muziano, that we might almost 
suppose it prognosticated his appearance. And it might be 
said that he afforded the latter a prototype, if he does not 
aspire to the name of his master. The other is Paolo Zoppo, 
who depicted the above desolation of the city in miniature, 
upon a large crystal basin ; a work of immense labour, in- 
tended to be presented to the doge Gritti ; but in transporting 
it to Venice, the crystal was unfortunately broken, and the 
unhappy artist died of disappointment and despair. The spe- 
cimens of his style remaining at Brescia, among which is one 
of Christ going up to Mount Calvary, at S. Pietro in Oliveto 



ANDREA PKEVITALI. 123 

a piece falsely attributed by others to Foppa serve to shew 
that he approached near to the modern manner, and was not 
unacquainted with the Bellini. 

Finally, Bergamo boasted in Andrea Previtali one of the 
most excellent disciples of Gian Bellini. He appears, indeed, 
less animated than his master, and less correct in the extre- 
mities of his figures ; neither have I discovered any of his 
compositions which are free from the ancient taste, whether in 
the grouping of his forms, or in the minute ornamenting ot 
the accessories of his art. Nevertheless, in a few pictures 
produced, perhaps, later in life, such as his S. Giovanni 
Batista, at S. Spirito ; his S. Benedetto, in the dome of Ber- 
gamo, and several more in the Carrara Gallery, he very 
nearly attained to the modern manner ; and was indisputably 
one of the most distinguished artists, in point of colours and 
perspective, belonging to the school of the Bellini. His 
Madonnas are held in the highest esteem, in whose features 
he appears less a disciple of Gian Bellini, than of Raffaello 
and of Vinci. Two of them at Milan I have seen, both 
bearing his name : one is in possession of the Cavalier Melzi ; 
the ether in that of Monsig. Arciprete Resales, painted in 
1522; and both are surrounded with figures of other saints, 
portraits executed with discrimination and truth. There is 
also a picture of Our Lord announced by the Angel, at 
Ceneda, a work so uncommonly beautiful in regard to the two 
head.s, that Titian, in passing occasionally through the place, 
is said, according to Ridolfi, to have repeatedly contemplated 
it with rapture, charmed by the spririt of devotion it ex- 
pressed. Upon the same boundaries, between the ancient and 
modern taste, we find various other painters, natives of the val- 
leys of Bergamo, a fruitful source both of wealth and intellect 
to tbecity. Such is Antonio Boselli,* from the Valle Brem- 
bana , of whom there has recently been discovered a fine altar- 
piecr at the Santo of Padua ; besides two other artists of the 
sam( vale, who approach even nearer to the softness, if not to 

* To judge from some pictures at Bergamo, we might suppose him edu- 
cated in the style of the fourteenth century ; but he afterwards approached 
nearer to the modern, as we perceive at Padua, where he resembles Palma 
"Vecc aio ; and this is sufficiently conspicuous also in Friuli, where we make 
men! ion of him at a more cultivated era. 



124 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

the elegance of Previtali. These are Gian Giacomo and 
Agostino Gavasii di Pascante. We may add to them Jacopo 
degli Scipioni, of Averara, and Caversegno, of Bergamo, 
besides others handed down to us by Tassi. These, having 
flourished at a period so distinguished for the art of colouring, 
may be compared to certain writers of the fourteenth century, 
who throw little light upon learning; but who, observes Sal vim, 
in respect to language, appear to me as if every separate page 
were embued with gold. 

I have already pointed out to the reader the best masters 
of the Venetian school contemporary with the followers of 
Gian Bellini ; a number which, though we subtract from it 
several names of inferior note, will leave a larger proportion 
than is generally supposed. The state, indeed, is full of spe- 
cimens founded upon his models, the authors of which remain 
doubtful ; yet it is certain that they composed in Bellini's 
style, while their designs partake more or less both of modern, 
and ancient taste.* Undoubtedly, no other school affords a 

* la this character is the larger picture at S. Niccolo, a church of the 
Dominicans in Treviso, in which the cupola, the columns, and the per- 
spective, with the throne of the Virgin seated with the infant Jesus, and 
surrounded by saints standing, the steps ornamented by a harping seraph, 
all discover Bellini's composition ; but I had not seen the work until after 
the former edition of my history at Bassano. It was painted in 1520, by 
P. Marco Pensaben, assisted by P. Marco Maraveia, both Dominican 
priests, engaged for the purpose from Venice. They remained there until 
July, 1521, when the first of them secretly fled from the convent, and 
the altar-piece of Treviso was completed in a month by one Gian-Giro- 
lamo, a painter invited from Venice, supposed to be Girolamo Trevisano, 
the younger. This artist is not, however, mentioned, as I am aware, either 
by the citizens, or by foreigners, by any other name than Girolamo, and, 
calculating from the chronology of Ridolfi, he must then have been thir- 
teen years of age. Until tkis subject be more clearly investigated, I must 
confess my ignorance cf such a Gian -Girolamo. But I am better ac- 
quainted with the name of Pensaben, who was afterwards found, and in 
1524 was, as before, a Dominican friar at Venice ; but a few years after, 
in 1530, ir mentioned in authentic books belonging to the order, being 
registered among those who had either left the order or were dead. 
P. Federici believes him to have been the same as F. Bastiano del Pionibo, 
an untenable supposition, as 1 have elsewhere shewn. I believe Pensaben 
ro have been an excellent artist in the Bellini manner, though not com- 
memorated in history , nor by his order. In an order so prolific with genius, 
and in an age abounding with great names, he is by no means a solitary in- 
stance of this: the present work being found to contain many other examples. 



DISCIPLES OF BELLINI. 126 

proof of so great a number of disciples from one master, and 
following so closely in his footsteps. Granting this, I cannot 
easily give credit to the numerous specimens of Madonnas 
attributed to his single hand, besides other pictures in different 
collections. A cautious judge will not be apt to pronounce 
any work his which displays much ideal beauty, Bellini 
having, for the most part, repeated in his feminine figures an 
expression of countenance partaking in some degree of an 
apish character. Nor will he be easily led to ascribe to him 
pictui-es which display a minute care and finish, approaching 
to the miniature style, inasmuch as he embodied and coloured 
his conceptions with a free and fearless hand. In short, a 
certain vigour and colour, warm and lively; a certain reddish 
tinge of the drapery, approaching a rosy hue ; a certain bright- 
ness of varnish, are not the usual characteristics of his hand> 
however much his style of design may be mixed up with them ; 
and .such pieces may reasonably be presumed the production 
of artists of the state bordering nearest upon Lombardy, 
whence likewise a few of the Venetian state derived the 
mechanical part of their colouring. 

Within the limits proposed to myself, I may here annex to 
my consideration of the painters in water-colours and in oil, 
other less distinguished branches of the art. Among these is 
that species of inlaid work with wood of different colours, 
which was intended more particularly for the ornament of 
choirs where the divine service was chanted. I can trace 
nothing of its inventors, whether of German or other origin,* 
though it is said to have taken its rise in an imitation of mo- 
saic-^vork and of works in stone. No other coloured woods 
besides black and white were at first in use ; nor any other 
objects beyond large edifices, temples, colonnades, and in short 
ornaments with architectural views, attempted to be repre- 
sented. Brunelleschi at Florence gave instructions in per- 

* As early as the eleventh century, or thereabouts, it would appear lhat 
some similar kind of art was in repute in Germany. The monk Theophilus. 
in tht; work before mentioned, " De omni scientia artis pingendi," al- 
luding, at the commencement, to the most esteemed productions of every 
country, observes : " quidquid in fenestrarum varietate preciosa diligit 
Francia: quidquid in auri, argenti, cupri, ferri, lignorum, lapidumqus 
subtilitate sellers laudat Germania." Codice Viennese. 



126 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

spective to architects, that edifices might be drawn according 
to good rules ; and Ma-saccio in painting greatly availed him- 
self of his precepts, as well as Benedetto da Majano in his 
inlaid works. There remain at Florence, as well as other 
places in Italy, several ancient choirs very highly prized in 
that age, but afterwards despised, when the art of staining 
wood with boiled water-colours and penetrative oils came into 
use. Thus, after the imitation of buildings, easily drawn from 
the number of their right lines, that of figures began to be 
practised in an able manner, though it had formerly been tried 
with less success. The chief merit of such improvement, or 
rather perfection of the art, was due to the Venetian school. 
Lorenzo Canozio da Lendinara, a fellow-student of Mantegna, 
who died about 1477, inlaid the entire choir of the church of 
S. Antonio, even, as it would appear, with figures. The whole, 
however, having been consumed by fire, there is nothing re- 
maining but the epitaph of the artificer, in which he is highly 
applauded for his labours. There likewise exist other works 
of the same kind, in the armadj of the sacristy, and, as it is 
supposed, also in some of the confessionals. Besides Lorenzo, 
his brother Cristofano, and his son-in-law Pierantonio, who 
assisted him in these labours, are equally applauded by Matteo 
Siculo, as worthy of vieing with Phidias and Apelles them- 
selves. Tiraboschi likewise enumerates the two brothers 
among the artists of Modena, whose fellow-citizens they were. 
But the fame of these soon expired. For Giovanni da 
Verona, a layman of Oliveto, not long after surpassed them in 
the same art. He practised it in various cities of Italy, and 
at Rome itself, in the service of Pope Julius II. ; but still 
more successfully in the sacristy of his own order, where his 
works are still to be seen in the best condition. F. Vincenzo 
dalle Vacche, also a native of Verona, and a layman of 
Oliveto, mentioned by the learned Morelli in his " Notizia " of 
works of design, during the first half of the 16th century, 
deserves mention here for the merit of his inlaid works ; and 
in particular for those wrought in Padua, at the church of S. 
Benedetto Novello. Unacquainted, however, with the period 
in which he flourished, I shall not venture to announce him 
either as pupil or assistant to Fra Giovanni. Similar pro- 
ductions, from the hand of Fra Rafiaello da Brescia, also of 



FRA DAMIANO DA BERGAMO. 127 

Oliveto, adorning the choir of S. Michele in Bosco at Bologna, 
might here be mentioned in competition with those in the 
iacristy of Verona, by natives of Oliveto. 

Moreover, there remains Fra Damiano da Bergamo, a Do- 
uiinicrn monk, who ornamented his own church at Bergamo, 
and that of Bologna in a still better style, in which the choir 
is inlaid with the greatest art. In S. Pietro, at Perugia, he 
also "wrought the most beautiful histories. The same artist, 
as we find recorded in Yasari, succeeded also in refining the 
art of colours and of shades to such a degree as to be held the 
very iirst in this line. He possessed either a rival or a pupil 
in Gianfrancesco Capodiferro, whose mansions at S. Maria 
Maggiore, in Bergamo, are the finest specimens of the kind, 
thougii occasionally betraying some traces of stiffness in their 
manner. There, too, he worked after the designs of Lotto, 
and instructed in the art his brother Pietro and his son Zi- 
nino, so that the city continued to be supplied with excellent 
artificers during a number of years. The largest and most 
artificially wrought figures I have seen in this line are in a 
choir of the Certosa at Pavia, distributed one by one upon 
each side. The artificer is said to have been one Bartolommeo 
da Pola, whose name I have not met with elsewhere. In each 
of the squares is represented a bust of one of the Apostles, or 
some other saint, designed in the taste of the Da Vinci school. 
A few of the pictures of these artists are to be found in 
galleries of art ; among which those from the hand of F. 
Damiano are the most esteemed. Finally, this species of 
workmanship, embracing materials too much exposed to the 
moth and to the fire, by degrees began to grow out of date ; 
and it more lately it appears to have again revived, it has 
failed hitherto in producing any works deserving of coniniemo- 
ratiori . 



128 



VENETIAN SCHOOL. 

EPOCH II. 

Giorgione, Titian, Tintoret, Jacopo da Bassano, Paolo Veronese. 

WE have at length arrived at the golden period of the Vene- 
tian school, which, like the others of Italy, produced its most 
distinguished ornaments about the year 1500; artists who at 
once eclipsed the fame of their predecessors, and the hopes of 
attaining to equal excellence on the part of their successors. 
In reaching this degree of eminence, it is true they pursued 
different paths, though they all aimed at acquiring the same 
perfection of colouring, the most natural, the most lively, and 
the most applauded of any single school of the age, a dis- 
tinction they likewise conferred upon their posterity, forming 
the distinguishing characteristic of the Venetian painters. 
The merit of this has been attributed by some to the climate, 
who assert, that in Venice, and the adjacent places, nature 
herself has bestowed a warmer and deeper colour upon objects 
than elsewhere ; a frivolous supposition, and undeserving of 
much of our attention, inasmuch as the artists of Holland and 
Flanders, in climates so extremely opposite, have obtained 
the same meed of praise. Neither is it to be attributed to the 
quality of the colours, both Giorgione and Titian having 
been known to make use of few, and these, so far from being 
selected or procured elsewhere, exposed to sale in all the 
public shops in Venice. If it should again be objected, that 
in those days the colours were sold purer and less adulterated, 
I admit there may be some degree of truth in this, inasmuch 
as Passeri, in his life of Orbetto, complained at that time of 
the early decay of many pictures, " owing to the quality of 
the colours fraudulently sold by the retailers." But I would 
merely inquire, if it were possible, that materials thus pure 
and uncontaminated should so often fall into the hands of the 



ART OF COLOURING. 129 

Venetians and their Flemish imitators, yet be so seldom met 
with in the rest of the schools. The cause of their superiority 
is to be sought, therefore, in their mechanism and art of 
colouring ; in regard to which the best Venetian painters 
conformed, in some points, to the most celebrated artists of 
Italy. In other points, however, they differed from them. 
It wa* a common practice at that period, to prepare with a 
chalk-surface the altar-pieces and pictures which were in- 
tended to be executed ; and that white ground, favourable to 
every variety of tint the painter could lay upon it, equally 
favoured the production of a certain polish, floridity, and sur- 
prising transparency : a custom which, being laid aside out 
of indolence and avarice, I am happy to perceive seems about 
to be renewed. But in addition to this, the Venetians were 
in possession of an art that may be considered peculiar to 
themselves. For it may be observed, that the chief part of 
them during these three centuries, produced the effect of their 
paintings, not so 'much by a strong layer of colours, as by 
separate strokes of the pencil ; and each colour being thus 
adapted to its place, without much repeating or refining it, 
they still continued augmenting the work, by which the tints 
were preserved clean and virgin; a result which requires no 
less promptness of hand than of intellect, besides education, 
and a taste cultivated from the earliest period. Hence the 
artist Vecchi was accustomed to say, that by dint of copying 
pictures executed with diligence, a painter will acquire the 
same quality ; but to succeed in copies from a Titian or a 
Paolo, and to imitate their stroke, is a task surmounted only 
by the Venetians, whether natives or educated in their school. 
(Boscliini, p. 274.) 

Should it here be inquired what good result may attend such 
a method, I reply that Boschini points out two very consider- 
able ones. The first of them is, that by this mode of colour- 
ing, which he terms di macchia and di pratica, a certain 
hardness of style may more easily be avoided ; and the other, 
that, better than any other, it gives a bolder relief to paintings 
in the distance : and pictures being intended to be thus 
viewed, rather than closer to the eye, such an object is by 
this process most easily attainable. I am aware of the 
moderi s having misapplied and abused these maxims ; but 

TOL. H. K 



130 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

they were meant to have been judiciously employed, and I 
only wish to propose as examples the most celebrated of the 
school who so ably comprehended the method, and the limits 
of such a practice. Nor was the harmony of colours better 
understood by any other artists, insomuch, that the mode of 
assimilating and of contrasting them may be considered as 
the second source of the delightful and lively, so predominant 
in their works, and more especially in those of Titian and his 
contemporaries. 

Such skill was not merely confined to the fleshy parts, in 
whose colour the disciples of Titian have so far excelled every 
other school ; it extended also to the drapery. For indeed, 
there are no pieces of velvets, of stuffs, or of crapes, which 
they did not imitate to perfection, more particularly in their 
portraits, in which the Venetians of that period abounded, 
displaying specimens the most ornamental and beautiful. 
The Cavalier Mengs is of opinion, that also to this branch of 
the art, requiring the strictest attention lo truth, and con- 
ferring a peculiar kind of interest upon a picture, may be in 
some measure attributed the degree of power and truth 
acquired by those eminent colourists. Their merit was more- 
over conspicuous in imitating every kind of work in gold, in 
silver, and every species of metal ; so much so, that there are 
no royal palaces or lordly feasts, read of in any poet, which 
do not appear more nobly represented in some Venetian 
paintings. It was equally remarkable in point of landscape, 
which sometimes surpassed the efforts of the Flemish painters, 
and in architectural views, which, with a magnificence 
unknown elsewhere, they succeeded in introducing into their 
compositions, as we had before occasion to observe of the 
artists of the fourteenth century ; a species of industry ex- 
tremely favourable, likewise, to the distribution, the variety, 
and to the complete effect of groups of figures. 

In these extensive compositions, which about the period of 
the Bellini abounded in half-length or diminutive figures, 
there has since been displayed a grandeur of proportions 
which has led the way to the most enlarged productions, on 
the scale we have more recently seen. The most terrific 
among these is the Supper of Paolo Veronese, at S. Gior- 
gio, in which the gifts of nature are so nobly seconded by the 



OPINIONS OF KEYNOLDS. 131 

exhibition of talent, which appears to have been transmitted 
by succession through this school, nearly until the present 
day. Such ability consists in finely designing all the details 
of any work, however great, including the transmission and 
gradations of light, so that the eye of itself seems to follow its 
track, and embraces the entire effect from one end of the 
canvas to the other. And it has been observed by several 
who have witnessed ancient paintings (a violation of good 
taste, of late but too common), cut up and curtailed to adapt 
them to the size of walls and doors, that such an operation 
often succeeds tolerably well with the pictures of other schools, 
but in extremely difficult with those of the Venetians ; so in- 
timately is one part connected with another, and harmonized 
with the whole. 

These, along with other similar qualities that flatter the 
eye of the spectator, that attract the learned and the un- 
learn* ;d, and seem to transport the mind by the novelty and 
the reality of the representation, constitute a style which is 
termed by Reynolds, the ornamental, who, likewise, among 
all the schools, yields the palm in this to the Venetians ; a 
style afterwards introduced by Vovet into France, by Rubens 
into Inlanders, and by Giordano into Naples and into Spain. 
The (same English critic places it in the second rank, next to 

ithe grand style, and remarks that the professors of the 
sublime were fearful of falling into luxurious and pompous 
exhibitions of the accessaries; no less because prejudicial to 
the artist's industry in point of design and in point of expres- 
sion, than because the transitory impression which it produces 
upon the spectator seldom reaches the heart. And truly, as 
the {^blime of Tully is more simple than the ornament of 
Pliny, and seems to dread any excitement of admiration for 
the oeautiful, lest its energy should be unnerved by too 
studied a degree of elegance ; so is it with the grandeur of 
Michelangelo and of Raffaello, that without seeking to oc- 
cupy us with the illusions of art, goes at once to the heart; 
terrifies or inspires us; awakens emotions of pity, of venera- 
tion, and the love of truth, exalting us, as it were, above our- 
selve 3, and leading us to indulge, even in spite of ourselves, 
the most delicious of all feelings, in that of wonder. It is 
upon this account that Reynolds considered it dangerous for 

K2 



132 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

students to become enamoured of the Venetian style; an 
opinion which, judiciously understood, may prove of much 
service to such artists as are calculated to succeed in the 
more sublime. But since amidst such diversity of talent, 
there must appear artists better adapted to adorn than to ex- 
press, it would not be advisable that their genius should be 
urged into a career in which it will leave them always among 
the last, withdrawing them, at the same time, from another 
in which they might have taken the lead. Let him, there- 
fore, who in this art of silent eloquence possesses not the 
energy and spirit of Demosthenes, apply himself wholly, 
heart and soul, to the elegance, the pomp, and the copious- 
ness of Demetrius Phalereus. 

Let it not from this be supposed, that the sole merit of the 
Venetians consists in surprising the spectator by the effects 
of ornament and colour, and that the customary style and 
true method of painting were not understood in those parts. 
Yet I am aware of the opinion of many foreigners, who, hav- 
ing never removed beyond their native spot, are inclined to 
pronounce a general censure upon these artists, as being igno- 
rant of design, too laboured in their composition, unacquainted 
with ideal beauty, and even unable to understand expression, 
costume and grace ; finally, that the rapidity so much in 
vogue with the whole of the school,* led them to despise the 
rules of art, not permitting them to complete the work before 
them, out of an anxiety to engage in other labours, for the 
sake of the profits afforded by them. To some of their 
painters, doubtless, these observations may apply, but as- 
suredly not to the whole ; for if one city be obnoxious to 
them, another is not so much so ; or if they can be affirmed of 
a certain epoch or class of artists, it would be an idle at- 
tempt to fix them upon all. This school is in truth most 

* It is related by Vasari, that Titian was in the habit of painting natu- 
ral objects from the life, without making any previous design, " a prac- 
tice adopted for many years by the Venetian painters, by Giorgione, by 
Palma, by Pordenone, and others who never visited Rome, nor studied 
other specimens of greater perfection than their own." I know not how 
far the above writer was acquainted with their method. But their designs 
are still extant in various collections ; and the Cartoon of the celebrated 
S. Agostino, painted by Pordenone in that city, is now in possession of 
the Count Chiappini in Piacenza, in good condition. 



GIORGIONE. 133 

abundant, no less in artists than in fine examples in every 
characteristic of the art; but neither one nor the other are 
sufficiently known and appreciated. Yet it is hoped the 
reader will be enabled to form a more correct idea of both ; 
and after having cultivated an acquaintance with the Bellini, 
the Giorgioni, and the Titians, besides other masters, will 
trace, as it were from one parent stock, the various offshoots 
transplanted throughout the state, imbibing, according to the 
nature of the soil, and the vicinity of other climes, new tastes 
and qualities, without losing at the same time their original 
and native flavour. And if in the progress of our history, 
we shall here and there, among plants of nobler growth, meet 
with some " lazzi sorbi," to use the words of our poet, some 
bitter apples, growing at their side ; let these only be at- 
tacked ; but let not the disgrace attaching to a few careless 
artists be calumniously extended to the whole of their school. 
The happy era we are now entering upon commences with 
Giorgione and with Titian, two names which, connected 
together, yet in competition with each other, divided between 
them, as it were, the whole body of disciples throughout the 
capital and the state ; insomuch that we find no city that had 
not more or less adopted for its model one or other of these 
masters. I shall proceed to describe them separately, each 
with his own class, as I believe such a method most 
favourable, to shew how the whole of the school I am describ- 
ing was almost entirely derived and propagated from two 
masters of a similar style. Giorgio Barbarelli, of Castelfranco, 
more generally known by the name of Giorgione, from a 
certain grandeur conferred upon him by nature, no less of 
mind than form, and which appears also impressed upon his 
productions, as the character is said to be in the hand- writing, 
was educated in the school of the Bellini. But impelled by 
a spirit conscious of its own powers, he despised that minute- 
ness in the art which yet remained to be exploded, at once 
substituting for it a certain freedom and audacity of manner, 
in which the perfection of painting consists. In this view he 
may bo said to be an inventor ; no artist before his time 
having acquired that mastery of his pencil, so hardy and 
determined in its strokes, and producing such an effect in the 
distance. From that period he continued to ennoble his 



134 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

manner, rendering the contours more round and ample, the 
fore-shortenings more new, the expression of the countenance 
more warm and lively, as well as the motions of his figures. 
His drapery, with all the other accessaries of the art, became 
more select, the gradations of the different colours more soft 
and natural, and his chiaroscuro more powerful and effective. 
It was in this last, indeed, that Venetian painting was the 
most deficient, while it had been introduced into the rest of 
the schools by Vinci previous to the sixteenth century. 
Vasari is of opinion that from the same artist, or rather from 
some of his designs, it was first acquired by Giorgioiie, a sup- 
position that Boschini will not admit, maintaining that he 
was only indebted for it to himself, being his own master and 
scholar. And, in truth, the taste of Lionardo, and of the 
Milanese artists who acquired it from him, not only differs in 
point of design, inclining in the contours and in the features 
more towards the graceful and the beautiful, while Giorgione 
affects rather a round and full expression ; but it is contrasted 
with it, likewise, in the chiaroscuro. The composition of 
Lionardo abounds much more in shades, which are gradually 
softened with greater care ; while in regard to his lights he is 
far more sparing, and studies to unite them in a small space 
with a degree of vividness that produces surprise. Giorgione's 
composition, on the other hand, is more clear and open, and 
with less shade ; his middle tints, also, partake in nothing of 
the iron-cast and grey, but are natural and beautiful ; and in 
short, he approaches nearer to the style of Coreggio, if Mengs 
at least judges rightly, than to any other master. Still I am 
far from concluding that Vinci in no way contributed to the 
formation of Giorgione's new manner ; every improvement in 
the art having taken its rise from some former one, which 
being admired for its novelty, became familiar to surrounding 
artists by example, and to more distant ones by its reputation, 
thus adding what was before wanting to the perfection of the 
art. And in this way have geniuses in different parts arisen, 
destined to increase and improve such advantages. Thip, if I 
mistake not, has been the case with the science of perspective, 
subsequent to the time of Pier della Francesca ; with regard 
to fore-shortening after Melozzo ; and also with chiaroscuro 
after Lionardo. 



WORKS OF GIORGIONE. 135 

Th( works of Giorgione were, for the chief part, executed 
in fresco, upon the fa9ades of the houses, more particularly in, 
Venice, where there now remains scarcely a relic of them, as 
if to remind us only of what have perished. Many of his 
pictures, on the other hand, both there and in other places, 
painted in oil and preserved in private houses, are found in 
excellent condition ; the cause of which is attributed to the 
strong mixture of the colours, and to the full and liberal use 
of his pencil. In particular we meet with portraits, remark- 
able f >r the soul of their expression, for the air of their heads, 
the novelty of the garments, of the hair, of the plumes, and of 
the arms, no less than for the lively imitation of the living 
flesh, in which, however warm and sanguine are the tints 
which he applied, he adds to them so much grace, that in 
spite of thousands of imitators, he still stands alone. In 
analysing some of these tints, Ridolfi discovered that they 
bore little resemblance to those used by the ancient Greeks, 
and quite distinct from those tawny, brown, and azure colours, 
since introduced at the expense of the more natural. Such of 
his pictures as are composed in the style of his Dead Christ, 
in tho Monte di Pieta at Trevigi, the S. Omobono, at 
the frcuola de* Sarti, in Venice, or the Tempest stilled 
by tho Saint, at that of S. Marco, in which among other 
figures are those of three rowers drawn naked, excellent 
both .in their design and their attitudes ; such are the rarest 
triumphs of his art. The city of Milan possesses two of an 
oblong shape, in which several of the figures extend beyond 
the p i-oportions of Poussin, and may be pronounced rather full 
than beautiful. One of these is to be viewed at the 
Amb -osiana, the other in the archiepiscopal palace ; esteemed 
by seme the happiest effort of Giorgione that now survives.* 
It represents the child Moses just rescued from the Nile, 
and presented to the daughter of Pharoah. Very few colours, 
but veil harmonized and distributed, and finely broksn with 
the siiade, produce a sort of austere union, if I maybe allowed 
the <'xpression, and maybe assimilated to a piece of music 
composed of few notes, but skilfully adapted, and delightful 
beyo id any more n^isy combination of sounds. 

* It has been removed from the archieoiscopal palace into that of 
Brera, and now adorns the R. R. Gallery 



136 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

Giorgione died at the early age of thirty-four, in 1511. 
Thus his productions, rather than the pupils he educated, 
remained to instruct the Venetians. Vasari, however, men- 
tions several who have been contested by other writers. A 
Pietro Luzzo is recorded by Ridolfi; a native of Feltre, 
called Zarato, or Zarotto, who after being a pupil became 
a rival of Giorgione, and seduced from his house a woman, 
to whom he was passionately attached, at whose loss, it has 
been asserted by some that the disappointed artist died in 
despair. By others, on the contrary, he is said to have died 
of a disease contracted during his intercourse with the same 
lady. This Zarato, as we read in a MS. history of Feltre, 
and upon a MS. upon the pictures of Udine, is the same 
whom Vasari entitles, Morto da Feltro ; and adds, that 
he went when young to Rome, and subsequently flourished in 
Florence and elsewhere, distinguished for his skill in gro- 
tesques ; of which more hereafter. Going afterwards to 
Venice, he is known to have assisted Giorgione in the paint- 
ings he made for the Fondaco de' Tedeschi, about the year 
1505 ; and, lastly, having remained some time at his native 
place, he embraced a military life, obtaining the rank of 
captain. Proceeding to Zara, he fell in battle near that 
place in his forty-fifth year ; at least such is the account of 
Vasari. From the mention of his native place of Feltre, 
his assisting Giorgione in his works, and his surnames of 
Zarato and Morto, I think there is some degree of probability 
in the assertion contained in these MSS. though the dates at- 
taching to the life of Morto in Vasari will not countenance 
the supposition of Ridolfi, of his being the pupil of Giorgione, 
a man considerably younger than himself; so that I should 
conjecture that Ridolfi may have denominated him a scholar 
of Giorgione, because, when already of a mature age, he 
painted under him as his assistant. Notwithstanding the 
assertion of Vasari, he had a tolerable genius for figures, and 
in the history already cited, written by Cambrucci, and in 
possession of the bishop of Feltre, a picture of our Lady 
between Saints Francesco and Antonio, placed at S. Spirito, 
and another at Villabruna, besides a figure of Curtius oil 
horseback, upon a house at Teggie, are attributed to his hand. 
We gather from the same history that another Luzzi, by 



FRA SEBASTIANO DEL PIOMBO. 137 

name Lorenzo, a contemporary and perhaps friend of Pietro, 
painted very skilfully in fresco, at the church of S. Stefano ; 
and that he was equally successful in oils, he himself assures 
us in his altar-piece of the proto-martyr S. Stefano, con- 
spicuous for correctness of design, beauty of forms, force of 
tints, and bearing his name and the date of 1511. 

The most distinguished disciple of the school of Giorgione 
is Sebastiano, a Venetian, commonly called, from the habit 
and office he assumed at Rome, Fra Sebastiano del Piornbo. 
Having left Gian Bellini, he attached himself to Giorgione, 
and in the tone of his colours, and the fulness of his forms, 
imitated him better than any other artist. An altar-piece 
in S. Gio. Crisostomo, from his hand, was by some mistaken 
for the work of his master; so strikingly does it abound with 
his manner. It may be presumed, indeed, that he was 
assisted in the design ; Sebastiano being known to possess no 
surprising richness of invention, slow in the composition of 
most of his figures ; irresolute ; eager to undertake, but 
difficult to commence, and most difficult in the completion. 
Hence we rarely meet with any of his histories or his altar- 
pieces, comparable to the Nativity of the Virgin, at S. 
Agostino, in Perugia, or the Flagellazione, at the Osser- 
vanti of Viterbo, which is esteemed the best picture in the 
city. Pictures for private rooms, and portraits, he painted 
in great number, and with comparative ease; and we no- 
where meet with more beautiful hands, more rosy flesh tints, 
or more novel accessaries than in these. Thus, in taking the 
portrait of Pietro Aretino, he distinguished five different 
tints of black in his dress ; imitating with exactness those of 
the velvet, of the satin, and so of the rest. Being invited 
to Rome by Agostino Chigi, and there esteemed as one of the 
first colourists of his time, he painted in competition with 
Peruzzi, and with Raffaello himself; and the rival labours of 
all three are still preserved in a hall of the Farnesiiia, at 
that period the house of the Chigi. 

Sebastiano became aware, that in such a competition, his 
own design would not appear to much advantage in Rome, 
and he improved it. But occasionally he fell into some 
liars] mess of manner, owing to the difficulties he there en- 
countered. Yet, in several of his works, he was assisted by 



138 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

Michelangelo, from whose design he painted that Pieta, 
placed at the Conventual! of Viterbo, and the Transfigura- 
tion, with the other pieces which he produced, during six 
years, for S. Pietro in Montorio, at Rome. It is stated by 
Vasari, that Michelangelo united with him, in order to op- 
pose the too favourable opinion entertained by the Romans, 
of Raffaello. He adds, that on the death of the latter, 
Sebastiano was universally esteemed the first artist of his 
time, upheld by the favour of Michelangelo ; Giulio Ro- 
mano, and the rest of the rival school, being all inferior to 
him. I am almost at a loss how to judge of a fact, which, if 
discredited, seems to cast an imputation upon the historian, 
and, if received, reflects very little credit upon Buonarotti ; 
and the reader will do best, perhaps, to decide for himself. 
The name of Sebastiano must also be added to the list of in- 
ventors, for his new method of oil painting upon stone, upon 
which plan he executed the Flagellazione, for S. Pietro in 
Montorio, a work as much defaced by time as the others 
which he made in fresco remain at the same place entire. 
He coloured also upon stone several pictures for private 
houses, a practice highly esteemed at its earlier period, but 
which was soon abandoned owing to the difficulty of carriage. 
Upon this plan, or some other resembling it, we find several 
pictures of the sixteenth century executed, and which, at this 
period, are esteemed in museums real antiques."' 

* I made mention elsewhere of P. Federici's supposition, as being at 
least probable, that F. Sebastiano was the same person as F. Marco 
Pensaben, a Dominican. The year of their birth is certainly the same. 
But other dates are too discordant ; if, indeed, we are not to suppose that 
the whole of what Vasari has written of Sebastiano, in his life of him, as 
well as in those of Sanzio and Peruzzi, is merely fanciful. It is by no 
means worth our while to draw minute comparisons between the epochs 
of these two painters. In 1520, we found Pensaben in Venice ; next at 
Trevigi, where he remained till July, 1521. Now, Sebastiano, the Venetian, 
was, at this very period, at Rome". The Car. Giulio de' Medici had com- 
mitted to Raffaello the picture of the Transfiguration, which, having 
hardly completed, that artist died on Good Friday, 1520 ; and during the 
same time, as if in competition with Raffaello, Sebastiano was employed 
in painting the Resurrection of Lazarus, for the same cardinal, which, 
soon after, was exhibited along with the Transfiguration, and then sent 
into France. More still he likewise drew the Martyrdom of Santa Agata, 
for the cardinal of Aragona ; a piece which, in the time of Vasari', was 



IMITATORS OF GIORGIONE. 139 

Among the disciples of the school of Giorgione, were, like- 
wise, (jrio. da Udine and Francesco Torbido, a Veronese., who 
has been surnamed il Moro, and both were distinguished 
practi^ers of his tints. In regard to Giovanni, afterwards a 
pupil of Raffaello, we have written, and we shall again write 
elsewhere. Moro remained but little with Giorgione, a much 
longer while with Liberale. Of this last he imitated very 
truly both the diligence and the design, in the former even 
surpassing him; always a severe critic upon himself, and 
slow in completing his undertakings. We rarely meet with 
him ir altar-pieces, still more rarely in collections of paintings, 
for which he was often employed in sacred subjects and in 
portraits ; deficient in nothing, except, perhaps, we could wish 
to see somewhat greater freedom of hand. In the dome of 
VeroLa, he painted several histories in fresco, among which is 
the Assumption of the Virgin, truly admirable ; but the 
designs are not his, Giulio Romano having prepared the car- 
toons. His style of execution, however, is clearly enough 
perceived, which, in respect to colouring and to chiaroscuro, 
discovers him to be an artist, as Vasari has recorded, " as care- 
ful in regard to his use of colours, as any other who flourished 
at the same period." 

The other names that here follow are included, according 
to history, in the train of Giorgione, not as his pupils, but his 
imitaiors. Yet all exhibit traces of Bellini, because the 
Venetian manner, up to the time of Tintoretto, did not so 
muct aim at inventing new things, as at perfecting such as 
had already been discovered ; not so desirous of relinquishing 
the t iste of the Bellini, as of modernizing it upon the model of 
Titian and Giorgione. Hence it arose, that a people of pain- 
ters were formed in a taste extremely uniform ; and the 
exaggerated observation, "that whoever had cultivated an 
aecju lintance with one Venetian artist of that age, knew them 

in possession of the duke of Urbino ; then in the Palazzo Pitti at Florence, 
whence it passed into France. There is the name of Sebastianus Venetus, 
and ;he year 1520, affixed to it. This artist therefore can, by no means, 
be confounded with F. Marco, nor the painting of this last at Trevigi be 
ascribed to the former. Such a mistaken opinion has been attributed to 
me by the learned P. Federici ("vol. i. p. 120) ; but on what ground I 
kno? not. 



140 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

all," seemed to have some ground in truth. But still, as I 
have said, it is exaggeration, as there is certainly much diver- 
sity of style and merit when compared with one another. 
Among the leading disciples of Giorgione are to be ranked 
three, who belong to the city or territory of Bergamo, and 
these are Lotto, as is most generally supposed, Palma, and 
Cariani. They resemble their master most frequently in ful- 
ness, but in the mixture and selection of colours they often 
appear of the school of Lombardy. More particularly in 
Cariani there is apparent a certain superficies, like that of 
wax, equally diffused over the canvas, which shines so as to 
enliven the eye ; and when seen at a distance, with but little 
light, appears in full relief, a result which others have also 
noticed in the works of Coreggio. 

The name of Lorenzo Lotto is recorded by Vasari and 
elsewhere, in which accounts his country is considered as 
consisting of the entire state, as he himself, indeed, affixed to 
his picture of S. Christoforo di Loreto, " Laurentius Lottus 
Pictor Venetus."* The late annotator of Vasari, observing 
the grace of countenance and the turn of the eyes remarkable 
in his pictures, supposed him to be a disciple of Vinci, an 
opinion that might be supported by the authority of Lomazzo, 
-who mentions the names of Cesare da Sesto and Lorenzo Lotto 
together, both being imitators, in the distribution of their 
lights, of da Vinci. Lotto most likely profited by his vici- 
nity to Milan, in order to cultivate an acquaintance with, and 
>to imitate Vinci in many points ; though I am not, therefore, 
inclined to discredit the account which gives him for a pupil 
to Bellini, and a rival to Castelfranco. But the style of the 

* We confess our obligations to Sig. Giuseppe Beltramelli, who informs 
AIS, in a work published in 1806, that this painter, generally supposed from 
Bergamo, was really a Venetian, being thus mentioned in a public con- 
tract : "M. Laurentius Lottus de Venetiis nunc habitator Bergomi." 
Father Federici, who, on the strength of some historian, pronounces him 
.of Trevigi, brings forward another document in which Lotto is called, 
" IX Laurentii Lotti pictoris, et de presenti Tarvisii commorantis." If, 
therefore, " habitator Bergomi " does not prove him a native of Bergamo, 
will the words " Tarvisii commorantis " make him a native of Trevigi ? 
But Father Affo, in one of his earliest pictures, found him entitled " Tar- 
visinus." Who, however, can assure us that it is in fact the hand- 
writing of Lotto, which he there found written ? 



LORENZO LOTTO. 141 

disciples of Lionardo, so uniform in Luini and in the other 
Milanese, is very slightly perceptible in the productions of 
Lotto. His manner is, in truth, wholly Venetian, bold in its 
colours, luxurious in its draperies, and like Giorgione, of a 
deep red in the fleshy parts. His hand, however, is less bold 
and free than that of the latter, whose loftier character he is 
fond of tempering with the play, as it were, of his middle tints ; 
selecting, at the same time, lighter forms, to whose heads he 
gives a character more placid and a beauty more ideal. In 
the back-ground of his pictures he often retains a peculiar 
clear or azure colour, which, if it do not harmonize so much 
with the figures, confers distinctness on each individual, and 
presents them in a very lively manner to the eye. His pictures 
of S. Antonio, at the Dominicans in Venice, and of S. Niccolo, 
at the Carmine, which design he repeated in the S. Vincenzio, 
of the Dominicans at Recanati, are compositions extremely 
novel and original. In his others he varies little from the 
usual style ; that of a Madonna seated on a throne, sur- 
rounded with saints, with cherubs in the air, or upon the 
steps. Yet these he relieves by the novelty of perspective, 
or by attitudes, or contrasted views. Thus in his specimen of 
the 8. Bartolommeo, at Bergamo, entitled by Ridolfi, won- 
derful, he bestows upon the Virgin and the infant Jesus such 
finely diversified and contrasted motions, that they seem as if 
conversing with the holy bystanders, the one on the right and 
the other on the left hand. And in that of S. Spirito, spark- 
ling as it were with graces, we meet with a figure of S. John 
the Baptist, drawn as a child, standing at the foot of the 
throne, in the act of embracing a lamb, and expressing so 
natural and lively a joy, at once so simple and innocent, with 
a smile so beautiful, that we can hardly believe while we 
gaze upon it, that Rafiaello or Correggio could have gone be- 
yond it. 

Such master-pieces as these, with others that are to be seen 
at Bergamo, in churches and private collections, place him 
almost on a level with the first luminaries of the art. If Va- 
sari (iid not fairly appreciate his merits, it arose only from his 
having viewed several of his less studied and less noble 
pieces. And it is true that he has not always exhibited the 
same degree of excellence^ or force of design. The period in 



142 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

which he chiefly flourished may be computed from the year 
1513, when he was selected, among many professors of repu- 
tation, to adorn the altar for the church of the Dominicans at 
Bergamo ; and, perhaps, the decline of his powers ought to 
be dated from 1546, an epoch inscribed upon his picture of 
San Jacopo dell' Orio, in Venice. He was employed also at 
Ancona, and in particular at the church of S. Dominico, at 
{Recanati, where, interspersed among pieces of superior power, 
more especially in his smaller pictures, we detect some incor- 
rectness in his extremities, and stiffness of composition, 
resembling that of Gian Bellini ; whether, as it is conjectured 
by Yasari, they were among the earliest, or more probably 
amongst some of his latest efforts. For it is well known, that 
when far advanced in years, he was accustomed to retire to 
Loreto, a little way from Recanati, and that engaged in con- 
tinual supplication to the Virgin, in order that she might 
guide him into a better method, he there closed the period of 
his days in tranquillity. 

Jacopo Palma, commonly called Palma Vecchw^ to dis- 
tinguish him from his great-nephew Jacopo, was invariably 
considered the companion and rival of Lotto, until such time 
as Combe first confused the historical dates relating to him. 
By Ridolfi we are told that Palma employed himself in com- 
pleting a picture left imperfect by Titian, at the period of his 
death in 1576. Upon this, and similar authorities, Combe 
takes occasion to postpone the birth of Palma, until 1540 ; 
adding to which the forty-eight years assigned him by Yasari, 
the time of his decease is placed in 1588. In such arrange- 
ment the critic seems neither to have paid attention to the 
style of Jacopo, still retaining some traces of the antique, nor 
to the authority of Ridolfi, who makes him the master of Bo- 
nifazio, any more than to Yasari's testimony, in the work 
published in 1568, declaring him to have died several years 
before that period in Venice. He does not even consider, 
what he might more easily have ascertained, that there was 
another Jacopo Palma, great-nephew of the elder, who, ac- 
cording to the authority of Boschini (p. 110), was a pupil of 
Titian's as long as the latter survived ; and that Ridolfi, on 
this occasion, entitled him Palma without the addition of 
younger on account of its being so extremely unlikely that 



JACOPO PALMA. 143 

any would confound him with the elder Palma.* Such, not- 
withstanding, was the case, and is, in fact, only a slight sample 
of the inaccuracies of the whole work. The same error has 
been repeated by too many authors, even among the Italians; 
and the most amusing of all is, that Palma the elder is said to 
have been born about the year 1540, while, almost, in the same 
brea:h, the younger Palma is declared to have been born in 
154^. So much must here suffice as to his age, proceeding in 
the next instance to his style. 

!Much attached to the method of Giorgione, he aimed at 
atta : ning his clearness of expression, and vivacity of colouring. 
In tis celebrated picture of Saint Barbara, at S. Maria For- 
mosa, one of his most powerful and characteristic productions, 
Jacc po more especially adopted him as his model. In some 
of h s other pieces, he more nearly approaches Titian, a re- 
semblance, we are told by Ridolfi, consisting in the peculiar 
grace which he acquired from studying the earliest productions 
of that great master. Of this kind is the Supper of Christ, 
painted for Santa Maria Mater Doming with the Virgin at 
San Stefano di Vicenza, executed with so much sweetness of 
expression as to be esteemed one of his happiest productions. 
There are many examples of both styles to be met with in the 
.grand Carrara collection, as given in the list of Count Tassi 
(p. 03). Finally, Zanetti is of opinion that in some others he 
displays a more original genius, as exemplified in the Epiphany 
of the island of Saint Helena,t where he equally shines in the 
character of a naturalist who selects well, who carefully dis- 
poses his draperies, and who composes according to good rules. 
The distinguishing character then of his pieces is diligence, 
refinement, and a harmony of tints, so great as to leave no 
traces of the pencil ; and it has been observed by one of his 
historians, that he long occupied himself in the production of 
each piece, and frequently retouched it. In the mixture of 
his colours, as well as other respects, he often resembles Lotto, 
aucl if less animated and sublime, he is, perhaps, generally 
spe: iking, more beautiful in the form of his heads, especially 
in those of boys and women. It is the opinion of some, that 

* Several works of tbe elder Palma are met with in Sermalta, a place 
in t ie province of Bergamo. A. 

f This picture is now in the I. R. Pinacoteca of Milan. 



144 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

in several of his countenances he expressed the likeness of his 
daughter Violante, very nearly related to Titian, and a por- 
trait of whom, by the hand of her father, was to be seen in the 
gallery of Sera, a Florentine gentleman, who purchased at 
Venice many rarities for the House of the Medici, as well as 
for himself (Boschini, p. 368). A variety of pictures in- 
tended for private rooms, met with in different places in Italy, 
have also been attributed to the hand of Palma ; besides por- 
traits, one of which has been commended by Yasari as truly 
astonishing, from its beauty ; and Madonnas, chiefly drawn 
along with other saints, on oblong canvas; a practice in, 
common use by many artists of that age, some of whom we 
have already recounted, and others are yet to come. But the 
least informed among people of taste, being ignorant of their 
names, the moment they behold a picture between the dryness 
of Giovanni Bellini and the softness of Titian, pronounce it to 
be a Palma, and this, more particularly, where they find coun- 
tenances well rounded and coloured, landscape exhibited with 
care, and roseate hues in the drapery, occurring more fre- 
quently than any of a more sanguine dye. In this way Palma 
is in the mouths of all, while other artists, also very numerous, 
are mentioned only in proportion as they have attached their 
own names to their productions. One of these, resembling 
Palma and Lotto, but slightly known beyond the precincts of 
Bergamo and some adjacent cities, is Giovanni Cariani, as to 
whom Vasari is altogether silent. One of his pieces, repre- 
senting our Saviour, along with several saints, and dated 151 4, 1 
have myself seen at Milan, which appears to have been alto- 
gether formed upon the model of Giorgione. If I mistake not, it 
is a juvenile production, and when compared with some others, 
which I saw at Bergamo, very indifferent in its forms. The most 
excellent of any from his hand, is a Virgin, preserved at the 
Servi, with a group of beatified spirits, a choir of an gels, and other 
angels at her feet, engaged in playing upon their harps in concert. 
It is an exceedingly graceful production, delightfully orna- 
mented with landscape and figures in the distance ; very 
tastefal in its tints, which are blended in a manner equal to 
the most studied specimens of the two artists of Bergamo, 
already mentioned ; thus forming with them a triumvirate, 
calculated to reflect honour upon any country. It has been 



ROCCO MARCONI AND PARIS BORDONE. 145 

stated by Tassi, that the celebrated Zuccherelli never visited 
Bergamo, without returning to admire the beauties of this 
picture, pronouncing it one of the finest specimens of the art 
he hfid ever beheld, and the best which that city had to 
boast. Cariani was also no less distinguished as a portrait- 
painter, as we gather from a piece belonging to the counts 
Albani, containing various portraits of that noble family ; and 
which, surrounded with specimens of the best colourists, 
would almost appear to be the only one deserving of peculiar 
admiration. 

Tho city of Trevigi may boast of two artists belonging to 
the same class, though widely differing from each other. One 
of these is Rocco Marconi, distinguished by Zanetti among 
some of the best disciples of Bellini, and erroneously referred 
by Ridolfi to the school of Palma. He excelled in accuracy 
of design, taste of colouring, and diligence of hand, though 
not always sufficiently easy in his contours, and for the most 
part exhibiting a severity almost approaching to plebeian 
coarseness in his countenances. Even in the earliest produc- 
tion attributed to him, executed in the year 1505, and pre- 
served in the church of San Niccolo, at Trevigi, Ridolfi 
detects that peculiar clearness of style, which may be traced 
also s<> strongly in his Three Apostles, at SS. Giovanni and 
Paolo, as well as in his few other pictures dispersed among 
the public places. Indeed, half-length figures of this artist 
are by no means of rare occurrence in private collections, 
thougli he can boast no single specimen so beautiful, or so 
completely Giorgionesque, as his Judgment of the Adulte- 
ress, to be seen in the chapter of San Giorgio Maggiore, and 
of which there is either a duplicate or a copy at San Pantaleo, 
and in other places. The other of these two artists, is Paris 
Bordcne, the elevation of .whose mind and genius seemed to 
correspond with that of his birth. After having been a pupil 
of Titian for a short period, he became an enthusiastic imita- 
tor of Giorgione, finally adopting an originality of manner, 
whose peculiar grace bears no resemblance to that of any 
other painter. His forms may truly be said to breathe, to 
glow, and even to laugh, with a force of colouring, which, in- 
capable of displaying a greater degree of truth than that of 
Titian, aimed, nevertheless, at more variety and attraction ; 

VOL, II. L 



146 



VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 



while, at the same time, they were not wanting in delicacy of 
design, novelty of drapery, propriety of composition, and a 
peculiarly lively air of the heads. In the church of S. 
Giobbe, he produced a picture of S. Andrew embracing his 
Cross, with an angel seen hovering above, in the act of be- 
stowing upon him the crown of martyrdom ; while in one of 
the two saints, represented at the side, he drew the figure of 
S. Peter, in the act of gazing upon him with a kind of envy ; 
an idea equally novel and picturesque. A similar method he 
adopted in other of his works, produced in great part for the 
ornament of his native place and its vicinity. Not a subject 
but is taken from the antique ; yet each of them is treated 
with originality. Of such kind, is that picture of a true 
Paradise, seen in the Ognissanti at Trevigi, and those evan- 
gelical mysteries in the cathedral of the same city, repre- 
sented in an altar-piece, divided into six different groups, at 
the request, it is presumed, of the person who engaged him to 
execute it. Here, we behold, assembled in a small space, 
every thing of the most pleasing and beautiful kind, which he 
has elsewhere scattered throughout the whole of his works. 
In Yenice, his representation of the restoration of the ring to 
the Doge, by a fisherman, possesses a high reputation ; and 
this, accompanied with that of the Tempest, shortly before de- 
scribed, by Giorgione, forms an admirable contrast in its 
beauty to the terrors abounding in the latter. Decorated 
with the finest specimens of architecture, and a profusion of 
animated and well-adapted figures, as varied in their actions 
as in their draperies, it has been commended by Vasari as 
the master-piece of his labours. The same artist is, likewise, 
highly prized in collections. Madonnas of his are to be met 
with, characterized by the uniformity of their countenance, as 
well a,s some of his portraits, often attired in the manner of 
Giorgione, and composed with fine and novel embellishments. 
Being invited to the court of Francis II., he acquired the 
favour of that monarch and of his successor, thus enriching 
himself by the exercise of his talents. He had a son who 
pursued the same branches of the art ; but from his picture of 
Daniel, remaining at Santa Maria Formosa, in Venice, it is 
evident how very inferior he must have been. 

At the same time flourished one Girolamo da Trevigi, a 



GIO. ANTONIO LICINIO. 147 

different artist to his namesake already mentioned by us, 
who, induced probably by the example of his noble fellow- 
citizer , and turning his attention to a more select style than 
tiie generality of the Venetian school, applied himself to the 
models of Raffaello and the Romans. He is entitled by 
Padre Federici, upon the authority of Mauro, Pennacchi, and 
is considered by him the son of that Piermaria of whom we 
made brief mention before (page 109). There is little from 
his hand remaining at Venice, but more in Bologna, particu- 
larly at San Petronio, where he painted in oil the histories of 
S. Antony of Padua, with judgment and grace, combined 
with an exquisite degree of polish, which obtained for him 
the commendation of Vasari. It was here he happily suc- 
ceeded in uniting the excellences of the two schools, though 
he did not flourish long enough to mature them, having de- 
voted himself to the military occupation of an engineer, to 
which service he fell a victim in 1544, while in England ; he 
was killed, according to Vasari, in his thirty-sixth year. On 
this hist point, we can scarcely admit the emendation offered 
us by the author of the " Description of Vicenza," who would 
substitute for this earlier date the age of seventy-six years, a 
period of life when men seldom encounter their final doom in 
the field. In this instance, perhaps, the emendator was not 
awan that there exist signatures of a Girolamo da Treviso, 
met with upon pictures from the year 1472 to that of 1487, 
uniformly of ancient design ; an artist, who could not, in the 
common course of life, have survived to become an excellent 
disciple of Raffaello, arid the assistant of Pupini at Bologna, 
about the year 1530. He failed, therefore, to make a dis- 
tinction between two painters of the same name, as it will be 
perceived we have done, followed by the authority of Padre 
Federici. 

Finally, in this list must be enumerated Gio. Antonio Li- 
cinio, either Sacchiense, or Cuti cello,* until such period, as 
happc ning to be wounded in the hand by his brother, he re- 
noum ed all title to his family name, assuming the appellation 

* Tims called by the oldest writers, though, from his father's testa- 
ment, recently brought to light, it appears to be erroneous. Here his 
father is entitled, Angelus de Lodesanis de Corticellis (or in a MS. of the 
Signori Mottensi of Pordenone, de Corticelsis) Brixiensis. 
L 2 



148 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

of Regillo. He is commonly, however, called Pordenone, from 
his native place, formerly a province, and now a city of the 
Friuli. " In this province/' it is observed by Vasari, " there 
flourished, during his time, a great number of excellent artists, 
who had never visited either Florence or Rome ; but he stood 
pre-eminent above all, surpassing his predecessors in the con- 
ception of his pieces, in design, in boldness, in the use of his 
colours, in his frescos, in rapidity, in grandeur of relief, and, 
indeed, in every other attribute of the arts." It is uncertain 
whether he attended the school of Castelfranco, as it has been 
supposed by some, and much more so, whether he was a fellow- 
student along with him and Titian, under Giovanni Bellini, a 
supposition started by Rinaldis (p. 62). To me, the opinion 
reported by Ridolfi appears nearer the truth, that having first 
studied, in his youth, the productions of Pellegrino, at Udine, 
he subsequently adopted the manner of Giorgione, following 
the bias of his own genius, invariably the artist's safest guide 
in the formation of a style. Other disciples of Giorgione more 
or less resembled him in manner, but Pordenone seemed to vie 
with him in spirit, a spirit equally daring, resolute, and great ; 
surpassed by no other, perhaps, in the Venetian school. Yet 
in Lower Italy he is little known beyond his name. The pic- 
ture with the portraits of his family, preserved in the Palazzo 
Borghese, is the best production of his that I have met with 
in these parts. And elsewhere, indeed, we rarely behold such 
histories as his exquisite picture of the Raising of Lazarus, in 
possession of the Conti Lecchi, at Brescia. Nor does he 
abound in altar-pieces, beyond the province of Friuli, which 
boasts of several in different places, though not all equally 
genuine. The few executed in Pordenone are unquestionably 
his, inasmuch as he has himself described them in a memorial 
still extant.* The collegiate church possesses two of these ; 
one consisting of a Holy Family, with S. Christopher, executed 
in 1515, very finely coloured, but not exempt from some in- 
accuracies. The other bears the date of 1535, representing 
S. Mark in the act of consecrating a bishop, along with other 

* It is inserted in a Transunto of MSS. belonging to the noble Ernesto 
Mottensi of Pordenone, communicated to me by the P. D. Michele 
Turriani Barnabita, extremely skilled in the parchments and ancient 
memorials of Friuli. 



WORKS OF LICINIO. 149 

saints, and with perspective ; a piece, says its author, posta, 
\n opera,) non finita, begun, indeed, but not finished. A more 
complete specimen was to be seen at San Pier Martire di 
Udine, in his Annunciation, since retouched and destroyed. 
Some there are who have preferred, before every other, that 
preserved in S. Maria dell' Orto, at Venice. It consists of 
San Lorenzo Giustiniani, surrounded by various saints, among 
whom S. John the Baptist appears naked according to the 
rules of the most learned schools ; while the arm of S. Augus- 
tine is seen, as it were, stretched forth out of the picture, an 
effect of perspective this artist has repeated in various other 
places. The most beautiful of his pieces in Piacenza, where 
he haci established himself, is his picture of the Marriage of 
S. Catherine, upon a dark ground, which gives a roundness to 
the wtole of the figures; it is full of grace in those of a more 
tender character, and displays grandeur in the forms of 
S. Peter and S. Paul, represented on the two sides ; in the last 
of whom, as well as in the S. Rocco of Pordenone, he gave a 
portrait of himself. 

But his works in fresco display the highest degree of merit ; 
great part of which he produced in the Friuli, besides 
numerous others scattered throughout castles and villas, no 
longer distinguished by strangers, except from the circum- 
stance of possessing some painting of Pordenone. Such places 
are Castions, Valeriano, Villanova, Varmo, Pallazuolo, where 
he is v/ith certainty known to have employed his talents. A 
few remnants are likewise preserved in Mantua, in the Casa 
de' Cesarei, and in the palazzo Doria, at Genoa ; some at 
S. Rocco, and the cloisters of S. Stefano, in Venice, and many 
specimens in high preservation in the dome of Cremona, and 
at Santa Maria di Campagna, in Piacenza, where, in collec- 
tions, and in the fa9ades of houses, other pieces of his are 
pointed out. His labours in fresco, however, are not all 
equally studied and correct ; more particularly those in his 
native Friuli, which he produced at an early age in great 
-abundance, and for a small price. He is more select in his 
male forms than in those of his women, whose model he ap- 
pears to have frequently taken from very robust rather than 
very leautiful subjects, most probably met with in the adja- 
cent province of Carnia, where he is said to have indulged his 



150 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

early passions. But in every thing he undertook we may in- 
variably trace the workings of a vigorous fancy, rich in con- 
ceiving, in varying, and developing his ideas ; powerful in his 
exhibition of the passions, displaying the master-hand that 
encounters the difficulties of the art with the most novel com- 
binations in the science of fore-shortening, with the most 
laboured perspective, and with a power of relief which appears 
perfectly starting from the canvas. 

In Venice, he seemed to surpass all he had before done. 
The competition, or rather enmity, subsisting between him 
and Titian, served as a spur, both by day and night, to 
actuate him to fresh exertions. He was at times even 
accustomed to paint with arms at his side ; and it is the 
opinion of many, that such emulation was of no less ad- 
vantage to Titian, than was the rivalship of Michelangelo to 
Raffaello. In this instance, also, the one excelled in strength, 
the other in grace of hand ; or, as it has been observed by 
Zanetti, nature prevailed in Titian in a superior degree to 
manner, while in Pordenone both shone with an equal degree 
of excellence. To have competed with Titian is a circum- 
stance not a little honourable to his name, and has acquired 
for him in the Venetian school the second rank, at least, in a 
period so prolific in excellent artists. A portion of the 
people, indeed, then preferred him to Titian ; for, as I have 
elsewhere observed, there is nothing so well calculated to 
surprise the multitude as the production of fine effect and of the 
chiaroscuro, in which art he is known to have first preceded 
Guercino. Pordenone was highly favoured, and presented 
with the title of cavalier by Charles V. ; and being subse- 
quently invited to the court of Ercole II., duke of Ferrara, 
he died there shortly after, not without suspicion of having 
been poisoned. We have in the next place to give an 
account of his school. 

Bernardino Licinio, from his surname probably a relation 
of the foregoing, was an artist who is here deserving of men- 
tion. We gather from history, as well as from his manner., that 
he was also a pupil of Pordenone ; and there remains at the 
Conventuali, in Venice, an altar-piece of the usual antique 
composition, quite in the style of the other Licinio, from his 
hand. It is reported, likewise, that some of his portraits are 



DISCIPLES OF PORDEXONE. 151 

presorved in different collections which have been erroneously 
ascribed to the elder Pordenoue. Sandrart makes mention of 
Giulio Licinio da Pordenone, a nephew and scholar to Gio. 
Antonio, adding that he employed himself in Venice ; thence 
transferred his residence to Augusta, where he left behind 
him some truly surprising specimens in fresco, which obtained 
for him with some a higher reputation than his uncle. He 
would appear to be the same Giulio Lizino, who, in competi- 
tion with Schiavone, Paul Veronese, and other artists, pro- 
duced the three circular pieces, in the library of St. Mark, 
in tie year 1556. By Zanetti he is considered of Roman 
origin,* but this is a mistake, arising from Giulio's having 
assumed the title of Romano during his residence in the 
capital ; while he retained it in Venice, the better to dis- 
tinguish him from the other Licinj, in the same manner as we 
have- already observed of one of the Trevisani, about the 
samo period. 

Giannantonio Licinio the younger was a brother to Giulio, 
and more commonly named Sacchiense, an artist who has 
been highly commended, but whose works are no longer to be 
seen, not even in Como, as far as we can learn, where he died. 

A fter the Licinj we ought next to record the name of Cal- 
derari, a distinguished pupil of Gio. Antonio, who has suc- 
ceeded in sometimes imposing upon the most acute judges. 
Thus it has occurred in the parish church of Montereale, 
where he produced many scripture histories in fresco, which 
had been uniformly ascribed to the hand of Pordenone, until 
the discovery of a document establishing the contrary. He 
is e"en little known in his native place of Pordenone, and 
his frescos in the cathedral were attributed to the pencil of 
Am ilteo. Pordenone may also boast of another disciple in 
Francesco Beccaruzzi da Conigliano. For this we have the 
authority of Ridolfi, confirmed by the artist's own work,, 
ornamenting his native place, of St. Francis in the act of re- 
ceiving the stigmata, or marks of Christ, a figure more strik- 
ing in point of relief than of colouring. To the same school 
has been added by Orlandi, the name of Gio. Batista Grassi, 
a g< >od painter, but more excellent as an architect, and the 

* See his work on Venetian Painting, p. 250. 



152 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

same from whom Vasari drew bis notices of the painters of 
Friuli. I should be inclined, however, to refer him to some 
other school, both on account of Vasari's silence on a point 
so creditable to him, and his resemblance to the manner of 
Titian in such of the few pieces as have been well preserved, 
and are exempt from modern retouches of art. Of this kind 
are his pictures of the Annunciation ; the Translation of 
Elias ; and the Vision of Ezekiel, in the cathedral of Gemona, 
on the doors of the organ there. 

The last name to be enumerated in this class, is that of 
Pomponio Amalteo, a native of San Vito, and of a noble fa- 
mily which yet boasts its descendants at Uderzo. He was 
one of the most excellent of Giannantonio's pupils, and 
introduced his master's style into the Friuli, for which reason 
we shall here give him a place, together with the whole of his 
followers. He was son-in-law to Pordenone, and the artist 
who succeeded him in his school at Friuli. Both there and 
in other places he employed himself in works of distinguished 
merit. He preserved the manner of his father-in-law, as has 
been observed by Ridolfi, who erroneously ascribes to Licinio 
the Three Judgments, indisputably the production of Amalteo, 
which he represented in a gallery at Ceneda, in which causes 
are decided. They consist of the Judgment of Solomon, of 
that of Daniel, and a third of Trajan ; the whole completed 
in the year 1536. It is everywhere evident that he aspired 
to originality of manner ; his shading is less strong, his 
colours are brighter, and the proportions of his figures and 
all his ideas are upon a less elevated scale than those of his 
father-in-law. Some faint idea of his works may be gathered 
from Vasari and Ridolfi, who omitted, however, many of 
them, among others the five pictures of Roman histories 
adorning the Hall of the Notaries at Belluno ; but it is only 
some faint idea, inasmuch as neither these two writers, nor 
Altan, who collected memorials of him in a little work, were 
at all enabled to do full justice to the labours of an artist who 
continued to occupy himself, assisted by various other hands, 
until the latest period of his Jife. Hence it is that the bulk 
of his works can by no means boast the same degree of ex- 
cellence as the Three Judgments we have mentioned, or the 
picture of S. Francis, at the church of that name, in Udine, 



ANTONIO BOSELLO. 153 

esteemed one among the valuable pieces belonging to the city. 
Still, wherever or upon whatever subject he employed him- 
self, 1 e displayed the powers of a great master, educated by 
Pord< none ; and one who not only shewed himself, with the 
generality of Venetians, a splendid colourist, but designed far 
more accurately. The same merit continued, for some period, 
to characterize his successors, who, however, if I mistake not, 
were greatly inferior to him in genius; excepting only his 
brother, with whom we shall commence the history of Pom- 
ponio s school. 

His name was Girolamo, and, receiving the instructions of 
his brother, he is supposed to have assisted him in his labours, 
giving proofs of a noble genius, which he more peculiarly 
manifested in works of design ; in small pictures, which ap- 
peare 1 like miniature ; in several fables executed in fresco, and 
in an altar-piece which he painted in the church of San Vito. 
Ridolfi commends him highly for his spirited manner, and 
another of the old writers, as we learn from Rinaldis, gives 
his opinion, that if he had flourished for a longer period, he 
would, perhaps, have proved no way inferior to the great 
Pordonone. Hence I find reason to conclude that Girolamo 
continued, during life, the exercise of his art ; and that the 
report transmitted to us through Ridolfi, about a century after 
his death, of his brother Pomponio having devoted him, out of 
jealousy of his genius, to mercantile pursuits, as was certainly 
the case with a brother of Titian, must have been wholly 
without foundation. 

Pomponio likewise availed himself of the aid of Antonio 
Bosello in the paintings he produced at Ceneda, as well as for 
the Patriarch within the gallery just before recorded, and for 
the canons in the organ of the cathedral. This artist must 
assuredly have arrived at some degree of perfection, inasmuch 
as we are in possession of the particulars of various salaries 
paid to him, distinct from such as were paid to the principal. 
As I find mention in Bergamo of an Antonio Boselli, me- 
morials of whom subsist there between the period of 1509 and 
that of 1527, it is extremely probable that he was the same 
painter, who, being unable to contend with the fame of Lotto, 
and so many other of his contemporaries in that celebrated 
school, sought for better fortune beyond his native place. It 



154 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

is certain he exercised his talents in Padua, and thence he 
might easily penetrate into Friuli, and give his assistance to 
Pomponio, whilst employed at Ceneda during the years 1534, 
1535, and 1536. 

In the course of time, Amalteo, having bestowed two of 
his daughters in marriage, appears to have obtained the assist- 
ance of his sons-in-law, both painters, and promoted by him 
in the progress of their art. Quintilia, who had the reputa- 
tion of a fine genius, familiar with the principles both of 
painting and engraving, and more particularly excellent in 
portraits, became united to Gioseffo Moretto, of Friuli, 
although there remains only a single altar-piece of his in the 
Friuli, in the province of San Vito, bearing the following 
inscription : " Inchoavit Pomponius Amalteus, perfecit Joseph 
Moretius, anno 1588;" a short time previous to which date, 
his father-in-law had resigned his profession with his life. 
The other daughter espoused Sebastiano Seccante, mentioned 
by Ridolfi, and esteemed in Udine for his two grand pictures 
embellished with fine portraits, with which he ornamented the 
castle of the city ; and still more so for several of his altar- 
pieces. Of these there is one at San Giorgio, representing 
the Redeemer, suffering under the cross, between various 
figures of cherubs, holding other instruments of his passion ; 
a piece that displays all the excellent maxims derived from 
his education. This artist may be pronounced the last of the 
great school, whose productions do credit to a good collection. 
His brother, Giacomo, who did not apply himself to painting 
until he had attained his fiftieth year ; Sebastiano, the son of 
Giacomo, who became early initiated in the art, without even 
equalling his father, with their relative Seccante, who lived 
at the same period, were none of them esteemed, even in 
Udine, beyond mediocrity in their respective lines. Two 
natives, however, of San Vito, named Pier Antonio Alessio, 
and Cristoforo Diana, were much commended by Cesarini, 
one of Amalteo's contemporaries. They were employed in 
their studies at the very period that the former wrote his 
dialogue ; though there remain no memorials of Pier Antonio, 
similar to those of Cristoforo, of whom Altaii discovered 
several specimens at San Vito, in a very good style, besides 
one preserved in the monastery of Sesto, bearing traces of his 



DISCIPLES OF PELLEGRINO. 155 

name, which he had inscribed upon it. We shall close this 
catalogue with the name of another disciple of Amalteo, be- 
longing to San Daniele, where, among some other remains, 
thero is a tolerably good fresco, preserved in the fa9ade of one 
of the inns in the suburbs of the place. It represents the 
Virgin, seated with the divine child, her throne surrounded 
by 8. Thomas the Apostle, and S. Valentine, along with 
other saints ; and it bears the inscription " Opus Julii 
Urbanis, 1574 ;" it partakes of the taste of Amalteo, and of 
Pordenone, the succession of whose school we have just 
completed, history affording us no further materials for 
description. 

Whilst the school of Amalteo continued to embellish various 
cities, provinces, and villas of the Friuli, another from the 
same place started into competition with it, first introduced 
by Pellegrino, of which mention has been made at page 111, 
though I reserved its description for this place. The whole of 
PeDegrino's disciples followed him at a very unequal p'ace, and 
few of their works can be pointed out which appear to catch the 
spirit of his fresco of S. Daniel, or his altar-piece at Cividale, 
already mentioned with praise. Luca Monverde was an 
artist who flourished but for a short period, nor ever advanced 
beyond the Bellini manner, imbibed from his master at a very 
early age. In this, however, he arrived at so high a degree 
of perfection, that his picture, adorning the great altar of the 
Griizie at Udine, a church dedicated to S. Gervasio and 
S. Protasio, which is there placed around the throne of the 
Virgin, was highly commended previous to its being re- 
touched. And we are elsewhere informed that Luca, while 
he flourished, was regarded as a sort of prodigy of genius. 
Girolamo d'Udine, supposed also to come under this standard, 
han been omitted by Grassi, in his sketch of the painters 
transmitted to Vasari, and is no otherwise known than for his 
little picture of the Coronation of our Lady, remaining in 
San Francesco at Udine, with his name attached. The 
vigour of its colours is striking, the invention novel, but 
rather strained ; and, if I mistake not, the whole betrays an 
artist educated with other maxims. I pass over Martini, 
though I am aware Altan maintains him to have been a 
scholar, rather than a fellow-pupil of Pellegrino ; but the 



156 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

authority of Vasari, combined with his own beautiful picture 
at S. Mark's, so nearly simultaneous with that of Pellegrino, 
induce me to retain my own opinion. I should hardly ven- 
ture to decide to which of the two preceding masters Bernar- 
dino Blaceo ought to be referred ; an artist who appears, from 
the great altar-piece of S. Lucia, with his name attached, to 
have retained the ancient style of composition, while in other 
points his manner is sufficiently graceful and modern. Another 
artist who has been with more certainty given as a pupil to 
Pellegrino, was by birth a Greek, of singular merit in his 
art, but who has retained only his national appellative of 
N. Greco. Thus the number of disciples from San Daniele, at 
all worthy of such a master, is reduced to two, Florigerio and 
Floriani. The labours of the former in Udine, executed in 
fresco, have however perished, though his picture of S. George, 
in the church of the same name, still survives, of itself suffi- 
cient to constitute an artist's fame. It is esteemed by many 
the best specimen in the city, displaying both in the figures 
and the landscape a strength of hand which appears to rival 
Giorgione more than any other model we could mention. He 
painted, likewise, with equal spirit, though scarcely, perhaps, 
with equal softness, in the city of Padua ; and there he 
subscribed his name to one of his frescos. Florigerio, as 
it has been read by the " Guida" of Padua, in which I 
agree ; and not Flerigorio, as he has been, called by some 
historians. Francesco Floriani, together with his brother 
Antonio, though devoting his talents to the service of Maxi- 
milian II., at Vienna, boasts, nevertheless, a high reputation 
in Udine. He was more particularly excellent in portrait, a 
specimen of which is in possession of Signer Gio. Batista de 
Rubeis ; being a portrait of Ascanio Belgrade, which might 
almost be placed in competition with Moroni or Tinelli. He 
produced several altar-pieces for churches, the most highly 
admired of which was, perhaps, that placed at Reana, a vil- 
lage near Udine. It has recently been purchased and divided 
into as many small pictures as the number of saints which it 
contained, and which now belong to a private collection. 

But it is at length time to proceed to Tiziano Vecellio. a 
name the reader has probably long wished to greet. Yet I 
fear I shall hardly gratify his expectations ; for where we 






TITIAN. 157 

have- formed enlarged ideas of an artist's worth, every attempt 
to do justice to the splendid merits we admire appears not 
onl j inferior, but in some measure derogatory to the character 
we would exalt. But if in treating on the qualities of artists, 
we may consider a particular estimation of their characteristic 
talents preferable to warm commendations, I shall avail 
myself of the judgment of an excellent critic, who was accus- 
tomod to say that Titian observed and drew nature in all her 
truth, better than any other artist. To this I might add the 
testimony of another, that of all painters, he was most 
familiar with nature, in all her forms ; the universal 
master, who in every subject he undertook, whether figures, 
elements, landscape, or other pieces, imprinted upon all that 
lively nature constituting the great charm of his genius. He 
was gifted, likewise, with a peculiarly sound judgment, tran- 
quil, penetrative, and decidedly studious of what was true, 
rather than what was novel and specious ; a character no less 
essential to the production of true painters than of true writers. 
The education he first received from Sebastiano Zuccati, a 
native of the Valteline, though supposed to have been of Tre- 
vigi,* and next from Gian Bellini, had the effect of rendering 

* By means of Sig. Ab. Gei, of Cadore, a young man of the most 
promising abilities, I have obtained notice of an artist belonging to that 
place, who, from various authorities, is supposed to have been the in- 
structor of the great Titian. It is certain he flourished towards the close 
of the fifteenth century ; nor does there exist accounts of any other ar- 
tist of Cadore, capable of initiating his countrymen in a knowledge of the 
art. Three of his pictures in water-colours, in the usual style of compo- 
sition at that time, so frequently described, are yet extant ; the first, a 
fine altar-piece, adorning the parish church at Selva, in which the titular 
S. Lorenzo, with others, in an upright posture, are seen surrounding the 
throne of the Virgin ; a second, of smaller size, is in the Oratory of Sig. 
Anto lio Zamberlani, in the parish church of Cadore, where the throne 
appe.irs encompassed with cherubs playing upon instruments ; the third, 
1 place i at San Bartolommeo of Nabiii, is divided into six compartments ; 
the best, or at least the most free from harshness of manner of the whole. 
It is inferior, however, in design to Jacopo Bellini, though equal, perhaps, 
in point of diligence and colouring, and similar in its style. Upon the 
first he has inscribed, " Antonius Rubeus de Cadubrio pinxit ;" upon the 
second, " Opus Antonii RUBEI:" but the letter E being defaced, the 
word looks like RUBLI ; upon the third is found " Antonius Zaudanus 
(da /'oldo) pinxit." Thus, if we combine these inscriptions, it will ap- 
pear that this ancient painter, whom we now place at the head of the - 
artists belonging to that prolific clime, was Antonio Rossi Cadorino. 



158 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

him a minute observer of every object falling under the 
senses. To such a degree of excellence did he carry it, that 
when, later in life, he wished to compete with Albert Durer, 
and produced, at Ferrara, the Christ to whom the Pharisee is 
seen offering the piece of money,* he executed it with so much 
exactness as to surpass even the minuteness which character- 
izes that artist. Indeed, in several of those figures, the hairs 
might be numbered, the skin of the hands, the very pores of 
the flesh, and the reflection of objects in the pupils ; yet with 
all this, the work failed not of success, for where the pictures 
of Durer appear to diminish and lose their effect at a distance, 
this improves in size, and grows, as it were, upon the spec- 
tator. But he never repeated any specimen in this style, 
adopting, as is well known, while yet very young, that free 
and unshackled manner, first originating with his fellow-stu- 
dent, afterwards his rival, Giorgione. A few of the portraits, 
indeed, painted by Titian, during that short period, are not 
to be distinguished from those of Giorgione himself. I say 
during that period, because shortly afterwards he formed a 
new style, less bold, clear, and fiery, but one peculiarly his, 
the sweetness of which attracts the spectator more by its art- 
less representation of truth, than by the novelty of its effect. 
The first specimen he is known to have produced altogether 
in the Titian manner is preserved in the sacristy of San 
Marziale, representing the archangel Raphael, with Tobias at 
his side, painted in the thirtieth year of his age. Following 
at a short interval, if we are to give credit to Ridolfi, he next 
produced that fine representation of our Lord, for the college 
of the Carita, one of the grandest pictures, and the richest, 
perhaps, in point of figures, which we have now to boast ; 
many of them having since perished in different conflagrations. 
From these, and a few others, painted in the zenith of his 

* See Ridolfi. This picture is now in Dresden, and Italy abounds with 
copies. One of these I saw at S. Saverio di Rimini, inscribed with the 
name of Titian on the band of the Pharisee, a very beautiful production, 
and believed by many to be a duplicate rather than a copy. Albert was 
in Italy in 1495 and in 1506. In Venice, one of his pictures, in the 
council of the Ten, is cited by Zanetti ; it is Jesus Christ shewn to the 
people ; and an altar-piece is also mentioned by Sansovino, placed at 
S. Bartolommeo, commended both by him and by other writers. (See 
the Sig. Morelli's Annotations on the " Notizia," p. 223.) 



TITIAN. 159 

fame, his critics have gathered the general idea of his style ; 
the greatest contest which they have amongst themselves, 
relating to the design. By Mengs he is denied the title to 
rank among good designers,* considering him an artist of 
ordinary taste, by no means familiar with, however well he 
might, if he pleased, have succeeded in the study of the an- 
tique, possessing so very exact an eye in copying objects from 
nature. Vasari appears to be of the same opinion, where he 
introduces Michelangelo observing, after viewing the Leda 
of Titian, t " that it was a great pity the Venetian artists 
were not earlier taught how to design." The judgment 
form* d of him by Tintoret, though placed in competition with 
him, was less severe, namely, " that Titian had produced some 
things which it was impossible to surpass, but that others 
iniglr, have been more correctly designed." And among 
these more excellent pieces, he might indisputably have in- 
cluded his San Pietro Martire, in the church of SS. Giovanni 
and Paolo, a piece, says Algarotti, which the best masters 
have agreed in pronouncing " free from every shade of de- 
fect ; ' besides that fine Bacchanal, and a few others, orna- 
menting a cabinet of the duke of Ferrara, and declared by 
Agostino Caracci prodigies of art, and the finest paintings in 
the v orld. J Fresnoy was of opinion that in the figures of 
his men he was not altogether perfect, and that in his dra- 
peries he was somewhat insignificant ; but that many of his 
womon and boys are exquisite, both in point of design and 
colouring. This commendation is confirmed by Algarotti, in 
respect to his female forms, and by Mengs in those of his boys. 
Indeod it is almost universally admitted that in such kind of 
figur >s, no artist was ever comparable to him ; and that Pous- 
sin and Fiammingo,|| who so greatly excelled in this parti- 
cular, acquired it only from Titian's pictures. Reynolds^ 
also affirms that, " although his style may not be altogether 
as chaste as that of other schools of Italy, it nevertheless 
possesses a certain air of senatorial dignity ; and that he 
shon 3 in his portraits as an artist of first-rate character ;" and 

* t)pere, tome i. p. 177. f See his Life of Titian. 

t fcee Bottari, Notes to Vasari, in the Life of Titian. 

See " Idea della Pittura," edizione Rom. p. 287. 

H .See Passeri._ <j On the Arts of Design, Discourse, &c. 



160 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

he concludes by observing that lie may be studied with ad- 
vantage even by lovers of the sublime.* 

Zanetti assigns him the first rank in design, among all the 
most distinguished colourists ; asserting that he was much de- 
voted to the study of anatomy, and copying from the best 
antique ;t but supposes that he was not ambitious of affecting 
an extensive knowledge of the muscles, nor aimed at display- 
ing an ideal beauty in his contours ; whether he had not early 
enough acquired facility in these, or for some other reasons. 
For the rest, he adds, the Titian manner was uniformly ele- 
gant, correct, and dignified in its female forms, and in its 
boys ; elevated, great, and learned for the most part in those 
of its men ; while in testimony of his naked figures, he adduces 
the history-pieces, painted for the sacristy of La Salute, whose 
beauty of design appears to triumph, even in the extremities, 
while it boasts the rare merit of a striking acquaintance with 
the science of foreshortening, both appearing blended together. 
Had the historian been desirous of extending his notice to such 
works as are to be met with in foreign parts, he might have 
added much valuable matter upon the subject of his Bacchanals, 
and his pictures of the Venus ; one of which, adorning the 
royal gallery at Florence, was justly thought to vie with that 
of the Medici herself, the most exquisite triumph of Grecian 
art. For skill in his draperies, Zanetti further brings the ex- 
ample of his S. Peter, painted on an altar of the Casa Pesaro, 
with a very artificially wrought mantle ; adding that he occa- 
sionally sacrificed the appearance of the drapery, purposely 
to give relief to some neighbouring object. In this contest ot 
opinion, between true judges of the art, I shall decline inter- 

* To this opinion of the English writer, however preferable to that of 
other critics, we might add that Titian's style, nevertheless, is not generally 
so chaste as that of some of the other schools of Italy. A. 

f- He drew his head of San Niccolo a' Frari from a cast of the Laocoon ; 
and from other models of the antique, that of S. John the Baptist, and 
of the Magdalen of Spain. From a Greek basso-rilievo he likewise co- 
pied the angels of his S. Peter Martyr. The same artist dre\v the Cesars, 
at Mantua, a work very highly commended, and impossible to have been 
so well executed without a knowledge of ancient sculpture, of which there 
yet exists a fine collection at Mantua. But what he drew from the an- 
tique, he also inspired with nature, the sole method of profiting by it, 
when a painter aspires to a higher character than that of a mere statuary. 
See Ridolfi, p. 171. 



TITIAN. 161 

ferin ;^ with my own, observing only, in justice to so extraordi- 
nary a genius, that if happier combinations had led him to 
become familiar with more profound maxims of design, he 
would probably have ranked as the very first painter in the 
world. For he would have been allowed to be the first and 
most perfect in design, as he is by all allowed to have no equal 
in point of colouring. 

Many critics have pushed their inquiries from the artist 
into the peculiar character of his chiaroscuro ; and the most 
copious among these is Signor Zanetti, who devoted years to 
its examination. I select some of his observations, premising, 
however, that he left a large portion of them to the more stu- 
dious, desirous themselves of developing them, in the works of 
Titian. And, in truth, his pictures are the best masters to 
direct us in the right method of colouring ; but, like the an- 
cient classics, that are equally open, and equally the subjects 
of commentary to all, they are only of advantage to those who 
are accustomed to reflect. I have already mentioned the lucid 
clearness predominating in Venetian paintings, and more 
especially in those of Titian, whom the rest adopted for their 
model. I then, too, pronounced it to be the result of very 
clear primary grounding, upon which a repetition of colours 
being laid, it produces the effect of a transparent veil, and 
renders the tints of a cast no less soft and luscious than lucid. 
Nor did he adopt any other plan in his strongest shades, veil- 
ing them with fresh colour, when dry ; renewing, invigorating 
them, and warming the confines that pass into the middle tints. 
He availed himself, very judiciously, of the power of shade ; 
forming a method not altogether that of a mere naturalist, but 
partaking of the ideal. In his naked forms he cautiously 
avoided masses of strong shades and bold shadows, although 
they are sometimes to be seen in nature. They certainly add 
to the relief, but they much diminish the delicacy of the fleshy 
parts. Titian, for the most part, affected a deep and glowing 
light ; whence, in various gradations of middle tints, he formed 
the work of the lower parts ; and having very resol utely 
drawn the other parts, with the extremities, stronger, perhaps, 
than in nature, he gave to objects that peculiar aspect which 
presents them, as it were, more lively and pleasing than the 
truth. Thus, in his portraits, he centres the chief power in 

VOL. II. M 



J62 VENETIAN SCHOOL.- EPOCH II. 

the eyes, the nose, and the mouth, leaving the remaining parts 
in a kind of pleasing uncertainty, extremely favourable to the 
spirit of the heads, and to the whole effect. 

But since the variations of depth and delicacy of shades are 
insufficient, without the aid of colours, in this branch he like- 
wise found for himself an ideal method, consisting of the use, 
in their respective places, of simple tints, copied exactly from 
the life, or of artificial ones, intended to produce the illusion 
required. He was in the habit of employing only few and 
simple colours ; but they were such as afforded the greatest 
variety and contrast ; he knew all their gradations, and the 
most favourable moments for their application and opposition 
to each other. There appears no effort, no degree of violence 
in them, and that striking diversity of colours which seems to 
strive, one above another, for the mastery, as it were, in his 
pictures has all the appearance of nature, though an effect of 
the most bold and arduous art. A white dress, placed near a 
naked figure, gives it all the appearance of being mingled with 
the warmest crimson, while he employed nothing beyond sim- 
ple terra rossa, with a little lake in the contours, and towards 
the extremities. Certain objects, in themselves dark and even 
Hack, produce a similar effect upon his canvas ; and which, 
besides enlivening the adjacent colour, give force to the figures, 
wrought, as was before stated, with gradual middle tints. It 
is said to have been his favourite opinion, transmitted to us 
by Boschini (p. 341), that whoever aspires to become a painter, 
must make himself familiar with three colours, and have them 
ready upon his palette ; these are white, red, and black ; and 
that an artist, while attempting the fleshy parts, must not ex- 
pect to succeed at once, but by repeated application of opposite 
tints, and kneading of his colours. 

Here I shall subjoin some observations by the Cavalier 
Mengs, who entered so very deeply into the Titian manner. 
He pronounces him the first, who, subsequent to the revival 
of painting, knew how to avail himself of the ideal, as it were 4 
of different colours in his draperies. Before his time all 
colours had been applied indifferently, and artists used them 
in the same measure for clear and for obscure. Titian was 
aware, if indeed he did not acquire his knowledge from Gior- 
gione, that red brings objects nearer to the eye, that yellow 



TITIAN. 163 

reta ns the rays of light, that azure is a shade, and adapted 
for deep obscure. Nor was he less intimate with the effects 
of juicy colours, and was thus enabled to bestow the same de- 
gree of grace, clearness of tone, and dignity of colour, upon 
his ."hades and middle tints, as upon his lights, as well as to 
mark with great diversity of middle tints, the various com- 
plexions, and the various superficies of bodies. No other 
artist, likewise, was more accurately acquainted with the 
mutual power or equipoise of the above three colours, upon 
which the harmony of pictures so much depends ; an equipoise, 
too, so difficult in practice, to which not even Rubens, however 
exct llent a colourist, perfectly attained. 

Both Titian's inventions and compositions partake of his 
ususl character ; he produced nothing in which nature was 
not consulted. In the number of his figures he is inclined to 
be moderate; and in grouping them he displays the finest 
unshackled art; an art he was fond of exemplifying by com- 
parison with a bunch of grapes, where a number of single ones 
compose the figure of a whole, agreeably rounded, light through 
the openings, distinct in shades, in middle tints, and in lights, 
according as it receives more or less of the solar rays. No 
contrasts are to be met with in these compositions that betray 
a studied effect; no violent action that is not called for by 
the incidents of the story ; the actors in general preserve their 
dignity, and a certain composure, as if each seemed to respect 
the assembly of which he formed a part. Whoever is at- 
tacted to the taste of the Greek bassi-rilievi, in which all is 
nature and propriety, will invariably prefer the sober compo- 
sition of Titian to the more fiery one of Paul Veronese and 
Tin ore t, whose merits we shall canvass in another place. 
Neither was Titian ignorant of those strong contrasts of limbs 
and action, then in such high vogue with his countrymen ; 
but these he reserved for his bacchanals, his battle-pieces, 
and other subjects, in fine, which called for them. 

It is on all hands admitted, that as a portrait-painter, he 
was quite incomparable ; and to this species of excellence he 
was in great part indebted for his fortune, smoothing, as it 
did, his reception into some of the most splendid courts, such 
as were that of Rome in the time of Paul III. and those of 
Vie ana and of Madrid, during the reign of Charles Y. and 

M 2 



164 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

his successors. It is the opinion of Yasari that in this branch 
of his art he was inimitable ; being engaged in drawing the- 
portraits of numbers of the most distinguished characters, both 
for rank and letters, who flourished during the same period. 
We wish we could add to these the name of Cosmo I., grand 
duke of Tuscany, who, little to his credit, evinced an objection 
to have his likeness taken by so celebrated a hand. He was 
no less successful in depicting the passions of the mind. The 
death of S. Peter the Martyr, at Venice, with that of a de- 
votee of S. Antony, at the college of the same name in Padua, 
display scenes than which I know not whether painting can 
afford us anything more terrific in the ferocity of those who 
strike, or more full of compassion in the whole attitude of the 
falling saint. And thus the grand picture of the Coronation 
of Thorns, in the Grazie at Milan, abounds with powers of 
expression that enchant us.* He has left us also not a few 
examples of costume, and of erudition in the antique, every 
way worthy of imitation, as we may observe in the Corona- 
tion above alluded to, where, desirous of marking the precise 
period of the event, he inserted in the Pretorium a bust of 
Tiberius ; an idea that could not have been better conceived, 
either by Raffaello or by Poussin. In his architecture he 
sometimes availed himself of other works, in particular those 
of the Rosa, of Brescia ; but his perspectives, like that of his 
picture of the Presentation, are extremely beautiful. He was 
equalled by none in his landscape ; and he was careful not to 
employ it, like some artists, as a mere embellishment ; several 
artists, esteeming themselves so highly in this particular, that 
they hardly scruple to present us with cypress trees, growing 
out of the sea. But Titian makes his landscape subservient 
to history, as in that horrific wood, whose dreary aspect adds 
so much to the solemnity of S. Peter's death ; or to give force 
to his figures, as we perceive them in those pieces where the- 
landscape is thrown into the distance. His natural manner 
of representing the various effects of light may be best gathered 
from his martyrdom of San Lorenzo, belonging to the Jesuits 
at Venice, in which he displayed such an astonishing diver- 

* This picture, perhaps one of the best preserved among Titian's many 
productions, was taken by the French to Paris, and is one of those which* 
in the subsequent political vicissitudes was not restored. A. 



TITIAN. 165 

ity in the splendour of fire, in that of torch-lights, and in 
that of a supernatural light, which appears to fall upon the 
martyr ; a picture unfortunately much defaced by age, but 
of which there is a near imitation or duplicate in the Escurial. 
He likewise expressed, with the utmost felicity, the time of 
the day in which the event is supposed to have taken place, 
and he frequently selected night-fall, drawing forth all its 
most beautiful attributes for the canvas. 

From the whole of this it may be inferred that Titian is 
not to be included in that class of Venetian artists, whose 
Tapidity of hand overpowered their judgment, rendering them 
somewhat careless and inaccurate ; though, at the same time, 
we must speak of his celerity with some degree of reservation. 
A freedom of pencil must doubtless be granted to him, and he 
thus applied it without failing in point of design, to his paint- 
ings in fresco, as they are to be seen in Padua, and which, in 
some measure, compensate us for the loss of those in the 
Venetian capital. In that city we have nothing of the same 
kind in preservation, if we except, perhaps, his S. Christopher, 
adorning the ducal palace ; a majestic figure, both in its cha- 
racter and its expression. We are not, however, to look for 
the same degree of freedom in his pictures in oil. Indeed he 
was by no means ambitious of displaying it, but rather en- 
countered much painful labour to arrive at a perfect know- 
ledge of his subjects. With this view, after throwing off a 
rough draught of his intended works, with a certain freedom 
and resolution, he was in the habit of laying them for some 
time aside, and again returned to them with an eye prepared 
to detect every the least defect. The noble Casa Barbarigo, 
among a fine selection of his most highly finished pictures, 
preserves, also, a few of these first sketches. It is well known 
that he underwent extreme labour in the completion of his 
works, and, at the same time, was very solicitous to conceal 
.the pains he bestowed upon them. Yet in some of his pieces 
such spirited and resolute strokes are to be met with as seem 
to imprint upon every object the true character of nature, 
attain at once the points that have been long laboriously 
.aimed at, and perfectly delight professors. To this practice 
he adhered in the zenith of his fame ; nor was it until near the 
.close of his existence, falling a victim to the plague when 



166 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

within a year of completing a century, that both his hand and 
eyes failing him, his style became less elegant, being compelled 
to paint with repeated efforts of the brush, and with difficulty 
mingling his tints. Vasari, who saw him once more in 1566, 
even then was no longer able to recognise Titian in Titian, 
and it must have been much more difficult in the few follow- 
ing years. Yet, as is customary with old age, he was not at 
all aware of his failings, and continued to receive commis- 
sions until the final year of his life. 

There remains at S. Salvatore, one of these pictures of the 
Annunciation, which attracts the spectator only from the 
name of its master. Yet when he was told by some that it 
was not, or at least appeared not to have been executed by 
his hand, he was so much irritated, that in a fit of senile in- 
dignation, he affixed to it the following words, "Tizianus 
fecit fecit." Still the most experienced judges are agreed 
that much may be learned even from his latest works ; in the 
same manner as the poets pronounce judgment on the Odys- 
sey, the product of old age, but still by Homer. Several of 
these last specimens, distributed throughout private collec- 
tions, are nevertheless doubtful, as well as a few copies made 
by his pupils, but retouched by his hand ; and in particular 
some Madonnas and Magdalens, which I have seen in various 
places, displaying little or no variety. Upon this point we 
ought not to omit the account given by Ridolfi, of his having 
purposely left his studio open for the free access of his dis- 
ciples, in order that they might secretly take copies of such 
pictures as he had placed there. That afterwards when he 
found such copies became vendible, he gladly took possession 
of them, and retouching them with little trouble, they were 
passed as his originals. The reporter of this incident added 
a marginal note to his account, as follows : " Yedi che ac- 
cortezza ! " behold what a degree of forecast ! And to this 
I might rejoin with another of my own : " Note, that the 
worth of Titian ought not to be estimated, as is too often the 
case, by this multiplication of originals." 

Following the usual order, I shall now proceed to describe 
the imitators of Titian : by no means so excellent a master 
as an artist. Whether disliking the interruption and tedious- 
ness attaching to such a character, or apprehensive of meet- 



IMITATORS OF TITIAN. 167 

ing with a rival, he was always averse to affording his 
instructions. He was extremely harsh with Paris Bordone, 
and even entered into decided hostility against him, an artist 
who burned with an ambition to resemble him. He banished 
Tintoret from his studio, and artfully directed his own brother 
to mercantile pursuits, though he displayed uncommon talents 
for painting. "Hence," observes Vasari, "there are few 
who can really be called his disciples, inasmuch as he taught 
little ; but each learned more or less according as he knew 
how to avail himself of the productions of Titian." 

His family of itself enumerated several artists, the series 
of whom may be seen at Cadore, and in part at the adjacent 
city of Belluno. There, too, contemporary with the Vecellj, 
flourished one Nicolo di Stefano, a painter deserving of com- 
mendation, no less for having competed with the family of 
Titian, than for the reputation he acquired in such competi- 
tion. His rivals among the Vecellj, were Francesco, the 
brother, and Orazio, a son of Titian, who approached him 
pretty nearly in point of style. They devoted, however, 
little attention to the arts, one of them having duties of a 
military and mercantile nature to discharge, and the other 
having thrown away much of his time and fortune upon the 
idle pursuit of alchemy. Several pictures by Francesco are 
to bo seen at San Salvatore, in Venice, consisting of a tolera- 
bly well executed Magdalen, appearing at the feet of Christ 
risen, at Oriago, on the banks of the river Brenta, and a 
grand Nativity of our Lord, at San Giuseppe, in Belluno, 
which, until lately, was esteemed a fine specimen of Titian, 
when Monsignor Doglioni traced it by authentic documents 
to it s real author. The production, however, which gave rise 
to Titian's jealousy, was the altar-piece at San Vito, in Ca- 
don, in which, among the other saints, he represented the 
figure of the denominator of the town, in a military dress. 
Orazio was considered a good portrait painter, even so far as 
io r val his father ; and he likewise painted, for the public 
palace, a history-piece, very beautiful, though retouched by 
Titian's hand, which has since perished by fire. I find no 
acc< mil of Pomponio, another son of Titian's, having applied 
himself to the art, though he survived his father and brother, 
wh(> both died in the same year, and dissipated his inheritance. 



168 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

Marco Vecellio conferred more honour upon his family, 
and being the nephew, the pupil, and intimate companion of 
the great Vecellio in his travels, received the title of Marco 
di Tiziano. In simple composition and mechanism of the 
art, he was a good disciple of his master ; but he had not the 
genius to inspire his figures and interest the eye of the spec- 
tator, like his great contemporary. He was, nevertheless, 
esteemed worthy of the honour of ornamenting several cham- 
bers of the Venetian senate, with history-pieces and portraits 
of saints that are yet preserved. Some of his altar-pieces, 
likewise, still exist at Venice, in Trevigi, and in the Friuli ; 
while one of his large pictures, adorning the parish church at 
Cadore, the native place of the Vecellj, has more particularly 
elicited the highest commendations. In this appears the 
Crucifixion, represented in the midst, with two histories of S. 
Catherine, V. M., her controversy, and her martyrdom, sup- 
porting either side. Tiziano Vecellio, called, to distinguish 
him from the former, Tizianello, was the son of Marco, whose 
name I include with those of the other Vecellj, in order to 
avoid recurring to a family of artists which ought to be made 
known and described in full. This last artist flourished about 
the beginning of the seventeenth century, when mannerism 
began its innovations upon Venetian painting. And those 
specimens of him possessed by Venice, at the Patriarchal 
church, at the Servi, and elsewhere, exhibit him in a very 
opposite taste to that of his predecessors, with larger forms, 
but less imposing ; a full and free pencil, but destitute of 
softness of hand ; so powerful is the influence of reigning 
example over family descent and education. In portraits, 
nevertheless, and in heads, very capriciously varied and orna- 
mented, I find him to be in much esteem among artists. 

Fabrizio di Ettore traced his origin to another branch of 
the Vecellj. His name had hitherto been confined within his 
native spot of Cadore, until brought to light by Renaldis, 
who gives some account of a fine painting he executed for 
the council-hall of the parish, and for which he was paid six- 
teen gold ducats, no despicable sum at the period when he 
flourished. He died in the year 1580. His brother, of the 
name Cesare, was likewise long unknown to pictorial history, 
although his productions are pointed out at Lintiai, at Vigo, 






IMITATORS OF TITIAN. 169 

.at Candide, and at Padola. His name is more familiar to 
engravers, inasmuch as he gave to the world two works of 
etchings, during the period of his residence in Venice. One 
of these, at present very scarce, contains, " Ogni sorte di 
mostre di punti tagliati, punti in aria," &c. The other is 
upon "ancient and modern costume," and has been several 
times republished, and once in 1664, with a false title ; where 
Ces;ire is mentioned as a brother of the great Titian.* A 
third Vecellio, an artist of the name of Tommaso, has, in a 
similar way, sprung into notice, one of whose productions, 
consisting of a " Nunziata," is preserved in the parish church 
of Lozzo, as well as a Supper of our Lord, both which the 
historian pronounces estimable. This artist died in 1620. 

Another scion from the stock, though not from the studio 
of Titian, is Girolamo Dante, otherwise Girolamo di Tiziano, 
.and first among his followers to be here mentioned. He was 
educated and employed, both as a scholar and assistant, by 
Titian, in his less important works. And in fact, by dint of 
.assisting and copying the originals of his master, he attained 
such a degree of excellence, that such of his pieces as were 
retouched by Titian, bid defiance often to the most exact con- 
noisseurs. He also produced works of design, and the altar- 
piece attributed to him at San Giovanni in Olio, reflects 
-credit upon so great a school. Domenico delle Greche, 
named in the dictionary of artists, Domenico Greco, and in 
another article, Domenico Teoscopoli, was an artist employed 
by Titian in engraving his designs. The very copious print 
of the " Submersion of Pharaoh," to say nothing of the others, 
is sufficient proof of his worth in this kind of engraving. No 
specimen of his painting is pointed out with certainty in 
Italy ; many, however, in Spain, where, having accompanied 
his master thither, he resided during the remainder of his 
days. There, too, he produced portraits and altar-pieces, 
which, according to Palomino, appeared to be from the hand 
of Titian himself. But he entered upon a new style, in which 
lie -altogether failed, and for a more particular account of this 

* There is a small picture by Cesare Vecellio, in the I. R. Pinacoteca 
of Milan, representing the Father supporting the crucified Son, with the 
Holy Spirit hovering above to complete the triad. A. 



170 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

artist, we must here refer the reader to the " Lettere Pit- 
toriche" (vol. vi. p. 314). 

The shortness of their career interrupted the fame of two 
other Venetians, both dying young, after having given the 
most astonishing and lively promise of future distinction. 
The name of one was Lorenzino, who produced, at SS. Gio- 
vanni and Paolo, several finely designed ornaments over a 
tomb, with two noble figures of Virtues, still highly esteemed 
for their symmetry, their attitude, and their colouring. The 
other was Natalino da Murano, as excellent in portrait as any 
other of the fellow-pupils of his time, as well as a good com- 
poser of pictures for private ornament, from which Venetian 
dealers reaped greater profit than the artist. One of his 
Magdalens, which, in spite of frequent retouches, preserved 
much of the Titian manner, was put up to sale in Udine, 
where I saw it; and after some difficulty, deciphered his 
name and the date of 1558, in very faint characters. There 
was likewise one Polidoro, a Venetian, who supplied the 
shops to abundance with specimens of his sacred figures. He 
appears, for the most part, a feeble disciple of Titian ; one 
who made a trade of his profession. To judge from an altar- 
piece preserved at the Servi, and some other pictures in 
Venice, we may pronounce him a tolerably good composer, 
though he never distinguished himself much in the rank of 
his contemporaries. Yet when the great school declined, his 
labours, such as they were, acquired more esteem, and were 
exhibited in the studios of those artists, much in the same 
manner as sculptors are accustomed to collect specimens of 
ancient marbles, however inferior, as advantageous in the pur- 
suit of their art. Such is the influence of a great master's 
reputation, and the maxims of a flourishing epoch, in the esti- 
mation of an artist's merit. Doubts have been started as to 
his real name, although in the Necrologio of S. Pantaleone he 
is expressly called Polidoro Pittore. This supposition ap- 
pears to have arisen from a little oblong painting, in the style 
of Polidoro's Madonnas, preserved by the noble Casa Pisani, 
where is formed so valuable a collection of monuments and 
books. The painter's name affixed to it, is " Gregorius Pori- 
deus ;" but whatever resemblance we trace in the two names ? 



BONIFAZIO VENEZIANO. 171 

it is not sufficient to mark Polidoro for the author of that 
piece, most probably the production of one of Titian's imita- 
tors, whose name is fallen, with many others of aii inferior 
class, into oblivion. We must not, however, include that of 
Gio. Silvio, a Venetian, which, omitted in the history of his 
native place, still vindicates its title to notice, by numerous 
work^ dispersed throughout the state of Trevigi, and a very 
elegaat altar-piece, executed in 1532, for the collegiate church 
of Piove di Sacco, a municipality of the Padovano. It repre- 
sents San Martino in his episcopal chair, between the two 
Apostles Peter and Paul ; three angels form the accessaries, 
two in the act of raising his pastoral staff, and the third play- 
ing upon a harp, at the foot of the throne, extremely graceful, 
like the rest, and displaying a degree of taste and nature, 
such as we find in Titian. If we cannot then adduce autho- 
rity sufficient to prove that Silvio was his scholar, it may, at 
least, from such a specimen, be strongly suspected. 

I urn indebted to Sig. Ab. Morelli, who, in the " Notizia" 
already cited, has pointed out the true birth-place of Boni- 
fazio Veneziano, who appears, notwithstanding the authority 
of Vusari, Ridolfi, and Zanetti, to have been a native of Ve- 
rona, not of Venice. He is pronounced by Ridolfi, a pupil 
of Palma, and by Boschini, on the other hand, the disciple of 
Titian, whom he followed as closely as his shadow. It was 
an usual observation, during the time of Boschini, and yet 
repented, indeed, in regard to certain doubtful pieces : is it a 
Titian or a Bonifazio ? He approached nearest, perhaps, to 
Vecollio, in his Supper of our Lord, preserved in the monas- 
tery of the Certosa. For the most part he boasts a freedom, 
a spirit, and grandeur of hand, peculiarly his own ; although 
it is known that he greatly admired the vigour of Giorgione, 
the delicate taste of Palma, and the attitude and composition 
of Titian. The merit of this professor of the art was early 
appi eciated, and historians have often observed that the three 
most distinguished artists of that period were Titian, Palma, 
and Bonifazio. Public edifices abound with his productions, 
and the ducal palace, among other of his historical pieces, 
boasts that grand Expulsion of the Money-dealers from the 
Temple, which, for the number of the figures, for its spirit, 
and power of colouring, as well as for its fine perspective, is 



172 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

enough to render his name immortal. A more than mortal 
air of divinity shines in the countenance of the Redeemer, 
who, alone and unsupported, throws consternation into a 
crowd of people intent upon their worldly interests, with a 
mere scourge of ropes, from which they fly in the utmost ter- 
ror. And how anxiously is some wretch seen collecting his 
money upon those tables glittering with silver and gold ; and 
with what dread he looks back, in order that he may escape 
from the blows ! What an expression of alarm is seen in the 
countenance of each spectator ; women, boys, people of every 
rank, terrified at the strangeness of the spectacle ! This noble 
picture was presented to the public collection, not long ago, 
by the family of the Contarini ; and for this reason we find 
no notice taken of it in the work of Zanetti. Other paintings 
might be mentioned upon a grand scale, and rich in figures, 
adapted for private collections ; the most celebrated, perhaps, 
of which are his series of Triumphs, taken from Petrarch ; 
productions which subsequently passed into England. He 
likewise employed himself upon pictures of a smaller size, 
rarely, however, to be met with. One of these, a Holy Fa- 
mily at Rome, is in possession of Prince Rezzonico. The 
scene represents the workshop of S. Joseph, where he is seen 
reposing, while the Virgin is intent upon her domestic duties, 
and a group of angels surrounds the infant Jesus, who is play- 
ing with the instruments of the saint's occupation. One of 
these is employed in placing two pieces of wood in the form 
of a cross, an idea frequently imitated by Albauo. It is worth 
observation that Orlandi and other writers have confounded 
this artist with Bonifazio Bembo, many years anterior to him, 
and born at Cremona. The resemblance of names has like- 
wise misled a more recent author in regard to another Vene- 
tian painter, mistaken for a native of Lucca. He painted a 
Virgin with four saints for San Francesco, at Padua; a piece 
between the style of the moderns and the Bellini, to which is 
affixed the name "Paulus Pinus Ven. 1565." And in the 
castle of Noale, in the state of Trevigi, he adorned the public 
gallery, both interior and exterior, with historical figures, 
adapted to the place near which the judge is accustomed to 
hear cases and decide differences. Whoever is acquainted 
with the " Dialogue upon Painting," published by this pro- 



ANDREA SCHIAVONE. 

fessor at Venice as early as 1548, where, in the dedication, 
lie professes himself a Venetian, and whoever has seen his 
works will be in no danger of confounding him with Paul Pini, 
of Lucca, of the Carracci School, whom we shall meet with 
beyond the precincts of his native place, like numerous others 
of his fellow-citizens. 

An imitator of Titian, in his colouring, though with a share 
of original vivacity, is Andrea Schiavone, of Sebenico, sur- 
named Medula. Few artists have so early evinced a decided 
taste for their profession, of which it is said his father became 
aware when accompanying him through the city, yet a child, 
in order to fix upon his future destination. Observing him 
highly entertained with productions of the art, he instantly 
applied to the artists, and devoted him to the profession. 
But fortune was not favourable to him, and he became com- 
pelled, by penury, to obtain a subsistence rather as a daily 
hireling than as an artist. Hence it was, that, destitute of a 
knowledge of design, he was obliged to paint, meeting with 
no other patrons than some master muratore, or wall-painter, 
who had it in his power to recommend him for the facades, or 
some painter of household articles to employ him as an as- 
sistant. Titian conferred upon him some degree of credit, by 
proposing him, along with others, for ornamenting the library 
of S. Mark, where he worked more correctly, perhaps, than 
in any other place. Tintoret, also, did him justice, often 
aiding him in his labours, to observe the artifice of his colour- 
ing ; and even gave one of his pictures a place in his own 
studio, observing that it would be well if every other artist 
would follow his example, though he would do ill not to 
design better than his model. Moreover he wished to imitate 
him, and placed an altar-piece at the church of the Carmini, 
so much resembling his style, that Vasari pronounced it to be 
the work of Schiavone. Yet the same historian held him in 
such slight esteem, as to say that it was only by mistake that 
he occasionally produced a good piece ; a sentence severely 
criticised by Agostin Caracci, as we gather from Bottari, in 
his " Life of Franco." And, in truth, except for design, the 
whole composition of Schiavone is highly commendable ; 
spirited in his attitudes, drawn from the engravings of Par- 
migianino ; his colours, approaching to the sweetness of 



174 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

Andrea del Sarto, beautiful ; and his hand altogether that of 
a great master. His fame increased after his death, and his 
paintings, for the most part, of a mythological character, 
were removed from the chests and benches to adorn the 
cabinets of connoisseurs. Guarienti cites three of these in 
the collection at Dresden, and Rosa four, in the Cesarean one 
of Vienna. I have seen several very graceful specimens in 
the Casa Pisani, at San Stefano, and almost in every other 
gallery in Venice. In Rimini, also, I saw two of his pic- 
tures, painted as companions, at the Padri Teatini ; the 
Nativity of our Lord, and the Assumption of the Virgin, 
small figures upon the Poussin scale, and among the most 
beautiful he ever drew. Santo Zago, and Orazio da Castel- 
franco, called dal Paradiso, are known for a very few works 
in fresco, but too well executed to be here omitted. Cesare 
da Conegliano, also, is the author of a single altar-piece, at 
the Santi Apostoli, of the same place, which represents our 
Lord's Supper, and sufficient of itself to place him near 
Bonifazio,, and the best of that class. 

Vasari, who has omitted some of the preceding, twice 
makes honourable mention of Gio. Calker, or Calcar, as it is 
written by others, an excellent portrait painter, of Flemish 
extraction. He was also a good painter, both of small and 
large figures, several of which, according to Sandrart, have 
been attributed to Titian ; and others, when he changed his 
manner, to RafFaello. He died young, in 1546, at Naples. 
Treating of Dietrico Barent, in Venice known by the name 
of Sordo Barent, Baldinucci supposes him to have been 
Titian's pupil, by whom he was regarded as his son. To 
these Ridolfi adds three excellent foreigners, one Lamberto, a 
German,* who is supposed the Lombardo, or Sustermans, 

* Lamberto Lombardo, of Liege, is the artist whose life was written 
in Latin, by his disciple Golzio, a work edited in Bruges in 1565. In 
his youth he adopted the surname of Suterman, or Susterman, in the 
Latin tongue Suavis, and having likewise been an excellent engraver, his 
signature was sometimes L. L., at others, L. S. The whole of this ac- 
count is to be met with in Orlandi, and other books. Yet Orlandi, and 
the new Guide of Padua, acknowledge another Lamberti, also surnamed 
Suster, upon the authority of Sandrart, who mentions him, p. 224. Ac- 
cording to Orlandi, this artist was the assistant to Titian and Tintoret, by 
whom he is first recorded as Lamberto Suster, and again as Lamberto 



PUPILS OF TITIAN. 175 

who gave assistance in their landscapes alternately to Titian 
and to Tintoret, and left a very beautiful picture of San 
Giro]amo, at the Teresiani, in Padua; the others were Cris- 
tofor o Suarz, and one Emanuel, a German. These, like 
man}- others, resorting to Titian for instruction, on their return 
to their native place introduced a taste for the Venetian 
schoc 1 ; and there continued to flourish. He must have pre- 
sented more disciples to Spain, when being invited by 
Charles Y. he removed to his court, and founded in his 
dominions a school which acquired and continued to boast of 
excellent artists, particularly in point of colouring. One 
Don Paolo de las Roelas is mentioned by Preziado, who, in 
mature age, became a priest and a canon. There is a grand 
picture from his hand in the parochial church of San Isidoro, 
at Seville, representing the death of the bishop. The style is 
altog3ther that of Titian, though he could not have been his 
disci] >le, if he was, indeed, born in 1560, when that artist was 
no longer in Spain. But in regard to foreigners, it is enough 
to have alluded to them in a history of Italians ; and we must 
return to those natives of Italy, in particular of the state of 
Venice, who are esteemed among Titian's imitators. We 
may begin with the Friuli ; although, owing to the school of 
the great Pordenone there holding the sway, the genuine fol- 
lowers of Titian, excepting the Cadorini already mentioned, 
are very few and almost forgotten in history. Among 
otheis of Friuli, Bidolfi mentions a Gaspero Nervesa, who 
painted at Spilimbergo, and calls him Titian's scholar. No 
genii ; ne picture of his, however, is pointed out, though Father 
Federici discovered one at Trevigi. The same author like- 
wise extols Irene de' Signori di Spilimbergo, a lady of singular 

Tedes :o. The same author mentions a Federigo di Lanaberto, whose 
name occurs in our first volume, likewise called del Padovano and Sustris, 
certainly from Suster, for which see Vasari and his annotators. These 
Lamborti, founded upon the diversity between the Liege and German 
name? of Susterman and Suster, received upon the authority of Sandrart, 
not al vays very critical, are, I have reason to think, one and the same 
artist. For in Venice, one Lamberto only is alluded to by Ridolfi, Bos- 
chini, and Zanetti, without a surname, but by the last held to be the same 
as Lombardo; and what signifies it, whether he was called Suster or 
Susterman, of Germany, or of Liege, in Italy. 



176 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

accomplishments, highly celebrated by the poets of the 
fifteenth century. She left behind her three little pictures of 
sacred histories, preserved by the noble family of Maniago, 
and which are still to be seen at the house of Conte Fabio, 
equally distinguished for his acquaintance with science and 
with art. They display but little skill in the design, though 
they are coloured with a degree of masterly power, not 
unworthy the first artist of the happiest period. A Bacchanal, 
by the same hand, is at Monte Albodo, in possession of the 
Claud] family. Titian took the portrait of this lady, being 
known to be extremely intimate with her family ; and for 
this reason it is believed that he must have had some share- 
in the pictorial education of the fair artist. 

Lodovico Fumicelli was an artist of Trevigi, reported to 
have been a pupil of Titian. At all events he was one of his 
most distinguished imitators. One of his pieces, adorning the 
great altar of the church of the Eremitani, at Padua, displays 
both the design and colouring of a great master. His native 
place can boast works that have been equally extolled. It is 
mortifying then to recall to mind that he abandoned his pro- 
fession for the art of fortification. One of his assistants, in 
Trevigi, was Francesco Dominici, who may be said to rival 
him in the cathedral of the city, in those two processions 
which they painted, opposite to each other. This young 
artist, of great promise, especially in portraits, produced little, 
being cut off in the flower of his days. With pleasure I annex 
to these a friend of Paolo, and excellent pupil of Titian's, 
whom, in some things, he imitated, but who has been errone- 
ously denominated by historians;* my information respecting 
him, as well as other artists of Castelfranco, has been obtained 
from a MS. communicated to me by the learned Dottore 
Trevisani.t He took the name of Gio. Batista Ponchino, and 
the surname of Bozzato, a city of his native place, where 

* He is called by Vasari, Zanetti, and Guarienti, Bazzacco and Braz- 
zacco da Castelfranco, and Guarienti makes him a scholar of Badile. 

f They consist only of a few pages relating to the painters of Castel- 
franco. I cannot explain why Padre Federici (Fref. p. 17) supposes that 
I should have announced this as the MS. Melchiori, although Sig. Trevi- 
.sani may have drawn various notices from that quarter. 



MAZZA AND CAMPAGNOLA. 177 

several of his paintings in fresco still exist, together with his 
celebrated piece of the Limbo,* in San Liberale, the finest, if 
we except the works of Giorgione, which that city has to 
boa;4, and it is greatly admired by strangers. He painted 
also at Venice and Vicenza, during the lifetime of his consort, 
a daughter of Dario Varotari ; but on her death he assumed 
the ecclesiastical habit, nor interested himself much in his art. 
Padua boasted two noble scholars from the hand of Titian ; 
Damiano Mazza, and Domenico Campagnola. The former, 
however, was rather promised than conferred upon us, dying 
verv young, after producing a single piece deserving of com- 
memoration, in his native place. This was a Ganymede borne 
away by the Eagle, depicted on an entablature, which, for its 
exquisite beauty, was attributed to the hand of Titian, and 
removed from the place. Venice must have been his sphere 
of action ; a few of his pictures remaining in different churches, 
executed with striking power and relief, if not with much 
delicacy of hand. The other artist is better known, said to 
have been of the family of Campagnola, though with no 
authority for the assertion. He was nephew to the Girolamo 
mentioned by Vasari among the disciples of Squarcione, and 
son to that Giuliof whose genius is commended in the Lite- 
rary History of Tiraboschi (vol. vi. p. 792), and in the " Storia 
Pittorica" of Vasari. He was a fine linguist, miniature- 
painter, and engraver, and the author of several altar-pieces, 
which betray some traces of the ancient style. Domenico's 
appears more modern, so much so, as to have awakened, it is 
said, the jealousy of Titian, an honour he enjoyed in common 
with Bordone, with Tintoret, and other rare artists. And his 
works give authority to the tradition, not so much in Venice 
as in Padua, a city for whose embellishment he would appear 
to have risen up. He painted in fresco, at the college of the 
San^o, in the style of an able scholar, emulating an incom- 

* Padre Coronelli, in his Travels in England (part i. p. 66), ascribes 
this picture to Paul Veronese, a mistake that is cleared up by the tenor of 
the contract, preserved in the archives of San Liberale. He adds that 
the picture contained a number of naked figures, to which draperies were 
afterwards adapted by another hand an assertion wholly groundless. 

f In a MS. by a contemporary author, cited in the new Guide of Padua, 
he is called Domenico Veneziano, educated by Julio Campagnola. 

VOL. II. N 



178 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

parable master of his art. His pictures in oil resemble him 
the nearest of any, as we see in the college of S. M. del Parto 
a complete cabinet of his works. He represented on the en- 
tablature the Holy Evangelists, with other saints, in various 
compartments ; and he seems to have aspired to a vastness of 
design beyond that of Titian, and to mark the naked parts 
with a more evident degree of artifice. 

Contemporary with Campagnola, though scarcely heard of 
beyond Padua, were Gualtieri, one of his relatives, and a 
Stefano del Arzere, who, in his picture of Christ upon the 
Cross, at San Giovanni di Verzara, appears ambitious, how- 
ever rudely, of imitating Titian. Both were, nevertheless, 
esteemed by Ridolfi for their paintings in fresco, and both, 
together with Domenico, were employed in ornamenting a 
large hall, representing the figures of emperors and illustrious 
characters, upon nearly a colossal scale. For this reason it 
was denominated the Sala de' Giganti, afterwards converted 
into a public library. These figures are, for the most part, of 
an ideal cast, various in point of design, in some dignified, in 
others heavy. The antique costume is not always strictly ob- 
served, but the colouring is rich and of a fine chiaroscuro, and 
it would be difficult to find in all Italy a piece which appears 
to have suffered less from time. Niccolo Frangipane is sup- 
posed to have been a Paduan, though his birthplace is dis- 
puted,* and he is not mentioned by Ridolfi. Still he may be 
esteemed worthy of being recorded for his exquisite style as a 
naturalist, in which he painted his picture of the Assumption, 
at the Conventuali, in Rimini, dated 1565, and a half-length 
figure of San Francesco, with that of 1588, at S. Bartolommeo, 

* Thus stated in the " Lettere Pittoriche," vol. i. p. 248. Recent 
Tenters of Friuli make him a native of Udine, a modern supposition, in- 
asmuch as Grassi, a very diligent correspondent of Vasari, would hardly 
have been silent upon such a name. It took its rise, most likely, from 
the existence of a noble family of the same surname, in Udine, and from 
three of the artist's pictures having been discovered in the same place, 
one with the date 1595. Yet none are to be seen at Casa Frangipani, a 
circumstance very unusual in regard to excellent artists. We must look, 
therefore, for other proofs before we can pronounce him a native of Udine, 
and before we can assent to the conjecture of Rinaldis, who would admit 
two artists of the name of Niccolo Frangipane, the one a painter by pro- 
fession, and the other a dilettante ; and yet contemporaries, as appears 
from the authority of the dates of the pictures already referred to. 



GIAMBATISTA MAGANZA. 179 

In Padua. A picture also of San Stefano is attributed to him 
by .he "Guide of Pesaro," though his genius was more adapted 
to burlesques, several specimens of which are yet in the pos- 
session of private individuals. 

Vicenza boasts the name of Giambatista Maganza, the head 
of ;i family of artists who long devoted themselves, both in 
ptillic and private, to the ornament of their native province. 
Hifr descendants, however, adopted various styles, as we shall 
see, while Giambatista was only ambitious of treading in the 
steps of Titian, his master, which he did with success. He 
was an excellent portrait-painter, and also left several works 
of pure invention at Vicenza, in which he displayed the same 
easy genius as in his poetry. He wrote in the rustic idiom of 
Padua, under the name of " Magagno," while such contempo- 
raries as Sperone, Trissino, Tasso, and other celebrated wits, 
not ignorant of the dialect, applauded the excellence of his 
rudo and sylvan strains. Giuseppe Scolari was an artist, 
supposed by most to have been a native of Vicenza, though 
referred by the Cavalier Pozzo to Verona. A pupil of 
Maganza, he excelled in works in fresco and in chiaroscuro, 
enlivened by certain yellow tints, at that period in great vogue. 
He was a good designer, which appears from his works, both 
in Vicenza and Verona; and he likewise produced several 
large pictures in oil at Venice, much commended by Zanetti. 
Possibly another disciple of Maganza, from the period at 
which he flourished, was Gio. de Mio, of Vicenza, an artist 
who competed with Schiavone, Porta, Zelotti, Franco, and 
witli Paul Veronese himself, in the library of S. Mark, though 
history makes no mention of his master any more than of Mio ; 
if, iideed, he should not be the same as Fratina, recorded by 
Kidolfi as one of the assistants in ornamenting the library. 
The name of Gio. de Mio was met with in one of the archives, 
and Fratina was possibly his surname. 

Among the Veronese disciples of Titian, we have to men- 
tion Brusasorci, and, according to some writers, also Farinato. 
Botii at least visited Venice, either for the purpose of study- 
ing his works, or in his school. Zelotti has been pronounced 
in more open terms the scholar of Titian. But of these and 
other distinguished artists of Verona, it will be preferable to 
give the reader some account when treating on the merits of 

N 2 



180 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

Paul Caliari, a plan that will bring under immediate view the 
state of that noble school during its most flourishing period. 

About the same time several Brescian artists greatly distin- 
guished themselves, although too little known for want of 
enjoying a metropolitan city for their sphere of action. Luca 
Sebastiano, an Aragonese, who died towards the close of the 
sixteenth century, was celebrated, we are told, rather as a 
fine designer than a painter. An altar-piece with the initial 
letters L. S. A. has been attributed to his hand. It is the 
Saviour represented between two saints, the composition of 
which is common ; the foldings of the drapery want softness, 
but the figures, the colours, and the attitudes are excellent. 
I apprehend that, however learned in his art, he would have 
been anxious to avoid competition with the two celebrated 
citizens of whom we shall now give some description. The 
first is Alessandro Bonvicino, commonly called Moretto of 
Brescia, who was among the earliest of Titian's school to in- 
troduce his master's whole style of composition into his native 
district. This is clearly seen in his picture of S. Niccolo, 
painted in 1532 for the Madonna de' Miracoli, in which he 
depicted several figures of children, and of a man presenting 
them to the saint ; portraits in Titian's best manner. Sub- 
sequently attracted by the composition of Raflaello, as ex- 
hibited in some pictures and engravings, he changed his style, 
adopting one altogether new, and so rich in its attractions, 
that many dilettanti have gone out of their way, and visited 
Brescia, for the sole purpose of feasting their eyes with them. 
The manner of Raffaello may be as strongly traced as we can 
imagine possible for a painter who had never seen Rome ; we 
meet with graceful features, elegant proportions, if they do 
not sometimes appear too slender ; accuracy in the attitudes 
and expression, which, in his sacred subjects, display, as it 
were, the peculiar feeling of remorse, of pity, and even of 
charity itself. The drapery is diversified, but not sufficiently 
select, while all the accessories of the perspective and other 
embellishments are as splendid as in any Venetian artist ; 
although not lavished with so much profusion ; and he dis- 
plays an exact, diligent, and delicate hand, which appears, to 
use" a modern expression often applied, to write what it paints. 
la regard to colouring, Moretto pursued a method which 



MORETTO OF BRESCIA. 181 

surprises by its combined novelty and effect. Its chief cha- 
racteristic consists of a very beautiful play of light and sha- 
do^.v, not disposed in great masses, but finely tempered and 
contrasted with each other. The same degree of art he 
applies both to his figures and his skies, where he sometimes 
depicts clouds whose colours are contrasted in a similar way. 
For the most part his grounds are clear and bright, from 
which the figures seem to rise with admirable relief. His 
fleshy parts often remind us of the freshness of Titian's ; in his 
tin:s, moreover, he is more varied than the latter, or any other 
of the Venetians. Little azure appears in his draperies, the 
union of reds and yellows in a picture having been apparently 
more to his taste. It is the same with other colours, a cir- 
curistance I have noticed in some of his contemporaries, both 
of Brescia and Bergamo. Vasari, who has recorded his 
name, along with that of many other Brescian artists, in his 
life of Carpi, commends him for his skill in imitating every 
kind of velvet, satin, or other cloth, either of gold or silver ; 
but as he did not see, or failed to commemorate, some of his 
choicest works, he has by no means done justice to his cha- 
racter. 

Moretto produced some works in fresco, though, if I 
mistake not, he coloured better in oils ; as is the case where 
diligence and depth of parts are not equally matched with 
pictorial rapidity and fire. He employed himself a good 
deal in his native province and the adjacent parts, in general 
distinguishing himself more by his delicacy than by his 
grandeur of hand. A fine specimen of this last, however, 
may be seen in his terrific picture of Elias, placed in the old 
cathedral. He was intimate with all the best methods of his 
.art ; but he did not always care to practise them. His pic- 
ture of S. Lucia, in the church of S. Clemente, is not so much 
studied as that of S. Catherine, and even tnis yields to his 
painting of the great altar, representing our Lady in the air, 
with the titular and other saints seen below. The composi- 
tion is conducted in every part with exquisite taste, and the 
piece is considered one of the best the city has to boast. An 
altar-piece, consisting of various saints, at S. Andrea, in Ber- 
gamo, another at S. Giorgio, in Verona, with the Fall of S. 
Paul, at Milan, with which last he appears to have been so 



182 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

much pleased, as to subscribe, which was very unusual with 
him, his name are all likewise of the most finished composi- 
tion. He was esteemed excellent in portrait, and educated 
for this branch of art Gio. Batista Moroni. 

This last was a native of Albino, in the territory of Ber- 
gamo, where he produced, both for the city and the state, a 
variety of altar and history pieces, which he continued to 
supply from early youth, until within a few months of his 
decease. So much has been made out, from authentic docu- 
ments, by the Conte Tassi, who brought forward a long series 
of his noble compositions. This artist is not, however, at all 
comparable to his master in point of invention, of composi- 
tion, or design ; which last sometimes betrays a dryness ap- 
proaching that of the quattrocentisti. Pasta notices the same 
defect, in his Incoronazione of our Lord at the Trinita, al- 
though very finely coloured, and a work equalling any of his 
others in point of merit. For the rest, it is certain that no 
artist of the Venetian school, besides Titian, has excelled him 
in the truth and nature of his portraits, and in the life and 
spirit of his heads, insomuch that Titian was in the habit of 
recommending him to the governors of Bergamo, as the best 
face-painter he could offer them. There exist specimens in 
the Carrara collection, in possession of the Conti Spini, and 
in other noble houses, which still appear to breathe and live ; 
the drapery is in the Titian manner, and if any thing can be 
said to be wanting, it is a greater degree of mastery in the 
design and attitude of the hands. 

Francesco Ricchino, of Brescia, is another name deserving 
of record among the better disciples of Moretto, even in point 
of colouring. He was desirous, however, from what we learn 
from his pieces at San Pietro in Oliveto, of extracting im- 
provement from the pictures, or at least from the engravings 
of Titian. Luca Mombelli followed him in some of his ear- 
liest works, until giving in to too great delicacy of manner, his 
productions became somewhat feeble and tame. Girolamo 
Rossi, another pupil or imitator, has, if I mistake not, better 
displayed his master's manner than any other, particularly in 
an altar-piece, placed at San Alessandro, representing the 
Virgin between various saints. Bagnatore was also a good 
copyist of the same style, an artist who, in his Slaughter of 



ROMANINO. 18$ 

the Innocents, subscribes his name Balneator, and who, if not 
displaying great power, is nevertheless judicious, correct, and 
sober in his works in oil ; and he was one to whom was com- 
ir itted by public order the task of copying a picture by 
Moretto. 

Contemporary with Moretto flourished Romanino, of Bres- 
cia, about the year 1540 ; the same who in S. Giustina, at 
Padua, subscribes his name Hieronymus Rumanus. He was 
the rival of Bonvicino, inferior to him in the opinion of Va- 
sari, but his equal according to Ridolfi. And truly it would 
appear that he surpassed him in genius and boldness of hand; 
but could boast neither the same taste nor diligence, several 
of his works appearing to be executed with a hasty pencil. 
Sdll he in general displays the qualities of a great master, 
both in his altar-pieces and in his histories, to say nothing of 
his burlesque compositions. The same character he main- 
tained at Verona, where he painted the martyrdom of the 
tiiular saint, at S. Giorgio, in four large pictures abounding 
with great variety of figures, some of the most spirited, and 
the most terrible, in the executioners, that I ever saw. The 
same richness of invention, accompanied even with more 
select forms, is displayed in his altar-piece of the Holy Vir- 
gin in Calcara, at Brescia, in which he represented the bishop, 
S. Apollonio, administering the Eucharist to the crowd. It 
is a work altogether charming ; the splendour of the place, 
and of the sacred vessels, the religious aspect of the prelate, 
ol the Levites, and of the people ; the great variety of features 
and of rank ; so many singular pictorial beauties are all 
placed within the limits of propriety and truth. Less full, 
but no less perfect, is his Descent of Christ from the Cross, 
at SS. Faustino and Giovita, a piece commended by Pal-nut 
for its extreme resemblance to the Venetian style, most pro- 
bubly alluding to that of Titian, although in some other works 
ho very strongly resembles Bassano. Titian, however, would 
appear to have been his model, to which he wholly devoted 
himself; whether he acquired so high a regard for him from 
his own master, Stefano Rizzi, an artist of mediocrity, or de- 
spairing of forming a new style, like his rival, he was in. 
hopes of surpassing him by such means. And, in fact, he still 
rt 'tains admirers in those parts, who prefer him to Moretto, 



184 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

as well for grandeur of composition and energy of expression, 
as for a capacity of genius that embraced every variety of 
subject. 

Girolamo Muziano acquired the art of design from Ro- 
manino, and taking his style of colouring from the works of 
Titian, he subsequently flourished at Rome, in which school 
lie has been already mentioned. In this place we must in- 
clude Lattanzio Gambara, the pupil and companion of Ro- 
manino, as well as his son-in-law, at least if we are to credit 
Ridolfi and other writers, in this last point sanctioned by the 
popular tradition of Brescia. Vasari alone, who resided in 
his house only a short time before he gave some account of 
him, observes that he was son-in-law to Bonvicino, a point in 
which his memory, doubtless, betrayed him. Lattanzio was 
not inferior to his master in spirit, and, at the same time, bet- 
ter instructed in the rules of the art, and more learned. Hav- 
ing attended the academy of Campi, in Cremona, until his 
eighteenth year, and cultivated an acquaintance with the best 
foreign masters that he always retained, he added to this 
knowledge all the richest and most tasteful colours of the 
Venetian school. Like Pordenone, he employed his talents, 
for the most part, in frescos, which are still to be seen at 
Venice, as well as within and without the confines of the 
state. His manner, however, was less strong and shaded, 
but in other points much resembling him in the beauty and 
variety of his forms, variously coloured according to his sub- 
jects ; in his knowledge of anatomy, without affectation, 
spirited attitudes, difficult foreshortenings ; in a relief that 
deceives the eye, and in novelty and play of invention. To 
these we may add even a greater propriety of ideas, and 
sweetness of tints, acquired from other schools ; Lattanzio 
having studied Giulio Romano at Mantua, and Correggio in 
Parma. In the Corso de' Ramai, at Brescia, there yet re- 
main three fa9ades., adorned with various histories and fables, 
truly beautiful, executed by his hand. They are not, bow- 
ever, so imposing as some of his scriptural pieces, to be seen 
in still better preservation in the cloister of S. Euphemia, en- 
gravings of which have been promised to the public. The 
spectator often recurs to them, and always with fresh plea- 
sure. When for want of space the figures could not be put 



GERONIMO SAVOLDO. 185 

in an upright posture, he foreshortened them with admirable 
nature and facility, so that no other attitudes could be 
imagined so becoming to each figure. Professors have de- 
tected some degree of imperfection in the naked parts, very 
common, indeed, to the most celebrated painters of frescos ; 
but it is such as cannot be perceived at a distance, or if seen, 
resembles only some false quantity in a good poet, easily to be 
pardoned in the number of poetical, beauties with which his 
versos abound. He painted still more copious histories for 
the cathedral at Parma, containing, perhaps, his greatest and 
most studied production, and which fails not to please, even 
in the presence of those of Correggio. There are several 
altar-pieces likewise in oil at San Benedetto, in Mantua, all 
of which are not equally happy. A Nativity of our Lord, at 
SS. Faustino and Giovita, is his only picture in oil remaining 
at his native place in public; it is very graceful, displaying 
certain traits of the Raffaello manner. His picture of a 
Pieta, at San Pietro, in Cremona, is also highly esteemed by 
professors, one among whom, who had designed a good deal 
from the works of Lattanzio, declared to me that he had never 
witnessed any other so exquisite in point of design, nor 
coloured with so much delicacy, clearness, and taste and soft- 
ness of tints. Yet this great artist only reached his thirty- 
second year, leaving in Giovita, a Brescian artist (likewise 
called Brescianino), an excellent disciple, particularly of works 
in fresco. 

Geronimo Savoldo, sprung of a noble family in Brescia, 
flourished also about 1540, and is ranked by Paolo Pino 
among the best artists of his age. I know not where he ac- 
quired the rudiments of his art ; but from a specimen which I 
saw at Brescia, he must have possessed great accuracy and deli- 
cacy of hand. Upon transferring his residence to Venice, he is 
known to have become one of the most formidable of Titian's 
rivals ; not, indeed, in works of a large scale, but in smaller 
pieces conducted with an exquisite degree of care, which may, 
in !!, manner, be said to have been his chief characteristic. 
"With such as these he beguiled his time, presenting them 
gratuitously as ornaments for churches. He produced others 
for private persons, now extremely rare and valuable, in dif- 
ferent collections. 



186 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

Zanetti, in his description of his little Presepio (Christ in 
the manger), recently retouched, which is to be seen at San 
Giobbe, observes that the tint of his pictures is truly beauti- 
ful, and the whole composition conducted with a singular 
degree of care. In Venice, says Ridolfi, he is known by the 
name of Girolamo Bresciano, neither Romanino nor Muziano 
having employed themselves there, with whom he might pos- 
sibly have been confounded. There he resided for many 
years, and terminated his days at the same place. His 
happiest production, though unknown to the historian, was 
placed in the Altar-Maggiore, of the Padri Predicatori, at 
Pesaro, a noble piece, which produces a striking impression 
upon the eye.* Our Lord is seen placed on high, seated 
upon a cloud, which appears truly illuminated by the sun, 
and on the foreground are represented four saints, drawn 
with a force of colouring that seems to bring them as near to 
the eye, as the soft colour of the perspective and of the upper 
part of the picture throws its objects into the distance. A 
small, but beautiful piece, in excellent preservation, is also 
seen in the Royal Gallery of Florence, exhibiting the Trans- 
figuration of our Lord, placed there along with specimens of 
other Venetian artists, by the Cavalier Puccini, one who has 
conferred so many obligations upon that princely collection 
of art. 

Finally, after Savoldo, may be placed, among the Brescian 
disciples of Titian, Pietro Rosa, son of Cristoforo, and 
nephew to Stefano Rosa, both excellent artists in oil. He 
was one of those pupils whom Titian, induced by the friend- 
ship he bore his father, instructed with most care, and the 
best success. Hence it is that we trace that clear and true 
force of colouring, which shines in every one of his pieces. 
Brescia boasts several, at the church of San Francesco, in the 
Dome, and at the Grazie, where such as have the fewest 
figures produce the happiest effect. In his composition he is 
not so perfect as in other parts, whether it were that he had 
not naturally the best talent for it, or, as is more probable, 
that it is a branch of the art most difficult to young prac- 

'* This painting is now in the I. R. Pinacoteca, at Milan. It is wholly 
Titianesque, and is only wanting in more choice selection in the figures 
of the lower ground. 



GIROLAMO COLLEONI. 187 

tit: oners. For lie died in the outset of his career, at the same 
period as his father, in 1576, whether from the plague or 
from poison is not known. 

Although Bergamo, at that period, boasted many distin- 
guished imitators of Giorgione, it yet produced an artist, 
Girolamo Colleoiii, who ought to be included in the present list. 
Some frescos from his hand are found at Bergamo, and an oil- 
painting in the Carrara Gallery. It exhibits the marriage of 
S. Catherine, which the best judges, on a first view, pro- 
nounced to be the work of Titian, till the superscription, with 
tho name of Hieronymus Colleo, 1555, vindicated it for his 
own. This distinguished artist, conscious of his merit, and 
not finding himself appreciated in his own country, foreign 
and inferior painters being preferred before him, sought better 
fortune at the court of Madrid. But before setting out, he 
painted upon a facade the figure of a horse, of which great 
encomiums, in different works, are all that remain ; and to 
this he affixed as a motto, " Nemo propheta in patria." He 
is known to have employed, as an assistant, Filippo Zanchi, 
who, together with a brother of the name of Francesco, has 
m:>re recently been brought into view by Count Tassi, 
besides some others who might here add to the number, but 
not to the eminence, of so rich a school. An artist celebrated 
also by Ridolfi, ought not, in this place, to be omitted ; the 
boauty of his tints, the design of his infant fingers, and the 
nature of his landscape, all shewing that he aspired to the 
Titian manner. He painted in fresco, but possessed an uni- 
versal genius, as has been pronounced by Muzio, in his 
" Teatro di Bergamo ;" the truth of which more clearly 
appears from his own works. His name was Giovan-Batista 
Averara. and he died young about the middle of the most 
flourishing period of the art. Another artist deserving com- 
memoration is Francesco Terzi, who long resided at the 
Austrian conrt, and is distinguished in most of the capitals of 
I taly for works he has there left. He has been mentioned by 
] jomazzo, in whose native place are still seen, at San Sem- 
pliciano, two noble histories, representing our Lord with his 
Apostles, somewhat dry in point of design, but bold in 
colouring. 

In Gio. da Monte, Crema boasted a disciple of Titian, as 



188 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

he is described by Torre, who numbers him among the more 
distinguished artists who ornamented Milan. A grado, exe- 
cuted by him in chiaroscuro for an altar of Santa Maria, at 
San Celso, where he ought also to have painted the altar- 
piece, obtained for him a high reputation; but he was 
deprived of the altar-piece, owing to the intrigues of Antonio 
Campi.* The work of Campi still remains there, and the 
opinion is, that though it was paid for at a higher rate than 
the Grado itself, it is yet a work of inferior merit to that of 
Giovanni, which much resembles Polidoro da Caravaggio, 
giving rise to a suspicion that Aurelio Buso, of Cremona, a 
scholar and assistant of Polidoro's, in Rome, may have been 
the only, or at least the earliest master of Giovanni. We 
know from Ridolfi that Buso produced various histories, in 
his native place, in the manner of his master, and historians 
of Genoese art record other works from his hand in their 
city. They assert that he departed thence unexpectedly, 
while Ridolfi concludes his life, by saying, that notwithstand- 
ing his worth, he died in poverty. From the period in which 
he flourished, he might possibly have been the master of 
Gio. da Monte, no less than Titian. 

Callisto Piazza is likewise announced, by Orlandi, as 
.another imitator of the latter, which is very evident from his 
picture of the Assumption, in the collegiate church of 
XDodogno. It contains figures of apostles, and two portraits 
of Marches! Trivulzi, not unworthy of any of Titian's disci- 
ples. And for such, indeed, was Callisto esteemed, both 
beyond its limits, and in Lodi itself, where in the church of 
the Incoronata, are three chapels, each ornamented with four 
of his very beautiful histories. One of these contains the 
mysteries of the Passion, another the acts of S. John the 
Baptist, and the third displays histories in the life of the 
Virgin. A report is current there, that Titian, in passing 
through Lodi, produced several heads, probably only a story 
originating in the exceeding beauty that may be observed in 
some. It appears, however, certain, that he also imitated 
Giorgione, in whose style he conducted his altar-piece, repre- 

* This fact cannot easily be refuted, in the manner attempted by Zaist, 
in his " Historical Notices of the Cremonese Painters," with true party 
zeal. p. 162. (See the New Guide of Milan, p. 139.) 



CALLISTO PIAZZA. 18$ 

sent ing the Virgin between various saints, at San Francesco, 
in Brescia, esteemed one of the most beautiful in the whole 
city. He produced others for Brescia, for Crema, for the 
dome of Alessandria, and for Lodi, though in this last he 
succ eeded better in fresco than in oil. From the circumstance- 
of his residing in so many different places, I shall not refer 
him to the school of Milan, preferring to place him here, no 
less because of the vicinity of Crema to Lodi, than from his 
belonging to the list of the imitators of Titian.* Little justice 
has been done to the memory of such a man by Ridolfi, who 
commends him for nothing besides his colouring in fresco and 
water-colours ; when, in fact, he boasts very noble design, 
and forms tolerably select, more particularly in the Assump- 
tioc already mentioned. Moreover, he calls him Callisto da 
Lodi Bresciano, as if da Lodi were a family name ; although 
in signing his own name, he gave it Callixtus de Platea, at 
the Incoronata, and elsewhere desirous of marking his country., 
Callixtus Laudensis. Ridolfi, too, says little or nothing of 
the period in which he flourished. Padre Orlandi found, 
affixed to one of his pictures, at Brescia, the date of 1524. I 
may add, that in Lodi he gave the years 1527 and 1530 ; 
and that, in the Nuptials of Cana, in the refectory of the 
Padri Cisterciensi, at Milan, he marked 1545. It is truly a 
surprising production, no less for its boldness of hand than 
for the number of its figures, although the whole of them are 
not equally well studied, and a few, among others that seem 
to breathe and l*ve, are really careless and incorrect, f He 
painted in the same city, within a court-yard, the Choir of 
the Muses, including the portraits of the president Sacco, the 

* To these the name of Francesco da Milano has recently been added , 
on the strength of an altar-piece, quite Titianesque, exhibited with his 
nan>e in the parish church of Soligo, to which is added the date of 1540 : 
time may probably clear up the doubt it involves. 

f He flourished several years subsequent, as appears from the " New 
Milan Guide," with MS. corrections, by Signor Bianconi, of which the 
Cavalier Lazara has a copy. He there remarks that he had seen in the 
greater monastery, now suppressed, belonging to the nuns of San Mau- 
rizio, other paintings by Piazza ; as Washing the Disciples' feet, in the 
Refectory, and the Multiplication of Loaves, upon canvas. Also within 
the interior church, among other scriptural stories in fresco, is found the 
Adoration of the Magi, the Marriage of Cana, and the Baptism of Christ, 
bearing the date of 1556. 



190 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

master of the house, and of his wife ; respecting which, writes 
Lomazzo, " I may, without fear of temerity, observe, that it is 
impossible to produce any thing more perfectly graceful and 
pleasing, more beautiful in point of colouring, among works 
in fresco." (Trat. p. 598.) 

We next arrive at the name of Jacopo Robusti, the son of a 
Venetian dyer, and for this reason surnamed Tintoretto. He 
was pupil to Titian, who, jealous of his talents, soon banished 
him from his studio. He did not aspire, like the preceding 
artists, to the name of Titian's follower ; for he burned with 
ambition to become the head of a new school which should 
carry his manner to perfection, adding to it all that was yet 
wanting ; a vast idea, the offspring of a grand and fervid ge- 
nius, and as bold as it was great, not even banishment from 
his master's school being able to damp his ardour. Con- 
strained by circumstances to confine himself to an incommo- 
dious apartment, he ennobled it with specimens of his early 
studies. Over the door of it he wrote, " Michelangelo's de- 
sign, and the colouring of Titian ;" and as he was an indefa- 
tigable imitator of the latter, so he was equally studious, both 
night and day, in copying the models, taken from the statues 
in Florence, belonging to the former. To these he added 
many more of bassi-rilievi, and of ancient statues. In a cata- 
logue of ancient pieces of sculpture, cited by Morelli, and 
belonging to the year 1695, is recorded a head of Vitellius, 
upon which " Tintoretto was always employed in design- 
ing and learning" (note, p. 152). He was frequently in the 
habit of designing his models by lamp-light, the better to 
obtain strong shades, and thus acquire skill in the use of a 
bold chiaroscuro. With the same view, he wrought models in 
wax and chalk, and having clothed them carefully, he adapted 
them to little houses composed of pasteboard, and slips of 
wood, supplying them through the windows with small lights 
by which he might thus regulate his own lights and shades. 
The models themselves he suspended from the ceiling by cords, 
placing them in a variety of positions, and designing them 
from different points of view, the better to acquire a mastery 
of foreshortening, as seen from below, a science not so fami- 
liar to his school as to that of Lombardy. Nor did he neglect 
the study of anatomy, to obtain a thorough knowledge of the 



TINTORETTO. 191 

muscles, and the structure of the human frame. He designed 
also the naked parts, as much as possible, in various shorten- 
ings and attitudes, in order to render his compositions as 
diversified as nature herself. By such studies he prepared 
himself to introduce the true method to be pursued by his 
followers, beginning with the designing from the best models, 
and having obtained the idea of a correct style, proceeding to 
copy the naked parts, and to correct their defects.'" To 
similar aids he united a genius which extorted the admiration 
of Vasari, one of his severest critics, who pronounced it the 
nm c; t terrible of which the art could boast an imagination 
fertile in new ideas, and a pictorial fire which inspired him 
witli vigour to conceive well the boldest character of the pas- 
sions, and continued to support him until he had given full 
exj ression to them on his canvas. 

Yet, what is the noblest genius, what are all the rarest 
qualities meeting in a single artist, without diligence, a virtue 
which of itself, says Cicero, seems to include all the rest ? 
Tintoretto possessed it for a period, and produced works in 
which the most captious of critics could not find a shade of 
defect. Of such kind is that Miracle of the Slave, adorning 
the college of St. Mark, apiece he executed in his thirty- sixth 
year, and which is held up as one of the wonders of Venetian 
art. The colours are Titian's, the chiaroscuro extremely 
strong, the composition correct and sober, select forms, studied 
draperies ; while equally varied, appropriate, and animated 
beyond conception, are the attitudes of the men assisting at 
the spectacle, in particular of the saint who flies to succour, 
giving an idea of the swiftness of an aerial being. There, 
to(, he painted other beautiful pieces, whose merit extorted 
from the lips of Pietro da Cortona these words : " Did I 
reside in Venice, not a festival should pass without still 
reporting to this spot, in order to feast my eyes with such 
objects, and above all, with the design !" His picture of the 

: Zanetti, p. 147. See also Ridolfi, parte ii. p. 10, where he informs 
us that Tintoret, in the maturity of his powers, being employed in paint- 
ing for the church of La Trinita, Adam and Eve seduced by the Serpent, 
and the Death of Abel, " designed the figures from nature, placing over 
th( m a thin veil ; to which figures he added a peculiar grace of contours, 
which he acquired from studying rilievi." 



192 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

Crucifixion at the college of San Roeco, is also esteemed a 
work of singular merit ; displaying as it does, so much novelty 
upon so hackneyed a subject.* Nor are other examples of 
bis surpassing power wanting in the same place, filled with 
pictures as various as new ; but, for brevity's sake, I shall 
merely record, in the third place, his Supper of our Lord, 
now at the Salute, having been removed from the refectory of 
the Crociferi, for which it was drawn. Those who have be- 
held it in its place, write of it as a miracle in the art, inas- 
much as the construction of the place was so well repeated in 
the picture, and imitated with so much knowledge of perspec- 
tive, as to make the apartment appear double its real size. 
Nor are these three works to which he affixed his name, as 
his favourite productions, the only ones worthy of his genius, 
Zanetti having enumerated many more, conducted with the 
most finished care, all exhibited to the Venetian public, with- 
out including those dispersed throughout the different cities of 
Europe. 

But diligence is rarely found long united to a rage for 
achieving much ; the true source in this instance, as in nume- 
rous others, of false, or at least of inferior composition. Hence, 
Annibale Caracci observed, that in many pieces Tintoretto 
was inferior to Tintoretto ; while Paul Veronese, so ardent 
an admirer of his talents, was in the habit of reproaching him 
with doing injustice to the professors of the art, by painting 
in every manner, a plan that went far to destroy the reputa- 
tion of the profession (JRidolfi). Similar exceptions will be 
found to apply to such of his works as, conceived at a heat, 
executed by habit, and in great part left imperfect, betray 
certain errors both in point of judgment and design. Some- 
times there appears a crowd of superfluous or badly grouped 
figures, and most generally all in the most energetic actions, 
without any spectators regarding them in quiet, as was prac- 
tised by Titian and all the best composers. Neither in these 
figures are we to look for that senatorial dignity which Rey- 
nolds discovers in Titian. 

Tintoretto aimed rather at liveliness than at grace, and from 
the studied observation of the people of his native state, per- 

* It was engraved by Agostino Caracci, and assuredly is the master- 
piece of this painter. A. 



TINTORETTO. 193 

haps the most spirited in Italy, he drew models for his heads, 
a well as his attitudes, sometimes applying them to the most 
i important subjects. In a few specimens of his Suppers, the 
Apostles might occasionally be taken for gondoliers, just when 
their arm is raised, ready to strike the oar, and with an air of 
nitive fierceness they raise the head either to look out, to 
rJdicule, or to dispute. He likewise varied Titian's method 
of colouring, making use of primary grounds no longer white, 
a ad composed of chalk, but shaded ; owing to which his 
Venetian pictures have felt the effects of time more than the 
rest. Neither was the choice, nor the general tone of his 
colouring the same as Titian's ; the blue, or the ash-coloured, 
I eing that which predominates ; one which assists the effect 
of the chiaroscuro, as much as it diminishes the amenity of the 
whole. In his fleshes there appears a certain vinous colour, 
and more particularly in his portraits. The proportions of 
Lis bodies are also different ; he does not affect the fulness of 
Titian ; he aims more at lively action than the latter, and 
sometimes attenuates his figures too much. The least correct 
portion of his pictures is the drapery ; few of them being free 
from those long and straight folds, or flying abroad, or in 
^ome other way too common and obvious. It would be use- 
less to insist upon his want of judgment, or rather his pictorial 
extravagances, Vasari having already said too much of them, 
upon the subject of his Universal Judgment, at Santa Maria 
dell' Orto. 

He ought to have tempered the severity of his criticism, 
however, by admitting, that if the author of that great picture 
had bestowed as much pains upon the several parts as upon 
the whole, it would have been a magnificent production. Even 
in those pictures, in which he wished to display the talent as 
it were of an improvisatore, he still vindicated his title to 
the name of a great master, in the command and rapidity of 
his pencil, in his manifestations of original powers, where he 
seems to triumph in his play of light, in the most difficult 
shortenings, in fanciful inventions, in his relief, in harmony, 
and, in the best supported of his pieces, even in the beauty of 
his tints. But his sovereign merit consisted in the animation 
of his figures, it being an universal opinion, that has almost 
acquired the force of a proverb, that the power of action 

VOL. II. 



194 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

ought to be studied in Tintoretto. Upon this point Pietro da 
Cortona used to observe, that if we carefully examine the 
whole of those pictures which have been engraved, no artist 
will be found equal to him in the pictorial fire he infused into 
his forms (Boschini, p. 285). He flourished for a long period, 
exerting his talents until we could with difficulty make a 
catalogue of his works, still giving the rein to his divine 
ardour in many pieces of great size, or at least abounding with 
a great variety of actors. Among these last, his picture of the 
Paradise, in the hall of the great council, was greatly esteemed, 
even by the Caracci ; and though the production of advanced 
age, the figures are almost innumerable. Had they only been 
better grouped and distributed, the artist would not have given 
occasion for Algarotti to criticise such a painting as he did, 
adducing it as an example of badly conceived composition. 
Tintoretto's genuine productions are not often met with in the 
different collections of Italy. In Venice, however, they are not 
rare, and there we may learn, what appears so very impro- 
bable in the Ridolfi, that Tintoretto wrought with a degree of 
finish equal to that of a miniature-painter. The noble Casa 
Barbarigo, at S. Polo, possesses a " Susanna " of this character, 
where, in small space, is included a park, with birds and rabbits 
disporting, together with every thing desirable in a pleasure- 
garden ; the whole as studiously finished as his figures. 

There is little to add relating to his school, on which none 
conferred greater credit than his son, Domenico Tintoretto. 
He trod in the steps of his father ; but like Ascanius follow- 
ing ./Eneas, " non passibus asquis." Still he may boast much 
resemblance in his countenances, in his colouring, and in har- 
mony, but there is a wide distinction in point of genius, though 
some of his most spirited pieces have been ascribed to his 
father, or at least suspected of having been chiefly indebted to 
his hand. Many works, however, upon a large scale, are at- 
tributed to the son ; those which he has filled with portraits 
being far the most commended ; his merit in this branch 
having been thought equal by Zanetti to that of his father. 
One of these is seen at the college of St. Mark, where, as in 
the rest of his compositions, the figures are disposed with more 
sobriety than those of Jacopo, as well as finished with more 
care, and with more enduring colours. As he grew older his 



TINTORETTO. 195 

style fell somewhat into that of a mannerist, which at that 
period, as we shall see, much prevailed. By these distinctions 
his productions may be frequently known from his father's, 
and we may be enabled to refute the assertions of dealers, 
wto, to obtain a higher price, attribute them indiscriminately 
to Jacopo. Yet Domenico produced many pieces, more es- 
pecially portraits for different collections, besides several my- 
thological and scriptural histories, to which he sometimes 
ad led his name, as in his picture boasting such exquisite tints 
wlich adorns the Campidoglio, the subject of which is a 
penitent Magdalen. Contemporary with Domenico, we ought 
no: to omit the name of his sister Marietta, so exquisite a 
pa nter of portraits, as to receive invitations from the emperor 
Muximilian, and from Philip II. of Spain, to visit their re- 
spective courts. But her father would never consent to such 
a measure, in order to enjoy her society at home, though he 
was deprived of her not long afterwards, cut off in the flower 
of her genius and her age. Jacopo possessed few disciples 
beyond his two children, though he profited in some measure 
from these few. Paolo Franceschi, or de' Freschi, a Fleming, 
anl Martino de Vos d' An versa, were artists he employed to 
draw his landscapes. The former was esteemed one of the 
be^t landscape painters of his time, while he succeeded also in 
fig ares. He was engaged to paint for the Polazzo Publico, 
and several churches in Venice, where he terminated his days. 
Tbe second resided also at Rome ; and, in the church of San 
Francesco a Ripa, painted his " Concezione," a picture, indeed, 
ab >unding with too many figures, but beautiful and exquisite 
in its tints. With still greater felicity he depicted the four 
se< sons for the Colonna family, very pleasing little pictures, 
pr. ;senting a happy union of various schools, fine perspective, 
iina relief, with correct and graceful design. Passing into 
G( rmauy, and increasing in reputation no less by his works 
tlu.n by the engravings made of them by Sadeler, there, full 
of years and fame, he died. Lamberto Lombardo has been 
ju^t before recorded as the assistant of Tintoretto, but not his 
dii ciple. 

Odofardo Fialetti, a native of Bologna, was educated in the 
scl ool of Tintoretto, where he acquired a reputation for good 
design, and a thorough acquaintance will all the precepts of 

o 2 



196 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

the art, yet he was still far from emulating his master, not 
possessing vivacity of genius equal to the task. To avoid a 
competition with the Caracci he long continued, and died at 
Venice, where many of his works are highly esteemed, and in 
particular his picture of the Crucifixion, painted for the Croce. 

Among the imitators of Tintoretto appears the name of. 
Cesare dalle Ninfe, an artist who aimed at reaching the sharp 
expression of ridicule, the novelty of ideas, and the rapidity 
of hand, so remarkable in his prototype, though unequal in 
his design. Flaminio Floriano seems to have been ambitious 
of imitating only the more correct parts of his model, so uni- 
formly exact, temperate, and precise does he appear in his 
picture of San Lorenzo, to which he affixed his name. 

The name of Melchior Colonna also occurs, though hardly 
known in Venice, and some perhaps would add that of Bertoli, 
a Venetian, to be met with affixed to a picture at the chapel 
of San Niccola, in Tolentino. It represents the Plague that 
visited that city, if I mistake not, and which disappeared at 
the solicitation of the patron saint. There is also an account 
of another artist, who from his age might have received the 
instructions of Tintoretto, or at all events obtained them from 
his works ; his name was Gio. Rothenamer di Monaco. Ar- 
riving in Italy with but a small fund of knowledge, acquired 
in the studio of a poor national artist, he distinguished him- 
self at Rome, and perfected his style in Venice, adopting in a 
great measure the maxims of Tintoretto. There at the Incu- 
rabili, he left a Santa Cristina, a Nunziata at San Bartolom- 
meo, and as we have reason to believe, other works in private 
possession, by which he obtained some degree of credit. Sub- 
sequently arriving at a handsome practice in England, he 
nevertheless died there in poverty, his funeral expenses being 
defrayed by the alms of some Venetians. But few others, 
observes Zanetti, pursued the same path, probably because at 
that period more pleasing and popular styles were in vogue. 
Ridolfi, on the other hand, asserts, that all young artists 
towards the end of the century were anxious to study him for 
their model ; and we shall find, in treating of the mannerists, 
that he was acknowledged by them as their sovereign master. 
We must, in the next place, enter upon a consideration of the 
school of Bassano. 



JACOPO DA PONTE. 197 

Jacopo da Ponte, son to that Francesco, who, in the pre- 
ceding epoch, was commended as one of the better artists who 
flourished during the fourteenth century, was nearly contem- 
porary with Tintoretto, and was instructed by his father in 
the art. His earliest efforts, that are seen in the church of 
San Bernardino, in his native place, bear the impress of such 
an education. On resorting to Venice he was recommended 
to Bonifazio, a master, no less jealous of his art than Titian or 
Tintoretto ; insomuch, that Jacopo never obtained the advan- 
tage of seeing him colour, except by secretly watching him 
through a crevice in the door of his studio. He resided but a 
little time in Venice, employed in designing the cartoons of 
Parmigianino, and in taking copies of the pictures of Bonifazio 
and Titian, whose scholar, upon the authority of some manus- 
cript, he had also been. And, if conformity of manner were 
sufficient evidence, by no means always a certain guide, we 
might admit the truth of such supposition ; his second style 
being altogether that of Titian. A few of his pictures are 
met with in his native place, such as his Flight into Egypt, 
at San Girolamo, and a Nativity of the Redeemer, in posses- 
sion of Sig. Dottor Larber, both youthful productions, but 
which seemed to promise another Titian, so richly were they 
imbued with his sweetness of taste. 

Upon his father's death Jacopo was compelled to return, 
and settle in his own province, whose city is at this day both 
rich and populous, and in those times it was esteemed by no 
means despicable, its situation delightful, abounding wfth 
flocks and herds, and well adapted for the sale of merchandize, 
and for fairs. From these elements arose by degrees his for- 
mation of a third style, full of simplicity and grace, and which 
gave the first indications in Italy of a taste altogether foreign, 
th.it of the Flemish. In the use of his pencil, Jacopo may be 
said to have pursued two different methods. The first of these 
is much softened with a fine union of tints, and at last deter- 
mined with free strokes. The second, resulting in a great 
measure from the other, was formed by simple strokes of the 
pencil, with clear and pleasing tints, and with a certain com- 
mand, or rather audacity of art, that, nearly viewed, appears 
a ;onfused mixture, but forms in the distance an enchanting 
efiect of colouring. In both of these he displays the origina- 



198 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

lity of his own style, chiefly consisting in a certain soft and 
luscious composition. It partakes at once of the triangular 
and the circular form, and aims at certain contrasts of pos- 
tures ; so that if one of the figures is in full face, the other 
turns its shoulders ; and at the same time at a kind of ana- 
logy, so that a number of heads shall meet in the same line, or 
in want of these, some other form elevated in the same direc- 
tion. In regard to his lights, he appears partial to such as 
are confined to one part, and displayed masterly power in 
rendering it subservient to the harmony of the whole ; for 
with these rare lights, with the frequent use of middle tints, 
and the absence of deep obscure, he succeeded admirably in 
harmonizing the most opposite colours. In the gradation of 
lights he often contrives that the shadow of the interior figure 
shall serve as a ground for one more forward, and that the 
figures should partake of few lights, but extremely bold and 
vivid at their angles : as for instance, on the top of the shoulder, 
on the knee, and on the elbow, for which purpose he makes 
use of a flow or sweep of folds, natural to all appearance, but 
in fact highly artificial, to favour his peculiar system. In 
proportion to the variety of his draperies, he varies the folds 
with a delicacy of judgment that falls to the share of few. 
His colours every where shine like gems ; in particular his 
greens, which display an emerald tinge peculiar to himself. 
Whoever would become more familiar with the mechanism, 
and at the same time peruse a very full analysis of Bassano's 
style, may refer to Sig. Yerci, the able historian of the Marca 
Trevigiana, who drew it up from the " MS. Yolpati," cited by 
us in another epoch, and in the index to the writers. 

At the outset Jacopo aspired to a grandeur of style, which 
is apparent from some of his pictures remaining in the fa$ade 
of the Casa Michieli. Among these, a Sampson slaying the 
Philistines meets with much praise, and, indeed, they all par- 
take of the boldness of Michelangelo. But, whether the 
result of disposition or of judgment, he afterwards confined 
himself to smaller proportions, and to subjects of less power. 
Even the figures in his altar-pieces are generally less than 
life, and so little animated, that it was observed by some one, 
that in Tintoretto even his old men were spirited, but that 
the youths of Bassano were mere dotards. We do not meet 



JACOPO DA PONTE. 



T,*ith any of that noble architecture in his paintings, that adds 
SD much dignity to those of the Venetian School. He ap- 
jears rather anxious to find subjects in which to introduce 
candle-light, cottages, landscape, animals, copper vessels, and 
all such objects as passed under his eye, and which he copied 
T/ith surprising accuracy. His ideas were limited, and he 
often repeated them, a fault to be attributed to his situation, 
it; being an indisputable fact, that the conceptions both of 
artist and of writers become enlarged and increased in great 
capitals, and diminish in small places. All this may be 
gathered from his pictures produced for private ornament, the 
most familiar occupation of his life, inasmuch as he executed 
very few large altar-pieces. He conducted them at leisure in 
his studio, and, assisted by his school, he prepared a great 
number of various dimensions. He then despatched them 
to Venice, and sometimes to the best frequented fairs, thus 
rendering the number so very great, as to make it rather a 
disgrace for a collection not to possess copies by his hand, 
than an honour to have them. In these may be viewed, al- 
most invariably, the same subjects ; consisting of acts of the 
Old and New Testament; the Feasts of Martha, of the 
Pharisee, of the Glutton, with a splendid display of brazen 
vessels ; the Ark of Noah, the Return of Jacob, the Annun- 
ciation of the Angel to the Shepherds, with great variety of 
animals. To these we may add, the Queen of Sheba, the 
three Magi, with regal pomp of dress, and the richest array ; 
tie Deposition of our Lord from the Cross, by torch-light. 
His pieces upon profane subjects exhibit the sale of beasts and 
of brazen vessels, sometimes rural occupations, corresponding 
t ) the seasons of the year ; and sometimes without human 
f gures, merely a kitchen furniture, a fowl-yard, or similar ob- 
jects. Nor is it only the histories or the compositions them- 
selves that recur in every collection to the eye ; but even 
countenances taken from individuals of his own family ; for 
iistance, arraying his own daughter either as a Queen of 
ISheba, or a Magdalen, or as a villager presenting fowls 
to the infant Jesus. I have likewise seen entire pieces, with 
the title of the " Family of Bassano," sometimes in small size, 
and sometimes in larger. Of the former, I remarked a speci- 
men in Genoa, in possession of Signer Ambrogio Durazzo, 



200 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

where the daughters of the painter are seen intent upon their 
feminine occupations, a little boy playing, and a domestic in 
the act of lighting a candle. One of the second kind may be 
seen in the Medicean Museum, a picture which represents an 
academy of music. 

By this method he seemed to confess the poverty of his 
imagination, though he derived from it a very remarkable 
advantage. By dint of continually repeating the same things, 
he brought them to the utmost point of perfection of which 
they were susceptible ; as we may gather from his picture of 
the Nativity of our Lord, placed at San Giuseppe, in Bassano, 
the master-piece not only of Jacopo, but in point of force of 
colours and the chiaroscuro, of every thing that modern paint- 
ing has to boast. The same is seen in his Burial of Christ, 
at the Seminario of Padua, a picture of which an engraving 
was taken by order of Madame Patin, among " the Portraits 
of Celebrated Painters ;" having met with no other that 
seemed to breathe such a spirit of pity and holy terror. 
Finally, in his Sacrifice of Noah, at Santa Maria Maggiore 
in Venice, in which he collected specimens of all the birds 
and animals he had drawn elsewhere, he preserved the Tsame 
character ; and by this production so far won the regard of 
Titian, that he wished to purchase a copy for the ornament of 
his own studio. 

Hence it happens, that the works of Bassano, conducted at 
a certain age and with singular care, are estimated very 
highly, and purchased at large sums, though not altogether 
exempt from some errors of perspective, from some awkward- 
ness of posture, and some fault in composition, particularly in 
point of symmetry. Indeed it was the general belief, that he 
possessed little practical skill in designing the extremities, 
thus avoiding, as much as lay in his power, the introduction 
of feet and hands into his pictures. These accusations, with 
others before alluded to, might be greatly extenuated by pro- 
ducing such examples of Bassano as would fully prove, that 
he could, when he pleased, draw much better than he was ac- 
customed to do. He knew how to vary his compositions, as 
we perceive in his Nativity, at the Ambrosiana in Milan ; 
and he might as easily have varied his other pieces. He was 
capable also of conceiving with equal novelty and propriety, 



JACOPO DA PONTE. 201 

as we gather from his San Rocco, at Vicenza ; and he might 
thus have shone on other occasions. Moreover, he knew how 
to draw the extremities, as appears from his picture of S. 
Peter, at Venice, adorning the church of the Umilta ; and 
ho could give dignity to his countenaces, as in his Queen of 
Sbeba, which I have seen in Brescia; and he might have dis- 
played the same dignity in other pieces. But whether he 
found such a task too irksome, or from whatever other cause, 
ho displayed his powers rarely ; content with having arrived 
at his peculiar method of colouring, of illuminating, and of 
shading, with a sovereign skill. So universally was he ad- 
mired, that he received innumerable commissions from various 
courts, and an invitation to that of Vienna. What is more 
honourable, notwithstanding his defects, he extorted the 
highest praises, if not from Vasari, from many of the most 
renowned artists ; from Titian, from Annibal Caracci, who 
was so much deceived by a book painted upon a table, that he 
stretched out his hand to take it up ; and from Tintoretto, 
who commended his colouring, and in some measure wished 
to imitate him. Above all, he was highly honoured by Paul 
Veronese, who intrusted him with his son Carletto, for a 
pupil, to receive his general instructions, " and more particu- 
larly in regard to that just disposition of lights reflected from 
one object to another, and in those happy counter-positions, 
owing to which the depicted objects seemed clothed with a 
profusion of light." Such is the flattering testimony given 
by Algarotti to the style of Jacopo da Ponte. 

Bassano educated four of his sons to the same profession, 
which thus became transmitted to others, so that the Bassa- 
nose school continued for the length of a century, though still 
declining and departing fast from its primitive splendour. 
Francesco and Leandro were the two members of Jacopo's 
family .best disposed to pursue his footsteps, and he was ac- 
customed to pride himself upon the inventive talents displayed 
by the former, and the singular ability of the latter for por- 
trait-painting. Of his two other sons, Giambatista and Giro- 
lamo, he used to observe, that they were the most accurate 
copyists of his own works. All of these, more especially the 
tv/o latter, were instructed by their father in those refinements 
oi the art he himself practised, and they so far succeeded, 



202 TENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

that many of their copies, made both during and after the life- 
time of their father, very frequently imposed upon professors, 
being received for the originals of Jacopo. The whole of 
them, however, produced original works, and Francesco the 
eldest, having established himself in Venice, gave ample 
proof of it in those histories drawn from Venetian records, 
which he painted for the Palazzo Grande. They are placed 
near those of Paul Veronese, and appear to advantage even 
in such competition. His father here assisted him with his 
advice ; himself attending upon the spot, and instructing him 
where he found occasion, how to add force to his tints, to im- 
prove his perspective, and to bring the whole work to the 
most perfect degree of art. His pencil may be very clearly 
traced in that of his son, as well as his style, which in the opi- 
nion of critics is somewhat too much loaded, especially in his 
shades. Francesco likewise produced several beautiful altar- 
pieces, in which, on the other hand, he appears less vigorous 
than his father, as may be seen in his Paradiso, at the Gesu, 
in Rome, or in his San Apollonio, at Brescia, one of the most 
beautiful pieces in the church of S. Afra, and much admired 
by foreigners. And he would have achieved still greater 
things, had he not been afflicted with severe fits of melancholy, 
such as to deprive him of the use of his faculties and his time, 
until he was driven by sudden desperation to throw himself 
from a window, and, by this accident, still in the prime of his 
days, he lost his life. 

The works which he left imperfect in the Ducal Palace, 
and in other places, were completed by Leandro, the third son 
of Jacopo, and a professor in high repute. He followed the 
same maxims in the art, except that by his practice in portrait 
taking, he acquired more originality of countenance, and in 
the use of his pencil approaches nearer to the first than to the 
second style of Jacopo. He is, moreover, more variable in it, 
and inclines somewhat to the mannerism of his age. One of 
his best performances, perhaps, is to be seen at San Francesco, 
in Bassano, Santa Caterina crowned by our Lord, amidst 
various saints, distributed upon the steps of the throne, with 
figures larger than customary in the Bassanese school. His 
pictures likewise of the Resurrection of Lazarus, placed at the 
Carita, and of the Nativity of the Virgin, at Santa Sofia, 



DA PONTE'S SONS. 203 

besides others he produced at Venice, as well as for the state, 
are distinguished by their large proportions. If familiar with 
t ie father's productions, we may often detect domestic plagia- 
r sms in Leandro, who often repeats the family of da Ponte, 
copied in innumerable pieces by Jacopo, by his sons, and by 
their descendants. Even in his pictures for private ornament, 
conducted according to his own style and fancy, he was fond 
of adopting paternal subjects and examples, being skilful in 
drawing animals of every kind from nature. But nothing 
proved so favourable to his reputation, both in Italy and 
throughout Europe, as the immense number of his portraits, 
admirably executed, and not unfrequently with a certain ori- 
ginal fancy, both for private persons and for princes. Those 
that he executed for the Imperial Palace were particularly 
rolished; insomuch, that he received an invitation from 
Ilodolphe II., to accept the place of his court painter, an 
honour which Leandro thought fit to refuse. He was 
more ambitious of enjoying fame at Venice than at Vienna, 
for the Doge Grimani, the better to obtain a noble portrait of 
himself, had already created him his cavalier. And Leandro 
supported his dignity with an imposing demeanour : he lodged, 
dressed, and maintained his table in a noble manner. He 
appeared in public ornamented with a collar of gold, and with 
the insignia of St. Mark, accompanied by a train of disciples, 
vho dwelt at his house. One of these bore his gold cane, ano- 
ther the repertory, in which he noted down all that was to be 
done during the day. The same where bound to attend upon 
t im at table ; and as he was suspicious of poison, he was ac- 
customed, like the great, to have his tasters, who took some- 
t ling of every dish he eat ; but they were ordered not to 
tiste much, as in such case the great man became little, and 
gave rise to much mirth. Like his brother, he was sub- 
ject to fits of melancholy, but he contrived to manage them 
so well, as only to give birth to comic, never to tragic scenes. 
Giambatista da Ponte, is a name almost unmentioned in 
Listory, nor is there any production attributed to him, besides 
sn altar-piece in Gallio, with his name, and which by some 
vriter has been given, from its style, to Leandro. Girolamo, 
t ie last of the family, is better known by an altar-piece 
which he conducted in Venice, after the composition of Lean- 



204 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

dro, as well as for others executed in Bassano and its vicinity. 
He cannot be denied a certain graceful air in his counte- 
nances ; and in some of his works, displaying the simplest 
composition, and very graceful colouring. Such is his picture 
of S. Barbara, adorning the church of S. Giovanni, at Bassano, 
where the saint is seen between two upright figures of virgins, 
with their eyes fixed upon heaven, where the holy mother is 
represented in the usual manner of the times. 

Not only was Jacopo attached to the soil and very walls of 
his native country, from which no prospects of honour or or 
prolit could tempt him away, but he liberally granted his in- 
structions to his fellow-citizens, which both his sons and their 
family continued after his decease. The best disciple whom 
they produced, was Jacopo Apollonio, the offspring of Jacopo's 
daughter. Though only acquainted with the two least cele- 
brated of his uncles, he made rapid progress in his art, a case 
in which he may be compared to certain writers, who have 
wholly made use of their native dialect, without mingling it 
with any of a foreign growth. In like manner, he is Bas- 
sauese in his ideas, in his draperies, in his architecture, and 
more than all, in his landscape, which he touched with a mas- 
ter's hand. He might easily at times be mistaken for the 
real Bassani, were he not inferior to them in the vigour of his 
tints, in the delicacy of his contours, and in the strokes of his 
pencil. Some of his best works consist of a Magdalen, seen 
m the Dome of Bassano, and a San Francesco at the Rifor- 
xnati, which present fair examples by which to judge of his 
style. Yet above all, his picture of the Titular with various 
other saints at San Sebastiano, is one of the most exquisite 
finish, and possesses every estimable quality in the art, ex- 
cept that of softness. Some have considered him the only 
artist among the disciples of this school worthy of commemo- 
ration. Yet the natives of Bassano set some store by two 
brothers named Giulio and Luca Martinelli, very estimable 
scholars of Jacopo. They also hold in some esteem Antonio 
Scajario, son-in-law to Giambatista da Ponte, as well as his 
heir, owing to which he sometimes signs himself Antonio da 
Ponte, Antonio Bassano. Nor do they omit the name of Ja- 
copo Guadagni, the offspring of a daughter of Francesco da 
Ponte, who acquired some merit in portrait-painting, and in 



DESCENDANTS OF DA PONTE. 205 

copying, however feebly, the works of his ancestors. Upon 
1 is decease in 1633, every vestige of the manner and of the 
school of Jacopo became extinct in Bassano. There never- 
theless arose about the same period in Cittadella, a place ad- 
j icent to Bassano, a young genius of the name of Gio. Batista 
Zampezzo, who, directed by Apollonio, and having concluded 
1 is studies at Venice, devoted himself to copying the works 
of Jacopo. So well did he imitate his Santa Lucilla baptized 
ty San Valentino, a piece at the Grazie in Bassano, that 
Bartolommeo Scaligero pronounced it comparable with the 
criginal. He flourished about 166*0 ;* and subsequent to him 
appeared the noble Gio. Antonio Lazzari, a Venetian, who 
succeeded in deceiving the most skilful artists, says Melchiori, 
by dint of copying Jacopo, and passing for him. It will not 
have been irksome, I trust, to my readers, thus to have con- 
Eected together a series of the school of Bassano, by aid of 
vhich the copies taken by so many artists, at different 
periods, and with various degrees of merit, may be better dis- 
tinguished, t 

Whilst the Bassanese school employed itself in drawing the 
simplest objects of rural nature upon a small scale, a different 

* This date is pointed out by Boschini, and corresponds with the 
fortieth year of the artist, who, on the authority of Melchiori, made a 
noble copy of Giorgione's San Liberale, at Castelfranco, besides pro- 
ducing several original works in his native place and the vicinity. Speci- 
mens of his labours exist in water-colours, taken from pictures in fresco 
executed by Paolo and by Zelotti, in different palaces belonging to Vene- 
tian noblemen. The cavalier Liberi, his Venetian master, aware of his 
singular talent for such species of painting, often employed him, to the 
n ) small advantage both of his art and his fortune. 

f It would be too difficult to attempt to enumerate the names of his 
f( reign imitators, particularly the Flemish, who were much devoted to his 
si yle, some of whose copies I have seen in collections believed to be ori- 
g nals. But the handle of their pencil, the clearness of colouring, and 
s< 'metimes the diminution of the figures, not common to the Bassani, 
a; Ford means to distinguish them not, however, with such a degree of 
certainty, but that connoisseurs themselves are of different opinions. 
Tiiis occurred in my own time at Rome, respecting a fine picture of the 
Kativity of Jesus Christ, in the Rezzonico collection. One of the best 
imitators of that style was David Teniers, who, by his exquisite skill, ac- 
quired the surname of Bassano. To him I am happy to add another 
foreigner, Pietro Orrente di Murcia, whom Spanish writers give as a 
pupil to Jacopo ; and were there no other authority, we might upon that 



206 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

one sprung up in Verona, which surpassed all others by copy- 
ing, upon the most ample grounds, every thing most beautiful 
in art ; such as architecture, costume, ornaments, the splen- 
dour of trains of servants, and luxury worthy of kings. This 
then remained still to be completed, and it was reserved for 
the genius of Paul Caliari to accomplish. The son of Ga- 
briele, a sculptor at Verona, he was destined by his father for 
the same art. Instructed in a knowledge of design, and 
modelling in clay, he nevertheless evinced so strong a genius 
for painting, as to induce his father to give him as a pupil to 
Badile, under whom, in a short time, he made an astonishing 
progress. He had, however, appeared in an age that made it 
incumbent on him to exert himself greatly, such were the 
splendid talents that distinguished the Veronese School. It 
is deserving, indeed, of separate mention, inasmuch as it 
might of itself form a school apart, were it not that its prin- 
cipal masters had acquired a knowledge of their art, either 
from Mantegna of Padua, or from the Venetian Bellini ; from 
Giorgione, or as we shall have occasion to see, from Titian. 
It was thus derived rather from the artists of the state, than 
from its own or from foreign sources, though it flourished by 
its own industry, and produced as many various styles as any 
other place in the terra firma. I have already alluded to the 
remark of Vasari, that " Verona having constantly devoted 
itself, after the death of F. Giocondo, to the study of design, 
produced at all times excellent artists, &c." such praise as he 
bestowed on no other city of the Venetian state. I noticed 
also its superiority in force of expression, and its very general 
taste, in animating and giving an air of liveliness to its heads, 
so general indeed as to be almost characteristic of the nation. 
To these it added a beauty peculiar to itself; more light and 
elegant, and less full than in the Venetian paintings, though 
not so fresh and rubicund in the fleshy parts. It is also 
equally happy with any other in its inventions, availing itself 
of mythology and history to form fanciful compositions, and 
for the ornament of palaces and villas. The national genius 

of Sig. Conca, receive him as his very exact imitator. In his two pic- 
tures referred to (vol. i. p. 266) he is pronounced superior to the Bassani, 
meaning, perhaps, superior to the sons of Jacopo ; it would be too absurd 
a proposition to prefer him to the head of the school. 



INFERIOR ARTISTS. 207 

f o well adapted for poetry, aided the artists in the conception 
of such compositions ; while the advice of able men, always 
{bounding in the city, helped to perfect them. The climate 
ioo was favourable for the production, as well as for the pre- 
servation of paintings, for while at Venice, the saltness of 
the air destroyed many beautiful pieces in fresco, in Verona, 
i.nd its adjacent towns, a great number remained entire. 

We have already alluded to its leading masters of the pre- 
ceding epoch, observing that many were entitled from their 
works to rank in this brighter period. To these I add Paolo 
Oavazzola, pupil to Moroni, and in the opinion of Vasari, 
i iuch superior to him. He died at the age of thirty-one, 
leaving many fine specimens of a mature judgment in different 
churches. The two Falconetti were also worthy of some no- 
tice. Gio. Antonio, an excellent draughtsman of fruits and 
animals ; and Gio. Maria, a scholar of Melozzo (Notizia, p. 
3 0), and a celebrated architect and painter, though not one of 
the most copious, more especially in fresco. These two brothers 
T/ere descendants ^f old Stefano da Verona, or da Sevio, 
whichever he is to be called. Nor less worthy, in the opinion 
of Vasari, was one Tullio, or India il Vecchio, an able artist 
in fresco, a portrait-painter, and a celebrated copyist. His 
son Bernardino appears to advantage, no less in a bold than a 
delicate style ; in which last, if I mistake not, he is superior, 
as we perceive from specimens in the churches, and other 
collections in Verona. Many of his pictures betray a style 
approaching that of Giulio Romano. He is recorded by 
Vasari, together with Eiiodoro Forbicini, famous for his gro- 
tesques, and assistant in many of his labours to India, as well 
as to various other artists of no mean fame. 

Dionisio Battaglia distinguished himself by an altar-piece 
of Santa Barbara, mentioned by Pozzo as being at Santa Eu- 
f< iinia ; no less than did Scalabrino by his two scriptural 
h istories placed at San Zeno. Two other artists of the same 
pariod are very deserving of mention, both on account of their 
productions and their pupils; Niccolo Giolfino (in Vasari 
called Ursino), the master of Farinato ; and Antonio Badile, 
the tutor and the uncle of Caliari. Giolfino, or Golfino, ac- 
cording to Ridolfi, partakes something of the dryness of the 
Quattrocentisti, less select and animated than the best of his 



208 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

contemporaries, his colours not very vivid, but pleasing and 
harmonious. Most probably educated by some one of these 
miniaturists, he succeeded better in pictures upon a small than, 
upon a large scale, sucli as in his Resurrection of Lazarus, to 
be seen in the church of Nazareth. Born in 1480, Badile 
flourished during another eighty years, and was the first, per- 
haps, of any in Verona, to exhibit painting altogether free 
from traces of antiquity, while he excelled no less in external 
forms than in depicting the inward affections and passions of 
the mind. He was moreover the author, at the same time, of 
a peculiar softness, yet freedom of hand, though it is not 
known from whom he acquired it. He affixed to his works 
only the first syllable of his name, formed in a cypher. His 
picture of the Raising of Lazarus, painted for San Bernardino, 
and another with some holy bishops at San Nazaro, both so 
much commended by Ridolfi, serve to shew from what source 
his two pupils, Paolo and Zelotti, derived that elegant manner, 
which they mutually improved by assisting one another. A 
similar style was for some years displayed^by Orlando Fiacco, 
or Fiacco, from which he is supposed to have been a scholar 
of Badile, though Vasari, who extols him particularly in por- 
trait, gives him to another school. However this may be, it 
is certain he inclined to a boldness of style, approaching that 
of Caravaggio. He flourished but a short period, during 
which he acquired more merit than fortune. 

This resulted from the too great abundance of good artists 
in Yerona, a circumstance that induced many to seek better 
fortune in foreign parts. Orlandi, on the authority of Vasari, 
has inserted in the Abecedairo a professor of the name of 
Zeno, or Donate, a native of Verona, who, in the church of 
San Marino at Rimino, painted the titular saint with singular 
care. I saw it, and it displayed great simplicity of composi- 
tion, good design, and still better colouring, more particularly 
in the dress of the bishop, which he laboriously ornamented 
with little figures of saints. He seems to have belonged to 
the golden period of art ; and it is known that he left other 
works at the same place, and most probably never changed 
his residence, or at least did not return, so far as we know, to 
Verona. Two other artists, named Batista Fontana, muck 
engaged at the imperial court of Vienna, and Jacopo Ligozzi, 



GIAMBATISTA. 200 

who long flourished at the court of Tuscany, as I have ob- 
served in its place, also adopted the resolution of quitting their 
native city. Of the former scarcely any thing remains there ; 
though there are a few pieces by the hand of the second, 
among which at S. Luca a Saint Helena, who, surrounded by 
her court ladies, assists in the discovery of the Holy Cross, a 
picture displaying the best Venetian taste in its tints, and in 
tho richness of its draperies ; but certainly the worst, in re- 
gard to transferring our own customs to more ancient times. 
Giovanni Ermanno had either a brother or other relation who 
approached him very nearly in point of merit, as may clearly 
be seen at the Santi Apostoli in Verona. 

But those who had there obtained the ascendancy, when 
Paul Veronese first began to make himself known, were three 
fellow-citizens, who still maintain a high character in their 
native place, inferior only to that of Paul himself. Their 
names are Batista d'Angelo, surnamed del Moro, as the son- 
in-law and pupil of Torbido ; Domenico Ricei, called il 
Brusasorci, from his father's custom of burning rats ; and 
Paul Farinato, likewise called degli Uberti. All three were 
invited by the cardinal Ercole Gonzaga to Mantua, in order 
that each might exhibit in the cathedral an altar-piece ; while 
together with these appeared Paul, the youngest of the whole ; 
but who, according to Vasari and Ridolfi, surpassed them in 
tho competition. But it is not yet time to enter upon his 
merits, having first to treat of his rivals, before we venture 
upon him and his followers, so as not to have occasion for in- 
terrupting the remainder of this history, until we arrive at a 
new epoch. 

Giambatista was the least celebrated of the three, though 
ea3h of his works obtained so much credit, that when Santa 
Ei ifemia had one of its walls demolished to make way for a 
new edifice, his picture of St. Paul before Ananias, that 
adorned it, was carefully preserved at considerable expense, 
and replaced over the door of the church ; yet this was one of 
hi.i earliest productions. He produced a great many others, 
both in oil and in fresco, not unfrequently in competition with 
Pjiul. He follows Torbido in point of diligence, and in his 
strong and unctuous colouring. He has more softness, how- 
ever, of design, and, if I mistake not, more grace, of which 

TOL. II. P 



210 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

he gave a distinguished specimen in an Angiolo at San Ste- 
fano, in the act of distributing the palms to the SS. Innocenti. 
He was employed, also, in Venice, where the most studied 
and animated production, going by his name, is not positively 
pronounced his by Ridolfi, but only esteemed to be kis, while 
it is ascribed by Boschini to Francesco Alberti, a Venetian, 
known merely by this single production. It is an altar-piece 
in Santa Maria Maggiore, representing the Virgin between 
St. John and St. Mark, and several lords in ducal robes, with 
their sons, in the act of adoring her ; very lively portraits of 
the Marcello family, for whom the altar was painted. Vasari 
gives a brief account both of him and his son Marco, his pupil 
and assistant, though he did not mention Giulio, brother to 
Batista, who distinguished himself alike in all the arts, and is 
called by Zanetti dotto pittore. Both, like Batista, exercised 
their talents in Venice, and whoever compares the four Coro- 
nati of Giulio, placed at San Apollinare, with the Paradiso of 
Marco at San Bartolommeo, will discover an elegance, a pre- 
cision, and an arrangement of style, sufficient to mark them 
for disciples of the same school. 

Brusasorci may be termed the Titian of this school. It is 
not known that he received the instructions of any other 
master besides Giolfino, but it is certain that he studied the 
works of Giorgione and of Titian, in Venice. He has 
exhibited the style of the latter in a few of his pictures with 
great accuracy, as we see in his San Rocco, in the church of 
the Padri Agostiniani at Verona, and in several other pictures 
for private persons, among which he has drawn nymphs and 
Venuses. An eye accustomed to the originals of the best 
Venetians detects a diversity of tints, which in the artist of 
Verona are less glowing. His genius could not confine itself 
to the imitation of a single model, like some of the Venetians ; 
he became fond of Giorgione, and to judge from one of his 
pieces remaining at Mantua, also of Parmigianino. There in 
the ducal palace we met with the Fable of Phaeton exhibited 
in different pieces, which, however much defaced by time, are 
still admired for the fancy and vivacity they display, no less 
than for their abundance of figures, and the difficult fore- 
shortenings he has inserted. But his chief merit was shewn 
in his frescos, with which he decorated villas and palaces with 



FELICE RICCIO. 211 

the erudition of a fine poet and the execution of a fine painter. 
He produced, likewise, his histories ; and the master-piece of 
:ill I have seen is the Procession of Clement VIII. and of 
Oharles V. through Bologna, a picture exhibited in a hall of 
the noble casa, Ridolfi, and which has been engraved. A 
jiobler spectacle cannot well be imagined ; and although other 
, i pecimens, both of this and similar subjects, are met with very 
}i generally at Rome, in Venice, and in Florence, none produce 
equal effect; combining in one piece, a large concourse, fine 
distribution of figures, vivacity of countenances, noble atti 
tudes in the men and horses ; variety of costume, pomp, and 
.splendour, and dignity, all bearing an expression of pleasure 
adapted to such a day. This piece may compete with another 
in the palazzo Murari at Poute Nuovo also in fresco ; and 
7,his last is even preferred in the estimation of many before 
t,hat of the casa Ridolfi, as I have been informed by the 
"earned Signer dalla Rosa. 

Felice Riccio, otherwise Brusascorci the younger, and the 
ton of Domenico, became an orphan before he had completed 
his studies with his father, which lie continued under the care 
of Ligozzi, at Florence. On returning thence to Verona, he 
introduced a style very different to the mariner of his father. 
!:"t is extremely elegant and refined, as displayed in his 
LMadonnas, with boys and beautiful cherubs, adorning various 
collections; and with features something resembling those of 
. Paul Veronese, if not a little more spare. Nor is he deficient 
: n strength where his subject requires it, as I remarked in a 
picture belonging to the Conti Gazzola, representing the forge 
of Vulcan, with Cyclops, designed in good Florentine taste, 
;tnd powerfully coloured. Many of Felice's works are inter- 
spersed through the churches of Verona, among which his 
i Santa Elena, belonging to the church of that name, is ex- 
remely beautiful. He did not exercise his talents, like his 
: rather, in fresco, nor had he equal genius ; though he produced 
pieces on a large scale, the extreme of which was the Fall of 
LVfanna, painted for the church of S. Giorgio, a picture both 
vast and well conceived, and which received its last touches 
: rom Ottini and Orbetto, two of his best disciples, whose 
lames I reserve to another epoch. Several little pictures, 
ikewise, both on sacred and other subjects, executed on stone 
p2 



212 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

or marble, which he coloured with great skill, availing himself 
for his shades of the marble itself, are attributed to his hand. 
Even his portraits are held in high esteem; though nearly 
equalled by those of his sister Cecilia, who acquired skill in 
the art from her father. Gio. Batista Brusasorci, brother of 
the preceding artists, and a scholar of Paul Veronese, pre- 
sented Verona with several highly esteemed pictures ; but, 
passing into Germany, he became painter to the emperor, in 
whose service he died. 

Surviving the whole of these, and almost all the Caliari 
family, we meet with the name of Paolo Farinato, as grand 
as an artist perhaps as his namesake was beautiful. After 
leaving the school of Giolfino, he is supposed to have studied 
the works of Titian and Giorgione, at Venice; and if we 
may judge also from his style, he must have received the 
instructions of Giulio Romano in design ; though he made 
use of the Venetian tints, out of which he formed a system of 
his own. He survived till his eighty-first year, still preserv- 
ing his natural good humour ; and as is customary with men 
of so advanced an age, he prided himself upon it, affixing his 
name to a picture he produced at San Giorgio, placed opposite 
to one by Felice, stating that he had painted it in his seventy- 
ninth year. It is a representation of the multiplication of 
loaves in the desert, abounding with very numerous figures, 
in part portraits of his own family, and in part ideal heads. 
He is one of the few painters whose merit did not deteriorate 
in advanced age, for though in some early pieces he betrays a 
certain dryness of manner, in this last he left nothing imper- 
fect, neither in fulness of contours, in the fancy of his dra- 
peries and embellishments, nor in the study of his figures and 
landscape. His design has been much commended, which 
was the case with few others of his school ; and even in the 
time of Ridolfi his sketches, the cartoons of his first studies, 
and his models of figures in wax, were all eagerly sought after 
for ornamental cabinets. A San Onofrio is pointed out at 
the aimrch of San Tommaso, in a sitting posture, taken from 
the celebrated torso di Belvedere ; which, as well as many 
other of his attitudes and subjects where he introduced naked 
figures, discovers an acquaintance with the ancient style not 
common among the Venetians. To his fleshes he gives a. 



PAOLO FARINATO. 213 

bronze colour, which produces a pleasing effect, and harmo- 
nizes well with his tints, for the most part sober and even 
flat in his grounds ; giving a repose to the eye which attracts 
without dazzling it. He is generally esteemed, however, a 
weak colourist, and better in his frescos than in oil. I know 
not whether it may be owing to partiality, or to the merit of 
this great man, but certain it is, that on my quitting Bologna 
he was the only artist the whole of whose works I regretted 
not having seen, so much of all that is rare and beautiful 
did I meet with in those I saw. More likewise I beheld in 
Mantua, in San Sisto at Piacenza, in the Ducal Gallery at 
Modena, in Padua, and other places. I have sometimes ob 
served a kind of snail that Paolo is said to have chosen for 
his device, remarking that he likewise bore his house upon 
his head, whence he might strike at presuming impostors. 

His son Orazio practised the art only for a few years. His 
best praise is, that during that short period he made ap- 
proaches towards the style and merit of his father. There is one 
of his pieces at San Stefano, representing the Faithful receiving 
the Holy Spirit from the Apostles ;* and, if we except only 
Paul Veronese, it makes a distinguished figure, placed near 
some of the best artists of Verona, 

Resuming here the thread of our former discourse, we must 
observe that Paul Caliari found the public prepossessed in favour 
of the three foregoing artists, and obtained little consideration in 
his own district while young. The world, ever disinclined to 
admit the claims of rising reputation, either knew not, or 
believed not, that in his competition with the Mantuan artists 
he had surpassed them all ; insomuch that this youthful genius 
was compelled by penury to quit Verona, leaving behind him, 
upon an altar at San Fermo, a Madonna between two Saints, 
with a few other proofs of his early powers. He first went to 
Vicenza, and thence passed on to Venice. His genius was 
naturally noble, and even magnificent and vast, as well as 
pleasing ; and no provincial city was capable of supplying 
him with ideas proportionate to his genius, like Venice. There 
he aimed at improving his style of colouring, upon the models 

* It is, as I am informed* by Signer dalla Rosa, a picture of the 
Pentecost. 



214 VENETIAN SCHOOL^ EPOCH II. 

of Titian and Tintoretto, as well as to surpass them, as it 
would appear, in elegance and variety of ornament. Hence 
his pupils were accustomed to say, that at that time he devoted 
himself to Ae study of casts taken from ancient statues, to 
the engravings of Parmigiano, and to those of Albert Durer. 
The first works that he produced for the sacristy of S. Sebas- 
tiano in Venice, present us only with the elements of that 
style he subsequently acquired, in the air of the heads, and in 
the variety of drapery and of attitudes. For the rest his 
pencil was still timid, inclined rather to unite his tints with 
care, than to a bold and free manner of handling. But it was 
not long before he displayed more freedom and more attrac- 
tion, in painting the ceilings of the same church, where he 
represented the history of Esther, a work whose novelty con- 
ciliated public admiration, and became a stepping-stone to very 
honourable commissions from the senate. 

In the meanwhile he enjoyed an opportunity of visiting 
Rome, in company with the ambassador Grimani, where, sur- 
rounded by its grand ancient and modern productions, " al 
volo suo senti crescer le penne" he felt his wings 'enlarging as 
he rose, of which he soon gave proofs in the Palazzo Pubblico, 
at Venice. Here his imagination seems to revel in every 
subject coloured by his hand, but particularly in that which 
may be called the apotheosis of Venice, in regal costume, 
seated on high, crowned by Glory, celebrated by Fame, and 
attended by Honour, Liberty, and Peace. Juno and Ceres 
are seen assisting at the spectacle, as symbols of grandeur 
and felicity. The summit is decorated with specimens of 
magnificent architecture, and with columns ; while lower 
down appears a great concourse of ladies with their lords and 
sons, in various splendid habits, all represented in a gallery ; 
and on the ground are represented warriors upon their char- 
gers, arms, ensigns, prisoners, and trophies of war. This 
oval picture presents us with a union of those powers, with 
which Paul so much fascinates the eye, producing a general 
effect altogether enchanting, and includes numerous parts all 
equally beautiful; bright aerial spaces, sumptuous edifices, 
which seem to invite the foot of the spectator ; lively fea- 
tures, dignified, selected for the most part from nature, and 
embellished by art. Add to these, very graceful motions, fine 



PAUL CALIARI* 215 

contrasts and expressions ; noble vestments, both for their 
shape and materials ; with crowns and sceptres, magnificence 
worthy of so august a scene ; perspective that gives distance 
to objects, without displeasing us when near ;* the most lively 
colours,t whether similar or contrasted, and harmonized with 
a peculiar degree of art, such as is not to be taught. Not 
inferior to these was the handling of his pencil, which to the 
utmost rapidity unites the greatest judgment, that effects, de- 
cides, and achieves something in every stroke ; gifts which he 
had at that age rendered familiar to him, and which form the 
character of his genius. Whoever has resolution enough to. 
read Boschini (for it is not every one in Italy that can boast 
as much) will find at p. 643 and further, in addition to the 
description of this picture, the commendations he bestowed on 
it, along with Strozza, Mignard, and other able artists, as one 
of the rarest specimens in the world. Yet this did not obtain 
for Jrirn so high a reputation as his " Suppers." Whoever 
undertakes to describe his style ought by no means to pass 
over a representation, perhaps the most familiar to him of all, 
having repeated it so many times, until by force of exercising 
his powers and varying it in different ways, the first sovereigns 
in the world became desirous of obtaining copies. Several I 
have seen upon a small scale, but always beautiful ; one, the 
Supper of the Eucharist, at Santa Sofia, in Venice ; another, 
upon the same subject, and of exquisite workmanship, at the 
Oasa Borghese, in Rome ; and the feast given by San Gre- 
gorio to the poor, belonging to the Serviti, in Yicenza ; besides 
others in different collections. In Venice he painted four 
Suppers for the same number of refectories in religious 
houses, both large and rich in point of invention. The first, 
representing the Marriage of Cana. is still preserved at San 
Giorgio Maggiore, thirty palms in length, copies of which 

* He attained this effect by drawing these figures with rather bold con- 
tours, and the other parts after his works were completed. Owing to his 
knowledge, as well as his felicity and grace of hand, they are not in the 
least disagreeable to those who observe them near. (Zanetti, p. 181.) 

f This was easily produced by his rapidity of execution, by which his 
tints always remained clear and simple. The artist who repeats his 
touches frequently, and uses much research, can with difficulty preserve 
freshness, to obtain which another method must undoubtedly be pursued. 
(Zanetti, p. 163.) 



216 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

every where abound, and which is highly estimable on account 
of the great number of the figures, amounting to one hundred 
and thirty, as well as for its portraits of princes and illus- 
trious men who flourished at the period. It was nevertheless 
executed for the price of only ninety ducats. The second is 
in better preservation, placed at San Giovanni and San Paolo, 
representing the supper prepared by Matthew for our Lord ; 
and is very highly extolled for its heads, all of which Ricci, 
at. a mature age, copied for his studio. The third is at San 
Sebastiano, consisting of the Feast of Simon. The fourth, 
along with the same. Feast, formerly placed at the Refectory 
of the Servi, was presented to Louis XIY. of France, and 
deposited at Versailles ; and this was preferred by Venetian 
professors to all the rest. For this reason numerous copies 
were presented by them to the world ; although the artist 
himself took one for the refectory of the monks of SS. Naza- 
rio and Celso, along with the same Supper, now in the fine 
Doria collection at Genoa ; and which, however inferior in 
size to the rest, is considered equal to any of the preceding, 
and has been engraved by the hand of the celebrated Volpato. 
Another, likewise of Simon, was sent from Venice to Genoa, 
which I saw in possession of the Durazzo family, with a 
Magdalen that may be esteemed a miracle of art ; and I also 
met with an old copy* in the Casa Paolucci, at Pesaro. 
What novel methods he adopted in all these to decorate the 
place with architecture, and how well he availed himself of 
them to add to the spectators at the festival ! What passions 
depicted in each of the principal actors, and how appropriate 
to the period ! What splendour in the preparation, luxury of 
dishes, and pomp of guests ! Whoever considers these, will 
easily excuse such an artist for some occasional imperfection 
of design, and for inattention to ancient costume, in which he 
is always faulty.f Even Guido, an artist so highly celebrated, 

* To this description of all his suppers might be added the one which 
he painted for the nuns of S. Teonisto in Treviso, but which now adorns 
the I. R. Pinacoteca at Milan. 

t It has been stated in his defence, that had he clothed the whole of 
his figures with those tunics and ancient mantles, he would have become 
monotonous, and consequently uninteresting in his great history pieces. 
But I am of opinion, that whoever is familiar with ancient statues and 



PAUL CALIARI. 217 

* o far excused them, that he was accustomed to say, " were 
it given me to choose what painter I would be, I should prefer 
being Paul Veronese, for in others every thing appears the 
tffect of art, but he alone seems all nature." 

He continued to produce specimens until he was sixty years 
of age, though he cannot, like many others, be accused of 
1 aving painted too much ; each piece is worthy of Paul Vero- 
rese, and each has been multiplied by some copyist, an hon- 
our that artists have not bestowed upon the works of Tinto- 
retto, or those of many others. His method of making use of 
clear grounds, and as much as possible of -virgin colours, has 
greatly contributed to the preservation and freshness of his 
colouring. In Venice we meet with several of his pictures 
yet glowing with the peculiar grace he shed over them. A 
romarkable specimen is seen in that belonging to the noble 
house of Pisani, exhibiting the family of Darius presented to 
Alexander, which surprises as much by its splendour as it 
aifects us by its expression. Equal admiration was at one 
time evinced for his Rape of Europa, which he drew upon a 
large scale, in various groups, much in the same manner as 
Coreggio, in his Leda. In the first she appears among her 
virgins in the act of caressing the animal, and desirous of 
being borne upon him ; in the second, she is seen carried along, 
applauded by her companions, as she enjoys the scene riding 
along the shore. In the third (the only one in grand dimen- 
sions) she cleaves the sea in terror, in vain desired and 
lamented by her virgin train. This work, ornamenting the 
Ducal Palace, suffered much from the effects of time, and has 
subsequently been restored. 

In Verona, boasting a clime more favourable to paintings, 
W3 more frequently meet with his pictures in complete, pre- 
se :vation. Many noble houses, in particular that of Bevilac- 
qt.a, at one period his patrons, are in possession of several. 
As an expression of his gratitude, he represented in a portrait 
of one of the Bevilacqua family, his own figure standing up- 
right, with the air of his attendant. But his San Giorgio, 

ba:-si-relievi, will find means of varying his compositions. The Cavalier 
Canova has recently produced two bassi-relievi on the condemnation of 
Socrates. The Greek vests are two, the tunic and pallium ; yet these are 
finely varied, though there are a number of spectators. 



218 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

surrounded by the two grand histories of Farinate and of 
Brusasorci already described, by some esteemed to be the best 
painting in Verona, is perhaps, the most perfect state of any 
that remain. The San Giuliano of Rimini is likewise a valu- 
able piece, which may, perhaps, compete with the San 
Giorgio. The San Afra, at Brescia, and the S. Giustina, at 
Padua, placed in their respective churches, have also suffered 
little ; but the last, indeed, is in too lofty a situation. His 
labours for different collections were very great, consisting of 
portraits, Venus, Adonis, Cupids, Nymphs, and similar figures, 
in which he displayed the most rich and varied beauty of 
forms, fancy in their embellishment, and novelty in his inven- 
tions ; all subjects indeed familiar to his pencil, and which are 
to be seen in different galleries, not omitting the imperial one. 
Among his sacred subjects he was more particularly attached 
to the marriage of St. Catherine, one of the most laboured 
of which fell to the share of the royal collection of Pitti. He 
produced, also, several Holy Families, in which the better to 
depart from the common practice, he gave birth to new inven- 
tions. They are to be met with in "Ridolfi (p. 307), copied 
from one of his own MSS. But his devotional pieces were 
also, for the most part, copious histories ; such as the Slaughter 
of the Innocents, laboured in the miniature style, at the Palazzo 
Borghese ; the Esther, at Turin, in possession of the King of 
Sardinia. The Queen of Sheba, among a troop of handmaids 
at the throne of Solomon, a picture lately acquired by the reign- 
ing sovereign at Florence. Halls, chambers, and fa9ades like- 
wise, decorated by him in fresco with allegorical poems and 
representations of histories, are frequently met with in Venice, 
and in the palaces and seats belonging to the state. Highly 
meriting notice is the palace of His Serene Highness Manin, 
Doge of Venice, to be seen in the territory of Asolo ; the archi- 
tecture is that of Palladio ; the stuccoes, of Vittoria ; while 
the pictures of the Muses, and of many other Pagan deities, 
are from the hand of Paul ; forming a union of artists suffi- 
cient to render the place as celebrated among modern villas, 
as was that of Lucullus among the ancients. 

The school of Paul Veronese commences, like those already 
described, with his own family ; in the first place, with Bene- 
detto, his younger brother, and with his two sons. Carlo and 



PAUL CALIARI. 219 

Gabriele. Benedetto was remarkable for the fraternal affec- 
tion lie displayed towards Paul, assisting him in the orna- 
mental part of his labours, particularly in his perspectives, in 
which he possessed considerable skill. And, after his death, 
he shewed the same affection to the two sons, directing them 
by his advice, supporting them in their undertakings, a,nd 
le wing his inheritance to their family. His genius for the 
art was not very great, and in the pieces conducted by his 
own hand, he appears only as an imitator of Paul, occasionally 
hrppy however in a few heads, or in his drapery, but by 
nc means equal with himself. There is hardly a work 
in which the connoisseur may not easily detect something 
woak or faulty, as in the Last Supper, in the Flagellation, in 
tlia Appearance of the Saviour before the Tribunal of Pilate, 
which he painted for the church of San Niccolo, and which 
ar3 some of his best productions. If he ever appears to have 
surpassed himself, as in the instance of his picture of St. 
Agatha, placed at the Angeli, in Murano, the work has been 
ascribed to Paul, and has even been engraved under his name. 
According to Ridolfi, he succeeded better in fresco than in 
oils ; and both he and Boschini, who examined his Roman 
hi< tories, and his mythological fables, painted in stone colour, 
in the Cortile of the Mocenighi, give us a very favourable 
idea of them; and the same where they speak of his orna- 
mental work, in halls and other places, which admitted of his 
introducing a display of architecture and embellishments, 
ra 1 !^ than of figures. 

Carlo Caliari, generally entitled Carletto, the diminutive 
of his name, from the circumstance of his dying at the early 
ag3 of twenty-four,* as we find in the register of his parish, 
ov> ing to his excessive application to study, was gifted with a 
ge;iius like that of his father. His disposition was particu- 
larly docile and attentive, and he was the boast of his parent, 
whose style he emulated better than any other artist. But 
Paul, ambitious that he should even excel him, was unwilling, 
that by forming himself upon a single model, he should suc- 
ceed only in becoming a feeble sectarist. He sent him, there- 
fore, to study the school of Bassano, the robustness of which 

* According toRidolfi, however, he is said to have attained his twenty - 
feix'b. year ; but certainly not more. 



220 VENETIAN SCHOOL/. EPOCH II. 

blended with his own elegance, would, he expected, produce 
an original manner superior to either of the other two. At 
the period when Carletto closed the eyes of his beloved fa- 
ther, he was only in his sixteenth, or at farthest his eighteenth 
year, though he had attained such progress and reputation in 
the art as to be enabled to complete several pictures left un- 
finished by his parent, nor was he ever in want of commis- 
sions. His productions often appear by the hand of Paul ; 
whether at that time he did not wholly depend upon his own 
resources, or that his father, at least, might have retouched 
his pieces, is not certain. Skilful judges, indeed, have pre- 
tended to discern, or rather to count the number, of the 
strokes traced by the paternal pencil, from their inimitable 
ease, lightness, and rapidity. Thus it has occurred in an 
altar-piece of San Frediano Vescovo, to which is added St. 
Catherine, and some other saint, placed in the Medicean Mu- 
seum, and bearing the son's name, though boasting at the 
same time all the grace of his father. But, wherever Carlo 
executed his pieces alone, he is easily distinguishable ; his 
pencil is somewhat more full and heavy, while his tints are 
stronger and deeper than those of his father. We have an 
instance in his San Agostino, at the church of La Carita, 
whose colouring betrays that union of the two schools so 
much desired by Paul. 

Gabriele executed little in which he was not assisted by 
his brother. In several altar-pieces we read as follows: 
" Heredes Pauli Caliari Veronensis fecerunt ;" which alludes 
to such pieces as Paul himself left imperfect, the completion 
of which became a joint labour ; a system they continued, 
likewise, in others, which they produced for churches, and for 
the public palace. Ridolfi awards the chief merit to Carlo, 
placing Gabriele second, and adding, that Benedetto had 
likewise his share, more especially in the architectural parts. 
Probably too some other pupil of Paul assisted them. For 
in these, we find represented the maxims of the master, even 
his studies and the same figures as his. Still there is occa- 
sionally some diversity of hand perceptible, as in the martyr- 
dom of an Apostle at S. Giustina of Padua, where one of the 
figures appears so much loaded with shade, as not merely to 
betray a difference of hand, but of schools. Gabriele sur- 



DISCIPLES OF PAUL CALIARI. 221 

vived the other artists of his family; residing subsequently in 
Venice, more in the character of a merchant than a painter. 
Still he continued occasionally to produce a few portraits in 
crayons, extremely rare, or some picture of a cavalcade ; nor 
did he desist from visiting the studio of the artists, where he 
assisted them, when agreeable, with his advice. Arriving at 
th? period of 1531, memorable for the great pestilence in 
It:ilv, and impelled by those noble precepts of humanity in- 
culcated in the gospel, he generously exposed his life in the 
service of his afflicted fellow-citizens, and fell a sacrifice to 
th3 task. 

Proceeding to the other disciples of Paul, and to his imita- 
tors, it will not be found easy to enumerate them. For hav- 
ing been interested beyond any other painter in the cultivation, 
of an art whose object is to give pleasure, so he excelled all 
others in the number of his followers. We are told by 
Zanetti, that many of them were also very successful, owing 
to which, less accurate judges are apt to confound the master 
with those of his school, if they do not cautiously attend to 
tho two following points, in which none will be found to 
equal him. These are, 1st, the fineness and peculiar light- 
ness of his pencil combined with sound judgment ; 2d, a very 
rendy and spirited expression of grace, and a dignity in his 
forms, particularly in the air of his heads. It must, however, 
be observed, that his scholars, in the progress of time, for the 
most part varied the grounds and the colouring, as they ap- 
proached the style of the succeeding epoch. Among the 
V( netians, there is only enumerated by Zanetti the name of 
Parrasio Michele,* an artist who enriched with the designs of 

*' Father Federici has, in the course of this year, 1803, brought to light 
another scholar of Paul, and afterwards of Carletto, born, like Parrasio, 
in Venice. He calls him Giacomo Lauro, and Giacomo da Trevigi, be- 
cause, having established himself in that city with his family while still a 
youth, no one could distinguish him by any other patronymic than that of 
Trevigiano. Thus speak several anonymous contemporaries, from whose 
MSS. the reverend father has extracted no slight information relative to 
the pictures executed by Lauro in his new country. There he enjoyed 
the friendship of the fathers of San Domenico, for whose church he 
painted his celebrated picture of St. Rocco, in which he exhibited, with 
gre it tragic power, the terrific scourge of the plague. It is honourable 
to this artist, who died young, that this altar-piece, as well as his other 



222 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

Paul, and experienced in the art of colouring them, produced 
several works worthy of him, more especially that of a Pieta, 
adorning a chapel within the church of San Giuseppe, a piece 
in which he added a portrait of himself. The people of 
Coneglia have preserved the recollection of one of their citizens 
named Giro, to whom they attribute an altar-piece of the Na- 
tivity of Christ, as nearly resembling the style of Paul as pos- 
sible, for which reason it was transferred from the church of 
the Riformati in that city to Rome ; and they add, that its 
author was a youth, who never attained to mature age. Cas- 
telfranco boasts one Cesare Castagnoli as a pupil of Paul; 
though in his numerous paintings in fresco he cannot be said 
to display much power, at least beyond a certain degree of 
spirit, promptness, and copiousness of ideas. A few less 
shewy and fanciful productions from the hand of Bartolo, his 
brother, executed in oil, acquired for him higher reputation 
than that^ of Cesare. Angelo Naudi, an Italian, is much 
commended by Palomino for his labours in the royal palaces, 
and in various churches in Spain, when painter to the court 
of king Philip. There is reason to doubt whether he really 
received the instructions of Paul, instead of imbibing his man- 
ner by dint of study and copying, like Bombelli and many 
others ; it being recorded of this writer, otherwise very esti- 
mable, that in re^krd to masters he was apt to embrace opinions 
by no means always true. Omitting the names of a great 
number of foreigners, we make mention here only of the 
Veronese, in order that their master should not appear unac- 
companied by the noble train of disciples bestowed by him 
upon his country. 

Luigi Benfatto, known by the name of dal Friso, a sister's 
son, and for many years the guest of Paul, copied him in the 
outset even to servility, though he afterwards gave himself 
up to an easy and rapid style of composition, little short of 
the licence of the mannerists. It has been supposed that he 
only availed himself of this facility in such commissions as 
were of small value. He approaches nearest to Paul in the 
church of San Raffaello ; in other places he resembles Palnia. 

pictures, both in oil and in fresco, have, until lately, been attributed 
either to Paul or to Carlo, or to some less celebrated hands, but always 
to good and experienced artists. 



DISCIPLES OF PAUL CALIARI. 223 

-A more free and spirited imitator of Paul was found in Maffeo 
"Verona, a pupil and son-in-law to Luigi, but the quantity 
oJ' vermilion with which he heightened the colour of his fleshes 
detracts from his work. Francesco Montemezzano, a Vero- 
nese, approached still more frequently than either of the pre- 
ceding to the character of the head of his school. He acquired 
great reputation by a picture of the Annunciation, painted 
for the church of the Osservanti alia Vigna, and he was em- 
ployed also in the Ducal Palace. He partakes of Caliari in 
his countenances, in his costume, and in the beauty of his 
figures : as to the rest, he was slow of hand, and feeble in his 
colouring. His picture at San Giorgio, in Verona, consisting 
of the Apparition of Christ to the Magdalen, appears ex- 
tremely languid in competition with that of Paul, which is 
one of the most brilliant productions remaining of that period. 
To these we might add the names of other Veronese, as Ali- 
pr.mdo, and Anselmo Canneri, characterised by Vasari as an 
able assistant to Paul his master. 

Among all^the Veronese artists most resembling Paul, when 
ambitious of doing so, was his friend and companion, though 
his rival, Batista Zelotti. Instructed in the same academy, 
lie was occasionally the companion of his labours, and occa- 
sionally taught and executed works himself always, however, 
observing the same rules. Vasari mentions him with commen- 
dai ion in his life of Sanmicheli, where he entitles him Batista 
da Verona, and includes him among the disciples of Titian. 
I lave seen a Holy Family by this artist, in Titian's style, in 
the Carrara collection, frequently extolled by us before, and 
from such a studio it would appear we are to look for that 
warmth of tints, in which for the most part he excels Caliari, 
as veil as that power of design in which Zanetti is of opinion 
tha t he also surpassed him, although others think very differ- 
ent !y. He often surpasses him, likewise, in grandeur, and 
in what appertains to painting in fresco, a circumstance Paul 
wai aware of, and for that reason sought to obtain his assist- 
ance in works of that kind. He possessed great fertility of 
ideas and a rapid hand, while he was profound and judicious 
in 1 is compositions. Indeed, he might have been esteemed 
another Paul, had he been able to compete with him in the 
beanty of his heads, in variety, and in grace. In truth, his 



224 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

productions were frequently given to Paul, even those be 
painted for the Council of Ten having been engraved under 
the latter name by Valentino le Febre. He was doubtless 
one of the first artists of his time, though not estimated ac- 
cording to his deserts, from having worked chiefly in fresco, 
and at a distance from capital cities, in villages, in country 
seats, and palaces. One of his grandest works is seen at 
Cataio, a villa belonging to the Marchese Tommaso Obizzi, 
where about 1570, he represented in different rooms, 
the history of that very ancient family, distinguished no 
less in the council than in arms. The place is continually 
sought by foreigners, attracted thither by its splendour, 
by the fame of these pictures, and by the valuable museum 
of antiquities, collected by the hand of the Marchese, a 
task of few years, but in point of taste, abundance, and 
rarity of specimens, calculated to confer honour upon the 
state. In his oil-paintings Zelotti could not compete with 
Caliari, though he approached him near enough, in his Fall, 
of St. Paul, and his Fishing of the Apostles, which he exe- 
cuted for the dome of Vicenza, to merit the honour of having 
them attributed to the pencil of Caliari. 

This city was his chief theatre of action ; he remained there 
during some time, and initiated one Antonio, a youth called 
Tognone, in the art, from whose hand a few works in fresco 
are pointed out in the city, while he is honoured by Ridolfi 
both with a life and eulogy. Zelotti was in Yicenza, both 
alone and together with Paul, where with the help of one of his 
best pupils he established a school, which partook of the taste 
of both these masters. I reserve a list of his followers for the 
succeeding epoch. 

It is here the place to inform our readers, that the various 
styles, hitherto described as attaching to the Venetian School, 
do not comprehend all that flourished in the state. Ridolfi 
remarks this in his preface, and laments, that owing to the 
conflagrations occurring in the city, or by the neglect of 
writers, not a few materials had perished that might have 
added interest to his history. In truth, he was not merely 
ignorant of several of the more ancient artists, but in the 
period we are describing omitted the names of Jacopo Fallaro 
and Jacopo Pisbolica, whom Vasari, in his Life of SansovinOj. 



BATISTA FRANCO. 225 

records with praise, citing from the hand of the former a pic- 
ture of San Gio. Colombino, at the Domenicani delle Zattere ; 
and of the latter, his Ascension of Christ at Santa Maria 
Maggiore. He likewise passed over Vitrulio, several of 
whose productions are the ornament of Monte Novissimo, 
bearing his name. These artists, judging from their manner 
and other points, are to be referred to the age of Titian. 
Ridolfi made mention, and more at length, of another, who, 
exactly contemporary with Paul, continued to flourish many 
years after him, but always assailed by fortune ; and though 
a good colourist, being greatly deficient in point of invention 
and design. His name was Antonio Foler ; and, as a con- 
vincing proof of his mediocrity, it will be sufficient to allude 
to 1 is Martyrdom of St. Stephen, at the church of that name ; 
it is nevertheless one of his best altar-pieces. In small figures, 
however, he appears to have had merit. 

Before concluding the present epoch, it will be proper to 
mention two painters ; one a foreigner, the other a Venetian, 
both of whom followed a style altogether different from such 
as we have already described. The artist of Venice is Batista 
Franco, called Semolei. He has been treated of in the first 
volume in several parts, and especially in what relates to 
Bai occio, to whom he was master. He pursued his studies in 
Rome, and so great was his progress in the art of design, 
that he was accounted one of the best imitators of Michel- 
angelo. In ornamenting San Gio. Decollate, a church belong- 
ing to the Florentines in Rome, he appears to have been 
ambitious of making a parade of his powers, and his style be- 
came somewhat loaded in the attempt. In his other pictures 
which I have seen in the dome at Urbino, and in that of 
Osimo, where he painted in 1547, in Bologna, and in Venice, 
I lave not met with any thing similar. He invariably 
appears to have been an able follower of Michelangelo, and a 
more powerful colourist than the chief part of the Florentine 
artists. It is easier to become acquainted with him in the 
States of the Church than in his native city of Venice, whi- 
the: % he seems to have retired towards the close of his days, 
sinre, in 1556, he was among the artists selected to adorn the 
library of St. Mark. There he represented his fable of 
Ac.seon, along with several symbolical inventions; and a 

VOL. II. Q 



226 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

few other of his pictures are exhibited there in public. He 
died not long subsequently in the year 1561. 

The foreign artist is Giuseppe Porta della Garfagnana, 
already mentioned, likewise, under the Roman School, in 
which he was instructed by Francesco Salviati, whose sur- 
name he assumed. For this reason he is sometimes entitled 
in history Salviati the younger. He accompanied his master 
to Venice, on the latter being invited by the Patriarch 
Grimani to embellish his palace, where he produced his cele- 
brated Psyche, still to be seen there, near two pictures by 
the hand of Porta. Francesco, however, soon left Venice ; 
Vasari adducing as a very sufficient reason, that it was no 
place for the residence of artists distinguished for excellence 
in design. But the success of Porta, who became established 
and died at Venice, clearly proves the contrary. Initiated 
in a knowledge of design by Francesco, he wholly retained 
the character of the Florentine School, only enlivening it 
with tints in the Venetian taste. Nevertheless, he was 
approved by Titian, and selected along with Paul and other 
leading names to paint in the library of St. Mark ; he was 
continually engaged to work in fresco and in oil, both in 
public and in private; and was always distinguished there as one 
of the most able masters of his age.* Several of his altar- 
pieces remain, and among others one of the Assumption ; a 
beautiful piece, at the Servi, in Venice, besides a Christ taken 
from the Cross, at Murano, displaying powers of invention 
wholly original, full of expression, and an air of majesty not 
very usual in this school. He repeated the same subject fre- 
quently ; and there was a duplicate in the Ducal collection at 
Modena, subsequently transferred to Dresden. 

Following these artists, the reader must not be surprised to 
meet with the name of Jacopo Sansovino, who, as will appear 
from the index, derived his surname also from his master. He 
was much courted in Venice, owing to his excellence in the 
art of statuary, as well as in that of an architect, with which 
he ornamented public places. Still he failed not to exercise 
some influence over that of painting, at least of design ; in 
which he had been well instructed by Andrea del Sarto, in 

* See Boschini, Carta, p. 160. Zanetti, p. 494. 



GIUSEPPE CALIMBERG. 227 

Florence. Indeed, as the director of the edifice of St. Mark, 
numerous artists were dependent upon him; and it is known, 
that he received some commissions for designs in mosaic work, 
which I do not, however, find particularized; as well as 
c thers, most probably in tapestry, for the altar of the sacra- 
i lent, as it has been conjectured from their style, by Signor 
y^anetti. In regard to foreign styles, we must proceed, 
vithout dwelling upon the Cavalier Zuccaro, Passiguano, and 
ethers already treated in their respective schools, to make 
Irief mention of Giuseppe Calimberg, by birth a German, 
T r ho flourished a considerable time at Venice, where he died 
about 1570. There is the Battle of Constantine, by his hand, 
still preserved at the Servi ; and had he always displayed the 
sime taste, I should not scruple to pronounce him excellent, 
t lough somewhat heavy, in the practice of his art. Subsequent 
to him appears to have flourished Gio. di Chere Loranese, 
who ought to be mentioned, before we proceed to treat of the 
sect of mannerists, and of the Tenebrosi.* Ranking among 
the scholars of the best Venetian masters, he produced a his- 
tory-piece for the grand council hall. Other names of foreign 
a.-tists are to be looked for in the Guida : it is my object in 
this school, as in the rest, to record only such as are most de- 
serving of commemoration. 

In the progress of the present history, the reader may pro- 
bably have observed, that no distinction had yet been made 
between certain species of painting, previous to the sixteenth 
century. The figurist copied every thing, and availed himself 
of every thing to adorn his compositions ; landscapes, animals, 
traits, flowers, and perspective, were all employed as acces- 
saries in favour of the leading art; the execution of which 
was about as difficult to the great masters as the throne 
oi Jupiter to Phidias, after having completed the figure of the 
gc d. By degrees, however, they began to separate, and to 
tr )at these parts of painting severally. The Flemish were 
among the first, who, pursuing the bent of their genius, se- 
lected their respective branches, and composed pictures, in 
w.'iich landscape, for example, became the principal object, 

' A class of artists so called, from their excessive use of deep shades 
and dark colours. Tr. 

Q 2 



228 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

while the figure in its turn became an accessary. And \ve 
may here remark, with Bellori, that " the best of these artists 
dipped their pencil in those fine Venetian colours ;" by no 
means one of the least boasts of the Venetian School. The 
Italians, likewise, attended severally to these branches of the 
art, and in particular to landscapes. It was Titian who 
opened the true path to our landscape painters ; although 
nearly the whole of his champaign scenery was introduced in 
aid of his figures ; never the contrary. One of these, con- 
sisting of a Holy Family, was in possession of the Duchess of 
Massa and Carrara, lately deceased, who left it as a legacy to 
the Prince Carlo Albani, of Milan. It is one of the most 
beautiful of the kind I ever saw. Titian was imitated by 
many Flemish artists ; and among the Venetians by Gio. 
Maria Verdizzotti, one of his literary friends, who painted 
under his direction several landscapes, much esteemed in diffe- 
rent collections, where they are rarely to be seen. 

The Bassani produced examples of small pictures of qua- 
drupeds and birds, which consisting of copies taken from 
those seen in their histories, are easily recognised. They are 
not so numerous, however, as their history pieces ; nor do I 
recollect having seen specimens of them except in the Vene- 
tian state. In drawing fish, an artist of the name of Genzio 
or Gennesio Liberale, a native of Friuli, has been mentioned 
with praise by Vasari, and afterwards by Ridolfi. 

A taste for grotesques, was introduced into Venice from. 
Rome, by a citizen of the republic, recorded by me elsewhere 
as the master of this kind of art. His name was Morto da 
Feltro, who, in the company of Giorgione, employed himself 
in Venice, though without leaving any traces of his hand. 
There are specimens of grotesques, in the Ducal Palace, painted 
by Batista Franco, who had likewise beheld ancient examples 
of them at Rome. There were others painted for the Patri- 
arch of Aquileja, his patron, by Giovanni di Udine, men- 
tioned by Vasari under the names of Manni and Ricamatore ; 
an artist very celebrated in his line, and almost unique in. 
drawing every kind of birds, quadrupeds, fruits, and flowers. 
I have included him in the school of Giorgione ; and he is 
stated more at length in that of RafFaello ; for he remained 
but little while with his first master, and in Upper Italy ; but 



GIORGIO BELLUNESE. 2 29 

longer in Rome, and during some time in Florence. His pic 
t ires of birds, or fruits, executed in oil, are pointed out in 
different collections, though, if I mistake not, they are not all 
genuine. It is not, indeed, that he produced no specimens in 
oil, although it is extremely difficult to discover any that are 
certain ; nor that he was incapable of drawing larger figures 
than such as we see in his satyrs, in his boys, and nymphs, 
T\ ith which he diversified the little landscapes and the tracery 
of his grotesques. Vasari mentions some of his standards, 
one of which, executed in Udine, for the Fraternity of Cas- 
tcllo, presents in rather large proportions, a blessed virgin 
w ith the divine child, and an angel making her an offering of 
the same castle. The original, though much defaced, still 
exists, and there is also a copy in the chapel, executed by 
Pini in 1653. There likewise remains in the archiepiscopal 
palace, a chamber which contains, among some grotesques, 
two scriptural histories, drawn in half-length figures, not so 
perfect as the ornamental part, but valuable from their rarity. 
His other productions, both in Udine and the state, have been 
enumerated in a learned letter written by the Ab. Boni, upon 
the standard or gonfalone, just described. If we might hazard 
a, conjecture relative to the school of Giovanni and of Feltro, 
wo should be inclined to give for a pupil to one of these, 
Giorgio Bellunese, an artist, as we are informed by Cesarini, 
" very excellent in friezes and in minute ornaments," and 
moreover an able portrait-painter. He flourished at San 
Vito, a place in the Friuli, about the middle of the sixteenth 
century ; so that the time, the place, and his employment in 
ornamental work, seem equally to favour our opinion. 

The art of architectural design received great assistance in 
Yonice during this period, from the works of Sansovino, Pal- 
ladio, and other consummate architects, who gave finished 
examples of magnificent edifices ; while Daniel Barbaro com- 
posed very useful treatises upon perspective ; and it became 
an attribute of the art to feign colonnades, galleries, and rich 
cornices, for those halls in which real architecture would not 
admit of them. In this, Cristoforo and Stefano Rosa more 
particularly distinguished themselves. They were from 
Brescia, very intimate with Titian, and merited the honour of 
employed by him, in his architectural ornaments for 



230 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

several of his subjects. In Brescia, in Venice, and particu- 
larly in the ante-chamber to the library of St. Mark, we may 
meet with some of their perspectives, so admirably executed 
as to surprise us by their air of majesty, cheating the eye by 
their relief; and when beheld in different points of view, 
always producing a good effect. Their school continued to 
flourish during many years, in their native state ; and was 
subsequently supported by Bona, excellent also in figures, as 
well as by other artists. Boschini bestows many commen- 
dations upon it in different parts of his work in verse ; and 
in particular at p. 225, where he declares, that Brescia was 
the source of this art ; which applies of course to the Venetian 
state. 

Finally, the art of mosaic work, in stone and coloured 
glass, at that time attained such a degree of perfection in 
Venice, that Vasari observed with surprise, " that it would 
not be possible to effect more with colours."* The church 
and portico of St. Mark remains an invaluable museum of the 
kind ; where, commencing with the eleventh century, we may 
trace the gradual progress of design belonging to each age up 
to the present, as exhibited in many works in mosaic, be- 
ginning from the Greeks, and continued by the Italians. They 
chiefly consist of histories from the Old and New Testament, 
and at the same time furnish very interesting notices relating 
to civic and ecclesiastical antiquity. A portion of the most 
ancient specimens had long either perished, or fallen into 
decay, and it had been resolved to substitute fresh ones in 
their place. It is not improbable, that after the year 1400, 
upon the revival of painting, a desire prevailed to banish the 
taste of the Greeks ; and certain it is, that in the mosaics of 
that age we meet with the modern antique style, the same 
as in regard to pictures. It will be enough to cite the 
chapel of the Mascoli, decorated by Michele Zambono with 

* There was an attempt to revive it made in Florence. Roscoe, in his 
" Life of Lorenzo de' Medici" (vol. ii. p. 220, 6th ed.) relates, that, 
with GherarJo, Lorenzo associated Domenico Ghirlandajo to work in 
mosaic at the chapel of San Zenobio : but that this undertaking, so ad- 
mirably begun, was interrupted by Lorenzo's death ; insomuch that " his 
attempts," observes the historian, " were thus in a great degree frus- 
trated." This honour appeared to be reserved for Venice. 



FRANCESCO AND VALERIO ZUCCATI. 231 

histories of the life of the virgin, executed with extraordinary 
c;ire, and designed in the best taste of the Vivarini. 

The same taste prevailed in the time of Titian ; and to this 
he gave a renewed spirit, and even furnished several of these 
artists with designs. Marco Luciano Rizzo and Vincenzio 
Bianchini are the first, who, about 1517, succeeded in a com- 
plete reform of the art. To the last is referred that celebrated 
Judgment of Solomon, which adorns the portico or vestibule. 
Both these, however, were surpassed by Francesco and Va- 
lerio Zuceati of Treviso, or rather of the Valtelline, sons of 
the same Sebastian who initiated Titian in the first rudiments 
of the art. Of these, likewise, there appears in the portico 
a San Marco, among various prophets and doctors, and with 
t~7o histories that may be pronounced the best mosaic works, 
produced during the age of painting. I have seen altar- 
pieces for churches, and pictures for private ornament, in the 
same taste. The Royal Gallery at Florence possesses a por- 
trait from life of Cardinal Bembo, worked by Valerio ; and 
a San Giarolamo, by Francesco, is known to have been pre- 
sented by the republic to the court of Savoy. Subsequent to 
these, whom Vasari erroneously calls sometimes Zuccheri* 
sometimes Zuccherini, Arminio, a son of Valerio, was in much 
repute. Nor did this family only possess the art of colour- 
ing stone and glass with admirable skill ; but they understood 
the principles of design, more particularly Francesco, who 
had been a painter before entering upon mosaic works. The 
f;imily of Bianchini, and the other artists then employed at 
St. Mark, were not equally well instructed ; and, stimulated 
by feelings of envy, they declared open enmity against the 
Zuccati, for having assisted with the brush to supply some 
parts of the design to be executed in mosaic ; nor did they 
fiil to cry down the ability of Valerio, to whom it would ap- 
pear that Titian and his son afforded succour. It would be 
t odious here to relate the various persecutions, litigations, and 
losses, owing to this quarrel; the particulars of which were 
e xtracted by Zanetti from authentic documents, and minutely 
described. Enough, that he concludes with extolling the Zuc- 
cati, together with Vincenzio Bianchini ; to whom, as being 
acquainted with design, it was sufficient to furnish a rough 
draught for the intended work. Others were, for the most 



232 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

part, in want of cartoons and complete paintings, in order to 
model their mosaic works, and even then they conducted them 
with skill much inferior to their predecessors. In this list he 
computes Domenico, the brother, and Gio. Antonio, the son of 
Vincenzio Bianchini, as well as Bartolommeo Bozza, at one 
time a pupil, and then an accuser along with the rest, of the 
Zuccati. In the time of these artists were first adopted, and 
practically applied, the works and designs of Salviati and of 
Tintoretto. The names succeeding these, were Gio. Antonio 
Marini, a pupil of Bozza, and Lorenzo Ceccato, both admira- 
ble artificers ; Luigi Gaetano and Jacopo Pasterini, with 
Francesco Turessio, notices of whom are brought up to the 
year 1618. They worked after the cartoons of the two Tin- 
toretti, of Palma the younger, of MafFeo Verona, of Leandro 
Bassano, of Aliense, of Padovanino, of Tizianello, besides 
several others. About the year 1600 commenced a series of 
artists less generally known ; a list of whose works may be 
consulted at the close of that very valuable publication, 
" Delia Pittura Veneziana." These last, however, have 
confined their labours to the decoration of new walls, from 
-modern designs; as since 1610, a decree has been in force 
against the destruction of ancient mosaic works, in however 
rude or Greekish a taste ; but in case of impending destruc- 
tion, they were to be removed and restored with care, and 
afterwards refixed in the same place. By this measure a se- 
ries of monuments is preserved to posterity, which, in its kind, 
is quite unique in Italy and the world. 



233 

VENETIAN SCHOOL, 

EPOCH III. 



Innovations of the Mannerists of the Seventeenth Century. Corruption 
of Venetian Painting. 

A SORT of fatality seems to prevail in all human things, ren- 
dering their duration in the same state of short continuance ; 
so that after attaining their highest elevation, we may as- 
suredly at no distant period look for their decline. The glory 
of precedency, of whatever kind, will not long remain the 
boast of one place, or in possession of a single nation. It 
migrates from country to country ; and the people that yester- 
day received laws from another, will to-morrow impose them. 
Those who to-day are the instructors of a nation, will to-mor- 
row become ambitious of being admitted in the number of its 
disciples. Numerous examples might be adduced in support 
of this proposition, but it would be quite superfluous. For 
whoever is even slightly acquainted with civil or literary his- 
tory, whoever has observed the passing events of the age in 
which we live, will easily furnish himself with proofs, without 
.the aid of writers to direct him. We have already traced the 
same revolution of affairs in the art of painting, in the two 
schools of Rome and Florence, which, arriving at the zenith 
of their fame, fell into decay precisely at the period when that 
of Venice began to exalt itself. And we shall now perceive 
the decline of the latter, during the same age in which the 
Florentine began to revive, in which the school of Bologna ac- 
quired its highest degree of reputation ; and what is still more 
surprising, seemed to rise by studying the models of the Ve- 
netian. So indeed it was : the Caracci were much devoted to 
Titian, to Giorgione, to Paul Veronese, and Tintoretto, and 
thence formed styles, and produced pupils that conferred 
honour upon the whole of the seventeenth century. The Ve- 



234 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

netians, too, studied the same examples, and derived from them 
a certain mannerism reprehensible enough in them, but much 
more so in their disciples. These, devoting themselves in their 
first studies to more classical artists, and attaining a certain 
practice both in design and colouring, next aimed at display- 
ing upon a grand scale, figures, not so much taken from life, 
as from engravings and pictures, or from their own imagina- 
tions ; and the more rapidly these were executed, the better 
did they suppose they had succeeded. I am inclined to be- 
lieve, that the examples of Tintoretto proved, in this respect, 
more prejudicial than useful. Few were ambitious of emu- 
lating his profound knowledge, which in some measure serves 
to veil his defects ; but his haste, his carelessness, and his 
grounds, they more willingly adopted ; while his great name 
was advanced as a shield to cover their own faults. And the 
earliest of these, not yet unmindful of the maxims of a better age, 
did not rush blindly into all these errors and excesses ; but by 
their superiority of spirit, and by their tints, maintained their 
ground better than the mannerists of the Roman and Floren- 
tine styles. But to these succeeded others, whose schools 
degenerated still more from the ancient rules of art. We 
advance this without meaning to cast the least imputation 
upon really good artists, who flourished even during this 
period ; for an age rarely occurs in which good sense becomes 
altogether extinct. Even during the barbarity of the dark 
ages, we meet with specimens of some marble busts of the 
Caesars, and some of their medals, which approach a better 
taste ; and thus also in the age we are describing appeared 
geniuses, who either wholly, or in great measure, kept them- 
selves free from the general infection ; " et tenuere animum 
contra sua ssecula rectum." Propert. 

Jacopo Palma the younger, so called to distinguish him 
from the other Palma, his great uncle, was an artist who 
might equally be entitled the last of the good age, and the 
first of the bad. Born in 1544, after receiving the instruc- 
tions of his father Antonio, a painter of a confined genius, he 
exercised himself in copying from Titian, and the best of the 
national artists. At the age of fifteen years he was taken un- 
der the patronage of the Duke of Urbino, and accompanied 
him to his capital. He afterwards spent eight years in 



JACOPO PALMA THE YOUNGER. 235 

Rome, where lie laid a good foundation for his profession, by 
designing from the antique, copying Michelangelo and Raf- 
faello; and, in particular, by studying the chiaroscuros of 
P )lidoro. This last was his great model, and next to him 
came Tintoretto; he being naturally inclined, like them, to 
animate his figures with a certain freedom of action, and a 
spirit peculiarly their own. On his return to Venice, he dis- 
tinguished himself by several works, conducted with singular 
care and diligence ; nor are there wanting professors who have 
bestowed on him a very high degree of praise, for displaying 
tl.e excellent maxims of the Roman, united to what was best 
IE the Venetian School. It is observed by Zanetti, that some 
of his productions were attributed by professors to the hand 
oi Giuseppe del Salviati, whose merit, in point of design and 
solidity of style, has been already noticed. The whole of 
tlese are executed with peculiar facility, a dangerous gift 
both in painting and in poetry, which this artist possessed in 
a remarkable degree. Though he made the greatest exertions 
to bring himself into notice, he was little employed ; the post 
was already occupied by men of consummate ability, by Tin- 
toretto and Paul Veronese ; and these monopolized all the 
most lucrative commissions. Palraa, however, obtained the 
rjoik of third ; chiefly by means of Vittoria, a distinguished 
sc ulptor and architect ; whose opinion was adopted in the dis- 
tribution of the labours even of artists themselves. Dis- 
pleased at the little deference shewn him by Robust! and 
Paul, he began to encourage Palma, and to assist him also 
\\ itli his advice, so that he shortly acquired a name. We 
h we related a similar instance in regard to Bernini, who 
brought forward Cortona against Sacchi, at Rome, besides 
several more, productive of the greatest detriment to the art. 
So true it is that the same passions prevail in every age, 
everywhere pursue the same track, and produce the same re- 

SilltS. 

Nor was it long before Palma, overwhelmed with commis- 
s.ons, remitted much of his former diligence. In progress of 
t "me, he became even yet more careless, until upon the death 
cf his eldest rivals, including Corona, who in his latest works 
1 ad begun to surpass him, free from competition he asserted 
unquestioned sway, and despatched his pieces rapidly. His 



236 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

pictures, indeed, might often be pronounced rough draughts, 
a title bestowed upon them in ridicule by the Cavalier d'Ar- 
pino. In order to prevail upon him to produce a piece wor- 
thy of his name, it became requisite, not only to allow him 
the full time he pleased, but the full price he chose to ask, 
without further reference, except to his own discretion, in 
which truly he did not greatly abound. Upon such terms he 
executed that fine picture of San Benedetto, at the church of 
SS. Cosmo and Damiano, for the noble family of Moro. It 
resembled many of those he had produced in his best days at 
Venice, and in particular that celebrated naval battle-piece of 
Francesco Bembo, placed in the Palazzo Pubblico. Other 
valuable specimens are found scattered elsewhere, in part 
mentioned by Ridolfi, and in part unknown to him. Such 
are his Santa Apollonia, at Cremona, his San Ubaldo and his 
Nunziata, at Pesaro, and his Invenzione del la Croce, at Ur- 
bino, a piece abounding in figures, and full of beauty, variety, 
.and expression. His tints are fresh, sweet, and clear, less 
splendid than those of Paul, but more pleasing than in Tin- 
toretto ; and though scantily applied, they are more durable 
than those of certain foreign pictures more heavily laid on. 
In the animation of his figures he approaches the two preced- 
ing artists, particularly in his more studied works, as he has 
shewn in his Chastisement of the Serpents, a picture that 
seems embued with horror. In every other instance he has 
always sufficient art to please ; and it is surprising how a 
man who led the way to the most corrupt period in Venice, as 
it has been observed of Vasari at Florence, and of Zuccaro at 
Rome, could thus exhibit so many attractions, both of nature 
and of art, calculated to feast the eye, and to fix the soul of 
the spectator. Both Guercino and Guido were sensible of the 
power of his pencil ; and when examining one of his altar- 
pieces, at the Cappucini, in Bologna, " What a pity," they 
exclaimed, "that the master of such a pencil should be no 
more." (Boschini, p. 383.) 

In observance of my plan of accompanying each master 
with his train of followers, I set out with Marco Boschini, a 
Venetian, who flourished during this same deterioration of a 
nobler age. He was a pupil to Palma, and has left some me- 
morials of the different professors of the third epoch, not to be 



MARCO BOSCHINI. 237 

met with in any other work. Professing the art of engraving, 
rather than that of painting, he had, nevertheless, so much 
merit in the latter, as to approach the manner of Palma, in 
his picture of the Supper of our Lord, in the Sacristy of San 
Girolamo ; as well as that of Tintoretto, as we gather from a 
few of his altar-pieces in the territory of Padua, and his pic- 
tures for private ornament, remaining at Venice, at least as 
far as I can learn. He was the author of several works re- 
corded in the preface to this work, the most remarkable of 
which is composed in " quartine," with the following title ; 
and by this production he is, perhaps, best known : " The 
Chart of pictorial Navigation, a Dialogue between a Venetian 
sei ator (a dilettante) and a professor of painting, under the 
names of Ecelenza and Compare, divided into eight venti, or 
wi:ids, with which the Venetian vessel is borne into the deep 
Sea of Painting, as its Absolute Mistress, to the confusion of 
such as do not understand the loadstone and the compass." 

Thus, much in the same manner as we judge from the 
fa9ade of the style of a whole edifice in the gothic taste, the 
reader may gather, from this very loaded title, the exact na- 
ture of Boschini's work. It is, indeed, written in the most 
verbose style of the Seicentisti ; a mixture of unsound reason- 
ing, strange allegory, tame allusions, frivolous conceits in- 
verted on every name, and phraseology that surpasses even 
that of Ciampoli and Melosio; for these at least wrote in the 
ItaJan dialect, whereas Boschini protests that he does not 
pretend to a foreign idiom, but to speak like the Venetian 
people. From this undistinguishing kind of nationality arises 
his malevolence against Vasari, and the methods of the 
foroign schools, as well as hia exaggerated praise of the Vene- 
tian artists, whom he prefers, as we learn from his title-page, 
to j ill the painters in the world, not merely as respects their 
manner of colouring, but in point of invention and design. 
What is worse, he makes no distinction between the fine old 
painters and the mannerists of his own times, and speaks as if 
the masters of the former age were still nourishing, and teach- 
ing in their schools, or as if the modern possessed the same 
povers and the same reputation ; a gross equivocation into 
which the tiresome Compare, or gossip, is continually falling, 
and which his credulous Excellency as frequently commends. 



238 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

If, however, in treating of Yasari, I in some measure ex- 
cused his partialities, in consideration of prejudices imbibed 
by his education, which are afterwards with difficulty eradi- 
cated, I ought to make use of the same liberality in regard 
to Boschini, more especially as he possessed fewer opportuni- 
ties of ridding himself of them, never having visited Rome or 
Florence, and giving his opinions upon foreign schools, from 
the hearsay relations of others. It is true that he cites in 
favour of the Venetians the opinion of many distinguished 
men ; as that of Velasco, who protested to Salvator Rosa, 
that Raffaello was no longer a favourite with him after hav- 
ing seen Venice ; or that of Rubens, who, after spending up- 
wards of six years at Rome to little purpose, formed his style 
on the models of Titian. Albano likewise regretted that he 
had not commenced his studies in Venice, preferably to Rome ; 
and Pier da Cortona having seen the works of the Venetian 
School, cancelled some of his labours, and ornamented afresh 
two chambers of the Palazzo Pitti, and one in the Casa Bar- 
berini. But these authorities, which he adduces along with 
others, taken chiefly from artists who preferred beauty of 
colouring to accuracy of design, do not prove much, and might 
be opposed by other authorities, even of great painters, more 
particularly English and French, who embraced a contrary 
opinion. Besides, the panegyrists thus cited by him, did not 
commend the modern so much as the ancient Venetian pain- 
ters, so as by no means to possess the weight he would attri- 
bute to them. Moreover, in the present day, when so much 
has been written upon Italian painting, we shall not, on in- 
vestigating what is to be admired and imitated, and what to 
be shunned or approved in the examples of the Venetians, 
appeal to the vain boastings of the sixteenth century, but to 
the critics of our own times. Still we do not mean to deny, 
but that the work in question, however strangely written, con- 
tains many valuable historical notices, and many pictorial 
precepts, particularly useful to such as cannot aspire to any 
thing beyond the character of mere naturalists, incapable of 
drawing a stroke that does not appear in their model, and 
content with portraying the dimensions of any kind of head 
or body, provided they be of the human shape, inventing with 
infinite difficulty, slow in resolving, and quite incapable of 






LEONARDO CORONA. 239 

forming a grand history, more especially of battles, of flights, 
in short of any objects they never saw. This sect, which at 
that period boasted many followers, and which is not even yet 
extinct, is there ridiculed in a vein it is impossible to surpass, 
and would that the party proceeding to the opposite extreme 
of mannerism, at that time triumphant in Venice, had not 
met with equal applause ! But how difficult is it to observe 
tho golden mean ; though the artists of Bologna will point out 
the way in due time. At present we must return to those of 
Venice. 

Numerous other artists very nearly approached the style of 
Palma. Boschini enumerates six, whose manner so extremely 
resembles him, as to impose upon those who have not tact 
enough to detect the peculiar characteristics of each, (and in 
Palma there is a mixture of the Roman and Venetian,) con- 
sisting of the names of Corona, Vicentino, Peranda, Aliense, 
Mulombra, and Pilotto. The same author extols them as 
illustrious painters ; and truly, besides the splendour of their 
colouring, they composed upon a magnificent scale, emulating, 
for the most part, the fire and the striking contrasts that 
produced such an impression after the time of Titian, exe- 
cuting pictures everyway deserving of a place in good collec- 
tions. 

Leonardo Corona, of Murano, who, from a copyist, suc- 
ceeded in becoming a painter, was the rival of Palma, and 
nevertheless enjoyed the patronage of Vittoria ; whether to 
kecvp alive the emulation of the former, or for some other 
rea son, is uncertain. He sometimes prepared models in clay, 
to discover the best distributions of his chiaroscuro. By aid 
of these he painted his Annunciation, at SS. Giovanni and 
Pa )lo, a work very highly commended, as well as his picture 
at San Stefano, displaying a grandeur that arrests the eye, 
and reminds us more of Titian than any other model. In 
general, however, Corona exhibited more of Tintoretto, if not 
in his colouring, which in the present day appears to more 
advantage, at least in many other points. He produced a 
crucifixion so much in this artist's style, that Ridolfi has 
defended him with the utmost difficulty from the charge of 
theft. He availed himself likewise of the engravings of 
Flemish artists, particularly in the composition of his land- 



240 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

scape. He did not long flourish ; but left an excellent imita- 
tor of his style in Baldassare d' Anna, an artist of Flemish 
origin, who completed a few of his master's pieces. He also 
produced some original pieces for the Servi and other churches, 
which, though inferior to those of Corona in the selection ot 
forms, yet surpass them in the softness, and sometimes in the 
force of their chiaroscuro. 

Andrea Vicentino was, according to some writers, a Vene- 
tian, and pupil to Palma ; not excelling in point of taste, ha 
was nevertheless very skilful in the handling of his colours, 
and shewed great power of invention. Being employed in 
many labours, both within and without the boundaries of 
Venice, and even in depicting histories of the Republic, which 
still continue to adorn several halls in the Palazzo Grande, he 
was one of the most popular artists of his time. He rarely 
fails to exhibit in his works some perspective, or some figure 
borrowed, according to the custom of the plagiarists, from the 
best masters : including even Bassano, an artist of few ideas 
constantly repeated, and so far less easily pillaged with im- 
punity. At the same time he bestows upon his plagiarisms a 
beauty of composition, and a general effect that does honour 
to his talents, applicable to every variety of subject. He 
could also employ a very delicate, tasteful, and effective 
pencil, when he chose to exert himself. In his grounds, 
however, he must have been less successful, many of his. 
paintings being already much defaced. In collections, always 
more favourable to their duration than public places, we may 
find several in good preservation, and deserving of much com- 
mendation, as we gather from his Solomon anointed on 
becoming king of Israel, preserved in the Royal Gallery at 
Florence. Marco Vicentino, son of Andrea, also acquired 
some celebrity by his imitations, and more by the name of his 
father. 

Santo Peranda, a scholar of Corona and of Palma, and 
tolerably well versed in Roman design, having passed some 
time in Rome, aimed at a diversity of styles. His usual 
manner a good deal resembles that of Palma, while, in his 
large histories, which he produced at Venice and at Miran- 
dola, he appears in a more poetical character of his own. 
Yet he was naturally of a more slow and reflective turn, and 



ANTONIO VASSILACCIII. 241 

more studious of art, qualities that in the decline of age led 
him to adopt a very delicate and laboured manner. He was 
not ambitious of equalling his contemporaries in the abundance 
of his works ; his aim was to surpass them in correctness ; 
nor did he any where succeed better in his object than in his 
Christ taken from the Cross, painted for the church of San 
Procolo. Among his disciples, Matteo Ponzone, from Dal- 
matia, more particularly distinguished himself, assisting 
Peranda in his great works executed at Mirandola. In pro- 
gress of time he formed an original style, which surpasses in 
softness that of his master, though not equal to it in point of 
elegance. He was fond of copying from the life, without 
attempting much to add to its dignity. His scholar, Gio. 
Carboncino, pursued his studies at Rome also, where we do 
not, however, find mention of him,* owing probably to his 
speedy return to Venice. Among the few pieces produced 
by him for churches, there is a Bto. Angelo, at the Carmini, 
which has been much commended by Melchiori, and a San 
Antonio, at La Pieta, mentioned by Guarienti. Two others, 
named Maffei, of Vicenza, and Zanimberti, of Brescia, will 
come under consideration in their respective states. 

Antonio Vassilacchi, called Aliense, a native of the island 
of Milo, inherited from the fine climate of Greece a genius 
adapted to confer honour upon the arts, and particularly in 
works of a vast and imaginative character. Paul Veronese, 
struck with his first efforts, banished him, with a feeling of 
jealousy, from his studio, advising him at the same time to 
confine himself to small pictures. Aliense observing Paul 
engaged in reviving the examples of Titian, renewed as far as 
lay in his power those of Tintoretto. He studied casts taken 
from the antique, designing from them both day and night; 
he exercised himself in acquiring a knowledge of the human 
frame, modelled in wax, copied Tintoretto with the utmost 

* In the " Memorie Trevigiane," I find that this artist was known also 
at Home, in the Guide to which place, however, his name is not to be met 
with. I have some doubt it may have been confounded with that of Gio. 
Cai bone. But this last was from S. Severino, and a follower of Cara- 
vag^io ; the other a Venetian, attached to Titian ; and, in some pictures 
he"p reduced at San Niccolo of Trevigi, he subscribes not Carbonu, but 
Carboncini opus. 

VOL. II. R 



242 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

assiduity, and, as if wholly to forget what he had learnt from 
Paul, he sold the designs made at his school. Yet he could 
not so far direst himself of them, but that in his earliest pro- 
ductions, remaining at the church of Le Vergini, he displayed 
the manner of Paul. He has been accused by historians of 
liaving abandoned this style for one less adapted to his genius ; 
and moreover of having been misled by the innovations of the 
mannerists. Sometimes, however, he painted with extreme 
care, as in his Epiphany, for the Council of Ten, though in 
general he abused the facility of his genius, without fear of 
risking his credit, inasmuch as his rivals Palma and Corona 
pursued the same plan. In order better to oppose his great 
enemy Vittoria, he attached himself to another architect, who 
possessed much influence, named Girolamo Campagna, the 
disciple of Sansovino ; and he moreover enjoyed the favour 
of Tintoretto. In this manner Aliense obtained many com- 
missions, both for the public palace and the Venetian churches, 
besides being engaged in many works for other cities, more 
especially for Perugia, at S. Pietro, all upon a magnificent 
scale ; yet without acquiring that degree of estimation which 
the felicity of his genius deserved. He was assisted by 
Tommaso Dolobella, of Belluno, a good practitioner, and well 
received in Poland, where he long continued in the service of 
Sigismond III. In his Life of Aliense, Ridolfi makes men- 
tion also of Pietro Mera, a Fleming, whose portrait Aliense 
painted, as being his friend ; but neither from history, nor 
from his own style, can we gather that he was Aliense's dis- 
ciple. He resided, and employed himself much in Venice, at 
SS. Giovanni and Paolo, at La Madonna dell' Orto, and 
elsewhere : while the judgment pronounced upon him by 
Zanetti is, that he appeared to have greatly attached himself 
to the Venetian artists, and to have derived sufficient profit. 

Pietro Malombra, a Venetian by birth, deserves almost to 
oe excluded from the list of Palma's disciples, and even from 
that of the mannerists. If he sometimes deviated from the 
right path, it must rather be attributed to human error, than 
to erroneous maxims. Born in a degree of comparative ease, 
he acquired from education a sense of the value of that ex- 
cellent axiom, " that honour is better than gain." After 
employing himself in the studio of Salviati, where he obtained 



GIROLAMO PILOTTO. 243 

a good knowledge of design, lie continued to paint for his own 
pleasure. But equally intelligent and docile, he never 
scrupled to bestow the utmost pains to bring his works to a 
higher degree of perfection, than was the usual practice of his 
times. Afterwards experiencing a reverse of fortune, he 
eni ered upon the art as his profession, and ornamented parts 
of the Ducal Palace. In his portraits and pictures upon a 
snull scale, he was also very successful. He represented at 
Sau Francesco di Paola, various miracles of the saint, in four 
pictures ; and his figures display a precision in their contours, 
a grace, and an originality which lead us to doubt whether 
they can belong, not merely to the epoch, but to the school of 
which we are here treating. Similar specimens he produced 
for galleries, sometimes enlivening with them his perspective 
pieces, in which he possessed equal skill and assiduity. Those 
in which he exhibited the grand piazza, or the great ball of 
council, representing in them their respective sacred or civil 
ceremonies, processions, ingresses, public audiences, great 
spectacles, to which the place adds an air of grandeur, ex- 
torted the plaudits of all ranks. 

Girolamo Pilotto occupies the sixth place among those, 
who, in the opinion of Boschini, are apt to be confounded 
with Palma. Zanetti is content with observing, that he was 
a true follower of that style, and that in his works may be 
recognised the ideas of his master, conducted in a very happy 
manner. Venice boasts few of his pieces, although we are 
elso where informed that he died at an advanced age. His pic- 
ture of the Nuptials of the Sea. painted for the public palace, 
is extolled in high terms by Orlandi, while others have greatly 
admired his San Biagio, which he produced for the great altar 
of she Fraglia, in Rovigo ; a picture displaying great sweet- 
ne. c s of manner, and signed with his name. 

To attempt a full list of the rest of the mannerists, who 
followed more or less the composition of Palma, would only 
weary the reader with a repetition of names. From these I 
select, therefore, merely a few of the most remarkable in Ve- 
nice and its vicinity, having to make mention of others in the 
respective schools of terra-firma. Girolarno Gamberati, a scholar 
of Porta, acquired the art of colouring from Palma, upon 
wtose model he painted at Le Vergini, and other places, it is 

B2 



244 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

still suspected, however, that the character displayed in his 
pieces, must have come from the hand of Palma, whose friend- 
ship occasionally assisted him. In the Guide by Zanetti, we 
find mention of a Jacomo Alberelli, a disciple of Palma, who 
painted the Baptism of Christ at the church of the Ognisanti. 
There is a slight allusion to him in Ridolfi, by whom he is 
entitled Albarelli ; and he adds, that he produced the bust for 
the tomb of his master, in whose service he lived during thirty- 
four years. Camillo Bellini is also recorded among the Pal- 
mese mannerists, whether a native of Venice or of the state is 
not certain. In his manner he is pleasing, though neither 
spirited nor vigorous ; and he was likewise employed in the 
Ducal Palace. Boschini moreover extols Bianchi, Dimo, and 
Donati, all Venetians, and his own friends ; but I would omit 
them, finding no commendations in any other work. I omit 
also Antonio Cecchini da Pesaro, whose age, as reported in 
the index, cannot be brought to agree with the period of Pal- 
ma's professorship. 

In Trevigi, Ascanio Spineda, a noble of that city, is held 
in some estimation, and included among the disciples of 
Palma ; from whom he is sometimes with difficulty distin- 
guished. One of the most exact in point of design, he also 
colours with much sweetness and grace of tints; an artist 
deserving to be known in his native district, which abounds 
with the best of his works. He employed himself there, 
for many churches, succeeding perhaps better at San Teo- 
nisto than at any other place. No one surpassed him in 
the number of his pieces for public exhibition, if we except 
indeed one Bartolommeo Orioli, who, about the same period, 
displayed the talent of a good practiser, though with less 
repute. This last belonged to that numerous tribe who, in 
in Italy, were ambitious of uniting in themselves the powers 
of poetry and painting ; but who, not having received suffi- 
cient polish either in precept or in art, gave vent to their in- 
spiration in their native place, covering the columns with 
sonnets, and the churches with pictures, without exciting the 
envy of the adjacent districts. Father Federici praises him 
for his portraits ; a valued ornament, at that period, of large 
pictures, and well introduced by Orioli, in the church of 
{St. Croce, where a numerous procession of the people of Tre- 



PAOLO PIAZZA. MATTEO INGOLI. 245 

vigi appears, taken from the life. Burchiellati, a contempo- 
rary historian of the place, adds, as a companion to the foregoing, 
tho name of Giacomo Bravo, a painter of figures and orna- 
mental works, which are still held in some degree of estimation. 

Paolo Piazza, of Castelfranco, who afterwards became a 
Capuchin by the name of Father Cosimo, is enumerated by 
Baglione among the good practisers, and the pupils of Palma. 
Yet he bears little resemblance to him, having formed a style 
of his own, not powerful indeed, but free and pleasing, which 
attracted the eye of Paul V., the Emperor Rodolph II., and 
the Doge Priuli ; all of whom availed themselves of his abi- 
lity. Both the capital and the state boast many of his pieces 
in fresco, and some altar-pieces : nor is Rome without them, 
where, in the Palazzo Borghese, he painted those very fanciful 
ornaments in friezes, for various chambers, as well as histories 
of Cleopatra for the Great Hall, and in the Campidoglio at 
the Conservator!, a celebrated picture of Christ taken from the 
Cross. While residing in Rome he attended to the instruction 
of Andrea Piazza, his nephew, who in course of time entered 
the service of the Duke of Lorraine, by whom he had the 
honour of being made a cavalier. Upon returning to his 
own state, he produced his great picture of the Marriage of 
Cana, for the church of Santa Maria ; one of the best pieces 
that adorn the place. 

Matteo Ingoli, a native of Ravenna, resided from early 
youth, until the period of his immature decease, in the city of 
Venice. He sprung from the school of Luigi del Friso, and 
proposed for himself, says Boschini, Paul Veronese and Palma 
as his models. If I mistake not, however, he aspired to a 
more solid, but less beautiful style, as far as we can gather 
from one of his pictures at the Corpus Domini, from his Sup- 
per of our Lord at San Apollinare, and from others of his 
works ; in all which we trace the hand of precision and assi- 
du'ty. He was also a good architect, and terminated his 
days during one of those awful periods in which the Venetian 
state was visited by the plague, adding another instance of 
loss to the fine arts, similar to tho.se which we have noticed in 
other schools. 

Another victim to the same contagion was Pietro Damini, 
of Castelfranco, who, it is averred, had he survived a little 



246 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

longer, would have displayed the powers of a Titian; an 
expression we are to receive as somewhat hyperbolical. He 
acquired the art of colouring from Gio. Batista Novelli, a good 
scholar of Palma, who, more for amusement than for gain, 
ornamented Castelfranco and the adjacent places with several 
well executed pieces. Damini next devoted much time to the 
theory of the art, and to the study of the best engravings, 
upon which he modelled his design. By this method, it is 
said that he freed himself from the shackles of the mannerists, 
though it gave to his colours a degree of crudity ; and in truth 
this is a defect that strikes the eye in many of his productions. 
Numerous specimens remain at Padua, where he established 
himself at the age of twenty ; several at Vicenza, at Venice, 
and still more in Castelfranco, where his altar-piece of the 
Simone Stoch at Santa Maria, is highly estimated, as well as 
the Tabernacle surrounded with twelve histories, from both the 
Old and New Testaments ; a novel idea, and executed with 
real taste. His style is elegant and pleasing, but not uniformly 
excellent. He is observed to have frequently changed his 
manner, in aspiring to reach a higher degree of perfection in 
his art. We might, in some instances, pronounce him an ex- 
cellent naturalist ; in others more of an adept in ideal beauty, 
as we gather from his picture of the Crucifixion at Santo di 
Padova, which displays rare beauty and harmony combined, 
though he did not live long enough to produce others of equal 
merit. He died early, and at a short interval his brother 
Giorgio, seized by the same disorder, followed him to the 
tomb, an artist excellent in portrait, and pictures with small 
figures. 

Subsequent to this period (1630, 1631), in which the deaths 
of a number of artists occur, the traces of the old Venetian 
style, in its best school, began still more to disappear ; and the 
Venetian paintings produced after the middle of the century, 
display for the most part a different character. It is remarked 
by Signor Zanetti, that several foreign artists established them- 
selves about this period in the city, and held sway over the 
art at their own discretion. Attached to various schools, and 
chiefly admirers of Caravaggio, in his plebeian manner, they 
agreed amongst themselves in nothing, perhaps, except two 
points. One of these was, to consult truth in a greater degree 



THE TENEBROSI. 247 

than had before been done ; an extremely useful idea to render 
art. now degenerated into a paltry trade, once more real art. 
Bu -, the plan was not well executed by many, who were either 
incapable of selecting what was natural, or of ennobling it 
when found ; while, at all events, they were too apt to man- 
ner ize it with an excessive use of strong shades. The other 
pla i was to avail themselves of very dark and oily grounds, 
which were as favourable to despatch as injurious to the dura- 
tion of paintings, as we have more than once had occasion to 
obsorve. Indeed this had so far come into vogue, in most 
places, as even to infect, in some degree, the great school of 
the Caracci. Hence it has arisen that in many of those pic- 
tures the lights only have remained durable, the masses of 
shade, the middle tints having disappeared ; insomuch that 
posterity has distinguished this class of artist by the new ap- 
pellation of the sect of Tenebrosi, or the dark colourists. Bos- 
chini, who first put forth his Carta del Navegar Pitoresco in 
1660, is very severe, as we have before stated, upon the sect 
of mere naturalists, stigmatizing them generally, and upbraid- 
ing them for coming to seek their bread at Venice ; while, at 
the time that they employed themselves in crying down the 
taste, the spirit, and the rapid hand of the Venetians, their 
own productions bore ample witness to the pitiable efforts by 
which they were produced. He gives no names; but it is not 
difficult to gather from the whole his aversion to the Roman 
and Florentine artists, of whom we shall shortly give an ac- 
count. Upon these he certainly does not bestow encomiums, 
as he does upon all others at that period engaged in Venice, 
his commendations being sometimes extremely vague, and at 
others extravagant. 

if we wish to avoid forming erroneous judgments, then we 
must abandon his Painter's Chart of Navigation, and attach 
ourselves to the Pittura Veneziana, a very different guide to 
that of Boschini. In this the author takes" care to distinguish, 
with the precision of a good historian, such as were followers 
of Caravaggio, like Saraceni ; excellent pupils of Guercino, 
like Triva ; fine colourists, however much accustomed to copy 
rather than invent, like Strozza, and though less select, his 
scholar Langetti ; to whom we may add a third Genoese ar- 
tist, who flourished during those times at Venice, though he 



248 . VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

left no public specimen of bis labours ; this was Niccolo Cas- 
sana. Of these, as well as of a few others, I shall treat in the 
schools to which they respectively belong. Several other 
names are omitted by the author, either on account of such 
artists having produced little in the city, or from his being 
unacquainted with their education and the place of their birth. 
Among these is Antonio Beverense, an artist who painted for 
the college of the Nunziata, the Marriage of the Virgin Mary, 
a picture that displays accuracy of design, superiority of forms, 
and a very fine chiaroscuro. He was, for the most part, a dis- 
ciple of the Bolognese, and from his united taste and diligence 
fully deserving of being more generally known. I suspect, 
however, that he ought to be named a native of Bavaria, and 
to the circumstance of his speedy return into his own country, 
we are, perhaps, to ascribe the little notice he seems to have 
attracted. Returning to the authority of Zanetti, we find, 
that besides giving a favourable opinion of the authors just 
mentioned, he bestows equal commendation upon those who 
are soon to follow ; explaining their respective excellences and 
defects, and detecting such as belonged to the class of Tene- 
hrosi through their own fault, and such as became so owing to 
the bad priming of those times ; in treating of whom I follow 
the path he has pointed out. 

Pietro Ricchi was an artist who resided for a long period at 
Venice, where he left a great number of works, and is generally 
known by the name of il Lucchese. It remains doubtful whe- 
ther he deserves to be accused of having introduced the oily 
and obscure method of painting already mentioned. It is at 
least certain, that besides having made use of bad priming, he 
was in the habit of covering his canvas with oil whenever he 
applied his pencil, which has occasioned the loss of so many 
of his works that once produced an excellent effect, but whick 
are now either defaced or perished. This is the case with 
those that remained in Venice, in Vicenza, Brescia, Padua, 
and Udine ; some of which, indeed, are not greatly to be re- 
gretted ; the production of mere mechanic skill, and that not 
always executed correctly. A few, however, are conducted 
with much care, as we find in his S. Raimond, at the Domi- 
nicans of Bergamo, and his Epiphany at the patriarchal church 
in Venice, both highly deserving of commemoration, no less 



PEDERIGO CEBVELLI. 249 

for the union of their colours, than for the taste displayed in 
the whole composition. We may easily perceive that they are 
the productions of a scholar, or at least of an imitator of 
Guilo; of one accustomed to consult the pictures of Tinto- 
retto, and of the most celebrated Venetians. Another artist 
equiil to Ricchi in the handling of his pencil, and more accu- 
rate in the union of his colours, will be found in Federigo 
Cer/elli of Milan, who, on opening his school at a somewhat 
later period in Venice, obtained the celebrated Ricci for one 
of his pupils. At the school of San Teodoro, we meet with a 
history-piece of that saint, from the hand of Cervelli; and in. 
this w*e may trace all the features of the same style that was 
afterwards continued by Ricci, who added dignity, however, 
to its forms, and executed them upon canvas and upon 
grounds better calculated to bear the effects of age. 

The other artists to be enumerated in the same class, are 
Francesco Rosa, a pupil rather than follower of Cortona, for 
an account of whom we must refer the reader to the fifth book 
of the third volume ; and Giovanni Batista Lorenzetti, whose 
composition, bold, rapid, and magnificent, displays a powerful 
and correct hand. The merit of the second is conspicuous in 
his frescos, exhibited at Santa Anastasia, in his native city of 
Verona, for which he received twelve hundred ducats, includ- 
ing only the decoration of the chapel. Add to these the name 
of Ruschi, or Rusca, a Roman, and a disciple of Caravaggio 
in l.is forms, and of his age in the mixture of his colours. 
He .vas wholly unknown at Rome, though he acquired some 
degree of reputation in the cities of Venice, of Vicenza, and 
of Trerigi. His paintings are admitted into collections, 
where several of his oblong pieces are to be met with in pretty 
^ood preservation. Contemporary with him was Girolamo 
Pellegrini, a native of the same place, not mentioned in the 
Gui le of Rome, but commemorated in that of Venice for 
some works, chiefly executed in fresco upon a large scale, in 
which he appears neither a very select, various, nor spirtied 
paicter, though of a sufficiently elevated character. Bastiano 
Matzoni, a Florentine, is another artist unknown in his native 
city, belonging to the class of the naturalists, though pos- 
sessed of a certain delicacy, roundness of style, and ease of 
handling. He was also an excellent architect, of whose 



250 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

talents the Cavalier Liberi availed himself in the erection of 
his fine palace at Venice, which appears to exceed the fortune 
of a painter. Count Ottaviano Angarano, a Venetian noble, 
if he did not altogether avoid the style then current, avoided 
at least its extravagance ; and the Nativity which he placed 
at San Daniele, confers upon him double honour, having been 
both painted and engraved by his hand. Stefano Pauluzzi, a 
citizen of Venice, has been enumerated among the best belonging 
to this sect, if indeed he is to be included in it, as the dete- 
rioration of his pictures may be rather attributed to the bad- 
ness of his grounds than to the artist. Niccolo Renieri 
Mabuseo also flourished at the same period, an artist, who at 
Rome, under Manfredi, a follower of Caravaggio, formed a 
taste partaking of his early Flemish and of his Italian educa- 
tion ; very pleasing in the opinion of Zanetti, and in general 
displaying much strength of hand. He had four daughters 
who inherited their father's talents, all of whose productions 
were highly admired in Venice. Two of these, of the name 
of Angelica and Anna, remained with their parent ; Clorinda 
entered into an union with Vecchia, and Lucrezia with 
Daniel Vandych, a Frenchman, who afterwards entered into 
the service of the Duke of Mantua, as the keeper of his gal- 
lery of pictures ; himself a fine portrait-painter, and by no 
means despicable in his histories. To his I add the name of 
D. Ermanno Stroifi, a Paduan, first a pupil, and an excellent 
imitator of Prete the Genoese, and afterwards of Titian, 
though occasionally, owing to an excessive attention to the 
chiaroscuro, he deviated too much from the right path. We 
are informed by Boschini that he travelled for the purpose of 
observing other schools, and that on returning to Venice, he 
still continued to rise in the estimation of the Venetians. A 
Madonna from his hand is to be seen at the great altar of the 
Carmini in that city ; and in Padua, his Pieta, placed at San 
Tommaso Cantuariense. I conclude this list with one Mat- 
teo, a Florentine artist, not commemorated in his own state, 
from the circumstance of having resided abroad ; better known 
by the name of Matteo da' Pitocchi. He displayed most 
talent in his representation of Mendicants, heads of which 
class are to be met with in Venice, in Verona, in Vicenza, 
and elsewhere, as well as several burlesques and other fanci- 



GIOVAN CONTARINO. 251 

ful pieces, in the galleries of many Italian nobles. He 
paint- )d likewise for churches, more particularly in Padua, 
whero he most probably died ; and the Serviti are in posses- 
sion cf some on a larger scale, designed in the character of a 
mere naturalist. These names we trust will be found suffi- 
cient, however various and unequal both in point of style and 
merit, as affording examples of the taste of that age. 

But inasmuch as it is difficult, as I have before observed, 
for an entire age to become wholly corrupt, so among the man- 
nerists, who mark the character of this epoch, there flourished 
some good imitators of Titian, of Paul Veronese, and of Raf- 
faello himself, both in the capital and its adjacent provinces. 
In the last, indeed, they were more numerous, because the 
artiste of the terra-firrna did not so greatly abound in those 
master-pieces of the art, of which the Venetians themselves 
were enabled so easily to become the plagiarists, to the serious 
deterioration of the art. In the first rank then of supporters 01 
the solid style, I must mention Giovan Contarino, who flou- 
rished in the time of Palma, a companion of Malombra, and 
an exact imitator of Titian's method. He did not always suc- 
ceed in improving and embellishing the nature which he 
copied, though, at the same time, he displayed a soundness of 
taste that was truly that of Titian. He shewed exquisite 
skill in his foreshortening seen from below, and in the church 
of San Francesco di Paola, he exhibited a Resurrection in the 
entablature, or ceiling, along with other mysteries and figures, 
so beautifully coloured, so distinct, and so finely expressed, as 
to be considered some of the most perfect of which the city 
can boast. He employed himself much for collections, even 
extending to Germany, by which he obtained from the Em- 
peror Rodolph II., the collar of the order of cavaliers. His 
favou rite subjects were such as he drew from mythology, being 
possessed of sufficient learning to treat them with classic pro- 
priety, and of these, in the Barbarigo collection, I saw a con- 
siderable number. He was so extremely accurate in his 
portraits, that on sending home one which he had taken of 
Marco Dolce, his dogs, the moment it appeared, began to fawn 
upon it, mistaking it for their master. His fame was never- 
theless eclipsed in portrait by Tiberio Tinelli, at first his scho- 
lar, afterwards an imitator of Leandro Bassano, and raised to 



252 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

the rank of cavalier by the King of France. Pietro da Cor- 
tona, on beholding one of his portraits, exclaimed that Tiberio 
had not merely infused into it the whole soul of the original, 
but added his own also. I have met with several at Rome, 
bearing a very high price, and still more are to be seen in the 
Venetian state. Sometimes they are left unfinished, at the 
desire of the parties for whom they were taken, in order to 
diminish their price ; sometimes they are thrown into an his- 
torical character ; and a Venetian Lord, for instance, will ap- 
pear as Marc Antony his wife, as Cleopatra. Many of this 
artist's pieces for private ornament, of the portrait size, are very 
highly estimated : they are alternately borrowed from scrip- 
ture and from fable. Such is that of his Iris, belonging to the 
Conti Vicentini, at Vicenza, simple in point of composition, 
very natural and pleasing ; and what is still more surprising, 
quite original. He did not display equal facility in more 
copious compositions, requiring a larger portion of time and 
leisure than he ever enjoyed, in order to leave behind him a 
work which could give him full satisfaction. 

Succeeding him, appears Girolamo Forabosco, a distin- 
guished portrait-painter, of Venetian origin according to 
Orlandi, though believed by the Paduans to have been one of 
their fellow-citizens. Two of the most celebrated schools con- 
tended for the honour of adding him to their respective ranks. 
He flourished in the time of Boschini, who bestowed upon him 
and Liberi the precedency over all other Venetians of the age. 
In order better to commend him in the spirit of his age, he 
puns upon his name, declaring Forabosco one of those who 
emerged fuor del bosco, or out of the wood, into full day ; in 
other words that he rose out of obscurity into considerable 
note. We are to forgive similar conceits upon the part of 
Boschini, in consideration of the notices he handed down to 
us ; and we may add likewise with Zanetti, that Forabosco 
possessed a noble and penetrating genius ; a genius delighting 
the professed artist by its display of judgment ; arresting the 
observer by its beauty ; and which unites sweetness with re- 
finement, beauty with force, studious in every part, but par- 
ticularly in the airs of its heads, that appear endued with life. 
To form an adequate idea of these, we ought not so much to 
direct our enquiries to churches, which rarely boast any of his 



CARLO RIDOLFI. 253- 

altar-pieces, as to those collections which preserve his por- 
traits ; his half-length figures of saints, and his little history- 
pieces, of which three are recorded in the catalogue of the 
Dresden gallery. Resembling Forabosco in diligence and 
delicacy of finish, though inferior to him in genius, we may 
mention his pupil Pietro Bellotti. By some he is reproached 
for his minuteness and dryness of style, which leads him to 
distinguish almost every hair, though always an exact and 
faithful transcriber of nature. Boschini considers him in the 
light of a prodigy, for having succeeded in uniting to so much 
diligence, a most exquisite delicacy in his tints, to a degree 
never before known. His compositions, more particularly his 
portraits and his caricatures, which are to be met with in gal- 
leries, are held in much esteem. Several I have seen in dif- 
ferent places, even out of the limits of the state ; two of them 
Tery excellent portraits of an old man and an old woman, 
in possession of the Cavalier Melzi, at Milan, and such as are 
not to be exceeded by the most polished and exquisite speci- 
men 3 of Flemish art. 

At the same period flourished the Cavalier Carlo Ridolfi, a 
native of Yicenza, but who received his education and distin- 
guished himself at Venice. His natural good sense led him 
to shun the peculiar style of his times, no less in writing than 
in painting ; and we may observe the same character that is 
displayed in his " Lives of the Venetian Painters," written 
with equal fidelity and judgment, preserved also in his pic- 
tures. Thus his Visitation, painted for the church of the 
Ogrissanti at Venice, has been much extolled ; a piece that 
exhibits some novelty in the adaptation of the colours ; a fine 
relief, and exactness in every part. Other specimens of him 
are to be met with in public places, both in Venice and 
throughout the state ; but a great part of his productions were 
for private persons, consisting of portraits, half-length figures, 
and historical pieces. Ridolfi imbibed excellent principles of 
the art from Aliense, which he afterwards improved in Vi- 
cenza and Verona, by copying the best models he could find, 
and attending to perspective, to the belles lettres, and to other 
pursuits best calculated to form a learned artist. Such he like- 
wise appears in the two volumes of his " Lives," which are at 
present extremely rare, and deserving of republication, either 



254 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

with the plates, which I heard were still in existence at Bas- 
sano, or without them, since it is no very serious loss after all 
to remain ignorant of the features of celebrated men, provided 
we become acquainted with their virtues. Upon a comparison 
of Ridolfi's style of writing with that of Boschini, we might 
suppose that these authors flourished at two different epochs, 
though they were very nearly contemporary. Bayle's observa- 
tion, indeed, may be considered correct, as applied to them ; 
that there exists a certain mental, as well as physical epi- 
demic ; and as, in the last, every individual is not seized with 
the disorder, so, in the former, good sense, as evinced in think- 
ing and in writing, does not become altogether extinct. Thus 
the Cav. Carlo, as I before noticed, was not only a good 
writer, but one of the best biographers of artists we have. 
Not that he was wholly exempt from every kind of gram- 
matical error, any more than Baldinucci himself, though one 
of the della Crusca academicians ; but he knew how to avoid 
errors of judgment, into which others fell ; such as relating 
old stories, fit only to amuse children when they first begin to 
draw eyes and ears ; making inquisition into the life and man- 
ners of every artist, and wasting time in long preambles, epi- 
sodes, and moral reflections, quite out of place. On the contrary 
he is precise, rapid, and eager to afford fresh information for his 
readers in a small space, with the exception of quoting largely 
sometimes from the poets. His pictorial maxims are just ; his 
complaints against Yasari always in a moderate tone, and his 
descriptions of paintings and of grand compositions very exact, 
and displaying great knowledge, both of mythology and his- 
tory. He concludes the work with an account of his life, in 
which he complains of the envy of rivals, and the ignorance 
of the great, too often combining together to trample upon 
real merit. His epitaph, as given by Sansovino, a contem- 
porary writer, and afterwards by Zanetti, refers the year of 
his decease to 1658. Boschino, on the contrary, in his Carta, 
page 509, speaks of him as one of the living authors in 1660, 
in which year his book was given to the world. I am in- 
clined to think that those verses in which Ridolfi is com- 
mended, were the production of Boschini while the former 
was still living, and that after his death lie neglected to re- 
touch them. 



PIETRO VECCIIIA. 255 

TSvo others, among the best of these imitators of a more 
solid taste, are Vecchia and Loth, fully entitled as much as 
the rest to the rank they hold. Pietro Yecchia sprung from 
the school of Padovanino, but he did acquire altogether his 
style, most probably because Padovanino, like the Caracci, 
gave an individual direction to the talents of his pupils, in the 
path he judged best adapted to their success. The genius of 
"Vecchia was not at all calculated for lighter subjects. He 
had imbibed from his master an admiration of the ancients, 
as well as the art of imitating them ; and with these princi- 
ples he arrived at such a degree of excellence, that several of 
his pictures pass for those of Giorgione, of Licinj, and even of 
Titian. It is true, that by dint of copying and exactly 
imitating old paintings, much darkened by time, he contracted 
the habit of colouring with considerable dulness of lights, 
affor-ling an example for every young artist, that he should 
learn to tinge with lively colours, previous to taking copies of 
similar pictures. For though he, indeed, acquired the colour- 
ing of the ancients, he added neither much variety nor much 
choice of countenances; and he still remained a naturalist, 
limited in his ideas, and more inclined towards the burlesque 
than the serious. Some of his best productions consist of pic- 
tures for private ornament ; of youths armed, or equipped and 
ornamented with plumes, in the manner of Giorgione, though 
not without some degree of caricature. One of these, an astro- 
loger telling their fortune to some soldiers, is in possession of 
the senator Rezzonico at Rome, altogether of so beautiful a 
character that Giordano painted a companion to it ; a little 
picture quite in the same taste. But although his humorous 
pieces please us in some, they disgust us in many of his other 
subjects, and more particularly in the Passion of our Saviour ; 
a sac -ed mystery, in which the spectator ought never to be pre- 
sente 1 with cause for mirth. But Veccbia seemed to forget this, 
and introduces, like Callot, certain caricatures among his 
sacred pieces, of which specimens are to be seen in the church 
of O| -nissanti at Venice ; in possession of the Conti Bevilacqua 
at Vsrona, and in other places. In other points, with a style 
rathe r strong and loaded with shade than pleasing, he shewed 
hims< If an excellent artist, both in his naked parts and his dra- 
peries; which he designed and coloured at the same time in the 



256 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

academies. His fleshes are dark red, his handling easy, his colour 
thick and heavy, the effects of his light new and studied, and his 
whole taste so far from any degree of mannerism, and of such a 
composition, that to any one unversed in pictorial history, he 
would appear to have flourished at least two ages before his real 
time. Melchiori bestows particular commendation upon him for 
his talent in restoring old pictures ; and conjectures that he in 
this way, acquired the appellation of Vecchia, his family name 
being, as we have noted in the index, that of Muttoni. He in- 
structed several pupils in the art, none of whom pursued their 
master's career. Agostino Litterini, and Bartolommeo his son, 
were among these, both artists well known in Venice and the 
islands, and both distinguished for clearness and boldness of 
style, though the latter surpassed his father in this way. A 
specimen of his altar-pieces at San Paterniano displays an 
imitator of Titian, and of the better age. Melchiori likewise 
gives the reputation of an excellent artist to his daughter 
Caterina, though commendations of this sort ought always to 
be understood in reference to the time in which the artists 
flourished. The same reasoning might apply also to politics. 
The title of your Excellency used once to be applied to minor 
sovereigns, but it has since become applicable also to the great 
officers and ministers of state. 

Gian Carlo Loth, an artist from Monaco, resided during a 
long period, and subsequently died, at Venice, in the year 
1698, aged sixty-six years, as we find written in his epitaph. 
Both Orlandi and Zanetti are mistaken in giving him as a 
scholar to Caravaggio, who died before Carlo was born. It 
is probable, however, that he acquired his strong and loaded 
manner of composition, and his exact representation of nature 
without ennobling it, from the study of Caravaggio's pictures. 
And if he were really the pupil, as is supposed, of Liberi, he 
failed to make himself master of that lively and ideal character 
of that school ; nor did he perhaps derive any thing from it, 
but a certain rapidity of hand, and an elevation of manner 
that distinguished him from the naturalists of his time. He 
took a rank among the first four painters of his age, all of 
whom bore the name of Carlo, as I have elsewhere observed. 
He was much employed in Germany for the Emperor Leopold I.,, 
as well as in Italy for the churches, and still more for dif- 



GIAN CARLO LOTH. 257 

ferent collections. Many cabinet pictures from Ids hand are 
to te met with in every state, in the style of Caravaggio and 
Gut rcino, with histories ; of which kind is the Dead Abel, so 
much praised, in the royal gallery at Florence. One in the 
best preservation I have seen is to be found at Milan ; a 
picture of Lot inebriated, in the Trivulzi palace, celebrated 
among men of taste as a museum of antiquities ; newly 
arranged by the present young and accomplished marquis, and 
forming a collection not unworthy of a royal house. Daniele 
Seiter, a fine colourist, to whom we shall again allude, was 
instructed in the art by Loth, during a period of twelve years. 
He was distinguished both in Rome and at Turin ; and was 
succeeded by Ambrogio Bono, one of the best disciples formed 
by the same master in Venice, where he left a variety of works, 
all executed in the taste he had so early imbibed. 

Other artists, about the same period, flourished in Venice, 
who by dint of imitating the most approved models, and also 
through their own talents, obtained easy access into the most 
choice collections. Jean Lys, from Oldenburg, came early 
among these, bearing along with him the style of Golzio. 
But on beholding the Venetian and Roman schools, he 
adopted an exceedingly graceful style, partaking of the Italian 
in its design, and of the Flemish in its tints. He chiefly pro- 
duced figures upon a middle scale, such as his Prodigal Son, 
in the royal museum at Florence ; or of smaller dimensions, 
as in his various little pictures of village sports and combats, 
with similar subjects, in the Flemish mode of composition. 
Yet he produced a few pictures for churches, like his St. 
Peter in the act of resuscitating Tabitha, at the Filippini, in 
Fano ; and his more celebrated San Girolamo, at the Teatini, 
in Venice, where he died. Valentino le Febre, from Brus- 
sels, is a name omitted by Orlandi ; while his very numerous 
engravings of Paul Veronese, and of the best Venetian artists, 
are ascribed by him to another artist of the same name. He 
painted little ; and always pursued the track of Paul Vero- 
nese, of whom he was one of the most successful imitators and 
copyists known. His countenances bear no stamp of a 
foreign origin, and his colours none of the bad .character of 
his age; while his touches are always strong, without offend- 
ing ( ur taste. His smaller pieces are full of research and 

VOL. II. S 



258 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

finish; though he has less merit upon a larger scale, and is 
occasionally wanting in point of composition. We meet with 
another distinguished imitator of Paul, in Sebastiano Bom- 
belli, from Udine, Guercino's scholar in the outset, and sub- 
sequently a fine copyist of the best works of Paul Veronese, 
which are scarcely to be distinguished from the copies he 
took. But he gave up the more inventive branches of the 
art, and devoted his attention to portraits. Here he restored 
the lost wonders of a former age ; his portraits being remark- 
able for strong likeness, vivacity, and truth of colouring, both 
in the drapery and the fleshes. In his painting there is a 
happy union of the Venetian and the Bolognese manner ; and 
in some specimens of his portraits that I have seen, he seems 
to have preferred the delicacy of Guido to the vigour of his 
own master. He was esteemed also beyond Italy ; he was 
employed by the archduke Joseph at Inspruck ; took the por- 
traits of several German electors ; of the king of Denmark, 
and of the emperor Leopold I., by whom he was largely 
honoured and rewarded. It is a matter of regret, that, owing 
to a peculiar varnish of pitch and gum,* which at the time 
produced a good effect, a great portion of his pictures should 
have become obscured ; and that many by the more ancient 
masters, which he wished to restore, should have been altoge- 
ther blemished or destroyed like his own. Among the imita- 
tors of Titian, of Tintoretto, and of Paul, one Giacomo Barri 
is likewise mentioned by Melchiori ; though he is the sole 
authority we have upon the point. It is now easy to meet with 
his engravings in aqua fortis, but not with his pictures. He 
was also the author of a little work entitled by him " Viaggio 
Pittoresco d'ltalia," which has become somewhat rare, owing, 
I imagine, to its small dimensions, and to the researches made 
after it by those who preserve a series of pictorial works ; for 
the rest, his authority is of a middling character. 

In the changes which produced such an alteration in the 

* Let no one, from this instance, altogether condemn the use of var- 
nishes in the restoration of paintings ; for by the application of mastic, 
and of eum-water, according to all the most recent experiments, the 
colour does not suffer. But oil is injurious to ancient paintings, for the 
new never becomes incorporated with the old, and, in a short time, every 
fresh touch is converted into a stain. 



EUGENIO PINT. 259 

stat 3 of painting at Venice, several cities of the provinces also 
in some measure partook, but in others many eminent 
geniuses arose, capable of resisting the moral contagion that 
invaded the capital, and of barring its entrance into their 
native provinces. The school of the Friuli, after the death of 
Pomponio Amalteo and Sebastiano Seccante, owing to the 
mediocrity of Sebastiano's followers, or of the younger 
branches of his family, had declined, as we before stated, from 
its original splendour. It numbered, indeed, other pupils by 
different masters ; limited in point of invention, dry in design, 
and somewhat hard in their colouring. None appeared capa- 
ble of restoring the art, and succeeded only in furnishing the 
city with works reasonably well executed, more or less, and 
borrowed from familiar models. To this class belong Vin- 
cent Lugaro, mentioned by Ridolfi for his altar-piece of San 
Antonio, at the Grazie in Udine ; Giulio Brunelleschi, whose 
Nunziata in one of the Fraternities presents a good imitation 
of the style of Pellegrino ; and Fulvio Griffoni, who received 
a commission from the city to produce a picture of the Mira- 
cle of the Manna, to be placed in the public palace near the 
Supper of Amalteo. Add to these Andrea Petreolo, who or- 
namented the panels of the organ, in the dome of his native 
town of Venzone, as well on the interior, where, in a very 
beautiful manner, he exhibited the histories of San Geronimo 
and San Eustachio, as on the outside, where, surrounded with 
fine architecture, he represented the Parable of the wise and 
foolish Virgins. "Without dwelling upon the names of Lorio 
and Brugno, of whom there remain but few works, which 
obta ined little celebrity, we shall newly record the name of 
Eugenio Pini, the last it may be said of those artists who but 
slig] itly addicted themselves to foreign methods. He flourished 
aboi.t the middle of the seventeenth century, was frequently 
employed at Udine, and in his own state; extremely diligent 
and skilled in every office of a painter, if we except, perhaps, 
his. want of a more perfect harmony of tints. The Repose of 
Egypt, in the dome of Palma, and his San Antonio in that 
of Gemona, are pronounced by the Abbate Boni among his 
noblost productions. 

During the period the latter flourished at Udine, Antonio 
Caruio, a native of a town of Portogruaro, came to establish 
s 2 



260 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

himself in the city. Instructed in the art by his own father, 
a very able artist, he subsequently appears, as far as we may 
judge from his style, to have studied the works of Paul Vero- 
nese and Tintoretto. Next to Pordenone, the Friuli perhaps 
never produced a finer genius; equally original in all the 
branches of historic painting, bold in his design, happy in his 
colouring, more particularly of his fleshes ; expressive in every 
variety of passion ; and all these comprehended within the 
limits of a grand naturalist, though he frequently became a 
mannerist, in order to expedite his works. Several of his 
best productions are, at this period, lost to Udine, owing to 
the fault of the artist who retouched them ; and among the 
most studied and the best preserved, there still remains his 
San Tommaso di Villanuova, adorning an altar of Santa 
Lucia. He produced likewise several histories for private 
ornament, half-length figures, portraits and heads in carica- 
ture, for which he displayed a peculiar talent, and which still 
exist at Udine. Both the city and province are well supplied 
with his pieces, few of which, however, are to be found 
coloured with strength of handling or very highly finished. 
He was never without numerous commissions, even though 
confining his talents to the Friuli ; but either from want of 
prudence, or some other reason, he nevertheless died in 
penury near Portogruaro. A few of his pictures in that 
place are still pointed out ; but those seen at San Francesco, 
among which are the Washing the Disciples' Feet, and our 
Lord's Last Supper, said to have been executed by him in 
1604, either bear a false date, or are rather to be attributed 
to his father; for, at that period, Antonio could not ha^e 
produced them, since he was still alive in the year 1680; and 
on this point we ought to admit the authority of Pavona, at 
one time his pupil, from whom Guarienti received his notices 
of Carnio, which he inserted in the Abecedario. This artist 
must not be confounded with another Carnio, named Giacomo, 
who flourished posterior to him, and was much inferior to An- 
tonio in point of merit. 

Sebastiano Bombelli was born at Udine, as I just 6bserved, 
though he studied and resided at other places. He left no 
specimens of his art in the Friuli, if we except a few portraits 
and pieces for private ornament, along with some heads ou 



DARIO VAROTARI. 261 

busts of saints ; while his altar-piece of the Redeemer upon 
the Cross, between some saints, in the parochial church of 
Tricesimo, is considered a very rare piece. He had a brother 
of the name of Raphael, whose labours were more abundant, 
but the whole of them, together with his name, were confined 
within the limits of the Friuli. 

While the art thus declined in these parts of the Venetian 
domi aions, it appeared equally to revive in others; from 
wherce it arose, that though greatly diminished in the capital, 
the glory of the state did not become wholly extinct. The 
city of Verona was its greatest support; for in addition to 
havii g given birth to Ridolfi, to Turchi, and Ottoni, all of 
whom did honour to their country, it produced likewise 
Dario Varotari, who having established himself at Padua, 
laid Lhe foundation of a very nourishing school. He exer- 
cised his talents under Paul Veronese, at Verona, to whom 
he has occasionally some resemblance, though his taste ap- 
pears to have been chiefly formed upon other models. His 
design is very chaste, by no means an uncommon acquisition 
among the Veronese ; though he shews some traces of timidity 
in the method of some of those pupils of the quattro-centlsti^ 
who, whilst they draw their contours fuller than those of their 
masters, appear as if they were afraid in every line of de- 
partirg too far from the models before them ; and this he has 
exemplified in the pictures of San Egidio at Padua. In 
others, conducted at a more mature age, he seems to have 
aspired at imitating more modern artists, sometimes Paul 
Veronese, and sometimes Titian himself in point of design, 
partic ularly in the airs of the heads ; although his colours, 
however true and harmonious, can boast neither the Venetian 
strength nor beauty. Dario painted in Venice, at Padua, 
,and in the Polesine; yet he produced little in reference to the 
age i:i which he nourished. He educated several pupils, 
amon^ whom was Gio. Batista Bissoni, whose life has been 
tfiven us by Ridolfi. This last was also a scholar of Apollo- 
doro, named di Porcia, a portrait-painter of much celebrity, 
and tl.e style which he formed for himself is exactly that of a 
good painter of portraits, with which he is fond of filling his 

* Quattro-centisti Artists of the fourteenth century. 



262 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

pictures, clothing them in the manner of his time. "We may 
observe this in his Miracles of San Domenico, placed in the 
church belonging to his order, drawn upon a large scale, as 
well as in other pieces, scattered throughout the city in 
almost every street. 

We must not omit the name of his daughter, Chiara Dario, 
a lady extolled by Ridolfi for the beauty of her portraits, and 
fully deserving of the honour conferred upon her by the grand 
dukes of Tuscany, who placed one of herself in their noble 
series of painters, where it is still to be seen. Boschini seems 
to be of opinion that she gave public instructions in the same 
manner as the fair Sirani of Bologna ; and that she initiated 
in the art Caterina Taraboti and Lucia Scaligeri, a niece of 
Bartolommeo. Yet the passage referring to this (p. 526), in 
the Venetian poet, is somewhat ambiguous, and he perhaps 
only meant to assert that these two young women pursued the 
some career. But the chief honour and crown of Dario's 
reputation, was his own son and pupil, named Alessandro, 
who, though left an orphan at an early age, shortly after set 
out for Venice, where he soon began to distinguish himself. 
He there received the name of Padovanino, which he retained 
at an advanced age, and by which he is now generally 
known. 

He first studied Titian's works in fresco, such as he found 
in Padua, and his copies still continue to attract the admira- 
tion of the greatest professors. In Venice he persevered in 
his assiduous attention to the same incomparable master, 
penetrating so far by degrees into his peculiar character, as to 
be preferred by many to any of Titian's other disciples. But 
comparison is invariably disagreeable, and I am inclined to 
think that those who personally received from the lips of great 
artists a few brief and sound rules as to what ought to be 
avoided or achieved in order best to resemble them, are 
entitled to a high degree of respect ; all the speculations of the 
finest genius upon their works are not half so valuable ; for 
the second century is fast passing away, since the oral tradi- 
tion of the best colourists wholly ceased, and we have been 
attempting to attain their method, in which we cannot succeed. 
Padovanino was always equal to the task of handling any 
subject that had before been treated by Titian ; his softer 



PADOVANINO. 263 

ones with grace, his more powerful with strength, his heroic 
pieces with dignity ; in which last, if I mistake not, he sur- 
passed every other disciple of this master. " Le donne, i ca- 
valier, 1'armi, e gli Amori," these, and let us add to them his 
boys were the favourite subjects of his pencil, which he exhi- 
bited to most advantage, and which he most frequently intro- 
duce 1 into his compositions.* And he knew how to treat 
landscape as well ; which in some of his small pictures he has 
succeeded in admirably. He was familiar with the science of 
the totto in su,t of which he gave the most favourable specimen 
in the church of San Andrea di Bergamo, in three admirable 
histories of that saint. It is a work embellished with beau- 
tiful architecture, and replete with graces in every part. He 
has ipproached equally near his model in the sobriety of his 
composition, in the very difficult use of his middle tints, in his 
contrasts, in the colour of his fleshes, in smoothness and faci- 
lity of hand. But Titian was still to remain unequalled in 
his jirt ; and Yarotari is not a little inferior to him in ani- 
mation, and in the expression of truth. Nor can I believe 
that his method of preparing his canvas, and of colouring it, 
was the same as that pursued by Titian's disciples, many of 
his pieces being much darkened, with the shades either 
deepened or altered. This is very perceptible even in Varo- 
tari'.s Dead Christ, at Florence, a painting which the prince 
not very long since purchased for his gallery there. 

In other points he appears to me to have observed the same 
method, in regard to his model, as Poussin, who aimed at 
Raflaello's manner, without reaching it, either from want of 
ability, or from a dread of falling into servility. His master- 
piece is said to be the Supper of Cana, a piece that has been 
engraved by Patina, among the Select Paintings. It was 
formerly in Padua, and is now at Venice in the chapter of 
La Carita ; with few figures in proportion to the place ; a 
rich display of costume and ornament ; dogs that appear like 
those of Paul, full of life; grand attendance, women of the 
mosi exquisite forms warmed with more ideal beauty than 

* The picture which he executed for the church della Salute deserves 
commemoration for the exquisite delicacy of tints in its boys. 

f Foreshortening on a ceiling, so as to produce a correct point of view 
for t lie figures, as seen from below. T. R. 



264 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

those of Titian, and drawn in the most graceful attitudes. Still 
it is not every one who will approve of his introduction of 
them for the service of such a table, in preference to men, as 
is the more general custom. The above picture cannot, 
however, boast such fresh and lucid tints as his four histories 
of the Life of San Domenico, which are to be seen in a refec- 
tory of Santi Giovanni and Paolo, containing as it were the 
flower of Padovanino's best style. This very elegant artist 
spent his time between the capital and his native province, 
where alone his pictures abound in public ; in other cities 
they are more rarely met with, and are scarce even in private 
collections. 

In forming a judgment of his productions, it is necessary 
to be upon our guard against a variety of copies, many of his 
disciples having so happily imitated him, that Venetian pro- 
fessors themselves with difficulty distinguish their hand from 
that of their master. 

Bartolommeo Scaligero ranks among the most celebrated 
pupils and imitators of Padovanino, an artist enumerated by 
the people of Padua among their fellow-citizens, although 
they can boast little from his pencil ; while the Venetians are 
in possession of his pictures in various churches, the most 
beautiful, perhaps, at the Corpus Domini. Gio. Batista 
Rossi, from Rovigo, produced one of his pictures for San. 
Clemente at Padua ; subsequently he flourished at Venice, 
executing few things for public exhibition, but which are much 
extolled by Boschini. Giulio Carpioni was accounted also 
among the pupils of Varotari, and acquired a reputation rather 
for his small than his larger compositions ; but we shall have 
occasion to allude to him again. Maestri and Leoni are 
names recorded in the " Guida" of Venice, distinguished for 
their works in fresco, exhibited at the Conventuali. The 
former was most probably a foreigner, as well as the latter, 
whom we shall find at Rimino. Were Boschini somewhat of 
a less profuse panegyrist, we might here add to this list the 
name of Dario, a son of Padovanino, uniting the character of 
the physician, the poet, the painter, and engraver. In the 
index to the " Carta del Navegar," we find him placed in the 
rank of Dilettanti, from the circumstance of his producing 
little in the art, and this more with the object of presenting 



PIETRO LIBERI. 265 

his pictures as gifts than of gain. Nevertheless we meet with 
an encomium upon them,* sufficient to satisfy the claims even 
of a good professor ; besides which, several of his virtues and 
portraits, with an excellent body of colouring, are equally 
extolled for the spirit of their attitudes, and exquisite taste in 
the Giorgione manner. 

We have next to treat of Pietro Liberi, an artist who suc- 
ceeded Padovanino in sustaining the honour of his native 
place. He ranks among the great men of his art, and is 
esteemed by manv the most learned in point of design, of all 
who adorned the Venetian school. From his early studies of 
the antique at Rome, of Michelangelo, and of Raflaello, of 
Correggio at Parma, and of all the most excellent masters in 
the city of Venice, he was led to form a style partaking of 
very school ; a style that pleased in Italy, but far more in 
Germany, and which obtained for him the titles of Count and 
Cavstlier, with wealth to support them handsomely in Venice. 
And, in fact, to estimate his merits rightly, we ought not to 
.consider him as a painter in one style, but in many. For ac- 
cording to his own confession, he employed for the eye of true 
judges a free and rapid pencil, not very studious of finish ; 
for the less intelligent he worked with a very careful one, 
which bestowed the last touch upon every part, distinguishing 
the very hairs in such a manner that one might number them ; 
and these paintings he executed on panels of cypress wood. 
Mos: probably the fire of this man's genius became quenched 
whenever he attempted to paint slowly, and his pieces were 
certs iinly less perfect, which is known to have occurred to 
several painters in fresco. But with the exception of these 
enthusiasts, who are extremely rare, and always adduced by 
the ndolent in defence of their haste, an observing diligence 
18 tie perfection of every artist ; and even those two thunder- 
bolts, let us call them, of art, Tintoretto and Giordano, where 
they most practised it, succeeded most in charming the eye of 
tastt . The style of this artist may also be distinguished into 
the sublime and beautiful. He produced fewer specimens, 
however, in the former, of which Venice boasts a Slaughter 

* Vide pp. 512 and 513. 



266 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

of the Innocents, Vicenza a Noah just landed from the Ark, 
Bergamo the Great Deluge, in which the sea-shore is said to 
have been the work of M. Montagne; the whole of them painted 
for churches, robust in their design, displaying fine variety of 
foreshortenings and of attitudes, with naked parts in grand 
character, and more in emulation of the Caracci than of Michel- 
angelo. He even abused the singular skill that he thus dis- 
played ; drawing the Supreme Deity by an unprecedented 
example, without the least drapery, in the church of Santa 
Caterina at Vicenza, an error of judgment which detracts from 
the worth of one of his most beautiful productions. In a 
lighter character he produced several pictures for private 
ornament, sometimes consisting of fables familiar to us, and 
sometimes of capricci and allegorical subjects, too obscure even 
for GEdipus himself to unravel. Most frequently he drew 
naked figures of Yenus, in the taste of Titian ; and these are 
esteemed his master-pieces, which have acquired for him, 
indeed, the name of Libertino. It is asserted, that being 
unequal to the formation of the folds of his draperies, for the 
most part ill-disposed and vague, he the more willingly exer- 
cised himself in these schools. We meet with a great number 
in different collections, and after beholding one, we are at no 
loss to recognise the remainder, both from the heads, which are 
often repetitions of each other, and from the rosy tinge of his 
fleshes, and of the general tone of his picture. He was extrava- 
gantly fond indeed of this last colour ; which he often misap- 
plied in regard to the hands and the extremities of the fingers. 
For the rest the composition of his colours was sweet ; his 
shades delicate, in the Correggio manner, and his profiles often 
borrowed from the antique, while his whole handling was free 
and elevated. 

Marco Liberi, his son, was not in any way comparable to 
his father, either in point of dignity or beauty, when left to 
his own invention. His forms are either caricatures, in a man- 
ner, of those of his father, or are very inferior where they are 
original. This striking difference may be observed in nume- 
rous collections, where their, paintings of Venus are placed to- 
gether, as we see in that of Prince Ercolani at Bologna. Still 
he was an excellent copyist of his father's works., a talent 



LUCA FERRARI. 267 

possessed by many others of the same school, whose imita- 
tions are easily mistaken for originals, even by professors 
themselves. 

An excellent foreign artist ought not to be omitted in this 
place-, one who flourished during a long period, and taught and 
died in Padua. His name is Luca Ferrari, from Reggio, fully 
deserving of being enrolled in the " Abbeccedario Pittorico." 
Although Guide's pupil, his style became rather lofty than 
delicate ; so that judging by the pictures that he produced for 
Santi Maria della Ghiaja in Reggio, Scannelli pronounced 
him a disciple of Tiarini. In some of the airs of his heads, 
however, and in certain graceful motions, he shews himself 
not unworthy of the character of the former master. In Padua 
there is a Piet& of his at San Antonio, of a very masterly kind, 
a picture that displays the rarest beauty of colouring. In his 
pieces abounding with figures, like that of the Plague of 1630, 
painted for the Domenicani, he does not appear to so much 
advantage ; nor had Guido, indeed, offered him any great 
examples in this line, being accustomed rather to weigh than 
to number his figures. Minorello and Cirello, two of his pupils 
and followers, continued to support in Padua some relish of 
the Bolognese school. Their names might be added to the 
dictionary above mentioned, as Rosetti seemed to wish, and 
the former, who might sometimes be confounded with Luca, 
ought to hold a higher place in it than the latter. Francesco 
Zarella deserves likewise to be recorded there, as an artist of 
spirit, though neither very diligent nor very learned in his art. 
He is esteemed almost the Giordano of this city, from the 
gre-tt number of his works conducted in a short time, and may 
be oomputed almost as the last of the school ; for Pellegrini, 
who flourished during the same age, was not a native, though 
tra< -ing his origin to Padua ; nor did he reside there many 
yea rs. 

The city of Vieenza produced nothing original during this 
epc ch ; though it possessed a school, sprung from that of Paul 
Veronese and from Zelotti, of which I promised the reader a 
ser es in a more appropriate part of the work. In regard to 
its style, this school, in part, belongs to a better age ; but its 
productions are chiefly so very indifferent, and so much the 
res alt of mechanic art, that it may rather be ascribed to the 



268 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

present. Vicenza indeed might have had reason to boast, had 
it possessed artists at all equal in point of genius to its archi- 
tects. I shall first commence with the name of Lucio Bruni, 
whether a native of the state or a foreigner is uncertain, an 
artist who produced, for San Jacopo, a little altar-piece, re- 
presenting the Marriage, of S. Catherine, executed in 1585, 
and partaking of the genius of a better age. I have met with 
no other notice of him ; for as he was probably little known 
in times when Italy abounded with the choicest artists, he 
found no historian who might have rescued his reputation from 
oblivion. Yet this I would willingly do, if not by giving 
him a rank in this school, at least including him in the list of 
artists of the city, where I find mention of his name. Gian- 
nantonio Fasolo received the instructions of Paul, and for a 
longer period those of Zelotti ; still adhering, however, to 
Paul as his first example. At San Rocco, there is one of his 
pictures, a Probatica, so beautifully decorated with perspec- 
tive, and so finely filled with sick figures, in various groups 
and distances, that Paul Veronese would not have disclaimed 
it for his own. There are likewise three Roman histories in 
the ceiling of the prefectory palace ; Mutius Scsevola before 
Porsenna, Horatius at the Bridge, and Curtius before the 
Gulph ; the whole of them nobly executed. By some strange 
mistake Orlandi mentions Verona as the place of his birth, 
and where he exercised his talents. 

Among his pupils was Alessandro Maganza, son of the 
same Giambatista whose name I recorded among Titian's fol- 
lowers. Fasolo inspired him with his own taste ; and we may 
likewise consider him a fine imitator of Zelotti and of Paul 
Veronese ; as he has shewn in his Epiphany, at San Dome- 
nico ; and in his Martyrdom of S. Giustina, at San Pietro. In 
his architecture he was excellent, judicious in his composition, 
very pleasing in his countenances; in his fleshes inclining 
towards white ; in his folds somewhat hard and monotonous ; 
and for the most part wanting in expression. Vicenza has an 
abundance of his paintings, both private and in public ; be- 
sides the provinces and the adjacent cities, to such an amount, 
that we have no difficulty in believing that he flourished 
till his seventy-fourth year ; that he painted for good prices, 
and with little trouble. A few of his pictures, such as 



ALESSANDRO MAGANZA. 269 

we meet with at Vicenza, are amply sufficient to give 
us an idea of the rest; not unfrequently presenting us with 
the s ime features and the same attitudes and motions. We 
are to look for the cause of this, not so much in his genius, 
whicii he shews in many of his works to have been excellent, 
as in his domestic anxieties, occasioned by a numerous family 
for whom he had to provide. This artist was extremely un- 
fortunate as a father. Giambatista, the eldest of his sons, 
emulated him in knowledge; and if we may venture to judge 
from one of his histories, of San Benedetto, at the church of 
S. Giustina, in Padua, he was superior to him in point of ele- 
ganco. But the support he derived from this young man's 
talents was soon cut off by his early death, leaving a young 
family of his own to the care of their grandfather. His 
secord son, Girolamo, who had also to make provision for his 
own children, and Marcantonio, quite a youth, afterwards 
assisted their father in his productions, and already began to 
acquire some degree of reputation from their own. When, in 
the year 1630, their native place was ravaged by the plague, 
Ales^andro had the grief to witness the death of his two sons, 
and, one by one, of the whole of his grandchildren ; until left 
" the last of his race," to lament over the destruction of his 
kindred, he shortly followed them to the tomb, closing with 
his death that noble school which the two illustrious Veronese 
had founded in Vicenza. 

Y<:t it did not altogether perish; but was continued by 
Maffoi, by Carpioni, and by Cittadella, three artists who, com- 
paretl with the Maganza, sometimes appear to have sprung 
from the same academy, either from having studied in Vicenza 
the models they imitated, or because the style, which partakes 
both of that of Paul and Palma, was then in high repute, as 
that of Cortona at another period among us. They were all 
three, like Alessandro himself, rapid in their composition; 
and -were their pictures, even belonging to the city, to be enu- 
merated, they would most likely be found to equal those of all 
the other foreign or native artists employed there. Francesco 
Maffoi, from Vicenza, had been the pupil of Peranda, some of 
whoso unfinished pieces he completed. He next undertook to 
imitate Paul Veronese, with a tolerable degree of spirit and: 
learning. His style is on a lofty scale; insomuch that Bos- 



270 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

chini entitles him the great mannerist, extolling him as the 
painter of giants. Nor is he wanting in a certain grace pe- 
culiarly his, which distinguishes him from the mannerists. 
His picture of St. Anna, at San Michele di Vicenza, besides 
many works produced at the same place for the public palace, 
and elsewhere, extremely poetical, full of fine portraits, and 
coloured in the best Venetian taste, shew that he was able to 
compete with more skilful artists than Carpioni and Cittadella, 
his contemporaries. And as he, perhaps, did not consider 
them very formidable rivals, he did not finish his pieces with 
much care, leaving many of his heads, besides other portions 
of his figures, incomplete ; scanty in his colouring, employing 
dark grounds, and altogether painting rather for years than 
for ages. At San Francesco, in Padua, there is a grand pic- 
ture of his " Paradise," which, owing to this method, has lost 
almost every trace of colour. This result extinguishes the 
praise which Boschini bestows upon him, that with four 
touches of his pencil he could make the observer raise his 
eyebrows with admiration, and is a very excellent warning, we 
think, for over expeditious artists. Their pictures may be 
said, indeed, to resemble certain children, the offspring of un- 
healthy parents, who sometimes exhibit a florid countenance 
in youth, accompanied with every other symptom of health, 
but, declining as they advance, their constitution becomes 
exhausted in a few years. 

Giulio Carpioni, a pupil to Padovanino, and for the same 
reason familiar with the composition of Paul Veronese, has 
assuredly more vivacity, power of expression, and poetry than 
Maffei. He was not, however, equally inclined to grand pro- 
portions, and works upon an extensive scale. His figures do 
not usually exceed the size of those of Bassano ; and they are 
more frequently met with in collections than in churches, 
throughout the whole Venetian state. In many noble houses 
we also find pictures consisting of bacchanals, dreams, fables, 
and capricci, or fancy-pieces, as well as histories, all touched 
with a spirit and a taste in his tints, which his master himself 
might have thought worthy of his pencil. He appears to 
have produced others for the people, if indeed they are not 
the work of his pupils, or of his son Carlo, who is supposed 
to have followed, in all points, the example of his father; 



GIULIO CARPIONI. 2? 1 

though I never met with any piece that was positively genuine. 
He T/as, likewise, a good portrait-painter ; and in the public 
Couiicil Hall at Vicenza, as well as in the church of the Servi 
at Monte Berico, appear the portraits of several of the magis- 
trates in that government, accompanied by their trains ; in 
which, to singular correctness of feature, we meet with much 
ideal beauty in his representation of the Virtues, that he 
introduced with appropriate and noble inventions. Such an 
artis ; ought to be well known in Venice and Vicenza, where 
he flourished during many years. He passed his latter days 
in Verona, where his contemporary, Bartolommeo Cittadella, 
had likewise taken up his residence ; last of the three whom 
I have just before mentioned. It is uncertain whether he was a 
pupil, or only a companion of Carpioni ; but he is indisputably 
his i iferior in point of genius and ability. To the same school 
we may add the name of Niccolo Miozzi, of Vicenza, recorded 
in tbe "Gioielli Pittoreschi" of Boschini ; and, though more 
doubtful, that of Marcantonio Miozzi, known by his super- 
scription attached to a sacred subject, in possession of the 
house of Muttoni, at Rovigo. 

Towards the close of the century, one of the artists in most 
request was Menarola, whose style approaches nearest to the 
modern. He was pupil to Volpato, though chiefly following 
the manner of Carpioni. Next to him was Constantin Pas- 
qual otto, more distinguished for colouring than for design ; 
and Antonio de' Pieri, called lo Zoppo, of Vicenza, who pos- 
sessed a rapid, but less decided hand ; along with some others 
who may be recognised in this description. Still higher in 
repu te than these was Pasquale Rossi, little of whom remains 
in Vicenza, he having chiefly attached himself to the Roman 
scho3l, where he will be found mentioned. Gio. Bittonte, 
leaving Vicenza, established himself, and painted a good deal 
at Castelfranco ; where, from the circumstance of founding a 
schoDl both of painting and of dancing, he acquired the sur- 
name of Ballerino. Melchiori represents him as pupil to Maflei, 
and master of Melchiore, his father, who lived also in Castel- 
franoo, where he was much employed, although engaged also 
at Venice, in the Casa Morosini, where he competed with the 
Cavalier Liberi. 

When the ancient school had become wholly extinct at 



272 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

Bassano, there appeared a Gio. Batista Volpati, who produced 
many pictures for his native state ; somewhat resembling Car- 
pioni in his capricci and in his style, but more common, per- 
haps, in his features and whole design. His pupils are said 
to have been one Trivellini and one Bernardoni, both still in- 
ferior to their master. He left behind him several treatises 
upon the pictoric art, which are yet existing in MS. in the 
rich and select library of Count Giuseppe Remondini. In 
the preface to these he asserts that he had no master, though 
he is said, in a MS. at Castelfranco, to have been a pupil of 
Novelli. The work is interspersed with good remarks, such 
as to lead us to suppose him a tolerable theorist ; and Alga- 
rotti took a copy of it, as we learn from the index of his 
works upon the fine arts, already before the public. 

"We have above alluded to a branch of the Veronese school, 
transplanted to Padua, where it flourished with extraordinary 
success. Referring to its origin, and to those Veronese- 
artists who lived contemporary with Palma, and until the 
close of the 17th century, it must be observed that they main- 
tained the national reputation no less than those of Padua, and 
were even more constant in the good old method of managing 
their grounds and their style of colouring. I have noticed 
the name of Claudio Ridolfi* in a former school, from the cir- 
cumstance of his having flourished in the Pontifical state. He 
did not, however, desist from his labours in the Venetian 
state, some of which appear in the capital and the adjacent 
cities, particularly in his native place, and Padua. In the 
celebrated church of S. Giustina, there is a very fine piece, re- 
presenting the honours of the Benedictine order, professed by 
princes, adorned by martyrs, and the nurse of the most distin- 
guished pastors of the holy church. The invention is very 
appropriate, the execution altogether elegant and well finished, 
and the ornaments equally rich as in any of his other works. 
He presented his country with a good disciple of his style, in 
Gio. Batista Amigazzi, though his chief talent seemed to con- 
sist in the excellence of his copies. In San Carlo, at Verona, 

* V. torn. i. p. 449 ; and, in the same place, I gave him as a pupil to 
Dario Pozzo, on the authority of the Commendatore del Pozzo. But 
writers disagree in regard to the chronology of this man ; which, until it 
be further cleared up, may rest, for me, without this honour. 



ALESSANDRO TURCHI. 

there is one taken from a Supper by Paul Veronese, not only 
finely drawn, but exhibiting colours fresh and vivid even at the- 
pre.sent day. Still superior to him, and almost equal to his 
master, we meet with Benedetto Marini, of TJrbino, an artist 
unheard of in his own country, though greatly distinguished 
at Piacenza.* 

Posterior to Ridolfi appeared three scholars of Felice Bru- 
sasorci, in addition to Creara, an artist less celebrated ; all of 
whom, on the death of their master, pursued their studies at 
Rome. There they imbibed, more or less, the prevailing style ; 
and all of them occupy a distinguished rank in the history of 
the art. Alessandro Turchi, surnamed Orbetto, is, in particular, 
distinguished among the tirst of his age ; he was called Or- 
betto, observes Pozzo, because, when quite a boy, he was in 
the habit of guiding an old blind mendicant, either his father^ 
or some other person. Passeri declares that he derived it from 
liis 1 laving a defect in one of his eyes, which was observable 
in his left eye, as I am informed by Signor Brandolese, after 
having seen his portrait, engraved after the original, in posses- 
sion of the Signori Vianelli. Brusasorci, from certain undoubted 
symptoms, discovered in him a fine genius for the art, and, 
giving him the best instructions, in a few years encountered a 
rival, rather than a disciple. Residing afterwards in Venice, 
und( r Carlo Caliari, and thence proceeding to Rome, he formed 
a style wholly his own, possessing some strength but more 
elegance. He established himself in Rome, where he entered 
into competition with the followers of the Caracci, with Sacchi, 
and with Berrettini, with whom he appears to advantage in 
the rhurch of the Concezione, as well as in a few others. But 
no c ty has so many of his pieces in public as Verona, to say 
nothing of those he painted for private persons. The family 
of tt e Marchese Girardini alone, who patronised him and sup- 
ported him at Rome, for which we have original letters and 
documents, possesses sufficient to enrich several collections, 
amoi g which it is amusing to trace his progress from the in- 
ferior to the more correct specimens, and from a lower degree 
of ornament to the highest. Some, indeed, have ventured to 

* An account of him may be found, torn. ii. p. 198, and in the series 
of painters of the Barocci school, 
VOL. II. T 



274 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

put him in competition with Annibal Caracci, a comparison 
that, in other times, would have created as great a sensation in 
Bologna as the celebrated Rape of the Bucket, and one which 
ought not to be listened to, indeed, any where. Annibal was 
a painter worthy of our veneration, and Turchi succeeded in 
imitating his design in the " Sisara" of the Casa Colonna and 
elsewhere. But he was not so happy in every instance, and, 
generally, his naked figures (which approach, in Annibal, to 
those of the ancient Greeks) are not equal to such as he has 
thrown into costume. On the contrary, Passeri, in describing 
his pictures at the Camaldolesi, in Rome, admits that he did 
not display perfect taste in his art, while Pascoli, in his life of 
Gimignani, says he enjoyed some degree of reputation at 
Rome ; an incautious expression, if I mistake not, but which 
at least shews that Turchi is not entitled to a comparison with 
Annibal Caracci. Still he exhibts sr many attractions, that 
he never fails to please us in every subject. He seems to have 
aimed at forming a union of various schools, and added to ifc 
a certain originality in giving dignity to the portraits intro- 
duced into his histories, with the most animated, yet the most 
delicate complexions. He excelled in the choice and distribu- 
tion of his colours, among which he introduces a reddish tint, 
which much enlivens his pictures, and is one of the indications 
by which we may recognise the author. He is said to have 
employed exquisite care in the application of his tints, and to 
have possessed some secret art, by means of which they con- 
tinue to attract the envy of posterity. The truth is, he se- 
lected, purified, and kneaded well his colours, besides consult- 
ing chemists upon the subject. From some pictures we feel 
inclined to turn away in disgust, so extremely do the colours 
resemble the tints made use of by coach-painters ; and we have 
reason to complain of want of refinement in many instances. 
But how very few apply themselves seriously to select and 
refine their materials, to make experiments, and to analyse 
those colours that have been once applied ! 

At the church of San Stefano, in Verona, there is exhi- 
bited his " Passion of the Forty Martyrs," a work that, in 
regard to depth of colours and fore-shortening, partakes much 
of the Lombard ; in point of expression and design, of the 
Roman ; and in its colouring, of the Venetian School. It is 



PASQUALE OTTINI. 275 

on( of the most studied, finished, and animated pieces that he 
prc duced : there is a choiceness in the heads that approaches 
Guide's ; and a skill of composition, that throws into the back- 
ground of the picture a great portion of the multifarious his- 
tory, as appearing in a field of vast extent, where his figures 
are admirably varied, according to the distances in which 
they are supposed to appear. Yet he does not belong to that 
claws of artists who go about in search of personages for their 
histories, in order to fill them with figures. On the other hand, 
he appears to take more pleasure in introducing an inferior 
number. Thus his picture of a Pieta, painted for the church 
of La Misericordia, at Verona, exhibits only a dead Christ, 
the Virgin, and Nicodemus, but the whole so well designed, 
arranged, and animated, as well as coloured, that it has been 
esteemed by many his master-piece, and is certainly one of 
the best paintings in Verona. In that of his Epiphany also, 
in possession of the Signori Girardini, of which the rough 
draft is preserved in the Casa Fattorini, at Bologna, he is by 
no means lavish of his figures ; but he succeeded in arraying 
those of the Magi in so noble a manner, as to remind us of 
Titian and Bassano. Turchi died at Rome, leaving behind 
him two excellent disciples in Gio. Ceschini, and Gio. Batista 
JRotei, called il Gobbino. The first of these produced copies 
of Ms masters works, that had all the appearance of originals. 
Bol h continued to employ themselves at Verona, though de- 
clining in importance and in credit in proportion as they ad- 
van ced in years. 

I'asquale Ottini, the same who, with Orbetto, completed 
some pictures by Felice, was a good .artist in regard to his 
fori is, and of no common expression, particularly in the works 
he conducted ^after having seen Raffaello's. Of this we have 
a striking specimen in the " Slaughter of the Innocents," 
pla< ed at San Stefano, although it is subjected to an unfavour- 
able comparison, being placed opposite to one of the finest 
productions of Orbetto. He appears to more advantage, 
perl taps, at San Giorgio, where we meet with his picture of 
San Niccolo, with other saints, in the best Venetian style of 
colouring ; whereas, in other instances, his colours are some- 
what languid, a defect most probably arising from time and 

T 2 



276 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

unfavourable situations. Finally, he is in high repute in his 
own country; and in the learned Alessandro Carli's " His- 
tory of Verona," he is mentioned as approaching the nearest 
of all, in point of excellence, to Paul Veronese. Subsequent 
to him, and not inferior in talent, we meet with Marc Anto- 
nio Bassetti, who, leaving his fellow-pupils, set out very 
young to complete his studies at Venice. After again joining 
them, he next transferred his residence to Rome, and having 
copied from the best models of both schools, he ultimately re- 
turned to his native place. He is particularly commended by 
Ridolfi in the branch of design, in which he was truly great ; 
add to which he was an excellent colorist. And he was accus- 
tomed to advise those who aimed at good colouring to return, 
in the first place, to Venice, and again to consult the most 
beautiful productions of the art. . There is one of his altar- 
pieces at San Stefano, in Verona, representing various holy 
bishops of the city, all arrayed in their sacred habits, all admi- 
rably contrasted, and in a taste nearly approaching that of 
Titian, were it not for the vicinity of Turchi, who seems here 
again to throw him somewhat into the shade. He left no suc- 
cession of the school,* nor, indeed, many works of his own, 
though they were highly valued. For he was accustomed to 
say that painting ought not to be pursued by journeymen, like 
a mechanic art, but with the leisure that is bestowed upoa 
literature, for the sake of the pleasure it affords. It would 
appear that Dante adopted almost the same maxim in his 
poetry, when he watched for, observed, and encouraged the 

* Melchiori informs me of a pupil of his, unknown to Pozzo, probably 
because a non-resident in Verona. This was Father Massimo Cappucino, 
a Veronese by birth, and, in the historian's opinion, an excellent artist. 
In proof of this, he mentions four large pictures, placed in the dome of 
Montagnana, besides several altar-pieces, distributed by him among the 
churches of his order. Along with this ecclesiastic I find mention of two 
contemporary lay-brothers, who assisted him in the art, neither of them 
unworthy of being placed upon record. These are Fra Semplice, a native 
of Verona, and pupil to Brusasorci, and Fra Santo, of Venice ; both of 
whom were particularly employed in painting for churches and convents, 
within the Venetian territory. Fra Semplice produced also some for 
Rome. A fine picture of San Felice, from his hand, placed at Castel- 
franco, was engraved in 1712. 



VARIETY OP STYLES. 277 

impressions that nature, the first guide of all true geniuses, 
implanted in his spirit.* These two friends met their fate 
together, dying of the plague in the year 1630, as well as 
nia ly other scholars of Brusasorci, mentioned by the Commen- 
datore del Pozzo. But I omit their names, either because of 
their early death, or want of talent to distinguish themselves. 
Thus, about the same year, when Orbetto had already established 
himself in Rome, the succession of Brusasorci's school ceased 
in Verona. The disciples of Paul Veronese, mentioned subse- 
quent to him, Montemezzano, Benfatto, Verona, and others, 
died likewise about this period ; insomuch that every trace of 
the municipal school may be said to have disappeared, and it 
was succeeded by a variety of foreign styles. 

Indeed, for some time before, the young Veronese artists 
had become attached to foreign academies, and several stran- 
gers? had established themselves in Verona. Dionisio Guerri 
had formed, under the direction of Feti, a very striking and 
clear- style ; in himself equal to repairing the loss of many 
artitts. But he died young, in 1640, leaving few works be- 
hind him, in a great measure dispersed through foreign collec- 
tions ; and. he was much lamented. Francesco Bernardi, called 
Bigolaro, supposed to have been a native of Brescia, until the 
Con;mendatore del Pozzo proved him to have been of Verona, 
was an artist educated by the same master. He exhibited, in 
his picture of the Titular Saint, at the church of S. Carlo, seen 
in the act of attending his infected brethren, as well as in an- 
other piece, a companion to it, all the taste of his master : but 
he produced much more for private collections .than for the 
public. The Cavalier Barca was an artist who sprang from 
Mantua, though he subsequently became a citizen of Verona. 
It is uncertain whether he was instructed by Feti. His style 
is va rious ; and in a Pieta of his, remaining at San Fermo, he 
appears a painter capable of producing a good effect ; in other 
piect s, at the Scala, he abounds with pictorial grace and beauty, 
and ue is fully worthy of commemoration. 

The city of Bologna, likewise, contributed to repair the loss 

* Io mi son un che quando 
Amore spira noto ; ed a quel modo 
Che detta dentro vo significando. Purg. C. 24. 



278 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

sustained by Verona of so many artists. Guido and Albani 
conferred great obligations, by instructing the Cavalier Coppa 
(his real name, however, was Antonio Giarola, or Gerola), who 
is to be enumerated in the list of their best disciples, though 
he is somewhat too loaded in his composition, and, with a view 
of catching the sweetness of Guido, became wanting in strength 
of colouring. There is one of his Magdalens in the Desert, 
however, placed at the Servi, which is full of fine expression. 
And in the refectory, also, of the Veronese college, is his 
Supper of Emmaus, a picture conducted in the style of the 
best Venetians. Although addicted to the style of Guido, he 
was also considered by Albani as one of his fevourite pupils, 
who sent him as court-painter to the Duke of Mantua, as we 
are informed by Malvasia.* From the same academy sprang 
Giacomo Locatelli, distinguished for several works, chiefly pro- 
duced for San Procolo, as well as on account of the merit of 
some of his pupils. They rose into notice on the decline of the 
art, about the close of the seventeenth century. Andrea Vol- 
tolino, a careful but cold painter, was more fitted to succeed in 
portraits than in compositions ; Biagio Falcieri, instructed also 
by the Cavalier Liberi at Venice, possessed much of the fire 
and imagination abounding in the Venetian school. Of this 
he gave an example in his great picture representing the Coun- 
cil of Trent, where the figure of St. Thomas, in the act of over- 
throwing heretics, appears conspicuous on high, -a piece that 
adorns the church of the Dominicans. Santo Prunato was 
instructed by these two professors, an artist who brought the 
Veronese school into fresh notice, as we shall have occasion to 
observe in the following period. 

The school of Moretto continued during this epoch to 
flourish in Brescia ; a master exquisitely delicate in his colours, 
and extremely diligent, as is evident from his works. Such is 
the opinion expressed by Vasari ; but he did not always pre- 
serve the same excellence. There is not the same degree of 
finish in his disciples ; and it was, indeed, too difficult, while so 
large a portion of the state put a high value upon celerity of 
hand, to pursue more tedious processes. The Brescian artists 
who succeeded him, having in part received a Venetian educa- 

* Tom, ii. p, 266. 



FRANCESCO ZUGNI. 279 

tior , the city abounded in mannerists and the class of tenebrosi. 
Still there appeared among these some excellent painters. 
Anionio Gandini and Pietro Moroni, or Maroni, are enume- 
rate d among the pupils of Paul. The former sometimes imi- 
tate d Yanni, without neglecting Palma ; vast, varied, and 
ornjite in his compositions, an artist every way deserving of 
consideration in the grand history of the Cross, which he 
painted in the old cathedral, where his son Bernardino, a poor 
imil ator of his father, also employed himself. Moroni studied 
a good deal the works of Titian, and was one of the most 
accurate and finest designers the school could, at that time, 
boa; ;t; nor does he yield to any of his contemporaries in the 
stro ig body and in the clearness of his colouring. Such at 
leas: he appeared to me at San Barnaba, in his picture of 
Christ going to Mount Calvary, when compared with other 
productions of the same period exhibited there. 

Filippo Zanimberti, pupil to Peranda, and an artist of fine 
character, and a fine hand, as well as a very natural colourist, 
has never been sufficiently appreciated in Brescia. But in 
Venice, where he resided many years, and where he painted 
with real genius and skill for different churches, he is very 
highly esteemed. In Santa Maria Nuova appears his grand 
picture of the Manna, so much commended by Ridolfi, by 
Bosohini, and by Zanetti; though he chiefly seems to have 
eftiployed himself in the ornament of palaces. He possessed 
sing alar talent for drawing small figures, and composing fables 
and histories, which were eagerly sought after, insomuch that 
the poet of the Venetian paintings affirms that whoever pos- 
sessed Zanimberti's pictures was sure of his money. 

Francesco Zugni, of Brescia, is mentioned by Ridolfi among 
the best of Palma' s disciples. He could not compete with 
him in the beauty of his forms and attitudes, though he sur- 
pass 3d him in the fulness of his colouring, and in the spirit in 
whi ;h he conducted his works. These were for the most part 
in fresco, and frequently exhibited the perspectives of Sandrini, 
an rchitect of great merit. With him he was employed in 
the hall of the Podesta, in that of the Capitano, and in several 
villas. He displayed equal excellence in his oil paintings, as 
we gather from that of the Circumcision at the Grazie, and 



280 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

from some small figures adorning one of the choirs, designed 
and touched with great spirit. 

Grazio Cossale, or Cozzale, produced a variety of pieces 
upon a large scale, still remaining in his native province. He 
was gifted with a rich imagination, and of a character, com- 
pared by Cozzando, the historian of Brescia, to that of Palma ; 
and he indeed appears to have emulated his facility without 
abusing it. His picture of the Presentation, which he left at 
the church of the Miracoli ; his Epiphany at the Grazie, and 
other pieces dispersed throughout Brescia, are all calculated to 
arrest the eye of the spectator, who must likewise possess little 
feeling should he fail to lament the unhappy fate of so great a 
man, who fell by the hand of one of his own sons. Neither in 
Camillo Rama, Ottavio Amigoni, nor in Jacopo Barucco, all 
disciples of Palma, have I met with any works of equal beauty 
throughout that city, the last of whom, indeed, has loaded his 
pieces with a more than ordinary degree of shade. Amigoni, 
who had been pupil to Gandino, likewise held his school, in 
which he counted, among other scholars, Pompeo Ghiti, an 
artist who, under Zoppo of Lugano, succeeded in improving 
his manner, or rendered it at least more powerful. He pos- 
sessed a rich imagination, excellent in the art of design, and in 
his touch similar to, though perhaps not so strong as the 
Luganese. Francesco Paglia was a pupil and imitator of 
Guercino, and the iather of Antonio and Angelo, both devoted 
to the art. He was most successful in his portraits, though he 
painted also scriptural pieces; one of the most esteemed of 
which is to be seen at La Carita. He was excellent in the 
laying on of his colours, and in chiaroscuro, but displayed lit- 
tle spirit, while his proportions were frequently too long and 
.slender. But to describe minutely the manner of the succes- 
sors of Ghiti and Paglia, would occupy too much of our space ; 
such are the names of Tortelli, very spirited in Venetian com- 
position, of Cappelli, instructed likewise by Pasinelli at Bo- 
logna, and by Baciccio at Rome, along with some others of a 
more modern character, who succeeded tolerably in the path 
marked out by the artists of Bologna, and a few of whom 
may be referred to the ensuing epoch. 

During the time of Palma and the Venetian mannerists, the 



ENEA SALMEGGIA. 281 

art had been maintained in Bergamo by the successors of 
Lot ;o, and his contemporaries. We meet with ample com- 
mendations of Gio. Paolo Lolmo, a good artist in diminutive 
pictures. In the altar-piece of Santi Rocco and Sebastiano at 
S. Maria Maggiore, and executed about 1587, not one of his 
earliest pieces, he displayed a great partiality for the design of 
the fourteenth century ; diligent, a minute observer of refine- 
meijts in figures, though not sufficiently modern. But there 
were two excellent artists, altogether in the modern style, who 
flourished at the same period, Salmeggia and Cavagna, who 
competed with one another in perfect amity, for many years, 
in ornamenting their native province. One of them died in 
1626, the other in the following year. 

Enea Salmeggia, called Talpino, received instructions in the 
art from the Campi at Cremona, and from the Procaccini in 
Milan ; whence proceeding to Rome, he studied for a period of 
fourteen years the models of Raffaello, imitating him during 
the remainder of his life. Orlandi and other writers join in 
extolling his San Vittore, at the Olivetani in Milan, as well as 
a few other of his works, observing that they had been even 
ascribed to Raffaello. And whoever attentively examines that 
fine specimen, will not feel inclined to refuse Salmeggia one of 
the most distinguished places in the rank of Raffaello's fol- 
lowers. The clearness of his contours (sometimes, however, 
carried to the borders of littleness), the expression of his youth- 
ful countenances, the smoothness of his pencil and the flow of 
his drapery, together with a certain graceful air in the motions 
and expressions, sufficiently mark him for an admirer of that 
sovereign master, however much inferior to him in point of 
dignity, in imitation of the antique, and in felicity of composi- 
tion His method of colouring was also different. He affects 
greater variety of colours in his draperies ; the tints in a large 
portion of his works are at present faded ; and the shades, as 
in other pictures of the same period, are much altered. Yet 
it is probable that this great artist, as it has been observed of 
Poussin and of Raffaello himself, did not always bestow the 
same degree of care upon his colouring, satisfied with display- 
ing from time to time his surpassing excellence in this depart- 
ment. In the church of La Passione at Milan, he produced 
his Christ Praying in the Garden, as well as his picture of the 



282 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

Flagellazione, works conducted in his best style. The former 
of these is finely coloured in the manner of the Bassani ; and 
the latter, of a more lofty and animated character, is superior 
to the other, even in force of colouring. Bergamo boasts other 
specimens of him, and in particular in the two great altars of 
Santa Marta and of Santa Grata. There we meet with two 
noble pictures, each of which may boast its separate admirers 
who prefer it to the other ; and each displays a union of 
colours, at once so fresh, clear, and beautiful, that we are never 
weary of contemplating them. In both he has observed the 
same general composition; the Virgin being represented on 
high, crowned with a glory, while below her are seen the 
figures of several saints -, but in the second, perhaps, he has 
employed a greater degree of care. Here he has introduced a 
splendid variety of shortenings, of attitudes, and of lineaments ; 
and has evn inserted the city of Bergamo, with some fine archi- 
tecture in the style of Paul Veronese. The figures are arrayed 
with extreme care, among which appears a bishop in his sacred 
paraphernalia, that serves to remind us of Titian himself. His 
pictures for private ornament are rare and valuable, but not 
sufficiently known beyond his native province and its vicinity, 
a circumstance common to many very excellent artists belong- 
ing to all our schools. Italy, indeed, is too abundantly sup- 
plied with distinguished names to admit of the whole of them 
being generally known and estimated as they deserve. 

The style of Enea was not such as to be easily maintained, 
without consulting the great examples of Raffaello as he had 
done. His two sons, Francesco and Chiara, although educated 
by their father, succeeded rather in imitating his studies and 
his figures, than in thoroughly penetrating into the principles 
of his art. The fruits, however, of a good education were 
sufficiently apparent in them ; and when placed in competition 
with some of their contemporaries, they appear, if not very 
animated, at least very sedulous artists, and greatly exempt 
from the faults of the mannerists. The city is in possession of 
many of their public works ; in some of the best of which their 
father is supposed to have afforded them his assistance. 

Gianpaolo Cavagna seems in some way to have escaped the 
notice of Boschini, and even of Orlandi, who had bestowed so 
much commendation upon his rival. He ranks, in his native 



GIANPAOLO CAVAGNA. 283 

provi ace, as high as Salmeggia, and he certainly appears to 
have possessed a still more enlarged genius, more decision, and 
more talent for extensive works. A pupil of Morone, the 
great portrait-painter, as we have already mentioned, he 
evinced a taste for the Venetian School, attaching himself in 
particular to Paul Veronese, in whose style he conducted some 
of his best productions. He was ambitious of surpassing him 
likewise in point of design, which he assuredly did in his naked 
figures, exhibiting even the adult form with a degree of mas- 
terly power. He had acquired the best method of painting in 
fresco in his native place, and he succeeded in it admirably, 
as aj pears from the choir of Santa Maria Maggiore, where he 
represented the Virgin received into Heaven, a very spirited 
and varied composition, abounding with figures of angels and 
of prophets, truly great, the distinguishing characteristic, per- 
haps, of this artist's genius. Nor did he appear to less advan- 
tage in oils, more particularly when the immediate vicinity of 
other celebrated painters put his talents to the test. Of this 
kind the most successful, perhaps, are his Daniel in the Lions' 
Den, and his picture of San Francesco receiving the Stigmata, 
forming side pictures to one of the best altar-pieces by Lo- 
renzo Lotto at San Spirito ; yet they are nevertheless worthy 
of that distinguished post. His Crucifixion, between various 
saints, placed at Santa Lucia, has been still more highly ex- 
tolled as one of the finest productions the city has to boast, and 
preferred by many judges to any of the altar-pieces of Tal- 
pino. I shall abstain from expressing an opinion upon a sub- 
ject n which artists themselves would disagree, merely observ- 
ing that it is more difficult to meet with inferior or careless 
piec< s from the hand of Salmeggia than from Cavagna's. He 
had also a son a painter, of the name of Francesco, called 
Cavignuola, who, surviving his father, acquired some degree 
of celebrity. He attached himself wholly to the style of Gian- 
paol), as well as certain foreigners sprung from the same 
school, such as Girolamo Grifoni, in whose productions we 
seem to trace the copy of a copy of the style of Paul. If the 
artists named Santa Croce belong to Bergamo, and to one 
family, as we are informed in the " Guida" of Padua, we ought 
hen to insert the name of Pietro Paolo, the least distinguished 
among the Santa Croce, but not unworthy of commemoration 



284 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

for one of his Madonnas at the Arena, and for other pictures 
at different churches in Padua, in all of which he appears 
attached to the school of Cavagna, or at least to the less man- 
nered class of the Venetians. 

Subsequent to the above two artists, we meet with the name 
of Francesco Zucco, a good pupil of the Campi at Verona, and 
of Maroni at Bergamo. From this last he acquired the art of 
giving a singular degree of spirit to his portraits, and from 
Paul Veronese the mode of ornamenting them with most taste 
and fancy. Even in his larger compositions he sometimes 
adhered so closely to the same artist, that several of them were 
ascribed even by his fellow-citizens to Paul, a circumstance that 
occurred to his pictures of the Nativity and of an Epiphany, 
on the organ of San Gottardo. He adopted, moreover, a va- 
riety of manners, apparently ambitious of displaying to the 
public his power of imitating Cavagna or Talpino, as he pleased. 
Contemporary with these artists, he so far rivalled them (as 
in his San Diego atLe Grazie, or in the larger altar-piece at the 
Cappuccine,) as to approve himself worthy of such emulation. 
In other works he gives us occasion to wish for a better union 
of his colours, in which he cannot be pronounced equal to tho 
first masters of the school, so admirable in this department. 

Subsequent to the year 1627, there was no want of artists 
of ability at Bergamo, among whom we may mention a Fabio 
di Pietro Ronzelli, whose style, if not sufficiently select and 
ideal, was at least solid and robust. To his we may add the 
name of Carlo Ceresa, an artist of much study and research, 
pleasing in his colouring, and having apparently formed his 
taste upon the models of the best age, successful in giving ideal 
beauty to his countenances. The former of these, most pro- 
bably the son of one Piero, known as a good portrait-painter, 
and respectable in point of composition, painted the Martyrdom 
of San Alessandro for the church of Santa Grata, while the 
latter added the two side pictures without the least traces of 
mannerism. Contemporary with both these, Domenico Ghis- 
landi distinguished himself as a painter of frescos, more parti- 
cularly in architecture. He was the father of Fra Vittore, 
called likewise Frate Paolotto, whom we shall have occasion 
to mention hereafter. At present it will hardly be desirable 
that I should extend my remarks to other names scarcely 



CARLO URBINI. 285 

heard of beyond the limits of their native province ; though in 
justice to the city I must observe that in its dearth of native 
talent, it spared no expense in decorating public places with 
the works of the best foreign artists of every country. Ample 
proof; of this liberality may be seen in the cathedral and the 
adjacent church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Such are among 
the ad vantages enjoyed by cities, which are equally in posses- 
sion <f taste and of riches. But when deficient in either of 
these they will be compelled to adopt the plan pursued in rural 
occupations, where each agriculturist employs the oxen that 
belong to his own fields. 

Crema, at this period, might pride itself on having produced 
such an artist as Carlo Urbini, who, though of limited genius, 
was -ery pleasing, skilful in perspective, and equal to grand 
historical pieces. He had afforded a specimen of his powers 
in one of the public halls, in which he exhibited national bat- 
tles and victories, besides having employed his talents in dif- 
ferent churches. In ornamenting that of San Domenico, 
however, an artist of the name of Uriele, most probably of the 
Gatt' family at Cremona, was preferred before him, though 
extremely inferior. This injustice seemed to alienate his mind 
from his native place, and he proceeded to Milan, by whose 
writers he has been recorded with honour. Yet his history- 
piece at San Lorenzo, conducted in fresco, seems to contain 
rather the seeds than the fruits of noble painting ; and be ap- 
pears to greater advantage in oil colours, as we gather from 
his picture of our Saviour taking leave of his virgin mother 
previous to his sufferings, a production ornamenting Santa 
Mara near San Celso, where it may compete with the best 
Lombard masters of that time. Lomazzo makes mention of 
him in reference to such as produced pieces more suitable to 
the places for which they were intended, a useful practice, 
fami iar to the old masters, who took care to adapt their pic- 
tures, not only to places, but to household furniture, in- 
somuch that in many of their vases and drinking cups, which 
we i leet with in the kingdom of Naples, are represented, for 
the most part, scenes of festivity, mysteries, and fables of the 
Bacchanalian god. Subsequent to him flourished Jacopo 
Barl>ello, whose paintings in various churches at Bergamo are 
extotled by Pasta, more particularly in that of San Lazzaro, 



286 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

an altar-piece representing the titular saint, remarkable no less 
for its dignity of design than for decision of hand. In the series 
of this school I find mention of no other artist after him, a 
school distinguished in its origin by the name of Polidoro, and 
afterwards adorned by few but very select artists. 

We shall next proceed, according to our plan, to treat of 
certain painters of landscape, of battle-pieces, of perspective, 
flowers, and similar subjects. Henry de Bles, a Bohemian, 
better known under the name of Civetta, an owl, from the fre- 
quent introduction of that bird into his landscapes, was an 
artist who resided for a long period in the Venetian state. 
Besides his specimens of landscape to be met with in Venice, 
and which uniformly present some traces of ancient crudeness, 
he painted a Nativity of our Lord for San Nazaro in Brescia, 
resembling in its style of composition the manner of Bassano. 
Its prevailing tone is sky-coloured, and in the features of its 
countenances it partakes of a foreign expression. I have also 
seen small pictures from his hand intended for cabinets, often 
thronged with minute figures, known by the name of Chimere 
and Stregozzi, or witch-pieces, a kind in which he was ex- 
tremely fanciful. But on this head we shall have occasion to 
return to him in a short time, and proceed to a Flemish artist, 
who flourished, about the beginning of 1600, in the state. 
His name was Lodovico Pozzo, or Pozzoserrato, called also da' 
Trevigi, from his long residence in that city, where he died, 
leaving it, as Frederici relates, beautifully decorated with spe- 
cimens of his hand. He excelled in the representation of 
distant objects, like his rival Paol Brilli of Venice, in such as 
were viewed near ; and he is more pleasing and select than 
the latter in his variation of clouds and distinctions of light ; 
while at the same time he was celebrated for his altar-pieces. 
Subsequent to these appeared several foreign artists, eminent 
for their skill in landscape, in the time of Boschini at Venice, 
where several specimens of their art must be still in existence. 
They where afterwards extolled likewise by Orlandi. There 
was a Mr. Filgher, a German, who very happily represented 
the different seasons of the year, and even the different lights 
throughout the day; a Mons. Giron, a French artist, ex- 
tremely natural in all kinds of views, both of a terrestrial and 
aerial character ; and a M. Cusin, who imitated the noble 



FRANCESCO MONTI. 287 

manier of Titian in his landscapes with much success. Nor 
ougl t we to omit Biagio Lombardo, a citizen of Venice, an 
artist highly commended by Ridolfi, who declares that he 
rivalled both the best Italian and Flemish painters in his 
landscape. Girolamo Yernigo, surnamed also da* Paesi, and 
part cularly celebrated in his native city of Verona, where he 
fell :i victim to the plague in 1630, is intitled to rank in the 
samo list. Jacopo Maffei succeeded admirably in his display 
of incidents at sea, a picture of which kind was engraved by 
Bosrhini. Another artist of the name of Bartolommeo Calo- 
mato has been 'pointed out to me by his excellency Persico, in 
his cabinet of medals ; and he ought apparently to be referred 
to this epoch, judging from his less vigorous and less refined 
stylo, although graceful and lively in his expression. He 
was remarkable for his small pictures representing both rural 
and civic views, along with small figures very animated and 
well composed. 

A taste for battle-pieces had begun to gain ground in this 
part of Italy from the time of Borgognone. The first who pro- 
cured for himself a name in this branch was Francesco Monti, 
of Brescia, and a pupil of Ricchi, as well as of Borgognone 
himself. He was commonly called II Brescianino delle Bat- 
tagli3, the Brescian battle-painter, in which line he exercised 
his talents in different Italian cities, ultimately establishing 
himself at Parma, where he opened a school, and instructed 
one of his sons in the same style of painting. He pursued, as 
far as lay in his power, his master's example, though he 
remained much inferior to him in point of colouring. His 
prod actions are not scarce, but in many collections they do not 
appc ar under his name, being frequently attributed to the 
scho >1 at large of Borgognone. One of 'his fellow-citizens and 
scholars, called Fiammmghino, but whose real name was 
Angelo Everardi, acquired great reputation also by his battle- 
scenes; but they are seldom to be met with, owing to his hav- 
ing < lied young. Another of his disciples, a native of Verona, 
named Lorenzo Comendich, flourished also about the year 
170(', in high repute at Milan. Antonio Calza, a Veronese, 
is to be referred to the same period. Being ambitious of 
repr< senting military actions, he left the school of Cignani, 
and transferred his residence to Rome, where, assisted by 



288 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

Cortesi himself, he met with success. He spent his time in 
Tuscany, at Milan, and in particular at Bologna. There we 
meet with his pictures pretty abundantly, innumerable copies 
of them having been taken by his pupils, who by frequently 
varying the disposition of the groups, succeeded in giving a 
seeming novelty to his pictures. Upon the authority of the 
Melchiori MS., I am inclined to add to the list of good battle- 
painters Agostino Lamma, a Venetian, who employed himself 
for collections ; and in that of Sig. Gio. Batista Curti, there is 
a piece of his representing the Siege of Vienna, very excellent 
in point of taste, modelled according to his custom upon that 
of Matteo Stom. 

Towards the year 1660, when the three artists, Civetta, 
Bosch, and Carpioni, had already filled the galleries with that 
very tasteful class of pictures called capricci ; when Salvator 
Rosa had produced such curious examples of his transforma- 
tions and necromancies ; and Brughel, surnamed dall' Inferno, 
had drawn from the scenes of that abyss, and from its mon- 
sters, a large supply for every capital in Italy ; at that period 
another artist, Gioseffo Ens, or Enzo, the son of him I have 
mentioned in the Preface, and father of Daniele, a tolerably 
good figurist, was acquiring rapid celebrity in Venice with 
some highly imaginative little pictures, partaking in some 
measure of the style of the above artists. For the chief part 
they represent allegorical fictions, in which are introduced 
sphinxes, chimera?, and monsters in grotesque shape ; or to 
speak more correctly, perhaps, extravagances of imagination 
quite unauthorized by ancient example, and formed out of the 
grotesque union of various parts of different animals, much in 
the same manner as they are seen by persons in their delirious 
dreams. Boschini adduces an example of this strange poetical 
folly at page 604, where Pallas is seen putting to flight a 
troop of these wild fancies, haunting an old decayed mansion, 
buried in fire and smoke, as the symbol of Virtue dispersing 
the shades of ignorance and error. In such a career did Enzo 
arrive at the honour of being made a Chevalier of the Cross 
by his Holiness Pope Urban VIII. Subsequently, however, 
he applied himself with more judgment to the study of truth, 
and left behind him, in Venice, several altar-pieces, one of 
which adorning the church of the Ognissanti is extremely 



FRANCESCO MONTOVANO. 289 

beautiful. I have also noticed in different collections some 
burlesques of dwarfs, &c. from the hand of Faustino Bocchi, a 
Brescian, and pupil to Fiamminghino. He was admirable in 
his portraits of these embryos, as it were, of the human race ; 
representations by no means displeasing to some of the an- 
cients, and of which we have examples afforded us in what are 
termed Etruscan vases. In the production of fables, in which 
the dwarfs were to appear as actors, he displayed the most 
fanciful combinations, and in the Carrara collection at Ber- 
gamo, there is represented a sacrifice of these pigmies, and a 
popular feast in honour of an idol, full of humour, in which one 
of ti> em is seen caught in the claws of a crab, while some of 
his own party attempt to save him, and his mother hastens, 
half distracted, to his relief. In order to convey a better idea 
of their size, he inserted a small water-melon, which appears 
almost like a mountain by their side. The design does not 
seem to differ much from that of Timanthes, who introduced 
little satyrs, in the act of measuring one of the Cyclop's 
thumbs with their thyrsus, as he lies asleep, to give a just 
notion of his bulk. It is to be regretted that Bocchi became 
addicted to the sect of the Tenebrosi, owing to which many of 
his labours seem to be fast losing their value. 

The same period likewise abounded in painters of flowers 
and fruits, in every part of Italy ; but I observe that their 
names are, for the most part, forgotten, or where they exist in 
books, are accompanied by no mention of their works. For- 
tunately, among the pictures at Rovigo, I meet with the name 
of Francesco Mantovano, whether his surname or patronymic 
is uncertain, an artist who excelled in similar works about the 
time of Borghini ; besides those of Antonio Bacci and Antonio 
Lecx hi, or Lech, both florists, and all mentioned by Martinioni 
in his " Additions to Sansovino." To the number of these add 
the name of Marchioni, a native of Rovigo, an artist consi- 
dered as the Bernasconi of the Venetian school, from her sin- 
gular skill in flower-painting, though not equalling the Roman 
lady in point of celebrity. Their works are to be seen in some 
of the collections at Rovigo, which abound also with many 
celebrated figure-painters, no less of the Venetian than of other 
Italian schools. 

Pictures of animals do not seem to have been much in vogue 

VOL. II. U 



290 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

with Venetian artists about this period, if, indeed, we are not 
to include Giaconio da Castello in the Venetian state. From, 
verbal communications I learn that in collections at Venice he 
is not at all rare. I have seen only a few specimens at the 
Casa Rezzonico, and these consisting of various species of birds, 
drawn with great truth and force of colouring, as well as 
beautifully disposed. Domenico Maroli, a painter of flocks 
and herds, as well as of other rural subjects, was born at Mes- 
sina, and exercised his talents in Venice. He was intimate with 
Bosch ini, who extolled him as a new Bassano, and as a speci- 
men of his talents, inserted in his " Carta del Navegar" an 
engraving after one of his designs. It represents a shepherd 
with his flocks, figures of cows with a dog, very forcibly and 
beautifully drawn ; and it is altogether one of the best designs 
that has been engraved for that work. There resided also at Ve- 
nice, where he was employed in the Casa Sagredo, and in that 
of Contariui, an artist named Gio. Fayt di Anversa, who, in 
addition to his paintings of fruits and various rural implements, 
was esteemed one of the best copyists of animals, both alive and 
dead, in which he displayed a very polished, natural, and novel 
manner. 

Among the perspective pieces of this epoch, ornamenting dif- 
ferent collections, those by Malombra, as I have before stated, 
have been particularly commended by Ridolfi. And in archi- 
tectural views we may mention Aviani, a native of Vicenza, 
very superior in this branch, as well as in sea-views and land- 
scapes. He was born during the lifetime of Palladio, or at 
least while his school still flourished, and resided in a city 
where every street presented specimens of a taste for architec- 
ture. He thus produced pictures of so fine a character, filled 
with little figures by Carpioni, under his direction, so ex- 
tremely pleasing, that it is surprising he did not acquire 
equal celebrity with Viviano and other first-rate artists. 
Probably he did not long flourish, and then, for the most 
part, in his native place. In the Foresteria, or Stranger's 
lodge, of the Padri Serviti, are four of his views, exhi- 
biting temples and other magnificent edifices, while several 
more are to be met with in possession of the Marchesi Capra, 
in the celebrated Rotunda of Palladio, as well as of other nobles 
in various places. He likewise decorated the ceilings or 



EVARISTO BASCHENIS. 291 

<nipolas of several churches. Indeed there was then a pretty 
considerable school established for this branch of the art in 
Brescia. Tommaso Sandrino was an artist who distinguished 
himself in it, as well as Ottavio Yiviani, his pupil, though he 
displayed a less sound and more loaded style than his master. 
Fai;stino Moretto, belonging to the same state, employed him- 
self more at Venice than at Brescia. Domenico Bruni was 
an urtist highly extolled by Orlandi ; he exercised his talents 
-at the Carmini, in his native place, as well as at Ve- 
nice , along with Giacomo Pedrali, also a Brescian, who flou- 
rished in the time of Boschini. Together with these appeared 
Bo] tolo Cera, whose scenes have been engraved in aqua fortis 
by Boschini himself. Zanetti also records the name of Giu- 
seppe Alabardi, called Schioppi, and of Giulio Cesare Lom- 
bar<lo, an artist still superior to him. I might here introduce 
othor artists and architects of the ornamental class, distin- 
guished in proportion to their antiquity ; for towards the close 
of the century architectural exhibitions became too much loaded 
with vases, figures, and a variety of ornament, which detracted 
much from that simplicity of taste so essential in some way 
towards the effect of every thing really great or beautiful. 

A kind of minor painting is believed to have been intro- 
duced at this epoch, by a priest called Evaristo Baschenis, 
from Bergamo. He flourished contemporary with the three great 
artists, Cavagna, Salmeggia, and Zucchi; and he appears to 
have been instructed by one of these in representing every 
kind of musical instrument with much nature and effect. He 
arranged them upon tables covered with the most beautiful 
kinds of cloth, and mingled with them music-books, leaves, 
boxes, fruits, inkstands, &c., drawn just as they might happen 
to He; and from these objects he composed pictures executed 
wit] i so much art as quite to deceive the spectator. Such was 
their effect, that they are still very much valued in different 
collections. There were formerly eight of them to be seen in 
the library of San Giorgio, the ingenuity of which has been 
highly commended by Zanetti. 



u 2 



292 



VENETIAN SCHOOL. 

EPOCH IV. 

Of Exotic and New Styles in Venice. 

IF, according to the plan laid down by PHny, and which I 
have hitherto observed, each several epoch ought to be deduced 
from one or more masters of a school, who may have given a new 
aspect to the art, it will be proper, in this instance, to vary 
my system. The epoch here nearest to us will be found to 
take its rise at a period when the Venetian artists, having al- 
most wholly abandoned their national models, attached them- 
selves some to one, and some to another foreign method, or 
formed out of them one of their own. Such were the times of 
which Signor Zanetti, in his work, observes, " there appeared 
in Venice as many different manners as there were artists to 
practise them." This would appear to have been the state of 
the art towards the end of the 17th century. Those artists 
who followed, approaching still nearer to modern times, 
although various in point of style, resembled each other in a 
study of ideal beauty, and all agreed in copying from the 
modern Roman, or Bolognese schools, with the addition, how- 
ever, of their own defects. Still the old masters were not, on 
this account, underrated ; but were rather spoken of as the 
ancients who flourished at a golden period, whose customs are 
to be admired, indeed, but not imitated. Fashion, as it some- 
times happens also in sciences, had usurped the seat of reason ; 
while the artists who followed in her train alleged in excuse, 
that the age was fond of such novelties, and that it was incum- 
bent upon them to second its inclination, injustice to their own 
fortunes. Amidst these changes, the Venetian school, which 
had always preserved its ascendancy in point of colouring, then 
began to alter, losing the truth of nature, as it became more bril- 



ANDREA CELESTI. 293 

liam . Thus few artists flourished at that period who might not, 
moro or less, be termed mannerists in colouring. But in other 
respocts the school appears to have improved, and particularly in 
treating its history-pieces more appropriately, without the in- 
troduction of portraits, dresses, and other accessaries, ill adapted 
to them ; a defect to which it had been more attached, and had 
moro obstinately adhered, than any other of the schools. Yet 
it cmnot be denied, that during this period of the decline or 
art throughout Italy, the Venetian school shone peculiarly con- 
spicuous in the number of superior inventors it produced. For 
whilst Lower Italy aimed at nothing beyond the striking con- 
trast s of the followers of Cortona ; whilstdn so many schools of 
Upper Italy, the imitators of the imitators of the Caracci were 
esteemed the great models ; in Venice, and the adjacent state, 
various styles were seen to spring up, which, though not per- 
fect, were at least original, and valuable in their way ; if, in- 
deed, the whole of Europe has not been deceived in its estima- 
tion of them, purchasing the pictures of the Ricci, of Tiepolo, of 
Canaletto, of Rotari, and of numerous other artists of the same 
time, at immense sums. But we must take a more particular 
survey of them. 

The Cavalier Andrea Celesti, who died in the early part of 
the century, was disciple to Ponzoni, but without becoming his 
imitator. As an artist, he is very pleasing, fertile in noble 
images, flowing in his outlines, with delightful scenery, with 
,airs, with features, and with draperies all graceful, and often 
resembling Paul Veronese. His style of colouring, also, was 
not remote from nature, equally lucid, pleasing, and soft. 
Owing to his fondness for the chiaroscuro, one of the chief 
attn'.ctions of his style, or rather, perhaps, to the imperfection 
of his grounds, there are few of his productions that continue 
to preserve their original beauty. Occasionally he seems to 
belong to the sect of Tenebrosi, and his middle tints have in 
somo instances disappeared, destroying the harmony that in 
some of his best-conducted pictures was admirable. His dis- 
tinguishing character was a happy audacity of hand, in which 
he is excelled by very few. He painted both history, and 
altar-pieces for churches, a specimen of which is seen in his 
Probatica at the Ascension. In the public palace there is one 
of his histories from the Old Testament, abounding with all 



294 TENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

that masterly talent for which he was so remarkable, creating^ 
at once admiration and surprise. He produced pieces for pri- 
vate ornament, from profane history, with conversations, games, 
and rencounters, like Caravaggio's. Alberto Calvetti, an in- 
ferior artist, educated in his school, resembles him as little in. 
talent, as, for the most part, in his style. 

Antonio Zanchi da Este was an artist, also, better known in 
Venice for the number, than for the excellence of his works. 
His style is altogether distinct from that of the foregoing, and 
it is uncertain whether he derived it from his master Ruschi, 
or from some other of the sect of naturalists whom we have 
before described. Such, at least, appears the cast of his genius, 
eommon in its forms, sombre in its colours ; but nevertheless 
exciting surprise, by a certain fulness and felicity of hand, by 
its picturesque spirit, by its effect of chiaroscuro, and by a 
grand general result, which imposes upon us by its power. If 
we examine more particularly into his manner, we shall not 
unfrequently discover an incorrectness of design, along with 
that kind of indecision, and indistinctness of outline, which is 
mostly the resource of weak, or, at least, of very hasty artists. 
He chiefly attached himself to Tintoretto, some traces of whom 
may be found in his style. In the college of S. Rocco, where 
that great master rendered his name immortal, we behold one 
of the best specimens of Zanchi. The subject, admirably 
fitted to his manner, contributed greatly to his success. He 
has there given a bold exhibition of the great plague that 
afflicted Venice in 1630, a picture filled with a concourse of 
the sick, the dying, and the dead, borne to one universal grave. 
Opposite to this grand painting there is another from the hand 
of Pietro Negri, his pupil, as is supposed, but more probably 
his rival, which represents the liberation of the city from that 
fatal scourge ; and in it, too, we perceive the peculiar ease, 
and the manner of Zanchi, somewhat improved, however, and 
ennobled in its forms. Francesco Trevisani, another of his 
pupils, took up his residence at Rome, in the list of whose 
professors he has already been commended (torn. i. p. 514). 
Gio. Bonagrazia, however, remained in the Venetian state ; 
and acquired some reputation in his native town and province 
of Trevigi, more particularly for his paintings at San Vito. 
Antonio Molinari belonged, likewise, to the same school, but 



ANTONIO MOLINARI. 295 

almost wholly renounced the maxims he had acquired in it.* 
His style is by no means equally sustained ; a case that fre- 
quently occurs to such as abandon the methods in which they 
have been educated, and attempt to strike into new paths. I 
have seen some of his pictures at Venice, and elsewhere, in 
fine relief, and others quite the contrary ; at times, too, he ap- 
pears beautiful, but cold. In the vigour of his powers, how- 
ever, when he produced the works most decisive of his merits, 
such as his History of Oza, at the Corpus Domini, he displays 
a style no less solid than pleasing, and which equally satisfies 
the judgment and the eye. There is a study both of design 
and of expression, ample beauty of forms, richness of drapery, 
witk a taste and harmony of tints not surpassed by any artist 
of tie times. 

We may mention, likewise, as distinguished by their man- 
ner, Antonio Bellucci, and Giovanni Segala, two painters who, 
like their masters, became addicted to the use of strong shades. 
Yet they possessed sufficient intelligence to derive some ad- 
vantage even from a wrong direction of their powers. For the 
former disposed them in grand masses, yet delicate, and more- 
over united to pleasing colouring ; while the latter made use 
of dark grounds, which he contrasted with very spirited lights, 
and with a skill that enlivens while it enchants us. Indeed, 
the style of both seemed adapted for great works, and both 
possessed genius enough to conduct them well. Segala, how- 
ever, is preferred by Zanetti to his contemporary, and his pic- 
ture of the Conception, executed for the college of La Carita., 
is particularly extolled by him, and, in truth, he there com- 
petes with, if he does not surpass, some of the first painters of 
the age. We ought to estimate the merit of Bellucci from 
thosa specimens he conducted with most care, and upon the 
best grounds, such as his scripture-piece in the church of the 
Spiiito Santo. He appears to most advantage, perhaps, in 
sma 1 figures, many of which he inserted in the landscapes of 
the celebrated Tempesta. When at Vienna, he became court- 
pair: ter to Joseph I. and to Charles VI. ; and subsequently to 

* Melchiori mentions also with commendation Gio. Batista, father of 
Ante nio, and pupil to Vecchia, who had been unable to assist his son 
Ant( nio ? left an orphan at a very tender age. 



296 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

other German princes, which he chiefly owed to this kind of 
talent.* 

To this epoch, also, belongs the name of Gio. Antonio Fu- 
miani, who acquired from the Bolognese school, in which he 
was educated, an excellent taste, both in composition and 
design. And from the works of Paul, which he studied with 
assiduity, he obtained a knowledge of architectural and other 
ornaments. Some have considered him deficient in warmth of 
tints, and in a just counterpoise of lights and shades, to which 
I should add, also in expression ; appearing, as he does to me, 
cold in all his attitudes, even beyond the custom of this school. 
Perhaps his Dispute of Jesus with the Doctors, at the church 
of La Carita, is his finest work. Bencovich, having resided at 
Bologna, will be enumerated among the followers of Cignani. 

Nearly contemporary with Fumiani, though he flourished 
longer and painted more, was the Cav. Niccolo Bambini, a 
of Mazzoni, in Venice, and afterwards of Maratta, at 
ic. There he became accomplished in design, exact and 
elegant, and capable of sustaining those noble conceptions de- 
rived from nature, which he developed in very enlarged works, 
both of oil and fresco. Fortunate, indeed, had he succeeded 
as well in his colouring ; in which branch he was so sensible 
of his own mediocrity, as to forbid his scholars practising the 
art from his pictures. His taste is sometimes wholly Roman, 
as in his altar-piece at San Stefano, executed soon after his 
return from Rome. At other times, he has a more flowing 
manner, like that of Liberi, which he imitated for several years 
with success, ever afterwards retaining the beauty of his heads, 
especially in his women. Again he occasionally soars above 
himself, and in such works as he himself conceived and ex- 
ecuted, and which were afterwards re-touched and animated, 
as it were, by Cassana, the Genoese, he shines as a great por- 
trait-painter, and a very powerful colourist. In the " Guida" 
of Zanetti, we meet with the names of Giovanni and Stefano 
Bambini, two of his sons, and most probably his pupils, though 
from the same, and from another more extensive work, where 

* Father Federici mentions also his son Gio. Batista, citing a fine altar- 
piece of his at Sorigo, and adds, that he would have become celebrated 
had he not preferred the ease permitted him by a handsome fortune to 
the glory of a great painter. 



GREGOIJIO LAZZAIUNI. 297 

he makes no mention of them, we can gather that they were 
held in very small esteem. Girolamo Brusaferro and Gaetano 
-Zompini were also his pupils, and ambitious, as well, oi 
imitating Ricci, forming a kind of mixed style not altogether 
de* titute of originality. The second of these received honour- 
ablc commissions from the court of Spain, in which he dis- 
played' a rich fund of imagination, and, in some measure, dis- 
tinguished himself by his engravings. 

Gregorio Lazzarini was pupil to Rosa, and not only freed 
himself from the sombre sect, but rising into great reputation, 
wholly banished it from the Venetian school, of which, for 
accuracy of design, he might be pronounced to be the Raf- 
iaello. Whoever contemplates the pictures of Lazzarini 
would, at first, suppose he must have received his education at 
Bologna, or rather, perhaps, at Rome. Yet he never left 
Venice, and by the strength of his genius alone, acquired the 
esteem of the most learned professors in the art, and particu- 
larly of Maratta, a very scrupulous panegyrist of his contem- 
poraries. Thus the Venetian ambassador at Rome, having 
occasion to apply to him for a picture, intended to ornament 
the hall of the Scrutinio, he declined the commission, express- 
ing his surprise that it should be deemed requisite to apply to 
him at Rome, while they had Lazzarini at Venice. And the 
latter artist produced a piece which justified the judgment of 
Mttratta, representing in the noblest manner the triumphal 
memory of Morosini, surnamed by the Venetians Pelopon- 
ne.siaco, which adorns the aforementioned hall. He most dis- 
tinguished himself by his picture of San Lorenzo Giustiniani, 
painted for the patriarchal church ; perhaps the best specimen 
in oil displayed by the Venetian school during this period, 
whether for its taste of composition, its elegance of contours, 
or the original beauty and variety of its countenances and its 
attitudes. It possesses, likewise, force of colouring, in which 
he was not always equally successful. In small figures he 
wj.s extremely graceful, a specimen of which ma}' be seen in a 
choir of Santa Caterina, at Vicenza, where he executed some 
very beautiful histories, in the most glowing colours imagin- 
able. The last altar-piece, bearing his own name, was com- 
ploted by his excellent pupil, Giuseppe Camerata, who in this, 
as well as other pieces produced for churches, pursued tho 



298 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

same career as his master. Another of Lazzarini's pupils, 
however, Silvestro Manaigo, persevered in an opposite course, 
for though of a fine character, he was too rapid, and too much 
of a mannerist. 

There flourished, likewise, at that period, two artists of 
Trevisi, Francesco, included in the list of the Roman % school, 
and Angiolo Trevisani, who, both by birth and domicile, must 
be claimed for that of Venice. Fine in his inventive pieces, 
as we gather from those at La Carita, and various other 
churches in the capital, he was still more celebrated for his 
portraits. In exercising this branch, he formed a style 
founded upon nature, not, indeed, sublime, but very select, 
and in part conformable to the schools then in vogue. His 
pencil displayed diligence and research, especially in his 
management of the chiaroscuro. 

Jacopo Amigoni can scarcely be justly estimated in Venice, 
where, if we except his picture of the Visitation at the monas- 
tery of San Filippo, there is nothing of his remaining in pub- 
lic in his best manner ; that which he acquired by studying 
the master-pieces of the Flemish school in Flanders. It was 
there that his genius, naturally fertile and animated, uniting 
with facility qualities of grandeur and of beauty, and seizing 
upon the finest subject for copious histories, also discovered 
the kind of colouring he had in vain sought for at Venice. 
There, too, he "achieved the art of attaining, by force of 
shades, even to pure black, which colour he employed to pro- 
duce perfect clearness, without injuring the beauty of his 
piece :" thus we are informed by Signer Zanetti. Had he 
succeeded in giving a little more relief to his pictures, and 
employed less care in giving brilliance to every part of his 
composition, he would have appeared to more advantage ; but 
only in the eyes of good judges, as the multitude could not 
well be presented with any thing more calculated to enchant 
them than one of his pictures. Nor was it without reason 
that his style was so much applauded throughout England, 
Germany, and Spain, in which last country he died, when 
painter to the court, in 1752. Various productions of his 
hand are to be met with, though but rarely, in possession of 
private families in Italy, chiefly consisting of little histories, 
conversations, and similar pieces, in the manner of the Flemish 



GIAMBATISTA PITTONI. 299 

artiets. Of the Flemish, I say, in respect to the size, not the 
perfection of the drawing, this artist being accustomed to alter 
his tints in some degree, particularly in the shifting hues, to 
labour by touching, often leaving his outline undefined, and to 
raiso the colour so as to produce effect in the distance. His 
pieces upon a larger scale are more rare, though I have seen 
several exhibiting great truth in the expression of counte- 
nance, and a rich flow of drapery, in possession of the cele- 
brated musician, Farinello, at Bologna. And in these portraits 
the musician himself always appeared, as received at different 
courts, and in the act of being applauded and rewarded by the 
European sovereigns. 

CHambatista Pittoni, though less generally known than the 
preceding, is still entitled to a rank among the first artists of 
his ;ige. The disciple and nephew of Francesco Pittoni, here 
mentioned, rather from his pupil's merit than his own, he sub- 
sequently became attached to foreign schools, and formed a 
style which displays some novelty in the warmth of its colour- 
ing, and in a certaim pictorial amenity and attraction which 
prevail throughout the whole. He cannot, indeed, be said to 
be very select, but he is in general correct, polished, and intel- 
ligent in his entire composition. He particularly shone in 
figures smaller than the life; and the galleries in the Venetian 
state are thus by no means scantily furnished with his his- 
tories ; while we may observe of his altar-pieces that they 
seem to increase in beauty in proportion to the diminution of 
their size. This we perceive at the Santo in Padua, where he 
painted in competition with the best of his contemporaries, the 
Martyrdom of San Bartolommeo, which he coloured upon a 
smjll canvas. A very hasty tourist attributes this produc- 
tion to the pencil of Tiepolo, whose manner is altogether dif- 
fer* nt. 

Gio. Batista Piazzetta, on the other hand, was an artist of 
as sombre a cast as the two preceding were animated and 
lively. He had acquired a good knowledge of design, either 
under his father, a tolerably skilful statuary in wood, or under 
some very exact naturalist ; and in his early attempts he 
pai ated in a free and open style. Afterwards he embraced an 
opposite manner, and employing himself with Spagnuolo at 
Bologna, and there likewise studying Guercino, he aimed at 



300 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

producing an effect by strong contrasts of lights antl shades, 
and in this he succeeded. He had long, as it is supposed, ob- 
served the effects of light applied to statues of wood and 
models in wax ; and by this he was enabled to draw, with con- 
siderable judgment and exact precision, the several parts that 
are comprehended in the shadowing, owing to which art his 
designs were eagerly sought after, and his works repeatedly 
engraved with assiduity. One of these, placed at the Domeni- 
cani delle Zattere was engraved by the celebrated Bartolozzi ; 
another by his school ; that is to say, his San Filippo, painted 
for the church of that name in Venice. Many were engraved 
also by Pitteri, by Pelli, and by Monaco, besides other prints 
that were executed in Germany. His method of colouring, 
however, diminished in a great measure the chief merit of his 
pictures. Thus his shades having increased and altered, his 
lights sunk, his tints become yellow, there remains only an 
inharmonious and unformed mass, which the venerators of 
names, indeed, may admire, but can hardly give a reason why. 
Where we happen to meet with a few oT his pictures in good 
preservation, the effect is altogether so novel and original as to 
make a strong impression at first sight, more especially where 
the subject requires a terrific expression, as that of his behead- 
ing of St. John the Baptist in prison, produced at Padua, a 
work placed in competition with those of the first artists in the 
state, and at that period esteemed the best of all. Yet if we 
examine him more narrowly, he will not fail to displease us by 
that monotonous and mannered colour of lakes and yellows, 
and by that rapidity of hand, by some called spirit, though to 
others these often appear neglect, desirous of abandoning its 
labour before it is complete. 

Piazzetta could hardly boast strength enough to deal with 
pictures abounding with figures, and having received a com- 
mission from a Venetian noble to represent the Rape of the 
Sabines, he spent many years in conducting it. In his altar- 
pieces and other sacred subjects he produced a pleasing effect 
from the spirit of devotion, but never for the dignity he dis- 
played in them. Duly estimating his own ability, he was 
more desirous of painting busts and heads for pictures adapted 
for private rooms than any other subjects. In his caricatures 
he succeeded admirably, several of which in possession of the 



GIO. BATISTA TIEPOLO. 301 

Conti Leopard! d'Osirao would excite the risible muscles of a 
professed enemy to mirth. At one period this artist had at 
grea: number of followers, a fashion nevertheless that soon 
ceased. Francesco Polazzo, a good painter, but a better re- 
storer of ancient pictures, somewhat softened down the style 
of Piazzetta with that of Ricci. Domenico Maggiotto also 
tempered it in his Miracle of San Spiridione, and in his other 
works engraved at Venice and in Germany. Various artists 
of this school in the same way gave softness to his manner by 
studying other models. Perhaps the one most addicted to his 
method was Marinetti, from the name of his native place more 
commonly called Chiozzotto. 

The last of the Venetian artists who procured for himself a 
great reputation in Europe, was Gio. Batista Tiepolo, so fre- 
quei tly commended by Algarotti. He was honoured likewise 
with a poetical eulogy by the Ab. Bettinelli, and became cele- 
brated in Italy, in Germany, and in Spain, where he died 
painter to the court of Madrid. Pupil to Lazzarini, whose 
deliberate and cautious style served to curb his too great 
wan nth and rapidity, he subsequently studied Piazzetta, ani- 
mating and enlivening as it were his manner, as he appears to 
have done in his picture of the Shipwreck of San Satiro at 
San Ambrogio in Milan. He next became an assiduous imi- 
tator of Paul Veronese, whom, though inferior to him in the 
airs of his heads, he very nearly approached in his folds and" 
his colouring. From the engravings also of Albert Durer, 
that storehouse of copious composers, he derived no little ad- 
vantage. Nor did he at any time abandon the study of nature 
in observing all the accidents of light and shade, and the con- 
trast s of colour best adapted to produce effect. In this branch 
he succeeded admirably, particularly in his works in fresco, for 
whi( h he appears to have been endued by nature with prompt- 
ness, rapidity, and facility in great compositions. While 
others were accustomed to display the most vivid colours, he 
only availed himself in his frescos of what are termed low and 
dusky colours ; and by harmonizing them with others of a 
common kind, but more clear and beautiful, he produced a 
spec ; es of effect in his frescos, a beauty, a sunlike radiance, 
unequalled, perhaps, by any other artist. Of this the grand' 
vault belonging to the Teresiani in Venice presents a fine spe- 



302 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

cimen. He lias there represented the Santa Casa, accompa- 
nied by numerous groups of angels finely foreshortened and 
varied, surrounded by a field of light that appears to rise into 
the firmament. Such an artist would have been truly great, 
had he, in works upon this scale, succeeded in observing equal 
correctness in every part ; in the whole he always produces an 
agreeable effect. He appears more correct and careful in his 
oil-pieces, which we find dispersed throughout the metropoli- 
tan city as well as the state. At San Antonio in Padua we 
meet with his Martyrdom of Santa Agatha, a picture alluded 
to by Algarotti as a very rare example of fine expression, at 
once uniting that of terror at the approach of death, and of 
joy for the glory of beatitude in view. Many other beauties 
are remarked by Rossetti in this picture, which he admits, 
however deeply interested in defending it from every imputa- 
tion cast upon it by Cochin, is not altogether perfect in point 
of design. 

In the list of his disciples we find the name of Fabio Canale, 
mentioned with honour in the work so often cited, from the 
pen of Zanetti ; and to such of his pictures as he mentions we 
may add those he produced in Palazzo Zen at the Frari, and 
in that of the Priuli at the bridge of the Miglio. To this 
artist we might join a few others of this last age, recorded in 
the Guide to Venice, the same that was published by Zanetti 
in 1733, and some of whom are likewise mentioned in the 
" Pittura Veneziana," where, beginning at p. 470, he gave a 
catalogue of the names of such of the members of that esti- 
mable academy, as were then alive, and some of whom are 
still in existence. But whoever is desirous of cultivating an 
acquaintance with them and with their works which are in 
possession of the public, may consult the above books as well 
as some of the more recent Guides of the city, which have 
continued from time to time to appear. I ought to add, that 
the Signor Alessandro Longhi has presented us with the por- 
traits and the Elogj of the most celebrated of these moderns, 
in the year 1762, and this work also may supply what my 
brevity or my silence has omitted or compressed. 

Proceeding in the next place from Venice to the cities of 
the state, we shall find that these also have produced many 
memorable artists. The Friuli will occupy but little of our 



GIULIO QUAGLIA. 303 

attention, as it boasts few masters, and none of them distin- 
guished for their figures. Pio Fabio Paolini, a native of 
Ud'ne, studied at Rome, where he produced in fresco his San 
Ctirlo, which adorns the Corso, and became an associate of 
the academy there in 1678. Returning thence into his own 
cou itry, he painted several altar-pieces and other minor pic- 
tures, such as to entitle him to a high place among the 
followers of Cortona. Giuseppe Cosattini, born at the same 
place, and canon of Aquileja, devoted himself to the same 
purmit, and rose into so much estimation as to be declared 
painter to the imperial court. He particularly distinguished 
himself by his picture of San Filippo preparing to celebrate 
ma^s, painted for the Congregation of Udine ; the work of a 
real artist, not of a dilettante, as he appears in some other of 
his paintings. Pietro Yenier, a disciple of the Venetian 
artists, displayed some merit in his oil-pieces, not uncommon 
at Udine ; and more in his frescos in the ceiling of the church 
of Han Jacopo, where he appears to great advantage. But 
the best painter of frescos in these latter times, amongst his 
countrymen, was Giulio Quaglia, a native of Como. From 
his age and style I should suspect that he belonged to the 
school of the Recchi, although his design is less finished than 
that of Gio. Batista Recchi, the head of that family of 
painters. It would appear that he visited Friuli young, 
towards the close of the last century, and there he conducted 
works, for the most part, in fresco, to an amount that almost 
defies enumeration. His histories of our Saviour's Passion, 
ornamenting the chapel of the Monte di Pieta at Udine, are 
held in high estimation, although he conducted works upon a 
much larger scale, for various halls of many noble families, 
in ;ill which we trace a fecundity of ideas, a decision of 
pencil, a power for vast compositions, sufficient to have distin- 
gui; hed him in his age not only in the limits of Como but at 
Mil.an. I omit the names of those professors of the art who 
merely designed without colouring, or who never attained to 
mature age ; and those of a few others I have to reserve for 
foreign schools, and for different branches of painting. 

Proceeding towards the Marca Trevigiana, I meet with an 
artist's name that has been claimed by different schools of 
Italy, according to the place in which he painted, or studied, 



304 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IT. 

or gave instructions in the art. For this reason I have 
judged it best to speak of him as connected with his native 
place, which boasts a sufficient number of his works. This 
artist is Sebastiano Ricci, which the Venetians write Rizzi, 
one who can be reckoned second to none among the professors 
of our own epoch, in point of genius for the art, and the 
taste and novelty of his style. He was born in Cividal di 
Belluno, educated, as we have observed, by Cervelli at Venice, 
and afterwards conducted by his master into Milan ; he there 
acquired, both from him and from Lisandrino, every thing 
that was of importance in the pursuit of his profession. 
Thence he went to study at Bologna and at Venice, subse- 
quently transferring his residence to Rome and Florence. 
Lastly he made the tour of all Italy, employing his pencil 
wherever he received commissions, at any price. Having 
acquired reputation, and being invited by different potentates, 
he passed into Germany, England, and Flanders, in which last 
country he perfected his style of colouring, which had been 
always very pleasing and spirited, even in his first attempts. 
From his acquaintance with such a variety of schools, he 
stored his mind with fine images, and by dint of copying 
many models, his hand became practised in different styles. 
In common with Giordano he possessed the art of imitating, 
every manner ; some of his pictures in the style of Bassano 
and of Paul, continuing yet to impose upon less skilful judges, 
as in the instance of one of his Madonnas at Dresden, for 
some time attributed to Correggio. The chief advantage he 
derived from his travels was, that on having occasion to 
represent any subject, he was enabled to recollect the manner 
in which different masters might have treated it, availing, 
himself of it without plagiarism accordingly. Thus the Ado- 
ration of the Apostles at the Last Supper, a piece adorning 
the church of Santa Giustina at Padua, betrays many points 
of resemblance to the painting on the cupola of San Giovanni 
at Parma, while his San Gregorio at San Alessandro, in Ber- 

famo, recalls to mind one by Guercino, executed at Bologna. 
he same method he observed in his scriptural histories, pro- 
duced for SS. Cosmo and Damiano, which are preferred to 
any others he conducted in Venice, or perhaps in any other 
parts, and which frequently present us with fine imitations. 



SEBASTIANO RICCI. 305 

but never with plagiarisms. He did not early acquire a good 
knowledge of design, but he afterwards succeeded in this 
objoct, which he cultivated with extreme assiduity in the 
academies, even in mature age. The forms of his figures are 
composed with beauty, dignity, and grace, like those of Paul 
Veronese; the attitudes are more than usually natural, prompt, 
and varied, and the composition appears to have been managed 
with truth and with good sense. Although rapid in the 
handling, he did not abuse his celerity of hand, as so many 
artists have been known to do. His figures are accurately 
designed, and appear starting from the canvas, most frequently 
coloured with a very beautiful azure, in which they shine 
conspicuous over all. Such pieces as he conducted in fresco 
still preserve the native freshness of their tints ; while some 
of his others seem to have suffered, owing to the badness of 
the grounds, or of the body of colour, which was weaker in 
the later than in the earliest Venetian artists. The amenity 
of Sicci's style soon procured for him disciples, in the list of 
whom Marco, his nephew, greatly distinguished himself, and 
subsequently devoting himself to the composition of landscape, 
he accompanied his master upon his travels, employing himself 
a good deal both at Paris and in London. Gasparo Diziani, 
his fellow-countryman, was an artist who excelled in his 
facility of painting large theatrical works, and in that line 
was employed in Germany. He was, moreover, a very pleas- 
ing composer of pictures for private ornament, several of 
whioh are now to be met with in the collections of the Signori 
Silvestri and the Signori Casalini at Rovigo. Francesco Fon- 
tebasso, a pupil also of Bastiano, succeeded, notwithstanding 
som 3 degree of crudeness, in acquiring a celebrity in his day, 
botli in Venice and the adjacent cities. 

In the Guide of Padua Rossetti includes, in the list of its 
pairters, Antonio Pellegrini, as being the son of one of its 
citizens, who had established himself, however, at Venice, 
where Antonio was born. And the Venetians, indeed, may 
concede him to that city without much sacrifice of fame. 
For the surprising success he met with in some of the most 
civilized kingdoms of Europe, is to be attributed to the 
decline of the art, and to the lively and mannered style he 
assumed, which found a welcome reception in all parts. He 

VOL. II. X 



306 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

may be pronounced an artist of some ingenuity, facility, and 
sprightly conception ; but he was by no means well grounded 
in the art; and he expressed his ideas with so little deci- 
sion, that the objects which he represents sometimes appear 
to float in a kind of half-existence between visible and invi- 
sible. He was so very superficial a colourist, that even in his 
own times it was said his productions would not continue to 
last during a half-century. And, in truth, those I have seen 
at Venice and at Padua are already become extremely pallid ; 
while such as he executed at Paris will, doubtless, be in the 
same state. Yet in that city he obtained a large sum in the 
year 1720, for merely painting a frieze in the celebrated hall 
o the Mississippi, which he executed in about three months. 
His best work is, perhaps, to be found at San Moise, con- 
sisting of the Serpent of Bronze, erected by Moses in the 
Desert ; no other equal to it having issued from his studio. 

As the preceding one is considered the last of the Paduan 
artists of any note, we may mention, as the last among those 
of Bergamo, at least of any merit in composition, Antonio 
Zifrondi, or Cifrondi, pupil to Franceschini. Indeed he 
greatly resembled the former in his natural bias for the art, 
in an imagination adapted for great compositions, in facility 
and rapidity of hand, to such a degree as to dash off a picture 
in two hours. He likewise passed into France, though 
without meeting with success, and then resided in his native 
place, employing himself for those churches that are adorned 
with so many of his pictures, few of which are free from 
errors of over-haste and carelessness. Thus he did not scruple 
at the church of S. Spirito, to place near his picture of a Nun- 
ziata, conducted in his best style, three other historical pieces 
of quite an opposite character. We meet with his name men- 
tioned more than once, in the " Lettere Pittoriche," with much 
commendation. Several other artists, whose names are to be 
met with in Tassi and his continuator, are known to have 
flourished at the same period. Nor ought we, by any means, 
here to omit that of Vittore Ghislandi, who though little 
skilled in works of invention, yet in his portraits, and some 
of his heads, in the way of capricci, has almost equalled in 
our own times the excellence of the ancients. He was in- 
structed in the art by Boinbelli, and by dint of very assiduous 



PIETRO AVOGADRO. 307 

study, particularly in the heads of Titian, in order to deve- 
lope his whole artifice, he attained a degree of perfection that 
is truly surprising. Whatever can he esteemed most de- 
sirable in a portrait-painter, such as lively features, natural 
fleshes, imitations of the most varied drapery, to make a, dis- 
tinction in dresses ; these constitute a portion of his merits. 
The Carrara collection, above any other, may boast of several, 
distinct both in point of age and costume ; and though sur- 
ro inded by very select pictures from every school, and though 
more portraits, they fail not to attract and surprise us. Less 
celebrated than many others, he is nevertheless an artist 
whose productions would do no discredit to any palace. One 
more generally known, however, is Bartolommeo Nazzari, 
pupil to Trevisani in Venice, and afterwards under Luti, and 
tho other Trevisani, he perfected himself at Rome. Finally 
he established himself at Venice, though he continued to visit 
various capitals, both of Italy and of Germany, invariably 
extolled, as well for his portraits of princes and of their cour- 
tiers, as for his heads of old men and youths, drawn from life, 
very fancifully dressed and ornamented. 

Pietro Avogadro was a Brescian, and the scholar of Ghiti, 
wlio adopted the models of Bologna, imitating them without 
affectation, and adding some mixture of Venetian colour, more 
particularly in his ruddier fleshes. The contours of his figures 
aro correct, his shortenings pleasing and appropriate, and his 
compositions very judicious ; the whole expressing great har- 
mony and beauty. Next to the three leading artists of this 
city, he is entitled to the fourth place, at least in the esteem 
of many. Perhaps his master-piece is to be seen in the church 
of San Giuseppe, representing the Martyrdom of the saints 
Crispino and Crispiniano. Andrea Toresani was also a 
Brescian, who flourished at the same period; excellent in 
design, with which he ornamented the cities of Venice and 
Milan more than his native place. His chief merit, however, 
lay in an inferior branch, that of painting animals, sea-views, 
an<l landscapes in the Titian manner, often accompanied with 
figures in tolerably good taste. 

Having taken a hasty view of the other cities of the state, 
we must dwell some little while on that of Verona, which, 
from the beginning of the century until the present time, has 

x2 



308 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

enjoyed a high degree of reputation. Though ravaged by the 
plague, we have already seen how it again flourished, with the 
aid of other Italian schools, to which we might add that of 
the French, inasmuch as Louis Dorigny, a Parisian, and pupil 
of Le Brun, arriving in Italy at an early age, devoted himself 
to the study of Roman and Venetian models. He established 
himself at Verona, where, having for some time employed his 
talents, and obtained several pupils, he died in the year 1742. 
He also left works behind him in Venice, the most esteemed 
of which adorns the church of San Silvestro, as well as in 
other cities, both of the state and of all Italy. He resided 
likewise with Prince Eugene in Germany. 

There was another foreigner, who, about the same period, 
became a resident at Verona. His name was Simone Bren- 
tana, a Venetian, well versed in literature, as well as in the 
information necessary to form an artist. He devoted himself 
with extreme assiduity to the works of Tintoretto, whom he 
emulated in his pictorial enthusiasm, which scarcely per- 
mitted him to oestow sufficient time upon the completion of 
his labours. In his forms and colouring he partakes of the 
Roman manner of his time, and displays something extremely 
novel and original in his compositions. His pictures were 
sought after to adorn the galleries of sovereigns, no less than 
for private persons. Several are to be met with in the churches 
of the state, and in that of S. Sebastiano at Verona is one 
representing the Titular Saint, well drawn, without drapery, 
in the act of consummating his martyrdom, while an angel is 
supporting him in his arms, a figure both in aspect and in at- 
titude extremely graceful. Girolamo Ruggieri, an artist born 
at Vicenza, was pupil to Cornelio Dusman of Amsterdam, 
and having established himself at Verona, he there produced 
several history-pieces, landscapes, and battle-scenes, in the 
Flemish style. 

Approaching the Veronese artists and their neighbours, 
some of them will be found to have flourished in the begin- 
ning of the century, whose merits deserve to be here recorded. 
One of these is Alessandro Marchesini, pupil to Cignani, of 
whom there remains little exhibited in public at Venice, and 
not much at Verona. He chiefly employed himself for private 
persons, with fables and histories, consisting of small figures, 



ANTONIO BALESTRA. 



S09 



in which he succeeded, though having addicted himself to 
these compositions as a trade, he despatched them with more 
facility than care. In similar little pieces Francesco Barbieri 
also displayed the most merit, an artist called il Legnago, from 
his native place. An imitator of Ricchi, and in some measure 
of Carpioni, he displayed great pictorial enthusiasm in every 
kind of history, in capricci, and in rural views ; but he was 
inferior in point of design, having applied himself to it too late 
in Hfe. 

Antonio Balestra of Verona was at first devoted to a mer- 
cantile life, until at the age of twenty-one, after studying in 
Venice under Bellucci, and thence passing to Bologna, and 
afterwards to Rome, under Maratta, he selected the best from 
every school, uniting a variety of beauties in a style of his 
own, which partakes least of all of the Venetian. He is an 
artist of judgment and high finish, well versed in design, of a 
rapid hand, lively and animated, but always with a solidity 
of talent that makes us respect him. He taught in Venice 
and in the college of La Carita, where he painted the Nativity 
of our Lord, and the Deposition from the Cross, while he 
competes equally well with the first artists of his time in 
other places. Commissions from foreign courts and the 
cities of the state, never allowed him to be idle. He was 
particularly employed at Padua in an altar-piece for the 
church del Santo, representing Santa Chiara. He painted 
also a good deal for his native place ; his picture of San 
Vircenzo at the Dominicans,* being one of the finest altar- 
pieces he ever produced, and one of the best preserved, for 
his method of colouring with boiled oils has been found inju- 
rious to many of his pieces. Such as he painted, however, in 
oil Jess boiled, have better resisted the effects of time. Many 
of these figures are in possession of the Conti Gazzola, orna- 
menting one of their halls, and in particular a very beautiful 
one of Mercury. He promoted the reputation of the Vene- 
tian school, both by his lectures and example, besides afford- 

* In the Guide of Verona, of which I availed myself, I only found one 
picture by Rotari in the refectory at Santa Anastasia. I inquired by 
whom that of S. Viucenzo, which appeared extremely beautiful, was 
painted. I received for answer, that it was by Balestra, but it is in fact 
from the hand of Rotari, and engraved by Valesi. 



310 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

ing an excellent imitator in Gio. Batista Mariotti, and in his 
pupil Giuseppe Nogari, a painter of portraits, as well as of 
half-length figures, held in much esteem, insomuch as to 
recommend him, for a great length of time, to the service of 
the court of Turin. In pieces of composition, such as his 
San Piero, placed in the cathedral of Bassano, he appears a 
respectable artist, and somewhat ambitious of reconciling his 
master's style with that of Piazzetta. Another Venetian of 
the name of Pietro Longhi, first instructed by Balestra, and 
afterwards by Crespi, aimed at pleasing the eye in collections, 
by those humorous representations of masks, of conversa- 
zioni, landscapes, &c. which we find in various noble houses. 
Angelo Venturini, also a Venetian, is mentioned in the Guida 
of Zanetti, for his paintings in the church of Gesu e Maria, 
of which he adorned the ceiling, and various portions of the 
walls. Another pupil of Balestra's, in Verona, was Carlo 
Salis, who approached very near his style, more particularly 
in the handling of his colours. He prosecuted his first studies 
in Bologna, under Giuseppe dal Sole. Some of his pictures 
are also to be met with in the state, such as his San Vincenzio, 
in the act of administering to the sick at Bergamo, a piece 
finely mellowed, and more than commonly spirited. An 
artist named Cavalcabo, a native of a district in Roveredo, 
was instructed by Balestra, and afterwards by Maratta. In 
the choir of the Carmine at his native place, he left behind 
him a very beautiful altar-piece, representing the Holy Simone 
Stoch, with four lateral pieces of great merit. For a more 
particular account of these and other works by this artist, we 
may refer the reader to his life, written by the Cavalier 
Vannetti. 

The whole of the names, however, we have here mentioned, 
scarcely excepting that of Balestra himself, have been thrown 
into the shade by the talent of the Conte Pietro Rotari. He 
was honoured with the title of painter to her court, by the 
empress of all the Russias, and in her dominions he closed the- 
period of his days. This very elegant artist, having devoted 
many years to the art of design, succeeded in attaining a 
grace of feature, a delicacy of outline, united to a vivacity of 
motion and expression, and to a natural and easy mode of 
drapery, that would have left him second to none of his age, 



CONTE PIETRO ROTARI. 311 

had lie possessed, in an equal degree of perfection, the art of 
colouring. But his productions often partake so much of the 
chiaroscuro, or at least of a strong ash-colour, as to render 
them remarkable among all. Some, indeed, have attributed 
$hio defect to want of clearness of sight, while others con- 
jee :ure it must have been owing to his long practice in design, 
previous to his attempting colours, in the same manner as 
Po idoro da Caravaggio and the Cavalier Calabrese are known 
to have failed as colourists, falling like him into a weak and 
languid tone. The education he received from Balestra may 
also have tended to produce it, as both he and the disciples of 
Maratta were somewhat addicted to a certain duskiness of 
tone, which we may particularly observe in several examples 
seen at Naples, where he resided for some time. Whatever 
it l)e owing to, there still prevails a repose and harmony in 
that melancholy expression of his colouring, that is far from 
unj (leasing, in particular where he affords somewhat warmer 
touches to his tints. This he appears to have done in his 
picture of a Nuuziata at Guastalla, in that of San Lodovico 
in the church del Santo at Padua, and in a Nativity of the 
Virgin at San Giovanni, in the same city. This last specimen, 
indeed, is almost unequalled in its attractions, and seems to 
authorize the praises bestowed upon Rotari by a poet, " that 
he resembled his fellow-citizen Catullus in being nursed by the 
Graces," a species of eulogy applicable also to Balestra and to 
other Veronese artists. 

Santo Prunati was contemporary with Marchesini and 
Baiestra, and after receiving the instructions of Voltolino and 
Faicieri in Verona, he attended those of Loth in Venice. 
Be ;ter to acquire superior correctness and dignity of manner, 
he next proceeded to Bologna. In that school he found the 
tas ;e in colouring that he wanted, at once soft and natural. 
In the design, and in the expression of his heads, he displays 
more of the naturalist, if I mistake not, than any of those 
who preceded him. He was engaged also for larger composi- 
tions, in which he distinguished himself, both in his own 
district and elsewhere, and left behind him a son named 
Michelangelo, who pursued, as far as lay in his power, the 
foocsteps of his father. In the cathedral of Verona, however, 
is i ne of his pictures, placed near the San Francesco di Sales 



812 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

of his father, which serves to mark the wide difference that 
exists between them. 

In the same school, along with Michelangelo, studied Gio. 
Bettino Cignaroli, an artist instructed also by Balestra. 
Until about the year 1770 he ranked among the first of his 
time, receiving very flattering invitations from foreign courts, 
to which he invariably preferred the convenience of his own 
house and country. The prices he was in the habit of attach- 
ing to his works were, nevertheless, 'those of a court painter; 
and many were executed for the principal royal galleries, as 
well as for the cities of the state, and those of other parts of 
Italy ; but which, we must admit, are by no means of equal 
merit. I omit his paintings in fresco, on account of his having 
abandoned that branch of the art, owing to his state of health, 
while yet young, though not until he had afforded specimens 
of his powers in the noble house of Labia at Venice, during a 
four years' residence there. It is his pictures in oil of which 
we here speak, and to which he owed his great reputation. 
The one at Pontremoli, however, representing, as it is said, a 
San Francesco in the act of receiving the marks of Christ, 
and extremely well executed, I have not seen. His San Zorzi 
at Pisa stands conspicuous among a number of excellent 
pencils, all employed in the ornament of that single cathedral. 
Perhaps his finest is his Journey into Egypt, seen at San 
Antonio Abate in Parma. In this he has represented the 
Virgin with the Holy Child, in the act of passing a narrow 
bridge, while S. Joseph appears engaged in assisting them to 
cross it in safety. In the countenance and whole action of 
the saint, his anxiety for them is strongly depicted, which is 
beautifully expressed by his disregarding a part of his mantle, 
fallen from his shoulders into the water below, an image 
equally skilful and natural in every point of view. The rest 
of the picture is also in his best style. The angels in attend- 
ance, the Divine Infant, the Holy Virgin, all drawn, as he so 
well knew how, with a sedate and dignified beauty, in the 
usual manner of Maratta. In some points, indeed, Cignaroli 
much resembled him ; in certain attitudes, in a peculiar sobri- 
ety of composition, in a certain choice and vicinity of colours, 
though not in their just and equal tone. His fleshes, too 
much mannered with green, in a few places touched with red, 



GIO. BETTING CIGNAROLI. 313 

render his colouring less agreeable to admirers of what is 
trie, while his chiaroscuro, sometimes sought for beyond the 
limits of nature, is apt to produce an effect in his paintings, 
not so pleasing to the judgment as to the eye. He often 
displays novelty in the individual parts, availing himself of 
architecture, of sea-views, and of landscape, in a manner 
above common ; besides introducing into his compositions, for 
th-3 most part of a scriptural character, the playful figures of 
cherubim, with other enlivening incidents. This artist was 
indisputably possessed of a fine genius, and born in times 
favourable to the eminence which he enjoyed. Memoirs of 
him were collected and published by the celebrated Padre 
Btivilacqua dell' Oratorio in the year 1771, and eulogies were 
pronounced upon him both in prose and verse, by a number 
of literary characters connected with that city, so highly 
polished and so grateful to such of its citizens as reflect honour 
upon their native place. A collection of these was subse- 
quently made, and put forth in the year 1772, and from such 
publications it would appear that few artists had received 
equal honours, during their lifetime, from the great, particu- 
larly from the Emperor Joseph II., who was used to declare 
" that he had beheld two very rare sights in Yerona one the 
Amphitheatre, and the other the most celebrated painter in 
Europe." He appears, likewise, to have been an artist of 
great learning, as well as fond of conversing with learned, 
men; he was acquainted with philosophical systems, wrote 
Tuscan poetry, relished the Roman classics, besides producing 
treatises on his own art, written with so much taste and sound 
judgment, that we have only to regret, for the sake of the art 
he loved, the too sparing use he made of such talents. The 
academy, on which he bestowed the whole of his works 
upon Painting, after his decease, still preserves his bust along 
wiih his eulogy, a farther honour conferred upon him by the 
liberality of his country. He left several pupils, among whom 
Gi;mdomenico, his brother, produced some paintings in Ber- 
gamo that have been commended by Pasta. The Padre Felice 
Cignaroli, Minore Osservante, is an artist likewise worthy of 
mention. He painted little, and his master-piece appears in 
the refectory of San Bernardino, his convent at Verona, con- 



314 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

sisting of a Supper at Emmaus, in which, though less studied, 
he displays no less invention than his brothers. 

Next to these, who escaped oblivion as belonging to the 
family of Cignaroli, an artist named Giorgio Anselmi deserves 
best to be put upon record, and in particular for his painting 
of the cupola of San Andrea at Mantua, ably executed in 
fresco : at one time he was the pupil of Balestra. Marco 
Marcola was an almost universal artist, rapid in his labours, 
and abundant in his inventions, though I am unable to learn 
who had been his master. Tiepolo gave instructions to Fran- 
cesco Lorenzi, distinguished both for his frescos and his oils, 
and always by his adherence to his master's example. There 
are various ceilings painted by his hand in Verona, and Bres- 
cia presents a Holy Family, all of which display an able artist, 
according to the manner of the age. 

In inferior branches of the art, there flourished, during this 
period, professors of much repute. The art of drawing in 
crayons rose to a high degree of excellence, through the genius 
of a distinguished lady of the name of Rosalba Camera,* 
whose paintings in miniature have been highly commended by 
Orlandi. She next proceeded to the use of oils, but finally 
devoted her talents to that of crayons. So great was her 
progress in this branch, that her specimens in point of force 
were often equal to oil-pieces. They were in much request 
from the period in which she flourished, both in Italy and in 
other parts ; nor did they merely please by their clearness and 
beauty of colouring, but were remarkable for the grace and 
dignity of design with which she animated every thing she 
drew. Her Madonnas and other scriptural subjects at once 
unite elegance and majesty of manner, while her portraits con- 
tinued to increase in value without losing any thing of their 
truth. We meet with another excellent portrait-paintress in 
Niccola Grassi, pupil to Cassana, of Genoa, and a rival of 

* Melchiori gives us an account of this lady's master, not undeserving 
of being added to the last edition. This was the noble Gio. Antonio 
Lazzari, a Venetian, who had talents that rivalled those of Rosalba in 
crayons, had not his natural timidity proved a bar to his fame. In paint- 
ing also he attempted little of an inventive character, copying much, and 
more particularly from Bassano, with great success, as we have observed 
at page 205. 



D. GIUSEPPE RONCELLI. 315 

RosiJba. Nor was she unequal to works of invention, one of the 
most extensive of which adorns the church of San Valentino iii 
Udme, where she painted the Assumption in the ceiling, a fine 
piece on the large altar, and drew figures for other pictures of 
various saints belonging to the Order of the Serviti. Pietro 
Uberti, son of Domenico, an artist of mediocrity, is celebrated 
in th e Guida of Zanetti for his portraits, of which he produced 
eighi, representing the Avogadori of his times, for the Avo- 
gariji or court-house, which was considered a very honourable 
commission, bestowed formerly upon Paolo de* Freschi, Do- 
men LCO Tintoretto, Tinelli, Bombelli, artists all celebrated in 
the .same career. Orlandi bestows great commendation upon 
Gio. Batista Canziani of Yerona, distinguished likewise in 
this branch, and who, on being banished from his native place 
for i-ji act of homicide, continued to exercise it with success in 
Bologna. 

I do not recollect to have seen the landscapes of Pecchio in 
Verona, though the fine encomium bestowed upon him by 
Bah stra, in one of his " Lettere Pittoriche," leads me to hold 
him in high esteem. In the adjacent parts at Salo appeared 
Gio. Batista Cimaroli, a pupil of Calza, who was much admired, 
both by foreigners and natives at Venice. Among landscape- 
painters I find in several galleries the name of Formentini, the 
figures of whose pieces were from the pencil of Marchesini. 
D. Giuseppe Roncelli of Bergamo is another artist who 
acquired ruputation, and whose virtues procured for him, from 
the pen of Mazzoleni, the honour of a life, while his singular 
skill in depicting nocturnal conflagrations, as well as landscapes, 
induced Celesti to add figures to them. In Padua the land- 
scapes of Marini were in high repute, to which Brusaferro 
likewise added variety with his figures. Still more than these 
Lu( a Carlevaris, an excellent painter of landscape at Udine, 
rose into notice, no less distinguished also by his perspectives 
and sea-views. Public specimens of his labours still remain at 
Venice, though not so numerous as in private houses, particu- 
larly in possession of the Zenobri family, who so far patronized 
his talents as to procure for him the name of Luca di Ca Zeno- 
brio. To him succeeded the nephew of Sebastiano Ricci, 
named Marco, who, pursuing the safe career chalked out by 
Titian, and availing himself of the delightful site of his native 



316 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IT. 

place at Belluno, became one of the ablest landscape-painters 
belonging to the Venetian school. It would be no exaggera- 
tion to say that few before his time distinguished themselves 
with equal force of truth, and that those who succeeded him 
have never equalled him in this respect. In order to estimate 
his worth, we are not to consult such landscapes as he painted 
for sale and disposed of to dealers; nor those executed in 
water-colours upon goat-skin, which, though very pleasing, are 
wanting in solidity. We ought to consult only his oil produc- 
tions, conducted with far more care, and more commonly to be 
met with in England than in Italy. Indeed he had a much 
more extended taste than he displayed in his works. The two 
brother artists named Valeriano, declared that he had afforded 
them the most enlightened views of the art. These were 
Domenico, a painter of perspectives, and Giuseppe, a figure- 
painter, both employed in ornamenting different churches, and 
more particularly theatres, in Venice, and indeed throughout 
Italy and other parts of Europe. Francesco Zuccarelli passed 
a great portion of his life in the city of Venice, an artist already 
recorded by us among the Florentines, and by whose example 
Giuseppe Zais was formed as a landscape-painter, being parti- 
cularly employed in that branch by the British consul Smith, 
a distinguished patron of youthful genius devoted to the art. 
In point of invention he was more varied and copious than his 
master, but inferior to him in the mellowness of his tints. 
He had acquired from Simonini, who also resided during a 
long period at Venice, the art of painting battle-pieces, in 
which he shewed equal skill. But he failed to sustain either 
his own dignity or that of his art, and giving himself up to 
carelessness and dissipation, he died a common mendicant in 
the hospital of Trevigi. 

Carlevaris and Ricci are names likewise highly esteemed in 
architectural painting. Several specimens of this are to be 
seen in possession of his Excellency Girolamo Molin, placed 
as if in competition with each other in one of the halls. If 
we compare them, the former will appear somewhat languid 
and monotonous, although he must be allowed to be an 
accurate observer of perspective, and succeeds in harmonizing 
his figures well with the picture. The latter, however, dis- 
plays more strength, partaking of the erudite taste of Viviano, 



ANTONIO CANALETTO. 317 

while the figures introduced into it by his uncle are full of 
pictorial fire and attraction, and greatly add to its worth. 
But both of these, to use the language of Dante, were after- 
ward.s cacciati di nido, driven from their nest, by Antonio 
Canal, more generally called Canaletto. Sprung from a 
painter of theatres of the name of Bernardo, he embraced the 
profession of his father, attaining to a novelty of design, and 
a promptness of hand in this branch, that were afterwards of 
great use to him in painting innumerable smaller pictures for 
private ornament. Disgusted with his first profession, he 
removed while still young to Rome, where he wholly devoted 
himself to drawing views from nature, and in particular from 
ancient ruins. On returning into Venice he continued in like 
manner to take views of that city, views that nature and art 
seem to have vied with each other in rendering the most novel 
and magnificent in the world. A great part he drew exactly 
as he saw them, a pleasing illusion for the satisfaction of those 
who were never so fortunate as to behold the Adriatic Queen 
with their own eyes. He moreover composed a great number 
of inventive pieces, forming a graceful union of the modern 
and the antique, of truth and fancy together. Several of 
these he produced for Algarotti ; but the most novel and 
instructive of any, as it seems to me, is the production in 
which the grand bridge of Rial to, designed by Palladio, 
instead of that which at present is seen, overlooks the great 
canal, crowned beyond with the cathedral of Vicenza, and 
the Palazzo Chericato, Palladio's own works, along with other 
choice edifices, disposed according to the taste of that learned 
writer, who has so much contributed to improve that of all 
Italy, and even beyond Italy itself. For the greater correct- 
ness of his perspectives, Canaletto made use of the optic 
camera, though he obviated its defects, especially in the tints 
of the airs. The first indeed to point out the real use of it, 
he limited it only to what was calculated to afford pleasure. 
He aimed at producing great effect, and in this partakes some- 
what of Tiepolo, who occasionally introduced figures into his 
pieces for him. In whatever he employs his pencil, whether 
buildings, waters, clouds, or figures, he never fails to impress 
them with a vigorous character, always viewing objects in 
their most favourable aspect. When he avails himself of a 



318 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

certain pictorial license, he does it with caution, and in such a 
way that the generality of spectators consider it quite natural, 
while true judges only are sensible of its art, an art that he 
possessed in a very eminent degree. 

His nephew and pupil, Bernardo Bellotto, approached so 
nearly to his style, that it is with difficulty their respective 
pieces are distinguished. He also visited Rome, though when 
Orlandi bestowed his encomiums upon him in his work, he 
was at Dresden, and it is uncertain whether he again returned 
into Italy. Francesco Guardi was recently esteemed a second 
Canaletto, his views of Venice having attracted the admiration 
not only of Italy but of foreign parts, yet with such persons 
alone who are satisfied with the spirit, the taste, and the fine 
effect which he invariably studied ; as in other points, in 
accuracy of proportions, and in judgment as regards the art, 
he cannot pretend to vie with his master. Several others 
likewise excelled in this species of painting, whose pictures I 
saw in the Algarotti collection and in other places ; such as 
Jacopo Marieschi, who was also a good figurist, and Antonio 
Visentini, whose views were ornamented with the figures of 
Tiepolo and Zuccherelli. Gio. Colombini of Trevigi, pupil to 
Bastian Ricci, whose Pecile was the Dominican convent in 
that place, succeeded in his perspectives in giving illusion to 
the eye, and in the masterly gradation of the different objects 
of view. The figures he has introduced are his own, though 
he was less skilful in this branch. He filled that place with 
his portraits, introducing another family, as it were, of 
painted Dominicans, and not without some appearance of 
caricature. 

In other minor branches of the art, the flowers of Domenico 
Levo were extremely admired. He was pupil to Felice Bigi 
of Parma, who opened school in Yerona. To his we may add 
those of one Caffi and a few other natives, though the most 
choice collectors pride themselves upon the specimens of Gas- 
pero Lopez, a Neapolitan. Thus at least he subscribes himself 
in one of his most beautiful works, in possession of the Conti 
Lecchi at Brescia, where, as well as in the capital, he resided 
during a long period. About the middle of the century there 
appeared one of his imitators, named in various collections 
Duramano, an artist somewhat too much given to mannerism. 



RIDOLFO MANZONI. 319 

Both the flowers and birds of Count Giorgio Durante of 
Breccia were eagerly sought after, no less on account of their 
exact imitation of the life, than for their taste of composition, 
and the truly beautiful and picturesque attitudes in which they 
were drawn. They are rarely to be met with beyond Brescia, 
though several noble Venetian families, and among these that 
of Nani, possess a few specimens ; but the best, perhaps, 
of all is to be seen in the royal court at Turin. The name of 
Ridolfo Manzoni is distinguished in the same line of compo- 
sitioa ; he was a native of Castelfranco, and several of his 
littlo pictures in oil, in the best taste, are there found in pos- 
session of different individuals. But he derived his chief 
reputation, as well as profit, from his miniature productions. 
In the " History of Painting in the Frioul," we meet with the 
nam3 of another artist, Paolo Paoletti, a native of Padua. He 
passed his early youth in Udine, and was employed for many 
years in the house of the Conti Caiselli. Although more par- 
ticularly celebrated in his flowers, he drew with great truth 
all kinds of fruits, herbs, fishes, and game. The family in 
which he was domesticated possesses quite a museum of these 
rarities, and numerous specimens are met with in other hands, 
both vvithin and beyond the limits of the Frioul. In his 
flower-paintings he is compared by Altan even with the cele- 
brated Segers, an extent of liberality in which I by no means 
agreo. 

In the last place we have here to treat of an art that received 
great improvement during this century in Venice, an art which, 
though not directed to the increase of copies, is nevertheless 
of s< >me importance to painting, inasmuch as it favours the 
duration of ancient productions, by adopting the most judi- 
cious means of preserving and restoring them. Such methods 
were more valuable also to Venice than to any other city, its 
climate being particularly unfavourable to paintings in oil, 
owing to the salts with which the air is impregnated, gra- 
dually eating away or injuring the colours. For this reason 
the < overnment very judiciously appointed a number of artists 
to inspect the public exhibitions, and watch over the preser- 
vation of the paintings which were found inclined to decay, 
restoring them without incurring the risk, as it sometimes 



320 VENETIAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IV. 

happens, of a new one being substituted for an ancient speci- 
men. A studio for this purpose was opened in 1 778, consist- 
ing of a large saloon at the Santi Giovanni e Paolo, the super- 
intendence of which was intrusted to the care of the learned 
Peter Edwards, who received the title of President. The 
various processes adopted in the restoration of each specimen 
are extremely long and tedious, and executed with surprising 
accuracy ; and in instances where the picture has not suffered 
too greatly from the effects of injury or time (like the 
S. Lorenzo of Titian), it returns with renewed youth from the 
studio, calculated to survive the lapse of many more years. 

Other equally useful methods have been adopted by the 
Republic for the preservation of the fine models that adorn its 
churches, in order that they should not run the risk of being 
sold and carried away. Hence it is that the state, even 
throughout its most diminutive districts and towns, has been 
enabled to preserve so many valuable paintings ; while, at the 
same time, it has furnished provision for its youthful artists, 
best calculated to facilitate their improvement. During seve- 
ral centuries the ancient company of painters, ennobled by 
the names of distinguished pupils, continued to flourish ; but 
there was still wanting the sort of reputation arising from 
dignity of situation and establishment, from the number and 
assiduity of its masters, and from the distribution of rewards. 
Since the year 1724 it was decreed, and confirmed in 1766, 
that a magnificent academy should be erected, devoted to the 
fine arts, " upon the plan," as was further stated, " of the 
principal institutions in Italy and throughout Europe." And 
it forms indeed an object gratifying to the mind of the most 
accomplished foreigners, to behold this seat of art, and to cul- 
tivate an acquaintance with its objects and pursuits. These 
views of the government have been promoted by the private 
individuals of that most splendid body of nobility, an assem- 
bly in which the Abate Filippo Farsetti very liberally dis- 
tinguished himself, by presenting the institution with a large 
collection of paintings, and casts taken from the finest antique 
statues. Their successors have displayed the same kind of spirit., 
nor did they merely afford students access to the study of 
these monuments ; but their finest productions, in every year, 



OBSERVATIONS. . 321 

are selected according to the judgment of public professors, 
and rewarded with all the ceremony and munificence worthy 
of such an institution. 

Nor have other nobles and gentlemen throughout the city 
ard the state of Venice been wanting in liberality towards 
young artists of genius, enabling them to pursue their studies 
both at home and abroad, until they have completed their 
education. Few contributions indeed confer so much honour 
ujon families as these ; for in addition to the merit of succouring 
a fellow-creature and a fellow-citizen, there are thus expec- 
tations to be indulged that some genius may rise up capable 
of conferring honour upon the arts, and perhaps restoring them 
to their ancient merit. "We have it in our power to record 
various instances of this liberal spirit ; we could mention a 
number of excellent artists who express their gratitude for 
th<3 kindness of their patrons, did not the rule we have laid 
down for ourselves not to introduce the eulogies of living 
artists, in order to avoid occasion of complaint to such as may 
be omitted, forbid the enumeration of them. Still I may 
allude to an instance of it in another branch of the art, which 
is very generally known, and this is the generous encourage- 
ment afforded by their Excellencies Falier and Zulian to 
Antonio Canova, the celebrated sculptor, encouragement to 
which Rome and Italy are in a great degree indebted for such 
an artist. He suffices to convince us, that though Fortune 
may indeed deprive our country of her great master-pieces 
of art, she cannot destroy the genius capable of reproducing 
them. 



TOL. IT, 



322 



BOOK II. 



THE SCHOOLS OP LOMBARD!, 



AFTER a consideration of the principles and progress of paint- 
ing in Lombardy, I came to the conclusion that its history 
ought to be treated and arranged in a manner altogether dif- 
ferent from the rest of the schools. Indeed those of Florence, 
of Rome, of Venice, and of Bologna, may be almost consi- 
dered in the light of so many dramas, in which there occurs 
an interchange of acts and scenes, for such are the epochs of 
each school ; and there is also a change of actors, for such are 
the masters of each new period ; but the unity of place, which 
is no other than the capital city, is invariably preserved ; 
while the principal actors, and as it were protagonists of the 
story, always continue in action, at least in the way of exam- 
ple. Every capital, it is true, is in possession of its own 
state, and in that ought to be comprehended the various other 
cities, and the revolutions in each ; but these are in general so 
nearly connected with those of the metropolis as to be easily 
reducible to the same leading law, either because the state 
artists have acquired the art in the principal city, or because 
they have taught it there, as may easily be gathered from the 
history of the Venetian school ; while the few who wander 
out of the usual routine, cannot be said to infringe greatly 
upon the unity of the school and the succession of its histories. 
But it happens differently in the history of Lombardy, which, 
in the happier periods of the art, being divided into many 
more districts than it now is, possessed in each state a school 
distinct from all the others ; enumerated also distinct eras ; 
and when the style of one influenced that of another, such a 
circumstance occurred neither so universally, nor so near in 



SCHOOLS OF LOMBARDY. 323 

regard to time, as to admit of the same epoch being applied to 
mtiny of them. Hence it is, that even from the outset of this 
book, I renounce the received manner of speaking which 
would mention the Lombard school, as if in itself consti- 
tuting one school, in such a way as to be compared for in- 
stance with the Venetian, which in every place acknowledged 
tho sway of its sovereign masters ; of the Bellini first, next 
of Titian and his noblest contemporaries, and then of Palma ; 
an I moreover established several characteristics of design, of 
colouring, of composition, of the use of the pencil, so as easily 
to distinguish it from every other school. But in that which 
is called the Lombard the case is otherwise. For its founders, 
such as Lionardo, Giulio, the Campi, and Correggio, are too 
widely opposed to each other to admit of being brought under 
ono standard of taste, and referred to the same epoch. I am 
aware that Correggio, being by birth a Lombard, and the origi- 
nator of a new style that afforded an example to many artists 
in that part of Italy, has conferred the name of Lombard school 
upon the followers of his maxims ; and according to these 
characteristics the contours were to be drawn round and full, 
the countenance warm and smiling, the union of the colours 
strong and clear, the foreshortenings frequent, with a parti- 
cular regard to the chiaroscuro. But the school thus circum- 
scribed, where shall we find a place for the Mantuans, the 
Milanese, the Cremonese, and the many others who, having 
been born, and having flourished in Lombardy, and moreover 
being the tutors of a long extended line, justly deserve a rank 
among the Lombards. 

From such considerations I have judged it most advisable 
to i reat severally of each school, enlarging upon them more or 
less, according as the number of the professors and the infor- 
mation respecting them may seem to render it requisite. 
For the accounts of some of these schools have been already 
separately compiled ; Zaist having treated of the Cremonese 
painters, and Tiraboschi of the Modenese ; thus conferring 
upon artists the same obligations which he so richly conferred 
upon the literati in a still greater work ; a rare writer, for 
whose loss we yet indulge a mournful recollection.' In the 
rest of the schools I shall be supplied with ample materials 
from Yasari, from Lomazzo, and the Guides of the cities, 

Y2 



324 SCHOOLS OF LOMBARDY. . 

besides some authors to be cited when requisite, together with 
niy own observations and sources of information borrowed 
from different places ; whence it is hoped that the pictoric 
history of Lombardy, the least known amongst all the schools 
of Italy, may by my means have at least some additional 
light thrown upon it. 



325 



CHAPTER I. 

MANTUAN SCHOOL. 

EPOCH I. 

Of Mantegna and his Successors. 

I SHALL first commence with Mantua, from which there 
emanated two sister schools, those of Modena and of Parma. 
Were any one desirous of investigating the most ancient 
remains that the art of colouring in that state can boast, he 
might record the celebrated anthem book^ still preserved at 
S. Benedetto at Mantua, a gift of the Countess Matilda to 
that monastery, which being founded by her long preserved 
her remains, transferred during the late century into the 
Vatican. In this book, shewn me by the learned and cour- 
teous Abbate Mari, are exhibited several little histories of the 
life and death of the Virgin, which, notwithstanding the bar- 
barous period in which they were produced, display some 
taste, insomuch that I do not remember having seen any work 
of the same age at all equal to it. Upon this subject it may 
not be useless to observe, that in ages less uncivilized, and 
nearer our own, the art of miniature was practised in Mantua 
by a great number of professors, among whom is Gio. de 
Kussi, who, about the year 1455, illustrated, for the Duke 
B( rso of Modena, the Bible of Este, in large folio, one of the 
rarest specimens of that distinguished collection. But in 
regard to pictures, I have been able to discover no artist who 
flourished in that place previous to Mantegna ; and it is only 
some anonymous productions belonging to the fourteenth and 
fifteenth centuries, that can be mentioned as remaining to this 
day. Of the former age, I saw in the cloister of S. Fran- 
.ce^co, a sepulchre, erected in 1303, with a Madonna among 
various angels, all rude and disproportioned figures, though 



32G MANTUAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

coloured with such strong and animated tints as to appear 
truly surprising. I doubt not but that the revival of painting 
in Lombardy, through the genius of its natives, might be fairly 
proved from the existence of this monument, as its age is 
anterior to that of the followers of Giotto, scattered through- 
out Italy ; besides, the style is different. Of the fifteenth I 
have seen another Madonna upon an altar likewise of S. Fran- 
cesco ; and whoever may have been the author, he has shewn 
that the art, even in those days, had already emerged from its 
infancy, without arriving at that rank to which the great 
Andrea Mantegna conducted it, of whom we have twice 
already had occasion to speak shortly in the course of this 
work ; a subject which we now resume, and shall enlarge 
upon more fully. 

Although the honour of having given birth to Mantegna 
can no longer, as formerly, be denied to Padua, his school was, 
nevertheless, established in Mantua, where, under the auspices 
of Marchese Lodovico Gonzaga, he settled with his family, 
without, however, ceasing to exert his talents elsewhere, and 
more particularly in Rome. The chapel which he painted at 
the desire of Innocent VIII. in the Vatican still exists, though 
injured by time ; and it is clear that in the imitation of the 
antique constantly pursued by him he greatly improved; 
through the number of examples to be found throughout the 
city. He never varied his manner, which I described when 
I treated of him as a pupil of Squarcione in Padua ; but he 
still continued to perfect it. Several works produced during 
his latter years are yet extant at Mantua , and far surpassing 
the rest is his picture of Victory, painted upon canvas. 
Another is the Virgin, amidst various saints, among whom 
S. Michele the archangel, and S. Maurizio, are seen holding 
her mantle, which is stretched over Francesco Gonzaga ; he 
is in a kneeling posture, while the Virgin extends her hand 
over him in sign of protection : more in the back-ground 
appear the two patrons of the city, S. Andrea and S. Longino, 
and the infant St. John before the throne, with S. Anna, as 
is supposed at least by Vasari and Ridolfi, little exact in their 
description of this picture, inasmuch as the rosary held in her 
hand distinguishes her for the princess, consort of the Mar- 
chese, kneeling at her husband's side. Mantua, perhaps,. 



ANDREA MANTEGNA. 327 

boasts 110 other specimen equally sought after and admired by 
strangers; and though produced in 1495, it is still free, in a 
conspicuous degree, from the effects of three ages, which it has 
al ready survived. It is truly wonderful to behold carnations 
so delicate, coats of armour so glittering, draperies so finely 
varied, with ornamental fruits still so fresh and dewy to the eye. 
Each separate head might serve as a school, from its fine cha- 
racter and vivacity, and not a few from imitation of the antique ; 
while the design, as well in its naked as in its clothed parts, 
expresses a softness which sufficiently repels the too general 
opinion, that the stiff style and that of Mantegna are much 
the same thing. There is also an union of colours, a delicacy 
oi hand, and a peculiar grace, that to me appears almost the 
la^t stage of the art towards that perfection which it acquired 
frjm Lionardo. His works upon canvas remind us of that 
exquisite taste to which he had been habituated by Squarcione, 
who supplied him with pictures of the same kind from various 
places, and indeed the whole of the above specimen discovers 
hi in to have been an artist who spared neither his colours nor 
Jbis time, to produce works that might satisfy his own ideas, 
as well as the eye of the spectator. 

His great master-piece, nevertheless, according to the judg- 
ment of Vasari, is the Triumph of Caesar, represented in 
different pictures, which, becoming the prey of the Germans 
in the sackage of the city, were finally sent into England, 
They belonged to a great hall in the palace of S. Sebastiano, 
" which was completed," says Equicola, an historian of his 
native place, "by Lorenzo Costa, an excellent artist, who 
added to it all that pomp which used to attend upon a triumph, 
besides the spectators before wanting." But these pictures 
having perished, there yet remain other considerable relics 
from the works of Andrea, in a saloon of the castle, entitled 
by Ridolfi the Camera degli Sposi. We there behold copious 
productions executed in fresco, and among them several por- 
tr;iits of the Gonzaga family, still in good preservation ; and 
so ne genii drawn over a door-way, so joyous, animated, and 
airy, that nothing can be supposed to surpass them. Among 
co i lections of art we more rarely meet with specimens of him 
than is really believed, his genuine hand being recognised, not 
only by its lightness, by its rectilinear folds, or by its yellowish 



328 MANTUAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

landscape, spread with certain minute and broken stones ; but 
by the skill of its design and the delicacy of its pencil. It 
does not appear that he produced many pictures for private 
exhibition, engaged as he was in works of greater magnitude, 
and upon many engravings. More than fifty of these last 
have been enumerated, for the chief part abounding with 
figures ; labours which must have occupied a large portion of 
his best time. But there are some persons, as I have observed 
(vol. i. p. 116), who would considerably reduce this number, 
whether correctly or not posterity will, perhaps, ascertain. 

The style of Andrea greatly influenced that of his age, and 
imitations of it are to be seen even beyond his school, which 
was extremely flourishing in Mantua. We enumerate among 
his most distinguished disciples Francesco, and one of his 
other sons. There is a paper yet extant, in which they 
undertake to complete the chamber of the castle just alluded 
to, of which their father, Andrea, had only painted the walls. 
To these they added the beautiful vaulted recess. Whoever 
examines it must confess that the science of foreshortening, 
originally attributed to Melozio, was here improved and nearly 
brought to perfection by Mantegna and his sons.* In the 
same work appear several exquisitely drawn infantine figures, 
under different points of view, and admirably shortened so as 
to lose nothing in comparison with those of Melozio, though 
his painting of Paradise, drawn for the church of SS. Apos- 
toli, was afterwards cut down and placed in the grand 
Palazzo Quirinale. The same sons of Mantegna likewise 
added lateral pictures to an altar-piece of their father, in a 
family chapel they had, attached to the church of S. Andrea ; 
and in the same place they raised a beautiful monument to his 
memory in 1517, which has been falsely supposed by some 
to be the year of his death, whereas it appears, from many 
authentic works, that he closed his days in 1505. 

After the death of Mantegna, Lorenzo Costa held the first 

* Mantegna's chef -d' centre in this line now adorns the I. R. Pinaco- 
teca of Milan. Brought to that city by the Cav. Giuseppe Bossi, it was 
purchased by the government, and represents a Dead Christ, with the 
two Marys weeping. The foreshortening is so perfect, the perspective so 
correct, that from whatever point it is viewed, the body is still seen ex- 
tended in its full proportion in length. A. 



CARLO DEL MANTEGNA. 329 

raik, an artist of whom we shall treat more at length in the 
Bolognese school. He adorned the palace with various histo- 
ries, and the churches with many of his pictures, continuing 
under Francesco to reside in the same place, and afterwards 
under Federigo, until beyond the year 1525, in which time 
he produced also his picture for his family chapel. There too, 
like Mantegna, he wished to have his remains deposited. 
Following his example, he established his family in Mantua, 
where some of his descendants will again appear at a more 
mcdern epoch. But the young Mantegni must be referred to 
this more ancient period, and along with them ought to be 
mentioned Carlo del Mantegna, who having studied some 
lecgth of time under Andrea, and cultivated a complete 
acquaintance with his style, afterwards introduced it, as we 
shall shew, into Genoa. Carlo is supposed to have assisted in 
the labours of the palace and the chapel above mentioned, as 
well as in many others ascribed to the disciples of Mantegna, 
among which are two histories of the ark preserved in the 
monastery of S. Benedetto at Mantua, where Andrea's manner 
appears somewhat more amplified, though boasting less beauti- 
ful forms. But few certain productions of his followers can 
be fixed upon, their labours being confounded by connoisseurs, 
from their resemblance of their style and name to those of 
their master. And it has thus happened in an extremely 
interesting historical point ; for Correggio having studied, it 
appears, under Francesco Mantegna, was believed a scholar of 
Ardrea, already deceased before Allegri had attained his 
twelfth year. 

8till more celebrated than the preceding were the names of 
Giiinfrancesco Carotto and Francesco Monsignori, of Verona. 
Suoh was the progress made by the former, that Andrea was 
in the habit of sending forth his labours as the work of his 
own hand. He was celebrated for his portraits; and for 
his composition, equally excellent in large as in small pieces ; 
.an<l he was employed by the Visconti, at Milan, as well as in 
the court of Monferrato, and to a still greater extent in his 
native place. Although an artist who flourished at so early a 
period, in a few of his pictures he might be pronounced more 
great and harmonious than Andrea himself ; as we may gather 
from his fine altar-piece of S. Fermo, at Verona, and from 



330 MANTUAN SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

that of his Angioli, at Santa Eufemia, whose side pictures 
represent two virgins, very manifestly imitated from Raffaello. 
He is not to be confounded with Giovanni Carotto, his brother 
and his pupil, and very greatly inferior to him. Francesco 
Monsignori ought not to be referred to Yerona, but to Mantua, 
where he established himself, honoured by the Marchese 
Francesco with his confidence, and remunerated in the most 
liberal manner. If this artist, also, does not exhibit the 
beautiful forms, and the purity of design so remarkable in the 
works of his master, he approaches nearer to the modern 
taste ; his contours more full, his drapery less trite, and his 
softness more finely studied. In his drawings of animals, he 
was also considered the Zeuxis of his age ; insomuch that he 
succeeded in imposing upon a real dog with a copy of the animal. 
In perspective he was a master ; and in the refectory of the 
Franciscans, there is a picture of our Lord amidst the apostles, 
exhibiting an architecture, which, however much retouched, 
does not fail to produce great effect. In the pulpit of the 
same church is also a S. Bernardino, with a S. Lodovico, one 
of his most beautiful pieces;* and elsewhere altar-grades, 
with figures which appear like miniature. He had a brother 
of the name of Girolamo, of the order of S. Domenico, also 
an excellent artist. The Last Supper, to be seen in the grand 
library of S. Benedetto, copied from that of Leonardo, in 
Milan, is from his hand. By many it is esteemed the best 
copy of that miracle of art which now remains to us. I have 
before treated of several of Andrea's scholars, natives of 
Vicenza ; and another of Cremona, I shall have to mention 
in due time. Yet the entire series of this school will not be 
completed with these names, as there are specimens of many 
unknown artists executed in fresco, interspersed throughout 
different places in Mantua. They are for the most part to be 
met with on the fa9ades of buildings, and in the churches ; 
while in several of the galleries we may observe pictures in 
oil, which appear to exhibit more of the defects than of the 
excellences of Mantegna. 

* This highly lauded work by Monsignori has also been added to the 
valuable collection of the I. R. Pinacoteca at Milan. A. 



331 



MANTUAN SCHOOL. 

EPOCH II. 

Giulio Romano and his School. 

THE school of the Mantegneschi having become extinct in 
M;intua, another of a more beautiful and distinguished cha- 
racter arose, sufficient to excite the envy even of Rome. 
Duke Federigo had succeeded to Francesco, a prince of much 
en argement of mind, and so much devoted to the fine arts, 
thjut no artist of common genius would have been equal to 
exocute his ideas. Through the interest of Baldassar Casti- 
glione, then extremely intimate with Rafiaello, Giulio Romano 
was prevailed upon to visit Mantua, where he became at once 
engineer and painter to Duke Federigo. The duties, how- 
evor, of the first, occupied him more than those of the second. 
For the city having been damaged by the waters of the 
Mincio, the buildings being insecure or badly planned, and 
tin, architecture inferior to the dignity of a capital, he was 
thus furnished with sufficient materials on which to employ 
hi^ talents, and to render him, as it were, a new founder of 
Mimtua ; insomuch, that its ruler, in a transport of gratitude, 
wss heard to exclaim, that Giulio was in truth more the 
master of the city than he himself. The whole of these works 
aro extensively recorded in different books of architecture. 
Tl e duty here required of me is to point out to the reader 
the; originality of this artist's character; a solitary instance 
perhaps in history, of one who, having erected the most 
noble and beautiful palaces, villas, and temples, painted and 
ornamented a considerable portion of them with his own 
ha^id ; while at the same time a regular school of his pupils 
an 1 assistants was formed in Mantua, which continued for a 
lei gth of years to do equal honour to the country and to the 
city of Lombardy. 



332 MANTUAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

We have already considered Giulio, in treating of the 
Roman school, in the character of a scholar, as well as heir 
and continuator of the works of Raffaello ; but here he is to 
appear -in that of a master, pursuing the method of the head 
of this school, both in teaching and composition. When he 
came to Mantua, he found abundance of ancient marbles, to 
which he continued to add specimens, out of which the 
statues, the busts, and the bassi-rilievi, still preserved in the 
academy, are mere relics. To such materials, collected by 
the Gonzaghi, he united some of his own. He was abundantly 
furnished with designs, as well copied from the antique in 
Borne, as executed by the hand of Raffaello. Nor were his 
own immediate studies less valuable, no designer having better 
succeeded in uniting freedom of invention with selection, 
rapidity with correctness, a knowledge of fable and of history 
with a certain popular manner, and facility in treating them. 
Upon the death of his master he began to give a freer scope 
to his natural genius, which inclined rather to the bold than 
to the beautiful, and induced him more to adopt the experience 
acquired by many years of application, than his own know- 
ledge of nature and of truth. He considered it, therefore, 
mere amusement to adorn the palace of Mantua, and the great 
suburban of the Te (to say nothing of his numerous other 
works), in the style that Vasari relates, and which is, in part, 
to be seen at the present day. So many chambers with gilded 
entablatures; such a variety of beautiful stucco-work, the 
figures of which have been removed for the instruction of 
youth ; so many stories and capricci linely conceived and 
connected with one another, besides such a diversity of labours 
adapted to different places and subjects, altogether form a 
collection of wonders, the honour of which Gialio divided 
with no other artist. For he himself conceived, composed, 
and completed these vast undertakings. 

He was accustomed himself to prepare the cartoons, and 
afterwards having exacted from his pupils their completion, 
he went over the entire work with his pencil, removed its 
defects, impressing at the same time upon the whole the 
stamp of his own superior character. This method he ac- 
quired from Raffaello ; and he is commended by Vasari as the 
best artist known for his production of distinguished pupils. 



GIULIO ROMANO. 3b'3 

It was the misfortune of Giulio to hare the touches of his 
own hand, in his labours at the Te, modernized by other 
pei cils, owing to which the beautiful fable of Psyche, the 
moral representations of human life, and his terrible war of 
the giants with Jove, where he appeared to compete with 
Michelangelo himself in the hardihood of his design, still 
retain, indeed, the design and composition, but no longer the 
colours of Giulio. In these last his hand will more truly 
appear in his War of Troy, preserved at the royal court ; in 
his history of Lucretia ; and in those little cabinets orna- 
mented by him with grotesques and other ingenious fancies. 
There we might sometimes pronounce him a Homer, treating 
of arms, or sometimes an Anacreon, celebrating the delights 
of wine and love. Nor did he employ his powers less nobly 
in sacred subjects, more particularly for the dome, which, by 
commission of the Cardinal Gonzaga, brother to Federigo, and 
guardian of his young nephew, he not only built, but in part 
ornamented, though his death occurred before he was enabled 
to complete his celebrated work. The paintings produced for 
other churches by his own hand are not very numerous ; such, 
consisting more particularly of his three histories of the 
Passion, coloured in fresco, at S. Marco ; of his Santo 
Crihloforo, in the large altar of that church, in which he is 
represented with an uncommon degree of strength, yet groan- 
ing under the burden of the Lord of the Universe, who in 
the figure of an infant is borne upon his shoulders ; an incident 
originating in the name itself of Cristoforo. But let us come 
to the school of Giulio, in Mantua. It will not occupy many 
pages, since it did not mix the style of this artist, as in other 
places has happened, with foreign styles, being peculiarly true 
to its prototype, so that in each countenance we may trace, as 
it were, his own exact features, although copied unequally. 

la his Mantuan school there appeared several foreigners,, 
among whom Primaticcio proved the most celebrated; an 
artist whom Giulio employed to work in stucco, and whom, 
on being invited into the service of the king of France, he 
sent to that country in his stead. But we shall take no fur- 
ther notice of him here, having to treat of him more fully in 
our account of the Bolognese. The Veronese, who are in 
possession of a beautiful fresco, in the Piazza delle Erbe, with 



334 MANTTJAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

the name of Alberto Cavalli Savonese, have supposed this 
painter a scholar of Giulio, but without any other foundation 
beyond a strong resemblance to the style of Pippi, in the 
naked parts. It is strange that no other specimen of such a 
distinguished hand should be known 'in Italy, nor any memo- 
rial of him, notwithstanding the great researches that have 
been made ; nor is it very improbable that he also may have 
changed his country, and died in foreign parts. Benedetto 
Pagni from Pescia had already tried his abilities in Rome, 
together with Bartolommeo da Castiglioni, with Paparello da 
Cortona, and with Gio. da Leone ; artists of whom I know 
not if there exist any thing beyond the name ; while Pagni, 
who accompanied Giulio into Mantua, has been as highly 
esteemed by Vasari as any other name. From his hand, 
besides what remains in his native place, we possess a S. Lo- 
renzo, painted in S. Andrea, at Mantua, which does credit 
to such a school. Companion to him in the numerous works 
of the Te, we find Rinaldo Mantovano, considered by Vasari 
the most celebrated painter of the city, while he laments 
the untimely termination of his days. His altar-piece of 
S. Agostino, at the Trinita, proves him to have been great even 
in his youth, so much is the design beyond the expectation of 
such an age ; and it has by some been pronounced the work 
of his master. Fermo Guisoni had a longer career; he 
painted in the cathedral the Vocation of S. Pietro and S. 
Andrea, copied from one of the most beautiful and studied 
cartoons of Giulio. Other pieces of his are extant, in part 
designed by Bertani, and in part from his own hand. Such 
is a picture of the Crucifixion at S. Andrea, which both in 
point of design and force of colouring is indeed admirable. 

In this series Vasari has omitted to mention several others 
whom the Mantuans have enumerated as belonging to the 
school of Giulio, and as natives of their country. Among 
these is a Teodoro Ghigi, a Mantuan, as he subscribes himself, 
an excellent designer, and so familiar with the manner of the 
leader of his school, that on the decease of the latter, he was 
employed in the service of the prince, to complete his labours 
in the city and in the country. Ippolito Andreasi also 
painted a good deal upon the cartoons of Giulio, and pro- 
duced pictures of merit in S. Barbara as well as elsewhere. 



GIO. BATISTA BERTANI. 335 

There are moreover two frescos in the dome, at the chapel of 
S< Lorenzo, attributed to one Francesco Perla ; an altar-piece 
at S. Cristoforo by Gio. Batista Giacarolo, neither of them 
greatly celebrated in this class. Raffaello Pippi was a son of 
the head of the school ; and there only remains of him the 
honourable recollection of the very promising efforts of his 
youthful genius, cut off in its happiest spring. 

Following Giulio, his pupil, the cavalier Gio. Batista Ber- 
tani continued to labour, and to instruct the school. He had 
accompanied his master to Rome ; he was a great architect, 
and an excellent writer on the subject, as well as a painter of 
no ordinary talent. Assisted by his brother of the name of 
Domenico, he ornamented several chambers in the castle of 
the court ; and he committed various altar-pieces to different 
painters, in the dome erected by Giulio, in Sta. Barbara, 
which is the work of Bertani himself, and in other churches 
of the place. To some of these artists he gave his designs. 
He was esteemed almost as another Giulio by Duke Vincen- 
zio, though very inferior to his predecessor. For what 
Va^ari observes of him, that his knowledge did not equal that 
of his master, is no less true, than that the chief part of his 
OWE assistants surpassed him. His assistants were Gio. Ba- 
tista del Moro, Geronimo Mazzuola, Paol Farinato, Domenico 
Brusasorci, Giulio Campi, Paol Veronese ; whose works, dis- 
played in that cathedral, do no less honour to the sanctuary 
than to the city. Yet let this be said without the least 
reflection upon his merit, which, particularly in design, was 
undoubtedly very great. This, indeed, we gather from his 
picture of the Martyrdom of Sta. Agata, which, executed 
from the design of Bertani by Ippolito Costa, approaches 
much nearer to the composition of Giulio than other works of 
Ippolito, drawn from his own invention. 

There is reason to believe that Ippolito was of the family 
of Lorenzo Costa, together with Luigi, and another Lorenzo, 
botL named Costa, and both Mantuans. Orlandi states 
Ippolito to have been a pupil of Carpi. Baldinucci includes 
him in the school of Giulio, either from his having frequented 
his Jicademy, or in other ways having availed himself of his 
instructions and his models ; and, indeed, his style betrays 
no slight traces of them. Lamo, who wrote an account of the 



336 MANTUAN SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

artists of Cremona, describes him to us as a master, who about 
1538 instructed Bernardino Campi ; and moreover gives us 
reason to suppose that his brother Luigi was likewise initiated 
by him in the art. But he proved an inferior artist, and drew 
his chief celebrity from his surname. Among the assistants of 
Taddeo Zuccari, about 1560, Vasari mentions Lorenzo Costa, 
a Mantuan ; and it seems likely that he sprung either from 
Luigi or from Ippolito; and had such name conferred upon 
him, as was usual, in memory of Lorenzo Costa, his grand- 
father, or from some other relationship to him. We frequently 
read in the Guide of Mantua, written by Cadioli, that such a 
painting is from the hand of Costa, without giving his proper 
name ; and it appears probable, that pursuing their labours in 
the same studio, they may have contracted a sort of family 
style, not indeed very correct or learned, but of a practical 
kind. There is a pleasing air about the heads, and some care 
in the colours ; for the rest it is minute ; not exact, nor suffi- 
ciently shaded ; and in fine, modelled upon the composition of 
one who aimed at imitating the grace, not of rivalling the- 
power of Giulio. The Costa are esteemed in Mantua among 
the last disciples of the great school ; nor do I know of their 
having produced any pupil besides Facchetti, who devoted 
himself altogether to portraits. 

It will here be proper to state that Giulio, in imitation of 
Raflaello, gave rise, by the influence of his taste, to a great 
number of artificers, who ornamented other professions. He 
was possessed of those general ideas of beauty and proportion, 
from which he drew his rules for the particular direction of 
every work ; an enviable distinction of that age, in which the 
leading men were at once painters, modellers, and architects, 
extending their influence even from the noblest works of art 
down to vases and plates of earthenware, and cornices of wood. 
I am not certain whether Giulio, like Raffaello, formed the 
taste of another Gio. da Udine, in drawing fruits and trees, 
&c. ; but I know that Camillo, a Mautuan, declared by Vasari 
to be most excellent in point of landscape,'" flourished about 
this period. Some specimens in fresco still continue to adorn 
his native place ; but he chiefly produced his works in Venice, 

* In the " Life of Genga." 



D. G1ULIO CLOVIO. 337 

in Urbino, and at the ducal palace in Pesaro, where, in a 
chamber, since changed into an armour-room, he painted a 
grove, executed with so much taste and truth, that it would 
not be difficult to number every separate leaf upon the trees. 
It is certain that Giulio educated a pupil as his Perino, for his 
jituccos; and this was, besides Primaticcio, a Gio. Batista 
Briziano, commonly called Mantovano, who likewise became 
his Marc Antonio, engraving on copper many of the pictures 
of his master, as well as of other distinguished artists of his 
day. To him ought to be added Giorgio Ghisi, or Ghigi, who 
flourished at the same period ; and to these succeeded Diana, 
daughter of Gio. Batista,* celebrated for her fine engravings ; 
and this branch of art, introduced into Mantua by that 
eminent artist, continued to prosper there for a long course of 
years. 

Another branch of the fine arts, that of miniature, seemed 
to attain its perfection under one of Giulio's scholars. His 
name was D. Giulio Clovio, of Croazia, a regular Scopetine 
canon, afterwards becoming a layman by a dispensation from 
the Pope. He had first turned his attention to the higher 
branches of the art, but Giulio, who saw he possessed a pecu- 
li;ir talent for diminutive figures, prevailed upon him to apply 
himself to these ; and taught him the first of any in Rome, the 
method of applying tints and colours in gum and water-colours, 
while in miniature he obtained instructions from Girolamo da' 
Libri of Verona. He is esteemed at the head of his profession 
in this line. In his design he displays a good deal of study of 
Michelangelo and of the Roman school, though approaching 
nearer to the practice of a good naturalist, exquisitely grace- 
ful in his colours, and admirable in his exactness of drawing 
th > minutest objects. Great part of his labours were under- 
taken for sovereigns and princes, in whose libraries maybe 
found books ornamented by him in miniature with such a 
decree of truth and spirit, that we appear to view these 
diminutive objects rather through some camera-optica, than in 
a picture. It is related by Vasari, than in an Office of the 

* She is also called Civis Volaterrana, from her connection with that 
city ; an instance that ought to be present to our recollection, when we 
find that different writers ascribe different countries to the same painter, 

VOL. II. Z 






338 MANTUAN SCHOOL. EPOCH IL 

Yirgin, made for the Cardinal Farnese, there were figures 
which did not exceed the size of a small ant ; and that each 
part was nevertheless distinctly drawn. It is worth while, 
indeed, to read the whole description given by that historian 
of the miniatures there inserted, in which he likewise selected 
subjects adapted for a multitude of figures, such as the pro- 
cession of the Corpus Domini at Rome, and the feast of the 
Monte Testaceo ; a labour of nine years, which was distributed 
into twenty-six little histories. He produced numerous small 
portraits painted for private people (an art in which he is 
said by Vasari to have equalled Titian) ; besides a few little 
pictures. These are rarely to be met with in collections. 
There is one of the Deposizione, in the library of the Paclri 
Cisterciensi, at Milan, a piece quite original in its composition, 
but which breathes altogether the taste of the golden period. 
Indeed, I am inclined to be of opinion that Giulio promoted 
this very study in Mantua ; having myself seen there some 
exquisite miniatures, though by unknown hands. It is also 
worthy of notice, as Vasari remarks, that by means of Giulio, 
the art advanced towards perfection, not only in Mantua, but 
throughout all Lombardy (a state which, in the native ac- 
ceptation of the term, includes also a portion of the modern 
Venetian territories). This we have already in part seen ; 
and in part shall continue to see more clearly in the course of 
this history. 



339 



MANTUAN SCHOOL. 

EPOCH III. 



Decline of the School, and Foundation of an Academy in order to 
restore it. 

Si BSEQUENT to the period in which Giulio flourished, the 
school of Mantua produced no new names which at all ap- 
proached the reputation of the first. The disposition of its 
sovereigns was always inclined rather to invite painters of 
ce ebrity from elsewhere, with a sure prospect of being speedily 
and well served, than to promote the education of their young 
subjects in the study of an art, slow in producing fruits, and 
subject to rapid decay. We have already recounted a tole- 
rable number assembled by Duke Vincenzio for the object of 
ornamenting his churches ; of several of whom he also availed 
himself for the decoration of the palaces. Antonmaria Viani, 
called il Vianino, a native of Cremona and a scholar of the 
Campi, thus filled the double capacity of an artist and an ar- 
chitect. The frieze surrounding the gallery of the court pre- 
sents a specimen of their style, where in a ground of gold, are 
son a group of most beautiful boys, painted in chiaroscuro, 
an d playing amidst luxuriant festoons of flowers. In the same 
taste of the Campi he produced several sacred pieces ; such as 
th 3 picture of S. Michele at Sta. Agnese ; the Paradiso at the 
Orsoline ; and subsequent to Duke Vincenzio, he was em- 
ployed by his three successors, and died in Mantua, after 
having established his family in that city. 

Not very long afterwards, Domenico Feti from Rome was 
declared painter of the same court, an artist of whose educa- 
tion, received under Cigoli, I have treated elsewhere. Car- 
dinal Ferdinando, succeeding to the dukedom of Mantua, had 
brought him 'from Rome to his own court, where he had op- 
portunities of improving himself, by studying the finest Lom- 

Z 2 



340 MANTUAN SCHOOL. EPOCH HI. 

bard models, along with several of the Venetians. He pro- 
duced many pictures in oil, for various temples and galleries ; 
one of which, representing the Multiplication of Loaves, exists 
in the Mantuan academy, abounding with figures rather truly 
noble than large; but varied, shortened, and coloured in a 
very masterly style. A still more copious work was that in 
the choir of the cathedral, though his pieces in fresco, like 
those of Cigoli, have less merit than those painted in oil. 
With all the excellence of his compositions, he has certainly 
the fault of being too symmetrical in his groups, which conse- 
quently seem to correspond in an exact order, calculated in 
architecture to please both the eye and mind, but by no means 
so in painting. His own youthful excesses deprived Venice of 
this fine genius, and distinguished ornament of his art, in the 
very flower of his age. The names of other artists likewise 
engaged in the service of the same court, where a relish for 
the fine arts seems to have been almost indigenous, were Titian, 
Correggio, Genga, Tintoretto, Albani, Rubens, Gessi, Gerola, 
Vermiglio, Castiglione, Lodovico Bertucci, M r ith others of 
eminent abilities ; some of whom were invited for particular 
commissions, and others permanently engaged for a length of 
time. Thus the city of Mantua became one of the most richly 
ornamented in all Italy ; insomuch that after suffering the 
sackage of 1630, in which the ducal palace was despoiled of 
the noble collection, now dispersed abroad, it still can boast, 
both in private and public exhibitions, sufficient to engage the 
curiosity of cultivated strangers for a period of many days. 

The city in the meanwhile was not deficient in native artists 
of superior genius, such as Venusti, Manfredi, and Facchetti ; 
all of whom, on account of their residence in Rome, we have 
treated of in that school : while in that of Parma we shall 
have occasion to insert the name of Giorgio del Grano, sup- 
posed to be of Mantua, and of Andrea Scutellari in that of 
Cremona, in which he became fixed. Francesco Borgani is 
one of those who resided in his native place, and who adopted 
a good style from the paintings of Parmigianino, in which he 
composed several pictures in S. Pietro, in S. Simone* in 
S. Croce, as well as in other places, by which he deserves to 
be better known than he now is. This artist flourished until 
the latter half of the past century. 



GIOVANNI BAZZANI. 341 

Towards the same period Giovanni Canti, "while yet young, 
c.une from Parma and settled in Mantua, an artist whose 
merits, consisting in his landscapes and battle-scenes, are to 
be sought for in galleries of art, not in the specimens of his 
a tar-pieces in churches, which are very inferior. He was 
o:ie of those who lay too much stress on their rapidity of hand. 
S3hivenoglia, whose proper name was Francesco Ranieri, was 
one of his scholars, equally distinguished for his battles as for 
h s landscape ; superior to his master in design, but inferior 
in point of colouring. Next to him Giovanni Cadioli was 
considered a good landscape-painter, and better in fresco than 
ic oils. He wrote an account of the pictures of Mantua, and 
at the same period was one of the earliest founders and the 
first director of the academy for design at that place. 

Giovanni Bazzani, a pupil of Canti, was endowed with a 
higher genius for the art than his master, and laid a better 
foundation for excellence by the cultivation of his mind, by 
careful study, and by copying from the most esteemed models. 
He more particularly directed his attention towards Rubens, 
Wjiose footsteps he diligently pursued to the end of his career. 
He was long employed in Mantua and in its adjacent monas- 
tery, principally in works of fresco, displaying an easy, 
spirited, and imaginative character, in a manner that does 
cr idit to his genius. He was universally allowed to possess 
urcomnion powers, but being crippled and infirm, he was 
unable to exhibit them as he wished ; and besides, the rapid 
manner acquired from Canti, diminished, for the most part, 
the value of his works. 

Giuseppe Bottani of Cremona, educated at Rome under 
Masucci. afterwards established himself in Mantua, where he 
acquired the reputation of a good landscape-painter in the 
manner of Poussin, and of a good figurist in that of Maratta. 
His best pictures are found beyond the confines of the city ; 
in a church at Milan, dedicated to Saints Cosma and Dainiano, 
is to be seen a Santa Paola by his hand, taking farewell of 
tho domestics, a piece by no means inferior to that of Batoni, 
which is placed at its side. It had been well for his reputa- 
tion as an artist had he always exerted himself with equal 
*ca?-e, for in every composition he might have approved him- 



342 MANTUAN SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

self an excellent disciple of the school of Rome. His extreme 
haste, however, rendered him inconsistent with himself, so that 
in the city where he taught, there can hardly be enumerated 
one or two specimens among the great number he produced in 
public, which can at all vie with the Milanese. The reader 
may have already learned, in the course of this work, that 
of all faults celerity is one of the most fatal to the reputation 
of artists ; the rock upon which many of the finest geniuses 
have struck. To few, indeed, has it been given to produce 
with rapidity and to produce well. 

The academy of Mantua not only still exists, but has been 
furnished by the princes of the house of Austria with splendid 
rooms, with select casts, and other advantages for the improve- 
ment of youth, so as to render it one of the finest academies 
in Italy.* There have appeared, under the auspices of Signor 
Volta, one of its members, compendious notices of the artists 
of Mantua, down from the year 1777 ; an earnest of a more 
extended work that we are in hopes of receiving from his able 
and accomplished pen. With these notices, as well as others 
afforded us in conversation with the same enlightened scholar, 
we have been glad to enrich the present chapter. Nor have 
we failed to keep in view the two Discourses upon the Letters 
and the Arts of Mantua, recited in the academy, and after- 
wards made public by the Sig. Abate Bettinelli, in which his 
character, as a fluent orator, and a diligent historian, in the 
various notes he has added, appears to equal advantage. 

* Upon the establishment of the Italian republic, according to what I 
have recently heard from the learned P. Pompilio Pozzetti Scolopio, 
public librarian at Modena, the academies were reduced to two ; the one 
in Bologna, the other in Milan ; and in the rest of the cities they continue 
to exist as schools of the fine arts. To both of these the government is 
extremely favourable, as well as to letters, both very interesting objects 
of public education. And now, by-the union of the Venetian states, the 
academy of Venice is greatly strengthened and increased, established by 
decree of the government in the year 1724. 



343 



CHAPTER II. 

THE MODENESE SCHOOL. 

EPOCH I. 

The Ancients. 

THE state of Modena, such as it is now reunited under the 
happy government of the house of Este, will form the subject 
of the following chapter ; and no other portion of my work 
can be pronounced superior in point of interest to this. Since 
tho feeble attempts of Vedriani, and of other writers, more 
eager than sagacious, the pictoric history of the entire 
dominion has been recently illustrated, as I observed at the 
commencement, by a distinguished historian. I have no fur- 
ther object in view than to adapt it to my usual method, 
omitting at the same time a few names, which, either from 
thc-ir mediocrity, from the loss of their works, or other reasons, 
cai mot be presumed to be greatly interesting to my readers. 

The antiquity of this school may be sought for as far back 
as 1235, at least if it may be supposed that Berlingeri of 
Lucca, certainly the author of a S. Francesco remaining in 
tlu castle of Guiglia, painted in the above year, likewise pro- 
duced pupils to the state of Modena, a matter which is still 
involved in doubt. There is another sacred figure, also the 
pn duction of a Modenese, consisting of the Blessed Virgin, 
between two military saints, a picture brought from Prague 
into the imperial gallery at Vienna. We read inscribed 
upon it .in ancient character the two following lines : 

Quis opus hoc finxit ? Thomas de Mutina pinxit ', 
Quale vides Lector Rarisini filius auctor ; 

in ^hich we ought to read " Barisini," both on account of Sig. 



344 MODENESE SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

Garampi, who is profoundly skilled in the ancient characters, 
having thus understood it, and because this name approaches 
nearer to those which, though certainly different, are known 
to apply to the father of Tommaso, as well in Modena as in 
Trevigi. In the former I know not that there now remains 
any thing of him but the name ; but in the latter is to be seen 
a very extensive work in the chapter of the Padri Predicatori. 
Here are represented the saints and scholars of the order, and 
the artist's name also appears with the date of 1352.* The 
design of this piece is tolerably good for those times, as appears 
from the engravings taken of it by the Dominican, Father 
Federici, the same who presented us with a learned work upon 
the Antiquities of Trevigi. He discovered that the father of 
Tommaso, by name Borasino or Bizzarrino, an abbreviation, 
he says, of Buzzaccarino, became nominated to the citizenship, 
and to the public notaryship of Trevigi, in 1315 ; in all which 
his family was called di Modena, as that of Girolamo Ferrarese 
was called di Carpi. On the strength of these documents 
Trevigi may, perhaps, dispute with Modena the honour of 
producing such an artist; but I shall take no share in the 
question. I would here merely observe that the superscription 
does not say "Thomas de Mutina," from which we might 
gather that Modena was the cognomen of the family ; but that 
" Thomas pictor de Mutina pinxit istud ;" whence to conclude 
that he there gave the name of his real country, either because 
he was born in Modena, or because, descended from a Mode- 
iiese family, he retained his citizenship, and rather wished to 
appear a native of Modena than of Trevigi. However this 
may be, it is a signal honour for Italy to have given such an 
artist to Germany, a name of which the historians of that 
great nation have mistakenly, availed themselves, in the outset 
of the historic series of their painters, tracing his origin to 
Muttersdorff, and making him the master of Theodoric of 
Prague, followed in succession by Winser, Schoen, "Wolgemut, 
and Albert Durer. 

* It was believed some time ago that this painting was produced in 
1297, this date being found on the picture, and Sig. Mechel having thus 
published it in his catalogue of the royal gallery at Vienna. Whether 
it still remains thus inserted I know not ; but undoubtedly it ought not 
to be there. 



TOMMASO. 345 

Next to the pictures of Tommaso, ought to be enumerated 
an altar-piece by Barnaba da Modena, preserved together with 
the author's name in Alba, and dated 1377, a piece by one 
writer supposed anterior to Giotto ; and in addition to this an 
" Ancona," from the hand of Serafino de' Serafini da Modena, 
containing various busts and entire figures, with the name also 
of the painter, and the year 1385. It is placed in the cathe- 
dral, and its principal subject is the Incoronation of the Vir- 
gin. In its composition it very nearly resembles that of Giotto 
and his school, of which, indeed, more than of any other, the 
whole character of the piece partakes, only the figures are, 
perhaps, a little more full, and as it were better fed than those 
of the Florentine school. If the origin of such resemblance 
sjiould be sought for, let us consider that Giotto not only 
e nployed himself in the adjacent city of Bologna, but likewise 
in' Ferrara, which, together with Modena, was then subject to 
the house of Este, so that one city might easily afford precepts 
and examples to another. 

Vasari remarked at Modena some ancient paintings at 
S. Domenico, and he might have seen more in possession of the 
Padri Benedettini, and elsewhere ; from which he judged, that 
u in every age there had been excellent artists in that place." 
Their names, which were unknown to Vasari, have in part 
boen collected from MSS., consisting of a Tommaso Bassini,* 
v, hose age and productions are uncertain, and some others of 
the fourteenth century, approaching nearer to a more improved 
era. One of these was Andrea Campana, to whom a work, 

* This information, taken from Tiraboschi, does not seem to favour the 
s) stem of Father Federici, who says, that in the fourteenth century names 
were frequently shortened, adducing, at the same time, several examples 
(vol. i. p. 53). He thus explains how Buzzaccarino became Bizzarrino, 
Barisino, Borasino, with many more strange terms in Trevigi. Now 
why might not this artist's name become Bassino, in Modena ? And if in 
reading Tommaso di Bassino da Modena in the authorities of Tiraboschi, 
very one perceives the name of the painter, that of the father, and of 
the country to which he belonged ; then why, on reading upon pictures 
Timmaso di Barisino, or Borisino, da Modena, are we bound to believe 
this last the name of a family ; and so much more, as there were then 
few families distinguished by their surnames ? Tommaso, therefore, 
wished it to be understood that he came from Modena ; and if this 
became a surname which distinguished his family in Trevigi, it must have 
been at a later period, and he himself knew nothing of it. 



346 MODENESE SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

bearing the initials of his name, in the Colorno Villa of the 
duke of Parma, has been attributed, representing the acts of 
S. Piero Martire, a piece extremely pleasing and well coloured. 
Another is Bartolommeo Bonasia, excellent both in painting 
and inlaid-work, a specimen of which he left in a picture placed 
in the convent of S. Vincenzo. There are, moreover, in Sas- 
suolo, some notices of Raffaello Calori of Modena, beginning 
in 1452 and terminating in 1474 ; besides a picture of the 
Virgin in the best manner of those times, during which he was 
in the service of Duke Borso. Later than he nourished 
Francesco Magagnolo, an artist who terminated his career early 
in the sixteenth century, and one of the first who drew coun- 
tenances in such a manner as to appear looking at the spec- 
tator, in whatever point of view he might observe them. His 
contemporaries, it appears, were Cecchino Setti, whose labours 
have wholly perished, with the exception of a few altar-orna- 
ments, in the most finished taste ; Nicoletto da Modeiia, at 
once a painter, and one of the very earliest engravers, whose 
prints are much sought after for cabinets, and are placed at 
the head of collections ; Giovanni Munari, commended by his- 
torians, and distinguished for the great name of his son and 
pupil Pellegrino ; and finally Francesco Bianchi Ferrari, who 
died in 1510. To this last has been ascribed the honour of 
instructing Correggio, which, however, can by no means be 
asserted beyond dispute. One of his altar-pieces was formerly 
to be seen in S. Francesco, executed with some degree of 
modern softness, though still partaking of the ancient stiffness, 
and the eyes designed without a due regard to rotundity. 

In the smaller capitals, also, about this period, flourished 
artists of considerable merit. Reggio still boasts a Madonna 
of Loreto, painted in the dome by the hand of Bernardino 
Orsi, with the date of 1501 ; while in S. Tommaso, and else- 
where, we meet with some paintings of Simone Fornari, also 
called Moresini, and of Francesco Caprioli. I mention them 
here, not so much on account of the period which they adorned, 
as for the resemblance of their manner to the two Francia, 
more especially Fornari ; many of his pictures having been 
attributed to those distinguished ornaments of Bologna. 

Carpi, likewise, preserves several relics of the ancient arts: 
besides a frieze in the rudest style of sculpture, in the facade 



ANTONIO ALLEGRI: 347 

of tlie old cathedral, a work of the twelfth century. To the 
ea ne church are attached two chapels, exhibiting the com- 
mencement and the progress of painting in those parts. In 
one is seen the spousals of Santa Caterina, a piece so extremely 
iniantile, that it would be difficult to find a similar example 
in Italy. The painting upon the walls is, however, superior ; 
displaying an original style, no less in the drapery than in the 
id. -as, and forcible in its action. The other chapel is divided 
into various niches, with the effigy of a saint in each ; and in 
tlrs work, which is the latest of the two, appear some traces 
of the style of Giotto. There is no nomenclature giving us 
any account of artists so very ancient. The list of the school 
commences with Bernardino Loschi, who, sprung from a 
family in Parma, signs his own name, Carpense, in some of 
hLs pictures. Without such elucidation, these might have 
be:n pronounced the works of one or other of the Francia. 
Lcschi was employed in the service of Alberto Pio; and 
there exist memorials of him from the year 1495 until 1533. 
Tl ere remains on record the name of one of his contempo- 
raries, Marco Meloni, one of the most accurate of artists, of 
whom every thing may be included in the observation, that 
hi^ pictures at S. Bernardino, and elsewhere, partake in the 
same degree of the Bolognese manner. Probably he was a 
pupil of that school, as well as Alessandro da Carpi, enume- 
rated by Malvasia among the disciples of Costa. 

Finally, Correggio likewise cultivated the fine arts before 
A itonio Allegri came into the world. For not many years 
ago a fresco of tolerable execution was discovered in that 
cathedral, ascribed by tradition to Lorenzo Allegri, who, in 
a letter of donation, subscribed by him in 1527, is called 
" Magister Laurentius, Filius Magistri Antonii de Allegris 
Pictor." This artist is believed to have been the first instructor 
of Antonio Allegri, his brother's son; and it is, at least, 
certain that he had a school in which he taught the rules of 
art to another of his nephews, as I have heard from the 
learned Dottore Antonioli, who is busied in preparing a life 
ol his very distinguished fellow-citizen. At present there are 
few paintings in Correggio displaying the taste of the artists 
of the fourteenth century, from which we might judge of that 
school. A Madonna, painted in 1511, when Antonio Allegri 



348 MODENESE SCHOOL. EPOCH I. 

had attained his seventeenth year, is, however,, to be met with 
in the Catalogue of the Este Gallery, whither it had been 
transferred. It is attributed to Antonio Allegri, but there is 
no sufficient evidence of the fact; and we should have about 
equal authority for giving it to Lorenzo. The style is but 
middling, and in point of forms, the ancient character is not 
wholly laid aside in the folds of the drapery : it may, how- 
ever, be pronounced of a softer tone than that of the chief 
part of its contemporaries, and nearer to the modern manner. 

Before proceeding further, it will be right to inform the 
reader of a certain advantage that this tract of country, and 
Modena in particular, enjoyed from the commencement of the 
fifteenth century, consisting in the abundance of its excellent 
modellers in clay. Of this art, the parent of sculpture, and 
the nurse of painting, that city has since produced the most 
exquisite specimens in the world ; and this, if I mistake not, 
is the most characteristic, rare, and admirable advantage of 
the school. Guido Mazzoni, otherwise Paganini, a name 
highly celebrated by Yasari, had the reputation of an excellent 
artist from the time he produced his Holy Family at St. 
Margherita, in 1484, presenting statues of a vivacity and 
expression truly surprising. This great artificer was employed 
by Charles VIII. both in Naples and France, where he 
remained upwards of twenty years, retiring at length into his 
native country, full of honours, to terminate his days. No 
slight commendation has likewise been bestowed by the 
historian Lancillotto, upon Gio. Abati, father of Niccolo, and 
his contemporary, whose sacred images in chalk were held in 
the highest esteem ; more particularly the crucifixions, exe- 
cuted with a knowledge of anatomy, most exact in every 
separate vein and nerve. He was nevertheless far surpassed 
by Antonio Begarelli, probably his pupil, who by his works 
in clay, with figures even larger than life, has succeeded in 
bearing away the palm from all his competitors. In the 
church and monastery of the Padri Benedettini, there is 
preserved a noble collection of them. As he flourished during 
a long period, he filled those churches with monuments, 
groups, and statues, to say nothing of others which he pro- 
duced in Parma, Mantua, and other places. Vasari praises 
him for "the fine air of his heads, beautiful drapery, exquisite 



ANTONIO BEGARELLI. 340 

proportions, and colour of marble;" and the same author 
continues to relate, that they appeared so excellent to Bonar- 
ruoti that he said, " if this clay were only to become marble, 
wo 3 betide the ancient statues." I am at a loss to imagine 
what species of eulogy could be more desirable to an artist ; 
in particular when we reflect upon the profound science of 
Bouarruoti, and how tardy he was to praise. We ought not 
to omit to mention, that Begarelli was likewise excellent in 
design, and acted as a master, both of that and modelling, in 
the instruction of youth. Hence he greatly influenced the art 
of painting, and to him we are in a great measure to trace 
that correctness, that relief, that art of foreshortening, and 
that degree of grace approaching nearly to Raffaello's, in all 
of which this part of Lombardy boasted such a conspicuous 
share. 



350 



MODENESE SCHOOL. 

EPOCH II. 

Imitation of Raffaello and Correggio, in the Sixteenth Century. 

SUCH were the preparatory efforts throughout all these districts, 
as far as we have hitherto considered them : but the best pre- 
paration lay in the natural talent of the young artists. Of 
these we are told, upon the authority of Tiraboschi, that the 
Card. Alessandro d'Este observed, that "they appeared to 
have been born with a natural genius for the fine arts : " an 
opinion fully borne out during the lapse of the sixteenth cen- 
tury, when if every province of Italy produced some great 
name, in painting, this little district of itself abounded with 
a sufficient number to reflect honour upon a whole kingdom. 
I commence my account from the city of Modena ; no other 
city of Lombardy earlier appreciated the style of Raffaello, nor 
did any city of all Italy become more deeply attached to, and. 
produce more enthusiastic imitators of it. I have already 
treated of Pellegrino da Modena (vol. i. p. 397), called in 
the Chronicle of Lancillotti degli Aretusi, alias de Munari. 
He received his education in his native place, and produced a 
picture there as early as 1509, still preserved at S. Giovanni, 
in excellent condition, and creditable to the talent of its author, 
even before he entered the school of Raffaello. But such was 
here his improvement, that his master availed himself of his 
assistance in adorning the open galleries of the Vatican, as well 
as in other works executed in Rome, sometimes along with 
Perino del Vaga, and sometimes by himself. Several of his 
pieces at S. Giacomo degli Spagnuoli boasted figures of such a 
truly graceful and Raffaellesque air, according to the account 
of Titi, that the modern retouches they received was a circum- 



CORREGGIO. 351 

strnce truly to be deplored. He is better known in his own 
coantry than at Rome, in particular at S. Paolo, where there 
remains a Nativity of our Lord which seems to breathe in 
every part the graces of him of Urbino. This unhappy 
artist had a son who, having committed homicide, was threat- 
ened with the vengeance of the parents of the deceased ; and 
meeting with the father, they directed their fury against him, 
and slew him upon the spot, a truly tragic event, which 
occurred in 1523. Another of his sons, Tiraboschi conjectures 
to have been Cesare di Pellegrino Aretusi, the same, who by 
m^ny writers is called Modenese, having been born in Modena ; 
Bclognese by others, because he lived in Bologna, and there 
took up his citizenship. This artist, to whom we shall again 
refer, formed his taste in Bologna by copying Bagnacavallo, 
be ng unable to obtain the instructions of Pellegrino. A 
Giulio Taraschi, however, was more fortunate, and benefited 
much by his instructions, as appears from many of his paint- 
ings at S. Pietro. in Modena, in the Roman taste ; a. taste 
which he is said to have cultivated in two of his brothers, and 
transmitted to others whose names will appear as we proceed. 

Somewhat later, also, Correggio began to afford a new model 
for the school of Modena ; he who is now held their master, 
anl whose skull is preserved, upon the example set by Rome 
(vol. i. p. 415), in the academy recently opened with so much 
splendour. He employed himself a good deal in Parma, in 
which school we shall more decidedly treat of him, though he 
also in some measure adorned Modena, Reggio, Carpi, anjl 
Correggio ; drawing scholars from all these places, who will 
appear in a catalogue with the rest in their appropriate 
chapter. In this way he early began to exercise an influence 
over the school cf Modena, and to be esteemed in it a sort of 
master, whose manner might be pursued with advantage, 
^itlier in emulating it altogether, or uniting it with that of 
Raffaello. 

This became more particularly the case when his fame 
increased, after his decease ; and when the best specimens he 
left behind him were collected by degrees, both from the 
caj ital and from the adjacent cities, by different dukes of 
Esie, to adorn their gallery, where they were to be seen until 



352 MODENESE SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

nearly the middle of the present century.* At that period 
Modena was thronged with artists of every country, coming 
to take copies of those great productions, and to study the 
rules of their composition ; an object in which the natives 
themselves were not remiss ; insomuch that we trace vestiges 
of their imitation in every separate hand. In regard, how- 
ever, to the earliest and more ancient, it would appear that 
their predilection and their genius were more decidedly directed 
towards Raffaello and the Roman manner ; whether it be 
that exotic commodities are more highly valued than those of 
native growth, or whether it were that the successors of Pel- 
legrino alone continued for a length of time to instruct youth, 
and to maintain a reputation in those parts. 

It would be desirable in the history of so excellent a school, 
that writers should inform us by whom many of those masters 
were educated who nourished towards the middle, or latter 
half of the century. Observation, however, may in some 
degree serve to supply the omission of historians, as the style 
in many approaches so nearly that of Raffaello, as to lead us 
to conclude that they must have imbibed it from Munari him- 
self, or from the Taraschi, who succeeded him in his school. 

Among the works of Gaspare Pagani, who was also a por- 
trait-painter, the picture of S. Chiara is the only remaining 
specimen. Of Girolamo da Vignola, a few frescos remain at 
S. Piero. Both were professed imitators of Raffaello ; but the 
last one of the most happy whom that age produced. Alberto 
Fontana displayed equal excellence in his frescos, and orna- 
mented both within and without the public market-place ;. 
pictures, says Scanelli, which appear like Raffaello's, while he 
erroneously ascribes them to the hand of Niccolo dell' Abate. 
And in truth, from the observation of Vedriani, the style of 
one very much resembles that of the other ; whether they may 
have both equally imbibed it from Begarelli, which the same 
historian seems to insinuate, or whether they derived it through 
some other channel, in the academy of Munari. Still the 
similitude of their manner is not such as to merge their more 

* Francesco III. disposed of one hundred pictures to the court of 
Dresden. ; among which were five from the hand of Correggio, for 130,000- 
zechins, which were coined in Venice. 



NICCOLINO. 353 

j>eculiar distinctions ; so that if the heads of Alberto's figures 
are remarkable for a fine air, and for tints that rival those of 
Niccolo, we can easily point out less perfect design, and 
occasionally a certain rudeness and heaviness. But let us 
turn to his competitor, and dwell upon the subject more at 
length, as becomes the character of a painter, enumerated by 
Algarotti " among the first who have adorned the world." 

He is supposed by some to have been instructed by Correg- 
t u;io, an assertion which cannot wholly be discredited, when 
"we cast our eye upon some instances of his foreshortening, and 
of his fine rilievo. But Vasari nowhere mentions such a 
Circumstance ; and it is only on adverting to the Martyrdom 
of the chiefs of the Apostles, painted by him at the Monaci 
Neri, that he remarks, that the figure of en executioner is 
taken from a picture by Correggio at S. Giovanni of Parma. 
Whoever may have been the tutor of Niccolino, he very 
evidently betrays his enthusiam for the Roman school, in his 
frescos at Moclena, supposed to be one of his earliest works. 
The same might be averred of his twelve fresco pictures upon 
the twelve books of the ^Eneid, removed from the fortress of 
Candiano, and now adorning the ducal palace ; sufficient of 
themselves to exhibit him as an excellent hand in figures, in 
landscape, in architecture, and in animals; in every merit 
requisite to a distinguished disciple of Raffaello. Proceeding 
at a maturer age to Bologna, he painted under the portico of 
the Lions, a Nativity of our Lord, in such a manner that 
neither in those of Raffaellino del Borgo, nor of any other artist 
educated in Rome, do I recollect meeting with so decided a 
resemblance to the head of the school. I know that a distin- 
guished professor was in the habit of pronouncing it the most 
perfect painting in fresco that the city of Bologna possessed. 
Et formed likewise the admiration and model of the Caracci, 
no less than other works of Niccolino, remaining in the city. 
Among these, the most admired by strangers, is that fine 
Conversazione of ladies and youths, which serves for a frieze 
in the hall of the Institute. Next to Raffaello this artist did 
not refuse to imitate some others. There, is recorded, and 
indeed impressed upon the memory of most painters, a sonnet 
of Agostino Caracci, from which we learn, that in Niccolino 
alone were assembled the symmetry of Raffaello, the terror of 

VOL. II. 2 A 



354 MODENESE SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

3Iichelangelo, the truth of Titian, the dignity of Correggio, 
the composition of Tibaldi, the grace of Parmigianino ; in a 
word, the best of every best professor, and of every (school. 
Such an opinion, though to be taken with some grains of allow- 
ance, from a poet passionately attached to the honour of his 
native school, might perhaps obtain more supporters, did the 
pieces of Abate appear somewhat more frequently in different 
collections. But they are extremely rare ; no less because of 
the superior number of his frescos, than from the circumstance 
of his having passed into France at the age of forty. He 
was invited thither by the Abate Primaticcio, to assist him in 
some of his greatest works, intended for Charles IX., nor did 
he ever return into Italy. Hence arose the story of his 
having been a pupil of Primaticcio, and taking from him his 
cognomen of Abate ; when in fact he drew that title from his 
own family. About 1740 there were remaining at Fontaine- 
bleau the Histories of Ulysses, to the number of thirty- eight, 
painted by Niccolo from designs of Primaticcio ; the most ex- 
tensive of any of his works executed in France. According to* 
Algarotti, it was afterwards destroyed, though engravings of it, 
from the hand of Van-Thulden, a pupil of Rubens, still remain. 
Niccolo's family, also, for along period, continued to main- 
tain a reputation in many branches of the art. One of his 
brothers, Pietro Paolo, distinguished himself by his happy 
manner of representing warlike skirmishes, in particular the 
terrific charges of horse ; several small pictures in the ducal 
gallery, from their peculiar character, are thus ascribed to his 
hand ; and they are to be seen placed immediately below those 
of the -^Eneid. In the Chronicle of Lancillotto we meet with 
Giulio Camillo, son of Niccolo, who accompanied his father 
into France ; his name thus remaining nearly unknown in 
Italy. The most distinguished name in the family after 
Kiccolo, is that of Ercole, son of Giulio, though its lustre was 
impaired by an abandoned course of life, productive of great 
unhappiness. He painted a good deal ; but, as is too fre- 
quently the case with persons of his character, he diminished 
the value of his productions by the haste and inaccuracy of 
his hand. Of his superior merit, however, we are assured by 
the number of commissions bestowed upon him by the Mode- 
nese court, to which we are inclined to give more credit than 



ERCOLE BE' SETTI. 355 

to the venal strains of Marino, who extols him to the skies. 
His picture of the Marriage of Cana, remaining in the ducal 
gallery, would be sufficient to establish his fame ; it is in his 
finest manner, and in many points displays much of the taste 
of the Venetian school. His most extensive work was pro- 
duced for the hall of council, where he had a companion and 
a rival in Schedone, assisting him in those pictures which they 
undertook in conjunction, and vicing with him in his separate 
works. Nor ought it to be esteemed any diminution of his 
merit to have been surpassed by so great a competitor. The 
last of these family artists is Pietro Paolo, son of Ercole, who 
died in his eight and thirtieth year, 1630. I include his name 
here, in order not to separate him from his ancestors, of none of 
whom he was unworthy. Though hardly with equal genius, he 
pursued the manner of his father ; there is a tame expression 
in several of his best authenticated pieces ; I say best authenti- 
cated, because it is doubtful whether we should consider some 
pictures, attributed to him, as inferior specimens of his father, 
or the best of his own. 

Besides the disciples and imitators of Raffaello, I find other 

irtists of Modena, who during the sixteenth century became 

attached to a different style ; and no one among these is to be 

preferred to Ercole de' Setti, an excellent engraver, as well as 

i painter of considerable merit. A few of his altar-pieces re- 

Bain at Modena ; and I have seen, though very rarely, eome 

ittle pieces painted for galleries, dignified rather than beau- 

iful in point of design. He is cautious and studied in the 

laked parts, nearly equal to the style of the Florentines, 

-pirited in his attitudes, and strong in his colouring. We find 

lis name subscribed Ercole de Setti, and also in Latin, 

.Hercules Septimius. Along with his name Vedriani enume- 

: utes that of a Francesco Madonnina, entitling him one of the 

i aost celebrated artists in the city ; but there is too little 

< f his remaining in Modena to form a judgment of his style. 
-Is little also remains of Giovanni Batista Ingoni, a rival of 
'. Piccolo, as he is termed by Yasari ; and what yet exists is 
1 y no means to be held in high estimation. I have discovered 
i othing from the hand of Gio. Batista Codibue, though I have 
lead of his Annunciation at the Carmine being highly esteem- 

< i, besides ether productions both in painting and sculpture. 

f AS 



356 MODENESE SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

High commendations have likewise been bestowed upon 
Domenico Carnevale for bis frescos, that have now perished, 
though a few oil-paintings still exist, held in much esteem ; 
one of the Epiphany, belonging to one of the prince's collec- 
tions, and another of the Circumcision, in the palace of the 
Conti Cesi. He also distinguished himself at Rome ; and it 
will be sufficient to add, that he was the artist selected to 
restore the pictures of Michelangelo, as we find recorded in 
the notes to Vasari. 

Reggio boasts the honour of having derived its first school 
from Raffaello ; and Bernardino Zacchetti is supposed to 
have been one of his disciples, though the authorities cited to 
this effect by most historians are not entirely conclusive. Per- 
haps his picture at S. Prospero, designed and coloured in the 
taste of Garofolo, and others which partake of that of Raffaello, 
may have given rise to this opinion. But Italy then abounded 
with the disciples of that great master, no longer instructed, 
indeed, by his voice, but by his paintings and engravings. 
The works, said to have been produced by him in Rome, and 
the assistance afforded to Bonarruoti, in his labours at the 
Sistine chapel, are assertions of Azzari, contained in his 
Compendia, which remain unquestioned by any ancient writer. 
We might, more easily, however, grant him the proposition 
of Giarola having been a pupil of Correggio, and as such I have 
reserved him for the school of Parma. 

Not long after these flourished Lelio Orsi, of Reggio. 
Banished from his native place, he took up his residence at 
Novellara, a city then in the possession of the Gonzaghi, where 
he established himself, and derived his name of Lelio da 
Novellara. This distinguished character, of whom no account 
had been given, beyond a slight notice in the Abbecedario, has 
recently been honoured with an excellent life, from the pen of 
the Cavalier Tiraboschi, compiled from a variety of sources. 
Whether he was really a disciple of Correggio still remains a 
disputed point with historians, though it is certain he flou- 
rished sufficiently near, both in regard to time and place, to 
have become acquainted with him. He, at least, studied and 
Copied his works, of which there is an instance in a copy of 
the celebrated Night, in possession of the noble house of Gaz- 
zola, at Verona. Nor are there wanting writers who maintain 



LELIO ORSI. 357 

lhat Parma, likewise, was embellished by his hand, a city in 
which the chief ornaments of that school employed themselves. 
And there are false accounts, still in some measure credited, of 
Ids having been a pupil of Michelangelo ; of Correggio having 
corresponded with him, and even consulted him in his designs. 
] t is true, indeed, he is an ingenious, accurate, and powerful 
designer. Whether he imbibed his taste at Rome, as Tira- 
boschi, upon the authority of a MS., seems to believe ; or from 
Giulio in the city of Mantua ; or, again, from studying the 
designs and models of Michelangelo ; a knowledge of the path 
being itself sufficient to enable enlightened spirits to run the 
sume career with success. Decidedly his design is not of the 
Lombard school ; and hence arises the difficulty of supposing 
him one of the scholars of Correggio, in which case his earlier 
pieces, at least, would have partaken of a less robust character. 
He has admirably succeeded, however, in attaining the same 
grace in his chiaroscuro, in the spreading of his colours, and in 
the beauty and delicacy of his youthful heads. Both Reggio 
and Novellara possess many of his pictures in fresco, now, for 
the most part, perished ; and we are indebted to the glorious 
memory of Francesco III. for such as are now to be seen at 
Modena, in the palace of his highness, transferred thither from 
the fortress of Novellara. Few of his altar-pieces remain in 
public in either of the cities, the rest being removed ; one of 
which last, representing the Saints Rocco and Sebastiano, along 
with S. Giobbe, I happened to meet with in the studio of 
Signor Armanno, at Bologna. A few others attributed to him. 
at Parma,* at Ancona, and at Mantua, are by no means of so 
authentic a character; and there is every reason to believe that 
Lelio, dividing his time between Reggio and Novellara, never 
absented himself from those places long together ; and has thus 
remained less known than many other painters of inferior rank. 
The silence of Vasari, of Lomazzo, of Baldinucci, as well as 
the chief part of foreigners, is thus likewise accounted for. 

From the school of Lelio, in all probability, sprang Jacopo 
Borbone, of Novellara, who, in the year 1614, painted a por- 
tion of the cloister at the church of the Osservanti, in Mantua; 
also, Orazio Perucci, of whom there remain various pictures in 

* See Father Affo, pp. 27124. 



358 MODENESE SCHOOL. EPOCH II. 

private houses, and an altar-piece at S. Giovanni. Raffaello- 
Motta was undoubtedly a pupil of Orsi, better known under 
the name of Raffaellino da Reggio, who left in his native place 
a few of his productions in fresco ; an astonishing genius, 
deserving of Rome for his theatre of action, as indeed I before 
observed, and of being lamented like a new Raffaello, prema- 
turely passing away. 

At this period Carpi had to boast the name of Orazio Gril- 
lenzone, who resided mostly in Ferrara, where, enjoying the 
acquaintance of Tasso, he was honoured and immortalized by 
his pen, being rendered the subject of that dialogue, bearing 
for its title, " II Grillenzone, or the Epitaph." But none of 
his paintings are now to be found in that city ; and even what 
remains of his in Carpi is of a very disputable character. I do 
not here speak of the celebrated Girolamo of Carpi ; because 
ho was in fact a native of Ferrara, as I elsewhere observed. 
There is little to be said of Ugo da Carpi, as a painter : he was 
of an inferior genius when he applied himself to his pencil ; 
and fell still further below mediocrity when he became whim- 
sical enough to paint with his fingers, recording the exploit 
upon the canvas, as he did in the figure of the Volto Santo, 
the Holy Face, at S. Pietro, in Rome. Still we ought to bear 
honourable testimony to his merit, as the inventor of wood 
engraving in two, and next in three blocks, or pieces, by which 
he expressed the three different tints, the shade, the middle 
tints, and the light.* In this way he produced many designs 

* The Germans claim the invention of the art of engraving in wood, 
in chiaroscuro, before Ugo announced it to the Italians. For this, they 
produce the cards of Gio. Ulderico Pilgrim, which, although Gothic, ob- 
serves Huber (p. 89), produce an admirable effect in regard to chia- 
roscuro. They make out the inventor to be very ancient, enumerating 
Mair and others, equally celebrated at the same period. We are told 
nothing, however, in regard to their mechanism, which was probably not 
the same as that of Ugo. 

It will not here be thought irrelevant to record the new method of en- 
graving in the Dutch manner, in imitation of 6oloured designs, though 
not executed by process of wood, but of copper. It has been introduced 
into Tuscany, through the efforts of the distinguished Cosimo Rossi, a 
gentleman of Pistoia, and vice-president of the academy. After various 
experiments, and making the first trials upon some representations of 
tombs, in the solid Egyptian style of his own invention, it soon became 
also imitated in other modes of engraving, and more especially in the 



UGO DA CARPI. 359 

f lid inventions of Raffaello, with greater clearness than even 
Marc Antonio had before done ; besides opening to posterity 
g new path, as it were, of painting in chiaroscuro, very easily 
imitated and multiplied. Yasari particularly treats upon it at 
the close of his Introduction ; and there, no less than in other 
j laces, commends the genius of Ugo as one of the most acute 
t lat was ever directed towards the fine arts. 

Viaggio Pittorico of Traballesi. It were desirable that the before- 
n entioned gentleman should continue to apply the same in works of 
architecture and perspective ; in which he succeeds admirably also with 
hs pencil, very happily emulating the style of Canaletto. The method 
o ight to be explained very minutely ; but it is both too complicate and 
tc o extensive to be adapted to the degree of brevity we have bound our- 
sdves to observe upon similar subjects. 



360 



MODENESE SCHOOL. 

EPOCH III. 



The Modenese Artists of the Seventeenth Century chiefly follow the 
example of the Bolognese. 

THE taste introduced by Mimari into Modena and the state, 
together with the example of Correggio and Lelio, did not 
become wholly extinct in the seventeenth century. It was in 
some measure continued by several of their pupils and imita- 
tors, but in proportion as those of the Caracci grew into greater 
credit, gradually extending their influence over the other 
schools of Italy, it began to decline apace. It is well known 
that some of the Modenese frequented their academy, andBarto- 
lomineo Schedone is included by Malvasia among the scholars 
of the Caracci. If such be the fact, we must conclude, either 
that his first productions are not known, or that he merely 
saluted that school, as it were, from the threshold ; inasmuch 
as the larger works which are pointed out as his, betray few 
traces of the style of the Caracci. It seems more probable 
that he employed himself in following the successors of Raf- 
faello in his native place, and in particular Correggio, of whom 
there remained so many original pieces. His pieces in fresco, 
executed in competition with Ercole Abati, about 1604, still 
exist in the public palace ; and among these is the beautiful 
history of Coriolanus, and the Seven Sisters, who are meant 
to represent Harmony ; whoever observes these will find they 
possess a mixture of the two characters before alluded to. 
There is, moreover, in the cathedral, a half-figure of S. Gemi- 
niano, with an infant boy restored by him to life, supporting 
himself by the saint's staff, and apparently returning his 
thanks. It may be enumerated among the best of his 
works, and bears a striking resemblance to those of Cor- 
reggio. The same resemblance was affirmed from that period 
in other of his pictures transferred elsewhere ; and Marini 



BARTOLOMMEO SCHEDONE. 361 

mentions them in one of his letters as a kind of phenomenon. 
Seanelli, who wrote about forty years after the death of Sche- 
done, also confirms such an opinion ; though to make the imi- 
tation complete, he would have wished a little more practice 
ar d solidity, in which I rather think he alludes to his perspec- 
tr r e and design, not always quite correct. For the rest his 
figures, both in their character and their action, are very 
ploasing, while his colouring in fresco is very vivid and lively ; 
in oils he is more serious, but more harmonious, though not 
aLvays free from the ill effect produced by the bad grounds 
usual in the age of the Caracci. His pictures on a larger 
scule, such as his Pieta, now in the academy of Parma, are 
extremely rare, and also his history-pieces, as the Nativity of 
our Lord and that of the Virgin, placed for lateral ornaments 
to an altar-piece by Filippo Bellini. Of his Holy Families, 
and little sacred pieces, there are some remaining; such as 
are found in galleries being highly valuable, so much so, that 
Tiraboschi records the sum of 4,000 crowns having been re- 
quired for one of them. The court of Naples is extremly rich 
in them, having, together with the other Farnesian pictures, 
obtained also those painted by Schedone while in the service 
of Duke Ranuccio, his most liberal patron. This artist pro- 
duced but little, being seduced by the love of gambling ; nor 
did he survive very long after losing a large sum of money, 
about the end of the year 1615. 

The three following names belong to the school of the 
Caracci, also in regard to style. Giacomo Cavedone, born in 
Sassuolo, but absent from the state after the period of youth, 
was esteemed one of the best disciples of Lodovico. Giulio 
Seochiari, of Modena, resided also at Rome, and in Mantua, 
wlere he produced several excellent pictures for the court, 
which perished in the sack of 1630. What remains of him in 
hiij native place, and in particular the Death of the Virgin, in 
tho subterranean part of ,the cathedral, with four crowns 
around, is calculated to give rise to lively regret, that Giulio 
sin mid not be equally well known in different collections, with 
th< other disciples of the Caracci. Camillo Gavassetti, like- 
wise of Modena, may boast also of a greater degree of merit 
ih; n of fame ; no less because he died young, than because of 
his attaching himself to works in fresco, which, confined to 



362 MODENESE SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

the place in which they are produced, confine also the reputa- 
tion of the artist. He his better known in Piacenza than in 
Modena, Parma, or, indeed, any other city. One of his paint- 
ings adorns the presbytery of the church of S. Antonino, 
accompanied with figures taken from the Apocalypse, so finely 
executed as to induce Guercino, when coming to Piacenza to 
complete his finest work, to bestow the highest commendation 
upon it ; and it is still enumerated among the chief ornaments 
of that rich and ornate city. There is something so grand, 
spirited, and choice, in its whole expression, combined with so 
much grace and harmony of tints, that it equally surprises us 
when viewed together, and satisfies us when examined part by 
part. The action only is sometimes too extravagant, and 
some of the figures are hardly sufficiently studied. In fact, 
this artist preferred expedition to high finish ; and held a dis- 
pute, reported by Baldinucci, with Tiarini, who practised and 
maintained the contrary, a plan by which, in all works of im- 
portance, he was preferred to him in Parma. In Santa Maria 
di Campagna, at Piacenza, however, where they both painted 
scriptural histories in opposition, Gavassetti maintains his 
ground against Tiarini and other competitors, very numerous 
and distinguished for that period. 

When the pupils of the Caracci succeeded their masters in 
Bologna, the young artists of the neighbouring state of Modena 
continued to receive instructions from them, being highly 
esteemed in the court of Este. At that period flourished 
Francesco I. and Alfonso IV., both of whom, according to 
the history of Malvasia, were greatly attached to the followers 
of the Caracci ; some of these they invited into their ser- 
vice, others they employed in their palaces, and at their public 
festivals ; and from all they were anxious to obtain designs 
and pictures which they might exhibit in their churches, or in 
their grand collection of paintings, rendered by their means 
one of the richest in Europe. Hence the artists who next 
follow, with the exception of a very few, among whom is 
Romani of Reggio, will be included in one school. It seems 
certain that Romani studied in Venice, and there became 
attached to Paolo, whose style he adopted in the Mysteries of 
the Rosario ; aud even more so to Tintoretto, whose rules he 
usually practised, and very successfully. 



GIOVANNI BOUJLANGER. 363 

Guido Reni was either the master or the prototype of Gio. 
Batista Pesari ; if this artist, who resembles Guido in his 
M:idonna at S. Paolo, imitated him as closely in his other 
works. But of this we cannot judge, as he flourished only 
during a short period, and part of that time in Venice, where 
he died before enjoying any degree of fame. Guido himself 
unloubtedly bestowed his instructions on Luca da Reggio, 
and on Bernardo Cervi da Modena. Luca I have mentioned 
in the preceding book. The second, according to the judgment 
of Guido, was possessed of distinguished talents for design ; 
an*l though meeting with a premature fate in the pestilence of 
1630, he left behind him works in the cathedral, and other 
churches, not inferior, perhaps, to those of Luca. From the 
same school sprung Giovanni Boulanger, of Troyes, painter 
to -;he court of Modena, and master m that city. "We find, in 
the- ducal palace, various specimens of his pencil truly delicate, 
though his want of good grounds in many pictures occa- 
sionally casts some reflection upon his merit. He is happy in 
his inventions, warm and harmonious in his colours, spirited 
in his attitudes, but not without some touch of excessive 
enthusiasm. The Sacrifice of Iphigenia, if a genuine pro- 
duction, is sufficient to establish his character ; although the 
figure of Agamemnon may appear veiled in a capricious style, 
scarcely adapted to an heroic subject. Two of his best imitators 
an 1 disciples are Tommaso Costa, of Sassuolo, and Sigismondo 
Caula, of Modena ; the first of whom succeeded as a powerful 
co'ourist, of very general talent, and was eagerly employed 
by the neighbouring courts and cities in perspective, in land- 
scupe, and in figures. Reggio, where he usually resided, 
regains many of his productions : Modena has several, and in 
pa rticular the cupola of S. Vincenzo bears proud testimony to 
his merit. Caula left his native place, only in order to 
in prove his knowledge in Venice. Thence he returned with 
th'3 acquisition of a copious and richly-coloured style, as 
O -landi very justly remarks, in regard to his great picture of 
ths Plague, at S. Carlo. He subsequently changed his tints, 
wliich became more languid, and in such taste are most of the 
pictures he produced for the ornament of altars and cabinets. 

Many artists of Reggio were initiated in the art by Lionello 
Spada, and by Desani, his pupil and assistant in the numerous 



364 MODENESE SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

labours lie executed at that place. Among these are Sebas- 
tiano Vercellesi, Pietro Martire Armani, and in particular 
Orazio Talami, who, not content, like the rest, to remain in 
his native place, traversed Italy, studied with unwearied care 
the models of the Caracci, and succeeded so well in his 
iigures, that he might be mistaken for one of their scholars. 
AVhile at Rome, which he twice visited, he devoted himself 
much to perspective, and very scrupulously observes its rules 
in the noble and extensive representations of architectural 
objects, which he introduced into his compositions. In all 
respects his style is inclined rather to solidity than to amenity. 
His native place boasts many of his labours, and more espe- 
cially two large pictures abounding in figures, preserved in 
the presbytery of the cathedral. Jacopo Baccarini was an 
imitator of his style, two of whose pictures have been 
engraved by Buonvicini ; a Riposo di Eyitto, and a S. Alessio 
Morto, both of which are to be seen at S. Filippo. This 
artist's manner displays much judgment, accompanied with a 
good deal of grace. Mattia Benedetti, a priest of Reggio, 
commended in the Abbecedario, was instructed in the art of 
perspective by Talami himself, and, together with his brother 
Lodovico, occupies an honourable place in this class. Paolo 
Emilio Besenzi, a particular imitator of Albano, either from 
natural taste or education, differs a good deal in the former 
from Lionello. Reggio retains many pieces, especially at 
S. Pietro, highly creditable to this artist's talents ; besides 
statues and buildings in very good taste; as he. succeeded in 
uniting, like some of the best among the ancients, the various 
qualities of the three sister arts. 

Guercino likewise presented the state with an excellent 
scholar in Antonio Triva di Reggio. He distinguished him- 
self in various cities of Italy, and even in Venice, whither he 
conducted his sister Flamminia, who possessed a genius for 
the art. Here they both employed themselves in several 
public works, which acquired for them the commendation of 
Boschini. Occasionally he adheres so faithfully to his master, 
as in the Orto at Piacenza, as not even to yield to Cesare 
Gennari. In other pieces he is more free; though still his 
manner retains strong traces of his school, really beautiful, as 
it is pronounced by Zanetti, and, if I mistake not, full of 



LODOVICO LANA. 365 

truth. He finally visited tlie court of Bavaria, where he was 
employed until the period of his death. 

To Guercino, also, we must refer another imitator of his 
sty e, in Lodovico Lana. He was instructed, however, hy 
Scarsellini, and from that circumstance, has been enumerated 
by some among the artists of Ferrara. But Lana, most 
likely, was born in the state of Modena, in whose city he 
resided and held his school. His reputation there is great, as 
well on account of many very beautiful pieces, as more par- 
ticularly for that in the Chiesa del Voto, in which he repre- 
sented Modena freed from the scourge of the plague. It is 
generally agreed that he never produced a finer specimen of 
his art, and there are few, at this time, in those churches, that 
can be said to rival it in point of composition, in force of 
colouring, harmony, and a certain novelty and abundance of 
images, that produce surprise in the spectator. Lana is one 
of the freest among the imitators of Guercino ; his touch is 
the .same, though less strong, and in taste they exactly coin- 
cide. In his motions he has something of Tintoretto, or more 
properly of Scarsellini ; but in his colours, and the expressions 
of his countenances, he preserves an originality of character. 
Pesari and he were rivals, as were the masters whom they 
respectively followed, on account of their contrast of style- 
Pesari, however, seemed to yield, as he transferred his talents 
to Venice, while his competitor became the director of an 
academy in Modena, which, supported by his credit, then 
became celebrated throughout Italy. The name of Lana 
continues to maintain its ground in Bologna and other adjacent 
places, while it is not unknown in Lower Italy. The chief 
part of his specimens to be met with in collections, consist of 
head.-; of aged men, full of dignity, and touched with a certain 
boldness of hand, which declares the master. 

Those who flourished after him, belonging to the city of 
Modena and the state, were for the most part educated else- 
where. Bonaventura Lamberti, of Carpi, as I have observed 
in tho Roman school, was instructed by Cignani ; and there he 
had ji, noble theatre for the display of his powers. At the 
same period flourished Francesco Stringa, in Modena, where 
he painted a good deal in a style, if I mistake not, that 
approached, or seemed rather ambitious of approaching, that 



3f)6 MODENESE SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

of Lana, and Guercino himself. By some, he is supposed to 
have been a pupil of the first ; by others, of the second of 
these artists ; but it is known only with certainty, that he 
formed himself upon their model, and that of other excellent 
masters, whose works, during his superintendence of the great 
Este gallery, he might consult at his pleasure. Endowed 
with a rich imagination, spirited and rapid in execution, he 
produced much, which was greatly commended, both in the 
cathedral and in the churches. His distinguishing charac- 
teristic is the depth of his shades, the somewhat dispropor- 
tioned length of his figures, and an inclination to the capri- 
cious in his actions and composition. When in advanced 
years, he began to deteriorate in style, a case common to most 
artists. 

He was the first master of Jacopo Zoboli, who, proceeding 
from Modena into Bologna, and thence to Rome, settled there, 
and died in 1761, with the reputation of a good artist. This 
he in a high degree acquired by his labours in the church of 
S. Eustachio, where he is distinguished amongt the more 
modern productions by his S. Girolamo, displaying singular 
diligence, polish, and harmony of colours, by no means gene- 
ral in those times. The Primaziale of Pisa also boasted a 
grand picture by his hand, representing S. Matteo, in the act 
of dedicating a young princess to a holy life, by the imposi - 
tion of the sacred veil. Two other artists of Modena, Fran- 
cesco Yellani and Antonio Consetti, who died near the same 
time, not very long ago, were instructed in the art by Stringa 
and his school. Both are in a taste much resembling that of 
the Bolognese of their own age. The former however, is not 
so accurate in point of design as the latter, a strict and com- 
mendable master in that art. It is true, he has a crudeness 
of colours, not very pleasing to the eye ; no new circumstance 
in an artist educated in the school of Creti. Both Modena 
and the state are in possession of many of their pieces. 

Still more modern artists have supported with honour the 
reputation of such predecessors ; but I could not here, without 
deviating from my original system, venture to mention them. 
The place will invariably serve to forward instruction ; a col- 
lection of designs and paintings being now exhibited in the 
ducal gallery, which does honour to Italy, no less than to the 



PAOLO GIBERTONI. 367 

noble taste of the family of Este that established it. Nor has 
it emitted, from time to time, to provide for young artists the 
assistance of the academy, which continued to flourish there, 
from the times of Lana, often closed, and afterwards re- 
op ?ned, until beyond the age of Consetti. But it proved too 
difacult an attempt to support another academy so near that 
of Bologna, so widely distinguished and attended.* 

The same celebrated state, so fruitful in every kind of 
merit, produced also able professors in other branches of the 
art. Lodovico Bertucci, of Modena, was a painter of capricci, 
which were at that period much admired and admitted even 
into palaces; and perhaps there are many of his specimens 
still preserved there, but known under other names. A Pel- 
leg rino Ascani, of Carpi, was an admirable flower-painter, 
and was succeeded, after a long interval, by Felice Rubbiani. 
This last was a scholar of Bettini, the companion of his tra- 
vels and the imitator of his taste. He was a favourite at 
court, in the cities, and the vicinity; and had commissions 
bes ;owed upon him to the number of thirty-six pictures, by 
the Marchesi Riva, of Mantua, all of which he varied in the 
mott astonishing manner. There was, moreover, a Matteo 
Coloretti, from Reggio, excellent in portraits, and a lady of 
the name of Margherita Gabassi, who succeeded admirably in 
humorous pieces. Nor ought we to omit the name of Paolo 
Gibertoni, of Modena, who settled at Lucca, and for this rea- 
son less known in his native place. His grotesques in fresco 
boast no ordinary merit ; and these he varied with every spe- 
cies of strange animals, executed with great spirit. He was 
like wise very pleasing in his landscapes, which rose in value 
after his death, and are still much esteemed. 

Most part of the artists of the Modenese state distinguished 
thenselves in ornamental work and in architecture; such as 
Gir< lamo Comi, whose fine perspectives deserved to have been 
accompanied Avith superior figures; and Gio. Batista Modonino, 
called by mistake Madoimino in the Dictionary of Artists, who 
acquired a high reputation in Rome, and probably left several 

* The latest attempt to restore it was made in 1786, when it continued 
to flourish with some credit, during ten years. In the close of the year 
1796 it assumed the name of school, as I before remarked, directed by a 
mastc r in the art of designing figures, together with an assistant. 



368 MODENESE SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

frescos in the Palazzo Spada. He died of the plague, in Naples, 
1 656. Antonio loli met with a better fate there, about the same 
period ; having acquired the theory of architecture, he passed 
into Rome, and entering the school of Pannini, he became one 
of the most celebrated painters in architecture and ornamental 
work known to the present century. Applauded in the 
theatres of Spain, England, and Germany, all of which he 
adorned, he afterwards went to Naples, and became painter to 
Carlo III. and to his successor. Giuseppe Dallamano, a 
weak man, and, as it is said, unacquainted with his alphabet, 
was ignorant even of the common principles of the art ; though 
by an extraordinary sort of talent, and especially in colouring, 
he attained a degree of excellence truly surprising, even to the 
learned ; by which he continued to live, employing himself in 
the service of the royal family at Turin. His pupil Fassetti 
was, likewise, an extraordinary character ; applying himself, 
at the age of twenty-eight, to the grinding of colours, he soon 
began to imitate his master ; and ultimately, with the assist- 
ance of Francesco Bibiena, he became one of the most skilful 
among the theatrical painters of Lombardy. He came from 
Reggio, as well as his contemporary Zinani and the younger 
Spaggiasi, both educated in the school of Bibiena ; although of 
the father of Spaggiasi, who died in the service of the king of 
Poland, the master's name remains unknown. To these we 
might add the name of Bartoli, Zannichelli, Bazzani, and of 
others, either yet flourishing or deceased ; names by which the* 
Cavalier Tiraboschi is justified in observing, that " Reggio had 
the honour of having at all times produced excellent theatrical 
painters." 

Carpi enjoys a different kind of honour, though as great in 
its way. For there were first commenced the works termed 
a scagliola or a mischia, of mixed workmanship, the first 
inventor of which was Guido Fassi, or del Conte.* The 
stone, called selenite, forms the first ingredient in it. It is 

* In the "Novelle Letterarie of Florence," 1771, it is asserted that 
this art was introduced about two ages back into Tuscany, giving rise to 
imitations of marbles, besides some fancy-pieces. I have diligently sought 
after specimens thus antique, both at Florence and at Vallombrosa, where- 
this art was in great vogue ; but what I have seen are very trivial in their 
character, nor do they appear of so ancient a date. 



GIOVANNI CAVIGNANI. 369 

pounded and mixed with colours, and by the application of a 
certain glue, the composition becomes as hard as stone, forming 
a kind of marble, capable, with further care, of taking a 
gradual polish. The first trial was made upon cornices, which 
thus assume the appearance of fine marbles ; and there remain 
also in Carpi, of the same composition, two altars by the hand 
of Guido himself. His fellow-citizens began to avail them- 
selves of this discovery ; some adding one thing to it, and 
seme another. Annibal Griffoni, a pupil of Guido, applied it 
to monuments, and even ventured upon the composition of 
pictures, intended to represent engravings upon copper, as 
w ill as pictures in oil ; an attempt not very successful, inso- 
much that the specimens by his son Gaspero are not valued 
beyond a few tabernacles, and things in a similar taste. 
G ovanni Cavignani afforded assistance first to Guido, and 
next to Griffoni, surpassing both in a skilful application of the 
art. Thus, the altar of S. Antonio, in the church of S. Niccolo, 
at Carpi, is still pointed out as something extraordinary, con- 
sisting of two columns of porphyry, and adorned with a pallium 
embroidered with lace ; an exact imitation of the covers of the 
altar, while it is ornamented in the margin with medals, 
bearing beautiful figures. Nor is the monument from the 
hand of one Ferrari in the cathedral, less perfect in its kind ; 
where the marbles are so admirably counterfeited, that several 
tourists of the best taste have been induced to break a small 
portion, to convince themselves of the fact. There are, also, 
pictures preserved in private houses thus drawn by Cavignani ; 
one of which consists of the Rape of Proserpine, executed with 
much elegance, in possession of Signer Cabassi. 

Leoni, who resided in Cremona, was a disciple of the 
Gr ffoni, and the artificer of two very beautiful desks, pre- 
served in the ducal museum at Modena, as well as Paltromeri 
and Mazzelli, who introduced the art into Romagna, where it 
stil continues to flourish. We there meet with altars, that 
equally deceive the eye by their colour, and the touch by the 
freshness of the marble. But the most celebrated pupil of the 
Griffoni was a priest called Gio. Massa, who, together with 
Gio. Pozzuoli, produced wonderful specimens of the art in his 
native place, in the adjacent cities, in Guastalla, Noveliara, 
and elsewhere. The priest proved equally successful in draw- 

YOL. II. 2 B 



370 MODENESE SCHOOL. EPOCH III. 

ing distant views, gardens, and in particular architecture, 
besides adorning with it tablets, and coverings of altars, in 
such a manner as to reach the very perfection of the art. 
The most dignified objects possessed by Rome were those 
which he most delighted in for his views ; such as the fa9ade 
of the temple of the Vatican, its colonnade, and its piazza. 
It appears the duke of Guastalla took singular pleasure in 
similar works; and at his desire were prepared those two 
little tables, in the possession of Signor Alberto Pio, cited by 
Tiraboschi, and which were, perhaps, the master-pieces of 
Massa. No objects appeared to me more remarkable than 
such works abounding almost in every church throughout 
those parts ; and it would be very desirable that the plan of 
representing architectural views, by this process, should 
become more frequent. Massa also included figures, the 
honour of perfecting which has fallen upon Florence ; a subject 
I have treated in my first volume (p. 251). I shall merely 
notice here, that after the practice of modelling had been 
brought to vie with sculpture ; and after engraving upon wood 
had so well counterfeited works of design, we have to record 
this third invention, belonging' to a state of no great dimen- 
sions. Such a fact is calculated to bring into still higher 
estimation the geniuses who adorned it. There is nothing of 
which man is more ambitious than of being called the inventor 
of new arts : nothing is more flattering to his intellect, or 
draws a broader line between him and the animals that are 
incapable of such inventions, or of carrying them beyond the 
limits prescribed by instinct. In short, nothing was held in 
higher reverence among the ancients ; and hence it is, that 
Virgil, in his Elysian fields, represented the band of inven- 
tors with their brows crowned with white chaplets, equally 
distinct in merit as in rank, from the more vulgar shades 
around them. 



371 



THE SCHOOL OF PARMA. 

EPOCH I. 

The Ancients. 

N.SXT in order to the school of Modena, I rank that of 
Prrma and its state; aiid I should very gladly have united 
thorn together, as other writers have done, if in addition to the 
distinction of dominions there had not also existed an evident 
di.stinction in point of taste ; for it appears to me, as I have 
before had occasion to observe, that in the former of these 
cities the imitation of Raffaello prevailed ; in the second that 
of Correggio. This last indeed is the founder of the school of 
PE rma, which preserved a series of disciples for several gene- 
rations, so strongly attached to his examples as to bestow no 
attention upon any other model. The situation in which he 
found the city on his first arrival is apparent from the ancient 
figures scattered throughout, which by no means discover a 
progress in the art of painting equal to that of many other 
cities in Italy. Not that this arose from any want of acquaint- 
ance with the arts of design ; for there flourished there as early 
as the 12th century an artist named Benedetto Antelani, of 
wl.om a basso-rilievo, representing the Crucifixion of our 
Lc rd, is in the cathedral, which, though the production of a 
ru< le age, had nothing in sculpture equal to it that I have been 
afre to meet with, until the period of Giovanni Pisano. 
Respecting the art of painting, the celebrated Father Affb has 
ex racted very interesting notices from published documents 
an I MSS., in order to shew, that before 1233, both figures and 
historical pieces had been painted in Parma.* Upon the com- 

"' The notices of the artists of Parma communicated by him to the pub- 
lic, are in part contained in the Life of Parmigianino, and partly in a 
humorous little work, entitled, " II Pannigiano servitor di Piazza ;" and 
son e further information on this subject I have myself received from the 
lips of this learned ecclesiastic. 

2 B 2 



372 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH I. 

pletion of the baptismal font, about 1260, that assemblage of 
paintings was there executed, which may now be regarded as 
one of the finest remaining monuments of the ancient manner 
that Upper Italy has to boast. The subjects are in the usual 
taste of those times ; the style is less angular and rectilinear 
than that of the Greek musaicists ; and displays some origi- 
nality in the draperies, in the ornamental parts, and in the 
composition. Above all, it shews very skilful mechanism in 
regard to gilding and colouring, which notwithstanding the 
distance of five centuries, retain much of their original strength. 
Down from that period there appear in several places, both 
at Piacenza and Parma, further specimens of the Trecentisti, 
sometimes with annexed dates, and sometimes without any. 
Such as belong to Piacenza, are in the church and cloister of 
the Predicatori ; but the best preserved of all is an altar-piece 
at San Antonio Martire, with histories of the titular saint in 
small figures, tolerably well drawn, and in costume which 
seems to have been borrowed, as it were, from some municipal 
usages peculiar to the place. Parma, likewise, possesses some 
of the same date, besides a few others remaining at San Fran- 
cesco, in a somewhat more polished style, attributed to Bar- 
tolommeo Grossi, or to Jacopo Loschi, his son-in-law, both of 
whom were employed there in 1462. Subsequent to these 
flourished Lodovico da Parma, a pupil of Francia, whose 
Madonnas, executed in his master's manner, are easily recog- 
nised in Parma ; and a Cristoforo Caselli (not Castelli, as he 
is termed by Vasari), or Cristoforo Parmense, enumerated by 
Ridolfi among the pupils of Gian Bellino. He produced a 
very beautiful painting for the hall of the Consorziali, bearing 
the date of 1499 ; and he is much commended by Grappaldo 
in his work De partibus ^Edium, who next to him ranks 
Marmitta, of whom there is no authentic specimen remaining. 
Still his name ought to be recorded, were it for no other reason 
than his being the supposed master of Parmigianino. Along 
with these we may mention Alessandro Araldi, one of the 
scholars of Bellini, of whom there remains a Nunziata, at the 
Padri del Carmine, with his name, besides altar-pieces in dif- 
ferent churches. He was indisputably a good artist in the 
mixed manner, that is now called antico moderno. The family 
of the Mazzuoli was much employed about the same period in 



THE ANCIENTS. 373 

Purma, consisting of three brother artists, Michele and Pieri- 
la:-io, falsely supposed to have been the first masters of Correg- 
gio, and Filippo, called dalle JSrbette^ from succeeding better 
in fruits and flowers than in figure-pieces. There remains an 
altar-piece of Pierilario in the sacristy of Santa Lucia, exe- 
cuted in a method very superior to that of the " Baptism of 
Christ," painted for the baptismal font by his brother Filippo. 
But, however inferior to his other brothers in this line him- 
self, Filippo maybe pronounced at least more fortunate in his 
posterity, being the father of Parmigianino, whom we have 
so lately had occasion to commend. 

Yet the two most excellent of the Mazzuoli could not, any 
more than their contemporaries, have been considered artists 
upon a great scale, when the Padri Cassinensi, instead of 
availing -themselves of their services to decorate the tribune 
and cupola of their magnificent temple, dedicated to St. John, 
preferred inviting Antonio Allegri da Correggio, a foreigner 
and a youth, to undertake the immense task ; a choice which 
may be said to have conferred a lasting obligation upon pos- 
terity. For Correggio, like Raffaello, stood in need of some 
extensive undertaking in order to bring his powers into full 
play, and to open a new path for labours upon a grand scale, 
as lie had before done in those of a smaller class. But of an 
artist who forms an era in Italian painting itself, not in this 
particular school only, it becomes us to treat, as well as of his 
imitators, in a separate chapter. 



374 



SCHOOL OF PARMA. 

EPOCH II. 

Correggio, and those who succeeded him in his School. 

are at length arrived at one of those distinguished cha- 
racters, whom, from his high reputation, and the influence he 
exercised over the style of painting in Italy, we can by no 
means dismiss with our accustomed brevity. His name, how- 
ever, must still be confined within compendious limits, adding 
whatever new information and reflections we may think best 
adapted for the illustration of such a subject ; the life of 
Correggio being involved in so much obscurity, as to admit, 
beyond that of any other artist, of fresh discussion. The 
more curious may consult the notices of him by the Cavalier 
Mengs, contained in his second volume, a little work by 
Cavalier Ratti, upon the life and works of Allegri, published 
in Finale in 1781, and Tiraboschi in his Notices of the profes- 
sors of Modena, besides Padre Affo, in his works already 
cited, the most accurate, perhaps, of any in point of chro- 
nology. 

The whole of these writers, following the example of Scan- 
nelli and Orlandi, have complained of Vasari for having falsely 
asserted the abject condition of Antonio,* sprung, in fact, from 
a tolerably good family in an illustrious city, and not destitute 
of those conveniences of fortune that might enable him from 
the first to obtain an education adapted to the success of his 

* In the opening of the Life we find, " He was of a very timid dispo- 
sition, and with extreme inconvenience devoted himself to incessant labour 
in order to provide for a numerous family." Towards the conclusion, he 
adds, " Like those who have a numerous family, Antonio was desirous " 
(he had four sons) "of hoarding his money, and thus soon became one of 
the most miserable of men." Elsewhere it is observed, " He held him- 
self in slight esteem, and was satisfied with little." 



CORREGGIO. 375 

f iture efforts. They hare also in particular reproached him 
v itb his excessive credulity, in representing him to us as a 
suffering and unhappy object, burdened with a numerous 
fiimily, little appreciated and badly rewarded for his labours. 
On the contrary they observe, we know that he was respected 
by the great, richly recompensed, and enabled to leave a fair 
heritage for his family. Now I admit that Vasari is guilty 
o : much exaggeration, though not without some show of truth ; 
for we only need to compare the commissions and gains of 
Correggio with those of Raffaello, of Michelangelo, of Titian, 
aid even of Vasari himself, to divest us of all surprise at the 
honest commiseration of the historian. Annibal Caracci did 
n3t only compassionate his condition, but is said to have 
b 3 wailed it with his tears.* Besides, if we reflect that the terms 
made use of by Vasari, of Correggio having become n misero, 
so wretched, that nothing could be worse, do not exactly sig- 
nify miser alile, miserable, as interpreted by some of his critics, 
but rather mean, miserly, and sparing, renouncing certain 
conveniences of life, in order to spend as little as possible, it 
will alter the complexion of the case. In the same manner 
ho states, or rather as some think, imagines that Antonio, 
though enabled to travel like others, by water, mounted horse 
d iring the summer solstice, and shortly after died. And 
ir deed, if we consider the singular deprivations to which very 
wealthy people, for the same reason, will submit, we do not 
st'6 how a reference to the possessions of the Allegri family, 
n >t without some degree of exaggeration, as has more than 
o:ice been done, can disprove this charge of meanness and 
extreme parsimony. We trust that the Signer Dottor An- 
te nioli will inform us more distinctly respecting the amount 
o ' Antonio's property, though we are inclined to believe it 
d >uld not have exceeded the limits of mediocrity. The highest 

* " It almost drives me mad with grief to think of the wretchedness of 
poor Antonio ; to think that so great a man, if he were not an angel in 
h iman shape, should be thus lost in a country which could not appreciate 
L:m, and though with a reputation reaching to the skies, destined to die 
ir; such a place so unhappily." In a letter to Lodovico, written from 
Pinna, 1580 (Malvas. vol. i. p. 366). Annibal likewise exaggerated, 
bi cause the Padri Benedettini, as well as others, were aware of the value 
oi Antonio. 



376 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH II. 

salaries received by him have been ascertained. For the 
cupola and larger nave of the church of San Giovanni, he was 
paid four hundred and seventy- two gold ducats, or Venetian 
zecchins, and for the cupola of the cathedral, three hundred 
and fifty ; doubtless considerable sums, though we should 
consider he was occupied from the year 1520 until 1530, in 
the designs and labours requisite for works of such magnitude, 
and which prevented him from accepting other offers of any 
account during the interval. He earned forty gold ducats by 
his celebrated picture of Night ; his San Girolamo brought 
him forty-seven ducats, or zecchins, besides his subsistence 
during six months he was employed on it ; and thus, in equal 
proportion, we may suppose him to have been recompensed 
for the time bestowed upon his lesser pieces. The two which 
he painted for the duke of Mantua we may reckon at some- 
thing more ; but these were the only ones he produced at the 
request of sovereigns. Thus much being certain, it is hardly 
credible, that after deducting the expense of colours, of models, 
and of assistants, including the maintenance of his family, 
there should still have remained enough to leave that family 
in a state of affluence. 

But although we admit the reality of his supposed indigence, 
it can form no reproach, no drawback upon the excellences of 
so great a man, crowning him rather with additional honour, 
in particular when we reflect, that with such limited means 
he was invariably lavish of his colours, to a degree beyond 
example. There is not a single specimen, whether executed 
on copper, on panels, or on canvas, always sufficiently choice, 
that does not display a profusion of materials, of ultramarine, 
the finest lake and green, with a strong body, and repeated 
retouches ; yet for the most part laid on without ever remov- 
ing his hand from the easel before the work was completed. 
In short he spared neither time nor expense, contrary to the 
custom of all other painters, with very few exceptions. Such 
liberality, calculated to do honour to a rich amateur, painting 
for amusement, is infinitely more commendable in an artist of 
such circumscribed resources. It displays, in my opinion, all 
the grandeur of character that was supposed to animate the 
breast of a Spartan. And this we would advance, no less in 
reply to Vasari, who cast undue reflections upon Correggio's 



CORREGGIO. 377 

economy, than as an example for such young artists as may 
be desirous of nourishing sentiments worthy of the noble 
profession they embrace. 

It is still current in Correggio that Antonio commenced his 
first studies under his uncle Lorenzo. Subsequent to which, 
according to Vedriani, he entered into the school of Francesco 
Bi&nchi, called II Frari, who died in 1510, a school established 
in Modena. There also it appears he acquired the art of 
modelling, at that time in great repute ; and he thus prepared 
in clay, along with Begarelli, the group of that Pieta, in 
Saita Margherita, where the three most beautiful figures are 
attributed to Correggio. In the same highly distinguished 
city it is most probable that he also laid the foundation of 
tha: learned and cultivated taste so conspicuous in his works; 
the geometrical skill exhibited in his perspective, the archi- 
tectural rules of his buildings, and the poetry of his warm 
and lively conceptions. Thus his historians, judging from the 
specimens of his early style, assert that he must have sought 
it in the academy of Andrea Mantegna at Mantua ; but the 
recently discovered fact of Andrea's having died in 1506, 
does away with such a supposition. It is, nevertheless, 
extremely probable that he acquired it by studying the works 
left by Andrea at Mantua, for which I can adduce various 
arguments. I have described pretty fully the character of 
Mantegna's picture of Victory, the most extraordinary of all 
he produced ; imitations of this are to be met with in many 
of the works of Correggio, but most evidently so in the 
picture of his St. George at Dresden. The manner in which 
Correggio could have imbibed so exquisite a taste, was always 
considered surprising and unaccountable, prevailing every- 
where, as we find it in his canvas, in his laying on his colours, 
in the last touches of his pictures ; but let us fcr a moment 
suppose him a student of Andrea's models, surpassing all 
others in the same taste, as we before observed, and the 
wonder will be accounted for. Let us moreover consider the 
grace and vivacity so predominant in the compositions of, 
Correggio ; that rainbow as it were of colours, that accurate 
care in his foreshortenings, and of those upon ceilings ; his 
abundance of laughing boys and cherubs, of flowers, fruits, 
and all delightful objects; and let us then ask ourselves 



378 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH II. 

whether his new style does not appear an exquisite completion 
of that of Mantegna, as the pictures of Raffaello and Titian 
display the progress and perfection of those of Perugino and 
Giovanni Bellini. 

In regard to his education in the studio of Mantegna, the 
generally received opinion in Lomhardy is, that Vedriani 
must have been mistaken in a name; and that in place of 
Andrea, he ought to have pronounced his son Francesco, the 
master with whom it is maintained Correggio resided, either 
in quality of pupil or assistant. Mantegna's school, indeed, 
had risen into great reputation, having given striking proof 
of its excellence even in foreshortening upon the ceiling; 
besides surpassing Melozio, as I elsewhere observed, so as 
only to leave another step before reaching the modern manner. 
This was reserved for the genius of Correggio, in common 
with the master spirits of every other school, who flourished 
during the same period. In truth, from his very first attempts, 
he appears to have aimed at a softer and fuller style than 
Mantegna's ; and several, among whom is the Abate Betti- 
nelli, have pointed out some such specimens in Mantua. 
Signor Volta, member of the Royal Academy there, assured 
me that Correggio is named in the books of the Opera di 
S. Andrea, for which reason, several of the figures on the 
outside of the church, and in particular a Madonna, better 
preserved than the rest, a youthful essay, but from the hand 
of one freed from the stiffness of the quattrocentisti, have 
been attributed to him.* In Mantua likewise I saw a little 
picture in the possession of the Abate Bettinelli, about to be 
engraved, representing a Holy Family, in which, if we except 
a degree of stiffness in the folds, the modern manner is 
complete. A few other of Correggio's Madonnas, to be 
referred to this period, are to be seen in the ducal gallery at 
Modena, with other works mentioned in various places. 
Among these is a picture of our Lord taking farewell of the 

* There is a document existing in the same archives, where Francesco 
Mantegna binds himself to ornament the outside of the church. It may 
thus be conjectured, that the picture of the Ascension, placed over the 
gateway, is from his hand, while the Madonna, evidently from another, is 
the work of Correggio. The master, in executing his commissions, often 
employed his pupil or his assistant. 



CORREGGIO. 379 

"Virgin mother, previous to his passion, a piece recognised as 
a genuine Correggio by the Abate Carlo Bianconi at Milan.* 
Doubtless many of his other early productions were of an 
inferior description, and are dispersed abroad, either unknown, 
ci disputed, Vasari having recorded of him that "he com- 
pleted many pictures and works." 

Wherefore is it then that in the published catalogues we 
rn set with so very scanty a list of his pictures, nearly all 
esteemed excellent ? It is because whatever does not appear 
superlatively beautiful has been doubted, denied, and cast 
aside as unworthy of him, or attributed to some of his school. 
IMengs himself, who investigated the relics of this great artist, 
ai.d was very cautious of admitting any disputed productions, 
declares that he had only seen one specimen of his early style, 
that of his S. Antony in the gallery of Dresden. This, as 
woll as a S. Francis and the Virgin, he painted in 1512, in 
Carpi, when he was eighteen years of age.t From the 
st ffness apparent in this last, and the contrasted softness of 
tha others, he was led to conjecture that Correggio must have 
su idenly altered his manner, and attempted to penetrate into 
tli3 unknown cause of it. He suspected, therefore, that what 
D} Piles, followed by Resta, and some other writers, first 
advanced in his Dissertations, against the authority of Yasari, 
nrist be correct,} namely, that Correggio visited Rome, and 
having observed the ancient style, and that of Raffaello and 
M ichelangelo, along with Melozio's pictures in the art of 
foreshortening, seen from below, he returned into Lombardy 
w th a different taste, acquired during his stay in the capital. 

Yet this able scholar proposes such a view of the case, with 
singular deference to the contrary opinion of others, and even 
piesents his reader with arguments against that view, to the 
fo lowing effect : "If he did not behold the antique" (and 
ths same may be averred of the two distinguished moderns), 

* This excellent judge of art, more particularly in point of engravings, 
an 1 also extremely skilful in portraits drawn with the pen, departed this 
lif '. at the beginning of 1802. 

f Thus conjectures Tiraboschi, with arguments that prove the fact 
ra her than shew its probability. 

J Ortensio Landi, in his Observations, had put on record that Correggio 
di -d young, without seeing Rome. Tiraboschi. 



380 SCHOOL OP PARMA. EPOCH II. 

" such as it exists in Rome, lie may still have seen it as it 
appears at Modena and Parma ; and the mere sight of an 
object is enough to awaken in fine spirits the idea of what it 
ought to be." And my readers, indeed, will be at no loss to 
find examples to confirm such an opinion ; Titian and Tin- 
toretto, by the mere use of modelling, having far surpassed 
those who designed statues ; and Baroccio happening to cast 
his eye upon a head of Correggio, soon distinguished himself in 
the same style. And if we may further adduce an example 
of the power of sovereign genius, from the sciences, let us 
look at Galileo watching the oscillations of a bell in a church 
at Pisa, from which he drew the doctrine of motion and the 
principles of the new philosophy. So likewise might this 
great pictorial genius conceive the idea of a new style, from a 
few faint attempts of art, and thus win the applauses of the 
world of art, bestowed upon him from the time of Vasari, as 
something due less to a mortal than to a yod. Doubtless in 
the first instance he received no slight impulse from the finer 
works of Andrea, from the collection of ancient relics in 
Mantua and Parma, from the studio of the Mantegni, and that 
of Begarelli, equally rich in models and designs. To these 
we may add an acquaintance with artists, familiar with Rome, 
with Munari, with Giulio Romano himself ; and finally the 
general influence of the age, everywhere dissatisfied with the 
meanness of the late style, and aiming at a more soft, full, 
and clear development of the contours. All these united in 
facilitating the progressive step which Correggio had to take, 
though his own genius was destined to achieve the task. This 
it was that first led him to study nature, with the eye of the 
ancient Greeks, and that of his great Italian predecessors. 
The leading geniuses of their age have often pursued the same 
career, unknown to each other, as Tully has expressed himself, 
"Et quadam ingenii divinitate, in eadem vestigia incur- 
rerunt." But we must here check ourselves, in regard to this 
portion of the subject, having to treat of it anew at the 
distance of not many pages. At present we have only to 
inquire whether Correggio really adopted the modern style at 
once, as has been asserted, or by gradual study. 

Upon this point it is much to be regretted that the Cavalier 
Mengs did not obtain a sight of some paintings in fresco, 



CORREGGIO. 381 

executed by Correggio, as it is said, in his early youth, during 
tie period he was employed by the Marchesa Gambara ; but 
which have now perished. For, doubtless, he would thus 
h;.ve been enabled to throw much light upon the subject ; and 
at least I could have wished that he had met with two pictures 
produced by Antonio in his native place, though but recently 
discovered, as in these, perhaps, he might have detected that 
sort of middle style, which is seen to exist between his St. 
A itony and his St. George at Dresden. The first of these 
has been called in question by Tiraboschi, on the ground of 
th ?re being no authentic document assigning it to Correggio ; 
though I think it ought to be admitted as his, until stronger 
arguments, or the authority of experienced professors of the 
an, compel us to deny it. This picture was formerly placed 
in the chapel of La Misericordia, and very old copies of it 
an still preserved in many private houses at Correggio. It 
represents a beautiful landscape, together with four figures of 
sai its, St. Peter, St. Margherita, the Magdalen, and another, 
most likely St. Raimond, yet unborn.* The figure of St. 
Peter bears some resemblance to one of Mantegna, in his 
Ascension of St. Andrew, just alluded to; while the wood 
and the ground are extremely like that master's composition. 
This fine piece was much damaged by the lights, or, as some 
suspect, by the varnish, purposely laid on, in order, by 
decreasing its value, to prevent its being carried away; but, 
on the contrary, it appears for this very reason to have been 
removed from the altar, and a copy substituted, in which the 
last of the above figures was exchanged for one of St. Ursula. 
The original afterwards came into the possession of Signor 
Anionio Armanno, one of the best connoisseurs at this time 
known, in respect to the value of engravings, as well as of 
oth<-r productions of our best artists, which he has likewise, in 
a singular degree, the art of restoring even when much 
defaced. So in this instance, by the most persevering care, 

* Tiraboschi, p. 257, gives a different account of it, and appears to 
confound the original with the copy, which for a long time has been placed 
on the altar, also considerably defaced and discoloured. Respecting this 
picture, likewise, we hope we shall be better informed by the Dottor 
Antonioli, to whom we here confess our obligations for much information 
inserted in this chapter, obtained from his own mouth upon the spot. 



382 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH II. 

during a whole year, he at length succeeded in removing this 
ugly veil, which concealed the beauty of the work, now 
renewed in all its pristine excellence, and attracting crowds 
of accomplished strangers to gaze upon its merits. It is 
generally allowed to exhibit a softer expression, in the modern 
style, than the St, Antony of Dresden, though yet far distant 
from the perfection of the St. George and others produced 
about the same time. 

About this period, Allegri painted in the church of the Con- 
ventuals, at Correggio, what is termed an Ancona, a small 
altar-piece in wood, consisting of three pictures. It appears 
certain, that the two altar-pieces already mentioned opened 
the way also to this fresh commission ; for from the written 
agreement, he seems to have been in his twentieth year, and 
the price fixed upon was one hundred gold ducats, or one 
hundred zecchins, which proves the esteem in which his talents 
were held. He here represented St. Bartholomew and St. John, 
each occupying one side ;* while in the middle department, 
he drew a Repose of the Holy Family flying into Egypt, to 
which last was added a figure of St. Francis. So greatly was 
Francesco I., duke of Modena, delighted with this picture, 
that he sent the artist Boulanger with the orders to copy it 
for him ; and thus obtaining possession of the original, he 
dexterously contrived to substitute his own copy in its place, 
a deception which he afterwards repaired by presenting the 
convent with some fresh lands. It is believed that it was 
afterwards presented to the Medicean family, and by them 
was given in exchange to the house of Este, for the Sacrifice 
of Abraham, from the hand of Andrea del Sarto. It is certain 
that it was to be seen in the royal gallery at Florence, from 
the end of the last century, and was there commended by 
Barri, in his " Viaggio Pittoresco," as original. In progress 

* These two saints had already been withdrawn from the altar (Tira- 
boschi, p. 253), nor does a copy of them remain at San Francesco. That 
made by Boulanger is in the convent, and was evidently produced in haste, 
and upon a bad ground ; hence it is neither very exact, nor in good pre- 
servation. It is, nevertheless, valuable as throwing light upon Correggio's 
history, and his different styles ; while it also tends to prove, that if the 
ancona was made of wood, the picture was made portable, and painted on 



CORREGGIO. 383 

of lime, it began to be less esteemed, because less perfect, 
perhaps, than some of the master-pieces of Correggio, and not 
lon; after, assuming another name, it began to be pointed out 
by f-ome as a Baroccio, and by others as a Yanni. The same 
Signor Armanno, before mentioned, who was the first to recall 
to mind the copy remaining at Correggio, presented us, also, 
with this hidden treasure. Its originality, however, was dis- 
puted from the first, it being objected, in particular, that 
Allcgri had depicted the subject upon board, whereas this 
Mecicean painting was found to be upon canvas. But this 
doul >t was removed on comparing the work with the copy of 
Boulanger, made upon canvas ; for certainly if the genuine 
production were really painted upon board, the imitator could 
hardly have succeeded in palming upon the holy brethren 
one of his copies upon canvas. The probability of its 
genuineness is still greater when we reflect, that no gal- 
lery was ever in possession of a Repose similar to it, so 
as to have contested with the city of Florence the pos- 
session of the original; so frequent an occurrence, both 
now and in other times, with works of art repeated in 
different places. Besides, the hand of the master is, in 
itself, nearly enough to pronounce it genuine ; we see 
the remains of a varnish peculiar to the author; a tone of 
color ring perfectly agreeing with his pictures at Palma ; inso- 
mucl , that many very experienced judges of art, and among 
others Gavin Hamilton, whose opinion carries great weight, 
have united in giving it to Correggio. At the same time, they 
admit, that it is a piece partaking of an union of his styles, 
durir g the progress of the second ; and if we are careful in 
comparing it with his other representation of the Repose, at 
S. Sepolcro, in Parma, commonly entitled the Madonna della 
Scodvlla, we shall discover much the same difference as 
betwt en Raffaello's paintings in Citta di Castello and those at 
Rom( . Such a distinction was noticed by some very respectable 
professors, even during the heat of the controversy, who agreed 
in declaring, that the Medicean picture in part resembled 
Correggio in his best manner, and in part differed from it. 

Th-jre are two other pictures of his, mentioned by the Ca- 
valier Mengs, which may be referred to the same class. One 
of them is the " Noli me tangere" in the Casa Ercolani, but 



384 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH n. 

which suosequently passed into the Escurial ; the other a 
picture of the Virgin in the act of adoring the Divine Infant, 
which adorns the royal gallery in Florence ; both of which he 
declares are ill a taste which he failed to discover in the most 
suhlime and celebrated pictures of Correggio. To these we 
may add the Marsyas of the Marchesi Litta, at Milan, with a 
few other works of Correggio's inserted in the catalogue of 
Tiraboschi, which is the most copious extant. From such 
evidence it must, in short, be admitted, that this artist was 
possessed of a sort of middle style, between that which he 
formed as a scholar and that which he completed as a master. 
And we have equal reason for believing what has been stated 
respecting Correggio's having attempted a variety of styles, 
before he made choice of the one by which he so greatly dis- 
tinguished himself, and thus laid the foundation for his pieces 
being attributed, as they have been, to different masters. In. 
fact, his conceptions of the beautiful and the perfect were 
deduced in part from other artists, and in part created by 
himself ; conceptions that could not be matured without much 
time and labour ; on which account he was compelled, as it 
were, to imitate those natural philosophers who try an infinite 
number of different experiments to discover some single truth 
which they have in view. 

During a progress thus gradually pursued, and by an artist 
who in every new production succeeded in surpassing himself, 
it is difficult to fix the precise epoch of his new style. I 
once saw in Rome a very beautiful little picture, representing, 
in the back -ground, the taking of Christ in the garden ; and 
in the fore part, the youth Joseph, who, in the act of flying, 
leaves his mantle behind him ; the original of which is in 
England, and a duplicate at Milan, in possession of Count de 
Keweniller ; the picture at Rome bore in ancient character 
the date of 1505, indisputably false. A more correct one, how- 
ever, is to be found upon that of the Marriage of St. Cathe- 
rine, in possession of Count Brull, late prime minister to the 
king of Poland, which is every way corresponding to the 
other remaining at Capo di Monte; it bears the date of 1517. 
It is probable, that in this year, when the artist was just 
twenty-three, he had already sufficiently mastered his new 
style, from the fact of his having about 1518, or 1519, pro- 



CORUEGGIO. 385 

duced in Parma the picture which is still in existence at the 
monastery of St. Paul. This, after various disputes, has 
recently been acknowledged to be "one of the most grand, 
spirited, and laboured productions that ever proceeded from 
that divine hand ;" and it has been illustrated with its real 
epoch, from an excellent little work of the celebrated Padre 
Af?6. Such a work, indeed, confers a benefit upon history. He 
there explains the manner in which Correggio might have 
imitated the ancients with such advantages only as he found 
in Parma ; and endeavours to account for the difficulty pre- 
setted to us in the silence of Mengs, who, having beheld this 
very picture, omitted to mention it among Antonio's other 
works. "We are relieved, also, from another difficulty in 
respect to the manner in which a piece representing the Chase 
of Diana, abounding with such a variety of loves and cupids, 
could have been painted for a holy monastery, accompanied 
by those profane representations distributed throughout the 
same chamber, in various circular pieces, such as the Graces, 
the Fates, the Vestals; a naked Juno, suspended from the 
heavens, in the method described by Homer, in his fifteenth 
book of the Iliad ; with other similar objects, still less becom- 
ing the sphere of a cloister. But our wonder will cease when 
we reflect, that the same place was once the residence of a 
lady abbess, at a time in which the nuns of S. Paolo lived 
unguarded by grates ; in which every abbess sought to enjoy 
herwelf ; held jurisdiction over lands and castles, and, inde- 
pendent of the bishop, lived altogether as a secular personage, 
a license in those days extremely general, as is justly observed 
by Muratori, in his " Italian Antiquities," torn. iii. p. 332. 
The above work was a commission given by a Donna Giovanna 
di Piacenza, who was then the superior of the monastery ; and 
whatever degree of learning we meet with in the painting, and 
in the devices or conceits, was, most probably, communicated 
to the artist by Giorgio Anselmi, a celebrated scholar, whose 
own daughter belonged to the same establishment. But we 
must not allow ourselves to proceed further in our notice of a 
dissertation, assuredly one of the most profound and ingenious 
that we ever recollect to have read. The pictures are about to 
be engraved by the hand of Signor Rosaspina, after those of 
S. Giovanni, in which the learned Abate Mazza is at present 

VOL. II. 2 C 



386 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH II. 

so laudably engaged, no less to the advantage of the arts than 
of his own reputation.* 

The vast undertaking, so finely executed by Correggio, at 
S. Paolo, obtained for him so high a name, that the Padri 
Cassinensi invited him to engage in the equally extensive one 
of San Giovanni, entered upon in 1520,t and completed in 
1524, as we find mentioned in the books. There, also, in 
addition to several minor works, he decorated the tribune, 
which being afterwards removed, in order to extend the choir, 
and rebuilt, was repainted, as we shall notice elsewhere, by 
Aretusi. On the demolition of the tribune, the picture of the 
Incoronation of the Virgin, the leading subject in the fresco, 
was saved, and is now exhibited in the royal library ; and 
various heads of angels, which in like manner escaped the same 
destruction, are preserved in the Palazzo Rondanini at Rome. 
There are, now, in the church of San Giovanni, two pictures 
in oil, placed opposite to one another, in one of the chapels ; 
one, a Christ taken from the Cross ; the other, the Martyrdom 
of St. Placidus, both painted on canvas made for the purpose, 
like some of the pictures of Mantegna. On the exterior of 
one of the other chapels is a figure of St. John the Evangelist, 
executed in the noblest manner. And, finally, there is the 
grand cupola, where the artist represented the Ascension of 
Jesus to his Father ; the apostles looking on in mingled vene- 
ration and surprise ; a production in which, whether we regard 
the proportion, and the shortening of the figures, the naked 
parts, or the draperies, or gaze upon it as a whole, we must 
alike confess that it was an unexampled specimen of the art, 
in its kind; the terrific Judgment of Michelangelo J not having 
then assumed its place in the Vatican. 

* Some writers attempt to prove from this work that Correggio had 
already visited Rome. 

f Tiraboschi was unable to discover any certain work from the hand of 
Antonio, between the years 17 and 20, of the same age. This gave rise to 
the assertion of Vasari's annotator, that he remained in Rome in quality 
of Raffaello's pupil during this interval, and on his master's death, in 1520, 
returned to Lombardy. Such a supposition becomes utterly void, after 
the above epochs adduced by us. 

+ It is worth notice, that Ratti, persuaded of Correggio's residence at 
Rome, has availed himself of the argument of certain figures being bor- 
rowed by him from the Judgment, before Michelangelo had painted it. 



CORREGGIO. 387 

Astonishing, however, as such a production must be allowed 
to be, it will still be found to yield the palm to another, which 
the hand of Correggio alone could have rendered superior. 
Tlis is the celebrated Assumption of the Virgin, in the 
cathedral of Parma, completed in the year 1530. It is 
inc isputably more ample ; and in the back-ground the figures 
of the same apostles are reproduced, as was customary, ex- 
pressing feelings of surprise and piety, though in a manner 
altogether different from the former. In the upper part is 
represented an immense crowd of happy spirits, yet distributed 
in :he finest order, with a number of angels of all dimensions, 
and full of action ; some employed in assisting the flight of 
the Virgin, others singing and dancing, and the rest engaged 
in celebrating the triumph with applause, songs, torches, and 
the burning of celestial perfumes. In all, the countenances 
beam with mingled beauty, hilarity, and triumph ; a halo of 
liglt seems to envelope the whole, so that, notwithstanding the 
piece is much defaced, it is still calculated to awaken such an 
enchantment of the soul, that the spectator almost dreams he 
is in elysium. These magnificent works, as it has been 
observed of the chambers of Raffaello, were calculated to 
promote the dignity of his manner, and led the way to that 
height of perfection which he attained in the difficult art of 
working in fresco. To estimate it aright, we ought to approach 
near, to mark the decision and audacity as it were of every 
stroke ; the parts, that at a distance appear so beautiful, yet 
effected by few lines ; and that colouring, and that harmony 
which unite so many objects in one, produced, as it were, in 

Equally valid is his conjecture, founded upon several figures of Raffaello's, 
which he detected in Correggio, as if these two artists had never studied 
from the same book of nature. Such an opinion is asserted also by Padre 
della Valle, cited in our first volume, p. 401. But writers will always 
be liable to these mistakes, as long as they pretend to make discoveries 
and t irow light upon ancient facts, without adhering to historical dates, 
and i.u their conjectures rather consult novelty and their own vanity than 
truth. But this fault, brought into vogue about the middle of the eigh- 
teenth century, has produced no little evil, both in letters and religion, 
and S'irely cannot continue to receive encouragement at this enlightened 
perioc .'. Let us rather trust that the love of truth, never altogether extin- 
guish! d, will resume its former influence in the investigation of historical 
poinb, and that one of its leading objects will be to free both sacred and 
profai e history from those foolish sophisms that so much obscure it. 
2 c 2 



388 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH II. 

sportful play. The renowned artist survived only four years, 
subsequent to the completion of the cupola ; without com- 
mencing, during the interval, the painting of the tribune, for 
which he had pledged himself, and received part of the 
remuneration, which was afterwards restored to the revenues 
of the cathedral by his heirs. It has been conjectured, that 
the conductors of the works must, in some way, have given 
him offence ; since the artist Sojaro, on being invited to paint 
at the /Steccata, objects to it in the following terms : " Not 
wishing to remain at the discretion of so many different heads ; 
and you know," he continues to his friend, " what was said to 
Correggio in the dome." Now this, it would appear, must 
have consisted of some expressions derogatory to his talents ; 
probably some words which one of the artificers is said to have 
applied to the diminutiveness of his figures : " Ci avete fatto 
un guazzetto di rane." " You have presented us with a hash 
of frogs." Words from a workman, for which Correggio might 
easily have consoled himself, as they did not express the 
opinion of the city of Parma. 

He died, however, about four years afterwards, at his native 
place, before he had completed his undertaking ; and without 
leaving any portrait of himself which can be considered 
genuine. Vasari's editor, at Rome, produces one of a bald old 
man, little agreeable to our ideas of Correggio, who died at the 
age of forty. It is taken from a collection of designs by the 
Padre Resta, which he entitled, the " Portable Gallery," and 
which both the Cavalier Tiraboschi and the Padre della Valle 
mentioned as having been lost. Nevertheless it exists in the 
Ambrosian collection, and contains, among other designs, one 
which Resta, in the notes added thereto, declares to be the 
family of Correggio, consisting of the portrait of himself, his 
wife, and his sons; altogether forming one female and three 
male heads, poor, and wretchedly attired. But it betrays 
evident marks of its want of genuineness, and not the least in 
the description of the family ; inasmuch as Antonio is known 
to have had one son and three daughters, two of whom appear 
to have died at an early age. The portrait remaining at 
Turin, in the Vigna della Regina, engraved by the very able 
Valperga, bears an inscription, in part hidden by the cornice. 
Still I contrived to decipher the words, Antonius Corrigius r 



CORREGGIO. 389 

/ (that is, fecit), one of the first arguments for not admitting 
it, as some have done, to be a head of Correggio. A further 
one; may be derived from the inscription itself being written in 
larj^e letters, and in a space occupying the whole length of the 
car vas, a method occasionally adopted to explain the subject 
of the piece, but never the name of the artist. There was 
another portrait sent from Genoa into England, with an 
inscription upon the back, indicating it to be that of Antonio 
da Correggio, drawn by Dosso Dossi, which is to be found in 
the memoirs of Ratti. I have no sort of ground for asserting 
such a signature to have been introduced several years sub- 
sequent; a plan which was, and still is frequently adopted, by 
an accurate imitation of the ancient characters ; I would 
merely observe, that there was also a distinguished painter in 
miniature, of the name of M. Antonio da Correggio, who 
traversed Italy about the time of Dosso, and whose merits I 
shall treat of hereafter. Of the portrait taken of Correggio, 
by Gambara, in the cathedral of Parma, it would here be 
improper to speak, otherwise than as of an idle popular 
Kin tour. In conclusion, therefore, I am inclined to admit the 
seeming truth of what is advanced by Vasari, that this noble 
artist entertained no idea of transmitting his likeness to pos- 
terity, not justly estimating his own excellence, but adding to 
his numerous other accomplishments that of a remarkable 
modesty, conferring real honour upon our history. 

The latest and most [perfect style of Correggio has been 
minutely analysed by the Cavalier Mengs, in the same man- 
ner as he examined that of Raffaello and of Titian. And in 
this famous triumvirate he accorded to him the second rank, 
aft( r Raffaello, observing, that this last depicted more exqui- 
sitely the affections of the soul, though inferior to him in the 
expression of external forms. In this, indeed, Correggio was 
a true master, having succeeded by his colouring, and yet more 
by his chiaroscuro, in introducing into his pictures an ideal 
bea uty, surpassing that of nature, and at the same time attract- 
ing the admiration of the most learned, by an union of art and 
nature in its rarest forms, such as they never before beheld. 
And such admiration, and such applauses, were in particular 
bestowed upon his St. Jerome, preserved in the academy at 



390 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH II. 

Parma. Algarotti declares, that he was inclined to prefer it 
to any other of his productions ; and to exclaim in his heart : 
" Tu solo mi piaci !" " Thou alone pleasest me !" Annibal Car- 
racci himself, upon first beholding this picture, as well as a few 
others from the same hand, declares, in the letter already cited 
to his brother Lodovico, that he would not even exchange them 
with the St. Cecilia of Raffaello, which is still to be seen in 
the city of Bologna. And it may be truly said, that the same 
art that had been carried to such a pitch of sublimity by Mi- 
chelangeloto such an exquisite degree of natural grace and 
expression by Raffaello, and from Titian received such inimi- 
table perfection in its tones of colouring displayed in Correg- 
gio such an union of excellences, as in the opinion of Mengs, 
carried the whole of these to their highest point of perfection, 
adding to all their dignity and truth his own peculiar elegance, 
and a taste as captivating to the eye as to the heart of the 
spectator. 

In design he exhausted not all that depth of knowledge, so 
conspicuous in Bonarruoti ; but it was at once so great and so 
select, that the Caracci themselves adopted it for their model. 
I am aware, that Algarotti considered him to be somewhat 
incorrect in the expression of his contours ; while Mengs, on 
the other hand, defends him very warmly from such a charge. 
Truly, there does not appear the same variety in his lines as is 
to be found in Raffaello and the ancients, inasmuch as he pur- 
posely avoided angles and rectilinear lines, preserving as much 
as lay in his power, an undulating sweep of outline, sometimes 
convex and sometimes concave ; while it is maintained, that 
his grace results, in a great measure, from this practice ; so 
that Mengs in uncertainty appears at one time to commend, 
and at another to excuse him for it. He is lavish of his praises 
on the design of his draperies, on whose masses Correggio 
bestowed more attention than on the particular folds ; he being 
the first who succeeded in making drapery a part of the com- 
position, as well by force of contrast as by its direction ; thus 
opening a new path which might render it conspicuous in large 
works. In particular, his youthful and infantile heads are 
greatly celebrated ; the faces beaming with so much nature and 
simplicity, as to enchant, and to compel us, as it were, to smile 



CORREGGIO. 391 

as they smile.* Each separate figure may be pronounced original, 
fro m the infinite variety of foreshortenings he has introduced; 
there is scarcely a single head that is not seen from a point of 
view either shove or below; not a hand, not a whole figure, 
whose attitude is not full of an ease and grace of motion, 
beyond example. By his practice of foreshortening figures 
upon ceilings, which was avoided by Rafiaello, he overcame 
ma ay difficulties still remaining to be vanquished after the 
time of Mantegna, and in this branch of perspective is justly 
entitled to the merit of having rendered it complete. 

His colouring is allowed to correspond beautifully with the 
grace and selection of his design, Giulio Romano having been 
heard to assert that it was altogether the best he had ever 
seen ; nor was he averse to the Duke of Mantua giving the pre- 
ference to Correggio above himself, when about to make a pre- 
senration of pictures to the Emperor Charles Y. Equal com- 
mendation is bestowed upon him by Lomazzo, when he pro- 
nounces that, among the colourists, he is to be considered rather 
as unique than as rare in point of merit. No artist before him 
ever bestowed so much attention upon his canvas, which after 
a slight covering of chalk, received his colours, both in point 
of quantity and quality, as we have before stated, from a lavish 
hand.t In the impasto, or laying on his colours, he approaches 
the manner of Giorgione, in their tone he resembles Titian, 

* This is an expression of Annibal Caracci. Elsewhere he observes : 
"This kind of delicacy and purity, which is rather truth itself than veri- 
simi 'itude, pleases me greatly. It is neither artificial nor forced, but quite 
natural." 

f One of the professors being employed in restoring a piece of Cor- 
reggio, analyzed the mode of colouring. Upon the chalk, he said, the 
artut appeared to have laid a surface of prepared oil, which then received 
a th ck mixture of colours, in which the ingredients were two-thirds of oil 
and one of varnish ; that the colours seemed to have been very choice, and 
particularly purified from all kinds of salts, which in progress of time eat 
and destroy the picture ; and that the before-mentioned use of prepared 
oil tnust have greatly contributed to this purification by absorbing the 
salii e particles. It was, moreover, his opinion that Correggio adopted 
the method of heating his pictures, either in the sun, or at the fire, in order 
that the colours might become as it it were interfused, and equalized in 
such a way as to produce the effect of having been poured, rather than laid 
on. Of that lucid appearance which, though so beautiful, does not reflect 
objects, and of the solidity of the surface, equal to the Greek pictures, he 



392 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH II. 

tliougli in their various gradations, in the opinion of Mengs, 
he is even more expert. There prevails likewise in his 
colouring a clearness of light, a brilliancy rarely to be met with 
in works of others ; the objects appear as if viewed through 
a glass, and towards evening, when the clearness of other paint- 
ings begins to fade with the decay of light, his are to be seen 
as it were in greater vividness, and like phosphoric beams 
shining through the darkness of the air. Of the kind of var- 
nish for which Apelles has been so commended by Pliny, we 
appear to have no idea since the revival of the art, or if, indeed, 
we at all possess it, we must confess our obligations to Correg- 
gio. Some there have been who could have liked more deli- 
cacy in his flesh tints ; but every one must allow, that accord- 
ing to the age and the subjects he had to deal with, he has 
succeeded in varying them admirably, impressing them at the 
same time with something so soft, so juicy, and so full of life, 
as to appear like truth itself. 

But his grand and mastering quality, his crowning triumph 
and distinction above all the other artists known to us, is his 
thorough knowledge of lights and shades. Like nature her- 
self he does not present objects to us with the same force of 
light, but varied according to the surfaces, oppositions, and 
distances ; it flows in a gradation insensibly increasing and 
diminishing, a distinction essential in aerial perspective, in 
which he is so great, and contributing finely to the general 
harmony. He observed the same principle in his shades, 
representing the reflection of colour upon each, in so deli- 
cate a degree, that though using them so abundantly, his 
shadows are always varied like nature's, never monotonous. 
This quality is eminently conspicuous in his night-piece in the 
Dresden gallery ;* and in his Magdalen, there seen reposing 
in a cave ;f a small picture it is true, but estimated in the 
purchase at twenty-seven thousand crowns. By the use of 

remarks, that it must have been obtained by some strong varnish unknown 
to the Flemish painters themselves, who prepared it of equal clearness and 
liveliness, but not of equal strength. See vol. i. p. 60. 

* It is more accurately entitled by others the Opening of Day. 

f The Magdalen at Dresden has not in the back ground a cave, but a 
desert spot. For this we refer to the engraving by the Cav. Professor 
Longhi, after an exact design from the original, and to the numerous 
copies of this little painting which still exist 



CORREGGIO. 393 

his chiaroscuro he not only gave superior softness and rotun- 
dity to his forms, but displayed a taste in the whole composi- 
tion, such has had never been witnessed before. He disposed 
the masses of his lights and shades with an art, purely natural 
In its foundation, but in the selection and effect altogether 
ideal. And he arrived at this degree of perfection by the 
very same path pursued by Michelangelo, availing himself 
of models in clay and wax, the remains of some of which are 
said to have been found in the cupola at Parma not many 
yea rs ago. It is also currently reported, that while employed 
in that city, he engaged the assistance of the famous modeller 
Be^arelli, whom he conducted thither at his own expense. 

Though excellent in all, in other portions of his art he 
cannot be pronounced equally excellent. His conceptions 
were good, but occasionally they betrayed a want of unity, 
representing as be did one and the same story in different 
parts. Thus in the fable of Marsyas, in the Palazzo Litta at 
Milan, his contest with Apollo, Minerva consigning him over 
to punishment, and the punishment itself, are distributed into 
separate groups. The same kind of repetition will, I think, 
be found in the story of Leda, executed for Charles V., in 
which the swan is twice brought into view, proceeding by 
degrees to familiarize himself with her charms, until in the 
third group he possesses her. In fact his inventions, for the 
ino^t part, are like the strains of Anacreon, in. which the young 
loves, and in sacred themes the angels, are introduced under 
the most agreeable forms and actions. Thus in the picture of 
S. George, they are seen sporting about the sword and helmet 
of i he saint ; and in S. Jerome an angel is engaged in shewing 
our Lord the book of that great doctor of our holy church, 
while another is holding under his nose the uncovered vase of 
ointment belonging to the Magdalen. Of his powers of com- 
position we have a proof in the execution of the cupola, 
already so highly commended, in which it appears as if the 
architecture had been formed for the effect of the painting, so 
admirably is this last adapted, and not the production for the 
plaoe. He was fond of contrasts, no less in whole figures 
thaa their parts ; but he never arbitrarily affected them, or 
carried them to the extravagant degree we have since beheld, 
in violation of all decorum and truth. In force of expression, 



394 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH II. 

more particularly upon tenderer subjects, he stands, perhaps, 
without a rival or an example ; such is his Magdalen just 
alluded to, as she is seen bending to kiss the feet of the Holy 
Child, with a countenance and action expressive of all the 
different beauties, scattered over the works of many other 
artists, a sentiment more folly expressed by Mengs : of this 
picture we may truly say with Catullus, " Omnibus una 
omnes surripuit Veneres." Grief was a passion likewise 
depicted by him with singular power ; admirably varied ac- 
cording to circumstances in his Dead Christ at Parma, most 
heartfelt in that of the Magdalen, profound in the Virgin, and 
in a middling degree in the other female face. And though 
we do not meet with many examples of a loftier cast, still he 
could depict the fiercer passions with sufficient power, as wit- 
ness the Martyrdom of S. Placidus, in which piece an execu- 
tioner is so nobly drawn, that Domenichino avowedly imitated 
it in his celebrated picture of S. Agnes. 

Finally the costume of his sacred history-pieces is deficient 
in nothing we could desire ; though in his fables, indeed, he 
might have improved it, by adhering, like Raffaello and the 
moderns, more closely to the ancients. Thus in his Leda he 
has represented Juno in the guise of an elderly lady, full of 
spite and jealousy, secretly beholding the stolen embraces of 
her lord. She approaches in nothing to the antique, either in 
her countenance or in her symbols, and hence in the usual 
interpretations she is considered as a mere cypher. In the 
fable of Marsyas, he bears no resemblance to the Faun ; Mi- 
nerva has no ^Egis, nor any other of her usual attributes ; 
while Apollo is endued neither with the limbs nor aspect 
which are awarded him at this day ; and so far from boasting 
of his lyre, he plays upon a violin.* Here again we might 
adduce a fresh argument for Correggio having never visited 
Rome, where even artists of mediocrity, instructed in a know- 
ledge of the antique, knew how to avoid similar errors. In 
him, however, they are scarcely blemishes, and rather flattering 
to the name of Correggio, inasmuch as they serve more fully 

* Here Raffaello was equally in fault, having so represented Apollo in 
his Parnassus. Yet he was advised by his most learned contemporaries ; 
and it is still a question among archseologists what was the form of the 
armed shell vielded by Mercury to Apollo. 



CORREGGIO. 395 

to convince us that lie partakes not the glory of his sovereign 
style with many masters or many assistants, standing great 
ami alone. Regarded in this view, he appears indeed some- 
thing more than mortal; and in his presence, as Annibal 
Caracci truly wrote, Parmigianino and others of his rank seem 
to shrink into nothing.* But the productions of this great 
master are daily becoming more rare in Italy, such are the 
pri 3es offered, so great the eagerness of strangers to obtain 
them, and the esteem in which he is held. We are still con- 
solod for their loss by several ancient copies, more especially 
of lis smaller pictures, such as the Marriage of S. Catherine, 
theReposing Magdalen, the Young Man'sEscape, pieces already 
me itioned; but to which we may add his Christ praying in the 
Garden, placed in the Escurial, and his Zingherina, the Gipsey 
Girl, in the gallery at Dresden. The most estimable among the 
old copies are by Schidone, Lelio da Novellara, Giroiamo da 
Carpi, and by the Caracci, who, by dint of copying Correggio's 
pieces, approached very nearly the style of the originals; though 
mo: i e in point of design than in skill and delicacy of colouring. 
Hitherto I have treated of the manner of Antonio, and in 
so doing have described the manner of his school ; not, indeed, 
that- any single artist at all equalled or approached him, but 
that all held very nearly the same maxims, mixed, in some 
instances, with different styles. The prevailing character of 
the school of Parma, by way of distinction likewise called the 
Lombard school, is the excellence of its shortenings, like the 
delineation of the nerves and muscles in that of Florence. 
Nor is it any reproach that its artists, in some instances, have 
become extravagant and affected in their foreshortening, as the 
Fl< rentines in their representations of the naked limbs : to 
imitate well is in all places a difficult art. Its character may 
further be said to consist in a fine study of the chiaroscuro 
and of draperies, rather than of the human figure, in which 
few artists of the school can boast much excellence. Their 

* His words are, " It is my unalterable opinion that Parmigianino in 
no >vay approaches Correggio, whose thoughts and fine inventions are all 
clearly drawn from himself, always original. All other artists look out for 
son .e support, some foundations for their efforts taken from other sources ; 
one to models, one to statues, another to cartoons : all their productions 
are represented such as they might have been, Correggio's such as they 
really are." See second Letter to Lodovico, Malvasia, vol. i. p. 367. 



396 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH II. 

contours are broad, their countenances selected rather from 
among the people, than of an ideal cast, being well rounded, 
high coloured, and exhibiting those features and that joyous- 
ness esteemed so original in Correggio, as it has been well 
remarked by a professor long resident in Parma. There we 
have reason to believe that our artist instructed more pupils 
than have been recorded by Vasari, to whose observations and 
opinions much additional matter has been supplied by writers 
of the present age, though doubts continue to prevail respect- 
ing some of his reputed scholars. I shall treat this great 
master as others have done in regard to Raffaello, com- 
prehending, within the limits of his school, all those assistants 
and others who, educated in different academies, subsequently 
attached themselves to his, availing themselves of his instruc- 
tions and examples. 

First upon the list, therefore, I place his own son, Pom- 
ponio Allegri. He had hardly time to benefit by his father's 
instructions, or to receive his [earliest rudiments, having lost 
him at the age of twelve. His grandfather then took him 
under his care, until the period of his death, occurring five 
years after, when he left a pretty handsome provision for the 
orphan, who boasted likewise no common degree of talent. 
With whom he pursued his education, however, is not known, 
whether with Rondani, a faithful disciple of his father, or 
with some other of the same school. It is certain he was 
a youth of fair abilities, and that with the aid of his father's 
studies he acquired some reputation, and established himself 
at Parma. In the cathedral there appears, wrought upon 
a large earthen basin, the story of the Israelites awaiting the 
arrival of Moses, to whom the Lord has just consigned the 
tablets of the law. Though not very successful as a whole, 
the work displays great merit in particular parts ; many of 
the heads are beautiful, many of the motions spirited, and 
there are tones of colouring extremely clear and natural. It 
was believed that Pomponio had early abandoned the use of 
his pencil, disposing of his property in Correggio, and after- 
wards dying in great poverty at an early age. These false or 
uncertain reports, however, have been rendered nugatory by 
authentic documents brought forward by Father Affo, stating 
him to have enjoyed, in Parma, high reputation and honour- 



GIOVANNI GIAROLA. 397 

able public commissions, and confirmed by a public decree 
recording him, while the best disciples of the school of Parma 
were yet alive, as being ottimo pittore. 

We now proceed to other artists belonging to the city and 
state of Modena. Among these we find the name of Fran- 
ces, -o Cappelli, a native of Sassuolo, who established himself 
in Bologna, without, however, leaving there any public speci- 
men of his labours. Most probably he was employed by 
private persons, or, as Vedriani is led to conjecture, also by 
princes; though in respect to their names he is certainly 
mistaken. There is an altar-piece in S. Sebastiano at Sas- 
suo o, commonly attributed to his hand, representing a figure 
of The Virgin, with some saints, among which last appears 
the titular, the most noble and conspicuous of the whole, in 
such fine impasto and relief, as to be attributed to the pencil 
of his master. 

Another of the school is Giovanni Giarola da Reggio, 
whose productions there in fresco are to be seen in the 
Pal izzo Donelli and other places, though they have perished 
in Parma. He cannot, however, be pronounced exempt from 
the usual negligence of fresco painters in their contours ; still 
he ^as much esteemed, while he flourished, for the spirit and 
delicacy of his manner. Although epitaphs are by no means 
the most desirable sort of testimony to the worth of the 
decoased, it will be, nevertheless, worth while to recall that of 
Giarola, from which, if we deduct even nine parts of the 
commendation, the tenth will confer upon him no slight 
honour: "lo. Gerolli, qui adeo excellentem pingendi artem 
edo-;tus fuerat, ut alter Apelles vocaretur ;" who had arrived 
at such a masterly degree of excellence in this noble art that 
he *vas entitled to the name of another Apelles. To him we 
Lav 3 to add a fellow-citizen and namesake of Correggio,. 
called Antonio Bernieri, sprung from a noble stock, and who 
having lost his master at the age of eighteen years, inherited,, 
in n manner, the appellation of Antonio da Correggio, thus 
giving rise to several historical doubts and inaccuracies. He 
is enumerated by Landi, and by Pietro Aretino, among the 
most distinguished of the miniature painters; and also men- 
tioned by D. Veronica Gambara, Marchioness of Correggio. 
There is no genuine painting by him, however, in oil, though 



398 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH II. 

I have no reason for refusing him the degree of reputation so 
general among the miniaturists; and the portrait at Turin, 
described in the present volume (p. 388), ought certainly, I 
think, to be attributed to him rather than to Antonio Allegri. 
He long flourished in Venice, visited Rome, and died at his 
native place. The next I have to add to this list is a name 
unknown, as far as I can learn, to history, and one which I 
only discovered from a beautiful design I happened to meet 
with in a collection by Father Fontana Barnabita, a collection 
mentioned by me with commendation in my first volume 
(p. 77). His name is Antonio Bruno, a native of Modena, 
and an artist who ably emulated the genius of Correggio in 
his grace, his nature, his foreshortenings, and his broad lights, 
though with far less correct a pencil. 

Further, among the scholars of Parma, there remain several 
who acquired less fame. A Daniello de Por is mentioned by 
Yasari in his life of Taddeo Zuccaro, who, according to his 
account, received some assistance from Daniello, more in the 
way of instructions than example. Yet he records no other 
of his productions besides a piece in fresco, to be seen at Vito, 
near Sora, where he invited Zuccaro to join him as an 
assistant ; nor does it appear that he commends him for any 
thing beyond having acquired from Correggio and Parmigia- 
nino a tolerable degree of softness of manner. In fact he 
must have rather occupied the place of a journeyman than of 
an assistant of Correggio, and I suspect he is the same from 
whom Yasari obtained some information respecting this artist, 
in particular, such as related to his avarice, which the histo- 
rian had assuredly no reason either for disbelieving or invent- 
ing. But a superior pupil of the same school will be found 
in M. Torelli, called a native of Milan in the MS. of Resta, 
where he is mentioned as the companion of Rondani, in 
executing the frieze at San Giovanni in Parma, painted in 
chiaroscuro. It was taken from the design of Correggio, who 
received likewise the proceeds from the work. It is added by 
Ratti, that the first cloister of the same monastery was also 
adorned with singular felicity by the same hand. 

The names of the following artists all enjoy more or less 
celebrity in Italy at the present day ; but it is not therefore 
certain that they were all the pupils of Correggio, nor that 



RONDANI. 399 

they all observed the same manner. Like young swimmers, 
some of them seem cautious of leaving the side of their master, 
while others appear fearful only of being seen to approach 
him too nearly, as if proud of the skill they had already 
acqiired. To the first class belongs Rondani, who was 
employed along with Correggio at the church of S. Giovanni, 
and to him is chiefly attributed a grotesque contained in the 
moi astery, assigned to the school of Antonio, though we may 
dett ct some figures of cherubs which appear from the master's 
haul. Yet Rondani was accustomed to imitate his master 
pretty accurately in his individual figures ; and on the exte- 
rior of the church of S. Maria Maddalena, he drew a Madonna. 
that, in want of historical evidence, might have been attributed 
to C orreggio. There is also an altar-piece at the Eremitani, 
representing saints Agostino and Geronimo, so much in the 
Correggio manner as to be esteemed one of the best pictures in 
Parma. But Rondani was unable to reach the grandeur of 
the head of the school ; he is accused on the other hand of 
having been too careful and minute in the accessaries of his art, 
which we gather, indeed, from one of his frescos in a chapel of 
the cathedral, and in general from his other works. They are 
rarely to be met with in collections, though I have seen one of 
his Madonnas, with a Child, in possession of the Marchesi 
Scarani at Bologna, the figure bearing a swallow in her hand, 
in aJlusion to the painter's name ; besides the portrait of a man, 
draped and designed in the Giorgione taste, at the house of 
the Sig. Bettinelli in Mantua. 

I have already alluded to Michelangelo Anselmi, in the 
school of Siena, and I again prepare to treat of him more fully, 
froii! documents since published, or which I have since read. 
Upon the authority of these it is very certain that he traced 
his family several generations back to the city of Parma ; 
though he is denominated da Lucca, from the circumstance of 
his Laving been born at that place, according to Ratti, in 1591, 
and he has been also called da Siena, because, as I am inclined 
to conjecture, he may have resided and pursued his studies 
there while young. Resta, in the MS. I have so frequently 
cited, contends that he acquired his art from Sodoma; Azzolini, 
from Riccio, son-in-law to Sodoma, both of whom are known 
to have remained a considerable time at Lucca. There he may 



400 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH II. 

have been instructed in the first rudiments, and afterwards 
have completed his studies at Siena, where he produced the 
altar-piece of Fontegiusta, which bears no traces of the 
Lombard style. When practised in the art he returned to 
Parma, he was older than Correggio, and then only capable of 
improving his style by availing himself of his advice and 
example, in the same way as Garofolo and many others, by 
the example of RafFaello. 

When in the year 1522 Correggio was engaged to paint the 
cupola of the cathedral and the great tribune, Anselmi, together 
with Rondani, and Parmigianino, were fixed upon to adorn 
the contiguous chapels. The undertaking was never executed ; 
but such a selection shews that he was esteemed capable of 
accompanying the style of Correggio, and his works sufficiently 
attest that he became a devoted follower of it. He is full in 
his outlines, extremely studied in the heads, glowing in his 
tints, and very partial to the use of red, which he contrives to 
vary and to break as it were into different colours in the same 
picture. Perhaps his least merit consists in his composition, 
which he sometimes overloads with figures. He painted in 
various churches at Parma ; and one of the most pleasing of 
his productions, approaching nearest to his great model, is at 
S. Stefano, in which S. John the Baptist along with the 
titular saint, is seen kneeling at the feet of the Virgin. His 
largest work, however, is to be met with at the Steccata, 
where, upon the testimony of Vasari, he executed the cartoons 
of Giulio Romano. But this is disproved by the contract, 
which assigns to Anselmi himself a chamber in which to com- 
pose his cartoons ; nor did Giulio do more than send a rough 
sketch of the work to Parma. In collections his speci- 
mens are rare and valuable, although he flourished, to say the 
least, as late as the year 1554, in which he added a codicil to 
his will. 

Bernardino Gatti, named from his father's profession Soiaro, 
of whom I shall again make mention in the Cremonese school, 
is an artist, who, in different countries, left various specimens 
of his art. Parma, Piacenza, and Cremona abound with them. 
He ranks among the least doubtful disciples of Correggio, and 
was strongly attached to his maxims, more especially in regard 
to the subjects treated by the hand of his master. His picture 



BERNARDINO GATTI. 401 

of a Pieta, at the Magdalen, in Parma, that of his Repose in 
Egypt, at S. Sigismond, in Cremona, with his Christ in the 
Manner, at S. Peter's, in the same city, afford ample evidence 
of his power of imitating Correggio without becoming a servile 
copyist. No one has emulated him better in the delicacy of 
his countenances. His young girls and his boys appear ani- 
mated with the spirit of innocence, grace, and beauty. He is 
fond of whitish and clear grounds, and infuses a sweetness into 
his vhole colouring which forms one of his characteristics. Nor 
does he want relief in his figures, from which, like the head of 
the school, he seems never to have removed his hand until he 
had rendered them in every way perfect and complete. He 
possessed singular talent for copying, as well as for imitating 
those masters whom he had engaged to assist. He succeeded 
to the place of Pordenone, in Piacenza, where he painted the 
remainder of the tribune at S. M. di Campagna, of which 
Vasari observes, that the whole appeared the work of the same 
hand. His picture of S. George, at the same church, is 
deserving of mention, placed opposite to that of S. Augustine 
by Pordenone, a figure displaying powerful relief and action, 
which he executed from the design of Giulio Romano, at the 
request, it is supposed, of the person who gave the commission. 
"We may form an estimate of his unassisted powers by what 
he h:is left in the churches at Parma, and more particularly 
in the cupola of the Steccata. It is an excellent production 
in every part, and in its principal figure of the Virgin truly sur- 
prising. Another of his pieces, representing the Multiplication 
of Loaves, is highly deserving of mention. It was executed 
for the refectory of the Padri Lateranensi at Cremona, nd 
to this his name, with the date of 1552, is affixed. It may be 
accounted one of the most copious paintings to be met with 
in any religious refectory, full of figures larger than the life, 
and varied equal to any in point of features, drapery and atti- 
tudes, besides a rich display of novelty and fancy ; the whole 
conducted upon a grand scale, with a happy union and taste 
of colouring, which serves to excuse a degree of incorrectness 
in regard to his aerial perspective. There remain few of his 
piece s in private collections, a great number having been trans- 
ferred into foreign countries, particularly into Spain. 

Giorgio Gandini, likewise surnamed del Grano, from tho 

VOL. II. 2 D 



402 SCHOOL OP PARMA. EPOCH II. 

maternal branch of his family, was an artist formerly referred 
to Mantua, but who has since been claimed by Padre Affb, 
who traced his genealogy, for the city of Parma. According 
to the account of Orlandi, he was not only a pupil of Correg- 
gio, but one whose pieces were frequently retouched by the 
hand of his master. P. Zapata, who illustrated in a Latin 
work the churches of Parma, ascribes to him the principal 
painting in S. Michele, the same which, in the Guide of Ruta, 
was attributed by mistake to Lelio di Novellara. It is one 
calculated to reflect honour upon that school, from its power 
of colouring, its relief, and its ease and sweetness of hand, 
though it occasionally displays a somewhat too capricious 
fancy. How highly he was esteemed by his fellow-citizens 
may be inferred from the commission which they allotted him 
to paint the tribune of the cathedral, as a substitute for Cor- 
reggio, who died before he commenced the task which he had 
accepted. The same happened to Gandini, and the commis- 
sion was bestowed upon a third artist, Girolamo Mazzuola, 
whose genius was not then sufficiently matured to cope with 
such vast undertakings. 

The names of Lelio Orsi and Girolamo da Carpi, I assign 
to another place, both of whom are enumerated by other 
writers in the school of Parma. For this alteration I shall give 
a sufficient reason when I mention them. The last belonging 
to the present class, are the two Mazzuoli ; and I commence 
with Francesco, called Parmigianino, whose life, by Father 
Affo, has been already written. This writer does not rank 
him in the list of Correggio's scholars, but in that of his two 
uncles, in whose studio he is supposed to have painted his 
Baptism of Christ, which is now in possession of the Conti 
Sanvitali, and as the production of a boy of fourteen years of 
age, it is indeed a wonderful effort of genius. It is remarked by 
the same historian of his life, that having seen the works of Cor- 
reggio, Francesco began to imitate him ; and there are some 
pictures ascribed to him at that period, which are evidently 
formed upon that great model. Of such kind is a Holy Fa- 
mily, belonging to the President Bertioli, and a S. Bernardino, 
at the Padri Osservanti, in Parma. Independently of these, 
the fact of Francesco's having been chosen, together with 
Rondani and Anselmi, to decorate a chapel near the Cupola 



PARMIGIANINO. 403 

of C:>rreggio, shews, that he must have acquired great simi- 
larit}- of style, and possessed docility, equal to the other two, 
in following the directions of such a master. lie had too 
nmcL confidence, however, in his own powers, to be second in 
the manner of another artist, when he was capable of forming 
one of his own. And this he subsequently achieved ; for 
owin^ to the delays experienced in the above undertaking, he 
had time to make the tour of Italy, and meeting with Giulio, 
in Mantua, and Raffaello, at Rome, he proceeded to form a 
style that has been pronounced original. It is at once great, 
noble and dignified ; not abounding in figures, but rendering 
a few capable of filling a large canvas, as we may observe in 
his S, Rocco, at San Petronio, in Bologna; or in his Moses, 
at tho Steccata of Parma, so celebrated a specimen of chiaro- 
scuro. 

The prevailing character, however, in which this artist so 
greatly shone, was grace of manner; a grace which won for 
him Jut Rome that most flattering of all eulogies, that the spirit 
of R.iflaello had passed into Parmigianino. Among his de- 
signs are to be seen repeated specimens of the same figure, 
drawn for the purpose of reaching the highest degree of grace, in 
the person, in the attitudes, and in the lightness of his drapery, 
in which he is admirable. It is the opinion of Algarotti, that 
he sometimes carried his heads to an extreme, so as to border 
upon effeminacy ; a judgment analogous to the previous 
observation of Agostino Caracci, that he could wish a painter 
to ha 76 a little of Parmigianino's grace; not all, because he 
conceived that he had too much. In the opinion of others, his 
excessive study of what was graceful led him sometimes to 
select proportions somewhat too long, no less in respect to 
stature than in the fingers and the neck, as we may observe in 
his celebrated Madonna, at the Pitti Palace, which, from this 
defeci , obtained the appellation of collo limgo, or long neck ;* 

* Ee might have pleaded the example of the ancients, who in their 
draped statues, observed similar proportions, in order to avoid falling into 
vulgar ty. The length of the fingers was rather subject of praise, as is 
noticed by the commentators on Catullus. (See his 44th Ode.) A long 
neck in virgins is inculcated by Malvasia, as a precept of the art (torn. 
i. p. 303) ; and the Can. Lazzarini drew his Madonnas according to this 
-rule. These observations are all intended to be applied with that judg- 
ment, which, in every art, is not presumed to be taught, but understood. 
2 D 2 



404 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH II. 

but it boasted likewise of its advocates. His colouring, alsoj 
evidently aims at grace, and for the most part is preserved 
moderate, discreet, and well tempered, as if the artist feared, 
by too much brilliancy, to offend the eye ; which, both in 
drawings and paintings, is apt to diminish grace. If we admit 
Albano as a good judge, Parmigianino was not very studious 
of expression, in which he has left few examples ; if, indeed, 
we are not to consider the grace that animates his cherubs and 
other delicate figures, as meriting the name of expression, or 
if that term apply only to the passions, as very abundantly 
supplying its place. It is, in truth, on account of this rare 
exhibition of grace, that every thing is pardoned, and that in 
him defects themselves appear meritorious. 

He would seem to have been slow in his conceptions, being 
accustomed to form the whole piece in idea, before he once 
handled his pencil ; but was then rapid in his execution. 
Strokes of his pencil may sometimes be traced so very daring 
and decided, that Albano pronounces them divine, and de- 
clares, that to his experience in design, he was indebted for 
that unequalled skill, which he always united to great dili- 
gence and high finish. His works, indeed, are not all equally 
well and powerfully coloured, nor produce the same degree of 
effect ; though there are several which are conducted with so 
much feeling and enthusiasm as to have been ascribed to 
Correggio himself. Such is the picture of Love, engaged in 
fabricating his bow, while at his feet appear two cherubs, one 
laughing and the other weeping ; a piece, of which a number 
of duplicates, besides that contained in the imperial gallery, are 
enumerated, so great a favourite was it either with the artist 
or some other person. In regard to this production, I agree 
with Vasari, whose authority is further confirmed by Father 
Affb and other judges, whom 1 have consulted upon the sub- 
ject ; although it is true that this Cupid, together with the 
Ganymede, and the Leda, which are mentioned in the same 
context (p. 302), have been positively assigned by Boschini to 
Correggio, an opinion that continues to be countenanced by 
many other persons. 

His minor paintings, his portraits, his youthful heads, and 
holy figures, are not very rare, and some are found multiplied 
in different places. One that has been the most frequently 



PARMIGIAXINO. 405 



repealed in collections, is a picture of the Virgin and Infant 
with S. Giovanni ; while the figures of St. Catherine and 
Zaccarias, or some similar aged head, are to be seen very near 
them. It was formerly met with in the Farnese gallery, at 
Parnict, and is still to be seen, sometimes the same, and some- 
times varied, in the royal gallery, at Florence; in the 
Capitoline ; in. those of the princes Corsini, Borghesi, and 
Albani, at Borne. In Parma, also, it is in possession of the 
Abato Mazza^* and is found in other places ; insomuch, that 
it is difficult to suppose that they could all have been repeated 
by P.irmigianino, however old in appearance. He produced 
few copious compositions, such as the Preaching of Christ to 
the Crowd, which is contained in a chamber of the royal 
palace, at Colorno, forming a real jewel of that beautiful and 
pleas: int villa. His altar-pieces are not numerous, of which, 
however, none is more highly estimated than his St. Margarita, 
at Bologna. It is rich in figures, which the Caracci were 
never weary of studying ; while Guido, in a sort of trans- 
port of admiration, preferred it even to the St. Cecilia of 
Raffaello. His fresco, which he began at the Steccata, is 
a singular production ; besides the figure of Moses, exhibited 
in chiaroscuro, he painted Adam and Eve, with several 
Virtues, without, however, completing the undertaking, for 
which he had been remunerated. The history of the affair is 
rather long, and is to be found in Father Affb, where it is 
dives- ted of many idle tales, with which it had been con- 
founded. I shall merely state, that the artist was thrown 
into prison for having abandoned his task, and afterwards led 
a fugitive life in Casale. where he shortly died, in his thirty- 
seventh year, exactly at the same age as his predecessor 
Raffiiello. He was lamented as one of the first luminaries, 
not (-nly of the art of painting, but of engraving ; though of 
this last I must say nothing, in order not to deviate from the 
plan I have laid down. 

Parma was in some degree consoled for the loss of Fran- 

* It is mentioned and compared with that of the Borghesi (in both the 
Virgin is seen on one side), by P. Affo, in a letter edited by the Advocate 
Branaeri, in the notes to the " Elogio d' Ireneo Affo," composed by P. 
D. P ompilio Pozzetti ; a very excellent scholar (no less than his annotator), 
and deserving to stand high in the estimation of all learned Italians. 



406 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH II. 

cesco, by Girolamo di Michele Mazzuola, his pupil and his 
cousin. They had been intimate from the year 1520, and 
apparently had contracted their friendship some years before 
Francesco set out for Rome, which was continued unabated 
after his return. Most probably, however, it at length expe- 
rienced an interruption, owing to which Francesco named two 
strangers his heirs, omitting his cousin. This last is not 
known beyond Parma and its confines, though he was de- 
serving of more extensive fame, in particular for his strong 
impasto, and his knowledge of colouring, in which he has few 
equals. There is reason to suppose, that some of the works 
ascribed to Francesco, more especially such as displayed 
warmer and stronger tints, were either executed or repeated 
by this artist. Not having been in Rome, Girolamo was 
more attached to the school of Correggio than Francesco, and 
in his style composed his picture of the Marriage of St. 
Catherine, for the church of the Carmine ; a piece that 
proves how well he could exhibit that great master's character. 
He was excellent in perspective, and in the Supper of our 
Lord, painted for the refectory of S. Giovanni, he represented 
a colonnade so beautiful, and well adapted to produce illusion, 
as to compete with the" best specimens from the hand of 
Pozzo. He could, moreover, boast ease and harmony, with a 
fine chiaroscuro ; while in his larger compositions in fresco, 
he was inventive, varied, and animated. No single artist, 
among his fellow citizens, had the merit of decorating the 
churches of Parma with an equal number of oil paintings ; 
no one produced more in fresco for the cathedral and for the 
Steccata ; to say nothing of his labours at S. Benedetto, in 
Mantua, and elsewhere. It is from this rage for accomplish- 
ing too much, that we find so many of his pieces that are 
calculated to surprise us at first sight, diminish in merit upon 
an examination of their particular parts. Not a few defects 
are observable amidst all his beauties ; the design in his naked 
figures is extremely careless ; his grace is carried to a degree 
of affectation, and his more spirited attitudes are violent. 
But these faults are not wholly attributable to him, inasmuch 
as he occasionally painted the same work in conjunction with 
other artists. This occurred in his large picture of the 
Multiplication of Loaves, placed at S. Benedetto, in Mantua, 



JACOPO BERTOIA. 407 

in which, from documents discovered by the Ab. Mari. 
Girolamo would appear to have been assisted in his labours ; 
there are in it groups of figures, whose beauty would confer 
credit upon any artist ; while, on the other hand, there are 
faults and imbecilities that must have proceeded from some 
other pencil. It is true that he has admitted the same in 
other of his works, and there they are wholly to be ascribed 
to his haste. We likewise find mention of an Alessandro 
Mazzuola, son of Girolamo, who painted in the cathedral, in 
1571; but he is a weak imitator of the family style; the 
usual fate of pictoric families, when arrived at the third 
generation. 

Su3h was the state of the art in Parma about the middle of 
the sixteenth century, at which period the Farnese family 
acquired dominion there, and greatly contributed to promote 
the interest of that school. Correggio's disciples had already 
produced pupils in their turn ; and though it be difficult to 
ascertain from what school each artist proceeded, it is easy to 
conjecture, from their respective tastes, that they were all 
inclined to pursue the career of the two most illustrious masters 
of th-3 school of Parma ; yet Mazzuola was, perhaps, more 
followed than Correggio. It is too favourite an opinion, both 
with dilettanti and artists, that the new style must invariably 
be th 3 most beautiful ; permitting fashion even to corrupt the 
arts. Parmigianino, perhaps, educated no other pupil besides 
his cousin ; Daniel da Parma had studied also under Correg- 
gio ; and Batista Fornari, after acquiring little more than a 
knowledge of design from Francesco, turned his attention to 
sculp :ure, producing, among other fine statues, for the Duke 
Otta^io Farnese, the Neptune, which is now placed in the 
royal gardens. The name of Jacopo Bertoia (often written by 
mistake Giacinto), has been added by some to this list. He 
was jj good deal employed by the court at Parma and Capra- 
rola ; and not very long ago, some of his small paintings were 
transferred from the palace of the royal garden into the 
academy. The subjects are fabulous, and both in the figures 
of hi,- nymphs, and in every thing else, the grace of Francesco 
is very perceptible. Yet the memorials discovered by P. Affo, 
do not permit us to name Parmigianino as his master. He 



408 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH II. 

was still young in 1573, and Lomazzo, in his " Tempio," calls 
him the pupil of Ercole Procaccini. He produced many small 
pictures for private ornament, which were at one time in great 
repute ; nor does Parma possess any large painting by his 
hand, excepting two banners for companies or associations. 

It is rather, likewise, from a resemblance of style, than upon 
historical authority, that one Pomponio Amidano has been 
enumerated among the pupils of Parmigianino. He may be 
mentioned, however, as one of his most strenuous followers ; 
insomuch as to have had one of his altar-pieces, which adorns 
the church of Madonna del Quartiere, attributed even by no 
common artists to the hand of Francesco. It is the most 
beautiful work of its author that the city of Parma has to 
boast. The style of this artist is full and noble, were it not, 
adds the Cav. Ratti, that it is sometimes apt to appear some- 
what flat. 

Pier Antonio Bernabei, called della Casa, does not belong 
to the school of Parmigianino, but is to be referred to some 
other assistant or pupil of Correggio. I cannot account for the 
slight praise bestowed upon him by Orlandi, when his painting 
of the cupola at the Madonna del Quartiere is calculated to 
impress us with the opinion that his powers were equal to 
those of any artist who then flourished in Loinbardy, or even in 
Italy, as a painter of frescos. He there represented, as was very 
common upon the cupolas, a Paradise, very full, but without any 
confusion ; with figures in the Correggio manner ; his tints are 
powerful, and relieved with a force which might be pronounced 
superfluous in the more distant figures, from a deficiency of the 
due gradations. This eupipla still remains perfectly entire 
after the lapse of more than two centuries, and is his great 
master-piece, though some of his other paintings likewise 
produce a great effect. Aurelio Barili, and Innocenzio Mar- 
tini, of Parma, must have enjoyed very considerable reputation 
in their day, having been employed at S. Giovanni and the 
Steccata : some specimens of their fresco work are still pointed 
out, but are cast into the shade by the vicinity of more attrac- 
tive beauties. 

About the same period another subject of the same state 
painted, in his native place of Piacenza. His name was Giulio 



GIULIO MAZZONI. 409 

Mazzoni, at one time pupil to Daniel da Voltera, in the life of 
whom he is much commended by Vasari. Some figures of the 
Evar gelists still remain in the cathedral by his hand, though 
the ceiling of S. M. di Campagna, which he adorned with 
histo-ies, has been renewed by another pencil. He did not 
acquire a knowledge of foreshortening seen from below in the 
school of Daniello, and here he failed, however respectable in 
other points. 



410 



SCHOOL OP PARMA. 

EPOCH III. 



Parmese pupils of the Caracci, and of other foreigners, until the period of 
the foundation of the academy. 

IN the year 1570, when the most celebrated imitators of the 
Correggio manner were either greatly advanced in years, or 
already deceased, the Parmese school began to give place to 
that of Bologna ; and I proceed to explain the mode, and the 
causes, which, partly by design and partly by chance, led to 
that event. It was intended to ornament a chapel in the 
cathedral, a commission bestowed upon Rondani and Parmi- 
gianino, but which, through a variety of interruptions, had 
been so long deferred, that both artists died before undertaking 
it. Orazio Sammachini was then invited from Bologna ; he 
gave satisfaction, and if I mistake not, derived great improve- 
ment from his study of Correggio, whom he more nearly 
resembled than any other Bolognese artist of that age. Ercole 
Procaccini, likewise, painted in the dome itself; nor was it 
long before Cesare Aretusi was invited from Bologna, to 
become court-painter to Duke Ranuccio. This artist, as we 
before observed, was employed in restoring the painting of 
the tribune at S. Giovanni. In order to lengthen the choir, 
it was resolved to destroy the old tribune ; but such parts as 
Correggio had there painted, were to be correctly repeated to 
adorn the new ; an example that deserves to be adopted as a 
law, wherever the fine arts are held in esteem. We are 
informed by Malvasia, that Aretusi undertook this task, 
though he refused to take a copy of it upon the spot ; observ- 
ing, that such an employment was more adapted for a pupil 
than for a master. Annibal Caracci was in consequence of 
this called in, and assisted by his brother Agostino, he took a 



ANNIBAL CARACCI. 411 

copy of that vast work in various portions, which are now at 
Capo di Monte. Guided by these, Aretusi was afterwards 
enabled to repaint the new edifice in the year 1587- To this 
account AfFo opposes the contract of Aretusi, drawn out in 
1586. where he binds himself " to make an excellent copy of 
the Madonna Coronata ; " and provision is promised him for 
a boy who is to prepare the cartoons : a circumstance that 
cannot be made applicable to Annibal, who appeared in the 
character of a master as early as 1586. What conclusion 
we are to draw from such a fact, no less than from the 
cartoons so generally attributed to Annibal, and which are 
pronounced worthy of his hand, queer ere distuli ; nee scire 
fas ett omnia. Hor. I shall merely observe, that Annibal, 
after spending several months in studying and copying Cor- 
reggio during 1580, frequently returned again to admire him, 
and t.iat such devoted enthusiasm was of wonderful advantage 
to him in acquiring the character of his model. It was at 
this lime that he painted the picture of a Pieta for the 
Capuchin friars, at Parma, approaching the nearest that ever 
was seen to that at S. Giovanni, and from that period the 
Duke Banuccio gave him several commissions for pictures, 
which are now to be met with at Naples. 

Tht) duke was a great lover of the arts, as we gather from 
a selection of artists employed by him, among whom were 
Lionello Spada, Schedoni, Trotti, and Gio. Sons, an able 
figure and a better landscape painter, whom Orlandi believes 
to have been instructed in Parma, and perfected in the art at 
Antwerp. It appears, that he also had much esteem for 
Riben, who painted a chapel, which is now destroyed, at 
Santa Maria Bianca, in so fine a style, that according to 
Scaraiiiuccia, it might have been mistaken for Correggio's, 
and it awakened emulation even in the breast of Lodovico 
Carac ci.* The chief merit, however, of the duke, and of his 
broth or, the cardinal, consisted in estimating and employing 
the genius of the Caracci. In that court they were both 
fairly remunerated, and held in esteem ; though, owing to the 
arts (f some courtiers, history has preserved circumstances 

* See Lettere Pittoriche, torn. i. p. 211. 



412 SCHOOL OP PARMA. EPOCH III,. 

regarding these great men, calculated to move compassion.* 
To this early patronage we may trace the events which we 
find in the history of the Caracci at different periods : Annibal 
engaged to paint the Farnese Gallery at Rome; Agostino 
called to Parma, in quality of its court-painter, an office in 
which he died; and Lodovico sent to Piacenza, along with 
Camillo Procaccini, in order to decorate the cathedral of that 
city. Hence also arose the principles of a new style at 
Parma, or rather of several new styles, which during the 
seventeenth century continued to spread both there and 
throughout the state, and which were first introduced by the 
artists of Bologna. 

Their scholars, besides Bertoia, were Giambatista Tinti, 
pupil to Sammachini, Giovanni Lanfranco, and Sisto Bada- 
locchi, who, having been acquainted with the younger Caracci, 
at Parma, became first attached to the school of Lodovico, in 
Bologna, and afterwards followed Annibal to Rome, where 
they continued to reside with him. These, although they were 
educated by the Bolognese, resemble certain characters who, 
though they may abandon their native soil, are never able to 
divest themselves of its memory or its language. In respect 
to Lanfranco, it is agreed by all, that no artist better imitated 
the grandeur of Correggio in works upon a large scale ; although 
he is neither equal to him in colouring, nor at all approaches 
him in high finish, nor is destitute of an air of originality pecu- 
liar to the head of a school. At Parma, he produced a picture 
representing all the saints in the church that bears their name ; 
and in Piacenza, besides his saints Alessio and Corrado at the 
cathedral, works highly commended by Bellori, he painted an 
altar-piece of St. Luke, at the Madonna di Piazza, as well as 
a cupola, so avowedly imitated from that of S. Giovanni at 
Parma, that it can scarcely escape the charge of servility. 
Sisto Badalocchi,t no way inferior to Lanfranco in point of 
facility, and other endowments of the art, approached very 
nearly to his style. It was even doubted in Parma, whether 

* Bellori, in his Life of Annibal, pp. 34, 35. See also Malvasia, torn. 
i. pp. 334, 404, 405, 442. And Orlandi under the head " Gio. Batt. 
Trotti." 

f By Malvasia, torn. i. p. 517, he is called " Sisto Rosa." 



GIAMBATISTA TINTI. 413 

tlie picture of S. Quintino, in the church of that name, was 
the production of Lanfranco or his. Of the rest who nourished 
for the most part among the disciples of the Caracci, beyond 
the Jimits of their own state, we shall treat more opportunely 
under the Bolognese school. 

Giambatista Tinti acquired the art of design and of colour- 
ing from Sammachini at Bologna ; he studied Tibaldi with 
great assiduity, and painted upon his model at S. Maria della 
Scala, not without marks of plagiarism.* Having subse- 
quently established himself at Parma, he selected for his chief 
model the works of Correggio, and next proceeded to the study 
of Parmigianino. The city retains many of his productions, 
both in private and in public, among which that of the 
Assumption in the cathedral, abounding with figures, and the 
Catino, at the old Capuchin Nuns, are accounted some of the 
last grand works belonging to the old school of Parma. 

From the time these artists ceased to flourish, the art invari- 
ably declined. Towards the middle of the seventeenth cen- 
tury we find mention, in the Guide of Parma, of Fortunato 
Gatti and Gio. Maria Conti, both Parmese, who were shortly 
followed, if I mistake not, by Giulio Orlandini. They are 
better qualified to shew the succession of Parmese artists than 
of great painters. The name of one Girolamo da' Leoni, of 
Piacenza, is also recorded, who was employed along with 
Cui do, a Milaiese, about the time of the Campi. At Pia- 
cenza likewise, after the middle of the century, appeared one 
Bartolommeo Baderna, pupil to the Cavalier Ferrante, whose 
works display more diligence than genius ; whence Frances- 
chmi took occasion to say, that he had knocked loudly at the 
doer of the great painters without being able to gain admis- 
sion. In the mean while the court continued to promote the 
study of the fine arts throughout the state. It even sent a 
young man of talent, named Mauro Oddi, under the direction 
of Berettini, with a salary to Rome. He fulfilled the expec- 
tations of his patrons by his productions at the villa of Colorno, 
and he adorned some churches with specimens of his al tar- 
pie oes ; but still he aimed more at the fame of an architect 
than of a painter. At the same time there was employed at 

* Malvasia, torn. i. p. 212. 



414 SCHOOL OP PARMA. EPOCH III. 

ceurt an artist named Francesco Monti, who painted likewise 
for churches and private collections. He was mentioned in 
the Venetian school, and exercised a more marked influence 
over the art at Parma, presenting it in Ilario Spolverini with 
a disciple of merit. Ilario, no less than his master, acquired 
reputation from his battle-pieces ; and whether owing to exag- 
geration or to truth, it was commonly said that the soldiers of 
Monti threatened, and that those of Spolverini seemed to kill. 
He threw no less fierceness and terror into some of his assassin 
scenes, which are esteemed equal to his battles. He painted 
chiefly for the Duke Francesco, though there are some of his 
works on a larger scale, in oil and in fresco, placed in the 
cathedral, at the Certosa, and other places throughout the city 
and the state. 

Spolverini instructed in the art Francesco Simonini, a dis- 
tinguished battle-painter of that period. Orlandi says he was 
a scholar of Monti, and educated at Florence upon the model 
of Borgognone. He long resided at Venice, where, in the 
Sala Cappello, and in different collections, he left pictures 
which abound in figures, ornamented with fine architecture, 
and varied with every kind of skirmish and military exploits. 
Ilario instructed several young Parmese in the art, among 
whom, perhaps, were Antonio Fratacci, Clemente Ruta, and 
more indisputably the Ab. Giuseppe Peroni. The first under 
Cignani became a better copyist of his master than a painter, 
being called pittor pratico, a mechanical hand, by Bianconi in 
his Guide to Milan, where, as well as in Bologna, a few of his 
pictures are to be seen. At Parma he was not employed in 
public, as far as I can learn, but for collections, in which he 
holds a pretty high rank. Ruta was likewise educated in the 
academy of Cignani at Bologna. Returning to his native 
state, whose paintings he has described, he there entered into 
the service of the Infant Charles of Bourbon, as long as he 
remained at Parma, after which he accompanied his patron to 
Naples. Subsequently returning to Parma, he continued to 
employ himself with credit, until, near the period of his 
decease, he lost the use of his eyes. 

The Ab. Peroni, in the first instance, repaired to Bologna, 
where he received the instructions of Torelli, of Creti, and of 
Ercole Lelli. He next visited Rome, where he became pupil 



AB. PERONI. 415 

to Masucci; though it is probable that he was struck with 
the colouring of Conca and Giacquinto, who were then much 
in vogue, as his tints partake more or less of their verds, and 
other false use of colouring. For the rest, he could design well, 
and in elegant subjects partakes much of Maratta, as we per- 
ceive from his S. Philip in S. Satiro at Milan, and from the 
Conception, in possession of the Padri dell' Oratorio, at Turin. 
In P:irma his productions are to be seen at S. Antonio Abbate, 
wher3 his frescos appear to advantage, and there is an altar- 
piece of Christ Crucified, placed in competition with Battoni 
and Cignaroli, and here more than elsewhere he is entitled to 
rank among the good painters of this last age. He adorned 
his native place and its academy with his pictures, and died 
there at an advanced age. The career of Pietro Ferrari was 
much shorter, although he had time to produce several fine 
pictures for the public, besides that of his B. da Corleone in 
the church of the Capuchins, as well as more for private col- 
lections. He imitated the ancient manner of his school, no 
less than more recent styles.* 

In Piacenza there flourished Pier Antonio Avanzini, 
educated by Franceschini at Bologna. He is said to have 
been wanting in imagination, which led him, for the most part, 
to copy from his master's designs. Gio. Batista Tagliasacchi, 
from Borgo S. Donnino, sprung from the school of Giuseppe 
del ole, and displayed a fine genius for elegant subjects, 
which induced him to study Correggio, Parmigianino, and 
Guido. He was particularly ambitious of adding RafFaello to 
the list, but his parents would not permit him to visit Rome. 
He resided and employed himself chiefly at Piacenza, where 

* I wish here to offer a brief tribute to the merit of his deceased master 
(he di< d two years since), who, though a native of Pavia, resided a long 
period at Parma. He studied in Florence under Meucci, next at Paris, 
where jne of his pictures was greatly applauded, and the artist elected to 
a plac< in that distinguished academy of art. On his return he became 
first p< inter to the court at Parma, and produced works no less than pupils 
calculated to reflect credit on his country. His Prometheus freed by Her- 
cules, placed at the academy, his large portrait-piece of the family of 
Philip, duke of Parma, which is pointed out in the Guardarobas as his best 
specirn-m , fully justify the reputation he enjoyed while living, and which 
continues beyond the tomb. The name of this artist was Giuseppe Bal- 
drighi, and he died at Parma, aged eighty years. 



416 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH III. 

there is a Holy Family much admired in the cathedra^ 
which, in its ideal cast of features, partakes of the Roman style, 
and is not inferior to the Lombards in point of colouring. 
He was an artist, if I mistake not, of far greater merit than 
fortune. 

Finally, the state was never in want of excellent masters in 
minor branches of the art. Fabrizio Parmigiano is commended 
by Baglioni amongst the landscape painters of his age. He 
was assisted by his wife Ippolita in drawing for Italian col- 
lections, and he visited a variety of places previous to his 
arrival at Rome, where he also adorned a few of the churches 
with his wood scenes, and views, with hermits, &c. and died 
there at an early age. His style was, perhaps, more ideal 
than true, as it prevailed before the time of the Caracci ; but 
it was spirited and diligent. There is known also one Gialdisi r 
of Parma, whom, from his residence in Cremona, Zaist 
enumerates among the professors of that school as a celebrated 
painter of flowers. He frequently represented them upon 
small tables covered with tapestry, and he added also musical 
instruments, books, and playing-cards, the whole depicted 
with an air of truth and a fine colouring, that obtained for him 
from such inconsiderable objects a large portion of fame. 
I must also record Felice Boselli of Piacenza, who became, 
under the direction of the Nuvoloni, a tolerable artist in 
figures, though he succeeded best in copying ancient pictures, 
even so as to deceive the eye of experienced judges by the 
exactness of his imitations. Following the bent of his genius, 
lie began to draw animals, sometimes with their skins, and at 
others as they are exposed to view in the shambles ; besides- 
collections of birds and fishes, arranging them in order, and all 
coloured from the life. The palaces in Piacenza abound with 
them, Boselli having survived beyond his eightieth year, and 
despatching them with facility and mechanically, whence all 
his productions are not equally entitled to esteem. Gianpaolo 
Pannini belonged to the Roman school, in which he both 
learned and taught, and in treating of which I rendered him 
that justice which the public admiration of his perspective 
views, and of his peculiar grace in small figures, seemed to 
require. Many fine specimens were sent from Rome to his* 
native country, and among these the Signori della Missione 



OBSERVATIONS. 417 

possess a very rare picture, inasmuch as the figures are on a 
large] 1 scale than those which he in general drew. It represents 
the Money Changers driven out of the Temple by our Lord ; 
the architecture is truly magnificent, and the figures are full 
of spirit and variety. The governor, Count Carasi, the able 
illustrator of the public paintings in Piacenza, declared that 
he was the only artist then deceased, of whom the city could 
justly boast. Such deficiency ought not to be ascribed to its 
cliuia~e, abounding as it does with genius, but to the want of 
a lociil school, a want, however, which was converted into a 
source of great utility to the city. If we examine the cata- 
logue of painters who flourished there, with which the Count 
Carasi closes his work, we shall find that, with the exception 
of tho capitals, no other city of Italy was so rich in excellent 
painters belonging to every school. Had it possessed masters, 
they v, T ould have produced for every excellent disciple, at least 
twenty of only middling talent, whose works would have filled 
its palaces and churches, as it has happened to so many other 
secondary cities. 

Like one university for letters, one academy for the fine 
arts is usually found sufficient for a single state ; and in par- 
ticular, where it is established, supported, and encouraged in 
the manner of that at Parma. It owed its origin to Don 
Philip of Bourbon, in 1757, the tenth year of his government ; 
and his son, who at this time bears sway, continues to promote 
the interests of the institution.* Nothing can be better calcu- 
lated to revive among us the noble genius of the art of paint- 
ing, than the method there adopted in the distribution of 
premi ims. The subject of the painting being proposed, the 
young artists invited to the competition are not confined to 
those of the state ; and consequently the industry of the most 
able and best matured students is laid under contribution, in 
every place, for the service of Parma. The method of holding 
the assembly, the skill and integrity of the umpires, and the 
whole form of the decision, excludes every doubt or suspicion 
respecting the superiority of the piece adjudged. The artist 
is largely remunerated ; but his highest ambition is gratified 

* The professors who reflect credit upon it are enumerated by P. Affo 
in the works cited in this chapter. 

VOL. II. 2 E 



418 SCHOOL OF PARMA. EPOCH III. 

in having been pronounced the first among so many competi- 
tors, and before such an assemblage. This is of itself always 
sufficient to raise the successful candidate above the common 
standard, and often leads to fortune. The prize painting 
assumes its perpetual station in one of the academic halls, 
along with the favourite pieces of previous years, forming a 
series which already excites a warm interest among the lovers 
of the fine arts. Since the period when the Cortona man- 
ner began to lose ground in Italy, a manner that, under 
such a variety of names and sects, had usurped so wide 
a sway, the art in our own times has approached a sort 
of crisis, which as yet forms an essay of new styles, rather 
than any prevailing one characteristic of this new era. It is 
in such a collection, better than in any book, that we may study 
the state of our existing schools ; what maxims are now 
enforced ; what kind of imitation, and with how much freedom, 
is allowed ; from what source we are to look for a chance of 
recovering the ancient art of colouring ; what profit painting 
has derived from the copies of the best pictures published in 
engravings, and from the precepts of the masters communicated 
through the medium of prints. I am aware that a variety of 
opinion is entertained on this head, nor would my own, were 
I to interpose it, give weight to any of the conflicting argu- 
ments in this matter. But I am happy to say, that finding at 
length appeals made to reason, which were formerly referred to 
practice, I feel inclined rather to indulge hopes than doubt or 
diffidence in regard to the future. 



410 



CHAPTER IY. 
SCHOOL OF CREMONA. 

EPOCH I. 

The Ancients. 

I HAV3 never perused the history of Bernardino, and the rest 
of the pictoric family of the Campi, written some time since 
by Baldinucci, and more recently by Gianibatista Zaist, with- 
out thinking that I see in the school which these artists 
established at Cremona, a sketch of that which was sub- 
sequently formed by the Caracci in Bologna. In both these 
cities :i, single family projected the formation of a new style of 
painting, which should partake of all the Italian schools, 
without committing plagiarism against any; and from each 
family in its respective city sprang a numerous series of 
excellent masters, who, partly by themselves, and partly by 
means of their disciples, adorned their country with their 
works, the art by their example, and history itself with their 
names. Why the Cremonese school did not keep pace with 
that of Bologna in reputation, nor continue so long as the 
Caraccis, and why the latter completed in a manner what the 
other only essayed, was occasioned by a variety of causes- 
which I shall gradually explain in the course of the present 
chapter. In the outset, agreeably to my usual plan, I mean 
to investigate the origin and principles of this school ; nor 
shall v r e need to go farther back than the foundation of the 
magnilicent cathedral in 1107, which as speedily as possible 
was decorated with all that sculpture and painting could afford. 
Its specimens of both are such as to gratify the eye of the an- 
tiquary, who may wish to trace through what channels, and 
by what degrees, the arts first began to revive in Italy. The 
sculpture there does not indeed present us with any works that 
2 E 2 



420 SCHOOL OF CREMONA. EPOCH I. 

may not likewise be found in Verona, in Crema, and other 
places ; whereas the paintings remaining in the ceilings of the 
two lateral naves may be considered uniques, and deserve the 
trouble of examining them more nearly, on account of the 
smallness of the figures and the want of light. They consist 
of sacred histories ; the design is extremely dry, the colours 
are strong, and their drapery wholly novel, except that some 
of them still continue to be seen in the modern masks and 
theatres of Italy. Some specimens of architecture are intro- 
duced, presenting only right lines, like what we see in our 
oldest wood engravings, and explanations are also inserted, 
indicating the principal figures, in the manner of the more 
ancient mosaic -workers, when the eye, yet unaccustomed to 
behold pictoric histories, required some such illustration of the 
subject. Yet we can gather no traces of the Greek mosaics ; 
the whole is Italian, national, and new. The characters leave 
us in doubt whether we ought to ascribe them to the age of 
Giotto, or to that preceding him, but the figures attest that 
their author was indebted neither to Giotto nor his master for 
what he knew. I can learn nothing of his name from the 
ancient historians of the school, neither from Antonio Campi, 
Pietro Lamo, nor Gio. Batista Zaist, whom I have already 
cited, and who compiled two volumes of memoirs of the old 
artists of Cremona, edited by Panni in the year 1774. 

I may, however, safely assert that there were painters who 
flourished in the Cremonese as early as 1213 ; for on occasion 
of the city obtaining a victory over the people of Milan, the 
event was commemorated in a picture, in the palace of Lan- 
franco Oldovino, one of the leaders of the Cremonese army, 
and for this we have the testimony of Flameno in his History 
of Castelleone.* There is also recorded by the Ab. Sarnelli, 
in his " Foreigner's Guide to Naples," as well as by the Can. 
Celano, in the " Notices of the Beauties of Naples," a M. Si- 
mone of Cremona, who, about 1335, painted in S. Chiara, and 
is the same mentioned by Surgente, author of the " Naples 
Illustrated," as Simon da Siena, and by Dominici as Simone 
Napolitano. In a former volume I adhered to the opinion of 
Dominici, inasmuch as he cites Criscuolo and his archives ; 

* See Zaist, p. 12. 



THE ANCIENTS. 421 

but let the authority rest with them. Other names might he 
added, which Zaist has in part collected from MSS., and in 
part from published documents, such as Polidoro Casella, who 
flourished about 1345, Angelo Bellavita in 1420, Jacopino 
Marasca, mentioned in 1430, Luca Sclavo. named by Flameno, 
subsequent to 1450, among excellent painters, and among the 
friends of Francesco Sforza, besides Gaspare Bonino, who 
became celebrated about the year 1460. Hence it may be 
perceived that this school was not destitute of a series of artists, 
during a long period, although no specimens of their art sur- 
vive to confirm it. 

The earliest that is to be met with, bearing a name and cer- 
tain date, is a picture which belonged to Zaist, representing 
Julian (afterwards the saint) killing his father and mother, 
whom he mistakes for his wife and her paramour. Below the 
couch on which they are found, are inscribed the two follow- 
ing verses : 

Hoc quod Mantenese didicit sub dogmate clari, 
Antonii Cornse dextera pinxit opus. MCCCCLXXVIII. 

Tho name of Antonio della Corna is handed down to us by 
history, and from this monument he is discovered to have 
been a pupil of Mantegna, and a follower of the first rather 
than the second style of his master. But he does not appear 
to have flourished a sufficient time, or he was not in repute 
enough to have a place among the painters of the cathedral, 
in tin; fourteenth century, who left there a monument of the 
.art that may vie with the Sistine chapel ; and if I mistake 
not tie figures of those ancient Florentines are more correct, 
those of the cathedral more animated. There is a frieze sur- 
rounding the arches of the church, divided into several squares, 
each of which contains a scriptural history painted in fresco. 
Upon this work a number of Cremonese artists, alJ of high 
repute, were successively employed. 

Tlio first in this list, subscribed in one of these compart- 
ments, Bembus incipiens, and in the other compartment 14 
.... under his paintings of the Epiphany and the Purifica- 
tion. The remaining figures after the above, have long been 
concealed by a side wing of the organ. But the sense is very 
clear, the name and the date of the centuries appearing toge- 



422 SCHOOL OF CREMONA. EPOCH I. 

tlier ; nor are we at a loss to perceive that the artist, in an 
undertaking to be conducted by many, and during many years, 
was desirous of commemorating his name, as the first who 
commenced it, and in what year. Some, nevertheless, have 
wished to infer, by detaching the words Bembus incipiens 
from the rest, that the artist meant to inform us he was then 
first entering upon his profession ; as if the people of Cremona, 
in the decoration of their finest temple, which was long con- 
ducted by the most celebrated painters, would have selected a, 
novice to begin. It is, however, a question whether the 
inscription refers to Bonifazio Bembo, or to Gianfrancesco his 
younger brother ; but apparently we ought to give it, with 
Vasari, to the former, a distinguished artist who was employed 
by the court of Milan as early as 1461, while Gio. Francesco 
flourished later, as we shall shortly have occasion to shew. 
In the two histories with which Bembo commenced his labours, 
as well as in those that follow, he shews himself an able artist, 
spirited in his attitudes, glowing in his colours, magnificent in 
his draperies, although still confined within the sphere of the 
naturalists, and copying from the truth without displaying 
much selection, if he does not occasionally transgress it by 
want of correctness. Both our dictionaries of artists and Bot- 
tari have confounded this Bonifazio with a Venetian of the 
same name, whom we have mentioned in his place. 

Opposite to those of Bembo is a painting, a history of the 
Passion, representing our Redeemer before his judges, painted 
by Cristoforo Moretti,* the same, according to Lomazzo, who 
was employed with Bembo in the court of Milan, and also 
painted at the church of S. Aquilino. One of his Madonnas 
is still to be seen there, seated amid different saints, and upon 
her mantle I was enabled to decipher, Ghristophorus de Moretis 
de Cremona* in characters interweaved in the manner of gold 
lace. Cremonese writers call him the son of Galeazzo Rivello, 
and father and grandfather to several other RivelJi, all artists, 
Moretti being only an assumed appellation. From the inscrip- 
tion I have adduced, there appears some difficulty in the way 
of such a tradition, since de Moretis is an expression importing 
a family name, not an acquired one. Whatever may be 

* See Lomazzo, Treatise on Painting, p. 405. 



MELONE AND BOCCACCINO. 423 

thought on this head, it is certain that he was one of the re- 
formers of the art inLombardy,and particularly in the branches 
of perspective and design ; and in this history of the Passion, 
in which he excluded all kind of gilding, he is seen to approach 
the moderns. 

Somewhat later, and not before 1497, Altobello Meloneand 
Boccaccio Boccaccino, two Cremonese artists, were employed 
in completing the frieze of the cathedral. The former, ac- 
cord ing to Yasari, painted several histories of the Passion, 
truly beautiful and deserving of commendation. But he was 
the least consistent in point of style, introducing, as it has 
been observed, figures of small and large proportions in the 
same piece, and also least excellent in his frescos, colouring 
then: in a manner that now gives them the look of tapestry. 
But he excelled in his oil paintings, as we gather from his 
altar-piece of Christ descending into Limbo, which is pre- 
served in the sacristy of the Sacramento, a piece for which 
the canons refused to receive a large sum that was offered for 
it. The figures are very numerous, of somewhat long propor- 
tions, but coloured with equal softness and strength. His 
knowledge of the naked figure is beyond that of his age, com- 
bined with a grace of features and of attitudes that conveys 
the idea of a great master. In the Notizia of Morelli, his pic- 
ture of Lucretia, painted for private ornament, is mentioned. 
It is executed in the Flemish style, and he is said to have 
beec the pupil of Armanino, perhaps an artist of that nation. 

Boccaccio Boccaccino bears the same character among the 
Cremonese as Grillandaio, Mantegna, Yannucci, and Francia, 
in T.heir respective schools, the best modern among the 
ancients, and the best of the ancients in the list of the 
moderns. He had the honour of instructing Garofolo during 
two years previous to his visiting Rome in 1500. In the 
frieze of the cathedral, Boccaccino painted the Birth of 
the Yirgin, along with other histories, relating to her and 
the Divine Infant. The style is in part original, and 
in j>art approaches that of Pietro Perugino, whose pupil 
Pascoli says he was. But he is less regular in his com- 
position, less beautiful in the air of his heads, and less 
powerful in his chiaroscuro, though richer in his drapery, with 
more variety of colours, more spirit in his attitudes, and 



424 SCHOOL OF CREMONA. EPOCH I. 

scarcely less harmonious or less pleasing in his architecture and 
landscape. He is, perhaps, least attractive in some of his 
figures, which are somewhat coarse, owing to their having a 
fulness of drapery, and not being sufficiently slender, a defect 
carefully avoided by the ancient statuaries, as I have formerly 
observed.* It is remarked by Vasari that he visited Rome, in 
which I agree with him, both because it is in some degree 
alluded to by Antonio Campi, and because there are evident 
traces of his imitation of Pietro, as in his Marriage of the 
Virgin Mary, and in a very magnificent temple, that appears 
erected upon lofty steps, a subject repeated by Pietro several 
times. It has been also noticed that his Madonna at S. Vin- 
cenzo, with the titular saint and S. Antonio, seems like the 
work of Vannucci, and he certainly approaches very near him 
in other figures. I can easily believe, therefore, that Boccac- 
cini was 'at Rome ; but I also believe that what is written of 
him by Vasari and by Baldinucci, if not fictitious, is at least 
wide of the mark. 

Let us briefly examine this matter. It is said that he there 
attempted to depreciate the works of Michelangelo, and that 
after exhibiting his own productions at the Traspontina, which 
met with ridicule from the Roman professors, in order to 
escape from the hisses they excited on all sides, he was com- 
pelled to return to his native place. This story, added to 
others of a like nature, irritated the Lombard artists. Hence 
Scanelli in his Microcosm, Lamo in his Discourse on Painting, 
and Campi in his History, renewed the complaints of the 
other schools against Vasari. These are recorded by Zaist 
(p. 72) with the addition of his own refutation of this account. 
The refutation rests upon the epochs which Vasari himself 
points out, and which of themselves, say his opponents, afford 
a decided negative to the story of Boccaccino's journey to 
Rome in time to have cast reflections upon the paintings of 
Michelangelo. It is the custom of less accurate historians, when 
they give the substance of a fact, to add to it circumstances 
of time, of place, or of a manner, that had really no existence. 
Ancient history is full of such examples, and the severest criti- 
cism does not presume to discredit facts on the strength of some 

* Chapter iii. 



BERNARDINO RICCA. 425 

interpolated circumstance, provided there be others sufficiently 
strorg to sanction them. In this instance, the historian, and 
a gnat friend of Michelangelo, narrates an affair relating to 
that friend, and which is supposed to have taken place at 
Rome, only a short period before the author wrote. We can 
hardly then believe it to have been a mere idle report without 
any foundation in truth. I would reject indeed some of its acces- 
saries, and in particular condemn those unwarranted reflec- 
tions in which Vasari indulges, at the expense of one of the 
most distinguished artists who at that time flourished in Lorn- 
bardy. 

Next to the four historical paintings just mentioned, follow 
those conducted by Romanino di Brescia and by Pordenone, 
two master spirits of their age, who left examples of the Ve- 
netian taste at the cathedral, which were not neglected by the 
Cremonese, as will be seen. We ought in justice to add, that 
their city has always shewn a laudable wish to preserve these 
.ancient productions from the effects of age, as far as in her 
power. When towards the close of the sixteenth century 
they began to exhibit marks of decay, they were instantly 
ordered to be examined and restored by a painter and archi- 
tect of some reputation, called II Sabbionetta, his real name 
being Martire Pesenti. The same degree of care and attention 
has been shewn them in the present day by the Cav. Borroni. 
Two other citizens exhibited specimens in the same place, 
of the style which is now called antico moderno. Alessandro 
Pampurini, as it is said, drew some figures of cherubs, round 
a cartellone, or scroll for inscriptions, together with a kind of 
arabesques, bearing the date of 1511 ; and in the subsequent 
year Bernardino Ricca, or Ricco, produced a similar work op- 
posiie to it, which owing to its having been executed with too 
mucli dryness, perished in a few years, and was renewed by a 
different hand. But there still exists his picture of a Pieta at 
S. I ietro del Po, with some specimens likewise by his com- 
panion, sufficient to prove that both are worthy of comme- 
moration for their time. 

Having thus described the series of artists who decorated 
the cathedral, there remain a few other names unconnected 
with that great undertaking, but which, nevertheless, enjoyed 
considerable celebrity in their day. Such are Galeazzo Campi, 



426 SCHOOL OF CREMONA. EPOCH I. 

the father of the three distinguished brothers, and Tommaso 
Aleni. This last so nearly resembled Campi in his manner, 
that their pictures can with difficulty be distinguished, as may 
be seen at S. Domenico, where they painted in competition 
with each other. It is loosely conjectured by many that they 
were the pupils of Boccaccino, an opinion which I cannot 
entertain. The disciples of the best masters in the fourteenth 
century continued to free themselves, the longer they flourished, 
from the dry manner of their early education. Galeazzo, on 
the other hand, the only one we need here mention, approaches 
less closely to the modern style than his supposed master, as 
we perceive in the suburban church of S. Sebastiano, where 
he painted the tutelar saint and S. Rocco, standing near the 
throne of the Virgin with the Infant Christ. The picture 
bears the date of 1518, when he was already a finished 
master, and nevertheless he there appears only a weak fol- 
lower of the Perugino manner. His colours are good and 
natural, but he is feeble in chiaroscuro, dry in design, cold in 
his expression ; his countenances have not a beam of meaning, 
while that of the holy infant seems as if copied from a child 
suffering under an obliquity of the eyes, those of the figure are 
so badly drawn. The observation, therefore, of Baldinucci, 
or of his continuator, that he " had rendered himself celebrated 
even beyond Italy," would seem in want of confirmation ; nor 
do I know whence such confirmation can be derived. Cer- 
tainly not from the ancients, for even his own son Antonio 
Campi only remarks of Galeazzo, that he was " a tolerable 
painter for his age." 

Nor did some others of Galeazzo's contemporaries rise 
much above mediocrity. To this class belonged Antonio 
Cigognini and Francesco Casella, a few of whose productions 
remain in their native place ; Galeazzo Pesenti, called II Sab- 
bioneta, a painter and sculptor ; Lattanzio of Cremona, who 
having painted at the school of the Milanese in Yenice, has 
been recorded by Boschini in his " Minere della Pittura," 
besides Niccolo da Cremona, who was employed, according to 
Orlandi, in 1518 at Bologna. There are two, however, who 
merit a larger share of consideration, having produced works 
of a superior character which still exist, and belong in some 
degree to the golden period of the art. The name of the first 



ZTJPELLI AND BEMBO. 427 

is Gio. Batista Zupelli, of whom the Eremitani possess a fine 
landscape with a Holy Family. His taste, although dry, is 
apt to surprise the eye by its originality, and attracts us by a 
natural and peculiar grace, with which all his figures are de- 
sigtedand animated, as well as by a certain softness and fulness 
of colouring. If Soiaro had not acquired the principles of his 
art from Correggio, we might suppose that this Zupelli had 
instructed him in regard to the strong body of his colouring, 
which is remarkable both in him and in his school. The 
second is Gianfrancesco Bembo, the brother and disciple of 
Bonifazio, highly commended by Vasari, if, indeed, he be, as 
is supposed, the same Gianfrancesco, called II Vetraro, who is 
recorded by the historian in his Life of Polidoro da Caravaggio. 
It appears certain that he must have visited Lower Italy, from 
the style which he displays in one of his altar-pieces, repre- 
senting saints Cosma and Damiano, at the Osservanti, to which 
his name, with the date of 1524, is affixed. I have not observed 
an}- thing in a similar taste, either in Cremona or in its vici- 
nity. It retains very slight traces of the antique, much as 
may be observed in those of F. Bartolommeo della Porta, 
whom he greatly resembled in point of colouring, however 
inferior in the dignity of his figures and his draperies. A few 
more of his specimens are met with in public places and the 
houses of noblemen, which exhibit him as one of those 
painters who added dignity to the style of painting in Lom- 
bai dy, and improved upon the ancient manner. 



428 



SCHOOL OP CREMONA. 

EPOCH II. 



Camillo Boccaccino, II Soiaro, the Campi. 

AFTER the time of Vetraro, nothing occurs worthy of putting 

on record until we reach the moderns ; and here we ought to 

commence with the three distinguished artists, who, according 

to Lamo, were employed in Cremona in the year 3522. 

These were Camillo Boccaccino, son of Boccaccio, Soiaro, 

recorded in the preceding chapter, and Giulio Campi, who 

subsequently became the head of a numerous school. Other 

Cremonese artists, it is true, flourished about the same period, 

such as the two Scutellari, Francesco and Andrea, who have 

been referred by some writers to the state of Mantua ; but as 

few of their works remain, and those of no great merit, we 

shall proceed at once to the great masters of the school whom 

we have mentioned above. The grand undertaking of the 

cathedral proved useful likewise in the advancement of these 

artists, and in particular the church of S. Sigismondo, already 

erected by Francesco Sforza at a little distance from the city, 

where these artists and their descendants, painting as it were 

in competition, rendered it a noble school for the fine arts. 

We may there study a sort of series of these artists, their 

various merit, their prevailing tastes in the Correggio manner, 

their different style of adapting it, and their peculiar skill in 

fresco compositions. With these they not only decorated 

temples, but by applying them to the fa9ades of palaces and 

private houses, they gave an appearance of splendour to the 

state, which excited the admiration of strangers. They were 

surprised, on first entering Cremona, to behold a city arrayed 

as if for a jubilee, full of life, and rich in all the pride of art. 

Strange then that Franzese, who wrote the lives of the best 



CAMILLO BOCCACCINO. 42D 

paint ?rs (in four volumes), should have compiled nothing 
relating to the Cremonese, far more deserving of comme- 
moration than many others in his collection whom he has 
greatly praised. 

Camillo Boccaccino was the leading genius of the school. 
Grounded in the ancient maxims of his father, though his 
career was short, he succeeded in forming a style at once strong 
and beautiful, insomuch that we are at a loss to say which is 
the prevailing feature of his character. Lomazzo pronounces 
him tc very able in design, and a noble colourist," placing him, 
as a model for the graceful power of his lights, for the sweet- 
ness of his manner, and for his art of drapery, on a level with 
da Vinci, Correggio, Gaudenzio, and the first painters in the 
world. According to the opinion of Yasari, against whom the 
Cren onese have so bitterly inveighed, Camillo was " a good 
mechanical hand, and if he had flourished for a longer period 
woull have had extraordinary success, but he produced few 
works except such as are small, and of little importance." In 
respect to his paintings at S. Sigismondo, he adds, not that they 
are, but are only " believed by the Cremonese to be, the best 
specimens of the art they have to boast." They are still to 
be seen in the cupola, in the grand recess, and on the sides of 
the great altar. The most distinguished pieces are the four 
Evangelists in a sitting posture, excepting the figure of S. John, 
who, standing up in a bending attitude with an expression of 
surprise, forms a curved outline opposed to the arch of the ceil- 
ing, ;i figure greatly celebrated, no less on account of the pej- 
spective than the design. It is truly surprising how a young 
artist, who had never frequented the school of Correggio> 
could so well emulate his taste, and carry it even farther 
within so short a period ; this work, displaying such a know- 
ledge of perspective and foreshortening, having been executed 
as early as the year 1537. 

The two side pictures are also highly celebrated, both in 
Cren ona and abroad. One of these represents the Raising of 
Lazarus, the other the Woman taken in Adultery, both sur- 
rounded with very elegant ornaments, representing groups of 
cherubs, which are seen in the act of playing with the mitre, 
the censer, and other holy vessels in their hands. In these 
histories, as well as in their decorations, the whole of the 



430 SCHOOL OF CREMONA. EPOCH II. 

figures are arranged and turned in such a way, as scarcely to 
leave a single eye in the figures visible, a novelty in respect 
to drawing by no means to be recommended. But Camillo 
was desirous of thus proving to his rivals that his figures were 
not, as they asserted, indebted for their merit to the animated 
expression of the eyes, but to the whole composition. And 
truly in whatever way disposed, they do not fail to please 
from the excellence of the design, their fine and varied atti- 
tudes, the foreshortening, the natural colouring, and a strength 
of chiaroscuro which must have been drawn from Pordenone, 
and which makes the surrounding paintings of the Campi 
appear deficient in relief. Had he exhibited a