Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/919

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with a large circle of the chief artists of Florence, and probably learned from him much that was afterwards useful in his practice as an architect.

The transition in Raphael's style from his first or Perugian to his second or Florentine manner is well shown in the large picture of the Coronation of the Virgin painted for Maddalena degli Oddi, now in the Vatican, one of the most beautiful that he ever produced, and especially remarkable for its strong religious sentiment - in this respect a great contrast to the paintings of his last or Roman manner which hang near it. The exquisite grace of the angel musicians and the beauty of the faces show signs of his short visit to Florence, while the general formality of the composition and certain details, such as the fluttering ribands of the angels, recall peculiarities of Perugino and of Pinturicchio, with whose fine picture of the same subject hung close by it is interesting to compare it. Raphael's painting, though by far the more beautiful of the two, is yet inferior to that of Pinturicchio in the composition of the whole; an awkward horizontal line divides the upper group of the Coronation from that below, the apostles standing round the Virgin's tomb, filled with roses and lilies (Dante, Par. xxiii. 73), while the older Perugian has skilfully united the two groups by a less formal arrangement of the figures. The predella of this masterpiece of Raphael is also in the Vatican; some of its small paintings, especially that of the

Fig. 1.—Silver-point study for the main figures in the Coronation of the Virgin (Vatican). In the Lille museum. Illustrating Raphael’s use of draped models during his early period.

Annunciation to the Virgin, are interesting as showing his careful study of the rules of perspective.[1] Several preparatory sketches for this picture exist: fig. 1 shows a study, now at Lille, for the two principal figures, Christ setting the crown on His mother's head (see fig. 2). It is drawn from two youths in the ordinary dress of the time; and it is interesting to compare it with his later studies from the nude, many of which are for figures which in the future picture were to be draped. It was at Florence, as Vasari says, that Raphael began serious life studies, not only from nude models but also by making careful anatomical drawings from dissected corpses and from skeletons.

His first visit to Florence lasted only a few months; in 1505 he was again in Perugia painting his first fresco, the Trinity and Saints for the Camaldoli monks of San Severo, now a mere wreck from injury and restorations. The date MDV and the signature were added later, probably in 1521. Part of this work was left incomplete by the painter, and the fresco was finished in 1521 (after his death) by his old master Perugino.[2] It was probably earlier than this that Raphael visited Siena and assisted Pinturicchio with sketches for his Piccolomini frescoes.[3] The Madonna of S. Antonio was also finished in 1505, but was probably begun before the Florentine visit.[4] A record of his visit to Siena exists in a sketch of the antique marble group of the Three Graces, then in the cathedral library,

Fig. 2. - The group for which fig. 1 is a study.

from which, not long afterwards, he painted the small panel of the same subject now in Lord Dudley's collection.

In 1506 Raphael was again in Urbino, where he painted for the duke another picture of St George, which was sent to England as a present to Henry VII. The bearer of this and other gifts was Guidobaldo's ambassador, the accomplished Baldassare Castiglione, a friend of Raphael, whose noble portrait of him is in the Louvre. At the court of Duke Guidobaldo the painter's ideas appear to have been led into a more secular direction, and to this stay in Urbino probably belong the Dudley Graces, the miniature “Knight's Dream of Duty and Pleasure” in the National Gallery (London),[5] and also the “Apollo and Marsyas,” sold in 1882 by Morris Moore to the Louvre for £10,000, a most lovely little panel, painted with almost Flemish minuteness, rich in colour, and graceful in arrangement.[6]

Towards the end of 1506 Raphael returned to Florence, and there (before 1508) produced a large number of his finest works, carefully finished, and for the most part wholly the work of his own hand. Several of these are signed and dated, but the date is frequently very doubtful, owing to his custom of using Roman numerals, introduced among the sham Arabic embroidered on the borders of dresses, so that the I.'s after the V. are not always distinguishable from the straight lines of the ornament. The following is a list of some of his chief paintings of this period: the “Madonna del Gran Duca” (Pitti); “Madonna del Giardino,” 1506 (Vienna); “Holy Family with the Lamb,” 1506 or 1507 (Madrid); the “Ansidei Madonna,” 1506 or 1507 (National Gallery); the Borghese “Entombment,” 1507; Lord Cowper's “Madonna” at Panshanger, 1508; “La bella Giardiniera,”

  1. While at Florence he is said to have taught the science of perspective to his friend Fra Bartolommeo, who certainly gave his young instructor valuable lessons on composition in return.
  2. The fresco of the Last Supper, dated 1505, in the refectory of S. Onofrio at Florence, is not now claimed as a work of Raphael's, in spite of a signature partly introduced by the restorer.
  3. Raphael probably had no hand in the actual execution of the paintings; see Schmarsow, Raphael and Pinturicchio in Siena (Stuttgart, 1880), and Milanesi, in his edition of Vasari, iii. p. 515 seq., appendix to life of Pinturicchio.
  4. This fine altar-piece, with many large figures, is now the property of the heirs of the duke of Ripalta, and is stored in the basement of the National Gallery, London.
  5. This missal-like painting is about 7 in. square; it was bought in 1847 for 1000 guineas. The National Gallery also possesses its cartoon, in brown ink, pricked for transference.
  6. In spite of some adverse opinions, frequently expressed with extreme virulence, the genuineness of this little gem can hardly be doubted by any one who carefully studies it without bias. Sketches for it at Venice and in the Uffizi also appear to bear the impress of Raphael's manner. See Delaborde, Études sur les B. Arts. en Italie, i. p. 236; Gruyer, Raphaël et l’antiquité, ii. p. 421; Eitelberger, Rafael's Apollo and Marsyas (Vienna, 1860); Batte, Le Raphael de M. Moore (Paris, 1859); and also various pamphlets on it by its former owner, Mr. Morris Moore.