Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/920

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

1508 (Louvre); the “ Eszterhazy Madonna, ” probably the same year; as well as the “ Madonna del Cardellino ” (Uffrzi), the “Tempi Madonna” (Munich), the “Colonna Madonna” (Berlin), the “ Bridgewater Madonna” (Bridgewater House), and the “ Orleans Madonna” (duc d'Aumale's collection). The “ Ansidei Madonna ” was bought in 1884 for the National Gallery from the duke of Marlborough for £70,000, more than three times the highest price ever before given for a picture. It was painted for the Ansidei family of Perugia as an altarpiece in the church of S.'Fiorenzo, and is a work of the highest beauty in colour, well preserved and very large in scale. The Virgin with veiled head is seated on a throne, supporting the Infant with one hand and holding a book in the other. Below stands S. Niccolo da Tolentino, for whose altar it was painted; he holds a book and a crozier, and is clad in jewelled mitre and green cope, under which appear the alb and cassock. On the other side is the Baptist, in red mantle and camel's-hair tunic, holding a crystal cross. The rich jewellery in this picture is painted with Flemish-like minuteness. On the border of the Virgin's robe is a date, formerly read as MDV by Passavant and others; it really is MDVI or MDVII. If the later date is the true one, the picture was probably begun a year or two before. A favourite method of grouping his Holy Families is that seen in-the “ Madonna del Cardellino ” and the “ Bella Giardiniera, ” in which the main lines form a pyramid. This arrangement is also used in the “ Madonna del Giardino ” and in the larger group, including St Joseph and St Elizabeth, known as the “ Canigiani Holy Family, ” now at Munich, one of the least graceful of all Raphael's compositions. The “Entombment of Christ, ” now in the Galleria Borghese in Rome, was painted during a visit to Perugia in 1507 for Lady Atalanta Baglioni, in memory of the death of her brave and handsome but treacherous son Grifonetto, who was killed in ISOO by his enemies the Oddi party.” The many studies and preliminary sketches” for this important picture which exist in various collections show that it cost Raphael an unusual amount of thought and labour in its composition, and yet it is quite one of his least successful paintings, especially in colour. It is, however, much injured by scraping and repainting, and appears not to be wholly by his hand. The “ Madonna del Baldacchino, ” one of the finest compositions of the Florentine period, owing much to Fra Bartolommeo, is also unsatisfactory in execution; being left unfinished by Raphael, it was completed by Ridolfo Ghirlandajo, by whom the ungraceful angels of the upper part and the canopy were wholly executed, and even designed. It was painted for the Dei family as an altar-piece for their chapel in S. Spirito, Florence. The “ St Catherine ” of the National Gallery was probably painted in 1507; its cartoon, pricked for transference, is in the Louvre. In colouring it much resembles parts of the Borghese “ Entombment, ” being quiet and grey in tone. To the Florentine period belong some of his finest portraits, and it is especially in these that da Vinci's influence appears. The portraits of Angelo Doni and his wife Maddalena (Pitti) are vivid and carefully executed paintings, and the unknown lady with hard features (now in the Uflizi) is a masterpiece of noble realism and conscientious finish. The Czartoriski portrait, a graceful effeminate-looking youth with long hair and tapering hands, now moved to Cracow, is probably a work of this period; though worthy to rank with Raphael's finest portraits, its authenticity has been doubted. Very similar in style is the Herrenhausen portrait, once attributed to Giovanni Bellini, but an undoubted work of Raphael, in his second manner; it also represents a young man with long hair, close-shaven chin, a wide cloth hat and black dress, painted in half-length. The I It is engraved at p. 53, vol. ii., of Dohme, Kunst and Kiinstler dcs .Mittelallers (Leipzig, 1878), a work which has many good reproductions of Raphael's paintings and sketches.

2 See Symonds, Sketches in Italy, the chapter on Perugia, mainly taken from the contemporary chronicle of Matarazzo. 3 These show that Raphael at first intended to paint a Deposition from the Cross, and afterwards altered his scheme into the Entombment; an excess of study and elaboration partly account for the shortcomings of this picture.

so-called Portrait of Raphael by himself at Hampton Court is a very beautiful work, glowing with light and colour, which may possibly be a genuine picture of about 1 506. It represents a pleasant-looking youth with turned-up nose, not bearing the remotest resemblance to Raphael, except the long hair and black cap common to nearly all the portraits of this time! A fine but much-restored portrait of Raphael by himself, painted at Florence, exists in the Ufhzi; it represents him at a very early age, and was probably painted during the early part of his stay in Florence.

Third or Roman Period, I§ 08-I§ 20.-'IH ISO8 Raphael was painting several important pictures in Florence; in September of that year we find him settled in Rome, from aletter addressed in the warmest terms of affectionate admiration to Francia, to whom he sent a sketch for his “ Adoration of the Shepherds, ” and promised to send his own portrait in return for that which Francia had given him.5 Raphael was invited to Rome by his fellow-citizen (not relation, as Vasari says) Bramante, who was then occupied in the erection of the new church of St Peter, the foundation-stone of which had been laid by Julius II. on the 18th of April 1506. At this time the love of the popes for art had already attracted to Rome a number of the chief artists of Tuscany, Umbria and North Italy, among whom were Michelangelo, Signorelli, Perugino, Pinturicchio, Lorenzo Lotto, Peruzzi, Sodoma, and many others, and it was among this brilliant assembly that Raphael, almost at once, took a leading position' Thanks to Bramante's friendly intervention, Julius II. (Della Rovere) soon became Raphael's most zealous patron and friend, as did also the rich bankers Agostino Chigi (the Rothschild of his time) and Bindo Altoviti, whose portrait, at the age of twenty, now at Munich, is one of the most beautiful that Raphael ever produced., , .,

A series of rooms in the Vatican, over the Appartamenti Borgia, were already decorated with frescoes by Bonfigli,

FIG. 3.—Plan showing position of Raphael's frescoes in the stanze. A. Stanza della Segnatura (1509~II); 1, Disputa; 2, School of Athens; 3, Justinian giving his code to Trebonian; 4, Gregory IX. giving decretals to a jurist; 5 (over the window), Three Virtues; 6 (over the other window), Apollo and a group of poets on Mount Parnassus; vault with medallions of Poetry, Theology, Science, and justice, and other paintings. B. Stanza d'Eliodoro (1511-14): 7, Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple; 8, Mass of Bolsena; 9, St Peter freed from prison; 10, Attila repulsed by Leo I.; vault with scenes from Old Testament, by pupils. C. Stanza dell' Incendio (1517), nearly all painted by pupils: 11, Burning of the Borgo; 12, Victory of Leo IV. over the Saracens at Ostia; 13, Coronation of Charlemagne by Leo III- in St Peter's; 14, Oath of Leo III. before Charlemagne. D. Sala di Costantino, painted by pupils (1520-24): 15 and 16, oil-paintings of Comitas and Iustitia attributed to Raphael; 17, 17, great fresco of the Defeat of Maxentius. E E. Part of Raphael's loggia, by his pupils. F. Chapel of Nicholas V., painted by Fra Angelico. G. Cortile of Bramante. Perugino, Piero della Francesca, Andrea del Castagno, Signorelli and Sodoma; but so rapidly had the taste of the time changed that Julius II. decided to sweep them all away and re-cover the 4 To judge of the authorship of a portrait from internal evidence is especially difficult, as in so many cases the strong individuality of the person represented obscures that of the painter. 5 Malvasia, Felsirw, pittrice (Bologna, 1678), was the first to publish this letter; see also Miintz, Raphael, sa wie, &'c., p. 315 (Paris, 1881). P/linghetti (Nuova Antologia, 1883) throws doubt on the date of this @U1€I'.

6 Mtintz, “ Michel-Ange et Raphael at la cour de Rome, " Gaz. des B. Arts, March and April 1882, and Les arts ri la cour des papes, vol. iii. (Paris, 1884)