Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/923

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in S. Maria della Pace, -figures of exquisite grace, arranged It is not without

reason that Vasari

gives these the

highest position

among his fresco paintings.1


tino Chigi also

employed Raphael

to build for him

a private chapel

in S. Maria del

Popolo, and to

make a series of

cartoons to be executed

in mosaic

on the inner dome.”

The central medallion

has a figure of

God among clouds

and angel boys,

such as Raphael

drew with unrivalled

grace (fig.

6), and around are the eight planets, each with its pagan deity and directing angel? He has not hampered himself by any of the usual rules which should apply to the designing of mosaic; they are simply treated as pictures, with almost deceptive effects of perspective. The execution of these brilliant mosaics was carried out by the Venetian Luigi della Pace, whose signature is introduced on the torch of Cupid in | V the panel representing the star Venus (Ludovico della Pace Veneziano fecit, 1516). These mosaics are still as perfect and brilliant as if they were the work of yesterday. Probably in the early years of Leo X.'s reign were painted the Madonna della Seggiola (Pitti), the S. Cecilia at Bologna (not completed till 1 516), the miniature Vision of Ezekiel (Pitti) and three important pictures at Madrid. The latest of these, known as Lo Spasimo, from the church at Palermo, for which it was painted, is one of Raphael's finest compositions, representing Christ bearing His Cross. It bears signs of Giulio Romano's hand in its heavy colouring with unpleasant purple tones. The Madonna called Della Perla has much changed from the darkening of the pigments; in design it recalls Leonardo da Vinci.4 The small Madonna della Rosa is the most perfect in colour of all the master's pictures in the Madrid Gallery, and is usually rather undervalued; it is a most graceful little picture. The portrait of Leo X. with Cardinals de' Rossi and de' Medici, in the Pitti, is one of his hnest portrait-pictures, especially as regards the figure of the pope? Little is known about the Madonna di S. Sisto, the glory of the Dresden Gallery; no studies or sketches for it exist. In style it much resembles the Madonna di F oligno; it is less injured by restoration than the latter. Among the latest works of Raphael are the large “ St Michael and the Devil, ” in the Louvre, signed “ Raphael Urbinas pingebat, MDXv111., ” and the very beautiful portrait of the Violinplayer, in the Sciarra-Colonna Palace in Rome, also dated 1518; this last bears much resemblance to the painter himself. The British Museum possesses one of Raphael's finest portraits, with perfect skill in an awkward space. FIG. 6.-Mosaic of God creating the stars, from the Chigi chapel, in centre of dome, designed by Raphael.


F 1516

Thanks to Michelangelo's generous intervention, Raphael was paid the large sum for that time of 900 gold ducats for this fresco. Gruner, Mosaici in S. Maria del Popolo (Rome, 1839). 3 In accordance with Dante's scheme in the Paradiso. La Perla, "the pearl" of the Spanish royal collection, was originally painted for Bishop Louis of Canossa; it was sold by Cromwell with the greater part of Charles I.'s collection at Hampton Court. The composition, though not the execution, of this picture belongs to Raphael's early years in Rome; it is very remarkable for its delicacy of touch and high finish. The magnificent portrait-heads of the Venetian scholars Navagero and Beazzano, now in the Doria Gallery in Rome, are worthy of Raphael at his best, and have for long been attributed to him. There are good contemporary copies at Madrid. though only a chalk drawing, that of his friend the painter Timoteo della Vite, a masterpiece of expression and vigour; it is executed in black and red, and is but little inferior in chromatic effect to an oil-painting; it is life size, and is executed with wonderful skill and evident keen interest in the subject.

The tapestry cartoons, seven of which are in the Victoria and Albert Museum, were painted by pupils from Raphael's designs. They are part of a set of ten, with scenes from the Acts of the Apostles, intended, when copied in tapestry, to adorn the lower part of the walls of the Sistine chapel. The tapestries themselves, worked at Brussels, are now, after many vicissitudes, hung in a gallery in the Vatican; the set is complete, thus preserving the design of the three lost cartoons. The existing seven, after being cut up into strips for use on the looms, were bought by Rubens for Charles I.” The tapestry copies are executed with wonderful skill, i.n spite of Raphael's having treated the subjects in a purely pictorial way, with little regard to the exigencies of textile work. The designs are reversed, and the colours far more brilliant than those of the cartoons, much gold and silver being introduced. The noble figure of Christ in the Delivery of the Keys to St Peter is in the tapestry much disfigured by the addition of a. number of large gold stars all over the drapery, which spoil the simple dignity of the folds. The rich framework round each picture, designed by Raphael's pupils, probably by Penni and Giovanni da Udine, exists in the tapestries and adds greatly to their decorative effect. The cartoons were executed in 1515 and 1516, and the hnished tapestries were first exhibited in their place in the Sistine chapel on the 26th of December 1519-a very short time for the weaving of such large and elaborate pictures. The three of which the cartoons are lost represent the Martyrdom of St Stephen, the Conversion of St Paul, and St Paul in Prison at Philippi. Probably no pictures are better known to have been more often engraved and copied than these seven cartoons?

The Transf/Iguratiows-In 1519 Cardinal Giuliano de' Medici (afterwards Clement VIL), as bishop of Narbonne, ordered two altar-pieces for his cathedral-the one by Raphael, the other by Raphael's Venetian rival Sebastiano del Piombo. That by the latter painter is the noble Resurrection of Lazarus, now in the National Gallery, in the drawing of which the Venetian received important aid from Michelangelo. Several studies for Raphael's picture exist, showing that he at first intended to paint a Resurrection of Christ as a pendant to Sebastiano's subject, but soon altered his scheme into the Transfiguration. The eight or nine existing studies are scattered through the Oxford, Lille, Windsorand some private collections. A great part of the lower group was unfinished at the time of the painter's sudden death in 1520, and a good deal of the heavy colouring of Giulio Romano is visible in it. On the death of Raphael the picture became too precious to send out of Rome, and Cardinal de' Medici contented himself with sending the Resurrection of Lazarus to Narbonne. The Transfiguration was bequeathed by him to the monks of S. Pietro in Montorio, in whose church it remained till it was stolen by Napoleon I. It now hangs in the Vatican Gallery. Archilectural Work?-Though he designed but few buildings, Raphael's great repute even in this branch of art is shown by the Fortunately they were not sold with the bulk of Charles/s collection, and remained at Hampton Court till a few years ago. See Koch, Rafael's Tapeten im Vatican (Vienna, 1878), and Miintz, Hist. de la tapisserie italierme (Paris, ISSO). The name “ arazzi " given by Italians to these tapestries is derived from Arras, where they were erroneously thought to have been woven; they were made at Brussels. It is much to be regretted that visitors to the Vatican are no longer allowed to see these priceless examples of textile work. 8 See Morgenstern, Uber Ra ael's Verkldrung (Leipzig, 1822), and justi, Die Verklarung Christi Leipzig, 1870). °See Ojetti, Discorso su Rajaello Architetto (Rome, 1883), but more especially Geymiiller's work mentioned in the text, and his Prajets primitifs pour la Bas. de S. Pierre (Paris, 1875-80); also the works of Hofmann and Bloch (Dresden, 1900).