Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/925

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

important alterations made in the execution of the picture. Raimondi's engraving of the S. Cecilia of Bologna in design is very inferior to that of the actual painting. Several of Raphael's most important compositions are known to us only by these early engravings, e.g. the Massacre of the Innocents (engraved by Raimondi), which is one of his finest works, both for skilful composition and for masterly drawing of the nude. Another magnificent design is the judgment of Paris, containing a large number of figures; the nude figure of Minerva is a work of especial force and beauty. A standing figure of Lucretia* about to stab herself is also one of his most lovely figures. Many of Raphael's studies for Marcantonio's engravings still exist.

Archaeology.-As an antiquary Raphael deserves to take the highest rank. His report2 to Leo X. in 1518 is an eloquent plea for the preservation of ancient buildings. In 1515 he had been appointed by Leo X. inspector of all excavations in Rome and within 10 miles round. His careful study of the antique, both statues and modes of decoration, is clearly shown in many of his frescoes, and especially in the graceful stucco reliefs and painted grotteschi, of which he and his upils made such skilful use in the decorations of the Vatican lbggie, the Villa Madama and elsewhere.”

Raphael's Fame.-Among all the painters of the world none has been so universally popular as Raphael, or has so steadily maintained his pre-eminent reputation throughout the many changes in taste which have taken place in the last three and a half centuries. Apart from his combined merits as a draughtsman, colourist and master of graceful composition, he owes the constancy of admiration which has been felt for him partly to the wide range of his subjects, but still more to the wonderful varieties of his style. If the authorship of his paintings were unknown, who would guess that the Sposalizio of the Brera, the Madonna del Baldacchino of the Pitti, and the Transfiguration could possibly be the work of one painter? In the seventeen or eighteen years which composed his short working life he passed through stages of development for which a century would not have seemed too long, while other painters lived through the same changeful time with but little alteration in their manner of work. Perugino, who outlived his wonderful pupil, completed in 1 521 Raphael's San Severo fresco in a style differing but little from his paintings executed in the previous century. In versatility of power Raphael (as a painter) remains almost without a rival; whether painting an altar-piece for a church, a large historical fresco, a portrait or decorative scenes from classical mythology, he seems to excel equally in each; and the widely different methods of painting in tempera, oil or fresco are employed by him with apparently equal facility. His range of scale is no less remarkable, varying from a miniature, finished like an illuminated MS., to colossal figures in fresco dashed in with inimitable breadth and vigour. His personal beauty, charm of manner and deep kindliness of heart endeared him to all who knew him.' His sincere modesty was not diminished by his admission as an equal by the princes of the church, the distinguished scholars and the world-famed men of every class who formed the courts of Julius II. and Leo X. 'In accordance with the spirit of the age he lived with considerable display and luxury, and was approached with the utmost deference by the ambassadors of foreign princes, whether their master desired a picture, or, as the duke of Ferrara did, sent to consult him on the best cure for smoky chimneys. To his pupils he was as a father, and they were all, as Vasari says, “vinti dalla sua cortesia”; they formed round him a sort of royal retinue, numbering about fifty youths, each talented in some branch of the arts.5 Giulio Romano and Gianfrancesco Penni, his two favourite pupils, lived with him in the Palazzo di Bramante, a house near St Peter's, where he resided during the greater part of his life in Rome. This fine On a pedestal is inscribed in Greek-“ Better to die than live basely."

2 Published by Visconti, Lettera di Rajfaello a Leone X. (Rome, 1840); see also Miintz, “ Raphael Archéologue, " &c., Gaz. des B. Arts, October and November 1880.

3 See Gruyer, Raphaél et l'antiquilé (Paris, 1864). L See the eloquent eulogy of his character at the end of Vasari's e.

See Minghetti, “Gli Scolari di Raffaello." Nuova Antologia (June 1880).



palace, designed by Bramante, was destroyed in the 17th century at the same time as Raphael's Palazzo dell' Aquila. It is difficult to realize the grief and enthusiasm excited by the master's death on Good Friday (April 6th) 1520. at the age of thirty-seven exactly, after an attack of fever which lasted only ten days. His body was laid out in state in his studio, by the side of the unfinished Transfiguration, and all Rome flocked to the place for a last sight of the “ divino pittore.” His property amounted to about £30,000; his drawings and MSS. he left to Giulio Romano and Gianfrancesco Penni; his newly bought land to Cardinal Bibbiena, the uncle of the lady to whom he had been betrothed; there were liberal bequests to his servants; and the rest was mostly divided among his relatives at Urbino. He desired to be buried in the Pantheon, under the noble dome which he and Bramante had dreamed of rivalling. His body is laid beside an altar, which he .endowed with an annual chantry, and on the Wall over it is a plain slab, with an inscription Written by his friend Cardinal Bembo. Happily his grave has as yet escaped the disfigurement of a pretentious monument such as those erected to Michelangelo, Dante and other great Italians; it has not, however, remained undisturbed: in 1833 it was opened and the bones examined.” In March 1883 a festival was held at Urbino, on the occasion of the 4th centenary of his birth, and on this occasion many interesting articles on Raphael were published, especially one by Geymiiller, “ Le IV” centenaire de la naissance de Raphael, ” 1483-1883, in the Gaz. de Lausanne, March 1883. LITERATURE.-Comolli, Vita tnedita di Rajoello (1790); Duppa, Life of Raphael (London, 1816); Braun, Raphael . . Leben und Werke (Wiesbaden, 1819); Fea, Rojoello . . ed alcune di lui Opere (Rome, 1822); Rehberg, Rafael Sanzio aus Urbino (Munich, 1824); Quatremere de Quincy, Vita ed Opere di Rafaello, trans. bv Longhena (Milan, 1829) (a work marred by many inaccuracies); Rumohr, Uber Raphael und sein Verhdltniss (Berlin, 1831); Rio, M ithelange et Raphaél (Paris, 1863); Gruyer, Raphael et l'anliquité (Paris, 1864), Les 'vierges de Raphael (Paris, 1878) and Raphael, peintre de portraits (Paris, 1880); Grimm, Dos Leben Raphae s 'von Urbino (Berlin, 1872) (intended specially to point out the errors of Vasari and Passavant, and not written in a very fair spirit); Gherardi, Della Vita di Rajfaello (Urbino, 1874); Anton Springer, Rajoel und Michelangelo (Leipzig, 1878); C. C. Perkins, Raphael and Michelangelo (Boston, ISYS); Dohme, Kunst und Kzinstler des Mittelalters (Leipzig, 1878) (vo . ii. of this valuable work, with many illustrations, is devoted entirely to Raphael and Michelangelo); Alippi, Il Rajaello (Urbino, 1880); Clement, Michelange et Raphael (5th ed., improved) (Paris, 1881); Eug. Miintz, Raphael, sa vie, son aeuvre, &c. (Paris, 1881) (with numerous well-chosen illustrations); Passavant, Rafael und sein Voter (Leipzig, 1839-58) (a valuable book, especially for its list of Raphael's works; a new edition translated by Guasti into Italian was published at Florence in 1882, but this edition is in no way superior to the French one of Lacroix (Paris, 1860), which is a great advance on the original German text); Crowe and Cavalcaselle, Life and Works of Raphael (London, 1882-85); Eug. Muntz, Les historians et les critiques de Raphael (Paris, 1883) (contains a good bibliography of the subject); Morelli, Italian Masters (in German, 1880; in English, 1882, and subsequently republished), —practically the starting-point of modern technical criticism; B. Berenson, Central Italian Painters (1897) (expert characterization and list of works).

Reproductions of Raphael's Works.-From the time of Raimondi downwards no painter's works have been so frequently engraved. The Calcografia Camerale (now called Regia) o Rome possesses an enormous number of copper-plates of his pictures by a great many good (and bad) engravers of the 18th and 19th centuries. Electrotypes of the old coppers are still worked, and are published by the Stamperia at very moderate prices; in the catalogue Nos. 736 to 894 are the works of Raphael, including several books of engravings containing whole sets, such as the Vatican loggie, &c. A very complete collection of photographs from these and other engravings was published by Gutbier and Liibke, Rafael's Werke, sdrnmtlinhe Tofelbilder und Fresken (Dresden, 1881-82), in three large volumes, divided into classes, -pictures of the Madonna, frescoes, stanze of the Vatican, tapestry cartoons, &c. The descriptive text and life of Raphael are by Ltibke. The Malcolm, Oxford, British Museum, Lille, Louvre, Dresden and other collections of Raphael's drawings have mostly been published in photographic facsimile, and an enormous number of illustrated monographs on single pictures exist. Braun's auto types of the stanze and Farnesma frescoes are especially good. (J. H. M.)

“See “ Ritrovamento delle ossa di Raffaello, " Soc. Virtuosi al Panteone (Rome, 1333): Other pamphlets on this were published in the same year by Fea, Falconieri and Odescalchi.