Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/97

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SIGN-MANUAL, ROYAL—SIGNORELLI

of education are mainly responsible, has disastrously told upon the mental advance of the race. But after all, we have here a comparatively modern neglect and helplessness. Kant, for instance, complained bitterly of the defeating tendency of language in his day, as compared with the intelligent freedom of the vocabulary and idiom of the " classical " Greek, who was always creating expression, moulding it to his needs and finding an equally intelligent response to his efforts, in his listeners and readers — in short, in his public.

Students, who are prepared seriously to take up this urgent question of the application of Signifies in education and through- out all human spheres of interest, will soon better any instruction that could be given by the few who so far have tentatively striven to call attention to and bring to bear a practically ignored and unused method. But by the nature of the case they must be prepared to find that accepted language, at least in modern European forms, is far more needlessly defeating than they have supposed possible: that they themselves in fact are continually drawn back, or compelled so to write as to draw back their readers, into what is practically a hotbed of confusion, a prison of senseless formalism and therefore of barren controversy.

It can hardly be denied that this state of things is intolerable and demands effectual remedy. The study and systematic and practical adoption of the natural method of Signifies can alone lead to and supply this. Signifies is in fact the natural response to a general sense of need which daily becomes more undeniably evident. It founds no school of thought and advocates no techni- cal specialism. Its immediate and most pressing application is, as already urged, to elementary, secondary and specialised education. In recent generations the healthy sense of discontent and the natural ideals of interpretation and expression have been discouraged instead of fostered by a training which has not only tolerated but perpetuated the existing chaos. Signs, however, are daily increasing that Signifies, as implying the practical recognition of, and emphasising the true line of advance in, a recovered and enhanced power to interpret experience and adequately to express and apply that power, is destined, in the right hands, to become a socially operative factor of the first importance.

Literature.—Lady Welby, "Sense, Meaning and Interpretation," in Mind (January and April 1896), Grains of Sense (1897), What is Meaning? (1903); Professor F. Tonnies, " Philosophical Termino- logy " (Welby Prize Essay), Mind (July and October 1899 and January 1900), also article in Jahrbuch, &c, and supplements to Philosophische Terminologie (December 1906) ; Professor G. F. Stout, Manual of Psychology (1898) ; Sir T. Clifford Allbutt's Address on " Words and Things " to the Students' Physical Society of Guy's Hospital (October 1906); Mr W. J. Greenstreet's " Recent Science " articles in the Westminster Gazette (November 15, 1906, and January 10, 1907).

(V. W.)


SIGN-MANUAL, ROYAL, the autograph signature of the sovereign, by which he expresses his pleasure either by order, commission or warrant. A sign-manual warrant may be either an executive act, e.g. an appointment to an office, or an authority for affixing the Great Seal. It must be countersigned by a principal secretary of state or other responsible minister. A royal order under the sign-manual, as distinct from a sign-manual warrant, authorizes the expenditure of money, e.g. appropriations. There are certain offices to which appointment is made by commission under the great seal, e.g. the appointment of an officer in the army or that of a colonial governor. The sign-manual is also used to give power to make and ratify treaties. In certain cases the use of the sign-manual has been dispensed with, and a stamp affixed in lieu thereof, as in the case of George IV., whose bodily infirmity made the act of signing difficult and painful during the last weeks of his life. A special act was passed pro- viding that a stamp might be affixed in lieu of the sign-manual (n Geo. IV. c. 23), but the sovereign had to express his consent to each separate use of the stamp, the stamped document being attested by a confidential servant and several officers of state (Anson, Law and Custom of the Constitution, 1907, vol. ii. pt. i. p. 59).


SIGNORELLI, LUCA (c. 1442-c. 1524), Italian painter, was born in Cortona — his full name being Luca d'Egidio di Ventura; he has also been called Luta da Cortona. The precise date of his birth is uncertain; but, as he is said to have died at the age of eighty-two, and as he was certainly alive during some part of 1524, the birth-date of 1442 must be nearly correct'. He belongs to the Tuscan school, associated with that of Umbria. His first impressions of art seem to be due to Perugia — the style of Bonfigli, Fiorenzo and Pinturicchio. Lazzaro Vasari, the great- grandfather of Giorgio Vasari, the historian of art, was brother to Luca's mother; he got Luca apprenticed to Piero de' Fran- ceschi. In 1472 the young man was painting at Arezzo, and in 1474 at Citta. di Castello. He presented to Lorenzo de' Medici a picture which is probably the one named the " School of Pan," discovered some years ago in Florence, and now belonging to the Berlin gallery; it is almost the same subject which he painted also on the wall of the Petrucci palace in Siena — the principal figures being Pan himself, Olympus, Echo, a man reclining on the ground and two listening shepherds. He executed, moreover, various sacred pictures, showing a study of Botticelli and Lippo Lippi. Pope Sixtus IV. commissioned Signorelli to paint some frescoes, now mostly very dim, in the shrine of Loreto — Angels, Doctors of the Church, Evangelists, Apostles, the Incredulity of Thomas and the Conversion of St Paul. He also executed a single fresco in the Sistine Chapel in Rome, the " Acts of Moses " ; another, " Moses and Zipporah," which has been usually ascribed to Signorelli, is now recognized as the work of Perugino. Luca may have stayed in Rome from 1478 to 1484. In the latter year he returned to his native Cortona, which remained from this time his ordinary home. From 1497 he began some professional excursions. In Siena, in the convent of Chiusuri, he painted eight frescoes, forming part of a vast series of the life of St Benedict; they are at present much injured. In the palace of Pandolfo Petrucci he worked upon various classic or mythological subjects, including the " School of Pan " already mentioned. From Siena he went to Orvieto, and here he produced the works which, beyond all others, stamp his greatness in art. These are the frescoes in the chapel of S. Brizio, in the cathedral, which already contained some pictures on the vaulting by Fra Angelico. The works of Signorelli represent the " Last Days of the Mundane Dispensation," with the " Pomp and the Fall of Antichrist," and the " Eternal Destiny of Man," and occupy three vast lunettes, each of them a single picture. In one of them, Anti- , christ, after his portents and impious glories, falls headlong from the sky, crashing down into an innumerable crowd of men and women. " Paradise," the " Elect and the Condemned," " Hell," the " Resurrection of the Dead," and the " Destruction of the Reprobate" follow in other compartments. To Angelica's ceiling Signorelli added a section showing figures blowing trumpets, &c; and in another ceiling he depicted the Madonna, Doctors of the Church, Patriarchs and Martyrs. There is also a great deal of subsidiary work connected with Dante, and with the poets and legends of antiquity. The daring and terrible invention of the great compositions, with their powerful treatment of the nude and of the most arduous foreshortenings, and the general mastery over complex grouping and distribution, marked a development of art which had never previously been attained. It has been said that Michelangelo felt so strongly the might of Signorelli's delineations that he borrowed, in his own "Last Judgment," some of the figures or combinations which he found at Orvieto; this statement, however, has not been verified by precise instances. The contract for Luca's work is still on record. He undertook on 5th April 1499 to complete the ceiling for 200 ducats, and to paint the walls for 600, along with lodging, and in every month two measures of wine and two quarters of corn. Signorelli's first stay in Orvieto lasted not more than two years. In 1502 he returned to Cortona, and painted a dead Christ, with the Marys and other figures. Two years later he was once more back in Orvieto, and completed the whole of his work in or about that time, i.e. some two years before 1506 — a date famous in the history of the advance of art, when Michelangelo displayed his cartoon of Pisa.

After finishing off at Orvieto, Signorelli was much in Siena. In 1507 he executed a great altarpiece for S. Medardo at Arcevia