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little all in gratifying vanity; there was no foolish extravagance needed. It is not in the faded cast-off garments of some lady, or in the smart bounet of some dirty fabric and artificial flowers, enclosing an unwashed face,—that you can show your reverence for the Sabbath! No, my girls, if you are guided by so pure a motive, your dress will be strangely different from what it now too often is. Purity and simplicity are the two grand requisites. In the bright and modest face, the well-brushed hair, the neat straw bonnet and clean frock of some simple stuff and colour,—we shall read purity of heart, and love and reverence for things good and holy. And let me assure you, these are attainable with a far smaller outlay than your present.
To-day, looking over my books, I find many of my elder girls discontinue the Sunday-School Magazine, and sundry other small demands on their purses of a like nature.—I remonstrate, and am told, “ we can't afford it now;" no wonder this is muttered with down-looking eyes, (well do I remember the honest pride with which the first subscription was brought me for our book-fund). Thanks be, you still can feel this is not well ; but let this love of finery grow upon you,
and you will soon cease to know that books are better, more-enduring than gay clothes ; a well-cultivated mind and honest heart, than a brightly covered body.
This is only one small instance of this growing evil.
Had I time and space I would say a few words to the Teachers in our Sunday-schools, but, as it is, I can only earnestly entreat them to be mindful of the example they set in this matter ; a teacher, like a minister to his congregation, should strive in every way and thing, in the lowest as in the highest, to be a model to his class, a living exemplar of the virtues and duties that he seeks to inculcate.
Trifles often try the temper more than severe trials. The pebbles in our path make us weary and footsore, sooner than the rocks which we have to surmount by a persevering effort.
BEFORE presenting a sketch of the career and works of the man who shone conspicuously as a sculptor, a painter, an architect, and (to some extent) as a poet and musician, it will be well to say something of the state of art when he was born, and to glance at the revival of painting and sculpture. The arts were never wholly lost ; notwithstanding the intellectual gloom which followed the descent of the wild tribes of the north on the civilised portions of the world, some sparks of the old fire of artistic genius lived through the darkness. The earliest work now extant of any
Italian painter is by Guido of Sienna (not the great Guido);
* This is the first of a series of articles, which will contain the substance of a course of lectures given during the early part of this year, in a schoolroom which is adorned by the busts of the great men referred to in them,
but the honour of the restoration of painting is generally attributed to Cimabue, a Florentine, who lived 1240—1300. He was succeeded by a pupil, Giotto, who was originally a shepherd, and commenced by sketching the sheep which it was his duty to tend. He died in 1336.
Michael Angelo Buonarroti was born in Tuscany, March 6th, 1474. While still an infant, he was sent to be nursed by a woman who was the daughter and also the wife of a stonemason; and hence he afterwards facetiously remarked that
no wonder he was delighted with a chisel, since it was given to him with his nurse's milk.” Being of a noble family, his father wished to educate him for a learned profession, and sent him to a school in Florence. Books had, however, at that time, little attraction for the young artist, who made drawing both his study and his amusement. In copying pictures he was not content to reproduce the original, but referred for the colours to the natural objects, going to the fishmarket to observe the eyes and fins of fish, and so throughout the whole work. He copied a head at this period so well, that he substituted his copy for the original without the change being at first discovered.
His father at first treated him harshly, thinking the family would be disgraced if he became an artist; but perceiving it was hopeless to try to bend his mind in any other direction, he at length consented to place him under Domenico Ghirlandajo, then one of the most celebrated painters in Italy. In 1488, Michael Angelo, being then 14, was articled to Ghirlandajo; and it is said the pupil soon excited the envy of the master, by showing himself the better painter. Lorenzo de Medici, having placed a number of antique statues in a garden at Florence, permitted the young artists to study there. Michael Angelo availed himself of this permission with much success; and after copying in painting many of the statues, determined to try his skill in marble; and having begged a piece of marble and borrowed a chisel, he copied the head of a laughing faun so well, that Lorenzo was led to take him under his own more immediate patronage, and offered to adopt him. Michael Angelo's father willingly consented, considering it was a disgrace for him to become a sculptor, or as he called it, a stone-mason. In the palace of Lorenzo, the young artist had the advantage of meeting the most learned men of the age, and his taste became more refined by such intercourse.
In all the portraits of Michael Angelo it will be observed that the nose is peculiar. This is accounted for by a story that an artist named Torrigiano, being irritated by a jest, gave him such a violent blow on the nose as to break it. This same Torrigiano executed the monument of Henry VII. in Westminster Abbey, and received for it £1000.
Michael Angelo was indefatigable in his labours. He particularly admired the poems of Dante and Petrarch, and committed great part of them to memory.
He gave close study to the Old and New Testament. He made himself master of anatomy; and even when an old man he said, “ I am still going to school, still trying to learn something." As he never married, a friend remarked to him that was a pity his name would not be perpetuated by children. "My children,” he replied, are my works, and to them I commit my name.”
On the death of Lorenzo, the artist removed to Bologna, where he spent a year in study, after which he returned to his father's house. He cut a Cupid in marble, which was buried to give it an appearance of age; and being then taken for "an antique," gained great admiration. Its real author afterwards becoming known, it caused him to be invited to Rome, where a marble
group which he executed rapidly advanced his reputation. In a short time he was generally recognised as a most eminent sculptor, and he then resolved to resume his pencil. He was as successful in painting as in sculpture.
Pope Julius II. summoned Michael Angelo to Rome, and employed him in a project for rebuilding St. Peter's. In this undertaking the artist displayed his excellent habit of himself seeing to all the details of his work ; and spent eight months before commencing the building at the quarries of Carrara, in obtaining pure and beautiful marble. In the same spirit he is said to have
mixed his own paints, and partly made his own chisels. Afterwards Michael Angelo spent eight years in painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. His labours were interrupted by changes in the popes; but he completed many great works both in Rome and other cities of Italy; one of the most important being the painting of “The Last Judgment" in the Sistine Chapel at Rome, completed in 1541.
In 1546 he was again appointed architect of St. Peter's, which had occupied other artists in the meantime. For this work Angelo would accept no payment. The glorious fabric grew to its colossal proportions under the creative genius of the venerable architect: after seventeen years' toil he advanced it to the base of the cupola, and constructed a model of the dome in clay; and it was afterwards executed in wood under his direction. He died in 1563, aged 89, and his will was in these words, “I give my soul to God, I leave my body to the earth, and I bequeath my goods to my nearest relations."
Distinguished in painting, unsurpassed in sculpture, perfect in architecture, and possessed of considerable poetic talent, this colossus of genius was endowed by God with a bountiful profusion of noble gifts, and right well he used them. His industry was unequalled, and his delight in his work unbounded. But his greatest beauty mind was his unaffected piety; so were his glorious intellectual powers adorned and hallowed by the loftiest and purest sentiments of religion. The following sonnet was composed by Michael Angelo in
The translation is by Hazlitt :-
his 84th year.