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extravagant encomiums of Lanzi and others must be taken in a very modified sense, ere we arrive at the rigid truth. The tone of morals in Italy " did not correspond with evangelical purity;" and Raphael's follies were not merely permitted, but encouraged and fostered by those who sought eagerly for the creations of his pencil. His thousand engaging qualities were disfigured by a licentiousness which probably shortened his career, for he died at the early age of thirty-seven.
Great and sincere was the grief expressed at Rome for his untimely death, and no testimony of sorrow could be more affecting, more simple, or more highly honourable to its object than the placing his picture of the Transfiguration over his mortal remains in the chamber wherein he died.
which he was accustomed to paint, " Non v' ebbe si duro arteficeche a quello spettacolo non lagrimasse."—" Ne pianse il Papa."
Of his works:—" Le sue figure veramente amano, languiscono, temono, sperano, ardiscono; mostrano ira, placabilita, umilta, orgoglio, come mette bene alia storia: spesso chi mira que' volti, que' guardi, quelle mosse, non si ricorda che ha innanzi una immagine j si sente accendere, prende partito, crede di trovarsi in sul fatto.—Tutto parla nel silenzio; ogni attore, II cor negli occhie nellafronte hascritto; i piccioli movimenti degli ocehi, degli narici, della bocca, della dita corrispondono a' primi moti d' ogni passione; i gesti piu animatie piu vivi ne descrivono la violenza; e cio ch' d phi, essi variano in cento modi senza uscir mai del naturale, e si attemperano a cento earatteri senza uscir mai dalla propriety. L' eroe ha movimenti da eroe, il volgar da volgare; e quel che non descriverebbe lingua ne penna, descrive in pochissimi tratti Tingegno e 1' arte di Raffaello." p. 65.
"II paese, gli elementi, gli animali, le fabbriche, le manifatture, ogni eta dell'uomo, ogni condizione, ogni affetto, tutte comprese con Ja divinita del suo ingegno, tutto ridusce piu bello."—p. 71.
I have thought this long extract pardonable as applied to one whose finest designs are now, through so many channels, rendered familiar to us.
It was probably within two years of the close of his short life when he was engaged by Pope Leo the Tenth to paint those cartoons which have more than all his works immortalised his name, and which render the brief hints we have given respecting him peculiarly appropriate to this work.
The cartoons were designs, from Scripture chiefly, from which were to be woven hangings to ornament the apartments of the Vatican; and their dimensions being of course proportioned to the spaces they were designed to fill, the tapestries, though equal in height, differed extremely in breadth.
The designs were, 1. The Nativity.
2. The Adoration of the Magi.
4.Vfhe Slaughter of the Innocents.
6. The Presentation in the Temple.
7. The Miraculous Draught of Fishes.
8. St. Peter receiving the Keys.
9. The Descent of Christ into Limbus.
10. The Resurrection.
11. Noli me tangere.
12. Christ at Emmaus. 13. The Ascension.
14. The Descent of the Holy Ghost.
15. The Martyrdom of St. Stephen.
16. The Conversion of St. Paul.
17. Paul and Barnabas at Lystra.
18. Paul Preaching.
19. Death of Ananias.
20. Elymas the Sorcerer.
21. An earthquake; showing the delivery of Paul
and Silas from prison: named from the earthquake which shook the foundations of the building. The artist endeavours to render it ideally visible to the spectator by placing a gigantic figure, which appears to be raising the superincumbent weight on his shoulders; but the result is not altogether successful.
22. St. Peter healing the cripple.
23—24. Contain emblems alluding to Leo the Tenth. These are preserved in one of the privat eapartments of the Vatican palace. 25. Justice. In this subject the figures of Religion, Charity, and Justice are seen above the papal armorial bearings. The last figure gives name to the whole. When the cartoons were finished they were sent into Flanders to be woven (at the famous manufactory at Arras) under the superintendence of Barnard Van Orlay of Brussels, and Michael Coxis, artists who had been for some years pupils of Raphael at Rome. Two sets were executed with the utmost care and cost, but the death of Raphael, the murder of the Pope, and subsequent intestine troubles seem to have delayed their appropriation. They cost seventy thousand crowns, a sum which is said to have been defrayed by Francis the First of France, in consideration of Leo's having canonised St. Francis of Paola, the founder of the Minims.
Adrian the Second was a man "alienissimo da ogni bell' arte;" an indifference which may account for the cartoons not being sent with the tapestries to Rome, though some accounts say that the debt for their manufacture remained unliquidated, and that the paintings were kept in Flanders as security for it. They were carried away by the Spanish army in 1526-7 during the sack of Rome, but were restored by the zeal and spirit of Montmorenci the French general, as set forth in the woven borders of the tapestries Nos. 6 and 9. Pope Paul the Fourth (1555) first introduced them to the gaze of the public by exhibiting them before the Basilica of St. Peter on the festival of Corpus Domini, and also at the solemn "function of Beatification." This use of them was continued through part of the last century, and is now resumed.
In 1798 they were taken by the French from Rome and sold to a Jew at Leghorn, and one of them was burnt by him in order to extract the gold with which they were richly interwoven ; but happily they did not furnish so much spoil as the speculator hoped, and this devastation was arrested. The one that was destroyed represented Christ's Descent into Limbus; the rest were repurchased for one thousand three hundred crowns, and restored to the Vatican in 1814.
We have alluded to two sets of these tapestries, and it is believed that there were two; whether exactly counterparts has not been ascertained. We have traced the migrations of one set. The other was, according to some authorities, presented by Pope Leo the Tenth to our Henry the Eighth; whilst others say that our king purchased it from the state of Venice. It was hung in the Banqueting House of Whitehall, and after the unhappy execution of Charles the First, was put up, amongst other royal properties, to sale. Being purchased by the Spanish ambassador, it became the property of the house of Alva, and within a few years back was sold by the head of that illustrious house to Mr. Tupper, our consul in Spain, and by him sent back to this country.
These tapestries were then exhibited for some time in the Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly, and were afterwards repurchased by a foreigner. Probably they have been making a "progress" throughout the kingdom, as within this twelvemonth we had the satisfaction of viewing them at the principal town in a northern county. The motto of our chapter might have been written expressly for these tapestries, so exquisitely accurate is the description as applied to them of the gold thread :—
"As here and there, and every where unwares It shew'd itselfe and shone unwillingly; Like to' a discolour'd snake, whose hidden snares Through the greene gras his iong bright burnisht back declares."
The cartoons themselves, the beautiful originals of these magnificent works, remained in the Netherlands, and were all, save seven, lost and destroyed through the ravages of time, and chance, and revolution. These seven, much injured by neglect, and almost pounced into holes by the weaver tracing his outlines, were purchased by King Charles the First, and are now justly considered a most valuable possession. It is supposed that the chief object of Charles in the purchase was to supply the then