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Title: Correggio - A Collection Of Fifteen Pictures And A Portrait Of The - Painter With Introduction And Interpretation
Author: Hurll, Estelle M. (Estelle May), 1863-1924
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Correggio - A Collection Of Fifteen Pictures And A Portrait Of The - Painter With Introduction And Interpretation" ***

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                 [Illustration: A SUPPOSED PORTRAIT OF CORREGGIO
                 _Parma Gallery_]


                        _Masterpieces of Art_



                              CORREGGIO

                   A COLLECTION OF FIFTEEN PICTURES
                    AND A SUPPOSED PORTRAIT OF THE
                      PAINTER, WITH INTRODUCTION
                          AND INTERPRETATION


                                  BY


                           ESTELLE M. HURLL



                         BOSTON AND NEW YORK
                       HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
                    The Riverside Press Cambridge
                                 1901


             COPYRIGHT, 1901, BY HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO.

       *       *       *       *       *



PREFACE


To the general public the works of Correggio are much less familiar
than those of other Italian painters. Parma lies outside the route of
the ordinary tourist, and the treasures of its gallery and churches
are still unsuspected by many. It is hoped that this little collection
of pictures may arouse a new interest in the great Emilian. The
selections are about equally divided between the frescoes of Parma and
the easel paintings scattered through the various European galleries.

ESTELLE M. HURLL.

NEW BEDFORD, MASS.

_December, 1901._

       *       *       *       *       *



CONTENTS AND LIST OF PICTURES


        A SUPPOSED PORTRAIT OF CORREGGIO       (_Frontispiece_)
        Picture from Photograph of the original painting

        INTRODUCTION

I.      ON CORREGGIO'S CHARACTER AS AN ARTIST

II.     ON BOOKS OF REFERENCE

III.    HISTORICAL DIRECTORY OF THE PICTURES OF THIS COLLECTION

IV.     OUTLINE TABLE OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS IN CORREGGIO'S LIFE

V.      LIST OF CONTEMPORARY PAINTERS

I.      THE HOLY NIGHT (DETAIL)
        Picture from Carbon Print by Braun, Clément & Co.

II.     _St. Catherine Reading_
        Picture from Photograph by Francis Ellis and W. Hayward, London

III.    THE MARRIAGE OF ST. CATHERINE
        Picture from Carbon Print by Braun, Clément & Co.

IV.     CEILING DECORATION IN THE SALA DEL PERGOLATO (HALL OF THE VINE
            TRELLIS)
        Picture from Photograph by Fratelli Alinari

V.      DIANA
        Picture from Photograph by Fratelli Alinari

VI.     ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST
        Picture from Photograph by Fratelli Alinari

VII.    ST. JOHN AND ST. AUGUSTINE
        Picture from Photograph by D. Anderson

VIII.   ST. MATTHEW AND ST. JEROME
        Picture from Photograph by Fratelli Alinari of the painting in
            water color by P. Toschi

IX.     THE REST ON THE RETURN FROM EGYPT (MADONNA DELLA SCODELLA)
        Picture from Photograph by Fratelli Alinari

X.      ECCE HOMO
        Picture from Carbon Print by Braun, Clément & Co.

XI.     APOSTLES AND GENII
        Picture from Photograph by Fratelli Alinari of the painting in
            water color by P. Toschi

XII.    ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST
        Picture from Photograph by Fratelli Alinari of the painting
            in water color by P. Toschi

XIII.   CHRIST APPEARING TO MARY MAGDALENE IN THE GARDEN (NOLI ME TANGERE)
        Picture from Carbon Print by Braun, Clément & Co.

XIV.    THE MADONNA OF ST. JEROME
        Picture from Carbon Print by Braun, Clément & Co.

XV.     CUPID SHARPENING HIS ARROWS (DETAIL OF DANAË)
        Picture from Photograph by Fratelli Alinari

XVI.    A SUPPOSED PORTRAIT OF CORREGGIO

        PRONOUNCING VOCABULARY OF PROPER NAMES AND FOREIGN WORDS

       *       *       *       *       *



INTRODUCTION

I. ON CORREGGIO'S CHARACTER AS AN ARTIST.


The art of Correggio was very justly summed up by his first
biographer, Vasari. After pointing out that in the matter of drawing
and composition the artist would scarcely have won a reputation, the
writer goes on to say: "To Correggio belongs the great praise of
having attained the highest point of perfection in coloring, whether
his works were executed in oil or in fresco." In another place he
writes, "No artist has handled the colors more effectually than
himself, nor has any painted with a more charming manner or given a
more perfect relief to his figures." Color and chiaroscuro were
undoubtedly, as Vasari indicates, the two features of his art in which
Correggio achieved his highest triumphs, and if some others had
equalled or even surpassed him in the first point, none before him had
ever solved so completely the problems of light and shadow.

Not only did he understand how to throw the separate figures of the
picture into relief, giving them actual bodily existence, but he
mastered as well the disposition of light and shade in the whole
composition. To quote Burckhardt, "In Correggio first, chiaroscuro
becomes essential to the general expression of a pictorially combined
whole; the stream of lights and reflections gives exactly the right
expression to the special moment in nature."

The quality of Correggio's artistic temperament was essentially
joyous.[1] The beings of his creation delight in life and movement;
their faces are wreathed with perpetual smiles. Hence childhood and
youth were the painter's favorite subjects. The subtleties of
character study did not interest him; and for this reason he failed in
representing old age. He was perhaps at his best among that race of
sprites which his own imagination invented, creatures without a sense
of responsibility, glad merely to be alive.

[Footnote 1: Tradition says that the temperament of the man himself
was exactly the reverse of that of the artist, being timid and
melancholy.]

This temperament explains why the artist contented himself with so
little variety in his types. We need not wonder at the monotony of the
Madonna's face. She is happy, and this is all the painter required of
her psychically. He took no thought even to make her beautiful: the
tribute he offered her was the technical excellence of his art,--the
exquisite color with which he painted flesh and drapery, the
modulations of light playing over cheek and neck. With hair and hands
he took especial pains, and these features often redeem otherwise
unattractive figures.

In his predilection for happy subjects Correggio reminds us of
Raphael. The two men shrank equally from the painful. But where the
Umbrian's ideal of happiness was tranquil and serene, Correggio's was
exuberant and ecstatic. Raphael indeed was almost Greek in his sense
of repose, while Correggio had a passion for motion. "He divines,
knows and paints the finest movements of nervous life," says
Burckhardt.

Even when he sought to portray a figure in stable equilibrium, he
unwittingly gave it a wavering pose; witness the insecurity of Joseph
in the Madonna della Scodella, and of St. Jerome in the Madonna
bearing his name. Usually he preferred some momentary attitude caught
in the midst of action. In this characteristic the painter was allied
to Michelangelo, the keynote of whose art is action.

It is a curious fact that two artists of such opposed natures--the one
so light-hearted, the other burdened with the prophet's spirit--should
have so much in common in their decorative methods. Both understood
the decorative value of the nude, and found their supreme delight in
bodily motion. In a common zeal for exploiting the manifold
possibilities of the human figure, the two fell into similar errors of
exaggeration. In point of design Correggio cannot be compared with
Michelangelo. He was utterly incapable of the sweeping lines
characteristic of the great Florentine. He seldom achieved any success
in the flow of drapery, and often his disposition of folds is very
clumsy.

It is interesting to fancy what Correggio's art might have been had he
been free to choose his own subjects. Limited, as he was, in his most
important commissions, to the well-worn cycle of ecclesiastical
themes, he could not work out all the possibilities of his genius.
Nevertheless, he infused into the old themes an altogether new spirit,
the spirit of his own individuality. It is a spirit which we call
distinctly modern, yet it is as old as paganism.

Among the works of the old Italian masters, Correggio's art is so
anomalous that it has inevitably called forth detractors. What to his
admirers is mere childlike sweetness is condemned as "sentimentality,"
innocent playfulness as "frivolity," exuberance of vitality as
"sensuality." Certainly there is nothing didactic in his art. "Space
and light and motion were what Antonio Allegri of Correggio most
longed to express,"[2] and to these aims he subordinated all motives
of spiritual significance. One of his severest critics (Burckhardt)
has conceded that "he is the first to represent entirely and
completely the reality of genuine nature." He, then, who is a lover of
genuine nature in her most subtle beauties of "space and light and
motion," cannot fail to delight in Correggio.

[Footnote 2: E. H. Blashfield in Italian Cities.]


II. ON BOOKS OF REFERENCE.

The first biographer of Correggio was Vasari, in whose "Lives of the
Painters, Sculptors, and Architects" is included a brief account of
this painter. The student should read this work in the last edition
annotated by E. H. and E. W. Blashfield and A. A. Hopkins. Passing
over the studies of the intervening critics, Julius Meyer's biography
may be mentioned next, as an authoritative work, practically alone in
the field for some twenty-five years. This was translated from the
German by M. C. Heaton, and published in London in 1876. Finally, the
recent biography by Signor Corrado Ricci (translated from the Italian
by Florence Simmonds, and published in 1896) may be considered almost
definitive. It is issued in a single large volume, profusely
illustrated. The author is the director of the galleries of Parma, and
has had every opportunity for the study of Correggio's works and the
examination of documents bearing upon his life.

General handbooks of Italian art giving sketches of Correggio's life
and work are Kugler's "Handbook of the Italian Schools," revised by A.
H. Layard, and Mrs. Jameson's "Early Italian Painters," revised by
Estelle M. Hurll.

For a critical estimate of the art of Correggio a chapter in
Burckhardt's "Cicerone" is interesting reading, but the book is out of
print and available only in large libraries. In "Italian Cities," by
E. H. and E. W. Blashfield, a delightful chapter on Parma describes
Correggio's works and analyzes his art methods. Morelli's "Italian
Painters" contains in various places some exceedingly important
contributions to the criticism of Correggio's works. The author's
repudiation of the authenticity of the Reading Magdalen of the Dresden
Gallery has been accepted by all subsequent writers.

Comments on Correggio are found in Symonds's volume on "The Fine Arts"
in the series "The Renaissance in Italy," and are also scattered
through the pages of Ruskin's "Modern Painters" and Hazlitt's "Essays
on the Fine Arts." The volume on Correggio in the series "Great
Masters in Painting and Sculpture" is valuable chiefly for a complete
list of Correggio's works. The text is based on Ricci.[3]

[Footnote 3: As this book goes to press Bernard Berenson's "The Study
and Criticism of Italian Art" makes its appearance. A portion of it is
devoted to the study of Correggio.]


III. HISTORICAL DIRECTORY OF THE PICTURES OF THIS COLLECTION.

_Portrait frontispiece._ From a photograph of an alleged portrait of
Correggio in the Parma Gallery.

1. _The Holy Night._(_La Notte._) (Detail.) Painted at the order of
Alberto Pratoneri for the altar of his chapel in the church of S.
Prospero, Reggio. Agreement signed October 10, 1522. Stolen from the
church May, 1640, and taken to Modena. Now in the Dresden Gallery.
Size of whole picture: 8 ft. 5 in. by 6 ft. 2 in.

2. _St. Catherine Reading._ Conjectural date, 1526-1528. In Hampton
Court Gallery. Size: 2 ft. 1 in. by 1 ft. 8 in.

3. _The Marriage of St. Catherine._ Date, according to Meyer,
1517-1519; according to Ricci, after 1522. Painted for the Grillenzoni
family of Modena. After several transfers it came into the possession
of Cardinal Mazarin, from whose heirs it was acquired for Louis XIV.'s
collection and hence became a permanent possession of the Louvre
Gallery, Paris. Size: 3 ft. 5-1/3 in. by 3 ft. 4 in.

4 and 5. _Ceiling Decoration_, and _Diana_, in the Sala del Pergolata,
Convent of S. Paolo, Parma. Frescoes painted in 1518.

6, 7, and 8. _St. John the Evangelist_, _St. John and St. Augustine_,
_St. Mark and St. Jerome_. Frescoes in the church of S. Giovanni
Evangelista, Parma. Painted 1520-1525.

9. _The Rest on the Return from Egypt._ (_La Madonna della Scodella._)
According to Pungileoni painted 1527-1528; according to Ricci,
1529-1530. The frame containing the picture is supposed to have been
designed by Correggio himself. It bears the date 1530, when the
picture was placed in the church of S. Sepolcro, Parma. Taken as
French booty in 1796, but returned to Parma in 1816. Now in the Parma
Gallery. Size: 7 ft. 3 in. by 4 ft. 6 in.

10. _Ecce Homo._ According to Ricci, painted during a visit to
Correggio, 1521-1522; probably first belonged to the Counts Prati, of
Parma. In the seventeenth century there were three pictures of the
subject in Italy claiming to be the original. This picture was
formerly in the Colonna family; now in the National Gallery, London.
Size: 3 ft. 2-1/2 in. by 2 ft. 7-1/2 in.

11 and 12. _Apostles and Genii_, and _St. John the Baptist_. Frescoes
in the Cathedral of Parma. Painted 1524-1530.

13. _Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene in the Garden._ (_Noli me
tangere._) Assigned by Ricci to 1524-1526. Described by Vasari as the
property of the Ercolani family of Bologna. Passing from one owner to
another, it was finally presented to Philip IV. of Spain, and is now
in the Prado Gallery, Madrid. Size: 1 ft. 3-1/3 in. by 1 ft. 6-1/2
in.

14. _The Madonna of St. Jerome._ (_Il Giorno._) Ordered in 1523 by
Donna Briseide Colla, for the church of S. Antonio, Parma. Painted
1527-1528, according to Ricci. After the destruction of this church it
was placed in the Cathedral for safety. Seized by Napoleon in 1796.
Finally returned to Parma, and now in the Parma Gallery. Size: 4 ft. 8
in. by 6 ft. 10 in.

15. _Cupid sharpening his Arrow._ (Detail of _Danaë_.) Ordered
(1530-1533) by Federigo II., Duke of Mantua, as a gift for the Emperor
Charles V. After passing through many hands it came in 1823 into the
possession of the Borghese family, and is now in the Borghese Gallery,
Rome. Size of whole picture, 5 ft. 4 in. by 6 ft. 5 in.


IV. OUTLINE TABLE OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS IN CORREGGIO'S LIFE.

_Compiled from Ricci's_ Correggio, _to which the references to pages
apply_.

1494. Antonio Allegri born at Correggio.

1511-1513. Probably in Mantua (p. 69).

1515. Madonna of St. Francis (p. 94).

1518. In Parma executing the frescoes of San Paolo, April-December (p.
152).

1520. Invitation to Parma from the Benedictines (p. 153). Marriage
with Girolama Merlini (p. 185).

1520-1525. At work on frescoes of S. Giovanni Evangelista, Parma, with
interruptions as noted below (pp. 189-195).

July, 1521-Spring, 1522. In Correggio (pp. 194, 195), and probable
execution of the Ecce Homo, Christ in Garden, and Noli me tangere (p.
226).

1521. Birth of son Pomponio, September 3 (p. 185).

1522. Visit to Reggio and commission for the Nativity (La Notte)
October (pp. 195, 294). Commission for frescoes of Parma Cathedral,
November (p. 250).

1523. Visit in Correggio (p. 195). Order for Madonna of St. Jerome (p.
278).

1524. Last payment for frescoes of S. Giovanni (p. 190). Birth of
daughter Francesca Letizia, December 6 (p. 185).

1524-1530. Work on frescoes of the Parma Cathedral, interrupted by
visits to Correggio, as noted below (p. 273).

1525. Visits to Correggio in February and August (p. 274). Madonna of
St. Sebastian painted for Confraternity of St. Sebastian at Modena (p.
275).

1526. Birth of daughter Caterina Lucrezia (p. 185).

1527. Visits in Correggio (p. 274).

Circa 1528. Birth of daughter Anna Geria (p. 185).

1528. Visit in Correggio in summer (p. 274).

1529. Death of wife (p. 185).

1530-1534. In Correggio (p. 307). Mythological pictures for Federigo
Gonzaga (p. 311).

1534. Death of Allegri, March 5 (p. 326).


V. LIST OF CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN PAINTERS.

Vincenzo Catena, Venetian, 1470-1532.
Michelangelo, Florentine, 1475-1564.
Lorenzo Lotto, Venetian, circa 1476-1555.
Bazzi (Il Sodoma), Sienese, 1477-1549.
Giorgione, Venetian, 1477-1510.
Titian, Venetian, 1477-1576.
Palma Vecchio, Venetian, 1480-1528.
Lotto, Venetian, 1480-1558.
Raphael, Umbrian, 1483-1520.
Pordenone, Venetian, 1484-1539.
Bagnacavallo, Bolognese, 1484-1542.
Gaudenzio Ferrari, Milanese, 1484-1549.
Sebastian del Piombo, Venetian, 1485-1547.
Andrea del Sarto, Florentine, 1486-1531.
Bonifazio Veneziano, Venetian, circa 1490-1540.
Cima da Conegliano, Venetian, 1493-1517.
Pontormo, Florentine, 1493-1558.
Moretto, Brescian, 1500-1547.
Bronzino, Florentine, 1502-1572.
Basaiti, Venetian, first record, 1503-last record, 1520.



I

THE HOLY NIGHT (LA NOTTE) (Detail)


In the northern part of Italy is the little town of Correggio, which
gave its name to the painter whose works we are to study. His real
name was Antonio Allegri, but in the sixteenth century a man would
often be called by a nickname referring to some peculiarity, or to his
birthplace. When Allegri went to Parma he was known as Antonio da
Correggio, that is, Antonio from Correggio, and the name was then
shortened to Correggio.

A large part of Correggio's work was mural decoration, painted on the
surface of the plastered wall. Besides such frescoes he painted many
separate pictures, mostly of sacred subjects to be hung over the
altars of churches. The choice of subjects was much more limited in
his day than now, and, with the exception of a few mythological
paintings, all Correggio's themes were religious. The subject most
often called for was that of the Madonna and Child. Madonna is the
word, meaning literally My Lady, used by the Italians when speaking of
Mary, the mother of Jesus. The Madonna and Child is then a picture of
the mother Mary holding the Christ-child.

Our illustration is from such a picture called "La Notte," the Italian
for The Night. The night meant by the title is that on which Jesus was
born in Bethlehem of Judæa. It was at a time known in history as the
Augustan Age, when Rome was the great world-power. Judæa was only an
obscure province of the vast Roman Empire, but here was the origin of
the influence which was to shape later history. The coming of Jesus
brought a new force into the world.

The story of his infancy has been made familiar by the four
Evangelists. He was born in surroundings which, in Roman eyes, were
fit only for slaves. Mary and Joseph had come up from their own home
to Bethlehem to pay the taxes exacted at Rome. The town was full of
people on the same errand, and "there was no room for them in the
inn." So it came about that the new-born babe was wrapped in swaddling
clothes and laid in a manger used for feeding cattle.

While he lay in this strange cradle his birth was made known by a
vision of angels to some shepherds on the neighboring hillsides. At
once they betook themselves joyfully to Bethlehem, the first to do
honor to the new-born king. These homely visitors are gathered about
the manger in Correggio's picture. The dark night is without, but a
dazzling white light shines from the Holy Child.

[Illustration: THE HOLY NIGHT (DETAIL)
_Dresden Gallery_]

Our illustration shows only the centre of the picture, where the
mother leans over her babe. The little form lies on a bundle of hay,
completely encircled by her arms. The bend of her elbow makes a
soft pillow for his head; her hands hold him fast in the snug nest.
With brooding tenderness she regards the sleeping child.

A white cloth is wrapped loosely about the baby's body--the swaddling
band, which, when tightly drawn, is to hold the figure straight. The
fingers of one hand peep out from the folds, and one little foot is
free. For the rest we see only the downy top of the baby's head and
one plump shoulder. The little figure glows lite an incandescent body,
and the mother's face is lighted as if she were bending over a fire.
It is a girlish face, for we are told that Mary was a very young
mother. The cares of life have not yet touched the smooth brow. In her
happiness she smiles fondly upon her new treasure.

We have no authentic description of Mary, the mother of Jesus, but it
is pleasant to try to picture her in imagination. As her character was
a model of womanliness, it is natural to believe her face
correspondingly beautiful. The old masters spent their lives in
seeking an ideal worthy of the subject, and each one conceived her
according to his own standards of beauty. Correggio's chief care was
for the hair and hands, which he painted, as we see here, with
exquisite skill. He was usually less interested in the other features,
and the Madonna of our picture is exceptionally lovely among his works
of this kind.

The picture of La Notte illustrates very strikingly an artistic
quality for which Correggio is famous. This is _chiaroscuro_, or the
art of light and shadow,--the art by which the objects and figures of
a picture are made to seem enveloped in light and air, as in the
actual world. The contrast between the bright light in the centre and
the surrounding darkness gives vivid reality to the figures. There is
also a symbolic meaning in the lighting of the picture. Christ is "the
light of the world;" hence his form is the source of illumination.

Our picture was originally called by the simple title of The Nativity.
Then the Italians, struck by the power with which the effect of
midnight was produced, called it "La Notte," The Night. When it came
to a German gallery the Germans called it "Die Heilige Nacht," The
Holy Night. An old German Christmas carol interprets it so perfectly
that it seems as if the author must have known the picture. These are
the verses:--

    "Silent night! Holy Night!
    All is calm, all is bright
    Round you, virgin mother and child;
    Holy infant, so tender and mild,
    Sleep in heavenly peace,
    Sleep in heavenly peace.

    "Silent Night! Holy Night!
    Shepherds quake at the sight.
    Glories stream from Heaven afar,
    Heavenly hosts sing alleluia.
    Christ the Saviour is born!
    Christ the Saviour is born!

    "Silent Night! Holy Night!
    Son of God, love's pure light
    Radiant beams from Thy holy face
    With the dawn of redeeming grace,
    Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,
    Jesus, Lord, at thy birth."



II

ST. CATHERINE READING


The story of St. Catherine is very quaintly told in the old legend.[4]
She was the daughter of "a noble and prudent king," named Costus, "who
reigned in Cyprus at the beginning of the third century," and "had to
his wife a queen like to himself in virtuous governance." Though good
people according to their light, they were pagans and worshippers of
idols.

[Footnote 4: The life of St. Catherine is related in the _Golden
Legend._ See Caxton's translation in the _Temple Classics_, volume
vii., page 1. Mrs. Jameson also gives an outline of the story in
_Sacred and Legendary Art_, p. 459.]

Even in her babyhood the child Catherine was "so fair of visage" that
all the people rejoiced at her beauty. At seven years of age she was
sent to school, where "she drank plenteously of the well of wisdom."
Her father was so delighted with her precocity that he had built a
tower containing divers chambers where she might pursue her studies.
Seven masters were engaged to teach her, the best and "wisest in
conning" that could be found. So rapid was their pupil's progress that
she soon outstripped them in knowledge, and from being her masters
they became her disciples.

When the princess was fourteen, her father died, leaving her heir to
his kingdom. A parliament was convened, and the young queen was
crowned with great solemnity. Then arose a committee of lords and
commons, petitioning her to allow them to seek some noble knight or
prince to marry her and defend the kingdom. Now Catherine had secretly
resolved not to marry, but she answered with a wisdom not learned
altogether from books. She agreed to marry if they would bring her a
bridegroom possessing certain qualifications which she knew were
impossible to fulfil. This silenced the counsellors, and she continued
to reign alone.

In the course of time Queen Catherine became a Christian and devoted
herself to works of religion and charity. Under her teaching many of
her people were converted to the faith. It was a happy kingdom until
the Emperor Maxentius chanced to visit the royal city. He was a tyrant
who persecuted Christians. Upon his arrival he ordered public
sacrifices to idols, and all who would not join in the heathen
ceremony were slain. Then Catherine went boldly to meet the emperor
and set forth to him the errors of paganism. Though confounded by her
eloquence he was not to be convinced by the words of a mere woman.
Accordingly he summoned from divers provinces fifty masters "which
surmounted all mortal men in worldly wisdom." They were to hold a
discussion with the queen and put her to confusion. For all their
arguments, however, Catherine had an answer. So complete was her
victory that the entire company declared themselves Christians. The
angry emperor caused them all to be burned and cast Catherine into
prison.

[Illustration: ST. CATHERINE READING
_Hampton Court Gallery, London_]

Even here she continued her good works, converting the empress and a
prince who came to visit her. A new torment was then devised for her.
Iron wheels were made, bound with sharp razors, and she was placed
between these while they were turned in opposite directions. "And anon
as this blessed virgin was set in this torment, the angel of the Lord
brake the wheels by so great force that it slew four thousand
paynims." Maxentius then commanded that she should be beheaded, and
St. Catherine went cheerfully to her death.

Other virgin martyrs may have been as good and as beautiful as St.
Catherine, but none were so wise. We know her in our picture by the
book she holds. Eager to acquire all the treasures of knowledge, she
fixes her eyes on the page, absorbed in her occupation. Already she
has read more than half the thick volume, smiling with quiet enjoyment
as she reads. There is little in the face to suggest the scholar or
the bookworm. Were this a modern picture, we should fancy it a young
lady reading her favorite poet. As it is, however, we must believe
that the book is some work by Plato or another of the ancient writers
whom St. Catherine could quote so readily. We need not wonder that she
does not knit her brow over any difficult passages. What might be hard
for another to grasp is perfectly clear to her understanding.

The beautiful hair coiled over her head is the only coronet the
princess wears. There is no sign of her royalty, and we may infer that
the picture represents her in those early days of girlhood before the
cares of government were laid on the young shoulders. As we study the
position of the figure we see that the left arm rests on the rim of a
wheel, making a support for the hand holding the book. The wheel is
the emblem most frequently associated with St. Catherine, as the
reminder of the tortures inflicted by Maxentius. The palm branch
caught in the fingers of the left hand is the symbol used alike for
all the martyrs. The reference is to that passage in the book of
Revelation which describes the saints standing before the throne "with
palms in their hands."[5]

[Footnote 5: Revelation vii. 9.]

It is pleasant to believe that Correggio took unusual pains with this
picture of St. Catherine. The story of the lovely young princess seems
to have appealed to his imagination, and he has conceived an ideal
figure for her character. The exquisite oval of the face, the delicate
features, and the beautiful hair make this one of the most attractive
faces in his works.

The light falls over the right shoulder, casting one side of the face
in shadow. The modulations of light on the chin and neck, and the
gradation in the shadow cast by the book on the hand, show Correggio's
mastery of chiaroscuro.



III

THE MARRIAGE OF ST. CATHERINE


At the time of her coronation, St. Catherine knew nothing of the
Christian faith, but she had set for herself an ideal of life she was
determined to carry out. It was her firm resolve not to marry. Her
counsellors argued that, as she was endowed with certain qualities
above all creatures, she ought to marry and transmit these gifts to
posterity. The attributes they enumerated were, first, that she came
of the most noble blood in the world; second, that she was the richest
living heiress; third, that she was the wisest, and, fourth, the most
beautiful of all human beings.

The young queen replied that she would marry only one who possessed
corresponding qualities. "He must be," she said, "so noble that all
men shall do him worship," so rich that "he pass all others in
riches," so full of beauty "that angels have joy to behold him;" and
finally, he must be absolutely pure in character, "so meek that he can
gladly forgive all offences." "If ye can find such an one," she
declared, "I will be his wife with all mine heart, if he will
vouchsafe to have me."

Of course all agreed that there never was and never would be a man
such as she described, and the matter was at an end. To Catherine,
however, there came a strange conviction that her ideal was not an
impossible one. All her mind and heart were filled with the image of
the perfect husband she had conceived. She continually mused how she
might find him.

While she thought on these things, an old hermit came to her one day
saying that he had had a vision, and had been sent with the message
that her chosen bridegroom awaited her. Catherine at once arose and
followed the hermit into the desert. Here it was revealed to her that
the perfect man she had dreamed of was Jesus, the Christ, and to this
heavenly bridegroom she was united in mystic marriage. Returning to
her palace she wore a marriage ring, as the perpetual token of this
spiritual union.

The story explains the subject of our picture. The Christ-child,
seated on his mother's knee, is about to place a ring on St.
Catherine's finger, while St. Sebastian looks on as a wedding guest.
The infant bridegroom performs his part with delight. He holds the
precious circlet between the thumb and forefinger of his right hand,
and with his left singles out St. Catherine's ring finger. The bride's
hand rests on the mother's open palm, held beneath as a support.

[Illustration: THE MARRIAGE OF ST. CATHERINE
_The Louvre, Paris_]

All are watching the child's motions intently; the mother with quiet
pleasure, St. Sebastian with boyish curiosity, and St. Catherine
herself with sweet seriousness. Any comparison of the scene with a
human marriage is set aside by the fact that the bridegroom is an
infant. The ceremony is of purely spiritual significance, a true
sacrament. St. Catherine's expression and manner are full of humility,
as in a religious service.

The Christ-child is a robust little fellow whose chief beauty is his
curls. He has the large head which usually shows an active
temperament, and we fancy that he is somewhat masterful in his ways.
We shall see the same boy again in the picture called The Madonna of
St. Jerome.

The mother, too, has a face which soon becomes familiar to the student
of Correggio's works. The eyes are full, the nose is rather prominent,
the mouth large and smiling, and the chin small. Even St. Catherine is
of the same type, except that her face is cast in a smaller and more
delicate mould. Her hair is arranged precisely like that of the
Madonna, the braids bound about the head, preserving the pretty round
contour. Both women wear dresses cut with round low necks, showing
their full throats. St. Catherine's left hand rests upon a wheel with
spiked rim, which, as we have seen, is her usual emblem. Another
emblem is the sword, whose hilt projects from behind the wheel. This
was the instrument of her execution.

Special prominence is given in the picture to three sets of hands. The
skill with which they are painted is noted by critics as one of the
many artistic merits of the work. One of Browning's poems[6] describes
an artist's meditations while trying to draw a hand. His failure
teaches him to realize that he must study the

    "Flesh and bone and nerve that make
    The poorest coarsest human hand
    An object worthy to be scanned
    A whole life long for their sole sake."

Such must have been Correggio's study to enable him to produce the
beautiful hands we see here.

[Footnote 6: _Beside the Drawing Board._]

St. Sebastian is a figure not to be overlooked. We may find his like
among the genii of the Parma Cathedral, which we are to study. He is a
joyous being to whom it is good merely to be alive. The elfin locks
falling about his face make him look like some creature of the woods.
We are reminded most of the faun of the Greek mythology. The arrows in
his hand suggest some sylvan sport, but in reality they are the emblem
of his martyrdom. According to tradition the young saint was bound by
his enemies to a tree, and shot with arrows.

Behind the group stretches a bit of open country, and if we look
closely we can discern here two groups of small figures. One
represents the martyrdom of St. Sebastian, and the other, the
execution of St. Catherine. We may suppose that such gruesome subjects
were not the choice of the painter. It is probable that they were
dictated by his patrons, and in obeying orders he made the figures as
inconspicuous as possible.



IV

CEILING DECORATION IN THE SALA DEL PERGOLATO

(HALL OF THE VINE TRELLIS)

(S. Paolo, Parma)


In the time of Correggio the convent of S. Paolo (St. Paul) in Parma
was in charge of the abbess Giovanna da Piacenza, who had succeeded an
aunt in this office in 1507. She was a woman of liberal opinions, who
did not let the duties of her position entirely absorb her. She still
retained some social connections and was a patroness of art and
culture. The daughter of a nobleman, she was a person of consequence,
whose private apartments were such as a princess might have. Already a
well known painter of the day had decorated one of her rooms when she
heard of the rising artist Correggio. Probably advised by her relative
the Cavaliere Scipione Montino, she commissioned the young painter to
fresco a second room.

The decorative scheme he designed is very beautiful and elaborate. The
square ceiling is completely covered with a simulated trellis,
embowered in foliage and flowers, and pierced by oval windows through
which children are seen at play. A circle in the centre contains the
family arms of the abbess, a shield on which three crescent moons are
set diagonally. From this centre, as from the hub of a wheel, a
series of gilded ribs radiate towards the sides, cutting the whole
space into triangular sections whose surfaces are slightly hollowed.
The oval windows of the trellis open in these sections, one in each
triangle, and sixteen in all. Above every window hangs a bunch of
fruit, seemingly suspended from the centre by ribbons fancifully
braided about the ribs. The outer edge of the design, where the
ceiling joins the walls, is finished by a series of sixteen lunettes
or semicircles running around the square, one in each section. The
frieze around the side walls simulates a narrow scarf caught up in
festoons between ornamented capitals formed of rams' heads. The
remaining decoration of the room is on the cap of the chimney, and
represents the goddess Diana setting forth for the chase.

This picture furnishes the subject of the children's games in the
lattice bower. The little sprites are attendants of the goddess,
playing in a mimic hunt. Two or three may be seen through every
window, busy and happy in their innocent sport. One is the delighted
possessor of a quiver of arrows, from which he draws a shaft. Others
play with the hounds, pulling them hither and thither at their will. A
group of five find the hunting-horn an amusing plaything, and
good-humoredly strive together over the treasure.

[Illustration: CEILING DECORATION IN THE SALA DEL PERGOLATO
_Convent of S. Paolo, Parma_]

Our illustration shows a quarter section of the ceiling, from which we
can in imagination reconstruct the whole diagram.[7] Let us see
what the children are doing in this corner of the lattice. At the
window directly in front of us a little fellow proudly exhibits a
stag's head as a trophy of the chase. Just behind his shoulder a merry
companion, peeps out, and lower down, on the other side, appears the
head of an animal like a doe. In the next window is a boy with a
wreath of flowers with which he and a companion apparently mean to
crown the head of the stag. The third boy of the group has for the
moment lost interest in the play, his attention being attracted by
something going on outside. Now comes a boy passing by the next
window, who hastens to join the party we have just seen. His
playfellow wants to go the other way, and tries to detain him. "Come,"
he says, seizing him by the arm, "there's no fun over there. See what
I have found."

[Footnote 7: A quarter section, mathematically exact, is of course,
square in shape. In our illustration the lower part of two lunettes is
cut off.]

We are somewhat at a loss to know just what mischief the baby in the
next window has been plotting. He grasps with both hands a tall staff,
which may be a hunting-spear, or perhaps a pole with which he hopes to
reach the fruit. In some way he has managed to get both feet through
the window, and is now in a precarious position, half in and half out.
His companion tries to draw him in; but whether he is alarmed at the
danger, or is himself eager to get the pole, we cannot tell.

The lunettes of the ceiling are painted in gray, framed in borders of
sea-shells. They are made to simulate niches containing sculptured
figures with some allegorical or mythological meaning. In our
illustration we see first the figure of Chastity, holding in her right
hand the dove, which is the emblem of innocence. The dress is the
long, plain tunic seen in Greek sculpture, and the thin stuff of which
it is made flows in graceful lines about the form. We are reminded of
Milton's lines in "Comus:"--

    "So dear to Heav'n is saintly Chastity,
    That when a soul is found sincerely so,
    A thousand liveried angels lacky her,
    Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt,
    And in clear dream and solemn vision,
    Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear."

The next figure is similar in character and meaning. It is Virginity,
holding in her right hand the lily, which is the symbol of purity. The
other two figures, of which we see only the upper portion, are
Fortune, with a cornucopia, and the helmeted Athena, with spear and
torch.

At the death of the abbess Giovanna in 1574, the convent of S. Paolo
entered upon a period of severe ecclesiastical discipline. For more
than two centuries it was impossible for outsiders to gain admittance,
and the "Sala del Pergolato" was a sealed treasure. Finally, in 1794,
the Academy of Parma gained permission to examine Correggio's
paintings. After the suppression of the convent the room was thrown
open to the public, and the building is now used for a school.



V

DIANA


In classic mythology, Diana, the Greek Artemis, was the goddess of the
moon, twin sister of the sun-god Apollo. As the rays of moonlight seem
to pierce the air like arrows, Diana, like Apollo, was said to carry a
quiver of darts; the slender arc of the crescent moon was her bow.
Thence it was natural to consider her fond of hunting, and she became
the special patroness of the chase and other sylvan sports. Her
favorite haunts were groves and lakes, and she blessed the increase of
field and meadow. She was mistress of the brute creation, and showed
special favor to the bear, the boar, the dog, the goat, and the hind.
The poet Wordsworth has described how the ancient huntsman regarded
the goddess:--

    "The nightly hunter lifting up his eyes
    Towards the crescent moon, with grateful heart
    Called on the lovely wanderer who bestowed
    That timely light to share his joyous sport;
    And hence a beaming goddess with her nymphs
    Across the lawn and through the darksome grove
    (Not unaccompanied with tuneful notes
    By echo multiplied from rock or cave)
    Swept in the storm of chase, as moon and stars
    Glance rapidly along the clouded heaven
    When winds are blowing."[8]

[Footnote 8: In _The Excursion._]

There were other pleasant beliefs about Diana such as might be
connected with the thought of the moon. As the moonlight cheers the
traveller on his way and enters the chamber of the sick and lonely, so
Diana was said to watch with the sick and help the unfortunate. The
pale, white light of the moon is a natural symbol of purity, hence
Diana was a maiden goddess above all allurements of love. Her worship
was conducted with splendid rites in various ancient cities. The
temple built in her honor at Ephesus was famous as one of the seven
wonders of the world.

The ancients naturally liked to fancy the goddess very beautiful. The
Greek poet Anacreon called her "the goddess of the sun bright hair."
The English Keats, who delighted in the old Greek myths, has also
described the charms of "the haunter chaste of river sides, and woods
and heathy waste."[9] She had "pearl round ears, white neck, orbed
brow, blush tinted cheeks," and "a paradise of lips and eyes."

[Footnote 9: In _Endymion_. See also Lowell's _Endymion_ for a
description of Diana.]

In our picture the moon goddess is mounting her car for the nightly
course across the sky.[10] Though she seems to be but just springing
to her place, with bending knee, she is already speeding on her way.

[Footnote 10: As Apollo drives the sun chariot across the sky by day.
Compare Guido Reni's Aurora.]

    "How tremulous-dazzlingly the wheels sweep
    Around their axle."

Her quiver, well filled with the bow and arrows, hangs at her back,
held by the strap bound over her breast.[11] The crescent moon gleams
above her brow. The vehicle is the small two-wheeled chariot used
among the Romans, scarcely larger than a chair. Only the hind legs of
the steeds may be seen, but we fancy them to be two white does.

[Footnote 11: It seems odd that with this full quiver the subject
should be called by some "Diana's Return from the Chase."]

[Illustration: DIANA
_Convent of S. Paolo, Parma_]

The huntress turns her face earthward, lifting a fluttering veil high
in her left hand. It is as if the face of the moon had been hidden
behind a cloud which the goddess suddenly draws aside and shows "her
fulgent head uncovered, dazzling the beholder's sight." It is with a
bright, cheerful countenance that she beams upon her worshippers. A
sense of courage and exhilaration is expressed in her spirited
bearing. With her right hand she points forward, as if calling us to
join in the sport. In the swiftness of her motion her unbound hair and
filmy garments blow out behind her.

She is a country-bred maiden, with plump neck and round arms, and her
chief charm is her buoyant vitality. Her open face, with eyes set
rather far apart, is the index of her nature. Her free life in the
woods has developed a well poised womanhood. Fear is unknown to her;
pain and disease come not near her. Rejoicing in immortal youth and
strength, she speeds nightly through the sky, the messenger of light
and comfort.

As we have seen in the preceding chapter, the picture of Diana is
painted in fresco on the chimney cap, or hood, over the great
fireplace in the Hall of the Vine Trellis. We may well believe that
the decoration went far towards furnishing the stately apartment.
Underneath runs the Latin inscription, "_Ignem gladio ne fodias_,"
stir not the fire with the sword.

It will be remembered that the arms of the abbess, for whom the room
was decorated, bore the device of the crescent moon. This fact may
have suggested to Correggio, or his patrons, the subject of the moon
goddess. Diana, as a virgin divinity, was an especially appropriate
choice for the apartment of a nun.

The legends of Greek mythology were at that time very popular among
people of culture, having been recently brought to notice in the
revival of classic learning. In Italy they furnished themes for the
painter; in England, for the poet. The English Ben Jonson, living a
half a century later than Correggio,[12] but representing in a certain
measure the same love of classic allusion, wrote a "Hymn to Diana,"
which might have been inspired by this picture. The first stanza may
be quoted for its interpretation:--

    "Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,
    Now the sun is laid to sleep,
    Seated in thy silver chair,
      State in wonted manner keep.
    Hesperus entreats thy light,
      Goddess excellently bright."

[Footnote 12: That is, from 1573 to 1637.]



VI

ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST


It seemed understood among the twelve disciples of Jesus that John was
the one of their number especially beloved by the Master. He and his
brother, James, were the sons of the fisherman Zebedee, and all three
men earned their living in their fishing-boats on the sea of Galilee.
It was while they were busy with their nets that Jesus one day called
the two brothers to be fishers of men. "And they straightway left
their nets and followed him."[13]

[Footnote 13: St. Matthew, chapter iv., verse 20.]

Under the teachings of Jesus, John grew in knowledge of spiritual
things. He was one of the three accompanying their Master to the Mount
of Transfiguration, where they witnessed a sacred scene withheld from
the others. His nature was affectionate and poetic, and he was a deep
thinker. Often when the meaning of Jesus' words was beyond his
hearers, John treasured the sayings in his memory. On the evening when
Jesus sat at table with his disciples for the last time, John was near
him, leaning on his Master's breast. When, on the next day, Jesus hung
upon the cross, it was John to whom he commended his mother as to a
son. "And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home."

In the years that followed, John pursued his Christian service with
the zeal of an ardent nature. He remained awhile in Judæa and, in
company with Peter, added many converts to the faith. He then carried
the work into Asia Minor, where he founded seven churches. Not only
was he a preacher and organizer, but a voluminous writer as well. The
fourth Gospel is believed to be his work, in which he records many
words and deeds of Jesus overlooked by the other Evangelists. He was
also the writer of the three Epistles which bear his name. Finally, he
is supposed to be the author of the book of Revelation, in which he
described his visions during his exile in the isle of Patmos.
According to tradition, he lived to a great age, and died at Ephesus
in Asia Minor.

The love with which Christians cherish the memory of St. John is seen
in the number of churches bearing his name. One such is that in Parma
which was newly built at the time when Correggio was winning his first
laurels. The most important portions of the interior decorations were
executed by our painter.

Before considering the frescoes of the cupola, the visitor to the
church likes to pause before the lunette over the door of the left
transept. The subject is St. John, seated with his writing materials
on his lap. There is a pile of books behind him and a volume beside
him. At his feet stands the symbolic eagle pluming his wing.

[Illustration: ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST
_Church of S. Giovanni Evangelista, Parma_]

The emblems of the Evangelists are drawn from Ezekiel's vision of
the "four living creatures," whose faces were those of a man, a lion,
an ox, and an eagle. Applied respectively to the writers of the four
Gospels, each emblem suggests some characteristic trait. The eagle is
especially appropriate to St. John. As the bird soars into the upper
regions of the sky and looks directly at the sun, so St. John's
inspiration raised him into the highest realms of thought, where he
seemed to gaze directly upon the divine glory. It is for this that he
is called St. John, "the divine." As the Latin inscription over the
lunette reads, "More deeply than the others he disclosed the mysteries
of God."[14]

[Footnote 14: "Altius cœteris Dei patefecit arcana."]

In our picture the Evangelist lifts his eyes heavenward as if
beholding a vision. His lips are parted, and he has the rapt
expression of one absorbed in meditation. His right hand still holds
the pen as he pauses for inspiration.

In trying to do honor to the beloved disciple, the painters have
always represented him as the most beautiful of the twelve. As the
most Christ-like in character, he is made to resemble the typical
figure of Christ. So in this fresco by Correggio, he is a beautiful
youth, with the curling hair, the oval face and the regular features
we associate with the person of Jesus. Though the beardless face is so
refined, there is nothing weak or effeminate about it. The whole
figure is indeed very manly. The head is well set on a full throat and
the shoulders are broad. Rising to his feet St. John would be a tall,
athletic young man, capable of lending a strong hand at his father's
fishing-nets. The union of strength and refinement makes the picture
one of the most attractive ideals of St. John ever painted.

The keynote of St. John's Gospel is the love of God; his ardent nature
never wearied of the theme; the wonder in his lifted face shows him
still intent upon the mystery. Were we to seek some characteristic
utterance which should appropriately interpret his thoughts, it might
well be the words of Jesus to Nicodemus, "God so loved the world that
he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should
not perish, but have everlasting life."[15]

[Footnote 15: St. John, chapter iii., verse 16.]



VII

ST. JOHN AND ST. AUGUSTINE


The church of S. Giovanni Evangelista (St. John the Evangelist), in
Parma, is built with a dome-shaped cupola which Correggio filled with
a fresco decoration. The subject is drawn from the life of the apostle
whose name is given to the church: it is the vision of St. John on the
isle of Patmos. Looking up into the dome, one seems to be looking
directly into the open sky, upon the figure of Christ ascending into
heaven. The apostles sit in a circle on the clouds, and beneath them
the aged St. John kneels on the mountain top, gazing upwards upon the
vision. The heavenly spaces are alive with angels, for, as Browning
writes:--

      "Correggio loves to mass, in rifts
    Of heaven, his angel faces, orb on orb."

The little creatures are sporting among the clouds and, in the poet's
phrase, "waiting to see some wonder momently grow out."

Where the dome rests upon the four arches which support it, are four
triangular corner-pieces called pendentives, which also belong to
Correggio's decorative plan. They are devoted respectively to the
figures of the four Evangelists, each one accompanied by one of the
four Fathers of the Church. The Christian Fathers were the men whose
writings and teachings shaped the doctrines of the faith in the early
centuries of our era. They interpreted for the people the meaning of
the Scriptures and the Gospels.

The pendentive of our illustration contains St. John with St.
Augustine. The two sit side by side, engaged in a discussion over the
book which they hold together. St. John is young and beautiful, as the
painters always represent him, except in the subject of the vision of
Patmos. The face is perhaps less strong and the expression less
exalted than in the lunette we have studied. There is a boyish
eagerness in his manner. The symbolic eagle is beside him, peeping out
from the folds of the drapery. St. Augustine is a handsome old man
with finely cut features. To understand how well the figure fits his
character, we must know something of his life.[16]

[Footnote 16: The life of St. Augustine, also called St. Austin, is
related in the _Golden Legend_. See Caxton's translation in the
_Temple Classics_, vol. 5, page 44. Mrs. Jameson gives a condensed
account of the life in _Sacred and Legendary Art_, p. 303.]

He was born in Numidia near the middle of the fourth century, and
showed in his boyhood brilliant powers of mind. Without the help of
any teacher he read and mastered all the books necessary to an
education in the liberal arts. His mother, Monica, was a devout
Christian, and sought to lead her son to a godly life. For a long time
her efforts seemed in vain. Augustine would make no profession of the
Christian faith, but rather indulged in youthful dissipations. His
best quality was his love of study. He became a teacher of rhetoric,
and pursued his vocation in one city and another, always dissatisfied
with his life. At length, in his thirtieth year, he came to Milan,
where he fell under the influence of Bishop Ambrose. Then followed a
mighty struggle in his soul, and in the end he yielded himself
joyfully as a disciple of Christ. On the occasion of his baptism was
composed the hymn called the "Te Deum" which is still used in
churches.

[Illustration: ST. JOHN AND ST. AUGUSTINE
_Church of S. Giovanni Evangelista, Parma_]

Henceforth the life of Augustine was filled with Christian labors.
After some ten years of devout living he became the bishop of Hippo
(near Carthage) where he resided for thirty-five years, until his
death in 430. All his stores of learning were devoted to the
explanation of Christian theology. He wrote a great number of
treatises refuting what he believed to be heresies, and setting forth
what he considered the true doctrines of the faith. An old writer
pronounced him "sweet in speech, wise in letters, and a noble worker
in the labours of the church." In a book of "Confessions" he laid bare
all his faults with great humility.

In our picture the good bishop is learning the truths of the faith
from St. John, while a child-angel behind him holds his crosier and
mitre. Allowing for the difference of ages, there is a certain
resemblance between the two men, showing that they have in common a
refined and sensitive nature, and an ardent temperament. The older
man's face shows lines of thought and character.

St. John seems to be counting off the points of the discussion on his
fingers: it may be that he is unfolding the doctrine of the Trinity.
The bishop follows the argument slowly, imitating St. John's gesture
with hesitating hands. What seems so clear to the eager young teacher
requires much deliberation on the part of the learner. The old man
knits his brows with an intent expression, striving to understand the
mystery. The two earnest faces turned towards each other make an
interesting contrast.

The angel figures of the pendentive are worthy of notice. Three little
creatures are frolicking on the clouds below the saints' feet, and two
are perched on the upper part of the arches. They are wingless
sprites, playful as human children, but with a grace and beauty not of
earth. Two seem to be emerging from a hiding-place in the clouds, and
gaily hail their comrade on the arch above. The lovely sprite on the
opposite arch is thinking of other things, and looks over his shoulder
across the church. The tiny fellow in charge of the mitre and crosier
peeps out with a mischievous countenance.

Our reproduction shows a portion of the soffits, or under sides of the
arches, decorated with figures from Old Testament history, painted in
monochrome.



VIII

ST. MATTHEW AND ST. JEROME


The apostle Matthew was employed as a tax-gatherer in Jerusalem when
he became a disciple of Jesus. He was sitting one day at the receipt
of customs, when Jesus passed by and said unto him, "Follow me." "And
he left all, rose up and followed him."[17] Soon after, the new
disciple made a great feast for the Master, scandalizing the scribes
and Pharisees by inviting guests of doubtful reputation. Matthew,
however, had rightly judged the spirit of Jesus, who had come "not to
call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." Throughout the
ministry of Jesus, Matthew remained a faithful disciple, but without
distinguishing himself in any way. Evidently he had a thoughtful mind
and a good memory. In his Gospel he reported very fully the Sermon on
the Mount and many of the parables.

[Footnote 17: St. Luke, chapter v., verse 28.]

One of the pendentives of the cupola in the church of S. Giovanni
Evangelista is devoted to St. Matthew in company with St. Jerome. The
Evangelist turns from the open Gospel before him to speak to St.
Jerome, who is occupied with his writing. A winged cherub, sitting on
a cloud in front of him, supports his book with both outstretched
arms. The cherub is St. Matthew's emblem, as the eagle is that of St.
John. It is by this charming figure that the old masters represented
the face of "a man," that is, the human face, in the "living creature"
of Ezekiel's vision.[18] The symbol is appropriately applied to the
first Evangelist because his Gospel emphasizes the humanity of Jesus.

[Footnote 18: See also pages 34, 35.]

The token of St. Jerome's identity is the cardinal's hat, held by an
angel on the arch beside him. The two volumes on his lap, in addition
to the scroll upon which he is engaged, show how busy has been the pen
of this learned Father. As the old chronicler relates, "he never
rested day ne night, but always read or wrote."[19]

[Footnote 19: The life of St. Jerome is related in the _Golden
Legend_. See Caxton's translation, in the _Temple Classics_, vol. v.,
page 199. Mrs. Jameson gives a condensed account of the same in
_Sacred and Legendary Art_, page 280.]

He came of a rich family, and received at Rome the best education
afforded by his times. Like his contemporary, St. Augustine, he
devoted all his scholarship to the service of the Christian faith.
While St. Augustine's tastes were more philosophical, St. Jerome's
were perhaps more for pure learning and the study of the classics. He
made himself master of Hebrew and Greek, and his most valuable work
was his translations. He rendered into Latin, which was the literary
language of his day, the various books of the Old and New Testament,
and this version became the authorized Bible or Vulgate.

[Illustration: ST. MATTHEW AND ST. JEROME
_Church of S. Giovanni Evangelista, Parma_]

St. Jerome was a Dalmatian by birth, but in the course of his life
he journeyed to many countries. Soon after his baptism, he visited
Syria, to retrace the scenes of the life of Christ. He then retired to
a desert, where he passed four years in penance and fasting, living in
the companionship of wild beasts. Clothed in sackcloth, he spent his
days in torture, struggling with temptation, and haunted by visions of
demons.

At a later period of his life he was in Rome, where he gained an
immense influence over fashionable women. Two of his converts here
were Paula and Marcella, whose names are historical. Finally he
returned to Palestine, and passed the remainder of his days in a
monastery which he had founded in Bethlehem. He was a man of vehement
nature, a violent partisan, and an untiring student.

Something of his character may be seen in the face of the old man of
our picture, bending over his writing. He seems so absorbed in his
task that he is entirely unconscious of his surroundings. The deep-set
eyes, overhung by shaggy brows, are fixed intently on his scroll. From
his association with St. Matthew, we may fancy that he is translating
the first Gospel. The Evangelist, with his own volume before him, is
supervising the work. He turns to the translator with an encouraging
smile, and seems to dictate the words. St. Matthew's face is gentle
and amiable, though not so strong as we are wont to imagine it. He is
here represented in middle life, at about the age when called to
discipleship.

As in the pendentive of St. John and St. Augustine, the angel figures
add an element of beauty to the picture. Each one seems attracted by
some distant object. The cherub holding St. Matthew's book looks
towards the worshippers in the church. Some one in the congregation
also seems to attract the attention of the angel with the cardinal's
hat, and he smiles shyly, as if in reply to a gesture of admiration.
His companion on the other arch turns his eyes towards the figures in
the dome, where the apostles are enthroned on clouds. The playful
little fellow on the clouds below St. Matthew's feet looks across at
the sprites of the opposite pendentive.

All this charming by-play gives the impression of a company of living
spirits frolicking among the arches of the church. "Have Correggio's
_putti_[20] grown up yet and walked out of their frames?" the painter,
Guido Reni, used to ask, referring with quaint humor to the wonderful
lifelikeness of such child figures. So, looking at these angels, we
half expect to see them wave a hand to us over the arches, and,
turning with a sudden motion, disappear from our sight among the
clouds.

[Footnote 20: Italian for "boys."]



IX

THE REST ON THE RETURN FROM EGYPT

(The Madonna della Scodella)


Before the child Jesus was two years old, he was taken on a journey
which at that time was long and tedious. An angel appeared to Joseph
one night in a dream, saying, "Arise, and take the young child and his
mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee
word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."

The news of Jesus' birth had been first brought to King Herod by the
wise men of the East, who came in search of the new-born king whose
star they had seen. The idea of a strange ruler to usurp the throne
alarmed Herod, and he determined to be rid of any possible rival.
Accordingly orders were given to slay all children in and near
Bethlehem "from two years old and under."

While this terrible slaughter was going on, the Holy Family were
making their way to the strange land of refuge. Here they lived,
awaiting heavenly guidance for their return. "But when Herod was dead,
behold an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into
the land of Israel; for they are dead which sought the young child's
life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came
into the land of Israel."[21]

[Footnote 21: The quotations are from St. Matthew, chapter ii.]

This is all the Evangelist tells us of what was doubtless an exciting,
perhaps even a perilous adventure. We may suppose both journeys to
have been made by donkeys, the common beasts of burden in Eastern
countries. The young mother and child must certainly have had to ride.
As for Joseph, he was a sturdy man, and may well have walked; in those
days travelling was a matter of time. Unused to luxuries, these simple
folk trusted in Providence to supply their few needs by the way.

Our picture illustrates an imaginary incident on the return journey
from Egypt to Israel. It is the hour of the noonday rest, and the
little company have come to a halt in the woods. An old legend relates
how at such times the trees would bend to offer them fruit, and
springs would gush forth out of the dry ground for their refreshment.
Mary has seated herself on a bank by the stream, while Joseph plucks
the fruit from the date palm near by.

The boy Jesus has been standing between the two, watching Joseph, from
whose outstretched hand he now takes the fruit. At the same time he is
thirsty, and leaning back towards his mother, he turns and throws an
arm over her shoulder, asking for a drink of water. She has a round
basin (or _scodella_) which the family use as a drinking-cup, and the
child points to it with a coaxing smile, resting his hand on her
wrist.

[Illustration: THE REST ON THE RETURN FROM EGYPT (MADONNA DELLA SCODELLA)
_Parma Gallery_]

Mary turns with fond pride towards the dear little face so near her
own. Her face is the same which we have already seen bending in a
mother's first ecstasy over her babe. Here it has a maturer and more
matronly look, but with no less sweetness. Joseph, from his higher
level, looks down kindly upon the two. His generous nature seems to
take delight in anything that gives them pleasure. He is large and
heavily built, a stalwart protector should perils beset them. In spite
of the thick draperies so clumsily wound about him, he is a dignified
figure. He holds here a place of prominence seldom given him by other
painters.

The child upon whom so much love is lavished is a tall, lithe boy with
a well shaped head. His hair is parted, and falls in loose curls on
each side of a forehead which marks him a child of genius. The face is
delicate and sensitive, with a shy expression in the eyes.

The family are not alone, for, all unseen by them, a company of
ministering angels wait upon them. A tall one in the rear takes care
of the donkey. Another little creature peeps from the thicket beside
Mary. Four more circle overhead among the branches of the trees, borne
upon little clouds which they have brought with them from the upper
regions. Their wind-blown hair and fluttering garments show how swift
is their motion. One of them tugs mightily at the palm, throwing
himself backward in the effort to bend it towards Joseph. Two others
sport together with interlocked arms, and higher still, a pair of
eyes gleam through the leaves. The whole jocund company seem to fill
the place with mirth. They fulfil the promise of the ancient psalmist,
"He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy
ways."

Certain characteristics of Correggio's art are well illustrated in the
picture. His delight in the foot is here almost equal to that he shows
for the hand in "The Marriage of St. Catherine." The three wayfarers
travel with bare feet, and the ministering angels flaunt their feet
gaily in the air. Drawn in many positions, it is interesting to see
how decorative this feature of the picture is.

The figures are cleverly grouped, that they may completely fill the
tall, narrow panel. The composition is built on a diagonal plan. From
the left hand of Joseph, grasping the palm branch, to the right hand
of Mary, with the basin of water, runs the strong main line which
gives character to the drawing. The child links the two larger figures
together, by stretching out a hand to each. The group of cloud-borne
angels above also follows a diagonal direction parallel to the larger
group. We shall presently see that the painter used the same method of
composition in another picture.

The opening beyond the copse, where the donkey is tied, makes the spot
seem less gloomy and isolated. It is an important principle of art to
represent no enclosed place without a glimpse of light in the
background.



X

ECCE HOMO


The old Hebrew prophet who wrote of the coming Messiah predicted that
he should be "despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and
acquainted with grief." How fully the prophecy was realized, we may
read in the narrative of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.

The enemies of Jesus had to deal with their prisoner according to the
formality of the Roman law. They brought him to the Roman governor,
Pontius Pilate, accusing him of "perverting the nation, and forbidding
to give tribute to Cæsar, saying that he himself is Christ, a
king."[22] The governor duly examined Jesus, but, finding no case
against him, proposed to scourge him and let him go.

[Footnote 22: St. Luke, chapter xxiii., verse 2.]

"Then Pilate therefore took Jesus and scourged him. And the soldiers
platted a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put on him
a purple robe, and said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him
with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto
them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find
no fault in him.

"Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple
robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief
priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying Crucify
him, Crucify him."[23] Pilate again sought to release Jesus, but the
people continued to clamor, "Away with him," "Crucify him." "Then
delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified."[24]

[Footnote 23: St. John, chapter xix., verses 1-6.]

[Footnote 24: _Ib._, verse 16.]

The Latin form of Pilate's words, "Behold the man," has given the
title "Ecce Homo" to our picture. It is the moment when Jesus comes
forth from the rude mockery of the soldiers, clad in a royal robe, and
wearing the crown of thorns. The governor has bidden one of the
soldiers lead the prisoner out on a balcony of the palace. An eager
throng of people are waiting outside, but they are not all enemies.
Among them are a few faithful women, and they are allowed to press
close to the balcony. At the sight of her son, treated as a criminal
with bound hands, the mother, Mary, falls swooning over the
balustrade, supported by a younger woman.

Pilate standing in the doorway behind appeals to the crowd: "I find no
fault in him. Behold the man." He has been deeply impressed by his
interview with Jesus, and is willing to do something in his behalf.
His face is good-natured, we see, but with no strength of character in
it. He is a handsome man with curling beard carefully trimmed,
apparently not a hard man to deal with, but easy-going and selfish.

[Illustration: ECCE HOMO
_National Gallery, London_]

Jesus stands with drooping head and an expression of suffering
resignation. In the menacing faces before him he sees the hatred which
will be satisfied with nothing less than his death. Already he hears
the cruel cry, "Crucify him, crucify him." His badge of kingship is
the crown of suffering. Were his kingdom of this world, his servants
would deliver him from his enemies. As the ruler of a heavenly
kingdom, he was born "to bear witness unto the truth."

The rich mantle, which the soldiers have mockingly thrown over his
shoulders, falls away and shows the body as it had been bared for the
scourging. It is a beautiful form, perfectly developed, and the arms
and hands are as delicately modelled as a woman's. The face is oval,
with regular features of classic mould, a short parted beard, and long
hair falling in disordered curls about it. This is the typical face of
Christ, as it has been handed down from generation to generation since
early in the Christian era. The rude pictures in the catacombs are on
the same model. So faithfully has the type been followed through the
centuries, some believe that the original must have been an authentic
likeness.[25]

[Footnote 25: See _Rex Regum_, by Sir Wyke Bayliss.]

The mother Mary is still young and beautiful. As the great
Michelangelo said, "Purity enjoys eternal youth."[26] A heavy veil or
mantle is draped over her head, framing the pure profile of her face.
This form of drapery is common among the old masters in painting Mary
as _Mater Dolorosa_, or the Sorrowing Mother.

[Footnote 26: See the volume on Michelangelo in the _Riverside Art
Series_, page 35.]

Artistically considered, this figure of the fainting mother is the
finest thing in the picture. Her companion, probably Mary Magdalene,
is also a lovely creature, though we see only a part of her face.

The subject is in tragic contrast to the illustrations we have just
been studying. It seems strange to connect this Man of Sorrows with
the happy boy we saw by the woodland spring, or this grief-stricken
woman with that proud young mother. Correggio himself, we know, shrank
from such sad themes.

Like the picture of The Marriage of St. Catherine, our illustration
shows how skilfully Correggio painted hands. The drooping fingers of
the Saviour taper delicately, with long almond-shaped nails. Pilate's
hand has slender, flexible fingers like those of some dainty woman,
and might be mated with that of Mary Magdalene. It is apparent that
the study of hands and feet interested our painter more than that of
faces. We shall lose much in his pictures if we do not give special
attention to these features. In the case before us, the face of Christ
must be less attractive, on account of the sorrowful expression. To
make up, as it were, for this, the hands are brought into prominent
notice, and are very beautiful.



XI

APOSTLES AND GENII


The glory of Parma is the Cathedral, which represents the labors of
many centuries. The building itself was begun in 1058, and completed
in the thirteenth century. The interior was beautified by a succession
of artists, one of whom was our painter Correggio. His work here was
the decoration of the cupola, and he began it immediately upon
finishing the frescoes in the church of S. Giovanni Evangelista.

The Cathedral dome is octagonal in shape. In the roof, or topmost
space, the Virgin Mary seems borne on circling throngs of saints and
angels to meet the Saviour in the upper air. Below the dome runs a
cornice, or frieze, in eight sections, filled with figures of apostles
gazing upon the vision. Still lower are four decorated pendentives,
similar to those in the church of S. Giovanni Evangelista. These
contain respectively the four patron saints of Parma.

To the spectator looking up from below, the effect is of "a moving
vision, rapturous and ecstatic." A multitude of radiant figures sweep
and whirl through the heavenly spaces. "They are upon every side,
bending, tossing, floating, and diving through the clouds, hovering
above the abysmal void that is between the dome and the earth below
it."[27] Wonderful indeed is the triumph of the painter's art in this
place. "Reverse the cupola and fill it with gold, and even that will
not represent its worth," said Titian.

[Footnote 27: E. H. Blashfield in _Italian Cities._]

Our illustration shows a portion of the octagonal cornice. The design
is a simulated balcony ornamented with tall candelabra. In front stand
the apostles grouped in twos at the corners. On the top of the
balustrade, in the spaces between the candelabra, sport a band of
genii, or heavenly spirits.

The four apostles are men of giant frames with broad shoulders and
stalwart limbs. They are of middle age, heavily bearded, and all look
much alike. It would be impossible to call one Peter, and another
Paul, or to identify any particular persons. Evidently it was not the
intention of the artist to distinguish individuals. All the figures
are turned with lifted faces towards the vision in the dome. Each
expresses, by a gesture, the wonder, joy, rapture, or admiration
aroused by the spectacle. Their attitudes are somewhat extravagant and
self-conscious. The drapery, too, is rather fantastic, flung about
their figures, leaving arms and legs bare. Were the picture taken out
of its surroundings it would scarcely suggest a Christian subject.
These colossal beings are like Titans moving through the figures of a
sacred dance, and murmuring the mystic incantations of some heathen
rite.

[Illustration: APOSTLES AND GENII
_Cathedral, Parma_]

But we must not press our interpretation too far. The panel should be
studied for its decorative quality as a part of a larger scheme.
Viewed from below, this procession of figures must be exceedingly
effective. The emphasis of lines is diagonal, flowing in the direction
of the focal point of the whole decoration.

The genii of the balustrade are beings of Correggio's own creation.
His imagination called forth a world of spirits without a counterpart
in the work of any other painter. Lacking the wings usually given in
art to angels, they also lack the proper air of sanctity for heavenly
habitants. Yet they are far too ethereal for mortals. Neither angel
nor human, they are rather sprites of elf-land. With their tossing
hair and agile motions they remind us of woodland creatures, and they
look shyly out of their eyes like the furtive folk of the forest.

They are sportive, but not mischievous, in the human sense. They
frolic in the pure delight of motion. By mortal standards of age they
are between childhood and youth, when limbs are long and bodies
supple. Their only draperies are narrow scarfs which they twist about
them in every conceivable way.

Of the seven figures seen in our illustration, two only have any
ostensible purpose to serve. One seems to be lighting a candelabrum
with a flambeau; another carries a bowl which may be used for incense.
The others are idlers. If they have any duties as acolytes, these are
for the moment forgotten. Several are attracted by the ceremonies in
the cathedral and look down from their high perch upon the worshipping
congregation.

The sprite at the extreme right is seated, and peeps over his shoulder
with a rather dreamy expression. Next come two who are playing
together, one throwing up his left arm as if to balance himself.
Beyond the candelabrum is one whose parted hair and coquettish pose of
the head give a feminine look to the figure. The sprite in the centre
of the balustrade is the most winsome of the company. His bright eyes
have spied out some one in the congregation, and stooping, he points
directly at the person. His expression is very roguish. The little
fellow with the flambeau is at the left, and last is one whose face is
turned away towards the imaginary space behind the balcony.

Our illustration gives us a general idea of Correggio's decorative
method. The human body was his material; his patterns were woven of
nude figures, posed in every possible attitude. Every figure is in
motion, and the whole multitude palpitates with the joy of living.



XII

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST


In one of the pendentives of the cupola in the Parma Cathedral is the
figure of St. John the Baptist reproduced in our illustration. The
background is made to resemble somewhat the interior of a shell. On
billows of clouds sits the prophet, with a lamb in his arms, and a
circle of angels playing about him.

St. John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus, and the first to recognize
the true character of the carpenter's son. While Jesus was still
living in obscurity in Nazareth, John went forth to preach in the
wilderness about the river Jordan. His manner of life was very
singular. He "had his raiment of camel's hair and a leathern girdle
about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey."[28]

[Footnote 28: St. Matthew, chapter iii., verse 4.]

The preacher was stern in denouncing sin and in warning evil-doers of
the wrath to come. The burden of all his sermons was, "Repent, for the
kingdom of heaven is at hand." When the people asked him what they
ought to do, his answers were full of common sense. "He that hath two
coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat,
let him do likewise." To the tax-collectors, he said, "Exact no more
than that which is appointed you;" to the soldiers, "Do violence to no
man, neither accuse any falsely."[29]

[Footnote 29: St. Luke, chapter iii.]

The authorities sent from Jerusalem to question the claims of the
strange preacher; but his reply was in the words of the old Hebrew
prophet, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness."[30]

[Footnote 30: St. John, chapter i., verse 23.]

It was the custom of John to baptize his converts in the river Jordan.
One day Jesus presented himself for baptism, and John saw in him one
whose shoe's latchet he was not worthy to unloose. At once he
proclaimed him to the people as the "Lamb of God who taketh away the
sins of the world."[31]

[Footnote 31: _Ib._, verse 29.]

With the entrance of Jesus upon his ministry, John's work was
fulfilled. "He must increase, but I must decrease," said the prophet
humbly.[32] He was soon after cast into prison by King Herod, whose
vices he had openly rebuked. Thence he was taken out only to be
executed.

[Footnote 32: St. John, chapter iii., verse 30.]

It must be confessed that Correggio cared very little about making a
true character study of St. John. There is not much in the figure of
our pendentive to suggest the stern and fearless prophet of the
wilderness. The humility of the countenance is perhaps the feature
most appropriate to the character. The shy, haunting expression in the
eyes is, too, such as belongs to one who, like St. John, lived much
alone in the woods. The tunic is short and sleeveless, showing the
strong limbs of the hermit.

[Illustration: ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST
_Cathedral, Parma_]

For the rest, the Baptist's face has the same gentle amiability we
have already seen in St. Matthew and Joseph. The type is a common one
with Correggio. A certain resemblance runs through nearly all his male
figures, whether of smooth-faced youth, bearded manhood, or hoary old
age.

The tenderness of St. John for his little lamb is the chief motive of
the picture. He carries it on his left arm, supporting the weight on
his knee, and the innocent creature puts its nose close to the
prophet's face. The lamb is the accepted symbol of St. John the
Baptist, in allusion to the words with which he addressed Jesus at the
Jordan, "Behold the lamb of God." The same figure is used in the book
of Revelation, where the Lamb is described "in the midst of the
throne." Standing for the person of Christ himself, St. John holds the
sacred emblem with reverence. To understand why his face is lifted in
this direction we must remember that his glance is directed toward the
vision in the dome just above.

The angel figures of this pendentive are among the most beautiful and
characteristic of the myriad throng of the cupola. The impression made
by this great spirit company upon one standing beneath the dome has
been described in some lines by Aubrey de Vere:--

    "Creatures all eyes and brows and tresses streaming,
    By speed divine blown back; within all fire
    Of wondering zeal, and storm of bright desire.
    Round the broad dome the immortal throngs are beaming,
    With elemental powers the vault is teeming;
    We gaze, and gazing join the fervid choir,
    In spirit launched on wings that ne'er can tire."

While the spirits in the upper part of the cupola are massed so
closely together that we do not see the full beauty of each one, these
in our picture may be studied separately. There are six in all, and
their purpose is to call the attention of the worshippers to the
prophet. The two in the rear, whose bodies are hidden in the clouds,
gaze upon him adoringly. One on each side points with outstretched
finger to the lamb, as if repeating the Baptist's words, "Behold the
lamb of God." The angel astride the cloud in front was interrupted in
the same task by a little fellow suddenly shooting out from the clouds
beneath him. He peers into the opening at one side, but still lifts
his left hand towards the prophet above him.

The six figures are arranged in a semicircle, and their slender limbs
and lithe bodies trace rhythmic lines of grace. The most charming of
the company is perhaps he at the right, whose eyes meet ours with a
bewitching smile.



XIII

CHRIST APPEARING TO MARY MAGDALENE IN THE GARDEN

(Noli me tangere)


It was Sunday, the third day after the crucifixion of Jesus. Early in
the morning, while it was yet dark, a young woman made her way to the
rock-hewn tomb in the garden of Joseph of Arimathea. It was Mary
Magdalene, whom Jesus had rescued from a life of sin. Much had been
forgiven her, therefore she loved much. In her sorrow she came to
visit the spot where the body of her crucified Master had been laid.

Great was her surprise to find that the stone placed at the entrance
of the tomb had been rolled away. In her perplexity, she ran to tell
the disciples Peter and John. They all hurried back together to the
garden, and the two men, entering the tomb, found it empty. Unable to
explain the mystery, they presently returned home, leaving Mary still
standing without the sepulchre weeping.

"And as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and
seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other
at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her,
Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken
away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

"And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus
standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman,
why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the
gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me
where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto
her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is
to say, Master.

"Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my
Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my
Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."[33]

[Footnote 33: Chapter xx. of the Gospel according to St. John, verses
11-17.]

Our picture illustrates the story of that first Easter morning. Jesus
has greeted Mary by name, and she has instantly recognized the Master.
Sinking on her knees, she would have impulsively stretched out her
hands to him, but he repels her with a gesture. Awe-struck, she gazes
into his face, while he explains the message she is to carry to the
disciples.

[Illustration: CHRIST APPEARING TO MARY MAGDALENE IN THE GARDEN (NOLI
ME TANGERE)
_Prado Gallery, Madrid_]

The risen Lord is clad in but one garment, a heavy mantle, knotted at
the waist. The upper part is slipping from his shoulders, leaving the
torso bare. The beauty of the form reminds us of a Greek statue. On
the ground beside him are some garden tools, a hoe and a spade, and
beyond these lies a straw hat. These things explain why Mary, blinded
and confused with weeping, supposed that it was the gardener who spoke
to her.

The Master's attitude and gesture emphasize the meaning of his words.
The body sways slightly to one side, as if shrinking from Mary's
touch. He still holds his right hand outstretched, as when he said
"Touch me not." And now he raises his left arm, and pointing
heavenward declares that he is about to ascend to his Father. He seems
to speak gently as to a child, and looks down into Mary's face with a
smile.

The young woman is richly arrayed in a brocade dress, cut so as to
show her beautiful neck and arms. A mass of wavy golden hair falls
over her shoulders and upon her bosom. Her tapering wrists and
delicate hands indicate gentle blood, but her features are somewhat
heavy, and the face would not attract us by its beauty. The rapt
expression of devotion is what makes it interesting. The whole
attitude expresses complete self-forgetfulness.

The lithe and youthful figure of Christ recalls the boy we saw in a
former picture journeying from Egypt. We can see that this is the man
into whom that child is grown. We note again the high full forehead
over which the parted hair is brushed in curves. Again, too, we see
the small mouth with the gentle smile. The figure in general features
resembles the Christ type which is illustrated in the picture of Ecce
Homo.

In painting the figure of the risen Christ, the old masters were
accustomed to give prominence to the nail prints in hands and feet,
and the wound in his side. Correggio has not done this. Such signs of
suffering were inconsistent with the joyous nature of his art. The
subject of the picture is entirely a happy one, and he has kept out of
it all evidences of the crucifixion, emphasizing rather the idea of
the ascension.

In some artistic points our picture resembles the Madonna della
Scodella. The pose of Christ is similar to that of Joseph, with one
arm lifted up, and the other reaching down. Thus is formed the
diagonal line which is at the basis of the composition. The right arm
of Mary carries the line on to the lower corner of the picture.

The landscape setting makes a spacious background, and a large tree
behind Christ throws his figure into relief.



XIV

THE MADONNA OF ST. JEROME

(Il Giorno)


It is a bright clear day, and a baby boy is having a rare frolic out
of doors, on his mother's knee. It is the little Christ-child, and his
visitors are St. Jerome and Mary Magdalene. Overhead a red cloth
drapery has been stretched from tree to tree, making a sort of canopy
to protect the company from the direct rays of the sun. St. Jerome has
brought as an offering the books which represent the scholarly toil of
many years. Mary Magdalene has her jar of ointment for the anointing
of the Saviour's feet.

The mother sits on a slight elevation in the centre, her bare foot
resting on the ground. St. Jerome stands in front, a little at one
side, where he can hold a book directly before the child's face. Mary
Magdalene, half kneeling on the other side, stoops to caress a little
foot. The sturdy old father seems to have come directly from his
monastery in Bethlehem, and his lion follows him like a faithful dog.
The old legend relates that as he sat one evening at his monastery
gate, a lion approached, holding up a paw which was pierced with a
thorn. The good father removed the thorn and dressed the wound, and
the grateful beast became thenceforth the constant companion of his
benefactor.

The scroll in St. Jerome's right hand may be any one of his many
treatises or translations. The large open volume is undoubtedly his
Latin version of the Bible. One side of the book is supported on his
left hand, while the other is held by an attendant angel, who turns
the pages for the Christ-child. There is something very interesting on
the page now open, and the angel points a slender finger to a
particular passage. The child is wrought up to the highest pitch of
excitement. He stretches out his legs and arms, his whole body
stiffening in a tremor of joy. He fairly pants with eagerness for the
treasure just beyond his grasp. Though not a pretty boy, he is so full
of life that we find him very captivating.

Old St. Jerome looks immensely pleased with the child's delight. The
angel playfellow is delighted with his success in amusing the baby,
and laughs sympathetically with him. The mother smiles with gentle
indulgence, and holds him firmly lest he spring from her arms. Mary
Magdalene appears almost unconscious of what is going on. Her whole
being is absorbed in loving devotion. She has caught one little foot
lightly by the heel, and, drawing it towards her, lays her cheek
against the soft knee. Her hair is unbound, and falls in long tresses
over her neck. In throwing out his arms, the child's left hand has
fallen on the golden head, and here it rests as if he returned the
caress. In the mean time a mischievous urchin, who may be the boy
Baptist, holds the Magdalene's jar of ointment. He stands behind her
like a small lackey, and sniffs curiously at the contents of the pot.

[Illustration: THE MADONNA OF ST. JEROME
_Parma Gallery_]

If it seems strange that St. Jerome and Mary Magdalene should be here
together, we must remember that the painters of Correggio's time did
not try to represent sacred scenes with historical accuracy. It was
customary to bring together in a picture persons who lived in
altogether different periods and countries. The meaning of such
pictures was symbolic. The Christians of all ages constitute a
communion of the saints who meet at the Christ-child's feet.

The two saints here make a fine artistic contrast,--the rugged and
grizzled old man, and the lovely golden-haired maiden. The splendid
muscular strength of the one is offset against the radiant beauty of
the other. In a devotional sense also the contrast is most
appropriate. St. Jerome has served the Christ with great powers of
intellect; Mary Magdalene brings only a woman's loving heart. The one
has written great books; the other could do nothing but anoint the
Saviour's feet. Yet the two kinds of service are equally important.
St. Jerome's translations have carried the gospel over the world, and
it is written that "Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the
whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told
for a memorial of her."[34]

[Footnote 34: St. Matthew, chapter xxvi., verse 13.]

The composition of the picture is on a diagonal plan similar to that
which we have already noticed in his pictures.[35] The structural line
may be traced from the top of St. Jerome's head across the shoulders
and back of Mary Magdalene. The edge of the canopy overhead emphasizes
this line by following the same general direction. The child's figure
behind the Magdalene balances the figure of the lion in the left
corner.

[Footnote 35: See chapters IX. and XIII.]

The landscape which lies beyond the canopy is an important and
beautiful part of the picture. Without this spacious distance in the
background the large figures filling the foreground would crowd the
composition unpleasantly. It is a relief to the eye to traverse this
stretch of sunny country.

The picture makes it possible for us to understand why Correggio has
been called a painter of "light and space and motion." All three
characteristics are admirably illustrated here. In color, too, the
original painting is very fine. The Virgin wears the usual red robe
and blue mantle, the colors denoting love and constancy. St. Jerome
has a blue drapery about the hips and a crimson mantle, while the
angel's tunic and Mary Magdalene's mantle are yellow.

It is the clear golden atmosphere flooding the scene which gives it
the Italian name of "Il Giorno," The Day.



XV

CUPID SHARPENING HIS ARROWS

(Detail of Danaë)


In the imagination of the ancient Greeks all human love was inspired
by the goddess Aphrodite, Venus, aided by her son, the little archer
Cupid. It was Cupid's office to shoot the arrows of affection. Being a
mischievous fellow, he took delight in aiming his shafts at the
unsuspecting. Often his victims were so oddly chosen that it seemed as
if the marksman had shot at random. Some believed that he did his work
blindfolded.

The poets describe Cupid as a beautiful winged boy carrying a bow and
a quiver of arrows, and sometimes a torch. He flew at will through the
wide universe, but he loved best the island of Cyprus, which was his
mother's first home. "His head has goodly curls," wrote Moschus,[36]
"but impudent is the face he wears; his little hands are tiny, 'tis
true, yet they shoot far.... Small is his arrow, yet it carries even
to the sky.... He is naked indeed, so far as his body is concerned,
but his mind is shrouded. And being winged as a bird he flies upon now
one party of men and women and now another, and settles on their
inmost hearts."

[Footnote 36: In the first idyl, translated by J. Bank.]

The mingled pain and delight caused by a wound of love is explained by
the fact that Cupid's arrows were tipped with gall and honey. The way
in which they were fashioned is variously described by the poets.
Anacreon has it that they were made at the forge of Vulcan, the
husband of Venus, and the blacksmith of the gods. One of this poet's
odes relates how--

    "In the Lemnian caves of fire
    The mate of her who nursed Desire
    Moulded the glowing steel to form
    Arrows for Cupid thrilling warm;
    While Venus every barb imbues
    With droppings of her honeyed dews;
    And Love (alas the victim heart)
    Tinges with gall the burning dart."[37]

[Footnote 37: In Moore's translation.]

A slightly different explanation is given by the Latin poet
Claudian:--

    "In Cyprus' isle two rippling fountains fall
    And one with honey flows, and one with gall;
    In these, if we may take the tale from fame,
    The son of Venus dips his darts of flame."

However the story may run, there is but one ending. The victim of the
love-god's arrow confesses that "loving is a painful thrill," but "not
to love, more painful still."

[Illustration: CUPID SHARPENING HIS ARROWS (DETAIL OF DANAË)
_Borghese Gallery, Rome_]

So bold was the little archer that the mightiest could not withstand
his arts. The war-god Mars, bringing his spear one day to Vulcan's
forge, smiled contemptuously at the light shafts of Cupid. "Try it,"
said little Love, handing him one. Whereupon the foolish fellow cried
out in an agony of pain, and begged Cupid to take the arrow back.
Apollo, the archer of the sun, was equally imprudent, and was richly
punished for his sneers. An arrow from the fatal quiver made him mad
with unrequited love for the nymph Daphne. A being who could give so
much pain and pleasure was at once to be loved and feared. Hence all
paid homage--

    "To Love, for heaven and earth adore him
    And gods and mortals bow before him."

In our picture, Cupid looks just as the poets have described him, a
beautiful baby boy with wings and "goodly curls." Only the milk and
honey of Cyprus could have made the little body so plump. A deep
crease marks the line of his wrist, a soft fold of flesh the neck. The
full quiver lies on the table beside him, and he is sharpening one of
the darts.[38] A little companion helps him hold the whetstone steady
while he presses the arrow tip upon its surface. Some lines of Horace
come to mind describing--

    "Cupid sharpening all his fiery darts
    Upon a whetstone stained with blood of hearts."

[Footnote 38: Vasari says that Cupid is trying the arrow on a stone.]

Cupid's companion is as like him as a twin, save that he has no wings.
He may be a human playfellow of the little god, or one of the brood of
loves with which the poets have peopled Cyprus. While the original
myth told of only one Cupid, imagination has multiplied his kind. We
read of the "playful rout of Cupids" attendant upon the love-god, who
rules as sovereign among them.

The two children of the picture are intent upon their task. The very
seriousness of their manner argues some mischief in view. Evidently
they are preparing for a great conquest. The arrow must not fail of
its work, but must be sharp enough to carry the sweet poison straight
to the victim's heart.

Both of the chubby fellows have rather large heads with clustering
ringlets. The wingless boy has the high, full forehead which marks an
active mind. Cupid seems to have the more energetic temperament of the
two, while his comrade is a bit of a dreamer.

Our picture is a charming illustration of Correggio's love of
children. As it was not the fashion of his time to paint children's
portraits, he had to make his own opportunities for the favorite
subject. How ingenious he was we have had occasion to see in our
study. When given a sacred subject to paint he filled all the
available spaces with child angels sporting in the clouds. With the
ceiling of a room to decorate, he covered the whole surface with a
band of little boys at play.

Our reproduction is a detail of a larger picture illustrating the myth
of Danaë. The two little figures are in the lower right corner of the
canvas.



XVI

A SUPPOSED PORTRAIT OF CORREGGIO


Almost every celebrated painter has at some time in his life sat for
his portrait. Many have painted their own likenesses, not so much from
motives of vanity, but as a matter of artistic interest. Others have
posed as models to their fellow painters.

Correggio was an exception in this regard. The old biographer Vasari
made many efforts to procure a portrait, and concluded that "he never
took it himself, nor ever had it taken by others, seeing that he lived
much in retirement."

Our painter, as we have seen, was not a student of the face. Form and
expression did not greatly interest him. He busied himself chiefly
with problems of light and shade. This is perhaps the reason why he
never thought it worth while to paint his portrait. He was not a
traveller, and probably never visited any of the great art centres of
his time. So he made no friends among the contemporary painters who
would have been likely to make his portrait. In any case his busy life
left little time for any work for himself, and if he thought at all of
a portrait, he doubtless postponed it to some more convenient season.
Waiting for such a time, his career was brought suddenly to an end. He
died of fever in Correggio at the age of forty.

In the passing centuries one picture after another has been put
forward as a pretended portrait of Correggio. The painter's admirers
were always eager to believe that a real likeness had at last been
discovered. Though we cannot rely upon the genuineness of any of
these, some are very interesting.

Such an one is our frontispiece, from a painting in the Parma Gallery,
pointed out as Correggio's portrait. Whoever the original may have
been, the expression is certainly animated and intelligent. There is
much humor and kindliness in the face. The unknown artist should have
the credit for the gift of revealing the individual character of his
sitter.

Lacking an authentic portrait of the man Correggio, we have to content
ourselves with the short account of his character given by Vasari. "He
was a person," writes the biographer, "who held himself in but slight
esteem, nor could he ever persuade himself that he knew anything
satisfactorily respecting his art; perceiving its difficulties, he
could not give himself credit for approaching the perfection to which
he would so fain have seen it carried; he was a man who contented
himself with very little, and always lived in the manner of a good
Christian."



PRONOUNCING VOCABULARY OF PROPER NAMES AND FOREIGN WORDS

The Diacritical Marks given are those found in the latest edition of
Webster's International Dictionary.


EXPLANATION OF DIACRITICAL MARKS.


A Dash (¯) above the vowel denotes the long sound, as in fāte, ēve,
     tīme, nōte, ūse.
A Dash and a Dot (-̇) above the vowel denote the same sound, less
     prolonged.
A Curve (˘) above the vowel denotes the short sound, as in ădd, ĕnd,
     ĭll, ŏdd, ŭp.

A Dot ( ̇) above the vowel a denotes the obscure sound of a in pȧst,
     ȧbāte, Amĕricȧ.

A Double Dot (¨) above the vowel a denotes the broad sound of a in
     fäther, älms.

A Double Dot (..) below the vowel a denotes the sound of a in ba̤ll.

A Wave (~) above the vowel e denotes the sound of e in hẽr.

A Circumflex Accent (^) above the vowel o denotes the sound of o in bôrn.

A dot (.) below the vowel u denotes the sound of u in the French language.

N indicates that the preceding vowel has the French nasal tone.

G and K denote the guttural sound of ch in the German language.

th denotes the sound of th in the, this.

ç sounds like s.

c̵ sounds like k.

ṣ̱ sounds like z.

ḡ is hard as in ḡet.

ġ is soft as in ġem.


Allegri (äl-lā'grē).

Altius cæteris Dei patefecit arcana (äl'tḗ-ŏŏs kī'tā̇̇-rḗs dā'ē
    pä-tā-fā'-kĭt är-kä'nä).

Ambrose (ăm'brōz).

Anacreon (ăn-ăk'rḗ-ŏn).

Antonio (än-tō'nē-ō).

Apollo (ȧ-pŏl´lō).

Aphrodite (ăf-rṓ-dī'tē).

Artemis (är'tē-mĭs).

Arimathea (Ăr-ĭ-mȧ-thē´ȧ).

Athena (ă-thē'nȧ).

Augustine (a̤'gŭs-tēn).

Aurora (a̤-rō'rȧ).

Austin (a̤s'tĭn).


Bayliss, Wyke (wĭk bā'lĭs).

Bethlehem (Bĕth'lēhĕm).

Berenson (bā'rĕn-sŏn).

Blashfield (blăsh'fēld).

Burckhardt (bōōrk'härt).


Cæsar (sē'zȧr).

candelabrum (kăn-dḗ-lā'brŭm).

Carthage (kär'thāj).

Catherine (kăth'ĕr-ĭn).

Caxton (kăks'tŭn).

Cavaliere (kä-vä-lē-ā'rā̇̇).

chiaroscuro (kyä-rṓ-skōō'rṓ).

Cicerone (chē-chā-rō'nā̇̇).

Claudian (cla̤'dĭ-ā̇̇n).

Correggio (kŏr-rĕd'jō).

Costus (kŏs'tŭs).

Comus (kō'mŭs).

Cupid (Cū'pĭd).

Cyprus (sī'prŭs).


Dalmatian (dăl-mā'shȧn).

Danaë (dā'nā̇̇-ē).

Daphne (dăf'nē).

Diana (dī-ăn'ȧ _or_ dī-ā'nȧ).


Ecce Homo (ĕk'kĕ _or_ ĕk'sḗ  hō'mō).

Egypt (ē'jĭpt).

Endymion (ĕn-dĭm'ĭ-ŭn).

Ephesus (ĕf'ḗ-sŭs).

Ezekiel (ē-zē'kĭ-ĕl).


Galilee (găl'ĭ-lē).

Giorno, Il (ēl jôr'nō).

Giovanni Evangelista (jō̇-vän'nē̇ ā-vän-jā-lēs'tä).

Guido Reni (gwē'dō rā'nē).


Hazlitt (Hăz'lĭtt).

Heilige Nacht (hī'lḗG-ŭ näKt).

Heaton (hē'tŭn).

Herod (Hĕr'ŏd).

Hesperus (Hĕs'pẽrŭs).

Hippo (Hĭp'pō).

Horace (hôr'ā̇̇s).


Ignem gladio ne fodias (ḗg'nĕm glä'-dḗ-ō nā fō'dḗ-äs).

Israel (ĭz'rā̇-ĕl).


Jameson (jā'mĕ-sŭn).

Jerome (jē̇-rōm' _or_ jĕr'ŏm).

Jerusalem (Jĕrū'sȧlĕm).

Jordan (Jôr'dȧn).

Judæa (jū̇-dē̇'ȧ).


Keats (kēts).

Kugler (kōōg'lẽr).


Layard (Lāy'ȧrd).

Lemnian (Lĕm'nĭȧn).


Madonna (Mȧdŏn'nȧ).

Magdalene (Măg'dā̇-lē̇n).

Marcella (mär-sĕl'ȧ).

Matthew (mă'thū).

Mater Dolorosa (mā'tẽr dŏl-ṓ-rō'sȧ _or_ mä'tār dō-lō-rō'sä).

Maxentius (măks-ĕn'shĭ-ŭs).

Mars (Märs).

Meyer (mī'ẽr).

Michelangelo (mē-kĕl-än'jā̇-lō).

Milan (mĭl'ȧn _or_ mĭ-lăn').

Monica (Mŏn'ĭcȧ).

Moore (mōr _or_ mōōr).

Moschus (mŏs'kŭs).

Morelli (mō-rĕl'ḗ).


Nazareth (Năz'ȧrĕth).

Nicodemus (nĭk-ō-dē'mŭs).

Noli me tangere (nō'lḗ mā tän'gā̇̇-rā̇̇ _or_ nō'lī  mē  tăn'jĕ-rḗ).

Notte, La (lä nōt'tā̇̇).

Numidia (Nūmĭd'ĭȧ).


Palestine (Păl'ĕstīne).

Paolo (Pä'ōlō).

Parma (Pär'mä).

Patmos (Păt'mŏs).

Paula (pa̤'lȧ).

Pharisee (făr'ĭ-sē).

Piacenza (pē-ä-chĕn'dzä).

Plato (Plā'tō).

Pontius Pilate (pŏn'shĭ-ŭs pĭ'lāt).

putti (pŏŏt'tē).


Rabboni (Răbbō'nĭ).

Raphael (rä'fā-ĕl).

Rex Regum (rāks rā'gōōm).

Ricci, Corrado (kōr-rä'dō rēt'chē).

Ruskin (Rŭs'kĭn).


Sala del Pergolato (sä'lä dĕl pair-gō-lä'tō).

Scipione Montino (shē-pē-ō'nā̇̇ mōn-tē'nō).

Scodella (skō-dĕl'lä).

Sebastian (sḗ-băst'yȧn).

Simmonds (sĭm'ŭndz).

Symonds (sĭm'ŭndz).

Syria (sĭr'ĭ-ȧ).


Te Deum (tā  dā'ōōm _or_ tē  dē'ŭm).

Titan (tī'tȧn).

Titian (tĭsh'ȧn).


Umbrian (ŭm'brĭ-ȧn).


Vasari (vä sä'rē̇).

Venus (Vē'nŭs).

Vere, Aubrey de (aa̤'brĭ dē vēr).

Vulcan (Vŭl'cȧn).

Vulgate (Vŭl'gāte).


Wordsworth (wẽrdz'wẽrth).


Zebedee (Zĕb'ĕdēē).

       *       *       *       *       *





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