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Title: The History of Painting in Italy, Vol. 2 - from the Period of the Revival of the Fine Arts to the End of the Eighteenth Century
Author: Lanzi, Luigi Antonio
Language: English
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  VOL. II.









  From the Original Italian





  VOL. II.







  J. M'Creery, Tooks Court,
  Chancery-lane, London.






  EPOCH I.    _The old masters_                                       1

  EPOCH II.   _Raffaello and his school_                             48

  EPOCH III.  _The art declines, in consequence of the
              public calamities of Rome, and gradually
              falls into mannerism_                                 124

  EPOCH IV.   _Restoration of the Roman school by Barocci
              and other artists, subjects of the Roman
              state and foreigners_                                 177

  EPOCH V.    _The scholars of Pietro da Cortona, from
              an injudicious imitation of their master, deteriorate
              the art_--_Maratta and others support
              it_                                                   262



  EPOCH I.    _The old masters_                                     345

  EPOCH II.   _Modern Neapolitan style, founded on the
              schools of Raffaello and Michelangiolo_               368

  EPOCH III.  _Corenzio, Ribera, Caracciolo, flourish in
              Naples_--_Strangers who compete with them_            389

  EPOCH IV.   _Luca Giordano, Solimene, and their
              scholars_                                             426






I have frequently heard the lovers of art express a doubt whether the
Roman School possesses the same inherent right to that distinctive
appellation as the schools of Florence, Bologna, and Venice. Those of
the latter cities were, indeed, founded by their respective citizens,
and supported through a long course of ages; while the Roman School, it
may be said, could boast only of Giulio Romano and Sacchi, and a few
others, natives of Rome, who taught, and left scholars there. The other
artists who flourished there were either natives of the cities of the
Roman state, or from other parts of Italy, some of whom established
themselves in Rome, and others, after the close of their labours there,
returned and died in their native places. But this question is, if I
mistake not, rather a dispute of words than of things, and similar to
those objections advanced by the peripatetic sophists against the modern
philosophy; insisting that they abuse the meaning of their words, and
quoting, as an example, the _vis inertiæ_; as if that, which is in
itself inert, could possess the quality of force. The moderns laugh at
this difficulty, and coolly reply that, if the _vis_ displeased them,
they might substitute _natura_, or any other equivalent word; and that
it was lost time to dispute about words, and neglect things. So it may
be said in this case; they who disapprove of the designation of school,
may substitute that of academy, or any other term denoting a place where
the art of painting is professed and taught. And, as the learned
universities always derive their names from the city where they are
established, as the university of Padua or Pisa, although the professors
may be all, or in great part, from other states, so it is with the
schools of painting, to which the name of the country is always
attached, in preference to that of the master. In Vasari we do not find
this classification of schools, and Monsignor Agucchi was the first to
divide Italian art into the schools of Lombardy, Venice, Tuscany, and
Rome.[1] He has employed the term of schools after the manner of the
ancients, and has thus characterised one of them as the Roman School. He
has, perhaps, erred in placing Michel Angiolo, as well as Raphael, at
the head of this school, as posterity have assigned him his station as
chief of the school of Florence; but he has judged right in classing it
under a separate head, possessing, as it does, its own peculiar style;
and in this he has been followed by all the modern writers of art. The
characteristic feature in the Roman School has been said to consist in a
strict imitation of the works of the ancients, not only in sublimity,
but also in elegance and selection; and to this we shall add other
peculiarities, which will be noticed in their proper place. Thus, from
its propriety, or from tacit convention, the appellation of the Roman
School has been generally adopted; and, as it certainly serves to
distinguish one of the leading styles of Italian art, it becomes
necessary to employ it, in order to make ourselves clearly understood.
We cannot, indeed, allow to the Roman School so extensive a range as we
have assigned to that of Florence, in the first book; nevertheless,
every one that chooses may apply this appellation to it in a very
enlarged sense. Nor is the fact of other artists having taught, or
having given a tone to painting in the capital, any valid objection to
this term; since, in a similar manner, we find Titiano, Paolo Veronese,
and Bassano, in Venice, though all of them were strangers; but, as they
were subjects of her government, they were all termed Venetians, as that
name alike embraces those born in the city or within the dominions of
the Republic. The same may be said of the subjects of the Pope. Besides
the natives of Rome, there appeared masters from many of her subject
cities, who, teaching in Rome, followed in the steps of their
predecessors, and maintained the same principles of art. Passing over
Pier della Francesca and Pietro Vannucci, we may refer to Raffaello
himself as an example. Raffaello was born in Urbino, and was the subject
of a duke, who held his fief under the Roman see, and who, in Rome, held
the office of prefect of the city; and whose dominions, in failure of
male issue, reverted to the Pope, as the heritage of the church. Thus
Raffaello cannot be considered other than a Roman subject. To him
succeeded Giulio Romano and his scholars; who were followed by Zuccari,
and the mannerists of that time, until the art found a better style
under the direction of Baroccio, Baglione, and others. After them
flourished Sacchi and Maratta, whose successors have extended to our own
times. Restricted within these bounds, the Roman may certainly be
considered as a national school; and, if not rich in numbers, it is at
least so in point of excellence, as Raffaello in himself outweighs a
world of inferior artists.

The other painters who resided in Rome, and followed the principles of
that school, I shall neither attempt to add to, nor to subtract from the
number of its followers; adopting it as a maxim not to interfere in the
decision of disputes, alike idle and irrelevant to my subject. Still
less shall I ascribe to it those who there adopted a totally different
style, as Michelangiolo da Caravaggio, an artist whom Lombardy may lay
claim to, on account of his birth, or Venice, from his receiving his
education in that city, though he lived and wrote in Rome, and
influenced the taste of the national school there by his own example and
that of his scholars. In the same manner many other names will
occasionally occur in the history of this school: it is the duty of the
historian to mention these, and it is, at the same time, an incomparable
triumph to the Roman School, that she stands, in this manner, as the
centre of all the others; and that so many artists could not have
obtained celebrity, if they had not seen Rome, or could not have claimed
that title from the world unless they had first obtained her suffrage.

I shall not identify the limits of this school with those of the
dominions of the church, as in that case we should comprise in it the
painters of Bologna, Ferrara, and Romagna, whom I have reserved for
another volume. In my limits I shall include only the capital, and the
provinces in its immediate vicinity, as Latium, the Sabine territories,
the patrimony of the Church, Umbria, Picenum, and the state of Urbino,
the artists of which district were, for the most part, educated in Rome,
or under the eyes of Roman masters. My historical notices of them will
be principally derived from Vasari, Baglione, Passeri, and Leone
Pascoli. From these writers we have the lives of many artists who
painted in Rome, and the last named author has included in his account
his fellow countrymen of Perugia. Pascoli has not, indeed, the merits of
the three first writers; but he does not deserve the discredit thrown on
him by Ratti and Bottari, the latter of whom, in his notes to Vasari,
does not hesitate to call him a wretched writer, and unworthy of credit.
His work, indeed, on the artists of Perugia, shows that he
indiscriminately copied what he found in others, whether good or bad;
and to the vulgar traditions of the early artists he paid more than due
attention. But his other work, on the history of the modern painters,
sculptors, and architects, is a book of authority. In every branch of
history much credit is attached to the accounts of contemporary writers,
particularly if they were acquaintances or friends of the persons of
whom they wrote; and Pascoli has this advantage; for, in addition to
information from their own mouths, he derived materials from their
surviving friends, nor spared any pains to arrive at the truth, (_see
Vita del Cozza_). The judgment, therefore, which he passes on each
artist, is not wholly to be despised, since he formed it on those of the
various professors then living in Rome, as Winckelmann has observed
(tom. i. p. 450); and, if these persons, as it is pretended, have erred
in their judgment on the Greek sculptors, they have certainly not erred
in their estimate of modern painters, particularly Luti, to whom I
imagine Pascoli, from esteem and intimacy, deferred more than to any
other artist.

We have from Bellori other lives, written with more learning and
criticism, some of which are supposed to be lost. He had originally
applied himself to painting, but deserted that art, as we may conjecture
from Pascoli (_vita del Canini_), and attached himself to poetry, and
the study of antiquities: and his skill in both arts manifests itself in
the lives he has left, which are few, but interspersed with interesting
and minute particulars of the characters of the painters and their
works. In his plan, he informs us he has followed the advice of Niccolo
Poussin. He composed also a "Description of the figures painted by
Raffaello, in the churches of the Vatican;" a tract which contains some
severe reflections on Vasari,[2] but is nevertheless highly useful. We
also find a profusion of entertaining anecdotes in Taja, in his
"Description of the Vatican;" and in Titi, in his account of the
pictures, sculpture, and architecture of Rome. This work has recently
been republished, with additions; and we shall occasionally quote it
under the name of the _Guide_. Pesaro is indebted for a similar _Guide_
to Signor Becci, and Ascoli and Perugia to Signor Baldassare Orsini, a
celebrated architect. We have also the _Lettere Perugine_ of Sig.
Dottore Annibale Mariotti, which treat of the early painters of Perugia,
with a store of information and critical acumen that render them highly
valuable. To these may also be added, the _Risposta_ of the above named
Sig. Orsini, whom I regret to see entering on Etruscan ground, as he
there repeats many ancient errors, which have been long exploded by
common consent: in other points it is a treatise worth perusal. If we
turn to _Descriptions_, we have them of several periods, as that of the
Basilica Loretana, and that of Assisi, composed by P. Angeli; and the
account of the Duomo of Orvieto, written by P. della Valle; and the
works on the churches of S. Francesco di Perugia, and S. Pietro di Fano,
by anonymous writers. The Abbate Colucci has favoured us with recent
notices on various artists of Piceno and Umbria, and Urbino, in his
_Antichità Picene_, extended, as far as my observation goes, to tom.
XXXI.[3] The learned authors whom I have named, and others to whom I
shall occasionally refer, have furnished the chief materials of my
present treatise, although I have myself collected a considerable part
from artists and lovers of art, either in conversation, or in my
correspondence. Thus far in the way of introduction.

[Footnote 1: Bellori, Vite de' Pittori, p. 191. "The Roman School, of
which Raffaello and Michel Angiolo were the great masters, derived its
principles from the study of the statues and works of the ancients."]

[Footnote 2: Lett. Pittor. tom. ii. p. 323; and Dialoghi sopra le tre
Arti del Disegno. In Lucca, 1754.]

[Footnote 3: This work contains contributions from various quarters. I
have not, however, made an equal use of all; as I believe some pictures
to be copies, which are there referred to as originals; and as several
names there mentioned, may with propriety be omitted. In my references,
I shall often cite the collections; sometimes also the authors of some
more considerable treatises, as P. Civalli, Terzi, Sig. Agostino Rossi,
Sig. Arciprete Lazzari, respecting whom I must refer to the second
index, where will be found the titles of their respective works.]



  _Early Artists._

If we turn our eyes for a moment to that tract of country which we have
designated as falling within the limits of the Roman School, amidst the
claims of modern art, we shall occasionally meet with both Greek and
Latin pictures of the rude ages; from the first of which we may
conclude, that Greek artists formerly painted in this part of Italy; and
from the latter, that our own countrymen were emulous to follow their
example. One of these artists is said to have had the name of Luca, and
to him is ascribed the picture of the Virgin, at S. Maria Maggiore, and
many others in Italy, which are believed to be painted by S. Luke the
Evangelist. Who this Luca was, or whether one painter or more of that
name ever existed, we shall presently inquire. The tradition was
impugned by Manni,[4] and after him by Piacenza, (tom. ii. p. 120,) and
is now only preserved among the vulgar, a numerous class indeed, who
shut their ears to every rational criticism as an innovation on their
faith. This vulgar opinion is alike oppugned by the silence of the early
artists, and the well attested fact, that in the first ages of the
church the Virgin was not represented with the holy Infant in her
arms;[5] but had her hands extended in the act of prayer. This is
exemplified in the funeral vase of glass in the Museo Trombelli at
Bologna, with the inscription MARIA, and in many bassirilievi of
christian sarcophagi, where she is represented in a similar attitude.
Rome possesses several of these specimens, and several are to be found
in Velletri.[6] It is however a common opinion, that these pictures are
by a painter of the name of Luca. Lami refers to a legend of the 14th
century of the Madonna dell'Impruneta, where they are said to be the
works of a Florentine of the name of Luca, who for his many christian
virtues obtained the title of saint.[7] They are not however all in the
same style, and some of them bear Greek inscriptions, whence we may
conclude that they are by various hands; although they all appear to be
painted in or about the 12th century. This tradition was not confined to
Italy alone, but found its way also into many of the eastern churches.
The author of the _Anecdotes des Beaux Arts_, relates that the memory of
a Luca, a hermit, who had painted many rude portraits of the Virgin, was
held in great veneration in Greece; and that through a popular
superstition he had succeeded to the title of S. Luke the Evangelist.
Tournefort (_Voyage, &c._) mentions an image of the Virgin at Mount
Lebanon, attributed by the vulgar to S. Luke; but which was doubtless
also the work of some Luke, a monk in one of the early ages.

More considerable remains both of the Greek and Italian artists of the
13th century are to be found in Assisi, as related in my first book; and
to those already mentioned as painted on the walls, may be added others
on panel, and all by unknown artists; particularly a crucifixion in S.
Chiara, of which there is a tradition, that it was painted before Giunta
appeared. Another picture anterior to this period, and bearing the date
of 1219, is to be seen at Subiaco; it is a consecration of a church, and
the painter informs us that _Conciolus pinxit_. If in addition to these
artists we inquire after the miniature painters, we may find specimens
of them in abundance, in the library of the Vatican, and other
collections in Rome. I shall name S. Agostino, in the public library of
Perugia, where the Redeemer is seen in the midst of saints, and the
opening of Genesis is painted in miniature; a design which, from the
angular folds of the drapery, partakes of the Greek style, but still
serves to prove this art to have been known at that time in Umbria. In
addition to what I have remarked, I may also observe, that in Perugia,
in the course of the same century, the artists were sufficiently
numerous to form an academy, as we may collect from the _Lettere
Perugine_, and these, when we consider the time, must have been in great
part miniature painters.

It is now time to notice Oderigi of Gubbio, a town very near to Perugia.
Vasari tells us that he was a man of celebrity, and a friend of Giotto,
in Rome; and Dante, in his second _Cantica_, calls him an honour to
Agobbio, and excelling in the art of miniature. These are the only
authorities that Baldinucci could have for transferring this ancient
artist to the school of Cimabue, and ingrafting him in his usual manner
on that stock. Upon these he founded his conjecture; and, according to
his custom, gave them more weight than they deserved. His opinion,
however amplified, reduces itself to the assumption that Giotto,
Oderigi, and Dante, were lovers of art, and common friends, and became
therefore acquainted in the school of Cimabue; a very uncertain
conclusion. We shall consider this subject more maturely in the school
of Bologna, since Oderigi lived there, and instructed Franco, from whom
Bologna dates the series of her painters. It is thought, too, that he
left some scholars in his native place, and not long after him, in 1321,
we find Cecco, and Puccio da Gubbio, engaged as painters of the
Cathedral of Orvieto; and about the year 1342, Guido Palmerucci of the
same place, employed in the palace of his native city. There remains a
work of his in fresco in the hall, much injured by time; but some
figures of saints are still preserved, which do not yield to the best
style of Giotto. Some other vestiges of very ancient paintings are to be
seen in the Confraternita de' Bianchi; in whose archives it is mentioned
that the picture of S. Biagio was repaired by Donato, in 1374; whence it
must necessarily be of a very early period. This and other interesting
information I obtained from Sig. Sebastiano Rangliasci, a noble
inhabitant of Gubbio, who has formed a catalogue of the artists of his
native city, inserted in the fourth volume of the last edition of

We are now arrived at the age of Giotto, and the first who presents
himself to us is Pietro Cavallini, who was instructed by Giotto, in
Rome,[8] in the arts of painting and mosaic, both of which he followed
with skill and intelligence. The Roman Guide makes mention of him, and
that of Florence refers to a Nunziata at S. Mark; and there are others
mentioned by Vasari as being in the chapels of that city; one of which
is in the Loggia del Grano. The most remarkable of his works is to be
seen in Assisi. It is a fresco, and occupies a large façade in one
division of the church. It represents the crucifixion of our Saviour,
surrounded by bands of soldiers, foot and horse, and a numerous crowd of
spectators, all varying in their dress and the expression of their
passions. In the sky is a band of angels, whose sympathizing sorrow is
vividly depicted. In extent and spirit of design it partakes of the
style of Memmi, and in one of the sufferers on the cross he has shewn
that he justly appreciated and successfully followed his guide. The
colours are well preserved, particularly the blue, which there, and in
other parts of the church, presents to our admiring gaze, to use the
language of our poets, a heaven of oriental sapphire.

Vasari does not appear to have been acquainted with any scholar of
Pietro Cavallini, except it be Giovanni da Pistoja; but Pietro, who
lived in Rome the greater part of his life, which was extended to a
period of eighty-five years, must have contributed his aid in no small
degree to the advancement of art, in the capital, as well as in other
places. However this may be, in that part of Italy, pictures of his
school are still found; or at least memorials of art of the age in which
he flourished. We have an Andrea of Velletri, of whom a specimen is
preserved in the select collection of the Museo Borgia, with the Virgin
surrounded by saints, a common subject at that period in the churches,
as I have before observed. It has the name of the painter, with the year
1334, and in execution approaches nearer to the school of Siena than any
other. In the year 1321 we find Ugolino Orvietano, Gio. Bonini di
Assisi, Lello Perugino, and F. Giacomo da Camerino, noticed by us in
another place, all employed in painting in the Cathedral of Orvieto.
Mariotti, in his letters, mentions other artists of Perugia, and the
memory of a very early painter of Fabriano is preserved by Ascevolini,
the historian of that city, who informs us, that in the country church
of S. Maria Maddalena, in his time, there was a picture in fresco, by
Bocco, executed in 1306. A Francesco Tio da Fabriano, who in 1318
painted the tribune of the Conventuals at Mondaino, is mentioned by
Colucci, (tom. xxv. p. 183). This work has perished; but the productions
of a successor of his at Fabriano are to be seen in the oratory of S.
Antonio Abate, the walls of which remain. Many histories of the saint
are there to be found, divided into pictures, in the early style, and
inscribed, _Allegrettus Nutii de Fabriano hoc opus fecit 136_.... The
art in these parts was not a little advanced by their proximity to
Assisi, where Giotto's scholars were employed after his death,
particularly Puccio Capanna of Florence. This artist, who is esteemed
one of the most successful followers of Giotto, after painting in
Florence, in Pistoia, Rimino, and Bologna, is conjectured by Vasari to
have settled in Assisi, where he left many works behind him.

We shall find the succeeding century more fruitful in art, as the Popes
at that time forsook Avignon, and, re-establishing themselves in Rome,
began to decorate the palace of the Vatican, and to employ painters of
celebrity both there and in the churches. There does not appear any
person of distinction amongst them as a native of Rome. From the Roman
State we find Gentile da Fabriano, Piero della Francesca, Bonfigli,
Vannucci, and Melozzo, who first practised the art of _sotto in su_; and
amongst the strangers are Pisanello, Masaccio, Beato Angelico,
Botticelli and his colleagues. Amongst these too, it is said, was to be
found Mantegna, and there still remains the chapel painted by him for
Innocent VIII. although since converted to another purpose. Each of
these artists I shall notice in their respective schools, and shall here
only mention such as were found in the country from the Ufente to the
Tronto, and from thence to the Metauro, which are the confines of our
present class. The names of many others may be collected from books; as
an Andrea, and a Bartolommeo, both of Orvieto, and a Mariotto da
Viterbo, and others who worked at Orvieto from 1405 to 1457; and some
who painted in Rome itself, a Giovenale and a Salli di Celano, and
others now forgotten. But without pausing on these, we will advert to
the artists of Piceno, of the State of Urbino, and the remaining parts
of Umbria: where we shall meet with the traces of schools which remained
for many years.

The school of Fabriano, which seems very ancient in Picenum, produced at
that time Gentile, one of the first painters of his age, of whom
Bonarruoti is reported to have said, that his style was in unison with
his name. The first notice we have of him is among the painters of the
church of Orvieto, in 1417; and then, or soon afterwards, he received
from the historians of that period the appellation of _magister
magistrorum_, and they mention the Madonna which he there painted, and
which still remains. He afterwards resided in Venice, where, after
ornamenting the Palazzo Publico, he was rewarded by the republic with a
salary, and with the privilege of wearing the patrician dress of that
city. He there, says Vasari, became the master, and, in a manner, the
father of Jacopo Bellini, the father and preceptor of two of the
ornaments of the Venetian school. These were Gentile, who assumed that
name in memory of Gentile da Fabriano, born in 1421; and Giovanni, who
surpassed his brother in reputation, and from whose school arose
Giorgione and Titian. He (Gentile da Fabriano) was employed in the
Lateran, at Rome, where he rivalled Pisanello, in the time of Martin V.;
and it is to be regretted that his works, both there and in Venice, have
perished. Facio, who eulogizes him, and who had seen his most finished
performances, extols him as a man of universal art, who represented, not
only the human form and edifices in the most correct manner, but painted
also the stormy appearances of nature in a style that struck terror into
the spectator. In painting the history of St. John, in the Lateran, and
the Five Prophets over it, of the colour of marble, he is said to have
used more than common care, as if he at that time prognosticated his own
approaching death, which soon afterwards occurred, and the work remained
unfinished. Notwithstanding this, Ruggier da Bruggia, as Facio relates,
when he went to Rome, in the holy year, and saw it, considered it a
stupendous work, which placed Gentile at the head of all the painters of
Italy. According to Vasari and Borghini, he executed a countless number
of works in the Marca, and in the state of Urbino, and particularly in
Gubbio, and in Città di Castello, which are in the neighbourhood of his
native place; and there still remain in those districts, and in Perugia,
some paintings in his style. A remarkable one is mentioned in a country
church called la Romita, near Fabriano.[9] Florence possesses two
beautiful specimens: the one in S. Niccolo, with the effigy and history
of the sainted bishop, the other in the sacristy of S. Trinità, with an
Epiphany, having the date of 1423. They bear a near resemblance to the
style of B. Angelico, except that the proportions of the figures are not
so correct, the conception is less just, and the fringe of gold and
brocades more frequent. Vasari pronounces him a pupil of Beato, and
Baldinucci confirms this opinion, although he says that Beato took
religious orders at an early age in 1407, a period which would exclude
Gentile from his tuition. I conjecture both the one and the other to
have been scholars of miniature painters, from the fineness of their
execution, and from the size of their works, which are generally on a
small scale. The name of an Antonio da Fabriano appears in a
Crucifixion, in 1454, painted on wood, which I saw in Matelica, in the
possession of the Signori Piersanti; but it is inferior to Gentile in

On an ancient picture, which is preserved in Perugia, in the convent of
S. Domenico, is the name of a painter of Camerino, a place in the same
neighbourhood, who flourished in 1447. The inscription is _Opus Johannis
Bochatis de Chamereno_. In the same district is S. Severino, where we
find a Lorenzo, who, in conjunction with his brother, painted in the
oratory of S. John the Baptist in Urbino, the life of that saint. These
two artists were much behind their age. I have seen some other works by
them, from which it appears that they were living in 1470, and painted
in the Florentine style of 1400. Other artists of the same province are
named in the _Storia del Piceno_, particularly at S. Ginesio, a Fabio di
Gentile di Andrea, a Domenico Balestrieri, and a Stefano Folchetti,
whose works are cited, with the date of their execution attached to
them.[11] In this district also resided several strangers, scarcely
known to their native places, as Francesco d'Imola, a scholar of
Francia, who, in the convent of Cingoli, painted a Descent from the
Cross; and Carlo Crivelli, a Venetian, who passed from one state to
another, and finally settled in Ascoli. His works are to be met with
there more frequently than in any other city of Picenum. I shall speak
of his merits in the Venetian school, and shall here only add, that he
had for a pupil Pietro Alamanni, the chief of the painters of Ascoli, a
respectable _quattrocentista_, who painted an altarpiece at S. Maria
della Carità, in 1489. About this time also we find amongst their names
a Vittorio Crivelli, a Venetian, of the family, as I conjecture, and
perhaps of the school of Carlo. There is frequent mention of him in the
_Antichità Picene_.

Urbino, too, had her artists, as her princes were not behind the other
rulers of Italy in good taste. At the restoration of the art, we find
Giotto, and several of his scholars, there; and afterwards Gentile da
Fabriano,[12] a Galeazzo, and, possibly, a Gentile di Urbino. At Pesaro,
in the convent of S. Agostino, I have seen a Madonna, accompanied with
beautiful architecture, and an inscription--_Bartholomaeus Magistri
Gentilis de Urbino_, 1497; and at Monte Cicardo, I saw the same name on
an ancient picture of 1508, but without his birthplace. (Ant. Pic. tom.
xvii. 145.) I am in doubt whether this _M. Gentilis_ refers to the
father of Bartolommeo or his master, as the scholars at that time often
took their designation from their masters. At all events, this artist is
not to be confounded with Bartolommeo from Ferrara, whose son,
Benedetto, subscribes himself _Benedictus quondam Bartholomaei de Fer.
Pictor._ 1492. This is to be seen in the church of S. Domenico di
Urbino, on the altarpiece in the Chapel of the Muccioli, their

In the city of Urbino there remain some works of the father of
Raffaello, who, in a letter of the Duchess Giovanna della Rovere, which
is the first of the Lettere Pittoriche, is designated as _molto
virtuoso_. There is by him in the church of S. Francis, a good picture
of S. Sebastian, with figures in an attitude of supplication. There is
one attributed also to him in a small church dedicated to the same
saint, representing his martyrdom, with a figure foreshortened, which
Raffaello, when young, imitated in a picture of the Virgin, at Città di
Castello. He subscribed himself _Io. Sanctis Urbi._ (_Urbinas_). So I
read it in the sacristy of the Conventuals of Sinigaglia in an
Annunciation in which there is a beautiful angel, and an infant Christ
descending from the father; and which seems to be copied from those of
Pietro Perugino, with whom Raffaello worked some time, though it has a
still more ancient style. The other figures are less beautiful, but yet
graceful, and the extremities are carefully executed. But the most
distinguished painter in Urbino was F. Bartolommeo Corradini d'Urbino, a
Domenican, called Fra. Carnevale. To an accurate eye his pictures are
defective in perspective, and retain in the drapery the dryness of his
age, but the portraits are so strongly expressed that they seem to live
and speak; the architecture is beautiful, and the colours bright, and
the air of the heads at the same time noble and unaffected. It is known
that Bramante and Raffaello studied him, as there were not, at that
time, any better works in Urbino. In Gubbio, which formed a part of this
dukedom, were to be seen in that age the remains of the early school.
There exists a fresco by Ottaviano Martis in S. Maria Nuova, painted in
1403. The Virgin is surrounded by a choir of angels, certainly too much
resembling each other, but in their forms and attitudes as graceful and
pleasing as any contemporary productions.

Borgo S. Sepolcro, Foligno, and Perugia, present us with artists of
greater celebrity. Borgo was a part of Umbria subject to the Holy See,
and was, in 1440, pledged to the Florentines,[13] by Eugenius IV. at the
time Piero della Francesca, or Piero Borghese, one of the most memorable
painters of this age, was at the summit of his reputation. He must have
been born about 1398, since Vasari states that "he painted about the
year 1458,"[14] and that he became blind at sixty years of age, and
remained so until his death, in his eighty-sixth year. From his
fifteenth year he applied himself to painting, at which age he had made
himself master of the principles of mathematics, and he rose to great
eminence both in art and science.[15] I have not been able to ascertain
who was his master, but it is probable that as he was the son of a poor
widow, who had barely the means of bringing him up, he did not leave his
native place; and that under the guidance of obscure masters he raised
himself, by his own genius, to the high degree of fame which he enjoyed.
He first appeared, says Vasari, in the court of the elder Guidubaldo
Feltro, Duke of Urbino, where he left only some pictures of figures on a
small scale, which was the case with such as were not the pupils of the
great masters. He was celebrated for a remarkable drawing of a Vase, so
ingeniously designed that the front, the back, the sides, the bottom,
and the mouth, were all shewn; the whole drawn with the greatest
correctness, and the circles gracefully foreshortened. The art of
perspective, the principles of which he was, as some affirm, the first
among the Italians to develope and to cultivate, was much indebted to
him;[16] and painting, too, owed much to his example in imitating the
effects of light, in marking correctly the muscles of the naked figure,
in preparing models of clay for his figures, and in the study of his
drapery, the folds of which he fixed on the model itself, and drew very
accurately and minutely. On examining the style of Bramante and his
Milanese contemporaries, I have often thought that they derived some
light from Piero, for, as I have before said, he painted in Urbino where
Bramante studied, and afterwards executed many works in Rome, where
Bramantino came and was employed by Nicholas V.

In the Floreria of the Vatican is still to be seen a large fresco
painting, in which the above named pontiff is represented with cardinals
and prelates, and there is a degree of truth in the countenances highly
interesting. Taja does not assert that it is by Pietro, but says that it
is attributed to him.[17] Those which are pointed out in Arezzo
doubtless belong to him, and the most remarkable are the histories of
the holy cross in the choir of the church of the Conventuals, which shew
that the art was already advanced beyond its infancy; there is so much
new in the Giotto manner of foreshortening, in the relief, and in many
difficulties of the art overcome in his works. If he had possessed the
grace of Masaccio he might with justice have been placed at his side. At
Città S. Sepolcro there still remain some works attributed to him; a S.
Lodovico Vescovo, in the public palace, at S. Chiara a picture of the
Assumption, with the apostles in the distance, and a choir of angels at
the top, but in the foreground are S. Francis, S. Jerome, and other
figures, which injure the unity of the composition. There are, however,
still traces in them of the old style; a poverty of design, a hardness
in the foldings of the drapery, feet which are well foreshortened, but
too far apart. As to the rest, in design, in the air, and in the
colouring of the figures, it seems to be a rude sketch of that style
which was ameliorated by P. Perugino, and perfected by Raffaello.

In the latter part of this century there flourished several good
painters at Foligno, but it is not known from whom they derived their
instructions. In the twenty-fifth volume of the Antichità Picene we
read, that in the church of S. Francesco di Cagli there exists (I know
not whether it be now there) a most beautiful composition, painted in
1461, at the price of 115 ducats of gold, by M. Pietro di Mazzaforte and
M. Niccolo Deliberatore of Foligno. At S. Venanzio di Camerino is a
large altarpiece on a ground of gold, with Christ on the Cross,
surrounded by many Saints, with three small evangelical histories added
to it. The inscription is _Opus Nicolai Fulginatis_, 1480; it is in the
style of the last imitators of Giotto, and there is scarcely a doubt
that the artist studied at Florence. I believe him to be the same artist
as Niccolo Deliberatore, or di Liberatore; and different from Niccolò
Alunno, also of Foligno, whom Vasari mentions as an excellent painter in
the time of Pinturicchio. He painted in distemper, as was common before
Pietro Perugino, but in tints that have survived uninjured to our own
times. In the distribution of his colours he was original; his heads
possess expression, though they are common, and sometimes heavy, when
they represent the vulgar. There is at S. Niccolò di Foligno a picture
by him, composed in the style of the fourteenth century, the Virgin
surrounded by saints, and underneath small histories of the Passion,
where the perspicuity is more to be praised than the disposition. In the
same style some of his pieces in Foligno are painted after 1500. Vasari
thinks they are all surpassed by his Pietà in a chapel of the Duomo, in
which are represented two angels, "whose grief is so vividly expressed,
that any other artist, however ambitious he might be, would find it
difficult to surpass it."

Perugia, from whence the art derived no common lustre, abounded in
painters beyond any other city. The celebrated Mariotti formed a long
catalogue of the painters of the fourteenth century, and among the most
conspicuous are Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, and Bartolommeo Caporali, of whom
we have pictures of the date of 1487. Some strangers were also to be
found amongst them, as that Lello da Velletri, the author of an
altarpiece, and its lower compartments, noticed by Signor Orsini.
Benedetto Bonfigli was distinguished above all others, and was the most
eminent artist of Perugia in his day. I have seen by him, besides the
picture in fresco in the Palazzo Publico, mentioned by Vasari, a picture
of the Magi, in S. Domenico, in a style similar to Gentile, and with a
large proportion of gold; and another in a more modern style, an
Annunciation, in the church of the Orfanelli. The angel in it is most
beautiful, and the whole picture would bear comparison with the works of
the best artists of this period, if the drawing were more correct.[18]

What I have already adduced sufficiently proves that the art was not
neglected in the Papal States, even in the ruder ages; and that men of
genius from time to time appeared there, who, without leaving their
native places, still gave an impulse to art. Florence, however, has ever
been the great capital of design, the leading academy, and the Athens of
Italy. It would be idle to question her indisputable claim to this high
honour; and Sixtus IV., who, as we have before mentioned, sought through
all Italy for artists to ornament the Sistine chapel, procured the
greatest number from Tuscany; nor were there to be found amongst them
any who were his own subjects, except Pietro Perugino, and he too had
risen to notice and celebrity in Florence. These then are the first
mature fruits of the Roman school, for until this period they had been
crude and tasteless. Pietro is her Masaccio, her Ghirlandajo, her all.
We will here take a short view of him and his scholars, reserving,
however, the divine Raffaello to the next epoch, which indeed is
designated by his illustrious name.

Pietro Vannucci della Pieve,[19] as he calls himself in some pictures,
or of Perugia in others, from the citizenship which he there enjoyed,
had studied under a master of no great celebrity, if we are to believe
Vasari; and this was a Pietro da Perugia, as Bottari conjectured, or
Niccolò Alunno, as it was reported in Foligno. Mariotti pretends that
Pietro advanced himself greatly in Perugia in the schools of Bonfigli,
and Pietro della Francesca, from which he not only derived that
excellence in perspective, which, from the testimony of Vasari was so
much admired in Florence, but also much of his design and colouring.[20]
Mariotti then raises a doubt whether, when he went as an artist to
Florence, he became the scholar of Verrocchio, as writers report, or
whether he did not rather perfect himself from the great examples of
Masaccio, and the excellent painters who at that time flourished there;
and he finally determines in favour of the opinion held by Pascoli,
Bottari, and Taja, and adopted by Padre Resta, in his _Galleria
Portatile_, p. 10, that Verrocchio was never his master. It is well
worth while to read the disquisitions of this able writer in his fifth
letter, where we may admire the dexterity with which he settles a point
so perplexed and so interesting to the history of art. I will only add
that it appears to me not improbable, that Pietro, when he arrived at
Florence, attached himself to this most celebrated artist, and was
instructed by him in design, and in the plastic art particularly, and in
that fine style of painting with which Verrocchio, without much
practising it himself, imbued both Vinci and Credi. Traditions are
seldom wholly groundless; they have generally some foundation in truth.

The manner of Pietro is somewhat hard and dry, like that of other
painters of his time; and he occasionally exhibits a poverty in the
drapery of his figures; his garments and mantles being curtailed and
confined. But he atones for these faults by the grace of his heads,
particularly in his boys and in his women; which have an air of elegance
and a charm of colour unknown to his contemporaries. It is delightful to
behold in his pictures, and in his frescos which remain in Perugia and
Rome, the bright azure ground which affords such high relief to his
figures; the green, purple, and violet tints so chastely harmonized, the
beautiful and well drawn landscape and edifices, which, as Vasari says,
was a thing until that time never seen in Florence. In his altarpieces
he is not sufficiently varied. There is a remarkable painting executed
for the church of S. Simone, at Perugia, of a Holy Family, one of the
first specimens of a well designed and well composed altarpiece. In
other respects Pietro did not make any great advances in invention; his
Crucifixions and his Descents from the Cross are numerous, and of an
uniform character. He has thus represented, with little variation, the
Ascensions of our Lord and of the Virgin, in Bologna, in Florence,
Perugia, and Città di S. Sepolcro. He was reproached with this
circumstance in his lifetime, and defended himself by saying that no one
had a right to complain, as the designs were all his own. There is also
another defence, which is, that compositions, really beautiful, are
still seen with delight when repeated in different places; whoever sees
in the Sistine his S. Peter invested with the keys, will not be
displeased at finding at Perugia the same landscape, in a picture of the
Marriage of the Virgin. On the contrary, this picture is one of the
finest objects that noble city affords; and may be considered as
containing an epitome of the various styles of Pietro. In the opinion of
some persons, his frescos exhibit a more fertile invention, and greater
delicacy and harmony of colour. Of these, his masterpiece is in his
native city, in the Sala del Cambio. It is an evangelical subject, with
saints from the Old Testament, and with his own portrait, to which his
grateful fellow citizens attached an elegant eulogy. He is most eminent,
and adopts a sort of Raffaellesque style, in some of his latter
pictures. I have observed it in a Holy Family, in the Carmine in
Perugia. The same may be said too of certain small pictures, almost of a
miniature class; as in the grado of S. Peter, in Perugia, than which
nothing can be more finished and beautiful; and in many other pieces in
which he has spared no pains,[21] but which are few in comparison to the
multitude by his scholars, attributed to him.

In treating of the school of Pietro Perugino, it is necessary to advert
to what Taja,[22] and after him the author of the _Lettere Perugine_,
notices respecting his scholars, "that they were most scrupulous in
adhering to the manner of their master, and as they were very numerous,
they have filled the world with pictures, which both by painters and
connoisseurs are very commonly considered as his." When his works in
Perugia are inspected, he generally rises in the esteem of travellers,
of whom many have only seen paintings incorrectly ascribed to him. In
Florence there are some of his pictures in the Grand Duke's collection:
and in the church of S. Chiara, his beautiful Descent from the Cross,
and some other works; but in private collections both here and in other
cities of Tuscany, many Holy Families are assigned to him, which are
most probably by Gerino da Pistoja, or some of his Tuscan scholars, of
whom there is a catalogue in our first book. The Papal states also
possessed many of his scholars, who were of higher reputation, nor so
wholly attached to his manner as the strangers. Bernardino Pinturicchio,
his scholar and assistant in Perugia and in Rome, was a painter little
valued by Vasari, who has not allowed him his full share of merit. He
has not the style of design of his master, and retains more than
consistent with his age, the ornaments of gold in his drapery; but he is
magnificent in his edifices, spirited in his countenances, and extremely
natural in every thing he introduces into his composition. As he was on
the most familiar footing with Raffaello, with whom he painted at Siena,
he has emulated his grace in some of his figures, as in his picture of
S. Lorenzo in the church of the Francescani di Spello, in which there is
a small S. John the Baptist, thought by some to be by Raphael himself.
He was very successful in arabesques and perspective; in which way he
was the first to represent cities in the ornaments of his fresco
paintings, as in an apartment of the Vatican, where in his landscapes he
introduced views of the principal cities of Italy. In many of his
paintings he retained the ancient custom of making part of his
decorations of stucco, as the arches, a custom which was observed in the
Milanese school to the time of Gaudenzio. Rome possesses some of his
works, particularly in the Vatican, and in Araceli. There is a good
picture by him in the duomo of Spello.[23] His best is at Siena, in the
magnificent sacristy of which we have already made mention. They consist
of ten historical subjects, containing the most memorable passages in
the life of Pius II., and on the outside is an eleventh, which
represents the Coronation of Pius III., by whom this work was ordered.

Vasari has added to the life of Pinturicchio that of Girolamo Genga, of
Urbino, at first a scholar of Signorelli, afterwards of Perugino, and
who remained some time pursuing his studies in Florence. He was, for a
long period, in the service of the Duke of Urbino, and attached himself
more to architecture than to painting, though, in the latter, he was
sufficiently distinguished to deserve a place in the history of art. We
cannot form a correct judgment of him, as a great part of his own works
have perished; and as he assisted Signorelli in Orvieto and other
places; and was assisted by Timoteo della Vite in Urbino, and in the
imperial palace of Pesaro by Raffaelle del Colle, and various others. In
the Petrucci palace at Siena, which now belongs to the noble family of
Savini, some historical pieces are ascribed to him near those of
Signorelli. They are described in the Lettere Senesi, and in the notes
published at Siena to the fourth volume of Vasari. These pieces are
praised as superior to those of Signorelli, and as in many parts
approaching the early style of Raffaello. Nor do I see how, in the above
mentioned letters, they could be supposed to be by Razzi, or Peruzzi, or
Pacchiarotto, "_in their hard dry manner_" when history assures us that
Girolamo was with Pandolfo a considerable time, which cannot be asserted
of the other three; and as it appears that Petrucci, to finish the work
of Signorelli, selected Genga from among his scholars. If we deprive him
of this work, which is the only one which can be called his own, what
can he have executed in all this time? In this house there is no other
picture that can be assigned to him, although Vasari asserts that he
there painted other rooms. A most beautiful picture by Genga, and of the
greatest rarity, is to be seen in S. Caterina da Siena in Rome; the
subject is the Resurrection of our Saviour.

Of the other scholars of Perugino we have no distinct account; but we
find some notice of them in the life of their master. Giovanni
Spagnuolo, named Lo Spagna, was one of the many _oltramontani_ whom
Perugino instructed. The greater part of these introduced his manner
into their own countries, but Giovanni established himself at Spoleti,
at which place, and in Assisi, he left his best works. In the opinion of
Vasari the colouring of Perugino survived in him more than in any of his
fellow scholars. In a chapel of the Angioli, below Assisi, there remains
the picture described by Vasari, in which are the portraits of the
brotherhood of S. Francis, who closed his days on this spot, and,
perhaps, no other pupil of this school has painted portraits with more
truth, if we except Raffaello himself, with whom no other painter is to
be compared.

A more memorable person is Andrea Luigi di Assisi, a competitor of
Raffaello, although of more mature years, who, from his happy genius was
named L'Ingegno. He assisted Perugino in the Sala del Cambio, and in
other works of more consequence; and he may be said to be the first of
that school who began to enlarge the style, and soften the colouring.
This is observable in several of his works, and singularly so in the
sybils and prophets in fresco in the church of Assisi; if they are by
his hand, as is generally believed. It is impossible to behold his
pictures without a feeling of compassion, when we recollect that he was
visited with blindness at the most valuable period of his life. Domenico
di Paris Alfani also enlarged the manner of his master, and even more
than him Orazio his son, and not his brother, as has been imagined. This
artist bears a great resemblance to Raffaello. There are some of his
pictures in Perugia, which, if it were not for a more delicate
colouring, and something of the suavity of Baroccio, might be assigned
to the school of Raffaello; and there are pictures on which a question
arises whether they belong to that school or to Orazio; particularly
some Madonnas, which are preserved in various collections. I have seen
one in the possession of the accomplished Sig. Auditor Frigeri in
Perugia; and there is another in the ducal gallery in Florence. The
reputation of the younger Alfani has injured that of the other; and even
in Perugia some fine pieces were long considered to be by Orazio, which
have since been restored to Domenico. An account of these, and other
works of eminent artists, may be found in modern writers; and
particularly in Mariotti, who mentions the altarpiece of the
Crucifixion, between S. Apollonia and S. Jerome, at the church of the
Conventuals, a work by the two Alfanis, father and son. In commendation
of the latter he adds, that he was the chief of the academy for design,
which was founded in 1573, and which, after many honourable struggles,
has been revived in our own time.

There are other artists of less celebrity in Perugia, though not omitted
by Vasari. Eusebio da S. Giorgio painted in the church of S. Francesco
di Matelica, a picture with several saints, and on the grado, part of
the history of S. Anthony, with his name, and the year 1512. We may
recognize in it the drawing of Perugino, but the colouring is feeble.
His picture of the Magi at S. Agostino is better coloured, and in this
he followed Paris. The works of Giannicola da Perugia, a good colourist,
and therefore willingly received by Pietro to assist him in his labours,
however inferior to that artist in design and perspective, are
recognized in the Cappella del Cambio, which is near the celebrated sala
of Perugino, and was painted by him with the life of John the Baptist.
In the church of S. Thomas, is his picture of that Apostle about to
touch the wounds of our Saviour, and excepting a degree of sameness in
the heads, it possesses much of the character of Perugino. Giambatista
Caporali, erroneously called Benedetto by Vasari, Baldinucci, and
others, holds likewise a moderate rank in this school, and is more
celebrated among the architects. Giulio, his natural son, afterwards
legitimatized, also cultivated the same profession.

The succeeding names belonging to this school are not mentioned by
Vasari; a circumstance which does not prove the impropriety of their
admission, as there are many deserving of notice. Mariotti, our guide in
the chronology of this age, and a correct judge of the conformity of
style, notices Mariano di Ser Eusterio, whom Vasari calls Mariano da
Perugia (tom. iv. p. 162), referring to a picture in the church of S.
Agostino in Ancona, which is "not of much interest." In opposition to
this opinion of Vasari, however, Mariotti adduces another picture, of a
respectable class, by Mariano, to be found in S. Domenico di Perugia;
whence we may conclude that this painting is deserving of a place in the
history of art. He also mentions Berto di Giovanni, whom Raffaello
engaged as his assistant to paint a picture for the monks of Monteluci
(of which we shall speak in our notice of Penni) and who was appointed
in this contract by Raphael himself to paint the grado. This grado is in
the sacristy, and is so entirely in the manner of Raffaello, in the
history of the virgin which it represents, that we may conclude either
that Raffaello made the design, or that it was painted by one of his
school. If it was by Berto, it proves him to have been one of those who
exchanged the school of Perugino for that of Raffaello; and if he did
not paint it, he must always be held in consideration for the regard he
received from the master of the art. Of this artist more information may
be obtained from Bianconi, in the Antologia Romana, vol. iii. p. 121.
Mariotti enumerates also Sinibaldo da Perugia, who must be esteemed an
excellent painter from his works in his native place, and more so from
those in the cathedral at Gubbio, where he painted a fine picture in
1505, and a gonfalon still more beautiful, which would rank him among
the first artists of the ancient school. To the above painters Pascoli
adds a female artist of the name of Teodora Danti, who painted cabinet
pictures in the style of Perugino and his scholars.

From tradition, as well as conjecture, we may notice in Città di
Castello a Francesco of that city, a scholar of Perugino, who, in an
altarpiece in the church of the Conventuals, left an Annunciation with a
fine landscape. He is named in the Guida di Roma, in the account of the
chapel of S. Bernardino in Ara Caeli, where he is supposed to have
worked with Pinturicchio and Signorelli. There is a conjecture, though
no decided proof, that a Giacomo di Guglielmo was a pupil of Pietro,
who, at Castel della Pieve, his native place, painted a gonfalon,
estimated by good judges in Perugia at sixty-five florins; and also a
Tiberio di Assisi, who, in many of the coloured lunettes in the convent
degli Angeli, containing the history of the Life of S. Francis, shews
clearly that Perugino was his prototype, though he had not talent enough
to imitate him. Besides Tiberio, some have assigned to the instructions
of Perugino, the most eminent painter of Assisi, Adone (or Dono) Doni,
not unknown to Vasari, who often mentions him, and particularly in his
life of Gherardi (vol. v. p. 142). He is there called of Ascoli, an
opinion which Bottari maintains against Orlandi, who, on the best
grounds, changed it to Assisi. In Ascoli he is not at all known, but he
is well known in Perugia by a large picture of the Last Judgment in the
church of S. Francis, and still better in Assisi, where he painted in
fresco, in the church of the Angeli, the life of the founder, and of S.
Stephen, and many other pieces, which, for a long period, served as a
school for youth. He had very little of the ancient manner; the truth of
his portraits is occasionally wonderful; his colouring is that of the
latest of the scholars of Perugino; and he appears to be an artist of
more correctness than spirit. I find also a Lattanzio della Marca, of
the school of Perugino, commemorated by Vasari in the above mentioned
life. He is thought to be the same as Lattanzio da Rimino, of whom
Ridolfi makes mention, among the scholars of Giovanni Bellino, as
painting a picture in Venice in rivalship with Conegliano.[24] We are
enabled more correctly to ascertain this from a document in the
possession of Mariotti, of which we shall shortly speak, from which we
not only learn to a certainty his native place, but further, that he was
the son of Vincenzo Pagani, a celebrated painter, as will hereafter be
seen, and that both were living in the year 1553. It appears, therefore,
very probable that Lattanzio was instructed by his father, and that we
may doubt of his being under Bellini, who died about 1516, or under
Perugino, among whose disciples he is not enumerated by the very
accurate Mariotti. It seems certain, that on the death of Vannucci he
succeeded to his fame, and obtained for himself some of the most
important orders in Perugia, as, for instance, the great work of
painting the chambers in the castle. He accomplished this task by the
assistance of Raffaellino del Colle, Gherardi, Doni, and Paperello. He
there commenced the picture of S. Maria del Popolo, and executed the
lower part, where there is a great number of persons in the attitude of
prayer; a fine expression is observable in the countenances, the figures
are well disposed, the landscape beautiful, and there is a strength and
clearness in the colouring, and a taste which, on the whole, is
different from that of Perugino. The upper part of the picture, which is
by Gherardi, has not an equal degree of force. Lattanzio finished his
career by being sheriff of his native city; and of this office, a more
honourable distinction than at the present day, it appears he took
possession in the year 1553, and at that time renounced the art. It is
certain, that, in the before mentioned paper, the Capitano Lattanzio di
Vincenzo Pagani da Monte Rubbiano acknowledges to have received six
scudi of gold from Sforza degli Oddi, as earnest money for a picture
representing the Trinity, with four saints; and engages that in the
ensuing August it should be executed by his father Vincenzo and Tommaso
da Cortona, and this must be the picture still existing in the chapel of
the Oddi in S. Francesco, since the figures particularized in the
agreement are found there; we shall have an opportunity of noticing it

In the _Antichità Picene_, tom. xxi. p. 148, Ercole Ramazzani di
Roccacontrada is recorded as a scholar of Pietro Perugino, and for some
time of Raffaello. A picture of the circumcision, by him, is there
mentioned to be at Castel Planio, with his name and the date of 1588;
and in speaking of the artist it is added, that he possessed a beautiful
style of colour, a charming invention, and a manner approaching to
Barocci. I have never seen the above mentioned picture, nor the others
which he left in his native city, mentioned in the _Memorie_ of
Abbondanziere: but only one by a Ramazzani di Roccacontrada, painted in
the church of S. Francesco, in Matelica, in 1573. Although I cannot
affirm to a certainty that this painter called himself Ercole, I still
suspect him to be the same. It represents the conception of the Virgin,
in which the idea of the subject is taken from Vasari, where Adam, and
others of the Old Testament, are seen bound to the tree of knowledge of
good and evil, as the heirs of sin, while the Virgin triumphs over them
in her exemption from the penalty of the first parents. Ramazzani has
adopted this design, which he had probably seen, but he has executed his
picture on a much larger scale, with better colouring, and much more
expression in the countenances. To conclude, we do not see a trace of
the manner of Perugino, and the period at which he lived seems too late
for him to have received instructions from that artist; and it is most
probable that he was taught by some of his latter scholars, in whom, if
I mistake not, that more fascinating than correct style of colouring had
its origin, before it was adopted by Barocci.

I may further observe, that as Perugino was the most celebrated name at
the beginning of the sixteenth century, many other artists of the Roman
States, who studied the art about his time, are given to his school
without any sufficient authority; and particularly those who retained a
share of the old style. Such was a Palmerini of Urbino, a contemporary
of Raphael, and probably his fellow scholar in early life, of whom there
remains at S. Antonio, a picture of various saints, truly beautiful, and
approaching to a more modern style. In the same style I found, in the
Borghese Gallery at Rome, the Woman of Samaria at the Well, painted by a
Pietro Giulianello, or perhaps _da_ Giulianello, a little district not
far from Rome; an artist deserving to be placed in the first rank of
_quattrocentisti_, although not mentioned by any writer. There are
besides, some pictures by Pietro Paolo Agabiti, who in tom. xx. of the
_Ant. Pic._ is said to be of Masaccio, where he painted in 1531, and
some time afterwards. But I have seen a work by him in the church of S.
Agostino in Sassoferrato, a series of small histories, with an
inscription in which he names Sassoferrato as his native place, with the
date of 1514; a date that will carry him from the moderns to the better
class of the old school. Lorenzo Pittori da Macerata painted in the
church of the Virgin, highly esteemed for its architecture, a picture of
Christ in 1533, in a manner which has been called _antico moderno_. Two
artists, Bartolommeo, and Pompeo his son, flourished in Fano, and
painted in 1534 in conjunction, in the church of S. Michele, the
resurrection of Lazarus. It is wonderful to observe how little they
regarded the reform which the art had undergone. These artists strictly
followed the dry style of the quattrocentisti, with a thorough contempt
of the modern style. Nor was the son at all modernized on leaving his
father's studio. I found at S. Andrea di Pesaro a picture by him of
various saints, which might have done him honour in the preceding age.
Civalli mentions other works by him in a better style: and he certainly
in his lifetime enjoyed a degree of reputation, and was one of the
masters of Taddeo Zuccaro. There are a number of painters of this class,
of whom a long list might be compiled; they are generally represented to
be pupils of some well known master, and in such cases Pietro Perugino
is selected; though it would be more candid to confess our ignorance on
the subject.

It would be improper to pass on to another epoch of art, without
adverting to the grotesque. This branch of the art is censured by
Vitruvius[25] as a creation of portentous monsters beyond the reign of
nature, transferring to canvas the dreams and ravings of a disordered
fancy, as wild as the waves of a convulsed sea, lashed into a thousand
varying forms by the fury of the tempest. This style took its name from
the _grotte_, for so those beautiful antique edifices may be called,
where paintings of this kind are found, covered with earth, and with
buildings of a later period. This style was revived in Rome, where a
greater proportion of these ancient specimens is found, and was restored
at this epoch. Vasari ascribes the revival of them to Morto da Feltro,
and the perfecting of the style to Giovanni da Udine. But he himself,
notwithstanding the little esteem he had for Pinturicchio, calls him the
friend of Morto da Feltro, and allows that he executed many works in the
same manner in Castel S. Angelo. Before him too Pietro his master had
painted some of the same kind in the Sala del Cambio, which Orsini says
are well conceived, and to him likewise a precedent had been afforded by
Benedetto Bonfigli, of whom Taja, in his description of the Vatican
palace, says, that he painted for Innocent VIII. in Rome some singularly
beautiful grotesques. This branch of art was afterwards cultivated in
many of the schools of Italy, particularly in that of Siena. Peruzzi
approved of it in architecture, and adopted it in his painting, and gave
occasion to Lomazzo to offer a defence of it, and precepts, as I before
noticed, and as may be seen in the sixth book of his Trattato della
Pittura, chapter forty-eight.

[Footnote 4: _Dell'errore, che persiste_, &c. see the second index. It
was opposed by Crespi, in his _Dissertazione Anticritica_, referred to
in the same index. It was also opposed by P. dell'Aquila, in the
_Dizionario portatile della Bibbia, tradotto dal francese_, in a note of
some length, on the article S. Luca.]

[Footnote 5: See the _Opuscoli Calogeriani_, tom. xliii. where a learned
dissertation is inserted, which shews that this custom was introduced
about the middle of the fifth century, on occasion of the Council of

[Footnote 6: Engraved by command of the learned Cardinal Borgia. The
artists began about the middle of the fifth century, to represent her
with the Infant in her arms. See _Opuscoli Calogeriani_, as above.]

[Footnote 7: "The painter was a man of holy life, and a Florentine,
whose name was Luca, and who was honoured by the common people with the
title of saint." Lami, Deliciæ Eruditorum, tom. xv.]

[Footnote 8: So says Vasari, who writes his life, but Padre della Valle
thinks it highly probable that he was the scholar of Cosimati, and not
of Giotto; as Cavallini was contemporary with Giotto. I agree that he
was only a very few years younger, and might have received some
instructions in the school of Cosimati: but who, except Giotto himself,
could have taught him that Giottesque and improved style scarcely
inferior to Gaddi?]

[Footnote 9: In the archives of the Collegiate Church of S. Niccolo, in
Fabriano, is preserved a catalogue of the pictures of the city, which
has been communicated to me by Sig. Can. Claudio Serafini. This picture,
which is divided into five compartments, is there mentioned; and it is
added, that "many celebrated painters visited the place to view this
excellent work, and in particular, the illustrious Raffaello."]

[Footnote 10: In the archives before alluded to, are also mentioned two
ancient pictures of a Giuliano da Fabriano, the one in the church of the
Domenicans, the other in the Church of the Capuchins.]

[Footnote 11: Tom. xxiii. page 83, &c. By the first, is the ancient
picture of S. Maria della Consolazione in that church, erected in 1442.
By the second, are the pictures in the church of S. Rocco, painted about
the year 1463. The third artist painted a picture in the church of S.
Liberato, in 1494.]

[Footnote 12: Galeazzo Sanzio and his sons will be noticed in the second

[Footnote 13: See Vasari, Bologna edition, p. 260.]

[Footnote 14: The commentators of Vasari remark, that when he uses this
phrase, he refers to the year of the death of the artist, or to the
period when he relinquished his art. Pietro must therefore have become
blind about the year 1458, in the sixtieth year of his age, and must
have died about 1484, aged eighty-six. This painter was intimately
connected with the family of Vasari. Lazaro the great-grandfather of
Vasari, who died in 1452, was the friend and imitator of Pietro, and
some time before his death assigned him his nephew Signorelli as a
scholar. We must, therefore, give credit to Vasari's account of
Borghese; for if we discredit him on this occasion, as some have done,
when are we to believe him? It is true, indeed, that he is guilty of a
strange anachronism in mentioning Guidubaldo, the old Duke of Urbino, as
his first patron; but this kind of error is frequent in him, and not to
be regarded.]

[Footnote 15: "Fu eccellentissimo prospettivo, e il maggior geometra de'
suoi tempi." Romano Alberti, Trattato della nobiltà della pittura, p.
32. See also Pascoli, Vite, tom. i. p. 90.]

[Footnote 16: It appears that in this art he was preceded by Van Eych of
Flanders. See tom. i. p. 81, &c.; and also the eulogium on him by
Bartolommeo Facio, p. 46, where he praises his skill in geometry, and
refers to several of his pictures, which prove him to have been highly
accomplished, and almost unrivalled in perspective.]

[Footnote 17: If there be any truth in Pietro having been blind for
twenty-four years, I do not know how he could have painted Sixtus IV. On
the other hand this tradition of his blindness comes from Vasari, whose
family was so intimately connected with that of Pietro della Francesca,
that there was less room for error in the life of that artist than in
any other. This excellent picture, of which I have seen a beautiful copy
in the possession of the Duke di Ceri, I should myself rather attribute
to Melozzo.]

[Footnote 18: He is favorably mentioned by Crispolti, in the _Perugia
Augusta_; by Ciatti, in the _Istorie di Perugia_; Alessi, in the _Elogi
de' Perugini illustri_; and by Pascoli, in the _Vite de' Pittori Sc.
Arch. Perugini_; with whom I can in no manner concur in opinion, that
"Benedetto was equal to the best artists of his time, and probably the
first among the early masters who contributed to the introduction of an
improved style," (p. 21). An assertion singularly unjust to Masaccio.]

[Footnote 19: He subscribed himself _de Castro Plebis_, now _Città della
Pieve_. There, according to Pascoli, the father was born, who afterwards
removed to Perugia, where Pietro was born; but the greater probability
is, that Pietro also was born in Città della Pieve. _Mariotti._]

[Footnote 20: This resemblance might have arisen from his imitation of
the works of Borghese, (Pietro della Francesca) which he saw in Perugia,
as it most assuredly cannot be proved that Perugino was ever in his
school. P. Valle and others express great doubts of it, and when I
reflect that Vannucci was only twelve years old when Borghese lost his
sight, I regard it as an absurd tradition.]

[Footnote 21: Vasari, at the close of his Life observes, "none of his
scholars ever equalled Pietro in application or in amenity of colour."
Padre della Valle asserts on the contrary, "that he was indebted for a
great portion of his celebrity to the talents displayed by his
scholars;" and says that he detected the touch of Raffaello in his
picture in the Grand Duke's collection; but we must have a stronger
testimony before we submit ourselves to this decision.]

[Footnote 22: Descrizione del Palazzo Vaticano, p. 36.]

[Footnote 23: Consisting of three subjects from the Life of Christ, in
the Chapel of the Holy Sacraments. The Annunciation, the Birth of
Christ, and the Dispute with the Doctors, the best of the three. In one
of these he introduced his own portrait. Vasari does not mention this
fine production.]

[Footnote 24: He probably came to Venice from Rimino, or resided there
for some time. We find other early painters assigned first to one
country and then to another, as Jacopo Davanzo, Pietro Vannucci, Lorenzo
Lotto, &c.]

[Footnote 25: It is said that Mengs, who was desirous of being
considered a philosophical painter, coincided with Vitruvius in opinion.
But this opinion should be restricted to some indifferent specimens; for
when he afterwards saw them painted in the true style of the ancients,
he regarded them with extraordinary pleasure; as in Genoa, which
possesses some beautiful arabesques by Vaga. So the defender of Ratti
assures us.]



  _Raffaello and his School._

We are now arrived at the most brilliant period, not only of the Roman
School, but of modern painting itself. We have seen the art carried to a
high degree of perfection by Da Vinci and Bonarruoti, at the beginning
of the sixteenth century, and it is a remarkable fact that the same
period embraces not only Raphael, but also Coreggio, Giorgione, and
Titian, and the most celebrated Venetian painters: so that a man
enjoying the common term of life might have seen the works of all these
illustrious masters. The art in but a few years thus reached a height to
which it had never before attained, and which has never been rivalled,
except in the attempt to imitate these early masters, or to unite in one
style their varied and divided excellences. It seems indeed an ordinary
law of providence, that individuals of consummate genius should be born
and flourish at the same period, or at least at short intervals from
each other, a circumstance of which Velleius Paterculus, after a
diligent investigation, protested he could never discover the real
cause. I observe, he says, men of the same commanding genius making
their appearance together, in the smallest possible space of time; as it
happens in the case of animals of different kinds, which, confined in a
close place, nevertheless each selects its own class, and those of a
kindred race separate themselves from the rest, and unite in the closest
manner. A single age was sufficient to illustrate Tragedy, in the
persons of Æschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides: ancient comedy under
Cratinus, Aristophanes, and Eumolpides; and in like manner the new
comedy under Menander, Diphilus, and Philemon. There appeared few
philosophers of note after the days of Plato and Aristotle, and whoever
has made himself acquainted with Isocrates and his school, is acquainted
with the summit of Grecian eloquence. The same remark applies also to
other countries. The great Roman writers are included under the single
age of Octavius: Leo X. was the Augustus of modern Italy; the reign of
Louis XIV. was the brilliant era of French letters, that of Charles II.
of the English.

This rule applies equally to the fine arts. _Hoc idem_, proceeds
Velleius, _evenisse plastis, pictoribus, sculptoribus, quisquis temporum
institerit notis reperiet, et eminentiam cujusque operis arctissimis
temporum claustris circumdatam._[26] Of this union of men of genius in
the same age, _Causas_, he says, _quum semper requiro, numquam invenio
quas veras confidam_. It seems to him probable that when a man finds
the first station in art occupied by another, he considers it as a post
that has been rightfully seized on, and no longer aspires to the
possession of it, but is humiliated, and contented to follow at a
distance. But this solution I confess does not satisfy my mind. It may
indeed account to us why no other Michelangiolo, or Raffaello, has ever
appeared; but it does not satisfy me why these two, and the others
before mentioned, should all have appeared together in the same age. For
myself, I am of opinion that the age is always influenced by certain
principles, universally adopted both by professors of the art, and by
amateurs: which principles happening at a particular period to be the
most just and accurate of their kind, produce in that age some
supereminent professors, and a number of good ones. These principles
change through the instability of all human affairs, and the age
partakes in the change. I may add, nevertheless, that these happy
periods never occur without the circumstance of a number of princes and
influential individuals rivalling each other in the encouragement of
works of taste; and amidst these there always arise some persons of
commanding genius, who give a bias and tone to art. The history of
sculpture in Athens, a city where munificence and taste went hand in
hand, favours my opinion, and it is further confirmed by this golden
period of Italian art. Nevertheless I do not pretend to give a verdict
on this important question, but leave the decision of it to a more
competent tribunal.

But although it be a matter of difficulty to account for this
developement and union of rare talent at one particular period, we may
however hope to trace the steps of a single individual to excellence;
and I would wish to do so of Raffaello. Nature and fortune seemed to
unite in lavishing their favours on this artist; the first in investing
him with the rarest gifts of genius, the other in adding to these a
singular combination of propitious circumstances. In order to illustrate
our inquiry it will be necessary to observe him from his earliest
years,[27] and to note the progress of his mind. He was born in Urbino
in 1483; and if climate, as seems not improbable, have any influence on
the genius of an artist, I know not a happier spot that could have been
chosen for his birth, than that part of Italy which gave to architecture
a Bramante, supplied the art of painting with a successor to Raffaello
in Baroccio, and bestowed on sculpture the plastic hand of a Brandani,
without referring to many less celebrated, but still deserving artists,
who are the boast of Urbino and her state. The father of this
illustrious artist was Giovanni di Santi,[28] or as he has been commonly
called Giovanni Sanzio, an artist of moderate talents, and who could
contribute but little to the instruction of his son; although it was no
small advantage to have been initiated in a simple style, divested of
mannerism. He made some further progress from studying the works of F.
Carnevale, an artist of great merit, for the times in which he
flourished; and being placed at Perugia, under Pietro, he soon became
master of his style, as Vasari observes, and had then probably already
formed the design of excelling him. I was informed in Città di Castello,
that at the age of seventeen he painted the picture of S. Nicholas of
Tolentino in the church of the Eremitani. The style was that of
Perugino, but the composition differed from that of the age, being the
throne of our Saviour surrounded by saints. The Beato (beatified saint)
is there represented, while the Virgin and St. Augustine, concealed in
part by a cloud, bind his temples with a crown; there are two angels at
the right hand, and two at the left, graceful, and in different
attitudes; with inscriptions variously folded, on which are inscribed
some words in praise of S. Eremitano. Above is the Eternal Father
surrounded by a majestic choir of angels. The actors of the scene appear
to be in a temple, the pillars of which are ornamented in the minute and
laboured style of Mantegna, and the ancient manner is still perceptible
in the folds of the drapery, though there is an evident improvement in
the design, as in the figure of Satan, who lies under the feet of the
saint. This figure is free from the singular deformity with which the
ancient painters represented him; and has the genuine features of an
Ethiopian. To this picture another of this period may be added in the
church of S. Domenico; a Crucifixion, with two attendant angels; the one
receives in a cup the sacred blood which flows from the right hand, the
other, in two cups, collects that of the left hand and the side; the
weeping mother and disciples contribute their aid, while the Magdalen
and an aged saint kneeling in silence contemplate the solemn mystery;
above is the Deity. These figures might all pass for those of Pietro,
except the Virgin, the beauty of which he never equalled, unless perhaps
in the latter part of his life. Another specimen of this period is
noticed by the Abate Morcelli, (de Stylo Inscript. Latin, p. 476). He
states, that in the possession of Sig. Annibale Maggiori, a nobleman of
Fermo, he saw the picture of a Madonna, raising with both hands a veil
of delicate texture from the holy Infant, as he lies in a cradle asleep.
Nigh at hand is S. Joseph, whose eyes rest in contemplation on the happy
scene, and on his staff the same writer detected an inscription in
extremely minute characters, R. S. V. A. A. XVII. P. _Raphael Sanctius
Urbinas an. ætatis 17 pinxit_. This must have been the first attempt of
the design which he perfected at a more mature age, and which is in the
Treasury of Loreto, where the holy Infant is represented, not in the act
of sleeping, but gracefully stretching out his hand to the Virgin: of
the same epoch I judge the _tondini_ to be, which I shall describe in
the course of a few pages, when I refer to the Madonna della Seggiola.

Vasari informs us, that before executing these two pictures, he had
already painted in Perugia an Assumption in the church of the
Conventuals, with three subjects from the life of Christ in the grado;
which may however be doubted, as it is a more perfect work. This picture
possesses all the best parts of the style of Vannucci; but the varied
expressions which the apostles discover on finding the sepulchre void,
are beyond the reach of that artist's powers. Raffaello still further
excelled his master, as Vasari observes, in the third picture painted
for Città di Castello. This is the marriage of the Virgin, in the church
of S. Francesco. The composition very much resembles that which he
adopted in a picture of the same subject in Perugia; but there is
sufficient of modern art in it to indicate the commencement of a new
style. The two espoused have a degree of beauty which Raffaello scarcely
surpassed in his mature age, in any other countenances. The Virgin
particularly is a model of celestial beauty. A youthful band festively
adorned accompany her to her espousals; splendour vies with elegance;
the attitudes are engaging, the veils variously arranged, and there is a
mixture of ancient and modern drapery, which at so early a period cannot
be considered as a fault. In the midst of these accompaniments the
principal figure triumphantly appears, not ornamented by the hand of
art, but distinguished by her native nobility, beauty, modesty, and
grace. The first sight of this performance strikes us with astonishment,
and we involuntarily exclaim, how divine and noble the spirit that
animates her heavenly form! The group of the men of the party of S.
Joseph are equally well conceived. In these figures we see nothing of
the stiffness of the drapery, the dryness of execution, and the peculiar
style of Pietro, which sometimes approaches to harshness: all is action,
and an animating spirit breathes in every gesture and in every
countenance. The landscapes are not represented with sterile and
impoverished trees, as in the backgrounds of Pietro; but are drawn from
nature, and finished with care. The round temple in the summit is
ornamented with columns, and executed, Vasari observes, with such
admirable art, that it is wonderful to observe the difficulties he has
willingly incurred. In the distance are beautiful groups, and there is a
figure of a poor man imploring charity depicted to the life, and, more
near, a youth, a figure which proves the artist to have been master of
the then novel art of foreshortening. I have purposely described these
specimens of the early years of Raphael, more particularly than any
other writer, in order to acquaint the reader with the rise of his
divine talents. In the labours of his more mature years, the various
masters whose works he studied may each claim his own; but in his first
flight he was exclusively supported by the vigour of his own talents.
The bent of his genius, which was not less voluptuous and graceful than
it was noble and elevated, led him to that ideal beauty, grace, and
expression, which is the most refined and difficult province of
painting. To insure success in this department neither study nor art is
sufficient. A natural taste for the beautiful, an intellectual faculty
of combining the several excellences of many individuals in one perfect
whole, a vivid apprehension, and a sort of fervour in seizing the sudden
and momentary expressions of passion, a facility of touch, obedient to
the conceptions of the imagination; these were the means which nature
alone could furnish, and these, as we have seen, he possessed from his
earliest years. Whoever ascribes the success of Raffaello to the effects
of study, and not to the felicity of his genius, does not justly
appreciate the gifts which were lavished on him by nature.[29]

He now became the admiration of his master and his fellow scholars; and
about the same time Pinturicchio, after having painted with so much
applause at Rome before Raffaello was born, aspired to become, as it
were, his scholar in the great work at Siena. He did not himself possess
a genius sufficiently elevated for the sublime composition which the
place required; nor had Pietro himself sufficient fertility, or a
conception of mind equal to so novel an undertaking. It was intended to
represent the life and actions of Æneas Silvius Piccolomini, afterwards
Pope Pius II.; the embassies entrusted to him by the council of
Constance to various princes; and by Felix, the antipope, to Frederick
III., who conferred on him the laurel crown; and also the various
embassies which he undertook for Frederick himself to Eugenius IV., and
afterwards to Callistus IV., who created him a Cardinal. His subsequent
exaltation to the Papacy, and the most remarkable events of his reign,
were also to be represented; the canonization of S. Catherine; his
attendance on the Council of Mantua, where he was received in a princely
manner by the Duke; and finally his death, and the removal of his body
from Ancona to Rome. Never perhaps was an undertaking of such magnitude
entrusted to a single master. The art itself had not as yet attempted
any great flight. The principal figures in composition generally stood
isolated, as Pietro exhibited them in Perugia, without aiming at
composition. In consequence of this the proportions were seldom true,
nor did the artists depart much from sacred subjects, the frequent
repetition of which had already opened the way to plagiarism. Historical
subjects of this nature were new to Raffaello, and to him, unaccustomed
to reside in a metropolis, it must have been most difficult, in painting
so many as eleven pictures, to imitate the splendour of different
courts, and as we may say, the manners of all Europe, varying the
composition agreeably to the occasion. Nevertheless, being conducted by
his friend to Siena, he made the sketches and cartoons of _all_ these
subjects, says Vasari in his life of Pinturicchio, and that he made the
sketches of the whole is the common report at Siena. In the life of
Raffaello he states that he made _some of the designs and cartoons for
this work_, and that the reason of his not continuing them, was his
haste to proceed to Florence, to see the cartoons of Da Vinci and
Bonarruoti. But I am more inclined to the first statement of Vasari,
than the subsequent one. In April, 1503, Raffaello was employed in the
Library, as is proved by the will of Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini.[30]
While the Library was yet unfinished, Piccolomini was elected Pope on
the twenty-first day of September; and his coronation following on the
eighth of October, Pinturicchio commemorated the event on the outside of
the Library, in the part opposite to the duomo. Bottari remarks, that in
this façade we may detect not only the design, but in many of the heads
the colouring also of Raffaello. It appears probable therefore that he
remained to complete the work, the last subject of which might perhaps
be finished in the following year, 1504, in which he departed to
Florence. We may here observe, that this work, which has maintained its
colours so well that it almost appears of recent execution, confers
great honour on a young artist of twenty years of age; as we do not find
a composition of such magnitude, in the passage from ancient to modern
art, conceived by any single painter. So that if Raffaello stood not
entirely alone in this work, the best part of it must still be assigned
to him, since Pinturicchio himself was improving at this time, and the
works which he afterwards executed at Spello and Siena itself, incline
more to the modern than any he had before done. This will justify us in
concluding that Raffaello had already, at that early age, far
outstripped his master; his contour being more full, his composition
more rich and free, accompanied by an ornamental and grander style, and
an ability unlimited, and capable of embracing every subject that was
presented to him.

The works which he saw in Florence did not lead him out of his own path,
as, to mention one instance, afterwards happened to Franco, who, coming
from Venice, applied himself to a style of design and a career entirely
new. Raffaello had formed his own system, and only sought examples, to
enlarge his ideas and facilitate his execution. He therefore studied the
works of Masaccio, an elegant and expressive painter, whose Adam and Eve
he afterwards adopted in the Vatican. He also became acquainted with Fra
Bartolommeo, who, about this time, had returned to the exercise of his
profession. To this artist he taught the principles of perspective, and
acquired from him, in return, a better style of colouring. We have not
any record to prove that he made himself known to Da Vinci; and the
portrait of Raffaello, in the ducal gallery in Florence, which is said
to be by Lionardo, is an unknown head. I would willingly, however,
flatter myself, that a congeniality of mind and an affinity of genius,
emulous in the pursuit of perfection, must have produced a knowledge of
each other, if it did not conciliate a mutual attachment. No one
certainly was more capable than Da Vinci, of communicating to Raffaello
a degree of refinement and knowledge, which he could not have received
from Pietro; and to introduce him into the more subtle views of art. As
to Michelangiolo, his pictures were rare, and less analogous to the
genius of Raffaello. His celebrated Cartoon was not yet finished, in
1504, and that great master was jealous of its being seen, before its
entire completion. He finished it some few years afterwards, when he
returned to Florence on his flight from Rome, occasioned by the anger of
Julius II. Raffaello therefore could not have had the opportunity of
studying it at that time, nor did he then long remain in Florence, for,
as Vasari states, he was soon obliged to return to his native place, in
consequence of the death of his parents.[31] In 1505 we find him in
Perugia: and to this year belongs the chapel of S. Severo, and the
Crucifixion, which was severed from the wall, and preserved by the Padri
Camaldolensi. From these works, which are all in fresco, we may
ascertain the style which he acquired in Florence; and I think we may
assert, that it was not anatomical, no traces of it being visible in the
body of the Redeemer, which was an opportunity well adapted for the
exhibition of it. Nor was it the study of the beautiful, of which he had
previously exhibited such delightful specimens; nor that of expression,
as there were not to be found in Florence, heads more expressive and
lovely than those he had painted. But after his visit to Florence, we
find his colouring more delicate, and his grouping and the
foreshortening of his figures improved; whether or not he owed it to the
example of Da Vinci or Bonarruoti, or both together, or to some of the
older masters. He afterwards repaired to Florence, but soon quitted it
again, in order to paint in the church of S. Francis, in Perugia, a dead
Christ entombed, the cartoon of which he had designed at Florence; and
which picture was first placed in the church of S. Francis, was
afterwards, in the pontificate of Paul V., transferred to Rome, and is
now in the Borghese palace. After this he returned again to Florence,
and remained there until his departure for Rome, at the end of the year
1508. In this interval, more particularly, he executed the works which
are said to be in his second style, though it is a very delicate matter
to attempt to point them out. Vasari assigns to this period the Holy
Family in the Rinuccini gallery, and yet it bears the date of 1506. Of
this second style is undoubtedly the picture of the Madonna and the
infant Christ and S. John, in a beautiful landscape, with ruins in the
distance, which is in the gallery of the Grand Duke, and others, some of
which are to be found in foreign countries. His pictures of this period
are composed in the more usual style of a Madonna, accompanied by
saints, like the picture of the Pitti palace, formerly at Pescia, and
that of S. Fiorenzo in Perugia, which passed into England. The
attitudes, however, the air of the heads, and smaller features of
composition, are beyond a common style. The dead Christ above mentioned,
is in a more novel and superior style. Vasari calls it a most divine
picture; the figures are not numerous; but each fulfils perfectly the
part assigned to it; the subject is most affecting; the heads are
remarkably beautiful, and the earliest of the kind in the restoration of
art, while the expression of profound sorrow and extreme anguish does
not divest them of their beauty. After finishing this work, Raphael was
ambitious of painting an apartment in Florence, one, I believe, of the
Palazzo Pubblico. There remains a letter of his, in which he requests
the Duke of Urbino to write to the Gonfaloniere Soderini, in April,
1508.[32] But his relative, Bramante, procured him a nobler employ in
Rome, recommending him to Julius II. to ornament the Vatican. He removed
thither, and was already established there in the September of the same

We at length, then, behold him fixed in Rome, and placed in the Vatican
at a period, and under circumstances calculated to render him the first
painter in the world. His biographers do not mention his literary
attainments; and, if we were to judge from his letter just cited, and
now in the Museo Borgia, we might consider him grossly illiterate. But
he was then writing to his uncle; and therefore made use of his native
dialect, as is still done even in the public acts in Venice; though he
might be master of, and might use on proper occasions, a more correct
language. Raffaello, too, was of a family fully competent to afford him
the necessary instructions in his early years. Other letters of his are
found in the _Lettere Pittoriche_, in a very different style; and of his
knowledge in matters of importance, it is sufficient to refer to what
Celio Calcagnini, an eminent literary character of the age of Leo,
states of him to Giacomo Zieglero: "I need not," he says, "mention
Vitruvius, whose precepts he not only explains, but defends or impugns
with evident justice, and with so much temper, that in his objections
there does not appear the slightest asperity. He has excited the
admiration of the Pontiff Leo, and of all the Romans, in such a way,
that they regard him as a man sent down from heaven purposely to restore
the eternal city to its ancient splendour."[34] This acknowledged skill
in architecture must suppose an adequate acquaintance with the Latin
language and geometry; and we know from other quarters, that he
assiduously cultivated anatomy, history, and poetry.[35] But his
principal pursuit in Rome was the study of the remains of Grecian
genius, and by which he perfected his knowledge of art. He studied, too,
the ancient buildings, and was instructed in the principles of
architecture for six years by Bramante, in order that on his death he
might succeed him in the management of the building of S. Peter.[36] He
lived among the ancient sculptors, and derived from them not only their
contours and drapery, and attitudes, but the spirit and principles of
the art itself. Nor yet content with what he saw in Rome, he employed
artists to copy the remains of antiquity at Pozzuolo and throughout all
Italy, and even in Greece. Nor did he derive less assistance from living
artists whom he consulted on his compositions. "The universal esteem
which he enjoyed,"[37] and his attractive person and engaging manners,
which all accounts unite in describing as incomparable, conciliated him
the favour of the most eminent men of letters of his age; and Bembo,
Castiglione, Giovio, Navagero, Ariosto, Aretino, Fulvio, and Calcagnini,
set a high value on his friendship, and supplied him, we may be allowed
to suppose, with hints and ideas for his works.

His rival Michelangiolo, too, and his party, contributed not a little to
the success of Raffaello. As the contest between Zeuxis and Parrhasius
was beneficial to them both, so the rivalship of Bonarruoti and Sanzio
aided the fame of Michelangiolo, and produced the paintings of the
Sistine chapel; and at the same time contributed to the celebrity of
Raffaello, by producing the pictures of the Vatican, and not a few
others. Michelangiolo disdaining any secondary honours, came to the
combat, as it were, attended by his shield bearer; for he made drawings
in his grand style, and then gave them to F. Sebastiano, the scholar of
Giorgione, to execute; and by these means he hoped that Raffaello would
never be able to rival his productions either in design or colour.
Raffaello stood alone; but aimed at producing works with a degree of
perfection beyond the united efforts of Michelangiolo and Sebastian del
Piombo, combining in himself a fertile invention, ideal beauty founded
on a correct imitation of the Greek style, grace, ease, amenity, and an
universality of genius in every department of the art. The noble
determination of triumphing in such a powerful contest animated him
night and day, and did not allow him any respite. It also excited him to
surpass both his rivals and himself in every new work which he produced.
The subjects, too, chosen for these chambers, aided him, as they were in
a great measure new, or required to be treated in a novel manner. They
did not profess to represent bacchanalian or vulgar scenes, but the
exalted symbols of science; the sacred functions of religion; military
actions, which contributed to establish the peace of the world;
important events of former days, under which were typified the reigns of
the Pontiffs Julius and Leo X.: the latter the most powerful protector,
and one of the most accomplished judges of art. More favourable
circumstances could not have conspired to stimulate a noble mind. The
eulogizing of Augustus was a theme for the poets of his age, which
produced the richest fruits of genius. Propertius, accustomed to sing
only of the charms or the disdain of his Cinthia, felt himself another
poet when called on to celebrate the triumphs of Augustus; and with
newborn fervour invoked Jove himself to suspend the functions of his
divinity whilst he sang the praises of the emperor.[38] It is certain
that such elevated subjects, in minds richly stored, must excite
corresponding ideas, and thus both in poets and painters, give birth to
the sublime.

Raffaello, on his arrival in Rome, says Vasari, was commissioned to
paint a chamber, which was at that time called La Segnatura, and which,
from the subject of the pictures, was also called the chamber of the
Sciences. On the ceiling are represented Theology, Philosophy, Poetry,
and Jurisprudence. Each of them has on the neighbouring façade a grand
historical piece illustrative of the subject. On the basement are also
historical pieces which belong to the same sciences; and these smaller
performances, and the caryatides and telamoni distributed around, are
monocromati or chiaroscuri, an idea entirely of Raffaello, and
afterwards, it is said, continued by Polidoro da Caravaggio. Raffaello
commenced with Theology, and imitated Petrarch, who in one of his
visions has assembled together men of the same condition, though living
in different ages. He there placed the evangelists, whose volumes are
the foundation of theology; the sacred writers, who have preserved its
traditions; the theologists, S. Thomas, S. Bonaventura, Scotus, and the
rest who have illustrated it by their arguments; above all, the Trinity
in the midst of the beatified, and beneath on an altar the eucharist, as
if to express the mystery of that doctrine. There are traces of the
ancient style in this piece. Gold is made use of in the glories of the
saints, and in other ornamental parts; the upper glory is formed on the
plan of that of S. Severo, which I have already noticed: the composition
is more symmetrical and less free than in other pieces; and the whole,
compared with the other compositions, seems too minute. Nevertheless,
whosoever regards each part in itself, will find it of such careful and
admirable execution, that he will be disposed to prefer it to all other
works. It has been observed, that Raffaello began this piece at the
right side, and that by the time he had arrived at the left side
portion, he had made rapid strides in the art. This work must have been
finished about the year 1508: and such was the surprise and admiration
of the Pope, that he ordered all the works of Bramantino, Pier della
Francesca, Signorelli, l'Abate di Arezzo, and Sodoma (though some of the
ornamental parts by this last are preserved) to be effaced, in order
that the whole chamber might be decorated by Raffaello.

In the subsequent works of Raffaello, and after the year 1509, we do not
find any traces of his first style. He had adopted a nobler manner, and
henceforth applied all his powers to the perfecting of it. He had now to
represent, on the opposite side, Philosophy. In this he designed a
gymnasium in the form of a temple, and placed the learned ancients, some
in the precincts of the building, some on the ascent of the steps, and
others in the plain below. In this, more than on any other occasion, he
was aided by his favourite Petrarch in the third capitolo of his Fame.
Plato, "_che in quella schiera andò più presso al segno_," is there
represented with Aristotle, "_più d'ingegno_," in the act of
disputation; and they possess also in the composition, the highest place
of honour; Socrates is represented instructing Alcibiades; Pythagoras is
seen, and before him a youth holds a tablet with the harmonious
concords; and Zoroaster, King of Bactriana, appears with an elementary
globe in his hand. Diogenes is stretched near on the ground, with his
wooden bowl in his hand, "_assai più che non vuol vergogna aperto_:"
Archimedes is seen "_star col capo basso_," and turning the compasses on
the table, instructs the youth in geometry; and others are represented
meditating, or in disputation, whose names and characters it would be
possible, with careful observation, to distinguish more truly than
Vasari has done. This picture is commonly called the School of Athens,
which in my judgment is just as appropriate, as the name of the
Sacrament bestowed on the first subject. The third picture, representing
Jurisprudence, is divided into two parts. On the left side of the window
stands Justinian, with the book of the Civil Law; Trebonian receives it
from his hand with an expression of submission and acquiescence, which
no other pencil can ever hope to equal. On the right side is seen
Gregory IX. who delivers the book of the Decretals to an advocate of the
Consistory, and bears the features of Julius II., who is thus honoured
in the character of his predecessor. In the concluding picture, which is
a personification of Poetry, is seen Mount Parnassus, where, in company
of Apollo and the muses, the Greek, Roman, and Tuscan poets are
represented in their own portraitures, as far as records will allow.
Homer, seated between Virgil and Dante, is, perhaps, the most striking
figure; he is evidently gifted with a divine spirit, and unites in his
person the characters of the prophet and the poet. The historical pieces
in chiaroscuro contribute, by their ornaments, to charm the sight, and
preserve the unity of design. Beneath the Theology, for instance, is
represented S. Augustine on the borders of the sea, instructed by the
angels not to explore the mystery of the Trinity, incomprehensible to
the human mind. Under the Philosophy, Archimedes is seen surprised and
slain by a soldier, whilst immersed in his studies. This first chamber
was finished in 1511, as that year appears inscribed near the Parnassus.

Vasari, until the finishing of the first chamber, does not speak of the
improvement of his manner; on the contrary, in his life of Raffaello, he
says, "although he had seen so many monuments of antiquity in that city,
and studied so unremittingly, still his figures, up to this period, did
not possess that breadth and majesty which they afterwards exhibited.
For it happened, that the breach between Michelangiolo and the Pope,
which we have before mentioned in his life, occurred about this time,
and compelled Bonarruoti to flee to Florence; from which circumstance,
Bramante obtaining possession of the keys of the chapel, exhibited it to
his friend Raffaello, in order that he might make himself acquainted
with the style of Michelangiolo;" and he then proceeds to mention the
Isaiah of S. Agostino, and the Sibyls della Pace, painted after this
period, and the Heliodorus. In the life of Michelangiolo, he again
informs us of the quarrel which obliged him to depart from Rome, and
proceeds to say, that when, on his return, he had finished one half of
the work, the Pope suddenly commanded it to be exposed; "whereupon
Raffaello d'Urbino, who possessed great facility of imitation,
immediately changed his style, and at one effort designed the Prophets
and Sibyls della Pace." This brings us to a dispute prosecuted with the
greatest warmth both in Italy and other countries. Bellori attacked
Vasari in a violent manner, in a work entitled: "_Se Raffaello ingrandì
e migliorò la maniera per aver vedute le opere di Michelangiolo_,"
(Whether Raffaello enlarged and improved his style on seeing the works
of Michelangiolo). Crespi replied to him in three letters, inserted in
the Lettere Pittoriche,[39] and many other disputants have arisen and
stated fresh arguments.

It is not, however, our province to engage the reader in these
disputations. It was greatly to the advantage of Michelangiolo's fame to
have had two scholars, who, while he was yet living, and after the death
of Raffaello, employed themselves in writing his life; and a great
misfortune to Raffaello not to have been commemorated in the same
manner. If he had survived to the time when Vasari and Condivi wrote, he
would not have passed over their charges in silence. Raffaello would
then have easily proved, that when Bonarruoti fled to Florence, in 1506,
he himself was not in Rome, nor was called thither until two years
afterwards; and that he could not, therefore, have obtained a furtive
glance of the Sistine chapel. It would have been proved too, that from
the year 1508, when Michelangiolo had, perhaps, not commenced his work,
until 1511, in which year he exhibited the first half of it,[40]
Raffaello had been endeavouring to enlarge his style; and as
Michelangiolo had before studied the Torso of the Belvidere, so
Raffaello also formed himself on this and other marbles,[41] a
circumstance easily discoverable in his style. He might too have asked
Vasari, in what he considered grandeur and majesty of style to consist;
and from the example of the Greeks, and from reason herself, he might
have informed him, that the grand does not consist in the enlargement of
the muscles, or in an extravagance of attitude, but in adopting, as
Mengs has observed, the noblest, and neglecting the inferior and meaner
parts;[42] and exercising the higher powers of invention. Hence he would
have proceeded to point out the grandeur of style in the School of
Athens, in the majestic edifice, in the contour of the figures, in the
folds of the drapery, in the expression of the countenances, and in the
attitudes; and he would have easily traced the source of that sublimity
in the relics of antiquity. And if he appeared still greater in his
Isaiah, he might have refuted Vasari from his own account, who assigns
this work to a period anterior to 1511, and therefore contemporary as it
were with the School of Athens: adding, that he elevated his style by
propriety of character, and by the study of Grecian art. The Greeks
observed an essential difference between common men and heroes, and
again between their heroes and their gods; and Raffaello, after having
represented philosophers immersed in human doubts, might well elevate
his style when he came to figure a prophet meditating the revelations of
God.[43] All this might have been advanced by Raffaello, in order to
relieve Bramante and himself from so ill supported an imputation. As to
the rest, I believe he never would have denied, that the works of
Michelangiolo had inspired him with a more daring spirit of design, and
that in the exhibition of strong character, he had sometimes even
imitated him. But how imitated him? In rendering, as Crespi himself
observes, that very style more beautiful and more majestic, (p. 344). It
is indeed a great triumph to the admirers of Raffaello to be able to
say, whoever wishes to see what is wanting in the Sibyls of
Michelangiolo, let him inspect those of Raffaello; and let him view the
Isaiah of Raffaello, who would know what is wanting in the prophets of

After public curiosity was gratified, and Raffaello had obtained a
glimpse of this new style, Bonarruoti closed the doors, and hastened to
finish the other half of his work, which was completed at the close of
1512, so that the Pope, on the solemnization of the Feast of Christmas,
was enabled to perform mass in the Sistine chapel. In the course of this
year, Raffaello was employed in the second chamber on the subject of
Heliodorus driven from the Temple by the prayers of Onias the high
priest, one of the most celebrated pictures of the place. In this
painting, the armed vision that appears to Heliodorus, scatters
lightnings from his hand, while the neighing of the steed is heard
amidst the attendant thunder. In the numerous bands, some of which are
plundering the riches of the Temple, and others are ignorant of the
cause of the surprise and terror exhibited in Heliodorus, consternation,
amazement, joy, and abasement, and a host of passions, are expressed. In
this work, and in others of these chambers, Raffaello, says Mengs, gave
to painting all the augmentation it could receive after Michelangiolo.
In this picture he introduced the portrait of Julius II., whose zeal and
authority is represented in Onias. He appears in a litter borne by his
grooms, in the manner in which he was accustomed to repair to the
Vatican, to view this work. The Miracle of Bolsena was also painted in
the lifetime of Julius.

The remaining decorations of these chambers were all illustrative of the
history of Leo X., whose imprisonment in Ravenna, and subsequent
liberation, is typified by St. Peter released from prison by the angel.
It was in this piece that the painter exhibited an astonishing proof of
his knowledge of light. The figures of the soldiers, who stand without
the prison, are illuminated by the beams of the moon: there is a torch
which produces a second light; and from the angel emanates a celestial
splendour, that rivals the beams of the sun. He has here, too, afforded
another proof how art may convert the impediments thrown in her way to
her own advantage; for the place where he was painting being broken by a
window, he has imagined on each side of it a staircase, which affords an
ascent to the prison, and on the steps he has placed the guards
overpowered with sleep; so that the painter does not seem to have
accommodated himself to the place, but the place to have become
subservient to the painter. The composition of S. Leo the Great, who
checks Attila at the head of his army, and that of the other chamber,
the battle with the Saracens in the port of Ostium, and the victory
obtained by S. Leo IV., justify Raffaello's claim to the epic crown: so
powerfully has he depicted the military array of men and horse, the arms
peculiar to each nation, the fury of the combat, and the despair and
humiliation of the prisoners. Near this performance, too, is the
wonderful piece of the Incendio di Borgo (a city enveloped in fire),
which is miraculously extinguished by the same S. Leo. This wonderful
piece alternately chills the heart with terror, or warms it with
compassion. The calamity of fire is carried to its extreme point, as it
is the hour of midnight, and the fire, which already occupies a
considerable space, is increased by a violent wind, which agitates the
flames that leap with rapidity from house to house. The affright and
misery of the inhabitants is also carried to the utmost extremity. Some
rush forward with water, but are driven back by the scorching flames;
others seek safety in flight, with naked feet, robeless, and with
dishevelled hair; women are seen turning an imploring look to the
Pontiff; mothers, whose own terrors are absorbed in fear for their
offspring; and here a youth, who bearing on his shoulders his aged and
infirm sire, and sinking beneath the weight, collects his almost
exhausted strength to place him out of danger. The concluding subjects
refer to Leo III.; the Coronation of Charlemagne, by the hand of that
Pontiff, and the Oath taken by the Pope on the Holy Evangelists, to
exculpate himself from the calumnies laid to his charge. In Leo, is
meant to be represented Leo X., who is thus honoured in the persons of
his predecessors; and in Charlemagne is represented Francis I., King of
France. Many persons of the age are also figured in the surrounding
group, so that there is not an historical subject in these chambers that
does not contain the most accurate likenesses. In this latter department
of art, also, Raffaello may be said to have been transcendant. His
portraits have deceived even persons the most intimately acquainted with
the subjects of them. He painted a remarkable picture of Leo X., and on
one occasion the Cardinal Datary of that time, found himself approaching
it with a bull, and pen and ink, for the Pope's signature.[44]

The six subjects which relate to Leo, elected in 1513, were finished in
1517. In the nine years which Raphael employed on these three chambers,
and also in the three following years, he made additional decorations to
the Pontifical Palace; he observed the style of ornament suitable to
each part of it, and thus made the Pope's residence a model of
magnificence and taste for all Europe. Few have adverted to this
instance of his merit. He superintended the new gallery of the palace,
availing himself in part of the design of Bramante, and in part
improving on him. "He then made designs for the stuccos, and the various
subjects there painted, and also for the divisions, and he then
appointed Giovanni da Udine to finish the stuccos and arabesques, and
Giulio Romano the figures." The exposure of this gallery to the
inclemencies of the air, has left little remaining besides the squalid
grotesques; but those who saw it at an early period, when the unsullied
splendor of the gold, the pure white of the stuccos, the brilliancy of
the colours, and the newness of the marble, rendered every part of it
beautiful and resplendent, must have thought it a vision of paradise.
Vasari, in eulogizing it, says, "It is impossible to execute, or to
conceive, a more exquisite work." The best which now remain are the
thirteen ceilings, in each of which are distributed four subjects from
holy writ, the first of which, the Creation of the World, Raffaello
executed with his own hand as a model for the others, which were painted
by his scholars, and afterwards retouched and rendered uniform by
himself, as was his custom. I have seen copies of these in Rome,
executed at great cost, and with great fidelity, for Catherine, Empress
of Russia, under the direction of Mr. Hunterberger, and from the effect
which was produced by the freshness of the colours, I could easily
conceive how highly enchanting the originals must have been. But their
great value consisted in Raffaello having enriched them by his
invention, expression, and design, and every one is agreed that each
subject is a school in itself. It appears certain too, that he was
desirous of competing with Michelangiolo, who had treated the same
subject in the Sistine chapel; and of appealing to the public to judge
whether or not he had equalled him. To describe in a suitable manner the
other pictures in chiaroscuro, and the numerous landscapes and
architectural subjects, the trophies, imitations of cameos, masks, and
other things which this divine artist either designed himself or formed
into new combinations from the antique, is a task, says Taja, far above
the reach of human powers. Taja has however himself given us a
delightful description of these works.[45] It confers the highest honour
on Raffaello, to whom we owe the fifty-two subjects, and all the
ornamental parts.

Nor were the pavements, or the doors, or other interior works in the
palace of the Vatican, completed without his superintendence. He
directed the pavements to be formed of _terra invetriata_, an ancient
invention of Luca della Robbia, which having continued for many
generations as a family secret, was then in the hands of another Luca.
Raffaello invited him to Florence to execute this vast work, employed
him in the gallery, and in many of the chambers, which he adorned with
the arms of the Pope. For the couches and other ornaments of the Camera
di Segnatura he brought to Rome F. Giovanni da Verona, who formed them
of mosaic with the most beautiful views. For the entablatures of the
chambers, and for several of the windows and doors, he engaged Giovanni
Barile, a celebrated Florentine engraver of gems. This work was executed
in so masterly a manner, that Louis XIII., wishing to ornament the
palace of the Louvre, had all these intaglios separately copied. The
drawings of them were made by Poussin, and Mariette boasted of having
them in his collection. Nor was there any other work either of stone or
marble for which a design was required, which did not come under the
inspection of Raffaello, and on which he did not impress his taste,
which was consummate also in the sister art of sculpture. A proof of
this is to be seen in the Jonah, in the church of the Madonna del
Popolo, in the Chigi chapel, which was executed by Lorenzetto under his
direction, and which, Bottari says, may assume its place by the side of
the Greek statues. Among his most remarkable works may be mentioned his
designs for the tapestry in the papal chapel, the subjects of which were
from the lives of the Evangelists, and the Acts of the Apostles. The
cartoons for them were both designed and coloured by Raffaello; and
after the tapestries were finished in the Low Countries, the cartoons
passed into England, where they still remain. In these tapestries the
art attained its highest pitch, nor has the world since beheld anything
to equal them in beauty. They are exposed annually in the great portico
of S. Peter, in the procession of the _Corpus Domini_, and it is
wonderful to behold the crowds that flock to see them, and who ever
regard them with fresh avidity and delight. But all these works of
Raffaello would not have contributed to the extension of art at that
period, beyond the meridian of Rome, if he had not succeeded in
extending the fruits of his genius, by the means of prints. We have
already noticed M. A. Raimondi, in the first book, and we have shewn
that this great engraver was courteously received, and was afterwards
assisted by Sanzio, whence an abundance of copies of the designs and the
works of this master have been given to the world. A fine taste was thus
rapidly propagated throughout Europe, and the beautiful style of
Raffaello began to be justly appreciated. In a short time it became the
prevailing taste, and if his maxims had remained unaltered, Italian
painting would probably have flourished for as long a period as Greek

In the midst of such a variety of occupations, Raffaello did not fail to
gratify the wishes of many private individuals, who were desirous of
having his designs for buildings, in which branch of art he was highly
celebrated, and also of possessing his pictures. I need only to refer to
the gallery of Agostini Chigi, which he ornamented with his own hand,
with the well known fable of Galatea. He afterwards, with the assistance
of his pupils, painted the Marriage of Psyche, at the banquet of which
he assembled all the heathen deities, with such propriety of form, with
their attendant symbols and genii, that in these fabulous subjects he
almost rivalled the Greeks. These pictures, and those also of the
chambers of the Vatican, were retouched by Maratta, with incredible
care; and the method he adopted, as described by Bellori, may serve as a
guide in similar cases. Raffaello also painted many altarpieces, with
saints generally introduced; as that Delle Contesse at Foligno, where he
introduced the Chamberlain of the Pope, alive, rather than drawn from
the life: that for S. Giovanni in Monte, at Bologna, of S. Cecilia, who,
charmed to rapture by a celestial melody, forgets her musical
instrument, which falls neglected from her hands; that for Palermo, of
Christ ascending Mount Calvary, called _dello Spasimo_, which, however
much disparaged by Cumberland, for having been retouched, is a noble
ornament of the royal collection at Madrid; and the others at Naples and
at Piacenza, which are mentioned by his biographers. He also painted S.
Michael for the King of France, and many other holy families[46] and
devotional subjects, which neither Vasari nor his other biographers have
fully enumerated.

But although the creation of these wonderful works was become a habit in
this great artist, still every part of his productions cannot be
considered as equally successful. It is known, that in the frescos of
the palace, and in the Chigi gallery, he was censured in some naked
figures for errors committed, as Vasari says, by some of his school.
Mengs, who varied his opinions at different periods of his life,
insinuates, that Raffaello for some time seemed to slumber, and did not
make those rapid strides in the art, which might have been expected from
his genius. This was, probably, when Michelangiolo was for some years
absent from Rome. But when he returned, and heard it reported that many
persons considered the paintings of Raffaello superior to his in colour,
of more beauty and grace in composition, and of a correspondent
excellence in design, whilst his works were said to possess none of
these qualities except the last; he was stimulated to avail himself of
the pencil of Fra Sebastiano, and at the same time supplied him with his
own designs. The most celebrated work which they produced in
conjunction, was a Transfiguration, in fresco, with a Flagellation, and
other figures, in a chapel of S. Peter in Montorio. Raffaello being
subsequently employed to paint a picture for the Cardinal Giulio de'
Medici, afterwards Clement VII., Sebastiano, in a sort of competition,
painted another picture of the same size. In the latter was represented
the raising of Lazarus; in the former, with the master's accustomed
spirit of emulation, the Transfiguration. "This is a picture which
combines," says Mengs, "more excellences than any of the previous works
of Raffaello. The expression in it is more exalted and more refined, the
chiaroscuro more correct, the perspective better understood, the
penciling finer, and there is a greater variety in the drapery, more
grace in the heads, and more grandeur in the style."[47] It represents
the mystery of the Transfiguration of Christ on the summit of Mount
Tabor. On the side of the hill he has placed a band of his disciples,
and with the happiest invention has engaged them in an action
conformable to their powers, and has thus formed an episode not beyond
the bounds of probability. A youth possessed is presented to them, that
they may expel the evil spirit that torments him; and in the possessed,
struggling with the presence of the demon, the confiding faith of the
father, the affliction of a beautiful and interesting female, and the
compassion visible in the countenances of the surrounding apostles, we
are presented with perhaps the most pathetic incident ever conceived.
Yet this part of the composition does not fix our regard so much as the
principal subject on the summit of the mountain. There the two prophets,
and the three disciples, are most admirably delineated, and the Saviour
appears enveloped in a glory emanating from the fountain of eternal
light, and surrounded by that chaste and celestial radiance, that is
reserved exclusively for the eyes of the elect. The countenance of
Christ, in which he has developed all his combined ideas of majesty and
beauty, may be considered the masterpiece of Raffaello, and seems to us
the most sublime height to which the genius of the artist, or even the
art itself, was capable of aspiring. After this effort he never resumed
his pencil, as he was soon afterwards suddenly seized with a mortal
distemper, of which he died, in the bosom of the church, on Good Friday,
(also the anniversary of his birthday,) 1520, aged thirty-seven years.
His body reposed for some days in the chamber where he was accustomed to
paint, and over it was placed this noble picture of the Transfiguration,
previous to his mortal remains being transferred to the church of the
Rotonda for interment. There was not an artist that was not moved to
tears at this affecting sight. Raffaello had always possessed the power
of engaging the affections of all with whom he was acquainted.
Respectful to his master, he obtained from the Pope an assurance that
his works, in one of the ceilings of the Vatican, should remain
unmolested; just towards his rivals, he expressed his gratitude to God
that he had been born in the days of Bonarruoti; gracious towards his
pupils, he loved them, and intrusted them as his own sons; courteous
even to strangers, he cheerfully lent his aid to all who asked his
advice; and in order to make designs for others, or to direct them in
their studies, he sometimes even neglected his own work, being alike
incapable of refusing or delaying his inestimable aid. All these
reflections forced themselves on the minds of the spectators, whose eyes
were at one moment directed to the view of his youthful remains, and of
those divine hands that had, in the imitation of her works, almost
excelled nature herself; and at another moment, to the contemplation of
this his latest production, which appeared to exhibit the dawn of a new
and wonderful style; and the painful reflection presented itself, that,
with the life of Raffaello, the brightest prospects of art were thus
suddenly obscured. The Pope himself was deeply affected at his death,
and requested Bembo to compose the epitaph which is now read on his
tomb; and his loss was considered as a national calamity throughout all
Italy. True indeed it is, that soon after his decease, Rome herself, and
her territory, experienced such unheard of calamities, that many had
just cause to envy him, not only the celebrity of his life, but the
opportune period of his death. He was not doomed to see the illustrious
Leo X., at a time when he extended the most exalted patronage to the
arts, poisoned by a sacrilegious hand; nor Clement VII., pressed by an
enraged enemy, seeking shelter in the Castle of S. Angelo, afterwards
compelled to fly for his life, and obliged to purchase, at enormous
sums, the liberty of his servants. Nor did he witness the horrors
attending the sacking of Rome, the nobility robbed and plundered in
their own palaces, the violation of hapless females in the convents;
prelates unrelentingly dragged to the scaffold, and priests torn from
the altars, and from the images of their saints, to whom they looked in
vain for refuge, slaughtered by the sword, and their bodies thrown out
of the churches a prey to the dogs. Nor did he survive to see that city,
which he had so illustrated by his genius, and where he had for so many
years shared the public admiration and esteem, wasted with fire and
sword. But of this we shall speak in another place, and shall here
adduce some observations on his style, selected from various authors,
and more particularly from Mengs, who has ably criticised it in his
works already enumerated by me, as well as in some others.

Raffaello is by common consent placed at the head of his art; not
because he excelled all others in every department of painting, but
because no other artist has ever possessed the various parts of the art
united in so high a degree. Lazzarini even asserts, that he was guilty
of errors, and that he is only the first, because he did not commit so
many as others. He ought, however, to have allowed, that his defects
would be excellences in any other artist, being nothing more in him than
the neglect of that higher degree of perfection to which he was capable
of attaining. The art, indeed, comprehends so many and such difficult
parts, that no individual artist has been alike distinguished in all;
even Apelles was said to yield to Amphion in disposition and harmony, to
Asclepiadorus in proportion, and to Protogenes in application.

The style of design of Raffaello, as seen in those drawings, divested of
colours, which now form the chief ornaments of cabinets, presents us, if
we may use the term, with the pure transcript of his imagination, and we
stand in amaze at the contours, grace, precision, diligence, and genius,
which they exhibit. One of the most admired of his drawings I once saw
in the gallery of the Duke of Modena, a most finished and superior
specimen, uniting in style all the invention of the best painters of
Greece, and the execution of the first artists of Italy. It has been
made a question whether Raffaello did not yield to Michelangiolo in
drawing; and Mengs himself confesses, that he did, as far as regards the
anatomy of the muscles, and in strong expression, in which he considers
Raffaello to have imitated Michelangiolo. But we need not say with
Vasari, that in order to prove that he understood the naked figure as
well as Michelangiolo, he appropriated to himself the designs of that
great master. On the contrary, in the figures of the two youths in the
Incendio di Borgo, criticised by Vasari, one of whom is in the act of
leaping from a wall to escape the flames, and the other is fleeing with
his father on his shoulders, he not only proved that he had a perfect
knowledge of the action of the muscles and the anatomy requisite for a
painter, but prescribed the occasion when this style might be used
without impropriety, as in figures of a robust form engaged in violent
action. He moreover commonly marked the principal parts in the naked
figure, and indicated the others after the example of the better ancient
masters, and where he wrought from his own ideas, his execution was most
correct. On this subject Bellori may be consulted at page 223 of the
work already quoted, and the annotations to vol. ii. of Mengs, (page
197,) made by the Cavaliere d'Azzara, minister of the king of Spain at
Rome, an individual, who, in conferring honour on the artist, has by his
own writing conferred honour on art itself.

In chasteness of design, Raffaello was by some placed on a level with
the Greeks, though this praise we must consider as extravagant. Agostino
Caracci commends him as a model of symmetry; and in that respect, more
than in any other, he approached the ancients; except, observes Mengs,
in the hands, which being rarely found perfect in the ancient statues,
he had not an equal opportunity of studying, and did not therefore
design them so elegantly as the other parts. He selected the beautiful
from nature, and as Mariette observes, whose collection was rich in his
designs, he copied it with all its imperfections, which he afterwards
gradually corrected, as he proceeded with his work. Above all things, he
aimed at perfecting the heads, and from a letter addressed to
Castiglione on the Galatea of the Palazzo Chigi, or of the Farnesina, he
discovers how intent he was to select the best models of nature, and to
perfect them in his own mind.[48] His own Fornarina assisted him in this
object. Her portrait, by Raffaello's own hand, was formerly in the
Barberini palace, and it is repeated in many of his Madonnas, in the
picture of S. Cecilia, in Bologna, and in many female heads. Critics
have often expressed a wish that these heads had possessed a more
dignified character, and in this respect he was, perhaps, excelled by
Guido Reni, and however engaging his children may be, those of Titian
are still more beautiful. His true empire was in the heads of his men,
which are portraits selected with judgment, and depicted with a dignity
proportioned to his subject. Vasari calls the air of these heads
superhuman, and calls on us to admire the expression of age in the
patriarchs, simplicity of life in the apostles, and constancy of faith
in the martyrs; and in Christ in the Transfiguration, he says, there is
a portion of the divine essence itself transferred to his countenance,
and made visible to mortal eyes.

This effect is the result of that quality that is called expression, and
which, in the drawing of Raffaello has attracted more admiration of late
years than formerly. It is remarkable, that not only Zuccaro, who was
indeed a superficial writer, but that Vasari, and Lomazzo himself, so
much more profound than either of them, should not have conferred on him
that praise which he afterwards received from Algarotti, Lazzarini, and
Mengs. Lionardo was the first, as we shall see in the Milanese School,
to lead the way to delicacy of expression; but that master, who painted
so little, and with such labour, is not to be compared to Raffaello, who
possessed the whole quality in its fullest extent. There is not a
movement of the soul, there is not a character of passion known to the
ancients, and capable of being expressed by art, that he has not caught,
expressed, and varied, in a thousand different ways, and always within
the bounds of propriety. We have no tradition of his having, like Da
Vinci, frequented the public streets to seek for subjects for his
pencil; and his numerous pictures prove that he could not have devoted
so much time to this study, while his drawings clearly evince, that he
had not equal occasion for such assistance. Nature, as I have before
remarked, had endowed him with an imagination which transported his mind
to the scene of the event, either fabulous or remote, in which he was
engaged, and awoke in him the very same emotions which the subjects of
such story must themselves have experienced; and this vivid conception
assisted him until he had designed his subject with that distinctness
which he had either observed in other countenances, or found in his own
mind. This faculty, seldom found in poets, and still more rarely in
painters, no one possessed in a more eminent degree than Raffaello. His
figures are passions personified; and love, fear, hope, and desire,
anger, placability, humility, or pride, assume their places by turns, as
the subject changes; and while the spectator regards the countenances,
the air, and the gestures of his figures, he forgets that they are the
work of art, and is surprised to find his own feelings excited, and
himself an actor in the scene before him. There is another delicacy of
expression, and this is the gradation of the passions, by which every
one perceives whether they are in their commencement or at their height,
or in their decline. He had observed their shades of difference in the
intercourse of life, and on every occasion he knew how to transfer the
result of his observations to his canvas. Even his silence is eloquent,
and every actor

  "Il cor negli occhi, e nella fronte ha scritto:"

the smallest perceptible motion of the eyes, of the nostrils, of the
mouth, and of the fingers, corresponds to the chief movements of every
passion; the most animated and vivid actions discover the violence of
the passion that excites them; and what is more, they vary in
innumerable degrees, without ever departing from nature, and conform
themselves to a diversity of character without ever risking propriety.
His heroes possess the mien of valour; his vulgar, an air of debasement;
and that, which neither the pen nor the tongue could describe, the
genius and art of Raffaello would delineate with a few strokes of the
pencil. Numbers have in vain sought to imitate him; his figures are
governed by a sentiment of the mind, while those of others, if we except
Poussin and a very few more, seem the imitation of tragic actors from
the scenes. This is Raffaello's chief excellence; and he may justly be
denominated the painter of mind. If in this faculty be included all that
is difficult, philosophical, and sublime, who shall compete with him in
the sovereignty of art?

Another quality which Raffaello possessed in an eminent degree was
grace, a quality which may be said to confer an additional charm on
beauty itself. Apelles, who was supremely endowed with it among the
ancients, was so vain of the possession that he preferred it to every
other attribute of art.[49] Raffaello rivalled him among the moderns,
and thence obtained the name of the new Apelles. Something might,
perhaps, be advantageously added to the forms of his children, and other
delicate figures which he represented, but nothing can add to their
gracefulness, for if it were attempted to be carried further it would
degenerate into affectation, as we find in Parmegiano. His Madonnas
enchant us, as Mengs observes, not because they possess the perfect
lineaments of the Medicean Venus, or of the celebrated daughter of
Niobe; but because the painter in their portraits and in their
expressive smiles, has personified modesty, maternal love, purity of
mind, and, in a word, grace itself. Nor did he impress this quality on
the countenance alone, but distributed it throughout the figure in its
attitude, gesture, and action, and in the folds of the drapery, with a
dexterity which may be admired, but can never be rivalled. His freedom
of execution was a component part of this grace, which indeed vanishes
as soon as labour and study appear; for it is with the painter as with
the orator, in whom a natural and spontaneous eloquence delights us,
while we turn away with indifference from an artificial and studied

In regard to the province of colour, Raffaello must yield the palm to
Titian and Correggio, although he himself excelled Michelangiolo and
many others. His frescos may rank with the first works of other schools
in that line: not so his pictures in oil. In the latter he availed
himself of the sketches of Giulio, which were composed with a degree of
hardness and timidity; and though finished by Raffaello, they have
frequently lost the lustre of his last touch. This defect was not
immediately apparent, and if Raffaello's life had been prolonged, he
would have been aware of the injuries his pictures received from the
lapse of time, and would not have finished them in so light a manner. He
is on this account more admired in his first subject in the Vatican,
painted under Julius II., than in those he executed under Leo X., for
being there pressed by a multiplicity of business, and an idea of the
importance of a grander style, he became less rich and firm in his
colouring. That, however, he excelled in these respects is evinced by
his portraits, when not having an opportunity of displaying his
invention, composition, and beautiful style of design, he appears
ambitious to distinguish himself by his colouring. In this respect his
two portraits of Julius II. are truly admirable, the Medicean and the
Corsinian: that of Leo X. between the two cardinals; and above all, in
the opinion of an eminent judge, Renfesthein, that of Bindo Altoviti, in
the possession of his noble descendants at Florence, by many regarded as
a portrait of Raphael himself.[50] The heads in his Transfiguration are
esteemed the most perfect he ever painted, and Mengs extols the
colouring of them as eminently beautiful. If there be any exception, it
is in the complexion of the principal female, of a greyish tint, as is
often the case in his delicate figures; in which he is therefore
considered to excel less than in the heads of his men. Mengs has made
many exceptions to the chiaroscuro of Raffaello, as compared with that
of Correggio, on which connoisseurs will form their own decision. We are
told that he disposed it with the aid of models of wax; and the relief
of his pictures, and the beautiful effect in his Heliodorus, and in the
Transfiguration, are ascribed to this mode of practice. To his
perspective, too, he was most attentive. De Piles found, in some of his
sketches, the scale of proportion.[51] It is affirmed by Algarotti, that
he did not attempt to paint _di sotto in su_. But to this opinion we may
oppose the example we find in the third arch of the gallery of the
Vatican, where there is a perspective of small columns, says Taja,
imitated _di sotto in su_. It is true, that in his larger works he
avoided it; and in order to preserve the appearance of nature, he
represented his pictures as painted on a tapestry, attached by means of
a running knot to the entablature of the room.

But all the great qualities which we have enumerated, would not have
procured for Raffaello such an extraordinary celebrity, if he had not
possessed a wonderful felicity in the invention and disposition of his
subjects, and this circumstance is, indeed, his highest merit. It may
with truth be said, that in aid of this object he availed himself of
every example, ancient and modern; and that these two requisites have
not since been so united in any other artist. He accomplishes in his
pictures that which every orator ought to aim at in his speech--he
instructs, moves, and delights us. This is an easy task to a narrator,
since he can regularly unfold to us the whole progress of an event. The
painter, on the contrary, has but the space of a moment to make himself
understood, and his talent consists in describing not only what is
passing, and what is likely to ensue, but that which has already
occurred. It is here that the genius of Raffaello triumphs. He embraces
the whole subject. From a thousand circumstances he selects those alone
which can interest us; he arranges the actors in the most expressive
manner; he invents the most novel modes of conveying much meaning by a
few touches; and numberless minute circumstances, all uniting in one
purpose, render the story not only intelligible, but palpable. Various
writers have adduced in example the S. Paul at Lystra, which is to be
seen in one of the tapestries of the Vatican. The artist has there
represented the sacrifice prepared for him and S. Barnabas his
companion, as to two gods, for having restored a lame man to the use of
his limbs. The altar, the attendants, the victims, the musicians, and
the axe, sufficiently indicate the intentions of the Lystrians. S. Paul,
who is in the act of tearing his robe, shews that he rejects and abhors
the sacrilegious honours, and is endeavouring to dissuade the populace
from persisting in them. But all this were vain, if it had not indicated
the miracle which had just happened, and which had given rise to the
event. Raffaello added to the group the lame man restored to the use of
his limbs, now easily recognized again by all the spectators. He stands
before the apostles rejoicing in his restoration; and raises his hands
in transport towards his benefactors, while at his feet lie the crutches
which had recently supported him, now cast away as useless. This had
been sufficient for any other artist; but Raffaello, who wished to carry
reality to the utmost point, has added a throng of people, who, in their
eager curiosity, remove the garment of the man, to behold his limbs
restored to their former state. Raffaello abounds with examples like
these, and he may be compared to some of the classical writers, who
afford the more matter for reflection the more they are studied. It is
sufficient to have noticed in the inventive powers of Raffaello, those
circumstances which have been less frequently remarked; the movement of
the passions, which is entirely the work of expression, the delight
which proceeds from poetical conceptions, or from graceful episodes, may
be said to speak for themselves, nor have any occasion to be pointed out
by us.

Other things might contribute to the beauty of his works, as unity,
sublimity, costume, and erudition; for which it is sufficient to refer
to those delightful poetical pieces, with which he adorned the gallery
of Leo X., and which were engraved by Lanfranco and Badalocchi, and are
called the Bible of Raffaello. In the Return of Jacob, who does not
immediately discover, in the number and variety of domestic animals, the
multitude of servants, and the women carrying with them their children,
a patriarchal family migrating from a long possessed abode into a new
territory? In the Creation of the World, where the Deity stretches out
his arms, and with one hand calls forth the sun and with the other the
moon, do we not see a grandeur, which, with the simplest expression,
awakes in us the most sublime ideas? And in the Adoration of the Golden
Calf, how could he better have represented the idolatrous ceremony, and
its departure from true religion, than by depicting the people as
carried away by an insane joy, and mad with fanaticism? In point of
erudition it is sufficient to notice the Triumph of David, which Taja
describes and compares with the ancient bassirelievi, and is inclined to
believe that there is not any thing in marble that excels the art and
skill of this picture. I am aware that on another occasion he has not
been exempted from blame, as when he repeated the figure of S. Peter out
of prison, which hurts the unity of the subject; and in assigning to
Apollo and to the muses instruments not proper to antiquity. Yet it is
the glory of Raffaello to have introduced into his pictures numberless
circumstances unknown to his predecessors, and to have left little to be
added by his successors.

In composition also he is at the head of his art. In every picture the
principal figure is obvious to the spectator; we have no occasion to
inquire for it; the groups, divided by situation, are united in the
principal action; the contrast is not dictated by affectation, but by
truth and propriety; a figure absorbed in thought, often serves as a
relief to another that acts and speaks; the masses of light and shade
are not arbitrarily poised, but are in the most select imitation of
nature; all is art, but all is consummate skill and concealment of art.
The School of Athens, as it is called, in the Vatican, is in this
respect amongst the most wonderful compositions in the world. They who
succeeded Raffaello, and followed other principles, have afforded more
pleasure to the eye, but have not given such satisfaction to the mind.
The compositions of Paul Veronese contain a greater number of figures,
and more decoration; Lanfranco and the machinists introduced a powerful
effect, and a vigorous contrast of light and shade: but who would
exchange for such a manner the chaste and dignified style of Raffaello?
Poussin alone, in the opinion of Mengs, obtained a superior mode of
composition in the groundwork, or economy of his subject; that is to
say, in the judicious selection of the scene of the event.

We have thus concisely stated the perfection to which Raffaello carried
his art, in the short space allotted him. There is not a work in nature
or art where he has not practically illustrated his own axiom, as handed
down to us by Federigo Zuccaro, that things must be represented, not as
they are, but as they ought to be; the country, the elements, animals,
buildings, every age of man, every condition of life, every affection,
all was embraced and rendered more beautiful by the divine genius of
Raffaello. And if his life had been prolonged to a more advanced period,
without even approaching the term allowed to Titian or Michelangiolo,
who shall say to what height of perfection he might not have carried his
favourite art? Who can divine his success in architecture and sculpture,
if he had applied himself to the study of them; having so wonderfully
succeeded in his few attempts in those branches of art?

Of his pictures a considerable number are to be found in private
collections, particularly on sacred subjects, such as the Madonna and
Child, and other compositions of the Holy Family. They are in the three
styles which we have before described: the Grand Duke has some specimens
of each. The most admired is that which is named the Madonna della
Seggiola.[52] Of this class of pictures it is often doubted whether they
ought to be considered as originals, or copies, as some of them have
been three, five, or ten times repeated. The same may be said of other
cabinet pictures by him, particularly the S. John in the desart, which
is in the Grand Ducal gallery at Florence, and is found repeated in many
collections both in Italy and in other countries. This was likely to
happen in a school where the most common mode was the following:--The
subject was designed by Raffaello, the picture prepared by Giulio, and
finished by the master so exquisitely, that one might almost count the
hairs of the head. When the pictures were thus finished, they were
copied by the scholars of Raffaello, who were very numerous, and of the
second and third order; and these were also sometimes retouched by
Giulio and by Raffaello himself. But whoever is experienced in the
freedom and delicacy of the chief of this school, need not fear
confounding his productions with those of the scholars, or of Giulio
himself; who, besides having a more timid pencil, made use of a darker
tint than his master was accustomed to do. I have met with an
experienced person, who declared that he could recognize the character
of Giulio in the dark parts of the flesh tints, and in the middle dark
tints, not of a leaden colour as Raffaello used, nor so well harmonized;
in the greater quantity of light, and in the eyes designed more roundly,
which Raffaello painted somewhat long, after the manner of Pietro.

On this propitious commencement was founded the school which we call
Roman, rather from the city of Rome itself, than from the people, as I
have before observed. For as the inhabitants of Rome are a mixture of
many tongues, and many different nations, of whom the descendants of
Romulus form the least proportion; so the school of painting has been
increased in its numbers by foreigners whom she has received and united
to her own, and who are considered in her academy of S. Luke, as if they
had been born in Rome, and enjoyed the ancient rights of Romans. Hence
is derived the great variety of names that we find in the course of it.
Some, as Caravaggio, derived no assistance from the study of the ancient
marbles, and other aids peculiar to the capital; and these may be said
to have been in the Roman School, but not to have formed a part of it.
Others adopted the principles of the disciples of Raffaello, and their
usual method was to study diligently both Raffaello and the ancient
marbles; and from the imitation of him, and more particularly of the
antique, resulted, if I err not, the general character, if I may so
express it, of the Roman School: the young artists who were expert in
copying statues and bassirelievi, and who had those objects always
before their eyes, could easily transfer their forms to the panel or the
canvas. Hence their style is formed on the antique, and their beauty is
more ideal than that of other schools. This circumstance, which was an
advantage to those who knew how to use it, became a disadvantage to
others, leading them to give their figures the air of statues,
beautiful, but isolated, and not sufficiently animated. Others have done
themselves greater injury from copying the modern statues of saints; a
practice which facilitated the representation of devout attitudes, the
disposition of the folds in the garments of the monks and priests, and
other peculiarities which are not found in ancient sculpture. But as
sculpture has gradually deteriorated, it could not have any beneficial
influence on the sister art; and it has hence led many into mannerism in
the folds of their drapery, after Bernino and Algardi; excellent
artists, but who ought not to have influenced the art of painting, as
they did, in a city like Rome. The style of invention in this school is,
in general, judicious, the composition chaste, the costume carefully
observed, with a moderate study of ornament. I speak of pictures in oil,
for the frescos of this later period ought to be separately considered.
The colouring, on the whole, is not the most brilliant, nor is it yet
the most feeble; there being always a supply of artists from the
Lombards, or Flemings, who prevented it being entirely neglected.

We may now return to the original subject of our inquiry, examine the
principles of the Roman School, and attend it to its latest epoch.
Raffaello at all times employed a number of scholars, constantly
instructing and teaching them; whence he never went to court, as we are
assured by Vasari, without being accompanied by probably fifty of the
first artists, who attended him out of respect. He employed every one in
the way most agreeable to his talent. Some having received sufficient
instruction, returned to their native country, others remained with him
as long as he lived, and after his death established themselves in Rome,
where they became the germs of this new school. At the head of all was
Giulio Romano, whom, with Gio. Francesco Penni, Raffaello appointed his
heir, whence they both united in finishing the works on which their
master was employed at his death. They associated to themselves as an
assistant Perino del Vaga, and to render the connexion permanent, they
gave him a sister of Penni to his wife. To these three were also joined
some others who had worked under Raffaello. On their first establishment
they did not meet with any great success, for, as Vasari informs us, the
chief place in art being by universal consent assigned to Fra
Sebastiano, through the partiality of Michelangiolo, the followers of
Raffaello were kept in the back ground. We may also add, as another
cause, the death of Leo X., in 1521, and the election of his successor,
Adrian VI., a decided enemy to the fine arts, by whom the public works
contemplated, and already commenced by his predecessor, remained
neglected; and many artists, in consequence of the want of employment,
occasioned by this event, and by the plague, in 1523, were reduced to
the greatest distress. But Adrian dying after a reign of twenty-three
months, and Giulio de' Medici being elected in his place under the name
of Clement VII., the arts again revived. Raffaello, before his death,
had begun to paint the great saloon, and had designed some figures, and
left many sketches for the completion of it. It was intended to
represent four historical events, although the subjects of some of them
are disputed. These were the Apparition of the Cross, or the harangue of
Constantine; the battle wherein Maxentius is drowned, and Constantine
remains victor; the Baptism of Constantine, received from the hands of
S. Silvester; and the Donative of the city of Rome, made to the same
pontiff. Giulio finished the two first subjects, and Giovanni Francesco
the other two, and they added to them bassirelievi, painted in imitation
of bronze under each of the same subjects, with some additional figures.
They afterwards painted, or rather finished the pictures of the villa at
Monte Mario, a work ordered by the Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, and
suspended until the second or third year of his papal reign. This villa
was afterwards called di Madama, and there still remain many traces,
although suffering from time, of the munificence of that prince, and the
taste of the school of Raffaello. Giulio meanwhile, with the permission
of the pope, established himself in Mantua, Il Fattore went to Naples;
and some little time afterwards, in 1527, in consequence of the sacking
of Rome, and the unrestrained licence of the invading army, Vaga,
Polidoro, Giovanni da Udine, Peruzzi, and Vincenzio di S. Gimignano left
Rome, and with them Parmigianino, who was at this time in the capital,
and passionately employed in studying the works of Raffaello. This
illustrious school was thus separated and dispersed over Italy, and
hence it happened that the new style was quickly propagated, and gave
birth to the florid schools, which form the subjects of our other books.
Although some of the scholars of Raffaello might return to Rome, yet the
brilliant epoch was past. The decline became apparent soon after the
sacking of the city, and from the time of that event, the art daily
degenerated in the capital, and ultimately terminated in mannerism. But
of this in its proper place. At present, after this general notice of
the school of Raffaello, we shall treat of each particular scholar and
of his assistants.

Giulio Pippi, or Giulio Romano, the most distinguished pupil of
Raffaello, resembled his master more in energy than in delicacy of
style, and was particularly successful in subjects of war and battles,
which he represented with equal spirit and correctness. In his noble
style of design he emulates Michelangiolo, commands the whole mechanism
of the human body, and with a masterly hand renders it subservient to
all his wishes. His only fault is, that his demonstrations of motion are
sometimes too violent. Vasari preferred his drawings to his pictures, as
he thought that the fire of his original conception was apt to
evaporate, in some degree, in the finishing. Some have objected to the
squareness of his physiognomies, and have complained of his middle tints
being too dark. But Niccolo Poussin admired this asperity of colour in
his battle of Constantine, as suitable to the character of the subject.
In the picture of the church dell'Anima, which is a Madonna, accompanied
by Saints, and in others of that description, it does not produce so
good an effect. His cabinet pictures are rare, and sometimes too free in
their subjects. He generally painted in fresco, and his vast works at
Mantua place him at the head of that school, which indeed venerates him
as its founder.

Gianfrancesco Penni of Florence, called Il Fattore, who when a boy was a
servant in the studio of Raffaello, became one of his principal
scholars, and assisted him more than any other in the cartoons of the
tapestries: he painted in the gallery of the Vatican the Histories of
Abraham and Isaac, noticed by Taja. Among other works left incomplete by
his master, and which he finished, is the Assumption of Monte Luci in
Perugia, the lower part of which, with the apostles, is painted by
Giulio, and the upper part, which abounds with Raffaellesque grace, is
ascribed to Il Fattore, although Vasari assigns it to Perino. Of the
works which he performed alone, his frescos in Rome have perished, and
so few of his oil pictures remain, that they are rarely to be found in
any collection. He is characterised by fertility of conception, grace of
execution, and a singular talent for landscape. He was joint heir of
Raffaello with Giulio, and wished to unite himself with him in his
profession; but being coldly received by Giulio in Mantua, he proceeded
to Naples, where he, as we shall see, contributed greatly to the
improvement of art, although cut off by an early death. Orlandi notices
two Penni in the school of Raffaello, comprehending Luca, a brother of
Gianfrancesco, a circumstance not improbable, and not, as far as I know,
contradicted by history. We are also told by Vasari, that Luca united
himself to Perino del Vaga, and worked with him at Lucca, and in other
places of Italy; that he followed Rosso into France, as we have before
observed; and that he ultimately passed into England, where he painted
for the king and private persons, and made designs for prints.

Perino del Vaga, whose true name was Pierino Buonaccorsi, was a relation
and fellow citizen of Penni. He had a share in the works of the Vatican,
where he at one time worked stuccos and arabesques with Giovanni da
Udine, at another time painted chiaroscuri with Polidoro, or finished
subjects from the sketches and after the style of Raffaello. Vasari
considered him the best designer of the Florentine School, after
Michelangiolo, and at the head of all those who assisted Raffaello. It
is certain, at least, that no one could, like him, compete with Giulio,
in that universality of talent so conspicuous in Raffaello; and the
subjects from the New Testament, which he painted in the papal gallery,
were praised by Taja above all others. In his style there is a great
mixture of the Florentine, as may be seen at Rome, in the Birth of Eve,
in the church of S. Marcello, where there are some children painted to
the life, a most finished performance. A convent at Tivoli possesses a
S. John in the desart, by him, with a landscape in the best style. There
are many works by him in Lucca, and Pisa, but more particularly in
Genoa, where we shall have occasion again to consider him as the origin
of a celebrated school.

Giovanni da Udine, by a writer of Udine called Giovanni di Francesco
Ricamatore, (Boni, p. 25,) likewise assisted Sanzio in arabesques and
stuccos, and painted ornaments in the gallery of the Vatican, in the
apartments of the pope, and in many other places. Indeed, in the art of
working in stucco, he is ranked as the first among the moderns,[53]
having, after long experience, imitated the style of the baths of Titus,
discovered at that time in Rome, and opened afresh in our own days.[54]
His foliage and shells, his aviaries and birds, painted in the above
mentioned places, and in other parts of Rome and Italy, deceive the eye
by their exquisite imitation; and in the animals more particularly, and
the indigenous and foreign birds, he seems to have reached the highest
point of excellence. He was also remarkable for counterfeiting with his
pencil every species of furniture; and a story is told, that having left
some imitations of carpets one day in the gallery of Raffaello, a groom
in the service of the Pope coming in haste in search of a carpet to
place in a room, ran to snatch up one of those of Giovanni, deceived by
the similitude. After the sacking of Rome he visited other parts of
Italy, leaving wherever he went, works in the most perfect and brilliant
style of ornament. This will occasion us to notice him in other schools.
At an advanced age he returned to Rome, where he was provided with a
pension from the Pope, till the time of his death.[55]

Polidoro da Caravaggio, from a manual labourer in the works of the
Vatican, became an artist of the first celebrity, and distinguished
himself in the imitation of antique bassirelievi, painting both sacred
and profane subjects in a most beautiful chiaroscuro. Nothing of this
kind was ever seen more perfect, whether we consider the composition,
the mechanism, or the design; and Raffaello and he, of all artists, are
considered in this respect to have approached nearest to the style of
the ancients. Rome was filled with the richest friezes, façades, and
ornaments over doors, painted by him and Maturino of Florence, an
excellent designer, and his partner; but these, to the great loss of
art, have nearly all perished. The fable of Niobe, in the Maschera
d'Oro, which was one of their most celebrated works, has suffered less
than any other from the ravages of time and the hand of barbarism. This
loss has been in some measure mitigated by the prints of Cherubino
Alberti, and Santi Bartoli, who engraved many of these works before they
perished. Polidoro lost his comrade by death in Rome, as was supposed,
by the plague, and he himself repaired to Naples, and from thence to
Sicily, where he fell a victim to the cupidity of his own servant, who
assassinated him. With him invention, grace, and freedom of hand,
seem to have died. This notice of him as an artist may suffice for the
present, as we shall again recur to him in the fourth book, as one of
the masters of the Neapolitan School.

Pellegrino da Modena, of the family of Munari, of all the scholars of
Raffaello, perhaps resembled him the most in the air of his heads, and a
peculiar grace of attitude. After having painted in an incomparable
manner the history of Jacob, before mentioned, and others of the same
patriarch, and some from the life of Solomon, in the gallery of the
Vatican, under Raffaello, he remained in Rome employed in the decoration
of many of the churches, until his master's death. He then returned to
his native place, where he became the head of a numerous succession of
Raffaellesque painters, as we shall in due time relate.

Bartolommeo Ramenghi, or as he is sometimes named, Bagnacavallo, and by
Vasari Il Bologna, is also included in the catalogue of those who worked
in the gallery. There is not however any known work of his in Rome, and
we may say the same of Biagio Pupini, a Bolognese, with whom he
afterwards united himself to paint in Bologna. Vasari is not prodigal of
praise towards the first, and writes with the most direct censure
against the second. Of their merits we shall speak more fully in the
Bolognese School, to which Bagnacavallo was the first to communicate a
new and better style.

Besides these, Vasari mentions Vincenzio di S. Gimignano, in Tuscany, to
whom, as a highly successful imitator of Raffaello, he gives great
praise, referring to some façades in fresco by him, which have now
perished. After the sacking of Rome he returned home, but so changed and
dispirited, that he appeared quite another person, and we have no
account of any of his subsequent works. Schizzone, a comrade of
Vincenzio, a most promising artist, shared the same fate; and we find
also, in the Bolognese School, Cavedone losing his powers by some great
mental affliction. Among the subjects of the Vatican we do not find any
ascribed to Vincenzio, but we may perhaps assign to him the history of
Moses in Horeb, which Taja, on mere conjecture, ascribes to the bold
pencil of Raffaele del Colle, who was employed by Raffaello in the
Farnesina, and in the Hall of Constantine, under Giulio. Of this artist
and his successors we have spoken in the first book, where we have made
some additions to the account of Vasari.

Timoteo della Vite, of Urbino, after some years spent at Bologna in
studying under Francesco Francia, returned to his native city, and from
thence repaired to the academy which his countryman and relation
Raffaello had opened in the Vatican. He assisted Raffaello at the Pace,
in the fresco of the Sybils, of which he retained the cartoons; and
after some time, from some cause or other, he returned to Urbino, and
there passed the remainder of his days. He brought with him to Rome, a
method of painting which partook much of the manner of the early
masters, as may be seen in some of his Madonnas, at the palace
Bonaventura, and the chapter of Urbino; and in a Discovery of the Cross
in the church of the conventuals of Pesaro. He improved his style under
Raffaello, and acquired much of his grace, attitudes, and colour, though
he always remained a limited inventor, with a certain timidity of touch,
more correct than vigorous. The picture of the Conception at the
Osservanti of Urbino, and the Noli me Tangere, in the church of S.
Angelo, at Cagli, are the best pieces that remain of Timoteo. Pietro
della Vite, who is supposed to have been his brother, painted in the
same style, but in an inferior manner. This Pietro is, perhaps, the
relative and heir of Raffaello, whom Baldinucci mentions in his fifth
volume. The same writer affirms, at the end of his fourth volume, that
the artists of Urbino included amongst the scholars of Raffaello one
Crocchia, and assign to him a picture at the Capuchins in Urbino, of
which I have no further knowledge.

Benvenuto Tisi, of Ferrara, or as he is generally called, Il Garofalo,
also studied only a little time under Sanzio; but it was sufficient to
enable him to become, as we shall notice hereafter, the chief of the
Ferrarese School. He imitated Raffaello in design, in the character of
his faces, and in expression, and considerably also in his colouring,
although he added something of a warmer and stronger cast, derived from
his own school. Rome, Bologna, and other cities of Italy, abound with
his pictures from the lives of the apostles. They are of various merit,
and are not wholly painted by himself. In his large pictures he stands
more alone, and many of these are to be found in the Chigi gallery. The
Visitation in the Palazzo Doria, is one of the first pieces in that rich
collection. This artist was accustomed, in allusion to his name, to mark
his pictures with a violet, which the common people in Italy call
garofalo. It does not appear from Vasari, Titi, and Taja, that Garofalo
had any share in the works which were executed by Raffaello and his

Gaudenzio Ferrari is mentioned by Titi, as an assistant of Raffaello in
the story of Psyche, and we shall advert to him again in another book as
chief of the Milanese School. Orlandi, on the credit of some more modern
writers, asserts, that he worked with Raffaello also at Torre Borgia;
and before that time, he considers him to have been a scholar of Scotto
and Perugino. In Florence, and in other places in Lower Italy, some
highly finished pictures are attributed to him, which partake of the
preceding century, though they do not seem allied to the school of
Perugino. Of these pictures we shall resume our notice hereafter; at
present it may be sufficient to remark, that in Lombardy, where he
resided, there is not a picture in that style to be found with his name
attached to it. He is always Raffaellesque, and follows the chiefs of
the Roman School.

Vasari also notices Jacomone da Faenza. This artist assiduously studied
the works of Raffaello, and from long practice in copying them, became
himself an inventor. He flourished in Romagna, and it was from him that
a Raffaellesque taste was diffused throughout that part of Italy. He is
also mentioned by Baldinucci, and we shall endeavour to make him better
known in his proper place.

Besides the above mentioned scholars and assistants of Raffaello,
several others are enumerated by writers, of whom we may give a short
notice. Il Pistoja, a scholar of Il Fattore, and probably employed by
him in the works of Sanzio, as Raffaellino del Colle was with Giulio, is
mentioned as a scholar of Raffaello by Baglione, and, on the credit of
that writer, also by Taja. We mentioned him among the Tuscans, and shall
further notice him in Naples, where we shall also find Andrea da
Salerno, head of that school, whom Dominici proves to be a scholar of

In the _Memorie di Monte Rubbiano_, edited by Colucci, at page 10,
Vincenzo Pagani, a native of that country, is mentioned as a pupil of
the same master. There remains of him in the collegiate church there, a
most beautiful picture of the Assumption; and the Padre Civalli points
out another in Fallerone and two at Sarnano, in the church of his
religious fraternity, much extolled, and in a Raffaellesque manner, if
we are to credit report. This painter, of whom, in Piceno, I find traces
to the year 1529, again appears in Umbria in 1553, where Lattanzio his
son, being elected a magistrate of Perugia, he transferred himself
thither, and was employed to paint the altarpiece of the Cappella degli
Oddi, in the church of the Conventuals, as we have already mentioned.
According to the conditions of the contract, Paparelli had a share with
him in this work, and he must be considered as an assistant of Vincenzo,
both because he is named as holding the second place, and because he is
reported by Vasari on other occasions, as having been an assistant. But
as history mentions nothing relative to this picture, except the
contract, we shall content ourselves with observing, that this
praiseworthy artist, who was passed over in silence for so many years,
still painted in the year 1553. Whether he was a scholar of Raffaello,
or whether this was a tradition which arose in his own country in
progress of time, supported only on the consideration of his age and his
style, is a point to be decided by proofs of more authority than those
we possess. I agree with the Sig. Arciprete Lazzari, when, writing of F.
Bernardo Catelani of Urbino, who painted in Cagli the picture of the
great altar in the church of the Capucins, he says, that he had there
exhibited the style of the school of Raffaello, but he does not consider
him his scholar.

It has been asserted, that Marcantonio Raimondi painted some pictures
from the sketches of Raffaello, in a style which excited the admiration
of the designer himself; but this appears doubtful, and is so considered
by Malvasia. L'Armenini also assigns to this school, Scipione Sacco, a
painter of Cesena, and Orlandi, Don Pietro da Bagnaja, whom we shall
mention in the Romagna School. Some have added to it Bernardino Lovino,
and others Baldassare Peruzzi, a supposition which we shall shew to be
erroneous. Padre della Valle has more recently revived an opinion, that
Correggio may be ranked in the same school, and that he was probably
employed in the gallery, and might have painted the subject of the Magi,
attributed by Vasari to Perino. This is conjectured from the peculiar
smile of the mother and the infant. But these surmises and conjectures
we may consider as the chaff of that author, who has nevertheless
presented us with much substantial information. We shall now advert to
the foreigners of this school. Bellori has enumerated, among the
imitators of Raffaello, Michele Cockier, or Cocxie, of Malines, of whom
there remain some pictures in fresco in the church dell'Anima. Being
afterwards in Flanders, where several works of Raffaello were engraved
by Cock, he was accused of plagiarism, but still maintained a
considerable reputation; as to a fertile invention he added a graceful
style of execution. Many of his best pictures passed into Spain, and
were there purchased at great prices. Palomino acquaints us with another
excellent scholar of Sanzio, Pier Campanna, of Flanders, who, although
he could not entirely divest himself of the hardness of his native
school, was still highly esteemed in his day. He resided twenty years in
Italy, and was employed in Venice by the Patriarch Grimani, for whom he
painted several portraits, and the celebrated picture of the Magdalen
led by Saint Martha to the Temple, to hear the preaching of Christ. This
picture, which was bequeathed by the Patriarch to a friend, after a
lapse of many years, passed into the hands of Mr. Slade, an English
gentleman. Pier Campanna distinguished himself in Bologna, by painting a
triumphal arch on the arrival of Charles V., by whom he was invited to
Seville, where he resided a considerable time, painting and instructing
pupils, among whom is reckoned Morales, who, from his countrymen, had
the appellation of the divine. He was accustomed to paint small
pictures, which were eagerly sought after by the English, and
transferred to their country, where they are highly prized. Of his
altarpieces, several remain in Seville, and we may mention the
Purification, in the Cathedral, and the Deposition at S. Croce, as the
most esteemed. Murillo, who was himself a truly noble artist, greatly
admired and studied this latter picture, which, even after we have seen
the masterpieces of the Italian School, still excites our astonishment
and admiration. This artist, to some one, who, in his latter years,
inquired why he so often repaired to this picture, replied, that he
waited the moment when the body of Christ should reach the ground.
Mention is also made of one Mosca, whether a native or foreigner I know
not, as a doubtful disciple of this school. Christ on his way to Mount
Calvary, now in the Academy in Mantua, is certainly a Raffaellesque
picture, but we may rather consider Mosca an imitator and copyist, than
a pupil of Raffaello. In the edition of Palomino, published in London,
1742, I find some others noticed as scholars of Raffaello, who being
born a little before or after 1520, could not possibly belong to him; as
Gaspare Bacerra, the assistant of Vasari; Alfonso Sanchez, of Portugal;
Giovanni di Valencia; Fernando Jannes. It is not unusual to find similar
instances in the history of painting, and the reports have for the most
part originated in the last age. Whenever the artists of a country began
to collect notices of the masters who had preceded them, their style had
become the prevailing taste; and as if human genius could attain no
improvement beyond that which it receives subserviently from another,
every imitator was supposed to be a scholar of the artist imitated, and
every school, arrogating to itself the names of the first masters,
endeavoured to load itself with fresh honours.

[Footnote 26: Hist. Rom. vol. i. ad calcem.]

[Footnote 27: Besides his life by Vasari, another was published by Sig.
Abate Comolli, which I consider posterior to that of Vasari. Memoirs of
him were also collected by Piacenza, Bottari, and other authors whom I
shall notice; and I shall also avail myself of the information derived
from the inspection of his pictures, and their character, and the
various dates of his works.]

[Footnote 28: We find his name written _Io. Sanctis_ in the Nunziata of
Sinigaglia; and it appears that he was born of a father called,
according to the expression of that age, _Santi_ or _Sante_; a name in
common use in many parts of Italy. In support of the surname of Sanzio,
Bottari produces a portrait of Antonio Sanzio, which exists in the
Palazzo Albani, representing him holding in his hands a document, with
the title of _Genealogia Raphaelis Sanctii Urbinatis_. Julius Sanctius
is there named as the head of the family, _familiæ quæ adhuc Urbini
illustris extat, ab agris dividendis cognomen imposuit_, and was the
progenitor of Antonio. From the latter, and through a Sebastiano, and
afterwards through a Gio. Batista, descends Giovanni, _ex quo ortus est
Raphael qui pinxit a. 1519_. It is also recorded that Sebastiano had a
brother, Galeazzo, _egregium pictorem_, and the father of three
painters, Antonio, Vincenzio, and Giulio, called _maximus pictor_. Thus
in this branch of the Sanzii are enumerated four painters, of whom I do
not find any memorial in Urbino. The family also boasts of a Canon in
divinity, and a distinguished captain of infantry. The anonymous writer
of Comolli confirms this illustrious origin of Raffaello; but it is
highly probable, that in that age, when the forgery of genealogies, as
Tiraboschi observes, was a common practice, he may have adopted it
without any examination. The portrait of Antonio is well executed, but
it has been said that it would have been much more so, if Raffaello had
painted it a year before his death, according to the inscription. If
connoisseurs (who alone ought to decide this point) should be of this
opinion, it may be suspected that the person that counterfeited the hand
of the artist, might also substitute the writing; or we may at least
conclude, that the etymology of Sanzio should be sought for in the word
_Sanctis_, the name of the grandfather of Raffaello, not in _sancire_,
(to divide fields or property). In tom. xxxi. of the Ant. Picene, a will
is produced of Ser Simone di Antonio, in 1477, where a _Magister
Baptista, qu. Peri Sanctis de Peris_, who is called _Pittor di grido e
di eccellenza_, leaves his son Tommaso his heir, to whom is substituted
a son of Antonio his brother, of the name of Francesco. I may remark,
that in this _Batista di Pier Sante de' Pieri_, we may find the surname
of a family different from that of Sanzia. But on this subject I hope we
shall shortly be favoured with more certain information by the Sig.
Arciprete Lazzari, who has obliged me with many valuable contributions
to the present edition of this work.]

[Footnote 29: Condivi, in his Life of Bonarruoti, (num. 67.) assures us
that Michaelangelo was not of a jealous temper, but spoke well of all
artists, not excepting Raffaello di Urbino, "between whom and himself
there existed, as I have mentioned, an emulation in painting; and the
utmost that he said was, that Raffaello did not inherit his excellences
from nature, but obtained them through study and application."]

[Footnote 30: See the Preface to the Life of Raffaello, by Vasari,
_ediz. Senese_, p. 228, where the will is quoted.]

[Footnote 31: Vasari states, that that event occurred either whilst
Michaelangelo was employed upon the Statues in S. Pietro in Vincoli, or
whilst he was painting the vault of the Sistine Chapel, that is, some
years afterwards, when Raffaello was in Rome. To this second opinion,
which is the most common one, I formerly assented; but since, on perusal
of a Brief of Julius II. (Lett. Pittoriche, tom. iii. p. 320) in which
that Pope invites Michaelangelo back to Rome, and promises that
_illæsus, inviolatusque erit_, I am inclined to believe that the Cartoon
was finished in 1506, which is the date of the brief; so that Raffaello,
if he could not see it on his first visit to Florence, might at least
have done so on his second or third.]

[Footnote 32: See Vasari, ed. Sen. tom. v. p. 238, where we find the
Letter written from him to one of his uncles, with all the
provincialisms common to the inhabitants of Urbino and its

[Footnote 33: Malvasia, _Felsina Pittrice_, tom. i. p. 45. There are
some facts, however, in opposition to this letter, and which seem to
prove that Raffaello did not go to Rome until 1510. But the Sig. Abate
Francesconi is now employed in rectifying the chronology of the Life and
Works of Sanzio; and from his critical sagacity we may expect the
solution of this difficulty.]

[Footnote 34: See Le Aggiunte al Vasari. Ed. Senese, p. 223.]

[Footnote 35: A sonnet by him is referred to by Sig. Piacenza, in his
notes to Baldinucci, tom. xi. p. 371.]

[Footnote 36: In compliance with the wishes of Leo X. he made drawings
of the buildings of Ancient Rome, and accompanied them with
descriptions, employing the compass to ascertain their admeasurement. We
owe this information to Sig. Abate Francesconi, who has restored to
Sanzio a letter, formerly attributed to Castiglione. It is a sort of
dedication of the work to Leo X.; but the work itself and the drawings
are lost; and many of the edifices measured by Raffaello were destroyed
in the following Pontificates. The Abate Morelli has made public a high
eulogium on this work, by a contemporary pen, in the notes to the
Notizia, page 210. It is written by one Marcantonio Michiel, who
asserts, that Raffaello had drawn the ancient buildings of Rome in such
a manner, and shewn their proportions, forms, and ornaments so
correctly, that whoever had inspected them might be said to have seen
Ancient Rome.]

[Footnote 37: In a brief of Leo X. 1514, mentioned by Sig. Piacenza,
tom. ii. p. 321.]

[Footnote 38:

  Cæsaris in nomen ducuntur carmina: Cæsar
  Dum canitur, quæso, Jupiter ipse vaces.
                  Prop. lib. iv. Eleg. vi.]

[Footnote 39: Vol. ii. p. 323 et seq.]

[Footnote 40: See the first letter of Crespi, Lettere Pittoriche, tom.
ii. p. 338.]

[Footnote 41: Mengs has observed, that Raffaello diligently studied the
bassirelievi of the arches of Titus and Constantine, which were on the
arch of Trajan, and adopted from them his manner of marking the
articulations of the joints, and a more simple and an easier mode of
expressing the contour of the fleshy parts. Riflessioni sopra i tre gran
Pittori, &c. cap. 1.]

[Footnote 42: Riflessioni su la bellezza e sul gusto della Pittura,
parte iii. cap. 1, and see the _Osservazioni_ of the Cav. Azara on that
tract, §. xii.]

[Footnote 43: A doubt has arisen on the exact time in which he painted
the Prophet and the Sybils, and from the grandeur of their style doubts
have been thrown on Vasari's account, that they were painted anterior to
1511. But a painter who is the master of his art, elevates or lowers his
style according to his subject. The Sybils are in Raffaello's grandest
style; and that they are amongst his earliest works, is proved from his
having had Timoteo della Vite, as his assistant in them.]

[Footnote 44: Lett. Pittor. tom. v. p. 131.]

[Footnote 45: Commencing at p. 139.]

[Footnote 46: I do not find that any mention has been made of his
picture in the possession of the Olivieri family at Pesaro, or of the
one in the Basilica di Loreto in the Treasury, which seems to be the
same which was formerly in the church of the Madonna del Popolo, or a
copy of it. I have seen a similar subject in the Lauretana, belonging to
the Signori Pirri, in Rome. At Sassoferrato also, on the great altar of
the church of the Capucins, there is a Virgin and child, said to be by
him; but it is more probably by Fra Bernardo Catelani. There exist
engravings of the two first, but I have not seen any of the last.]

[Footnote 47: Riflessioni sopra i tre gran Pittori, &c., cap. i. § 2.]

[Footnote 48: Lo dico con questa condizione che V. S. si trovasse meco a
far la scelta del meglio: ma essendo carestia e di buoni giudici e di
belle donne, mi servo di una certa idea che mi viene in mente. Lett.
Pittor. tom. i. p. 84.]

[Footnote 49: Plin. Hist. Natur. lib. xxxv. cap. 10. Quintil. Instit.
Orat. xii. 10.]

[Footnote 50: Portraits of Raffaello are to be found in the Duomo, and
in the Sacristy of Siena, in more than one picture; but it is doubtful
whether by his own hand or that of Pinturicchio. That which is mentioned
in the Guida di Perugia, as being in a picture of the Resurrection at
the Conventuals, is said to be by Pietro Perugino: and in the Borghese
gallery in Rome, there is one, supposed to be by the hand of Timoteo
della Vite. The portrait in the gallery in Florence, by Da Vinci, bears
some resemblance to Raffaello, but it is not he. Another which I have
seen in Bologna, ought, perhaps, to be ascribed to Giulio Romano. One of
the most authentic portraits of Raffaello, by his own hand, next to the
one in the picture of S. Luke, is that in the Medici Collection in the
_Stanza de' Pittori_, though this is not in his best manner.]

[Footnote 51: Idée de Peintre parfait, chap. xix.]

[Footnote 52: Engraved by Morghen. The three figures, the Madonna, the
Infant, and St. John, appear almost alive. It should seem that Raffaello
made several studies for this picture, and he painted one without the
St. John, which remained for some time in Urbino. I saw a copy in the
possession of the Calamini family, at Recanati, which was said to be by
Baroccio, and at all events belonging to his school. I have seen the
same subject in the Casa Olivieri, at Pesaro, and at Cortona, in the
possession of another noble family, to whom it had passed by inheritance
from Urbino, and was considered to be by Raffaello. The faces in these
are not so beautiful, nor the colours so fine; they are round, and in a
larger circle, with some variations: I have also seen a copy in the
Sacristy of S. Luigi de' Franzesi, in Rome, and in the Palazzo

[Footnote 53: Morto da Feltro sotto Alessandro VI., cominciò a dipingere
a grottesco, ma senza stucchi. Baglione, Vite, p. 21.]

[Footnote 54: The entrance into these baths was designedly and
maliciously closed. Serlio, in speaking of the various arabesques in
Pozzuolo, Baja, and Rome, says that they were injured or destroyed by
the artists who had copied them, through a jealous feeling lest others
should also avail themselves of the opportunity of studying them, (lib.
iv. c. 11). The names of these destroyers, which Serlio has suppressed,
posterity has been desirous of recovering, and some have accused
Raffaello, others Pinturicchio, and others Vaga, or Giovanni da Udine,
or rather his scholars and assistants, "of whom," says Vasari, "there
were an infinite number in every part of Italy." This subject is ably
discussed by Mariotti, in _Lettera_ ix. p. 224, and in the _Memorie
delle belle Arti_, per l'anno 1788, p. 24.]

[Footnote 55: It was charged on the office of the Piombo, or papal
signet, when Sebastiano da Venezia was invested with it, and was a
pension of three hundred scudi. Padre Federici observes that the one was
designated Fra Sebastiano, but that the other was not called Fra
Giovanni; nor is this remarkable, for a Bishop is called Monsignore, but
the person who enjoys a pension charged upon a Bishoprick has not the
same title. It cannot however be deduced from this, as Federici wishes
to do, that Sebastiano was first Frate di S. Domenico, by the name of F.
Marco Pensaben, and afterwards secularized by the Pope, and appointed to
the signet, and that he retained the _Fra_ in consequence of his former



  _The art declines in consequence of the public calamities of
  Rome, and gradually falls into mannerism._

After the mournful events of the year 1527, Rome for some time remained
in a state of stupor, contemplating her past misfortunes and her future
destiny; and, like a vessel escaped from shipwreck, began slowly to
repair her numerous losses. The soldiers of the besieging army, among
other injuries committed in the Apostolic palace, had defaced some heads
of Raffaello; and F. Sebastiano, an artist by no means competent to such
a task, was employed to repair them. This, at least, was the opinion of
Titian, who was introduced to these works, and ignorant of the
circumstances, asked Sebastiano what presumptuous wretch had had the
audacity to attempt their restoration;[56] an impartial observation,
against which even the patronage of Michelangiolo could not shield the
artist. Paul III. was now in possession of the papal chair, and under
his auspices the arts again began to revive. The decoration of the
palace of Caprarola, and other works of Paul and his nephews, gave
employment to the painters, and happy had these patrons been, could they
have found a second Raffaello. Bonarruoti, as we have observed, was
engaged by the Pope, and gave to the Roman School many noble specimens
of art, though he formed but few scholars. Sebastiano, after the death
of Raffaello, freed from all further competition with that great artist,
and honoured with the lucrative office of the papal signet, seemed
disposed to rest from his labours; and as he had never, at any time,
discovered great application, he now resigned himself to a life of
vacant leisure, and Vasari does not mention with commendation any pupil
of his school except Laureti.[57] Giulio Romano was now invited back to
Rome, and the superintendence of the building of S. Peter's offered to
him, but death prevented his return to his native city. Perino del Vaga,
however, repaired to Rome, and might, himself, have effected the
restoration of art, if his magnanimity had corresponded with the
sublimity of his mind. But he did not inherit the daring genius of his
master. He communicated his instructions with jealousy, and worked with
a spirit of gain, or to speak correctly, he did not paint himself, but
undertaking works of more or less consequence, he allowed his scholars
to execute them, often to the injury of his own reputation. He continued
to secure to himself artists of the first talents, as we shall see; but
this was done with the intention of making them dependant on him, and to
prevent their interfering with his emoluments and commissions. But
together with the good, he engaged also many indifferent and inferior
artists, whence it happens, that in the chambers of the castle of S.
Angelo, and in other places, we meet with so marked a difference in many
of his works. Few of his scholars attained celebrity. Luzio Romano is
the most noted, and possessed a good execution. Of him there exists a
frieze in the Palazzo Spada; and for some time, too, he had for an
assistant Marcello Venusti of Mantua, a young man of great talents, but
diffident, and probably standing in need of more instruction than Perino
afforded him. He afterwards received some instructions from Bonarruoti,
whose ideas he executed in an excellent manner, as I have mentioned
before, and by his aid he became himself also a good designer.[58]
Perino, by these means, always abounded in work and in money. A similar
traffic in the art was carried on by Taddeo Zuccaro, if we are to
believe Vasari; and by Vasari himself, too, if we may be allowed to
judge from his pictures.

The actual state of the art at this period may be ascertained from a
view of the numerous works produced; but none are so distinguished as
the paintings in the Sala Regia, commenced under Paul III., and scarcely
finished, after a lapse of thirty years, in 1573. Of these Vaga had the
direction, as Raffaello had formerly had, of the chambers of the
Vatican. He planned the compartments, ornamented the ceiling, directed
all the stuccos, cornices, devices, and large figures, and all in the
style of a great master. He then applied himself to design the subjects
for his pencil, and was employed on them when he was carried off by
death in 1547. Through the partiality of Michelangiolo, he was succeeded
by Daniel di Volterra, who had already worked in stucco, under his
direction, in the same place. Volterra resolved to represent the
donations of those sovereigns who had extended or consolidated the
temporal dominion of the church, whence the chamber was called Sala dei
Regi, and this idea was, in some degree, though with variations,
continued by succeeding artists. Volterra was naturally slow and
irresolute, and after painting the Deposition from the Cross, which we
have mentioned as being executed with the assistance of Michelangiolo,
he produced no more of these prodigies of art. He had indeed begun some
designs, but on the death of the Pope, in 1549, he was compelled, in
order to accommodate the conclave, to remove the scaffolding, and expose
the work unfinished. It did not meet with public approbation, nor was it
continued under Julius III., and still less under Paul IV., in whose
reign the art was held in so little respect, that the apostles, painted
by Raffaello in one of the chambers of the Vatican, were displaced.

Pius IV., who resumed the work, on the suggestion of Vasari, in 1561,
had intended to charge Salviati with the entire execution of it; but, by
the intercessions of Bonarruoti, was at length prevailed on to assign
one half of the apartment to Salviati, and the other half to
Ricciarelli, though this did not contribute to expedite the work. Pirro
Ligorio, a Neapolitan, was at this time held in high esteem by the Pope.
He was an antiquarian, though not of great celebrity, but a good
architect, and a fresco painter of some merit;[59] an enthusiast too,
and alike jealous of Ricciarelli, for the homage he paid to Bonarruoti,
and of Salviati, for the respect which he did not shew to Ligorio
himself. Remarking that the Pope wished to hasten the completion of the
work, he proposed to select a number of scholars, and to divide the work
amongst them. Vasari adds, that Salviati was disgusted and left Rome;
where, on his return, he died, without finishing his work; and that
Ricciarelli, who was always slow, never touched it again, and died also
after the lapse of some little time. The completion of the work was then
entrusted, as far as possible, to the successors of Raffaello. Livio
Agresti da Forli, Girolamo Siciolante da Sermoneta, and Marco da Pino,
of Sienna, although they had received their first instructions from
other masters, had been instructed by Perino del Vaga, and had assisted
in his cartoons. Taddeo Zuccaro had accomplished himself under Giacomone
da Faenza, and had made his younger brother Federigo an able artist. To
these the work was assigned, and there were added to them Samacchini and
Fiorini, Bolognese artists; and Giuseppe Porta della Garfagnana, called
Giuseppe Salviati. This latter had been the pupil of Francesco Salviati,
from whom he learnt the principles of design; he was afterwards a
follower of the school of Venice, where he resided. Of these numerous
artists Vasari assigns the palm to Taddeo Zuccaro, but the court was so
much pleased with Porta, that it was in contemplation to destroy the
works of the other artists, in order that the apartment might be
finished by him alone. He represented Alexander III. in the act of
bestowing his benediction on Frederick Barbarossa, in the Piazza of S.
Mark, in Venice; and he here indulged his taste for architectural
ornaments, in the Venetian manner. When however this work is viewed and
compared with that of other artists, we discover a sameness of style,
the character of the time; a deficiency of strength in the colours and
shadows is the common failing. It seems as if the art, through a long
course of years, had become debilitated: it discovers the lineaments of
a better age, but feebly expressed and deprived of their primitive
vigour. That portion of the work which remained unfinished, was, after
the death of Pius IV., completed by Vasari and his school, under his
successor; and some little was supplied under Gregory XIII., who was
elected in 1572.

With that year a reign commenced but little auspicious to art, and still
less so was the Pontificate of Sixtus V., the successor of Gregory.
These Pontiffs erected or ornamented so many public buildings, that we
can scarcely move a step in Rome, without meeting with the papal arms of
a dragon or a lion. Baglione has accurately described them, and to him
we are indebted for the lives of the artists of this and the following
period. It is natural for men advanced in years to content themselves
with mediocrity in the works which they order, from the apprehension of
not living to see them, if they wait for the riper efforts of talent.
Hence those artists were the most esteemed, and the most employed, who
possessed despatch and facility of execution, particularly by Sixtus, of
whose severity towards dilatory artists we shall shortly adduce a
memorable instance. This inaccuracy of style was continued to the time
of Clement VIII., when a number of works were hastily finished to meet
the opening of the holy year 1600. Under these pontiffs the painters of
Italy, and even the _oltramontani_, inundated Rome with their works, in
the same manner that the poets and philosophers had filled that city
with their writings in the time of Domitian and Marcus Aurelius. Every
one indulged his own taste; and the style of many was deteriorated
through rapidity of execution. Thus the art, particularly in fresco,
became the employment of a mechanic, not founded in the just imitation
of nature, but in the capricious ideas of the artist.[60] Nor was the
colouring better than the design. At no period do we find such an abuse
of the simple tints, in none so feeble a chiaroscuro, or less harmony.
These are the mannerists, who peopled the churches, convents, and
saloons of Rome with their works, but in the collections of the nobility
they have not had the same good fortune.

This era, nevertheless, is not wholly to be condemned, as it contains
several great names, the relics of the preceding illustrious age. We
have enumerated the painters who flourished in Rome in the first reigns
of this century, and we ought to notice a number of others. They were
for the most part foreigners, and ought to be introduced in other
schools. I shall here describe those particularly, who were born within
the limits of the Roman School, and those who, being established in it,
taught and propagated their own peculiar style.

Girolamo Siciolante da Sermoneta, who adopted Raffaello's style, may be
enumerated among the scholars of that great man, from his felicitous
imitation of their common master. In the Sala de' Regi, in the Vatican,
he painted Pepin, King of France, bestowing Ravenna on the church, after
having made Astolfo, King of the Lombards, his prisoner. But he
approached Raffaello more closely in some of his oil pictures than in
his frescos, as in the martyrdom of S. Lucia, in the church of S. Maria
Maggiore; in the Transfiguration in Ara Coeli, and in the Nativity in
the church della Pace, a subject which he repeated in the most graceful
style in the church of Osimo. His masterpiece is in Ancona on the great
altar in the church of S. Bartolommeo, a vast composition, original and
rich in invention, and commensurate with the grandeur of the subject,
and the multitude of saints that are introduced in it. The throne of the
Virgin is seen above, amidst a brilliant choir of angels, and on either
side a virgin saint in the attitude of adoration. To this height there
is a beautiful ascent on each side, and the picture is thus divided into
a higher and lower part, in the latter of which is the titular saint, a
half naked figure vigorously coloured, together with S. Paul and two
other saints, the whole in a truly Raffaellesque style. This altarpiece
possesses so much harmony, and such a force of colour, that it is
esteemed by some persons the best picture in the city. If any thing be
wanting in it, it is perhaps a more correct observance of the
perspective. Sermoneta did not paint many pictures for collections. He
excelled in portrait painting.

A similar manner, though more laboured, and formed on the styles of
Raffaello and Andrea del Sarto, was adopted by Scipione Pulzone da
Gaeta, who was educated in the studio of Jacopino del Conte. He died
young in his thirty-eighth year, but left behind him a great reputation,
partly in the painting of portraits, of which he executed a great number
for the popes and princes of his day, and with so much success, that by
some he is called the Vandyke of the Roman School. He was a forerunner
of Seybolt in the high finishing of the hair, and in representing in the
pupil of the eye the reflexion of the windows, and other objects as
minute and exact as in real life. He also painted some pictures in the
finest style, as the Crucifixion in the Vallicella, and the Assumption
in S. Silvestro at Monte Cavallo, a composition of chaste design, great
beauty of colouring, and brilliant in effect. In the Borghese collection
is a Holy Family by him, and in the gallery in Florence, a Christ
praying in the garden; and in other places are to be found some of his
cabinet pictures, deservedly held in high esteem.

Taddeo and Federigo Zuccaro have been called the Vasaris of this school;
for as Vasari trod in the steps of Michelangiolo, so these artists
professed to follow Raffaello. They were the sons of an indifferent
painter of S. Angiolo in Vado, called Ottaviano Zuccaro, and came to
Rome one after the other, and in the Roman state executed a vast number
of works, some good, some indifferent, and others, when they allowed
their pupils to take a share in them, absolutely bad. A salesman, who
dealt in the pictures of these artists, was accustomed, like a retailer
of merchandize, to ask his purchasers whether they wished for a Zuccaro
of Holland, of France, or of Portugal; intimating by this that he
possessed them of all qualities. Taddeo, who was the elder of the two,
studied first under Pompeo da Fano, and afterwards with Giacomone da
Faenza. From the latter and other good Italian artists, whom he
assiduously studied, he acquired sufficient talent to distinguish
himself. He adopted a style which, though not very correct, was
unconstrained and engaging, and very attractive to such as do not look
for grandeur of design. He may be compared to that class of orators who
keep the attention of their hearers awake, not from the nature of their
subject, but from the clearness of their language, and from their
finding, or thinking they find, truth and nature in every word. His
pictures may be called compositions of portraits; the heads are
beautiful, the hands and feet not negligently painted, nor yet laboured,
as in the Florentine manner; the dress and ornaments, and form of the
beard, are agreeable to the times; the disposition is simple, and he
often imitates the old painters in shewing on the canvass only half
figures in the foreground, as if they were on a lower plain. He often
repeated the same countenance, and his own portrait. In his hands, feet,
and the folds of his drapery, he is still less varied, and not
unfrequently errs in his proportions.

In Rome are vast works of Taddeo, in fresco, and amongst the best may be
ranked the history of the Evangelists, in the church of the
Consolazione. He left few pictures in oil. There is a Pentecost by him
in the church of the Spirito Santo in Urbino, which city also possesses
some other of his works, though not in his best style. He is most
pleasing in his small cabinet pictures, which are finished in the first
style of excellence. One of the best of these, formerly possessed by the
Duke of Urbino, is now in the collection of the noble family of
Leopardi, in Osimo. It is a Nativity of our Lord, in Taddeo's best
manner, but none of his productions have added so much to his celebrity
as the pictures in the Farnese Palace of Caprarola, which were engraved
by Preninner in 1748. They represent the civil and military history of
the illustrious family of the Farnesi. There occur also other subjects,
sacred and profane, of which the most remarkable is the Stanza del
Sonno, the subject of which was executed in a highly poetical manner,
from the suggestions of Caro in a delightful letter, which was
circulated among his friends, and is reprinted in the Lettere
Pittoriche, (tom. iii. l. 99). Strangers who visit Caprarola, often
return with a higher opinion of this artist than they carried with them.
It is true that a number of young artists, fully his equal, or perhaps
superior to him, were employed there, both in conjunction with him and
after his death, whose works ought not to be confounded with his, though
it is not always easy to distinguish them. Like Raffaello, he died at
the age of thirty-seven, and his monument is to be seen at the side of
that illustrious master in the Rotunda.

Federigo, his brother and scholar, resembled him in style, but was not
equal to him in design, having more mannerism than Taddeo, being more
addicted to ornament, and more crowded in his composition. He was
engaged to finish in the Vatican, in the Farnese Palace, in the church
of La Trinità de' Monti, and other places, the various works which his
brother had left incomplete at his death; and he thus succeeded, as it
were, to the inheritance of his own house. He had the reputation of
possessing a noble style, and was invited by the Grand Duke Francis I.
to paint the great dome of the metropolitan church at Florence, which
was commenced by Vasari, and left unfinished at his death. Federigo in
that task designed more than three hundred figures, fifty feet in
height, without mentioning that of Lucifer, so gigantic that the rest
appeared like children, for so he informs us, adding, that they were the
largest figures that the world had ever seen.[61] But there is little to
admire in this work except the vastness of the conception,[62] and in
the time of Pier da Cortona, there was an intention of engaging that
artist to substitute for it a composition of his own, had not the
apprehension that his life might not be long enough to finish it,
frustrated the design. After the painting of this dome, every work on a
large scale in Rome was assigned to Federigo, and the Pope engaged him
to paint the vault of the Paolina, and thus give the last touch to a
work commenced by Michelangiolo. About this period, in order to revenge
himself on some of the principal officers of the Pope who had treated
him with indignity, he painted, and exposed to public view, an
allegorical picture of Calumny,[63] in which he introduced the portraits
of all those persons who had given him offence, representing them with
asses' ears. His enemies, on this, made such complaints, that he was
compelled to quit the dominions of the Pope. He therefore left Rome and
visited Flanders, Holland, and England, and was afterwards invited to
Venice to paint the submission of the Emperor Federigo Barbarossa to
Pope Alexander III., in the Palazzo Pubblico, and he was there highly
esteemed and constantly employed. The Pontiff being by this time
appeased, Federigo returned to finish the work he had left imperfect,
and which is perhaps the best of all he executed in Rome, without the
assistance of his brother. The larger picture also of S. Lorenzo in
Damaso, and that of the Angels in the Gesù, and other of his works in
various churches, are not deficient in merit. Federigo built for himself
a house in the Monte Pincio, and decorated it with pictures in fresco,
portraits of his own family, conversazioni, and many novel and strange
subjects, which he painted with the assistance of his scholars, and at
little expense; but on this occasion more than on any other, he appears
an indifferent artist, and may be called the champion of mediocrity.

Federigo was afterwards invited to Madrid by Philip II.; but that
monarch not being satisfied with his works, they were effaced, and their
places supplied by Tibaldi, and he himself, with an adequate pension,
was sent back to Italy. He undertook another journey late in life,
visiting the principal cities of Italy, and leaving specimens of his art
in every place where he was called to exercise his talents. One of the
best of these is an Assumption of the Virgin, in an Oratory of Rimino,
on which he inscribed his name, and the Death of the Virgin, at S. Maria
_in Acumine_, with some figures of the Apostles, more finished than
usual with him. A simple and graceful style is observable in his
Presepio, in the cathedral of Foligno, and in two pictures from the life
of the Virgin, in a chapel of Loreto, painted for the Duke of Urbino.
The Cistercian monks, at Milan, possess two large pictures in their
library on the Miracle della Neve, with a numerous assemblage of
figures, the countenances in his usual lively manner, the colouring
varied and well preserved. In the Borromei college, in Pavia, is a
saloon painted in fresco, with subjects from the life of S. Carlo. The
most admired of these is the saint at prayer in his retirement; the
other pieces, the Consistory in which was his chapel, and the Plague of
Milan, would be much better, if the figures were fewer. He returned to
Venice, where his great picture remained, and which had not been so much
injured by time, as by a sarcasm of Boschini on certain sugar
[_Zucchero_] of very poor quality lately imported into Venice, in
consequence of which he retouched his work, and wrote on it, by way of a
memorial, _Federicus Zuccarus f. an. sal. 1582, perfecit an. 1603_. It
is one of his best works, copious, and, agreeably to Zanetti, beautiful
and well sustained. He then went to Turin, where he painted a S. Paul,
for the Jesuits, and began to ornament a gallery for Charles Emanuel,
Duke of Savoy; and it was in that city that he first published _La idea
de' Pittori, Scultori, e Architetti_, which he dedicated to the Duke. He
afterwards returned into Lombardy, where he composed two other works,
the one intitled _La Dimora di Parma del Sig. Cav. Federigo Zuccaro_:
the other, _Il Passaggio per Italia colla dimora di Parma del Sig. Cav.
Federigo Zuccaro_, both printed in Bologna, in 1608. In the following
year, on his return to his native place, he fell sick in Ancona, where
he died. Baglione admired the versatility of talent in this artist,
which extended to sculpture and architecture; but more than all he
admired his good fortune, in which he exceeded all his contemporaries.
This distinction he owed in a great measure to his personal qualities,
to his noble presence, his encouragement of letters, his quality of
attaching persons to him, and his liberality, which led him to expend in
a generous manner the large sums he derived from his works.

He appears to have written with the intention of rivalling and excelling
Vasari. Whatever was the cause, Vasari was disliked by him, as may be
gathered from the notes to his Lives, occasionally cited by the
annotator of the Roman edition; and is charged by him with spleen and
malignity, particularly in the life of Taddeo Zuccaro. In order to excel
Vasari, it seems he chose an abstruse mode of writing, in opposition to
the plain style of that author. The whole work, printed in Turin, is
involved in its design, and instead of precepts, contains speculative
metaphysical opinions, which tend more to raise disputes than to convey
information. The language is incongruous and affected, and even the very
titles to the chapters are interwoven with many absurdities, as that of
the 12th, _Che la filosofia e il filosofare è disegno Metaforico
similitudinario_. This style may perhaps impose on the ignorant, but
cannot deceive the learned.[64] The latter do not esteem a writer for
pedantic expressions adopted from the Greek and Latin authors; but for a
correct mode of definition, for an accuracy of analysis, for a sagacity
in tracing effects to their true causes, and for a manner strictly
adapted to the subject. These qualities are not to be found in the works
of Federigo, where we find philosophical expressions mingled with
puerile reflections, as in the etymology of the word _disegno_, which
after much circumlocution, he informs us, owes its derivation to _Segno
di Dio_; and instead of affording any instructive maxims to youth, he
presents them with a mass of sterile and ill directed speculations.
Hence we may be said to derive more information from a single page of
Vasari, than from this author's whole work. Both Mariette and Bottari
have shewn the little esteem in which they held this work, by their
correspondence, inserted in the 6th volume of the Lettere Pittoriche.
Nor are his other two works of greater utility, one of which contains
some arguments in the same style, which are proposed as a theme for
disputation in the Academy of the Innominati, in Parma.

It is generally thought that this treatise of Zuccaro was composed in
Rome, where he presided in the Academy of S. Luke. That academy was
instituted in the pontificate of Gregory XIII., who signed the brief for
its foundation at the instance of Muziano, as Baglione relates in the
life of that artist. He further states, that when the ancient church of
S. Luke, on the Esquiline, was demolished, the seat I believe of the
society of painters, the church of S. Martina was allotted to them, at
the foot of the Campidoglio. But this brief does not seem to have been
used until the return of Zuccaro from Spain, as according to the same
writer, it was he who put it in execution. And this must have occurred
in 1595, if the year which was celebrated by the painters of S. Luke in
1695, was the true centenary of the Academy. But the origin of the
institution may be dated, agreeably to some persons, from the month of
November, 1593, as mentioned by the Sig. Barone Vernazza, who, among the
first promoters, or members, includes the Piedmontese Arbasia, on the
relation of Romano Alberti. Baglione says that Federigo was declared
president by common consent; and that that day was a sort of triumph to
him, as he was accompanied on his return home by a company of artists
and literary persons; and in a little time afterwards he assigned a
saloon in his own house for the use of the academy. He wrote both in
poetry and in prose in the Academy of S. Luke, which is referred to more
than once in his greater work. He evinced an extraordinary affection for
this institution, and according to the example of Muziano, he named it
the heir of his estate, in the event of the extinction of his family. He
was succeeded in the presidency by Laureti, and a series of eminent
artists down to our own time. The sittings of the academy have now for a
long time past been fixed in a house contiguous to the church of S.
Martina, which is decorated with the portraits and works of its members.
The picture of S. Luke, by Raffaello, is there religiously preserved,
together with his own portrait; and there too is to be seen the skull of
Raffaello, in a casket, the richest spoil ever won by death from the
empire of art. Of this academy we shall speak further towards the
conclusion of this third book. We will now return to Federigo.

The school of this artist received distinction from Passignano and other
scholars, elsewhere mentioned by us. To these we may add Niccolo da
Pesaro, who painted in the church of Ara Coeli; but whose best piece is
a Last Supper in the church of the sacrament at Pesaro. It is a picture
so well conceived and harmonized, and so rich in pictorial ornament,
that Lazzarini has descanted on it in his lectures as one of the first
of the city. It is said that Baroccio held this artist in great esteem.
Baglione commended him for his early works, but it must be confessed
that he did not persevere in his first style, and fell into an insipid
manner, whence he suffered both in reputation and fortune. Another
artist of Pesaro, instructed by Zuccaro, was Gio. Giacomo Pandolfi,
whose works are celebrated in his native city, and do not yield the palm
to those of Federigo, as the picture of S. George and S. Carlo in the
Duomo. He ornamented the whole chapel in the Nome di Dio, with a variety
of subjects in fresco, from the Old and New Testament; but as he was
then become infirm from age and the gout, they did not add much to his
fame. His greatest merit was the instilling good principles into Simon
Canterini, of whom, as well as of the Pesarese artists his followers, we
shall write at large in the school of Bologna. One Paolo Cespede, a
Spaniard, called in Rome Cedaspe, also received his education from
Zuccaro. He commenced his career in Rome, and excited great expectations
from some pictures in fresco, which are still to be seen at the church
of Trinità de' Monti, and other places. He had adopted a natural style,
and was in a way to rise in his profession, when he obtained an
ecclesiastical benefice in his native country, and retired to reside
upon it. Marco Tullio Montagna accompanied Federigo to Turin as an
assistant; and a small picture of S. Saverio and other saints in a
church of that city, generally attributed to the school of Zuccaro, is
probably by him. He painted in Rome in the church of S. Niccolo in
Carcere, in the vaults of the Vatican, and in many other places, in a
tolerable style, but nothing more.

After the above named artists a crowd of contemporaries present
themselves, more particularly those who had the direction of the works
under Gregory XIII. The Sala de' Duchi was entrusted to Lorenzino of
Bologna, who was invited to Rome from his native city, where he enjoyed
the reputation of an excellent painter, and deservedly so, as we shall
see in his place. He undertook the decoration of the gallery of the
Vatican, which, from the vast size of that building, forms a boundless
field of art. Niccolò Circignani, or delle Pomarance, already mentioned
in the first book, distributed the work amongst a number of young
artists, who there painted historical subjects, landscapes, and
arabesques. The Pope was desirous that the walls also should serve the
cause of science, and ordered the compartments to be adorned with
geographical delineations of ancient and modern Italy, a task which was
assigned to Padre Ignazio Danti, a Domenican, a mathematician and
geographer of his court, and who was afterwards promoted to the
bishopric of Alatri. Ignazio was born in Perugia, of a family devoted to
the fine arts, and had two brothers, painters; Girolamo, of whom there
remain some works in S. Pietro, on the model of Vasari; and Vincenzio,
who in Rome assisted Ignazio, and there died, and was a good fresco
painter. Another grand work was also undertaken about this time, which
was the continuation of the gallery of Raffaello, in an arm of the
building contiguous to it, where, in conformity to the plan of
Raffaello, it was intended to paint four subjects in every arcade, all
from the New Testament. Roncelli, the scholar of Circignano, our notice
of whom we shall reserve to a subsequent epoch, was charged with the
execution of this plan, but was himself subject to the direction of
Padre Danti, experience having shewn that the entire abandonment of a
design to the direction of practical artists is injurious to its
execution, as there are few that, in the choice of inferior artists, are
not governed by influence, avarice, or jealousy. The selection,
therefore, was reserved to Danti, who to an excellent practical
knowledge of the art of design, united moral qualities that insured
success: and under his direction the whole work was regulated and
conducted in such a manner, that the spirit of Raffaello seemed to be
resuscitated in the precincts of the Vatican. But the hand was no longer
the same, and the imbecility which was apparent in the new productions,
when compared with the old, betrayed the decline of the art, though we
occasionally meet with subjects by Tempesti, Raffaellino da Reggio, the
younger Palma, and Girolamo Massei, which reflect a ray of honour on the

Another superintendant of the works of the Vatican, but rather in
architecture than in painting, was Girolamo Muziano da Brescia, who,
undistinguished in his native place, came young to Rome, and was there
considered the great supporter of true taste. He derived his principles
both in design and colour from the Venetian School, and early acquired
such skill in landscape, that he was named in Rome Il Giovane de' Paesi.
But he soon afterwards adopted a more elevated style, and devoted
himself with such obstinate assiduity to study, that he shaved his head
in order to prevent himself from going out of the house. It was at this
time that he painted the Raising of Lazarus, afterwards transferred from
the church of S. Maria Maggiore to the Quirinal Palace; and which, when
exposed to public view, immediately conciliated to him the esteem and
protection of Bonarruoti. His pictures occur in various churches and
palaces of Rome, and are often ornamented with landscapes in the style
of Titian. The church of the Carthusians possesses one of singular
beauty. It represents a troop of Anchorets attentively listening to a
Saint. There is great elegance and good disposition in the picture of
the Circumcision in the Gesù, and the Ascension in Ara Coeli displays an
intimate knowledge of art. The picture too of S. Francis receiving the
Stigmata, in the church of the Conception, is an enchanting piece, both
as regards the figures and the landscape. Nor was he beneath himself in
the pictures which he executed in the Duomo at Orvieto, which are highly
commended by Vasari. The chapel of the Visitation in the Basilica
Loretana, possesses three pictures by him, and that of the Probatica
discovers great originality and expression. In the Duomo of Foligno, a
picture by him in fresco, of the Miracles of S. Feliciano is pointed
out, which was formerly hidden by dust, but was a few years ago restored
in a wonderful manner to all its original freshness and charm of colour.

The figures of Muziano are accurately drawn, and we not unfrequently
trace in them the anatomy of Michelangiolo. He excelled in painting
military and foreign dresses; and above all, in representing hermits and
anchorets, men of severe aspects, whose bodies are attenuated by
abstinence, and his style, in general, inclines rather to the dry than
the florid. We are indebted to this artist for the engraving of the
Trajan Column. Giulio Romano had begun to copy it, and the laborious
undertaking was continued and perfected by Muziano, and so prepared for
the engraver.

The most celebrated scholar of Muziano, was Cesare Nebbia of Orvieto. He
presided over the works of Sixtus, entrusting the completion of his own
designs to the younger painters. In this task he was assisted by Gio.
Guerra da Modena, who suggested to him the subjects, and apportioned the
work among the scholars. Both the one and the other of these artists,
was endowed with a facility which was essential to the vast works on
which they were employed in the five years reign of Sixtus, in the
chapel of S. Maria Maggiore, in the library of the Vatican itself, in
the Quirinal and Lateran palaces, and at the Scala Santa, and many other
places. But in other respects, Muziano left his scholars far behind, as
he was possessed of a great and inventive genius, while Nebbia was more
remarkable for the mechanism of his art; particularly when he decorated
walls. There are, however, some beautiful and well coloured pictures by
him; among which may be mentioned the Epiphany, in the church of S.
Francis at Viterbo, quite in Muziano's style. Baglione associates with
Nebbia Giovanni Paolo della Torre, a gentleman of Rome, who was raised
by Girolamo above the rank of a mere dilettante. Taja too, adds Giacomo
Stella da Brescia, who, he observes, had degenerated in some degree from
the style of his master. He was employed, nevertheless, both in the
gallery of Gregory XIII., and in other places, not without commendation.
It may be observed, that M. Bardon states him to have been a native of
Lyons, long resident in Italy.

Another foreigner, but who came a considerable time after Muziano, was
Raffaellino da Reggio, who, after being instructed in the first
principles of the art by Lelio di Novellara, formed a master style in
Rome. Nothing was wanting to this artist except a greater knowledge of
design, as he possessed spirit, disposition, delicacy, relief, and
grace; qualities not common in that age. His pictures in oil are
occasionally, though not often, found in galleries, but his best works
are his frescos of small figures, such as the two charming fables of
Hercules, in the ducal hall at Florence, and the two gospel stories in
the gallery adjoining to that of Raffaello d'Urbino. He painted also at
Caprarola in competition with the Zuccari, and Vecchi, and with such
success, that his figures seem living, while those of his comrades are
inanimate. This excellent artist died immaturely, greatly lamented,
without leaving any pupil worthy of his name. He was however considered
as the head of a school in Rome, and his works were studied by the youth
of the academy. Many artists adopted his manner of fresco, particularly
Paris Nogari of Rome, who left there numerous works, which are known for
their peculiar manner; amongst others, some subjects in the gallery. He
had another follower in Gio. Batista della Marca, of the family of
Lombardelli, a young man of great natural talents, but which were
rendered unavailing from his want of application. Many pictures in
fresco by him remain in Perugia and in Rome, but the best are in
Montenovo, his native place. None, however, approached so near to
Raffaellino as Giambatista Pozzo, who also died young, and who, as far
as regards ideal beauty, may be considered the Guido of his day. To be
convinced of this it is only necessary to see the Choir of Angels, which
he painted in the chapel of the Gesù. If he had survived to the time of
the Caracci, it is impossible to say to what degree of perfection he
might not have attained.

Tommaso Laureti, a Sicilian, already noticed with commendation by us
among the scholars of F. Sebastiano, and deserving honourable mention
among the professors of Bologna, was invited to Rome in the pontificate
of Gregory XIII., and was entrusted with a work of an invidious nature.
This was the decoration of the ceiling and lunettes in the Hall of
Constantine, the lower part of which had been illustrated by the pencils
of Giulio Romano and Perino. The subjects chosen by this master were
intended to commemorate the piety of Constantine, idols subverted, the
cross exalted, and provinces added to the church. Baglione informs us
that Laureti was entertained by the Pope in his palace in a princely
manner; and either from his natural indolence, or his reluctance to
return to a laborious profession, procrastinated the work so much, that
Gregory died, and Sixtus commenced his reign before it was completed.
The new pontiff was aware that the artist had abused the patience of his
predecessor, and became so exasperated, that Laureti, in order to avert
his wrath, proceeded in all haste to finish his labours. When the work
however was exposed to public view, in the first year of the new
pontificate, it was judged unworthy of the situation. The figures were
too vast and heavy, the colouring crude, the forms vulgar. The best part
of it was a temple in the ceiling, drawn in excellent perspective, in
which art indeed Laureti may be considered as one of the first masters
of his day. Misfortune was added to his disgrace; for he was not only
not rewarded as he had expected, but the cost of his living and
provisions were placed to his charge, even to the corn supplied to his
horse. So that he gained no remuneration, and actually died in poverty
in the succeeding pontificate. He had however an opportunity afforded
him of redeeming his credit, particularly in the stories of Brutus and
Horatius on the bridge, which he painted in the Campidoglio, in a much
better style. Intimately acquainted with the theory of art, and
possessing an agreeable manner of inculcating its principles, he taught
at Rome with considerable applause. He had a scholar and assistant in
the Vatican, in Antonio Scalvati, a Bolognese, who in the time of Sixtus
was employed among the painters of the Library, and who was afterwards
engaged in painting portraits under Clement VIII., Leo XI., and Paul V.;
and was highly celebrated in this department.

A better fortune attended Gio. Batista Ricci da Novara, who arrived at
Rome in the pontificate of Sixtus, and who from his despatch manifested
in the works at the Scala Lateranense, and the Vatican Library, was
immediately taken into employ by the Pope, who appointed him
superintendant for the decorations of the palace of the Quirinal. He was
also held in favour by Clement VIII., in whose time he painted in S.
Giovanni Laterano the history of the consecration of that church: and
there, according to Baglione, he succeeded better than in any other
place. He left not a few works in Rome, and elsewhere his pictures
display a facility of pencil, and a brilliancy and elegance which
attract the eye. He was born in a city into which Gaudenzio Ferrari had
introduced the Raffaellesque style, and where Lanini, his son-in-law had
practised it; but in whose hands it seemed to decline, and still more so
under Ricci, when he came to Rome; so that his style was Raffaellesque
reduced to mannerism, like that professed by Circignani, Nebbia, and
others of this age.

Giuseppe Cesari, also called Il Cavaliere d'Arpino, is a name as
celebrated among painters, as that of Marino among poets. These two
individuals, each in his line, contributed to corrupt the taste of an
age already depraved, and attached more to shew than to reality. Both
the one and the other exhibited considerable talents, and it is an old
observation, that the arts, like republican states, have received their
subversion from master spirits. Cesari discovered great capacity from
his infancy, and soon attracted the admiration of Danti, and obtained
the protection of Gregory XIII., with the reputation of the first master
in Rome. Some pictures painted in conjunction with Giacomo Rocca,[65]
from designs of Michelangiolo, (in which Giacomo was very rich,)
established his reputation. So much talent was not required to secure
him general applause, as the public of that day were chiefly attracted
by the energy, fire, tumult, and crowds, that filled his composition.
His horses, which he drew in a masterly manner, and his countenances,
which were painted with all the force of life, won the admiration of the
many; while few attended to the incorrect design, the monotony of the
extremities, the poverty of the drapery, the faulty perspective and
chiaroscuro. Of these few however were Caravaggio, and Annibale Caracci.
With these he became involved in disputes, and challenges were mutually
exchanged. Cesari refused the challenge of Caravaggio, as he was not a
cavaliere, and Annibale declined that of the Cavaliere d'Arpino,
alleging that the pencil was his proper weapon. Thus these two eminent
professors met with no greater obstacle in Rome in their attempts to
reform the art, than Cesari and his adherents.

The Cavaliere d'Arpino survived both these masters more than thirty
years, and left behind him _progeniem vitiosiorem_. To conclude, he was
born a painter, and in so vast and difficult an art, he had endowments
sufficient to atone, in part, for his defects. His colouring in fresco
was admirable, his imagination was fruitful and felicitous, his figures
were animated, and possessed a charm that Baglione, who himself
entertained very different principles, could not refrain from admiring.
Cesari moreover practised two distinct manners. The one, the most to be
commended, is that in which he painted the Ascension, at S. Prassede,
and several prophets, _di sotto in su_: the Madonna in the ceiling of S.
Giovanni Grisogono, which is remarkable for its fine colouring; the
gallery of the Casa Orsini; and in the Campidoglio, the Birth of
Romulus, and the battle of the Romans and the Sabines, a painting in
fresco, preferred by some to all his other works. Others of his pictures
may be added, particularly some smaller works, with lights in gold,
exquisitely finished, as if they were by an entirely different artist.
Of this kind there is an Epiphany in possession of the Count Simonetti,
in Osimo, and S. Francis in extacies, in the house of the Belmonti at
Rimino. His other style was sufficiently free, but negligent, and this
latter he used too frequently, partly through impatience of labour, and
partly through old age, as may be seen in three other subjects in the
Campidoglio, painted in the same saloon forty years after the first. His
works are almost innumerable, not only in Rome, where he worked in the
pontificates of Gregory and Sixtus, and where, under Clement VIII., he
presided over the decorations in S. Gio. Laterano, and there continued
under Paul V., but also in Naples, at Monte Casino, and in various
cities of the Roman state, without mentioning the pictures sent to
foreign courts, and painted for private individuals. For the latter
indeed, and even for persons of inferior rank in life, he worked more
willingly than for princes, with whom, like the Tigellius of Horace, he
was capricious and morose. He was indeed desirous of being solicited by
persons of rank, and often affected to neglect them, so much had the
applause of a corrupted age flattered his vanity.

Cesari had many scholars and assistants, whom he more particularly
employed in the works of the Lateran; as he did not deign in those times
often to take up the pencil himself. Some of these pupils adopted his
faults, and as they did not possess the same genius, their works proved
intolerably bad. A vicious example, easy of imitation, is, as Horace has
observed, highly seductive. There were however some of his school, who
in part at least corrected themselves from the works of others. His
brother, too, Bernardino Cesari, was an excellent copyist of the designs
of Bonarruoti, and worked assiduously under the Cav. Giuseppe, but
little remains of him, as he died young. One Cesare Rossetti, a Roman,
served under Arpino a longer time, and of him there are many works in
his own name. There are also to be found some public memorials of
Bernardino Parasole, who was cut off in the flower of his age. Guido
Ubaldo Abatini of Città di Castello, merited commendation from Passeri
as a good fresco painter, particularly for a vault at the Vittoria.
Francesco Allegrini di Gubbio was a fresco painter, in design very much
resembling his master, if we may judge from the cupola of the Sacrament
in the Cathedral of Gubbio, and from another at the Madonna de' Bianchi.
We there observe the same attenuated proportions, and the same
predominant facility of execution. He nevertheless shewed himself
capable of better things, when his mind became matured, and he worked
with more care. He is commended by Ratti for various works in fresco,
executed at Savona, in the Duomo, and in the Casa Gavotti, and for
others in the Casa Durazzo at Genoa; where one may particularly admire
the freshness of the colouring, and the skill exhibited in his _sotto in
su_. He is also commended by Baldinucci for similar works in the Casa
Panfili, and merits praise for his smaller pieces and battles frequently
found in Rome and Gubbio. He also added figures to the landscapes of
Claude, two of which are to be seen, in the Colonna palace. He lived a
long time in Rome, and his son Flaminio with him, commemorated by Taja
for some works in the Vatican. Baglione has enumerated not a few other
artists, in part belonging to the Roman state, and in part foreigners.
Donato of Formello (a fief of the dukes of Bracciano) had greatly
improved on the style of Vasari his master, as is proved by his
histories of S. Peter, in a staircase of the Vatican, particularly the
one of the piece of money found in the fish's mouth. He died whilst yet
young, and the art had real cause to lament his loss. Giuseppe Franco,
also called _dalle Lodole_, in consequence of his painting a lark in one
of his pieces in S. Maria in Via, and on other occasions, and Prospero
Orsi, both Romans, had a share in the works prosecuted by Sixtus. When
these were finished, the former repaired to Milan, where he remained
some years; the latter, from painting historical subjects, passed to
arabesque, and from his singular talents in that line, was called
Prosperino dalle Grottesche. Of the same place was Girolamo Nanni,
deserving of particular mention, because, during all the time that he
was engaged in these works, he never hurried himself, and to the
directors who urged him to despatch, he answered always _poco e buono_,
which expression was ever afterwards attached to him as a surname. He
continued to work with the same study and devotion, as far as his
talents would carry him, at S. Bartolommeo all'Isola, at S. Caterina de'
Funai, and in many other places: he was not however much distinguished,
except for his great application. Of him however, and of Giuseppe
Puglia, or Bastaro, and of Cesare Torelli, also Romans; and of Pasquale
Cati da Jesi, an inexhaustible painter of that age, though somewhat
affected, and of many professors, that are in fact forgotten in Rome
itself, I have thought it my duty to give this short notice, as I had
pledged myself to include a number of the second rate artists. It would
be an endless task to enumerate here all the foreign artists. It may be
sufficient to observe, that in the Vatican library more than a hundred
artists, almost all foreigners, were employed. In the first book I have
mentioned Gio. de' Vecchi, an eminent master, who, from the time of his
works for the Farnese family, was considered a first rate artist; and
the colony of painters, his fellow citizens, whom Raffaellino brought to
Rome. In the same book we meet with Titi, Naldini, Zucchi, Coscj, and a
number of Florentines, and in the following book Matteo da Siena and
some others of his school. Again, in the fourth book, Matteo da Leccio
and Giuseppe Valeriani dell' Aquila will have place; and in the third
volume will be described Palma the younger (amongst the Venetians) who
worked in the gallery; about which time Salvator Fontana, a Venetian,
painted at S. Maria Maggiore, whom it is sufficient to have named. We
may also enumerate Nappi and Paroni of Milan, Croce of Bologna,
Mainardi, Lavinia Fontana, and not a few others of various schools, who
in those times painted in Rome, without ultimately remaining there, or
leaving scholars.

A more circumstantial mention may be made of some _oltramontani_, who,
in conjunction with our countrymen, were employed in the works in these
pontificates; and it may be done with the more propriety, as we do not
speak of them in any other part of our work. But those who worked in
Rome were very numerous in every period, and it would be too much to
attempt to enumerate them all in a history of Italian painting. One
Arrigo, from Flanders, painted a Resurrection in the Sistine chapel, and
also worked in fresco in other places in Rome; and is commended by
Baglione as an excellent artist. Francesco da Castello, was also of
Flanders, and of a more refined and correct taste. There is a picture by
him at S. Rocco, with various saints; and it is perhaps the best piece
the world possesses of him; but almost all his works were painted for
the cabinet, and in miniature, in which he excelled. The Brilli we may
include among the landscape painters.

The states of the church possessed in this epoch painters of
consideration, besides those in Perugia, where flourished the two Alfani
and others, followers of a good style; but whether they were known or
employed in Rome, I am not able to say. I included them in the school of
Pietro, in order that they might not be separated from the artists of
Perugia, but they continued to live and to work for many years in the
16th century. To these may be added Piero and Serafino Cesarei,[66] and
others of less note. In the city of Assisi, there resided, in the
beginning of the 16th century, a Francesco Vagnucci, and there remain
some works by him in the spirit of the old masters. There, also,
afterwards resided Cesare Sermei Cavaliere, who was born in Orvieto, and
married in Assisi, and lived there until 1600, when he died at the age
of 84. He painted both there and in Perugia, and if not in a grand style
of fresco, still with a felicity of design, with much spirit in his
attitudes, and with a vigorous pencil. He was a good machinist, and of
great merit in his oil pictures. At Spello I saw a picture by him of the
Beatified Andrea Caccioli; and it seems to me, that few other painters
of the Roman School had at that time equalled him. His heirs, in Assisi,
possess some pictures by him of fairs, processions, and ceremonies which
occur in that city on occasion of the Perdono; and the numbers and
variety and grace of the small figures, the architecture, and the humour
displayed, are very captivating. At Spello, just above mentioned, in the
church of S. Giacomo, is a picture which represents that saint and S.
Catherine before the Madonna: where we read _Tandini Mevanatis_, 1580;
that is, of Tandino di Bevagna, a place near Assisi; nor is it a picture
to be passed over.

Gubbio possessed two painters, brothers of the family de' Nucci;
Virgilio, who was said to be the scholar of Daniel di Volterra, whose
Deposition he copied for an altar at S. Francis in Gubbio; and
Benedetto, a disciple of Raffaellino del Colle, considered the best of
the painters of Gubbio.[67] Both of them have left works in their native
place, and in the neighbouring districts; the first of them always
following the Florentine, and the second the Roman School. Of the latter
there are many pictures at Gubbio, which shew the progress he had made
in the style of Raffaello; and to see him in his best work, we must
inspect his S. Thomas in the Duomo, which would be taken for a picture
of Garofalo, or some such artist, if we were not acquainted with the
master. A little time afterwards flourished Felice Damiani, or Felice da
Gubbio, who is said to have studied in the Venetian School. The
Circumcision at S. Domenico has certainly a good deal of that style; but
in pencil he inclines more to the Roman taste, which he, perhaps,
derived from Benedetto Nucci. The Decollation of St. Paul, at the Castel
Nuovo, in Recanati, is by him: the attitude of the saint excites our
sympathy: the spectators are represented in various attitudes, all
appropriate and animated: the drawing is correct, and the colours vivid
and harmonious. It is inscribed with the year 1584. About ten years
afterwards, he painted two chapels at the Madonna de' Lumi, at S.
Severino, with subjects from the life of Christ; and there likewise
displayed more elegance than grandeur of style. His most studied and
powerful work is at S. Agostino di Gubbio, the Baptism of the Saint,
painted in 1594, a picture abounding in figures, and which surprises by
the novelty of the attire, by its correct architecture, and by the air
of devotion exhibited in the countenances. He received for this picture
two hundred scudi, by no means a low price in those times; and it should
seem that his work was regulated by the price, since in some other
pictures, and particularly in one in 1604, he is exceedingly negligent.
Federigo Brunori, called also Brunorini, issued, it is said, from his
school, and still more decidedly than his master, followed the Venetian
style. His portraits are natural; and he was a lover of foreign drapery,
and coloured with a strong effect. The Bianchi have an Ecce Homo by him,
in which the figures are small, but boldly expressed, and shew that he
had profited from the engravings of Albert Durer. Pierangiolo Basilj,
instructed by Damiani, and also by Roncalli, partakes of their more
delicate manner. His frescos, in the choir of S. Ubaldo, are held in
esteem; and at S. Marziale, there is by him a Christ preaching, with a
beautiful portico in perspective, and a great number of auditors: the
figures in this are also small, and such as are seen in the compositions
of Albert Durer. The pictures appear to be painted in competition.
Brunori displays more energy, Basilj more variety and grace.

In the former edition of this work I made mention of Castel Durante, now
Urbania, in the state of Urbino. I noticed Luzio Dolce among the ancient
painters, of whom I had at that time seen no performance, except an
indifferent picture, in the country church of Cagli, in 1536. Since that
period Colucci has published (tom. xxvii.) a _Cronaca di Castel
Durante_, wherein he gives a full account of Luzio, and of others that
belong to that place. Bernardino, his grandfather, and Ottaviano, his
father, excelled in stucco, and had exercised their art in other places;
and he himself, who was living in 1589, is commended for his altarpieces
and other pictures, in the churches, both in his native city and other
places: and further, it is stated that he was employed by the duke to
paint at the Imperiale. He also makes honourable mention of a brother of
Luzio, and extols Giustino Episcopio, called formerly de' Salvolini,
who, in conjunction with Luzio, painted in the abbey the picture of the
Spirito Santo, and the other pictures around it. He also executed many
other works by himself in Castel Durante and elsewhere, and in Rome as
well, where he studied and resided for a considerable time. It is
probable that Luzio was, in the latter part of his life, assisted by
Agostino Apolonio, who was his sister's son, married in S. Angelo in
Vado, and who removed and settled in Castel Durante where he executed
works both in stucco and in oils, particularly at S. Francesco, and
succeeded alike to the business and the property of his maternal uncle.

At Fratta, which is also in the state of Urbino, there died young, one
Flori, of whom scarcely any thing remains, except the Supper of our
Lord, at S. Bernardino. But this picture is composed in the manner of
the best period of art, and deserves commemoration. Not far from thence
is Città di Castello, where, in the days of Vasari, flourished Gio.
Batista della Bilia, a fresco painter, and another Gio. Batista,
employed in the Palazzo Vitelli, (tom. v. p. 131). I know not whether it
was from him, or some other artist, that Avanzino Nucci had his first
instructions, who repairing to Rome, designed after the best examples,
and was a scholar and fellow labourer in many of the works of Niccolo
Circignano. He had a share in almost all the works under Sixtus, and
executed many others, in various churches and palaces. He possessed
facility and despatch, and a style not very dissimilar to that of his
master, though inferior in grandeur. He resided some time in Naples, and
worked also in his native place. There is a picture by him, of the
Slaughter of the Innocents, at S. Silvestro di Fabriano. Somewhat later
than he, was Sguazzino, noticed by Orlandi for the pictures painted at
the Gesù in Perugia; though he left better works in Città di Castello,
as the S. Angelo, in the Duomo; and the lunettes, containing various
histories of our Lady, at the Spirito Santo, besides others in various
churches. He was not very correct in his drawing, but had a despatch and
a contrast of colours, and a general effect that entitled him to

Another considerable painter, though less known, was Gaspare Gasparrini,
of Macerata. He was of noble birth, and followed the art through
predilection, and painted both in fresco and oils. From the information
which I received from Macerata,[68] it seems he learned to paint from
Girolamo di Sermoneta.[69] However this may be, Gasparrini pursued a
similar path, although his manner is not so finished, if we may judge
from the two chapels at S. Venanzio di Fabriano, in one of which is the
Last Supper, and in the other the Baptism of Christ. Other subjects are
added on the side walls, and the best is that of S. Peter and S. John
healing the Sick, a charming composition, in the style of Raffaello. We
find by him, in his native place, a picture of the Stigmata, at the
Conventuals, and some cabinet pictures, in the collection of the Signori
Ferri, relations of the family of Gaspare. Others too are to be found,
but either doubtful in themselves, or injured by retouching. Padre
Civalli M. C., who wrote at the close of the sixteenth century, mentions
this master with high commendation, as may be seen on reference to the
_Antichità Picene_, tom. xxv. In a recent description of the pictures at
Ascoli, I find that a Sebastian Gasparrini, of Macerata, a scholar of
the Cav. Pomaranci, decorated a chapel of S. Biagio in that city with
historical paintings in fresco. But it is probable that this may be
Giuseppe Bastiani, the scholar of Gasparrini. Another chapel at the
Carmelites in Macerata, contains many pictures by him, with the date of

Of Marcantonio di Tolentino, mentioned by Borghini in his account of the
Tuscan artists, and after him by Colucci (tom. xxv. p. 80), I do not
know whether or not he returned to practise his art in his native
country. In Caldarola, in the territory of Macerata, flourished a
Durante de' Nobili, a painter who formed himself on the style of
Michelangiolo. A picture of a Madonna by him is to be seen in Ascoli, at
S. Pier di Castello, on which he inscribed his name and country, and the
year 1571. From another school I believe arose a Simon de Magistris, a
painter as well as sculptor, who left many works in the province. One of
his pictures of S. Philip and S. James, in the Duomo of Osimo, in 1585,
discovers a poverty in the composition, and little felicity of
execution; but he appears to greater advantage, at a more advanced
period of life, in the works he left at Ascoli. There is one, of the
Rosario, at S. Domenico, where Orsini found much to commend in the
arrangement of the figures, in the design, and in the colouring. There
is another, of the same subject, at S. Rocco, which is preferred to the
former, except for the shortness of the figures, and which we have
described in writing of Andrea del Sarto, and afterwards of Taddeo
Zuccaro. For the same reason he reproaches Carlo Allegretti, who, in the
same city, committed a similar fault. He painted in various styles, as
may be seen from an Epiphany, in Bassano's manner, which he placed in
the cathedral, a picture which will apologize for the others.
Baldassini, in his Storia di Jesi, speaking of Colucci, records there
the priest Antonio Massi, who studied and gave to the world some
pictures in Bologna; and Antonio Sarti, whom I esteem superior to Massi;
praising highly his picture of the Circumcision, in the collegiate
church of Massaccio. This city gave birth to Paolo Pittori, who
ornamented his native place and its vicinity. These may serve as an
example of the provincial painters of this age. I purposely omit many
names, several of whom are fresco painters, who were indifferent
artists; and others who were below mediocrity. It is indeed true, that
many have escaped, from being unknown to me, and there still remain, in
the Roman state, many works highly beautiful, deserving of research and

From the time of the preceding epoch, the art became divided into
various departments; and at this period, they began to multiply, in
consequence of many men of talent choosing to cultivate different
manners. After Jacopo del Conte and Scipione da Gaeta, the portraits of
Antonio de' Monti, a Roman, are celebrated, who was considered the first
among the portrait painters under Gregory; as also those of Prospero and
Livia Fontana, and of Antonio Scalvati; all three of the School of
Bologna; to whom may be added Pietro Fachetti, of Mantua.

With regard to perspective, it was successfully cultivated by Jacopo
Barocci, commonly called Il Vignola, an illustrious name in
architecture; owing to which his celebrity in the other branches has
been overlooked. But it ought to be observed that his first studies were
directed to painting, in the school of Passarotti, in Bologna; until he
was led by the impulse of his genius, to apply himself to perspective,
and by the aid of that science, as he was accustomed to say, to
architecture, in which he executed some wonderful works, and amongst
others the palace of Caprarola. There, and I know not whether in other
places, are to be seen some pictures by him. As a writer, we shall refer
to him in the second index, where, omitting his other works, we shall
cite the two books which he wrote in this department of art. Great
progress was made in Rome, in the art of perspective, after Laureti, by
the genius of Gio. Alberti di Città S. Sepolcro, whose eulogy I shall
not here stop to repeat, having already spoken of it in the first
volume. Baglione names two friends, Tarquinio di Viterbo and Giovanni
Zanna, of Rome; the first of whom painted landscapes, and the second
adorned them with figures. He mentions the two brothers, Conti, of
Ancona; Cesare, who excelled in arabesques, and Vincenzio in figures:
these artists painted for private persons. Marco da Faenza was much
employed under Gregory XIII., in arabesques, and the more elegant
decorations of the Vatican, and had also the direction of other artists.
Of him we shall make more particular mention amongst the artists of

The landscapes in the Apostolic palace, and in various places of Rome,
were many of them painted by Matteo da Siena, and by Gio. Fiammingo,
with whom Taja makes us acquainted, in the ducal hall, and particularly
the two brothers Brilli, of Flanders, who painted both in fresco and
oil. Matteo always retained his _ultramontane_ manner, rather dry, and
not very true in colour. Paolo, who survived him, improved his style,
from the study of Titian and the Caracci, and was an excellent artist in
every department of landscape, and in the power of adapting it to
historical subjects. Italy abounds with his pictures. Two other
landscape painters also lived in Rome at this time, Fabrizio of Parma,
who may be ranked with Matteo, and Cesare, a Piedmontese, more attached
to the style of Paolo. Nor ought we to omit Filippo d'Angeli, who, from
his long residence in Naples, is called a Neapolitan, though he was born
in Rome, where, and as we have observed in Florence, he was highly
esteemed. His works are generally of a small size; his prospects are
painted with great care, and ornamented with figures admirably
introduced. There are also some battle pieces by him.

But in battles and in hunting pieces, none in these times equalled
Antonio Tempesti. He was followed, though at a considerable interval, by
Francesco Allegrini, a name not new to those who have read the preceding
pages. To these we may add Marzio di Colantonio, a Roman, though he has
left fewer works in Rome than in Turin, where he was employed by the
Cardinal, prince of Savoy. He was also accomplished in arabesque and
landscapes, and painted small frescos in an agreeable manner.

It is at this epoch that Vasari describes the manufacture of earthen
vases, painted with a variety of colours, with such exquisite art, that
they seemed to rival the oil pictures of the first masters. He pretends
that this art was unknown to the ancients, and it is at any rate certain
that it was not carried to such perfection by them. Signor Gio. Batista
Passeri, who composed _l'Istoria delle pitture in Majolica fatte in
Pesaro e ne' luoghi circonvicini_, derives the art from Luca della
Robbia, a Florentine, who discovered a mode of giving to the clay a
glazing to resist the injuries of time. In this manner were formed the
bassirelievi and altars which still exist, and the pavements which are
described at page 81. Others derive this art from Cina, whence it passed
to the island of Majolica, and from thence into Italy; and this
invention was particularly cultivated in the state of Urbino. The coarse
manufacture had been for a long time in use. The fine earthenware
commenced there about 1500, and was manufactured by an excellent artist,
of whom there exists in the convent of Domenicans, of Gubbio, a statue
of an abbot, S. Antonio, well modelled and painted, and many services in
various noble houses with his name _M. Giorgio da Ugubio_. The year is
also inscribed, from which it appears that his manufacture of these
articles began in 1519, and ended in 1537. At this time Urbino also
cultivated the plastic art, and the individual of his day, who most
excelled, was Federigo Brandani. Whoever thinks that I exaggerate, may
view the Nativity, which he left at S. Joseph, and say, whether, except
Begarelli of Modena, there is any one that can be compared with him for
liveliness and grace in his figures, for variety and propriety of
attitude, and for natural expression of the accessory parts; the
animals, which seem alive; the satchels and a key suspended; the humble
furniture, and other things admirably appropriate, and all wonderfully
represented: the figure of the divine Infant is not so highly finished,
and is perhaps the object which least surprises us. Nor in the meanwhile
did the people of Urbino neglect to advance the art of painted vases, in
which fabric a M. Rovigo of Urbino is much celebrated. The subjects
which were first painted in porcelain, were poor in design, but were
highly valued for the colouring, particularly for a most beautiful red,
which was subsequently disused, either because the secret was lost, or
because it did not amalgamate with the other colours.

But the art did not attain the perfection which Vasari describes, until
about the year 1540, and was indebted for it to Orazio Fontana, of
Urbino, whose vases, for the polish of the varnish, for the figures, and
for their forms, may perhaps be ranked before any that have come down to
us from antiquity. He practised this art in many parts of the state, but
more especially in Castel Durante, now called Urbania, which possesses a
light clay, extremely well adapted for every thing of this nature. His
brother, Flamminio, worked in conjunction with him, and was afterwards
invited to Florence by the grand duke of Tuscany, and introduced there a
beautiful manner of painting vases. This information is given us by the
Sig. Lazzari, and for which the Florentine history of art ought to
express its obligations to him. The establishment of this fine taste in
Urbino, was, in a great measure, owing to the Duke Guidobaldo, who was a
prince enthusiastically devoted to the fine arts, and who established a
manufactory, and supported it at his own expense. He did not allow the
painters of these vases to copy their own designs, but obliged them to
execute those of the first artists, and particularly those of Raffaello;
and gave them for subjects many designs of Sanzio never before seen, and
which formed part of his rich collection. Hence these articles are
commonly known in Italy by the name of Raphael ware, and from thence
arose certain idle traditions respecting the father of Raffaello, and
Raffaello himself; and the appellation of _boccalajo di Urbino_ (the
potter of Urbino), was in consequence applied, as we shall mention, to
that great master.[70] Some designs of Michelangiolo, and many of
Raffaele del Colle, and other distinguished masters, were adopted for
this purpose. In the life of Batista Franco, we are informed that that
artist made an infinite number of designs for this purpose, and in that
of Taddeo Zuccaro it is related that all the designs of the service,
which was manufactured for Philip II., were entrusted to him. Services
of porcelain were also prepared there for Charles V. and other princes,
and the duke ordered not a few for his own court. Several of his vases
were transferred to, and are now in the S. Casa di Loreto; and the Queen
of Sweden was so much charmed with them, that she offered to replace
them with vases of silver. A large collection of them passed into the
hands of the Grand Duke of Florence, in common with other things
inherited from the Duke of Urbino, and specimens of them are to be seen
in the ducal gallery, some with the names of the places where they were
manufactured. There are many, too, to be found in the houses of the
nobility of Rome, and in the state of Urbino, and, indeed, in all parts
of Italy. The art was in its highest perfection for about the space of
twenty years, or from 1540 to 1560; and the specimens of that period are
not unworthy a place in any collection of art. If we are to believe
Lazzari, the secret of the art died with the Fontani, and the practice
daily declined until it ended in a common manufactory and object of
merchandize. Whoever wishes for further information on this subject, may
consult the above cited Passeri, who inserted his treatise in the fourth
volume of the Calogeriani, not forgetting the Dizionario Urbinate, and
the Cronaca Durantina.

The art of painting on leather deserves little attention; nevertheless,
as Baglione mentions it with commendation in his life of Vespasian
Strada, a fresco painter of some merit in Rome, I did not think it right
to pass it over without this slight notice.

[Footnote 56: Dolce, Dial. della Pittura, p. 11.]

[Footnote 57: We shall notice him again in the school of Bologna, where
he passed his best years, and also in the Roman School, in which he was
a master. Sebastiano had also another scholar, or imitator, as we find a
Communion of S. Lucia, painted in his style, in the collegiate church of
Spello. The artist inscribes his name, _Camillus Bagazotus Camers
faciebat_.--_Orsini Risposta_, p. 16.]

[Footnote 58: He painted the S. Catherine in S. Agostino, the Presepio
in S. Silvestro at Monte Cavallo, and left works in many other

[Footnote 59: He painted some façades in Rome. In the oratory of S.
Giovanni Decollato, there remains the Dance before Herod, not very
correctly designed, and feeble in colouring; but the perspective, and
the richness of the drapery in the Venetian style, may confer some value
on the picture.]

[Footnote 60: Bellori, Vite de' Pittori, p. 20.]

[Footnote 61: Idea de' Pittori, Scultori, e Architetti, reprinted in the
Lett. Pitt. tom. vi. p. 147.]

[Footnote 62: The charming poet Lasca noticed this work as soon as the
Cupola was opened to public view, in a madrigal inserted in the edition
of his poems in the year 1741. He blamed Giorgio d'Arezzo (Vasari) more
than Federigo, that for sordid motives he had designed and undertaken a
work, which in the judgment of the Florentines, injured the Cupola of
Brunellesco, which was the admiration of every one, and which Benvenuto
Cellini was accustomed to call, _la Maraviglia delle cose belle_. He
concludes by saying, that the Florentine people

  "Non sarà mai di lamentarsi stanco
  Se forse un dì non le si dà di bianco."]

[Footnote 63: This is not the large picture of the Calumny of Apelles
painted in distemper for the Orsini family, and engraved, and which is
now to be seen in the Palazzo Lante, and is one of the most finished
productions of Federigo.]

[Footnote 64: The same inflated style has of late become prevalent in
some parts of Italy, with no little injury to our language and to good
taste. In the _Arte di vedere_ we find for example _le pieghe
longitudinali, la trombeggiata resurrezzione del Bello_, &c. Some one
has also attempted to illustrate the qualities of the art of painting by
those of music, which has given occasion to a clever Maestro di Capella
to write a humorous letter, an extract of which is given in the _Difesa
del Ratti_, pag. 15, &c., and is the most entertaining and least ill
tempered thing to be met with in that work.]

[Footnote 65: A scholar of Daniel di Volterra, from whom he inherited
these designs, with many others by the same great master. He painted but
little, and generally from the designs of others, and which he did not
execute in a happy manner; and Baglione says, his pictures were
deficient in taste.]

[Footnote 66: There remained, in the time of Pascoli, some _pitture
saporite_, as he terms them, by this artist, at Spoleto, where Piero
established himself, and in the neighbouring towns; and which often pass
for the works of Pietro Perugino, from a similarity of names. It appears
however that Cesarei was desirous of preventing this error, as he
inscribed his name Perinus Perusinus, or Perinus Cesareus Perusinus, as
in the picture of the Rosary at Scheggino, painted in 1595. Vasari, in
the life of Agnol Gaddi, names among his scholars Stefano da Verona, and
says, that "all his works were imitated and drawn by that Pietro di
Perugia, the painter in miniature, who ornamented the books at the
cathedral of Siena, in the Library of Pope Pius, and who worked well in
fresco." These words have puzzled more than one person. Pascoli (P. P.
p. 134.) and Mariotti (L. P. p. 59.) consider them as written of Piero
Cesarei; as if a man born in the golden age should so far extol an old
_trecentista_; or as if the canons of Siena could approve such a style
after possessing Razzi and Vanni. Padre della Valle interprets it to
mean Pietro Vannucci, and not finding the books of the Choir adorned in
such a style as he wished, reproves Vasari for having confounded so
great a master with a common fresco painter and a _Miniatore_. It is
most likely that this _Miniatore_ and _Frescante_ of Vasari was a third
Pietro, hitherto unknown in Perugia, and whom we shall notice in the
Venetian School.]

[Footnote 67: See Il Sig. Cav. Reposati _Appendice del tomo ii. della
Zecca di Gubbio_; and the Sig. Conte Ranghiasci in the _Elenco de'
Professori Eugubini_, inserted in vol. iv. of Vasari (ediz. Senese), at
the end of the volume.]

[Footnote 68: I am indebted for it, to the noble Sig. Cav. Ercolani, who
obligingly transmitted it to me, after procuring it from the Sig. Cav.
Piani and the Sig. Paolo Antonio Ciccolini, of Macerata.]

[Footnote 69: In a former edition, on the authority of a MS. I called
him Serj, and was doubtful whether Siciolante was not his surname. Sig.
Brandolese has informed me of an epitaph, in the hands of Mons.
Galletti, in which he is called Siciolante, whence Serio was most
probably his surname.]

[Footnote 70: Another probable cause of this appellation, is to be found
in the name of Raffaello Ciarla, who was one of the most celebrated
painters of this ware, and was appointed by the duke to convey a large
assortment of it to the court of Spain. Hence the vulgar, when they
heard the name of Raffaello, might attribute them to Sanzio.]



  _Restoration of the Roman School by Barocci, and other
  Artists, Subjects of the Roman State, and Foreigners._

The numerous works carried on by the Pontiffs Gregory and Sixtus, and
continued under Clement VIII., while they in a manner corrupted the pure
taste of the Roman School, contributed, nevertheless, at the same time,
to regenerate it. Rome, from the desire of possessing the best specimens
of art, became by degrees the resort of the best painters, as it had
formerly been in the time of Leo X. Every place sent thither its first
artists, as the cities of Greece formerly sent forth the most valiant of
their citizens to contend for the palm and the crown at Olympia.
Barocci, of Urbino, was the first restorer of the Roman School. He had
formed himself on the style of Correggio, a style the best calculated to
reform an age which had neglected the true principles of art, and
particularly colouring and chiaroscuro. Happy indeed had it been, had he
remained in Rome, and retained the direction of the works which were
entrusted to Nebbia, Ricci, and Circignani! He was there, indeed, for
some time, and assisted the Zuccari in the apartments of Pius IV., but
was compelled to fly in consequence of some pretended friends having, in
an execrable manner, administered poison to him through jealousy of his
talents, and so materially injured his health, that he could only paint
at intervals, and for a short space of time. Forsaking Rome, therefore,
he resided for some time in Perugia, and a longer period in Urbino, from
whence he despatched his pictures from time to time to Rome and other
places. By means of these, the Tuscan School derived great benefit
through Cigoli, Passignano, and Vanni, as we have before observed; and
it is not improbable, that Roncalli and Baglione may have profited by
them, if we may judge from some works of both the one and the other of
these artists to be seen in various places.

However this might be, at the commencement of the seventeenth century,
these five were in the highest repute as artists who were not corrupted
by the prevailing taste. An idea had subsisted from the time of Clement
VIII., of decorating the church of the Vatican, with the History of S.
Peter, and of employing in that work the best artists. The execution of
this design occupied a considerable time, the pictures being reduced to
mosaic, as the painting on wood and slate did not resist the humidity of
the church. The five before mentioned artists were selected to paint
each a subject; and Bernardo Castelli, one of the first painters of the
Genoese School, was the sixth, and the least celebrated. These artists
were all liberally paid, and the five first raised to the rank of
_Cavalieri_, and their works had a beneficial influence on the rising
generation, and proved that the reign of the mannerists was on the
decline. Caravaggio gave it a severe shock by his powerful and natural
style, and Baglione attests, that this young artist, by the great
applause which he gained, excited the jealousy of Federigo Zuccaro, then
advanced in years, and entered into competition with Cesare, his former
master. But the most serious blow the mannerists received, was from the
Caracci and their school. Annibale arrived in Rome not much before the
year 1600, invited by the Cardinal Farnese to paint his gallery; a work
which occupied him for nearly eight years, and for which he received
only five hundred scudi, a sum so inadequate that we can scarcely
believe it to be correct. He also decorated several churches. Lodovico,
his cousin, was with him for a short time; Agostino, his brother, for a
longer period; and he had his scholars with him, amongst whom we may
enumerate Domenichino, Guido, Albano, and Lanfranc. They came thither at
different periods, matured in their talents, and able to assist their
master not only in execution but design.

Rome had for some years seen only the two extreme styles of painting.
Caravaggio and his followers were mere _naturalists_; Arpino and his
scholars pure idealists. Annibale introduced a style founded in nature,
yet ennobled by the ideal, and supported his ideal by his knowledge of
nature. He was at first denounced as cold and insipid, because he was
not affected and extravagant, or rather because great merit was never
unaccompanied by envy. But though envy for a time, by her insidious
suggestions and subterfuges, may derive a mean pleasure in persecuting a
man of genius, she can never hope to succeed in blinding the public, who
ever decide impartially on the merits of individuals, and whose judgment
is not disregarded even by princes. The Farnese gallery was opened, and
Rome beheld in it a grandeur of style, which might claim a place after
the Sistine chapel, and the chambers of the Vatican. It was then
discovered, that the preceding Pontiffs had only lavished their wealth
for the corruption of art; and that the true secret which the great
ought to put in practice lay in a few words: a judicious selection of
masters, and a more liberal allowance of time. Hence, though somewhat
tardy indeed in consequence of the death of Annibale, came the order
from Paul V., to distribute the work among the Bolognese; for so the
Caracci and their scholars were at that time designated; one of whom,
Ottaviano Mascherini, was the Pope's architect.[71] A new spirit was
thus introduced into the Roman School, which, if it did not wholly
destroy the former extravagance of style, still in a great degree
repressed it. The pontificate of Gregory XV. (Lodovisi) was short, but
still, through national partiality, highly favourable to the Bolognese,
amongst whom we may reckon Guercino da Cento, although a follower of
Caravaggio rather than Annibale. He was the most employed in St.
Peter's, and in the villa Lodovisi. This reign was followed by the
pontificate of Urban VIII., favourable both to poets and painters,
though, perhaps, more so to the latter than the former; since it
embraced, besides the Caracci and their school, Poussin, Pietro da
Cortona, and the best landscape painters that the world had seen. The
leading masters then all found employment, either from the Pope himself,
or his nephew the Cardinal, or other branches of that family, and were
engaged in the decoration of St. Peter's, or their own palaces, or in
the new church of the Capucins, where the altarpieces were distributed
among Lanfranc, Guido, Sacchi, Berrettini, and other considerable
artists. The same liberal plan was followed by Alexander VII. a prince
of great taste, and by his successors. It was during the reign of
Alexander, that Christina, Queen of Sweden, established herself in Rome,
and her passion for the fine arts inspired and maintained not a few of
the painters whom we shall mention. It must indeed be premised, that we
are under the necessity of deferring our notice of the greatest names of
this epoch to another place, as they belong of right to the school of
Bologna, and some we have already recorded in the Florentine School. But
to proceed.

Federigo Barocci might from the time of his birth be placed in the
preceding epoch, but his merit assigns him to this period, in which I
comprise the reformers of art. He learned the principles of his art from
Batista Franco, a Venetian by birth, but a Florentine in style. This
artist going young to Rome, to prosecute his studies there, was struck
with the grand style of Michelangiolo, and copied both there and in
Florence, all his works, as well his paintings and drawings as statues.
He became an excellent designer, but was not equally eminent as a
colourist, having turned his attention at a late period to that branch
of the art. In Rome he may be seen in some evangelical subjects painted
in fresco, in a chapel in the Minerva, and preferred by Vasari to any
other of his works. He also decorated the choir of the Metropolitan
church of Urbino in fresco, and there left a Madonna in oil, placed
between S. Peter and S. Paul, in the best Florentine style, except that
the figure of S. Paul is somewhat attenuated. There is a grand picture
in oil by him in the tribune of S. Venanzio, in Fabriano; containing the
Virgin, with the titular and two other protecting Saints. In the
sacristy of the cathedral of Osimo, I saw many small pictures
representing the life of Christ, painted by him in the year 1547, as we
learn from the archives of that church; a thing of rare occurrence, as
Franco was scarcely ever known to paint pictures of this class. Under
this artist, whilst he resided in Urbino, Barocci designed and studied
from the antique. He then went to Pesaro, where he employed himself in
copying after Titian, and was instructed in geometry and perspective by
Bartolommeo Genga, the architect, the son of Girolamo and the uncle of
Barocci. From thence he passed to Rome, and acquired a more correct
style of design, and adopted the manner of Raffaello, in which style he
painted the S. Cecilia for the Duomo of Urbino, and in a still more
improved and original manner, the S. Sebastian, a work which Mancini, in
point of solid taste, sets above all the works of Barocci. But the
amenity and gracefulness of his style led him almost instinctively to
the imitation of Correggio, in whose manner he painted in his native
city the delightful picture of S. Simon and S. Judas, in the church of
the Conventuals.

Nevertheless this was not the style which he permanently adopted as his
own, but as a free imitation of that great master. In the heads of his
children and of his female figures, he approaches nearly to him; also in
the easy flow of his drapery, in the pure contour, in the mode of
foreshortening his figures; but in general his design is not so grand,
and his chiaroscuro less ideal; his tints are lucid and well arranged,
and bear a resemblance to the beautiful hues of Correggio, but they have
neither his strength nor truth. It is however delightful to see the
great variety of colours he has employed, so exquisitely blended by his
pencil, and there is perhaps no music more finely harmonized to the ear,
than his pictures are to the eye. This is in a great measure the effect
of the chiaroscuro, to which he paid great attention, and which he was
the first to introduce into the schools of Lower Italy. In order to
obtain an accurate chiaroscuro, he formed small statues of earthenware,
or wax, in which art he did not yield the palm to the most experienced
sculptors. In the composition and expression of every figure, he
consulted the truth. He made use of models too, in order to obtain the
most striking attitudes, and those most consonant to nature; and in
every garment, and every fold of it, he did not shew a line that was not
to be found in the model. Having made his design, he prepared a cartoon
the size of his intended picture, from which he traced the contours on
his canvass; he then on a small scale tried the disposition of his
colours, and proceeded to the execution of his work. Before colouring,
however, he formed his chiaroscuro very accurately after the best
ancient masters, (vol. i. p. 187,) of which method he left traces in a
Madonna and Saints, which I saw in Rome in the Albani palace, a picture
which I imagine the artist was prevented by death from finishing.
Another picture unfinished, and on that account very instructive and
highly prized, is in possession of the noble family of Graziani in
Perugia. To conclude, perfection was his aim in every picture, a maxim
which insures excellence to artists of genius.

Bellori, who wrote the life of Barocci, has given us a catalogue of his
pictures. There are few found which are not of religious subjects; some
portraits, and the Burning of Troy, which he painted in two pictures,
one of which now adorns the Borghese gallery. Except on this occasion
his pencil may be said to have been dedicated to religion; so devout, so
tender, and so calculated to awaken feelings of piety, are the
sentiments expressed in his pictures. The Minerva, in Rome, possesses
his Institution of the Sacrament, a picture which Clement X. employed
him to paint; the Vallicella has his two pictures of the Visitation and
the Presentation. In the Duomo of Genoa is a Crucifixion by him, with
the Virgin and S. John, and S. Sebastian; in that of Perugia, the
Deposition from the Cross; in that of Fermo, S. John the Evangelist; in
that of Urbino, the Last Supper of our Lord. Another Deposition, and a
picture of the Rosario, and mysteries, is in Sinigaglia; and, in the
neighbouring city of Pesaro, the calling of St. Andrew, the
Circumcision, the Ecstacy of S. Michelina on Mount Cavalry, a single
figure, which fills the whole picture, and esteemed, it is said, by
Simon Cantarini, as his masterpiece. Urbino, besides the pictures
already noticed, and some others, possesses a S. Francis in prayer, at
the Capucins; and at the Conventuals, the great picture of the Perdono,
in which he consumed seven years. The perspective, the beautiful play of
light, the speaking countenances, the colour and harmony of the work,
cannot be imagined by any one who has not seen it. The artist himself
was delighted with it, wrote his name on it, and etched it. His
Annunciation, at Loreto, is a beautiful picture, and the same subject at
Gubbio, unfinished; the Martyrdom of S. Vitale, at the church of that
saint, in Ravenna, and the picture of the Misericordia, painted for the
Duomo of Arezzo, and afterwards transferred to the ducal gallery of
Florence. The same subject exists also in the hospital of Sinigaglia,
copied there by the scholars of Barocci, who have repeated the pictures
of their master in numerous churches of the state of Urbino, and of
Umbria, and in some in Piceno, and these are, occasionally, so well
painted, that one might imagine he had finished them himself.

The same may be said of some of his cabinet pictures, which are to be
seen in collections; such is the Virgin adoring the Infant Christ, which
I remarked in the Ambrosian Library at Milan, in the Casa Bolognetti in
Rome, and in a noble house in Cortona, and which I find mentioned also
in the imperial gallery at Vienna. A head of the _Ecce Homo_ has also
been often repeated, and some Holy Families, which he varied in a
singular manner; I have seen a S. Joseph sleeping, and another S.
Joseph, in the Casa Zaccaria, in the act of raising a tapestry; and in
the Repose in Egypt, which was transferred from the sacristy of the
Jesuits at Perugia to the chamber of the Pope, he is represented
plucking some cherries for the Infant Christ, a picture, which seems
painted to rival Correggio. Bellori remarks, that he was so fond of it
that he frequently repeated it.

The school of Barocci extended itself through this duchy and the
neighbouring places; although his best imitator was Vanni of Siena, who
had never studied in Urbino. The disciples of Federigo were very
numerous, but remaining in general in their own country they did not
disseminate the principles, and few of them inherited the true spirit of
their master's style: the most confining themselves to the exterior of
the art of colouring; and even this was deteriorated by the use of large
quantities of cinnabar and azure, colours which their master had
employed with greater moderation; and they were not unfrequently
condemned for this practice, as Bellori and Algarotti remark. The flesh
tints under their pencil often became livid, and the contours too much
charged. I cannot give an accurate catalogue of these scholars, but
independent of the writers on the works in Urbino, and other guides and
traditions in various parts, I am certain, that if they were not
instructed by Barocci himself, they must at all events, from their
country, and from the period at which they flourished, have formed
themselves on his pictures. There is little to be observed respecting
Francesco Baldelli, the nephew and scholar of Federigo. I do not find
any memorial of him, except a picture which he placed in the Capella
Danzetta, of S. Agostino, in Perugia, and which is mentioned by
Crispolti, in his history of that city, at page 133.

Of Bertuzzi and Porino I have not seen any works, except copies in the
style of Barocci, or feeble productions of their own. An excellent
copyist was found in Alessandro Vitali of Urbino, in which city, at the
Suore della Torre, is found the Annunciation of Loreto, copied by him in
such a manner that it might be taken for the original picture. Barocci
was pleased with his talent, and willingly retouched some of his
pictures, and probably favoured him in this way in the S. Agnes and S.
Agostino, placed by Vitali, the one in the Duomo, the other in the
church of the Eremitani, where he may be said to surpass himself.
Antonio Viviani, called il Sordo of Urbino, also made some very accurate
copies of his master, which are still preserved by his noble posterity.
He too was a great favourite of Federigo, and was in his native city
called his nephew; although Baglione, who wrote his life, is silent on
this head. He left some pictures in Urbino, in the best style of
Barocci; particularly the S. Donato, in a suburban church of the saint
of that name. This however cannot be called his own style, for he
visited Rome at various times, where, having received instructions from
Mascherini, and employed himself for a time in the imitation of Cesari,
and of the rapid manner of the practicians recorded by us, he exhibited
in that metropolis various styles, and some of the most feeble which he
adopted. Assuredly his fresco pictures, which remain in various places
in Rome, do not support the opinion which is inspired by a view of the
vast work which he conducted in the church de' Filippini at Fano. There,
in the vault, and in the chapel, are executed various histories of the
chief of the apostles to whom the church is dedicated. His style in
these exhibits a beautiful imitation of Barocci and Raffaello, in which
the manner of the latter predominates. Lazzari maintains that this
Antonio Viviani repaired to Genoa, and that Soprani changed his name to
Antonio Antoniani; thus giving to Barocci a scholar who never existed.
Of this supposition we shall speak with more propriety in the Genoese
School. Another Viviani is mentioned by tradition in Urbino, Lodovico, a
brother or cousin of the preceding. This painter sometimes imitates
Barocci, as in the S. Girolamo in the Duomo, and sometimes approaches
the Venetian style, as in the Epiphany at the Monastery della Torre.

Another painter almost unknown in the history of art, but of singular
merit, is Filippo Bellini of Urbino, of whom I have not seen any works
in his native place, but a number in oil and fresco scattered through
many cities of the March. He is in general an imitator of Barocci, as in
the picture of the Circumcision in the church of Loreto, in the
Espousals of the Virgin in the Duomo in Ancona, and in a Madonna
belonging to the Counts Leopardi at Osimo. He affords, however,
sometimes an example of a vigorous and lively style, and exhibits a
powerful colouring, and a grandeur of composition. He discovered this
character in some works in Fabriano in his best time, and particularly
in the Opere della Misericordia, which are fourteen subjects taken from
Scripture, and represented in the church della Carità.[72] They are
beheld by cultivated foreigners with admiration, and it appears strange
that such a painter, whose life and works are alike worthy of
remembrance, should not have found a place in the catalogues. He is also
extolled for his works in fresco, in the chapel of the Conventuals in
Montalboddo, where he has represented the Martyrdom of S. Gaudenzio, and
which is described in the guide book of that city.

We may next notice Antonio Cimatori, called also Antonio Visacci, not
only by the vulgar, but also by Girolamo Benedetti, in the Relazione,
which in the lifetime of the artist he composed on the festival at
Urbino, in honour of Giulia de' Medici, married to the Prince Federigo.
Cimatori was there engaged to paint the arches and pictures, which were
exhibited, in conjunction with the younger Viviani, Mazzi, and Urbani.
His forte lay in pen drawing, and in chiaroscuro; as may be seen from
his Prophets, in a grand style, transferred from the Duomo to the
apostolic palace. He did not leave many works in his native place; but
amongst them is his picture of S. Monica, at S. Agostino. His copies
from the original pictures of Barocci are to be found in various places,
particularly in the Duomo of Cagli. He resided, and worked for a long
time in Pesaro, where he instructed Giulio Cesare Begni, a bold and
animated artist, a good perspective painter, and in a great degree a
follower of the Venetian School, in which he studied and painted. He
left many works in Udine, and many more in his native place, in a rapid
and unfinished style, but of a good general effect. In the _Descrizione
odeporica della Spagna_, (tom. ii. p. 130), we find Giovanni and
Francesco d'Urbino mentioned, who about the year 1575, it seems, were
both engaged by the court to decorate the Escurial. The latter came
early in life to Spain, and being endowed with a noble genius, soon
became an excellent artist, and is extolled by his contemporary P.
Siguenza, and by all who have seen the Judgment of Solomon, and his
other pictures in a choir in that magnificent place: he died young. That
these works belong to the pencil of Barocci might be suspected from
their era, and the practice of that splendid court, which was in the
habit of engaging in its service the first masters of Italy or their
scholars. But not possessing positive information, nor finding any
indication of their style, I dare not assign these two to Barocci. I
feel a pleasure however in restoring them to the glorious country from
which they had been separated.

Passing from the fellow countrymen of Barocci to foreigners, some
persons have imagined Andrea Lilio, of Ancona, to have been his
disciple. I rather consider him to have been an imitator of him, but
more in respect to colour than any thing else. He had a share in the
works which were carried on under Sixtus, and painted for the churches,
chiefly in fresco, and sometimes in partnership with Viviani of Urbino.
He went to Rome when young, and lived there until the reign of Paul V.,
but suffered both in body and mind from domestic misfortunes, which
interrupted not a little his progress in art. Ancona possesses several
of his pictures in fresco, varying in their merit, as well as some of
his oil pictures at the Paolotti in S. Agostino, and in the sacristy
some pieces, from the Life of S. Nicholas, highly prized. The most
celebrated is his Martyrdom of S. Lorenzo, by many ascribed to Barocci,
for which I refer to the _Guida_ of Montalboddo, and the church of S.
Catherine, where it is placed. His greatest work is the altarpiece in
the Duomo at Fano, representing all the saints, containing a vast number
of figures well grouped and well contrasted, and if not very correctly
designed, still possessing Barocci's tone of colour.

Giorgio Picchi of Durante I included in a former edition among the
scholars of Barocci, in conformity to the general opinion prevalent in
Pesaro and Rimini; but I have not found this confirmed in the chronicle
of Castel Durante, published by Colucci, which contains a particular
account of this artist, written soon after his death. I am therefore
inclined to think him only a follower, like Lilio, with whom he was
associated in Rome in the time of Sixtus V., if the chronicle is to be
relied on. It relates that he worked in the library of the Vatican, at
the Scala Santa, and at the Palazzo di S. Giovanni; and it appears
unaccountable that all this was unknown to Baglione, who narrates the
same circumstances of Lilio and others, and makes no mention of Picchi.
However this may be, he was certainly a considerable artist, and was
attached to the style of Barocci, which was in vogue at that period, as
we may perceive from his great picture of the Cintura, in the church of
S. Agostino, in Rimini, and still more from the history of S. Marino,
which he painted in the church of that saint in the same city. Others of
his works are to be found both in oil and fresco in Urbino, in his
native place, at Cremona, and elsewhere; and although on a vast scale,
embracing whole oratories and churches, they could not have cost him any
great labour, from the rapid manner which he had acquired in Rome.

In S. Ginesio, a place in the March, Domenico Malpiedi is considered as
belonging to Federigo's school, and of him there are preserved in the
collegiate church, the Martyrdoms of S. Ginesio and S. Eleuterio, which
are highly commended. From Colucci we learn that there also remain other
works by him; and from the prices paid, we may conclude that he was
esteemed an excellent artist. He was living in 1596, and about the same
time there flourished also another Malpiedi, who painted a Deposition
from the Cross in S. Francesco di Osimo, and inscribed on it _Franciscus
Malpedius di S. Ginesio_, a picture feeble in composition, deficient in
expression, and little resembling the school of Barocci, except in a
distant approximation of colour.

The _Guida_ of Pesaro assigns to the same school Terenzio Terenzj,
called il Rondolino, whom it characterises as an eminent painter, and of
whom there exist four specimens in public, and many more in the
neighbourhood of the city (page 80). It is also mentioned that he was
employed by the Cardinal della Rovere in Rome, and that he placed a
picture in the church of S. Silvestro. The picture of S. Silvestro _in
capite_, which represents the Madonna, attended by Saints, is ascribed
by Titi to a Terenzio of Urbino, who, according to Baglione, served the
Cardinal Montalto. It is most probable, that in the records of Pesaro
there arose some equivoque on the name of the cardinal, and that these
two painters might, or rather ought to be merged in one. Terenzio
Rondolino, it appears to me, is the same as Terenzio d'Urbino, and very
probably in Rome took his name from Urbino, the capital of Pesaro. But
by whatever name this painter may be distinguished, we learn from
Baglione that Terenzio d'Urbino was a noted cheat; and that, after
having sold to inexperienced persons many of his own pictures for those
of ancient masters, he attempted to pass the same deceit upon the
Cardinal Peretti, the nephew of Sixtus V. and his own patron, offering
to his notice one of his own pieces as a Raphael: but the fraud was
detected, and Terenzio in consequence banished from the court; a
circumstance which he took to heart, and died whilst yet young.

Two brothers, Felice and Vincenzio Pellegrini, born and resident in
Perugia, are recorded by Orlandi and Pascoli, as scholars of Barocci.
The first became an excellent designer, and in the pontificate of
Clement VIII. was called to Rome, probably to assist Cesari, though it
is not known that he left any work in his own name. Some copies after
Barocci by him exist in Perugia, and it is well known that his master
was highly satisfied with his labours in that line. The other brother is
mentioned by Bottari in the notes to his life of Raffaello; and I
recollect having seen in Perugia a picture in the sacristy of S. Philip,
in rather a hard manner, in which it is difficult to recognize the style
of his supposed master. It is possible that these two artists might have
had their first instructions from Barocci, and that they afterwards
returned to another manner. A similar instance occurs in Ventura Marzi.
In the Biographical Dictionary of the Painters of Urbino he is given to
the school of Barocci. His manner however is different, and I should say
bad, if all his pictures were similar to that of S. Uomobuono, which I
saw in the sacristy of the metropolitan church; but he did indeed paint
some better, and it is an ancient maxim, that to improve we must
sometimes err. Benedetto Bandiera, of Perugia, who approaches nearer to
the style of Barocci than most others, is said to have been a relative
of Vanni, from whom he derived that manner, if we may believe Orlandi.
But Pascoli, both on this point, and on the period in which he
flourished, confutes him, and considers him to have been instructed by
Barocci in Urbino for many years, and that afterwards he became a
diligent observer of all his pictures which he could discover in other

Whilst Italy was filled with the fame of Barocci, there came to Urbino,
and resided in his house for some time, Claudio Ridolfi, called also
Claudio Veronese, from his native city, of which he was a noble. He was
there instructed by Dario Pozzo, an author of few but excellent works,
and after these first instructions he remained many years without
further applying himself. Being afterwards compelled by necessity to
practise the art, he became the scholar of Paolo, and the rival of the
Bassani; and not finding employment in his native place, which then
abounded with painters, he removed to Rome, and from thence to Urbino.
It is said that he derived from Federigo the amenity of his style, and
the beautiful airs of his heads. He married in Urbino, and afterwards
fixed his residence in the district of Corinaldo, where, and in the
neighbouring places, he left a great number of pictures, which yield
little in tone to the best colourists of his native school, and are
often conducted with a design, a sobriety, and a delicacy sufficient to
excite their envy. Ridolfi, who wrote a brief life of him, enumerates
scarcely one half of his works. There are some at Fossombrone, Cantiano,
and Fabriano; and Rimino possesses a Deposition from the Cross, a
beautiful composition. There are several mentioned in the _Guida di
Montalboddo_, lately edited. Urbino is rich in them, where the Nascita
del S. Precursore, (the Birth of S. John the Baptist), at S. Lucia, and
the Presentation of the Virgin at the Spirito Santo, are highly valued.
Many of his works are also to be seen in the Palazzo Albani, and in
other collections of the nobility in Urbino. He there indeed formed a
school, which gave birth to Cialdieri, of whom there are works
remaining, both public and private; the most noted of which is a
Martyrdom of S. John, at the church of S. Bartholomew. He possessed a
facility and elegance of style, was highly accomplished in landscape,
which he often introduced into his pictures, and is remarkable for his
accurate perspective. Urbinelli, of Urbino, and Cesare Maggieri[73] of
the same city, lived also about this time. The first was a vigorous
painter, an excellent colourist, and partial to the Venetian style. The
second an industrious artist, inclining to the style of Barocci and
Roman School. The history of art does not assign either of these to the
school of Ridolfi; but there is a greater probability of the first
rather than the second belonging to it. Another painter of uncertain
school, but who partakes more of Claudio than of Barocci, is Patanazzi,
who is mentioned in the Galleria de' Pittori Urbinati, (v. Coluc. tom.
xvi.), and poetic incense is bestowed on his _risentito pennello e
l'ottima invenzione_. I have seen by him in a chapel of the Duomo a
Marriage of the Virgin, the figures not large, but well coloured and
correctly drawn, if indeed some of them may not be thought rather
attenuated than slender and elegant. A celebrated scholar of Ridolfi,
Benedetto Marini, of Urbino, went to Piacenza, where he left some highly
valued pictures in several churches, in which the style of Barocci is
mixed with the Lombard and Venetian. The work which excites our greatest
admiration is the Miracle of the Loaves in the Desert, which he painted
in the refectory of the Conventuals in 1625. It is one of the largest
compositions in oil which is to be seen, well grouped and well
contrasted, and displaying uncommon powers.[74] I should not hesitate to
prefer the scholar to the master in grandeur of idea and vigour of
execution, though in the fundamental principles of the art he may not be
equal to him. The history of his life, as well as his works, scattered
in that neighbourhood, in Pavia, and elsewhere, were deserving of
commemoration; yet this artist as well as Bellini remains unnoticed by
the catalogues, and what is more, he is little known in his native
place, which has no other specimen of his pencil than a picture of S.
Carlo at the Trinità, with some angels, which does not excite the same
admiration as his works in Lombardy.[75] Some other scholars of Claudio
are found in Verona, to which city he returned, and remained for a short
time; and in the Bolognese School mention will be made of Cantarini,
among the masters of which he is numbered. In the meantime let us turn
from these provincial schools, which were the first that felt the
reviving influence of the age, to the capital, where we shall find
Caravaggio, the Caracci, and other reformers of the art.

Michelangiolo Amerighi, or Morigi da Caravaggio, is memorable in this
epoch, for having recalled the art from mannerism to truth, as well in
his forms, which he always drew from nature, as in his colours,
banishing the cinnabar and azures, and composing his colours of few but
true tints, after the manner of Giorgione. Annibale Caracci extolling
him, declares that he did not paint, but grind flesh, and both Guercino
and Guido highly admired him, and profited from his example. He was
instructed in the art in Milan, from whence he went to Venice to study
Giorgione; and he adopted at the commencement of his career that subdued
style of shadow, which he had learnt from that great artist, and in
which some of the most highly prized works of Caravaggio are executed.
He was however afterwards led away by his sombre genius, and represented
objects with very little light, overcharging his pictures with shade.
His figures inhabit dungeons, illuminated from above by only a single
and melancholy ray. His backgrounds are always dark, and the actors are
all placed in the same line, so that there is little perspective in his
pictures; yet they enchant us, from the powerful effect which results
from the strong contrast of light and shade. We must not look in him for
correct design, or elegant proportion, as he ridiculed all artists who
attempted a noble expression of countenance, or graceful foldings of
drapery, or who imitated the forms of the antique, as exhibited in
sculpture, his sense of the beautiful being all derived from visible
nature. There is to be seen by him in the Spada palace a S. Anne, with
the Virgin at her side, occupied in female work. Their features are
remarkable only for their vulgarity, and they are both attired in the
common dress of Rome, and are doubtless portraits, taken from the first
elderly and young women that offered themselves to his observation. This
was his usual manner; and he appeared most highly pleased when he could
load his pictures with rusty armour, broken vessels, shreds of old
garments, and attenuated and wasted bodies. On this account some of his
works were removed from the altars, and one in particular at the Scala,
which represented the Death of the Virgin, in which was figured a
corpse, hideously swelled.

Few of his pictures are to be seen in Rome, and amongst them is the
Madonna of Loreto, in the church of S. Agostino; but the best is the
Deposition from the Cross, in the church of the Vallicella, which forms
a singular contrast to the gracefulness of Barocci, and the seductive
style of Guido, exhibited on the adjoining altars. He generally painted
for collections. On his arrival in Rome he painted flowers and fruit;
afterwards long pictures of half figures, a custom much practised after
his time. In these he represented subjects sacred and profane, and
particularly the manners of the lower classes, drinking parties,
conjurors, and feasts. His most admired works are his Supper at Emmaus,
in the Casa Borghese; S. Bastiano in Campidoglio; Agar, with Ishmael
Dying, in the Panfili collection; and the picture of a Fruit Girl, which
exhibits great resemblance of nature, both in the figures and
accompaniments. He was still more successful in representing quarrels
and nightly broils, to which he was himself no stranger, and by which
too he rendered his own life scandalous. He fled from Rome for homicide,
and resided for some time in Naples; from thence he passed to Malta,
where, after having been honoured with the Cross by the Grand Master,
for his talent displayed in his picture of the Decollation of S. John,
in the oratory of the church of the Conventuals, he quarrelled with a
cavalier and was thrown into prison. Escaping from thence with
difficulty, he resided for some time in Sicily, and wished to return to
Rome; but had not proceeded further on his journey than Porto Ercole,
when he died of a malignant fever, in the year 1609. He left numerous
works in these different countries, as we learn from Gio. Pietro
Bellori, who wrote his life at considerable length. Of his chief
scholars we shall treat in the following book. At present we will
enumerate his followers in Rome and its territories.

His school, or rather the crowd of his imitators, who were greatly
increased on his death, does not afford an instance of a single bad
colourist; it has nevertheless been accused of neglect, both in design
and grace. Bartolommeo Manfredi, of Mantua, formerly a scholar of
Roncalli, might be called a second Caravaggio, except that he was rather
more refined in his composition. His works are seldom found in
collections, although he painted for them, as he died young, and is
often supplanted by his master, as I believe was the case with some
pictures painted for the Casa Medicea, mentioned by Baglione.

Carlo Saracino, or Saraceni, also called Veneziano, wishing to be
thought a second Caravaggio, affected the same singular mode of dress as
that master, and provided himself with a huge shagged dog, to which he
gave the same name that Caravaggio had attached to his own. He left many
works in Rome, both in fresco and oils. He too was a _naturalista_, but
possessed a more clear style of colour. He displayed a Venetian taste in
his figures, dressing them richly in the Levant fashion, and was fond of
introducing into his compositions corpulent persons, eunuchs, and shaven
heads. His principal frescos are in a hall of the Quirinal; his best oil
pictures are thought to be those of S. Bonone, and a martyred bishop in
the church dell'Anima. He is seldom found in collections; but, from the
above peculiarities, I have more than once recognized his works. He
returned to Venice, and soon afterwards died there; hence he was omitted
by Ridolfi, and scarcely noticed by Zanetti.

Monsieur Valentino, as he is called in Italy, who was born at Brie, near
Paris, and studied in Rome, became one of the most judicious followers
of Caravaggio. He painted in the Quirinal the Martyrdom of the Saints
Processo and Martiniano. He was a young artist of great promise, but was
cut off by a premature death. His easel pictures are not very rare in
Rome. The Denial of S. Peter, in the Palazzo Corsini, is a delightful

Simone Vovet, the restorer of the French School, and the master of Le
Brun, formed his style from the pictures of Caravaggio and Valentino. In
Rome there are some charming productions by him both in public and
private, particularly in the Barberini gallery. I have heard them
preferred to many others that he painted in France in his noted rapid

Angiolo Caroselli was a Roman, in whose works, consisting chiefly of
portraits and small figures, if we except the S. Vinceslao of the
Quirinal palace, and a few similar pictures, we find the style of
Caravaggio improved by an addition of grace and delicacy. He was
remarkable for not making his design on paper, or using any preparatory
study for his canvass. He is lively in his attitudes, rich in his tints,
and finished and refined in his pictures, which are highly prized, but
few in number, when we consider the term of his life. Besides practising
the style of Caravaggio, in which he frequently deceived the most
experienced, he imitated other artists in a wonderful manner. A S. Elena
by him was considered as a production of Titian even by his rivals,
until they found the cipher A. C. marked on the picture in small
letters, and Poussin affirms, that he should have taken his two copies
of Raffaello for genuine pictures, if he had not known where the
originals were deposited.

Gherardo Hundhorst is called Gherardo dalle Notti, from having painted
few subjects except illuminated night pieces, in which he chiefly
excelled. He imitated Caravaggio, adopting only his better parts, his
carnations, his vigorous pencil, and grand masses of light and shade:
but he aimed also at correctness in his costume, selection in his forms,
gracefulness of attitude, and represented religious subjects with great
propriety. His pictures are very numerous, and the Prince Giustiniani
possesses the one of Christ led by night to the Judgment Seat, which is
one of his most celebrated works.

The school of Caravaggio flourished for a considerable period, but its
followers, painting chiefly for private individuals, have in a great
degree remained unknown. Baglione makes particular mention of Gio.
Serodine, of Ascona, in Lombardy, and enumerates many works by him, more
remarkable for their facility of execution than their excellence. There
remains no public specimen of him, except a Decollation of S. John at S.
Lorenzo fuor delle Mura. One of the latest of the school of Caravaggio
was Tommaso Luini, a Roman, who, from his quarrelsome disposition, and
his style, was called Il Caravaggino. He worked in Rome, and appeared
most to advantage when he painted the designs of his master, Sacchi, as
at S. Maria in Via. When he embodied his own ideas, his design was
rather dry and his colouring dark. About the same time Gio. Campino of
Camerino, who received his first instructions under Gianson in Flanders,
resided in Rome for some years, and increased the number of this school.
He was afterwards painter to the court of Madrid, and died in Spain. It
is not known whether or not Gio. Francesco Guerrieri di Fossombrone ever
studied in Rome, but his works are to be seen at Filippini di Fano,
where he painted in a chapel, S. Carlo contemplating the Mysteries of
the Passion, with two lateral pictures from the life of that saint; and
in another chapel, where he represented the Dream of S. Joseph, his
style resembles that of Caravaggio, but possesses more softness of
colour, and more gracefulness of form. In the Duomo of Fabriano is also
a S. Joseph by him. He has left, in his native place, an abundance of
works, which, if distributed more widely, would give him a celebrity
which it has not hitherto been his lot to receive. I there saw, in a
church, a night piece of S. Sebastian attended by S. Irene, a picture of
most beautiful effect; a Judith, in possession of the Franceschini
family; other works in the Casa Passionei and elsewhere, very charming,
and which often shew that he had very much imitated Guercino. His female
forms are almost all cast in the same mould, and are copied from the
person of a favorite mistress.

We now come to the Caracci and their school. Before Annibale arrived in
Rome, he had already formed a style which left nothing to be desired,
except to be more strongly imbued with the antique. Annibale added this
to his other noble qualities when he came to Rome; and his disciples,
who trod in his steps, and continued after his death to paint in that
city, are particularly distinguished by this characteristic from those
who remained in Bologna under the instruction of his cousin Lodovico.
The disciples of Annibale left scholars in Rome; but no one except
Sacchi approached so near in merit to his master, as they had done to
Annibale, nor did there appear, like them, any founder of an original
style. Still they were sufficient to put a check on the mannerists, and
the followers of Caravaggio, and to restore the Roman School to a better
taste. We shall now proceed to enumerate their scholars in their various

Domenichino Zampieri, to his talents as a painter, added commensurate
powers of instruction. Besides Alessandro Fortuna, who under the
direction of his master painted some fables from Apollo, in the villa
Aldobrandini in Frescati, and died young, Zampieri had in Rome two
scholars of great repute, mentioned only by Bellori; Antonio Barbalunga,
of Messina, and Andrea Camassei of Bevagna, both of whom honoured their
country with their name and works, although they did not live many
years. The first was a happy imitator of his master, who had long
employed him in copying for himself. In the church of the P. P. Teatini,
at Monte Cavallo, is his picture of their Founder, and of S. Andrea
Avellino, attended by angels, which might be ascribed to Zampieri
himself, whose forms in this class of subjects were select, and his
attitudes elegant, and most engaging. To him I shall return in the
fourth book. The second, who had also studied in the school of Sacchi,
lived longer in Rome; and whoever wishes justly to appreciate him, must
not judge from the chapel which he painted whilst yet young in his
native place, but must inspect his works in the capital. There, in S.
Andrea della Valle, is the S. Gaetano, painted at the same time, and in
competition with the S. Andrea of Barbalunga, before mentioned with
commendation; the Assumption at the Rotonda, and the Pietà at the
Capucins; and many excellent frescos in the Baptistery of the Lateran,
and in the church of S. Peter; which evince that he had almost an equal
claim to fame with his comrade. If, indeed, he was somewhat less bold,
and less select, yet he had a natural style, a grace, and a tone of
colour, that do honour to the Roman School, to which he contributed
Giovanni Carbone, of S. Severino, a scholar of some note. It has been
remarked, that his fate resembles that of Domenichino, as his merits
were undervalued, and himself persecuted by his relatives, and he was
also prematurely cut off by domestic afflictions.

Francesco Cozza was born in Calabria, but settled in Rome. He was the
faithful companion of Domenichino during the life of that master, and
after his death completed some works left unfinished by that artist, and
executed them in the genuine spirit of his departed friend, as may be
seen in Titi. He appears to have inherited from his teacher his learning
rather than his taste. One of his most beautiful pictures is the Virgin
del Riscatto at S. Francesca Romana a Capo alle Case. Out of Rome there
are few public or private works to be met with by him. He was considered
exceedingly expert in his knowledge of the hands of the different
masters, and on disputed points, which often arose on this subject in
Rome, his opinion was always asked and acted on, without any appeal from
his judgment. Of Pietro del Po, also a disciple of Domenichino, and of
his family, we shall speak more at large in the fourth book.

Giannangiolo Canini, of Rome, was first instructed by Domenichino, and
afterwards by Barbalunga, and would have obtained a great reputation for
his inventive genius, if, seduced by the study of antiquities, he had
not for his pleasure taken a short way to the art; which led him to
neglect the component parts, and to satisfy himself with a general
harmonious effect. He possessed, however, great force and energy in
subjects which required it, as in the Martyrdom of S. Stephen at S.
Martino a' Monti. The works which he executed with the greatest labour
and care, were some sacred and profane subjects, which he was
commissioned to paint for the Queen of Sweden. But although he was
appointed painter to that court, and was also a great favourite with the
queen, it should seem that he did not much exercise his profession
either for her or others, as his great pleasure was in designing from
the antique. He filled a large volume with a collection of portraits of
illustrious ancients, and heads of the heathen deities, from gems and
marbles. This book, the Cardinal Chigi having carried it with him into
France, he presented to Louis XIV., and received a collar of gold as a
remuneration for it. On his return to Rome he was intending to eulogize
the queen in verse, and to continue in prose the lives of the painters,
which he had in part prepared when he died. His biographical work
probably afforded assistance to Passeri or to Bellori, his intimate

With Canini worked Giambatista Passeri, a Roman, a man of letters, and
who became afterwards a secular priest. It is recorded, that in the
early part of his life he lived on very intimate terms with Domenichino
at Frescati, and he adhered much to his style. There exists by him a
Crucifixion between two Saints at S. Giovanni della Malva, but no other
work in public, as most of his pictures are in private collections. In
the Palazzo Mattei are some pictures representing butcher's meat, birds,
and game, touched with a masterly pencil; to these are added some half
figures, and also some sparrows (_passere_), in allusion to his name.
There is also, by his hand, at the academy of S. Luke, the portrait of
Domenichino, painted on the occasion of his funeral; on which occasion
Passeri, and not Passerino, as Malvasia states, recited a funeral
oration, and probably paid some poetical tribute to his memory, since he
was accustomed to write both verse and prose as Bellori did; and his
silence on the Lives of Bellori, which had then appeared, and which he
had numerous opportunities of noticing, probably arose from feelings of
jealousy. He is esteemed one of the most authentic writers on Italian
art; and if Mariette expressed himself dissatisfied with him, (v. Lett.
Pitt. tom. vi. p. 10,) it probably arose from his having seen only his
Life of Pietro da Cortona, which was left unfinished by the author. He
possessed a profound knowledge of the principles of art, was just in his
criticisms, accurate in his facts; if, indeed, as has been pretended by
a writer in the _Pittoriche Lettere_, he did not in some degree
depreciate Lanfranc, in order to raise his own master, Zampieri. His
work contains the lives of many painters, at that time deceased, and was
published anonymously, it is supposed, by Bottari, who in many places
shortened it, and improved the style, which was too elaborate,
containing useless preambles, and was occasionally too severe against
Bernino and others, on which account the work remained unedited for more
than a century.

Vincenzio Manenti, of Sabina, who was first the scholar of Cesari, and
afterwards of Domenichino, left many works in his native place. Some
pictures by him are to be seen in Tivoli, as the S. Stefano in the
Duomo, and the S. Saverio at the Gesù, which do not exhibit him as an
artist of very great genius, but assiduous and expert in colouring. Of
Ruggieri, of Bologna, we shall speak elsewhere.

Guido cannot be said to have contributed much to the Roman School,
except in leaving in the capital a great number of works displaying that
charm of style, and distinguished by that superhuman beauty, which were
his characteristics. We are told of two scholars who came to him at the
same time from Perugia, Giandomenico Cerrini, and Luigi, the son of
Giovanni Antonio Scaramuccia. The pictures of Cerrini, (who was commonly
called Il Cav. Perugino) were frequently touched by his master Guido,
and passed for originals of that artist, and were much sought after. In
his other works he varies, having sometimes followed the elder
Scaramuccia. His fellow disciple is more consistent. He displays grace
in every part of his work, and if he does not soar, still he does not
fall to the ground. There are many of his paintings in Perugia, both in
public and private, amongst which is a Presentation at the Filippini,
from all accounts a beautiful performance. He left many works in Milan,
where in the church of S. Marco, is a S. Barbera by him; a large
composition, and extremely well coloured. He published a book in Pavia,
in 1654, which he intituled _Le Finezze de' Pennelli Italiani_. It is
full, says the Abbate Bianconi, _di buona volontà pittorica_. It
possesses nevertheless some interesting remarks.

Gio. Batista Michelini, called Il Folignate, is almost forgotten in this
catalogue; but there are in Gubbio various works by him, and
particularly a Pietà, worthy of the school of Guido. Macerata possessed
a noble disciple of Guido, in the person of the Cav. Sforza Compagnoni,
by whose hand there is, in the academy de' Catinati, the device of that
society, which might be taken for a design of Guido. He gave a picture
to the church of S. Giorgio, which is still there, and presented a still
more beautiful one to the church of S. Giovanni, which was long to be
seen over the great altar, but is now in the possession of the Conte
Cav. Mario Compagnoni. Malvasia mentions him in the life of Viola, but
makes him a scholar of Albano. The Ginesini boast of Cesare Renzi, as a
respectable scholar of Guido, and, in the church of S. Tommaso, they
shew a picture of that saint by his hand. In addition to the scholars of
Guido, whose names have been handed down to us, I shall here beg leave
to add an imitator of Guido, who from the time in which he flourished,
and from his noble style of colour, probably belonged to the same
school. I found his name subscribed Giorgio Giuliani da Cività
Castellana, 161.., on a large picture of the Martyrdom of S. Andrew,
which Guido painted for the Camaldolesi di S. Gregorio at Rome: and
which this artist copied for the celebrated monastery of the Camaldolesi
all'Avellana. It is exposed in the refectory, and notwithstanding the
dampness of the place, maintains a freshness of colour very unusual in
pictures of that antiquity.

The Cav. Gio. Lanfranco came to Rome whilst yet young, and there formed
that free and noble style, which served to decorate many cupolas and
noble edifices, and which pleases also in his cabinet pictures when he
executed them with care. Giacinto Brandi di Poli was his most celebrated
scholar in Rome. He at first adopted his master's moderate tone of
colour, the variety and contrast of his composition, and his flowing
pencil; but in consequence of his filling, as he did, Rome and the state
with his works, he neglected correctness of design, and never arrived at
that grandeur of style which we admire in Lanfranc. He sometimes indeed
went beyond himself, as in the S. Rocco of the Ripetta, and in the forty
martyrs of the Stigmata in Rome; but his inordinate love of gain would
not allow him to finish many works in the same good style. I have been
informed by a connoisseur, on whose opinion I can rely, that the best
works of this artist are at Gaeta, where he painted at the Nunziata a
picture of the Madonna with the Holy Infant; and where, in the inferior
part of the Duomo, he painted in the vault three recesses and ten
angles, adding over the altar the picture of the martyrdom of S.
Erasmus, bishop of the city, who was buried in that church. Brandi did
not perpetuate the taste of his school, not leaving any pupil of
eminence except Felice Ottini, who painted in his youth a chapel at the
P. P. di Gesù e Maria, and did not long survive that work. Orlandi also
mentions a Carlo Lamparelli di Spello, who left in Rome a picture at the
church of the Spirito Santo, but nothing further. An Alessandro Vaselli
also left some works in another church in Rome.

After Brandi, we ought to commemorate Giacomo Giorgetti, of Assisi, who
is little known beyond his native city, and the neighbouring towns. He
is said to have first studied the art of design in Rome, when he learned
colouring from Lanfranc, and became a good fresco painter. There is by
him in a chapel of the Duomo at Assisi, a large composition in fresco,
and in the sacristy of the Conventuals, various subjects from the Life
of the Virgin, also in fresco; works coloured in a fine style, and much
more finished than was usual with Lanfranc. If there be any fault to be
found with them, it is the proportions of the figures, which not
unfrequently incline to awkwardness. His name is found in the
_Descrizione della Chiesa di S. Francesco di Perugia_, together with
that of Girolamo Marinelli, his fellow citizen and contemporary, of whom
I never found any other notice.

Lanfranc instructed in Rome a noble lady, who filled the church of S.
Lucia with her pictures. These were designed by her master, and coloured
by herself. Her name was Caterina Ginnasi. There were also with Lanfranc
in Rome, Mengucci, of Pesaro, and others, who afterwards left Rome, and
will be mentioned by us elsewhere. Some have added to these Beinaschi,
but he was only an excellent copyist and imitator, as we shall see in
the fourth book. At the same time, we may assert, that none of the
Caracci school had a greater number of followers than Lanfranc; as
Pietro di Cortona, the chief of a numerous family, derived much of his
style from him, and the whole tribe of machinists adopted him as their
leader, and still regard him as their prototype.

Albano too, here deserves a conspicuous place as a master of the Roman
School. Giambatista Speranza, a Roman, learned from him the principles
of the art, and became a fresco painter of the best taste in Rome. If we
inspect his works at S. Agostino, and S. Lorenzo in Lucina, and in other
places where he painted religious subjects, we immediately perceive that
his age is not that of the Zuccari, and that the true style of fresco
still flourished. From Albano too, and from Guercino, Pierfrancesco Mola
di Como derived that charming style, which partook of the excellences of
both these artists. He renounced the principles of Cesari, who had
instructed him for many years; and after having diligently studied
colouring at Venice, he attached himself to the school of the Caracci,
but more particularly to Albano. He never, however, equalled his master
in grace, although he had a bolder tone of colour, greater invention,
and more vigour of subject. He died in the prime of life whilst
preparing for his journey to Paris, where he was appointed painter to
the court. Rome possesses many of his pictures, particularly in fresco,
in the churches; and in the Quirinal palace, is Joseph found by his
Brethren, which is esteemed a most beautiful piece. There are also many
of his pictures to be found in private collections; and in his
landscapes, in which he excelled, it is doubted whether the figures are
by him or Albano. He had in Rome three pupils, who, aspiring to be good
colourists, frequented the same fountains of art as their master had
done, and travelled through all Italy. They were Antonio Gherardi da
Rieti, who on the death of Mola frequented the school of Cortona; and
painted in many churches in Rome with more despatch than elegance;[76]
Gio. Batista Boncuore, of Abruzzo, a painter in a grand though somewhat
heavy style;[77] and Giovanni Bonatti, of Ferrara, whom we shall reserve
for his native school.

Virgilio Ducci, of Città di Castello, is little known among the scholars
of Albano, though he does not yield to many of the Bolognese in the
imitation of their common master. Two pictures of Tobias, in a chapel of
the Duomo, in his native place, are painted in an elegant and graceful
style. An Antonio Catalani, of Rome, is mentioned to us by Malvasia, and
with him Girolamo Bonini, of Ancona, the intimate friend of Albani.
These artists resided in Bologna, and were employed there, as we shall
see in our history of that school. Of the second we are told that he
painted both in Venice and in Rome; and Orlandi praises his works in the
Sala Farnese, which either no longer exist, or are neglected to be
mentioned in the Guida of Titi.

Lastly, from the studio of Albani issued Andrea Sacchi, after its chief
the best colourist of the Roman School, and one of the most celebrated
in design, in the practice of which he continued until his death.
Profoundly skilled in the theory of art, he was yet slow in the
execution. It was a maxim with him that the merit of a painter does not
consist in giving to the world a number of works of mediocrity, but a
few perfect ones; and hence his pictures are rare. His compositions do
not abound with figures, but every figure appears appropriate to its
place; and the attitudes seem not so much chosen by the artist, as
regulated by the subject itself. Sacchi did not, indeed, shun the
elegant, though he seems born for the grand style--grave miens, majestic
attitudes, draperies folded with care and simplicity; a sober colouring,
and a general tone, which gave to all objects a pleasing harmony, and a
grateful repose to the eye. He seems to have disdained minuteness, and,
after the example of many of the ancient sculptors, to have left some
part always unfinished; so at least his admirers assert. Mengs expresses
himself differently, and says, that Sacchi's principle was to leave his
pictures, as it were, merely indicated, and to take his ideas from
natural objects, without giving them any determinate form: on this
matter the professors of the art must decide. His picture of S. Romualdo
surrounded by his monks, is ranked among the four best compositions in
Rome; and the subject was a difficult one to treat, as the great
quantity of white in the vestures tends to produce a sameness of colour.
The means which Sacchi adopted on this occasion have always been justly
admired. He has placed a large tree near the foreground, the shade of
which serves to break the uniformity of the figures, and he thus
introduced a pleasing variety in the monotony of the colours. His
Transito di S. Anna at S. Carlo a' Catinari, his S. Andrea in the
Quirinal, and his S. Joseph at Capo alle Case, are also beautiful
pictures. Perugia, Foligno, and Camerino, possess altarpieces by him
which are the boast of these cities. He enjoyed the reputation of an
amiable and learned instructor. One of his lectures, communicated by his
celebrated scholar, Francesco Lauri, may be read in the life of that
artist, written by Pascoli, who, as I have before remarked, collected
the greater part of his information from the old painters in Rome. He
has probably engrafted on them some sentiments either of his own or of
others, as often happens in a narrative when the related facts are
founded more in probability than in certainty; but the maxims there
inculcated by Sacchi are worthy of an artist strongly attached to the
true, the select, and the grand; and who, to give dignity to his
figures, seems to have had his eyes on the precepts of Quintilian
respecting the action of his orator. He had a vast number of scholars,
among whom we may reckon Giuseppe Sacchi, his son, who became a
conventual monk, and painted a picture in the sacristy, in the church of
the Apostles. But his most illustrious disciple was Maratta, of whom,
and of whose scholars, we shall speak in another epoch.

We find a follower of the Caracci, though we know not of what particular
master, in Giambatista Salvi, called from the place in which he was
born, Sassoferrato,[78] and whom we shall notice further when we speak
of Carlo Dolci, and his very devotional pictures. This artist excelled
Dolci in the beauty of his Madonnas, but yielded to him in the fineness
of his pencil. Their style was dissimilar, Salvi having formed himself
on other models; he first studied in his native place under Tarquinio,
his father,[79] then in Rome and afterwards in Naples; it is not known
precisely under what masters, except that in his MS. Memoirs we read of
one Domenico. The period in which Salvi studied corresponds in a
remarkable manner with the time in which Domenichino was employed in
Naples, and his manner of painting shews that he adopted the style of
that master, though not exclusively. I have seen in the possession of
his heirs many copies from the first masters, which he executed for his
own pleasure. I observed several of Albano, Guido, Barocci, Raffaello,
reduced to a small size, and painted, as one may say, all in one breath.
There are also some landscapes of his composition, and a vast number of
sacred portraits; several of S. John the Baptist, but more than all of
the Madonna. Though not possessing the ideal beauty of the Greeks, he
has yet a style of countenance peculiarly appropriate to the Virgin, in
which an air of humility predominates, and the simplicity of the dress
and the attire of the head corresponds with the expression of the
features, without at the same time lessening the dignity of her
character. He painted with a flowing pencil, was varied in his
colouring, had a fine relief and chiaroscuro; but in his local tints he
was somewhat hard. He delighted most in designing heads with a part of
the bust, which frequently occur in collections; his portraits are very
often of the size of life, and of that size, or larger, is a Madonna, by
him, with the infant Christ, in the Casali palace at Rome. The picture
of the Rosario, that he painted at S. Sabina, is one of the smallest
pictures in Rome. It is, however, well composed, and conducted with his
usual spirit, and is regarded as a gem. In other places the largest
picture by him which is to be seen, is an altarpiece in the cathedral of

A follower of the Caracci also, though of an uncertain school, was
Giuseppino da Macerata, whom a dubious tradition has assigned to
Agostino. His works are to be seen in the two collegiate churches of
Fabriano; an Annunciation, in oils, in S. Niccolò, and at S. Venanzio
two chapels, painted in fresco, in one of which, where he represented
the miracles of the apostles, he surpassed himself in the beauty of the
heads and in the general composition; in other respects he is somewhat
hasty and indecisive. Two of his works remain in his native place; at
the Carmelites the Madonna in Glory, with S. Nicola and S. Girolamo on
the foreground; and at the Capucins, S. Peter receiving the Keys. Both
these pictures are in the Caracci style, but the second is most so;
corresponding in a singular manner with one of the same subject which
the Filippini of Fano have in their church, and which is an authentic
and historical work of Guido Reni. The second, therefore, is probably a
copy. There is written on it _Joseph Ma. faciebat_ 1630, but the figures
of the year are not very legible. Marcello Gobbi, and Girolamo
Boniforti,[80] a tolerable good imitator of Titian, lived at this time
in Macerata. Perugia presents us with two scholars of the Caracci,
Giulio Cesare Angeli and Anton. Maria Fabrizzi, the one the pupil of
Annibale in Rome, the other of Lodovico in Bologna. They were attracted
by the fame of their masters, and secretly leaving their native place
for about the space of twelve years, they obtained admission for some
time into their school, if we may rely on Pascoli. Fabrizzi, who is also
said to have worked under Annibale, does not shew great correctness; and
the cause may be ascribed to his too ardent temperament, and the want of
more mature instruction; for Annibale dying after three years, from a
scholar he became a master, and was celebrated for his vigorous
colouring, his composition, and the freedom of his pencil. Angeli was
more remarkable for expression and colour than design, and excelled
rather in the draped than in the naked figure. There is a vast work by
him in fresco in the oratory of the church of S. Agostino in Perugia,
and in part of it a limbo of saints, certainly not designed by the light
of Lodovico's lamp, if indeed it ought not to be considered that this
lunette is by another hand. This branch of the Bolognese School, which
was constantly degenerating from the excellence of its origin, being at
such a distance from Bologna as not to be able to be revivified by the
pictures of the Caracci, still survived for a long time. Angeli
instructed Cesare Franchi, who excelled in small pictures, which were
highly prized in collections; and Stefano Amadei also, who was formed
more on the Florentine School of that age than on the School of Bologna.
Stefano was also attached to letters, and opened a school, and by
frequent meetings and instructive lectures improved the minds of the
young artists who frequented it. One of the most assiduous of these was
Fabio, brother of the Duke of Cornia, of whom some works are mentioned
in the Guida di Roma, and who entitled himself to a higher rank than
that of a mere dilettante.

Besides the Bolognese, a number of Tuscans who were employed by Paul V.
in the two churches of S. Peter and S. M. Maggiore, also contributed to
the melioration of the Roman School; and some others who, deprived of
that opportunity of distinguishing themselves, are yet memorable for the
scholars they left behind them. Of the diocese of Volterra was
Cristoforo Roncalli, called Il Cav. delle Pomarance, cursorily noticed
by us among the Tuscans. I now place him in this school, because he both
painted and taught for a considerable time in Rome; and I assign him to
this epoch, not from the generality of his works, but from his best
having been executed in it. He was the scholar of Niccolò delle
Pomarance, for whom he worked much with little reward; and from his
example he learnt to avail himself of the labour of others, and to
content himself with mediocrity. Yet there are several pictures by him,
in which he appears excellent, except that he too often repeats himself
in his backgrounds, his foreshortened heads, and full and rubicund
countenances. His style of design is a mixture of the Florentine and
Roman. In his frescos he displayed fresh and brilliant colours; in his
oil pictures, on the contrary, he adopted more sober tints, harmonized
by a general tone of tranquillity and placidness. He frequently
decorated these with landscapes gracefully disposed. Among his best
labours is reckoned the death of Ananias and Sapphira, which is at the
Certosa, and which was copied in mosaic in S. Peter's. Other mosaics
also in the same church were executed after his cartoons, and in the
Lateranense is his Baptism of Constantine, a grand historical
composition. But his most celebrated work is the cupola of Loreto, very
rich in figures, but injured by time, except some prophets, which are in
a truly grand style. He painted considerably in the treasury of that
church; and there are some histories of the Madonna not conducted with
equal felicity, particularly in the perspective. He obtained this vast
commission through the patronage of the Cardinal Crescenzi, in
competition with Caravaggio, who, to gratify his revenge, hired an
assassin to wound him in the face; and in rivalship too with Guido Reni,
who retaliated in a more laudable manner, by proving his superiority by
his works. Roncalli from this time was in great request in the cities of
Picenum, which in consequence abound with his pictures. There is to be
seen at the Eremitani at S. Severino, a _Noli me tangere_; at S.
Agostino in Ancona, a S. Francis praying; and at S. Palazia in Osimo, a
picture of a saint, one of his most finished productions. In the same
city, in the Casa Galli, he painted _di sotto in su_ the Judgment of
Solomon; and this is perhaps the best fresco that he ever executed. He
could vary his manner at will. There is an Epiphany in the possession of
the Marquis Mancinforti in Ancona, quite in the style of the Venetian

There were two artists who approached this master in style, the Cav.
Gaspare Celio, a Roman, and Antonio, the son of Niccolò Circignani.
Celio was the pupil of Niccolò, according to Baglione, but of Roncalli,
if we are to believe Titi. He designed and engraved antique statues, and
painted in a commendable manner whilst young, after the designs of P.
Gio. Bat. Fiammeri, at the Gesù, and at a more mature age after his own,
in numerous churches. The S. Francis, on the altar of the Ospizio, at
Ponte Sisto, is by him; and he also painted the history of S. Raimondo
at the Minerva, and the Moses passing the Red Sea, in a vault of the
Mattei gallery, where he competed with other first rate artists. Antonio
is not well known in Rome, where he worked with his father, after whose
death he decorated by himself a chapel at the Traspontina, another at
the Consolazione, and painted also in private houses. Città di Castello,
where he passed some of the best years of his life, possesses many of
his pictures, and amongst the rest, that of the Conception, at the
Conventuals, which may be called a mixture of Barocci and Roncalli, from
whom he probably learned to improve the style he had inherited from his

The Cav. delle Pomarance instructed the Marchese Gio. Batista Crescenzi,
who became a great patron of the fine arts, and who was so much skilled
in them, that Paul V. appointed him superintendent of the works which he
was carrying on in Rome; and Philip III., the Catholic, also availed
himself of his services in the Escurial. He did not execute many works,
and his chief talent lay in flower painting. His house was frequented by
literary men, and particularly by Marino; he formed in it a gallery
containing an extensive collection of pictures and drawings, of which he
himself says, "I believe I may indeed safely affirm that there is not a
prince in Europe that does not yield to me in this respect." (Lett. p.
89.) There the artists were always to be found, one of whom, his
disciple, was called Bartolommeo del Crescenzi, of the family of
Cavarozzi of Viterbo. He was a most correct artist, a follower first of
Roncalli, and afterwards became the author of a captivating natural
style. There exist many excellent pictures by him in collections, and in
the church of S. Anna, a picture of that saint, executed, says Baglione,
in his best taste, and with a vigorous pencil.

Among the scholars of Roncalli may also be ranked Giovanni Antonio,
father of Luigi Scaramuccia, who also saw and imitated the Caracci. His
works are often met with in Perugia. The spirit and freedom of his
pencil are more commended than his tints, which are too dark, and which
in the churches easily distinguish him amidst a crowd of other artists.
It is probable that he used too great a quantity of _terra d'ombra_,
like others of his day. Girolamo Buratti, of the same school, painted in
Ascoli the beautiful picture of the Presepio at the Carità, and some
subjects in fresco, highly commended by Orsini. Of Alessandro Casolani,
who belongs to this master, we spoke in the Sienese School. With him,
too, was included Cristoforo his son, who, with Giuseppe Agellio of
Sorrento, may be ranked with the inferior artists.

Francesco Morelli, a Florentine, demands our notice only as having
imparted the rudiments of the art to the Cav. Gio. Baglione of Rome. His
pupil, however, did not remain with him for any length of time, but
formed a style for himself from a close application to the works of the
best masters, and was employed by Paul V., by the Duke of Mantua, and by
persons of distinction. He is less vigorous in design and expression,
than in colour and chiaroscuro. We meet with his works, not only in
Rome, where he painted much, but also in several provincial towns, as
the S. Stephen in the Duomo of Perugia, and the S. Catherine at the
Basilica Loretana. In his colours he resembled Cigoli, but was far
behind him in other respects. The picture which procured him great
applause in the Vatican, the Resuscitation of Tabitha, is defaced by
time; but both there and at the Cappella Paolina in S. Maria Maggiore,
which was the most considerable work of Paul V., his pieces in fresco
still remain, and are not unworthy of their age. He is not often found
in collections, but in that of the Propaganda I saw a S. Rocco painted
by him with great force of colour. He lived to a considerable age, and
left behind him a compendium of the lives of professors of the fine
arts, who had been his contemporaries in Rome from 1572 to 1642. He
wrote in an unostentatious manner, and free from party spirit, and was
on all occasions more disposed to commend the good than to censure the
bad. Whenever I peruse him, I seem to hear the words of a venerable
teacher, inclined rather to inculcate precepts of morals, than maxims on
the fine arts. Of the latter, indeed, he is very sparing, and it would
almost lead one to suppose that he had succeeded in his profession, more
from a natural bias, and a talent of imitation, than from scientific
principles and sound taste. It was, perhaps, in order that he might not
be tied to treat of the art theoretically, and to write profoundly, that
he distributed his work in five dialogues, in the course of which we do
not meet with professors of art, but are introduced to a foreigner and
to a Roman gentleman, who act the respective parts of master and
scholar. Dialogues, indeed, were never composed in a more simple style,
in any language. The two interlocutors meet in the cloisters of the
Minerva, and after a slight salutation, one of them recounts the lives
of the masters of the art, to the number of eighty, which are commenced,
continued, and ended, in a style sufficiently monotonous, both as to
manner and language; the other listens to this long narrative, without
either interrupting or answering, or adding a word in reply: and thus
the dialogue, or rather soliloquy, concludes, without the slightest
expression of thanks on the part of the auditor, or even the ceremony of
a farewell. We shall now return to the Tuscan scholars.

Passignano was at Rome many times, without, however, leaving there any
scholars, at least of any name. We may indeed mention Vanni, and he left
there, too, a Gio. Antonio, and a Gio. Francesco del Vanni, who are
mentioned in the _Guida di Roma_. The school of Cigoli produced two
Roman artists of considerable reputation; Domenico Feti, who
distinguished himself in Mantua, and Gio. Antonio Lelli, who never left
his native place. They painted more frequently in oil, and for private
collections, than in fresco, or in churches. Of the first, no public
work remains except the two Angels at S. Lorenzo in Damaso; of the
second some pictures, and some histories on the walls, among which the
Visitation in the choir of the Minerva is much praised.

Comodi and Ciarpi are said to have been the successive masters of Pietro
di Cortona; and on that account, and from his birthplace, he has by many
been placed in the school of Florence; although others have assigned him
to that of Rome. It is true, indeed, that he came hither at the age of
fourteen only, bringing with him from Tuscany little more than a
well-disposed genius; and he here formed himself into an excellent
architect, and as a painter became the head of a school distinguished
for a free and vigorous style, as we have mentioned in our first book.
Whoever wishes to observe how far he carried this style in fresco, and
in large compositions, must inspect the Sala Barberina in Rome; although
the Palazzo Pitti, in Florence, presents us with works more elegant,
more beautiful, and more studied in parts. Whoever, too, wishes to see
how far he carried it in his altarpieces, must inspect the Conversion of
S. Paul at the Capucins in Rome, which, placed opposite the S. Michael
of Guido, is, nevertheless, the admiration of those who do not object to
a variety of style in art: nor am I aware that we should reject this
principle in what we designate the fine arts; as it is invariably
acknowledged in eloquence, in poetry, and history, where we find
Demosthenes and Isocrates, Sophocles and Euripides, and Thucydides and
Xenophon, equally esteemed, though all dissimilar in style.

The works of Pietro in Rome, and in the states of the church, are not at
all rare. They are to be found also in other states of Italy, and those
pieces are the most attractive in which he had the greatest opportunity
of indulging his love of architecture. His largest compositions, which
might dismay the boldest copyist, are S. Ivo at the Sapienza of Rome,
and the S. Charles in the church of that saint, at Catinari, in the act
of relieving the infected. The Preaching of S. James in Imola, in the
church of the Domenicans, is also on a vast scale. The Virgin attended
by S. Stephen, the Pope, and other saints in S. Agostino, in Cortona, is
a picture of great research, and is considered one of his best
performances. There is an enchanting picture of the Birth of the Virgin,
in the Quirinal palace; and the Martyrdom of S. Stephen, at S. Ambrogio,
in Rome, and Daniel in the Den of Lions, in the church of that saint, in
Venice, are most beautiful works, superior to those of most of his
competitors in this school, in regard to composition, and equal to them
in colour. His historical subjects are not met with in the galleries of
the Roman nobility. In that of the Campidoglio, is the battle between
the Romans and the Sabines, full of picturesque spirit; and in
possession of the Duke Mattei, is the Adultery, half figures, more
studied and more highly finished than was customary with him. This brief
notice of him may suffice for the present. Of the scholars whom he
formed in the Roman School, I shall speak more opportunely in the
subsequent epoch.

At this period we find three Veronese artists, Ottini, Bassetti, and
Turchi, studying in Rome; and we shall speak of them more at length in
the Venetian School. The first returned home without executing any
public work. The second left, in the church dell'Anima, in Rome, two
pictures in fresco, the Birth, and the Circumcision of Christ. The
third, known under the name of Orbetto, took up his residence, and died
in that capital; but I am not aware that he left there any disciples of
merit, except some of his own countrymen, who returned to their native
place. This engaging and elegant painter, who possessed great
originality and beauty of colour, worked still more in Verona than in
Rome, and we ought to see his works in the former city, in order justly
to appreciate them. But he is not on that account held in the less
esteem in Rome for his cabinet pictures, which are highly prized, as the
Sisara de' Colonnesi, and for his scriptural subjects, as the Flight
into Egypt, in the church of S. Romualdo, and the S. Felice Cappuccino,
at the Conception, where, as we before observed, the Barberini family
employed the most eminent artists.

Many other Italians worked in Rome in the time of the Caracci, but their
schools, as well as the places of their birth, are uncertain; and of
these, in a city so abounding in pictures, a slight notice will suffice.
In the Guida di Roma, we find only a single notice of Felice Santelli, a
Roman, in the church of the P. P. Spagnuoli del Riscatto Scalzi, where
he painted in competition with Baglione; he is a painter full of truth,
and one of his pictures in Viterbo, in the church of S. Rosa, is
inscribed with his name. In Baglione, we read of Orazio Borgianni, a
Roman, the rival of Celio, and we find pictures and portraits by him in
a good natural style. Gio. Antonio Spadarino, of the family of Galli,
painted in S. Peter's, a S. Valeria, with such talent, that Orlandi
complains of the silence of biographers respecting him. He had a fellow
disciple in Matteo Piccione, of the March, and Titi mentions their
peculiar style. Nor is Grappelli much known, whose proper name or
country I cannot accurately ascertain; but his Joseph Recognized, which
is painted in fresco, in the Casa Mattei, commands our admiration.
Mattio Salvucci, who obtained some reputation in Perugia, came to Rome,
and although he was graciously received by the Pope, yet, from his
inconstant temper, he did not remain there, nor does Pascoli, his fellow
countrymen and biographer, mention any authentic pictures by him.
Domenico Rainaldi, nephew of the architect, Cav. Carlo Rainaldi, who was
employed by Alexander VII., is mentioned in the Roman Guida, as also
Giuseppe Vasconio, praised too by Orlandi. In the same description of
books, and particularly in those which treat of the pictures of Perugia,
mention is made in this epoch of the Cav. Bernardino Gagliardi, who was
domiciled for many years in that city, though born in Città di Castello.
Although a scholar of Avanzino Nucci, he adopted a different style,
after having seen in his travels the best works of every school of
Italy, from Rome to Turin. In historical composition he particularly
followed the Caracci and Guido, but in what I have seen of him, both in
his own and his adopted city, he appears exceedingly various. The noble
house of Oddi, in Perugia, amongst some feeble productions of his, have
a Conversazione of young people, half figures, and truly beautiful. In
the Duomo of Castello is a Martyrdom of S. Crescenziano, a picture of
fine effect, though inferior in other respects. He there appears more
studied and more select in the two pictures of the young Tobias, which
are included among his superior works. His best is perhaps the picture
of S. Pellegrino, with its accompaniments, in the church of S. Marcello
in Rome. I do not recollect any other provincial painters of this period
whom I have not assigned to one or other of the various masters.

A more arduous task than recording the names of the Italian artists now
awaits us in the enumeration of strangers. About the beginning of the
century Peter Paul Rubens came young to Rome, and left some oil pictures
at the Vallicella, and in S. Croce in Gerusalemme. Not many years
afterwards Antonio Vandyck arrived there also, with an intention of
remaining for a long period; but many of his fellow countrymen, who were
there studying, became offended at his refusing to join them in their
convivial tavern parties and dissipated mode of life; he in consequence
left Rome. Great numbers too of that nation who professed the lower
school of art, remained in Italy for a considerable period, and some are
mentioned in their classes. Others were employed in the churches of
Rome, and the ecclesiastical state. The master is unknown who painted at
S. Pietro in Montorio, the celebrated Deposition, which is recommended
to students, as a school of colour in itself; by some he is called
Angiolo Fiammingo. Of Vincenzio Fiammingo there is at the Vallicella a
picture of the Pentecost; of Luigi Gentile, from Brussels, the picture
of S. Antonio at S. Marco, and others in various churches in Rome; he
painted also at the church of the Capucins, at Pesaro, a Nativity and a
S. Stephen, pictures highly finished and of a beautiful relief. He
executed others at Ancona, and in various cities, with his usual taste,
which is still more to be admired in his easel pictures. He excelled,
says Passeri, who was very sparing in his praise of artists, in small
compositions; since besides finishing them with great diligence, he
executed them in an engaging style, and he concludes with the further
encomium, that he equalled, if not surpassed, most artists in portrait

About the year 1630, Diego Velasquez, the chief ornament of Spanish art,
studied in Rome and remained there for a year. He afterwards returned
thither under the pontificate of Innocent X., whose portrait he painted,
in a style which was said to be derived from Domenico Greco, instructed
by Titian, at the court of Spain. Velasquez renewed in this portrait the
wonders which are recounted of those of Leo X. by Raffaello, and of Paul
III. by Titian; for this picture so entirely deceived the eye as to be
taken for the Pope himself. At this time too a number of excellent
German artists were employed in Rome, as Daniel Saiter, whom I shall
notice in the school of Piedmont, and the two Scor, Gio. Paolo, called
by Taja, Gian. Paolo Tedesco, whose Noah's Ark, painted in the Quirinal
palace, has excited the most enthusiastic encomiums; and Egidio, his
brother, who worked there for a considerable time in the gallery of
Alexander VII. There were also in Rome Vovet, as we have observed, and
the two Mignards, Nicolas, an excellent artist, and Pierre, who had the
surname of Romano, and who left some beautiful works at S. Carlino and
other places; and a master who claims more than a brief notice, Nicolas
Poussin, the Raffaello of France.

Bellori, who has written the Life of Poussin, introduces him to Rome in
1624, and informs us that he was already a painter, and had formed his
style more after the prints of Raffaello than the instruction of his
masters. At Rome he improved, or rather changed his style, and acquired
another totally different, of which he may be considered the chief.
Poussin has left directions for those who come to study the art in Rome:
the remains of antiquity afforded him instruction which he could not
expect from masters. He studied the beautiful in the Greek statues, and
from the Meleager of the Vatican (now ascertained to be a Mercury) he
derived his rule of proportions. Arches, columns, antique vases, and
urns, were rendered tributary to the decoration of his pictures. As a
model of composition, he attached himself to the Aldobrandine Marriage;
and from that, and from basso-relievos, he acquired that elegant
contrast, that propriety of attitude, and that fear of crowding his
picture, for which he was so remarkable, being accustomed to say, that a
half figure more than requisite was sufficient to destroy the harmony of
a whole composition.

Leonardo da Vinci, from his sober and refined style of colour, could not
fail to please him; and he decorated that master's work _Su la Pittura_
with figures designed in his usual fine taste. He followed him in theory
and emulated him in practice. He adopted Titian's style of colour, and
the famous Dance of Boys, which was formerly in the Villa Lodovisi, and
is now in Madrid, taught him to invest with superior colours the
engaging forms of children, in which he so much excelled. It should seem
that he soon abandoned his application to colouring, and his best
coloured pictures are those which he painted on first coming to Rome. He
was apprehensive lest his anxiety on that head might distract his
attention from the more philosophical part of his picture, to which he
was singularly attentive; and to this point he directed his most serious
and assiduous care. Raffaello was his model in giving animation to his
figures, in expressing the passions with truth, in selecting the precise
moment of action, in intimating more than was expressed, and in
furnishing materials for fresh reflection to whoever returns a second
and a third time to examine his well conceived and profound
compositions. He carried the habit of philosophy in painting even
further than Raffaello, and often executed pictures, whose claim to our
regard is the poetical manner in which their moral is inculcated. Thus,
in that at Versailles, which is called _Memoria della morte_, he has
represented a group of youths, and a maid visiting the tomb of an
Arcadian shepherd, on which is inscribed the simple epitaph, "I also was
an Arcadian."

He did not owe this elegant expression of sentiment to his genius alone,
but was indebted for it, as well to the perusal of the first classic
authors, as the conversation of literary men, and his intercourse with
scholars. He deferred much to the Cav. Marini, and might do so with
advantage where poetry was not concerned. In the art of modelling, in
which he excelled, he accomplished himself under Fiammingo; he consulted
the writings of P. Zaccolini for perspective; he studied the naked
figure in the academy of Domenichino and in that of Sacchi; he made
himself acquainted with anatomy; he exercised himself in copying the
most beautiful landscapes from nature, in which he acquired an exquisite
taste, which he communicated to his relative Gaspar Dughet, of whom we
shall speak in a short time. I think it may be asserted without
exaggeration, that the Caracci improved the art of landscape painting,
and that Poussin brought it to perfection.[81] His genius was less
calculated for large than small figures, and he has generally painted
them a palm and a half, as in the celebrated sacraments, which were in
the Casa Boccapaduli: sometimes of two or three palms size, as in the
picture of the Plague in the Colonna gallery, and elsewhere. Other
pictures of his are seen in Rome, as the Death of Germanicus in the
Barberini palace, the Triumph of Flora in the Campidoglio, the Martyrdom
of S. Erasmus, in the Pope's collection at Monte Cavallo, afterwards
copied in mosaic in S. Peter's. Although he had established himself in
Rome, he afterwards left that city for Paris, where he was appointed
first painter to the court; after two years time, however, he again
returned to Rome, but had his appointment confirmed, and, though absent,
enjoyed the same place and stipend. He remained in Rome for twenty three
years, and there closed his days. It is not long since his bust in
marble, with an appropriate eulogy, was placed in the church of the
Rotonda, at the suggestion and generous expense of the Sig. Cav.

In the class of portrait painters, we find at the beginning of the
seventeenth century, Antiveduto Grammatica, and Ottavio Lioni of Padua,
who engraved the portraits of the painters; and, on his death,
Baldassare Galanino was preeminent. It must however be remarked, that
these artists were also designers; and that even those who were held the
first masters in composition were employed in portrait painting, as
Guido for example, who executed for the Cardinal Spada one of the finest
portraits in Rome.

Thus far of historical painters. We may now recur to landscape and other
inferior branches of the art, whose brightest era may be said to have
been in the reign of Urban VIII. Landscape, indeed, never flourished so
greatly as at that period. A little time before this pontificate, died
in Rome, Adam Elzheimer, or Adam of Frankfort, or Tedesco, who had
already, under the pontificate of Paul V., established a school (in
which David Teniers was instructed); an artist of an admirable fancy,
who in an evening committed to the canvass, with singular fidelity, the
scenery which he had visited in the early part of the day, and he so
refined his style in Rome, that his pictures, which generally
represented night scenes, were there held in the greatest request. Only
a short time too had elapsed since the death of Giovanni Batista Viola
in Rome, one of the first artists who, profiting from the instructions
of Annibal Caracci, reformed the old, dry style of the Flemish, and
introduced a richer mode of touching landscape. Vincenzio Armanno had
also promoted this branch of art, adding to his landscapes a similitude
to nature, which without much selection of ground, or trees, or
accompaniments, charms us by its truth, and a certain stilness of
colour, pleasingly chequered with lights and shades. He is highly to be
commended too in his figures, and is copious in his invention. But the
three celebrated landscape painters, whose works are so much sought
after in the collections of princes, appeared under Urban; Salvator
Rosa, a Neapolitan, and a poet of talent; Claude Gellée, of Lorraine;
and Gaspar Dughet, also called Poussin, the relative of Niccolas, as I
have already mentioned. That kind of fashion, which often aspires to
give a tone to the fine arts, alternately exalted one or other of these
three, and thus also obliged the painters in Rome to copy in succession,
and to follow their various styles.

Rosa was the most celebrated of this class at the commencement of this
century. A scholar of Spagnoletto, and the son, as one may say, of
Caravaggio, as in historical composition he attached himself to the
strong natural style and dark colouring of that master, so in landscape
he seems to have adopted his subject without selection, or rather to
have selected the least pleasing parts. _Le selve selvagge_, to speak
with Dante, savage scenery, Alps, broken rocks and caves, wild thickets,
and desert plains, are the kind of scenery in which he chiefly
delighted; his trees are shattered, torn, and dishevelled; and in the
atmosphere itself he seldom introduced a cheerful hue, except
occasionally a solitary sunbeam. He observed the same manner too in his
sea views. His style was original, and may be said to have been
conducted on a principle of savage beauty, as the palate of some persons
is gratified with austere wines. His pictures too were rendered more
acceptable from the small figures of shepherds, mariners, or banditti,
which he has introduced in almost all his compositions; and he was
reproached by his rivals with having continually repeated the same
ideas, and in a manner copied himself.

Owing to his frequent practice, he had more merit in his small than in
his large figures. He was accustomed to insert them in his landscapes,
and composed his historical pictures in the same style as the Regulus,
so highly praised in the Colonna palace, or fancy subjects, as the
Witchcrafts, which we see in the Campidoglio, and in many private
collections. In these he is never select, nor always correct, but
displays great spirit, freedom of execution, and skill and harmony of
colour. In other respects he has proved, more than once, that his genius
was not confined to small compositions, as there are some altarpieces
well conceived, and of powerful effect, particularly where the subject
demands an expression of terror, as in a Martyrdom of Saints at S. Gio.
de' Fiorentini at Rome; and in the Purgatory, which I saw at S. Giovanni
delle Case Rotte in Milan, and at the church del Suffragio in Matelica.
We have also some profane subjects by him, finely executed on a large
scale; such is the Conspiracy of Catiline, in the possession of the
noble family of Martelli, in Florence, mentioned also by Bottari, as one
of his best works. Rosa left Naples at the age of twenty, and
established himself in Rome, where he died at the age of about sixty.
His remains were placed in the church degli Angeli, with his portrait
and eulogy; and another portrait of him is to be seen in the Chigi
gallery, which does not seem to have been recognised by Pascoli; the
picture represents a savage scene; a poet is represented in a sitting
attitude, (the features those of Salvator,) and before him stands a
satyr, allusive to his satiric style of poetry, but the picture is
described by the biographer as the god Pan appearing to the poet Pindar.
He had a scholar in Bartol. Torregiani, who died young, and who excelled
in landscape, but was not accomplished enough to add the figures.
Giovanni Ghisolfi, of Milan, a master of perspective, adopted in his
figures the style of Salvator.

Gaspar Dughet, or Poussin, of Rome, or of the Roman School, did not much
resemble Rosa, except in despatch. Both these artists were accustomed to
commence and finish a landscape and decorate it with figures on the same
day. Poussin, contrary to Salvator, selected the most enchanting scenes,
and the most beautiful aspects of nature; the graceful poplar, the
spreading plane trees, limpid fountains, verdant meads, gently
undulating hills, villas delightfully situated, calculated to dispel the
cares of state, and to add to the delights of retirement. All the
enchanting scenery of the Tusculan or Tiburtine territory, and of Rome,
where, as Martial observes, nature has combined the many beauties which
she has scattered singly in other places, was copied by this artist. He
composed also ideal landscapes, in the same way that Torquato Tasso, in
describing the garden of Armida, concentrated in his verses all the
recollections of the beautiful which he had observed in nature.

Notwithstanding this extreme passion for grace and beauty, it is the
opinion of many, that there is not a greater name amongst landscape
painters. His genius had a natural fervour, and as we may say, a
language, that suggests more than it expresses. To give an example, in
some of his larger landscapes, similar to those in the Panfili palace,
we may occasionally observe an artful winding of the road, which in part
discovers itself to the eye, but in other parts, leaves itself to be
followed by the mind. Every thing that Gaspar expresses, is founded in
nature. In his leaves he is as varied as the trees themselves, and is
only accused of not having sufficiently diversified his tints, and of
adhering too much to a green hue. He not only succeeded in representing
the rosy tint of morning, the splendour of noon, evening twilight, or a
sky tempestuous or serene; but the passing breeze that whispers through
the leaves, storms that tear and uproot the trees of the forest,
lowering skies, and clouds surcharged with thunder and rent with
lightning, are represented by him with equal success. Niccolas, who had
taught him to select the beauties of nature, instructed him also in the
figures, and the accessary parts of the composition. Thus in Gaspar
every thing displays elegance and erudition, the edifices have all the
beautiful proportions of the antique; and to these may be added arches
and broken columns, when the scene lay in the plains of Greece or Rome;
or, if in Egypt, pyramids, obelisks, and the idols of the country. The
figures which he introduces are not in general shepherds and their
flocks, as in the Flemish pictures, but are derived from history, or
classic fables, hawking parties, poets crowned with laurel, and other
similar decorations, generally novel, and finished in a style almost as
fine as miniature. His school gave birth to but few followers. By some
Crescenzio di Onofrio is alone considered his true imitator, of whom
little remains in Rome; nor indeed is he much known in Florence,
although he resided there many years in the service of the ducal house.
It is said that he executed many works for the ducal villas; and that he
painted for individuals may be conjectured from some beautiful
landscapes which the Sig. Cancelliere Scrilli possesses, together with
the portrait of Sig. Angelo, his ancestor, on which the artist has
inscribed his name and the year 1712, the date of his work. After him we
may record Gio. Domenico Ferracuti, of Macerata, in which city, and in
others of Piceno, are to be found many landscapes painted by him,
chiefly snow pieces, in which kind of landscape he was singularly

Claude Lorraine is generally esteemed the prince of landscape painters,
and his compositions are indeed, of all others, the richest and the most
studied. A short time suffices to run through a landscape of Poussin or
Rosa from one end to the other, when compared with Claude, though on a
much smaller surface. His landscapes present to the spectator an endless
variety; so many views of land and water, so many interesting objects,
that like an astonished traveller, the eye is obliged to pause to
measure the extent of the prospect, and his distances of mountains or of
sea are so illusive, that the spectator feels, as it were, fatigued by
gazing. The edifices and temples, which so finely round off his
compositions, the lakes peopled with aquatic birds, the foliage
diversified in conformity to the different kinds of trees,[82] all is
nature in him; every object arrests the attention of an amateur, every
thing furnishes instruction to a professor; particularly when he painted
with care, as in the pictures of the Altieri, Colonna, and other palaces
of Rome. There is not an effect of light, or a reflection in the water,
or in the sky itself, which he has not imitated; and the various changes
of the day are no where better represented than in Claude. In a word, he
is truly the painter, who in depicting the three regions of air, earth,
and water, has embraced the whole universe. His atmosphere almost always
bears the impress of the sky of Rome, whose horizon is, from its
situation, rosy, dewy, and warm. He did not possess any peculiar merit
in his figures, which are insipid, and generally too much attenuated;
hence he was accustomed to observe to the purchasers of his pictures,
that he sold them the landscape, and presented them with the figures
gratis. The figures indeed were generally added by another hand,
frequently by Lauri. A painter of the name of Angiolo, who died young,
deserves to be mentioned as the scholar of Claude, as well as
Vandervert. Claude also contributed to the instruction of Gaspar

To the preceding may be added those artists who particularly
distinguished themselves by sea views and shipping. Enrico Cornelio
Vroom is called Enrico di Spagna, as he came to Rome immediately from
Seville, although born in Haerlem in Holland. He was a pupil of the
Brills, and seems rather to have aimed at imitating the national art of
shipbuilding, than the varying appearances of the sea and sky. No one is
more diligent, or more minute in fitting up the vessels with every
requisite for sailing; and some persons have purchased his pictures, for
the sole purpose of instructing themselves in the knowledge of ships,
and the mode of arming them. Sandrart relates that he returned to Spain,
and there painted landscapes, views of cities, fishing boats, and
seafights. He places his birth in 1566, whence he must have flourished
about the year 1600. Guarienti makes a separate article of Enrico Vron
of Haerlem, as if he had been a different artist. Another article is
occupied upon _Enrico delle Marine_, and on the authority of Palomino,
he says, that that artist was born in Cadiz, and coming to Rome, there
acquired that name; and that, without wishing ever to return to Spain,
he employed himself in painting in that city shipping and sea views
until his death, at the age of sixty in 1680. I have named three
writers, whose contradictions I have frequently adverted to in this
work, and whose discordant notices require much examination to reconcile
or refute. What I have advanced respecting Enrico was the result of my
observations on several pictures in the Colonna gallery, six in number,
and which, as far as I could judge, all partake of a hard and early
style, and generally of a peculiar reddish tone, often observed in the
landscapes of Brill. Any other Enrico di Spagna, a marine painter, or of
a style corresponding with that of him who died in 1680, I have not met
with in any collection, nor is any such artist to be found in the works
of Sig. Conca, as any one may ascertain by referring to the index of his
work. Hence, at present, I can recognize the Dutch artist alone, and
shall be ready to admit the claims of the Cadiz painter whenever I am
furnished with proofs of his having really existed.

Agostino Tassi, of Perugia, whose real name was Buonamici, a man of
infamous character, but an excellent painter, was the scholar of Paul
Brill, though he was ambitious of being thought a pupil of the Caracci.
He had already distinguished himself as a landscape painter, when he was
condemned to the galleys at Leghorn, where through interest the
laborious part of his sentence was remitted, and in this situation he
prosecuted his art with such ardour, that he soon obtained the first
rank as a painter of sea views, representing ships, storms, fishing
parties, and the dresses of mariners of various countries with great
spirit and propriety. He excelled too in perspective, and in the papal
palace of the Quirinal and in the palace de' Lancellotti displayed an
excellent style of decoration, which his followers very much
overcharged. He painted many pictures in Genoa, in conjunction with
Salimbeni and Gentileschi, and was assisted by a scholar of his born in
Rome, and domiciled in Genoa, where he died. This scholar is called by
Raffaello Soprani, Gio. Batista Primi, and he eulogizes him as an
esteemed painter of sea views.

Equal to Tassi in talent, and still more infamous in his life, was
Pietro Mulier, or Pietro de Mulieribus, of Holland, who, from his
surprising pictures of storms, was called Il Tempesta. His compositions
inspire a real terror, presenting to our eyes death, devoted ships
overtaken by tempests and darkness, fired by lightning, or driving
helpless before the demons of the storm; now rising on the mountain
waves, and again submerged in the abyss of ocean. His works are more
frequently met with than those of Tassi, as he almost always painted in
oil. He was assisted in Rome by a young man, who in consequence obtained
the name of Tempestino, though he often exercised his genius in
landscape in the style of Poussin. He afterwards married a sister of
this young artist, and subsequently procured her assassination, for
which he was sentenced to death in Genoa, but his sentence was commuted
for five years imprisonment. His pictures of storms, which he painted in
his dungeon, seem to have acquired an additional gloom from the horrors
of his prison, his merited punishment, and his guilty conscience. These
works were very numerous, and were considered his best performances. He
excelled also in the painting of animals, for which purpose he kept a
great variety of them in his house. Lastly, he acquired celebrity from
his landscapes, in some of which he has shewn himself not an unworthy
follower of Claude in invention, enriching them with a great variety of
scenery, hills, lakes, and beautiful edifices, but he is still far
behind that master in regard to tone of colour and finishing. He was
however superior to Claude in his figures, to which he gave a mixed
Italian and Flemish character, with lively, varied, and expressive
countenances. There are more specimens of his talents in Milan than in
any other place, as he passed his latter years in that and the
neighbouring cities, as in Bergamo, and particularly in Piacenza. His
epitaph is given in the Guida di Milano, page 129.

Il Montagna, another artist from Holland, was also a painter of sea
views, which may almost indeed be called the landscapes of the Dutch. He
left many works in Italy, more particularly in Florence and in Rome,
where he is sometimes mistaken for Tempesta in the galleries and in
picture sales; but Montagna, as far as I can judge, is more serene in
his skies, and darker in his waves and the appearance of the sea. A
large picture of the Deluge, which is at S. Maria Maggiore in Bergamo,
placed there in 1668, in which the figures are by the Cav. Liberi, is
supposed to be by Montagna, from the tone of the water. This however is
an error, for the Montagna of whom we speak, called by Felibien (tom.
iii. p. 339,) Montagna di Venezia, certainly died in Padua; and in a MS.
by a contemporary author, where he is mentioned as a distinguished sea
painter, he is said to have died in 1644. I apprehend this is the same
artist whom Malvasia (tom. ii. p. 78,) calls Mons. Rinaldo della
Montagna, and states that he was held in esteem by Guido for his
excellence in sea views. I also find a Niccolo de Plate Montagna,
favourably mentioned by Felibien, also a marine painter, who died about
1665; and I formerly imagined that this might be the artist who painted
so much in Italy, but I now retract that opinion.

Tempesti was the first to introduce the custom of decorating landscapes
with battles and skirmishes. A Flemish artist of the name of Jacopo
succeeded to him in this branch, but his fame was eclipsed by his own
scholar Cerquozzi, a Roman, who from his singular talent in this
respect, was called Michelangiolo delle Battaglie. He was superior to
Tempesti in colouring, but inferior to him in designing horses. In the
human figure, too, he is less correct, and more daring in the style of
his master Cesari. It must however be remembered, that when Cerquozzi
painted battles he was not in his prime, and that his chief merit lay in
subjects on which I shall presently make some remarks.

Padre Jacopo Cortese, a Jesuit, called from his native country Il
Borgognone, carried this branch of the art to a height unknown before or
since. M. A. Cerquozzi discovered his genius for this department, and
persuaded him to abandon the other branches of painting which he
cultivated, and to confine himself to this alone. The Battle of
Constantine, by Giulio Romano in the Vatican, was the model on which he
founded his style. His youth had been dedicated to arms, and his
military spirit was not to be extinguished by the luxury of Rome, or the
indolence of the cloister. He imparted a wonderful air of reality to his
compositions. His combatants appear before us courageously contending
for honour or for life, and we seem to hear the cries of the wounded,
the blast of the trumpet, and the neighing of the horses. He was indeed
an inimitable artist in his line, and his scholars were accustomed to
say that their own figures seemed to fight only in jest, while those of
Borgognone were the real occupants of the field of battle. He painted
with great despatch, and his battle pieces are in consequence very
frequent in collections; his touch was rapid, in strokes, and his pencil
flowing, so that the effect is heightened by distance; and this style
was probably the result of his study of Paolo at Venice, and of Guido in
Bologna. From whatever cause it may be, his colouring is very different
from that of Guglielmo Baur, who is considered his master, and of whom
there are some works in the Colonna gallery. There also may be seen
several specimens of his scholars, Bruni, Graziano, and Giannizero, who
adopted from Borgognone their colouring, and the selection of a distant
point of view for their subject. Others of his scholars occur in various

It was also during the pontificate of Urban, about the year 1626, that
the burlesque style was first brought into notice in Rome. It had been
practised by Ludius in the time of Augustus, and was not wholly unknown
to our early artists; but I am not aware that any one had exercised this
branch as a profession, or on so small a scale as was practised by
Pietro Laar, who was called Bamboccio, from his deformity, as well as
from the subjects of his pencil; and the appellation of _bambocciate_ is
generally applied to these small pictures, which represent the
festivities of the vintage, dances, fights, and carnival masquerades.
His figures are usually of a span in size, and the accompanying
landscape and the animals are so vividly coloured, that we seem, says
Passeri, to see the very objects themselves from an open window, rather
than the representation on canvass. The great painters frequently
purchased the pictures of Pietro, in order to study his natural style of
colour, though at the same time they lamented that so much talent should
be misapplied to such low subjects.[83] He resided many years in Rome,
and then retired to Holland, where he died at an advanced age, and not a
young man, as Passeri has imagined.

His place and his employ in Rome were soon filled up by Cerquozzi, who
had for some time past exchanged the name of M. A. delle Battaglie, for
that of M. A. delle Bambocciate. Although the subjects which he
represents are humourous, like those of Laar, the incidents and the
characters are for the most part different. The first adopted the
Flemish boors, the other the peasantry of Italy. They had both great
force of colour, but Bamboccio excels Cerquozzi in landscape, while the
latter discovers more spirit in his figures. One of Cerquozzi's largest
compositions is in the Spada palace at Rome, in which he represented a
band of insurgent Lazzaroni applauding Maso Aniello.

Laar had another excellent imitator in Gio. Miel, of Antwerp, who having
imbibed a good style of colouring from Vandyke, came to Rome and
frequented the school of Sacchi. From thence, however, he was soon
dismissed, as his master wished him to attempt serious subjects, but he
was led both by interest and genius to the burlesque. His pictures
pleased from their spirited representations and their excellent
management of light and shade, and brought high prices from collectors.
He afterwards painted on a larger scale, and besides some altarpieces in
Rome, he left some considerable works in Piedmont, where we shall notice
him again. Theodore Hembreker, of Haerlem, also employed himself on
humourous subjects, and scenes of common life, although there are some
religious pieces attributed to him in the church della Pace in Rome, and
a number of landscapes in private collections. He passed many years in
Italy, and visited most of the great cities, so that his works are
frequently found not only in Rome, where he had established himself, but
in Florence, Naples, Venice, and elsewhere. His style is a pleasing
union of the Flemish and Italian.

Many artists of this period attached themselves to the painting of
animals. Castiglione distinguished himself in this line, but he resided
for the most part of his time in another country. M. Gio. Rosa, of
Flanders, is the most known in Rome and the State, for the great number
of his paintings of animals, in which he possessed a rare talent. It is
told of him, that dogs were deceived by the hares he painted, thus
reviving the wonderful story of Zeuxis, so much boasted of by Pliny. Two
of his largest and finest pictures are in the Bolognetti collection, and
there is attached to them a portrait, but whether of the painter
himself, or some other person, is not known. We must not confound this
artist with Rosa da Tivoli, who was also an excellent animal painter,
but not so celebrated in Italy, and flourished at a later period, and
whose real name was Philip Peter Roos. He was son-in-law of Brandi, and
his scholar in Rome, and rivalled his hasty method in many pictures
which I have seen in Rome and the states of the church; but we ought not
to rest our decision of his merits on these works, but should view the
animals painted by him at his leisure, particularly for the galleries of
princes. These are to be found in Vienna, Dresden, Monaco, and other
capital cities of Germany; and London possesses not a few of the first
value in their way.[84]

After Caravaggio had given the best examples of flowers in his pictures,
the Cav. Tommaso Salini, of Rome, an excellent artist, as may be seen in
a S. Niccola at S. Agostino, was the first that composed vases of
flowers, accompanying them with beautiful groups of corresponding
foliage, and other elegant designs. Others too pursued this branch, and
the most celebrated of all, was Mario Nuzzi della Penna, better known by
the name of Mario da' Fiori; whose productions during his life were
emulously sought after, and purchased at great prices; but after the
lapse of some years, not retaining their original freshness, and
acquiring, from a vicious mode of colouring, a black and squalid
appearance, they became much depreciated in value. The same thing
happened to the flower pieces of Laura Bernasconi, who was his best
imitator, and whose works are still to be seen in many collections.

Orsini informs us, that he found in Ascoli some paintings of flowers by
another of the fair sex, to whose memory the Academy of S. Luke in Rome
erected a marble monument in their church, not so much in compliment to
her talents in painting, as in consequence of her having bequeathed to
that society all her property, which was considerable. In her epitaph
she is commemorated only as a miniature painter, and Orlandi describes
her as such, adding, that she resided for a long time in Florence, where
she left a large number of portraits in miniature of the Medici, and
other princes of that time, about the year 1630. She also painted in
other capitals of Italy, and died at an advanced age in Rome, in 1673.

Michelangiolo di Campidoglio of Rome, was greatly distinguished for his
masterly grouping of fruits. Though almost fallen into oblivion from the
lapse of years, his pictures are still to be met with in Rome, and in
other places. The noble family of Fossombroni in Arezzo, possess one of
the finest specimens of him that I have ever seen. More generally known
is Pietro Paolo Bonzi, called by Baglione, Il Gobbo di Cortona, which
was his native place; by others, Il Gobbo de' Caracci, from his having
been employed in their school; and by the vulgar, Il Gobbo da' Frutti,
from the natural manner of his painting fruit. He did not pass the
bounds of mediocrity in historical design, as we may see from his S.
Thomas, in the church of the Rotonda, nor in landscapes; but he was
unrivalled in painting fruits, and designing festoons, as in the ceiling
of the Palazzo Mattei; and in his elegant grouping of fruit in dishes
and baskets, as I have seen in Cortona, in the house of the noble family
of Velluti, in the Olivieri gallery in Pesaro, and elsewhere. The
Marchesi Venuti, in Cortona, have a portrait of him painted, it is
believed, by one of the Caracci, or some one of their school, and it is
well known, that the drawing of caricatures was a favourite amusement of
that academy.

At this brilliant epoch, the art of perspective too was carried to a
high degree of perfection in deceiving the eye of the spectator. From
the beginning of the seventeenth century, it had made great advances by
the aid of P. Zaccolini, a Theatine monk of Cesena, in whose praise it
is sufficient to observe, that Domenichino and Poussin were instructed
by him in this art. S. Silvestro, in Montecavallo, possesses the finest
specimen of this power of illusion, in a picture of feigned columns, and
cornices and other architectural decorations. His original drawings
remain in the Barberini library. Gianfrancesco Niceron de' P. P. Minimi
added to this science by his work entitled _Thaumaturgus opticus_, 1643;
and in a gallery of his convent at Trinità de' Monti, he painted some
landscapes, which, on being viewed in a different aspect, are converted
into figures. But the most practised artist in the academy of Rome, was
Viviano Codagora, who drew from the ruins of ancient Rome, and also
painted compositions of his own invention in perspective. He engaged
Cerquozzi and Miel, and others in Rome, to insert the figures for him,
but he was most partial to Gargiuoli of Naples, as we shall mention in
our account of that school. Viviano may he called the Vitruvius of this
class of painters. He was correct in his linear perspective, and an
accurate observer of the style of the ancients. He gave his
representations of marble the peculiar tint it acquires by the lapse of
years, and his general tone of colour was vigorous. What subtracts the
most from his excellence is a certain hardness, and too great a quantity
of black, by which his pictures are easily distinguished from others in
collections, and which in the course of time renders them dark and
almost worthless. His true name is unknown to the greater number of the
lovers of art, by whom he is called Il Viviani; and who seem to have
confounded him with Ottavio Viviani of Brescia, who is mentioned by the
Dictionaries; a perspective painter also, but in another branch, and in
a different style, as we shall hereafter see.

[Footnote 71: He excelled chiefly in architecture, although he had given
a proof of his talents in painting, in some subjects in the gallery,
executed under Gregory XIII.]

[Footnote 72: In the, not very accurate, catalogue of the pictures in
Fabriano, besides the above mentioned fourteen, seven more are mentioned
by the same master.]

[Footnote 73: Mention is also made of one Basilio Maggieri, an excellent
painter of portraits.]

[Footnote 74: V. Le Pitture pubbliche di Piacenza, p. 81.]

[Footnote 75: In a letter of the Oretti correspondence, written in 1777,
from Andrea Zanoni to the Prince Ercolani, I find Marini classed in the
school of Ferraù da Faenza, and there still remain many pictures by him
in the style of that master.]

[Footnote 76: Pascoli has restored to him the picture of S. Rosalia at
the Maddalena, which Titi had ascribed to Michele Rocca, called _Il
Parmigianino_, an artist of repute, and proper to be mentioned, as by
those who are not acquainted with his name and style, he might be
mistaken for Mazzuola, or perhaps Scaglia. The same author, soon
afterwards, mentions Grecolini, and thereby renders any further notice
of that artist on my part unnecessary.]

[Footnote 77: We ought to judge of him from the Visitation, at the
church of the Orfanelli, rather than from the picture of various Saints,
in _Ara Coeli_. This kind of observation may be extended to many other
artists, who are commemorated for the sake of some superior work.]

[Footnote 78: Memoirs of this painter have been long a desideratum, as
may be seen from the Lett. Pitt. tom. v. p. 257. I give such information
as I have been able to procure in his native place, assisted by the
researches of the very obliging Monsignore Massajuoli, Bishop of Nocera.
Gio. Batista was born in Sassoferrato on the 11th July, 1605, and died
in Rome on the 8th August, 1685. And I may here correct an error of my
first edition, where it is printed 1635.]

[Footnote 79: There is a picture of the Rosario in the church of the
Eremitani, with his name, and the year 1573. It is a large composition.]

[Footnote 80: In the Oretti Correspondence there is a letter from an
anonymous writer to Malvasia respecting this painter, who is there
called Francesco, and is declared to be _Pittore di molta stima_. He
then painted in Ancona, as appears from letters under his own hand to
Malvasia, where he invariably subscribes himself Francesco.]

[Footnote 81: Passeri, Vite de' Pittori, page 363. He was remarkable for
being the first to adopt a new style in trees in landscapes, where by a
strong character of truth and attention to the forms of the trunk,
foliage, and branches, he denoted the particular species he wished to

[Footnote 82: He painted for his _studio_ a landscape enriched with
views from the Villa Madama, in which a wonderful variety of trees was
introduced. This he preserved for the purpose of supplying himself, as
from nature, with subjects for his various pictures, and refused to sell
it to the munificent pontiff, Clement IX., although that prince offered
to cover it with pieces of gold.]

[Footnote 83: V. Salvator Rosa, sat. iii. p. 79, where he reprehends not
only the artists, but also the great, for affording such pictures a
place in their collections.]

[Footnote 84: He was the ancestor of the Sig. Giuseppe Rosa, director of
the imperial gallery in Vienna, who has given us a catalogue of the
Italian and Flemish pictures of that collection, and who will, we hope,
add the German. Of this deserving artist he possesses a portrait,
engraved in 1789, where we find a list of the various academies that had
elected him a member, and these are numerous, and of the first class in
Europe. We find him also amongst those masters whose drawings were
collected by Mariette; and he is also mentioned in the Lessico
Universale delle Belle Arti, edited in Zurich, in 1763.]



  _The Scholars of Pietro da Cortona, from an injudicious
  imitation of their Master, deteriorate the art. Maratta
  and others support it._

It may with equal justice be asserted of the fine arts, as of the belles
lettres, that they never long remain in the same state, and that they
experience often great changes even in the common period assigned to the
life of man. Many causes contribute to this; public calamities, such as
I mentioned to have occurred after the death of Raffaello; the
instability of the human mind, which in the arts as in dress is guided
by fashion and the love of novelty; the influence of particular artists;
the taste of the great, who from their selection or patronage of
particular masters, silently indicate the path to those artists who seek
the gifts of fortune. These and other causes tended to produce the
decline of painting in Rome towards the close of the seventeenth
century, at a time too when literature began to revive; a clear proof
that they are not mutually progressive. This was in a great measure
occasioned by the calamitous events which afflicted Rome and the state,
about the middle of that century; by the feuds of the nobles, the flight
of the Barberini family, and other unfortunate circumstances, which,
during the pontificate of Innocent X., as we are informed by Passeri,
(p. 321,) rendered the employment of artists very precarious; but more
than all the dreadful plague of 1655, under Alexander VII. To this state
of decay too the evil passions of mankind contributed in no small
degree, and these indeed in all revolutions are among the most active
and predominant sources of evil, and often even in a prosperous state of
things sow the seeds of future calamities.

The Cav. Bernini, a man of more talents as an architect than as a
sculptor, was under Urban VIII. and Innocent X., and also until the year
1680, in which he died, the arbiter of the public taste in Rome. The
enemy of Sacchi and the benefactor of Cortona, he obtained more employ
for his friend than for his rival; and this was easily accomplished, as
Cortona was rapid as well as laborious, while Sacchi was slow and
irresolute, qualities which rendered him unacceptable even to his own
patrons. In course of time Bernini began to favour Romanelli, to the
prejudice of Pietro; and, instructing that artist and Baciccio in his
principles, he influenced them to the adoption of his own style, which,
though it possessed considerable beauty, was nevertheless mannered,
particularly in the folds of the drapery. The way being thus opened to
caprice, they abandoned the true, and substituted false precepts of art,
and many years had not elapsed before pernicious principles appeared in
the schools of the painters, and particularly in that of Cortona. Some
went so far as to censure the imitation of Raffaello, as Bellori attests
in the Life of Carlo Maratta, (p. 102,) and others ridiculed, as
useless, the study of nature, preferring to copy, in a servile manner,
the works of other artists. These effects are visible in the pictures of
the time. All the countenances, although by different artists, have a
fulness in the lips and nose like those of Pietro, and have all a sort
of family resemblance, so much are they alike; a defect which Bottari
says is the only fault of Pietro, but it is not the only fault of his
school. Every one was anxious to avoid the labour of study, and to
promote facility at the expense of correct design; the errors in which
they endeavoured to conceal by overcharging rather than discriminating
the contours. No one can be desirous that I should enter into further
particulars, when we are treating of matters so very near our own times,
and whoever is free from prejudice may judge for himself. I now return
to the state of the Roman School about one hundred and twenty years

The schools most in repute, after the death of Sacchi, in 1661, and of
Berrettini, in 1670, when the best scholars of the Caracci were dead,
were reduced to two, that of Cortona supported by Ciro, and that of
Sacchi, by Maratta. The first of these expanded the ideas, but induced
negligence; the second enforced correctness, but fettered the ideas.
Each adopted something from the other, and not always the best part; an
affected contrast pleased some of the scholars of Maratta, and the
drapery of Maratta was adopted by some of the followers of Ciro.[85] The
school of Cortona exhibited a grand style in fresco; the other school
was restricted to oils. They became rivals, each supported by its own
party, and were impartially employed by the pontiffs until the death of
Ciro, that is, until 1689. From that time a new tone was given to art by
Maratta, who, under Clement XI., was appointed director of the numerous
works which that pontiff was carrying on in Rome and in Urbino. Although
this master had many able rivals, as we shall see, he still maintained
his superiority, and on his death, his school continued to flourish
until the pontificate of Benedict XIV., ultimately yielding to the more
novel style of Subleyras, Batoni, and Mengs. Thus far of the two schools
in general: we shall now notice their followers.

Besides the scholars whom Pietro formed in Tuscany, as Dandini of
Florence, Castellucci of Arezzo, Palladino of Cortona, and those whom he
formed in other schools, where we shall see them as masters, he educated
others in the Roman state, of whom it is now time to speak. The number
of his scholars is beyond belief. They were enumerated by Sig. Cav.
Luzi, a nobleman of Cortona, who composed a life of Berrettini with more
accuracy than had been before done, but his death prevented the
publication of it. Pietro continued to teach to the close of his life,
and the picture of S. Ivo, which he left imperfect, was finished by Gio.
Ventura Borghesi, of Città di Castello. Of this artist there are also at
S. Niccola, two pictures, the Nativity, and the Assumption of the
Virgin, and I am not acquainted with any other public specimens of his
pencil in Rome. His native place possesses many of his performances, and
the most esteemed are four circles of the History of S. Caterina, V. M.,
in the church of that saint. Many of his works are to be found also in
Prague, and the cities of Germany. He follows Pietro with sufficient
fidelity in design, but does not display so much vigour of colour. Carlo
Cesi, of Rieti, or rather of Antrodoco, in that neighbourhood, was also
a distinguished scholar of Pietro. He lived in Rome, and in the Quirinal
gallery, where the best artists of the age painted under Alexander VII.,
he has left a large picture of the Judgment of Solomon. He worked also
in other places; as at S. M. Maggiore, at the Rotunda, and was
patronized by several cardinals. He was correct in his design, and
opposed, both in person and by his precepts and example, the fatal and
prevailing facility of his time. Pascoli has preserved some of his
axioms, and this among others, that the beautiful should not be crowded,
but distributed with judgment in the composition of pictures; otherwise
they resemble a written style, which by the redundancy of brilliant and
sententious remarks fails in its effect. Francesco Bonifazio was of
Viterbo, and from the various pictures by him, which Orlandi saw in that
city, I do not hesitate to rank him among the successful followers of
Pietro. We may mention Michelangiolo Ricciolini, a Roman by birth,
although called of Todi, whose portrait is in the Medici gallery, where
is also that of Niccolo Ricciolini, respecting whom Orlandi is silent.
Both were employed in decorating the churches of Rome; the second had
the reputation of a better designer than the first, and in the cartoons
painted for some mosaics for the Vatican church, he competed with the
Cav. Franceschini. Paolo Gismondi, called also Paolo Perugino, became a
good fresco painter, and there are works remaining by him in the S.
Agata, in the Piazza Nova, and at S. Agnes, in the Piazza Navona. Pietro
Paolo Baldini, of whose native place I am ignorant, is stated by Titi to
have been of the school of Cortona. Ten pictures by him are counted in
the churches of Rome, and in some of them, as in the Crucifixion of S.
Eustace, a precision of style derived from another school is observable.
Bartolommeo Palombo has only two pictures in the capital. That of S.
Maria Maddelena de' Pazzi, which is placed at S. Martino a' Monti,
entitles him to rank with the best of his fellow scholars, the picture
possesses so strong a colouring, and the figures are so graceful and
well designed. Pietro Lucatelli, of Rome, was a distinguished painter,
and is named in the catalogue of the Colonna gallery, as the scholar of
Ciro, and in Titi, as the disciple of Cortona. He is a different artist
from Andrea Lucatelli, of whom we shall shortly speak. Gio. Batista
Lenardi, whom, in a former edition, I hesitated to place in the list of
the pupils of Pietro, I now consider as belonging to that school, though
he was instructed also by Baldi. In the chapel of the B. Rita, at S.
Agostino, he painted two lateral pictures as well as the vault; he also
ornamented other churches with his works, and particularly that of
Buonfratelli, at Trastevere, where he painted the picture of S. Gio.
Calibita. That of the great altar was ascribed to him, probably from a
similarity of style; but is by Andrea Generoli, called Il Sabinese, a
pupil either of Pietro himself, or of one of his followers.

Thus far of the less celebrated of this school. The three superior
artists, whose works still attract us in the galleries of princes, are
Cortesi, and the two elder scholars of the academy of Pietro, Romanelli
and Ferri. Nor is it improbable that having competitors in some of his
first scholars, he became indisposed to instruct others with the same
degree of good will, as those noble minds are few, in whom the zeal of
advancing the art exceeds the regret at having produced an ingrate or a

Guglielmo Cortesi, the brother of P. Giacomo, like him named Il
Borgognone, was one of the best artists of this period; and a scholar
rather than an imitator of Pietro. His admiration was fixed on Maratta,
whom he followed in the studied variety of his heads, and in the
sobriety of the composition, more than in the division of the folds of
his drapery or in colour; in which latter he manifested a clearness
partaking of the Flemish. His style was somewhat influenced by that of
his brother, whose assistant he was, and by his study of the Caracci. He
often appears to have imitated the strong relief and azure grounds of
Guercino. His Crucifixion of S. Andrea, in the church of Monte Cavallo,
the Fight of Joshua in the Quirinal palace, and a Madonna attended by
Saints, in the Trinità de' Pellegrini, merit our attention. In these
works there is a happy union of various styles, exempt from mannerism.

Francesco Romanelli was born at Viterbo, and, as well as Testa, studied
some time under Domenichino. He afterwards placed himself with Pietro,
whose manner he imitated so successfully, that on Pietro going on a
journey into Lombardy, he left him, together with Bottalla (called
Bortelli by Baldinucci) to supply his place in decorating the Barberini
palace. It is reported that the two scholars, in the absence of their
master, endeavoured to have the work transferred to themselves, and were
on that account dismissed. It was at this time that Romanelli, assisted
by Bernini, changed his style, and adopted by degrees a more elegant and
a seductive manner in his figures, but possessing less grandeur and
science than that of Pietro. He used more slender proportions, clearer
tints, and a more minute taste in folding his drapery. His Deposition in
S. Ambrogio, which was extolled as a prodigy, stimulated Pietro to paint
opposite to it that wonderful picture of S. Stephen, on seeing which
Bernini exclaimed, that he then perceived the difference between the
master and the scholar. Romanelli was twice in France, having found a
patron in the Cardinal Barberini, who had fled to Paris; and he
participated in the spirited manner of that country, which gave an
animation before unknown to his figures. This at least is the opinion of
Pascoli. He decorated a portico of Cardinal Mazarine with subjects from
the metamorphoses of Ovid, and afterwards adorned some of the royal
saloons with passages from the Æneid. He was preparing to return to
France with his family for the third time, when he was intercepted by
death at Viterbo. He left in that city, at the grand altar of the Duomo,
the picture of S. Lorenzo, and in Rome, and in other cities of Italy,
numerous works both public and private, although he died at about
forty-five years of age. He had the honour of painting in the church of
the Vatican. The presentation which he placed there is now in the church
of the Certosa, the mosaic in S. Peter. He did not leave behind him any
scholars who inherited his reputation. Urbano, his son, was educated by
Ciro after the death of his father. He is known for his works in the
cathedral churches of Velletri and Viterbo: those in Viterbo are from
the life of S. Lorenzo, the patron saint of the church, and prove him to
have been a young man of considerable promise, but he was cut off

Ciro Ferri, a Roman by birth, was, of all the disciples of Cortona, the
one the most attached in person, and similar to him in style; and not a
few of the works of Pietro were given to him to complete, both in
Florence and in Rome. There are indeed some pictures so dubious, that
the experienced are in doubt whether to assign them to the master or the
scholar. He displays generally less grace in design, a less expansive
genius, and shuns that breadth of drapery which his master affected. The
number of his works in Rome is not proportioned to his residence there,
because he lent much assistance to his master. There is a S. Ambrogio in
the church of that saint just mentioned, and it is a touchstone of merit
for whoever wishes to compare him with the best of his fellow scholars,
or with his master himself. His works in the Pitti palace have been
already mentioned in another place, and we ought not to forget another
grand composition by him in S. M. Maggiore in Bergamo, consisting of
various scriptural histories painted in fresco. He speaks of them
himself in some letters inserted in the Pittoriche, (tom. ii. p. 38,)
from which we gather, that he had been reprehended for his colouring,
and contemplated visiting Venice in order to improve himself. He did not
leave any scholar of celebrity in Rome. Corbellini, who finished the
Cupola of S. Agnes, the last work of Ciro, which has been engraved,
would not have found a place in Titi and Pascoli, if it had not been to
afford those writers an opportunity of expressing their regret at so
fine a composition being injured by the hand that attempted to finish

But another scion of the same stock sprung up to support the name and
credit of the school of Ciro, transferred from Florence to Rome. We
mentioned in the first book, that when Ciro was in Florence he formed a
scholar in Gabbiani, who became the master of Benedetto Luti. Ciro was
only just dead when Luti arrived in Rome, who not being able to become
his scholar, as he had designed when he left his native place, applied
himself to studying the works of Ciro, and those of other good masters,
as I have elsewhere remarked. He thus formed for himself an original
style, and enjoyed in Rome the reputation of an excellent artist in the
time of Clement XI., who honoured him with commissions, and decorated
him with the cross. It is to be regretted that he attached himself so
much to crayons, with which he is said to have inundated all Europe. He
was intended by nature for nobler things. He painted well in fresco, and
still better in oils. His S. Anthony in the church of the Apostles, and
the Magdalen in that of the Sisters of Magnanapoli, which is engraved,
are highly esteemed. Nor would it add a little to his reputation, if we
had engravings of his two pictures in the Duomo of Piacenza, S. Conrad
penitent, and S. Alexius recognised after death; where, amidst other
excellences, a fine expression of the pathetic predominates. Of his
profane pieces, his Psyche in the Capitoline gallery, is the most
remarkable, and breathes an elegant and refined taste. Of the few
productions which Tuscany possesses by him, we have written in the
school of Gabbiani. We shall here mention a few of his scholars, who
remained in Rome, noticing others in various schools.

Placido Costanzi is often mentioned with approbation in the collections
of Rome for the elegant figures he inserted in the landscapes of
Orizzonte; he also painted some altarpieces in a refined style. In the
church of the Magdalen is a picture of S. Camillo attended by Angels, so
gracefully painted, that he seems to have aspired to rival Domenichino.
He also distinguished himself in fresco, as may be seen in the S. Maria
in Campo Marzio, where the ceiling in the greater tribune is the work of

Pietro Bianchi resembled Luti more than any of his scholars in elegance
of manner, and excelled him in large compositions, which he derived from
his other master, Baciccio. His extreme fastidiousness and his early
death prevented him from leaving many works. A very few of his pictures
are found in the churches of Rome. At Gubbio is his picture of S.
Chiara, with the Angel appearing, a piece of grand effect, from the
distribution of the light. The sketch of this picture was purchased by
the King of Sardinia at a high price. He painted for the church of S.
Peter a picture, which was executed in mosaic in the altar of the choir:
the original is in the Certosa, in which the Cav. Mancini had the
greatest share, as Bianchi did little more than furnish the sketch.

Francesco Michelangeli, called l'Aquilano, is known to posterity from a
letter written by Luti himself, (Lett. Pitt. tom. vi. p. 278,) where the
annotator informs us, that his master frequently employed him in copying
his works, and that he died young. This notice is not without its use,
as it acquaints us with the origin of the beautiful copies of Luti which
are so frequently met with.

We may lastly notice an artist of mediocrity of this school, who is
nevertheless said to be the painter of some beautiful pictures; the two
pictures of S. Margaret, in Araceli; S. Gallicano, in the church of that
saint; and the Nativity, in the church of the Infant Jesus. His name was
Filippo Evangelisti, and he was chamberlain to the Cardinal Corradini,
through whose influence he obtained many commissions. Being himself
incapable of executing these well, (if we may rely on a letter in the
_Pittoriche_) he engaged Benefial, whom we shall shortly notice, to
assist him. They thus painted in partnership, the gain was divided
between them, but the celebrity was the portion of the principal; and if
any piece came out under the name of the assistant, it was rather
censured than praised. The poor artist at last became impatient of this
treatment, and disdaining any longer to support a character which did
him no honour, he left his companion to work by himself; and it was then
that Evangelisti, in his picture of S. Gregory, in the church of the
Saints Peter and Marcellino, appeared in his true colours, and the
public thus discovered that he was indebted to Benefial for genius as
well as labour.

The school of Sacchi may boast of one of the first artists of the age in
Francesco Lauri, of Rome, in whom his master flattered himself he had
found a second Raffaello. The disciple himself, in order to justify the
high expectation which the public had conceived of him, before opening a
school in Rome, travelled through Italy, and from thence visited
Germany, Holland, and Flanders, and resided for the space of a year in
Paris; thus adding greatly to the funds of knowledge and experience
already obtained by him in his native place. He was, however, cut off
very early in life, leaving behind him, in the Sala de' Crescenzi, three
figures of Goddesses painted in the vault in fresco; but no other
considerable work, as far as my knowledge extends. This artist must not
be confounded with Filippo, his brother, and scholar in his early years,
who was afterwards instructed by Caroselli, who espoused his sister. He
was not accustomed to paint large compositions; and the Adam and Eve,
which are seen in the Pace, it should seem, he represented on so much
larger a scale, lest any one should despise his talent, as only capable
of small works, on which he was always profitably employed. We meet with
cabinet pictures by him in the Flemish style, touched with great spirit,
and coloured in good taste, evincing a fund of lively and humorous
invention. He sometimes painted sacred subjects, and at S. Saverio, in
the collection of the late Monsignor Goltz, I saw an enchanting picture
by him, a perfect gem, and greatly admired by Mengs. He painted in the
Palazzo Borghese some beautiful landscapes in fresco, in which branch
his family was already celebrated, as his father, Baldassare, of
Flanders, who had been a scholar of Brill, and lived in Rome in the time
of Sacchi, was ranked among the eminent landscape painters, and is
commemorated by Baldinucci.

The immature death of Lauri was compensated for by the lengthened term
of years accorded to Luigi Garzi and Carlo Maratta, who continued to
paint to the commencement of the eighteenth century; enemies to
despatch, correct in their style, and free from the corrupt prejudices
which afterwards usurped the place of the genuine rules of art. The
first, who is called a Roman by Orlandi, was born in Pistoja, but came
while yet young to Rome. He studied landscape for fifteen years under
Boccali, but being instructed afterwards by Sacchi, he discovered such
remarkable talents, that he became highly celebrated in Naples and in
Rome in every class of painting. In the former city, his decoration of
two chambers of the royal palace is greatly extolled; and in the latter,
where he ornamented many churches, he seemed to surpass himself in the
Prophet of S. Giovanni Laterano. He is praised in general for his forms
and attitudes, and for his fertile invention and his composition. He
understood perspective, and was a good machinist, though in refinement
of taste he is somewhat behind Maratta. In his adherence to the school
of Sacchi we may still perceive some imitation of Cortona, to whom some
have given him as a scholar, as well in many pictures remaining in Rome,
as in others sent to various parts; among which is his S. Filippo Neri,
in the church of that saint at Fano, which is a gallery of beautiful
productions. But on no occasion does he seem more a follower of Cortona,
or rather of Lanfranco, than in the Assumption in the Duomo of Pescia,
an immense composition, and which is considered his masterpiece. It is
mentioned in the _Catalogo delle migliori Pitture di Valdinievole_,
drawn up by Sig. Innocenzio Ansaldi, and inserted in the recent History
of Pescia. Mario, the son of Luigi Garzi who is mentioned twice in the
_Guida di Roma_, died young. We may here also mention the name of
Agostino Scilla of Messina, whom we shall hereafter notice more at

Carlo Maratta was born in Camurano, in the district of Ancona, and
enjoyed, during his life, the reputation of one of the first painters in
Europe. Mengs, in a letter "On the Rise, Progress, and Decline of the
Art of Design," assigns to Maratta the enviable distinction of having
sustained the art in Rome, where it did not degenerate as in other
places. The early part of his life was devoted to copying the works of
Raffaello, which always excited his admiration, and his indefatigable
industry was employed in restoring the frescos of that great master in
the Vatican and the Farnesina, and preserving them for the eyes of
posterity; a task requiring both infinite care and judgment, and
described by Bellori. He was not a machinist, and in consequence neither
he nor his scholars distinguished themselves in frescos, or in large
compositions. At the same time he had no fear of engaging in works of
that kind, and willingly undertook the decoration of the Duomo of
Urbino, which he peopled with figures. This work, with the Cupola
itself, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1782; but the sketches for it
are preserved in Urbino, in four pictures, in the Albani palace. He was
most attached by inclination to the painting of cabinet pictures and
altarpieces. His Madonnas possess a modest, lively, and dignified air;
his angels are graceful; and his saints are distinguished by their fine
heads, a character of devotion, and are clothed in the sumptuous costume
of the church. In Rome his pictures are the more prized the nearer they
approach to the style of Sacchi, as the S. Saverio in the Gesù, a
Madonna in the Panfili palace, and several others. Some are found beyond
the territories of the church, and in Genoa is his Martyrdom of S.
Biagio, a picture as to the date of which I do not inquire, but only
assert that it is worthy of the greatest rival of Sacchi. He afterwards
adopted a less dignified style, but which for its correctness is worthy
of imitation. Though he had devoted the early part of his life to the
acquisition of a pure style of design, he did not think himself
sufficiently accomplished in it, and again returned, when advanced in
years, to the study of Raffaello, of whose excellences he possessed
himself, without losing sight of the Caracci and Guido. But many are of
opinion that he fell into a style too elaborate, and sacrificed the
spirit of his compositions to minute care. His principal fault lay in
the folding of his drapery, when through a desire of copying nature he
too frequently separates its masses, and neglects too much the naked
parts, which takes away from the elegance of his figures. He endeavoured
to fix his principal light on the most important part of his
composition, subduing rather more than was right, the light in other
parts of his picture, and his scholars carried this principle afterwards
so far as to produce an indistinctness which became the characteristic
mark of his school.

Though not often, he yet painted some few pictures of an extraordinary
magnitude, as the S. Carlo in the church of that saint at the Corso, and
the Baptism of Christ in the Certosa, copied in mosaic in the Basilica
of S. Peter. His other pictures are for the most part on a smaller
scale; many are in Rome, and amongst them the charming composition of S.
Stanislaus Kostka, at the altar where his ashes repose; not a few others
in other cities, as the S. Andrea Corsini in the chapel of that noble
family in Florence, and the S. Francesco di Sales at the Filippini di
Forli, which is one of his most studied works. He contributed largely,
also, to the galleries of sovereigns and private individuals. There is
not a considerable collection in Rome without a specimen of his pencil,
particularly that of the Albani, to which family he was extremely
attached. His works are frequently met with in the state. There is a
valuable copy of the Battle of Constantine, in possession of the
Mancinforti family in Ancona. It is related, that, being requested to
copy that picture, he proposed the task to one of his best scholars, who
disdained the commission. He therefore undertook the work himself, and
on finishing it, took occasion to intimate to his pupils, that the
copying such productions might not be without benefit to the most
accomplished masters. He had a daughter whom he instructed in his own
art; and her portrait, executed by herself, in a painting attitude, is
to be seen in the Corsini gallery at Rome.

Maratta, in his capacity of an instructor, is extolled by his
biographer, Bellori (p. 208); but is by Pascoli accused of jealousy, and
of having condemned a youth of the most promising talents in his school,
Niccolo Berrettoni di Montefeltro, to the preparation of colours. This
artist, however, from the principles which he imbibed from Cantarini,
and from his imitation of Guido and Coreggio, formed for himself a mixed
style, delicate, free, and unconstrained, and the more studied, as that
study was concealed under the semblance of nature. He died young,
leaving very few works behind him, almost all of which were engraved, in
consequence of his high reputation. The Marriage of the Virgin Mary,
which he executed for S. Lorenzo in Borgo, was engraved by Pier Santi
Bartoli, a very distinguished engraver of those times, an excellent
copyist, and himself a painter of some merit.[86] Another of his
pictures, a Madonna, attended by saints at S. Maria di Monte Santo, and
the lunettes of the same chapel, were engraved by Frezza. An account of
this artist may be found in the Lettere Pitt. tom. v. p. 277.

Giuseppe Chiari of Rome, who finished some pictures of Berrettoni and of
Maratta himself, was one of the best painters of easel pictures of that
school. Many of his works found their way to England. He painted some
pictures for the churches of Rome, and probably the best is the
Adoration of the Magi in the church of the Suffragio, of which there is
an engraving. He also succeeded in fresco. Those works in particular,
which he executed in the Barberini palace, under the direction of the
celebrated Bellori, and those also of the Colonna gallery, will always
do him credit; he was sober in his colours, careful and judicious; rare
qualities in a fresco painter. He did not inherit great talents from
nature, but by force of application became one of the first artists of
his age. Tommaso Chiari, a pupil also of Maratta, and whose designs he
sometimes executed, did not pass the bounds of mediocrity. The same may
be observed of Sigismond Rosa, a scholar of Giuseppe Chiari.

To Giuseppe Chiari, who was the intimate friend of Maratta, we may add
two others, who were, according to Pascoli, the only scholars whom he
took a pleasure in instructing; Giuseppe Passeri, the nephew of
Giambatista, and Giacinto Calandrucci of Palermo. Both were
distinguished as excellent imitators of their master. Passeri worked
also in the state. In Pesaro is a S. Jerome by him, meditating on the
Last Judgment, which may be enumerated among his best works. In the
church of the Vatican, he painted a pendant to the Baptism of Maratta,
S. Peter baptizing the centurion, which after being copied in mosaic,
was sent to the church of the Conventuals in Urbino. This picture, which
was executed under the direction of Maratta, is well coloured; but in
many of his works his colouring is feeble, as in the Conception at the
church of S. Thomas in Parione, and in other places in Rome.
Calandrucci, after having given proof of his talents in the churches of
S. Antonio de' Portoghesi, and S. Paolino della Regola, and in other
churches of Rome, and after having been creditably employed by many
noble persons, and by two pontiffs, returned to Palermo, and there, in
the church del Salvatore, placed his large composition of the Madonnas,
attended by S. Basil and other saints, which work he did not long
survive. He left behind him in Rome a nephew, who was his scholar,
called Giambatista; and he had also a brother there of the name of
Domenico, a disciple of Maratta and himself; but there are no traces of
their works remaining.

Andrea Procaccini and Pietro de' Petri, also hold a distinguished place
in this school, although their fortunes were very dissimilar.
Procaccini, who painted in S. Giovanni Laterano, the Daniel, one of the
twelve prophets which Clement XI. commanded to be painted as a trial of
skill by the artists of his day, obtained great fame, and ultimately
became painter to the court of Spain, where he remained fourteen years,
and left some celebrated works. Petri on the contrary continued to
reside in Rome, and died there at a not very advanced age. He was
employed there in the tribune of S. Clement, and in some other works. He
did not, however, obtain the reputation and success that he deserved, in
consequence of his infirm health and his extreme modesty. He is one of
those who engrafted on the style of Maratta, a portion of the manner of
Cortona. Orlandi calls him a Roman, others a Spaniard, but his native
place in fact was Premia, a district of Novara. Paolo Albertoni and Gio.
Paolo Melchiorri, both Romans, flourished about the same time; less
esteemed, indeed, than the foregoing, but possessing the reputation of
good masters, particularly the second.

At a somewhat later period, the last scholar of Maratta, Agostino
Masucci presents himself to our notice. This artist did not exhibit any
peculiar spirit, confining himself to pleasing and devout subjects. In
his representations of the Virgin he emulated his master, who from his
great number of subjects of that kind, was at one time called Carlo
dalle Madonne; as he himself has commemorated in his own epitaph. Like
Maratta he imparted to them an expression of serene majesty, rather than
loveliness and affability. In some of his cabinet pictures I am aware
that he occasionally renounced this manner, but it was only through
intercession and expostulation. He was a good fresco painter, and
decorated for pope Benedict XIV. an apartment in a casino, erected in
the garden of the Quirinal. He painted many altarpieces, and his angels
and children are designed with great elegance and nature, and in a novel
and original style. His S. Anna at the Nome S. S. di Maria, is one of
the best pictures he left in Rome; there is also a S. Francis in the
church of the Osservanti di Macerata, a Conception at S. Benedetto di
Gubbio, in Urbino a S. Bonaventura, which is perhaps his noblest
composition, full of portraits (in which he was long considered the most
celebrated painter in Rome), and finished with exquisite care. Lorenzo,
his son and scholar, was very inferior to him.

Stefano Pozzi received his first instructions from Maratta, and
afterwards became a scholar of Masucci. He had a younger brother,
Giuseppe, who died before him, ere his fame was matured. Stefano lived
long, painting in Rome with the reputation of one of the best masters of
his day; more noble in his style of design than Masucci, and if I err
not, more vigorous, and more natural in his colouring. We may easily
estimate their merits in Rome in the church just mentioned, where we
find the Transito di S. Giuseppe of Pozzi, near the S. Anna of Masucci.
Of the Cav. Girolamo Troppa, I have heard from oral tradition that he
was the scholar of Maratta. He was certainly his imitator, and a
successful one too, although he did not live long. He left works both in
oil and fresco in the capital, and in the church of S. Giacomo delle
Penitenti, he painted in competition with Romanelli. I have found
pictures by him in the state; and in S. Severino is a church picture
very well conducted. Girolamo Odam, a Roman of a Lorena family, is
reckoned among the disciples of the Cav. Carlo, and is eulogized in a
long and pompous article by Orlandi, or perhaps by some friend of Odam,
who supplied Orlandi with the information. He is there described as a
painter, sculptor, architect, engraver, philosopher, mathematician, and
poet, and accomplished in every art and science. In all these I should
imagine he was superficial, as nothing remains of him except some
engravings and a very slender reputation, not at all corresponding to
such unqualified commendation.

Of other artists who are little known in Rome and its territories, such
as Jacopo Fiammingo, Francesco Pavesi, Michele Semini, there is little
information that can be relied on. Respecting Subissati, Conca is
silent, though information might possibly be obtained of him in Madrid,
at which court he died. In Urbino, which was his native place, I find no
picture of him remaining, except the head of a sybil: Antonio Balestra
of Verona and Raffaellino Bottalla will be found in their native
schools, but I must not here omit one, a native of the state, who after
being educated in the academy, returned to his native country, and there
introduced the style of Carlo, at that time so much in vogue. Orlandi
mentions with applause Gioseffo Laudati of Perugia, as having
contributed to restore the art, which after the support it had found in
Bassotti and others, had fallen into decay.

Lodovico Trasi, of Ascoli, is deserving of particular notice. He was for
several years a fellow disciple of Maratta in the school of Sacchi, and
was afterwards desirous of becoming his scholar. After studying some
time in his academy, he returned to Ascoli, where he has left a great
number of works both public and private, in various styles. In some of
his smaller pictures he discovers a good Marattesque style; but in his
fresco and altarpieces he is negligent, and adheres much to Sacchi, yet
in a manner that discovers traces of Cortona. His picture of S. Niccolo
at the church of S. Cristoforo is beautiful, and is one of the pieces
which he finished with more than usual care. He has there represented
the enfranchisement of a slave, at the moment the pious youth is serving
at his master's table. There are some remarkable pictures of this artist
in the cathedral, painted in distemper, particularly that of the
martyrdom of S. Emidio. Trasi was the instructor of D. Tommaso Nardini,
who continued on his master's death the decoration of the churches of
the city, and his best work is perhaps in S. Angelo Magno, a church of
the Olivetani. The perspective was by Agostino Collaceroni of Bologna, a
scholar of Pozzi. Nardini supplied the figures, representing the
mysteries of the Apocalypse and other scriptural events. It displays
great spirit and harmony, richness of colouring and facility, which are
the distinguishing characteristics of this master, and are perhaps
better expressed in this picture than in any other. We may add to the
two before mentioned painters, Silvestro Mattei, who studied under
Maratta, Giuseppe Angelini, the scholar of Trasi, and Biagio Miniera,
also of Ascoli, whom Orsini has noticed in his _Guida_.

There flourished about the same time in the neighbouring city of Fermo,
two Ricci, scholars of Maratta, who were probably instructed before
going to Rome by Lorenzino di Fermo, a good artist, though doubtful of
what school, and who is said to have painted the picture of S. Catharine
at the church of the Conventuals, and other pictures in the adjoining
territories. The one was named Natale, the other Ubaldo; the latter was
superior to the former, and is much extolled for his S. Felice, which he
painted for the church of the Capucins, in his native place. He did not
often pass the bounds of mediocrity, which is frequently the case with
artists residing at a distance from a capital, and who have not the
incitement to emulation and an opportunity of studying good examples.
The same observation is, I think, applicable also to another scholar of
Maratta, Giuseppe Oddi, of Pesaro, where one of his pictures remains in
the church della Carità. We shall now return to the metropolis.

A fresh reinforcement to support the style of the Caracci in Rome, was
received from the school of Bologna. I speak only of those who
established themselves there. Domenico Muratori had been the scholar of
Pasinelli, and painted the great picture in the church of the Apostles,
which is probably the largest altarpiece in Rome, and represents the
martyrdom of S. Philip and S. James. The grandeur of this composition,
its judicious disposition and felicity of chiaroscuro, though its
colouring was not entirely perfect, gave him considerable celebrity. He
was also employed in many smaller works, in which he always evinced an
equally correct design, and perhaps better colouring. He was chosen to
paint one of the prophets in the Basilica Lateranense, and was employed
also in other cities. In the cathedral of Pisa, he painted a large
picture of S. Ranieri, in the act of exorcising a demon, which is
esteemed one of his most finished works. Francesco Mancini di S. Angiolo
in Vado, and Bonaventura Lamberti di Carpi, had better fortune in
Bologna, in having for their master Carlo Cignani. Mancini, when he came
to Rome, did not adhere exclusively to his master's manner, as he was
rather more attached to the facility and freedom of Franceschini, his
fellow scholar, whom he somewhat resembles in style. He seems, however,
to have had less despatch, and certainly painted less. He was chaste in
his invention, and followed the example of Lazzarini; he designed well,
coloured in a charming manner, and was numbered among the first artists
of his age in Rome. He painted the Miracle of S. Peter at the beautiful
gate of the temple, a picture which is preserved in the palace of Monte
Cavallo, and is copied in mosaic in S. Peter's. This picture, which is a
spirited composition, and well arranged in the perspective, is his
principal work, and does not suffer from a comparison with those
mentioned in the Guida di Roma, and others scattered through the
dominions of the church. Such are pictures with various saints in the
church of the Conventuals of Urbino, and in that of the Camaldolesi of
Fabriano; the appearing of Christ to S. Peter in that of the Filippini,
in Città di Castello, and the various works executed in oil and in
fresco at Forli and at Macerata. He painted many pictures for foreign
collections, and was commended for his large compositions. From his
studio issued the Canonico Lazzarini before named, whom, as he lived
amongst other followers of Cignani, I shall reserve with them to the
close of the Bolognese school. Niccola Lapiccola, of Crotone, in
Calabria Ultra, remained in Rome; and a cupola of a chapel in the
Vatican painted by him, was copied in mosaic. There are some pictures by
him in other churches; the best are, perhaps, in the state, particularly
in Velletri. I have heard that he was a disciple of Mancini, though in
his colouring he somewhat adhered to his native school.

Bonaventura Lamberti is numbered by Mengs among the latest of the
successful followers of the school of Cignani, whose style he preserved
more carefully than Mancini himself. He did not give many works to the
world. He had, however, the honour of having his designs copied in
mosaic by Giuseppe Ottaviani, in S. Peter's, and one of his pictures
engraved by Frey. It is in the church of the Spirito Santo de'
Napolitani, and represents a miracle of S. Francesco di Paola. The
Gabrieli family, which patronised him in an extraordinary manner,
possesses a great number of historical pictures by him, which are in
themselves sufficient to engage the attention of an amateur for several
hours. Lamberti had the honour of giving to the Roman School the Cav.
Marco Benefial, born and resident in Rome, a painter of great genius,
though not always equal to himself, rather perhaps from negligence, than
deficiency of powers.

The Marchese Venuti[87] extols this master above all others of his time
for his accurate design, and his Caracciesque colouring. His monument is
placed in the Pantheon, among those of the most celebrated painters, and
to his bust is attached the eulogy bestowed on him by the Abate
Giovenazzo, where he is particularly commended for his power of
expression. The factions to which he gave rise still subsist, as if he
were yet living. His admirers not being able to defend all his works,
have fixed on the Flagellation at the Stimmate, painted in competition
with Muratori,[88] and S. Secondino at the Passionisti, as the subjects
of their unqualified approbation; pictures indeed, of such science, that
they may challenge any comparison. To these may be added his S. Lorenzo
and S. Stefano, in the Duomo of Viterbo, and a few others of similar
merit, in which he evidently imitated Domenichino and his school. His
enemies have designated him as an inferior artist, and adduce several
works feeble in expression and effect. The impartial consider him an
eminent artist, but his productions vary, being occasionally in a grand
style, and at other times not passing the bounds of mediocrity. This is
a character which has been ascribed to many poets also, and even to
Petrarch himself.

Our obligations are due to the Sig. Batista Ponfredi, his scholar, for
the memoirs of this eminent man. They were addressed to the Count
Niccola Soderini, a great benefactor of Benefial, and more rich in his
works than any other Roman collector. His letter is in the fifth volume
of the _Pittoriche_, and is one of the most instructive in the
collection, although altered by the editor in some points. I shall
transcribe a passage from it, as it may be satisfactory to see the
actual state of the art at that time, and the way in which Marco
contributed to its support. "He was so anxious to revive the art, and so
grieved to see it fall into decay, that he frequently consumed several
hours in the day in declaiming against the prevailing conception of
style, and urging the necessity of shunning mannerism, and adopting a
style founded in truth, which few did, or if they did, attempted not to
imitate its simplicity, but adapted it to their own manner. He directed
the particular attention of his pupils to the difference between the
production of a mannerist, and one which was studied and simple, and
founded in nature; that the first, if it were well designed, and had a
good chiaroscuro, had at first sight a striking effect from the
brilliancy of its colours, but gradually lost ground at every succeeding
view, while the other appeared the more excellent the longer it was
inspected."--These and other precepts of the same kind he delivered in
terms perhaps too cynical; not only in private, but in the school of
design at the Campidoglio, at the time that he presided there; the
consequence was that the inferior artists combined against him, deprived
him of his employment, and suspended him from the academy. Some further
information respecting Benefial was communicated to the public in the
_Risposta alle Lett. Perugine_, p. 48.

From a scholar also of Cignani, (Franceschini,) Francesco Caccianiga
received instructions in Bologna, whence he came to Rome, where he
perfected his style and established himself. He was a painter to whom
nothing was wanting, except that natural spirit and vigour which are not
to be supplied by industry. He was employed by several potentates, and
two of his works executed for the king of Sardinia were engraved by
himself. Ancona possesses four of his altarpieces, among which are the
Institution of the Eucharist, and the Espousals of the Virgin; pictures
coloured in a clear, animated, and engaging style, and easily
distinguished among a thousand. Rome has few public works by him. In the
Gavotti palace is a good fresco, and there are others in the palace and
villa of the Borghesi, who generously extended to him a permanent and
suitable provision, when overtaken by poverty and age.[89]

From the school of Guercino came Sebastiano Ghezzi of Comunanza, not far
from Ascoli. He was eminent both in design and colouring, and at the
church of the Agostiniani Scalzi di Monsammartino is a S. Francesco by
him, which is esteemed an exquisite picture, and wants only the
finishing hand of the artist. He was the father and teacher of Giuseppe
Ghezzi, who studied in Rome, and was also a tolerable writer,
considering the period at which he wrote. In his painting he seemed to
adopt the style of Cortona. His name is frequently mentioned in the
Guida di Roma, and more than once in the _Antichità Picene_, where it is
stated that he was held in great esteem by Clement XI., and that he died
secretary to the academy of S. Luke, (tom. xxv. p. 11). Pascoli, who has
written his life, extols him for his skill in restoring pictures, in
which capacity the queen of Sweden employed him exclusively on all

Pierleone, his son and scholar, possessed a style similar to that of his
father, but less hurried, and became a more distinguished artist. He was
selected with Luti and Trevisani, and other eminent masters, to paint
the prophets of the Lateran, as well as other commissions. But for his
chief reputation he is indebted to the singular talent he possessed in
designing caricatures, which are to be found in the cabinets of Rome and
other places. In these he humourously introduced persons of quality, a
circumstance particularly gratifying in a country where the freedom of
the pencil was thought a desirable addition to the licence of the

Other schools of Italy also contributed artists to the Roman School, who
however did not produce any new manner, except that in respect of the
two principal masters then in vogue, Cortona and Maratta, they have
afforded an occasional modification of those two styles.

Gio. Maria Morandi came whilst yet a youth from Florence, and forsaking
the manner of Bilivert, his first instructor, formed for himself a new
style. This was a mixture of Roman design and Venetian colouring (for in
travelling through Italy, he resided some time at Venice, and copied
much there), while some part of it partakes of the manner of Cortona,
and was esteemed in Rome. He established himself in this latter city, in
the Guida of which he is often mentioned, and his works are not
unfrequently found in collections. His Visitation at the Madonna del
Popolo is a fine composition; and still more highly finished, and full
of grand effect, is his picture of the death of the Virgin Mary, in the
church della Pace. This may indeed be considered his masterpiece, and it
has been engraved by Pietro Aquila. He was also celebrated for his
historical pictures, which he sometimes sent into foreign countries, and
more than in any other branch, he acquired a reputation in portraits, in
which he was constantly employed by persons of quality in Rome and
Florence, and was also called to Vienna by the emperor. There, besides
the imperial family, he painted also the portraits of many of the lesser
princes of Germany. Odoardo Vicinelli, a painter of considerable merit
in these latter times, in vol. vi. of the Lett. Pitt. is said to have
been a scholar of Morandi, and Pascoli does not hesitate to assert that
he conferred greater honour than any other of his scholars on his
master; I believe, in Rome, where Pietro Nelli alone could dispute
precedence with him.

Francesco Trevisani, a native of Trevigi, was educated by Zanchi in
Venice, where, in order to distinguish him from Angiolo Trevisani, he
was called Il Trevisani Romano. In Rome, he abandoned his first
principles, and regulated his taste by the best manner then in vogue. He
possessed a happy talent of imitating every manner, and at one time
appears a follower of Cignani, at another of Guido; alike successful
whichever style he adopted. The Albiccini family, in Forli, possess many
of his pictures in various styles, and amongst them a small Crucifixion,
most spirited and highly finished, which the master esteemed his best
work, and offered a large sum to obtain back again. His pictures abound
in Rome, and in general exhibit an elegance of design, a fine pencil,
and a vigorous tone of colour. His S. Joseph dying, in the church of the
Collegio R., is a remarkably noble production. A subject painted by him
to accompany one by Guido in the Spada palace is also highly esteemed.
He enjoyed the patronage of Clement XI. by whom he was not only
commissioned to paint one of the prophets of the Lateran, but was also
employed in the cupola of the Duomo in Urbino, in which he painted the
four quarters of the world; a work truly estimable for design, fancy,
and colouring. In other cities of the state we find pictures by him
painted with more or less care, in Foligno, at Camerino, in Perugia, at
Forli, and one of S. Antonio at S. Rocco in Venice, of a form more
elegant than robust.

Pasquale Rossi, better known by the name of Pasqualino, was born in
Vicenza, and from long copying the best Venetian and Roman pictures,
attained without the instruction of a master, a natural mode of colour,
and a good style of design. Few of his public works remain in Rome;
Christ praying in the garden in the church of S. Carlo al Corso, the
Baptism also of our Saviour at the Madonna del Popolo. The Silvestrini
of Fabriano have several pictures by him, and among them a Madonna truly
beautiful. His S. Gregory, in the Duomo of Matelica, in the act of
liberating souls from purgatory, is in the style of Guercino, and is one
of his best works. In private collections we find his cabinet pictures
representing gaming parties, conversations, concerts, and similar
subjects, carefully finished on a small scale, and little inferior to
Flemish pictures. I have met with numerous specimens of them in various
places; but in no place have I admired this artist so much as in the
royal gallery at Turin, in which are some ornaments over doors, and
pictures of considerable size by him, chiefly scriptural subjects,
executed in an animated and vigorous style, and with so much imitation
of the Roman School, that we should think them to be by some other

Giambatista Gaulli, commonly called Baciccio, studied first in Genoa.
Whilst still young he went to Rome, where under the direction of a
Frenchman, and by the more valuable aid of Bernino, he formed himself on
the style of the great machinists. As he was endowed by nature with a
ready genius and a dexterity of hand, he could not have chosen any
branch of the art more adapted to his talent. The vault of the Gesù is
his most conspicuous work. The knowledge of the _sotto in su_, the
unity, harmony, and correct perspective of its objects, the brilliancy
and skilful gradation of the light, rank it among the best, if indeed it
be not his best picture in Rome. It must, however, be confessed, that we
must inspect it with an eye to the general effect, rather than to the
local tints, or the drawing of the figures, in which he is not always
correct. His faults in his easel pictures, which are very numerous in
Italy and in foreign countries, are less obtrusive, and are abundantly
atoned for by their spirit, freshness of tints, and engaging
countenances. He varies his manner with his subject, assigning to each a
peculiar style. There is a delightful picture in his best manner,
gracefully painted in the church of S. Francesco a Ripa, representing
the Madonna with the divine Infant in her arms, and at her feet S. Anna
kneeling, surrounded by Angels. In a grave and pathetic style on the
contrary, is the representation of S. Saverio dying in the desert island
of Sanciano, which is placed near the altar of S. Andrea at Monte
Cavallo. His figures of children are very engaging and highly finished,
though after the manner of Fiammingo, more fleshy and less elegant than
those of Titian or the Greeks. He painted seven pontiffs, and many
persons of rank of his day, and was considered the first portrait
painter in Rome. In this branch of his art he followed a custom of
Bernino, that of engaging the person he painted in an animated
conversation, in order to obtain the most striking expression of which
the subject was susceptible.

Giovanni Odazzi, his first scholar, was ambitious of emulating him in
celerity, but not possessing equal talent, he did not attain the same
distinction. He is the most feeble, or at all events, the least eminent
of the painters of the prophets of the Lateran, where his Hosea is to be
seen; and indeed, in every corner of Rome, his pictures are to be met
with, as he never refused any commission. Pascoli has preserved the
memory of another of his scholars, a native of Perugia, in the lives of
the painters of his native country. This was Francesco Civalli,
initiated in the art by Andrea Carlone; he was a youth of talent, but
impatient of instruction. He painted in Rome and other places, but did
not pass the bounds of mediocrity. The Cav. Lodovico Mazzanti, was the
scholar of Gaulli, and emulated his manner to the best of his ability;
but his talents were not commanding, nor were his powers equal to his
ambition. Gio. Batista Brughi, a worker in mosaic, rather than a
painter, left notwithstanding some public pictures in Rome. He is called
in the Guida sometimes Brughi, and sometimes Gio. Batista, the disciple
of Baciccio, which makes it there appear as if they had been distinct
individuals. I do not recollect any other artist contributed by Gaulli
to the Roman School.

The Neapolitan School, which was in the beginning of this age supported
by Solimene, sent some scholars to Rome, who adopted a Roman style.
Sebastiano Conca was the first that arrived there with an intention of
seeing it, but he established himself there, together with Giovanni, his
brother, to meliorate his style of design. Resigning the brush, he
returned at forty years of age to the pencil, and spent five years in
drawing after the antique, and after the best modern productions. His
hand, however, had become the slave of habit in Naples, and would not
answer to his own wishes; and he was kept in constant vexation, as he
could appreciate excellence, but found himself incapable of attaining
it. The celebrated sculptor, Le Gros, advised him to return to his
original style, and he then became in Rome an eminent painter, in the
manner of Pietro da Cortona, with considerable improvements on his early
manner. He possessed a fertile invention, great facility of execution,
and a colour which enchanted by its lucidness, its contrast, and the
delicacy of the flesh tints. It is true, that on examination we find
that he was not in reality a profound colourist, and that to obtain a
grandeur of tone, he adopted in the shadows a green tint, which produced
a mannerism. He distinguished himself in frescos, and also in pictures
in the churches, decorating them with choirs of angels, happily disposed
in a style of composition that may be called his own, and which served
as an example to many of the machinists. He was indefatigable too in
painting for private individuals, and in the states of the church there
is scarcely a collection without its Conca. His most studied, finished,
and beautiful work is the Probatica at the hospital of Siena. Of great
merit in Rome is the Assumption at S. Martina, and the Jonah among the
prophets in the S. Giovanni Laterano. His works were in high esteem in
the ecclesiastical state; his best appear to be the S. Niccolo at
Loreto, S. Saverio in Ancona, S. Agostino at Foligno, S. Filippo in
Fabriano, and S. Girolamo Emiliano at Velletri. Giovanni, his brother,
assisted Sebastiano in his commissions, had an equal facility, a similar
taste, though less beautiful in his heads, and of not so fine a pencil.
He shewed great talent in copying the pictures of the best masters. In
the church of the Domenicans of Urbino are the copies which he made of
four pictures to be executed in mosaic; they were by Muziani, Guercino,
Lanfranco, and Romanelli. Conca is eulogized by Rossi with his usual
intelligence and discrimination (v. tom. ii. of his _Memorie_, p. 81.)

Mengs perhaps censures him too severely, where he says, that by his
precepts he contributed to the decay of the art. He had his followers,
but they were not so numerous as to corrupt all the other schools of
Italy. Every school, as we have seen, had within itself the seeds of its
own destruction, without seeking for it elsewhere. It is true, indeed,
that some of his scholars inherited his facility and his colouring, and
left many injurious examples in Italy. Nor shall I give myself much
trouble to enumerate his disciples, but shall content myself with the
names of the most celebrated. Gaetano Lapis di Cagli was one of these,
and brought with him good principles of design when he came to study
under Conca. He was a painter of an original taste, as Rossi describes,
not very spirited, but correct. Many of his works are found in the
churches of his native place, and in the Duomo are two highly prized
pieces on each side the altar, a Supper of our Lord, and a Nativity. In
the various pictures I have seen of him at S. Pietro, S. Niccolo, and S.
Francesco, I generally found the same composition of a Madonna of a
graceful form, attended by Saints in the act of adoring her and the Holy
Infant. We find some of his works also in Perugia and elsewhere. The
Prince Borghese, in Rome, has a Birth of Venus by him, painted on a
ceiling, with a correctness of design, and a grace superior to any thing
that remains of him, and no one can justly appreciate his talents, who
has not seen this work. It should seem, that a timidity and diffidence
of his own powers, prevented his attaining that high station which his
genius seemed to have intended for him. Salvator Monosilio, who resided
much in Rome, was of Messina, and trod closely in the footsteps of his
master. In a chapel of S. Paolino della Regola, where Calandrucci
furnished the altarpiece, he painted the vault in fresco; and others of
his works are to be seen at the S. S. Quaranta, and at the church of the
Polacchi. In Piceno, where Conca was in great reputation, Monosilio was
held in high esteem, and was employed both in public and in private. At
S. Ginesio is a S. Barnabas by him, in the church of that saint, which
in the _Memorie_ so often quoted by us, is designated as an excellent
work. Conca educated another Sicilian student, the Abbate Gaspero
Serenari, of Palermo, who was considered a young man of talents in Rome,
and painted in the church of S. Teresa, in competition with the Abate
Peroni of Parma. On his return to Palermo he became a celebrated master,
and besides his oil pictures he executed some vast works in fresco,
particularly the cupola of the Gesù, and the chapel of the monastery of

Gregorio Guglielmi, a Roman, is not much known in his native place,
although his fresco pictures in the hospital of the S. Spirito in
Sassia, intitle him to be numbered amongst the most eminent young
artists who painted in Rome in the pontificate of Benedict XIV. He left
Rome early and went to Turin, where, in the church of S. S. Solutore e
Comp. is a small picture of the Tutelar Saints. He was afterwards in
Dresden, Vienna, and St. Petersburgh, where he painted in fresco with
much applause, for the respective sovereigns of those cities. He was
facile in composition, pleasing in his colour, and attached to the Roman
style of design, which, like Lapis, he seemed to have carried from some
other school into that of Conca. Among his most esteemed works is a
ceiling, painted in the university of Vienna, and another in the
imperial palace at Schoenbrunn. He did not succeed so well in oils, in
which his efforts are mostly feeble; a proof that he belongs more to the
school of Conca than that of Trevisani, to which some have assigned him.

Corrado Giaquinto was another scholar of Solimene. He came from Naples
to Rome, where he attached himself to Conca to learn colouring, in which
he chiefly followed his master's principles, though he was less correct
and more of a mannerist, and was accustomed to repeat himself in the
countenances of his children, which resemble the natives of his own
country. He was not, however, without merit, as he possessed facility as
well as vigour, and was known in the ecclesiastical state for various
works executed in Rome, Macerata, and other places. He went afterwards
to Piedmont, as we shall mention at the proper time; then to Spain,
where he was engaged in the service of the court, and gave satisfaction
to the greater part of the native artists. The public taste in Spain,
which had for a long time retained the principles of the school founded
by Titian, had been changed within a few years. Luca Giordano was become
the favorite, and they admired his spirit, his freedom, and his
despatch; qualities which were combined in Corrado. This partiality
lasted even after Mengs had introduced his style, which in consequence
appeared at first meagre and cold to many of the masters and
connoisseurs of the day, when compared with that of Luca Giordano; until
prejudice there, as in Italy, ultimately yielded to truth.

Some other artists flourished in Rome at the commencement, and as far as
the middle of the century, and somewhat beyond, who may perhaps have a
claim to be remembered. Of Francesco Fernandi, called L'Imperiali, the
Martyrdom of S. Eustachio in the church of the saint of that name, is
well conceived and scientifically coloured. Antonio Bicchierai, a fresco
painter, is more particularly known at S. Lorenzo in Panisperna, in
which church he painted a sfondo which did him honour. Michelangiolo
Cerruti, and Biagio Puccini, a Roman, about the time of Clement XI. and
Benedict XIII., were esteemed artists of good execution. Of others who
acquired some reputation in the following pontificate, I shall write in
other schools, or if I should not mention them, they may be found in the
Guida of the city.

I shall now pass from native to foreign artists, and shall take a brief
notice of them, since my work has grown upon me with so many new Italian
names, which are its proper object, that I have not much spare room for
foreigners, and a sufficient notice of them may be found in their own
country. Not a few _oltremonti_ painted at this period in Rome,
celebrated for the most part in the inferior branches of painting, where
they deserve commemoration. Some of them were employed in the churches,
as Gio. Batista Vanloo di Aix, a favorite scholar of Luti, who painted
the picture of the Flagellation at S. Maria in Monticelli. But he did
not remain in Rome, but passed to Piedmont, and from thence to Paris and
London, and was celebrated for his historical compositions, and highly
esteemed in portrait. Some years after Vanloo, Pietro Subleyras di
Gilles settled in Rome, and conferred great benefit on the Roman School;
for whilst it produced only followers of the old manner, and thus fell
gradually into decay, he very opportunely appeared and introduced an
entirely new style. An academy had been founded in Rome by Louis XIV.,
about the year 1666. Le Brun had there cooperated, the Giulio Romano of
France, and the most celebrated of the four Carli, who were at that time
considered the supporters of the art; the others were Cignani, Maratta,
and Loth. It had already produced some artists of celebrity, as Stefano
Parocel, Gio. Troy, Carlo Natoire, by whom many pictures are to be found
in the public edifices in Rome. There prevailed, however, in the style
of this school a mannerism, which in a few years brought it into
disrepute. Mengs designated it by the epithet of _spiritoso_, and it
consisted, according to him, in overstepping the limits of beauty and
propriety, overcharging both the one and the other, and aiming at
fascinating the eyes rather than conciliating the judgment. Subleyras,
educated in this academy, reformed this taste, retaining the good, and
rejecting the feeble part, and adding from his own genius what was
wanting to form a truly original manner. There was an engaging variety
in the air of his heads, and in his attitudes, and he had great merit in
the distribution of his chiaroscuro, which gives his pictures a fine
general effect. He painted with great truth; but the figures and the
drapery, under his pencil, took a certain fulness which in him appears
easy, because it is natural; it remained his own, for although he left
some scholars, none of them ever emulated the grandeur of style which
distinguished their master.

He was mature in talent when he left the academy, and the portrait which
he in preference to Masucci, painted of Benedict XIV., established his
reputation as the first painter in Rome. He was soon afterwards chosen
to paint the history of S. Basil, for the purpose of being copied in
mosaic for the church of the Vatican. The original is in the church of
the Carthusians, and astonishes, by the august representation of the
Sacrifice solemnly celebrated by the saint in the presence of the
emperor, who offers bread at the altar. The countenances are very
animated, and there is great truth in the drapery and accompaniments,
and the silks in their lucid and light folds appear absolutely real.
From this production, and others of smaller size, and particularly the
Saint Benedict at the church of the Olivetani di Perugia, which is
perhaps his masterpiece, he deserves a place in the first collections,
where, indeed, his pictures are rare and highly prized. Further notices
of this artist may he found in the second volume of the _Giornale delle
belle Arti_.

Egidio Alè, of Liege, studied in Rome, and became a spirited, pleasing,
and elegant painter. His works in the sacristy dell'Anima, in fresco and
oil, painted in competition with Morandi, Bonatti, and Romanelli, do him
honour. Ignazio Stern was a Bavarian, who was instructed by Cignani in
Bologna, and worked in Lombardy. An Annunciation in Piacenza, in the
church of the Nunziata, exhibits a certain grace and elegance, which is
peculiar to him, as is observed in the description of the public
pictures in that city. Stern afterwards established himself in Rome,
where he painted in fresco the sacristy of S. Paolino, and left some oil
pictures in the church of S. Elisabetta, and in other churches. He was
more particularly attached to profane history, conversations, and
similar subjects, which have a place even in royal collections. Spain
possessed a disciple of the school of Maratta, in Sebastiano Mugnoz, but
dying young he left few works behind him.

In this place I ought to notice an establishment designed _to revive the
art in that quarter, where it seemed to have so much declined_, as D.
Francesco Preziado, of that country, says, in a letter which we shall
shortly have occasion to mention with commendation. "The royal academy
of S. Ferdinand, in Madrid, which owed its origin to Philip V., and was
completed and endowed by Ferdinand VI., sent several students to Rome,
and provided for their maintenance." They there selected the master the
most agreeable to their genius, and had, in addition, a director, who
was employed to superintend their studies; as I am informed by Sig.
Bonaventura Benucci, a Roman painter, educated in that academy. Bottari
and all Rome called it the Spanish academy, and I myself, in a former
edition, followed the common report, and the two above named sovereigns
I described as the founders of the academy. Having been censured for
this statement, I have here thought proper to specify my authorities. It
may without dispute be asserted, that the Spanish students have left in
Rome many noble specimens of their talents and taste. D. Francesco
Preziado was for many years the director of this academy, and painted a
Holy Family at the S. S. Quaranta, in a good style. He made also a
valuable communication to the Lettere Pittoriche (tom. vi. p. 308), on
the artists of Spain, very useful to any one desiring information
respecting this school, which is less known than it deserves to be.

An institution very much on the plan of the French academy was founded
in Rome a few years ago, by his most faithful majesty, for Portuguese
students, to the promotion of which, two celebrated Portuguese, the Cav.
de Manique, intendant general of the police in Lisbon, and the Count de
Souza, minister of that court in Rome, had the merit of contributing
their assistance; the one having projected, and the other executed, the
plan in the year 1791. The government of the academy was entrusted to
the Sig. Gio. Gherardo de' Rossi, known for his very numerous and able
writings, to which he has recently added an ingenious little work,
intitled, _Scherzi poetici e pittorici_, with engravings by a celebrated
academician. These establishments are of too recent a date to allow me
to speak further respecting their productions.

The provincial painters have been occasionally noticed in connexion with
their masters. I here add a supplement, which may be useful in the way
of completion. Foligno possessed a Fra Umile Francescano, a good fresco
painter, engaged in Rome by Cardinal Castaldi, to ornament the tribune
of S. Margaret, while Gaulli and Garzi were commanded to paint the
pictures for it. The Abbate Dondoli lived at Spello at the beginning of
this century. He was more to be commended for his design than for his
colouring. Marini has some celebrity in S. Severino, his native place.
He was the scholar of Cipriano Divini, whom he surpassed in his art.
Marco Vanetti, of Loreto, is known to me more from his life of Cignani,
who was his master, than from his own works. Antonio Caldana, of Ancona,
painted a very large composition in Rome, in the sacristy of S. Niccola
da Tolentino, from the life of that saint. I do not know whether there
remain any works of his in his native place; but there are a great
number by a respectable artist, one Magatta, whose name was Domenico
Simonetti, and who painted the gallery of the Marchesi Trionfi; he
furnished many churches with his paintings, and distinguished himself in
that of the church of the Suffragio, which is his most finished
production. Anastasi di Sinigaglia was a painter less elegant and
finished, but free and spirited. His works are not scarce in that city,
and his best are the two historical subjects in the church della Croce.
Three pictures by him also in S. Lucia di Monte Alboddo, are highly
prized, and are called by the writer of the _Guida_, "_Capi d'opera
dell'Anastasi_." Camillo Scacciani, of Pesaro, called Carbone,
flourished at the beginning of the age we are writing on, and had a
Caracciesque style allied to the modern. There is a S. Andrea Avellino
by him in the Duomo of Pesaro; his other works are in private
collections. This notice I deem sufficient, always excepting the living
artists, whom I of course omit.[90]

Three masters who died successively in the pontificate of Pius VI. seem
to require from me more than a transient notice, and with them I shall
conclude the series of historical painters of the fifth epoch. I shall
first commemorate the Cav. Raffaello Mengs, from whom our posterity may
perhaps date a new and more happy era of the art. He was born in Saxony,
and brought to Rome by his father while yet a boy, and was at that time
skilled in miniature, and was a careful and correct draughtsman. On his
arrival in Rome, his father employed him in copying the works of
Raffaello, and chastised the young artist for every fault in his work,
with an incredible severity, or rather inhumanity, inflicting on him
even corporeal punishment, and reducing his allowance of food. Being
thus compelled to study perfection, and endowed with a genius to
appreciate it and perceive it, he acquired a consummate taste in art; he
communicated to Winckelmann very important materials for his _Storia
delle belle arti_, and was himself the author of many profound and
valuable essays on the fine arts, which have materially contributed to
improve the taste of the present age. They have different titles, but
all the same aim, the discrimination of the real perfection of art.[91]

The artist, as characterized by Mengs, may be compared to the orator of
Cicero, and both are endued by their authors with an ideal perfection,
such as the world has never seen, and will probably never see; and it is
the real duty of an instructor to recommend excellence, that in striving
to attain it, we may at least acquire a commendable portion of it.
Considered in this point of view, I should defend several of his
writings, where in the opinion of others he seems to assume a
dictatorial tone, in the judgment he passes on Guido, Domenichino, and
the Caracci; the very triumvirate whom he proposes as models in the art.
Mengs assuredly was not so infatuated as to hope to surpass these great
men, but because he knew that no one does so well but that it might be
done still better, he shews where they attained the summit of art, and
where they failed. The artist, therefore, described by Mengs, and to
whose qualifications he also aspired, and was anxious that all should do
the same, ought to unite in himself the design and beauty of the Greeks,
the expression and composition of Raffaello, the chiaroscuro and grace
of Coreggio, and, to complete all, the colouring of Titian. This union
of qualities Mengs has analyzed with equal elegance and perspicuity,
teaching the artist how to form himself on that ideal beauty, which is
itself never realised. If, on some occasions, he appears too
enthusiastic, or in some degree obscure, it cannot excite our surprise,
as he wrote in a foreign language, and was not much accustomed to
composition. His ideas therefore stood in need of a refined scholar to
render them clear and intelligible; and this advantage he would have
procured, had he been resolved to publish them; but his works are all
posthumous, and were given to the world by his excellency the Sig. Cav.
Azara. Hence it frequently happens in his works, that one treatise
destroys another, as Tiraboschi has observed in regard to his notice of
Coreggio, in his _Notizie degli Artefici Modenesi_; and hence concludes
that the _Riflessioni di Mengs su i tre gran Pittori_, where he finds
much to censure in Coreggio, were written by him before he saw the works
of that master; and that his _Memorie_ on the life of the same master,
where he extols Coreggio to the skies, and calls him the Apelles of
modern painting, were written after having seen and studied him.[92] In
spite however of all objections, he will retain a distinguished place,
as well among the theorists or writers, as among professors themselves,
as long as the art endures.

We perhaps should not say that Mengs was a whetstone which gave a new
quality to the steel, which it could not otherwise have acquired; but
that he was the steel itself, which becomes brighter and finer the more
it is used. He became painter to the court of Dresden; every fresh work
gave proof of his progress in the art. He went afterwards to Madrid,
where in the chambers of the royal palace he painted the assembly of the
Gods, the Seasons, and the various parts of the day, in an enchanting
manner. After repairing a second time to Rome to renew his studies, he
again returned to Madrid, where he painted in one of the saloons the
Apotheosis of Trajan, and in a theatre, Time subduing Pleasure; pictures
much superior to his former pieces. In Rome there are three large works
by him; the painting in the vault of S. Eusebio; the Parnassus in the
saloon of the Villa Albani, far superior to the preceding one;[93] and
lastly, the cabinet of manuscripts in the Vatican was painted by him,
where the celestial forms of the angels, the majesty of Moses, and the
dignified character of S. Peter, the enchanting colour, the relief, and
the harmony, contribute to render this chamber one of the most
remarkable in Rome for its beautiful decorations. This constant
endeavour to surpass himself, would be evident also from his easel
pictures, if they were not so rare in Italy; as he painted many of this
description for London and the other capitals of Europe. In Rome itself,
where he studied young, where he long resided, to which he always
returned, and where at last he died, there are few of his works to be
found. We may enumerate the portrait of Clement XIII. and his nephew
Carlo, in the collection of the prince Rezzonico; that of Cardinal
Zelada, secretary of state; and a few other pieces, in the possession of
private gentlemen, more particularly the Sig. Cav. Azara. Florence has
some large compositions by him in the Palazzo Pitti, and his own
portrait in the cabinet of painters, besides the great Deposition from
the Cross in chiaroscuro, for the Marchese Rinuccini, which he was
prevented by death from colouring; and a beautiful Genius in fresco in a
chamber of the Sig. Conte Senatore Orlando Malevolti del Benino.

Returning from the consideration of his works to Mengs himself, I leave
to others to estimate his merit, and to determine how far his principles
are just.[94] As far as regards myself, I cannot but extol that
inextinguishable ardour of improving himself by which he was
particularly distinguished, and which prompted him, even while he
enjoyed the reputation of a first rate master, to proceed in every work
as if he were only commencing his career. Truth was his great aim, and
he diligently studied the works of the first luminaries of the art,
analysed their colours, and examined them in detail, till he entered
fully into the spirit and design of those great models. Whilst employed
in the ducal gallery in Florence, he did not touch a pencil, until he
had attentively studied the best pieces there, and particularly the
Venus of Titian in the tribune. In his hours of leisure he employed
himself in carefully studying the fresco pictures of the best masters of
that school, which is so distinguished in this art. He was accustomed to
do the same by every work of celebrity which fell in his way, whether
ancient or modern; all contributed to his improvement, and to carry him
nearer to perfection; he was in short a man of a most aspiring mind, and
may be compared to the ancient, who declared that he wished "to die
learning." If maxims like these were enforced, what rapid strides in the
art might we not expect!

But the greater part of artists form for themselves a manner which may
attract popularity, and then relax their efforts, satisfied with the
applause of the crowd; and if they feel the necessity of improving, it
is not with a design of acquiring a just reputation, but of adding to
the price of their works.

Notwithstanding the considerable space which Mengs has occupied in our
time, he has nevertheless left room for the celebrity of Pompeo Batoni,
of Luca. The Cav. Boni, who has honoured this artist with an elegant
eulogium, thus expresses himself in comparing him with Mengs. "The
latter," he says, "was the painter of philosophy, the former of nature.
Batoni had a natural taste which led him to the beautiful without
effort; Mengs attained the same object by reflection and study. Grace
was the gift of nature in Batoni, as it had formerly been in Apelles;
while the higher attributes of the art were allotted to Mengs, as they
were in former days to Protogenes. Perhaps the first was more painter
than philosopher, the second more philosopher than painter. The latter,
perhaps, was more sublime, but more studied; Batoni less profound, but
more natural. Not that I would insinuate that nature was sparing to
Mengs, or that Batoni was devoid of the necessary science of the art,
&c." If it were ever said with truth of any artist, that he was born a
painter, this distinction must be allowed to Batoni. He learned only the
principles of the art in his native country, and of the two
correspondents from whom I have received my information, the one
considers him to have been the scholar of Brugieri, the other of
Lombardi, as already mentioned, vol. i. p. 360, and probably he was
instructed by both. He came young to Rome, and did not frequent any
particular school, but studied and copied Raffaello and the old masters
with unceasing assiduity, and thus learnt the great secret of copying
nature with truth and judgment.

That boundless and instructive volume, open to all, but cultivated by
few, was rightly appreciated by Batoni, and it was hence that he derived
that beautiful variety in his heads and contours, which are sometimes
wanting even in the great masters, who were occasionally too much
addicted to the ideal. Hence, too, he derived the gestures and
expressions most appropriate to each subject. Persuaded that a vivid
imagination was not alone sufficient to depict those fine traits in
which the sublimity of the art consists, he did not adopt any attitudes
which were not found in nature. He took from nature the first ideas,
copied from her every part of the figure, and adapted the drapery and
folds from models. He afterwards embellished and perfected his work with
a natural taste, and enlivened all with a style of colour peculiarly his
own; clear, engaging, lucid, and preserving after the lapse of many
years, as in the picture of various saints at S. Gregorio, all its
original freshness. This was in him not so much an art as the natural
ebullition of his genius. He sported with his pencil. Every path was
open to him; painting in various ways, now with great force, now with a
touch, and now finishing all by strokes. Sometimes he destroyed the
whole work, and gave it the requisite force by a line.[95] Although he
was not a man of letters, he yet shows himself a poet in conception,
both in a sublime and playful style. One example from a picture in the
possession of his heirs, will suffice. Wishing to express the dreams of
an enamoured girl, he has represented her wrapped in soft slumbers, and
surrounded by loves, two of whom present to her splendid robes and
jewels, and a third approaches her with arrows in his hand, while she,
captivated by the vision, smiles in her sleep. Many of these poetical
designs, and many historical subjects, are in private collections, and
in the courts of Europe, from which he had constant commissions.

Batoni possessed an extraordinary talent for portrait painting, and had
the honour of being employed by three pontiffs in that branch of the
art, Benedict XIV., Clement XIII., and Pius VI.; to whom may be added,
the emperor Joseph II. and his august brother and successor, Leopold
II., the Grand Duke of Muscovy, and the Grand Duchess, besides numerous
private individuals. He for some time painted miniatures, and
transferred that care and precision which is essential in that branch to
his larger productions, without attenuating his style by hardness. We
find an extraordinary proof of this in his altarpieces, spread over
Italy, and mentioned by us in many cities, particularly in Lucca. Of
those that remain in Rome, Mengs gave the preference to S. Celso, which
is over the great altar of that church. Another picture, the Fall of
Simon Magus, is in the church of the Certosa. It was intended to have
been copied in mosaic for the Vatican, and to have been substituted for
a picture of the same subject by Vanni, the only one in that church on
stone. But the mosaic, from some cause or other, was not executed.
Perhaps the subject displeased, from not being evangelical, and the idea
of removing the picture of Vanni not being resumed, the subject was
changed, and a commission given to Mengs to paint the Government of the
church conferred on S. Peter. He made a sketch for it in chiaroscuro
with great care, which is in the Palazzo Chigi, but did not live to
finish it in colours. This sketch evinces a design and composition
superior to the picture of Batoni, but the subject of the latter was
more vigorously conceived. At all events, however, Batoni must
henceforth be considered the restorer of the Roman School, in which he
lived until his 79th year, and educated many pupils in his profession.

The example of the two last eminent artists was not lost on Antonio
Cavallucci da Sermoneta, whose name when I began to print this volume, I
did not expect would here have found a place. But having recently died,
some notice is due to his celebrity, as he is already ranked with the
first artists of his day. He was highly esteemed both in Rome and
elsewhere. The Primaziale of Pisa, who in the choice of their artists
consulted no recommendation but that of character, employed him on a
considerable work, representing S. Bona of that city taking the
religious habit. It breathes a sacred piety, which he himself both felt
and expressed in a striking manner. In this picture he wished to shew
that the examples of christian humility, such as burying in a cloister
the gifts of nature and fortune, are susceptible of the gayest
decoration. This he effected by introducing a train of noble men and
women, who, according to custom, assisted in the solemnity. In this
composition, in which he follows the principles of Batoni rather than
those of Mengs, we may perceive both his study of nature, and his
judgment and facility in imitating her. Another large picture of the
saints Placido and Mauro, he sent into Catania, and another of S.
Francesco di Paola, he executed for the church of Loreto, and which was
copied in mosaic. In Rome are his S. Elias and the Purgatorio, two
pictures placed at S. Martino a' Monti, and many works in the possession
of the noble family of Gaetani, who were the first to encourage and
support this artist. His last work was the Venus and Ascanius, in the
Palazzo Cesarini, which has been described to me as a beautiful
production by the Sig. Gio. Gherardo de' Rossi, who has declared his
intention of publishing the life of Cavallucci, which will no doubt be
done in his usual masterly manner.

The Roman School has recently had to regret the loss of two accomplished
masters; Domenico Corvi of Viterbo, and Giuseppe Cades of Rome, who
although younger than Corvi, and for some years his scholar, died before
him. In my notice of them, I shall begin with the master who has been
honoured and eulogized more than once in the respectable _Memorie delle
belle Arti_, as well as his scholar, and also some other disciples; as
there was not in Rome in the latter times any school more productive in
talent. He was truly an accomplished artist, and there were few to
compare with him in anatomy, perspective, and design; and from Mancini
his instructor, he acquired something of the style of the Caracci.
Hence, his academy drawings are highly prized, and I may say, more
sought after than his pictures, which indeed want that fascination of
grace and colour which attracts the admiration alike of the learned and
the vulgar. He maintained an universal delicacy of colour, and was
accustomed to defend the practice by asserting, with what justice I
cannot say, that pictures painted in that manner were less liable to
become black. His most esteemed works are his night pieces, as the Birth
of our Saviour in the church of the Osservanti at Macerata, which is
perhaps the summit of his efforts. Some amateurs went thither express
towards the close of day; a lofty window opposite favoured the illusion
of the perspective of the picture; and Corvi, who in other pictures is
inferior to Gherardo delle Notti, viewed in this manner, here excels
him, by an originality of perspective and general effect. He worked much
both for his own countrymen and foreigners, besides the pictures which
he kept ready by him, to supply the daily calls of purchasers, and many
of which are still on sale in the house of his widow.

Cades recommends himself to our notice, principally by a facility of
imitation, dangerous to the art when it is not governed by correct
principles. No simulator of the character of another handwriting, could
ever rival him in the dexterity with which at a moment's call he could
imitate the physiognomy, the naked figure, the drapery, and the entire
character of every celebrated designer. The most experienced persons
would sometimes request from him a design after Michelangiolo or
Raffaello, or some other great master, which he instantly complied with,
and when confronted with an indisputable specimen of the master, and
these persons were requested to point out the original, as Buonaruoti
for example, they often hesitated, and frequently fixed on the design of
Cades. He was notwithstanding, extremely honourable. He made on one
occasion, a large design in the style of Sanzio, to deceive the director
of a foreign cabinet, who boasted an infallible knowledge of the touch
of Raffaello; and employing a person to shew it to him, with some
fictitious history attached to it, the director purchased it at 500
zecchins. Cades wishing to return the money, the other refused to
receive it, insisting on retaining the drawing, and disregarding all the
protestations of the artist, and his request to be remunerated by a
smaller sum; and this drawing is at this moment probably considered as
an original, in one of the finest cabinets of Europe. He was confident
in his talents from his early years, and on a public occasion, he made a
drawing after the bent of his own genius, regardless of the directions
of Corvi, who wished it to be done in another style, and he was in
consequence dismissed from that school. This drawing obtained the first
premium, and now exists in the academy of S. Luke, where it is much
admired. In the art of colouring, too, he owed little to the instruction
of masters, and much to his native talent of imitation. I have seen
exhibited in the church of the Holy Apostles, a picture by him, which in
the upper part represents the Madonna with the Holy Infant, and in the
inferior part five saints, an allegorical picture, as I have heard
suggested, relating to the election of Clement XIV. That Pope was
elected by the suffrages of the Cardinal Carlo Rezzonico and his
friends, and contrary to the expectation of P. Innocenzio Buontempi, who
ordered the picture, and who after this election was promoted by the
Pope to the eminent station of Maestro nel S. Ordine Serafico, and
afterwards to that of the Pope's confessor. Hence this piece represents
in the centre S. Clement reading the sacred volume; on his right is S.
Carlo, who appears to admire his learning, and by his attitude seems to
say, "This is a man justly entitled to the pontificate;" and in the last
place S. Innocent the Pope, which representing the person of the P.
Maestro, must here for the sake of propriety yield the place to the
Cardinal S. Carlo. In the background are S. Francis and S. Anthony, half
figures. Cades here took for his model the picture of Titian in the
Quirinal, which he imitated as well in the composition as in the colour.
And in this, indeed, he proceeded too far, giving it that obscure tone
which the works of Titian have acquired only by the lapse of time. Cades
here defended himself by saying that this piece was intended to be
placed in the church of S. Francesco di Fabriano in a very strong light,
where if the colours had not been kept low, they would have been
displeasing to the spectator. There is an error in the perspective which
cannot be overlooked. The allegorical figure of P. M. Innocenzio, who
stands amazed at the sudden phenomenon, appears to be out of
equilibrium, and would fall in real life. Other faults of colour, of
costume, or of vulgarity of form, are noticed in others of his pictures
by the author of the _Memorie_, in tom. i. and iii. But as he advanced
in life he improved his style from study, and attending to the
criticisms of the public. In tom. iii. just referred to, we find the
description of one of his works executed for the Villa Pinciana, the
subject of which is taken from Boccaccio; Walter Conte di Anguersa
recognized in London. Let us weigh the opinion which this eminent author
gives of this most beautiful composition, or let us compare it with the
picture of S. Joseph of Copertino, which he painted at twenty-one years
of age, as an altarpiece in the church of the Apostles, and we shall
perceive the rapid strides which are made by genius. Other princely
families, besides the Borghesi, availed themselves of his talents to
ornament their palaces and villas; as the Ruspoli and the Chigi, and he
executed several works for the empress of Russia. He died before he had
attained his fiftieth year, and not long after he had so much improved
his style. In the opinion of some, his execution still required to be
rendered more uniform, since he sometimes displayed as many different
manners in a picture, as there were figures. But in that he might plead
the example of Caracci, as we shall notice on a proper opportunity.

We shall now pass to other branches of the art, and shall commence with
landscapes. In this period flourished the scholars of the three famous
landscape painters, described in their proper place, besides Grimaldi,
mentioned in the Bolognese School, who resided a considerable time in
Rome; and Paolo Anesi, of whom we made mention in speaking of
Zuccherelli. With Anesi lived Andrea Lucatelli, a Roman, whose talents
are highly celebrated in every inferior branch of the art. In the
archbishop's gallery in Milan are a number of his pictures, historical,
architectural, and landscapes. In these he often appears original in
composition, and in the disposition of the masses; he is varied in his
touch, delicate in his colouring, and elegant in his figures, which, as
we shall see, he was also accustomed to paint in the Flemish style,
separate from his landscapes.

Francis Van Blomen was a less finished artist, and from the hot and
vaporous air of his pictures, obtained the name of Orizzonte. The
palaces of the Pope and the nobility in Rome, abound with his landscapes
in fresco and oil. In the character of his trees, and in the composition
of his landscapes, he commonly imitated Poussin. In his general tone
there predominates a greenish hue mixed with red. His pictures are not
all equally finished, but they rise in value as those of older artists
become injured by time, or rare from being purchased by foreigners. At
the side of Van Blomen we often find the works of some of his best
scholars, as Giacciuoli and Francis Ignazio, a Bavarian.

At the same time lived in Rome Francesco Wallint, called M. Studio, who
painted small landscapes and sea views, ornamented with very beautiful
figures; devoid however of that sentiment which is the gift of nature,
and that delicacy which charms in the Italian School. He imitated
Claude: Wallint the younger, his son, attached himself to the same
manner with success, but did not equal his father.

At the beginning of this epoch, or thereabouts, there flourished two
artists in Perugia in the same line; Ercolano Ercolanetti, and Pietro
Montanini, the scholar of Ciro Ferri and of Rosa. The last was ambitious
of the higher walks of art, and attempted the decoration of a church,
but failed in the attempt, as his talent was restricted to landscape;
and even when he added figures to these, they were not very correct, and
possessed more spirit than accuracy of design. He was nevertheless a
pleasing painter, and his pictures were sought after by foreigners. In
Perugia there is an abundance of his works, and some are to be seen in
the sacristy of the Eremitani, which might be said to discover a Flemish

Alessio de Marchis, a Neapolitan, is not much known in Rome, although in
the Ruspoli and Albani palaces, some pleasing pieces by him are pointed
out. He is better known in Perugia and Urbino, and the adjacent cities.
It is said that, in order to obtain a study for a picture from nature,
he set fire to a barn. For this act he was condemned to the galleys for
several years, and was liberated under the pontificate of Clement XI.
whose palace in Urbino he decorated with architectural ornaments,
distant views, and beautiful seapieces, more in the style of Rosa than
any other artist. There is an extraordinarily fine picture by him of the
Burning of Troy, in the collection of the Semproni family, and some
landscapes in other houses in Urbino, in which he has displayed all his
genius, and extended it also to figures. But in general there is little
more to praise in him than his spirit, his happy touch, and natural
colouring, particularly in fires, and the loaded and murky air, and the
general tone of the piece, as the detached parts are negligent and
imperfect. He left a son, also a landscape painter, but not of much

At the beginning of the century Bernardino Fergioni displayed in Rome an
extraordinary talent in sea views, and harbours, to which he added a
variety of humourous figures. He was first a painter of animals, and
afterwards tried this line with better success; but his fame was a few
years afterwards eclipsed by two Frenchmen, Adrian Manglard, of a solid,
natural, and correct taste; and his scholar, Joseph Vernet, who
surpassed his master by his spirit and his charming colouring. The first
seemed to paint with a degree of timidity and care, the latter in the
full confidence of genius; the one seemed to aim at truth, the other at
beauty. Manglard was many years in Rome, and his works are to be seen in
the Villa Albani, and in many other palaces. Vernet is to be seen in the
Rondanini mansion, and in a few other collections.

There were not many painters of battles during this epoch, except the
scholars of Borgognone. Christiano Reder, called also M. Leandro, who
came to Rome about 1686, the year of the taking of Buda, devoted
himself, in conformity with the feelings of the times, to painting
battles between the Christians and the Turks; but his pictures, though
well touched, were soon depreciated from the great number of them. The
best in the opinion of Pascoli, was that in the gallery de' Minimi; and
he left many also in the palaces of the nobility. He was also expert in
landscape and humourous subjects, and was assisted by Peter Van Blomen,
called also Stendardo, the brother of Francis Orizzonte. Stendardo also
painted battle pieces, but he was more attached to Bambocciate, in the
Flemish style, wherein he delights to introduce animals, and
particularly horses, in designing which he was very expert, and almost
unrivalled. His distances are very clear, and afford a fine relief to
his figures.

In Rome, and throughout the ecclesiastical state, we find many pictures
of this sort by that Lucatelli who has been mentioned among the
landscape painters. The connoisseurs attribute to him two different
manners; the first good, the second still better, and exhibiting great
taste, both in colouring and invention. In some collections we find
Monaldi near him, who although of a similar taste, yielded to him in
correctness of design, in colour, and in that natural grace which may be
called the _Attic salt_ of this mute poetry.

I have not ascertained who was the instructor of Antonio Amorosi, a
native of Comunanza, and a fellow countryman of Ghezzi, and his
co-disciple also in the school of the Cav. Giuseppe (Vernet). I only
know that he is in his way equally facetious, and sometimes satirical.
Like Ghezzi he painted pictures in the churches, which are to be found
in the Guida di Roma; he did not, however, succeed so well in them as in
his _bambocciate_, which would appear really Flemish if the colours were
more lucid. He is less known in the metropolis than in Piceno, where he
is to be seen in many collections, and is mentioned in the Guida
d'Ascoli. He pleased also in foreign countries, and represented subjects
from common life, as drinking parties in taverns in town and country, on
which occasion he discovered no common talent in architecture,
landscape, and the painting of animals.

Arcangelo Resani, of Rome, the scholar of Boncuore, painted animals in a
sufficiently good taste, accompanying them with large and small figures,
in which he had an equal talent. In the Medici gallery is his portrait,
with a specimen attached of the art in which he most excelled, the
representation of still life. In the same way Nuzzi added flowers, and
other artists landscapes, to their portraits.

Carlo Voglar, or Carlo da' Fiori, was a painter of fruit and flowers in
a very natural style, and was also distinguished in painting dead game.
He had a rival in this style in Francesco Varnetam, called Deprait, who
was still more ingenious in adding glass and portraits, and composed his
pieces in the manner of a good figurist. This artist after residing
several years in Rome, was appointed painter to the Imperial Court, and
died in Vienna, after having spread his works and his fame through all
Germany. In the time of the two preceding artists, Christian Bernetz was
celebrated, who on the death of the first, and the departure of the
second artist, remained in Rome the chief painter in this style. All the
three were known to Maratta, and employed by him in ornamenting his
pictures; and he enriched theirs in return with children and other
figures, which have rendered them invaluable. The last was also a friend
of Garzi, in conjunction with whom he painted pictures, each taking the
department in which they most excelled. Scipione Angelini, of Perugia,
improperly called Angeli by Guarienti, was celebrated by Pascoli for
similar talents. His flowers appear newly plucked and sparkling with dew
drops. In the _Memorie Messinesi_, I find that Agostino Scilla when he
was exiled from Sicily, repaired to Rome, where he died. Whilst in Rome,
he seemed to shun all competition with the historical painters, and
occupied himself (with a certainty of not being much celebrated), in
designing animals, and in other inferior branches of the art. In this
line both he and Giacinto, his younger brother, had great merit.
Saverio, the son of Agostino, who, on the death of them both, continued
to reside and to paint in Rome, did not equal them in reputation.

During this period of the decline of the art, one branch of painting,
perspective, made an extraordinary progress by the talents of P. Andrea
Pozzo, a Jesuit, and a native of Trent. He became a painter and
architect from his native genius, rather than from the instruction of
any master. His habit of copying the best Venetian and Lombard pictures,
had given him a good style of colour, and a sufficiently correct design,
which he improved in Rome, where he resided many years. He painted also
in Genoa and Turin, and in these cities and in both the states, we find
some beautiful works, the more so as they resemble Rubens in tone, to
whose style of colour he aspired. There are not many of his oil
paintings in Italy, and few of them are finished, as S. Venanzio in
Ascoli, and S. Borgia at S. Remo. Even the picture of S. Ignatius at the
Gesù in Rome, is not equally rendered in every part. Nevertheless, he
appears on the whole a fine painter, his design well conceived, his
forms beautiful, his colours fascinating, and the touch of his pencil
free and ready. Even his less finished performances evince his genius;
and of the last mentioned picture, I heard from P. Giulio Cordara, an
eminent writer in verse and prose, an anecdote which deserves
preservation. A painter of celebrity being directed to substitute
another in its place, declared that neither himself nor any other living
artist could execute a superior work. His despatch was such, that in
four hours he began and finished the portrait of a cardinal, who was
departing the same day for Germany.

He occupies a conspicuous place among the ornamental painters, but his
works in this way would be more perfect if there was not so great a
redundance of decoration, as vases, festoons, and figures of boys in the
cornices, though this indeed was the taste of the age. The ceiling of
the church of S. Ignatius is his greatest work, and which would serve to
show his powers, if he had left nothing else, as it exhibits a novelty
of images, an amenity of colour, and a picturesque spirit, which
attracted even the admiration of Maratta and Ciro Ferri; the last of
whom, amazed that Andrea had in so few years, and in so masterly a
manner, peopled, as he called it, this Piazza Navona, concluded that the
horses of other artists went at a common pace, but those of Pozzo on the
gallop. He is the most eminent of perspective painters, and even in the
concaves has given a convex appearance to the pieces of architecture
represented, as in the Tribune of Frascati, where he painted the
Circumcision of Jesus Christ, and in a corridor of the Gesù at Rome. He
succeeded too in a surprising manner in deceiving the eye with
fictitious cupolas in many churches of his order; in Turin, Modena,
Mondovi, Arezzo, Montepulciano, Rome, and Vienna, to which city he was
invited by the emperor Leopold I. He also painted scenes for the
theatres, and introduced colonnades and palaces with such inimitable
art, that it renders more credible the wonderful accounts handed down to
us by Vitruvius and Pliny of the skill of the ancients in this art.
Although well grounded in the theory of optics, as his two volumes of
perspective prove, it was his custom never to draw a line without first
having made a model, and thus ascertained the correct distribution of
the light and shade. When he painted on canvass, he laid on a light coat
of gum, and rejected the use of chalk, thinking that when the colours
were applied, the latter prevented the softening of the lights and
shadows, when requisite.

He had many scholars who imitated him in perspective; some in fresco;
others in oil, taking their designs from real buildings, and at other
times painting from their own inventions. One of these was Alberto
Carlieri, a Roman, a painter also of small figures, of whom Orlandi
makes mention. Antonio Colli, another of his scholars, painted the great
altar at S. Pantaleo, and decorated it in perspective in so beautiful a
manner, that it was by some taken for the work of his master. Of
Agostino Collaceroni of Bologna, considered of the same school, we have
before spoken.

There were also architectural painters in other branches. Pierfrancesco
Garoli, of Turin, painted the interior of churches, and Garzi supplied
the figures. Tiburzio Verzelli, of Recanati, is little known beyond
Piceno, his birthplace. The noble family of Calamini of Recanati,
possess perhaps his best picture, the elevation of S. Pietro in
Vaticano, one of the most beautiful and largest works of this kind that
I ever saw, which occupied the master several years in finishing.
Gaspare Vanvitelli, of Utrecht, called _Dagli Occhiali_, may be called
the painter of modern Rome; his pictures, which are to be found in all
parts of Europe, represent the magnificent edifices of that city, to
which landscapes are added, when the subject admits of it. He also
painted views of other cities, seaports, villas, and farm houses, useful
alike to painters and to architects. He painted some large pictures,
though most of his works are of a small size. He was correct in his
proportions, lively and clear in his tints, and there is nothing left to
desire, except a little more spirit and variety in the landscape or in
the sky, as the atmosphere is always of a pale azure, or carelessly
broken by a passing cloud. He was the father of Luigi Vanvitelli, a
painter, who owed his great name to architecture, as we shall see was
the case also with the celebrated Serlio.

But no painter of perspective has found more admirers than the Cav. Gio.
Paolo Pannini, mentioned elsewhere; not so much for the correctness of
his perspective, in which he has many equals, as for his charming
landscape and spirited figures. It cannot indeed be denied, that these
latter are sometimes too high in proportion to the buildings, and that
also, to shun the dryness of Viviani, he has a mannered style of mixing
a reddish hue in his shadows. For the first defect there is no remedy;
but the second will be alleviated by time, which will gradually subdue
the predominant colour.

Lastly, to this epoch the art of mosaic owes the great perfection which
it attained, in imitating painting, not only by the means of small
pieces of marble selected and cemented together, but by a composition
which could produce every colour, emulate every tint, represent each
degree of shade, and every part, equal to the pencil itself. Baglione
attributes the improvement in this art to Muziani, whom he calls the
inventor of working mosaics in oil; and that which he executed for the
Cappella Gregoriana, he praises as the most beautiful mosaic that has
been formed since the time of the ancients. Paolo Rossetti of Cento was
employed there under Muziani, and instructed Marcello Provenzale, his
fellow countryman. Both left many works beautifully painted in mosaic;
and the second, who lived till the time of Paul V. painted the portrait
of that Pope, and some cabinet pictures. An extensive work, as has often
been the case, was the cause of improving this art. The humidity of the
church of S. Peter was so detrimental to oil paintings, that from the
time of Urban VIII. there existed an idea of substituting mosaics in
their place. The first altarpiece was executed by a scholar of
Provenzale, already mentioned, Giambatista Calandra, born in Vercelli.
It represents S. Michael, and is of a small size, copied from a picture
of the Cav. d'Arpino. He afterwards painted other subjects in the small
cupolas, and near some windows of the church, from the cartoons of
Romanelli, Lanfranco, Sacchi, and Pellegrini; but thinking his talents
not sufficiently rewarded, he began to work also for individuals, and
painted portraits, or copied the best productions of the old masters.
Among these Pascoli particularly praises a Madonna copied from a picture
of Raffaello, in possession of the Queen of Sweden, and of this and
other similar works he judged that from their harmony of colour and high
finishing, they were deserving of close and repeated inspection.

At this time great approaches were made towards the modern style of
mosaic; but this art was afterwards carried to a much higher pitch by
the two Cristofori, Fabio, and his son Pietro Paolo. These artists
painted the S. Petronilla, copied from the great picture of Guercino,
the S. Girolamo of Domenichino, and the Baptism of Christ by Maratta.
For other works by him and his successors, I refer the reader to the
_Descrizione_ of the pictures of Rome above cited. I will only add, that
when the works were completed for S. Peter's, lest the art might decay
for want of due encouragement, it was determined to decorate the church
of Loreto with similar pictures, which were executed in Rome, and
transferred to that church.

Before I finish this portion of my work, I would willingly pay a tribute
to the numerous living professors, who have been, or who are now
resident in Rome; but it would be difficult to notice them all, and to
omit any might seem invidious. We may be allowed, however, to observe
that the improvement which has taken place in the art of late years, has
had its origin in Rome. That city at no period wholly lost its good
taste, and even in the decline of the art was not without connoisseurs
and artists of the first merit. Possessing in itself the best sources of
taste in so many specimens of Grecian sculpture, and so many works of
Raffaello, it is there always easy to judge how near the artists
approach to, and how far they recede from, their great prototypes of
art. This criterion too is more certain in the present age, when it is
the custom to pay less respect to prejudices and more to reason; so that
there can be no abuse of this useful principle. The works too of
Winckelmann and Mengs have contributed to improve the general taste; and
if we cannot approve every thing we there find, they still possess
matter highly valuable, and are excellent guides of genius and talent.
This object has also been promoted by the discovery of the ancient
pictures in Herculaneum, the Baths of Titus, and of the Villa Adriana,
and the exquisite vases of Nola, and similar remains of antiquity. These
have attracted every eye to the antique; Mengs and Winckelmann have
admirably illustrated the history of ancient sculpture, and the art of
painting may be more advantageously studied from the valuable engravings
which have been published, than from any book. From these extraordinary
advantages the fine arts have extended their influence to circles where
they were before unknown, and have received a new tone from emulation as
well as interest. The custom of exhibiting the productions of art to a
public who can justly appreciate them, and distinguish the good from the
bad; the rewards assigned to the most meritorious, of whatever nation,
accompanied by the productions of literary men, and public rejoicings in
the Campidoglio; the splendour of the sacred edifices peculiar to the
metropolis of the Christian world, which, while the art contributes to
its decoration, extends its protection in return to the professors of
that art; the lucrative commissions from abroad, and in the city itself,
from the munificence and unbounded liberality of Pius VI. and that of
many private individuals;[96] the circumstance of foreign sovereigns
frequently seeking in this emporium for masters, or directors for their
academies; all these causes maintain both the artists and their schools
in perpetual motion, and in a generous emulation, and by degrees we may
hope to see the art restored to its true principles, the imitation of
nature and the example of the great masters. There is not a branch, not
only of painting, but even of the arts depending on it, as miniature,
mosaic, enamel,[97] and the weaving of tapestry, that is not followed
there in a laudable manner. Whoever desires to be further informed of
the present state of the Roman School, and of the foreign artists
resident in Rome, should peruse the four volumes entitled, _Memorie per
le belle arti_, published from the year 1785, and continued to the year
1788, a periodical work deserving a place in every library of the fine
arts, and which was, I regret to add, prematurely discontinued.

[Footnote 85: With regard to drapery, Winckelmann conjectures, (Storia
delle Arti del Disegno, tom. i. p. 450,) that the erroneous opinion that
the ancients did not drape their figures well, and were surpassed in
that department by the moderns, was at that time common among the
artists. This opinion still subsists among some sculptors, who
disapprove particularly of the ancient custom of moistening the drapery,
in order to adapt it the better to the form of the figure. The ancients,
they say, ought to be esteemed, not idolized. To carry nature to the
highest degree of perfection, was always allowable, but not so to
degrade her by mannerism.]

[Footnote 86: He was the pupil of Niccolas Poussin, and from him
acquired his taste for drawing after the antique. He employed this
talent in copying the finest bassirilievi, and the noblest remains of
ancient Rome. These were engraved by him, and circulated through Europe.
He also copied a great number of ancient pictures from the
_Sotterranei_, which passed into private hands unpublished. Pascoli
mentions many more of his works in engraving, the pursuit of which
branch of the art led him gradually to forsake painting. Of his pictures
we find one in the church of Porto, and a very few more of his own
designing. He devoted himself to the copying the pictures of the best
masters, and carried his imitation even to the counterfeiting the
effects of time on the colours; and he copied some pictures of Poussin
with such dexterity, that it was with difficulty the painter himself
could distinguish them.]

[Footnote 87: In the _Risposta alle Riflessioni Critiche di Mons.

[Footnote 88: This artist had painted one of the two laterals of the
chapel, asserting that there was no artist living capable of painting a
companion to it. Benefial painted one very superior, and represented in
it an executioner with his eyes fixed on and deriding the picture of

[Footnote 89: See _Memorie per le Belle Arti_, tom. ii. p. 135, where
Sig. Giangherardo de' Rossi gives an account of this artist, derived
principally from information furnished by Sig. Cav. Puccini, who has
been occasionally mentioned with approbation in the first volume of this

[Footnote 90: Francesco Appiani, of Ancona, a scholar of Magatta, and
not long since deceased, did not find a place in my former edition, but
is fully entitled to one in this. He studied a considerable time in
Rome, whilst Benefial, Trevisani, Conca, and Mancini, flourished there;
and through the friendship of these masters (particularly of the
latter), was enabled to form an agreeable style, of which he there left
a specimen at S. Sisto Vecchio. It is the death of S. Domenico, painted
in fresco, by order of Benedict XIII. who remunerated him with a gold
medal. He went afterwards to Perugia, where he was presented with the
freedom of the city, and continued his labours there with unabated
ardour, until ninety years of age, an instance of vigour unexampled,
except in the case of Titian. Perugia abounds with his paintings of all
kinds, and his best works are to be found in the churches of S. Pietro
de' Cassinensi, S. Thomas, and Monte Corona. He also decorated the
church of S. Francis, and the vault of the cathedral, where he rivalled
the freedom of style and composition of Carloni. Both he himself, and
one of his pictures, placed in a church of Masaccio, are eulogised in
the Antich. Picene (tom. xx. p. 159). He painted many pictures also for

[Footnote 91: For a more particular catalogue of these works, see the
_Memorie delle belle arti_, 1788, in which year they were republished in
Rome, with the remarks of the Sig. Avvocato Fea, in one vol. 4to. and 2
vols. 8vo. The most celebrated treatise of Mengs is the _Riflessioni
sopra i tre gran pittori, Raffaello, Tiziano, e Coreggio, e sopra gli
antichi_. On the life and style of Coreggio he wrote a separate paper,
which was afterwards the subject of a controversy; for as, at the close
of the year 1781, appeared the _Notizie storiche del Coreggio_ of Ratti,
accompanied by a letter from Mengs, dated Madrid, 1774, in which he
entreats Ratti to collect and publish them, Ratti was by several writers
accused of plagiarism, and of having endeavoured, by a change of style
and the addition of some trifling matter, to appropriate to himself what
in reality belonged to Mengs. Not long afterwards there appeared an
anonymous Defence of Ratti, without date or place, for which I refer to
the next note.]

[Footnote 92: In the _Difesa del Ratti_, accused _de repetundis_, this
very obvious contradiction is adduced as a proof that the _Memorie_ were
really composed by that author. It is there asserted that he wrote them
in a clear and simple style, and then communicated them to Mengs, on
whose death they were found among his writings, and published as his.
Some other things are indeed said, that do not favour the cause of
Ratti; as that when he was in Parma he consulted Mengs on what he should
say of the works of Coreggio in that city, and as he could not see those
in Dresden, he had from him a minute account of them; and also that
Mengs was accustomed to add remarks to the MS. on which his friends
consulted him. If, therefore, it be conceded that Mengs had such a share
in this MS. (which would appear to have been drawn up by the scholar
under the direction of the master, as to opinions on art, and as to a
catalogue of the best pictures, accompanied too with remarks,) who does
not perceive that the best part of that work, and the great attraction
of its matter and style, is due to Mengs?]

[Footnote 93: This picture is one of the most finished compositions
since the restoration of art. Each muse is there represented with her
peculiar attribute, as derived from antiquity; and the artist is
deservedly eulogized by the Sig. Ab. Visconti, in the celebrated _Museo
Pio Clementino_, tom. i. p. 57.]

[Footnote 94: This eminent man was not without his enemies and
calumniators, excited by his criticisms on the great masters, and still
more by his animadversions on artists of inferior fame, and some
recently deceased. Cumberland wrote against him with manifest prejudice;
and the anonymous author of the _Difesa del Cav. Ratti_, the work of
Ratti himself, or for which at least he furnished the materials, speaks
of him in a contemptuous manner. He particularly questions his literary
character and his discernment, and ascribes to his confidential friend,
Winckelmann, the merit of his remarks. In point of art he estimates
Mengs as an excellent, but by no means an unrivalled painter. Descending
to particulars, he publishes not a few criticisms, which he received
either in MS. or from the mouths of different professors, and adds
others of his own. Of these the experienced must form their own
judgment. With regard to his colouring, indeed, with which his rival
Batoni found great fault, the most inexperienced person may perceive
that it is not faultless, as the flesh tints are already altered by
time, at least in some of his works. Lastly, in the _Difesa_ are some
personal remarks regarding Mengs, which, if Ratti, from respect to his
late deceased friend, thought it right to omit them in his life of him,
printed in 1779, might with still greater propriety have been spared in
this subsequent work.]

[Footnote 95: See the _Elogio di Pompeo Batoni_, page 66, where the
illustrious author, who, to his other accomplishments, adds that of
painting, expatiates at length, and in the style of a professor, on this
wonderful talent of Batoni.]

[Footnote 96: The decoration of the Villa Pinciana, in which the prince
Borghesi has given encouragement to so many eminent artists, is an
undertaking that deserves to be immortalized in the history of art.]

[Footnote 97: I refer to what I have written on the art of enamel, in
the school of Ferrara, in which city the art may be said to have been
revived by the Sig. Ab. Requeno. It was also greatly improved in the
school of Rome, where in 1788 an entire cabinet was painted in enamel
for the empress of Russia, as was publicly noticed in the _Giornale di
Roma_, of the month of June. Il Sig. Consigl. Gio. Renfestein, had the
commission of the work, which was executed from the designs of
Hunterberger, by the Sigg. Gio. and Vincenzio Angeloni. They were both
assisted in their task by the Sig. Ab. Garcia della Huerta, who greatly
facilitated the inventions of Requeno, as well by his experience as by
his work, intitled _Commentarj della pittura encaustica del pennello_,
published in Madrid, a very learned work, and which obtained for the
author from Charles IV. an annuity for life.]




We are now arrived at a school of painting which possesses indisputable
proofs of having, in ancient times, ranked among the first in Italy; as
in no part of that country do the remains of antiquity evince a more
refined taste, no where do we find mosaics executed with more
elegance,[98] nor any thing more beautiful than the subterranean
chambers which are ornamented with historical designs and grotesques.
The circumstance of its deriving its origin from ancient Greece, and the
ancient history of design, in which we read of many of its early
artists, have ennobled it above all others in Italy; and on this account
we feel a greater regret at the barbarism which overwhelmed it in common
with other schools. We may express a similar sentiment with regard to
Sicily, which from its affinity in situation and government, I shall
include in this Fourth Book; but generally in the notes.[99] That
island, too, possessed many Greek colonies, who have left vases and
medals of such extraordinary workmanship, that many have thought that
Sicily preceded Athens in carrying this art to perfection. But to
proceed to the art of painting in Naples, which is our present object,
we may observe that Dominici and the other national writers, the notice
of whom I shall reserve for their proper places, affirm, that that city
was never wholly destitute of artists, not only in the ancient times,
which Filostrato extols so highly in the proemium of his _Immagini_, but
even in the dark ages. In confirmation of this, they adduce devotional
pictures by anonymous artists, anterior to the year 1200; particularly
many Madonnas in an ancient style, which were the objects of adoration
in various churches. They subjoin moreover a catalogue of these early
artists, and bitterly inveigh against Vasari, who has wholly omitted
them in his work.

The first painter whom we find mentioned at the earliest period of the
restoration of the art, is Tommaso de' Stefani, who was a contemporary
of Cimabue, in the reign of Charles of Anjou.[100] That prince,
according to Vasari, in passing through Florence, was conducted to the
studio of Cimabue, to see the picture of the Virgin, which he had
painted for the chapel of the Rucellai family, on a larger scale than
had ever before been executed. He adds, that the whole city collected in
such crowds thither to view it, that it became a scene of public
festivity, and that that part of the city in which the artist resided,
received in consequence the name of Borgo Allegri, which it has retained
to the present day. Dominici has not failed to make use of this
tradition to the advantage of Tommaso. He observes that Charles would
naturally have invited Cimabue to Naples, if he had considered him the
first artist of his day; the king however did not do so, but at the same
time employed Tommaso to ornament a church which he had founded, and he
therefore must have considered him superior to Cimabue. This argument,
as every one will immediately perceive, is by no means conclusive of the
real merits of these two artists. That must be decided by an inspection
of their works; and with regard to these, Marco da Siena, who is the
father of the history of painting in Naples, declares, that in respect
to grandeur of composition, Cimabue was entitled to the preference.
Tommaso enjoyed the favour also of Charles II. who employed him, as did
also the principal persons of the city. The chapel of the Minutoli in
the Duomo, mentioned by Boccaccio, was ornamented by him with various
pictures of the Passion of our Saviour. Tommaso had a scholar in Filippo
Tesauro, who painted in the church of S. Restituta, the life of B.
Niccolo, the hermit, the only one of his frescos which has survived to
our days.

About the year 1325, Giotto was invited by King Robert to paint the
church of S. Chiara in Naples, which he decorated with subjects from the
New Testament, and the mysteries of the Apocalypse, with some designs
suggested to him at a former time by Dante, as was currently reported in
the days of Vasari. These pictures were effaced about the beginning of
the present century, as they rendered the church dark; but there
remains, among other things in good preservation, a Madonna called della
Grazia, which the generous piety of the religious possessors preserved
for the veneration of the faithful. Giotto painted some pictures also in
the church of S. Maria Coronata; and others which no longer exist, in
the Castello dell'Uovo. He selected for his assistant in his labours, a
Maestro Simone, who, in consequence of enjoying Giotto's esteem,
acquired a great name in Naples. Some consider him a native of Cremona,
others a Neapolitan, which seems nearer the truth. His style partakes
both of Tesauro and Giotto, whence some consider him of the first,
others of the second master; and he may probably have been instructed by
both. However that may be, on the departure of Giotto he was employed in
many works which King Robert and the Queen Sancia were prosecuting in
various churches, and particularly in S. Lorenzo. He there painted that
monarch in the act of being crowned by the Bishop Lodovico, his brother,
to whom upon his death and subsequent canonization, a chapel was
dedicated in the Episcopal church, and Simone appointed to decorate it,
but which he was prevented from doing by death. Dominici particularly
extols a picture by him of a Deposition from the Cross, painted for the
great altar of the Incoronata; and thinks it will bear comparison with
the works of Giotto. In other respects, he confesses that his conception
and invention were not equally good, nor did his heads possess so
attractive an air as those of Giotto, nor his colours such a suavity of

He instructed in the art a son, called Francesco di Simone, who was
highly extolled for a Madonna in chiaroscuro, in the church of S.
Chiara, and which was one of the works which escaped being effaced on
the occasion before mentioned. He had two other scholars in Gennaro di
Cola, and Stefanone, who were very much alike in their manner, and on
that account were chosen to paint in conjunction some large
compositions, such as the pictures of the Life of S. Lodovico, Bishop of
Tolosa, which Simone had only commenced, and various others of the Life
of the Virgin, in S. Giovanni da Carbonara, which were preserved for a
long period. Notwithstanding the similarity of their styles, we may
perceive a difference in the genius of the two artists; the first being
in reference to the second, studied and correct, and anxious to overcome
all difficulties, and to elevate the art; on which account he appears
occasionally somewhat laboured: the second discovers more genius, more
confidence, and a greater freedom of pencil, and to his figures he gives
a spirit that might have assured him a distinguished place, if he had
been born at a more advanced period of art.

Before Zingaro (who will very soon occupy our attention) introduced a
manner acquired in other schools, the art had made little progress in
Naples and her territories. This is clearly proved by Colantonio del
Fiore, the scholar of Francesco, who lived till the year 1444, of whom
Dominici mentions some pictures, though he is in doubt whether they
should not be assigned to Maestro Simone; which is a tacit confession,
that in the lapse of a century the art had not made any considerable
progress. It appears, however, that Colantonio after some time, by
constant practice, had considerably improved himself; having painted
several works in a more modern style, particularly a S. Jerome, in the
church of S. Lorenzo, in the act of drawing a thorn from the foot of a
lion, with the date of 1436. It is a picture of great truth, removed
afterwards, for its merit, by the P. P. Conventuali, into the sacristy
of the same church, where it was for a long time the admiration of
strangers. He had a scholar of the name of Angiolo Franco, who imitated
better than any other Neapolitan the manner of Giotto; adding only a
stronger style of chiaroscuro, which he derived from his master.

The art was, however, more advanced by Antonio Solario, originally a
smith, and commonly called lo Zingaro. His history has something
romantic in it, like that of Quintin Matsys, who, from his first
profession, was called il Fabbro, and became a painter from his love to
a young girl, who promised to marry him when he had made himself a
proficient in the art of painting. Solario in the same manner being
enamoured of a daughter of Colantonio, and receiving from him a promise
of her hand in marriage in ten years, if he became an eminent painter,
forsook his furnace for the academy, and substituted the pencil for the
file. There is an idle tradition of a queen of Naples having been the
author of this match, but that matter I leave in the hands of the
narrators of it. It is more interesting to us to know that Solario went
to Bologna, where he was for several years the scholar of Lippo
Dalmasio, called also Lippo delle Madonne, from his numerous portraits
of the Virgin, and the grace with which he painted them. On leaving
Bologna he visited other parts of Italy in order to study the works of
the best artists in the various schools; as Vivarini, in Venice; Bicci,
in Florence; Galasso, in Ferrara; Pisanello, and Gentile da Fabriano, in
Rome. It has been thought that he assisted the two last, as Luca
Giordano affirmed that among the pictures in the Lateran he recognized
some heads which were indisputably by Solario. He excelled in this
particular, and excited the admiration of Marco da Siena himself, who
declared that his countenances seemed alive. He became also a good
perspective painter for those times, and respectable in historical
compositions; which he enlivened with landscape in a better style than
other painters, and distinguished his figures by drapery peculiar to the
age, and carefully drawn from nature. He was less happy in designing his
hands and feet, and often appears heavy in his attitudes, and crude in
his colouring. On his return to Naples, it is said, that he gave proof
of his skill, and was favorably received by Colantonio, and thus became
his son-in-law nine years after his first departure; and that he painted
and taught there under King Alfonso, until the year 1455, about which
time he died.

The most celebrated work of this artist was in the choir of S. Severino,
in fresco, representing, in several compartments, the life of S.
Benedict, and containing an incredible variety of figures and subjects.
He left also numerous pictures with portraits, and Madonnas of a
beautiful form, and not a few others painted in various churches of
Naples. In that of S. Domenico Maggiore, where he painted a dead Christ,
and in that of S. Pier Martire, where he represented a S. Vincenzio,
with some subjects from the life of that saint, it is said that he
surpassed himself. Thus there commenced in Naples a new epoch, which
from its original and most celebrated prototype, is called by the Cav.
Massimo, the school of Zingaro, as in that city those pictures are
commonly distinguished by the name of Zingaresque, which were painted
from the time of that artist to that of Tesauro, or a little later, in
the same way that pictures are every where called Cortonesque, that are
painted in imitation of Berettini.

About this time there flourished two eminent artists, whom I deem it
proper to mention in this place before I enter on the succeeding
scholars of the Neapolitan School. These were Matteo da Siena, and
Antonello da Messina. The first we noticed in the school of Siena, and
mentioned his having painted in Naples the Slaughter of the Innocents.
It exists in the church of S. Caterina a Formello, and is engraved in
the third volume of the Lettere Senesi. The year M.CCCC.XVIII. is
attached to it, but we ought not to yield implicit faith to this date.
Il P. della Valle, in p. 56 of the above mentioned volume, observes,
that Matteo, in the year 1462, when he painted with his father in
Pienza, was young, and that in the portrait which he painted of himself
in 1491, he does not appear aged. He could not therefore have painted in
Naples in 1418. After this we may believe it very possible, that in this
date an L has been inadvertently omitted, and that the true reading is
M.CCCC.LXVIII. Thus the above writer conjectures, and with so much the
more probability, as he advances proofs, both from the form of the
letters and the absence of the artist from his native place. Whoever
desires similar examples, may turn to page 141 of vol. i., and he will
find that such errors have occurred more than once in the date of books.
Guided by this circumstance we may correct what Dominici has asserted of
Matteo da Siena having influenced the style of Solario. It may be true
that there is a resemblance in the air of the heads, and the general
style, but such similarity can only be accounted for by Matteo deriving
it from Solario, or both, as often happens, deriving it from the same

Antonello, of the family of the Antonj, universally known under the name
of Antonello da Messina, is a name so illustrious in the history of art,
that it is not sufficient to have mentioned him in the first book and to
refer to him here again, as he will claim a further notice in the
Venetian School, and we must endeavour too to overcome some perplexing
difficulties, to ascertain with correctness the time at which he
flourished, and attempt to settle the dispute, whether he were the first
who painted in oil in Italy, or whether that art was practised before
his time. Vasari relates, that when young, after having spent many years
in Rome in the study of design,[101] and many more at Palermo, painting
there with the reputation of a good artist, he repaired first to
Messina, and from thence passed to Naples, where he chanced to see a
large composition painted in oil by Gio. da Bruggia, which had been
presented by some Florentine merchants to King Alfonso. Antonello,
smitten with this new art, took his departure to Flanders, and there, by
his affability, and by a present of some drawings of the Italian School,
so far ingratiated himself with Giovanni, as to induce him to
communicate to him the secret, and the aged painter dying soon
afterwards, thus left him instructed in the new art. This must have
happened about the year 1440, since that time is required to support the
supposition that Giovanni, born about 1370, died at an advanced age, as
the old writers assert, or exactly in 1441, as is asserted by the author
of the _Galleria Imperiale_. Antonello then left Flanders, and first
resided for some months in his native place; from thence he went to
Venice, where he communicated the secret to Domenico Veneziano; and
having painted there a considerable time, died there at the age of
forty-nine. All this we find in Vasari, and it agrees with what he
relates in the life of Domenico Veneziano, that this artist, after
having learnt the new method from Antonello in Venice, painted in Loreto
with Piero della Francesca, some few years before that artist lost his
eyesight, which happened in 1458. Thus the arrival of Antonello in
Venice must have occurred about the year 1450, or some previous year;
but this conclusion is contrary to Venetian evidence. The remaining
traces of Antonello, or the dates attached to his works there, commence
in 1474, and terminate according to Ridolfi in 1490. There does not
appear any reason whatever, why he should not have attached dates to his
pictures, until after residing twenty-four years in Venice. Besides, how
can it be maintained, that Antonello, after passing many years in Rome
as a student, and many in Palermo as a master, and some years in Messina
and Flanders, should not in Venice, in the forty-ninth year after the
death of Giovanni, have passed the forty-ninth year of his age. Hackert
quotes the opinion of Gallo, who in the _Annali di Messina_, dates the
birth of Antonello in 1447, and his death at forty-nine years of age,
that is, in 1496. But if this were so, how could he have known Gio. da
Bruggia? Yet if such fact be denied, we must contradict a tradition
which has been generally credited. I should be more inclined to believe
that there is a mistake in his age, and that he died at a more advanced
period of life. Nor on this supposition do we wrong Vasari; others
having remarked what we shall also on a proper opportunity confirm; that
as far as regards Venetian artists, Vasari errs almost in every page
from the want of accurate information. I further believe that respecting
the residence of Antonello in Venice, he wrote with inaccuracy. That he
was there about the year 1450, and communicated his secret to Domenico,
is a fact, which after so many processes made in Florence on the murder
of Domenico, and so much discussion respecting him, must have been well
ascertained, not depending on the report contained in the memoirs of the
painters by Grillandajo, or any other contemporary, in whose writings
Vasari might search for information. But admitting this, I am of
opinion, that Antonello did not reside constantly in Venice from the
year 1450 until his death, as Vasari insinuates. It appears that he
travelled afterwards in several countries, resided for a long time in
Milan, and acquired there a great celebrity; and that he repaired afresh
to Venice, and enjoyed there for some years a public salary. This we
gather from Maurolico, quoted by Hackert: _Ob mirum hic ingenium
Venetiis aliquot annos publicè conductus vixit: Mediolani quoque fuit
percelebris_, (_Hist. Sican. pl. 186, prim. edit._), and if he was not a
contemporary writer, still he was not very far removed from Antonello.
This is the hypothesis I propose in order to reconcile the many
contradictory accounts which we find on this subject in Vasari, Ridolfi,
and Zanetti; and when we come to the Venetian School, I shall not forget
to adduce further proofs in support of it. Others may perhaps succeed
better than I have done in this task, and with that hope I shall console
myself: as in my researches I have no other object than truth, I shall
be equally satisfied whether I discover it myself, or it be communicated
to me by others.

That therefore Antonello was the first who exhibited a perfect method of
practising painting in oil in Italy, is an assertion that, it seems to
me, may be with justice maintained, or at least it cannot be said that
there is proof to the contrary. And yet in the history of the art in the
Two Sicilies, this honour is strongly disputed. In that history we find
the description of a chapel in the Duomo of Messina, called Madonna
della Lettera, where it is said there exists a very old Greek picture of
the Virgin, an object of adoration, which was said to be in oil. If this
were even admitted, it could not detract from the merit of Antonello in
having restored a beautiful art that had fallen into desuetude; but in
these Greek pictures, the wax had often the appearance of oil, as we
observed in vol. i. p. 89. Marco da Siena, in the fragment of a
discourse which Dominici has preserved, asserts, that the Neapolitan
painters of 1300 continued to improve in the two manners of painting in
fresco and in oil. When I peruse again what I have written in vol. i. p.
90, where some attempt at colouring in oil anterior to Antonello is
admitted, I may be permitted not to rely on the word of Pino alone.
There exist in Naples many pictures of 1300, and I cannot imagine, why
in a controversy like this, they are neither examined nor alluded to,
and why the question is rested solely on a work or two of Colantonio.
Some national writers, and not long since, Signorelli, in his _Coltura
delle due Sicili_ (tom. iii. p. 171), have pretended, that Colantonio
del Fiore was certainly the first to paint in oil, and adduce in proof
the very picture of S. Jerome, before mentioned, and another in S. Maria
Nuova. Il Sig. Piacenza after inspecting them, says, that he was not
able to decide whether these pictures were really in oil or not. Zanetti
(P. V. p. 20) also remarks, that it is extremely difficult to pass a
decided judgment on works of this kind, and I have made the same
observation with respect to Van Eyck, which will I hope, convince every
reader who will be at the trouble to refer to vol. i. p. 87. And unless
that had been the case, how happened it that all Europe was filled with
the name of Van Eyck in the course of a few years; that every painter
ran to him; that his works were coveted by princes, and that they who
could not obtain them, procured the works of his scholars, and others
the works of Ausse, Ugo d'Anversa, and Antonello; and of Ruggieri
especially, of whose great fame in Italy we shall in another place
adduce the documents.[102] On the other hand, who, beyond Naples and its
territory, had at that time heard of Colantonio? Who ever sought with
such eagerness the works of Solario? And if this last was the scholar
and son-in-law of a master who painted so well in oil, how happened it
that he was neither distinguished in the art, nor even acquired it? Why
did he himself and his scholars work in distemper? Why did the
Sicilians, as we have seen, pass over to Venice, where Antonello
resided, to instruct themselves, and not confine themselves to Naples?
Why did the whole school of Venice, the emporium of Europe, and capable
of contradicting any false report, attest, on the death of Antonello,
that he was the first that painted in oil in Italy, and no one opposed
to him either Solario or Colantonio?[103] They either could not at that
time have been acquainted with this discovery, or did not know it to an
extent that can contradict Vasari, and the prevailing opinions
respecting Antonello. Dominici has advanced more on this point than any
other person, asserting that this art was discovered in Naples, and was
carried from thence to Flanders by Van Eyck himself, to which
supposition, after the observations already made, I deem it superfluous
to reply.[104]

We shall now return to the scholars of Solario, who were very numerous.
Amongst them was a Niccola di Vito, who may be called the Buffalmacco of
this school, for his singular humour and his eccentric invention, though
in other respects he was an inferior artist, and little deserving
commemoration. Simone Papa did not paint any large composition in which
he might be compared to his master; he confined himself to altarpieces,
with few figures grouped in a pleasing style, and finished with
exquisite care; so that he sometimes equalled Zingaro, as in a S.
Michele, painted for S. Maria Nuova. Of the same class seems to have
been Angiolillo di Roccadirame, who in the church of S. Bridget, painted
that saint contemplating in a vision the birth of Christ; a picture
which even with the experienced, might pass for the work of his master.
More celebrated and more deserving of notice, are Pietro and Polito
(Ippolito) del Donzello, sons-in-law of Angiolo Franco, and relatives of
the celebrated architect Giuliano da Maiano, by whom they were
instructed in that art. Vasari mentions them as the first painters of
the Neapolitan school, but does not give any account of their master, or
of what school they were natives, and he writes in a way that might lead
the reader to believe that they were Tuscans. He says that Giuliano,
having finished the palace of Poggio Reale for King Robert, the monarch
engaged the two brothers to decorate it, and that first Giuliano dying,
and the king afterwards, Polito _returned_ to Florence.[105] Bottari
observes, that he did not find the two Donzelli mentioned by Orlandi,
nor by any one else; a clear proof that he did not himself consider them
natives of Naples, and on that account he did not look for them in
Bernardo Dominici, who has written at length upon them, complaining of
the negligence or inadvertent error of Vasari.

The pictures of the two brothers were painted, according to Vasari,
about the year 1447. But as he informs us that Polito did not leave
Naples until the death of Alfonso, this epoch should be extended to
1463, or beyond; as he remained for a year longer, or thereabouts, under
the reign of Ferdinand, the son and successor of Alfonso. He painted for
that monarch some large compositions in the refectory of S. Maria Nuova,
partly alone and partly in conjunction with his brother, and both
brothers combined in decorating for the king a part of the palace of
Poggio Reale. We may here with propriety also mention, that they painted
in one of the rooms the conspiracy against Ferdinand, which being seen
by Jacopo Sannazzaro, gave occasion to his writing a sonnet, the 41st in
the second part of his _Rime_. Their style resembles that of their
master, except that their colouring is softer. They distinguished
themselves also in their architectural ornaments, and in the painting of
friezes and trophies, and subjects in chiaroscuro, in the manner of
bassirilievi, an art which I am not aware that any one practised before
them. The younger brother leaving Naples and dying soon afterwards,
Pietro remained employed in that city, where he and his scholars
acquired a great reputation by their paintings in oil and fresco. The
portraits of Pietro had all the force of nature, and it is not long
since, that on the destruction of some of his pictures on a wall in the
palace of the Dukes of Matalona, some heads were removed with the
greatest care, and preserved for their excellence.

We may now notice Silvestro de' Buoni, who was placed by his father in
the school of Zingaro, and on his death attached himself to the
Donzelli. His father was an indifferent painter, of the name of Buono,
and from that has arisen the mistake of some persons, who have ascribed
to the son some works of the father in an old style, and unworthy the
reputation of Silvestro. This artist, in the opinion of the Cav.
Massimo, had a finer colouring and a superior general effect to the
Donzelli; and in the force of his chiaroscuro, and in the delicacy of
his contours, far surpassed all the painters of his country who had
lived to that time. Dominici refers to many of his pictures in the
various churches of Naples. One of the most celebrated is that of S.
Giovanni a Mare, in which he included three saints, all of the same
name, S. John the Baptist, the Evangelist, and S. Chrysostom.

Silvestro is said to have had a disciple in Tesauro, whose Christian
name has not been correctly handed down to us; but he is generally
called Bernardo. He is supposed to have been of a painter's family, and
descended from that Filippo who is commemorated as the second of this
school, and father or uncle of Raimo, whom we shall soon notice. This
Bernardo, or whatever his name may have been, made nearer approaches to
the modern style than any of the preceding artists; more judicious in
his invention, more natural in his figures and drapery; select,
expressive, harmonized, and displaying a knowledge in gradation and
relief, beyond what could be expected in a painter who is not known to
have been acquainted with any other schools, or seen any pictures beyond
those of his own country. Luca Giordano, at a time when he was
considered the Coryphæus of painting, was struck with astonishment at
the painting of a Soffitto by Tesauro at S. Giovanni de' Pappacodi, and
did not hesitate to declare that there were parts in it, which in an age
so fruitful in fine works, no one could have surpassed. It represents
the Seven Sacraments. The minute description which the historian gives
of it, shews us what sobriety and judgment there were in his
composition; and the portraits of Alfonso II. and Ippolita Sforza, whose
espousals he represented in the Sacrament of Marriage, afford us some
light for fixing the date of this picture. Raimo Tesauro was very much
employed in works in fresco. Some pictures by him are also mentioned in
S. Maria Nuova, and in Monte Vergine; pictures, says the Cav. Massimo,
"very studied and perfect, according to the latest schools succeeding
our Zingaro."

To the same schools Gio. Antonio d'Amato owed his first instructions;
but it is said, that when he saw the pictures which Pietro Perugino had
painted for the Duomo of Naples, he became ambitious of emulating the
style of that master. By diligence, in which he was second to none, he
approached, as one may say, the confines of modern art; and died at an
advanced period of the sixteenth century. He is highly extolled for his
Dispute of the Sacrament, painted for the Metropolitan church, and for
two other pictures placed in the Borgo di Chiaia, the one at the
Carmine, the other at S. Leonardo. And here we may close our account of
the early painters, scanty indeed, but still copious for a city harassed
by incessant hostilities.[106]

[Footnote 98: In the Museo of the Sig. D. Franc. Daniele, are some
birds, not inferior to the doves of Furietti.]

[Footnote 99: I adopt this mode because "little has hitherto been
published on the Sicilian School," as the Sig. Hackert observes in his
_Memorie de' Pittori Messinesi_. I had not seen that book when I
published the former edition of the present work, and I was then
desirous that the memoirs of the Sicilian painters should be collected
together and given to the public. I rejoice that we have had memoirs
presented to us of those of Messina, and that we shall also have those
of the Syracusans and others, as the worthy professor gives us reason to
hope in the preface to the _Memorie_ before mentioned, which were
written by an anonymous writer, and published by Sig. Hackert with his
own remarks.]

[Footnote 100: The history of the art in Messina enumerates a series of
pictures from the year 1267, of which period is the S. Placido of the
cathedral, painted by an Antonio d'Antonio. It is supposed that this is
a family of painters, which had the surname of Antonj, and that many
pictures in S. Francesco, S. Anna, and elsewhere, are by different
Antonj, until we come to Salvatore di Antonio, father of the celebrated
Antonello di Messina, and himself a master; and there remains by him a
S. Francis in the act of receiving the Stigmata, in the church of his
name. Thus the genealogy of this Antonello is carried to the before
mentioned Antonio di Antonio, and still further by a writer called _il
Minacciato_ (Hack. p. 11), although Antonio never, to my knowledge,
subscribed himself degli Antonj, having always on his pictures, which I
have seen, inscribed his country, instead of his surname, as
_Messinensis_, _Messineus_, _Messinæ_.]

[Footnote 101: The _Memorie de' Pittori Messinesi_ assert, that at Rome
he was attracted by the fame of the works of Masaccio, and that he there
also designed all the ancient statues. They add, too, that he arrived at
such celebrity, that his works are equal to those of the best masters of
his time. I imagine it must be meant to allude to those who preceded
Pietro Perugino, Francia, Gio. Bellini, and Mantegna; as his works will
not bear any comparison with those of the latter masters.]

[Footnote 102: In the first epoch of the Venetian School.]

[Footnote 103: The following inscription, composed at the instance of
the Venetian painters, is found in Ridolfi, p. 49. "_Antonius pictor,
præcipuum Messanæ suæ et totius Siciliæ ornamentum hâc humo contegitur:
non solum suis picturis, in quibus singulare artificium et venustas
fuit: sed et quod coloribus oleo miscendis splendorem et perpetuitatem_
PRIMUS ITALIÆ PICTURÆ _contulit, summo_ SEMPER _artificum studio

[Footnote 104: A letter of Summonzio, written on the 20th March, 1524,
has been communicated to me by the Sig. Cav. de' Lazara, extracted from
the 60th volume of the MSS. collected in Venice by the Sig. Ab. Profess.
Daniele Francesconi. It is addressed to M. A. Michele, who had requested
from him some information respecting the ancient and modern artists of
Naples; and in reference to the present question he thus speaks. "Since
that period (the reign of King Ladislaus), we have not had any one of so
much talent in the art of painting as our Maestro Colantonio of Naples,
who would in all probability have arrived at great eminence, if he had
not died young. Owing to the taste of the times, he did not arrive at
that perfection of design founded on the antique, which his disciple
Antonello da Messina attained; an artist, as I understand, well known
amongst you. The style of Colantonio was founded on the Flemish, and the
colouring of that country, to which he was so much attached, that he had
intended to go thither, but the King Raniero retained him here,
satisfied with showing him the practice and mode of such colouring."
From this letter, which seems contrary to my argument, I collect
sufficient, if I err not, to confirm it. For, 1st, the defence of those
writers falls to the ground, who assume that the art of oil colouring
was derived from Naples, while we see that Colantonio, by means of the
king, received it from Flanders. 2ndly, Van Eyck himself is not here
named, but the painters of Flanders generally; which country first
awakened, as we have observed, by the example of Italy, had discovered
new, and it is true, imperfect and inefficient methods, but still
superior to distemper; and who knows if this were not the mode adopted
by Colantonio. 3rdly, It is said that he died young, a circumstance
which may give credit to the difficulty that he had in communicating the
secret: in fact, it is not known that he communicated it even to his
son-in-law, much less to a stranger. 4thly, Hence the necessity of
Antonello undertaking the journey to Flanders to learn the secret from
Van Eyck, who was then in years, and not without difficulty communicated
it to him. 5thly, If we believe with Ridolfi that Antonello painted in
1494 in Trevigi, and credit the testimony of Vasari, that he was not
then more than forty-nine years of age, how could he be the scholar of
Colantonio, who, according to Dominici, died in 1444? It is with
diffidence I advance these remarks on a matter on which I have before
expressed my doubts, and I have been obliged to leave some points
undecided, or decided rather according to the opinions of others than my

[Footnote 105: In the ducal gallery in Florence, is a Deposition from
the Cross, wholly in the style of Zingaro: and I know not whether it
ought to be ascribed to Polito, who certainly resided in Florence, or to
some other painter of the Neapolitan School.]

[Footnote 106: In Messina, towards the close of the fifteenth century,
or at the beginning of the sixteenth, some artists flourished who
practised their native style, not yet modernised on the Italian model,
as Alfonso Franco, a scholar of Jacopello d'Antonio, and a Pietro Oliva,
of an uncertain school. Both are praised for their natural manner, the
peculiar boast of that age, but in the first we admire a correct design
and a lively expression, for which his works have been much sought after
by strangers, who have spared only to his native place a Deposition from
the Cross, at S. Francesco di Paola, and a Dispute of Christ with the
Doctors, at S. Agostino. Still less remains of Antonello Rosaliba,
always a graceful painter. This is a Madonna with the Holy Infant, in
the village of Postunina.]



  _Modern Neapolitan Style, founded on the Schools of Raffaello
  and Michelangiolo._

It has already been observed, that at the commencement of the sixteenth
century, the art of painting seemed in every country to have attained to
maturity, and that every school at that time assumed its own peculiar
and distinguishing character. Naples did not, however, possess a manner
so decided as that of other schools of Italy, and thus afforded an
opportunity for the cultivation of the best style, as the students who
left their native country returned home, each with the manner of his own
master, and the sovereigns and nobility of the kingdom invited and
employed the most celebrated strangers. In this respect, perhaps, Naples
did not yield precedence to any city after Rome. Thus the first talents
were constantly employed in ornamenting both the churches and palaces of
that metropolis. Nor indeed was that country ever deficient in men of
genius, who manifested every exquisite quality for distinction,
particularly such as depended on a strong and fervid imagination. Hence
an accomplished writer and painter has observed, that no part of Italy
could boast of so many native artists, such is the fire, the fancy, and
freedom, which characterizes, for the most part, the works of these
masters. Their rapidity of execution was another effect of their genius,
a quality which has been alike praised by the ancients,[107] and the
moderns, when combined with other more requisite gifts of genius. But
this despatch in general excludes correct design, which from that cause
is seldom found in that school. Nor do we find that it paid much
attention to ideal perfection, as most of its professors, following the
practice of the naturalists, selected the character of their heads and
the attitudes of their figures from common life; some with more, and
others with less discrimination. With regard to colour, this school
changed its principles in conformity to the taste of the times. It was
fertile in invention and composition, but deficient in application and
study. The history of the vicissitudes it experienced will occupy the
remainder of this volume.

The epoch of modern painting in Naples could not have commenced under
happier auspices than those which it had the good fortune to experience.
Pietro Perugino had painted an Assumption of the Virgin, which I am
informed exists in the Duomo, or S. Reparata, a very ancient cathedral
church, since connected with the new Duomo. This work opened the way to
a better taste. When Raffaello and his school rose into public esteem,
Naples was among the first distant cities to profit from it, by means of
some of his scholars, to whom were also added some followers of
Michelangiolo, about the middle of the century. Thus till nearly the
year 1600, this school paid little attention to any other style than
that of these two great masters and their imitators, except a few
artists who were admirers of Titian.

We may commence the new series with Andrea Sabbatini of Salerno. This
artist was so much struck with the style of Pietro, when he saw his
picture in the Duomo, that he immediately determined to study in the
school of Perugia. He took his departure accordingly for that city, but
meeting on the road some brother painters who much more highly extolled
the works of Raffaello, executed for Julius II., he changed his mind and
proceeded to Rome, and there placed himself in the school of that great
master. He remained with him however, only a short time, as the death of
his father compelled him to return home, against his wishes. But he
arrived a new man. It is related that he painted with Raffaello at the
Pace, and in the Vatican, and that he became an accomplished copyist of
his works, and successfully emulated the style of his master. Compared
with his fellow scholars, although he did not rival Giulio Romano, he
yet surpassed Raffaele del Colle, and others of that class. He had a
correctness of design, selection in his faces and in his attitudes, a
depth of shade, and the muscles rather strongly expressed; a breadth in
the folding of his drapery, and a colour which still preserves its
freshness after the lapse of so many years. He executed many works in
Naples, as appears from the catalogue of his pictures. Among his best
works are numbered some pictures at S. Maria delle Grazie; besides the
frescos which he executed there and in other places, extolled by writers
as miracles of art, but few of which remain to the present day. He
painted also in his native city, in Gaeta, and indeed in all parts of
the kingdom, both in the churches and for private collections, where
many of his Madonnas, of an enchanting beauty, are still to be

Andrea had several scholars, some of whom studied under other masters,
and did not acquire much of his style. Such was Cesare Turco, who rather
took after Pietro; a good painter in oil, but unsuccessful in fresco.
But Andrea was the sole master of Francesco Santafede, the father and
master of Fabrizio; painters who in point of colouring have few equals
in this school, and possessing a singular uniformity of style.
Nevertheless the experienced discover in the father more vigour, and
more clearness in his shadows; and there are by him some pictures in the
Soffitto of the Nunziata, and a Deposition from the Cross in the
possession of the prince di Somma, highly celebrated. But of all the
scholars of Andrea, one Paolillo resembled him the most, whose works
were all ascribed to his master, until Dominici restored them to their
right owner. He would have been the great ornament of this school had he
not died young.

Polidoro Caldara, or Caravaggio, came to Naples in the year of the
sacking of Rome, 1527. He was not, as Vasari would have us believe, in
danger of perishing through want at Naples; for Andrea da Salerno, who
had been his fellow disciple, generously received him into his house,
and introduced him in the city, where he obtained many commissions, and
formed several scholars before he went to Sicily. He had distinguished
himself in Rome by his chiaroscuri, as we have related; and he painted
in colours in Naples and Messina. His colour in oil was pallid and
obscure, at least for some time, and in this style I saw some pictures
of the Passion in Rome, which Gavin Hamilton had received from Sicily.
In other respects they were valuable, from their design and invention.
Vasari mentions this master with enthusiasm, calls him a divine genius,
and extols to the skies a picture which he painted in Messina a little
while before his death. This was a composition of Christ on his way to
Mount Calvary, surrounded by a great multitude, and he assures us that
the colouring was enchanting.

Giambernardo Lama was first a scholar of Amato, and afterwards attached
himself to Polidoro, in whose manner he painted a Pietà at S. Giacomo
degli Spagnuoli, which, from its conception, its correctness, and vigour
of design, variety in attitude, and general style of composition, was by
many ascribed to that master. In general however, he displayed a softer
and more natural manner, and was partial to the style of Andrea di
Salerno. Marco di Pino, an imitator of Michelangiolo, as we have
observed, though sober and judicious, was held in disesteem by him. In
the _Segretario_ of Capece, there is an interesting letter to Lama,
where amongst other things he says, "I hear that you do not agree with
Marco da Siena, as you paint with more regard to beauty, and he is
attached to a vigorous design without softening his colours. I know not
what you desire of him, but pray leave him to his own method, and do you
follow yours."

A Francesco Ruviale, a Spaniard, is also mentioned in Naples, called
Polidorino, from his happy imitation of his master, whom he assisted in
painting for the Orsini some subjects illustrative of the history of
that noble family; and after the departure of his master, he executed by
himself several works at Monte Oliveto and elsewhere. The greater part
of these have perished, as happened in Rome to so many of the works of
Polidoro. This Ruviale appears to me to be a different artist from a
Ruviale, a Spaniard, who is enumerated among the scholars of Salviati,
and the assistants of Vasari, in the painting of the Chancery; on which
occasion Vasari says, he formed himself into a good painter. This was
under Paul VII. in 1544, at which time Polidorino must already have been
a master. Palomino has not said a word of any other Ruviale, a painter
of his country; and this is a proof that the two preceding artists never
returned home to Spain.

Some have included among the scholars of Polidoro an able artist and
good colourist, called Marco Calabrese, whose surname is Cardisco.
Vasari ranks him before all his Neapolitan contemporaries, and considers
his genius a fruit produced remote from its native soil. This
observation cannot appear correct to any one who recollects that the
Calabria of the present day is the ancient Magna Græcia, where in former
times the arts were carried to the highest pitch of perfection. Cardisco
painted much in Naples and in the state. His most celebrated work is the
Dispute of S. Agostino in the church of that saint in Aversa. He had a
scholar in Gio. Batista Crescione, who together with Lionardo
Castellani, his relative, painted at the time Vasari wrote, which was an
excuse for his noticing them only in a cursory manner. We may further
observe that Polidoro was the founder of a florid school in Messina,
where we must look for his most able scholars.[109]

Gio. Francesco Penni, or as he is called, il Fattore, came to Naples
some time after Polidoro, but soon afterwards fell sick, and died in the
year 1528. He contributed in two different ways to the advancement of
the school of Naples. In the first place he left there the great copy of
the Transfiguration of Raffaello, which he had painted in Rome in
conjunction with Perino, and which was afterwards placed in S. Spirito
degl'Incurabili, and served as a study to Lama, and the best painters,
until, with other select pictures and sculptures at Naples, it was
purchased and removed by the viceroy Don Pietro Antonio of Aragon.
Secondly, he left there a scholar of the name of Lionardo, commonly
called il Pistoja, from the place of his birth; an excellent colourist,
but not a very correct designer. We noticed him among the assistants of
Raffaello, and more at length among the artists of the Florentine state,
where we find some of his pictures, as in Volterra and elsewhere. After
he had lost his friend Penni in Naples, he established himself there for
the remainder of his days, where he received sufficient encouragement
from the nobility of that city, and painted less for the churches than
for private individuals. He chiefly excelled in portrait.

Pistoja is said to have been one of the masters of Francesco Curia, a
painter, who, though somewhat of a mannerist in the style of Vasari and
Zucchero, is yet commended for the noble and agreeable style of his
composition, for his beautiful countenances, and natural colouring.
These qualities are singularly conspicuous in a Circumcision painted for
the church della Pietà, esteemed by Ribera, Giordano, and Solimene, one
of the first pictures in Naples. He left in Ippolito Borghese an
accomplished imitator, who was absent a long time from his native
country, where few of his works remain, but those are highly prized. He
was in the year 1620 in Perugia, as Morelli relates in his description
of the pictures and statues of that city, and painted an Assumption of
the Virgin, which was placed in S. Lorenzo.

There were two Neapolitans who were scholars and assistants of Perino
del Vaga in Rome; Gio. Corso, initiated in the art by Amato, or as
others assert by Polidoro; and Gianfilippo Criscuolo, instructed a long
time by Salerno. There are few remains of Corso in Naples, except such
as are retouched; nor is any piece so much extolled as a Christ with a
Cross painted for the church of S. Lorenzo. Criscuolo in the short time
he was at Rome, diligently copied Raffaello, and was greatly attached to
his school. He followed, however, his own genius, which was reserved and
timid, and formed for himself rather a severe manner; a circumstance to
his honour, at a time when the contours were overcharged and the
correctness of Raffaello was neglected. He is also highly commended as
an instructor.

From his school came Francesco Imparato, who was afterwards taught by
Titian, and so far emulated his style, that a S. Peter Martyr by him in
the church of that saint in Naples was praised by Caracciolo as the best
picture which had then been seen in that city. We must not confound this
Francesco with Girolamo Imparato, his son, who flourished after the end
of the sixteenth century, and enjoyed a reputation greater than he
perhaps merited. He too was a follower of the Venetian, and afterwards
of the Lombard style, and he travelled to improve himself in colouring,
the fruits of which were seen in the picture of the Rosario at S.
Tommaso d'Aquino, and in others of his works. The Cav. Stanzioni, who
knew him, and was his competitor, considered him inferior to his father
in talent, and describes him as vain and ostentatious.

To these painters of the school of Raffaello, there succeeded in Naples
two followers of Michelangiolo, whom we have before noticed. The first
of these was Vasari, who was called thither in 1544, to paint the
refectory of the P. P. Olivetani, and was afterwards charged with many
commissions in Naples and in Rome. By the aid of architecture, in which
he excelled more than in painting, he converted that edifice, which was
in what is commonly called the Gothic style, to a better form; altered
the vault, and ornamented it with modern stuccos, which were the first
seen in Naples, and painted there a considerable number of subjects,
with that rapidity and mediocrity that characterize the greater part of
his works. He remained there for the space of a year, and of the
services he rendered to the city, we may judge from the following
passage in his life. "It is extraordinary," he says, "that in so large
and noble a city, there should have been found no masters after Giotto,
to have executed any work of celebrity, although some works by Perugino
and by Raffaello had been introduced. On these grounds I have
endeavoured, to the best of my humble talents, to awaken the genius of
that country to a spirit of emulation, and to the accomplishment of some
great and honourable work; and from these my labours, or from some other
cause, we now see many beautiful works in stucco and painting, in
addition to the before mentioned pictures." It is not easy to conjecture
why Vasari should here overlook many eminent painters, and even Andrea
da Salerno himself, so illustrious an artist, and whose name would have
conferred a greater honour on his book, than it could possibly have
derived from it. Whether self love prompted him to pass over that
painter and other Neapolitan artists, in the hope that he should himself
be considered the restorer of taste in Naples; or whether it was the
consequence of the dispute which existed at that time between him and
the painters of Naples; or whether, as I observed in my preface, it
sometimes happens in this art, that a picture which delights one person,
disgusts another, I know not, and every one must judge for himself. For
myself, however much disposed I should be to pardon him for many
omissions, which in a work like his, are almost unavoidable, still I
cannot exculpate him for this total silence. Nor have the writers of
Naples ever ceased complaining of this neglect, and some indeed have
bitterly inveighed against him and accused him of contributing to the
deterioration of taste. So true is it, that an offence against a whole
nation is an offence never pardoned.

The other imitator, and a favourite of Michelangiolo (but not his
scholar, as some have asserted) that painted in Naples, was Marco di
Pino, or Marco da Siena, frequently before mentioned by us. He appears
to have arrived in Naples after the year 1560. He was well received in
that city, and had some privileges conferred on him; nor did the
circumstance of his being a stranger create towards him any feeling of
jealousy on the part of the Neapolitans, who are naturally hospitable to
strangers of good character; and he is described by all as a sincere,
affable, and respectable man. He enjoyed in Naples the first reputation,
and was often employed in works of consequence in some of the greater
churches of the city, and in others of the kingdom at large. He repeated
on several occasions the Deposition from the Cross, which he painted at
Rome, but with many variations, and the one the most esteemed was that
which he placed in S. Giovanni de' Fiorentini, in 1577. The Circumcision
in the Gesù Vecchio, where Parrino traces the portrait of the artist and
his wife,[110] the adoration of the Magi at S. Severino, and others of
his works, contain views of buildings, not unworthy of him, as he was an
eminent architect, and also a good writer on that art. Of his merit as a
painter, I believe I do not err, when I say that among the followers of
Michelangiolo, there is none whose design is less extravagant and whose
colour is more vigorous. He is not however, always equal. In the church
of S. Severino, where he painted four pictures, the Nativity of the
Virgin is much inferior to the others. A mannered style was so common in
artists of that age, that few were exempt from it. He had many scholars
in Naples, but none of the celebrity of Gio. Angelo Criscuolo. This
artist was the brother of Gio. Filippo, already mentioned, and exercised
the profession of a notary, without relinquishing that of a miniature
painter, which he had learnt in his youth. He became desirous of
emulating his brother in larger compositions, and under the direction of
Marco succeeded in acquiring his style.

These two painters laid the foundation of the history of the art in
Naples. In 1568, there issued from the Giunti press in Florence, a new
edition of the works of Vasari, in which the author speaks very briefly
of Marco da Siena, in the life of Daniello da Volterra. He only observes
that he had derived the greatest benefit from the instructions of that
master, and that he had afterwards chosen Naples for his country, and
settled and continued his labours there. Marco, either not satisfied
with this eulogium, or displeased at the silence of Vasari with regard
to many of the painters of Siena, and almost all those of Naples,
determined to publish a work of his own in opposition to him. Among his
scholars was the notary before mentioned, who supplied him with memoirs
of the Neapolitan painters taken from the archives of the city, and from
tradition; and from these materials Marco prepared a _Discorso_. He
composed it in 1569, a year after the publication of this edition of
Vasari's works, and it was the first sketch of the history of the fine
arts in Naples. It did not, however, then see the light, and was not
published until 1742, and then only in part, by Dominici, together with
notes written by Criscuolo in the Neapolitan dialect, and with the
addition of other notes collected respecting the subsequent artists, and
arranged by two excellent painters, Massimo Stanzioni, and Paolo de'
Matteis. Dominici himself added some others of his own collecting, and
communicated by some of his learned friends, among whom was the
celebrated antiquarian Matteo Egizio. The late _Guida_ or _Breve
Descrizione di Napoli_ says, this voluminous work stands in need of more
information, a better arrangement, and a more concise style. There might
also be added some better criticisms on the ancient artists, and less
partiality towards some of the modern. Still this is a very lucid work,
and highly valuable for the opinions expressed on the talents of
artists, for the most part by other artists, whose names inspire
confidence in the reader. Whether the sister arts of architecture and
sculpture are as judiciously treated of, it is not our province to

In the above work the reader may find the names of other artists of
Naples who belong to the close of this epoch, as Silvestro Bruno, who
enjoyed in Naples the fame of a good master; a second Simone Papa, or
del Papa, a clever fresco painter, and likewise another Gio. Ant. Amato,
who to distinguish him from the first is called the younger. He was
first instructed in the art by his uncle, afterwards by Lama, and
successively imitated their several styles. He obtained considerable
fame, and the infant Christ painted by him in the Banco de' Poveri, is
highly extolled. To these may be added those artists who fixed their
residence in other parts of Italy, as Pirro Ligorio, honoured, as we
have observed, by Pius IV. in Rome, and who died in Ferrara, engineer to
Alfonso II.; and Gio. Bernardino Azzolini, or rather Mazzolini, in whose
praise Soprani and Ratti unite. He arrived in Genoa about 1510, and
there executed some works worthy of that golden age of art. He excelled
in waxwork, and formed heads with an absolute expression of life. He
extended the same energetic character to his oil pictures, particularly
in the Martyrdom of S. Agatha in S. Giuseppe.

The provincial cities had also in this age their own schools, or at
least their own masters; some of whom remained in their native places,
and others resided abroad. Cola dell'Amatrice, known also to Vasari, who
mentions him in his life of Calabrese, took up his residence in Ascoli
del Piceno, and enjoyed a distinguished name in architecture and in
painting, through all that province. He had somewhat of a hard manner in
his earlier paintings, but in his subsequent works he exhibited a
fulness of design and an accomplished modern style. He is highly
extolled in the Guida di Ascoli for his picture in the oratory of the
_Corpus Domini_, which represents the Saviour in the act of dispensing
the Eucharist to the Apostles.

Pompeo dell'Aquila was a finished painter and a fine colourist, if we
are to believe Orlandi, who saw many of his works in Aquila,
particularly some frescos conducted in a noble style. In Rome in S.
Spirito in Sassia, there is a fine Deposition from the Cross by him.
This artist is not mentioned either by Baglione or any other writer of
his time. Giuseppe Valeriani, another native of Aquila, is frequently
mentioned. He painted at the same period and in the same church of S.
Spirito, where there exists a Transfiguration by him. We perceive in him
an evident desire of imitating F. Sebastiano, but he is heavy in his
design, and too dark in his colours. He entered afterwards into the
society of Jesuits, and improved his first manner. His best works are
said to be a Nunziata in a chapel of the Gesù, with other subjects from
the life of Christ, in which are some most beautiful draperies added by
Scipio da Gaeta. This latter artist also was a native of the kingdom of
Naples; but of him and of the Cav. di Arpino, who both taught in Rome,
we have already spoken in that school.

Marco Mazzaroppi di S. Germano died young, but is known for his natural
and animated colouring, almost in the Flemish style. At Capua they
mention with applause the altarpieces and other pictures of Gio. Pietro
Russo, who after studying in various schools returned to that city, and
there left many excellent works. Matteo da Lecce, whose education is
uncertain, displayed in Rome a Michelangiolo style, or as some say, the
style of Salviati. It is certain that he had a strong expression of the
limbs and muscles. He worked for the most part in fresco, and there is a
prophet painted by him for the company of the Gonfalone, of such relief,
that the figures, says Baglione, seem starting from the wall. Although
there were at that time many Florentines in Rome, he was the only one
who dared in the face of the Last Judgment of Michelangiolo, to paint
the Fall of the Rebel Angels, a subject which that great artist designed
to have painted, but never put his intentions into execution. He chose
too to accompany it with the combat between the Prince of the Angels and
Lucifer, for the body of Moses; a subject taken from the epistle of S.
James, and analogous to that of the other picture. Matteo entered upon
this very arduous task with a noble spirit; but, alas! with a very
different result. He painted afterwards in Malta, and passing to Spain
and to the Indies, he enriched himself by merchandise, until turning to
mining, he lost all his wealth, and died in great indigence. We may also
mention two Calabrians of doubtful parentage. Nicoluccio, a Calabrian,
who will be mentioned among the scholars of Lorenzo Costa, but only
cursorily, as I know nothing of this parricide, as he may be called,
except that he attempted to murder his master. Pietro Negroni, a
Calabrian also, is commemorated by Dominici as a diligent and
accomplished painter. In Sicily, it is probable that many painters
flourished belonging to this period, besides Gio. Borghese da Messina, a
scholar also of Costa, and Laureti, whom I notice in the schools of Rome
and Bologna, and others whose names I may have seen, but whose works
have not called for my notice. The succeeding epoch we shall find more
productive in Sicilian art.

[Footnote 107: _Plin. Hist. Nat._ lib. XXXV. cap. 11. _Nec ullius
velocior in picturâ manus fuit._]

[Footnote 108: The style of Raffaello found imitators also in Sicily,
and the first to practise it was Salvo di Antonio, the nephew of
Antonello, by whom there is, we are told, in the sacristy of the
cathedral, the death of the Virgin, "_in the pure Raffaellesque style_,"
although Salvo is not the painter who has been called the Raffaello of
Messina: this was Girolamo Alibrandi. A distinguished celebrity has of
late been attached to this artist, whose name was before comparatively
unknown. Respectably born, and liberally educated, instead of pursuing
the study of the law, for which he was intended, he applied himself to
painting, and having acquired the principles of the art in the school of
the Antonj of Messina, he went to perfect himself in Venice. The scholar
of Antonello, and the friend of Giorgione, he improved himself by the
study of the works of the best masters. After many years residence in
Venice he passed to Milan, to the school of Vinci, where he corrected
some dryness of style which he had brought thither with him. Thus far
there is no doubt about his history; but we are further told, that being
recalled to his native country, he wished first to see Coreggio and
Raffaello, and that he repaired to Messina about the year 1514; a
statement which is on the face of it incorrect, since Lionardo left
Milan in 1499, when Raffaello was only a youth, and Coreggio in his
infancy. But I have before observed, that the history of art is full of
these contradictions; a painter resembling another, he was therefore
supposed his scholar, or at all events acquainted with him. On this
subject I may refer to the Milanese School in regard to Luini, (Epoch
II.) and observe that a follower of the style of Lionardo almost
necessarily runs into the manner of Raffaello. Thus it happened to
Alibrandi, whose style however bore a resemblance to others besides, so
that his pictures pass under various names. There remains in his native
place, in the church of Candelora, a Purification of the Virgin, in a
picture of twenty-four Sicilian palms, which is the chef d'oeuvre of the
pictures of Messina, from the grace, colouring, perspective, and every
other quality that can enchant the eye. Polidoro was so much captivated
with this work, that he painted in distemper a picture of the Deposition
from the Cross, as a precious covering to this picture, in order that it
might be transmitted uninjured to posterity. Girolamo died in the plague
of 1524, and at the same time other eminent artists of this school; a
school which was for some time neglected, but which has, through the
labours of Polidoro, risen to fresh celebrity.]

[Footnote 109: I here subjoin a list of them. Deodato Guinaccia may be
called the Giulio of this new Raffaello, on whose death he inherited the
materials of his art, and supported the fame of his school: and like
Giulio, completed some works left unfinished by his master; as the
Nativity in the church of Alto Basso, which passes for the best
production of Polidoro. In this exercise of his talents he became a
perfect imitator of his master's style, as in the church of the Trinità
a' Pellegrini, and in the Transfiguration at S. Salvatore de' Greci. He
imparted his taste to his scholars, the most distinguished of whom for
works yet remaining, are Cesare di Napoli, and Francesco Comandè, pure
copyists of Polidoro. With regard to the latter, some errors have
prevailed; for having very often worked in conjunction with Gio. Simone
Comandè, his brother, who had an unequivocal Venetian taste, from having
studied in Venice, it not unfrequently happens, that when the pictures
of Comandè are spoken of, they are immediately attributed to Simone, as
the more celebrated artist; but an experienced eye cannot be deceived,
not even in works conjointly painted, as in the Martyrdom of S.
Bartholomew, in the church of that saint, or the Magi in the monastery
of Basicò. There, and in every other picture, whoever can distinguish
Polidoro from the Venetians, easily discovers the style of the two
brothers, and assigns to each his own.

Polidoro had in his academy Mariano and Antonello Riccio, father and
son. The first came in order to change the manner of Franco, his former
master, for that of Polidoro; the second to acquire his master's style.
Both succeeded to their wishes; but the father was so successful a rival
of his new master, that his works are said to pass under his name. This
is the common report, but I think it can only apply to inexperienced
purchasers, since if there be a painter, whose style it is almost
impossible to imitate to deception, it is Polidoro da Caravaggio. In
proof, the comparison may be made in Messina itself, where the Pietà of
Polidoro, and the Madonna della Carità of Mariano, are placed near each

Stefano Giordano was also a respectable scholar of Caldara, and we may
mention, as an excellent production, his picture of the Supper of our
Lord in the monastery of S. Gregory, painted in 1541. With him we may
join Jacopo Vignerio, by whom we find described, as an excellent work,
the picture of Christ bearing his Cross, at S. Maria della Scala,
bearing the date of 1552.

We may close this list of the scholars of Polidoro with the infamous
name of Tonno, a Calabrian, who murdered his master in order to possess
himself of his money, and suffered for the atrocious crime. He evinced a
more than common talent in the art, if we may judge from the Epiphany
which he painted for the church of S. Andrea, in which piece he
introduced the portrait of his unfortunate master.

Some writers have also included among the followers of Polidoro, Antonio
Catalano, because he was a scholar of Deodato. We are informed he went
to Rome and entered the school of Barocci; but as Barocci never taught
in Rome, we may rather imagine that it was from the works of that artist
he acquired a florid colouring, and a _sfumatezza_, with which he united
a portion of the taste of Raffaello, whom he greatly admired. His
pictures are highly valued from this happy union of excellences; and his
great picture of the Nativity at the Capuccini del Gesso is particularly
extolled. We must not mistake this accomplished painter for Antonio
Catalano _il Giovane_, the scholar of Gio. Simone Comandè, from whose
style and that of others he formed a manner sufficiently spirited, but
incorrect, and practised with such celerity, that his works are as
numerous as they are little prized.]

[Footnote 110: These traditions are frequently nothing more than common
rumour, to which, without corroborating circumstances, we ought not to
give credit. It has happened more than once, that such portraits have
been found to belong to the patrons of the church.]



  _Corenzio, Ribera, Caracciolo, flourish in Naples. Strangers
  who compete with them._

About the middle of the sixteenth century, Tintoretto was considered one
of the first artists in Venice; and towards the close of the same
century Caravaggio in Rome, and the Caracci in Bologna, rose to the
highest degree of celebrity. The several styles of these masters soon
extended themselves into other parts of Italy, and became the prevailing
taste in Naples, where they were adopted by three painters of
reputation, Corenzio, Ribera, and Caracciolo. These artists rose one
after the other into reputation, but afterwards united together in
painting, and assisting each other interchangeably. At the time they
flourished, Guido, Domenichino, Lanfranco, and Artemisia Gentileschi,
were in Naples; and there and elsewhere contributed some scholars to the
Neapolitan School. Thus the time which elapsed between Bellisario and
Giordano, is the brightest period of this academy, both in respect to
the number of excellent artists, and the works of taste. It is however
the darkest era, not only of the Neapolitan School, but of the art
itself, as far as regards the scandalous artifices, and the crimes which
occurred in it. I would gladly pass over those topics in silence, if
they were foreign to my subject, but they are so intimately connected
with it, that they must, at all events, be alluded to. I shall notice
them at the proper time, adhering to the relation of Malvasia, Passeri,
Bellori, and more particularly of Dominici.

Bellisario Corenzio, a Greek by birth, after having passed five years in
the school of Tintoretto, settled in Naples about the year 1590. He
inherited from nature a fertile imagination and a rapidity of hand,
which enabled him to rival his master in the prodigious number of his
pictures, and those too of a large class. Four common painters could
scarcely have equalled his individual labour. He cannot be compared to
Tintoretto, who, when he restrained his too exuberant fancy, was
inferior to few in design; and excelled in invention, gestures, and the
airs of his heads, which, though the Venetians have always had before
their eyes, they have never equalled. Corenzio successfully imitated his
master when he painted with care, as in the great picture, in the
refectory of the Benedictines, representing the multitude miraculously
fed; a work he finished in forty days. But the greater part of the vault
resembles in many respects the style of the Cav. d'Arpino,[111] other
parts partake of the Venetian School, not without some character
peculiar to himself, particularly in the glories, which are bordered
with shadowy clouds. In the opinion of the Cav. Massimo, he was of a
fruitful invention, but not select. He painted very little in oil,
although he had great merit in the strength and harmony of his colours.
The desire of gain led him to attempt large works in fresco, which he
composed with much felicity, as he was copious, varied, and energetic.
He had a good general effect, and was finished in detail and correct,
when the proximity of some eminent rival compelled him to it. This was
the case at the Certosa, in the chapel of S. Gennaro. He there exerted
all his talents, as he was excited to it by emulation of Caracciolo, who
had painted in that place a picture, which was long admired as one of
his finest works, and was afterwards transferred into the monastery. In
other churches we find some sacred subjects painted by him in smaller
size, which Dominici commends, and adds too, that he assisted M.
Desiderio, a celebrated perspective painter, whose views he accompanied
with small figures beautifully coloured and admirably appropriate.

The birthplace of Giuseppe Ribera has been the subject of controversy.
Palomino, following Sandrart and Orlandi, represents him as a native of
Spain, in proof of which they refer to a picture of S. Matteo, with the
following inscription. _Jusepe de Ribera espanol de la ciutad de Xativa,
reyno de Valencia, Academico romano ano 1630._ The Neapolitans, on the
contrary, contend that he was born in the neighbourhood of Lecce, but
that his father was from Spain; and that in order to recommend himself
to the governor, who was a Spaniard, he always boasted of his origin,
and expressed it in his signature, and was on that account called
Spagnoletto. Such is the opinion of Dominici, Signorelli, and Galanti.
This question is however now set at rest, as it appears from the
_Antologia di Roma_ of 1795, that the register of his baptism was found
in Sativa (now San Filippo) and that he was born in that place. It is
further said, that he learnt the principles of the art from Francesco
Ribalta of Valencia, a reputed scholar of Annibale Caracci. But the
History of Neapolitan Artists, which is suspicious in my eyes as relates
to this artist, affirms also, that whilst yet a youth, or a mere boy, he
studied in Naples under Michelangiolo da Caravaggio, when that master
fled from Rome for homicide, and fixing himself there about 1606,
executed many works both public and private.[112] But wherever he might
have received instruction in his early youth, it is certain that the
object of his more matured admiration was Caravaggio. On leaving him,
Ribera visited Rome, Modena, and Parma, and saw the works of Raffaello
and Annibale in the former place, and the works of Coreggio in the two
latter cities, and adopted in consequence a more graceful style, in
which he persevered only for a short time, and with little success; as
in Naples there were others who pursued, with superior skill, the same
path. He returned therefore to the style of Caravaggio, which for its
truth, force, and strong contrast of light and shade, was much more
calculated to attract the general eye. In a short time he was appointed
painter to the court, and subsequently became the arbiter of its taste.

His studies rendered him superior to Caravaggio in invention, selection,
and design. In emulation of him, he painted at the Certosini that great
Deposition from the Cross, which alone, in the opinion of Giordano, is
sufficient to form a great painter, and may compete with the works of
the brightest luminaries of the art. Beautiful beyond his usual style,
and almost Titianesque, is his Martyrdom of S. Januarius, painted in the
Royal Chapel, and the S. Jerome at the Trinità. He was much attached to
the representation of the latter saint, and whole lengths and half
figures of him are found in many collections. In the Panfili Palace in
Rome we find about five, and all differing. Nor are his other pictures
of similar character rare, as anchorets, prophets, apostles, which
exhibit a strong expression of bone and muscle, and a gravity of
character, in general copied from nature. In the same taste are commonly
his profane pictures, where he is fond of representing old men and
philosophers, as the Democritus and the Heraclitus, which Sig. March.
Girolamo Durazzo had in his collection, and which are quite in the
manner of Caravaggio. In his selection of subjects the most revolting
were to him the most inviting, as sanguinary executions, horrid
punishments, and lingering torments; among which is celebrated his Ixion
on the wheel, in the palace of Buon Ritiro at Madrid. His works are very
numerous, particularly in Italy and Spain. His scholars flourished
chiefly at a lower period of art, where they will be noticed towards the
conclusion of this epoch. With them we shall name those few who rivalled
him successfully in figures and half figures; and we must not, at the
same time, neglect to impress on the mind of the reader, that among so
many reputed pictures of Spagnoletto found in collections, we may rest
assured that they are in great part not justly entitled to his name, and
ought to be ascribed to his scholars.

Giambatista Caracciolo, an imitator, first of Francesco Imparato, and
afterwards of Caravaggio, attained a mature age without having
signalised himself by any work of peculiar merit. But being roused by
the fame of Annibale, and the general admiration which a picture of that
master had excited, he repaired to Rome; where by persevering study in
the Farnese Gallery, which he carefully copied, he became a correct
designer in the Caracci style.[113] Of this talent he availed himself to
establish his reputation on his return to Naples, and distinguished
himself on some occasions of competition, as in the Madonna at S. Anna
de' Lombardi, in a S. Carlo in the church of S. Agnello, and Christ
bearing his Cross at the Incurabili, paintings praised by connoisseurs
as the happiest imitations of Annibale. But his other works, in the
breadth and strength of their lights and shades, rather remind us of the
school of Caravaggio. He was a finished and careful painter. There are
however some feeble works by him, which Dominici considers to have been
negligently painted, through disgust, for individuals who had not given
him his own price, or they were perhaps executed by Mercurio d'Aversa
his scholar, and an inferior artist.

The three masters whom I have just noticed in successive order, were the
authors of the unceasing persecutions which many of the artists who had
come to, or were invited to Naples, were for several years subjected to.
Bellisario had established a supreme dominion, or rather a tyranny, over
the Neapolitan painters, by calumny and insolence, as well as by his
station. He monopolized all lucrative commissions to himself and
recommended, for the fulfilment of others, one or other of the numerous
and inferior artists that were dependant on him. The Cav. Massimo,
Santafede, and other artists of talent, if they did not defer to him,
were careful not to offend him, as they knew him to be a man of a
vindictive temper, treacherous, and capable of every violence, and who
was known through jealousy to have administered poison to Luigi
Roderigo, the most promising and the most amiable of his scholars.

Bellisario, in order to maintain himself in his assumed authority,
endeavoured to exclude all strangers who painted rather in fresco than
in oil. Annibale arrived there in 1609, and was engaged to ornament the
churches of Spirito Santo and Gesù Nuovo, for which, as a specimen of
his style, he painted a small picture. The Greek and his adherents being
required to give their opinion on this exquisite production, declared it
to be tasteless, and decided that the painter of it did not possess a
talent for large compositions. This divine artist in consequence took
his departure under a burning sun for Rome, where he soon afterwards
died. But the work in which strangers were the most opposed was the
chapel of S. Gennaro, which a committee had assigned to the Cav.
d'Arpino, as soon as he should finish painting the choir of the Certosa.
Bellisario leaguing with Spagnoletto, (like himself a fierce and
ungovernable man,) and with Caracciolo, who aspired to this commission,
persecuted Cesari in such a manner, that before he had finished the
choir he fled to Monte Cassino, and from thence returned to Rome. The
work was then given to Guido, but after a short time two unknown persons
assaulted the servant of that artist, and at the same time desired him
to inform his master that he must prepare himself for death, or
instantly quit Naples, with which latter mandate Guido immediately
complied. Gessi, the scholar of Guido, was not however intimidated by
this event, but applied for and obtained the honorable commission, and
came to Naples with two assistants, Gio. Batista Ruggieri and Lorenzo
Menini. But these artists were scarcely arrived, when they were
treacherously invited on board a galley, which immediately weighed
anchor and carried them off, to the great dismay of their master, who,
although he made the most diligent inquiries both at Rome and Naples,
could never procure any tidings of them.

Gessi also in consequence taking his departure, the committee lost all
hope of succeeding in their task, and were in the act of yielding to the
reigning cabal, assigning the fresco work to Corenzio and Caracciolo,
and promising the pictures to Spagnoletto, when suddenly repenting of
their resolution, they effaced all that was painted of the two frescos,
and entrusted the decoration of the chapel entirely to Domenichino. It
ought to be mentioned to the honor of these munificent persons, that
they engaged to pay for every entire figure 100 ducats, for each half
figure 50 ducats, and for each head 25 ducats. They took precautions
also against any interruption to the artist, threatening the viceroy's
high displeasure if he were in any way molested. But this was only
matter of derision to the junta. They began immediately to cry him down
as a cold and insipid painter, and to discredit him with those, the most
numerous class in every place, who see only with the eyes of others.
They harassed him by calumnies, by anonymous letters, by displacing his
pictures, by mixing injurious ingredients with his colours, and by the
most insidious malice they procured some of his pictures to be sent by
the viceroy to the court of Madrid; and these, when little more than
sketched, were taken from his studio and carried to the court, where
Spagnoletto ordered them to be retouched, and, without giving him time
to finish them, hurried them to their destination. This malicious fraud
of his rival, the complaints of the committee, who always met with some
fresh obstacle to the completion of the work, and the suspicion of some
evil design, at last determined Domenichino to depart secretly to Rome.
As soon however as the news of his flight transpired, he was recalled,
and fresh measures taken for his protection; when he resumed his
labours, and decorated the walls and base of the cupola, and made
considerable progress in the painting of his pictures.

But before he could finish his task he was interrupted by death,
hastened either by poison, or by the many severe vexations he had
experienced both from his relatives and his adversaries, and the weight
of which was augmented by the arrival of his former enemy Lanfranco.
This artist superseded Zampieri in the painting of the _catino_ of the
chapel; Spagnoletto, in one of his oil pictures; Stanzioni in another;
and each of these artists, excited by emulation, rivalled, if he did not
excel Domenichino. Caracciolo was dead. Bellisario, from his great age,
took no share in it, and was soon afterwards killed by a fall from a
stage, which he had erected for the purpose of retouching some of his
frescos. Nor did Spagnoletto experience a better fate; for, having
seduced a young girl, and become insupportable even to himself from the
general odium which he experienced, he embarked on board a ship; nor is
it known whither he fled, or how he ended his life, if we may credit the
Neapolitan writers. Palomino however states him to have died in Naples
in 1656, aged sixty-seven, though he does not contradict the first part
of our statement. Thus these ambitious men, who by violence or fraud had
influenced and abused the generosity and taste of so many noble patrons,
and to whose treachery and sanguinary vengeance so many professors of
the art had fallen victims, ultimately reaped the merited fruit of their
conduct in a violent death; and an impartial posterity, in assigning the
palm of merit to Domenichino, inculcates the maxim, that it is a
delusive hope to attempt to establish fame and fortune on the
destruction of another's reputation.

The many good examples in the Neapolitan School increased the number of
artists, either from the instructions of the above mentioned masters, or
from an inspection of their works; for there is much truth in the
observation of Passeri, "that a painter who has an ardent desire of
learning, receives as much instruction from the works of deceased
artists as from living masters." It was greatly to the honour of the
Neapolitan artists, amidst such a variety of new styles, to have
selected the best. Cesari had no followers in Naples, if we except Luigi
Roderigo,[114] who exchanged the school of Bellisario for his, but not
without a degree of mannerism, although he acquired a certain grace and
judgment, which his master did not possess. He initiated a nephew,
Gianbernardino, in the same style; who, from his being an excellent
imitator of Cesari, was employed by the Carthusian monks to finish a
work which that master had left imperfect.

Thus almost all these artists trod in the steps of the Caracci, and the
one that approached nearest to them was the Cav. Massimo Stanzioni,
considered by some the best example of the Neapolitan School, of which,
as we have observed, he compiled some memoirs. He was a scholar of
Caracciolo, to whom he bore some analogy in taste, but he availed
himself of the assistance of Lanfranco, whom in one of his MS. he calls
his master, and studied too under Corenzio, who in his painting of
frescos yielded to few. In portrait he adopted the principles of
Santafede, and attained an excellent Titianesque style. Going afterwards
to Rome, and seeing the works of Annibale, and, as some assert, making
acquaintance with Guido, he became ambitious of uniting the design of
the first with the colouring of the second, and we are informed by
Galanti, that he obtained the appellation of _Guido Reni di Napoli_. His
talents, which were of the first order, enabled him in a short time to
compete with the best masters. He painted in the Certosa a Dead Christ,
surrounded by the Maries, in competition with Ribera. This picture
having become somewhat obscured, Ribera persuaded the monks to have it
washed, and he purposely injured it in such a way with a corrosive
liquid, that Stanzioni refused to repair it, declaring that such an
instance of malice ought to be perpetuated to the public eye. But in
that church, which is in fact a museum of art, where every artist, not
to be surpassed by his rivals, seems to have surpassed himself, Massimo
left some other excellent works, and particularly a stupendous
altarpiece, of S. Bruno presenting to his brethren the rules of their
order. His works are not unfrequent in the collections in his own
country, and are highly esteemed in other places. The vaults of the Gesù
Nuovo and S. Paolo entitle him to a distinguished place among fresco
painters. His paintings were highly finished, and he studied perfection
during his celibacy, but marrying a woman of some rank, in order to
maintain her in an expensive style of living, he painted many hasty and
inferior pictures. It may be said that Cocchi, in his _Ragionamento del
Matrimonio_, not without good reason took occasion to warn all artists
of the perils of the wedded state.

The school of Massimo produced many celebrated scholars, in consequence
of his method and high reputation, confirming that ancient remark, which
has passed into a proverb, _primus discendi ardor nobilitas est
Magistri_. (The example of the master is the greatest incentive to
improvement). Muzio Rossi passed from his school to that of Guido, and
was chosen at the age of eighteen to paint in the Certosa of Bologna, in
competition with the first masters, and maintained his station on a
comparison; but this very promising artist was immaturely cut off, and
his own country does not possess any work by him, as the Tribune of S.
Pietro in Majella, which he painted a little time before his death, was
modernized, and his labours thus perished. This is the reason that his
works in the Certosa just mentioned, and which are enumerated by Crespi,
are held in great esteem. Another man of genius of this school, Antonio
de Bellis, died also at an early age; he painted several subjects from
the life of S. Carlo, in the church of that saint, which were left
imperfect by his death. His manner partakes somewhat of Guercino, but is
in fact founded like that of all the scholars of Massimo, on the style
of Guido.

Francesco di Rosa, called Pacicco, was not acquainted with Guido
himself, but under the direction of Massimo, devoted himself to the
copying of his works. He is one of the few artists commemorated by Paolo
de' Matteis, in one of his MSS. which admits no artists of inferior
merit. He declares the style of Rosa almost inimitable, not only from
his correct design, but from the rare beauty of the extremities, and
still more from the dignity and grace of the countenances. He had in his
three nieces the most perfect models of beauty, and he possessed a
sublimity of sentiment which elevated his mind to a high sense of
excellence. His colouring, though conducted with exquisite sweetness,
had a strong body, and his pictures preserve a clear and fresh tone.
These are frequently to be found in the houses of the nobility, as he
lived long. He painted some beautiful altarpieces, as S. Tommaso
d'Aquino at the Sanità, the Baptism of S. Candida at S. Pietro d'Aram,
and other pieces.

This artist had a niece of the name of Aniella di Rosa, who may be
called the Sirani of the Neapolitan School, from her talents, beauty,
and the manner of her death, the fair Bolognese being inhumanly poisoned
by some envious artists, and Aniella murdered by a jealous husband. This
husband was Agostino Beltrano, her fellow scholar in the school of
Massimo, where he became a good fresco painter, and a colourist in oil
of no common merit, as is proved by many cabinet pictures and some
altarpieces. His wife also painted in the same style, and was the
companion of his labours, and they jointly prepared many pictures which
their master afterwards finished in such a manner that they were sold as
his own. Some, however, pass under her own name, and are highly
extolled, as the Birth and Death of the Virgin, at the Pietà, not
however without suspicion that Massimo had a considerable share in that
picture, as Guido had in several painted by Gentileschi. But at all
events, her original designs prove her knowledge of art, and her
contemporaries, both painters and writers, do not fail to extol her as
an excellent artist, and as such Paolo de' Matteis, has admitted her
name in his catalogue.

Three young men of Orta became also celebrated scholars in this academy,
Paol Domenico Finoglia, Giacinto de' Popoli, and Giuseppe Marullo. By
the first there remains at the Certosa at Naples, the vault of the
chapel of S. Gennaro, and various pictures in the chapter house. He had
a beautiful expression, fertility, correctness, a good arrangement of
parts, and a happy general effect. The second painted in many churches,
and is admired more for his style of composition, than for his figures.
The third approached so near to his master in manner, that artists have
sometimes ascribed his works to Massimo; and in truth he left some
beautiful productions at S. Severino, and other churches. He had
afterwards a dry style of colouring, particularly in his contours, which
on that account became crude and hard, and he gradually lost the public
favour. His example may serve as a warning to every one to estimate his
own powers correctly, and not to affect genius when he does not possess

Another scholar who obtained a great name, was Andrea Malinconico, of
Naples. There do not exist any frescos by him, but he left many works in
oil, particularly in the church, de' Miracoli, where he painted almost
all the pictures himself. The Evangelists, and the Doctors of the
church, subjects with which he ornamented the pilasters, are the most
beautiful pictures, says the encomiast, of this master; as the attitudes
are noble, the conception original, and the whole painted with the
spirit of a great artist, and with an astonishing freshness of colour.
There are other fine works by him, but several are feeble and
spiritless, which gave a connoisseur occasion to remark that they were
in unison with the name of the painter.

But none of the preceding artists were so much favoured by nature as
Bernardo Cavallino, who at first created a jealous feeling in Massimo
himself. Finding afterwards that his talent lay more in small figures
than large, he pursued that department, and became very celebrated in
his school, beyond which he is not so well known as he deserves to be.
In the galleries of the Neapolitan nobility are to be seen by him, on
canvass and copper, subjects both sacred and profane, composed with
great judgment, and with figures in the style of Poussin, full of spirit
and expression, and accompanied by a native grace, and a simplicity
peculiarly their own. In his colouring, besides his master and
Gentileschi, who were both followers of Guido, he imitated Rubens. He
possessed every quality essential to an accomplished artist, as even the
most extreme poverty could not induce him to hurry his works, which he
was accustomed frequently to retouch before he could entirely satisfy
himself. Life was alone wanting to him, which he unfortunately shortened
by his irregularities.[115]

Andrea Vaccaro was a contemporary and rival of Massimo, but at the same
time his admirer and friend, a man of great imitative powers. He at
first followed Caravaggio, and in that style his pictures are frequently
found in Naples, and some cabinet pictures, which have even imposed upon
connoisseurs, who have bought them for originals of that master. After
some time Massimo won him over to the style of Guido, in which he
succeeded in an admirable manner, though he did not equal his friend. In
this style are executed his most celebrated works at the Certosa, at the
Teatini and Rosario, without enumerating those in collections, where he
is frequently found. On the death of Massimo, he assumed the first rank
among his countrymen. Giordano alone opposed him in his early years,
when on his return from Rome he brought with him a new style from the
school of Cortona, and both artists were competitors for the larger
picture of S. Maria del Pianto. That church had been lately erected in
gratitude to the Virgin, who had liberated the city from pestilence, and
this was the subject of the picture. Each artist made a design, and
Pietro da Cortona being chosen umpire, decided against his own scholar
in favour of Vaccaro, observing, that as he was first in years, so he
was first in design and natural expression. He had not studied frescos
in his youth, but began them when he was advanced in life, in order that
he might not yield the palm to Giordano, but by the loss of his fame, he
verified the proverb, that _ad omnem disciplinam tardior est senectus_.

Of his scholars, Giacomo Farelli was the most successful, who by his
vigorous talents, and by the assistance of his master, painted a picture
in competition with Giordano. The church of S. Brigida has a beautiful
picture of that saint by Farelli, and its author is mentioned by Matteis
as a painter of singular merit. He declined however, in public esteem,
from wishing at an advanced age to change his style, when he painted the
sacristy of the Tesoro. He was on that occasion anxious to imitate
Domenichino, but he did not succeed in his attempt, and indeed he never
afterwards executed any work of merit.

Nor did Domenichino fail to have among the painters of Naples, or of
that state, many deserving followers.[116] Cozza, a Calabrian, who lived
in Rome, I included in that school, as also Antonio Ricci, called il
Barbalunga, who was of Messina, and well known in Rome. I may add, that
he returned to Messina, and ornamented that city with many works; as at
S. Gregorio, the saint writing; the Ascension at S. Michele; two Pietàs
of different designs at S. Niccolo and the Spedale. He is considered as
one of the best painters of Sicily, where good artists have abounded
more than is generally imagined. He formed a school there and left
several scholars.[117]

I ought after him to mention another Sicilian, Pietro del Po da Palermo,
a good engraver, and better known in Rome in that capacity, than as a
painter. There is a S. Leone by him at the church of the Madonna di
Costantinopoli; an altarpiece which however does not do him so much
honour as the pictures which he painted for collections, some of which
are in Spain; and particularly some small pictures which he executed in
the manner of miniatures with exquisite taste. Two of this kind I saw in
Piacenza, at the Sig. della Missione, a Decollation of S. John, and a
Crucifixion of S. Peter in his best manner, and with his name. This
artist, after working in Rome, settled in Naples with a son of the name
of Giacomo, who had been instructed in the art by Poussin and himself.
He also taught a daughter of the name of Teresa, who was skilled in
miniatures. The two Pos were well acquainted with the principles of the
art, and had taught in the academy of Rome. But the father painted
little in Naples; the son found constant employ in ornamenting the halls
and galleries of the nobility with frescos. His intimacy with letters
aided the poetic taste with which his pictures were conceived, and his
varied and enchanting colours fascinated the eye of every spectator. He
was singular and original in his lights, and their various gradations
and reflections. In his figures and drapery he became, as is generally
the case with the machinists, mannered and less correct; nor has he any
claim as an imitator of Domenichino, except from the early instructions
of his father. In Rome there are two paintings by him, one at S. Angiolo
in Pescheria, the other at S. Marta; and there are some in Naples; but
his genius chiefly shines in the frescos of the gallery of the Marchese
Genzano, and in the house of the Duke of Matalona, and still more in
seven apartments of the Prince of Avellino.

A more finished imitator of Zampieri than the two Pos was a scholar of
his, of the name of Francesco di Maria, the author of few works, as he
willingly suffered those reproaches of slowness and irresolution which
accompanied the unfortunate Domenichino to the grave. But his works,
though few in number, are excellent, particularly the history of S.
Lorenzo at the Conventuals in Naples, and also many of his portraits.
One of the latter exhibited in Rome, together with one by Vandyke, and
one by Rubens, was preferred by Poussin, Cortona, and Sacchi, to those
of the Flemish artists. Others of his pictures are bought at great
prices, and are considered by the less experienced as the works of
Domenichino. He resembled that master indeed in every quality, except
grace, which nature had denied him. Hence Giordano said of his figures,
that when consumption had reduced the muscles and bones, they might be
correct and beautiful, but still insipid. In return he did not spare
Giordano; declaring his school "heretical, and that he could not endure
works which owe all their merit to ostentatious colour, and a vague
design," as Matteis, who is partial to the memory of Francesco, attests.

Lanfranco in Naples had contributed, as I have observed, to the
instruction of Massimo, but that artist renounced the style of Lanfranco
for that of Guido. The two Pos, however, were more attached to him, and
imitated his colouring. Pascoli doubts whether he should not assign
Preti to him, an error which we shall shortly confute. Dominici also
includes among his countrymen Brandi, a scholar of Lanfranco; collecting
from one of his letters that he acknowledged Gaeta for his native place.
His family was probably from thence, but he himself was born in
Poli.[118] I included him among the painters of Rome, where he studied
and painted; and I mentioned at the same time the Cav. Giambatista
Benaschi, as he is called by some, or Beinaschi by others. This
variation gave occasion to suppose, that there were two painters of that
name; in the same way there may be a third, as the name is sometimes
written Bernaschi. Some contradictions in his biographers, which it is
not worth our while to enter on, have contributed to perpetuate this
error. I shall only observe, that he was not born until 1636, and was
not a scholar of Lanfranco, but of M. Spirito, in Piedmont, and of
Pietro del Po, in Rome. Thus Orlandi writes of him, who had a better
opportunity than Pascoli, or Dominici, of procuring information from
Angela, the daughter of the Cavaliere, who lived in Rome in his time,
and painted portraits in an agreeable style. He is considered both by
Pascoli and Orlandi, as a painter of Rome, but he left very few works
there, as appears from Titi. Naples was the theatre of his talents, and
there he had numerous scholars, and painted many cupolas, ceilings, and
other considerable works, and with such a variety of design, that there
is not an instance of an attitude being repeated by him. Nor was he
deficient in grace, either of form or colour, as long as he trod in the
steps of Lanfranco, as he did in the S. M. di Loreto, and in other
churches, but aspiring in some others to a more vigorous style, he
became dark and heavy. He excelled in the knowledge of the _sotto in
su_, and displayed extraordinary skill in his foreshortenings. The
painters in Naples have often compared among themselves, says Dominici,
the two pictures of S. Michael, the one by Lanfranco, and the other by
Benaschi, in the church of the Holy Apostles, without being able to
decide to which master they ought to assign the palm of merit.

Guercino himself was never in Naples, but the Cav. Mattia Preti,
commonly called il Cav. Calabrese, allured by the novelty of his style,
repaired to Cento, to avail himself of his instructions. This
information we have from Domenici, who had heard him say, that he was in
fact the scholar of Guercino, but that he had, moreover, studied the
works of all the principal masters; and he had indeed visited almost
every country, and seen and studied the best productions of every
school, both in and beyond Italy. Hence in his painting he may be
compared to a man whose travels have been extensive, and who never hears
a subject started to which he does not add something new, and indeed the
drapery and ornaments, and costume of Preti, are highly varied and
original. He confined himself to design, and did not attempt colours
until his twenty-sixth year. In design he was more vigorous and robust
than delicate, and sometimes inclines to heaviness. In his colouring he
was not attractive, but had a strong _impasto_, a decided chiaroscuro,
and a prevailing ashy tone, that was well adapted for his mournful and
tragical subjects; for, following the bent of his genius, he devoted his
pencil to the representation of martyrdoms, slaughters, pestilence, and
the pangs of a guilty conscience. It was his custom, says Pascoli, at
least in his large works, to paint at the first conception, and true to
nature, and he did not take much pains afterwards in correction, or in
the just expression of the passions.

He executed some large works in fresco in Modena, Naples, and Malta. He
had not equal success at S. Andrea della Valle, in Rome, where he
painted three histories of that saint, under the tribune of Domenichino;
a proximity from which his work suffers considerably, and the figures
appear out of proportion, and not well adapted to the situation. His oil
pictures in Italy are innumerable, as he lived to an advanced age; he
had a great rapidity of hand, and was accustomed, wherever he went, to
leave some memorial of his talents, sometimes in the churches, but
chiefly in private collections, and they are, in general, figures of
half size, like those of Guercino and Caravaggio. Naples, Rome, and
Florence, all abound with his works, but above all Bologna. In the
Marulli palace is his Belisarius asking alms; in that of Ratti, a S.
Penitente, chained in a suffering position; in the Malvezzi palace, Sir
Thomas More in prison; in that of the Ercolani, a Pestilence, besides
many more in the same, and other galleries of the nobility. Amongst his
altarpieces, one of the most finished is in the Duomo of Siena, S.
Bernardino preaching to and converting the people. In Naples, besides
the soffitto of the church de' Celestini, he painted not a little; less
however than both he himself and the professors of a better taste
desired, and in conjunction with whom he resisted the innovations of
Giordano. But that artist had an unprecedented popularity, and in spite
of his faults triumphed over all his contemporaries, and Preti was
himself obliged to relinquish the contest, and close his days in Malta,
of which order, in honour of his great merit as a painter, he was made a
commendatore. He left some imitators in Naples, one of whom was Domenico
Viola; but neither he, nor his other scholars passed the bounds of
mediocrity. The same may be said of Gregorio Preti, his brother, of whom
there is a fresco at S. Carlo de' Catinari, in Rome.

After this enumeration of foreign artists, we must now return to the
national school, and notice some disciples of Ribera, It often happens
that those masters who are mannerists, form scholars who confine their
powers to the sole imitation of their master, and thus produce pictures
that deceive the most experienced, and which in other countries are
esteemed the works of the master himself. This was the case with
Giovanni Do, and Bartolommeo Passante, in regard to Spagnoletto,
although the first in progress of time softened his manner, and tamed
his flesh tints; while the second added only to the usual style of
Spagnoletto, a more finished design and expression. Francesco Fracanzani
possessed a peculiar grandeur of style, and a noble tone of colour; and
the death of S. Joseph, which he painted at the Pellegrini, is one of
the best pictures of the city. Afterwards however his necessities
compelled him to paint in a coarse manner in order to gratify the
vulgar, and he fell into bad habits of life, and was finally, for some
crime or other, condemned to die by the hands of the hangman, a
sentence, which for the honour of the art, was compounded for his secret
death in prison by poison.[119]

Aniello Falcone and Salvator Rosa are the great boast of this school;
although Rosa frequented it but a short time and improved himself
afterwards by the instructions of Falcone. Aniello possessed an
extraordinary talent in battle pieces. He painted them both in large and
small size, taking the subjects from the sacred writings, from profane
history, or poetry; his dresses, arms, and features, were as varied as
the combatants he represented. Animated in his expression, select and
natural in the figures and action of his horses, and intelligent in
military affairs, though he had never been in the army, nor seen a
battle; he drew correctly, consulted truth in every thing, coloured with
care, and had a good impasto. That he taught Borgognone as some have
supposed, it is difficult to believe. Baldinucci, who had from that
artist himself the information which he published respecting him, does
not say a word of it. It is however true, that they were acquainted and
mutually esteemed each other; and if the battle pieces of Borgognone
have found a place in the collections of the great, and have been bought
at great prices, those of Aniello have had the like good fortune. He had
many scholars, and by means of them and some other painters his friends,
he was enabled to revenge the death of a relation and also of a scholar,
whom the Spanish authorities had put to death. On the revolution of Maso
Aniello, he and his partisans formed themselves into a company called
the Band of Death; and, protected by Spagnoletto, who excused them to
the Viceroy, committed the most revolting and sanguinary excesses; until
the state was composed, and the people reduced to submission, when this
murderous band fled, to escape the hands of justice. Falcone withdrew to
France for some years, and left many works there; the remainder fled to
Rome, or to other places of safety.

The most celebrated of the immediate scholars of Falcone was Salvator
Rosa, whom we have elsewhere noticed, who began his career by painting
battles, and became a most distinguished landscape painter; and Domenico
Gargiuoli, called Micco Spadaro, a landscape painter of merit, and a
good painter in large compositions, as he appears at the Certosa, and in
other churches. He had an extraordinary talent too in painting small
figures, and might with propriety be called the Cerquozzi of his school.
Hence Viviano Codagora, who was an eminent landscape painter, after
becoming acquainted with him, would not permit any other artist to
ornament his works with figures, as he introduced them with infinite
grace; and this circumstance probably led to their intimate friendship,
and to risking their lives in the same cause as we have before related.
The Neapolitan galleries possess many of their pictures; and some have
specimens of _capricci_, or humourous pictures, all by the hand of
Spadaro. He indeed had no equal in depicting the manners and dresses of
the common people of his country, particularly in large assemblies. In
some of his works of this kind, the number of his figures have exceeded
a thousand. He was assisted by the etchings of Stefano della Bella, and
Callot, both of whom were celebrated for placing a great body of people
in a little space; but it was in the true spirit of imitation, and
without a trace of servility; on the contrary, he improved the principal
figures (where bad contours are with difficulty concealed) and corrected
the attitudes, and carefully retouched them.

Carlo Coppola is sometimes mistaken for Falcone from their similarity of
manner: except that a certain fulness with which he paints his horses in
his battle pieces, may serve as a distinction. Andrea di Lione resembles
him, but in his battles we easily trace his imitation. Marzio Masturzo
studied some time with Falcone; but longer with Rosa in Rome, and was
his best scholar; but he is sometimes rather crude in his figures, and
rocks, and trunks of trees, and less bright in his skies. His flesh
tints are not pallid, like those of Rosa, as in these he followed

I shall close this catalogue, passing over some less celebrated artists,
with Paolo Porpora, who from battles, were directed by the impulse of
his genius to the painting of animals, but succeeded best in fish, and
shells, and other marine productions, being less skilled in flowers and
fruit. But about his time Abraham Brughel painted these subjects in an
exquisite style in Naples, where he settled and ended his days. From
this period we may date a favourable epoch for certain pictures of minor
rank, which still add to the decoration of galleries and contribute to
the fame of their authors. After the two first we may mention
Giambatista Ruoppoli and Onofrio Loth, scholars of Porpora, excelling
him in fruits, and particularly in grapes, and little inferior in other

Giuseppe Cav. Recco, from the same school, is one of the most celebrated
painters in Italy, of hunting, fowling, and fishing pieces, and similar
subjects. One of his best pictures which I have seen, is in the house of
the Conti Simonetti d'Osimo, on which the author has inscribed his name.
He was admired in the collections also for his beautiful colouring,
which he acquired in Lombardy; and he resided for many years at the
court of Spain, whilst Giordano was there. There was also a scholar of
Ruoppoli, called Andrea Belvedere, excelling in the same line, but most
in flowers and fruit. There arose a dispute between him and Giordano,
Andrea asserting that the historical painters cannot venture with
success on these smaller subjects; Giordano, on the contrary,
maintaining that the greater included the less; which words he verified
by painting a picture of birds, flowers, and fruit, so beautifully
grouped that it robbed Andrea of his fame, and obliged him to take
refuge among men of letters; and indeed in the literary circle he held a
respectable station.

Nevertheless his pictures did not fall in esteem or value, and his
posterity after him still continue to embellish the cabinets of the
great. His most celebrated scholar was Tommaso Realfonso, who to the
talents of his master, added that of the natural representation of every
description of utensils, and all kinds of confectionery and eatables. He
had also excellent imitators in Giacomo Nani, and Baldassar Caro,
employed to ornament the royal court of King Charles of Bourbon; and
Gaspar Lopez, the scholar first of Dubbisson, afterwards of Belvidere.
Lopez became a good landscape painter, was employed by the Grand Duke of
Tuscany, and resided a considerable time in Venice. According to
Dominici he died in Florence, and the author of the Algarotti Catalogue
in Venice, informs us, that that event took place about the year 1732.
We may here close the series of minor painters of the school of
Aniello,[120] and may now proceed to the succeeding epoch, commencing
with the historical painters.

[Footnote 111: In tom. iii. of the _Lett. Pittoriche_, is a letter of P.
Sebastiano Resta dell'Oratorio, wherein he says, it is probable that the
Cav. d'Arpino imitated him in his youth: which cannot be admitted, as it
is known that Cesari formed himself in Rome, and resided only in Naples
when an adult. As to the resemblance between them, that applies as well
to other artists. In the same letter Corenzio is called the Cav.
Bellisario, and some anecdotes are related of him, and among others,
that he lived to the age of a hundred and twenty. This is one of those
tales to which this writer so easily gives credit. In proof of this we
may refer to Tiraboschi, in the life of Antonio Allegri, where similar
instances of his credulity are noticed.]

[Footnote 112: Caravaggio had another scholar of eminence in Mario
Minniti of Syracuse, who however passed a considerable part of his life
in Messina. Having painted for some time in Rome with Caravaggio, he
imbibed his taste; and though he did not equal him in the vigour of
style, he displayed more grace and amenity. There are works remaining of
him in all parts of Sicily, as he painted much, and retained in his
service twelve scholars, whose works he retouched, and sold as his own.
Hence his pictures do not altogether correspond with his reputation.
Messina possesses several, as the Dead of Nain at the Church of the
Capucins, and the Virgin, the tutelar saint, at the Virginelle.]

[Footnote 113: Among the scholars of Annibale, I find Carlo Sellitto
mentioned, to whom Guarienti assigns a place in the Abbeccadario, and I
further find him commended in some MS. notices of eminent artists of the

[Footnote 114: There is a different account of him in the Memorie de'
Pittori Messinesi, where it is said that his true family name was
Rodriguez. It is there said that he studied in Rome, and went from
thence to work in Naples, in the Guida of which city he is frequently
mentioned. It is added that, from his Roman style, he was called by his
brother Alonso, the _slave of the antique_; and that he returned the
compliment by calling his brother, who was instructed in Venice, _the
slave of nature_. But Alonso, who spent his life in Sicily, surpassed
his brother in reputation; and it is a rare commendation that he painted
much and well. He particularly shone in the Probatica in S. Cosmo de'
Medici, and the picture of two Founders of Messina in the senatorial
palace, a work rewarded with a thousand scudi. His fame declined, and he
began to fail in commissions on the arrival of Barbalunga. But he did
not, on that account, refuse him his esteem, as he was accustomed to
call him the Caracci of Sicily.]

[Footnote 115: I find in Messina, Gio. Fulco, who imbibed the principles
of the art under the Cav. Massimo; a correct designer, a lively and
graceful painter, particularly of children, excepting a somewhat too
great fleshiness, and a trace of mannerism. Many of his works in his
native country were destroyed by an earthquake. Some remain at the
Nunziata de' Teatini, where in the chapel of the Crucifix are his
frescos, and a picture by him in oil of the Nativity of the Virgin.]

[Footnote 116: Gio. Batista Durand, of Burgundy, was established in
Messina. He was the scholar of Domenichino, and was always attached to
his manner. Of his larger works we find only a S. Cecilia in the convent
of that saint, as he was generally occupied in painting portraits. He
had a daughter called Flavia, the wife of Filippo Giannetti, skilled in
portraits, and an excellent copyist.]

[Footnote 117: Domenico Maroli, Onofrio Gabriello, and Agostino Scilla,
were the three painters of Messina who did him the most honour, although
from being engaged in the revolutions of 1674 and 1676, the first lost
his life, and the other two were long exiles from their country. Maroli
did not adopt the style of Barbalunga exclusively, but having made a
voyage to Venice, and there studied the works of the best Venetian
artists, and particularly of Paolo, he returned with many of the
excellences of that great master, brilliant flesh tints, a beautiful air
in his heads, and a fine style in his drawings of women, a talent which
he abused as much or more than Liberi. To this moral vice he added a
professional one, which was painting sometimes on the _imprimiture_, and
generally with little colour; whence his works, which were extolled and
sought after when new, became, when old, neglected, like those dark
paintings of the Venetian School, which we have mentioned. Messina has
many of them: the Martyrdom of S. Placido at the Suore di S. Paolo, the
Nativity of the Virgin in the church della Grotta, and some others. In
Venice there must also be remaining in private collections, some of his
paintings of animals in the style of Bassano, as we have before
mentioned. Onofrio Gabriello was for six years with Barbalunga, and for
some further time with Poussin, and then with Cortona in Rome, until
passing another nine years in Venice with Maroli, he brought back with
him to Messina that master's vicious method of colour, but not his
style. In the latter he aimed at originality, exhibiting much lightness,
grace, and fancy, in the accessory parts, and in ribbons, jewels, and
lace, in which he particularly excelled. He left many pictures in
Messina, in the church of S. Francesco di Paola: many also in Padua, in
the _Guida_ of which city various pictures by him are enumerated,
without mentioning his cabinet pictures and portraits in private
collections. I have seen several in possession of the noble and learned
Sig. Co. Antonio Maria Borromeo; amongst which is a family piece with a
portrait of the painter.

Agostino Scilla, or Silla, as Orlandi calls him, opened a school in
Messina, which was much frequented while it lasted, but the scholars
were dispersed by the storm of revolutions, in which they took a part,
not without great injury both to the art and themselves. He possessed an
elegant genius for painting, which he cultivated, and added to it a
taste for poetry, natural history, and antiquities. His genius raised
such high expectations in Barbalunga, that he procured a pension for him
from the senate, in order to enable him to reside in Rome under Andrea
Sacchi. After four years he returned to Messina, highly accomplished,
from his study of the antique and of Raffaello, and if his colouring was
at first somewhat dry, he soon rendered it rich and agreeable. He
excelled in figures and in heads, particularly of old men, and had a
peculiar talent in landscapes, animals, and fruit. For this I may refer
to the Roman School, where he is mentioned with his brother and son.
There are few of his works in Rome, but many in Messina. His frescos are
in S. Domenico, and in the Nunziata de' Teatini, and many paintings in
other places, among which is S. Ilarione dying, in the church of S.
Ursula, than which work there is no greater favourite with the public.

Of the scholars of Scilla, who remained in Messina after the departure
of their master, there is not much to be said. F. Emanuel da Como we
have mentioned elsewhere. Giuseppe Balestriero, an excellent copyist of
the works of Agostino, and a good designer, after painting some
pictures, became a priest, and took leave of the art. Antonio la Falce
was a good painter in distemper and in oil. He afterwards attempted
frescos, and painted tavern scenes. Placido Celi, a man of singular
talents, but bad habits, followed his master to Rome. He there changed
his style for that of Maratta and Morandi; after whose works he painted
in Rome, in the churches dell'Anima and Traspontina, and in several
churches of his own country, but he never passed the bounds of
mediocrity. A higher reputation belongs to Antonio Madiona, of Syracuse,
who although he separated himself from Scilla in Rome, to follow il
Preti to Malta, was nevertheless an industrious artist, and painted both
there and in Sicily, in a strong and vigorous style, which partakes of
both his masters. And this may suffice for the members of this
unfortunate school.

To complete the list of the chief scholars of Barbalunga, I may mention
here Bartolommeo Tricomi, who confined himself to portrait painting, and
in this hereditary gift of the school of Domenichino, he greatly
excelled. He had notwithstanding in Andrea Suppa a scholar who surpassed
him. The latter learned also of Casembrot, as far as regards landscape
and architecture; but he formed himself principally on the antique; and
by constantly studying Raffaello and the Caracci, and other select
masters, or their drawings, he acquired a most enchanting style of
countenance, and indeed of every part of his composition. His works are
as fine as miniature, and are perhaps too highly finished. His subjects,
in unison with his genius, are of a pensive and melancholy cast, and are
always treated in a pathetic manner. He excelled in frescos, and painted
the vaults in the Suore in S. Paolo; he excelled equally in oils, as may
be seen from the picture of S. Scolastica, there also. Some of his works
were lost by earthquakes. His style was happily imitated by Antonio
Bova, his scholar, and we may compare their works together at the
Nunziata de' Teatini. He painted much in oil, as well as fresco, and
from his placid and tranquil disposition, took no part in the
revolutions of Messina, but remained at home, where he closed his days
in peace, and with him expired the school of Barbalunga.]

[Footnote 118: Pascoli, Vite, tom. i. p. 129.]

[Footnote 119: I may insert at the close of this epoch the names of some
Sicilian painters, who flourished in it, or at the beginning of the
following, instructed by various masters. They were furnished to me by
the Sig. Ansaldo, whose attentions I have before acknowledged, and were
transmitted to him by a painter of that island. Filippo Tancredi was of
Messina, but is not assigned to any of the before mentioned masters, as
he studied in Naples and in Rome under Maratta. He was a skilful artist,
composed and coloured well; was celebrated in Messina, and also in
Palermo, where he lived many years, and where the vault of the church
de' Teatini, and that also of the Gesù Nuovo were painted by him. The
Cav. Pietro Novelli (or Morelli, which latter however I regard as an
error) called Monrealese from his native place, also enjoyed the
reputation of a good painter, and an able architect. He there left many
works in oil and fresco, and the great picture of the Marriage at Cana,
in the refectory of the P. P. Benedettini, is particularly commended. He
resided for a long time in Palermo, and the greatest work he there
executed, was in the church of the Conventuals, the vault of which was
divided into compartments, and wholly painted by himself. Guarienti
eulogises him for his style, as diligent in copying nature, correct in
design, and graceful in his colouring, with some imitation of
Spagnoletto; and the people of Palermo confer daily honour on him,
since, whenever they meet with a foreigner of taste, they point out to
him little else in the city, than the works of this great man. Pietro
Aquila, of Marzalla, a distinguished artist, who engraved the Farnese
gallery, left no works to my knowledge in Rome; in Palermo there remain
of him two pictures in the church della Pietà, representing the parable
of the Prodigal Son. Lo Zoppo di Gangi is known at Castro Giovanni,
where in the Duomo he left several works. Of the Cav. Giuseppe Paladini,
a Sicilian, I find commended at S. Joseph di Castel Termini, the picture
of the Madonna and the tutelar saint. I also find honourable mention
among the chief painters of this island, of a Carrega, who I believe
painted for private individuals. Others, though I know not of what
merit, are found inscribed in the academy of S. Luke, from the registers
of which I have derived some information for my third and fourth
volumes, communicated to me by the Sig. Maron, the worthy secretary of
the academy.]

[Footnote 120: In this epoch flourished in Messina one Abraham
Casembrot, a Dutchman, who was considered one of the first painters of
his time, of landscape, seapieces, harbours, and tempests. He professed
architecture also, and was celebrated for his small figures. He was
accustomed to give the highest finish to every thing he painted. The
church of S. Giovacchino has three pictures of the Passion by him. Some
individuals of Messina possess delightful specimens of him, though not
many, as he sold them at high prices, and generally to Holland. Hence
most of the collectors of Messina turned to Jocino, the contemporary of
Casembrot; a painter of a vigorous imagination, and rapid execution. His
landscapes and views are still prized, and maintain their value. I do
not find that Casembrot wholly formed any scholar at Messina. He
communicated, however, the elements of architecture and perspective to
several, as well as the principles of painting. For this reason we find
enumerated among his scholars the Cappucin P. Feliciano da Messina
(Domenico Guargena) who afterwards studied Guido in the convent of
Bologna, and imbued himself with his style. Hackert makes honourable
mention of a Madonna and Child and S. Francesco by him at the church of
that order in Messina, and he assigns the palm to him among the painters
of his order, which boasted not a few.]



  _Luca Giordano, Solimene, and their scholars._

A little beyond the middle of the 17th century, Luca Giordano began to
flourish in Naples. This master, though he did not excel his
contemporaries in his style, surpassed them all in good fortune, for
which he was indebted to his vast talents, confidence, and unbounded
powers of invention, which Maratta considered unrivalled and
unprecedented. In this he was eminently gifted by nature from his
earliest youth. Antonio, his father, placed him first under the
instructions of Ribera, and afterwards under Cortona in Rome,[121] and
having conducted him through all the best schools of Italy, he brought
him home rich in designs and in ideas. His father was an indifferent
painter, and being obliged in Rome to subsist by his son's labours,
whose drawings were at that time in the greatest request,[122] the only
principle that he instilled into him was one dictated by necessity,
despatch. A humorous anecdote is related, that Luca, when he was obliged
to take refreshments, did not retire from his work, but, gaping like a
young bird, gave notice to his father of the calls of hunger, who,
always on the watch, instantly supplied him with food, at the same time
reiterating with affectionate solicitude, _Luca fa presto_. Upon this
incident he was always afterwards known by the name of _Luca fa presto_,
among the students in Rome, and which is also his most frequent
appellation in the history of the art. By means like these, Antonio
acquired for his son a portentous celerity of hand, from which quality
he has been called _il Fulmine della pittura_. The truth however is,
that this despatch was not derived wholly from rapidity of pencil, but
was aided by the quickness of his imagination, as Solimene often
observed, by which he was enabled to ascertain, from the first
commencement of his work, the result he proposed to himself, without
hesitating to consider the component parts, or doubting, proving, and
selecting like other painters. He also obtained the name of the Proteus
of painting, from his extraordinary talent in imitating every known
manner, the consequence of his strong memory, which retained every thing
he had once seen. There are numerous instances of pictures painted by
him in the style of Albert Durer, Bassano, Titian, and Rubens, with
which he imposed on connoisseurs and on his rivals, who had more cause
than any other persons to be on their guard against him. These pictures
are valued by dealers at more than double or triple the price of
pictures of his own composition. There are examples of them even in the
churches at Naples; as the two pictures in the style of Guido at S.
Teresa, and particularly that of the Nativity. There is also at the
court of Spain a Holy Family, so much resembling Raffaello, that, as
Mengs says in a letter, (tom. ii. p. 67,) whoever is not conversant with
the quality of beauty essential to the works of that great master, would
be deceived by the imitation of Giordano.

He did not however permanently adopt any of these styles as his own. At
first he evidently formed himself on Spagnoletto; afterwards, as in a
picture of the Passion at S. Teresa a little before mentioned, he
adhered to Paul Veronese; and he ever retained the maxim of that master,
by a studied decoration to excite astonishment, and to fascinate the
eye. From Cortona he seems to have taken his contrast of composition,
the great masses of light, and the frequent repetition of the same
features, which, in his female figures, he always copied from his wife.
In other respects he aimed at distinguishing himself from every other
master by a novel mode of colouring. He was not solicitous to conform to
the true principles of art; his style is not natural either in tone or
colour, and still less so in its chiaroscuro, in which Giordano formed
for himself a manner ideal and wholly arbitrary. He pleased,
notwithstanding, by a certain deceptive grace and attraction, which few
attempt, and which none have found it easy to imitate. Nor did he
recommend this style to his scholars, but on the contrary reproved them
when he saw them disposed to imitate him, telling them that it was not
the province of young students to penetrate so far. He was well
acquainted with the principles of design, but would not be at the
trouble of observing them; and in the opinion of Dominici, if he had
adhered to them too rigidly he would have enfeebled that spirit which is
his greatest merit; an excuse which perhaps will not appear satisfactory
to every amateur. Another reason may with more probability of truth be
assigned, which was his unbounded cupidity, and his habit of not
refusing commissions from the meanest quarter, which led him to abuse
his facility to the prejudice of his reputation. Hence, among other
things, he has been accused of having often painted superficially,
without impasto, and with a superabundance of oil, so that some of his
pictures have almost disappeared from the canvass.

Naples abounds with the works of Giordano both public and private. There
is scarcely a church in that great city which does not boast some work
by him. A much admired piece is the Expulsion of the sellers and buyers
from the Temple at the P. P. Girolamini: the architectural parts of
which are painted by Moscatiello, a good perspective painter. Of his
frescos, those at the Treasury of the Certosa are esteemed the best.
They were executed by him when his powers were matured, and appear to
unite in themselves all the best qualities of the artist. Every one must
be forcibly struck by the picture of the Serpent raised in the desert,
and the throng of Israelites, who, assailed in a horrible manner, turn
to it for relief. The other pictures on the walls and in the vault, all
scriptural, are equally powerful in effect. The cupola of S. Brigida is
also extolled, which was painted in competition with Francesco di Maria,
and in so very short a time, and with such fascinating tints, that it
was preferred by the vulgar to the work of that accomplished master, and
thus served to diffuse less solid principles among the rising artists.
As a miracle of despatch we are also shewn the picture of S. Saverio,
painted for the church of that saint in a day and a half, full of
figures, and as beautiful in colour as any of his pictures. Luca went to
Florence to paint the Capella Corsini and the Riccardi Gallery, besides
many works in the churches and for individuals, particularly for the
noble house of Rosso, who possessed the Baccanali of Giordano,
afterwards removed to the palace of the Marchese Gino Capponi. He was
also employed by the Grand Duke; and Cosmo III., in whose presence he
designed and painted a large picture in less time than I dare mention,
complimented him by saying that he was a fit painter for a sovereign
prince. The same eulogium was passed on him by Charles II. of Spain, in
whose court he resided thirteen years; and, to judge from the number of
works he left there, it might be supposed that he had consumed a long
life in his service. He continued and finished the series of paintings
begun by Cambiasi of Genoa, in the church of the Escurial, and
ornamented the vault, the cupola, and the walls with many scriptural
subjects, chiefly from the life of Solomon. He painted some other large
compositions in fresco in a church of S. Antonio, in the palace of
Buonritiro, in the Hall of the Ambassadors; and for the Queen Mother a
Nativity, most highly finished, which is said to be a surprising
picture, and perhaps superior to any other of his painting. If all his
works had been executed with similar care, the observation, that his
example had corrupted the Spanish School, might perhaps have been
spared.[123] In his old age he returned to his native place, loaded with
honours and riches, and died lamented and regretted as the greatest
genius of his age.

His school produced but few designers of merit; most of them were
contaminated by the maxim of their master, that it is the province of a
painter to please the public, and that their favour is more easily won
by colour than by correct design; so that, without much attention to the
latter, they gave themselves entirely to facility of hand. His favorite
scholars were Aniello Rossi of Naples, and Matteo Pacelli della
Basilicata, whom he took with him to Spain as assistants, and who
returned with him home with handsome pensions, and lived after in
leisure and independence. Niccolo Rossi of Naples became a good designer
and colourist in the style of his master, although somewhat too red in
his tints. In some of his more important works, as in the soffitto of
the royal chapel, Giordano assisted him with his designs. He painted
much for private individuals, and was considered next to Reco in his
drawings of animals. The _Guida_ of Naples commends him and Tommaso
Fasano, for their skill in painting in distemper some very fine works
for Santi Sepolcri and Quarantore. Giuseppe Simonelli, originally a
servant of Giordano, became an accurate copyist of his works, and an
excellent imitator of his colouring. He did not succeed in design,
though he is praised for a S. Niccola di Tolentino in the church of
Montesanto, which approaches to the best and most correct manner of
Giordano. Andrea Miglionico had more facility of invention, and equal
taste in colour, but he has less grace than Simonelli. Andrea also
painted in many churches in Naples, and I find him highly commended for
his picture of the Pentecost in the S. S. Nunziata. A Franceschitto, a
Spaniard, was so promising an artist that Luca was accustomed to say,
that he would prove a greater man than his master. But he died very
young, leaving in Naples a favourable specimen of his genius in the S.
Pasquale, which he painted in S. Maria del Monte. It contains a
beautiful landscape, and a delightful choir of angels.

But his first scholar, in point of excellence, was Paolo de' Matteis,
mentioned also by Pascoli among the best scholars of Morandi, and an
artist who might vie with the first of his age. He was invited to
France, and during the three years that he resided there, obtained
considerable celebrity in the court and in the kingdom at large. He was
then engaged by Benedict XIII. to come to Rome, where he painted at the
Minerva and at the Ara Coeli. He decorated other cities also with his
works, particularly Genoa, which has two very valuable pictures by him
at S. Girolamo; the one, that saint appearing and speaking to S. Saverio
in a dream; the other, the Immaculate Conception with an angelic choir,
as graceful as ever was painted. His home was, notwithstanding, in
Naples, and that is the place where we ought to view him. He there
decorated with his frescos the churches, galleries, halls, and ceilings
in great number; often rivalling the celerity without attaining the
merit of his master. It was his boast to have painted in sixty-six days
a large cupola, that of the Gesù Nuovo, a few years since taken down in
consequence of its dangerous state; a boast which, when Solimene heard,
he sarcastically replied, that the work declared the fact itself without
his mentioning it. Nevertheless there were so many beauties in it in the
style of Lanfranco, that its rapid execution excited admiration.

When he worked with care, as in the church of the Pii Operai, in the
Matalona Gallery, and in many pictures for private individuals, he left
nothing to desire, either in his composition, in the grace of his
contour, in the beauty of his countenances, though there was little
variety in the latter, or in any of the other estimable qualities of a
painter. His colouring was at first _Giordanesque_; afterwards he
painted with more force of chiaroscuro, but with a softness and delicacy
of tint, particularly in the madonnas and children, where he sometimes
displays the sweetness of Albano, and a trace of the Roman School, in
which he had also studied. He was not very happy in his scholars, who
were not numerous. Giuseppe Mastroleo is the most distinguished, who is
much praised for his S. Erasmus at S. Maria Nuova. Gio. Batista Lama was
a fellow disciple, and afterwards a relative of Matteis, and received
some assistance from him in his studies. Excited by the example of
Paolo, he attained a suavity of colour and of chiaroscuro, much praised
in his larger works, as the gallery of the Duke of S. Niccola Gaeta, and
particularly in his pictures of small figures in collections. In these
he was fond of representing mythological stories, and they are not
unfrequent in Naples and its territories.

Francesco Solimene, called L'Abate Ciccio, born at Nocera de' Pagani,
was the son of Angelo, a scholar of Massimo. Early imbibing a love of
painting, he forsook the study of letters, and after receiving the first
rudiments of the art from his father, he repaired to Naples. He there
entered the school of Francesco di Maria, but soon left it, as he
thought that master too exclusively devoted to design. He then
frequented the academy of Po, where he industriously began at the same
time to draw from the naked figure and to colour. Thus he may be said to
have been the scholar of the best masters, as he always copied and
studied their works. At first he imitated Pietro da Cortona, but
afterwards formed a manner of his own, still retaining that master as
his model, and copying entire figures from him, which he adapted to his
new style. This new and striking style of Solimene approached nearer
than any other to that of Preti. The design is not so correct, the
colouring not so true, but the faces have more beauty: in these he
sometimes imitated Guido, and sometimes Maratta, and they are often
selected from nature. Hence by some he was called il Cav. Calabrese
_ringentilito_. To the style of Preti he added that of Lanfranco, whom
he named his master, and from whom he adopted that curving form of
composition, which he perhaps carried beyond propriety. From these two
masters he took his chiaroscuro, which he painted strong in his middle
age, but softened as he advanced in years, and then attached himself
more to facility and elegance of style. He carefully designed every part
of his picture, and corrected it from nature before he coloured it; so
that in preparing his works, he may be included among the most correct,
at least in his better days, for he latterly declined into the general
facility, and opened the way to mannerism. He possessed an elegant and
fruitful talent of invention, for which he is celebrated by the poets of
the day. He was also characterised by a sort of universality in every
style he attempted, extending himself to every branch of the art;
history, portrait, landscape, animals, fruit, architecture, utensils;
and whatever he attempted, he seemed formed for that alone. As he lived
till the age of ninety, and was endowed with great celerity of pencil,
his works, like those of Giordano, were spread over all Europe. Of that
artist he was at the same time the competitor and the friend, less
powerful in genius, but more correct in his principles. When Giordano
died, and Solimene became the first painter in Italy, notwithstanding
what his rivals said of his colours not being true to nature, he began
to ask extravagant prices for his pictures, and still abounded in

One of his most distinguished works is the sacristy of the P. P. Teatini
detti di S. Paolo Maggiore, painted in various compartments. His
pictures also in the arches of the chapels in the church of the Holy
Apostles deserve to be mentioned. That work had been executed by Giacomo
del Po, to correspond with the style of the tribune, and the other works
which Lanfranco had painted there: but Po did not satisfy the public
expectation. The whole work was therefore effaced, and Solimene was
employed to paint it over again, and proved that he was more worthy of
the commission. The chapel of S. Filippo in the church of the Oratory,
is a proof of his extreme care and attention; every figure in it being
almost as finely finished as a miniature. Among private houses the most
distinguished is the Sanfelice, so called from the name of his noble
scholar Ferdinand, for whom he painted a gallery, which afterwards
became an academy for young artists. Of his large pictures we may
mention that of the great altar in the church of the monks of S.
Gaudioso, without referring to others in the churches and in various
parts of the kingdom; particularly at Monte Cassino, for the church of
which he painted four stupendous pictures in the choir. They will be
found in the _Descrizione Istorica del Monistero di Monte Cassino_,
edited in Naples, in 1751. He is not often met with in private
collections in Italy, beyond the kingdom of Naples. In Rome the princes
Albani and Colonna have some large compositions by him, and the
Bonaccorsi family a greater number in the gallery of Macerata; and among
them the death of Dido, a large picture of fine effect. His largest work
in the ecclesiastical state, is a Supper of our Lord, in the refectory
of the Conventuals of Assisi, an elegant composition, painted with
exquisite care, where the artist has given his own portrait among the
train of attendants.

Solimene instilled his own principles into the minds of his disciples,
who formed a numerous school, which extended even beyond the kingdom of
Naples, about the beginning of the eighteenth century. Among those who
remained in Naples, was Ferdinando Sanfelice, lately noticed by us, a
nobleman of Naples, who put himself under the instructions of Francesco,
and became as it were the arbiter of his wishes. As the master could not
execute all the commissions which crowded on him from every quarter, the
surest mode to engage him was to solicit him through Sanfelice, to whom
alone he could not deny any request. By the assistance of Solimene,
Sanfelice attained a name among historical painters, and painted
altarpieces for several churches. He took great delight in fruit,
landscapes, and views, in which he particularly excelled, and had also
the reputation of an eminent architect. But perhaps none of the
disciples of Solimene approached nearer to the fame of their master than
Francesco de Mura, called Franceschiello. He was a Neapolitan by birth,
and contributed much to the decoration of his native city, both in
public and private. Perhaps no work on the whole procured him a greater
degree of celebrity than the frescos painted in various chambers of the
Royal Palace of Turin, where he competed with Beaumont, who was then in
the height of his reputation. He there ornamented the ceilings of some
of the rooms which contain the Flemish pictures. The subjects which he
chose, and treated with much grace, were the Olympic Games, and the
Deeds of Achilles. In other parts of the palace he also executed various
works. Another artist, who was held in consideration, was Andrea
dell'Asta, who after being instructed by Solimene, went to finish his
studies in Rome, and engrafted on his native style some imitation of
Raffaello and the antique. We may enumerate among his principal works,
the two large pictures of the Nativity, and the Epiphany of Christ,
which he painted in Naples for the church of S. Agostino de' P. P.
Scalzi. Niccolo Maria Rossi was also reputably employed in the churches
of Naples, and in the court itself. Scipione Cappella excelled all the
scholars of Solimene in copying his pictures, which were sometimes
touched by the master and passed for originals. Giuseppe Bonito had a
good invention, and was a distinguished portrait painter, and was
considered one of the best imitators of Solimene. He was at the time of
his death painter to the court of Naples. Conca and he excel their
fellow disciples in the selection of their forms. Other scholars in
Naples and Sicily,[124] less known to me, will be found in the history
of painting in Naples, which has been recently published by the
accomplished Sig. Pietro Signorelli, a work which I have not in my
possession, but which is cited by me, as is the case with several more,
on the authority of others.

Some artists, who resided out of the kingdom, we shall notice in other
schools, and in the Roman School we have already spoken sufficiently of
Conca and Giaquinto; to whom we may add Onofrio Avellino, who resided
some years in Rome, executing commissions for private persons, and
painting in the churches. The vault of S. Francesco di Paola is the
largest work he left. The works of Maja and Campora are to be found in
Genoa, those of Sassi in Milan, and of others of the school of Solimene
in various cities. These artists, it is to be regretted, sometimes
passed the boundaries prescribed by their master. His colouring, though
it might be more true to nature, is yet such as never offends, but
possesses on the contrary a degree of amenity which pleases us. But his
scholars and imitators did not confine themselves within their master's
limits, and it may be asserted, that from no school has the art suffered
more than from them. Florence, Verona, Parma, Bologna, Milan, Turin, in
short, all Italy was infected with their style; and by degrees their
pictures presented so mannered a colouring, that they seemed to abandon
the representation of truth and nature altogether. The habit too of
leaving their pictures unfinished after the manner of Giordano and
Solimene, was by many carried so far, that instead of good paintings,
many credulous buyers have purchased execrable sketches. The imitation
of these two eminent men carried too far, has produced in our own days
pernicious principles, as at an earlier period did the imitation of
Michelangiolo, Tintoretto, and even of Raffaello himself, when carried
to an extreme. The principal and true reason of this deterioration is to
be ascribed generally to the masters of almost all our schools; who,
abandoning the guidance of the ancient masters, endeavoured in their
ignorance to find some new leader, without considering who he might be,
or whither he might lead them. Thus, at every proclamation of new
principles, they and their scholars were ready to follow in their train.

In the time of Giordano and Solimene, Niccola Massaro was considered a
good landscape painter. He was a scholar of Salvator Rosa, but rather
imitated him in design than in colour. In the latter he was insipid, nor
even added the accompaniment of figures to his landscapes, but was
assisted in that respect by Antonio di Simone, not a finished artist,
but of some merit in battle pieces.[125] Massaro instructed Gaetano
Martoriello, who was a landscape painter of a free style, but often
sketching, and his colouring not true to nature. In the opinion of
connoisseurs a better style was displayed by Bernardo Dominici, the
historiographer, and the scholar of Beych in landscape, a careful and
minute painter of Flemish subjects and _bambocciate_. There were two
Neapolitans, Ferraiuoli and Sammartino, who settled in Romagna, and were
good landscape painters. In perspective views Moscatiello was
distinguished, as we observed, when we spoke of Giordano. In the life of
Solimene, Arcangelo Guglielmelli is mentioned as skilled in the same
art. Domenico Brandi of Naples, and Giuseppe Tassoni of Rome, were
rivals in animal painting. In this branch, and also in flowers and
fruits, one Paoluccio Cattamara, who flourished in the time of Orlandi,
was celebrated. Lionardo Coccorante, and Gabriele Ricciardelli, the
scholar of Orizzonte, were distinguished in seaviews and landscapes, and
were employed at the court of King Charles of Bourbon.[126]

By the accession of this prince, a munificent patron of the fine arts,
wherever he reigned, the Neapolitan School was regenerated and
invigorated; employment and rewards awaited the artists; the specimens
of other schools were multiplied, and Mengs, who was invited to paint
the Royal Family, and a large cabinet picture, laid the foundations of a
more solid style, at the same time improving his own fortune, and giving
a considerable impulse to art. But the greatest benefit this monarch has
conferred on the arts is to be found at Ercolano, where under his orders
so many specimens of sculpture and ancient paintings, buried for a long
lapse of ages, have been brought to light, and by his direction
accurately drawn and engraved, and illustrated with learned notes, and
communicated to all countries. Lastly, in order that the benefits which
he had conferred on his own age, might be continued to the future
masters of his country, he turned his attention to the education of
youthful artists. Of this fact I was ignorant at the time of my first
edition, but now write on the information afforded me at the request of
the Marchese D. Francesco Taccone, treasurer of the kingdom, by the very
learned Sig. Daniele, Regio Antiquario, both of whom, with truly
patriotic feelings, have devoted themselves to the preservation of the
antiquities of their country, and are equally polite in communicating to
others that information for which they are themselves so distinguished.
There formerly existed at Naples the academy of S. Luke, founded at the
Gesù Nuovo, in the time of Francesco di Maria, who was one of the
masters, and taught in it anatomy and design. This institution continued
for some years. King Charles in some measure revived this establishment
by a school for painting, which he opened in the Laboratory of mosaics
and tapestry. Six masters of the School of Solimene were placed there as
directors, and some good models being provided in the place, young
artists were permitted to attend and study there. Bonito was engaged as
the acting professor, and after some time Mura was associated with him,
but died before the professor. Ferdinand IV. treading in the steps of
his august father, has, by repeated instances of protection to these
honorable pursuits, conferred fresh honours on the Bourbon name, and
rendered it dearer than ever to the fine arts. He transferred the
academy to the new royal Museum, and supplied it with all requisites for
the instruction of young artists. On the death of Bonito he bestowed the
direction of it on the first masters, and having established pensions
for the maintenance in Rome of a certain number of young men, students
in the three sister arts, he assigned four of these to those students
who were intended for painters; thus confirming by his suffrage to the
city of Rome, that proud appellation which the world at large had long
conceded to her, the Athens of Modern Art.

[Footnote 121: Cortona had in Sicily a good scholar in Gio. Quagliata,
who, in the _Memorie Messinesi_, is said to have been favored and
distinguished by his master; and to have afterwards returned to his
native country to paint in competition with Rodriguez, and what
surprises me still more, with Barbalunga. If we may be allowed to judge
of these two artists by their works which remain in Rome, Barbalunga in
S. Silvestro at Monte Cavallo, appears a great master; Quagliata at the
Madonna di C. P. a respectable scholar. The former is celebrated and
known to every painter in Rome, the latter has not an admirer. In
Messina he perhaps painted better. His biographer commends him as a
graceful and sober painter, as long as his rivals lived; and adds, that
after their death he devoted himself to frescos, when the exuberance of
his imagination is evident in the strong expression of character, and in
the superfluity of architectural and other ornaments. Andrea, his
brother, was not in Rome; he is, however, in Messina, considered a good

[Footnote 122: Giordano is said at this period to have copied the
Chambers and the Gallery of Raffaello no less than twelve times, and
perhaps twenty times the Battle of Constantine, painted by Giulio
Romano, without reckoning his designs after the works of Michelangiolo,
Polidoro, and other great masters. See _Vite del Bellori_, edited in
Rome in 1728, with the addition of the life of Giordano, page 307.]

[Footnote 123: It may be observed, that if he had followers, some of
them did not copy him implicitly. Palomino, although much attached to
Giordano, forsaking letters for painting, when his style was so much in
vogue, did not imitate him servilely, but in conjunction with the style
of other distinguished painters of his age; a good artist, and appointed
by Charles II. painter to himself. This is the same Palamino who has
merited the appellation of the _Vasari of Spain_, and whom I have so
often cited. They who are acquainted with that noble language highly
commend his style, which is perhaps the reason that copies of his
_Teorica e Pratica della Pittura_ (2 vol. fol.) are so rare out of
Spain. But in point of accuracy, like Vasari himself, he often errs. I
fancy that he frequently adopted traditions, without sufficiently
weighing them, which I am led to suspect from the circumstance that in
the scholars assigned to masters, he is guilty of many anachronisms.]

[Footnote 124: The _Memorie de' Messinesi Pittori_ mentions a Gio.
Porcello, who, after studying under Solimene, returned, it is said, to
his native country, where he found the art at an extremely low ebb; and
he attempted to revive it by opening an academy in his house, and
diffusing the taste of his master, which he fully possessed. A still
better style of painting was brought from Rome by Antonio and Paolo, two
brothers, who, fresh from the school of Maratta, also opened an academy
in Messina, which was greatly frequented. They worked in conjunction in
many churches, and excelled in fresco, but in oil Antonio was much
superior to his brother. There was also a third brother, Gaetano, who
executed the ornamental parts. Their works on the walls and on canvass
are to be seen in S. Caterina di Valverde, in S. Gregorio delle Monache,
and elsewhere. There flourished at the same time with the Filocami,
Litterio Paladino, and Placido Campolo, a scholar of Conca in Rome,
where he derived more benefit from the antique marbles than from the
instructions of his master. Both these artists executed works on a very
large scale; and of the first they particularly commend the vault of the
church of Monte Vergine, and, of the second, the vault of the gallery of
the Senate. Both are esteemed for their correct design; but the taste of
the second is more solid and more free from mannerism. The above named
five artists all died in the fatal year of 1743. Luciano Foti survived
them, an excellent copyist of every master, but particularly of
Polidoro, whose style he adopted in his own composition. But his
characteristic merit consisted in his penetration into the secrets of
the art, which enabled him to detect every style, every peculiar
varnish, and the various methods of colouring, so that he not only
ascertained many doubtful masters, but restored pictures, damaged by
time, in so happy a manner as to deceive the most experienced. A man of
such talents outweighs a host of common artists.

To these we may add other artists of the island itself, born in
different places. Marcantonio Bellavia, a Sicilian, who painted in Rome,
at S. Andrea delle Fratte, is conjectured, though not ascertained, to be
a scholar of Cortona. Calandrucci, of Palermo, is named among the
scholars of Maratta. Gaetano Sottino painted the vault of the oratory at
the Madonna di C. P., a respectable artist. Giovacchino Martorana, of
Palermo, was a machinist, and in his native city they boast of the
Chapel de' Crociferi, and at S. Rosalia, four large pictures from the
life of S. Benedict. Olivio Sozzi, of Catania, painted much in Palermo;
particularly at S. Giacomo, where all the altars have pictures by him,
and the tribune three large subjects from the infancy of Christ. Another
Sozzi, of the name of Francesco, I find praised for a picture of Five
Saints, Bishops of Agrigentum, in the Duomo of that city. Of Onofrio
Lipari, of Palermo, there are two pictures of the Martyrdom of S. Oliva
in the Church de' Paolotti. Of Filippo Randazzo, there are to be seen in
Palermo some vast works in fresco, as well as of Tommaso Sciacca, who
was an assistant of Cavalucci in Rome, and who left some large
compositions at the Duomo and at the Olivetani of Rovigo.]

[Footnote 125: Gio. Tuccari of Messina, the son of an Antonio, a feeble
scholar of Barbalunga, although he painted much in other branches of the
art, owes the celebrity of his name to his battle pieces, which, by the
despatch of his pencil, were multiplied beyond number. They were
frequently sent into Germany where they were engraved. He had a fruitful
and spirited genius, but was not a correct designer.]

[Footnote 126: Among the painters of Messina is mentioned Niccolo
Cartissani, who died in Rome with the name of a good landscape painter,
and Filippo Giannetti, a scholar of Casembrot, who in the vastness of
his landscapes and his views surpassed his master; but he will not bear
a comparison in the correctness of his figures and in finishing; though
he was, from his facility and rapidity of pencil, denominated the
Giordano of landscape painters. He was esteemed and protected by the
Viceroy Co. di S. Stefano, and painted in Palermo and Naples.]

  Transcriber's notes:

  Standardized spacing after apostrophes in Italian names and phrases.
  Standardized inconsistent hyphenation.
  Retained archaic spelling and punctuation, except as noted below.
  Moved footnotes to the end of each chapter.

  Other adjustments:

  Changed 'Pistoia' to 'Pistoja' for consistency with remaining text.
     ...Pistoja, Rimino, and Bologna...
  Changed 'Winckelman' to 'Winckelmann'
     ...as Winckelmann has observed...
  Changed 'Niccolo Alunno' to 'Niccolò Alunno'
     ...different from Niccolò Alunno...
  Added missing end quotation mark
     ..."connoisseurs are very commonly considered as his."...
  Changed 'antient' to 'ancient'
     ...he retained the ancient custom...
  Changed 'beautifully' to 'beautiful'
     ...some singularly beautiful grotesques...
  Changed 'della' to 'dello'
     ...called dello Spasimo, which...
  Eliminated duplicate 'as as'
     ...as in the martyrdom of S. Lucia..
  Added accent to 'Niccolò' Circignani
     ...Niccolò Circignani, or delle Pomarance,...
  Changed 'hat' to 'that'
     ...in the style of that master...
  Retained two-dot ellipsis to represent missing partial date
     ...Castellana, 161.., on a large picture...
  Eliminated duplicate 'was was'
     ...he was called Il Trevisani Romano...
  Changed 'Vandyk' to 'Vandyke'
     ...together with one by Vandyke...

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The History of Painting in Italy, Vol. 2 - from the Period of the Revival of the Fine Arts to the End of the Eighteenth Century" ***

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