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Title: Pintoricchio - The Great Masters in Painting and Sculpture
Author: Phillipps, Evelyn March, -1915
Language: English
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The Great Masters in Painting and Sculpture

Edited by G. C. Williamson

PINTORICCHIO



THE GREAT MASTERS IN PAINTING AND SCULPTURE.


_The following Volumes have been issued, price 5s. net each._

    BERNARDINO LUINI. By GEORGE C. WILLIAMSON, Litt.D., Editor of the
        Series.

    VELASQUEZ. By R. A. M. STEVENSON.

    ANDREA DEL SARTO. By H. GUINNESS.

    LUCA SIGNORELLI. By MAUD CRUTTWELL.

    RAPHAEL. By H. STRACHEY.

    CARLO CRIVELLI. By G. MCNEIL RUSHFORTH, M.A., Lecturer in Classics,

    CORREGGIO. By SELWYN BRINTON, M.A., Author of "The Renaissance in
        Italian Art."

    DONATELLO. By HOPE REA, Author of "Tuscan Artists."

    PERUGINO. By G. C. WILLIAMSON, Litt.D.

    SODOMA. By the CONTESSA LORENZO PRIULI-BON.

    LUCA DELLA ROBBIA. By the MARCHESA BURLAMACCHI.

    GIORGIONE. By HERBERT COOK, M.A., F.S.A.

    MEMLINC. By W. H. JAMES WEALE, late Keeper of the National Art
        Library.

    PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA. By W. G. WATERS, M.A.

    PINTORICCHIO. By EVELYN MARCH PHILLIPPS.


_In preparation._

    EL GRECO. By MANUEL B. COSSIO, Litt.D., Ph.D., Director of the Musée
        Pédagogique, Madrid.

    MICHAEL ANGELO. By CHARLES HOLROYD, Keeper of the National Gallery
        of British Art.

    FRANCIA. By GEORGE C. WILLIAMSON, Litt.D.

    THE BROTHERS BELLINI. By S. ARTHUR STRONG, M.A., Librarian to the
        House of Lords.

    DÜRER. By HANS W. SINGER, M.A., Ph.D., Assistant Director of the
        Royal Print Room, Dresden.

    WILKIE. By LORD RONALD SUTHERLAND-GOWER, M.A., F.S.A., Trustee of
        the National Portrait Gallery.

    TINTORETTO. By J. B. STOUGHTON HOLBORN, M.A. of Merton College,
        Oxford.

    MANTEGNA. By MAUD CRUTTWELL.

    GIOTTO. By F. MASON PERKINS.

    BRUNELLESCHI. By LEADER SCOTT.

_Others to follow._

LONDON: GEORGE BELL & SONS



    [Illustration:
    Hanfstängl, photo.      Dresden Gallery

    Portrait of a Boy,
    by Pintoricchio.]



PINTORICCHIO

    BY
    EVELYN MARCH PHILLIPPS

[Illustration]

    LONDON
    GEORGE BELL & SONS

    1901



CONTENTS


                                                                 PAGE

    LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS                                         vii

    BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                   xi

    PEDIGREE                                                     xiii

    Chapter I. BIOGRAPHICAL                                         1

           II. DERIVATION AND CHARACTER OF HIS ART                 19

          III. FIRST PERIOD IN ROME                                36

           IV. LIFE IN ROME--CONTINUED                             55

            V. THE BORGIA APARTMENTS                               64

           VI. THE SAME, AND THE CASTEL SANT' ANGELO               86

          VII. SPELLO                                             100

         VIII. SIENA AND THE LAST OF ROME                         106

           IX. THE LIBRARY AT SIENA                               115

            X. PANEL PAINTINGS                                    139

    CATALOGUE OF THE WORKS OF PINTORICCHIO                        153

           AUSTRIA-HUNGARY                                        155

           BRITISH ISLES                                          155

           FRANCE                                                 156

           GERMANY                                                156

           ITALY                                                  157

           SPAIN                                                  162

    CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE                                           163

    INDEX                                                         167



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                                 PAGE

    Portrait of a Boy  _Dresden Gallery_           _Frontispiece_  16

    A Miracle of San Bernardino, by Fiorenzo di Lorenzo
                                                _Perugia Gallery_  24

    Four Heads of Women (From the Sketch-Book)           _Venice_  40

    The Journey of Moses                   _Sixtine Chapel, Rome_  42

    The Baptism of Christ                              _The same_  44

    The Burial of San Bernardino. (From the Buffalini Chapel)
                                       _Church of Ara Cœli, Rome_  50

    The Glorification of San Bernardino, from the same _The same_  54

    The Annunciation           _Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_  68

    Pope Alexander VI. adoring the Risen Christ        _The same_  70

    Detail, Figure of the Pope                         _The same_  72

    Detail from the Assumption of the Virgin--the Kneeling Man
                                                       _The same_  74

    The Story of Susanna                               _The same_  74

    St. Anthony and St. Paul--Hermits                  _The same_  76

    The Demon Women, a Detail from the above           _The same_  78

    The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian                     _The same_  78

    The Dispute of St. Catherine                       _The same_  80

    The Figure of St. Catherine, another Detail from the same
                               _Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_  80

    Group of Heads, a Detail from the above            _The same_  82

    General View of the Hall of Liberal Arts and Sciences
                                                       _The same_  86

    The  Madonna and Child, with Angels (over the door)
                                                       _The same_  88

    Figure representing Arithmetic                     _The same_  90

    Figure representing Music                          _The same_  92

    The Adoration of the Shepherds
                                   _Sta. Maria Maggiore, Spello_  102

    The Annunciation                                  _The same_  104

    Portrait of Pintoricchio                          _The same_  104

    The Knight of Aringhieri                             _Siena_  110

    Symbolical Scene, from the Pavement in the Cathedral
                                                      _The same_  112

    The Return of Ulysses             _National Gallery, London_  114

    Study for Fresco I., by Raphael                     _Venice_  118

    Æneas Piccolomini on his way to the Council at Basel
                                            _The Library, Siena_  120

    Frederick  III. crowning Æneas Piccolomini as Poet Laureate
                                                      _The same_  126

    Æneas Piccolomini sent by Frederick III. to Pope Eugenius IV.
                                                      _The same_  128

    A Group of Men, Detail from Fresco IX.            _The same_  132

    Æneas Piccolomini elected Pope under the name of Pius II.
                                                      _The same_  134

    Pope Pius II. at Ancona                           _The same_  136

    The Madonna and Child, with St. John. (From the
        large _ancona_)                        _Perugia Gallery_  140

    The Madonna and Child, with Angels and a Donor
                                           _Duomo, San Severino_  142

    The Madonna and Child             _National Gallery, London_  146

    St. Augustine, St. Benedict, and St. Bernard, from
        the Reliquary                           _Berlin Gallery_  148

    The Christ-Child and St John the Baptist. (From
        the Holy Family)                         _Siena Gallery_  148

    Christ bearing the Cross              _Pal. Borromeo, Milan_  150



BIBLIOGRAPHY


    VASARI. Ed. G. C. Sansoni. Firenze, 1878.

    CROWE AND CAVALCASELLE. "History of Painting in Italy." 1866.

    VERMIGLIOLI. "Memorie di Pinturicchio." Perugia, 1837.

    EHRLE AND STEVENSON. "Gli affreschi del Pinturicchio nell'
        Appartamento, Borgia." 1897.

    A. SCHMARSOW. "Raphael und Pinturicchio in Siena." Stuttgart, 1880.

    A. SCHMARSOW. "Pinturicchio in Rom." Stuttgart, 1882.

    E. STEINMANN. "Pinturicchio," No. 37, Knackfuss Series. 1898.

    B. BERENSON. "Central Italian Painters of the Renaissance." 1897.

    DEAN KITCHIN. "History of Pius II."

    GREGOROVIUS. "History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages."



                                 BIAGIO.
                                   |
                               BENEDETTO.
                                   |
                               BERNARDINO,
                    Painter, called Il Pintoricchio,
                       _b. circa_ 1454; _d._ 1513;
          _m._ Grania, daughter of Niccolò of Modena or Bologna
                                  |
       +-----------+---------+----------+-------------+----------+
       |           |         |          |             |          |
    GIULIO     CAMILLO,   FAUSTINA   EGIDIA,      FAUSTINA,  ADRIANA,
    CESARE,    _b._ 1509  GIROLAMA,  or GILIA,    _m._       _d._ 1519;
    _b._ 1506  in Siena.  _b._ 1510  _m._         Filippodi  _m._
    in Siena.             in Siena.  Girolamo     di         Guiseppe
                                     di Paolo,    Paolo      da
                                     a Perugian,  of         Giovanni
                                     called Il    Deruta.    of
                                     Paffo,                  Perugia
                                     soldier
                                     of the
                                     Piazza
                                     in Siena.

                 (From MILANESI'S _Appendix to Vasari_.)



PINTORICCHIO


CHAPTER I

BIOGRAPHICAL


Pintoricchio is not one of the most famous painters of the Italian
Renaissance, and perhaps no painter who has left us such a mass of work,
and work of such interest, has attracted so little criticism and
inquiry. From the time of Vasari's slighting biography onwards, he has
been included among minor painters and passed over with very superficial
examination. No separate life of him in English exists, no attempt has
been made to consider his work in anything like exhaustive detail, or to
define his charm. It would be idle to claim for him a place in the first
rank: some may question his right to stand in the second; in some of the
greatest essentials he will not pass muster--yet charm he does possess,
qualities whose fascination draws those who are open to it back to him
again and again with fresh pleasure; and for this, and because he
presents us with so true a type of the Umbrian painter of the
Renaissance, it is worth while trying to unravel his history.

Before we try to disentangle the origin of his art, before we compare
his different periods and examine the paintings he has left us, we must
make some attempt to arrive at his personality, to see the man as he
was, to gain what clue we may, by this means, to the work in which his
life was spent.

Nothing can be more meagre than the few hints we have of his origin and
early history, and yet we can probably construct a pretty correct
outline of their chief features. Vermiglioli in 1837 made a careful
examination of the archives of Perugia and Siena, and was the first to
endeavour to rehabilitate the artist, and to re-awaken that public
interest which was so liberally bestowed on him in his lifetime. He was
born at Perugia about 1454, if we are to believe Vasari, who tells us
that when he died in 1513 he was in his fifty-ninth year. His father was
one Benedetto or Benedecto, and he was christened Bernardino Benedetto
(afterwards shortened to Betto or Betti). The famous saint, Bernardino
of Siena, had died ten years earlier and was canonised in 1550. During
his last years his preaching had made a great sensation in Perugia, and
no doubt numbers of children born at this time were dedicated to him. A
document of 1502 exists at Siena,[1] in which Pintoricchio is styled the
son of Benedetto di Biagio, so that we thus learn the bare names of his
father and grandfather. We have no means of knowing their standing, but
the entire absence of any mention of relatives or inheritance makes it
probable that he came of poor people, and was not blessed with any close
family ties. We know nothing of what was the childhood of the "little
painter," only the nickname of "il sordicchio," the deaf one, suggests
that this infirmity may have been one reason why he was dedicated to an
artist's career; but the deafness could hardly have been very
remarkable, as it is never alluded to otherwise, nor does it appear to
have hampered Bernardino's intercourse with the world. There is a faint
tradition[2] that his home was near the Porto San Christoforo, which,
while hardly worth notice, indicates that his youth was passed in
Perugia.

    [1] _Archivio dei Contratti._ Vasari, iii. p. 513, note I._e._

    [2] Vermiglioli, p. 8.

From the tendencies which all his life clung about his work, we surmise
that he began his artistic career under one of the miniature painters
who then flourished in Perugia. Vermiglioli refers to a series of
miniature paintings belonging to his family, which Orsini, in his
researches into the history of Umbrian painting, had already mentioned
as resembling Pintoricchio's work, especially in the use made of
architecture. At the time he was growing up there was a flourishing
college of miniaturists in Perugia, which had reconstructed its statutes
in 1436.

Vasari thus comments upon Bernardino: "Some are helped by fortune,
without being much endowed by merit; ... one knows that Fortune has sons
who depend on her help without any virtue of their own, and she is
pleased that they should owe their exaltation to her favour, when they
would never have been known for their own merit."[3] But Vasari
evidently knew nothing of the good or bad fortune of Pintoricchio's
early days, and was merely balancing his own estimate of the artist
against the consideration he received in later years.

    [3] Vasari, iii. p. 493.

Natural bent and circumstance combined to form Bernardino Betti into an
Umbrian of the Umbrians, placing him on the less powerful but more
indigenous side of the sharply-divided line which ran through the
artistic life of the country. There is sufficient suggestion of
Benedetto Bonfigli in some of his work, to make it probable that he
joined the school which Bonfigli had established in Perugia in the early
part of the fifteenth century. Vasari speaks of him as an assistant and
friend of the older master. Here he would have been brought into close
contact with Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, who must have been considerably the
senior of Pintoricchio, as he was undertaking important commissions as
early as 1472.[4] It is this master whose influence is most strongly
stamped upon him. Afterwards, as we shall see, he constantly transferred
figures from Fiorenzo's panels to his own, while in the older man's
compositions we can pick out others which have more of Pintoricchio than
Fiorenzo; but the latter, though full of originality and attraction as
he is, never advances beyond a certain point, and always retains
something of the archaic.

    [4] Crowe and Cavalcaselle, iii. 153.

It is in 1482 that Bernardino first emerges from the realm of
conjecture, and appears, forming part of that brilliant group which was
gathered together in Rome to decorate the walls of Sixtus IV.'s
newly-built chapel.

Already he may have been confused in Umbria with the very inferior
master, Bernardino Mariotto of Perugia, who lived for many years at San
Severino, where he had a school in the monastery of the old town. His
paintings have often been assigned to his contemporary, and this is
very likely the reason that the latter always signs and calls himself
Pintoricchio. While he endeavoured to guard against being credited with
works he had not produced, he has been robbed of those really due to
him. It is strange indeed that for several centuries the part he took in
such a great work as the Sixtine Chapel should have been ignored, for it
was the success of these frescoes which sufficed to establish his fame
in Rome, and for some years after this we find him in full employment
there. The chapel was completed in 1485, but Pintoricchio's part was
probably finished earlier, and it is at this time that most critics
concur in placing his work in the church of Ara Cœli. He had commended
himself to the patronage and friendship of Domenico della Rovere,
brother of Pope Sixtus, and was a guest at his house in the Palazzo di
SS. Apostoli, where he painted a decoration, and he was also employed at
this time in the Palazzo Colonna. In the two following years,
Pintoricchio was employed in the Belvedere of the Vatican by Pope
Innocent VIII. He painted there the series of pictures of towns owning
the papal sway, which Taja mentions as existing, though in a much
injured condition, in 1750, and which was repainted under Pius VII.[5]
In the years immediately following he was decorating the chapels in
Santa Maria del Popolo, doing much with his own hand, but already
employing assistants and superintending their share.

    [5] Vasari, iii. p. 498, note "Milanesi."

A document in the archives of the cathedral at Orvieto, as to which
Vasari knew nothing, or was silent, dated 1492, informs us of an
agreement made with the chapter to paint two evangelists and two
Fathers in the cathedral. The price was to be a hundred ducats. There
was a good deal of coming and going between Rome and Orvieto, and in
that year he was paid fifty ducats for the portion of work done, and
also began a small picture in the tribune, but fell into a violent
quarrel with the ecclesiastics, who averred that the first part of the
work was not painted according to agreement. Their real objection seems
to have been that they were getting frightened at the quantity of gold
and ultramarine employed, which was more than the chapter could afford.
There was some talk of taking the work from him, and it was certainly
interrupted for a time.[6] He was probably very willing to return to
Rome, for a third Pope was now providing him with work,--no less a
personage than Alexander VI., who, as Cardinal Borgia, had already given
great encouragement to the artist in Rome, and who now entrusted
Pintoricchio with the decoration of his private apartments. The quarrel
with the monks at Orvieto must, however, have been made up, and he
returned to finish their transept, for we find Pope Alexander writing to
the Orvietans in March 1494 to beg that they will release Pintoricchio
and let him come back to Rome to finish what he had begun in the Borgia
rooms.

    [6] Della Valle. _Storia del duomo d'Orvieto._

In this year the Pope remunerated him by adding to the money paid in the
contracts a grant of an ample piece of land, situated at Chiugi near
Perugia, at an annual rent of thirty baskets of grain.[7] The Borgia
rooms could but just have been completed when, in January 1495, the Pope
was driven to take refuge from the French king's invasion of his city in
the fortified castle of Sant' Angelo. His court painter would naturally
have gone with him, and when the Pope fled to Orvieto and Perugia in the
summer of 1495, Pintoricchio went homewards in his train. In the next
few months, an altar-piece for the monks of the monastery of Santa Maria
degli Angeli must have been under discussion; for in February 1496 the
contract was signed for the great polyptych now in the Gallery at
Perugia. The fulfilment of this contract had to await the master's
leisure; for a month later, on March 15th, he signs a fresh contract
with the Orvietans for two Fathers of the church to be painted in the
great chapel over the principal altar. He was to receive fifty ducats,
six quarters of grain, such wine as might be necessary, and to have the
use of a house, besides what gold and ultramarine he might require. The
archives of the cathedral contain minute records of every payment made,
and on the 15th November of that year he received the last
instalment.[8] The documents contain allusions to other paintings by
him, but the only traces that remain are a St. Gregory, a prophet, and
two angels which have some likeness to his school or his followers.

    [7] _Archives of Perugia_, vol. viii. ter.

    [8] Della Valle. _Storia del duomo d'Orvieto._

In 1497 we have a deed, issued October 24th, commuting the tax levied
upon the painter's grant of land. In this is recited and set forth
Pintoricchio's complaint that the tax is too heavy, and that it swallows
up all the revenues. The claim is admitted to be well founded on the
part of "a faithful and devoted servant of Alexander and the Church, to
whom a recompense is due for his art in painting and adorning the
apostolic palace and our residence in arc castri Angeli." Instead of the
grain, a yearly tax of two pounds of white wax was adjudged on July
28th, to be paid on the Feast of the Assumption, for two years, by
decree of the Cardinal Camerlengo.[9] A further endorsement shows that
the municipal authorities were inclined to ignore the papal decree; but
a third brief, in May 1498, confirms the tenure of the land and
tenements, and in February 1499 the first commutation is extended for a
further term. After all these gracious concessions, it is surprising to
find the tax-gatherers in the same year again trying to exact the
condoned thirty baskets. Pintoricchio once more appealed to the Pontiff,
with whom he was in high favour, and Alexander ordered that restitution
should be made in effects or money, according to the price at which
grain was valued on the Piazza in Perugia on the first Saturday in
August; and in September we find Pintoricchio receiving of the
vice-treasurer, Bonifazio Coppi, eighty florins in return for the tax
extorted in opposition to the papal behest.[10]

    [9] Vermiglioli, App. pp. viii. and x.

    [10] Mariotti, p. 131.

While this interesting decision was in the balance, Bernardino was once
more in Rome, and able to plead his own cause, for about July 1497 he
was recalled there, and spent a year frescoing the castle of Sant'
Angelo for the Pope, but in the following year he was back at home, and
finished the polyptych for Santa Maria dei Fossi. Probably about this
time he married, and he may also have visited Spoleto, besides
producing a good many panel paintings, for no very definite work can be
assigned to these years in Perugia. He was very naturally engrossed with
his new wife, and busy with his little property, and not undertaking any
important commissions.

In October of the following year, Cæsar Borgia, son of the painter's
great patron, was encamped at Deruta, the little town that lies out
among the hills, a few miles west of Perugia. Pintoricchio visited him
here while he was resting after his campaign in the Romagna, and
obtained an order desiring the vice-treasurer to get permission for him
to sink a cistern in his house in Perugia. What interests us even more
than this domestic detail is Cæsar's statement that he has "again" taken
into his service Bernardino Pintoricchio of Perosa, whom he always loved
because of his talents and gifts, and he desires that in all things he
shall be treated "as one of ours."[11] Cæsar's expression that he had
"again" taken him into his service, suggests that he had not quite
recently been retained by the Pope.

    [11] _Conestabile Archives._

Very soon after his visit to the Borgia's camp, he was in treaty with
the Cardinal of Spello, thirteen miles from Perugia, to decorate the
chapel of his House; but before leaving home he was elected Decemvir of
the city, a proof of how high he stood in repute among his
fellow-citizens. It could only have been an honorary distinction, for
his work in Spello must have taken all his remaining time in Umbria to
accomplish. One short visit he was to pay to his own province, but
early in 1502 the summons reached him which changed the course of his
life. Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini made him the offer which caused him
to move to Siena and begin one of his most important undertakings.

Siena is a long journey from Perugia across the hills and plains that
lie around Lake Thrasymene, past Chiugi, and so through the breadth of
Italy. It brought the painter into new surroundings, and took him quite
out of the beaten track. The long and elaborate contract between the
Cardinal and the painter must have taken no little time to discuss and
agree upon, but it was finished and signed June 29, 1502. During the
following autumn and winter, he made his preparations, gathered his
workmen and assistants together, and by the spring of 1503 was hard at
work in the building, beginning with the ceiling, which we are able,
with tolerable certainty, to determine was nearly completed by the
autumn.

This part of the work may have been just seen by the Cardinal, who
became Pope, September 21st, 1503, dying three weeks later, and bringing
Pintoricchio's work to a standstill. His patron's death freed him for
the time from his inability to take private orders, and he promptly
accepted one from the family of Aringhieri, and between this autumn and
the following August, painted the frescoes in the Chapel of San Giovanni
in Siena Cathedral; while on March 13th, in the spring of 1505, he was
paid for the design of Fortune for the cathedral pavement. Rather before
this, the work in the library had been begun, as it was only in abeyance
for a little over a year; but the death of Cardinal Andrea Piccolomini
in June 1505 again delayed its progress for a short time. Pintoricchio
started thereupon on a visit to Rome, which must have been crowded with
work if he now accomplished the decoration of the choir of Santa Maria
del Popolo, and returned early in 1506 to continue the work in the
library. It now went on with no further hindrance. In May or June 1508
all the compartments were finished, and the building handed over to the
Piccolomini family, from whom the last payment under the contract was
received in January 1509.

There is no document to show exactly when he married, but from the table
in Milanesi's edition of Vasari, a daughter, Adriana, who had married a
Perugian, died in 1519. She, and probably two others, Faustina and
Egidia, must have been born before he left for Siena. There is, however,
no trace in the Perugian archives of his wife or children, and Mariotti,
writing in 1788, suggests that a search among the documents of Siena may
determine the question. Here it is that we find entries of the birth of
those children born after he moved to Siena, Giulio Cesare, Camillo
Giuliano, and a second Faustina. His wife, as we learn from the
petitions she presented after his death, was Grania, daughter of one
Niccolò of Bologna or Modena. From the number of her children, and the
unhappy relations which seem to have existed between husband and wife,
we surmise that Pintoricchio married a woman much younger than himself.
If three children were born before 1502, he probably married about
1496-98, at which time he was living in Perugia, after his return from
Rome, when he would have been forty-two to forty-four years of age.

In the year that his first son was born, Pintoricchio matriculated at
the College of Painters at Perugia. He is there described as
_Bernardinus Becti, detto il Pinturicchio_, whose habitation was at the
Porta San Angelo.[12] In December of the same year, the magistrates of
Siena approve of the Commune of Montemassi making him a donation of
twenty "_moggie_" of land.[13] Fortified, doubtless, by his success in
combating Perugian taxes, he immediately applies to the Council of Siena
to free the grant for thirty years from taxes of "_dazzi_ and
_gabelli_." This was conceded, with the exception of the gate tax. The
petition runs:

    [12] Vermiglioli, App. (3).

    [13] _Archives of Siena._ Vermiglioli, App. xx. and xxi.

"Bernardino Pintoricchio, who now addresses the most respected officials
(of the Balia), is the servant of your Lordships, and not the least
among renowned painters; for whom, as Cicero has written, the Romans in
early times held but little. Yet after the increase of the empire, and
in consequence of Eastern victories and the conquest of the Greek
cities, they called the best from all parts of the world, not hesitating
to seize all the finest pictures and sculptures which they could
discover. They admitted painting to be supreme, similar to the liberal
arts, and a rival to poesy. And artists being usually esteemed by those
who govern republics, the said Bernardino has elected Sienna to be his
home, hoping to live and reside there; (therefore) confiding in the
clemency of your Lordships, and considering the adverse nature of the
times, the smallness and diminution of profits, and the weight of his
family; having heard also that craftsmen taking up their abode here
receive grants of immunities, he prays exemption for thirty years from
all taxes whatever, whether present or to come."[14]

    [14] _Doc. Sen._ iii. 33-4. Trans. Crowe and Cavalcaselle,
    vol. iii. p. 285.

In the spring of 1508 he was back across Italy to little Spello, where,
in the transept of Sant' Andrea, he left an altar-painting, a Madonna
and Saints, which does not add materially to his reputation. On a little
stool in the foreground of the picture is painted a letter of Cardinal
Baglioni, dated April 8th, 1508, written from his castle of Rocca di
Zocco, full of affectionate assurances, and asking the painter to return
to Siena. Its inclusion has been imputed to Pintoricchio's vanity; but a
man who had been friends with Popes, and who had long been courted on
all sides, was hardly likely to be uplifted by the friendship of a
simple Cardinal-bishop. It is more likely that he was bitten with a
rather inartistic fancy for painting objects lying about, to deceive the
eye, and hit upon this as an appropriate one.

He now paid his last visit to Rome: Pope Julius II. had summoned him,
together with Perugino, Signorelli, and others, to consider the
decoration of the Vatican rooms. Giambattista Caporali, the historian,
speaks of a supper at which they were all present at the house of
Bramante. Their host was the man who had introduced young Raphael to the
Pope, and Pintoricchio, among the rest, had the mortification of seeing
himself superseded in the city where he had been foremost a few years
earlier. He and Signorelli returned to Siena together, and the master
of Cortona stood sponsor to the child born in January 1509. In October,
Pintoricchio had sold a house in the third ward of the city to Pandolfo
Petrucci for 420 florins. He was in close contact at this time with that
great merchant prince, and was employed with Signorelli on Petrucci's
new palace, where he painted the frescoes, of which one, the "Return of
Ulysses," in the National Gallery, is all that remains. We find him
buying land in Siena and selling it in Perugia, making his will, and
arranging his affairs. In the last year of his life he painted that
brilliant and tender little picture of "Christ bearing the Cross," now
in the Borromeo Palace at Milan. He was suspicious and unhappy about his
wife's behaviour, and a fresh will was made, to which a codicil was
added in September and another in October. In the first he deprived her
of some of the money he had already left her, but he returned it in the
last addition.

Vasari's story of the cause of his death, which took place December
11th, 1513, can be nothing but a fable. He tells us that Pintoricchio
was executing some work for the Fathers of San Francesco, and being
hampered by a heavy bureau in the room assigned to him, insisted on
having it moved. In the transit it broke open, and a treasure of gold
was discovered in the secret drawer, so much to the chagrin of the
painter that he never held up his head again. The friends who knew the
painter in Siena do not allude to any such occurrence; and the popular
master, entrusted with more commissions than he could execute, well paid
and honoured by all men, was not likely to be upset by the sight of
some gold coins, even if he could persuade himself that he had any right
to them. The real circumstances of his death were sadder, if less
sensational. Sigismondo Tizio, a Sienese historian, writer of a mass of
almost unedited matter, who was his attached friend and his neighbour in
the parish of San Vincenzo and Sant' Anastasia, has left a record of his
last illness, in which he accuses his wife Grania of causing his death
by her neglect. Tizio says that she went about with her lover, Girolamo
di Paolo, nicknamed il Paffo, a soldier of the Piazza at Siena, and that
Bernardino was shut up and left to die of starvation; that some women
heard his cries and went to his assistance, and that it was from them
that Tizio afterwards learned these particulars. From Tizio's way of
describing it he seems to accuse her of a deliberate attempt to starve
her husband; but as no proceedings were ever taken against her, and she
succeeded in peace to her inheritance, we may gather that she was not
guilty of actually criminal conduct, though her neglect was sufficient
to hasten the death of a man attacked by serious illness and needing
careful nursing. Bernardino Betti lies buried in the Parish Church of
San Vincenzo, joining the Oratory of the Contrade of the Ostrich. In
1830 the Abbé de Angelis put up a plate with an inscription to his
memory. Mariotti speaks of a Giovanni di Pintoricchio who was a canon of
the Cathedral of Perugia in 1525; but Pintoricchio's own sons would have
then been too young to hold such a post, and we hear nothing in later
years of his descendants.

After his death Grania lived on in Siena, and two years after, as his
executor and trustee, sold two lots of land to one of the Chigi for 1677
florins. Again, in the following year, she sought permission to sell the
land which was the portion of her daughter Faustina, and she makes a
will which is dated May 22nd, 1518. The man who was said to be her lover
afterwards married her daughter Egidia.

We possess several portraits of Pintoricchio from his own hand; all are
sufficiently like one another, though painted at different periods of
his life, to assure us that they were like the original. The first is in
the fresco of the "Argument of St. Catherine," in the Borgia Apartments.
The painter at this time must have been about thirty-nine years old. His
portrait certainly looks much younger; but he was a thin, dark man who
very possibly looked less than his years, or he may have purposely
represented himself so, as we notice this in other portraits. The face
is an interesting and sensitive one, with speaking eyes and a melancholy
expression. In the striking head which he has signed and placed as a
picture on the walls of the Virgin's chamber in the chapel of the
Baglioni at Spello, the face has sharpened and aged considerably, though
it still looks young for a man of fifty-two. The lines have deepened,
the mouth is compressed, and the face wears a look of ill-health, almost
of suffering. It has the dark, arched brows of the artist, and clever,
observant eyes which look out at us, sideways, tending to give a
suspicious look, though probably it was only that he saw himself so in a
mirror. Again, he stands in the row of portraits in the fresco of the
"Canonisation of St. Catherine," in the Library at Siena. This face,
too, has an expression of bitterness and melancholy--pinched lips, and
sad, regretful eyes.[15] The self-conscious expression of all leads us to
suspect that his was a self-tormenting, morbid nature, such as the
artistic temperament and keen sense of beauty might well have combined
with a sickly body to produce. In the eyes, too, it is easy to read that
fantastic touch which came out in his love for story and for the
grotesque, and perhaps there is something of that aloofness which the
deafness, which led to his nickname, so often gives.

    [15] In the group of Apostles in the "Assumption" at Naples is one,
    the fifth on the left, which he is said to have meant for himself,
    but it is less characteristic than those already noticed.

That he was a lovable man is, I think, evident. We hear of no quarrels
with his fellow-artists; Perugino secured him some of the best positions
in the Sixtine, Signorelli was his child's sponsor. He had clearly the
art of managing his assistants, who everywhere worked intelligently
under him. With Fiorenzo his artistic relations must have been of the
closest. Pope Alexander valued him, and Cæsar's mention is an
affectionate one, while the letter of Cardinal Baglioni is full of
friendliness. Besides this, few things are more interesting in the
history of artists' friendships than the close confidence and affection
which all study of the frescoes at Siena convinces us existed between
him and the young Raphael. Sigismondo Tizio, in his MS., gives his
opinion that Bernardino surpassed Perugino as a painter, but that he had
less sense and prudence than Vannucci, and was given to empty chatter.

A small number of Pintoricchio's works cannot be dated, and we must be
satisfied with mentioning them, and considering the times at which they
might have been produced.

His name is written variously in the documents of the time. In the
grants of land signed by Cardinal Camerlengo, it is Pentoricchio, and
Pentorichio on the fresco of Geometry in the Borgia rooms. Cardinal
Baglioni writes it Pintorichio. In Grania's petition it appears as
Pinturicchio. He himself signs his last picture, the "Cross-bearing
Christ" in the Palazzo Borromeo, Pintoricchio, and to this form I have
adhered. In the documents he is usually styled Messer Bernardino.



CHAPTER II

DERIVATION AND CHARACTER OF HIS ART


Umbria is a land of late development in the history of Italian painting,
and of a sharp division in the character of its art. No town of the
importance of Siena, second only to Florence, held sway in that part of
Italy, nor do we find any name in its early history which we can place
side by side with Giotto, Orcagna, or Duccio di Buoninsegna. It is
difficult to account for this: the Umbrian plains were indeed ravaged
again and again with blood and carnage, were seized upon, now by this
party, and now by that; but all acquaintance with the art of the
Renaissance bears in upon us that art as a rule only flourished more
strongly when fed by war and ruin. One tyrant after another, as he
rested from his conquests, became the patron of the painters. Pictures
were painted to immortalise great victories, the altar-piece upon which
the fame of Duccio chiefly hangs, was ordered by the Consiglio of Siena
as a thank-offering to the Virgin after the battle of Monte Aperto.

The accounts of the cathedral at Orvieto give us names of artists who
devoted themselves to its decoration towards the end of the fourteenth
century--others were working in Perugia, painting effigies of traitors,
hanging head downwards on the walls of the Palazzo Pubblico, but we have
no reason to rank them higher than those who have left traces of their
work in the little votive chapels that lie in the hills and
out-of-the-way corners of Umbria. Some of these, going back to 1393, are
not without a character of their own, guiltless indeed, of technique,
but naïve, vivid, and full of energy; yet they show little of that
gradual growth which marks the Florentine school, nor do we find in them
any trace of the fine, precise touch, which the early Sienese painters
drew from the school of Byzantium. According to Mariotti, the art of
miniature painting and illumination was carried on with great enthusiasm
in Perugia, in the fourteenth century. Dante speaks of Oderisio of
Gubbio:

    "--Non se' tu Oderisi,
     L'Onor d'Agobbio, e l'onor di quell' arte,
     Ch' alluminare è chiamata in Parisi?"

Then, when the fifteenth century was unfolding, two streams of art sweep
across the province, distinct, yet mighty, mingling like the waters of
the Rhine and Rhone. The many scattered towns of Umbria led to a far
greater variety of type, individuality was more frequently maintained,
influences spread more fitfully and partially than in those parts of
Italy where all studied together, and practice and theory flew like
wildfire from one to the other, emulations flourished, traditions were
quickly formed and earnestly followed.

Gentile da Fabriano stands forth among the dearth of talent in Umbria at
the dawn of the century, as the one master who was great enough to add
realism to glowing colour and vivacity of fancy, and who, taking the
old missal-painting character as a groundwork, could transplant all the
pride of pageantry of the Middle Ages on to his panels, and give us in
the gold brocades and velvet robes, in fairy princes and beautiful
ladies, tropic birds and strange beasts, such a scene of joyous
gallantry that, as in the "Adoration of the Magi," we can hear the
tinkle of bells and the clang of gilded trappings, as the long
procession winds down the gay hillside.

After a space, while a dainty colourist like Ottaviano Nelli painted
enlarged miniatures and vapid angel faces, there arose a few miles off,
at Arezzo, one of the strongest of masters; Piero della Francesca set a
star of grand simplicity as a constraining guide, calm and broad, before
those men who had the gift of the open eye. The character of that art
was as exacting as it was scientific. It was as much geometrical and
mathematical as artistic, and was occupied more with problems than with
religious feeling. Its power was felt over a wide area, and moved even
those who were least naturally alive to it. There seemed a likelihood
that Umbrian art would, on the one hand, become absorbed in the
Florentine character, hardly distinguishable from it, and, on the other,
degenerate into puerile prattle; but there had wandered to Montefalco,
one from Florence, who, to the enlightenment and the conscious effort
drawn from those who clustered round Donatello and Masaccio, added a
temper which appealed directly to the native feeling of Umbria. Benozzo
Gozzoli was not a great painter, but his talent for narrative painting
set a new model before those whose aptitude in that direction responded
to the impulse. A school arose which combined in curious harmony the
love of decorative detail of the miniature pictures, the space effects
of Piero's large and airy settings, and the story-telling proclivities
of the naïve and garrulous Florentine.

Though Pintoricchio's early years are obscure, little doubt can exist as
to his artistic derivation from Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, who combined the
characteristics of the newly developed school in a pre-eminent degree.
Rumohr ascribes Pintoricchio's style primarily to the school of Niccolò
da Foligno. This attribution is founded partly on the "Altar-piece of
Santa Maria dei Fossi," the arrangement of which is similar to some of
Niccolò's great anconas, the Madonna and Child enthroned in the centre,
saints in panels on either side, a Pietà above, which divides an
Annunciation into two parts. The types in this last scene certainly
resemble Niccolò's, and were constantly repeated by Bernardino; but the
angels in the Pietà are from Fiorenzo, and the whole spirit is opposed
to that of the intense and austere Folignate. It was painted, too, so
long after Bernardino's art was fully formed that it can hardly serve to
illustrate any early influence. No doubt, when he visited Foligno at
this time, he took many ideas from what Niccolò had left there.
Something too he owed to Benedetto Bonfigli; the cheerful naïveté, the
quaint adornments of dress and garland which attract us in Bonfigli, are
traits which we find in Pintoricchio. The little oval, pointed face,
with its arched brows, and small, close shut mouth, the type to which
Bonfigli is constant, is that to which Pintoricchio adheres for his
Madonna and angels; but this type is to be found too in Fiorenzo's
earlier work, as in his "Adoration of the Child" in the Gallery in
Perugia. If we compare this picture with Pintoricchio's "Nativity" in
San Girolamo's Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome, we see at a
glance the resemblance that underlies a few superficial variations. The
whole construction of the two groups is similar. The Madonna's bent
head, elbows squared, joined palms and finger-tips, the Child, lying
partly on His Mother's robe, the position of the grey-bearded St. Joseph
and the shepherds--everywhere Pintoricchio has been guided by the
earlier master, though instead of the donor and two young men, who may
have been his sons, and who kneel with their great hound behind them, he
has substituted St. Jerome and his lion, and shepherds of a more
acceptedly religious type, while the group of singing angels overhead is
transferred from Fiorenzo's panel to that other Nativity at Spello.

Over the door of the Sala del Censo in the Palazzo Pubblico at Perugia,
is a lunette of a Madonna and Child by Fiorenzo, which might well be
Pintoricchio's own. It has his full touch and copious brush. We find the
Mother again in the exquisite little fresco over the door of the Hall of
Arts and Sciences in the Borgia Apartments, transplanted almost without
alteration of line or expression; while the two angels on either side
are those which he uses to support the dead Christ in the Pietà at the
top of the polyptych painted for Santa Maria dei Fossi.

We have no trace of Pintoricchio himself ever having visited Florence,
but the water flowed to him none the less from the fountainhead, and he
assimilated it in his own manner. Fiorenzo, we feel sure, must have been
there, and that in those years when Verrocchio and Pollaiuolo approached
most nearly to one another; and it was Fiorenzo, and not Perugino, who
was the channel through which Florentine influence filtered to
Pintoricchio. We recognise Verrocchio in the wide and swollen nostrils,
the broad head, the hooking of the little finger, and the treatment of
the hair which Fiorenzo adopts; while we perceive that Pollaiuolo has
aroused a wish to show more animated action. From Pollaiuolo, too, comes
the careful handling of brocaded stuffs, the little, crab-like,
clutching hands, the delight in using the costume of the day in all its
fantastic picturesqueness. Even more striking is the architectural
influence which Fiorenzo conveyed to Pintoricchio. The masters of Umbria
became singularly alive to the charm of airy architectural space, and
such classic settings as we may date from Brunelleschi's visit to Rome
in 1403, and more especially attribute in their working out, to the
high, imaginative faculty and Greek spirit of Leo Battista Alberti,
whose spacious arcades are often used merely as decoration. At Urbino,
in the court of the Ducal Palace, the Umbrians had one example of the
highest interest: here was the taste which Lauranna drew from the
Florentines, and which passed onwards to Bramante. Piero della Francesca
shows, in his "Flagellation" at Urbino, how keenly he feels the charm of
placing groups in this wide, distinguished setting; but none assimilates
his teaching so fully in those early days as Fiorenzo, whose
remarkable series of small panels of the miracles of San Bernardino,
give us, as Dr. Schmarsow says, "the first step, without which
Pintoricchio is unthinkable."[16]

    [16] "Pintoricchio in Rom."

The natural features of Umbrian scenery, its high-skied plains, its wide
valleys, account in a measure for the pre-eminent feeling for space
shown by its artists, and for their power to give air and atmosphere to
those lofty structures in which they love to place their personages.
These little panels, painted at Fiorenzo's finest period, are sharp and
strong, yet fine as miniatures. The figures stand well on the stage. The
point of sight is very low, at scarce a third of the whole, so that we
have an undue proportion of airy surrounding, though all is on such a
small scale. The perspective drawing shows how well-fitted Fiorenzo was
to ground his pupil accurately in this, however insufficient his study
of anatomy may have been. The drawing of the architecture is fine and
true throughout, but in the figures, even if we allow for variations in
Fiorenzo himself, we can hardly avoid seeing two different hands. They
have all the charm of his manner, a manner essentially Umbrian, while we
see a very distinct spirit, a spirit which was shared by Bonfigli, and
by such a lesser master as Boccatis da Camerino, a naïve and cheerful
tone, a direct simplicity, which is as far removed from the melancholy
which broods in the eyes of the rapt saints of Siena, as it is from the
scientific temper that ruled within sound of the Arno. Many of the
figures are childish in their desire to express emotion, and are almost
grotesque in detail, the hair is in a mop, exaggerated till it looks
like a huge bird's nest, the hands are cramped and claw-like, but here
and there we meet with graceful, well-proportioned beings, keeping their
slender grace, without the angular and unpleasing length of limb which
marks their companions. In the panel where San Bernardino raises a youth
from the dead, a child playing with a dog recalls Pintoricchio's _putti_
on the pilasters at Siena. The young man on the right in the same scene,
is supple and gracefully draped; a contrast to the wooden movements and
stiff draperies of his fellow-pages. Even better is the youth reasoning,
in a repetition of the same miracle, with his hand upon his hip and a
dark cap perched upon his rippled curls.

    [Illustration:
    _Alinari photo_]      [_Picture Gallery, Perugia_

    A MIRACLE OF SAN BERNARDINO
    (By Fiorenzo di Lorenzo)]

We begin to speculate as to whether Pintoricchio, who was a young man of
twenty-two at this time, was helping Fiorenzo; and to ask, Have we here
the sign of that talent which was marked by Perugino, with whom he must
have been for some years, before he was chosen as his chief assistant in
the Sixtine Chapel? Above all, Pintoricchio's landscape is derived from
Fiorenzo. The open distance, cut up by small hills and trees, the
winding streams flowing through the valleys, and, most characteristic,
the poised and toppling rocks, forming archways and overhanging masses,
often set about with houses and peopled with tiny figures. An
examination of the "Crucifixion" in the Borghese, illustrates the
difficulty at this time of distinguishing between Fiorenzo and his
pupil. The hard brightness of colour, the drawing of the crucified
figure and that of St. Christopher, the heavily marked folds of
drapery, the landscape--all recall Fiorenzo; but the figure and head of
St. Jerome, the hands, the expressive head of St. Christopher, the free
and natural attitude of the Child, are something better than we look for
in the earlier painter. If we may really accept this panel, as both
Morelli and Berenson assert, as Pintoricchio's work, we may place it as
his earliest on his arrival in Rome. The St. Christopher and the Moses
of the meeting with the angel in the Sixtine, seem drawn from the same
model. The round forehead, full mouth, shape of jaw and broad throat are
identical, and it is a very individual face.

His knowledge of architecture, his composition of landscape, the type of
many of his figures, Pintoricchio derived from Fiorenzo, and Fiorenzo's
was the influence that remained with him most strongly; but though
permeating him less thoroughly, less akin to his own temper, Perugino,
his elder by only four years, a much greater master, both as regards
form and colour, had something to say to his development. We cannot tell
when the two first came into contact, but Morelli considers that
Perugino went to Florence about 1470. Milanesi, in his notes on
Perugino's life by Vasari, says that he received a commission to paint
in the Palazzo Pubblico in Perugia in 1475. He was certainly working in
1478 at Cerqueto, in Umbria, so that most likely it was about that date
that Pintoricchio joined him, which would have given them at least four
years together, before the time came to go to Rome.

We have so little knowledge of any work of Pintoricchio's before his
Roman period, that it is difficult to certainly assign paintings to
this time. The "Crucifixion" shows no trace of Perugino, but the boy's
head at Dresden, which Morelli believes to be an early work, has the
solid character and realism which distinguish Perugino's portraits. His
influence comes out fully developed in the Sixtine frescoes. That the
two men had been working together for some time is obvious, not only by
the importance of the share with which the younger was entrusted, but
also by the number of drawings which he prepared for Perugino's own
frescoes. The elder painter's guiding hand is apparent in the draping,
simpler and larger than that of Fiorenzo, the more careful drawing and
calmer dignity.

These frescoes might possibly be taken for Perugino's, but scarcely for
Fiorenzo's; and though Pintoricchio still adheres to the traditions of
the latter in his treatment of the details of landscape, he begins to
formulate his own scheme of colour and composition. In his angels flying
forward from above, on either side of a group of sacred persons,
Perugino is copied almost stroke for stroke (allowing for Pintoricchio's
heavier touch) in the assimilation of _motifs_ drawn from older masters.
The fold of drapery falling between the knees and narrowing to a point,
the over-sleeve flying out in a sweeping curve, the draped tunic and the
fluttering ribbons, all become a formula of Perugino's manner--adopted
by all his followers--Lo Spagna, Tiberio d'Assisi, and the rest. Yet,
where the treatment approaches most nearly, there remains a constantly
differing type. Perugino, in a half-profile, almost invariably inclines
the head one way or another, giving to the eye a peculiar ecstatic
upward gaze. Pintoricchio rarely uses this attitude. In his drawing of
St. John, for Perugino's fresco, of the giving of the keys, this is just
the change the older master, on adopting it, has made to suit his fancy.
Pintoricchio has an ineradicable tendency to bring the knees of his
figures together. They sway with a peculiar, knock-kneed grace. If we
contrast the central group in the "Baptism of Christ" in the Sixtine,
with those of Perugino at Rouen, or that at Foligno, painted many years
later, we note the sweep inward from the hips, and outward from the
knees in the first, while the inclined head and upward gaze in
Perugino's St. John gives place to a more simple and direct expression
in that of his pupil. We are always conscious, too, of a less strong,
less confident spirit--one more nervous, more personally reflective of
moods and idiosyncrasies.

The golden atmospheric effects which were Perugino's greatest gift to
art, the feeling for distance, and for the sun-warmed calm of summer,
taught Pintoricchio new methods, modified without effacing the teaching
of Fiorenzo, and certainly led to a more natural treatment. That
Fiorenzo was impressed by the vigorous art of Signorelli, his neighbour
of Cortona, is to be seen in his late work, "The Adoration of the Magi."
The young men, more strongly drawn than is customary with him, the kings
in Eastern dress, the heads of Joseph and of the old king, the drawing
of the hands and the Madonna's draperies--all show a freer and closer
study of nature, all point to some fresh impulse, the impression of a
strong talent upon a weaker one.

The problems which absorbed the great master of Cortona had never much
attraction for Pintoricchio, who had not a scientific mind, and whose
artistic education, deficient to begin with, was brought to a premature
end by his sudden popularity. Yet something he drew from Signorelli, a
firmer treatment of the youths in hose and doublet, some attempt to
study limbs and muscle. The series left by Benozzo Gozzoli at
Montefalco, the paintings of Perugino and Signorelli, were the best
examples of form which came in Pintoricchio's way. They could not
succeed in making him very strong, but when he draws frankly from the
life, you need hardly wish for more telling portraits.

It would be absurd to claim for him sublime creative power, tactile
values, mastery over form and movement. He has none of these. His
persons rarely stand firmly upon both feet; his pages, his kings and
queens, are too often drawn and even coloured like playing-cards; his
crowds are motley and ill-arranged. The dry and purely scientific
student of the schools of Italy will find it more than easy to
demonstrate Pintoricchio's shortcomings: it is less simple to analyse
the charm that triumphs in spite of them, and which gives keen pleasure
to one side of the artistic nature.

J. A. Symonds says of him that he is a kind of Umbrian Gozzoli, and in
his clear and fluent presentation of contemporary life brings us into
close relation with the men of his own time. No one loved better than
Gozzoli to assemble contemporary celebrities; and in the feeling for
incidents of everyday life, in the joy of living, in fondness for
garrulous narrative, his frescoes must have been full of suggestion for
the Umbrian master of the next half-century, who, in his love for the
narrative and the picturesque, surpassed all who had gone before. In
Florence, if he had made his trial there, he might have gained more of
strong and true study, he might have learned the laws of grouping, of
ærial perspective, he might have gained a better knowledge of anatomy,
yet in mastering all these, he might have lost something that he
possesses: that freshness of feeling which is the spring and sap of all
art, that young and winning joy that carries him through scenes of
magnificence without losing sense and spirit.

There is in the art of Pintoricchio a direct simplicity of expression
and gesture that saves him from conventionality and cloying sweetness.
His persons are not above criticism as far as technicalities are
concerned, but they have in them this, that they are occupied and
absorbed in the business in hand. You may fancy at first that they are
artificial, but that is merely their environment; they themselves are
simple, they do not pose or look upwards or out of the picture with an
affected appeal for admiration. This quality gives to Pintoricchio a
truthfulness where he lacks depth. To the last he has a sincerity which
underlies his conventionality, just as his dainty care in detail
counterbalances his want of freedom and rhythm. His forms lack the
nobility of Perugino's, his religious emotion is less deep, but he is
not self-conscious, he has a freshness and raciness which saves him from
fatiguing by monotonous sweetness. He does not make his paintings a
series of excuses for the solution of scientific problems, so that they
are more spontaneous, more the outcome of the man's natural unfettered
inclination, than are the works of some of those who made greater
discoveries in the field of painting.

In the picturesque qualities of his work he is completely a child of the
Renaissance. Perhaps none harmonises better with the rich and lavish
beauty which haunts us still in every little town of Italy. His feeling,
sumptuous yet exquisite, his treatment, naïve yet distinguished, is the
prerogative of that age of fresh perception, and of unspoiled
acquaintance with the beautiful. It is the fairy-tale spirit that so
endears him to us. Like the mediæval singers of romance, he guides us
through scenes that have a glamour of some day of childhood, when they
may have seemed real and possible. The wistful, wide-eyed youths, the
tender, dainty Madonnas and angels, the grave, richly-dressed saints and
bishops, might all stand for princes, for maidens, and magicians in some
enchanted realm of fairy. He does not take us into the region of the
tragic, but his fancy, his invention, and resource are fertile and
untiring; he leads us on, dazzling, entertaining us with a child-like
amusement, disarming criticism by a lovable quality which enlightens us
as to the natural sensibility of the painter's mind, a sort of
penetrating sweetness with which he can endow his creations. Perhaps the
truest explanation of his charm is to be found in the union of two
incongruous elements. The artificial and mannered grace, the search
after the exquisite and the splendid, joined to the naïve and childish
simplicity, the freshness and arcadian fancy of the Umbrian school. It
is such a combination as enchants us in a child masquerading in gorgeous
robes, or in a wild honeysuckle dancing over a richly-carved marble
column. Certain it is, that here we possess the very cream of that
fantastic aspect of the Renaissance in conjunction with the most
distinctive features of purely Umbrian art.

Mr. Berenson has given us a fine appreciation of Pintoricchio's feeling
for space and for space-decoration. In this, so Umbrian a
characteristic, he was a worthy follower of Fiorenzo, the not unworthy
second to Perugino, and a forerunner of Raphael. The ample and spacious
setting of his groups takes off from their cramped and crowded effect.
Where the action is awkward, or the colour heavy, the whole spirit is
lightened and lifted as you breathe the air of those delicious
landscapes, or wander in imagination under those high-poised arcades, or
look out from a palace chamber at the freedom and sweet breezes of a
mountain distance. It is the more remarkable that Pintoricchio is able
to give us this charm of landscape, as he adheres to his early training,
and finishes the most distant parts in delicate detail.

It is as a decorator that he holds his own most successfully among his
contemporaries. It soon became apparent that no one could cover the
walls of palace or chapel with an ornamentation so rich and gay, so
advantageous to the position, so homogeneous in character. To find any
_tout ensemble_ to compare as decoration with the Borgia Apartments we
must look at early mosaics, at the opulence of the little church of San
Prassede, or the peacock hues of San Vitale at Ravenna. To estimate his
achievement we must weigh what he has made of those rooms, "si
desespèrément carrées," or of the oblong and barn-like space of the
Libreria in Siena.

He is mainly empirical rather than scientific, even in his most
successful moments, but that his want of drawing was due to insufficient
study of the nude is shown by the fact that his touch is fine and
strong, his faces, hands and feet, always well and firmly drawn, his
outlines delicate and decisive. He individualises his faces, and the
bystanders in his crowded scenes show a most interesting variety and
reality.

When not painting fresco he is constant to the use of _tempera_.
Unfortunately, he is too much given to sacrifice the transparency and
depth of his colour by a lavish use of retouching _à secco_. In order to
gratify his love for brilliancy, he produces an opaque surface, and is
apt to give us a sort of splendid gaiety in exchange for real depth. His
use of his gorgeous pigments is extremely skilful, especially towards
the middle period. In the Sixtine Chapel frescoes, he has hardly let
himself go, and in the Siena Library he inclines to be gaudy and
glaring; but in many of his scenes the greens and peacock-blues, the
rich, soft rose-pinks, the purples and autumn gold are those of a man
whose nature was keenly alive to the joy of colour. His use of embossed
gold is dictated by the same natural bent towards the gay and
decorative. This small, mean-looking, deaf man was rarely sensitive to
fulness of life, to splendour, and the delight of the eye, and wherever
he has covered a wall with his work, or left a panel or an altar-piece,
we get a glance back at an age which was not afraid of frank
magnificence, guided by a purer taste than we can boast.

Pintoricchio never shows the ear in his female heads. In the men's it is
large, placed high, with the inner cartilage strongly defined. The hand
has a short metacarpus and long fingers, the thumb well separated, and
the little finger hooked in Fiorenzo's manner. He paints with a full
brush, and has a heavy, liquid touch in fresco, but in working in panel
he shows a beautiful surface quality which oil painting could not
surpass.



CHAPTER III

FIRST PERIOD IN ROME


A fact that another has once discovered and substantiated seems so
obvious to those who come after, that they can hardly understand how it
could so long have remained unrecognised. To Morelli belongs the credit
of having swept away the tradition that in Signorelli and Perugino were
to be found the authors of the two frescoes, "The Journey of Moses" and
"The Baptism," on either side of the altar-piece in the Sixtine Chapel.
After four hundred years of gathering oblivion came one who looked with
open eyes, disregarding all mere tradition, and who saw the handwriting
of Pintoricchio writ large upon the walls, waiting there, full within
sight, yet overlooked, till, after centuries, the truth is acknowledged,
unmistakable, supported not only by internal evidence but by drawings
and studies--direct testimony affording conclusive proof of their
authorship.

It is perhaps owing to Melozzo da Forli being court painter to the
Vatican in 1480 that we may attribute the preference shown in the first
instance to Umbrians in the choice of decorators for Sixtus IV.'s new
chapel. To Perugino the direction seems to have been given in the first
place, he and his assistants arriving in Rome in October 1482. Here they
would have had a great deal to prepare, the spaces to plan, the Pope's
directions to consider, the ornamentation of the windows and the niches
for the martyred Popes to decide upon. The scheme of the type and
anti-type which balances the opposite walls, is very probably due to the
Pope and his advisers. Pope Sixtus was a writer on theology, was
esteemed a man of profound scholarship, and had in the years immediately
preceding written several books on important points of doctrine.
Perugino was at that time the undisputed head of the school of Umbria,
and his religious spirit and conventional treatment of sacred subjects
was likely to be much more acceptable to the Holy See than the new
spirit of scientific inquiry. The contract between him and the Pope
makes it probable that at first he and his assistants were to be
entrusted with the entire work. Whether the Pope got impatient and
wished to see his chapel more speedily completed, or for what other
reason, is uncertain; but when Giuliano della Rovere went to Florence in
December, he agreed with a number of Florentines to resort to Rome, and
the whole company of artists was gathered there by the year 1483.
Foremost among these was Sandro Botticelli, and from documents which
have recently come to light we gather that the superintendence of the
entire scheme was finally entrusted to him and not to Perugino.

Among the assistants brought by Perugino, were "Rocco Zoppo and
Bernardino Betti, called il Pintoricchio." The operations of the first
were limited to certain portraits of the Rovere family in the
altar-piece, which at that time represented the "Assumption," by
Perugino, with the "Finding of Moses" and the "Nativity of Christ" as
the beginning of the two sacred histories. Pintoricchio's place, in his
master's estimation, was a very different one. We have no reason to
doubt that he was Perugino's right-hand man. From the degree to which he
has imbibed his style, he must have been working with him for some time
before, and the drawings in the Venetian sketch-book, as it is generally
called, so long erroneously attributed to Raphael, make it clear that he
supplied Perugino with designs for several of his principal figures,
which the master altered slightly to suit his taste when he came to
transfer them to the plaster.

Vasari[17] tells us that Pintoricchio worked with Perugino in the Sixtine
Chapel, and took a third of the profits, but this testimony afforded no
clue to former critics, and for some centuries "The Journey of Moses"
was attributed to Luca Signorelli. Burckhardt was the first to dispute
this claim, and to ascribe the fresco with more _vraisemblance_ to
Perugino.[18] Crowe and Cavalcaselle[19] repudiate the attribution to
Signorelli. They see in both this and "The Baptism" the work of
Perugino, but in parts, in the young man stripping, and in the youth by
his side, they recognise a likeness to Pintoricchio, though in the
children of "The Journey" they profess to see plainly the hand of
Bartolommeo della Gatta.

    [17] Manni. _Raccolta Milanese di vari opuscoli_, vol. i. f. 29.

    [18] Vol. iii.

    [19] _History of Painting in Italy_, iii. 1783.

The attribution of these two great frescoes to the younger master has
made a great difference to his place in art. In some ways they are the
finest and truest works he has left us; it is curious that they are the
first that can with certainty be ascribed to him.

Morelli,[20] in appealing to the internal testimony of the frescoes in
the Sixtine Chapel, tells us it was their landscape backgrounds which
first opened his eyes. He further cites the overcrowding in the
composition--"a fault which Pintoricchio very often commits, Perugino
hardly ever." Even the falcon in the air is repeated by Pintoricchio in
his frescoes at Siena. The children he compares with those in the chapel
in Ara Cœli. He sees the character of the master plainly stamped on
many of the individual figures, and on the plan of the composition.
Evidence more minute and conclusive is derived from the book of drawings
to which I have already alluded. Towards the middle of the nineteenth
century these, on the authority of Professor Bossi, were assigned to
Raphael. Bossi bought the book at a sale, and deciding that they were
studies by the great Urbinate, was full of elation at the acquisition of
such a priceless treasure. When at Bossi's death they were bought by the
nation, Passavant, Count Cicognara, and Marchese Estense, all noted
connoisseurs, unhesitatingly pronounced them to be by Raphael, and for
his work they still pass in the Accademia in Venice.

    [20] _Italian Masters in German Galleries_, pp. 264-284.

It would take far too much space to go with Morelli through all the
fifty-three drawings, with a circumstantial criticism which leaves only
three (detached and on different paper) to the younger master. We must
content ourselves with examining those which Pintoricchio used for
figures in frescoes which remain to us. A number of these examples
occur in "The Journey of Moses." On one sheet is a sketch for the woman
kneeling with outstretched arms, who performs the rite upon the little
son of Moses. On another page is a study for the drapery of the seated
woman. Again, the heads of four women are drawn on one sheet; no less
than three of these are introduced in the fresco. One of the two upper
heads is used for the woman bearing a jar, the position being very
slightly altered; while of the two lower heads, that on the left is a
study for Zipporah leading her child, the other for the head of the
woman with the child upon her knee. The quaint head-dresses are
reproduced to a nicety: one with outstanding bows on either side, and
the loose, flying scarf, knotted in front, the other with the scrolled
cornucopia-like ornament curling round the ear. For "The Baptism" we
have a study of the seated woman in the background, and for two of the
nude figures of youths. For Perugino's fresco, "The Giving of the Keys,"
Pintoricchio has left two drawings for St. John, standing with his hand
upon his breast; one of the two is ruled in squares for transferring to
the wall, and this is the one adopted by Perugino. From two other
studies figures have been introduced; the cloaked man, third from the
left, and two just above, in the background. There is also an elaborate
drawing for the Madonna in the altar-piece in Santa Maria del Popolo,
and a drawing for the lion in a scene from the life of St. Jerome in the
same church. We thus have no fewer than thirteen heads and figures,
clearly recognisable as studies for frescoes painted before Raphael was
six years old.

    [Illustration:
    _Private photo_]      [_Venice_

    STUDY OF HEADS FOR THE "JOURNEY OF MOSES"]

The drawings, fine and delicate as they are, have the stiffness, the
careful, square-crossed hatching which is found in others by
Pintoricchio, also his shape of hand and foot, and the narrow, elongated
forms and in-bent knees.

Pintoricchio was now twenty-eight. He must already have produced a great
deal of work, but not only have we no trace of it, but what is left is
almost all known to be of later date. However obscure his life before he
came to Rome, his proceedings after that are well known, and there is
hardly a year unaccounted for, or which cannot be almost certainly
filled up from inference.

Rome had no cinque-cento painters of her own; but none the less, the
great traditions of the past, which that century was fast reviving, made
her the Mecca of the artists of Italy. That the two frescoes in the
Sixtine Chapel were Pintoricchio's first great commission is probable,
and it must have been with exultation that he set to work to give free
play to his decorative instincts on the large bare walls. Though the
whole is imbued with Perugino's spirit, and full of _motifs_ copied from
him, the composition is not the least like his calm, glowing landscapes
and well-ordered, symmetrical groups. The background is all reminiscent
of Fiorenzo--the toppling rocks, the little bushy trees, the joyous air
of the little figures frolicking on the hillside, the palms and
cypresses, the beautifully shaped hollow of the valley, the falcon in
the air pursuing smaller birds. The crowded groups are in Pintoricchio's
style; the want of concentration of interest, the narrative spirit
running through the whole are just what were most dear to his genius.
There has been much discussion as to whether his master helped him. Did
Perugino paint the figure of the woman busied with the rite of
Circumcision, and of Moses looking on? Or did he execute the heads of
any of the Florentine colony who are brought in, and who might have
preferred to have their portraits from the hand of the master rather
than from that of the pupil? I can find very little trace of Perugino's
own hand, unless it be in the head of Moses on the right, in which the
execution of the hair is more in his manner, though not nearly as fine
and rippling as he paints it in the frescoes of the keys. The action of
the angel in the centre is quite in the manner of Pintoricchio, and
Perugino never would have placed the hand of Moses in such an awkward
attitude of expostulation. The children are like his in the Buffalini
Chapel in the Libreria and Borgia apartments, and contrast favourably
with Perugino's fat, unshapely babes. As a whole, it would be difficult
to find a more attractive piece of decorative painting than this. The
various scenes, the shepherds dancing at the marriage feast, Jethro and
his household taking leave of Moses, the departure of the leader of
Israel with his family, and the rite of Circumcision are pressed into
one harmonious scene. The background melts naturally into the foreground
without appearing confused, and the vigorous white-robed messenger of
God, with shimmering hair and wings, drawn sword and outstretched arm,
divides the two foreground groups in a manner as original as it is
sufficient. Moses, clad in the traditional yellow robe and green
mantle, stopping at the angel's command, is a fine, grave figure of
marked personality. The two women occupied with the child on the right,
Zipporah leading the little boy, the damsel on the left balancing her
jar, are some of the most beautiful and graceful forms that Pintoricchio
has given us. The draperies are less voluminous than in later pictures,
and fall in straighter, simpler folds, resembling the more statuesque
drapery such as we find in the "St. Thomas and the Saviour" of Or San
Michele, and which Perugino, on his return from Florence, imparted to
his pupil in place of Fiorenzo's sharply-cut-up folds. Here, too,
Pintoricchio proves himself to be, what he was evidently considered in
Rome, a landscape-painter of the first rank; and it is especially by the
landscape that Morelli tells us he made out the identity of the painter
of this fresco. Nothing up to this time had been seen so lovely as this
background,--on one side, the low purple hills, touched with golden
gleams, running down into the soft distance, on the other, a clear,
grassy space, giving a sense of air and gaiety to the little pastoral.
Both the frescoes in the Sixtine have undergone such repeated cleanings
and restorations that little of the original colour remains, and the
effect is somewhat faded and grimy; but we are still able to see with
what skill white robes are made use of--an art in which Pintoricchio
excels in many of his paintings.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Sixtine Chapel, Rome_

    THE JOURNEY OF MOSES]

The scene on the opposite wall of the "Baptism of Christ" is much fuller
of figures than the "Journey of Moses." Separated incidents are more
largely made use of, in the archaic mode which the artists of the
Renaissance soon after this abandoned. That the central figures are a
copy of Perugino's "Baptism" at Rouen need be no argument that the
latter had an active share in it himself. The angels overhead are the
same that Perugino and all his school have reproduced many times, and
this interchange or imitation was merely a proper compliment between
master and pupil. Pintoricchio here owes no more to Perugino than the
latter does to Verrocchio, of whose "Baptism," in Florence, with the
angels kneeling by, we are strongly reminded. St. John is a type of
great freshness and individuality: the long lean form has simplicity and
directness of action, the shape of hand and foot, the blacker and more
angular draperies, are all unlike the master and like the pupil. St.
John pours the water with a painstaking, literal intention. In the
frescoes by Perugino at Foligno and at Rouen, his eyes are raised, his
body thrown gracefully on one side, and the little cup is raised aloft
with a sort of symbolical wave, while the contemplative angels kneeling
around are very unlike Pintoricchio's prim little attendants.

In the groups in the background on either hand, listening to the
preaching of the Baptist and the Saviour, only one, the St. John on the
left, with head raised and inclined and hand on breast, reminds us at
all of Perugino. We have a great many of the figures the younger master
is so fond of, turning their backs and enveloped in the voluminous folds
of great cloaks--a _motif_ which is not common with Perugino, but which
Pintoricchio makes lavish use of in the Libreria, and which he derives
from Fiorenzo, who often brings it in. Here we find the seated woman,
for which he has left the drawing, who, with the children clinging to
her, looks up and listens to the Baptist on the right, and who, in her
gracefully swathed garments, is beautiful enough for the pencil of
Botticelli or Agostino di Duccio. We also find a study for the nude
figure at the back with outstretched hand. These nudes are among
Bernardino's few attempts at anatomical drawing, to which he never takes
kindly. We cannot say that they show much real acquaintance with form,
though it is evident that they are from the living model, which at this
time he was faithfully seeking to render. Many of the portraits are
admirable. It would be difficult to find stronger, more satisfactory
heads, more solid in drawing and more full and interesting in
expression, than three or four of the heads in the group standing a
little way behind Christ, or the old man grasping his napkin on the
opposite side, in whom Dr. Steinmann suggests we see the Pope's
brother-in-law, Giovanni Basso della Rovere, who died this year, and
whose shrewd features and close shut mouth we recognise again in his
tomb in Santa Maria del Popolo. The deepest interest of the picture
centres in these fine portraits of men of the time, and in the landscape
which, though this fresco is the most injured of all, is still beautiful
in its varied light and shade, and in the lie of the ground in hill and
slope and distant vale.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Sixtine Chapel, Rome_

    THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST]

The old Pope died before the paint was dry upon the walls of the chapel
by which his name is best remembered; but long before his companions had
got down to the west end, Pintoricchio must have done his share, though
he may still have worked at draperies and minor details in his master's
allotment. What he had achieved had established his reputation, and when
he went forth it was as an independent artist, himself an employer of
assistants, soon to be the honoured recipient of papal commissions.

To this time we may assign the panel painting of the "Madonna teaching
the Child to read," which is now at Valencia. Indeed, Dr. Schmarsow
holds it to be his earliest known work. It was formerly at Xativà, and
was sent as a present to his native city by Roderigo Borgia, and was
placed later in a chapel which his brother Francesco built to his
memory. The crest of the Borgias shows that it was painted for that
house, and the donor himself, as a comparatively young man, kneels on
the right, with his mitre on the ground by his side.

We can trace the likeness to that other kneeling Pope in the Borgia
apartments, though the features are less strongly marked. In this little
panel, both the Mother and Child are standing,--He mounted on a chest,
upon which the crest is painted; she with one hand tenderly placed on
His shoulder, while the other holds the open book. She has the same type
to which Pintoricchio was faithful, the egg-shaped face, arched brows
and close shut mouth. The heavy folds of the mantle are starred and
edged with gold, and the Child's robe is of rich gold brocade. The
picture is full of feeling, but is stiff in drawing and almost Byzantine
in style. The delightful little lunette in Sant' Onofrio in Rome,
painted about 1505 by one of his scholars, is adapted from this picture,
of which the master must have retained a sketch. The same follower was
employed on the apse, where scenes by Peruzzi alternate with several in
Pintoricchio's manner, though they are far too ill-drawn to be from his
hand.

We have no means of deciding what was the first important commission the
young painter undertook after he left the Sixtine Chapel. The German
critics, however, agree in placing the Buffalini Chapel in Ara Cœli
as his next work. Morelli thinks it was later on account of the
decoration of "grottesques," but it has a simplicity and absence of
ornament more akin to the Sixtine work than to Pintoricchio's later
gorgeous achievements, and he uses much of the same soft grey colour. It
is not unlikely that he would have brought a special commendation from
the Buffalini of Perugia to those members settled in Rome, and it is
easy to see how fresh in his mind were the architectural traditions of
Fiorenzo. The chapel, being painted almost entirely by his own hand,
looks as if he had not yet gathered together so many assistants, and a
little later, loaded with papal commissions, he would hardly have had
time to devote to a private citizen.

It seems to me that we have scarcely any work of his for which we can
feel such unalloyed admiration as that in this little chapel in the dim
old church upon the Capitoline Hill, where from the midst of classic
marbles and pre-historic legends, you pass into the quiet side aisle,
and the level rays of the golden evening sunshine that pour through a
little west window, light up the story of the mediæval saint as
illustrated by his Umbrian name-child.

Hardly any saint could have been more dear and familiar to the sons of
mid-Italy than San Bernardino of Siena, the disciple of their beloved
St. Francis, and one who had exercised such a strong and recent
influence over his followers. He died only nine years before
Pintoricchio was born, and as he grew up the little Bernardino must have
heard ardent references to his holy patron from men who had crowded
round the pulpit outside the cathedral in Perugia. His gonfalon, painted
by Bonfigli, hung in the Church of San Bernardino. His thin face, with
its pinched mouth, was familiar to every one, and stories of his wisdom,
his virtue, his miracles, were fresh on men's lips. Pintoricchio must
have been well acquainted with the history of the saint's amicable
arrangement of a deadly feud which had raged between the Buffalini and
the fierce Baglioni of his native town, and both as a _protégé_ of San
Bernardino and as a Perugian, the commission to paint a chapel in honour
of the saint and to commemorate the healing of the quarrel must have
made a special appeal to his quick and sensitive fancy. The chapel was
probably the gift of Lodovico Buffalini, advocate to the papal
consistory, who, we find from an inscription on a stone in the pavement,
died in 1506. The painting was for many years almost concealed by a
hideous wooden hatchment, and only re-opened again in the last century,
which accounts for the excellent preservation it is in.

The little Gothic chapel at the extreme west end of the church lighted
by a small west window, has an arched roof with crossed pieces; the side
walls are divided by painted pilasters. The whole architectural
decoration is in monochrome, in pale brownish grey upon a rich brown
ground. On the pilasters on either side is a beautiful decoration of
fruits and seed-pods in great masses, tied in with ribbons adapted from
the antique, and resembling a framework by Mantegna in the Eremitani
Chapel at Padua. The frescoes on the walls are separated by long slender
candelabra with flaring flames, the stems formed of grotesques, masks
grave and grimacing, climbing stags and gambolling _putti_. The arches
of the roof have been profusely enriched with gold, and culminate in a
blue and gold boss. Below the altar is a long procession, also in
monochrome, captives and warriors, a soldier on horseback dragging a
nude woman, others laden with spoils and torches, a conqueror on a
triumphal car, with a naked captive bound behind; these are painted with
almost impressionist touches, and the horses are much better drawn than
we usually expect from Pintoricchio.

In the roof, in four triangles, are the "Four Evangelists": St. Matthew
looking up as for inspiration, dipping his pen in the ink held by a
beautiful kneeling angel-figure at his side. Both this figure and that
of St. Luke are very broadly and freely painted. Steinmann points out
that we find them almost repeated, apparently by a scholar, in the
sacristy of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. This church has been closed for
two years for repairs--I have not been able to see the frescoes.

On the west, on either side of the tall narrow window, are two simulated
windows. From that nearest the altar the figure of "God the Father,"
surrounded by cherubs and golden rays and holding a globe, looks into
the chapel and towards the fresco below on the right. The panel to the
right is filled by a long row of arches in side-long perspective, and
on the top of a pedestal straddles a charming little _putto_, reminding
us of Mino da Fiesole's children on monuments, who bears an axe and
shield with the buffalo head, the crest of the Buffalini. In the
background there is a trace of landscape seen through a ruined arch, and
above, a lunette of the "Madonna and Child," His foot rests on the heads
of two cherubs. In the foreground kneels the small thin figure of "San
Bernardino" receiving the monastic habit of the Franciscan order from a
father, while his cast-off scarlet robes, his money and box of jewels,
lie beside him on the ground. Following the line of the father's gesture
across the wall, we find that it is directed towards St. Francis, who
kneels to receive the stigmata with an expression of deep devotion and
spiritual insight that Pintoricchio has not often repeated. In the
middle, under the window, two monks recount a history to three lay
listeners, two of whom are evidently portraits, while a procession of
horsemen rides across the background. Whether this relates to the
miracle of the stigmata, or has some reference to the feud with the
Baglioni, is uncertain.

It is on the opposite wall, and on that above the altar, that the
painter has put forth his best efforts, and has produced work which, if
he ever equalled, he never surpassed.

In the arches above the left hand wall is "San Bernardino" as he arrayed
himself in camel hair and sackcloth and went into the wilderness to
study, leaving his rich home and his gay companions in Siena. The
population of the city comes out to interview him, grave elders with
turbaned heads, young men dressed in the height of fantastic fashion.
The saint, absorbed in the study of his Bible, does not even perceive
them as they gaze on him with wonder mixed with reverence, recalling the
devotion he has already shown during the visit of the plague to Siena.
The grass on which he walks is besprinkled with spring flowers, arums
with their red seed-pods, hyacinths and anemones; a little stream
trickles through the green past mossy tree stumps, and the tall towers
of Siena are seen afar in the valley. Below, the whole breadth of wall
is devoted to the burial procession of the saint. Here is a great
market-place surrounded with airy buildings, such buildings as Fiorenzo
had used in those other legends of San Bernardino, which Pintoricchio
would naturally have thought of as he drew his design; indeed, we have
little difficulty in tracing those which he specially adopted.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Church of Ara Cœli, Rome_

    THE BURIAL OF SAN BERNARDINO]

In the fresco of "San Bernardino upon his Bier," the radiating marbles
of the great Piazza stretch away to a Bramante-like temple, arch soaring
above arch; flanking the ancestral dwelling of the donor of the chapel,
with the buffalo's head carved above the doorway, and a quaint little
scene of a buffalo assaulting the populace on the Piazza. In the
foreground stands the bier, upon which, with outstretched feet and
folded hands, lies the emaciated figure of the whilom gay young noble of
Siena who left all to follow Christ. Round him gather the monks of the
order, beggars, women and children. Down from the long _loggia_ on the
left, with the blue and gold decoration copied from Fiorenzo, comes the
stately figure in cap and gown of Messer Avocato Lodovico Buffalini
himself, face keen, precise yet gentle, figure conscious of position,
and the rustle of silken robes, observant too of the young sons, the
youth and the boy, who also in robes and close caps upon flowing hair,
stand on the opposite side of the bier. In the foreground Pintoricchio
has broken the monotony of the rich dark green bier by two of his most
charming little children with rounded limbs and gestures half saintly,
half childish, while by them lies something stuck in as an afterthought,
without meaning, without perspective, a babe in swaddling clothes in a
sort of crib or basket. This is the miraculous _bambino_ of Ara Cœli,
the Byzantine doll preserved in the church, which could by no means be
left out on such an occasion. The effect of ærial space about the whole
composition is very remarkable. The people gather round, life beyond
goes its way, and the whole is set in so peaceful and spirit-lifting an
environment that it does not need the little sky episode of the saint
received into glory to give it spirituality.

So, too, in the "Apotheosis of San Bernardino," which occupies the altar
wall, the sense of space and largeness is the prevailing quality.
Overhead, the stiff _mandorla_ with cherubic heads frames the Saviour,
who, standing upon clouds, raises His hand in benediction. This figure,
as usual, is not altogether happy in the rendering; but thin and
awkwardly drawn as it is, it is not without force or dignity, and has
something earnest and lovable in its expression. It is the direct
simplicity of Pintoricchio's manner which saves from self-consciousness,
and gives a serious quality that atones for the want of grandeur. The
remaining figures leave hardly anything to be desired. Italian art can
show us few more beautiful single figures than that of St. Louis of
Toulouse.[21] The young bishop in his rich episcopal robes and mitre,
his pastoral staff laid against his shoulder, while with absorbed
earnest look he turns the pages of his great breviary, is one of the
most satisfactory creations, full of dignity, goodness and thought, that
any artist has shown us. The face is well and strongly modelled, and the
outline is simple and large. Sant' Antonio of Padua on the opposite
side, holding his flaring heart in token of burning love, is a feebler
figure, and reminds us of some of Perugino's weaker saints; but San
Bernardino himself, in the midst, is full of striking individuality, and
there is great simplicity and repose in the outlines of all three
figures. Nowhere have more beautiful angels been painted. Pintoricchio
has shaken himself out of the conventional slavery of Perugino. These
figures making music upon the clouds are full of life and vigour,
reminiscent of Melozzo da Forli's energetic inspiration, while the two
who, bearing lilies, kneel and between them raise a golden crown above
the saint's head, are Pintoricchio's own, instinct with his own fresh
and delicate feeling for the beautiful, as lovely in colour as they are
in form.

    [21] Patron Saint of Lodovico Buffalini.

The grouping in the burial procession is more successful than usual, and
the light and shade more massed. The colouring of all the frescoes is
exceedingly harmonious, the greenish greys of the background are very
delicate, and the foliage in the fresco over the altar must have been
most beautiful. Touches of bright colour are brought in sparingly, and
with good effect. Nothing more satisfactory is to be found in the
Umbrian school up to now, than the _tout ensemble_ of the altar wall.
The unity and balance of the whole, the variety, yet connection of the
subject, the groundwork occupied, yet not crowded, free from spottiness
and harsh transition. The palm tree filling the space on the right, the
cypress on the left, the maintenance of the distances, relieve the
fresco of all stiffness and flatness. The landscape is full of light and
atmosphere. On the right we look away to a valley which has never lost
the freshness of morning, on the left is a fairyland of sea and distant
mountains and little far-away towns, gleaming, blue and mysteriously
radiant. The whole shape and position of the country at the back is
quite excellent, and in happy contrast to the artificial elegance of
colonnades and radiating pavement of its neighbour on the adjoining
wall.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Church of Ara Cœli, Rome_

    THE GLORIFICATION OF SAN BERNARDINO]



CHAPTER IV

LIFE IN ROME--CONTINUED


Giuliano della Rovere, though his uncle was dead, was still a powerful
cardinal when Innocent VIII. succeeded in 1484. He inhabited the Colonna
Palace, where Vasari tells us that both Perugino and Pintoricchio worked
in his service. Nearly all the Umbrian decorations were swept away later
to make room for the work of Poussin and Zuccaro, but the ceiling of one
great hall still boasts the design of Pintoricchio. It is a rich and
splendid piece of work. Ornaments in chiaroscuro on a blue or gold
groundwork frame four little medallions of classic fable or sacred
story--"Mucius Scævola" and "Virginia," the "History of Judith" and of
"David." Hoary river-gods, grasping sheaves of corn and overflowing
cornucopias of fruit, recline on the backs of sphinxes, on either side
of fountains. More fanciful still are monkeys swinging from ribbons,
centaurs prancing, _putti_ riding goats which are led by older boys,
fauns waving banners, owls, garlands and serpents, all set in a rich
plastered and painted framework, finished with gold rosettes.

Service in the private palace of the cardinal led on to employment by
Pope Innocent, to whom, no doubt, Giuliano recommended Pintoricchio for
this class of work, for in 1486 he was at work in the Belvedere. It was
here that he painted the towns of which Taja speaks. "Not long after,"
says Vasari, "about the year 1484, Innocent VIII., a Genoese, made him
paint several halls and _loggie_ in the Palace of the Belvedere, where,
among other things which the Pope wished for, he painted a _loggia_ all
with towns, and you could discern Rome, Milan, Genoa, Florence, Venice
and Naples, all in the Flemish manner, which, being no longer much in
use, pleased very well."[22] No trace of them remains, nor is anything
left of the great Madonna picture which Vasari says was painted over the
principal entrance. The only remains of Umbrian art are to be found on
the walls and ceiling of what is to-day called the Museo Pio Clementino.
A graceful _loggia_ was half obliterated here to give more room to the
sculpture gallery, but above, the arms of Innocent VIII. and the date
1487 are still visible, surrounded by garlands and ornaments resembling
those in the Colonna Palace. Little medallions of classic subjects still
struggle dimly through decay and ochre wash. In the archways, seven
couples of _putti_ hold the papal shield, or play on musical
instruments, and we can trace the proud device of the Cibo, the gleaming
peacock and the motto "Loyauté passe tout."

    [22] Vasari, iii. p. 498.

In the two little rooms adjoining are prophets and philosophers, and
here may be recognised the somewhat archaic assistant who helped
Pintoricchio in the Borgia Tower. Only these poor scraps remain of the
year's service with the Cibo Pope, and hardly more of what he
accomplished for his cardinals. Domenico della Rovere, the cardinal of
San Clemente, was one of Pintoricchio's earliest patrons in Rome. He
does indeed seem to have been as much friend as patron, and took both
Perugino and Pintoricchio to lodge with him upon their first arrival in
his spacious palace in the Piazza Scossacavalli, outside the entrance of
which Pintoricchio painted a scutcheon supported by _putti_. The
decoration of the interior of the palace then called Sant' Apostoli was
also entrusted to him. To-day it is inhabited by eleven brothers of the
order of the Penitenzieri. It retains something of the fascination of a
princely dwelling of the fourteenth century. In the mouldy courtyard are
traces of almost obliterated paintings. Under the roof are heraldic
devices, armorial bearings, sphinxes and dolphins. In the courtyard,
orange trees grow round a well, which may have been the work of
Bramante. Ivy half covers walls which were once gay with frescoes, but
among the ruin and decay we see repeated countless times in the marble
window frames, the name of the builder--DO. ROVERE, CAR. S. CLEMEN. and
his pious device--SOLI DEO. Outside are faint traces of the shield of
Sixtus IV. supported by two _putti_, the only part of the work which
Vasari deigns to notice.

Inside, the three great halls on the ground floor, though partly
whitewashed and even built up, keep some remains of past splendour. On a
beam can still be read the date at which the palace was finished, 1490.

There is still a good deal of the original gilding left on the wooden
ceilings, and where the whitewash has been scraped away, shadowy heads
of apostles are to be seen, and fine and delicate Renaissance ornament.
The whole resembles the designs for the Colonna Palace, and what can
still be made out appears to be by the master himself, elegant and
decisive in touch. All sorts of animals are made use of--a winged stag
drinks from a cornucopia, sea-gods and mermaids are instructing nymphs
to ride on dolphins, a sphinx plays with a dragon, satyrs are placed in
a vintage scene, sirens beguile centaurs with music--all in the fancy of
the Revival, exuberant, yet full of dainty grace. Bits of marble work
strike the eye here and there--the heraldic bearing of Rovere, the eagle
of Alidori; but there is little left to tell us of the glory of the
princely house, of the great churchman who built it, or of the Umbrian
master he employed to decorate it.

The exultant motto which he placed on a marble tablet to celebrate its
completion, looks down from the decaying wall and speaks to us in words
half sad, half mocking: "This house shall stand till the ant has drunk
up the sea, and till the tortoise has crept round the world."

This plan of small landscapes and scenes set in a wide framework of
fantastic objects, classic and mythological, musical instruments,
garlands and ribbons, becoming more and more grotesque, was peculiar at
this time to Pintoricchio. He may have taken the idea from walls in old
Roman houses, since destroyed, but of which many were uncovered at this
period. The same sort of decoration is to be seen to-day in the Roman
rooms on the Palatine. Pintoricchio uses this mode of decoration again
in the Borgia Apartments, and from him Raphael borrowed the idea for his
_loggie_.

The beautiful church of Santa Maria del Popolo, restored by Pope Sixtus
in 1472, and subsequently rendered a very storehouse of art by his
successors and their cardinal kinsmen, would be, if it had been left
with all its original decorations, one of the finest monuments to
Pintoricchio's art in Italy. A great deal still remains, but much has
been swept away. We cannot be quite certain of the exact date of each
chapel, but his work here, with the exception of the choir, was carried
out during the next few years.

The church was a favourite one with the Rovere family. Pope Sixtus
himself often went to vespers there. In 1480 he instituted his nephew,
Girolamo Riario, as chief warden. Here he came in state to give thanks
after the victory of Campo Morto had delivered Rome from the fear of the
Calabrian invader. Roderigo Borgia, too, as early as 1473, had given a
marble altar to be placed in front of a miracle-working picture of the
Madonna. Vasari speaks of two chapels painted by Pintoricchio in this
church: one with the history of St. Jerome, for Domenico della Rovere,
as a memorial of his brother, Christoforo, who died in 1479; the other
for Cardinal Innocenzio Cibo. The Umbrian frescoes were destroyed, and
the baroque ornamentation we now see, substituted. There is a third
chapel, dedicated to Santa Catarina, in which the painter executed
half-lengths of the four evangelists in an arched ceiling, for a
Portuguese ecclesiastic, Cardinal Costa.

Finally, a fourth chapel had been the gift of Giovanni Basso della
Rovere, the brother-in-law of Pope Sixtus, whose portrait was already
painted by Pintoricchio in the fresco of the Baptism in the Sixtine
Chapel. Two of the half-lengths of the evangelists--"St. Jerome and Pope
Gregory"--though both spoilt and repainted, remain as Pintoricchio's
work, together with two children supporting a scutcheon. In the chapel
of St. Augustine, the three sons of Giovanni raised a monument to their
father, and some years after his death (to judge by the introduction of
grotesques) it was painted in frescoes, which guide-books still assign
to Pintoricchio. They are in his manner, and were probably executed
while he was working at the choir in 1505, for the papal shield of
Julius II., who succeeded in 1503, appears on the ceiling. The "Pietà"
in the lunette above the monument may possibly have been painted earlier
than the rest of the chapel, and Schmarsow sees in it the hand of
Pintoricchio, influenced by Melozzo da Forli. It is difficult to think
that he can be answerable for it when we compare it with the "Pietà"
over the polyptych at Perugia. The coarse, heavy body of the Christ, the
badly-draped loin cloth, the clumsy attitude of the expressionless
angels, seem rather to be the work of some pupil from North Italy, with
a mingling of the Teutonic, and have nothing in common with the delicate
and devotional Umbrian rendering, so evidently inspired by Perugino.

In the "Assumption," which fills the opposite wall, the figures are too
ill drawn to allow us to think they can be Pintoricchio's. The arms are
too short, the feet out of drawing, the figure of the Madonna is
unnaturally long, with sloping shoulders. Crowe and Cavalcaselle were
the first to suggest as its author Matteo Balducci, a painter who has
left several panels at Siena, which were for long assigned to
Pintoricchio, under whom he worked in Rome. The "Virgin and Child, with
Saints" over the altar is a very inferior work, entirely repainted.
Round the top of the wall runs a series of scenes from the life of the
Virgin. These have been attributed to the North Italian, Morto da
Feltre. They are certainly not by Pintoricchio.

There remains, then, only the little chapel of St. Jerome, which, in
spite of some restoration and some destruction, we can attribute to the
master. It has the freshness of early work, and both in colouring and
style is akin to that of San Bernardino in Ara Cœli, while the
influence of Fiorenzo has re-asserted itself. Over the altar is the
"Nativity," which bears so close a resemblance to the older master's
"Adoration" at Perugia. In the finished sketch at Venice, for the tender
figure of the Madonna, the drapery has the stair-like gradations of
folds on both sides, which Morelli points out as characteristic of him,
and the same critic draws attention to the type of hand, with long, bony
fingers, that we find in his later Madonna dei Fossi. The landscape,
which is soft and deep in tone, resembles that of the frescoes in the
Sixtine Chapel. In two, at least, of the little series of the life of
St. Jerome, we recognise Pintoricchio's own hand. In one, the doctors of
the Church come to visit the saint after he has retired to the desert.
The study for the lion in this scene is in his sketch-book. On the other
side of the chapel is the exquisite little panel in which St. Jerome
argues a point of doctrine with an infidel. This is a bit of
genre-painting with all the charm the Umbrian painters understood so
well. The red-robed saint sits in his great arm-chair; opposite him is
placed a stately doctor in blue. Disciples are grouped on either hand,
some have turbaned heads to suggest their unbelieving origin. Behind
stand favourite dogs, and St. Jerome's faithful lion. The scene is lit
up by the painting of a little window in the centre, through which the
company looks out on a sunny landscape, with trees and a lake lying in
mellow light and floating evening shades. A rich cloth hangs across the
broad sill. The idea of the little outlook, throwing air and contrast
into the interior, is one often afterwards elaborated by Pintoricchio,
and apparently was suggested to him by a panel in Fiorenzo's miracles of
San Bernardino.

In the Capitol is a fresco painting which Mr. Berenson ascribes to our
master. Vasari speaks of his having painted such an altar-piece, but
this, if the same, was entirely repainted in 1834. The colour of the
angels' robes was changed--one from red to yellow, the other from yellow
to white. The Virgin's robe, now blue, was originally green. The face is
painted out of all recognition. The shape is not oval, the mouth is full
with parted lips, and the hair falls on either side of the face. The
angels, with knees bending outward, are not Pintoricchio's type--only
the Child recalls his Infant in the "Nativity" of Santa Maria del Popolo
and the hands are like his in outline.

In the tribune of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme is a great composition of
the "Finding of the True Cross," which tradition has assigned to him
among others and which has strong traces of Umbrian workmanship. This
is entirely and heavily repainted, and its artistic value is _nil_,
except for the design. We should welcome even such an obscured
reminiscence as this, if it remained to us, of the paintings in Castel
Sant' Angelo. On a blue, starred vault, the Saviour is surrounded by a
_mandorla_ of cherubs. Below, St. Helena stands, holding the cross, with
the donor, Cardinal Carvajal, kneeling at her feet. On either side are
the miracles attending its recovery. On the left, the Emperor Heraclius
rides in triumph, bearing the cross, rescued from infidels, to the city
gates. The groups of women on the extreme left, and some of those
standing behind the Empress-saint, are full of likeness to
Pintoricchio's figures in the "Journey of Moses," and the landscape (the
only part which has not been quite repainted), with its purple tints,
overhanging rocks, and parties of wayfarers, recalls the work of
Fiorenzo. The whole has something of the direct simplicity of
Pintoricchio's narratives, but other figures remind us of
Signorelli--the forms are heavy and lumpy, and it is probably only by a
follower, though one who closely imitated the Umbrian master.



CHAPTER V

THE BORGIA APARTMENTS


There is perhaps hardly a place in Rome where you feel so transported
into the heart of that old life of the Renaissance, as you do in the
Borgia Apartments. After mid-day it is almost empty of sightseers; and
in the long rooms, where the silence is only broken by the splash of the
fountain in the quiet, grassy court outside, you realise the setting of
the passionate lives that once ran their course here. Here the light
caught Lucrezia's golden hair, here the famous pontiff rustled in his
brocaded robes, and Cæsar Borgia strode in gilded armour. Here great
ambitions were matured, and blackest crimes consummated; and here, too,
came and went the little, deaf, beauty-loving painter from the Umbrian
hills, and drew his cartoons, and spaced his decorations, and overlooked
his army of workmen, and left us as splendid a scheme of rich ornament
as the quattro-cento has to show.

The preservation of these rooms is due to their having been for so long
shut up. Pope Julius, moved partly by reprobation of the crimes of his
predecessor, partly by hatred of the whole house of Borgia, refused to
live in the apartments; but at the end of the sixteenth century the
nephews of Leo XI. used them for a time. For two centuries they seem to
have been uninhabited, and the Abbé Taja in 1750 laments this
abandonment, and deplores their loss to all lovers of the fine arts.
Later, in the eighteenth century, we learn from Chattard[23] that they
were used for the meals of cardinals and officials who assembled during
Holy Week. In 1816, when, in consequence of the peace of Tolentino, the
precious collection of pictures was sent back from Paris, some of them
were collected in the Borgia apartments, and the marble cross-bars of
the windows were replaced by iron ones to give more light. The light
was, however, so bad that the pictures were removed, and a miscellaneous
museum and library took their place.

    [23] _Nuova descrizione del Vaticano_, ii. 58.

In 1891 the present Pope, Leo XIII., moved the library, and the delicate
task of restoration began. The book-shelves and marbles had cracked and
destroyed the plaster in places, and in the time of Pius VII. some
varnish had been applied to the ceilings, making a sort of crust. The
restoration has been carried out with the greatest care under the
direction of Signor Lodovico Seitz, and has fortunately been restricted
to repairing the plaster and stucco, and to cleaning the frescoes from
dust and damp. Though in some parts of the fifth and sixth halls the
stucco has been taken off, the walls reconstructed, and the surface
refixed, it has been done with such nicety that no mark is perceptible,
and retouching, with one or two trifling exceptions, has been absolutely
tabooed. What repainting there is dates from the time of Pius VII., but
is fortunately slight. This applies to the actual paintings.

Most of the decorations of the lower walls have been repainted,
following the fragmentary traces that remained, or, where these were
quite obliterated, they have been replaced with harmonious hangings. The
minor decorations of the halls are a study in themselves, and are the
more interesting as it is evident that the artist has superintended the
whole, subordinating the marble work, the painting of the lower panels,
and even the tiled floor to suit his scheme of colour.

It is extraordinary that no contract for these rooms has been
discovered. No sign of the agreement for them remains in Alexander
Borgia's account book. It is only from incidental mention in letters to
and from Orvieto, and from payments made, that we can find out when the
work was begun, and how long it lasted.

Messrs. Ehrle and Stevenson, in their monumental work on the Borgia
Apartments, show very clearly that Pintoricchio's part only began with
the second room. The private or living rooms of the Pope at that time
were the second, or the Hall of Mysteries; the third, the Hall of
Saints; and the fourth, or Arts and Sciences, besides the two
withdrawing rooms. Vasari knew this quite well at the end of the
sixteenth century. It is only with Chattard, about 1764, that the whole
of the six rooms were said to have been decorated for Alexander VIII. In
Vasari's life of Pintoricchio, he says the Pope made him paint the rooms
he inhabited, and the Borgia Tower; and, more clearly still, in the life
of Perino del Vaga, he says the latter was painting the vault of the
Sala Pontifici, by which you enter the rooms of Pope Alexander,
_already painted by Pintoricchio_. Taking off this room, there remain
five, to which he assigned three years.

Our knowledge of contracts of the time enable us to construct pretty
accurately what must have been the conditions of the missing agreement.
The master would have been required to use the best colours, to begin
and end within certain time limits, to design all the cartoons, and to
paint the faces and principal parts with his own hand. We can gather
from the existing work that Pintoricchio performed his share of such a
contract honestly; assistants were evidently and inevitably employed,
but the homogeneous character of the whole is remarkable, and proves,
not only that the painter's supervision must have been incessant, but
also that he had the power of directing and overseeing his pupils' work,
so as to keep their individuality in sufficient abeyance to his own
guiding influence. That he had by this time his own workshop of helpers
and skilled painters working under him we do not doubt, but I do not
think that any critics who have studied the consistent character of the
work, now doubt that he had the supreme direction, and that he was
undisturbed by rivals. The unity of ornament, too, leads us to believe
that he directed and designed all this part himself. Probably the marble
work is by Andrea Bregno, who had been working with him in the Sixtine
Chapel, and Santa Maria del Popolo.

Something of the beauty which greets us in these halls we owe to the
mellowing hand of time; yet even when new, the effect must have been
rich and glowing, brilliant and deep rather than gaudy, and all is
planned to suit the subdued light of a northern aspect. The square, not
very high rooms are spaced, divided, and slightly vaulted with the most
consummate skill. The rich soft colours, the heavy gold, the airy
outlook of landscape, the glowing background, give an effect, choice,
jewelled, of an exquisite finish, of a sensuous gratification, almost
without parallel. The imagination furnishes the empty chambers with all
the choice objects they once contained. The priceless majolica, the gold
and silver vessels, the brocaded hangings, the ivory carvings--what a
background for the scenes of love and revelry once enacted here! The
thrum of music, the laughter and wit and boisterous merriment, the
muttered conferences, the whispered plotting, the ghastly treacheries,
the dying groans. In one of these rooms, the Hall of Arts, the first
husband of the young Lucrezia was murdered. In the adjoining room the
Pope himself died in agonies. On these and on what other deeds of
darkness and despair and triumphant villainy have these chaste and
innocent conceptions of Pintoricchio looked down. It gives them a
curious attraction, born of incongruity; as a writer says: "They have
all the fascination of 'fleurs du mal.'"

It was about this time that the grotesque first crept into art. Dr.
Schmarsow thinks that the earliest signs may be detected in the Borgia
Apartments. The early art of the Renaissance had shown a preference for
the classic, inspired by the decorations on antique marbles. The objects
were clear and simple, human beings, animals, keeping true to nature,
ornamented with garlands, ribbons, and other accessories, fanciful, but
not fantastic. The origin of the expression "grottesque," which is first
used in Pintoricchio's contract in Siena in 1502, is explained by
Benvenuto Cellini in 1571. It was taken from the objects found by
students of art who explored antique monuments in caverns or grottoes.
Paintings, ornamented with grotesques, were crowded with objects all
complicated, twisted and adapted, masks, swans with abnormally long
necks, fabulous monsters, unnatural flowers. Exuberantly as Pintoricchio
afterwards uses such objects, the tendency is only seen slightly here
and in the Buffalini chapel. His work in the first hall (the Hall of
Mysteries) of the life of our Lord, has something of a mediæval
tendency. The scenes are seven in number: "The Annunciation," "The
Nativity," "The Adoration of the Magi," "The Resurrection," "The
Ascension," "The Descent of the Holy Spirit," and "The Assumption of the
Virgin." The composition of all is of the simplest, no strong emotions
are rendered, and the figures are all of that peaceful and primitive
devotion suited to the ruling of the early Church, and recalling
Fiorenzo and Bonfigli. Indeed, the contrast is great between the
simplicity of ornament and more ambitious, scientific spirit in the
Sixtine, and the return here to the conventional composition and the
mediæval fondness for accessory. Both "The Annunciation" and "The
Adoration of the Magi" are of the Umbro-Perugian type. Pintoricchio
repeats the angel of the first scene again at Spello, with several other
figures. In the radial lines of the pavement we recognise the example of
Perugino in the Sixtine fresco. The whole scene in the stately halls
opening out in a beautiful landscape, is full of soft dignity. The
rose-pink of the angels' robes, the peacock-blues and greens of Mary's
garments, the rose-wreath, the lilies, make a luscious combination of
colour. It is the impassionate character, the childlike and unconscious
spirit of all Pintoricchio's creations that gives them such a piquancy,
in contrast to their splendid setting.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    THE ANNUNCIATION]

Dr. Auguste Schmarsow, of all the critics, is the one who has given most
careful study to these frescoes and has brought most knowledge and
erudition to bear upon them. He divides a great deal of the execution
among the various schools to which he thinks Pintoricchio's assistants
belonged, and his assignments, if not to be taken as actual facts, are
worth considering--it being allowed that the whole is due to one
designer. All critics concur in giving the figures in the "Annunciation"
to the master. In the next, the "Nativity," the Virgin and Child are
also from Pintoricchio's own hand, and many details recall the
altar-piece in Santa Maria del Popolo. The "Adoration of the Magi" is
attributed to a Lombard, except the boy at the right, who is by a pupil
of Botticelli. We should be sorry to hold Pintoricchio immediately
responsible for the ill-drawn Child and awkward hands in this fresco;
and in the patterns on the dresses and the terra-cotta mouldings of the
buildings we see the Lombard taste. In the "Resurrection" we have the
broken tomb, the risen Saviour, and the guards in armour, set in a
landscape of rocky ground and cypresses.

The principal figure, upon a gilded glory, set round with cherubs' heads
and tongues of flame and grasping a banner, is far too ill-drawn for the
master, and Schmarsow gives it entirely to a Lombard. The guards are
all of a refined Umbrian type, full of spirit and intelligence, and Dr.
Steinmann suggests that we may have here portraits of Cæsar Borgia and
his brother, who at the time would be boys of seventeen and eighteen. It
is, as he argues, difficult to say what other portraits (and that they
are portraits is evident) would be allowed in the same scene with that
of the donor, Pope Alexander himself, who kneels on the left hand, the
most conspicuous figure of the whole group, clothed in a gorgeous
mantle, embossed with gold, his hands raised in prayer. His face has a
strong beaked nose, low forehead, heavy jowl, double chin and crafty
eye, and the tonsure shows the unusual development of the back of the
skull. It is a splendidly realistic portrait, full of strength and
truth, and clever modelling of the heavy fleshy face. This is entirely
by Pintoricchio, who naturally would not leave such an important detail
to any inferior hand. It is in unconscious satire that the Pope raises
his clasped hands and eyes to the figure of the risen Lord, and that the
inscription is to be read--like a sentence from the Judgment Seat--"I
wait for my resurrection." These figures, in contrast to some of the
puppet-like ones in the two preceding frescoes, are full of life, vivid
and solid. In "The Ascension," painted on the archway over the window,
the figure of Christ is the same in attitude if not in drapery. The
whole is feebly drawn, and the gestures of the Apostles show a great
want of unity. In this composition Schmarsow sees an imitation of
Melozzo da Forli, while the heads and drapery are of the school of the
Sienese, Bernardino Fungai, and by the same hand as the prophets on the
roof nearest the window.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    POPE ALEXANDER VI. ADORING THE RISEN CHRIST]

The "Descent of the Holy Spirit" has suffered more than any of the
frescoes from damp and restoration. The scene is placed in an open
field--an arbitrary action of the painter intended to give unity to the
background by making it a landscape like the other spaces, in
Pintoricchio's special manner. The usual harmony of design is lacking
here, and the lower part of the scene is out of harmony with the upper.
We trace the Lombard style again, particularly on the left hand, while
some figures on the right recall the Sienese. The two inner figures of
prophets on the vault are in the style of Fiorenzo. It is not likely
that Pintoricchio would himself have worked at these, but Perugian
pupils were certainly working with him.

In the remaining fresco of the "Assumption," the composition is entirely
Umbrian, and may be compared with that in Santa Maria del Popolo, and in
the Vatican. In St. Thomas, and in the angels on the right, Schmarsow
sees the style of Perugino, but that master was a _protégé_ of Cardinal
Giuliano della Rovere, and at this time was busied on work for his
patron; in any case, he would not have been likely to take service under
his old pupil. Of course, Pintoricchio must have had designs by him in
his possession. The Madonna in some degree recalls the much more
beautiful one Pintoricchio afterwards painted for the monks of Monte
Oliveto. But the figure which gives its artistic importance to the
fresco is that of the man in black who kneels on the right of the open
tomb, facing St. Thomas. This figure alone, in grandeur and simplicity
of attitude, in intensity of expression, in fine drawing and handling,
and in depth of colour, would vindicate Pintoricchio's claim to be
called a great painter--taken in conjunction with the Pope on the
opposite wall, it carries conviction of the power and the insight of the
man who could produce two such diverse and striking types, though the
art that produced them may be empirical rather than scientific. We do
not know who this last may be. There are no signs of his rank in his
dress, no cardinal's hat by his side; but it is evident that he must
have been a person of importance. It is conjectured that he is Francesco
Borgia, the Pope's brother, who, in 1493 became Bishop of Teano, and
Papal treasurer.[24]

    [24] E. Steinmann, _Pintoricchio_, p. 54.

A wonderful softness broods over the whole decoration of this room; the
details, elaborate as they are, are subordinated to a quiet and restful
effect. All absence of violent action or emotion contributes to the
impression; the same peaceful types are repeated; the same character of
landscape: all modifies the pictorial to the decorative effect. We may
notice here a feature which Pintoricchio shares very strikingly with
Perugino--it is that feeling for restraint, the instinct to keep all of
small size and well within the picture which gives these painters such a
peculiarly refined character, especially in contrast with those who
followed, copyists of Raphael and Michael Angelo. Everywhere in the
decorative part of the rooms we see the bull's head, the appropriate
device of the savage representative of the House of Borgia, a device
which the House--which was of Spanish extraction--had borne since the
thirteenth century. The decoration is repeated over and over again, and
does not show much resource or ingenuity, but the subdued tone of the
whole is very happy and thoroughly appropriate.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    FIGURE OF THE POPE
    (A detail from "Pope Alexander VI. adoring the Risen Christ")]

A marble doorway surrounded by two _putti_ bearing a shield, leads to
the Hall of Saints. Here Pintoricchio has surpassed himself in beauty.
Here is more varied and more lively action and better effects of
grouping than we find anywhere in his work, except in the Sixtine
Chapel. When these apartments were little known, the Libreria at Siena
was often quoted as the achievement on which the Umbrian master's fame
rested, but to know him at his best we must see him here in Rome. For
technique, colour, decoration, and poetical feeling, these rooms, and
especially the Hall of Saints, rank higher than anything else he has
left, with the exception, perhaps, of the Buffalini and Sixtine Chapels.

The legends of the saints are varied by a scene from the Old and one
from the New Testament. It does not appear what was the reason of this
conjunction.

    [Illustration:
    _Alinari photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    THE KNEELING MAN
    (A detail from the "Assumption of the Virgin")]

Over the door we have "Susanna and the Elders." The middle of the
composition is occupied by a splendid fountain in the style of the
Renaissance. The top part, with the child holding the dolphin, resembles
Verrocchio's work in the courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.
The fountain is placed in a little garden plot set round with palings
and a rose hedge, and the fanciful hand which painted it has filled
it with animals: a hare, a stag lying down by the shoes which Susanna
has just slipped off, a fawn, white rabbits gambolling in all
directions, a monkey attached to a golden chain. These are evidently
painted by a real student-lover of animals. In front of the fountain
stands the saint, in a clinging white robe that reminds us of the
sculpture of Agostino di Duccio; her feet are bare; a heavy necklace and
pendant are round her throat. The two elders, in rich robes and Eastern
turbans, grasp her arms on either side; but her attitude, with her hand
on the shoulder of one, is free from violent emotion, calm and trustful.
Pintoricchio has seldom painted a more exquisite and poetical figure
than this, with fair head and delicately-modelled arms and hands. Its
purity and innocence, and the subject of the legend, make it a strange
choice for the private apartments of a Borgia.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    THE STORY OF SUSANNA]

In the background on the left, the same white figure is being hurried to
execution by guards in the dress of the fifteenth century, while Daniel,
mounted on a white horse and holding a sceptre, intervenes in her
favour. On the other side, the elders, bound to a tree, are stoned to
death, even a little figure of a child casting stones at them. These
figures show a great deal of animated action and good drawing and
modelling, and are full of life and spirit. Behind is a landscape in the
well-known style of Pintoricchio--the whole strongly recalling the work
of Fiorenzo. Bernardino here is in his most idyllic and fairy-tale vein,
and nowhere is the painting more finished; but the very great care of
detail, carried into the most distant part, gives too great an
importance to accessories, and damages the unity of the whole, showing
him less as a great composer than a decorator.

In the next fresco, Santa Barbara escapes from the tower in which she
had been imprisoned by her cruel father, and in which she had built
three windows in honour of the Trinity. On the left of the tower we see
the great rent made by a miracle, through which she escaped. The father,
armed with a scimitar, and shielding his eyes with his hand, is
anxiously searching for her in the wrong direction. He is accompanied by
two armed followers, one of whom catches sight of her, and, suddenly
converted, looks longingly after her. In the background the saint
escapes in company with Santa Giulia, and on the right her father is
asking for news from a shepherd, who, for betraying that he has seen
her, is turned into a marble pillar and painted white to convey this
idea. Santa Barbara herself is a naïve and charming figure, gracefully
posed, with flying draperies and long fair hair circled with pearls. Her
streaming locks and blowing draperies give the impression of flight and
movement very successfully. The whole effect is gay and fanciful. The
saint, her little fair face turned up, her hands clasped, might be a
fairy princess, escaping from an enchanted castle, over a sward carpeted
with blossoms. She makes a bright figure in effective contrast to the
white-robed Susanna.

The lunette opposite this is one of the happiest of the series--"The
Visit of St. Anthony to Paul the Hermit." Beneath a rough natural stone
archway in which the hermitage is concealed, its presence indicated by
the bell which the hermit uses to call himself to prayers, the two
saints sit, sharing the loaf of bread which has been brought by the
faithful raven, which flies away on the left. Close to St. Paul two
disciples in white robes contemplate the edifying conversation, behind
St. Anthony are grouped three women, richly dressed. They advance with
half-closed, wanton eyes, and by the little horns on their fashionably
dressed hair, their bats' wings, and the claws peeping out from under
their flowing skirts, their demoniacal character is betrayed. The last
of the group, with head thrown back and hands resting on either side of
her waist, is a very original and beautiful figure. The face and hands
of St. Anthony are strongly drawn and the robes finely draped. In the
hermit, dressed in the legendary garment of palm leaves, and in the very
inferior figures of disciples, the hand of an assistant may be seen. The
latter recall Signorelli, without his force and freshness.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    ST. ANTHONY AND ST. PAUL--HERMITS]

In "The Visitation," which fills the remaining space on this side, we
have one of those sweet, home-like narrative paintings so dear to
Umbrian art. The Virgin and St. Elizabeth, dressed in the long
conventional blue and green draperies, clasp hands in the foreground,
the Virgin with downcast eyes, the saint with the searching gaze
prescribed by tradition. Behind them, St. Joseph leans on a staff, and a
procession of children and pages follows: a girl with graceful swathings
of scarf and sleeve carries a basket of fruit upon her head, and with a
child at her feet, is distantly reminiscent of certain figures by
Botticelli in the Sixtine Chapel. The smiling landscape, across which
the visitors have journeyed, is seen through a perspective of
elaborately drawn and decorated arches, on which some of those drawings
of grotesque ornamentation can be discerned. On the right, in the
shadows of the arcades, is a delightful group, one of those bits with
which Pintoricchio gives interest and charm to his compositions.
Zacharias, who is as yet unaware of the arrival, leans in an angle,
absorbed in a book. On the ground a group of women, young and old, are
occupied in spinning and embroidery; at the back another graceful figure
twirls a distaff, and a child plays with a dog on the ground in front.
In some of the secondary parts of the execution of this, Schmarsow sees
the hand of Pintoricchio's best scholar. The architecture has nothing of
the Umbrian style, but shows the hand of one to whom the Lombard
decoration, with its terra-cotta work, is familiar. The whole of the
fresco is more broadly painted, the draperies in large, broad folds, the
value of the landscape better kept, more softly modulated than in any we
have yet noticed.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    THE DEMON WOMEN
    (Detail from the fresco of "St. Anthony and St. Paul")]

The light over the windows is so bad that it is almost impossible to get
an adequate view of the frescoes placed there. This is particularly
unfortunate in the Hall of Saints, for no one of the scenes is more
beautiful, more happily grouped or more full of interest than the one of
St. Sebastian's martyrdom. The young Saint who, transfixed with arrows
and bound with cords, stands at the base of a column placed against a
mass of ruined brickwork on Mount Palatine, is a pathetic figure, full
of calm dignity and resignation. It is drawn and modelled with care
and freedom, and has a force and solidity which make us regret that
Pintoricchio did not give himself more chance by oftener painting
studies from the nude. The figure and drapery with some modifications
seem to have been adapted from his fresco of the "Baptism of Christ,"
but he has learnt more since then, and it stands firmer and gives a
greater sense of elasticity and poise. The groups of archers on either
hand, shooting at their human mark, under the superintendence of a
Janissary in Eastern dress,[25] are full of movement and variety. One
draws his bow, another is putting the arrow in the string, another has
just let fly, while behind him a fourth in half armour shades his eyes
with his hand and watches the weapon speed to the mark--a quaint,
matter-of-fact rendering of a scene of tragedy, which deprives it of its
serious character and gives it, as Steinmann remarks, a social air, as
of a friendly shooting match.

    [25] In the British Museum is a drawing for this figure, attributed
    to Gentile Bellini, about which I shall have more to say.

The scene in which the event takes place is more interestingly painted
in some ways than any of the other landscapes. It is easy to see that
studies for it have been made upon the Palatine itself, where tradition
has always held that Sebastian, who was a captain of the Roman Guard,
met his martyrdom. The small old Roman brickwork, overgrown with
exquisitely drawn acanthus and ivy, is rendered with detailed care, and
broken columns stand or lie around. In the background we see the
half-ruined Colosseum, as Sixtus IV. left it when he built the Sixtine
Bridge from its blocks. On the right is a church--it may be San Giovanni
e Paolo, or the one raised in honour of the saint himself. Nowhere up to
this time has the beauty and the melancholy of the Roman landscape been
rendered by any artist, and once more we feel how deeply beauty in all
its forms appealed to the Umbrian painter.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    THE MARTYRDOM OF ST. SEBASTIAN]

We now turn to the principal wall, facing the window, the most splendid
of all the frescoes which Pintoricchio has left. At the foot of the
great arch of Constantine, which is crowned with a golden bull, St.
Catherine of Alexandria holds a theological dispute with fifty
philosophers at a council convoked by the Emperor Maximian. The only
woman in the great assemblage, the fair little figure stands before the
throne of the Emperor and illustrates the points of her arguments upon
her fingers. The same model has served here as for Santa
Barbara--tradition says it was Lucrezia herself, the dearly-loved
daughter of the Pope--with the small delicate features and long fair
hair, which she is described by Burckhardt as possessing. The scene is
laid in the usual sunny landscape. Old men with high caps and turbans
dispute together, potentates ride upon the scene, pages attend their
masters, bearing their volumes for reference, a greyhound steals forward
at the feet of a squire who bears a halberd on his shoulder. Some are
hastily searching their books as if short of arguments, but the king's
daughter is speaking on without hesitation, as if inspired by an
unerring director. Lucrezia was fifteen the year this was painted, and
was given in marriage to Giovanni Sforza. Full of wit and charm as
she was, the painter may have caught the idea of his composition from
seeing her foremost in lively discussion among the nobles of her
father's court, but the figure and gesture is practically copied from
Masolino's of the same subject in San Clemente. All the evil Lucrezia
witnessed, all the black deeds she took part in, if history says truly,
seem to have swept over that fair head, and when she settled down at
Pesaro with her third husband, we gather that she was glad to leave
intrigue and crime behind and to lead a comparatively peaceable,
respectable existence for the rest of her life.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    THE DISPUTE OF ST. CATHERINE]

The idea of the splendour of the Pope's court has fascinated the
painter, and round the beautiful girl, who was its centre, he has
grouped other remarkable personages who must have struck him there. The
sad-eyed, bitter-looking man in Greek dress, who stands on the left in
the foreground, is said to be Andrea Paleologos, commonly called the
Despot of Morea, nephew and heir of the unfortunate Emperor Constantine,
under whose rule Constantinople fell into the hands of the Turks. Andrea
had with his father, taken refuge at the Papal court some twenty years
earlier; they had brought with them a precious gift--the bones of St.
Andrew--and the hospitality of successive Popes had been extended to
them. Andrea could never forget his former grandeur or reconcile himself
to his position, though, as he made profit out of his hereditary rights
in many petty ways, he was held in little repute. Certainly the
resentful, brooding expression, the isolated air, accords well with the
descriptions of the disappointed, disinherited man, standing silent and
moody while the gay court of the Renaissance is unheeding of him. This
interesting attribution is now questioned by some authorities.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    ST. CATHERINE
    (A detail from the "Dispute of St. Catherine")]

In the British Museum are drawings of a Turk and a Turkish woman, both
seated cross-legged. The drawing of the man serves for the Janissary in
the "Martyrdom of St. Sebastian," reversed, and the arm slightly
altered.

At Frankfort is a drawing of an Albanian, and also the one from which
the alleged portrait of the Despot of Morea is taken.

In the Louvre are two drawings of Turks and one of a Turkish woman. Here
we find the Turk standing on the Emperor's left hand, and supposed to be
the Sultan Djem.

All these drawings appear to be by the same hand and done at the same
time--alike in size and style. The two in the British Museum have been
ascribed to Gentile Bellini, and are believed to have been sketches made
by him in Constantinople. They have all the appearance of being from
life. There are touches of reality in the under-robe of the Turk, the
wrinkles in his face and the muscles of the neck, which entirely
disappear when the sketch is transferred to the plaster wall. The
question then arises, Did Pintoricchio transfer drawings by Bellini
straight into his fresco, or can we entertain the opinion advanced by
Signor A. Venturi, that the drawings are not by Bellini at all, but by
Pintoricchio himself?[26]

    [26] _L'Arte_, vol. i. p. 32.

The Sultan Djem no doubt had a suite which included women, and
Pintoricchio would have had no difficulty in finding models. We can
hardly doubt, apart from tradition, that the painter _did_ intend the
very prominent Greek in his fresco to represent Paleologos, who would so
obviously balance the other distinguished refugee at the opposite
corner; but if so, why copy an old drawing of thirteen years earlier,
when it was essential to secure a portrait, and when Paleologos himself
was always about the court? The same remark holds good of the drawing of
the Turks. With so many Turks in Rome in 1493, and all the town wild
about them, is it probable that Pintoricchio should have had recourse
for them to old drawings by Bellini? On the other hand, the style of the
drawings has no resemblance whatever to that of Pintoricchio, though I
cannot see much more to Gentile Bellini. I am inclined to think that the
attribution to this last is an arbitrary one, and arises from his having
been known to have visited the East, but that the drawings were supplied
to Pintoricchio by a third person unknown, probably one of his
assistants, whom he commissioned to procure sketches.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    GROUP OF HEADS
    (A detail from the "Dispute of St. Catherine")]

The figure on the Emperor's left, in Turkish dress, has usually been
taken for Prince Djem, the younger son of the Sultan Mahommed II., but
as it is on record that Djem closely resembled his father, and as we
have an excellent likeness of the latter in Gentile Bellini's famous
portrait (now in Lady Layard's possession), we are able to identify Djem
in the much more striking personage, the fierce and stately prince on
horseback on the extreme right. It was as a hostage that Innocent VIII.
brought him to Rome in 1489. We have plenty of evidence of how "el Gran
Turco" struck the fancy of the Romans. All the Chronicles of the time,
the letters and diaries of Ambassadors, are full of descriptions of his
dress and person, and of the gay hunting parties which the Pope used to
give in his honour. Mantegna has left a graphic description of his
appearance in a letter written from Rome in 1485, in which he speaks of
his fierce aspect, his wonderful seat on a horse, and his turban made of
"thirty thousand ells of fine linen."

We can guess that the Turks made a great impression on Pintoricchio, for
he brings them in again to his frescoes fifteen years later at Siena.
The Emperor has been said to be a portrait of Cæsar Borgia; but as he
was only eighteen or nineteen at the time, this seems impossible. The
young man on horseback on the right, tradition names as Giovanni Sforza,
who was about twenty.

Here, too, is another portrait, less splendid but as notable as any. In
the corner on our left may be seen the slim form and thin dark face,
sensitive and observant, of the little painter himself, and by his side
a man with a shrewd, firm face, with a grand gold chain round his
shoulders and holding an architect's square in his hand. This is no
doubt one of the sculptors or decorators of the rooms. It may be
Bramante, or the elder San Gallo, or Andrea Bregno, that conjuror in
marble.

The ceiling in this room is a marvel of richly-gilt and embossed stucco,
mingled with painting. The eight large triangular spaces between the
bars of framework illustrate the myth of Osiris and Isis which, with its
history of the deification of the bull, appropriately symbolises the
exaltation of the House of Borgia. The young King Osiris, having
conquered Egypt, ploughs the land with bulls and teaches the Egyptian to
plant orchards and vineyards. The peace and prosperity of his rule is
crowned by his marriage with Isis. Warriors pile their useless armour
and children play around their knees. In this segment one particularly
delightful _putto_ is riding astride of a swan, the original for which,
in marble, had been among the recent discoveries of antiques. As the
history proceeds, the wicked brother raises the Egyptians in mutiny and
Isis finds the remains of her murdered husband. Isis is a graceful
fantastic figure, with swathing draperies, and the cut-up hands and legs
of the unfortunate Osiris are disposed about the ground with a very
naïve effect. Then we have his burial, wrapped in cloth of gold--the
pyramid erected to him, and his apparition deified in the form of the
famous bull Apis, ending with a procession and the bull borne in
triumph. The intervals are lavishly filled in with grotesques, which are
here very marked in character. It is curious to note Pintoricchio's
study of the antique, the classic armour, and the mythical histories in
the small _tondi_ on the wide cross architrave--Mercury soothing Argus
to sleep, and then slaying him at Jove's command. Jove seizing Io, and
obtaining possession of the cow into which her friend was transformed.
The design of the principal subjects is in Pintoricchio's style and full
of fancy and invention, but the execution would seem to have been
entrusted to assistants, apparently to the same hand which worked on the
archers round St. Sebastian and in parts of the Susanna.



CHAPTER VI

THE BORGIA APARTMENTS--CASTEL SANT' ANGELO


As he passed through the doorway which leads into the Hall of the Arts
and Sciences, Pintoricchio found above his head a narrow space to
decorate, and his thoughts must have flown back to the over-door of the
old Council chamber in Perugia and the fresco which years before he had
watched his whilom master, Fiorenzo, place there, and perhaps had helped
him to execute. Some sketch of that group must have been beside him, for
we have it reproduced in this "Madonna and Child." The dress and
attitude of the Mother are almost identical, though the original is
refined upon, and in technique and beauty of expression this is one of
the most satisfactory of all his works. The Mother, holding an open
book, in which the Child reads, is reminiscent of that earlier painting
sent to Xativà, but Mary, gazing out of the picture with wide eyes full
of light, and delicate, half-satirical mouth, has the individuality of a
portrait. The Child is a very real little boy; He stands on a cushion,
dressed in a little tunic, poring with pretty baby wisdom over His task,
so natural and so busy, He adds one more to a long list of triumphs in a
branch of art in which up to this time Pintoricchio had few rivals. This
picture started Vasari on a fable that it was a portrait of Giulia
Farnese and her child, with the Pope kneeling as donor, but there is
no trace of a third person. He may have confused it with the Xativà
panel.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    GENERAL VIEW OF THE HALL OF LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES]

In this room Pintoricchio bestows great attention upon the children, in
the painting of which some of his greatest successes were scored.
Earlier masters had neglected this feature of art--very few up to this
time had given us any real idea of childish beauty. We have, to be sure,
the sweet little creations of Fra Angelico, and some beautiful children
of Filippino Lippi, Botticelli, and Ghirlandaio, but the art of using
lovely _putti_ with a half-decorative effect in painting belonged
chiefly to North Italy, and was perfected by Carpaccio, Alvise Vivarini,
and Giovanni Bellini. Indeed, when we look at some of the examples in
these rooms of children supporting armorial bearings and drawing back
heavy curtains, we are reminded of the very same _motif_ in a group
painted by Mantegna, thirty years earlier in the Chapel at Padua, where
children stand on each side of a shield, and we recollect that that
master was shortly before this in Rome. Whether Pintoricchio was
indebted to Mantegna for a design or not, in himself he was a true
child-lover, far superior in this respect to Perugino, whose fat, smug
infants are sometimes quite repellent. He painted no inspired,
supernatural beings, but round, healthy babies, full of roguish charm.

The whole ceiling in this room is soft and restful in character, the
pattern is mechanical, but the form and spacing of the great octagon and
the ingenuity of the divisions of the architraves complete a thoroughly
harmonious effect. The Borgia crest re-appears with inevitable
monotony. The coat-of-arms shines from the centre of radiating sun rays,
and upon a dark blue ground. At either end of the vault great white
bulls approach an altar, where they are received by charming _putti_
with trumpet blasts of triumph. The whole is so blended and subdued that
though each detail is full of the beauty of nature, it is yet perfect,
looked at as mere decoration.

In the Spanish Chapel in Florence (which Pintoricchio had never, as far
as we know, seen), in the Castles of Urbino and Bracciano, among other
places, from Giotto down to the followers of Raphael, the arts and
sciences had been a favourite theme treated by his forerunners. Here
they have some slight resemblance to the series painted under the
superintendence of Melozzo for the Duke of Montefeltro, two of which are
now in the National Gallery. They are like enough to make us think that
Pintoricchio had seen them or had their description, and in accepting
and enlarging on the suggestion, he has in this room achieved a
remarkable series.

In the preceding chambers his task has been one of comparatively little
difficulty. The well-known sacred histories asked no great flight of
fancy, originality was unnecessary and they were naturally rich in
incident and detail. The scenes from the lives of the saints lend
themselves easily to dramatic effect and allow of every sort of
accessory. But in this room, which Steinmann suggests was Pope
Alexander's study, each of the seven spaces has for its prevailing
object of interest the single figure of a woman, and relief from
monotony depends upon the appropriate figures grouped around. Each of
the emblematical forms sits upon a throne, with a stiff, architectural
back,[27] from several of which winged _putti_ are drawing back heavy
curtains, and about the steps are gathered philosophers and disciples of
the art or science. Beyond, a softly-tinted landscape is detached
against a blue and gold embossed firmament. Over the whole broods an
idyllic peace. Calm, serene beings are absorbed in culture and the
pursuit of knowledge, contemplative and thoughtful, almost as far
removed as the saints from the worldly plotting and fierce intrigues
which are carried on under their unimpassioned eyes. Unfortunately this
beautiful hall has suffered more than any other, and several of the
frescoes are almost destroyed by damp and restoration.

    [27] These thrones, each with a single figure, resemble the
    ones in the series of Virtues painted by Pollaiuolo and
    Botticelli for Lorenzo dei Medici. Pintoricchio may have had
    a description of these.

"Rhetoric" holds a sword to show the power with which she is able to
pierce hearts, and a globe, perhaps to suggest the far-reaching extent
of that power. These emblems are repeated in the hands of the _putti_ on
either side of the steps. On the right of the throne a priest, perhaps a
portrait, though not a highly individual one, holds a purse; an old
philosopher reading on the left may be meant for Cicero, who would not
be left out of such a composition, while grey-bearded teachers argue
with richly-dressed young disciples. On the steps is the name
"PENTORICCHIO," but except the principal figure, the work was probably
divided among scholars. In Rhetoric herself, and in the old man on the
left, in the folds of the mantles, and in the attendant _putti_ there is
some likeness to Perugino, but this master was fully employed at the end
of 1492 by Giuliano della Rovere, and would have been most unlikely to
take service with Giuliano's hated rival, even if he would have
consented to work in a subordinate character. Pintoricchio's
sketch-books must have been full of studies from him, and in beginning a
new essay he would probably have had recourse to these, trusting more as
he went on to his own initiative.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    THE MADONNA AND CHILD, WITH ANGELS]

"Geometry" holds her square and compasses, and the inventor, the
bald-headed Euclid, sits at her feet, engaged in drawing a diagram. On
the left, in the corner, is a youth who has evidently painted his own
portrait in a looking-glass. The cloak of "Geometry" and the red dress
of Euclid show the hand of a pupil of Fiorenzo, but none of the
attendant figures nor the landscape have much trace of Pintoricchio's
own work, though Schmarsow allots to him besides the figure of
"Geometry," the turbaned man on her right, the youth standing by him,
and the one at the edge of the group. None of the seven sisters is so
beautiful as "Arithmetic." Here Pintoricchio trusts in his own
inspiration, and we have a finely-drawn head with all his freshness of
pose and expression. This dreamy face, with its transparent veil half
covering the flowing hair, the gold embossed robe, over-sleeves, mantle
hanging in very softly accentuated folds, and the beautifully
proportioned figures standing by, have a larger share than almost any
other of the lunettes of the master's hand, and here, more than in any,
we have the many coloured garments, rich pinks, harmonious greens, that
Pintoricchio loved. The light and shade in this and the preceding group
is massed with an eye to effect which is quite absent from the rest.

"Music" is in some respects the most beautiful group of all, though
the principal figure can hardly compare with that of "Arithmetic." This
again is strongly reminiscent of Perugino. With drooped eyelids the
symbolic sister daintily plays a violin; of four beautiful _putti_, two
hold back the splendid dark green curtain, and two play the flute at
"Music's" feet. Two old men are grouped together with Tubal Cain, who,
as in the Spanish Chapel, forges musical instruments and keeps time with
his swinging hammer. On the left is a charming group of boys--one
playing the harp, another singing, a third, in rich dark robe and a
student's cap upon his square out-flowing locks, touches a lute. In the
spontaneity and unity that runs through all these figures, the
suggestion of music and the sense of pleasure in it is rendered as in
few other paintings of the Renaissance. We almost hear the strain, soft,
fresh, heart-stirring, given without exaggeration or self-consciousness,
to which the little _putti_ above seem to lean and listen, and we feel
little doubt that this, the most lovingly painted, the most homogeneous
of all the scenes, was painted entirely, or almost entirely, by
Pintoricchio himself.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    FIGURE REPRESENTING ARITHMETIC]

"Astrology" is the most damaged of any. The principal figure, which has
been badly restored, must at any time have been entirely unworthy of the
Umbrian master. The four _putti_, holding wands tipped with heavenly
bodies, are much heavier and less dainty than his children. The groups
at the sides, in one of which is a figure intended for Ptolemy, have no
connection with the presiding patroness. That on the left, which is far
the best, has, however, some admirable figures, Umbrian in character,
and due to a pupil of Pintoricchio, who was thoroughly imbued with his
master's spirit, and probably working straight from his
sketches--indeed, a careful comparison of the hair and drapery of the
youth who stands foremost, with extended arm, and holds an astral globe
in the other hand, and the kneeling saint in the "Assumption," of the
Hall of Mysteries, may persuade us that Pintoricchio is himself
responsible for this delightful figure.

The figures of "Grammar" and "Dialectics" in the following scenes are so
much retouched that we can hardly tell what they were like originally,
but we may feel almost certain that no part of them is by Pintoricchio.
The architecture of the thrones differs too. We surmise that this room,
the last of the series actually occupied by the Pope, was finished
hurriedly, and that this accounts for the very marked falling off in the
quality of the work of the last three scenes. The arch and the five
octagons here are entirely repainted; they refer to the virtue of
"Justice," who holds the sword and balance. The others are sacred or
legendary scenes. The period of their wholesale restoration can be
judged by a dragon at the side of the central octagon, which we take to
be the crest of Buoncompagni, and therefore of the time of Gregory XIII.

The most beautiful decorative figures in the entire range of rooms are
the three full-length angels who support the Borgia scutcheon surmounted
by the keys and tiara, set in a stucco frame between "Rhetoric" and
"Geometry." In freedom of gesture, grace of flying drapery, and
excellence of drawing, they must be ascribed to Pintoricchio himself,
and may be compared with those he has executed in the Buffalini Chapel.

    [Illustration:
    _Anderson photo_]      [_Borgia Apartments, Vatican, Rome_

    FIGURE REPRESENTING MUSIC]

The two following halls, which were those by which persons who had had
audience of the Pope withdrew, are alike in architecture, and quite
different from the rest. Large, and much more simply decorated, with
high raised window seats; the first has a ceiling painted with patterns
and grotesques (which here become much more decided in style), and has a
frieze of twelve half-length figures of apostles and prophets arranged
in pairs, the apostles holding scrolls bearing a sentence of the Creed,
the prophets' scrolls inscribed with prophetic sayings. According to a
mediæval legend, each apostle, before proceeding to evangelise the
world, composed a sentence of the Creed, and to each here is assigned
his traditionary verse.

The painter has used a late book of the sibyls, those interesting,
legendary figures to whose traditionary sayings so much importance was
attached by the early Church, and who were revived in the art of the
Renaissance, with other classic myths. Twelve are given, and all the
prophecies, composed by the early Church, refer to the birth of the
Redeemer. The ribbon upon which the oracle is inscribed was traditionary
with the painters of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and
Pintoricchio, like most of the Umbrian painters, was particularly
attached to this decorative accessory. He uses it freely in the
Belvedere, in Santa Maria del Popolo, and at Spello.

The figures in these two rooms are much restored, and the whole style is
inferior and has an antiquated and archaic effect, which has been
commented upon by every writer from the time of Taja. At the same time,
there are certain of the sibyls, that of Delphi, and she of Europa,
where we recognise Pintoricchio's special supervision in the
head-dresses, the gestures, and the peculiar tricks of drapery.

Crowe and Cavalcaselle have attributed some of this work to Peruzzi,
who, however, was only a boy of thirteen at this time, but Vasari speaks
of "a Volterrean named Pietro d'Andrea, who spent most of his time in
Rome, where he was working at some things in the palace of Alexander
Borgia." Messer Pietro d'Andrea of Volterra was the master of Peruzzi,
and there is sufficient likeness to Peruzzi's style to give strong
assurance that we have here the hand of his teacher. Schmarsow sees in
part the hand of a Sienese, but whoever may have been concerned in the
execution, the whole must have been sketched out by Pintoricchio, and is
in harmony with the rest of the suite. In the window recesses of the
"Hall of the Creed," the decorations show no falling off in originality.
Dolphins, masks, satyrs, flying loves, candelabra, and garlands are used
with astonishing resource and variety. On the ceiling of the "Hall of
Sibyls" are emblematical groups of the planets, with gods and goddesses
driving triumphal cars, which remind us of Perugino's rendering some
years later on the ceiling of the Cambio.

Nowhere can Pintoricchio's special merits and failings be better studied
than in this long and brilliant range of rooms. In detail it is easy to
discern the many shortcomings. He has little feeling for line; he has
never made a study of planes and masses; his personages stand about at
haphazard, and often fail to belong to each other or to the events going
on near them. There is hardly a subservient figure in any one of the
scenes which would be missed if it were blotted out, or which is
essential to the balance of line or colour. The distant objects are
often as full in tone as the foreground; nowhere does the spirit of the
composition rise into the sublime. On the other hand, the painter never
forgets the purpose that has brought him here. With a self-restraint and
a feeling for effect which are unerring, he hits upon the exact size,
and keeps his compositions strictly within the picture and at the right
distance from the eye. Raphael's splendid creations in the stanze suffer
because of their vastness of conception and execution compared to the
narrow and inadequate space from which we view them. We go back from
them as far as we are able, feeling as if their position must be but a
temporary one. We long to see them in a freer air. Their space seems to
annihilate us, their thought is overwhelming and insistent.

Pintoricchio's frescoes are a rich yet unobtrusive setting, they do not
compel your attention, but only give the impression of a refined
splendour of surrounding and a marvellous insight into beautiful harmony
of colour. The effect of the light has been so nicely calculated that
even when freshly executed, the walls would not have been over-brilliant
for the brilliant scenes to which they formed a background. On the charm
of single groups and figures I have already enlarged, but one other
feature strikes us forcibly--_i.e._ the power possessed by the master to
employ so many assistant hands of varying schools and to so parcel out
the work, keep the individuality of each so subservient and so impress
his own style and purpose, that from end to end, although we can
distinguish the various hands at work, it is only faintly and
doubtfully, never so as to jar upon our sense of unity. We receive no
shock as we pass from room to room, the direction of one mind runs
through the whole, everywhere we are aware of the vigilant and sensitive
grasp of the master's hand upon his tools, and allowing for all the
shortcomings of detail, we cannot but feel that we have here an enviable
monument for a painter to leave behind him.

Alexander Borgia had no time to enjoy his freshly completed apartments.
Pintoricchio must have been lingering over the last touches when, in the
autumn of 1494, rumours of trouble from foreign foes reached Rome.

In September 1494 Charles VIII. of France invaded Italy. The Colonna and
the Savelli, whom he had taken into his pay, were threatening the
Eternal City from Frascati. Their intention was to take it by assault,
make the Pope a prisoner, and seize Djem, the Mahometan prince. The Pope
was filled with terror as Ostia surrendered to the allies of France, and
a portion of Charles's fleet appeared at the mouth of the Tiber. Charles
himself was advancing through Tuscany, accompanied by Cardinal Giuliano
della Rovere, and a proposal was discussed to deprive the Pope, whose
crimes had become notorious, of his power. Alexander began to make plans
for the defence of the city. He assembled what troops he could muster,
and garrisoned and provisioned the Castel Sant' Angelo. On December
18th, all the furniture and valuables were packed, and as Charles
continued to advance, meeting with more welcome than resistance, the
treasures of the Vatican were sent to the old Roman fortress. The Pope
presently made a treaty with Charles, allowing him a free passage to
Naples with his army, and permitting his entry into Rome. Charles
entered with a magnificent army, while the Pope with his small force sat
trembling in the Vatican.

In January 1495, the Pope, terrified by the violence of the French
troops, left his splendid painted suite in the Vatican and shut himself
up in Sant' Angelo, where he remained while the French army sacked the
city. Finally, a treaty was concluded by which Alexander ceded many of
his possessions, and surrendered Prince Djem, while the king promised to
recognise him as Pope, and to defend his rights, thus delivering him
from his most imminent danger. The meeting of the Pope and king was
arranged to take place, as if by accident, in the garden of the
fortress. Charles knelt, and Alexander embraced him. The Pope bestowed
the Cardinal's hat on Briçonnet, a favourite of the king. On January
19th a Consistory was held, at which the king kissed the hand and foot
of the Vicar of Christ, and did that formal homage which he had hitherto
refused to render. Alexander celebrated a solemn Mass of reconciliation
in St. Peter's, and the king acted as thurifer. On January 12th, the red
hat was given to another noble of France, and on the 25th, the Pope,
accompanied by Prince Djem, rode with the king in a public procession
through Rome, upon which Charles departed, bent on the conquest of
Naples. Having accomplished this, he was back in Rome in June, upon
which Alexander fled to Orvieto and Perugia, probably taking
Pintoricchio in his train. Charles's policy having taken him to the
north of Italy by the end of June, Alexander returned to Rome, where he
now, hearing of the defeat of the French troops in Lombardy, found
courage to denounce the king.

In 1497 the rooms of the upper storey of Sant' Angelo, which Alexander
at this time strongly fortified, were destroyed by an explosion of
powder. They were rebuilt as quickly as possible, and the time of danger
being over, Pintoricchio was again called for to immortalise the events
of the last two years. There is no doubt (says Gregorovius) that
Pintoricchio was in Rome at the time of Charles's entry, and was an
eyewitness of that and other stirring scenes.[28] Vasari says[29] that
Pintoricchio painted a number of rooms in the Castel Sant' Angelo, with
grotesques, but the little tower in the garden was adorned with the
history of Pope Alexander, and there could be descried Isabella, the
Catholic Queen, Niccolo Orsino, Count of Pitigliano, Gianiacomo
Trivulzio, and many other relatives and friends of the Pope, and in
particular, Cæsar Borgia, with his brother and sister, and many
celebrated persons of the time. The garden tower has been pulled down,
and in the upper rooms only a fragment of decoration remains, a shield
supported by children in Pintoricchio's favourite manner. We are,
however, indebted to Lorenzo Behaim, who for twenty-two years was the
Pope's major-domo, for a list of the subjects painted in the pleasure
house.[30]

    [28] Gregorovius, vol. viii. part ii. p. 725.

    [29] Vasari, vol. iii. p. 500.

    [30] Gregorovius. _Lucrezia Borgia_, pp. 127, 128.

The whole story of the French king's entry into the capital was made to
redound to the glory of the Pope. Charles was represented kneeling at
his feet, taking the oath, serving at Mass. The Pope was shown investing
the French ecclesiastics with the Cardinal's hat. In a procession to San
Paolo, the king stood at the Pope's bridle rein, and the final scene
showed the departure for Naples, accompanied by the Sultan Djem.

In comparing these in our mind with the frescoes in the Library of
Siena, painted a few years later, it is possible to imagine what
Pintoricchio would have made of these very similar themes. Here, as
there, there is an endowment of the red hat, a Consistory, an act of
homage to the enthroned Pope, and a gay procession. In the Louvre is a
drawing of Pintoricchio's of three pages leaning on halberds, which may
be part of the design for one of these frescoes. Djem he would have
brought in again, as he depicted him in the Borgia Apartments. The
number of contemporary portraits would have made this second great piece
of work executed for the Borgia Pope of surpassing interest to
historians.



CHAPTER VII

SPELLO


In the beginning of 1501 Pintoricchio left Perugia and went off to
Spello, the little town eighteen miles to the south of it. Here the
prior of the chapel of the college, Troilo Baglioni, a son of the
proudest house in Perugia, had lately been created a bishop; and,
naturally enough, when he wished to decorate his cathedral, he sent for
the painter of his native city, who had by now made himself so famous a
name. This little chapel in Santa Maria Maggiore at Spello is dark and
damp enough, but in its decay it is still possible to divine something
of its whilom beauty. As Pintoricchio planned his designs for it, we can
see that his mind was still running on the rich work he had left in Rome
two years before, and again and again he has adapted ideas from the
Borgia Apartments, suiting them, with his own delicate judgment, to the
smaller position and to the provincial situation. So cleverly has he
managed, that the narrow chapel gains air and space and outlook, and
even in its dim ruin we have an instant sense of life going on all round
us. He has here used the airy architectural surroundings which he had so
happily dwelt upon in the Buffalini Chapel, with the result that his
work gains greatly in aerial space, it acquires a freshness and a
refinement which is well adapted to the country district in which it is
placed, and we lose that sense, which almost oppresses us amid all the
fascination of the Borgia rooms, of being shut into a succession of
gorgeously-jewelled caskets.

In triangles, formed in the roof by heavy borders of grotesques,
Pintoricchio has placed four sibyls, Erythrean, European, Tiburtine, and
Samian. Each sits in a carved niche, on a throne with raised steps; the
same thrones, on a smaller scale, as those in the chamber of the Arts
and Sciences in Rome. Books, open or clasped, lie about the steps; at
each end of the thrones are erected altars, inscribed with the mystic
sayings of the inspired women. The sibyls themselves, as they read or
write or look upwards in an ecstasy, are much more elaborate in dress
and fashion of hair than the symbolical figures in the Vatican. In
style, they approach more nearly to the sibyls afterwards painted in the
choir of Santa Maria del Popolo, or to the personages in the Library at
Siena.

The three walls of the little side chapel are filled by paintings of the
"Annunciation," the "Nativity," and "Christ disputing with the Doctors."
From the inscription on the "Annunciation," recording the finishing of
the chapel, we gather that the painter began at the opposite side, with
the "Dispute." He places this scene in the courtyard of the temple, a
Bramante-like building of rather clumsy proportions, which fills the
background, and has a niche on either side, with statues of Flora and
Minerva. The group in the foreground suggests that Pintoricchio is still
full of recollections of the "Dispute of St. Catherine," and is
dwelling on the contrast he there emphasised between the fragile
champion and the old philosophers. The Child is checking His arguments
on His fingers in the same way, the doctors press around him in Eastern
caps and turbans. On the extreme left an austere dignitary in dark robe
and biretta can be no other than the bishop, Troilo Baglioni himself.
The books of the learned men are thrown upon the ground, as they listen
to the Child's wisdom. Raphael has used the same incident in his
"Disputà." On the right, Joseph and Mary hurry forward, but she checks
her husband's impatience with her hand upon his girdle; behind Mary are
several women, in whose heads we recognise models used in the "Burial of
St. Bernardino," strong profiles, of which he must have had the sketches
by him.

In the "Nativity," which occupies the inner wall, and which is sadly
ruined by the damp and decay, Pintoricchio shakes off his Roman manner,
and returns to the purely Umbrian style and to the influence of Fiorenzo
di Lorenzo. This must have been one of the most charming of all his
frescoes. The distance stretches away, soft and harmonious, the towers
and spires of the little town of Spello nestle into the blue hillside, a
choir of angels which seems to have been transplanted from a panel of
Fiorenzo's stands upon the clouds above, and at the angels' feet rise
the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life, with their branches touching
the sky. The stable is represented by a lofty, classic porch, on the
roof of which sits a peacock, Juno's bird, which Christian tradition had
transferred to Mary, as the Queen of Heaven. Two beams have fallen in
front of it, into the form of a cross. Midway advances the procession of
the kings, winding down a mountain path, and grouped about its foot. All
these serve as background to the sacred group with the shepherds, which
is placed very low down, quite at the edge of the picture. Pintoricchio
has shown a want of proportion between the different figures of his
principal group, but otherwise they are excellent. The Virgin's is one
of his most lovely and delicate faces. Fortunately it is uninjured, and
no print can give adequately its tender beauty, above the rose and blue
and deep green of the gold embroidered draperies. Joseph stands behind,
raising his hands in adoring wonder; behind him, on the ground, lies
such a packsaddle as is still used in Italy. The shepherds--peasants
from the Umbrian hills--kneel in deep devotion, one holds his humble
offering of a basket of eggs. The Child and Mother and the general
arrangement of the landscape recall the little altar-piece in Santa
Maria del Popolo, but the whole effect is much more beautiful, since the
painter has awakened to the realisation of far-reaching space.

    [Illustration:
    _Alinari photo_]      [_Sta. Maria Maggiore, Spello_

    THE ADORATION OF THE SHEPHERDS]

The "Annunciation" has the same advantage over the otherwise not
dissimilar one in the Borgia Hall of Mysteries. The angel is almost
identical; the Virgin, standing at her reading-desk and shrinking
backwards, has all the naïve charm of the school of Fiorenzo. The great
Renaissance hall stretches far behind, and beyond the perspective of
stately columns we see a gay little view set in the archway: a scene at
the city gates, wayfarers arriving at the inn outside the walls, a table
with a white cloth spread, a dog jumping up,--Pintoricchio's favourite
greyhound,--horsemen riding on through the gateway, a well, and a woman
coming to draw water. The grotesques upon the pilasters are carefully
drawn, but roughly painted, and the shadows hatched in. It is in this
fresco, under the little _prie-dieu_ at the side, that Pintoricchio has
drawn his own portrait, which almost startles us as we catch the
life-like blink of its eyes, as it looks out from among the
conventionalised saints. A coral rosary and the painter's brushes are
painted below, and the label, BERNARDINO PICTORICUS PERUSINUS. Perugino,
a few miles off, was working at the Hall of Exchange, and one of the
artists evidently took the idea from the other of painting the head in
this way instead of introducing himself after the more usual fashion as
a spectator.

A short distance from the town lies the little church of San Girolamo,
where one is shown as Pintoricchio's a "Sposalizio" and a "Nativity."
The first cannot be his. It is a very poor little fresco, without any
indications even of his influence, and more probably by some obscure
follower of Perugino or Lo Spagna. The arrangement of heads of the group
of maidens standing behind Mary has either been taken from, or suggested
by, that in Raphael's "Sposalizio." In the "Presepio," which is on the
wall of the cloister chapel (which has since been used as an outhouse),
ruined as it is, we are better able to trace the master's hand. The
Madonna's head is adorned with a twisted veil, and a light scarf is
drawn across the breast and arranged in the same way as in the fresco
over the door of the Borgia room (No. III.). The heads are all drawn
with delicacy and decision, and even now we can trace original, sharp,
precise touches. The man behind with the lamb on his shoulders is in
Pintoricchio's simpler and earlier manner--a good sketch straight from
the model. The angels on the clouds kneel stiffly, and the whole gives
the impression of a very early work, which has been copied in some
details for the later "Adoration of the Shepherds" in the Baglioni
Chapel. The landscape, though much destroyed, still retains his
characteristics.

    [Illustration:
    _Alinari photo_]      [_Sta. Maria Maggiore, Spello_

    THE ANNUNCIATION: WITH PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST]

The frescoes at Spoleto have been covered up for some years, as the
chapel of the Duomo in which they are is undergoing restoration. They
are described as ruined representations of a "Madonna and Saints," "God
the Father," and a "Dead Christ." Vasari does not speak of any of the
frescoes at Spello, nor are they noticed by Pascoli and his
contemporaries, while Mariotti and Orsini, in the eighteenth century,
say very little about them--Vermiglioli and Adamo Rossi first give a
full account of them.

    [Illustration:
    _Alinari photo_]      [_Sta. Maria Maggiore, Spello_

    PORTRAIT OF PINTORICCHIO]



CHAPTER VIII

SIENA AND THE LAST OF ROME


Few painters of the fifteenth century had received so great a share of
Roman patronage as Pintoricchio, and the favour now shown him, which
changed the whole of his life, came from a Cardinal who had doubtless
become familiar with his Roman work.

Nearly fifty years earlier, Æneas Sylvius Piccolomini, son of a noble
but impoverished house of Siena, had been created Pope by the title of
Pius II. Before his elevation he had led a life full of stirring
events--in his rise to greatness he had reinstated his exiled family and
restored it to wealth and honour. Æneas was a man of unbounded ambition,
and not always scrupulous in the means by which he obtained advancement,
but he seems to have been a man of affectionate character and charming
personality, his learning was deep and his taste highly cultivated; on
the whole, he was honest and upright, while he was truly enthusiastic in
his efforts to uphold the liberties of Christendom in the East against
the dreaded advances of the Moslem. It is no wonder that his own family
regarded him as a saint and hero. His nephew, Francesco Piccolomini,
whom he had made Cardinal, and who eventually became Pope Pius III.,
decided, some forty-eight years after his uncle's death, to erect a
great family memorial to him. In 1495 he had built the rich chapel of
St. John in the nave of Siena Cathedral, and soon after set to work on a
Library, into which he moved all the collections of books and MSS. left
him by his kinsman. Lorenzo di Mariano, a Sienese sculptor, was
entrusted with the marble work. The interior wood-carving was by Antonio
Barili, and Antonio Ormanni designed the bronze doors. The interior was
to be richly frescoed, and the Cardinal, recollecting the achievements
of Pintoricchio in the service of three Popes, passed over the painters
of Siena and summoned Messer Bernardino of Perugia to undertake the
great piece of work at Siena.

The contract made between the Cardinal and the painter, and dated June
29th, 1502, was discovered about twenty years ago in the Sienese
archives by Sig. Milanesi. It offers many points of interest; the chief
conditions are that during the time the painting is in progress he shall
not undertake any other work of painting of any kind or in any place. He
is to work the vaulting with fantasies and colours "which he shall judge
most handsome, beautiful, and lively," to paint designs "nowadays styled
the 'Grottesque.'" To draw a coat-of-arms of the Cardinal in the centre
of the vaulting, "to gild it and make it fine," to make in fresco ten
Histories, for which the life of the Pope shall be given him as guide,
with other minute details as to the gold, ultramarine, enamel blue,
azure, and greens to be used,--and the framework and gilding to be
added. He is bound to draw all the designs with his own hand, both in
cartoon and on the wall, and to paint, retouch, and finish all the heads
himself, and the epitaphs are to be placed in an oblong space between
each pilaster, with the indication of the history painted above.

In return for "the vaulting of required perfection, and the ten pictures
of such richness and excellence as is fitting," the Cardinal promises
him one thousand golden ducats, to be paid in instalments, the first for
buying gold and colours "in Venice," and the rest from time to time as
the work progresses. A dwelling in Siena is to be provided, "a house
hard by the Cathedral," with scaffoldings and the materials. Such wine,
grain, and oil as he needs he shall be bound to take on account and in
part payment from the factor of the Cardinal. His goods, movables, and
fixtures are to be pledged as security for the due performance of the
contract.

During the autumn and winter of 1502 Pintoricchio was making his
preparations for an undertaking which must occupy him for some years. We
have no indication of any visit to Venice to buy colours; but he
returned to Perugia, probably finished up certain panel paintings at
this time, gathered his workmen and assistants, his _garzoni_, together,
and moved his household goods to Siena.

In the spring of 1503 he was hard at work at the ceiling. In the middle
we see the coat-of-arms of the Piccolomini family, as provided by the
contract, surmounted by the Cardinal's hat. Francesco became Pope on
September 21st, 1503, so that evidently this part of the work was then
already finished, otherwise the tiara would have replaced the Cardinal's
hat. Only three weeks later Pius III. died, so that though he may just
have seen the splendour of the ceiling, and no doubt had inspected the
cartoons, the frescoes would hardly have been begun in his lifetime.

The work was stopped for a time, but fortunately for Pintoricchio and
for posterity the contract had contained a clause binding the Cardinal
"in his goods and heirs," as well as personally, to carry out the
agreement. The Pontiff had also ratified this in his will, and his two
brothers, acting as his executors, prepared to carry out his wishes.
Some unavoidable delay there was, and during this time Pintoricchio,
being absolved for the time being from the promise to take no other
commissions, applied himself to various works for rather more than a
year.

The chief among these was the decoration of the beautiful little chapel
dedicated to St. John the Baptist in the cathedral at Siena. Its
frescoes were the gift of Alberto Aringhieri, a Knight of Rhodes, who
has had his portrait as a young man painted on one side of the door and
in advancing years on the other. The other frescoes have been entirely
repainted, excepting the one of the "Birth of St. John," and on this,
which has been much retouched, it is so evident that two hands have
worked that I do not believe Pintoricchio himself painted any part
except the maid, and possibly the Infant. The maid is drawn with a much
stronger and more precise touch than any of the rest, and instead of the
veil or drapery with which he usually covers the heads of his sacred
personages, she has an Italian dress and headgear, with loops and bows.
The same model has served for her face and head as for the "St.
Catherine" in the National Gallery, and apparently both are from life.
The interest of the chapel centres in the two portraits of the donor,
and both these go to increase the painter's reputation. The young knight
keeping his vigil, in full panoply, his plumed helm and steel gauntlets
lying by his side, the great white cross of St. John of Jerusalem upon
his crimson surcoat, is a creation full of chivalrous fancy. The old
knight, kneeling opposite, in a dress of a dignitary of the cathedral,
and a black skull cap, is a strong, well-drawn figure, well felt under
the robes. Both are small in size and reserved in treatment. The
backgrounds are full of detail, with buildings, meant to be Eastern, and
palm trees. The colour of the figures is very harmonious--the soft greys
of the armour, and the dull red of the scarf against it; all the links
of the chain mail executed with the dainty care of a miniature. In both
frescoes the light and dark are massed with unusual judgment. This was
paid for September 8th, 1504.

Another piece of work with which these months were occupied was the
design of "Fortune," for one of the spaces on the pavement of Siena
Cathedral. The pavement of Siena is a remarkable production differing
from any other work of art in existence; a mixture of _intaglio_ or
engraving on stone, varied by _intarsia_ or inlay of marbles. The work
had been long in progress, and designs for the various scenes had been
furnished by artists from 1369 onwards. One painter of Umbrian
extraction, Matteo di Giovanni, had already supplied his favourite
subject of the "Murder of the Innocents." Pintoricchio's design is
reproduced in the fourth space as we walk up the nave. It is an
allegory of the excellence of Wisdom and the folly of Pleasure. The sky
is of pure black marble, the island of grey, the fields, the sea, and
the figures of pale marble, engraved with dark lines and inlaying. In
the middle sits Wisdom, crowned with flowers, and bearing a palm branch
and a book. On one hand Socrates receives from her the palm; on the
other a philosopher casts a collection of trinkets and baubles into the
sea. On a lower plane, a company of pilgrims, the foremost of whom is
presumably a portrait, climbs a path set with stones and thistles, and
beset with serpents, lizards, a tortoise, and a snail. One sits down and
falls asleep, another turns to shake his fist at Pleasure, a fair, naked
woman, holding a cornucopia of flowers, and spreading a sail to catch
the passing breeze. One foot rests on the ball of Fortune, as she steps
off the shore on to a rudderless boat, and a young man, the last in the
procession, casts back a wistful glance in her direction. This design is
significant as showing what the painter could do when colour was denied
him. The balance of the groups is kept with great art, and the outline
of Pleasure is full of grace and daring. The general shape of the
reliefs, in light against dark and as furnishing a pattern, is treated
with perfect success.

    [Illustration:
    _Lombardi photo_]      [_Duomo, Siena_

    THE KNIGHT OF ARINGHIERI]

In this same September an altar in the chapel of San Francesco at Siena
was unveiled, but this chapel was destroyed by fire, with other works of
art, in 1655.

With the spring Pintoricchio again began the painting of the Library
frescoes, but he had not proceeded far when Andrea Piccolomini, one of
the late Pope's executors, died. That this must have necessitated a
further re-adjustment, and meant another period of delay, we may gather
from finding that, in June 1505, Pintoricchio was once more in Rome. The
ten months that followed must have been very busy ones, and no doubt the
master, after the repeated hitches under his new patrons, was relieved
to find himself once more working for those earlier ones in whose
service he had always had good fortune.

He was again installed in Santa Maria del Popolo, that church which had
been such a favourite place of devotion of Sixtus IV. and other
churchmen of the House of Rovere.

The choir, which now absorbed him for some months, and which is the most
perfectly preserved and the most untouched of all his works, is a
wonderful piece of ceiling painting, in the style in which he had lately
adorned the Library ceiling at Siena. In the middle a "Coronation of the
Virgin" recalls Fiorenzo and, still more, Bernardino Mariotto, the
Umbrian with whom Pintoricchio is so constantly confused. Round this
middle octagon the four Evangelists alternate with four sibyls, and at
each corner the four Fathers of the Church sit on thrones. The sibyls
are graceful types of young Italian women of the Renaissance--full of
sweetness and refinement--the women Messer Bernardino knew in the
mannered and highly-cultured palaces: no beings of a weird and wild
prophetic race. They half recline in the mapped-out divisions; each
perfectly fills the space without crowding, and assists the geometrical
_coup d'œil_ which is the first impression of the ceiling in its
entirety, yet the pose of each is extremely easy and unconstrained,
and the lines soft and flowing. Of the Evangelists, each painted in a
_tondo_, St. Matthew with a beautiful angel holding the ink, and St.
Luke painting the portrait of the Virgin, are both singularly clear and
excellent figures. The stately Fathers of the Church sit on throned
seats like those of the Arts and Sciences, or the Sibyls at Spello.
Their robes ring the changes on beautiful dashes of colour--white, rich
green and rose, scarlet and dark blue. The whole is set in a bold
pattern of grotesques in gold and vivid colours, scrolls mounted by
women's busts, quaint birds growing out of acanthus branches, _putti_
riding on griffins, and a score of other fantastic devices. The
impression is at once gay, graceful, and distinguished, excellent in
decorative effect, and delicate in detail.

    [Illustration:
          [_Pavement, Siena Cathedral_

    SYMBOLICAL SCENE]

This was Pintoricchio's last work in Rome. Here he laid down the brush
which he had first taken up in the Sixtine Chapel twenty-three years
before. Even now there is more of his art there than that of any painter
except Raphael, and at that day how proudly he could pass through the
long series of great halls and chapels, which owed their beauty in
greatest part to his brush and to his fancy.

Pintoricchio's last frescoes were three, painted for the palace of
Pandolfo Petrucci, in succession to a series nearly completed by
Signorelli and Girolamo Genga. They represented classical subjects, and
of them there only remains "The Return of Ulysses," in the National
Gallery. The fresco painting in this is rough and slight, the figures
have little modelling, but are almost like patterns upon the background,
the limbs of the suitors are unstructural even for Pintoricchio, yet
the whole effect is charming. The head of the principal suitor is fine
and expressive, and is very probably a portrait from life--perhaps one
of the sons of the house. Penelope, bending over her web, is natural and
life-like--a careful study of a girl in the costume of the day. The
scene is drawn in clever perspective, and there is much conscious humour
in the accessories; the cat playing with a ball; the sirens grasping
their two tails in their hands, as they warble round the galley, to the
mast of which Ulysses is bound; the young man in another boat diving
headlong into the water, unable to resist their fascination; and the
island where the wanderer is interviewing Circe and her swine. Here
Pintoricchio is once more fresh and unconventional, fertile in fancy.
The bold manner in which the lines of the loom are placed right across
the picture is as daring as it is successful. The attitudes and
relations of the figures are full of originality, and the uncompromising
square of the window lets a flood of light and space into the
foreground, so full of action and movement.

    [Illustration:
    _Hanfstängl photo_]      [_National Gallery, London_

    THE RETURN OF ULYSSES TO PENELOPE]



CHAPTER IX

THE LIBRARY AT SIENA


Dr. Steinmann suggests, with great probability, that we may fix March as
the month of Pintoricchio's return to Siena in 1506, for in that month
he took into his employ the Perugian painter, Eusebio di San Giorgio.
This, no doubt, marks a fresh start, and the master now worked steadily
on until the Library was completed.

There is little that is devotional in character about the Libreria in
Siena. As the visitor passes the bronze doors, past the marble columns
of pagan sculpture and Renaissance copy, he loses all sense of being in
part of a sacred building. The chamber itself is singularly destitute of
the ordinary objects of religious art. No Divine Persons, no
evangelists, saints, or fathers--not an angel in the whole range of
subjects. We have here one of those examples of historic fresco which
were a feature common to fifteenth-century art, a popular way of
decorating the living-halls of great seigneurs, such as the Palaces at
Urbino and Mantua, or the Palazzo Schifanoia at Ferrara.

We are expressly told that Pintoricchio was given the life of Æneas
Sylvius by his secretary Campana, as a guide to his choice of events,
but careful examination has shown certain variations and deviations from
this life, pointing to some other authority in use; and on comparison
we find that he certainly also had recourse to the Pope's own memoirs,
which supplied certain details and particulars not included in Campana's
work.

Dr. Schmarsow has made a long and exhaustive study of these frescoes
with special reference to Pintoricchio's relations with Raphael.[31] It
is impossible to go as minutely into the question as this talented
German has done, but it is one of great interest in artistic history,
and no life of Pintoricchio would be complete without some reference to
it.

    [31] _Raphael und Pinturicchio in Siena._

The possibility of Raphael having supplied drawings and designs has been
a matter of heated controversy. Morelli casts scorn on the supposition;
Crowe and Cavalcaselle stand aghast and declare that, believing it, the
life of Raphael would have to be re-written. Bode says it is audacious
to contend that the great master and _entrepreneur_ would adopt the
designs of a young, untried painter. Vasari asks how we can suspect that
the master of fifty would follow a twenty-year-old assistant: this is
the general tendency of objections. While, naturally, regretting any
conviction that tends to detract from the painter whose fascination I
feel, and upon whose life I am engaged, having to the best of my power
weighed all the rival criticisms, I cannot avoid the conviction that
Schmarsow is right, and that Raphael did help with two or three at least
of the frescoes, and perhaps, as he suggests, with others. The evidence
that ascribes the drawings left for them to the young Urbinate appears
to me too strong to resist. Raphael, to begin with, though only twenty
when these drawings were executed, cannot be called unknown. He had
already produced several noticeable works. Only three years later, in a
contract of 1505, he is styled the best master in Perugia. The nuns of
Monte Luce, wanting an altar-piece, "fere trovare el maestro el
migliore, si posse consiglialo ... lo quale si chiamava Maestro
Raphaello da Urbino." Pintoricchio would have had the wit to see what a
gift he was dealing with; and, as for taking the designs of an
assistant, had not he himself supplied several of the figures for
Perugino's great work in the Sixtine?

The great probability of Raphael's being in Siena in 1502, when the
designs for the cartoons would be making, is proved by his picture of
the "Three Graces"--two of which are copied from the mutilated Greek
group, one of the best specimens of the antique then known. This group
was brought from Rome by the Cardinal, to place in his costly Library.
Vasari speaks of the _Cardinal_ (not the Pope) as having brought it to
the not quite finished Library, which would put the transit before
September 1503. In the summer of 1502 the Cardinal made his last journey
from Rome, and it was very likely then that he brought it back. An
elaborate pencil sketch of it exists: opinions are divided as to which
of the painters this was the work of, but Raphael's own picture is
guarantee that he must have seen and been struck by the original. It has
been argued that it is not absolutely necessary that the author of the
drawings should have been in Siena, but their adaptability and
suitability to the walls makes this most unlikely. Four drawings for
the Library exist--one each in Florence and Perugia, one at Milan, and
one at Chatsworth. They are drawn with Indian ink, and the two first
touched with bistre and heightened with white.

The first, which deals with the "Journey to the Council of Basel," has a
long inscription at the top. The handwriting of this, if compared with
Raphael's letter to Domenico Alfani, or that to his uncle Simone Ciarla,
is no doubt Raphael's own, and the same hand has made notes in other
parts of the drawing. It is possible, but not very probable, that the
assistant should have annotated the master's design; but the connection
between the inscription and the drawing, the various small changes made
and accounted for as it progresses, make us almost certain that the
designer of this cartoon was also the writer of the notes upon it. As
each drawing has been transferred to the wall and worked out, we see
gradual alterations, evidently made to add importance to the hero of the
series. In the sketch Æneas wears a tight doublet and close cap. He
looks, what he was, a young man going forth to seek his fortune. In the
fresco he is dressed in a mantle and broad hat, to make the future Pope
more imposing. The letter which he carried to Capranica has been placed
in his hand. The storm from which Æneas escaped has been merely
indicated in the drawing. In the fresco, lowering clouds and a rainbow
are added. A dog, the greyhound of which Pintoricchio was so fond, has
been introduced, standing perfectly still though in the leash of a
galloping rider.

    [Illustration:
    _Private photo_]      [_Gallery, Venice_

    STUDY FOR FRESCO I.
    (By Raphael)]

We gather from all these changes that the drawing did not exactly
satisfy the painter who worked on it after it was transferred to the
wall. It is, however, in the spirit and bearing of the whole that we see
the greatest difference. In the drawing the artist has shaken off the
stiff Perugian manner, has got at nature, and has found new ways of
handling. The riders are strong and elastic; the page to the right is
supple and natural, but in the fresco is twisted round into an ungainly
attitude. The cavalcade has a life and movement that we hardly expect to
find in Pintoricchio. The horses, if anything, bear witness more
remarkably than the men. Up to this time very few masters could draw
horses with any success. Uccello and Donatello, Verrocchio and his pupil
Leonardo, all Florentines, were almost the sole exceptions. To decide if
Raphael could draw horses we have only to glance at such early works of
his as the two little "St. Georges" in the Louvre. It was in 1502 that
Raphael first came to Florence, just at the time that Leonardo's great
cartoon of the battle of the standard was exposed to the public. We are
told that Raphael spent much time in copying Leonardo. Indeed, among the
so-called Venetian sketches is one, now called the "Battle of the
Standard," which is unanimously ascribed to Raphael, and which is
believed to be a sketch from Leonardo's cartoon. If we compare the horse
in the drawing for the "Journey to Basel" with that horse, and if we
further compare with both the horse in the sketch for the "St. George"
(at St. Petersburg) we shall see numerous points of resemblance--in the
broad head and tapering muzzle, the round, accentuated haunches, the
shape of the foot, and the very curves of the flowing tail. The horses
in the fresco look very wooden beside them, with their long, woolly
tails. What we feel forcibly--what anyone must feel who is, not
necessarily an artist, but a judge of a horse, is that the man who drew
the sketch knew indisputably what were the points of a good horse, while
if the painter of the fresco had known as much he could never have
painted the horses on the wall.

There is, moreover, another point, which I do not think has been noticed
before. On looking again at Raphael's undoubted sketch of the "Battle
for the Standard," we perceive that the splendid figure of the nude man
who snatches at the horse's head has served for the model of the
standard-bearer in the drawing of the "Journey to Basel"; every line is
the same, the plant of the feet, the turn of the head, the uplifted arm.
Now we know that if Raphael was in Siena, he came straight from
Florence, while we have no indication that Pintoricchio was ever in
Florence at all, and what would be more likely than that Raphael, full
of his studies of Leonardo, should take the opportunity of bringing in
the horses and men he had just been copying, and which we know to have
made so deep an impression upon him?

The drawing at Perugia for the fresco of the "Meeting of Frederick III.
and Eleanora of Portugal" has the words, "questa e la quinta della
(storia) del Papa" (this is the fifth of the story of the Pope), written
on it, in the same fine handwriting that we see on the "Journey to
Basel." We see here the clear rules of composition learnt from
Perugino--the middle point and radiation from it--with the figures
placed in pairs, as in the "Giving of the Keys"--an arrangement which
had great influence over Raphael's compositions, though it never took
much hold of Pintoricchio. In the fresco, the lines of the radius are
quite lost sight of; the spectators are brought in in the usual
indistinct masses. It has been suggested that, as the spot on which the
meeting took place is much more like in the fresco than in the
drawing,--the column being evidently copied in the first and not in the
last,--Raphael may have drawn the design away from Siena, and sent it
marked with the inscription.

    [Illustration:
    _Alinari photo_]      [_Library, Siena_

    ÆNEAS PICCOLOMINI ON HIS WAY TO THE COUNCIL AT BASEL]

Schmarsow sees a resemblance to Raphael's style in the sketch for the
"Conference" (IV.)--in the lines of composition, and in the more
graceful and life-like action of the Pope's head and some of the groups
at the side;--the two fine figures in front in the fresco, which are
unmistakably by Pintoricchio, do not exist in the drawing.

The drawing at Milan, of fresco III., the "Poet Crowned," is now known
to be a sketch from the finished fresco, and though it is under
Raphael's name, is not worthy of notice. There are, however, at Oxford
two studies of four pages, the style and technique of which point to
Raphael. These appear in the fresco. They are the pike-bearer and
standard-bearer, with legs apart, in the background of the company, and
the page in front of them leaning on a stick. The _loggia_ in the
background accords well with the style of Raphael's buildings. His taste
for architectural backgrounds was quite as keen as that of Pintoricchio,
and he had been in intimate relation with Bramante and with Luciano
Lauranna, the architect, who was his kinsman, when he came to Perugia.
Certain details in this remind us of the _loggia_ of the Castle of
Urbino, with which, of course, Raphael was well acquainted. What is most
unlike Pintoricchio, and very characteristic of Raphael, in this fresco,
is the concentration of interest, the way in which the attention is
insensibly attracted to the principal figure; the poetic moment is
caught in a way which points to Raphael's quality of composition. Here
and there are figures of a freshness and grace which speak to us of the
freer hand of the youthful artist pressing forward and casting aside old
methods. Such is the young prince in the second fresco, with plumed hat,
who stands at the left of the King of Scotland.

Peculiarities of Pintoricchio's own are repeated over and over again.
The hand with outstretched finger we find no less than thirteen times.
The same heads are used. The head of the greybeard on the left, in
fresco I., is repeated nine times; the man with pointed beard, in front
on the left of fresco II., comes in as the emperor in fresco III., and
in the foreground, as a spectator, in the sixth tableau. We admire again
the way in which Pintoricchio is able to divide his assistants, to use
their various hands so that monotony is avoided, while imposing his own
style sufficiently to produce a strikingly homogeneous impression.
Instead of fighting against the amalgamated proof that Raphael had some
share in the work, we may picture to ourselves the friendship that we
have reason to think existed between the older man and the versatile and
tactful youth, whose talent for making friends with his elders never
failed him. We can imagine the deep consultation with which they must
have paced these floors, and pored over sketches and designs; and if we
wanted an assurance of Raphael's presence and of his employer's
affection, surely the number of times that a youth is painted, for whom
Raphael, to all appearance, stood as model, would supply one--not only
in the careful portrait in the scene of "St. Catherine's Canonisation,"
but in one of the bearers to the old Pope, fresco VIII., and in the
young man stepping forward, hand on hip, in fresco X., not to single out
others less conspicuously like.

In the first, third, and fifth, then, Schmarsow sees the design of
Raphael, and he thinks he also had some hand in numbers two and four. No
doubt, after these, the composition of the remaining ones is less
excellent, and there is a falling off in life and spirit.

Some of the helpers seem to come direct from Perugino's workshop. We
find the prototypes of the greybeards in the Cambio--Socrates, Pericles,
and the rest. In the execution of the "Betrothal," Steinmann sees signs
of a Lombard's hand, in the dress and hair of the maids-of-honour, and
the groups massed in the background. Sodoma was possibly working with
Pintoricchio; he was in Siena this year, and Rumohr thinks he sees his
hand in the distant figures of the crowning of the poet. Eusebio di San
Giorgio, the Raffaelesque Perugian, was helping, and possibly also
Pacchiarotto.

Born in 1405, at the little village of Corsignano, afterwards re-named
Pienza, Æneas Piccolomini early showed a keenness of intellect and an
aptitude for classic learning which induced his tutor, the great
scholar Fidelfo, to send the needy young scion of a great house out
into the world to seek his fortune, with introductions which carried him
into the service of Domenico Capranica, Bishop of Fermo, that Cardinal
whose tomb may be seen in Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. Domenico
made him his secretary, and, as he was on his way to the Council at
Basel, he took Æneas in his suite. The story told by the frescoes begins
here.

The cavalcade, having narrowly escaped shipwreck on the Libyan strand
and landed at Genoa, are setting forth on their "Journey across the
Apennines to Basel." Behind them is the sea; in the sky the great
storm-clouds are passing away, and the rainbow shines out. Above the bay
we discern the town, the point where now stands the Doria Palace and its
gardens; the solemn churchmen journeying forward on their sedate mules.
In the foreground rides Æneas and a youthful follower. The whole of the
attention centres in the bright handsome figure of Æneas; our interest
is at once bespoken on behalf of the gallant young adventurer going
forth on his spirited white horse to seek his fortune. The young man on
the bay horse beyond him, another layman among the throng of clerics and
dignitaries, may be intended for his brother-secretary, Piero da Noceto.
This is one of the most charming of the frescoes, full of movement and
gaiety. Pintoricchio does not give much prominence to the "Conference at
Basel," which was one of anti-Papal tendencies.

In the next fresco we find the young Piccolomini on a "Mission to James
I. of Scotland," to whom he was despatched by the Cardinal of Santa
Croce, an able and influential man, into whose service he had entered in
1440, and who sent him to persuade the King of Scotland to cross the
Border and to menace the King of England. His interview with James I.
forms the subject of the second fresco. The King, in yellow robes, and
the two supporters on either hand, in blue and green, are the most
prominent figures, and form between them a sort of triangle, a
symmetrical manner of composition which was just coming into favour. We
have to look for the beautiful and graceful figure of Æneas as, full of
dignity, he comes forward to the side of the King's throne--his gesture
in telling the points of his message upon his fingers is that which
Pintoricchio makes use of in "St. Catherine before the Philosophers";
but this is a much more natural and easy attitude. His dark red robe and
violet mantle hang in simple and voluminous folds. With his flowing hair
he might be a young St. John taken out of one of Perugino's pictures.
The background here is very beautiful, seen through the airy row of
cinque-cento arches, with the sunny little town in the distance
reflected in the lake. In his memoirs, the young secretary has left us a
most graphic description of his impressions of Scotland, of his journey
north from Dover, of the comely blue-eyed women and scantily-clothed
men, and comments on the singular kind of sulphurous stone which they
burn instead of wood. He gives a vivid picture of these islands in the
first half of the fifteenth century; but the painter had no knowledge to
enable him to grasp it. He has apparently heard that Scotland was a land
of lakes and mountains; but though the interview took place in
mid-winter, he has made the trees in full leaf.

Æneas spent much time in study of the classics and on verse composition,
after the manner of Cicero. He had achieved a poem of two thousand
lines, entitled "Nymphilexis," which was received with acclamations by
his friends. Modern critics hold its merit to be as low as its easy
morality, and in fact it was a true index of the discreditable life he
was at this time leading at the German Court. In 1442 he was at Basel
with the German Ambassador, and was commended to the service of the King
of the Romans, afterwards the Emperor, Frederick III. Frederick proposed
to make him one of his Imperial secretaries, and to appoint him his
Court poet. It was an honour which had hitherto been in use only in the
more refined Italian courts, where it had been conferred on Petrarch,
Dante, and others, and was esteemed an extraordinary mark of excellence
in arts and literature. Only one person in the kingdom could hold it at
a time, and after receiving it Æneas Silvius signed himself "_poeta_" in
all his letters, so that we need not wonder that this event was chosen
as one of the most remarkable of his life. Æneas, in his flowing robes,
kneels at the King's feet; the throne with its ample steps is set in a
splendid, open _piazza_, with the noble flight of steps leading up to
the _loggia_ and out into the blue landscape; little groups enliven the
background; a man stabs at a woman on the balcony; handsome pages and
courtiers stand about. It has been pointed out that, as if to mark the
neutrality of Germany on the question of the Papacy, not a single
ecclesiastic appears in the crowd.

    [Illustration:
    _Alinari photo_]      [_Library, Siena_

    FREDERICK III. CROWNING ÆNEAS PICCOLOMINI AS POET LAUREATE]

The memoirs at this time show Æneas as a clever waiter on the favour of
princes, not over-scrupulous in striving for advancement, watching the
signs of the times, and chafing under his dependence and poverty. In
1445 he was sent by Frederick III. on an important mission to Pope
Eugenius (fresco IV.), and from this time he becomes a figure in
European history. He begins himself to plan definitely for the unity of
the Church, and to desire to stem the forward movements of the Turks.
His journey from Germany to Italy in the depths of winter was an arduous
one. He encountered swollen torrents and broken bridges, and guided by
peasants had "to scale most high and trackless ways, and precipitous,
snow-clad mountains. On the road he visited his parents at Siena, and
when they tried to dissuade him from approaching the fierce and
unforgiving Pope Eugenius, declared that he would carry out his embassy
to a prosperous end, or perish in the attempt."

He was eminently successful in his negotiations, and effected a
reconciliation between Rome and Germany, and the fresco represents him
kneeling humbly before the Pope and kissing his foot. On either side
sits the long row of cardinals; outside we see the busy life of the
Papal Court. Here Pintoricchio has brought in a rather (for him) unusual
harmony in greens on the carpeting, the baldacchino, and the Pope's
robes. The two figures in the foreground are said to be portraits of the
Cardinals of Como and Amiens, who were both powerful friends of Æneas.
The little scene through the arches on the right of the Pope brings in
another episode, where the envoy receives (fresco V.) investiture as
Cardinal.

After this successful mission the Secretary for the first time turned
his mind to the ecclesiastical life, and began to reckon on all the
bright prospects it was likely to open to him. He had hitherto had the
honesty to regard the license of his life as a barrier to religious
orders; but his passions were growing more controllable with advancing
years, and his dislike to the idea of the priesthood had passed away. He
writes that he has passed from the worship of Venus to that of Bacchus,
and appears to think nothing more could be required of anyone. In 1446
he received the tonsure, and was speedily named Bishop of Trieste; and
three years later was appointed to the See of Siena. It was in this
capacity that he was chosen to welcome to Italy Leonora of Portugal
(fresco VI.), the bride of his late patron. Frederick III. was to come
to Siena to meet her, and to proceed to Rome for the wedding. After some
delays, Æneas received the princess on her landing at Leghorn; and on
her arrival at Siena she was met by Frederick, accompanied by a splendid
retinue, which included a hundred citizens "in scarlet and samite," a
thousand knights under Duke Albert of Austria, the young King of
Hungary, the precious relics of the city and clergy innumerable. The
royal pair met outside the Camollia gate, and memoirs tell us that when
the bride came in sight Frederick leapt from his horse and hastened to
meet her, and that "he was rejoiced to see her so young and fair."

    [Illustration:
    _Alinari photo_]      [_Library, Siena_

    ÆNEAS PICCOLOMINI SENT BY FREDERICK III. TO POPE EUGENIUS IV.]

This is the moment chosen for the fifth fresco, and gives the artist
every scope for lively action and gay and brilliant colouring. Æneas,
standing between the King and his young bride, is still the most
prominent figure. The ladies of her train are grouped around the
Infanta, as the attendant maidens round Mary in many a version of the
"Sposalizio." Behind the Bishop stands a dignitary with a white cross on
his breast, who we identify from Pintoricchio's lately finished portrait
in the Baptistry, as Alberto Aringhieri, the Knight of Rhodes. The man
on the left, with heavily-draped mantle and looped-up hat, is Hans
Leubin, the King's Court poet, who had been appointed to deliver an
address of welcome, which he is represented as just beginning to recite.
Behind the group is set up, by a pardonable anachronism, the marble
column which was afterwards placed there as a memorial of the
meeting-place. On either side is a tall, stately plane-tree and a
fruit-bearing palm, typical of the bridal pair. The road winds up to the
Camollia gate, beyond which we espy the tall towers of the city, "Siena
of the rosy walls and rosy towers," the cathedral with its dome and
campanile, and the ground falling away into the ravine which lies
between it and San Domenico.

Whether Raphael's inspiration really was withdrawn at this period, or
whether Pintoricchio's own fancy flagged, it is undeniable that the
remaining frescoes show a falling off, and are less satisfactory than
the earlier ones. The next scene shows us "Æneas Silvius receiving the
Cardinal's hat." On the ride to Rome with the bridal pair, Frederick had
drawn rein as they came to the brow of the hill, from which they first
looked down on the valley of the Tiber, and said to Æneas, "Look now--we
go up to Rome; methinks I see thee a Cardinal, and in truth thy fortunes
will not tarry there, thou shalt climb yet higher; St. Peter's chair
awaits thee; look not down on me when thou shalt have reached that
pinnacle of honour." And though Æneas modestly disclaimed such a
prospect, he confessed afterwards how great were his efforts to enter
the Sacred College. His hopes were frustrated by the reigning Pope
Nicolas, who was notoriously unfriendly to him, and it was not till the
election of Alonso da Borgia as Calixtus II. that he saw his way to
further advancement. Calixtus, who was an old man and almost bedridden,
appointed, among others, his kinsman, Roderigo Borgia (after Alexander
VI.), as Cardinal. To this ambitious and intriguing man Æneas attached
himself, and bade farewell to Germany and his royal patron.

It was shortly before this that he began to devote all his energy and
eloquence to preaching a new crusade against the Turks, whose conquest
of Constantinople and succeeding inroads into Europe began seriously to
alarm the civilised world. It was the only question which roused the old
Pope to eagerness and determined him to invest the eloquent advocate as
Cardinal in spite of bitter opposition from the Sacred College, who
dreaded his keen intelligence. Though the architectural drawing, as
usual, is good, the flat wall with two white windows has a bad effect.
The altar is loaded with heavily embossed gilding; the groups behind are
confused, and the figure of Æneas himself is lacking in dignity and
distinction. In the foreground stand two Greek patriarchs, whose
presence is intended to convey their satisfaction at the elevation of
their champion and that of the cause of Christendom.

We now find the Cardinal of Siena working his way to the Papal throne.
He had a powerful friend in Cardinal Borgia, with whom he was engaged in
anything but reputable transactions in benefices, by which he contrived
to amass sufficient wealth; but besides this he really worked hard in
the cause of the Church, and his courtly manners and attractive
personality, as well as his real kindliness, won him many friends. When
the old Calixtus died, in August 1458, he was ready to come forward, and
has left us a striking account of the incidents of the election. His
only rival was the Cardinal Archbishop of Rouen, a Bourbon, rich and
ambitious.

All the night before the election the principal of each party and his
immediate supporters were holding secret meetings, passing from cell to
cell with arguments and persuasion. When at length all met, pale and
trembling with excitement, to deposit their votes in the chalice, Æneas
was found to have nine votes and the Cardinal of Rouen six. Three
Cardinals who had voted for another candidate were now to give casting
votes. "Long the whole conclave sat in silence; the slightest rustle of
a robe, the turn of a head, the movement of a foot, sent a thrill of
anxiety round the whole circle. At last the fine figure of Roderigo
Borgia was seen to rise. Amidst breathless stillness, he in the usual
form declared that he acceded to the Cardinal of Siena." After a short
delay the two others followed, and thus, at the age of fifty-three,
Æneas Sylvius Piccolomini became Pope, by the title of Pius II.

The fresco seizes the moment when the Pope, borne through the aisles of
St. Peter's, is stopped, according to ancient usage, by the Master of
the Ceremonies, who kindles a piece of tow dipped in spirit, and, as the
light dies away, delivers the solemn warning, "Sancte Pater, Sic transit
gloria mundi." The Pope, under the baldacchino, heavy with armorial
bearings, and wearing the dark-blue mantle which accorded with the
colours of his house, lifts his gloved fingers solemnly in blessing. He
is painted here as an older man, already worn with anxiety. In the
foreground two figures in Oriental dress remind us that assistance
against the Turk was the mission to which the newly-made Pope had
specially pledged himself. St. Peter's is, of course, the old basilica
which was destroyed by Julius II.

Fresco VIII. "Congress at Mantua." In pursuance of his proposed crusade,
Pius II., in 1459, summoned the powers of Christendom to hold a congress
at Mantua to consider the necessary measures. It lingered on for eight
months, when war against the Sultan was formally declared, but gave
occasion for more intrigues and self-seeking on the part of those
assembled than for any real sacrifices for the cause. Pius II. is here
represented directing the deliberations of the Congress. The person of
distinction pleading with the Pope is said to be the Greek Patriarch,
the envoys of the persecuted Eastern Christians are grouped in the
foreground, Cardinals sit on the Pope's right hand, and others--princes,
ecclesiastics, and suppliants--form a crowd behind. The arrangement of
this scene is not happy. The figures are cut up in an awkward way and
the perspective is questionable. It is redeemed by the airy arches and
the charming landscape beneath them.

    [Illustration:
    _Alinari photo_]      [_Library, Siena_

    A GROUP OF MEN
    (A detail from Fresco IX.)]

"A Sienese filling the Chair of St. Peter may well be the instrument to
call a Sienese to sainthood, and that we do with holy joy." So spoke
Pius II. in pronouncing between the claims of three holy Virgins, Rosa
of Viterbo, Francesca of Rome, and Catherine of Siena. The superior
claims of St. Catherine have been fully acknowledged by history: her
influence in healing the great schism of the Urbanists and the
Clementists, her saintly life, her magnetic personality, are sufficient
reasons without adding the miracles with which she was credited.

In fresco IX. the Pope is seated on the "high and well-appointed
balcony," which he had ordered should be erected in St. Peter's, whence,
after a discourse on her virtues, he might proceed to her solemn
canonisation. The Cardinals are gathered round, the corpse of the saint
lies at his feet, clad in the black and white of the Dominican order,
her book upon her breast, and the lilies, which are her attribute, in
her folded hands. Below stand a crowd of spectators bearing candles. In
front is a long row of persons, said to be portraits. The first on the
left we should guess to be Raphael, even without the traditional
confirmation. Next him is Pintoricchio himself. The others have been
variously named Andrea del Sarto, Fra Bartolommeo, etc. Steinmann
suggests, with more probability, that one is intended for Eusebio di San
Giorgio and another for Bembo Romano, who were both working as
assistants, especially as the initials of the last are to be discerned
on several of the pilasters among the decorations. The composition in
this scene is rather disjointed. The two halves do not seem to belong to
each other, and it is curious to note the difference between the
conventional arrangement of the groups in the background and the
characteristic forms and much more structural figures which the painter
has evidently drawn from the life. The effigy of St. Catherine is taken
from her monument in Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. The Dominicans
and Augustinians are prominent, as it was of their order that the saint
was so great an ornament.

Pope Pius was one of the few Italians of that day in whom a great love
for nature declared itself. Campana tells us of his visits to beautiful
places, of his landscape gardening and planting, of his fondness for
distant views, and for taking his food under the trees on some
hill-side. It pleased him to chat with the peasants, to joke with his
friends with "free and festive converse passing into moderate jest." He
loved to build and adorn in his native city, and for a time he seemed to
be only a man of cultivated and artistic life and busy pleasures. But he
had not forgotten his crusading enthusiasm, and as the news travelled to
Rome of the repeated victories of the Turks, of the loss of Morea,
Rhodes, Cyprus, and of the Moslem advance on every side, he laid before
his Cardinals his resolve to take up a holy war, counting upon the
Christian princes of Europe rallying to his support. He mediated between
the different quarrelsome Powers, and signed a league by which he was
to meet the Venetians and an army of the Duke of Burgundy at Ancona;
but the powers were half-hearted, only a small part of the promised
forces arrived, and Ancona seems to have been a scene of rioting and
mismanagement.

    [Illustration:
    _Alinari photo_]      [_Library, Siena_

    ÆNEAS PICCOLOMINI ELECTED POPE UNDER THE NAME OF PIUS II.]

On June 18, 1464, the Pope, "an aged man with head of snow and trembling
limbs," raised aloft the Cross at the altar of St. Peter's, and vowing
himself to the service of Christendom, set forth for Ancona. "Farewell,
Rome," he cried, as his barge passed down the Tiber, "living thou shalt
never see me more." He was very ill with fever, but the high spirit that
had helped him all through life, did not forsake him. The weather was
broiling hot, and the Pope suffered greatly on the journey. He was a
month reaching Ancona, and had the added discouragement of meeting bands
of deserting crusaders on the way. No ships had arrived from Venice, and
when at last they appeared, the soldiers they were to embark had nearly
all melted away. Pius realised at length that the undertaking had come
to naught. Ill, disappointed, heartsick, he remained at Ancona, and when
the Venetian fleet appeared, after long delay, he could just bear to be
lifted to a window to see the long-watched-for sails.

The Doge, who accompanied the fleet, would not at first believe in the
reality of the Pope's illness, and sent his physician to see if he were
not feigning in order to escape the necessity of setting forth, but the
end was near. It was at sunset on the 12th of August that the Venetian
ships entered the harbour; at sunset on the 14th the Pope passed away.
By his death he escaped the misery of failure; the attempt came to a
natural end, and Pius was surrounded with a halo of martyrdom and
heroism--not all undeserved, for, unsuccessful as he was, he yet was the
only potentate who made any effort to stem the power of the infidel, and
his unsupported struggle and baffled aspirations form a pathetic close
to his active and successful life.

In the fresco there is no hint of the sad and wasted moments.
Pintoricchio's part was to glorify and dignify the memory of the Pope,
and to please the house of Piccolomini. The Pope is raised on high and
borne forward by his followers. In front, dressed in gold brocade,
kneels Christoforo Morea, the Doge of Venice. On the opposite side
kneels a Turk, and another fierce-looking Oriental stands behind him.
These may be recollections of Djem and his followers, whom Pintoricchio
had already painted in the Borgia rooms. Behind lie the town and harbour
of Ancona, with the Venetian fleet anchored in the bay.

There only remained for Pintoricchio to leave a memorial of the
coronation of the second Pope of the House of Piccolomini, and this is
placed over the door of the Library. It is something like the
"Canonisation of St. Catherine," in the way in which it is divided into
two parts. The perspective is not well managed. The Pope and the two
Cardinals who assist him to place the mitre on his head, have the effect
of a picture background to the busy scene below, and the long rows of
white-mitred bishops give a very inartistic impression. Below them is a
crowd of spectators, of all ages and both sexes--the whole confused and
not well drawn, and there is an unfortunate lack of proportion between
the different figures.

    [Illustration:
    _Alinari photo_]      [_Library, Siena_

    POPE PIUS II. AT ANCONA]

The frescoes have been much retouched, though, on the whole, they are in
wonderful preservation. Where the yellows and blues have been most
repainted the effect is hard and glaring; but where the same colours are
not meddled with, as in the Pope's blue robe, and that of the Doge of
No. X., Elizabeth's robe, and the King's mantle in the meeting of the
bridal pair, and in most of the pinks and rose-reds, the tones are much
softer and more pleasing. Only in the hall itself can we appreciate the
way in which the open-air and indoor scenes are arranged and balanced
and the architectural setting worked in so as to give lightness and
distinction. The line of sight is high, about two-thirds of the way up
the picture; this to some extent places the spectator in a wrong
position, but the whole goes back, so that, far from being oppressed
with a feeling of covered walls, a sense of space and withdrawal is
conveyed that enlarges the room in a marvellous manner.

The repose of the hall in its entirety is very striking; hardly a figure
is in anything like violent action, all move and stand with quiet
dignity, all the movement takes place well within the picture, and the
extraordinarily clever use made of the sky, ceiling, floor, and wide
retreating background, give us breath and air, and a sense of delight
and freedom. In as many as eight of these frescoes we have an enthroned
figure, yet treated with what variety and absence of monotony. The first
scene shows us a joyous youth setting out on a stormy journey; the last,
an old man, pale and careworn, carried by loving friends, and behind
him, an untroubled sea and the calm of sunset. The ceiling is a curious
mixture of sacred subjects and mythological ones, after the manner of
that in the Colonna Palace, but not very appropriate to the Pope's
Chapel; sporting of fauns and nymphs, Cupid riding on a green dolphin,
grotesques, recalling the choir of Santa Maria del Popolo, but richer in
colour and more delicately harmonised. The dark oak, the blue and
white-tiled floor, with the yellow crescent of the Piccolomini, and the
pilasters repeating the blue and white, are all part of the design, in
which there is one guiding hand. It is all well adapted to give
brightness to the long room, so slightly arched, and lighted only from
one end. The room is so beautiful that it is hard to say that it is
mechanical--yet assuredly there is something stiff and academic about
it, some loss of grace and the joyous sense of creation, a feeling that
the painter was growing old and tired, and that the childlike enjoyment
of beauty was less keen. In the first fresco, whether we owe it to the
young Raphael's help or to the natural interest at starting, we
recognise buoyancy and the love of experiment; and we have something of
it again in the fairy-tale tableau, where the prince and the lady meet,
but the colour has become gaudier and cheaper, the _naïveté_, the
enchantment, the unconsciousness, have in some measure passed away, the
tide of fancy is running lower, and it is now that we chiefly feel the
lack of that well of science from which the artist can drink ever deeper
as the years go by.



CHAPTER X

PANEL PAINTINGS


It is difficult to arrange Pintoricchio's pictures into distinct groups.
He wandered backwards and forwards between Rome and Umbria for so many
years, and his art, during the whole time, though showing variations,
never undergoes any radical change or development. He arrived early at a
point which satisfied his employers, and there he remained. He did not
attempt to try experiments, or to unravel new problems. He was almost
always engrossed by great undertakings, and had little time to think of
anything beyond getting them creditably executed in a given time.

"La préoccupation d'être original n'empêchait pas de dormir, encore
moins de travailler, les artistes d'alors. Leur personalité ne
s'élaborait que sur le tard, quand ils réussissent sans le chercher
beaucoup à le faire éclore."[32]

    [32] Broussolle, _Pélerinages ombriens_.

This constant employment on fresco accounts for the small number of
panel paintings he has left, nor do we hear of more than one or two,
other than those which have come down to us. I have already noticed the
"St. Christopher" and the "Madonna" in the Gallery at Valencia. His
finest work in _tempera_ is the great polyptych or ancona, painted in
1498 for the monks of Santa Maria dei Fossi, and which is an
extraordinarily dainty piece of work. The heavily-gilt framework is
divided into compartments. In the central one the Madonna is enthroned,
the Child sits upon a little cushion on her knee, half-draped in a
striped and brocaded mantle. With one hand He offers the mystic
pomegranate to His mother, with the other grasps a jewelled cross, held
by the little St. John Baptist, who, with his cloak clasped upon the
breast, sandals on his feet, his eyes uplifted in devotion, strides
forward, with the air of one starting on a pilgrimage. This attractive
little figure is borrowed from the Bernardino Mariotto, with whom
Pintoricchio was so often confused. The Virgin's eyes are cast down, and
both her face and that of the Child are rather expressionless.

The upper part of the framework is filled by a Pietà, which nearly
equals the middle panel in size and importance. The half-length of the
dead Christ is draped with a striped cloth, above the open tomb. It is
reminiscent of Perugino's beautiful Pietà in the same Gallery. The hands
have the backs turned outwards, displaying the palms instead of the
backs, as the northern painters usually represent them. The arms are
supported by angels, who are adapted from the over-door by Fiorenzo in
the Sala del Censo. The pathetic figure of the Saviour is the most
satisfactory rendering of the nude that Pintoricchio produced. The
muscles are carefully modelled, the flesh is firmly painted, and the
touch of the angels convincing, the group is full of repose, sad
dignity, and refinement. The Angel and Virgin of the "Annunciation" on
either side are a reduced _replica_ of those in the Borgia Apartments
and at Spello. Though painted in _tempera_, this work is extremely full
and vivid in colour, almost resembling oils, and is executed throughout
with minute delicacy.

    [Illustration:
    _Alinari photo_]      [_Picture Gallery, Perugia_

    THE MADONNA AND CHILD, WITH ST. JOHN
    (From the Large Ancona)]

The contract is dated February 14, from the house of Diamantis Alphani
de Alphanis. "Messer Bernardino de Benedecto of Perugia--il
Pintoricchio, for himself and his heirs, promises and agrees with
Brother Jerome of Francesco, Venice, Sindico and Procurator of the Frate
Capitulo and Convent of Santa Maria dei Fossi, de Porta San Pietro, to
paint an altar-piece over the high altar of the said church with the
here inscribed figures. The picture divided into parts: in the major
part the image of our most glorious Lady with the Child. On the right
side of our Lady, the figure of the glorious San Agostino in pontifical
habit, and in the left place, San Girolamo in cardinal's habit. Above
the middle shall be a Pietà, and on either side the Angel and Our Lady
of the Annunciation. Above, and in front, the transmission of the Holy
Spirit to the Annunciation. In the predella of this picture shall be
painted eighteen figures. In the first place, on one side, San Baldo,
San Bernardino, in canonicals. In a row the Pope and five cardinals in
state, with five brothers at their feet. All ornamented--to taste--with
gold and colours, at the charge of Messer Bernardino, who also promises,
in the background of these pictures, to paint a landscape, etc."

Though the contract was drawn up, the master, strong in the sense of
his value to the Papal Court, postponed its execution to his own
convenience. With his fame at its height, he was called upon in all
directions. The Council of Orvieto saw the moment was come for securing
the finishing of the fresco for which they had been waiting for four
years. On his way back from Perugia, Pintoricchio once more took up his
work in their cathedral, under a fresh contract to add the two doctors
to the two evangelists. There thus to-day remain traces of a St. Mark
and a St. Gregory on the right hand of the choir, and traces of one or
two angels so restored as to have lost all character, but for which the
work of the Umbrian master has doubtless served as foundation. The sum
he agreed to take in payment in March was fifty ducats, and the convent
books record November 1496 as the date of the last payment.

In the obscure little town of San Severino in the Marches, we find
another altar-piece which was probably produced about the same time. No
record of its acquisition is to be found in the archives of the
cathedral, though an accurate account is kept of commissions executed
about this period by Bernardino Mariotto, and others. It is remarkable
that, considering Pintoricchio's fame in his lifetime, such a possession
as an altar-piece from his hand should have remained unchronicled. It
seems most likely that it was produced at Perugia, and found its way
later to its present position in the sacristy. However this may be, we
must rejoice over this unmistakable and charming example of his art,
well preserved and not very much retouched. It is the least known of
all his pictures; it has only recently been photographed, and, from the
position of San Severino, far off the beaten track, is not easily
visited.

    [Illustration:
    _Private photo_]      [_Duomo, San Severino_

    THE MADONNA AND CHILD, WITH ANGELS AND A DONOR]

The "Madonna della Pace" wears a blue mantle lined with a rich shade of
green, and a rose-red dress. She bends over the Child, who, clad in
white with a grey and gold drapery, stands on a little cushion on her
knee. He holds a transparent glass ball in His left hand, and with the
other blesses the donor, who kneels on the right, dressed in a scarlet
robe. An angel with hands crossed on the breast bends towards the Child,
while another stands with folded hands behind the Mother. Behind is a
spring landscape, a town, and the usual rocky archway with a cavalcade
passing under it.

The face of the Madonna in this painting is indescribably soft, young,
and tender (even a good photograph does not do it justice). The face and
figure of the Child are full of expression; the angels are exquisite
types, reminding us of Lorenzo di Credi. The Cardinal-donor is a man in
the prime of life, with a firmly-drawn face, brown complexion, and
strongly-marked features. The face is rendered with great care, the vein
in the temple, every mark and wrinkle, the neck of one past youth, are
observed, and as a portrait the head compares well with the painter's
best efforts. The colour of the panel is gay yet tender. The faces have
an exquisite transparency, with melting shadows. The face of the angel
in the background is entirely in luminous shade. The little landscape is
delicately finished. The fine, decisive drawing, and the feeling, simple
and unstrained, show Pintoricchio at his best. In retouching, the face
of the donor has been thrown out against a dark ground, which somewhat
impairs the effect.

The "Madonna" in the Museum at Naples is a full-length figure standing
on the clouds, surrounded by a mandorla of cherubs, flanked by six
angels playing musical instruments, who recall those in the Buffalini
Chapel. The group below of the apostles, St. Thomas kneeling in front,
clasping the sacred girdle, is strongly reminiscent of Perugino, as in
the background, where the favourite features of Fiorenzo have for once
been abandoned.

The "Head of a Boy" at Dresden must, I think, be an early work, when
Perugino's manner was felt in all its freshness. Though the hair is hard
and wiry, and not worthy of the rest, the _morbidezza_ and elastic
plumpness of youthful flesh are given by very subtle modelling, and the
moody, young face is treated with most delicate tonality. The landscape
and receding distance and tall slender trees are in Perugino's style.

The "Madonna and Child," in the National Gallery, I take to be a very
early work. It is dry and thin, with a hard black line outlining the
flesh, a peculiarity of which Pintoricchio is not often guilty. The
landscape is hard and dull in treatment, and the expression of both
Mother and Child is formal and precise. The figures and the Virgin's
hands are stiff. It cannot stand comparison with the beautiful group in
the Borgia Hall of Arts and Sciences, and hardly with the much more
freely handled "St. Catherine of Alexandria, with a Donor," which hangs
beside it. This last, probably painted during the early part of his
stay at Siena, judging by the glimpses of scenery and the likeness of
the St. Catherine to the maid in the fresco of the Baptistery, is good
in colour, painted with a fuller brush and more viscous medium.

Away from the sumptuous surroundings of the capital, back among the
plains and mountains of Umbria and Tuscany, he returns to a simpler
manner. The little altar-pieces at Spello are suitable to small parish
churches. They have something homely in their character. The "Madonna"
in the little panel in Santa Maria Maggiore has a gentle, rustic
countenance, and no embroidery on her mantle. The Child is quite
undraped. The Madonna in the larger panel is very beautiful, and is more
akin in face and the whole treatment to the figures personating the Arts
and Sciences in the Vatican, but has none of the painter's usual
richness of ornament. In San Andrea, the neighbouring church of the
ex-Minorites, hangs the large altar-piece which Pintoricchio was
painting in 1508 when Gentile Baglioni summoned him to return to Siena.
The Madonna is raised on a throne which recalls the niches in which the
Arts in the Borgia Apartments and the sibyls in the Baglioni Chapel are
placed. The Child stands on her knee, clasping her neck. St. Andrew,
with his cross, stands by St. Louis of Toulouse; opposite are St.
Francis and St. Laurence grasping his gridiron; a little St. John sits
on the step on the middle. On a carelessly-drawn wooden stool in the
foreground lies the letter of Cardinal Baglioni, legibly copied; other
small objects lie about--a knife and scissors, an ivory seal, a bottle
of ink and a pencase--on the step by St. John. It is the only "Santa
Conversazione" Pintoricchio ever painted. The figures are weak and
unstructural, and we recognise the repetition of old types in the saints
and angels. The little St. John is bright and attractive. The idea of
his figure is borrowed from Mariotto, who, though poor in colouring and
draftsmanship, was original in finding _motifs_, and supplied Raphael
with many, as well as his immediate contemporaries.

The "Coronation" in the Vatican was painted about 1505 for the nuns of
La Fratta (Umbertide). Only the upper part is believed to be by the
master's hand. Among the most beautiful of the Madonna paintings is the
"Assumption," executed during the later years at Siena for the monks of
Monte Oliveto, and now at San Gemignano. The Madonna in this is an
exquisite creation. She sits on high, surrounded by cherubs, with a
lovely smiling landscape behind her, and is in Fiorenzo's style. Her
face is sweet and expressive, and the colour of the whole is soft, with
rosy pinks and delicate greens of spring. Below kneels a Pope with his
tiara on the ground, and a bishop in a white robe clasping his pastoral
staff. The foreground is dark and rich, and contrasts with the clear and
lovely tones beyond.

Another thoroughly satisfactory work is the little panel painted for the
nuns of Campansi, and now in the Accademia at Siena. It is a small
_tondo_, in the painter's most naïve and charming manner. Joseph and
Mary sit side by side, in a flowery meadow. He holds a barrel of wine
and a loaf. She has a book on her knee, but is turning to speak to the
two children--St. John in his little camel-hair garment, and the
Christ-Child dressed in a white dress falling to the feet. The two
children are represented arm-in-arm, carrying books and a pitcher, and
are wandering away from the side of their elders. So poetic and innocent
is their aspect, they recall the old legend of the little St. Teresa and
her brother going out into the world to seek martyrdom. The figure of
the Divine Child, with long fair hair falling round the face, and
exquisitely drawn baby hands and feet, is one of the sweetest
imaginable. Mary's head is uncovered--a very rare variation with
Pintoricchio. The folds of the draperies are unusually large and simple.
The composition, the delicate restraint of gesture, combined with
natural feeling, are very striking in this delightful little painting.
Dr. Steinmann reminds us that Raphael may have seen it when he visited
Siena, and it may be remotely responsible for his Madonna groups, seated
in the fields, the idyllic feeling of which it certainly foreshadows.

    [Illustration:
    _Hanfstängl photo_]      [_National Gallery, London_

    THE MADONNA AND CHILD]

In the "Reliquary" at Berlin, the figures of the saints are too short.
The heads are of a type which had become rather hackneyed, but the
angels are lightly and crisply drawn, and it is a solid little work. The
other panel at Berlin, a "Madonna and Child," is not ascribed without
dispute to Pintoricchio. Neither the face of the Mother nor the figure
of the Child recall his manner, and while it is most unusual for him to
paint the Virgin's head without the shading veil, the hair here is
dressed in the Italian fashion of the time, as nowhere else in his
works. The Child's feet and the Mother's hands, however, essentially
remind us of Pintoricchio; the draperies have his lines, and the
gouged-out folds we find in some of his later panels, and we see the
peculiar, dainty touch of fingers, holding Child and globe as if they
were eggshells.

The "Madonna and Saints" of the Louvre, which Mr. Berenson assigns to
Pintoricchio, Dr. Steinmann believes to be by the same painter who
helped him with the "Descent of the Spirit" in the Vatican. The heads
certainly differ widely from Pintoricchio's type, but if we apply
Morelli's test, the very peculiar left hand is reproduced line for line,
in the Penelope of the Petrucci fresco. Notwithstanding, it is difficult
to believe this to be a genuine work of the master. The little panel in
the Pitti (the "Adoration of the Magi") is much too feeble to be
anything but an imitation, and the Virgin and Child are entirely unlike
his type. The others of his works which are not questioned are a
"Madonna and Cherubs" at Buda-Pesth; "St. Michael," Leipzig; a "Madonna
and a Crucifix" at Milan; "St. Augustine and two Saints" at Perugia. Mr.
Berenson gives him a "God the Father" at Santa Maria degli Angeli, near
Assisi, and (doubtfully), the "Portrait of a Boy" at Oxford.

    [Illustration:
    _Hanfstängl photo_]      [_Berlin Gallery_

    ST. AUGUSTINE, ST. BENEDICT, AND ST. BERNARD
    (From the Reliquary)]

His last known work is the very beautiful little panel in the Palazzo
Borromeo at Milan. This was painted at Siena in the last year of his
life, and is full of force and colour, glowing like a jewel. The
background has an interesting effect of distant sunset behind trees and
mountains; all the notice is concentrated on the red-robed figure and
white cross of the Christ. The greens of the ground and the
lengthening shadows give a more than usual depth and harmony. The group
behind is confused and less well-drawn, but the peasant leading the way
is evidently a study from life. On the arabesque in which the painting
is set is a cartel inscribed with name and date.

    [Illustration:
    _Private photo_]      [_Picture Gallery, Siena_

    THE CHRIST-CHILD AND ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST
    (From the Holy Family)]

       *       *       *       *       *

Although Pintoricchio's art was so much admired during his lifetime, it
is difficult to show that it exercised much after-influence. Fascinating
as it is in some ways, it represents the last survival of a dying
school. The world to which he belonged, the taste which delighted in his
creations, disappeared with him, and was replaced by an age of conscious
modernism which was eager to sweep aside all that seemed archaic in the
immediate past. The thirst for knowledge and for scientific research was
waxing intense, and the craze for the display of knowledge with its
hidden seeds of decay soon followed. Among his pupils, Matteo Balducci,
who we know from Vasari worked with him in Rome, has left several
pictures at Siena. These are all Umbrian in treatment, and show the
influence of Pintoricchio, but they lack his delicate drawing; the forms
are long and weak, and the colour dim and washy. Pietro di Domenico, a
Sienese, has panels in imitation of him; but the most notable example of
his influence is to be found in that series of the "Story of Griselda,"
in the National Gallery, painted by an unknown artist, who, as Miss
Cruttwell points out, was also influenced by Signorelli, and in whom
sense of form and feeling for originality are more developed than in
other followers of the Umbrian master. Gerino da Pistoia is mentioned
by Vasari as a friend of Pintoricchio, who worked much with him and
Perugino, and an altar-piece by him at Pistoia has traces of both
masters. Crowe and Cavalcaselle see his co-operation in the "Last
Supper" in Sant' Onofrio in Florence, and account thus for the signs it
shows of Pintoricchio's influence. Giovanni Bertucci of Faenza is
another Umbrian whose pictures have often been attributed to
Pintoricchio. The Mother and Child in the "Glorification" by him in the
National Gallery are not unlike our master's in Sant' Andrea at Spello.
We can trace many suggestions afforded to Raphael. The "Dispute" in the
Borgia Apartments in all probability bent Raphael's mind to the
conception of the "Disputa" in the Stanze, and inspired the idea of his
beautiful classic and sacred medallions set in decorative framework, and
of the enthroned figures of Music, Theology, and the rest; and the use
made by Pintoricchio of architectural interiors may have first inspired
the supreme setting of the "School of Athens."

    [Illustration:
    _Marcozzi photo_]      [_Palazzo Borromeo, Milan_

    CHRIST BEARING THE CROSS]

Down to recent years Pintoricchio was quite overlooked or treated with
contempt, and for the purely scientific school he has still little
merit. He certainly is not able to inspire that sort of interest that we
feel in painters who worked, looking backward to see what had been done,
and forward to discover what yet remained to do. We do not strive with
him and triumph with him over defeated difficulties. He was a craftsman,
as were all artists worthy of the name at that day, and his work is
always painstaking and adequate, with nothing sloppy or careless in
its execution; but painting as a craft, with its secrets and its
possibilities, was not his first object, so that, without being able to
divide his work into any distinct periods, we find that his earlier
life, when he was still learning, was on the whole the time when he was
most successful in the artistic sense; and in such frescoes as the
"Journey of Moses" and the "Life of San Bernardino" he gives promise of
an excellence which is not afterwards adequately realised. He was an
illustrator, and as such, perhaps, never touched the highest side of
painting. We find in him the natural tendency of a decorator who
undertakes large commissions as a matter of business, to repeat forms
and situations; yet, with every temptation to mechanical treatment and
repetition, it is the true artist in Pintoricchio which saves him from
becoming monotonous. To the very last, as in the "Return of Ulysses," or
the "Holy Family" at Siena, his invention and fancy are alert, varying
every accessory, displaying a freshness and an enjoyment in his
creations which are irresistibly attractive. In all his illustration the
lyric faculty is his. He follows the lives, the history, the fashions of
his time with minute persistence, but always with some charm added to
prosaic actuality. He is to painting what the ballad-singer is to
poetry: slight, garrulous, naïve, infectious, he has a haunting melody
of his own, and through his eyes we watch the widening of one aspect of
that golden day.

Ruskin speaks of the value to us of the impression made by a scene upon
the mind of the artist; it is the impression stamped by the strange and
enchanting grace of that world of the Renaissance upon one man, and
handed on by him with spontaneity and undoubting delight, which is so
precious to us in his work.



CATALOGUE OF THE WORKS OF

PINTORICCHIO

ARRANGED ACCORDING TO THE GALLERIES IN WHICH THEY ARE CONTAINED


NOTE

Where numbers are given thus [No. 6], they are the numbers of the
Catalogue of the Gallery. These cannot, of course, be guaranteed, as
alterations are not infrequently made in the arrangement of the
pictures.

No pictures have been included, other than those which the author
accepts, save in two well-known cases on pages 160 and 161.



CATALOGUE OF WORKS

Except when in fresco, the paintings are all in tempera on wood.


AUSTRIA-HUNGARY


BUDA-PESTH.

    MADONNA AND CHILD AND ANGEL. [No. 62.] 1 ft. 9 in. × 1 ft. 6 in.


BRITISH ISLES


LONDON, THE NATIONAL GALLERY.

    ST. CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA. [No. 693.] On wood, 1 ft. 9 in. × 1 ft.
        3 in.

       A monk kneeling in adoration. Landscape background.
       _Bequeathed by Lieut.-Gen. Sir W. Moore in 1862._

    THE MADONNA AND CHILD. [No. 703.] In tempera, on poplar, 1 ft. 10
        in. × 1 ft. 3 in.

        The Infant stands on a carpeted parapet in front of its
        Mother, only half of whose figure is seen: a rocky landscape
        in the background.

        _Formerly in the Wallerstein Collection._ Presented in 1863
        by Her Majesty the Queen, in fulfilment of the wishes of His
        Royal Highness the Prince Consort.

    THE RETURN OF ULYSSES TO PENELOPE. [No. 911.] A fresco, transferred
        to canvas, 4 ft. 1 in. × 4 ft. 9 in.

        Penelope is seated at her loom; on the floor at her right is
        a damsel winding thread on shuttles from a ball of yarn
        which a cat is playing with. Four suitors in gay costume
        have entered the room; in the background Ulysses himself is
        seen in the doorway, just entering; his bow and quiver of
        arrows are hanging up above the head of Penelope.

        From the open window is seen the ship of Ulysses, with the
        hero bound to the mast; sirens are disporting themselves in
        the sea; the palace of Circe is on an island near, with
        swine and other animals in its vicinity.

        Painted about 1509. _Formerly in the Pandolfo Petrucci
        Palace at Siena; transferred from the wall for M. Joly de
        Bammeville, in 1844, by Pellegrino Succi. Subsequently in
        Mr. Barker's Collection, at whose sale it was purchased in
        1874._

OXFORD, TAYLORIAN MUSEUM.

    PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN (?). [No. 22.]


FRANCE

PARIS, THE LOUVRE, MUSÉE NAPOLEON III.

    MADONNA WITH ST. GREGORY AND ST. JOHN BAPTIST. [No. 1417.] 1 ft. 11
        in. × 1 ft. 4 in. (?)


GERMANY

BERLIN GALLERY.

    MADONNA AND CHILD. (?)

BERLIN, PYRKER COLLECTION.

    RELIQUARY, ST. AUGUSTINE AND TWO SAINTS. [No. 132A.] 1 ft. 5 in.
        × 9 in.

DRESDEN, THE GALLERY.

    PORTRAIT OF A BOY, WITH A LANDSCAPE BACKGROUND. [No. 41.] 1 ft. 8
        in. × 1 ft. 2 in.

LEIPZIG, THE GALLERY.

    ST. MICHAEL (?). [No. 480.]


ITALY

ASSISI, CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DEGLI ANGELI (CHAPEL OF ST. BONAVENTURA).

    GOD THE FATHER.

MILAN, THE PALAZZO BORROMEO, SALA CIMBALLO.

    CHRIST BEARING THE CROSS. [No. 36.] 1513.

        See page 148.

MILAN, PRINCE PIO DI SAVOIA.

    MADONNA. 1497.

MILAN, MARCHESE VISCONTI-VENOSTA.

    A SMALL PAINTED CRUCIFIX.

NAPLES, THE PICTURE GALLERY.

    THE MADONNA IN GLORY.

PERUGIA, THE GALLERY, SALA XI.

    POLYPTYCH. [No. 10.] 1498.

        The Madonna and Child with St. John. Pietà. Christ with two
        Angels. Angel of the Annunciation. Virgin. St. Augustine.
        St. Jerome.

        _Predella._--St. Mark. St. Luke. Scene in the life of St.
        Augustine. St. Matthew. St. John. St. Jerome in the Desert.

        Painted for the high altar of the church of Santa Maria dei
        Fossi. After the inroad of the French in 1810, was preserved
        in small panels in the Academy.

        See page 139.

    ST. AUGUSTINE AND FOUR MEMBERS OF THE CONFRATERNITY, with their
        escutcheons below. [No. 12.] 1500.

        Presented by Cav. Silvestro Baldrini (_d._ 1870), President
        of the Academy of Arts in Perugia.

ROME, THE BORGHESE GALLERY.

    CHRIST ON THE CROSS, WITH ST. CHRISTOPHER AND ST. JEROME (?).
    [No. 377.] 1 ft. 11 in. × 1 ft. 4 in.

ROME, CASTEL ST. ANGELO.

    FRAGMENTS OF FRESCOES. 1497.

ROME, THE BORGIA APARTMENTS OF THE VATICAN.

    FRESCOES. In great part by his own hand. All done from his
    designs and under his superintendence. 1492-1495.

    First Room--Hall of Mysteries.

        Assumption. Annunciation. Nativity. Adoration of Magi.
        Resurrection. Ascension. Coming of the Holy Ghost.
        _Ceiling_--Evangelists and Fathers.

    Second Room--Hall of Saints.

        The Madonna and Child. Scenes from lives of St. Susanna, St.
        Barbara, St. Antony Abbot, and St. Paul the Hermit. St.
        Catherine disputing with the Philosophers. _Ceiling
        Decoration_--Story of Osiris and Isis.

    Third Room--Hall of Arts and Sciences.

        Over door--Madonna and Child.
        Geometry. Arithmetic. Music. Rhetoric. Grammar.

    Fourth Room--Hall of Creeds.

        The Prophets.

    Fifth Room--Hall of Sibyls.

        The Sibyls.

        See page 93.

ROME, THE SIXTINE CHAPEL OF THE VATICAN.

    JOURNEY OF MOSES, AND BAPTISM OF CHRIST. Frescoes. 1482-1483.

        See page 41.

ROME, THE BELVEDERE, GALLERIA DELLE STATERE.

    FRAGMENTS OF DECORATIVE FRESCOES.

ROME, THE COLONNA PALACE, GREAT HALL.

    DECORATIVE FRESCOES IN SPANDRELS.

ROME, THE PALAZZO DEI PENITENZIERI.

    FRAGMENTS OF FRESCOES.

ROME, CHURCH OF ARA C[OE]LI, BUFFALINI CHAPEL.

    Frescoes of the LIFE AND DEATH OF ST. BERNARDINO.

        See page 50.

ROME, SANTA MARIA DEL POPOLO.

    Fourth Chapel, R. Frescoes--THE NATIVITY. Five Lunettes with
        scenes from the LIFE OF ST. JEROME.

    Choir--CEILING FRESCOES. 1505.

        See page 59.

ROME, THE VATICAN GALLERY.

    THE CORONATION OF THE VIRGIN. 11 ft. × 6 ft. 8 in. 1505.

        Painted for the nuns of La Fratta (now Umbertide).

        See page 146.

SAN GEMIGNANO, THE MUNICIPIO.

    THE MADONNA IN GLORY, WITH SAINTS.

        Painted for the monks of Monte Oliveto.

SAN SEVERINO, SACRISTY OF THE DUOMO.

    THE MADONNA AND CHILD, WITH THE DONOR AND TWO ANGELS.

        See page 142.

SAN SEVERINO, THE PINACOTECA, SALA IX.

    THE NATIVITY. [No. 26.] 9 ft. 2 in. × 6 ft.

        From the convent of Campansi in Siena.

    MADONNA AND CHILD WITH AN ANGEL. [No. 28.] 2 ft. 1 in. ×
        1 ft. 8 in.

        From the convent of Santa Maria Maddalena.
        [These are attributed by some writers to Pintoricchio, but
        not accepted by the author.]

SIENA, THE ACCADEMIA, SALA XI.

    HOLY FAMILY. [No. 45.] Tondo. Diameter, 2 ft. 9 in.

        From the convent of Campansi.

        See page 146.

SIENA, THE DUOMO, THE LIBRERIA.

    Frescoes--Ten frescoes, illustrating LIFE OF PIUS II. 1503-1508.

    Lunette over door--Fresco, THE CORONATION OF PIUS III.

SIENA, THE CAPPELLA DI SAN GIOVANNI.

    Frescoes--THE BIRTH OF ST. JOHN.

    PORTRAITS OF ALBERTO ARINGHIERI in youth and old age.

SIENA, THE DUOMO.

    PAVEMENT--WISDOM AND FORTUNE. 1504.

        See page 110.

SPELLO, THE CHURCH OF THE COLLEGIATA, SECOND ALTAR, R.

    THE MADONNA AND CHILD.

SPELLO, THE BAGLIONI CHAPEL, CHURCH OF THE COLLEGIATA.

    Frescoes--ANNUNCIATION. ADORATION OF MAGI. CHRIST AMONG THE
        DOCTORS. 1501.

SPELLO, THE SACRISTY OF THE CHURCH OF THE COLLEGIATA.

    THE MADONNA AND CHILD. 1501.

SPELLO, THE OLD SACRISTY OF THE CHURCH OF THE COLLEGIATA.

    Fresco of AN ANGEL.

SPELLO, THE CHURCH OF SANT' ANDREA, R. TRANSEPT.

    THE MADONNA AND CHILD ENTHRONED.

    ST. LOUIS OF TOULOUSE, ST. ANDREW, ST. LAURENCE AND ST. FRANCIS
        OF ASSISI, WITH ANGELS. 1508.

SPELLO, SAN GIROLAMO, CLOISTER CHAPEL.

    ADORATION OF SHEPHERDS.

    Fresco--Remains of a NATIVITY.

    Behind the Altar--Fresco of THE MARRIAGE OF THE VIRGIN.
        [This is attributed by many critics to Pintoricchio, but not
        accepted by the author.]

SPOLETO, THE DUOMO, FIRST CHAPEL, R.

    Ruined frescoes--THE MADONNA AND SAINTS. GOD THE
        FATHER AND ANGELS. THE DEAD CHRIST.

        See page 105.


SPAIN

VALENCIA.

    THE MADONNA AND CHILD, WITH DONOR.

        Sent to Xativà by Cardinal Borjà.

        See page 87.



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE


    1454 (_circa_). Date of birth.

    1482. Goes to Rome.

    1487. Paints the Palazzo di SS. Apostoli.

    1492. June. Recommended to the Chapter at Orvieto, by one Messer
        Cristoforo.

    1492. Receives 50 ducats for work done at Orvieto.

    1492. Protest from the Cathedral authorities on the too lavish
        use of gold and ultramarine.

    1492. November 17. In a legally drawn-up paper frees himself
        from any responsibility for not fulfilling his contract
        within the stipulated time.

    1492. December. Begins work in the Borgia Apartments.

    1492. December 14. Order placed on minutes of Orvieto Cathedral
        for raising funds to buy more blue and gold for ceiling.

    1493. March 29. Brief from Pope Alexander asking the Orvietans
        to await Pintoricchio's return till the work in the Vatican
        is finished.

    1494. March 9. Brief from Pope Alexander to Orvietans asking
        that Pintoricchio be allowed to return to finish work in the
        Vatican.

    1495. January 17. The Papal Court leaves the Vatican on the
        entry into Italy of Charles VIII.

    1495. June. The Pope flies to Orvieto and Perugia.

    1495. Obtains a grant from the Pope of two pieces of land at
        Chiugi, near Perugia, for an annual payment of thirty
        baskets of grain.

    1496. February 14. Signs a contract with the monks of Santa
        Maria degli Angeli, to supply an altar-piece.

    1496. March 15. Contracts with the Chapter at Orvieto to paint
        two figures of doctors for 50 ducats.

    1496. November 15. Last payment made for this fresco.

    1497. July. The rooms in Castel Sant' Angelo being restored, he
        went back to Rome and painted the frescoes there.

    1497. July 28. Letter from the Cardinal di San Giorgio, in
        answer to a petition from Pintoricchio, reducing the annual
        tax on land to two pounds of wax for three years. 1497. Tax
        again enforced by the authorities of Chiugi.

    1497. First Sunday in August. Restitution made by the
        authorities of the money extorted.

    1498. May. The exemption from taxation extended from three years
        to end of lease.

    1498. In Perugia. Painted altar-piece for Santa Maria dei Fossi.

    1498. October. A brief from Alexander VI. confirms possession of
        the lands at Chiugi to him and his descendants, even though
        he should omit the yearly payment of wax.

    1500. October 14. Visits Cæsar Borgia's camp at Deruta. An order
        from the Duke requests the Vice-Chancellor to get permission
        for Pintoricchio to sink a cistern in his house in Perugia.

    1501. April. Elected Decemvir of Perugia in place of Perugino.

    1501. Contract in archives of Spello for work undertaken for
        Troilo Baglioni.

    1501-1502. May. Painting at Spello.

    1502. June 29. Contract signed with Cardinal Piccolomini for
        decorating the Library at Siena.

    1503. Spring. Painting Library at Siena.

    1503. October. Pope Pius III. dies.

    1504. August 23. Paid 700 ducats for painting eight frescoes in
        St. John's Chapel in the Cathedral at Siena.

    1504. September 8. An altar-piece unveiled in the Piccolomini
        Chapel in the church of San Francesco at Siena.

    1504. Buys land to the value of 200 florins from Lucrezia
        Paltoni, widow of the painter Neroccio.

    1504. End of. Continues Library for six months.

    1505. March 13. Is paid for the cartoon of Fortune for the
        pavement of Siena Cathedral.

    1505. June. Cardinal Andrea Piccolomini dies; work again
        stopped.

    1505. June. Leaves for Rome. Paints choir of Santa Maria del
        Popolo.

    1506. February. Back in Siena.

    1506. Matriculates at the College of Painters, Perugia.

    1506. March. Recommences work in Library.

    1506. March 24. Acknowledges a debt of 100 ducats to Eusebio di
        San Giorgio of Perugia.

    1506. August 18. A further grant of land at Chiugi by Julius II.

    1506. November 30. A son born in Siena, named Giulio Cesare.

    1506. December 15. The magistracy of Siena approves the donation
        of 20 _moggie_ of land.

    1507. March. Appeal to the Council to remit all taxes upon it.

    1507. March 26. A favourable answer from the Council, omitting
        all but the gate-tax.

    1508. April 24. Letter from Gentile Baglioni to him at Spello,
        begging him to return to Siena.

    1508. Autumn. Short visit to Rome.

    1509. January 7. A son born at Siena: Camillo Giuliano.

    1509. January 18. Receives of heirs of Pius III., 15½ ducats,
        being the last payment for the Piccolomini frescoes.

    1509. Siena. Painting for Pandolfo Petrucci.

    1509. October 8. Sells to Pandolfo Petrucci and Paolo di
        Vannoccio Biringucci, a house in the third ward of the city
        of Siena, for 420 florins.

    1509. Record of his inhabiting in the ward of San Vincenzo in
        Siena.

    1509. November 1. Makes first will.

    1510. January 27. A daughter born in Siena: Faustina Girolama.

    1511. September 20. Sells land at Chiugi to a lawyer named
        Giulio Cesare, godfather to his son.

    1511. November 21. Buys of Antonio Primaticci, of Siena, a piece
        of land called the Cloister, at Pernina.

    1513. May 7. Being _in corpore languens_, makes his last will.

    1513. September 13. A codicil.

    1513. October 14. A second codicil.

    1513. December 11. Dies in Siena, and is buried in the church of
        SS. Vincenzo and Anastasia, now the oratory of the ward of
        the Ostrich.

    1514. Sigismondo Tizio gives an account of his last illness and
        death.

    1516. Grania, his widow, sells to Sigismondo Chigi two-thirds of
        sundry pieces of land.

    1516. Grania petitions to sell part of the land forming the
        portion of her daughter Faustina.

    1518. May 22. Grania makes her will.

    A daughter, Egidia (year not known), marries Girolamo di Paolo,
        a soldier of the Piazza of Siena.

    A daughter, Faustina, marries Filippo of Deruta.

    1519. A daughter, Adriana, dies. Had married Guiseppe da
        Giovanni of Perugia.



INDEX


    _Adoration of the Magi, The_ (Borgia Apartments), 69, 70, 158

    _Adoration of the Shepherds, The_ (Spello). See _Nativity_

    Alberti, Leo Battista, 24

    Alexander VI., Pope, 6, 17, 66;
      portrait of, 71, _ill._ 70, 72;
      shuts himself in Castel Sant' Angelo, 96, 97

    Angelis, Abbé de, 15

    _Annunciation, The_ (Borgia Apartments), 69, 70, 158, _ill._ 68;
      (Spello), 101, 103, 161, _ill._ 104;
      (Perugia), 141, 157

    Aringhieri, Alberto, Pintoricchio's work for, 10, 109;
      portraits of, 109, 110, 160, _ill._ 110

    _Arithmetic_ (Borgia Apartments), 90, 158, _ill._ 90

    _Ascension, The_ (Borgia Apartments), 69, 71, 158

    _Assumption, The_ (Borgia Apartments), 69, 72, 92, 158, _ill._ 74;
      (Naples), 16 _note_, 144, 157;
      (San Gemignano), 146, 160

    _Astrology_ (Borgia Apartments), 91


    Baglioni, Cardinal, 17, 18, 145

    Baglioni, Troilo, 100;
      portrait of, 102

    Balducci, Matteo, _Assumption, The_, in S. M. del Popolo attributed
        to, 61;
      pictures by, at Siena, 149

    _Baptism of Christ, The_ (Sixtine Chapel), 29, 36, 43, 79, 159,
        _ill._ 42

    Barili, Antonio, 107

    _Basel, Journey to the Council of_, 124, _ill._ 120;
      (sketch for), 118, 119, 120

    _Basel, Conference at_, 124;
      (sketch for), 121

    Behaim, Lorenzo, 98

    Bellini, Gentile, Drawings attributed to, 79, 82

    Bembo Romano, 134

    Benedetto, father of Pintoricchio, 2

    Berlin, Reliquary at, 147, 156, _ill._ 148

    Bertucci, Giovanni, 150

    Boccatis da Camerino, 25

    Bonfigli, Benedetto, 4, 22, 25, 48, 69

    Borgia, Device of the House of, 73, 74, 87

    Borgia, Cæsar, 9, 64, 71, 84

    Borgia, Francesco, 73

    Borgia, Lucrezia, 80, 81

    Borgia, Roderigo, 46, 59

    Botticelli, Sandro, 37, 77

    Bregno, Andrea, 67

    Buffalini, Ludovico, 48;
      portrait of, 51


    Camerlengo, Cardinal, 8, 18

    Carvajal, Cardinal, 63

    Charles VIII., Invasion of Italy by, 96-99

    _Christ bearing the Cross_ (Milan), 14, 148, 157, _ill._ 150

    _Christ disputing with the Doctors_ (Spello), 101, 102, 161

    _Christ, The Dead_ (Spoleto), 105, 162

    Cibo, Cardinal Innocenzio, 59

    _Coronation of the Virgin, The_ (S. M. del Popolo), 112;
      (Vatican), 146, 159

    Costa, Cardinal, 59

    _Cross, Finding of the True_ (S. Croce in Gerusalemme), 62

    _Crucifixion, The_ (Borghese Gallery), 26, 28, 158


    _Descent of the Holy Spirit, The_ (Borgia Apartments), 69, 72, 158

    _Dialectics_ (Borgia Apartments), 92

    Djem, Prince, 83, 96, 97

    Donatello, 119

    Duccio, Agostino di, 25


    Eusebio di San Giorgio, 115, 123, 133


    Farnese, Giulia, 86

    Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, his _Miracle of San Bernardino_, 25, 62,
        _ill._ 24;
      his influence on Pintoricchio, 4, 17, 22-29, 41, 61, 69,
        72, 75, 86, 90, 102, 103, 112, 140, 146

    Francesca, Piero della, influence of, 21;
      his _Flagellation_, 24

    _Frederick III. and Eleanora of Portugal, Meeting of_, 128, 129;
      (sketch for), 120

    _Frederick III. crowning Æneas Piccolomini as Poet-Laureate_, 126,
        _ill._ 126;
      (sketch for), 121

    _Frederick III. sending Æneas Piccolomini to Pope Eugenius IV._,
        127, _ill._ 128

    Fungai, Bernardino, 72


    Gatta, Bartolommeo della, 38

    Genga, Girolamo, 113

    Gentile da Fabriano, 20

    _Geometry_ (Borgia Apartments), 90, 158

    Gerino da Pistoia, 150

    _God the Father_ (Assisi), 148, 157;
      (Spoleto), 105, 162

    Gozzoli, Benozzo, 21, 30

    _Grammar_ (Borgia Apartments), 92, 158

    Grotesque, The, first appearance of, in art, 68


    _Holy Family, The_ (Siena), 146, 151, 160


    Innocent VIII., Pope, 5, 55, 56, 83


    Julius II., Pope, 13, 64

    _Justice_ (Borgia Apartments), 92, 158


    Leonardo, 119, 120

    Leubin, Hans, 129

    Lorenzo di Credi, 143

    Lorenzo di Mariano, 107


    _Madonna and Child_ (Valencia), 46, 139, 162;
      (Borgia Apartments), 86, 158, _ill._ 88;
      (Perugia), 139-142, 157, _ill._ 140;
      (National Gallery), 144, 155, _ill._ 146;
      (S. M. Maggiore, Spello), 145, 161;
      (San Andrea, Spello), 145, 161;
      (Berlin), 147, 156;
      (Buda-Pesth), 148, 155;
      (Milan), 148, 157

    _Madonna and Saints_ (Spoleto), 105, 162;
      (Louvre), 148, 156

    _Madonna in Glory, The_ (Naples), 144, 157;
      (San Gemignano), 146, 160

    _Madonna della Pace_ (San Severino), 143, 160, _ill._ 142

    Mantegna, his description of Prince Djem, 84;
      painting of children at Padua by, 87

    Mariotto, Bernardino, Pintoricchio confused with, 4, 112, 140,
        142, 146

    Masolino, 81

    Matteo di Giovanni, 110

    Melozzo da Forli, court painter to the Vatican, 36;
      influence of on Pintoricchio, 53, 60, 71, 88

    Morea, Christoforo, portrait of, 136

    Morto da Feltre, 61

    _Moses, The Journey of_ (Sixtine Chapel), 36, 38, 41, 42, 151,
        159, _ill._ 42

    _Music_ (Borgia Apartments), 90, 158, _ill._ 92


    _Nativity, The_ (S. M. del Popolo), compared with Fiorenzo's
    _Adoration of the Child_, 23, 61, 159;
      (Borgia Apartments), 69, 70, 158;
      (Spello, Baglioni Chapel), 101, 102, 161, _ill._ 102;
      (San Girolamo, Spello), 104, 161

    Niccolò da Foligno, 12

    Nelli, Ottaviano, 21


    Ormanni, Antonio, 107

    Orvieto, Pintoricchio's work at, 5, 6, 7

    _Osiris and Isis, The Story of_ (Borgia Apartments), 84


    Pacchiarotto, 123

    Paleologos, Andrea, 81, 83

    Perino del Vaga, 66

    Perugia, Polyptych at, 139-142, 157, _ill._ 140

    Perugino, 13;
      assisted by Pintoricchio, 17, 27, 36-40;
      influence of on Pintoricchio, 42, 43, 44, 69, 72, 73, 91, 104,
        120, 125, 144;
      his painting of children, 87

    Peruzzi, 94

    Petrucci, Pandolfo, Pintoricchio's paintings for, 14, 113

    Piccolomini, Æneas Sylvius, 106, 115;
      scenes from the life of, 115, 123-138, _ill._ 120, 126, 128,
        132, 134, 136

    Piccolomini, Cardinal Andrea, 10, 111

    Piccolomini, Cardinal Francesco, summons Pintoricchio to Siena,
        9, 10, 106, 107;
      death of, 108

    Pietro d'Andrea, 94

    Pietro di Domenico, 149

    Pintoricchio, meagre history of his early life, 2;
      his work in Rome, 4, 5;
      at Orvieto, 5, 6, 7;
      entrusted with the decoration of the Borgia Apartments, 6;
      commutation of tax on his land, 7, 8;
      his marriage, 8, 11;
      in the service of Cæsar Borgia, 9;
      elected a Decemvir of Perugia, 9;
      called to Siena, 10;
      his wife and children, 11, 16;
      at Spello, 13;
      last visit to Rome, 13;
      his death, 14, 15;
      reported neglect of his wife, 15;
      portraits of himself, 16, 84, 104, _ill._ 104;
      writing of his name, 18;
      derivation of his art, 22;
      influence of Fiorenzo di Lorenzo on, 23 _et seq._;
      influence of Perugino on, 27;
      character of his art, 30-34;
      his technique, 34;
      his frescoes in the Sixtine Chapel, 36;
      his greatness as a landscape painter, 43;
      his decoration of the Buffalini Chapel in Ara Cœli, 47;
      his work for Giuliano and Domenico della Rovere, 55, 57;
      his decorations in S. M. del Popolo, 59, 112;
      other work in Rome by, 62;
      his decoration of the Borgia Apartments, 64-96;
      drawings of Turks by, 82, 83;
      his study of the antique, 85;
      his painting of children, 87;
      his merits and failings, 94, 95;
      his painting in the Castel Sant' Angelo, 98, 99;
      his work at Spello, 100-105;
      his frescoes at Spoleto, 105;
      summoned to Siena by Francesco Piccolomini, 107, 108;
      work in the Cathedral at Siena by, 109, 110;
      his frescoes in the Library at Siena, 115-138;
      evidence as to Raphael's assistance of, 116-123;
      his panel paintings, 139;
      his polyptych at Perugia, 139-142;
      other paintings by, 142-148;
      his influence, 149

    Pius II., Pope, _see_ Piccolomini, Æneas Sylvius

    Pius III., Pope, _see_ Piccolomini, Francesco

    _Poet Crowned, The_, 126, _ill._ 126;
      (sketch for), 121

    Pollaiuolo, influence of on Pintoricchio, 24

    _Portrait of a Boy_ (Dresden), 28, 156, _ill._ _Front._;
      (Oxford), 148, 156


    Raphael, 13;
      friendship of with Pintoricchio, 17;
      helped Pintoricchio with the frescoes in the Siena
        Library, 116-123;
      his _Three Graces_, 117;
      his drawing of horses, 119;
      the _Battle of the Standard_, 119, 120;
      influenced by Pintoricchio, 150

    _Resurrection, The_ (Borgia Apartments), 69, 70

    _Rhetoric_ (Borgia Apartments), 89, 158

    Rome,
      Pintoricchio's work in, 4, 5, 158, 159;
      in the Borgia Apartments, 6, 64-96;
      in the Sixtine Chapel, 36-45;
      in the Chapel of Ara Cœli, 39, 47-54;
      in the Belvedere, 56;
      in the Colonna Palace, 55;
      in the Palazzo dei Penitenzieri, 57;
      in Santa Maria del Popolo, 59, 60, 112;
      in Castel Sant' Angelo, 98, 99

    Rome, The _bambino_ of Ara Cœli at, 52

    Rovere, Domenico della, 5, 57, 59

    Rovere, Giovanni Basso della, 45, 59, 60

    Rovere, Giuliano della, 37, 55, 72, 89, 90, 96


    _St. Anthony, Visit of, to St. Paul the Hermit_ (Borgia Apartments),
        76, 77, 158, _ill._ 76, 78

    _St. Augustine_ (Perugia), 148, 157

    San Bernardino, 2, 48;
      frescoes of the life of, by Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, 25, _ill._ 24;
      frescoes of the life of, by Pintoricchio, 50-53, 102, 151,
        _ill._ 50, 54

    _Santa Barbara, Scenes from the Life of_ (Borgia Apartments), 76, 80,
        102, 158

    _St. Catherine_ (National Gallery), 109, 144, 155

    _St. Catherine, The Canonisation of_ (Siena, Library), 16, 123, 136

    _St. Catherine, The Dispute of_ (Borgia Apartments), 16, 80, 125, 158,
        _ill._ 80, 82

    _St. Christopher_ (Borghese Gallery), 26, 27, 139, 158

    San Gemignano, Madonna at, 146, 160

    _St. Jerome, Scenes from the Life of_ (S. M. del Popolo), 61

    _St. John, Birth of_, 109

    _St. Louis of Toulouse_, 53

    _St. Michael_ (Leipzig), 148, 156

    _St. Sebastian_ (Borgia Apartments), 78, 79, 82, _ill._ 78

    San Severino, Altar-piece at, 142, 160, _ill._ 142

    Seitz, Signor Lodovico, 65

    Sforza, Giovanni, 80, 84

    Sibyls, Paintings of (Borgia Apartments), 93, 94, 158;
      (Spello), 101, 113

    Siena, Pintoricchio at, 10, 13;
      frescoes in the Chapel of St. John, 109, 160;
      pavement of the Cathedral, 110, 161, _ill._ 110;
      frescoes in the Library at, 107, 108, 111, 115-138, 160;
      drawings for, 118;
      study by Raphael for, _ill._ 118;
      _Holy Family_ at, 146, _ill._ 148

    Signorelli, Luca, with Pintoricchio at Siena, 13, 14, 113;
      sponsor to Pintoricchio's child, 17;
      influence of, on Fiorenzo, 29;
      and on Pintoricchio, 30, 77;
      the _Journey of Moses_, formerly attributed to, 38

    Sixtus, Pope, 37, 45, 59

    Sodoma, possibly helped Pintoricchio with the Siena frescoes, 123

    Spello, Cardinal of, 9

    Spello, Pintoricchio's work at, 100-105, 161;
      altar-pieces at, 145, 161

    Spoleto, Frescoes at, 105, 162

    _Susanna and the Elders_ (Borgia Apartments), 74, 158, _ill._ 74

    Symonds, J. A., on Pintoricchio, 30


    Turks, Drawings of, 82


    _Ulysses, The Return of_, 14, 113, 151, 155, _ill._ 114

    Umbrian Art, 19, 20;
      influenced by its scenery, 25


    Venetian Sketch-Book, previously attributed to Raphael, 38, 39;
      _illustration from_, 40

    Verrocchio, influence of, on Fiorenzo, 24;
      his _Baptism_, 44;
      influence of on Pintoricchio, 74;
      his drawing of horses, 119

    _Visitation, The_ (Borgia Apartments), 77



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Transcriber's Note:

    Page 52
    which saves from self-consciouness _changed to_
    which saves from self-consciousness

    Page 125
    much more natural and easy atitude _changed to_
    much more natural and easy attitude

    Page 168
    Funga, Bernardino, 72 _changed to_
    Fungai, Bernardino, 72

    Niccoló da Foligno, 12 _changed to_
    Niccolò da Foligno, 12





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