But both concepts are implicit in Laugier's description of the young girl, eyes lowered, straining to recall her lesson, and of the mother listening to her and as it were comparing her recitation with the original; while the essential inwardness of the girl's condition is further emphasized by Le Blanc's reference to her chagrin interieur at finding that her memory of the lesson is imperfect.
These are just a few of the connections that can be drawn between specific works by Chardin and Greuze. One other example might be cited. The theme of an effort of memory is found in singularly concentrated form in Greuze's fine, restrained Un Ecolier qtti etttdie sa ler;on Fig. Salon of 18 whose filiation to the Philosophe occ11pe de sa lect11re is at once apparent. In his lifetime Van Loo was widely regarded as the greatest French painter of his day.
In the s and s, however, his reputation plummeted, and only very recently has it begun to recover. As regards the artistic level of much of his oeuvre, this is only somewhat unjust. BL1t it has meant that his work has received little scholarly attention, and that almost no effort has been made to understand what his contemporaries saw in his art. Aug11stin disp11tant contreles Donatistes, Salon of Tl1is becomes clear if we consider Van Loo's St.. Tl1e debate took place in Carthage, in the great hall of a Roman bath, before tl1e Tribune Flavius Marcellinus the official arbiter and in the preser1ce of hundreds of bishops of botl1 perstiasions.
In the rigl1t foreground, star1ding apart fro1n the assembled bishops, Marcellin11s watches and listens. Toward the 1niddle of the car1vas, seated at a table, are several secretaries cl1arged witl1 transcribing the proceedings, one of who1n has broken off writing and i11stead gazes at tl1e saint.
Catl1olic and Donatist bishops bend over tl1e secretaries' shoulders to ensure tl1at what is said is acc11rately recorcied. Sair1t Augustir1 paro1c avec cette r1oble cor1fiance qu'inspire la verite. II parle avec force, mais sans emporcemenc. Son visage plein de phisionomie est ega. ITY rendered in the eyes of most of those listening co him, and especially in those of tl1e secretary [i. Around it are seated tl1e respective secretaries, pen in hand and with paper in front of them, appearing absorbed in their writing. The one at the l1ead of the cable, seated like them with pen in hand and paper in front of him, turns from his work in order to listen.
He seems to fear that he will not grasp what is said with sufficient accuracy. As seen by the critics, tl1e first two secretaries are engrossed in their professional responsibilities, a state of mind incompatible with pondering the meaning of specific utterances and certainly with becoming transfixed by the discourse of either speaker. Thus Laugier observes that "les Notaires fortement appliqL1es leL1r travail, ont pour tot1t le reste l'indifference COnvenabJe a gens qtti ne font qLtC preter leur ministere" the secretaries, earnestly applying themselves to their work, show toward everything else the indifference characteristic of people who only lend their services.
Augustine, wl1ose eloquence astonishes him]. Laugier writes that rl1e bishops of At1gt1stine's party "one er1 l'ecoutant cette douce tranqt1illite que donne l'assurance de la victoire. Ceux qt1i examine [sic] le travail des Notaires le font sans l' inquietude" display, while listening to him, that sweet tranquility given by rl1e certainty of victory.
On croic voir cependant qt1'il a dt1 plaisir a trouver dans ses raisonn. Augt1stine witl1 a confident expression. He gives to the sair1t's discourse the attention of a11 impartial arbiter. Indeed both for Laugier and, it appears, for Var1 Loo himself, the multiplicity, variety, and particularity of the individual responses to tl1e central fact of Augustine's eloquence-qualities rnost English painters of the period WOLtld have tended to empl1asize34 -are far less important tl1an the common grot1nding of those responses in tl1e single fu11damental condition I have called absorption.
To quote Laugier once more: My point is rather that in Frencl1 painting and criticism of the early and mid- l s the latter are largely assimilated to the former, so much so that a distinction between the1n can hardly be said to exist. The assi1nilation of expression to absorption during the period is n1ade all but explicit in Baillet de Saint-Julien's description of Van Loo's St. Dans ce Tableau l' eclat des figt1res n'est pas em 1 runce de la ric.
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In this painting the disci11ccion of the figt1res is derived neither from rhe ricl1ness of tl1eir dress nor frorn the pomp of their high rank; tl1eir interesting beauty resides prin. The orator appears deeply moved by rl1e greatness of in11nortal truths. He seems to be seeking in the eyes of l1is listeners the means fully co persuade chem of chose truths. Each is affecrecl according to his character.
The priests next to l1im appear touched as tvell as enlightened. The crowd is simply moved and shows the greatest sensibility. In this great painting, only one child is not keenly interested in cl1e proceedings. He is smiling ar so1nething that occupies him. Distraction characteristic of his age. Several points are worth noting.
Augustin prechant devant Valere, Eveque d'Hippone, Salon of Moreover, although Baillet de Saint- ulien states at the outset that Van Loo's painting represents diverse passions, the actual distinctions he makes between the respective responses of bishop, priests, and ordinary people co Augustine's eloquence typify the manner in which concern with modulations of absorption does the work of the analysis of the passions in French criticism of the time.
Baillet de Saint-Julien does not mention the secretary who transcribes Augustine's words or the youth who reads over his shoL1lder. But the evident care lavished upon chose figures, and their placement in the extreme foreground, further emphasize the primacy of absorption in the painting as a whole. Augustin qui administre le Sacrement de Bapteme des jeunes gens [sic], il a pense que les Precres qui accompagnoienc le saint Eveque ne devoienc porter aucune accencion a cecce ceremonie Religieuse. Ils sonc senses en avoir ere crop souvent les cemoins pour ressencir quelque curiosice cec egard.
Mais les La"iques que la parente, l'amitie OU le hazard y amenent doivent ecre profondement occupes dLI Mystere de Redemption qui s'opere en leur presence. Van Loo chat, wishing co represent St. They are conceived as having witnessed it coo ofcen to feel any curiosity concerning it. Bue the laymen brought there by kinship, friendsl1ip, or chance muse be profoundly absorbed in the mystery of redemption being performed in their presence.
Thus admiration, respect, and joy are passions that they experience. There is also in chis painting a humble cacechumen awaiting his turn co be baptized and who might be compared co a scl1oolboy afraid co appear before a teacher whom he has offended. The critic cites as primary evidence of Van Loo's mastery of expression the contrast between the inattention of the priests and the absorption of the laymen in the ceremony taking place before them.
The depiction of specific passions or emotions is mentioned almost as an afterthought. Charles Borromee pret a porter le Viatiq11e a11x nialades Fig. Around Van Loo painted for Mme. The first was shown to the public in the Salon of , 44 the second not until that of Charles Borro11iee pret a porter le Viatique aux 1nalades, Salon of And both exemplify Van Loo's ability to infuse the s11jets galants that remained popular in the Ency clopediste society in which he moved with a seriousness of pL1rpose appropriate to that society, if nearly invisible to modern taste.
For the sake of economy I shall discuss only La Lectze espagnole. The commentary that follows is by the anonymous critic for thejoitr1ial Encyclopedique on the occasion of the painting's exhibition in the Salon of Deux jeunes personnes l'ecourenr avec un plaisir que rout peinr en elles.
La beaute du plan,! Carle Van Loo opens before LlS a garden in which ,ve see a farnily engaged in a reading. A young man dressed in Spanish costt1me is reading alot1d from a small book, which, Two you11g girls lisce11 to him with a pleasure expressed by everytl1ing about them.
Their 1norher [actually their governess], who is on tl1e otl1er side of cl1e reader and behind him, suspends her needlework in order co listen also. Mean,vhile, a young child to who all this n1eans nothing plays with a bird. She l1as cied a long sering co its leg and is amusing herself warcl1ing it fly.
The beauty of the arrar1gernent, the elega11ce of the dra,ving, the variety and vivacity of expression, a11d the kind of color-magic that prevail in this work make it infinitely precious. Even without the sanction of these remarks, the primacy of considerations of absorption in La Lectttre espagr1ole WOL1ld be evident. The young man reading aloud is plainly e11grossed in his performance; the young girls seatecl opposite him are even more intensely absorbed in tl1e narrative, whicl1 we are led to feel has reached a crisis; the governess, who has been listeni11g and sewing, stt1dies closely the impression n1ade by the reading on l1er yoL1ng cl1arges; and the youngest girl occLtpies l1erself with her per bird.
Nor is this all. Pigalle, Jene Fille q11,i recite son Evarigile, St. Of these the Emtite endorrni excited much the warmest interest. It portrays abot1t life-size a bearded l1ermit sleeping against a tree witl1 a violin and bow in his hands. Around l1im are various objects-a human skull, a large come and a quill pen, a few sheets of music, a jug, a wicker basket containing simple vegetables. Contemporary critics admired the Italianate character, vigorous execution, and coloristic unity of the Ermite enclormi.
Here for example is Laugier: On sent que cous les ressorts sont decen  Vien ces attributs effra 1ans, ces horreurs" no one has seen in M. Esteve, too, it should be noted, enjoys Vien's depiction of a state tl1at involves the extinction of ordinary consciousness; thougl1 of cot1rse l1is reading of that state differs frorn his colleagues' and is certainly mistaken.
Another point chat emerges in these accounts is that almost all the objects with which the hermit has been provided are characteristically employed in absorptive activities. IJat1gier refers to the skull as an object of the hermit's meditation a nzernento niori ; wl1ile Huquier describes him as surrounded by books of prayer or study, thereby affirming tl1e absorptive nature of the uses to which in his view the books have been put. My insistence this point may seem tendentious: But the sarne cannot be said of the most prominent objects in the painting, the violin and bow.
Thus La Fo11t de Saint-Yenne maintains tl1at Vien Ot1ght not to have "place a core de cet ermite, une tece de rnort, en lt1i mettant un violon dans les mains. Tl1ese two objects suggest st1ch opposite ideas that it is difficult to bring them together without offending the beholder. The absorptive activities previously considered involve the fact1lty of attencior1, and attention naturally involves conscious11ess.
More generally, we l1ave inferred that for French painters of chose years the persu. Ai,g1-tstin disputant contre les Donatistes is to be understood co a very considerable degree in this ligl1t. I do r1oc der1y tl1at there are significant differences between tl1e respective states of mind and body of Chardin's pl1ilosopher e11grossed i11 his book or Va11 Loo's secretary transfixed by Augustine's eloquence on cl1e one hand and of Vien's hermit fast asleep against a tree on.
Nor do I overlook tl1e fact that. This is reflected in Laugier's emphasis on the persuasiveness or expressive truth of  ,. Garrigues de Fromenr, in his account of the Salon of , criticizes Carle Van Loo'sjupiter et Antiope 59 -a small, Watteau-inspired painting that depicts Jupiter in the form of a satyr uncovering the sleeping Anriope-for presenting an image of sleep that is "trop dur, crop universe! Significantly, the theme of sleep, understood in these terms, plays a major role in Greuze's paintings of the second half of the s.
We see at once, however, that it alludes to the absorptive activities of reading and stL1dy as chose are exemplified in paintings such as the Philosophe occ11pe de sa! That continuity is also implied in a painting by Greuze shown in the Salon of , 62 La Tricoteuse endomzie Fig. Its subject is a young girl who has fallen asleep while knitting. In Greuze's Le Repos Fig.
Those stares and activities are also to be unclerstood as vehicles of absorptio They are by no means the only figures of the tin1e in whose art absorptive concerns may be found. For the present, however, two fL1rther points are crL1cial. First, cl1e case against the Rococo was based in part on its apparent neglect of absorptive considerations.
Second, a number of cl1e works by previous masters that were regarded as exe1nplary for abitious painting were also see11 as paradigms of absorption. In otl1er words, both the turning away fron1 the Rococo and the insistence L1pon cl1e exemplary character of cl1e great arc of the past expressed a demand that conce1nporary painters resume a tradition of absorptive painti11g char had been allowed to lapse.
Boucher achieved prominence in the 17 3 Os, became later on the favorire artist of Mme. Starting in , however, his paintings came under attack from art critics for being artificial in color, mannered in drawing, and uncertain in expression. The paintings in question are Le Lever d11 Soleil Fig. In the first of these, Apollo the sun god rises from the sea to begin his journey across the heavens; in the second, he returns to The tis and her court at the end of the day.
Esteve writes of the Coucher: L'expression de ces figures n'a pas paru convenable. Ne devroient-elles pas tout au moins imiter leL1r Sou,,eraine, qL1i daigne honorer le Dieu du jour d'un regard de complaisance? The expression of these figures did not seem SL1icable. Abandoned co cl1eir nonchalance, they cake no interest in cl1e arrival of Apollo. Sl1ould they noc at least imitate their sovereign, who condescends co honor the god of light with an obliging look? He adds that "les Nerei"des qui devroient le recevoir avec empressement ne le regardent pas Of the Cot-tcher La Font says: No attention is paid co the arrival of the SL1n; the nereids converse among themselves and cake no part in what is l1appening in cl1e scene.
Two passages in Diderot's largely devastating disct1ssion of Bot1cher's work in his Salon de are of particular interest. The first deals with Bot1cher's characteristic mode of depicting cl1ildren, whicl1 seemed to Di leroc co epitomize the t1nreality of his arc: Ce soot des 11atL1res ro1nanesques, ideales, de petits batards de Bacchus et de Silene.
In all tl1ac in11urnerable family, yoL1 will not find one to employ for the real actions of life, StLtdying a lesson, reading, writing, stripping hep. They are ideal, imaginary natures, young bastards of Bacchus and Silenus. It hardly needs co be pointed out that Diderot's examples of the real actions of life are essentially absorptive, or chat Stich actions abound in the work of Cl1ardin and Greuze and to a much lesser extent Van Loo.
Wl1en Carle Van Loo died in he l1a. Gregoire dictant ses hotr1elies Fig. Diderot considered it the 1nost beautiful of the sketches and described it in the following terms: Il n'y a cependanc que deux figures; le saint qui dicte ses l1omelies, et son secretaire qL1i les eerie. Le saint est assis, le col1de appuye sur la cable On va de l'un a l'at1tre de ces person11ages, et toujot1rs avec le meme plaisir. The saint is seated with his elbow resting on tl1e table What a beautiful bead! One cloes not know whether co fix one's eyes upon it or upon the secretary's attitude, so simple, natural, and trt1e.
One looks from one personage to the other, and always with the same pleasure. The theme of dictation-and l1ere it is as if not just the secretary but the saint as well is being dictated to-recalls Van Loo's St. Gregoire dictant ses ho,nelies, Salon of , engraved by Martinet. C'est le plus mortel ennemi du silence que je connoisse; il en est aux plus jolies marionnettes du monde It is the deadliest enemy of silence I know; he is showing us the prettiest marionettes in the world In an anonymous article of the principal group of figures in Poussin's Le Testanzent d'Eudamidas Fig.
Copenhagen, Royal Museum of Fine Arcs. Eudamidas est SL1r son lie, dans! Le Medecin est a cote de IL1i, de bot1t, la tete inclinee pOll[ marquer son acte11tion ; de la main droite il calcule, par! The doctor stands at l1is side with head bent co shov. One reads the cruel senrer1ce in cl1e doctor's expressior1. Tl1at of the doctor's activity of taking the dying. Bruno at tl1e Charterhouse of Paris Figs. In cl1is se11se t. Watteau himself is on occasion an absorptive painter of an inimitable and idiosyncratic sort. Br11no en pri'ere, In particL1lar he secularized the absorptive tradition-more accurately, it is in his genre paintings that tl1e process of secularization begtin in the previous century chiefly in the Low Countries and continued by Watteau and [ 45] y 24 Domenico Feri, Melanchol ', ca.
De Troy was brought to completion-though naturally painters such as Van Loo, Vien, and Greuze, along with others we have not considered, remained free co exploit religious subject matter for absorptive ends in the s. The special character of Chardin's achievement is perhaps the most evident in his depictions of children and young people playing games or engaged in apparently trivial amusements-for example, The Soap Bubble ca. And second, far from seeming co have wished to characterize rhe activities depicted in the former as shallow pastimes or mere distractions, Chardin appears to have been struck precisely by the depth of absorption which those activities tended naturally to elicit from those engaged in them.
The last of these in particular is a highly sophisticated device. By virtue of fronting the beholder and wl1at is more opening toward him, the drawer serves to enforce a distinction between the beholder's point of view and perception of the scene as a whole and the quite different point of view and limited, exclusive focus of tl1e youth balancing the cards.
There is even a sense in which the contrast between the two cards-one facing the beholder, the other blankly turned away from him-may be seen as  y 0 27 Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Six, Oines of view does not seem to have presented the painter of the Card Castle with a fL1ndamenral problem; from the retrospect of certain developments of rhe s and s, however, it may come ro seem char the elements of sucl1 a problem are already in place. Some sucl1 power necessarily characterizes all persuasive depictions of absorption, none of which would be persuasive if it did not at least convey the idea that the state or activity in question was SL1Stained for a certain length of time.
But Chardin's genre paintings, like Vermeer's before him, go much further than that. The result, paradoxically, is that stability and unchangingness are endowed co an astonishing degree with the power to conjure an illusion of imminent or gradual or even fairly abrupt change. Ga1,1e of Kn11cklebones a single moment has been isolated in all its pleni tL1de and density from an absorptive continuum the full extent of which the painting masterfully evokes. Images such as these are not of time wasted but of time filled as a glass may be filled not just to the level of the rim but slightly above.
Baltimore, Museum of Arr.
Throughout this period his art was admired for the truthfL1lness with which it depicted "les petits details de la vie commune" the little details of ordinary life , 99 a virtue in keeping with the "lesser" genres he practiced. But the most dramatic instance of this sort concerns the exhibition of the Phiiosophe occupe de sa lectttre  y 31 Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, The Card Castle, ca. Actually it had been painted in , almost twenty years earlier. Thereafter it had been exhibited in the Salon of tinder the title Un Chiiste dans son laboratoire: In fact the advent of Greuze it1 17 5 5 marks a decisive turning i11 the developmer1t of painting in France-choL1gh it is not until the first half of the s that his mature manner becomes stabilized.
Even rnore tl1an in the case of the Pere de fa1nille 1 we rnust resist tl1e usual characterizations of l1is pictt1res of those years if we wot1ld grasp their motivation. For a long rime now it l1as been traditional, almost obligatory, ro remark that we, the modern public, no longer find it in ourselves to be moved by the sentimentality, emotionalism, and n1oralis1n of mt1ch of Gret1ze's production.
In La Piete filiale Fig. This is spelled out by Diderot in l1is defense of Greuze's con1posirion against certain criticisms: On dit encore que cette attention de tous les personnages n'est pas naturelle; qu' il fallait en occL1per gL1elqL1es-uns dL1 bonlnme et laisser les autres a leL1rs fonctions particulieres; qt1e la scene en eut ere plus simple et plus vraie, et qt1e c'esc ainsi que la chose s'est passee, qu'ils en sont surs By chance it happened chat, on that parcicttlar day, it was his son-in-law who brought the old man some food, and the latter, moved, showed his gratitude in sucl1 an animated and earnest way chat it i11rerrupced the occt1patio11s and attracted the attention of the whole family.
Matl1on de la Cour, in a long rapturOLlS commentary on tl1e last of these, notes that the young girl's costume is artlessly arranged and comments: Cela est si vrai, que voici ce que je me souviens de lui avoir die a differences reprises" When one sees chis picture, one says: Que signifie cec air reveur et melancoligue? In the same spirit 11athon de la Cour writes: I believe, however, that Greuze's pai11ci11g v.
If I am rigl1c, Gret1ze reckoned without Diderot's formidable powers of enticement; long before the end of the passage in qL1estior1 the critic succeeds in engaging J1er in conversation. Both tl1e sext1al theme and th. The young wo1nan, in deshabille, has jL1st received a note from her lover. Diderot's accou11t of her condition inclL1des the following: Il est ipossible de vous peinc. Ses yeux, ses pau1 ieres en son. Elle est ivre; elle n'y est plus; elle ne saic plus ce qt1'elle fair; ni 1noi, l resqt1e ce qu.
Ce bras gauche qu'elle n'a plus la force de soutenir, est alle comber sur un pot de fleurs qui en sonr toL1tes brisees; le biller s'est echappe de sa main; l'excremite de ses doigrs s'est allee reposer sur le bord de la fenecre qui a dispose de leL1r position. That left arm that she no longer has the strength to support has come to fall on a flower-pot, crusl1ing the flowers; the letter has slipped from her hand; the tips of her fingers have come to rest on the window-sill wl1ich has given them their position. See how indolently bent they are.. To speak of absorption in the face of a passage like this puts it mildly.
What Diderot conjures up, and what Greuze sought to represent, is self-aban-  npoorc. In cl1e context of rl1e paintings and criticism previously discussed, there is no qt1escjon bt1t tl1at the yot1ng woma11's involt1ntary or unconscious actions-in particular that of leaning on and crL1sl1ing the flowers-were n1eant to be seen as expressior1s of intense absorption. Note coo cl1at Greuze chose to call attention co cl1at action in the picture's title.
Ft1rthermore, tl1e denial of the beholder chat her co11ditio11 implies is given added poi11t by the way in which, althot1gh facing the bel1older, she appears to look throt1gh him to her lover. Ir is hardly necessary co remark that SL1cl1 a conception is a highly sophisticated one and that we are by now far fron1 the Gret1ze of common repute. The clecisive tur11i11g in the evolution of Frencl, painting that Greuze represents is epitomized by his relationship co Cl1ardin. Whereas in Greuze's work absorptio11 emerges as something else entirely, a specifically artistic effect whict1 the painter was compelled to purst1e and so to speak build into his paintings if it was to be there at all.
FL1rchermore, absorption in Chardin strikes us not only as an. The latter was a momentot1s event, one of the first in the series of losses that together constitute the ontological basis of modern art. With these developments in mind, let us look briefly at one of the most famous paintings of the early s. Vien's La Marchande a la toilette Salon of ; Fig. Even more to the point, Vien's canvas is based on a specific source in ancient art-a Hellenistic fresco of the same subject discovered near Naples in and reproduced in an engraving by Nolli published in Le A1ztichita di Ercolano in Fig.
In any event, l1e not only explicitly acknowledged the connection in the Salon! In the engraving by Nolli the objects of the gazes of rl,e principal figt1res are not absolutely precise; tl1e facial expressions of two of those figures, the seated mistress of the house and her standing friend, are pretty much inscrutable; there is only one gesture, that of the seller of loves hawking her wares; and altogether the structure of the antique image is one of stark, quasi-dramatic contrast between the mistress and!
There is also a 1neeting of gazes between that cupid and his dark-haired fellow kneeli11g in the basket at tl1e lower left, which I think of as tying sl1ut, as with a ribbon, that otherwise relatively open portion of the composition. In addition each of the principal fig11res has been differentiated socially, psychologically, and even 1norally from each of the ochers by virtue of tl1e quality of lier attentiveness. In particular we are clearly 1neant to register the distinction between the dignity and self-control of the seated mistress and tl1e rapt attention, verging on distractio11 or oitbli de soi, expressed by the face, posture, and gesture of rl1e servant.
Tl,e latter's state of 1nind recalls that of the yot1ng girls in the Lectitre espagnole. As for tl1e composition as a wl,ole, tl1at of Vien's painting con. Lt1cid, in that almost every feature of the principal figures, inclt1ding ostensibly merely "formal" aspects of their presentation, has a meaning tl1ac can be read.
For exa1nple, that the l1ead of the mistress is depicted i11 profile wl1ile those of her servant and the seller of loves depart progressively from tl1at privileged because antique norm amounts co a further encoding of the differentiation between their aces of attention that has already been remarked. And hermetic, in that the strt1ctt1re that resL1.
Ir is therefore c surprising chat the su. Diclerot, for example, singles OLit for special praise Vien' s treatment of the facial expressions of the three principal figures and describes the unity of tl1e painting as consisting largely in the mint1te adjustment to one another of their respective acts of attention. L' interet de ces trois visages est mest1re avec une intelligence infinie; il n'est pas possible de donner un grain d'action ou de passion a l'une sans les desaccorder routes en ce point" The servant Tl1e mistress of the house is reserved in expressio The interest of each of these rl1ree f: A11d as we have had occasion ro remark, precisely that sort of unconscious, automatic action had previot1sly emerged in both painting and criticis as a sign of intense absorption.
Painting and Beholder in the Age of Diderot - Monoskop - PDF Free Download
In contrast to tl1e figu. Now in almost ever ' obviot1s respect Vien's canvas is the polar opposite of Greuze's: But this is to say that tl1e forrnal and expressive syscern of tl1e Marchande a la toilette is ft1lly as extreme as tl1ac of the Piete fi! And tl1is suggests in tt1rn that the extremeness of each ay be understood as the result of an attempt to depict absorptive states and activities ur1der conditions tl1ac longer favored such a11 undertaking.
I shall have a great deal more to say about that shift in the next two chapters but something at least should be said about it here.
Painting and Beholder in the Age of Diderot - Monoskop
We have seen that for French painters of the early and mid 50s the persuasive representation of absorption entailed evoking the perfect obliviousness of a figure or group of figures to everything but the objects of their absorption. Those objects did not include the beholder standing before the painting. Hence the figure or figL1res had to seem oblivious to the beholder's presence if the illusion of absorption was to be sustained.
In Chardin's art that necessity remained mostly implicit: Put just barely figuratively, it is as though the presence of the beholder threatened co distract the dramatis personae from all involvement in ordinary states and activities, and as though the artist was therefore called upon to neutralize the beholder's presence by caking whatever measures proved necessary to absorb, or reabsorb, chose personae in tl1e world of the painting. A similar argument can be made for Vien's Marchande a la toilette 1 in which the absorption of the figures in the world of the painting seems patently-and, I suggest, was meant to seem -a work of artifice.
It follows that the very characteristics of Greuze's art which modern taste finds most repugnant, and which are usually attributed to a desire to solicit as wide an audience as possible, had virtually the opposite function-to screen that audience out, to deny its existence, or at least to refuse to allow the fact of its existence to impinge upon tl1e absorbed consciousnesses of his figt1res.
We have arrived at a paradox, one made all the harder to grasp by the utter transformation of sensibility between Greuze's age and ours. And because his presence was neutralized in chat way, the beholder was held and moved by Greuze's paintings as by che work of no other artist of his time. It is also true that in certain of his multifigure genre paintings-the Oe1ifs casses is an early example-one or more small children are allowed to make eye-contact with the beholder.
But this chiefly serves to throw inco relief the absorption of the principal figL1res and thereby co confirm, not contradict, the interpretation of the painting-beholder relacionsl1ip chat I have put forward here. In chis respect coo the early and mid- l s are a watershed. BL1t perl1aps the most celling evidence of an incipient problematic involving cl1e beholder is provided by cwo paintings shown in the Salons of 13 2 and respectively, Chardin's L'Avertgle Fig.
In short the theme of bli11dness is made the basis for a narrative-dramatic structure which, as freqt1ently in Greuze's art, asserts the primacy of absorption. In this regard the painting is a harbinger, if nothing more, of the problematic st1mmarized above. In the course of tl1e s, s, and s, however, it is more and more assimilated to a concern v,1ith action and expression as the latter are traditionally t1nderstood-thoL1gh we have only to turn to Diderot's Salons and related writings to see how important specifically absorptive considerations remain.
The cc ntrast between the paintings by Greuze tl1at we have examined and l1is dramatic masterpieces of the second half of the s, Le Fils ingrat ; Fig. Tl1e crux is chis: How, ultimately, are we to t1nderscand the renewed importance given to the sister doctrines of cl1e hierarchy of genres and the supremacy of l1iscory paintir1g in tl1e writings of Diderot and his contemporaries? As Rensselaer Lee and otl1ers have noted, both doctrines were implicit in humanist theory of painting from Alberti onwards, received explicit formt1lation in the writings and institutions of the Academie Royale de Peinture, and were central to the classical system that dominated artistic tl1inking in France t1ntil the death of Lot1is XIV.
And both became crucial once. For example, the official scale of fees was altered so that artists wot1ld be paid more for history pai11tings tha11 for portraits; a new Ecole Royale was established co provide young painters wicl1 cl1e backgrou11d knowledge that history painting required; and altogether royal patronage was exploited to encourage history painting over ocher genres.
Ac the same time, they and otl1er anti-Rococo writers responded warmly to what they felt were outstanding paintings in "lesser" genres: The trouble with this account, wl1ose autl1ority within art history has perhaps begun to expire, 5 is tl1ac it is anachronistic.
It fails co give sufficient weight to cl1e face that the l1istory of modern painting is traditionally-in my view, rightly-seen as having begun with David's 1nasterpieces of the l s, most imporrantl ' tl1e Sernzent des Horaces , exl1ibited , which at ce established itself as paradigmatic for ambitious painting: Certainly Chardi11's still lifes, for all their n1arvelot1s quality a. It is true that the critics and theorists I shall be discussi11g viewed their undertaking in other terms. Tl1ey believed that cl1e conception of the nature and fL1nction of painting pLlt forward in their writings consisted essentially in tl1e recovery, after a period of decadence, of funda1ne11tal principles discovered by the ancients and embodied in the work of the greatest sixteenth- and sevenreenth-ce11tury painters e.
BL1t the face cha. This is not to deny tl1e close connection of the sister doctrines of the hierarchy of genres and the supremacy of l1isrory painting with the idea of a hierarchy of categories of subject matter. Tl1e terms in which it was reasserted owed a great deal co the Abbe Du Bos, whose Reflexions critiqttes sur la poesie et sur la peintttre strongly influenced French artistic tl1ougl1r of the second half of the century. Thus we find the Comte de Caylus, in a lecture of to the painters of the Academie Royale, criticizing Watteat1, under whom l1e l1ad studied as a very young man, for the subjectlessness of all but a few of his paintings: Elles n'expriment le concours d'aucune passion, et, par conseqL1enc, elles sont depour,,ues d'une des plus piquantes parties de la peinture, je veux dire l'action.
Ce genre de composition, surtout dans l'heroiqt1e [i. They express the manifestatio11 of no passion and, consequently, they are deprived of one of the most alluri11g resources of painting, that is, action. That genre of composition, especially in the heroic mode [i. It is the part that speaks to the mind, that transports it, engages ic, holds it, and diverts it from any other idea. A year earlier, La Font de Saint-Yenne had said: Le Peintre Historien est seul le Peintre de l'ame,"-that is, of the passions of the soul as they are manifested in action-"les autres ne peignent que pour les 1eux" Of all the genres of painting, the highest is without doubt that of l1istory.
Tl1e history painter alone is tl1e painter of the soul, tl1e others paint only for the eyes. If tl1e effect stops at the eyes, the painter has travelled less than half the road. Neither suggestion broke in principle with the notion of a hierarcl1y of genres, and in later writings Diderot backed away from the simplifications he had earlier proposed. But far more was at stake in tl1e doccri nes of the hierarcl1y of genres and rhe supremacy of history painting as rl1ey were held by anti-Rococo critics and theorists than simply a hierarcl1y of categories of stibject matter.
Francesco della Rovere , beautiful works of Andrea di Sansovino. These tombs were erected at the expense of Julius II. The high-altar is surmounted by a miraculous image of the Virgin, inscribed, "In honorificentia populi nostri," which was placed in this church by Gregory IX. The chapel on the left of this has an Assumption, by Annibale Caracci. In the left transept is the tomb of Cardinal Bernardino Lonati, with a fine fifteenth century relief of the Resurrection.
Returning by the left aisle, the last chapel but one is that of the Chigi family, in which the famous banker, Agostino Chigi who built the Farnesina is buried, and in which Raphael is represented at once as a painter, a sculptor, and an architect. He planned the chapel itself; he drew the strange design of the Mosaic on the ceiling carried out by Aloisio della Pace , which represents an extraordinary mixture of Paganism and Christianity, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn as the planets , conducted by angels, being represented with and surrounding Jehovah; and he modelled the beautiful statue of Jonah seated on the whale, which was sculptured in the marble by Lorenzetto.
The same artist sculptured the figure of Elijah,—those of Daniel and Habakkuk being by Bernini. The altarpiece, representing the Nativity of the Virgin, is a fine work of Sebastian del Piombo. On the pier adjoining this chapel is the strange monument by Posi of a Princess Odescalchi Chigi, who died in childbirth, at the age of twenty, erected by her husband, who describes himself, "In solitudine et luctu superstes.
The last chapel contains two fine fifteenth century ciboria, and the tomb of Cardinal Antonio Pallavicini, On the left of the principal entrance is the remarkable monument of Gio. Gislenus, the companion and friend of Casimir I. Martin Luther "often spoke of death as the Christian's true birth, and this life as but a growing into the chrysalis-shell in which the spirit lives till its being is developed, and it bursts the shell, casts off the web, struggles into life, spreads its wings, and soars up to God.
The Augustine Convent adjoining this church was the residence of Luther while he was in Rome. Here he celebrated mass immediately on his arrival, after he had prostrated himself upon the earth, saying, "Hail sacred Rome! Cherche-t-il une sainte image? De toutes ces merveilles, il ne comprit rien, il ne vit rien. It was in front of this church that the cardinals and magnates of Rome met to receive the apostate Christina of Sweden upon her entrance into the city.
On the left side of the piazza rise the terraces of the Pincio, adorned with rostral-columns, statues, and marble bas-reliefs, interspersed with cypresses and pines. A winding road, lined with mimosas and other flowering shrubs, leads to the upper platform, now laid out in public drives and gardens, but, till twenty years ago, a deserted waste, where the ghost of Nero was believed to wander in the middle ages. Hence the Eternal City is seen spread at our feet, and beyond it the wide-spreading Campagna, till a silver line marks the sea melting into the horizon beyond Ostia.
All these churches and tall palace roofs become more than mere names in the course of the winter, but at first all is bewilderment Two great buildings alone arrest the attention:. Angelo, the immense tomb of a pagan emperor with the archangel on its summit Still further off, a mighty pile of buildings, surmounted by a vast dome, which all of us have shaped and swelled outward, like a huge bubble, to the utmost scope of our imaginations, long before we see it floating over the worship of the city. At any nearer view the grandeur of St. Peter's hides itself behind the immensity of its separate parts, so that we only see the front, only the sides, only the pillared length and loftiness of the portico, and not the mighty whole.
But at this distance the entire outline of the world's cathedral, as well as that of the palace of the world's chief priest, is taken in at once. In such remoteness, moreover, the imagination is not debarred from rendering its assistance, even while we have the reality before our eyes, and helping the weakness of human sense to do justice to so grand an object.
It requires both faith and fancy to enable us to feel, what is nevertheless so true, that yonder, in front of the purple outline of the hills, is the grandest edifice ever built by man, painted against God's loveliest sky. Here the band plays under the great palm-tree every afternoon except Friday. The scene is rendered not a little ludicrous by the miniature representation of the Ring in Hyde Park in a small compass. An entire revolution of the carriage-drive is performed in the short period of three minutes as near as may be, and the perpetual occurrence of the same physiognomies and the same carriages trotting round and round for two successive hours, necessarily reminds one of the proceedings of a country fair, and children whirling in a roundabout.
Head's 'Tour in Rome. At the present day, however, like most other Roman possessions, it belongs less to the native inhabitants than to the barbarians from Gaul, Great Britain, and beyond the sea, who have established a peaceful usurpation over all that is enjoyable or memorable in the Eternal City. These foreign guests are indeed ungrateful, if they do not breathe a prayer for Pope Clement, or whatever Holy Father it may have been, who levelled the summit of the mount so skilfully, and bounded it with the parapet of the city wall; who laid out those broad walks and drives, and overhung them with the shade of many kinds of tree; who scattered the flowers of all seasons, and of every clime, abundantly over those smooth, central lawns; who scooped out hollows in fit places, and setting great basons of marble in them, caused ever-gushing fountains to fill them to the brim; who reared up the immemorial obelisk out of the soil that had long hidden it; who placed pedestals along the borders of the avenues, and covered them with busts of that multitude of worthies,—statesmen, heroes, artists, men of letters and of song,—whom the whole world claims as its chief ornaments, though Italy has produced them all.
In a word, the Pincian garden is one of the things that reconcile the stranger since he fully appreciates the enjoyment, and feels nothing of the cost, to the rule of an irresponsible dynasty of Holy Fathers, who seem to have arrived at making life as agreeable an affair as it can well be. To them is assigned the peaceful duty of seeing that children do not trample on the flower-beds, nor any youthful lover rifle them of their fragrant blossoms to stick in his beloved one's hair. Here sits drooping upon some marble bench, in the treacherous sunshine, the consumptive girl, whose friends have brought her, for a cure, into a climate that instils poison into its very purest breath.
Here, all day, come nursery maids, burdened with rosy English babies, or guiding the footsteps of little travellers from the far western world. Here, in the sunny afternoon, roll and rumble all kinds of carriages, from the Cardinal's old-fashioned and gorgeous purple carriage to the gay barouche of modern date. Here horsemen gallop on thorough-bred steeds. Here, in short, all the transitory population of Rome, the world's great watering-place, rides, drives, or promenades! Here are beautiful sunsets; and here, whichever way you turn your eyes, are scenes as well worth gazing at, both in themselves and for their historical interest, as any that the sun ever rose and set upon.
Here, too, on certain afternoons in the week, a French military band flings out rich music over the poor old city, floating her with strains as loud as those of her own echoless triumphs. The garden of the Pincio is very small, but beautifully laid out.
At a crossroads is placed an Obelisk , brought from Egypt, and which the late discoveries in hieroglyphics show to have been erected there, in the joint names of Hadrian and his empress Sabina, to their beloved Antinous, who was drowned in the Nile A. From the furthest angle of the garden we look down upon the strange fragment of wall known as the Muro-Torto. In the blue distance rise Soracte, and other heights, which have gleamed afar, to our imagination, but look scarcely real to our bodily eyes, because, being dreamed about so much, they have taken the aerial tints which belong only to a dream.
These, nevertheless, are the solid framework of hills that shut in Rome, and its broad surrounding Campagna; no land of dreams, but the broadest page of history, crowded so full with memorable events, that one obliterates another, as if Time had crossed and recrossed his own records till they grew illegible. In early imperial times the site of the Pincio garden was occupied by the famous villa of Lucullus, who had gained his enormous wealth as general of the Roman armies in Asia.
For among frivolous amusements, I cannot but reckon his sumptuous villas, walks, and baths; and still more so the paintings, statues, and other works of art which he collected at immense expense, idly squandering away upon them the vast fortune he amassed in the wars. Insomuch that now, when luxury is so much advanced, the gardens of Lucullus rank with those of the kings, and are esteemed the most magnificent even of these.
Here, in his Pincian villa, Lucullus gave his celebrated feast to Cicero and Pompey, merely mentioning to a slave beforehand that he should sup in the hall of Apollo, which was understood as a command to prepare all that was most sumptuous. After Lucullus—the beautiful Pincian villa belonged to Valerius Asiaticus, and in the reign of Claudius was coveted by his fifth wife, Messalina.
She suborned Silius, her son's tutor, to accuse him of a licentious life, and of corrupting the army. Being condemned to death, "Asiaticus declined the counsel of his friends to starve himself, a course which might leave an interval for the chance of pardon; and after the lofty fashion of the ancient Romans, bathed, perfumed, and supped magnificently, and then opened his veins, and let himself bleed to death.
Before dying he inspected the pyre prepared for him in his own gardens, and ordered it to be removed to another spot, that an umbrageous plantation which overhung it might not be injured by the flames. As soon as she heard of his death, Messalina took possession of the villa, and held high revel there with her numerous lovers, with the most favoured of whom, Silius, she had actually gone through the religious rites of marriage in the lifetime of the emperor, who was absent at Ostia.
But a conspiracy among the freedmen of the royal household informed the emperor of what was taking place, and at last even Claudius was aroused to a sense of her enormities. The season was mid-autumn, the vintage was in full progress; the wine-press was groaning; the ruddy juice was streaming; women girt with scanty fawnskins danced as drunken Bacchanals around her: Vettius, one, it seems, of the wanton's less fortunate paramours, attended the ceremony, and climbed in merriment a lofty tree in the garden. When asked what he saw, he replied, 'an awful storm from Ostia'; and whether there was actually such an appearance, or whether the words were spoken at random, they were accepted afterwards as an omen of the catastrophe which quickly followed.
Silius for the forum and the tribunals; Messalina for the shade of her gardens on the Pincio, the price of the blood of the murdered Asiaticus. She had withdrawn again to the gardens of Lucullus, and was there engaged in composing addresses of supplication to her husband, in which her pride and long-accustomed insolence still faintly struggled into her fears.
The emperor still paltered with the treason. He had retired to his palace; he had bathed, anointed, and lain down to supper; and, warmed with wine and generous cheer, he had actually despatched a message to the poor creature , as he called her, bidding her come the next day, and plead her cause before him. But her enemy Narcissus, knowing how easy might be the passage from compassion to love, glided from the chamber, and boldly ordered a tribune and some centurions to go and slay his victim.
Under the direction of the freedman Euodus, the armed men sought the outcast in her gardens, where she lay prostrate on the ground, by the side of her mother Lepida. While their fortunes flourished, dissensions had existed between the two; but now, in her last distress, the mother had refused to desert her child, and only strove to nerve her resolution to a voluntary death.
Roused at last to the consciousness of her desperate condition, she took a weapon from one of the men's hands and pressed it trembling against her throat and bosom. Still she wanted resolution to give the thrust, and it was by a blow of the tribune's falchion that the horrid deed was finally accomplished. The death of Asiaticus was avenged on the very spot; the hot blood of the wanton smoked on the pavement of his gardens, and stained with a deeper hue the variegated marbles of Lucullus.
From the garden of the Pincio a terraced road beneath which are the long-closed catacombs of St. Shortly afterwards it passed into the hands of the Medici family, and was greatly enlarged by Cardinal Alessandro de Medici, afterwards Leo XI. The villa contains a fine collection of casts, open every day except Sunday. Behind the villa is a beautiful Garden which can be visited on application to the porter. The terrace, which looks down upon the Villa Borghese, is bordered by ancient sarcophagi, and has a colossal statue of Rome.
The garden side of the villa has sometimes been ascribed to Michael Angelo. L'eau coule dans des sarcophages antiques ou jaillit dans des vasques de marbre: There are green alleys, with long vistas, overshadowed by ilex-trees; and at each intersection of the paths the visitor finds seats of lichen-covered stone to repose upon, and marble statues that look forlornly at him, regretful of their lost noses. In the more open portions of the garden, before the sculptured front of the villa, you see fountains and flower-beds; and, in their season, a profusion of roses, from which the genial sun of Italy distils a fragrance, to be scattered abroad by the no less genial breeze.
A second door will admit to the higher terrace of the Boschetto ; a tiny wood of ancient ilexes, from which a steep flight of steps leads to the "Belvidere," whence there is a beautiful view. They then ascended a long and exceedingly steep flight of steps, leading up to a high mound covered with ilexes. Behind, close at hand, were sombre ilex woods, amid which rose here and there the spire of a cypress or a ruined arch, and on the highest point, the white Villa Ludovisi; beyond, stretched the Campagna, girdled by hills melting into light under the evening sky.
From the door of the Villa Medici is the scene familiar to artists, of a fountain shaded by ilexes, which frame a distant view of St Peter's. Je ne vois pas des ruines autant que j'en voudrais: I declare to heaven that I am become quite tolerant, and listen to bad music with edification; but what can I do? The composition is perfectly ridiculous, the organ-playing even more absurd: The impression is very singular; moreover, it is well known that no one is permitted to see the fair singers, so this caused me to form a strange resolution.
I have composed something to suit their voices, which I have observed very minutely, and I mean to send it to them. It will be pleasant to hear my chaunt performed by persons I never saw, especially as they must in turn sing it to the 'barbaro Tedescho,' whom they also never beheld. It sounds like the singing of angels. One sees in the choir troops of young scholars, moving with slow and measured steps, with their long white veils, like a flock of spirits.
It contains several interesting paintings. In the second chapel on the left is the Descent from the Cross, the masterpiece of Daniele da Volterra , declared by Nicholas Poussin to be the third picture in the world, but terribly injured by the French in their attempts to remove it. The truth in the representation of the exposed parts of the body appears to be nature itself.
The colouring of the heads and of the whole picture accords precisely with the subject, displaying strength rather than delicacy, a harmony, and in short a degree of skill, of which M. Angelo himself might have been proud, if the picture had been inscribed with his name. And to this I believe the author alluded, when he painted his friend with a looking-glass near it, as if to intimate that he might recognize in the picture a reflection of himself. The body is not skilfully sustained; nevertheless the number of strong men employed about it makes up in sheer muscle for the absence of skill.
Here are four ladders against the cross, stalwart figures standing, ascending, and descending upon each, so that the space between the cross and the ground is absolutely alive with magnificent lines. The Virgin lies on one side, and is like a grand creature struck down by a sudden death-blow.
She has fallen, like Ananias in Raphael's cartoon, with her head bent backwards, and her arm under her.
The crown of thorns has been taken from the dead brow, and rests on the end of one of the ladders. The third chapel on the right contains an Assumption of the Virgin, another work of Daniele da Volterra. The fifth chapel is adorned with frescoes of his school. The sixth has frescoes of the school of Perugino. The frescoes in the right transept are by F. Zuccaro and Pierino del Vaga ; in that of the Procession of St. Gregory the mausoleum of Hadrian is represented as it appeared in the time of Leo X.
The nuns are all persons of rank. When a lady takes the veil, her nearest relations inherit her property, except about l. The nuns are allowed to retain no personal property, but if they wish still to have the use of their books, they give them to the convent library. They receive visitors every afternoon, and quantities of people go to them from curiosity, on the plea of seeking advice. Maria Maggiore, and thence to St. John Lateran and Sta. The adjoining house 64 Sistina —formerly known as Palazzo della Regina di Polonia, from Maria Casimira, Queen of Poland, who resided there for some years—was inhabited by the Zuccari family, and has paintings on the ground-floor by Federigo Zuccaro.
One of the rooms on the first-floor was adorned with frescoes by modern German artists at the expense of the Prussian consul Bartholdy, viz.: The Selling of Joseph: Joseph and Potiphar's Wife: Meeting of Joseph and his Brethren: The Seven Lean Years: Joseph interprets the Dreams in Prison: The Brethren bring Joseph's Coat to Jacob: Joseph interprets the Dreams of Pharaoh: The Seven Plentiful Years: On the left of the Piazza del Popolo, the Via Babuino branches off, deriving its name from the mutilated figure on a fountain halfway down.
On the right is the Greek Church of S. The ceremonies appear to be more stately, more severe, more significant, and at the same time more popular, than those of the Latin rite. Behind this street is the Via Margutta , almost entirely inhabited by artists and sculptors. Horses are continually being washed and currycombed outside their stable doors; frequent heaps of immondeazzajo make the air unfragrant; and the perspective is frequently damaged by rows of linen suspended across the road from window to window.
Unsightly as they are, however, these obstacles in no wise affect the popularity of the Via Margutta, either as a residence for the artist, or a lounge for the amateur. Fashionable patrons leave their carriages at the corner, and pick their way daintily among the gutters and dust-heaps. A boar-hunt by Vallatti compensates for an unlucky splash; and a campagna sunset of Desoulavey glows all the richer for the squalor through which it is approached. Ranges of benches, raised one above the other, occupy the remainder of the room; and if you were to look in at about eight o'clock on a winter's evening, you would find them tenanted by a multitude of young artists, mostly in their shirt sleeves, with perhaps three or four ladies, all disposed around the model, who stands upon the platform in one of the picturesque costumes of Southern Italy, with a cluster of eight lamps, intensified by a powerful reflector, immediately above his or her unlucky head.
The costumes are regulated by Church times and seasons. Every evening the subject for the next night is chalked up on a black board beside the platform; for the next two nights rather; for each model poses for two evenings; the position of his feet being chalked upon the platform, so as to secure the same attitude on the second evening. Consequently, four hours are allowed for each drawing The pieghe are only for a single time, as it would be impossible to secure the same folds twice over The Babuino ends in the ugly but central square of the Piazza di Spagna , where many of the best hotels and shops are situated.
Agostino; but there is old Felice, with conical hat, brown cloak, and bagpipes, father of half the models on the steps. He has been seen in an artist's studio in Paris, and is reported to have performed on foot the double journey between Rome and that capital. There are two or three younger men in blue jackets and goat-skin breeches; as many women in folded linen head-dresses, and red or blue skirts; and a sprinkling of children of both sexes, in costumes the miniature fac-similes of their elders.
All these speedily learn to recognise a visitor who is interested in that especial branch of art which is embodied in models, and at every turn in the street such a one is met by the flash of white teeth, and the gracious sweetness of an Italian smile. In plainer words, these steps are the great place of resort for the artists' 'Models,' and there they are constantly waiting to be hired.
The first time I went up there, I could not conceive why the faces seemed so familiar to me; why they appeared to have beset me, for years, in every possible variety of action and costume; and how it came to pass that they started up before me, in Rome, in the broad day, like so many saddled and bridled nightmares. I soon found that we had made acquaintance, and improved it, for several years, on the walls of various Exhibition Galleries.
There is one old gentleman with long white hair, and an immense beard, who, to my knowledge, has gone half-through the catalogues of the Royal Academy. This is the venerable or patriarchal model. He carries a long staff; and every knob and twist in that staff I have seen, faithfully delineated, innumerable times. There is another man in a blue cloak, who always pretends to be asleep in the sun when there is any , and who, I need not say, is always very wide awake, and very attentive to the disposition of his legs.
This is the dolce far niente model. There is another man in a brown cloak, who leans against a wall, with his arms folded in his mantle, and look out of the corners of his eyes, which are just visible beneath his broad slouched hat. This is the assassin model. There is another man, who constantly looks over his own shoulder, and is always going away, but never goes. This is the haughty or scornful model. As to Domestic Happiness, and Holy Families, they should come very cheap, for there are heaps of them, all up the steps; and the cream of the thing is, that they are all the falsest vagabonds in the world, especially made up for the purpose, and having no counterparts in Rome or any other part of the habitable globe.
From a hundred belfries the bells ring for Ave Maria, and there, across the town, and in a blaze of golden glory, stands the great dome of St. The Barcaccia , the fountain at the foot of the steps, executed by Bernini , is a stone boat commemorating the naumachia of Domitian,—naval battles which took place in an artificial lake surrounded by a kind of theatre, which once occupied the site of this piazza. In front of the Palazzo di Spagna the residence of the Spanish ambassador , which gives its name to the square, stands a Column of cipollino, supporting a statue of the Virgin, erected by Pius IX.
At the base are figures of Moses, David, Isaiah, and Ezekiel. The Piazza di Spagna may be considered as the centre of the English quarter, of which the Corso forms the boundary. Thrown together every day and night after night, flocking to the same picture-galleries, statue-galleries, Pincian drives, and church functions, the English colonists at Rome perforce become intimate, and in many cases friendly.
They have an English library where the various meets for the week are placarded: Like all the buildings erected by this pope, its chief decorations are the bees of the Barberini. The object of the college is the education of youths of all nations as missionaries. But the institution was not firmly established; it was unprovided with the requisite means, and was by no means comprehensive in its views.
It was at the suggestion of the great preacher Girolamo da Narni that the idea was first conceived of extending the above-named institution. At his suggestion, a congregation was established in all due form, and by this body regular meetings were to be held for the guidance and conduct of missions in every part of the world. The first funds were advanced by Gregory; his nephew contributed from his private property; and since this institution was in fact adapted to a want, the pressure of which was then felt, it increased in prosperity and splendour.
Who does not know the services performed by the Propaganda for the diffusion of philosophical studies? In January a festival is held here, when speeches are recited by the pupils in all their different languages. The public is admitted by tickets. The Via Ripetta leaves the Piazza del Popolo on the right.
Passing, on the right, a large building belonging to the Academy of St. Luke, we reach, on the right, the Quay of the Ripetta, a pretty architectural construction of Clement XI. Hence, a clumsy ferry-boat gives access to a walk which leads to St. Peter's by Porta Angelica through the fields at the back of S. These fields are of historic interest, being the Prata Quinctia of Cincinnatus. Quinctius Cincinnatus, the only hope of the Roman people, lived beyond the Tiber, opposite the place where the Navalia are, where he cultivated the four acres of ground which are now called the Quinctian meadows.
There the messengers of the senate found him leaning on his spade, either digging a trench or ploughing, but certainly occupied in some field labour. The salutation, 'May it be well with you and the republic,' was given and returned in the usual form, and he was requested to put on his toga to receive a message from the senate. Amazed, and asking if anything was wrong, he desired his wife Racilia to fetch his toga from the cottage, and having wiped off the sweat and dust with which he was covered, he came forward dressed in his toga to the messengers, who saluted him as dictator, and congratulated him.
The churches on the left of the Ripetta are, first, SS. Rocco e Martino , built , by Antonio de Rossi, with a hospital adjoining it. It contains seventy beds, furnished with curtains and screens, so as to separate them effectually. Females are admitted without giving their name, their country, or their condition in life; and such is the delicacy observed in their regard, that they are at liberty to wear a veil, so as to remain unknown even to their attendants, in order to save the honour of their families, and prevent abortion, suicide, or infanticide.
Even should death ensue, the deceased remains unknown. The children are conveyed to Santo Spirito; and the mother who wishes to retain her offspring, affixes a distinctive mark, by which it may be recognised and recovered. To remove all disquietude from the minds of those who may enter, the establishment is exempt from all civil, criminal, and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and its threshold is never crossed except by persons connected with the establishment. Then, opposite the quay, S.
Girolamo degli Schiavoni , built for Sixtus V. It contains, near the altar, a striking figure of St. Jerome, seated, with a book upon his knees. We will now follow the Corso, which, in spite of its narrowness and bad side-pavements, is the finest street in Rome. It is greatly to be regretted that this street, which is nearly a mile long, should lead to nothing, instead of ending at the steps of the Capitol, which would have produced a striking effect. It follows the line of the ancient Via Flaminia, and in consequence was once spanned by four triumphal arches—of Marcus Aurelius, Domitian, Claudius, and Gordian—but all these have disappeared.
The Corso is perfectly lined with balconies, which, during the carnival, are filled with gay groups of maskers flinging confetti. There are verandahs and balconies, of all shapes and sizes, to almost every house—not on one story alone, but often to one room or another on every story—put there in general with so little order or regularity, that if, year after year, and season after season, it had rained balconies, hailed balconies, snowed balconies, blown balconies, they could scarcely have come into existence in a more disorderly manner.
Almost opposite, is the Church of S. Giacomo degli Incurabili , by Carlo Maderno.
Walks in Rome, Augustus J.C. Hare
It is attached to a surgical hospital for patients. In the adjoining Strada S. Giacomo was the studio of Canova, recognizable by fragments of bas-reliefs engrafted in its walls. Three streets beyond this on right is the Via de' Pontefici so called from a series of papal portraits, now destroyed, which formerly existed on the walls of one of its houses , where No.
These stages were pierced with numerous chambers, destined to receive, row within row, and story upon story, the remains of every member of the imperial family, with many thousands of their slaves and freedmen. In the centre of that massive mound the great founder of the empire was to sleep his last sleep, while his statue was ordained to rise conspicuous on its summit, and satiate its everlasting gaze with the view of his beloved city. The next member of the family buried here was Agrippa, the second husband of Julia, ob. Then came Octavia, sister of the emperor and widow of Antony, honoured by a public funeral, at which orations were delivered by Augustus himself, and Drusus, son of the empress Livia.
Her body was carried to the tomb by Tiberius afterwards emperor and Drusus, the two sons of the empress. At the moment of its being lighted an eagle was let loose from the summit of the pyre, under which form a senator, named Numerius Atticus, was induced, by a gift from Livia equivalent to , francs, to swear that he saw the spirit of Augustus fly away to heaven. Then came Germanicus, son of the first Drusus, and nephew of Tiberius, ob.
Agrippina, widow of Germanicus ob. Tiberius, who died A. The ashes of Caligula, murdered A. In his reign, Antonia, the widow of Drusus, and mother of Germanicus, had died, and her ashes were laid up here. The Emperor Claudius, A. The last cremation which occurred here was long after the mausoleum had fallen into ruin, when the body of the tribune Rienzi, after having hung for two days at S. Marcello, was ordered to be burnt here by Jugurta and Sciaretta, and was consumed by a vast multitude of Jews out of flattery to the Colonna, their neighbours at the Ghetto , "in a fire of dry thistles, till it was reduced to ashes, and no fibre of it remained.
There is nothing now remaining to testify to the former magnificence of this building. The area is used in summer as an open-air theatre, where very amusing little plays are very well acted. Among its massive cells a poor washerwoman, known as "Sister Rose," established, some ten years ago, a kind of hospital for aged women several of them centagenarians , whom she supported entirely by her own exertions, having originally begun by taking care of one old woman, and gradually adding another and another. The English church service was first performed in Rome in the Palazzo Correa, adjoining this building.
To the Ursuline convent in this street founded by Camilla Borghese in the seventeenth century Madame Victoire and Madame Adelaide "tantes du Roi" fled in the beginning of the great French revolution, and here they died. The Church of S. Carlo in Corso on right is the national church of the Lombards.
It is a handsome building with a fine dome. The interior was commenced by Lunghi in , and finished by Pietro da Cortona. It contains no objects of interest, unless a picture of the Apotheosis of S. Carlo Borromeo the patron of the church , over the high altar, by Carlo Maratta , can be called so. The heart of the saint is preserved under the altar. Just beyond this on the left, the Via Condotti —almost lined with jewellers'-shops—branches off to the Piazza di Spagna. The opposite street, Via Fontanella, leads to St. Peter's, and in five minutes to the magnificent—.
Camillo Borghese, , from those of Flaminio Ponzio. The apartments inhabited by the family are handsome, but contain few objects of interest. In the year , the church benefices already conferred upon Cardinal Scipione Borghese were computed to secure him an income of , scudi. The temporal offices were bestowed on Marc-Antonio Borghese, on whom the pope also conferred the principality of Sulmona in Naples, besides giving him rich palaces in Rome and the most beautiful villas in the neighbourhood.
He loaded his nephews with presents; we have a list of them through his whole reign down to the year They are sometimes jewels or vessels of silver, or magnificent furniture, which was taken directly from the stores of the palace and sent to the nephews; at other times carriages, rich arms, as muskets and falconets, were presented to them; but the principal thing was the round sums of hard money.
These accounts make it appear that to the year , they had received in ready money , scudi, 31 baj; in luoghi di monte, 24, scudi, according to their nominal value; in places, computing them at the sum their sale would have brought to the treasury, , scudi; all which amounted, as in the case of the Aldobrandini, to nearly a million. They acquired eighty estates in the Campagna of Rome; the Roman nobles suffering themselves to be tempted into the sale of their ancient hereditary domain by the large prices paid them, and by the high rate of interest borne by the luoghi di monte, which they purchased with the money thus acquired.
In many other parts of the ecclesiastical states, the Borghese also seated themselves, the pope facilitating their doing so by the grant of peculiar privileges. In some places, for example, they received the right of restoring exiles; in others, that of holding a market, or certain exemptions were granted to those who became their vassals. They were freed from various imposts, and even obtained a bull, by virtue of which their possessions were never to be confiscated. Mais ce fut surtout dans les constructions qu'il entreprit, que Paul V.
We enter from the street into a large court surrounded with a corridor, the arches of which support a second series of arches above. The picture-rooms open from one into another, and have many points of magnificence, being large and lofty, with vaulted ceilings and beautiful frescoes, generally of mythological subjects, in the flat central parts of the vault. The cornices are gilded; the deep embrasures of the windows are panelled with wood-work; the doorways are of polished and variegated marble, or covered with a composition as hard, and seemingly as durable.
The whole has a kind of splendid shabbiness thrown over it, like a slight coating of rust; the furniture, at least the damask chairs, being a good deal worn; though there are marble and mosaic tables which may serve to adorn another palace, when this has crumbled away with age. The Borghese Picture Gallery is the best private collection in Rome, and is open to the public daily from 9 to 2, except on Saturdays and Sundays. The gallery is entered from the side of the palace towards the Piazza Borghese. It contains several gems, which are here marked with an asterisk; noticeable pictures are: School of Leonardo da Vinci.
Raphael as a boy: Sketch attributed to Raphael when young. Adoration of the Child Jesus: The mourners over the dead Christ: Portrait of Julius II.: Giulio Romano, after Raphael. Portrait of a Cardinal: Bronzino, attributed to Raphael. Portrait of a naked woman: This picture was the last work of Raphael before he went to Rome.
It was ordered by Atalanta Baglioni for a chapel in S. Francesco de' Conventuali at Perugia. The 'Faith, Hope, and Charity' at the Vatican, formed a predella for this picture. The reduced size of the winding-sheet is to blame for this, by bringing them rudely in contact with their precious burden. Nothing can be finer than their figures, or more satisfactory than their labour, if we forget what it is they are carrying; but it is the weight of the burden only, and not the character of it, which the painter has kept in view, and we feel that the result would have been the same had these figures been carrying a sack of sand.
Here, from the youth of the figure, the bearer at the feet appears to be St. Adoration of the Magi: Copy of Raphael, Giulio Romano? John Baptist in the Wilderness: The works of this painter are often confounded with those of his disciple, Domenico Puligo. Christ bearing the Cross: Madonna and Child with three children: Madonna, Child, and St.
In the corner of this picture are the celebrated Cupids sharpening an arrow. Two heads for an Annunciation: Top rated Most recent Top rated. All reviewers Verified purchase only All reviewers All stars 5 star only 4 star only 3 star only 2 star only 1 star only All positive All critical All stars All formats Format: There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.
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