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floats upwards in a cloud of angels and seraphs: beneath are SS. Francis, Jerome, Costanzo, and Chiara.
In the Organ Gallery are a number of curious ancient pictures.
At the end of the Via Maestra, on the left, is the Church of S. Agostino, containing :—
Left. 1st Altar. Gerino da Pistoja, 1502. The Virgin, on the prayer of its mother, delivering a child from the Devil—very curious.
yd Altar. Over a picture of the Nativity, a beautiful half-length of Christ in benediction.
About 3 miles from the city, on the lower slopes of the hills at the farm of Passerino, is the site of the Villa of Pliny, of which he gives a detailed description in one of his letters.1 Some fragments of ancient masonry remain. His account of the clipped walls and cut box trees in the Roman villa gardens shows how little taste has changed in Italy since.
There are two roads from Borgo to Arezzo. That generally chosen by the vetturini leads through Anghiari, which contains a Last Supper of Piero della Francesca, and where on June 29, 1440, the Florentines under Giovanni Paolo Orsini gained a great victory over the Milanese under Piccinino. As we wind up the adjoining hill, through gardens of pears and olives, the great brown-buttressed mass of campanile-crowned Anghiari rises most picturesquely, like one of the towns on the edge of the Roman Campagna, against the delicate green of the plain and the pink haze of the distant mountains. Ten miles from hence is the poor hamlet of Caprese, where Michelangelo was born in 1474.
The road from Anghiari to Arezzo is good, but very hilly. It passes through woods in a valley above a river, something like the Holne Chase in Devonshire, then crosses a weary spur of the Apennines, after which the cathedral of Arezzo comes in sight, crowning the hill above the town.
V. Ep. vi.
(SPELLO, FOLIGNO, SPOLETO, TERM, AND NARNI.)
(Spello may be made an excursion from Assisi or Perugia, or may be taken on the way to Foligno. There are four trains daily in 20 min.)
ELEVEN kilometres from Assisi, on the left of the railway, cresting a low spur of the Apennines, is Spello. It occupies the site of Hispellum.
'His urbes Arna, et laetis Mevania pratis
We find this town in inscriptions bearing the titles of 'Colonia Julia Hispelli' and ' Colonia Urbana Flavia,' from which it appears that it must have received two colonies, one under Augustus, the other under Vespasian. There are remains of a Roman Amphitheatre in the plain below the town, and one of the Roman gates —Porta Veneris— still exists, surmounted by three figures, with the remains of a triumphal Arch of Macrinus, in the Via del Arco. The inhabitants point out the house, and in it the tomb, of Propertius, who possibly lived here, though he himself records that he was born at Mevania.
But these remains are comparatively insignificant. The chief interest of Spello arises from its connection with the history of art. In 1501, while Perugino was occupied at Perugia in the Sala del Cambio, his contemporary Pinturicchio was employed here on noble frescoes which still remain, together with several from the hand of Perugino himself.
The collegiate Church of S. Maria Maggiore contains :—
Left. Cappella del Sacramento. The Annunciation, one of the noblest works of the master. It is signed, on the roof of the temple, 'Bernardinus Pinturicchius, 1501.' A distant view of the hills around Spello is seen. The portrait of the artist is introduced, hanging against the wall—evincing the satisfaction with which he executed these paintings.
The Nativity, with the shepherds reverently approaching, in a noble landscape. The singing angels are very beautiful.
The Dispute with the Doctors, signed 'Pintoricchio.' A very noble picture. Troilo Baglioni, the prior of the church for whom the fresco was painted, is introduced, holding a purse. In all these, the backgrounds are most carefully finished, and gold ornaments are laid on.
On the ceiling are the four Sibyls.
The Tabernacle of the High Altar is a beautiful work of the early Renaissance. On the pillar on the left h—Perugino, Madonna with the Magdalen and S. John, signed 'Petrus de Chastro plebis pinxit, 1521.' 'The expression in S. John,' as Burckhardt says, 'is pure and beautifully inspired.' On the pillar on the right—Perugino. Madonna between S. Catherine and a bishop—an exquisite picture.
Over the altar of the Sacristy is—Pinturicchio, a Madonna.
On the right of the entrance is an ancient Cippus, with a relief of an equestrian figure and an inscription, used as a holy-water basin.
The Franciscan Church of S. Andrea, consecrated in 1228 by Gregory IX., contains, in the right transept, a noble picture by Pinturicchio, 1508. The Madonna is throned between SS. Francis and Laurence, and SS. Andrew and Louis. On the steps of the throne is a charming S. John writing ' Ecce Agnus'—and a curious letter from Gentile Baglioni, Bishop of Orvieto, to the artist, is introduced. On the wall of a house opposite the convent (No. 30) is a Madonna by Pinturicchio. On the city wall is a Latin elegiac couplet in honour of the dimensions of the famous Orlando, and a mark is shown at a considerable height on the wall to which his lance is said to have reached.
Steep and tortuous streets lead up to the hill top, whence there is a beautiful view. Spello was the seat of a bishopric till the 6th century when it was removed to Foligno.
Sixteen kilometres from Assisi is Foligno, the junction station for the lines to Ancona and Rome.
Inns — Croce Bianca, good; Barbacci; Posla.
Carriages from the station to the inns, 40 c, luggage included.
Foligno occupies the site of the ancient Fulginium.
'Iguvium, patuloque jacens sine moenibus arvo
The great Emperor Frederick II. was brought up here, and afterwards bestowed many favours on the city: in one of his letters he says, 'In Fulginio fulgere pueritia nostra incepit.' The town, which appears in the background of Raffaelle's famous picture, is walled, and lies low in a rich envineyarded plain, which is dreadfully hot in summer. There is not much to be seen except pictures, though the piazza with the west front of the cathedral and a highstriding red arch over a street close by are not unpicturesque.
At the entrance of the Public Garden is a modern statue of the artist Niccolb d' Alunno, who was a native of Foligno.
'Unendowed with any originality of invention, Niccolo possessed the art of giving his figures a generally attractive expression. In his female and his angelic heads especially, we mark a great refinement and purity, and in his male figures a greater earnestness and expression, accompanied by greater fulness and sturdiness than the succeeding Umbrian painters approved.'—Ktigkr.
The Church of S. Niccolb contains :—
Right. 2nd Chapel. Niccolb d' Alunno (his master-piece). A Tabernacle in fourteen compartments, the largest being the Nativity and the Resurrection. The predella of this picture was kept at the Louvre, when the rest was returned.
Chapel of S. Antonio. Niccolb d' Alunno. The Coronation of the Virgin, with SS. George, Bernardino, and Antonio below. In the predella an Ecce Homo with the Virgin and S. John.
S. Maria infra Portas contains :—
.5. Annunziata contains :—
Pietro Perugino. An injured fresco representing the Baptism of our Lord.
The Cathedral of S. Feliciano, which has a very rich 15th-century portal, with monsters, has been modernized internally.
The Palazzo del Governo, or Trinci, has a chapel painted in fresco with the History of the Virgin by the rare master Ottoviano Nelli of Gubbio. It was to the Convent of S. Anna that the famous picture of Raffaelle. painted for Sigismondo Conti was removed by his nun-niece Anna, and hence it took the name of 'La Madonna di Foligno.' Scattered over the town are several of the interesting wall pictures known as Maestas, by Pietro da Foligno and other followers of the Alunno school.
An excursion of six miles may be made to the village of Bevagna, on the Clitumnus, the ancient Mevania, which retains some remains of a Roman Amphitheatre, a temple of Mars or Vertumnus, and other buildings. It was here that Vitellius attempted to make a last stand for the empire against Vespasian, and here Propertius was born, as he himself informs us.
1 Umbria tenotis antiqua penatibus edit,
Qua nebulosa cavo rorat Mevania campo,
Scandentisque arcis consurgit vertice murus,
Murus ab ingenio notior ille tuo.'—El. IV. i. 121.
In the Church of the Beato Giacomo is the tomb of the Beato Giacomo Bianconi, who died r3or.
About 3 miles further, on a high hill, is Montefalco—' La Ringhiera dell' Umbria'—which contains in its churches a