to Bernardino Luini, who, in truth, owes as much to Borgognone as to Leonardo. The whole is full of sweetness, but a little tame and woolly; it seems a faint echo from Umbria.

Less fortunate than Borgognone, Bernardo Zenale of Treviglio (born 1436, died 1526), architect and painter, has been deprived, for the moment, of any work with the slightest pretensions to authenticity. We do not even know which part is his and which that of his collaborator, Bernardino Buttinone, in the altarpiece of the church of Treviglio (1485). It would be futile, therefore, to discuss the pictures which figure under the name of Zenale in various galleries. Suffice it to remember that, on Vasari's testimony, this artist enjoyed the esteem of da Vinci, although his manner was harsh and somewhat dry.1

This primitive Milanese school developed side by side with Da Vinci, and some of its representatives wholly escaped the spell of that great magician. Among these was the designer (Bartolommeo Suardi, it is supposed) of the tapestries, representing The Months, executed at Vigevano between 1503 and 1507 for Marshal Trivulzio.2 There is not the faintest reminiscence of Leonardo in these crowded compositions, the types in which are rough and repellent.

Another Milanese, Giovanni Ambrogio Preda, or de Predis, has more affinity with Leonardo. This artist makes his first appearance in 1482 (he then bore the title of court painter to Lodovico Sforza). In 1494 Maximilian commissioned him, with two collaborators, to engrave (at Milan ?) the dies for the new imperial coinage. In 1498, Preda and his brother Bernardino undertook to furnish the German sovereign with a wall-hanging (not a tapestry as has been supposed) consisting of six pieces in black embroidered velvet, the cartoons to be designed by Ambrogio.3

We are now familiar with a respectable number of portraits from Ambrogio Preda's brush: those of the young Archinto in the Fuller

1 The author of the Catalogue of Pictures by Masters of the Milanese and allied Schools of Lombardy (Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1898), endeavours to compile a list of Zenale's pictures, ascribing to him, among other things, the Circumcision, in the Louvre, dated 1491, and attributed to Bramantino.

2 See my Histoire de la Tapisserie en Italic, p. 45.

3 Motta: Archivio storico lombardo, 1893, p. 972-996.

Maitland collection in London1 (1494), of the Emperor Maximilian (1502) in the Vienna Gallery, of the Empress Bianca Maria Sforza in the Arconati-Visconti collection in Paris,2 &c. These portraits are noticeable for a smooth, occasionally dry execution akin to that of the miniaturist, according to Dr. Bode. Towards the close of his life Morelli attempted to rob Leonardo of the charming portrait of a

[graphic][merged small]

young woman in the Ambrosiana in favour of this conscientious, but uninspired master!

Sensibly inferior to Ambrogio is his contemporary, Bernardino dei Conti, who worked, approximately, from 1499 to 1522. He has been credited, among other things, with The Family of

1 Lately acquired for the National Gallery.—Ed.

2 A pen and ink sketch after these two portraits, by the goldsmith and medallist, Gian Marco Cavalli, is in the Accademia at Venice, where it long figured under the name of Leonardo da Vinci. See Herr v. Schneider's article in the Jahrbuch der kais. Kunstsammlungen, 1893, p. 187 et seq. See also Dr. Bode's article in the Jahrbuch der kg. Pr. Kunstsammlungen, 1889, ii., and that by Miss Ffoulkes in the Archivio storico deW Arte, 1894, p. 250.

Lodovico il Moro in the Brera, formerly attributed to Zenale, and the Madonna Litta in the Hermitage, hitherto dignified by the glorious name of Leonardo da Vinci. To be frank, this painter was, to use Dr. Bode's happy definition, one of the greatest nonentities amon<T the Lombards of his time, and as such he reveals himself in his few authentic works: the portrait of a cardinal, in the Berlin Gallery (1499), the portrait of a man in profile in the Vittadini collection at Milan (1500), that of the young Catellano Trivulzio, in the PallaviciniTrivulzio collection at Turin (1505), &c. All these figures are distinguished by a dry precision, proper rather to the burin than the brush. Consequently, if the sympathetic portrait of a Milanese lady, in profile, in the Morrison collection really belongs to Conti, he must at one time have adopted a freer manner and a richer impasto.

It has often been maintained that the change in Leonardo's style in his new place of abode was due to the influence of the school he found there. "A Florentine when he arrived in Milan," writes the learned and brilliant Marchese d'Adda, "Leonardo left it a Milanese." And further on he adds: "An art, peculiar to and savouring of its native soil, sprang up in Lombardy from the union of Tuscan and Paduan traditions. Mantegna had Milanese disciples who took back with them the



(Windsor Library.)

traditions of Squarcione. The works of the elder Foppa, Leonardo da Besozzo, Buttinone, Civerchio, Troso da Monza, and Zenale da Treviglio, are proof enough that a veritable and even highly-developed art existed in Milan long before the arrival of Leonardo." 1

But was the change in Leonardo as distinctly marked as they would have us believe, and moreover, did the example of the Lombard artists count for so much in it as is asserted? I do not hesitate, for my part, to answer, no, and for these reasons : the works executed at the beginning of his sojourn in Milan, the Virgin of the Rocks, for instance, prove that the youthful Leonardo was already gifted with elegance, sweetness, and grace in a greater degree than any master who had preceded him. On the other hand, no genius was ever more recalcitrant to the teaching and suggestions of others than his; the imitative faculty was wholly wanting in him. And, after all, what were these Lombard masters whom we are to look upon as the teachers of the Florentine Proteus? Some were content to paint sober and impassive figures in various tones of gray; others followed more or less faithfully the traditions of the school of Padua, which means that they were devoted to principles in every way opposed to those of Leonardo (even in Bramante's pictures, as we have said above, the influence of Mantegna is apparent in the hardness of the outline, and the excessive preoccupation with perspective).2 Leonardo's manner, on the contrary, rests on the suppression of all that is angular and precise; his painting is above all things fused, melting, enveloppd; the outlines of his figures lose themselves in intensity of light, in harmony of colour. Again, the Milanese primitives assiduously cultivated fresco, whereas Leonardo, unfortunately for himself, and for us, persistently avoided that process during his sojurn in Milan, and also after his return to

1 Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1868, vol. ii, p. 128. Impartiality further forces me to quote M. de Tauzia's opinion. The former keeper of the pictures in the Louvre asserts that "Leonardo borrowed his types from the Milanese masters who preceded him. One is easily convinced of this, he adds, by the Book of Hours of Bianca Maria Visconti, produced in 1460, long before Leonardo came to Milan ; it looks like the work of one of his pupils." {Catalogue, p. 225).

2 If it were certain that the engravings of the Two Beggars and the Heads of Old Men, attributed to Mantegna, were really by that master, then Leonardo might be said to have sought inspiration from him sometimes. But everything tends to prove that here we are working in a vicious circle, and that the engravings are to be referred rather to Leonardo himself than to Mantegna.

Florence. He painted the Last Supper in oil, and prepared to paint the Battle of Anghiari in encaustic.

A last and still more convincing argument is furnished by the fresco in the Refectory of S. Maria delle Grazie, opposite to Leonardo's Last Supper, the Crucifixion, by Giovanni Donato Montorfano (1495). Here we find no affinity with Leonardo; on the other hand, reminiscences of Mantegna abound in the hard dry modelling, the angular contours, the crumpled draperies. Both conception and execution are, moreover, of the poorest. The founder of the new school of Milan loved to simplify; his compeer, the representative of the old school, subdivided and complicated his work as much as he could; the principal action disappears in episodes; more than fifty persons, of whom several, such as S. Dominic and S. Clara, are quite alien to the subject, dispute our attention. And how feeble are the heads, how flaccid the gestures and the attitudes of the swooning Virgin, the saint wringing his hands! how stiff are the horses, what a lack of intention and harmony we note in the colour, which is more like that of a missal than of a monumental fresco! Sacred iconography, singularly neglected by Leonardo, holds an important place in Montorfano's work. Over the penitent thief, the parting soul, in obedience to the tradition of the middle ages, is represented in the form of a child. A movable nimbus, a sort of flattened disc, encircles the head of the Virgin, and those of her companions, the confessors and the doctors of the Church. By an anachronism frequent enough in religious art (we need only mention Fra Angelico's Crucifixion in the Monastery of San Marco), these latter assist at the drama of Golgotha. Certain of the types, the attitudes, the effects of perspective, the careful exactitude in the archaeological details, recall Mantegna, as I have said. It is, however, impossible to confound Montorfano's work with that of any member of the School of Padua: the types have a strongly accentuated Milanese character, with their somewhat square-jawed faces, and long waving hair (S. John the Evangelist). A horseman on the right suggests Luini by his bold and gallant bearing.

Montorfano's work would not have aroused enthusiasm anywhere, but it was, indeed, a disaster for it to be placed opposite to that of

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