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to want grey tints, which is not a gene- | door is St. Barbara, (? St. Catherine); the figure without character, and the colouring without brilliancy. The predominant colour in her dress is purple, which has a heavy effect.". R. Some curious pictures by Otto Vennius, lately discovered within one of the pillars near the roof, now hang in the small chapels.
ral defect of Rubens; on the contrary, his mezzotints are often too grey. "The blue drapery about the middle of the figure at the bottom of the cross, and the grey colour of some armour, are nearly all the cold colours in the picture, which are certainly not enough to qualify so large a space of warm colours. The principal mass of light is on the Christ's body; but in order to enlarge it, and improve its shape, a strong light comes on the shoulder of the figure with a bald head: the form of this shoulder is somewhat defective; it appears too round.
"Upon the whole, this picture must be considered as one of Rubens' principal works."— R. It was executed
in 1610, and retouched in 1627 by the painter, who added the Newfoundland dog at that time. A commission was appointed in March, 1849, to superintend the restoration of these two works of Rubens -the Descent from the Cross, and the Crucifixion.
Over the high altar of the choir, which is very splendid, hangs a third of Rubens's most famous pictures, the Assumption of the Virgin. "She is surrounded by a choir of angels: below are the apostles and a great number of figures. This picture has not so rich an appearance in regard to colour as many other pictures of Rubens; proceeding, I imagine, from there being too much blue in the sky: however, the lower part of the picture has not that defect. It is said to have been painted in 16 days"— R. for 1600 florins; Rubens's usual terms being at the rate of 100 florins a-day.
The Resurrection of our Saviour, by Rubens (in a small chapel S. of the choir), painted by him to adorn the tomb of his friend Moretus the Printer. "An admirable picture, about half the size of life; Christ coming out of the sepulchre, in great splendour, the soldiers terrified, and tumbling one over the other the Christ is finely drawn, and of a rich colour. The St. John the Baptist on the door is likewise in his best manner, only his left leg is something too large. On the other
The New Stalls in the choir, designed by Professor Geerts, of Louvain, and executed by Durlet, of exquisite Gothic tabernacle work, foliage, &c., interspersed with figures of saints, apostles, and scriptural groups, are remarkable for their elaborate execution. Only about of them are fully completed; the figures occasionally betray rather a pedantic affectation of an archaic style, in long, lean forms, and stiff angular drapery.
The Pulpit, carved in wood by Verbruggen, is a singular and tasteless piece of workmanship, representing Europe, Asia, Africa, and America; while the upper part consists of twining shrubs, and interlaced branches of trees, with various birds-mostly of species unknown in nature. -mere fanciful inventions of the artist, perched upon them. Some of the confessionals are also by Verbruggen, as well as several tombs and statues of marble in the choir; and the chapel of the Holy Sacrament contains an altar carved by him. In the chapel of St. Antoine is a painting by the younger Franck, of our Saviour disputing with the Doctors, among whom the painter has introduced portraits of Luther, Calvin, Erasmus, and other reformers. "There some fine heads in this picture ; particularly the three men that are looking on one book, are admirable characters; the figures are well drawn and well grouped; the Christ is but a poor figure."- R.
The Steeple, one of the loftiest in the world, 403 English ft. 7 in. high, is of such beautiful and delicate Gothic workmanship as to have caused the Emperor Charles V. to say it deserved to be kept in a case; while, from the minuteness of the carved work, Napoleon compared it to Mechlin lace.
was begun by the architect Jan Amelius, 1422, and completed by Appelmans, of Cologne, 1518. It is not, however, to be regarded as a structure solely of stone, but rather as a framework of iron bars, with bits of stone strung upon them like beads, held together by copper bolts, the gaps and interstices being filled up with plaster, and the joints partly covered with lead. The foundations of the tower descend many feet below the ground. It has been carefully repaired and restored at great cost. According to the original design, it was intended to raise both towers to the same height. In the tower which is completed there is a very extensive set of chimes, composed of 99 bells and one very large bell, at the baptism of which the Emp. Charles V. stood godfather. It requires 16 men to ring it. The view from the upper gallery takes in the towers of Bergen-op-Zoom, Flushing, Breda, Mechlin, Brussels, and Ghent. It commands the course of the Schelde, the position of the citadel, Antwerp itself, and the surrounding fortifications, with the entire theatre of the military operations of the French and Dutch in 1832 and 1833. (See pp. 143. and 156.)
During the partial bombardment of the town from the citadel in 1830, Gen. Chassé's artillerymen knocked off one or two small pinnacles of the steeple, and several shells fell into the houses immediately around the cathedral, and are preserved to this day as memorials.
The tower keeper (concierge) receives 75 c. for 1 person, 1 fr. for 2, and 1 fr. 50 c. for 3 or more.
Near the foot of the tower is an old draw-well, covered with an elegant Gothic canopy of iron, which deserves notice as the work of Quentin Matsys, the blacksmith of Antwerp, who, having fallen in love with the daughter of a painter, changed his profession to obtain her father's consent to their marriage, and succeeded even better with the palette and pencil than he had at the forge and hammer, as his great work in the Museum here will testify. The figure which surmounts the grace
ful canopy of Gothic iron-work, is a knight in armour, with a glove in his hand, probably having reference to the glove market, which was once held on this spot. At the side of the west door of the Cathedral is a tablet to his memory with this Latin verse
Connubialis Amor de Mulcibre fecit Apellem. "Twas love connubial taught the smith to paint."-L. F.m.
The original tablet has been removed to the Museum. His body, which was interred at his death in a church which the Spaniards pulled down to make way for the citadel, was re-interred in 1629, at the foot of the spire, on the left hand of the entrance.
St. Jacques is a very handsome church, even more splendid than the cathedral in its internal decorations of marbles, painted glass, carved wood, and fine monuments. The principal families of the town had their burial vaults, private chapels, and altars in this church, The most remarkable is that which be longed to the family of Rubens, situated exactly behind the high altar. The tomb of the great painter is covered by a slab of white marble, bearing a long inscription, let into the pavement of the chapel. In 1793, when every other tomb in the church was broken open and pillaged by the revolutionary French, this alone was spared. The altar-piece in this chapel was painted for it by Rubens, and is considered one of his best and most pleasing works. It is a Holy Family in which he has introduced his own portrait as St. George, those of his two wives as Martha and Mary Magdalen, his father as St. Jerome, his aged grandfather as Time, and his son as an Angel; one of the female heads is said to be the same as that called the Chapeau de Paille. Sir Joshua says of it, For effect of colour, this yields to none of Rubens's works, and the characters have more beauty than is common with him. the painter who wishes to become a colourist, or learn the art of producing a brilliant effect, this picture is as well worth studying as any in Antwerp. It is as bright as if the sun shone upon
it." The white marble statue of the Virgin, above the picture, of beautiful workmanship, executed by Du Quesnoy, was brought from Italy by Rubens himself. The entrance to St. Jacques is in the Longue Rue Neuve: the best time for visiting it is between 12 and 43, when there is no service; the presence of the Kuster must be secured to unlock the chapel.
In the S. transept is a very curious Raising of the Cross, carved in high relief, out of a single stone, by Vervoort. In the second chapel on the left, as you enter the nave, is a good portrait (oval) by Vandyck, of Cornelius Landschot.
On the outside of St. Paul, or the Dominican Church (entrance in the Rue des Sœurs Noires), is an object deserving notice only as illustrative of the Romish religion. It is a representation of Calvary -an artificial eminence raised against the walls of the church, covered with slag or rock work, and planted with statues of saints, angels, prophets, and patriarchs. On the summit is the Crucifixion, and at the bottom is a grotto, copied or imitated, it is said, from the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. On entering it, the body of Christ is seen encircled with vestments of silk and muslin; while to the face of the rock, near the entrance, are attached boards carved and painted to represent the glowing flames of Purgatory, in the midst of which appears a number of faces, bearing the expression of agony, and intended to remind the spectator of the sufferings of the souls of the wicked in that place of torment.
Within the church, as you enter from the side of the Calvary, on the left of the door, is a singular painting by Teniers the father, representing the Seven Acts of Mercy. There is also here an excellent and wonderful picture, the Scourging of Christ, by Rubens. "This picture, though admirably painted, is disagreeable to look at; the black and bloody stripes are marked with too much fidelity; and some of the figures are awkwardly scourging with their left hand."- R. The Ado
ration of the Shepherds is also attributed to him, "but there is nothing in the picture by which his manner can be with certainty recognised; there are parts which were certainly not painted by him, particularly the drapery of the Virgin.” — R. A Crucifixion, by Jordaens, "much in the manner of Rubens." Christ bearing the Cross, an early picture, by Vandyck. It is in many parts like the works of Rubens, particularly the figure with his back towards the spectator, which is well drawn.". R. The wood-work in this church is remarkably fine. There are 8 or 10 finely ornamented confessionals.
St. Andrew's Ch. contains a fine altar sculptured by Verbruggen, and one of the most beautiful as well as singular of the carved pulpits so common in the Netherlands; it represents Andrew and Peter called from their boats and their nets by our Saviour, and was executed by Van Hool, the figures by Van Gheel. It is a work of high merit; the figure of our Saviour displays a dignity not to be expected in this department of art. In the left transept is a picture of the Crucifixion of St. Andrew, by Otto Vennius, Rubens's master; and against a pillar facing the right transept is a portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, attached to a monument erected to the memory of two English ladies named Curle, who served her as ladies in waiting. One of them received her last embrace previous to her execution.
The Ch. of the Augustins contains an altar-piece by Rubens, representing the marriage of St. Catherine, with the Virgin and Child surrounded by many saints. "From the size of the picture, the great number of figures, and the skill with which the whole is conducted, it must be considered as one of the most considerable works of Rubens.” “The Virgin and Infant Christ are represented at one distance, seated on high on a sort of pedestal, which has steps ascending to it: behind the Virgin is St. Joseph; on the right is St. Catherine, receiving the ring from Christ. St. Peter and St. Paul are in the background; and to the left, on the steps, St. John the Baptist, with the Lamb
blue sky. This picture has no effect, from the want of a large mass of light; the two angels make two small masses of equal magnitude."- R.
The Martyrdom of St. Appolina, by Jordaens. "There is not much to be admired in this picture, except the grey horse foreshortened, biting his knee, which is indeed admirable. Jordaens' horse was little inferior to those of Rubens."- R.
The Church of St. Anthony of Padua, or of the Capuchins, is only remarkable for two paintings contained in it, a Dead Christ, by Vandyck; a Virgin and Child appearing to St. Francis, by Rubens. "The Virgin and Christ are in a wretched hard manner, and the characters are vulgar: there is, indeed, nothing excellent in this picture but the head of St. Francis, and that is exquisite.” — R.
and Angels. Below are St. Sebastian,, St. Augustin, St. Laurence, Paul the Hermit, and St. George in armour (Rubens himself). By way of link to unite the upper and the lower part of the picture, are four female saints halfway up the steps. The subject of this picture, if that may be called a subject where no story is represented, has no means of interesting the spectator: its value, therefore, must arise from another source: from the excellence of art, from the eloquence, as it may be called, of the artist. And in this the painter has shown the greatest skill, by disposing of more than 20 figures, without composition, and without crowding. whole appears as much animated, and in motion, as it is possible for a picture to be, where nothing is doing; and the management of the masses of light and shade in this picture is equal to the skill shown in the disposition of the Church of St. Carlo Borromeo, or of figures." "I confess I was so over- the Jesuits. The very elegant façade, powered with the brilliancy of this pic- erroneously attributed to Rubens, was ture of Rubens, whilst I was before it, designed by a Jesuit, Fr. Aguillon. and under its fascinating influence, that The interior was decorated with many I thought I had never before seen so fine pictures by Rubens, but it was degreat powers exerted in the art. It stroyed by lightning with its contents, was not till I was removed from its in1718. It was used as an hospital for fluence, that I could acknowledge any wounded English soldiers after the inferiority in Rubens to any other battle of Waterloo. painter whatever."— R. The head of St. Catherine is one of the most beautiful Rubens ever painted.
In the same church is the Ecstacy of St. Augustin, by Vandyck; it is, however, by no means a faultless composition. "This picture is of great fame, but in some measure disappointed my expectations; at least, on just parting from the Rubens, the manner appeared hard and dry. The colouring is of a reddish kind, especially in the shadows, without transparency. The colours must have suffered some change, and are not now as Vandyck left them. This same defect of the red shadows I have observed in many of his pictures. The head of an elderly woman, said to be the saint's mother, is finely drawn, and is the best part of the picture; and the angel sitting on a cloud is the best of that group. The boy with the sceptre is hard, and has no union with the
The Museum, or Academy of Painting, occupies the building of the suppressed Convent of Recollets, partly re-built and newly arranged for its reception. It is opened to strangers daily from 10 to 3. Catalogue, 1 fr. 30 c. Entrance, Rue des Fagots.
It contains a great many pictures, brought from suppressed convents and churches in the town, where they were seen and described by Sir Joshua Reynolds. The works of Rubens and Vandyck give the highest celebrity to this collection. There are no less than 12 or 14 finished works of the former, of the highest excellence, and 6 of Vandyck.
Here is appropriately preserved, under a glass case, the chair of Rubens, President of the Academy of St. Luke, - an interesting relic.
Among the paintings of the older masters are- Quentin Matsys:"(136.)
The Descent from the Cross, with two wings or shutters, formerly in the cathedral, considered the master-piece of the artist. It displays the science and talent which are evinced in the famous Misers at Windsor, and, in spite of the stiffness of the figures, is worthy of minute attention. "The middle part is what the Italians call a Pietà, a dead Christ on the knees of the Virgin, accompanied by the usual figures. On the door on one side is the daughter of Herodias bringing in St. John's head at the banquet; on the other St. John Evangelist in the caldron of boiling oil. In the Pietà the Christ appears as if starved to death; in which manner it was the custom of the
painters of that age always to represent a dead Christ; but there are heads in this picture not exceeded by Raffaelle, and indeed not unlike his manner of painting portraits; hard and minutely finished. The head of Herod, and that of a fat man near Christ, are excellent. The painter's own portrait is here introduced. In the banquet the daughter is rather beautiful, but too skinny and lean; she is presenting the head to her mother, who appears to be cutting it with a knife."
Frans Floris (properly de Vriendt), called the Flemish Raphael (but with little real claim to that honour) () St. Luke at his Easel - The Descent of the Fallen Angels (132.), painted 1524, "has some good parts, but without masses, and dry. On the thigh of one of the figures he has painted a fly for the admiration of the vulgar; there is a foolish story of this fly being painted by Q. Matsys, and that it had the honour of deceiving Floris. (133.) The Nativity. "A large composition, and perhaps the best of his works. It is well composed, drawn, and coloured; the heads are in general finely painted, more especially St. Joseph and a Woman in the foreground."
The principal works of RUBENS are (215.) a Pietà, the dead body of Christ laid on a stone table, covered with straw, mourned over by the Virgin. "This is one of his most careful pic.
tures; the characters are of a higher style of beauty than usual, particularly the Mary Magdalen, weeping, with her hand clenched. The colouring of the Christ and the Virgin is of a most beautiful and delicately pearly tint, opposed by the strong high colouring of St. Joseph. I have said in another place that Rubens does not appear to advantage but in large works; this picture may be considered as an exception.”. R. (.) The Virgin holding the Infant Jesus, "who stands on a table; the Infant appears to be attentively looking at something out of the picture the vacant stare of a child is very naturally represented; but it is a mean ordinary-looking boy, and by no means a proper representation of the Son of God. The only picture of Christ, in which Rubens succeeds, is when he represents him dead: as a child, or as a man engaged in any act, there is no divinity; no grace or dignity of character appears." (.) "St. John; finely coloured; but this character is likewise vulgar." (219.) A Holy Family. "Far from being one of Rubens's best pictures; it is scarce worthy to be considered a pattern for imitation, as its merit consists solely in being well coloured. And yet this is the picture which Rubens painted for the Corporation of St. Luke, and it was hung up in their Hall of Meeting." At least the head of the Virgin is pleasing. (220.) Our Saviour on the Cross; admirable. (212.) "The famous Crucifixion of Christ between the two thieves. To give animation to this subject, Rubens has chosen the point of time when an executioner is piercing the side of Christ, while another with a bar of iron is breaking the limbs of one of the malefactors, who, in his convulsive agony, which his body admirably expresses, has torn one of his feet from the tree to which it was nailed. The expression in the action of this figure is wonderful: the attitude of the other is more composed; and he looks at the dying Christ with a countenance perfectly expressive of his penitence. This figure is likewise admirable. The Virgin, St. John, and