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the anonymous author of the abovementioned MS. (who, from internal evidence and similarity of style, may be taken for a relation, or at least a schoolfellow of Sallust the historian) expressly states that the Timputani spoke a corrupted dialect of the Carthaginian ; and every body knows that the Punic was identical with the Irish language ; now Captain O'Blunder, before-mentioned, who conducts the war-department in the debates of our reading club, and is a man of undoubted veracity, solemnly declares upon “his honour as a gentleman,” that your forged specimens are no more like Irish " than a pine-apple is like a Munster potatoe:"—those are his very words.
This, Sir, is the sum of what I have gathered from my own researches, and those of my friends on the subject; and Mr. Gage the exciseman having moved, and our worthy rector having seconded, a resolution to communicate with you and denounce the plot in which you have so unsuspectingly borne a part, I have willingly undertaken the office of secretary; upon the sole condition of being exempted from writing a sermon for the ensuing Sunday-the Doctor engaging to preach himself, par extraordinaire, in my stead. Our Squire insists upon it that the whole business is a covert attack on the corn laws, being intended to recommend the opening of British markets to African grain ; which is the more curious an hypothesis, as I am certain the Šquire never heard of Egypt having been the granary of Rome. But of this you may (being on the spot) learn something more positive in Mark-lane. For my own part, I doubt that the sting, besides its more general objects, is rather directed against the building of new churches ; and that the architecture of the mud city of Tumbuctoo is a sarcasm upon the religious structures now raising by Act of Parliament in Regent-street, London, and in various other parts of the kingdom. This, however, I refer to your superior sagacity, and take my leave by assuring you that I am, with great respect and admiration,
GALLERIES AND STUDIOS IN ROME.
“ Cette population des statues.”—CORINNE. To unite a dreaming, visionary life with a consciousness of industry, is, methinks, almost an anticipation of Paradise. This happy state of existence, which should seem properly to belong to the poet, is seldom realized by hiin, while by the artist, I am certain, it is realized daily ; not, however, by the unhappy London fag, who toils, in half-allowed respectability, to bestow a very just portion of immortality on the visages of his acquaintance, and who argues stoutly after dinner for the sublimity of portrait-painting :-of such I know many worthy, witty, talented fellows; bat, in truth, their life contains little resembling Paradise. The felicity I speak of is exemplified in the lives of those true votaries of the arts, who swarm, whether ragged or well-rlad, still with happy faces, in the Eternal city. Happy mortals! they seem not to have an idea that there is aught in the world except painting and sculpture, sculpture and painting. Men were made but to be their models, and the ultimate end of nature is a landscape. To walk from any other society in the world into theirs, is even as though you stepped from this world into the next. The intruder, moreover, becomes a cypher ; but at least a cypher surrounded by happy units.
There are few species of enthusiasm wbich, in this anti-quixotic age, can avoid being ridiculous. If there be any, it is that of the artist for his art; for having both its sentimental and its worldly side, it is all armed against a sneer, and the most matter-of-fact fellow that ever existed, could find no fault with an enthusiasm in favour of what produced one's bread and butter. The followers of the other liberal arts are always ashamed of their intentions, and hang a cloak there around : does a youth intend to be a poet, to be literary ?—he dreads to confess, but sticks up a stalking-horse, behind which he aims at fame – he puts his name in the Middle Temple, and then writes his sonnet. This is shabby, timourous compounding with the world, which the true artist scorns; he takes up his brush, and is not ashamed of it. If you argue with a poet on the triviality of his profession, he blushes, and denies the soft impeachment; touch a gentleman artist on the same subject, and the fellow will uphold his art more useful than the baker's—if an Englishman, he will swear to yon that Adam was an R. A.—and if a Roman, that the Virgin Mary herself sat for her picture to St. Luke.
This consummate impudence I like, and love to come within its sphere about once in the seven days; oftener certainly would be intolerable for one who had a faith that the world was anght else than marble or canvass. This taste of mine frequently brought me to the Lepri, a trattoriu in the Via di Condotti, where the British sons of art in Rome appease their bunger. This article and many another might be well filled with the fun and waggery there flying about; but it would be worse than eaves-dropping to publish at and after-dinner free conversation. Suffice it, then, that there I prayed of to give me an idle day, to introduce me into those several sanctiora, where the work of solid immortality is carried on.
The next day, accordingly, after a cup of chocolate, we sallied forth from the Quirinal, where some of us happened to have lodgings. We resolved to visit the Studio of Thorwaldsen first ; but, finding the Bar
berini palace in our way, we ascended its staircase. In sculpture here was little, save Michael Angelo's sick Satyr (Michael should have stuck to monsters), a fine antique of Ariadne villainously restored, and the famous Grecian lion found at Præneste. Crossing the apartments, we met the Prince What a nose !-the true Borromeo handle to the face ; the prince's mother, by the way, was a Borromeo. The gallery full of Romanelli and Andrea Sacchi. The martyrdom of St. Apollonia, by Guido, I mistook the executioner for a barber fri ng the locks of the saint. This private gallery, too, has its sanctum sanctorum, its Tribune. Here are hung Raphael's Fornarina, and Titian's Slave together What a treat !—all
Raphael's ideas are out, fully expressed ; but there is in Titian a reserve of sentiment, to arrive at which requires a steady contemplation in the beholder. A noble Claude, Albert Durer's Christ among the Doctors, and the Adam and Eve by Domenichino, are the other chef-d'æutres of the Barberini Tribune, and Guido's Beatrice Cenci.--How could the unhappy parricide have had that pretty infantine face, that fair complexion that unnoble though not ignoble simplicity? - yet that childish face so sunk in grief, for such a cause, is more affecting than if it spoke the heroine.
A few steps from the Barberini palace brought us to Thorwaldsen's Studio, where we found the Dane himself at work upon the model of a steed, intended, I believe, to support the statue of Poniatowski. He is an ugly Christian, every way mean in appearance, without the least expression of intellect, even in the bust, which, in imitation of Canova, he modelled of himself. Thorwaldsen has, however, according to some, the fault-according to others, the merit, of being a most wretched bustbuilder, witness the one he took of Lord Byron, to the great disappointment of every English pilgrim that beholds it at his studio. Still
, however, lords and ladies sit to him, and rows of fair skulls with their formal little side curls, which look so barbaresque in marble, bear witness of the artist's occupation more than of his talent. We saw here the model of his Jason, almost the first effort of his genius, and which at the time he had not the means to cast, till Mr. Hope, that generous patron of the arts, hearing the distress of the young artist, ordered the statue, and sent him the means to go on with it. Every one knows his beautiful little medallions of Night and Morning, certainly the most poetical pieces of modern sculpture, of which perhaps the artist has sold more than fifty copies. The originals were bought, I believe, by Lord Lucan, one of the most munificent patrons of Thorwaldsen. Some beautiful bas-reliefs for Mr. Ellis, and his Graces for the Duke of Holstein, attracted our attention. His celebrated succession of basreliefs, illustrating the triumphs of Alexander, were ranged around : they were executed by command of Napoleon for the King of Rome's palace; the artist despaired, after the Emperor's fall, of ever procuring a purchaser, till the Marquis Sommerive bought them for his villa on the Lake of Como. Some of them bave already set out thither. The great work that then employed the artist, was his Christ and twelve Apostles, intended to adorn the pediment of a church at Copenhagen, The Christ was finished, and the St. Peter, both considered remarkably fine.
Artists are here true brethren ; they run in and out from one to the other, without envy or affectation, offering opinion and advice, censure
and praise, their souls equally interested in their brethren's and their own success. As we entered Gibson's studio, Camuccini, the first painter in Rome, was there, debating with our countryman on the Græcianism of some drapery. He took up a scrap of paper hastily to sketch his idea ; but, finding the other look upon his sketch as a thing worth preserving, be destroyed it, and began his illustration on the wall. Gibson's Psyche borne by Zephyrs, is delicately beautiful, and promises well for the Welsh artist, who is as industrious as he is talented. Finelli is, perhaps, the only young Italian that rivals Gibson : his Cupid and Farfalla for Col. Finch, and his Cupid and Psyche for Mr. Baring, are his principal works. There is more nature than delicacy in his Hours with golden drapery, an odd sort of innovation. Gibson was busy on an Ajax for the Duke of Devonshire. We went to see Fabri's model of Milo, immense, three palms higher than the Castor or Achilles; he is rending the jaws of a most wretched lank lion.
After a vain attempt to get sight of the Ægina marbles, which some foreign artist, justly churlish of his time, refused to show, we struck across the Corso to the Borghese palace, and found ourselves soon gazing at the chef-d'æuvre of the gallery-Domenichino's Chase of Diana. The Borghese collection was the one, notwithstanding the popular principles of the Prince, which suffered most from the rapacity of the first French invaders. Somehow or other its best pictures disappeared, and with works of art belonging to other possessors, found their way, through the hands of Signor Moncenni, strange to say, into the hands of our all-purchasing countrymen. Amongst the Borghese treasures that thus were dissipated, was a famous Leonardo da Vinci, now hoarded in secret by its British owner, who, either afraid of reclamation, or from natural churlishness, keeps even the possession of it a secret. An Italian friend, in relating to me the account of this picture, called our island the hell of pictures, on entering which they might bid adieu to all hope of being seen or known
“ Lasciate ogni speranza, voi che entrate.” Modern Rome is itself almost as much a ruin and a desert as the Old. Scarce a palace remains inhabited, except by some such miser as Barberini, who lives on the fees which his servants extract from foreigners, and who, to my own knowledge, derives a pretty annuity from the emissary of the Alban lake, which the curiosity and liberality of visitors . enable him to let at a rent not inferior to what he receives from some palaces not rendered thus lucrative:—what would Burke say to association considered as a source of gain, as well as of the sublime? The Borghese villa, so lately fitted up, is already a ruin; the walls are bare, the pedestals whence the Gladiator and the Hermaphrodite were torn, are still there, but empty: the pictures have vanished from the walls, save those which our countryman Gawain Hamilton executed in fresco; and except some sleek statues of Bernini, more remarkable for the beauty of their polish than of their sculpture, the arts have no offerings left in so famed a temple. Bonaparte, unwilling to rob his brother-inlaw without at least some pretence of purchase, made the offer to Bor. ghese. The Prince ordered Canova to value the collection. Canova, more artist than broker, said the Gladiator was inestimable, that he himself considered it the first statue in the world ; but at a round estimate he thought the statues worth two millions of francs. Bonaparte, with the politeness that sometimes characterized him, put his imperial
tongue in his imperial cheek, ordered the Gladiator and suite to the Musée Royale, and gave an order on his archi-tresorier for two thousand francs. The Bourbons, however, have, since the restoration, kept the collection, by satisfying the very moderate demands of the needy Borghese. At the same time the pictures paid a visit to Paris, and were hung up in the Borghese Hotel, Rue Faub. St. Honoré, now the mansion of our ambassador ; but they have all long since returned to their more classic home on the Ripetta. The Prince and Princess, as we all know, are two; and while she patronizes the baths of Lucca, the Prince builds at Florence, and rivals Lady Burghersh in his fêtes.
Emerging from the palace on the Ripetta, or Barge-quay, and somewhat satiated with pictures, we amused ourselves by remarking the pillars on which are marked the various heights to which the Tiber has risen in its several inundations. The upper marks are incredible - all modern Rome must have been immerged above the first story. But the mishap is easily accounted for; the Tiber, which is a very broad river beneath the Ponte Molle, and without the walls, no sooner enters them than its bed is narrowed by buildings, bridges, and the no less artificial island, founded, as history tells us, by the corn of the Tarquins. Beneath the bridge of St. Angelo, the Tiber becomes absolutely of insignificant size; the dreadful inundations of the classic river are but its natural retaliation for being so confined. A barge, ferried by the stream, through the help of an extended rope and pulley, brought us across to the Tiber, to the open grounds that face the batteries of the castle; and a short and agreeable walk outside the walls led us beneath the colonnade of St. Peter's. It was not the day, however, for the grand gallery, nor was our destination thither, but to the Mosaic studio near
-a curious manufacture, for little more is this beautiful art, destined to bestow almost immortality on the more perishable originals of genius.
A curious and a dirty quarter was this Borgo St. Pietro for Corinna's choice, but certainly not more ill-chosen than was the Fountain of Trevi in the midst of a Roman St. Giles's for her impassioned meditations. Crossing the place of St. Peter's, we descended the Lungara to the Corsini palace-there is an Ecce Homo, by whose side I would not mention even a Correggio. This was the residence of Joseph Bonaparte when it was invaded by the hostile mobs of Roman populace and soldiery in ninety-seven or eight, when poor Duphot fell a victim ; Rome expiated the crime hy twenty years of foreign bondage. It is but a step over the way to the Farnesina; a villa which, although so called, was built and adorned by one of the Chigi family. The Loves of Cupid and Psyche, designed by the hand of Raphael, and finished by himself and pupils, adorn the soffitto of the hall; the colours are as fresh as if but of yesterday's laying on. There are three Graces in particular, all from the hand of the great master, inimitable in attitude and grouping. The celebrated Galatea, a fresco on the wall of an inner room, has suffered much more from time and ill-usage. Prints have made us more familiar with the figure of the triumphant sea-nymph, the very acme of graceful action, than with any other work perhaps of Raphael. Distemper landscapes by one of the Poussins cover the rest of the apartment, except in a single corner, where the hand of Michael Angelo sketched a gigantic head, some say in contrast to, or in derision of, his rival's more effeminate excellencies.