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Bramante alone was of different origin, but would he have triumphed so rapidly in Milan if the Florentines had not paved the way? Brought up at Urbino, a pupil of the famous Dalmatian architect, Luciano da Laurana, who himself had figured for a brief period—in 1465—in the service of the Sforzi,1 Bramante tempered the austerity of the Florentine style by a characteristic suavity and morbidezza.

It is with this prince of modern architects, the favourite of Lodovico and of Julius II., the kinsman and patron of Raphael, and, moreover, the only artist then in Italy who could measure himself with Leonardo, that I shall begin my review of the master's contemporaries at Milan.2

Bramante had preceded Leonardo to Milan, where he was established in 1474, perhaps even in 1472, and like Leonardo, he did not quit the enchanting land in which he had worked till towards the end of the century, on the very eve of the catastrophe that scattered for ever the brilliant court gathered round II Moro. We know nothing of the relations between the two great artists. Leonardo only twice mentions Bramante in his writings, and that without any comment.3 But their occupations must have brought them into frequent contact, and if they did not actually influence one another, they must have felt the mutual appreciation due to their transcendent powers.

At Milan Bramante was pre-eminently the architect of brick and terra cotta, in other words, of the rich, the varied, the picturesque. Dealing later with marble or travertino, he has no thought but for purity of line. He does not hesitate to sacrifice ornament. We have proof of this in his Roman buildings, the Cancelleria, the Palazzo Giraud, the loggie of the Vatican, the basilica of St. Peter's. These are models of finished classicism. But I greatly prefer the gay and vivacious buildings of Lombardy, where sculpture and architecture are gracefully blended, animating and restraining each other in turns.

A characteristic instance is the church of San Satiro at Milan, so dainty, but so harmonious, with its barrel-vaulted nave, its coffered

1 Bertollotti, Architetti, Ingegneri e Malematici in relazione coi Gonzaga, p. 18, Genoa, 1889.

2 See my Histoire de FArtpendant la Renaissance, vol. ii., pp. 360, 394.

3 Richter, Nos. 1414, 1448.

apse, enlarged by a cunning device of perspective, and its gorgeous octagonal baptistery. Another of Bramante's designs, the marvellous cupola of Santa Maria delle Grazie, has been criticised on the grounds that it is not sufficiently pure; it is, however, of sovereign elegance, with its rows of picturesque windows surmounted by an open arcade. In its airiness, its fanciful grace, we recognise the handiwork of an artist to whom structural difficulties were child's play.

It is, perhaps, out of place to speak of originality in an age given over to imitation, an epoch the mission of which was not creation, but resurrection. All Bramante's work was not equally original. Just as at Rome he came under the influence of Roman models, so in Lombardy he based his art on the old Lombard style, with its red brick churches, so-dignified and yet so picturesque, and into it he infused a charm, distinction, and sense of rhythmical proportion such as have not since been granted to any master of the art of building. We may boldly declare that under him Milanese architecture eclipsed that of Florence. Recalcitrant as Leonardo may have been to contemporary influences, it seems difficult to imagine that he could have resisted the influence of such a wizard as Bramante.

As a painter, Bramante was essentially a follower of Mantegna, from whom he got his taste for perspective, for crumpled draperies, and for a certain hardness of transition.1 To Vincenzo Foppa, according to Seidlitz, he went for the secrets of proportion.

A whole phalanx of sculptors, lively and piquant, suave and emotional, worked and shone at Bramante's side. There were first the Mantegazzi (Cristoforo, died 1482, and Antonio, died 1495), archaic but masterly, and easily recognisable by their twisted draperies, and their innumerable broken folds. Their contemporary, Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, or Omodeo (1447-1522), has more flexibility, as we see in the inspired bas-reliefs with which he has adorned the Certosa at Pavia, that vast elegy in marble. Benedetto Briosco (from 1483 onward) also distinguished himself at the Certosa. With Cristoforo Solari, surnamed "il Gobbo" (the hunchback), the Milanese

1 Morelli, Notizia d'Opere dt Disegno, ed. Frizzoni.—Semper, in Kunst und Kunstler, by Dohme, p. 23-24.

school attains plenitude and freedom of form, as one may judge by the effigies for the tombs of Lodovico Sforza and Beatrice d'Este. A Roman sculptor and medallist, Gian Cristoforo Romano (established in Milan 1491, died 1512), is famous for his tomb of Gian Galeazzo Visconti in the Certosa at Pavia, his broadlyhandled and characteristic bust of Beatrice d'Este in the Louvre,

and his portrait medals of Isabella d'Este and Isabella of Aragon.1 Finally, Ambrogio Foppa, surnamed "II Caradosso" (born about 1452, died in 1526 or 1527), unites a charming ingenuousness to supreme distinction in his delicious basreliefs for the sacristy of San Satiro, and his medallion of Bramante. These masters formed a style less austere, less classic than that of the Florentines, but simpler, more varied, richer in life and poetry.

If we turn to the primitive school of Milan, we find ourselves in darkness and doubt. Scarcely a dozen pictures are of incontestable authenticity.2 The history of the school has been still further confused, wantonly so, I might say, by Morelli, who, having taken a violent fancy to two obscure artists, Ambrogio de Predis and Bernardino

1 See my Histoire de l'Art pendant la Renaissance, vol. ii. p. 516-518.—Venturi, Archivio slorico deWArte, 1888, p. 55.—Bertolotti, Figuli, pp. 71, 89-90.

2 See Passavant, Kunstblatt, 1838.—Seidlitz, Gesammelte Studien zur Kunstgesehichte. Eine Festgabe filr Anton Springer, Leipzig, 1885.—Histoire de l'Art pendant la Renaissance, vol. ii. p. 786 et sea.

[graphic]

STUDIES OF HORSES.

(Windsor Library. From a photograph given l,y M. Rouveyre.)

dei Conti, endowed them with a series of works obviously not their

own.'

To Morelli, however, belongs the credit of having determined the geographical limits of the Milanese School, and I cannot do better than reproduce his dictum: "The Adda separates the Bergamasque hills from the Milanese plain. At Canonica, on the frontier of the province of Bergamo, one still hears the guttural language of the Bergamasques; at Vaprio, at the opposite end of the bridge across the Adda, the Milanese dialect predominates, and the school which rose in Milan, the LombardoMilanese school,extended as far as Vaprio." 2

That a Milanese school existed before Leonardo's arrival, no honest investigator will attempt to deny. It suffices to mention the names of Michelino, of Besozzo, from whom Leonardo borrowed the idea

of an extravagant composition—a male and female peasant convulsed with laughter—of Vincenzo Foppa (settled in Milan as early as 1455), of Bernardo Zenale, of Buttinone, and of Ambrogio

1 Kunstkritische Studicn iiber italienische Malerei. Die Galerien Borghesc und Doria Pamfili in Rom. Die Galerien zu Miinchen und Dresden. Die Galerie zu Berlin. Leipzig, 3 vols. 1890-1893.

2 Die Galerie zu Berlin, p. 121.

[graphic]

STUDIES OF HORSES.

(Library of the Institut de France ; from M. Ravaisson-Mollien's
Leonardo da Vinci.)

Borgognone, all at the height ot their activity when the young Florentine came to settle among them.1

This school, influenced in turn by Mantegna and the Venetians, borrowed from the former its taste for foreshortening, and for effects of perspective. (This is evident in the works of Foppa, for instance, of Bramante, who, we must not forget, was painter as well as architect, and of Montorfano.) It also adopted Mantegnesque types of physiognomy—the broad face and prominent jaw. The Venetians, for their part, had revealed the delights and subtleties of colour to a few Milanese painters, such as Andrea Solario, in tones alternately rich and brilliant, luminous and profound. But these Milanese precursors sought harmony rather than splendour in their schemes of colour: they delighted in amber tones, inclining sometimes to gray. Their works are consequently more or less subdued, but they never lack a sovereign distinction. Nothing could be more opposed to the comparatively dry and precise manner of the Florentines.

We are ignorant of the dates both of birth and death (1523, 1524?), of Ambrogio da Fossano, surnamed "II Bergognone," or "Borgognone." We must be content to note that towards the end of the century this eminent master decorated the Certosa at Pavia with pictures and frescoes, in which are apparent now a striving after the precision so characteristic of primitive schools, now an incomparable suavity, as in his young saints standing beside S. Ambrose and S. Syrus (1492). Later on, towards 1517,2 he executed his great fresco, The Coronation of the Virgin, in the church of S. Simpliciano at Milan. This wonderfully animated work abounds in lyric passages and prepossessing faces. I will note especially, amongst others, the Christ, and several youthful saints with short blonde beards. Inspired by Gothic models, these figures, in their turn, served as prototypes

1 The Mantegnesque influence alternates with the Leonardesque in the miniatures of the fascinating Book of Hours of Bona Sforza, widow of Galeazzo Maria. (Warner: Miniatures and Borders from the Book of Hours of Bona Sforza, Duchess of Milan, in the British Museum. London, 1894.—Venturi, L'Arte, 1898.)

2 Berate-, La Grande Encydopedii.—Beltrami, Archivio storico dell' Arte, 1893 fasc. 1.—Gustave Gruyer, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1893, 1.—Dr. Bode attributes to Leonardo's influence the progress achieved by Borgognone in chiaroscuro, perhaps, too, the increased assurance of his design and his modelling {Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1889, vol. i. p. 426).

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