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The world is in want of many kinds of books: some are requisite to pursue our studies, and some are requisite to indulge our amusements : and since there are persons who, when they read only for entertainment, wish to meet with curious matters, and not unworthy of the curiosity of a man of letters, it is proper we should be provided with books which, without exacting severe thinking, or being devoted to triding subjects, may readily afford us instructive recreations. of this description of books the editor flatters himself the present volume will be found, and that a perusal of it will afford his readers both profit and delight.
This artist was so handsome, that Lewis Carracci made use of him as his model when he had to paint an angel
Guido's ideas of beauty were taken from one of the daughters in the celebrated ancient statue of Niobe. He was one day applied to by a painter to know how he had acquired his ideas of beauty. A day was fixed, and the painter came to see him, and found him sitting with his colour-grinder, one of the ugliest men that ever was seen, and painting the most exquisitely beautiful female head. “ See,” said he, “when a painter has his imagination properly stored with ideas of beauty, he has no occasion for any other model than that which you now see.”
“We other artists,” said Josepino one day to Pope Paul V. who was examining a head of Guido with him, “ We other artists paint like men; Guido paints like an angel.” Paul V. was much pleased to see Guido at work, and permitted him to be covered in his presence. Guido used to say,
“ that if the Pope had not given him that liberty, he should himself have taken it, and told him that he had some infirmity which made it necessary for him to do so; as such a liberty was a tribute due to the honour of art.”
Guido returned no visits to the persons who came
to see him. They come," said he, “not from
any respect to my person, but to my art.” A great scholar, (Cardan,) wrote over the door of his study Tempus ager meus : “ Time is my estate.”
Persons of talent observe every thing that occurs, which has the least relation to their particular profession. Guido was once present when the Dominican monks of Bologna opened a grave in which they found a human body, that had been long buried there, quite entire. When it was touched it crumbled into dust, as well as the cloth which covered it; the veil of silk, however, which was laid upon the face, remained entire. Guido took the hint, and painted afterwards upon a kind of taffeta, which he had prepared in a certain way. Guido received no fixed price for his pictures ;
the payment he received for them he always regarded as honorarium quiddam, an expression applied by the Roman law to what its lawyers received for their fees.
Out of his painting-room Guido appeared a different person to what he appeared in it. He was then as modest as he had been used to be haughty. This great painter had been once very rich, and had received great prices for his pictures; yet possessed with the rage of play, the præceps alea, he never painted but when he had lost his money. He became at last so completely impoverished by this pernicious passion, that he was obliged to paint for so much a day, to supply himself with the common necessaries of life.
Mr. West, the late President of the Royal Academy, had in his possession the finest head that Guido ever painted; it was an Ecce homo, and united expression, drawing, and colouring in the highest degree. In the opinion of an “ ingenious critic,” the