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chariot of flame. The nocturnal festival was prolonged to a late hour. : Houses hung with banners of crimson, and balconies filled with circles of Roman beauty, certainly presented a brilliant spectacle.

While we were at breakfast next morning, word came that the church of the Capuchins was burnt down, from the illumination of the night previous. Here was a most ominous and unlucky occurrence, as well for his Holiness as his Saintship. Although Beato Angelo could work other miracles, and excite celestial fames, he could not use the bucket and quench terrestrial fires. His own image and the brazen radii of his glory suffered in the conflagration. This catastrophe was hard of explanation, and staggered the faithful. In other countries, it would be accounted a judgment from heaven, for the mockery of deifying a monk. After finishing our coffee, we walked to the scene of desolation, which last evening was so brilliant and so gay. The front of the chapel was entirely consumed, and other parts sustained much injury. Cinders were strewed among the wreaths, with which the brows of madonnas and saints were entwined. While other articles of furniture were seared, it is remarkable, that the splendid picture of Guido's Archangel, denominated the Catholic Apollo, passed through the flames without detriment, although it was suspended over an altar near the front door. It is a noble production, perhaps the chef d'œuvres of its author. Copies of it have been multiplied without number. The Archangel is represented in the attitude of treading upon the Prince of Darkness.

LETTER LXXVII.

ROME CONTINUED-BARBERINI PALACE-STUDIO OF CANOVA-THOR

WALDSEN-COLONNA PALACE-MICHAEL ANGELO'S STATUE OF MOSES

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CHURCII or ST. STEPHEN-STUDIO OF LANDI AND CAVALIERE.

June, 1826.

The morning of the 20th was occupied in a visit to the Barberini Palace, which possesses few external attractions. In the vestibule is a celebrated fresco by Pietro da Cortona. It is divided into numerous compartments, the subjects of which are disconnected. The allegories in some instances, are abstract and confused, requiring an interpreter to expound them. Among the ornaments of the rooms, is a series of medallions, giving views of London, Paris, and the cities of Germany. In the audience chamber is a throne, with a canopy of green baize, bearing a tawdry exhibition of the family arms, which in one of the frescos are represented as borne to heaven by the Virtues, in the presence of Providence, Time, Eternity, and the Fates! Before the throne, at the time of our visit, the floor was heaped with a pile of dirty tags of wool, shattered trunks, baskets, and other lumber, which did not very well comport with the images of high nobility. The collection of statues is indifferent, with the exception of one or two pieces, ascribed to Michael Angelo. In the gallery are many good pictures, among which, are an exact copy of Guido's Archangel, mentioned above, and a duplicate of La Fornarina, by Raphael himself. She differs widely, in character and style, from the divine portrait in the Florentine gallery. It would seem as if the artist in that work surpassed himself, and in moments of less inspiration, found the touches of his own pencil inimitable. Potiphar's wife and Joseph make a most luscious picture. Never were voluptuousness and chastity more forcibly contrasted. The pencil has been true to the scriptural narrative. She has just risen from her couch in dishabille, or rather, imperfectly draped, with her bosom open, and her cheek flushed. Her naked foot is planted upon that of the young Israelite, in the struggle to drag him back. His face and figure express coldness, composure, and determined resolution. The wall of one of the rooms is almost entirely covered with the Supper of the Gods; and another by the Triumph of Bacchus. Their dimensions are perhaps, their most remarkable features. Here are two landscapes, by Claude ; a portrait of Beatrice Cenci, by Guido ; and a guitar-player, by Caravaggio ; Adam and Eve driven from Paradise, by Domenichino—all works of extraordina

ry merit.

In the afternoon, we called at the Studii of two young American artists, the one a sculptor and the other a painter, who are residing at Rome, for the purpose of improving themselves in their respective professions. Surely, a better school could not be selected, than a city which is said to contain more statues than inhabitants, and where the galleries abounding in the most exquisite models, are open to the gratuitous use of the student. We found both of the aspirants and candidates for future fame, engaged in their pursuits, the one in moulding images in clay, and the other in filling up the outlines of his sketches. It is thus the arts of Italy will eventually be transported beyond the Atlantic, and new Raphaels and Michael Angelos arise in the West.

The next morning Signor Trentanove was so polite as to call and accompany us to the Studio of Canova, which now belongs to a brother of the celebrated artist, and is rented to a third person. We were ushered at once into a numerous collection of models and marbles, which to unpractised eyes, appeared to possess extraordinary merit. But it is the prevailing opinion in Italy, that Canova made few faultless statues. Some allusion has already been made to his defects, in my remarks on the Vatican. To others I leave the task of criticism and censure : be it mine to admire and praise the man, who could call such light, such graceful, and animated beings from the marble. He gave his attention chiefly to the forms of beauty; and in delicacy, in tenderness of expression, in softness, and repose, he appears to me almost without a rival. Of this remark, his Sleeping Loves, his Cupid, and Psyche, furnish striking illustrations. His Venuses are numerous, presented in an endless variety of attitudes. Some of them are exquisitely beautiful. Their forms are light and symmetrical as angels. In the delicacy of hands, feet, and ankles, it appears to me, he has improved upon the ancients; but as the latter are supposed to be perfect, the former is accused of refining upon nature. May not something be ascribed to the original models, which artists have copied ? The standard of female beauty is surely not the same in all countries. I am satisfied, that one of Titian's living Venuses would not be adinired by a person of delicate and refined taste.

But to return from abstract to corporeal forms of beauty : this Studio contains a copy of the Venus in the Pitti palace at Florence, which is fully equal to the original. In some points, I think it decidedly super rior. A group of Graces touch the earth with fairy footsteps, as if they had just lighted upon our sphere. But the most inimitable of all the pieces, is a small statue of Paulina, the Princess Borghese, who might be made very beautiful, and still be true to nature, if her personal charms are not exaggerated. She is represented in the character of a Venus, very slightly draped, sleeping upon a couch. The Paphian queen herself, did not possess more beauty, lightness of form, grace, and ease, than does this statue. In what manner it could have been decently taken, and how a female, whatever might be her character, could permit herself to be thus exposed to the public gaze, while she was yet living, I leave it for others to conjecture. Canova was not fortunate in the expression of moral grandeur. Critics consider his Hector and Ajax in some degree a failure. There is nevertheless much merit in the group, though it is far from being one of his happiest efforts. Among the hundred other pieces, is a full length statue of Washington, seated at a table in the attitude of writing. The likeness is not good : indeed it would hardly have been recognized, strong and peculiar as is the face of the illustrious subject. He was still more unfortunate in his colossal Napoleon : we did not know him. A view of the Neapolitan horses afforded me little pleasure. One looks at them as he would at an elephant-chiefly on account of their enormous bulk. The narrow rooms of a workshop are not the place to examine the proportions, and judge of the merits of such huge animals.

On the same day, we visited the two Studii of the justly celebrated Thorwaldsen. Signor Trentanove introduced us to the great artist, whom we found in one of his shops, playing with his dog. He is now at the age of about 50 ; in his person, short and thick set ; with a full face, grey hair, well dressed, and a profusion of Italian rings upon his fingers. He is a Dane by birth, self-educated, without a family, and has acquired a princely fortune by his profession. In his manners, he is plain and unassuming. He is the most prominent artist now in Italy, universally known, and as universally admired. In the estimation of the public, he was in advance of Canova, before the death of the latter, and splendid additions have since been made to his reputation. His forte lies in bass-reliefs; but he excels in all the departments of his profession.

The first statue we examined in his shop, would not justify the foregoing panegyric. It was a Mars, with a contracted, short face, a square nose, and without dignity or grandeur. The next article, the Triumph of Alexander, a series of bassi-rilievi, corrected our first impressions, and gave us an exalted idea of the genius and skill of this artist. It is one of the greatest works of the present age ; splendid both in design and execution. But his Christ and the twelve A postles, made for a church, in his native country, may be considered as his chef d'auvres. He is said to be better pleased with the face of the Saviour, than with any other of his works. It is indeed divine. Nothing can exceed it in majesty, dignity, and sweetness. The best judges regard it as a masterly conception, embodied with admirable skill. In most cases, Apostles look all alike ; but Thorwaldsen has contrived to give to his group a wonderful variety of expression, suited to their characters.

He has just finished a colossal horse for Poland. So far as we could judge of such a work in its present position, it is unequalled in attitude, spirit, and the justness of its proportions. The head of the steed is fourteen feet from the pedestal, and his body is about twenty feet in length. 6 His neck is clothed with thunder ;” and a prouder or more fiery charger never trod the earth. The statue of Copernicus is another work of great merit. It is larger than life. The astronomer is represented in a sitting contemplative posture, holding in his hand his own planetary system.

In his conception and expression of the beautiful, Thorwaldsen is equally successful as in his productions of a loftier and more masculine character. Of this remark, his Shepherd furnishes a striking illustration. It is a faultless statue, personifying all the gentleness, innocence, and quiet of a pastoral life. A small Mercury is another playful effort, evincing the versatility of his talent and his admirable skill. I was pleased to see with what cordiality Signor Trentanove was received in these extensive Studii, and what kindness he manifested towards the young artists, who were busy in their respective pursuits. He in several instances lent a hand to others, at the expense of soiling his own, thrusting bis fingers into the plaster, to mould a feature or a limb, when he saw it out of proportion.

In the afternoon, we went to the Colonna palace, which is among the largest and most splendid at Rome. The Prince, who is its proprietor, resides at Naples. He is a descendant of the illustrious family, renowned in the history of Italy, and celebrated among other things, for their friendship to Petrarch. The principal gallery is two hundred feet in length, supported by beautiful columns, with a lofty arched ceiling. It is filled with the works of art. On opposite sides are two curious cabinets ; one of mosaic, made at Florence ; and the other of wood, manufactured by a Germar The latter is ornamented in front with medallions, one of which contains a miniature copy of Michael Angelo's Last Judgment. Among the most interesting

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