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the history of Genoa abounds in poetical incidents, and he expresses his surprise that no native bards have arisen to weave them into song. With how much more propriety may this remark be applied to the kindred department of painting, in which Genoese artists, both in number and reputation, hold a respectable rank? But by a fault too common with men of genius, they have looked any where except at home for subjects, and wasted on Madonnas, saints, and martyrs, talents which ought to have been employed in illustrating the historical events and picturesque scenery of their own country. In the 12th century Genoa fitted out a fleet of forty gallies in the first Crusade, and one of its native citizens, Guillaume Embriaco, was Admiral of the whole naval armaments of Europe destined to the Holy Land. What a field is here open to the artist! Every incident in that expedition is the very essence of poetry and romance. The imagination might revel amidst the splendour and luxury of oriental manners, the battles and feasts of knights, and chivalrous deeds for glory or love. In the scarcely less romantic adventures of Columbus-in his embarkations and debarkations-in his interviews alternately with sovereigns and savages—his successes and reverses of fortune-his triumphs and his chains, the finest scenes are presented to the choice of the artist. To all these may be added the wars of the Genoese with the Goths, the Saracens, and the Venetians, together with the emancipation of the country in the 16th century, through the influence of Andrew Doria. Could subjects better adapted to the pencil be found in any country? and yet not a picture of the kind is to be met with in any of the galleries at Genoa; a dereliction not less from taste than from patriotism, which fills the stranger with surprise and regret.

The Serra Palace in the Strada Nuova, is such a perfect unique, and so remarkable for its sumptuousness, that it would be unpardonable to pass it over in utter silence. Two of the apartments in particular, the dining-room and saloon, are entirely peculiar in construction, and the luxury of the east can scarcely surpass them in splendour. They are the works of rival artists, the former by an Italian, and the latter by a Frenchman, who had the wealth of the Serra family at command, and squandered it without limitation. It is said that only one of these rooms, of the ordinary size, cost a million francs. Both are as rich as they can be rendered by gold and precious stones. In brilliancy the Frenchman has

far surpassed his Italian competitor, and the celebrated traveller Dupaty has not inappropriately termed this saloon the Palace of the Sun. The supplement to the French Encyclopedia has given drawings of all its sides, and pronounces the work unequalled by any thing of the kind, in the elegance of its proportions, the richness of its ornaments, its gildings, mirrors, chandeliers, tapestry, and other furniture. Between the fluted Corinthian pillars of Parian marble, embossed with massive gold, are placed sheets of mirror, forming the entire walls, and multiplying the splendid objects in the room a thousand times. On whichever side the spectator turns, his eye is absolutely dazzled and bewildered by the painful brilliancy of the spectacle. When the whole is lighted up by the numerous chandeliers, sparkling with rainbow hues, the degree of effulgence must be insupportable.

'The last of the Genoese palaces, with which I shall trouble my readers, is in perfect contrast with the Serra. It belongs to the Marquis di Negro, and is seated on an eminence, near the ancient ramparts, commanding a delightful prospect of the city and harbour. Our principal object in visiting it was the spacious garden, laid out in the English style, filled with evergreens, shrubs, and plants, embellished with fountains, and adorned with busts of distinguished men. Over the entrance is an inscription in Latin, the purport of which is as follows:-"To the ambitious many things are wantingGod has satisfied the moderate wishes of di Negro." The sentiment contained in this motto and the simplicity, neatness, and taste, which this charming retirement displays, prepossessed us very strongly in favour of the proprietor, who is a literary gentleman, and has spent ten years of his life in travelling. He was absent at the time of our visit; but his quiet retreat, his library, and the poetical work on a religious subject, in which he is at present engaged, were shown to us by the gardener. These retired shades, elevated by the Apennines above the noise and bustle of the town, and consecrated to learned ease, present far stronger attractions than the gorgeous piles of the Strada Nuova.

LETTER XLIX.

GENOA CONTINUED--UNIVERSITY-HOSPITALS-CHURCHES

CATHEDRAL-ST. MATHEW'S-ST. STEPHEN'S-ST. MARIA—— ANNUNZIATA--CEREMONIES OF HOLY WEEK-PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS--MANUFACTURES--ALBARO-BIRTH-PLACE OF CO

LUMBUS.

April, 1826.-The University at Genoa occupies one of the most splendid palaces in the Strada Balbi, presenting a noble front to the street. It is three stories high, enriched with a suitable proportion of marble pillars. The portals are of the Tuscan order, guarded by two lions. A terrace on one side of the court, crowned with plants and flowers, gives the entrance a cheerful appearance. The apartments, though sufficiently spacious, by no means correspond with the exterior in grandeur. Their walls are hung with pictures all of a religious cast, and not very celebrated as specimens of the arts. A large library, rich in the various departments of learning, and a botanical garden, are among the appurtenances of the institution. The Janitor conducted us through the room appropriated to Natural Philosophy, and showed us the apparatus, tolerably complete; as also through the Museum of Natural History, which is small and unimportant compared with those of France. In short, the interior of the University contains few objects worthy of notice. The number of Professors is twenty-four-in the faculties of law and theology, four each; in the medical department, seven ; and in the sciences and belles-letters, nine. Ample provision appears to be made at Genoa for public instruction. Besides the University, there is a Royal College; an Academy for architecture, painting and sculpture; a school for the deaf and dumb; and three public libraries. A gentleman to whom we took letters of introduction, and from whom we received every attention which hospitality could require, introduced us to a large Reading Room, containing the English and French papers, together with the periodicals and new publications, among which several from our own country were observed.

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The charitable institutions of Genoa reflect the highest credit upon the humanity and munificence of its citizens. We visited the two principal Hospitals, the Albergo de' Poveri and the Albergo Grande, which in extent and arrangement call forth the unqualified admiration of the traveller. The former is situated without the old walls, in a sunny vale opening from the Apennines, and approached by a broad avenue, bordered with groves of ilex. It is a grand, but somewhat irregular pile of buildings, sufficiently spacious to accommodate 2200 persons. The vestibule is decorated a with marble columns, and filled with the statues of some of the principal benefactors to the institution. In ascending the noble flight of steps, one would suppose he was entering the palace of a king, instead of a poor-house. Over the entrance are inscribed the words of Solomon, which were never quoted with more propriety-" Nor say there is no Providence." In the interior there is a pretty chapel, containing among other embellishments, the celebrated bas-re- i lief in white marble of the Virgin supporting on her bosom the dead Saviour, by Michael Angelo, and reckoned among his finest productions. Nothing can exceed the affecting simplicity of the design, or the beauty of the execution. The present number of inmates in this Hospital, or rather g Work-House, is 1700, of whom 500 are males, and P200 females, chiefly young persons, who are here clothed, fed, and educated. They are employed in manufactures and the mechanic arts of various kinds. The superintendent conducted us through the long ranges of workshops, presenting a pretty scene of cheerful industry.

The Grand Hospital is upon a still more extended scale. Its dimensions are something like 400 feet square, being the largest building in the city. Its architecture is of the Doric order, simple, grand, and beautiful. These edifices are all the works of the Republic. Seventy-five full length statues of its benefactors, and numerous busts are among its decorations. It is appropriated entirely to the sick of both sexes. Large as the establishment is, the wards were all filled, and exhibited an air of neatness and comfort. Iron bedsteads contribute greatly to its cleanliness. Its extensive pharmacy is open to the city, and the profits arising from the sale of the medicine are appropriated towards defraying the expenses of the institution. Besides these two immense establishments, Genoa contains a hospital for incurables, and two houses of

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refuge for females, where they are trained to habits of industry, and employed chiefly in the manufacture of artificial flowers. In short, I have seen few cities where more ample provision has been made for the poor, and it may be added, few cities stand more in need of such charities.

The churches of Genoa are not less numerous and splendid than the palaces. Religious enthusiasm and a faith beyond all others fond of outward pomp have consecrated to holy purposes the trophies of war, and much of the wealth accumulated by a lucrative trade. At the time most of these edifices were erected, the Genoese had acquired the ascendency in the Mediterranean, and pushed their commerce to every part of its shores. Their ships returned laden with the spoils of the east-with the marbles and precious stones of Greece, Egypt, and Africa, together with a taste for oriental splendour. Public munificence vied with private zeal in raising temples, shrines and altars, better suited to the oracles of the Delphic god, or the divinity at Ephesus, than to the meek and lowly religion of the Redeemer. The same spirit still exists, without the same wealth to support it, and the consequence is, that the slender resources of the community are exhausted in the maintenance of a showy faith. A poor woman who begs a sous at the door of the sanctuary, instead of appropriating it to feed her starving children, will perhaps cast it at the feet of the first image to which she kneels, as a contribution towards buying a new tiara, or a new set of ribbons for the Virgin, who it must always be remembered is the great object of worship, not to say of idolatry, in Italy.

We visited perhaps a majority of the forty churches at Genoa, of which a few only will be selected for notice. The first in point of ecclesiastical importance is the Cathedral, called by way of distinction Il Duomo. It is a Gothic structure covered on the outside with black and white marble, in wide alternate stripes, giving it a fantastic appearance, and to my taste destroying all the grandeur which its colossal proportions would otherwise produce. Misshapen, spiral columns, add to the deformity of the exterior. The inside exhibits a compound of meanness and splendour. Superb pillars of Parian marble rise along the nave, and chapels and altars glittering with gold and with gems, extend on all sides round the walls. Most of the ornaments are tawdry, and some of them ludicrous. Near the entrance, a statue of a saint stared 6

VOL. II.

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