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tures. 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 extraordinary 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 admired 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 supe
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 Apostles, made for a church, in his native country, may be considered as his chef d'œuvres. 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. "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 his 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 German. 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
pictures, are portraits of Luther and Calvin, by Titian. Their characters are well expressed in their faces. Two of the Colonna family were painted by Vandyck. St. John in the Wilderness, by Salvator Rosa, is worthy of his pencil and of a subject, to which his talents were peculiarly suited. A quaint piece by Perugino, the master of Raphael, is preserved rather as a curiosity, than for its intrinsic merits. Several landscapes by Gaspar Poussin I could not admire; and there is one indifferent Claude, if it be from Claude's pencil. The gallery contains some fine productions of the Flemish School. There are few statues, and none of great excellence. The marble tables are ex
Towards evening I rambled to the church of San Pietro in Vincolo, situated on a hill, near the Roman Forum. An old monk, belonging to a neighbouring convent, conducted me to the Moses of Michael Angelo, the principal object of my visit. It has been the fortune of this work to call forth extravagant panegyrics, as well as severe criticisms-one proof among others, that it is not of an ordinary stamp. It is of white marble, exquisitely wrought, whatever may be the defects in the design. The Jewish lawgiver is seated in his robes, expressing great dignity in his attitude, as well as in his face. Two rays, emanating from his brow, certainly give him an awkward appearance, and have led certain connoisseurs to take the statue by the horns. There are several good pictures in this church, which is also rich in marbles.
The next day we visited the Studio of Camuccini, the greatest living painter in Italy, whose two historical pictures in the Palazzo Reale at Naples, and two others in the Royal Palace at Capo di Monte, had raised expectations, not destined to disappointment in an examination of the artist's own gallery. His Departure of Regulus is in my opinion a production of the very first order-chaste, classical, and Roman in its character. It is perhaps twenty feet in length, and ten in breadth, comprising twenty-one figures as large as life. The principal personages in the group are Regulus, his wife, two daughters, and the Roman Consul. The scene is laid upon the sea-shore near the mouth of the Tiber; and the ship, which is to bear the stern Republican Consul back to Carthage, is seen with her canvass spread. In attitude, costume, and expression, the pencil has been true to nature; and the anguish of the parting moment-the firmness of Regulus and the tenderness of his family-could not be more forcibly depicted. The colouring is somewhat in the French style, and is a little too glaring. This picture has been purchased by a Russian, and is destined to St. Petersburgh. It is much the finest in the Studio, though some others possess great merit. The subjects of nearly all of them are historical,
judiciously chosen and happily designed. From all I could learn, this artist is a man of genius, skill, taste, and industry. He has painted much, and painted well. When time has mellowed and harmonized his tints, I can perceive no reason why he may not be ranked among the great masters of Italy. Among his minor pieces are a Russian lady and her two children, a charming group; also a fine portrait of Thorwaldsen.
From the Studio we continued our walk to the Sciarra Palace, situated upon the Corso. A comparatively small but select gallery of paintings occupies four apartments. There is scarcely a mean picture in the collection. We were most pleased with two Magdalenes by Guido. Like Ovid's Sisters, in the family of Niobe, both look alike, and are yet different. Penitence and piety have seldom been better expressed. Vanity and Modesty, by Leonardo da Vinci, is a rare production, and more admired than any piece in the collection. Its dimensions do not exceed three or four feet square; and yet an Englishman offered for it the enormous sum of $10,000. The subject is extremely happy, the conception powerful, and the contrast between the two personifications forcibly depicted. Caravaggio's Gamblers cheating a youth; a head by Raphael; Guido's Moses; a comic scene, by Teniers; and several landscapes, by Claude, are in the best style of their respective authors. An old white-headed custode, extremely polite and obliging, contributed his share to render our visit agreeable.
On the 24th, we paid another visit to St. John Lateran, to witness the ceremonies on the birthday of the Apostle, to whom the church is dedicated. The Pope, his cardinals, the nobility, and the whole city were assembled to celebrate this great festival. At an early hour, the Corso and the other principal streets were thronged with splendid equipages. Foremost of the multitude, in style and show, was the French minister, with his train of chasseurs, and half a dozen footmen, who preceded his coach as pioneers. He made himself ridiculous in the eyes of all people of sense. The display of Roman beauty was never more brilliant, than on this bright day. Their fine symmetrical forms were arrayed in the richest robes, and their liquid hazel eyes beamed in impassioned softness. The exercises in the church were little more than a repetition of the mummery, which took place on Ascensionday, described in a former letter. His Holiness was again borne about the aisles, pale as a ghost, wrapped in his pontifical robes, waving his skeleton hand sparkling with diamonds, bending the tiara upon his brow, and muttering a benediction upon his abased subjects. Mass and music were said and sung in the usual style. The Scala Santa