Imatges de pÓgina
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which a horned Faun or satyr holds in leash, and on the ground other such hounds seem to be devouring snakes that issue from beside the altar. Of an exquisite and impetuous beauty are Mr. Malcolm's studies in the same gallery for a Victory flying with outstretched robe and hair (397), half pagan Nikê and half Christian Angel. In the Royal Academy, the drawing of a wolf steering by the compass a boat which has for mast a tree in leaf, and directing his course slantwise towards a shore upon which stands, with ruffled wings, an imperial eagle (192), has been recognised, most probably with justice, as containing a political allusion to the relations of the Empire and the Papacy under Julius the Second. This drawing is in red chalk, and at first sight seems to want, especially in the ripples of the water, the true magic and precision of Lionardo's hand; the pennotes of the motion of water flowing by a post (209) may, however, satisfy us that the workmanship is really his. Those who remember Vasari's account of the terrific and thrice-appalling monster, animalaccio molto orribile e spaventoso, which Lionardo once made up in a picture out of every kind of lizard, locust, newt, bat, snake, and frog, which he had imprisoned for the purpose, may be interested by the goitred fiend, comparatively inoffensive as he is, which is set before us in a drawing from Windsor (257). Of the religious cartoons, that from the Christ Church collection exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery (93) surprises us at first by its union of an infinite loveliness and tenderness in the heads of the mother and child with a singularly careless and clumsy drawing of the mother's shoulders and breasts. But on examination it turns out that this part of the cartoon has been greatly injured and is full of holes; so that we may fairly put down its faults to later tampering. As to the head of the Virgin, with its downcast eyes and inwardly smiling mouth, I think there is hardly another instance in which the master has so well succeeded in his life-long endeavour to express upon the features of a woman the very soul of unfathomable sweetness and allurement, and at the same time has given her so much innocence, has so little mixed the look of sweetness with the look of doubtful experiences and latent treachery. This face is not surpassed even by the Madonna of the cartoon-a work otherwise far more beautiful and important-for which Lionardo kept the Servite brothers at Florence so long waiting, and which, when at last the hand gave shape to the meditations of the mind, stirred all Florence to unknown wonder and delight. This celebrated work also is exhibited by the Royal Academy, to whom it belongs (190). Its special secret and triumph is the lovely grouping of the two womenthe Virgin seated upright in the lap of St. Anne, looking down at her child, but yet half turned to her mother in inmost interchange of sweet congratulation and mysterious prescience. It is one of the calamities of the history of art, one of the frustrations to which this

uncontented spirit was foredoomed, that this perfect invention was never painted, and that instead we have only the much less felicitous design of a later period in the well-known picture at the Louvre, where the Virgin sits in like manner on her mother's lap, but leans forward in a strained, almost an ungainly, attitude to caress the child who stands beside them on the shore. Lastly, the series of Lionardo's studies for the monument which he was commissioned by Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, to raise in honour of Francesco, the condottiere who had conquered the dukedom, are of the utmost possible interest, though they do not help us far towards solving the much-debated question, What was the precise shape which the design finally took? We have here, as has been pointed out by Dr. Richter, sketches from memory of one ancient equestrian monument, that of Marcus Aurelius, and of two by older contemporaries of Lionardo, by Donatello and Verrocchio; we have various experimental ideas, some of them of extraordinary fire and spirit, for his own design as a whole; and we have study after study of the several parts of a horse in action, showing above all things the inexorable patience, the uncompromising passion of research, with which this master was bent on exploring the natural facts new to men's knowledge in his age. Where the universal curiosity of Lionardo da Vinci led the way, others have either followed after him or abandoned the path because it led nowhither. But in the great monumental task for the Duke of Milan, of which we here see the beginnings, all his toil was wasted and came to nought. The clay model he completed, but before it could be cast, reverses fell upon the Duke, and presently the invasion came, and Lionardo's model disappeared, either made a butt, as the story used to run, for the bolts of French men-at-arms, or in some fashion equally inglorious.

Another unquiet and wrestling spirit is that of Michelangelo, though his wrestlings were not provoked, as were Lionardo's in great part, by the challenge of material nature to fathom and control her secrets, but rather by the challenge of the living and spiritual universe to participate and proclaim its throes. Aspiration and tribulation, conflict and foreboding, colossal despair commensurate with colossal effort these, and with these an immeasurable tenderness, are the forces and emotions, so far as it is possible to fit them with a name, to which Michelangelo in his own language gives expression. That language is the visible form of man, which he knew more profoundly and could deal with more masterfully than any one before or since, and which in all his designs, whether from Pagan or from Christian story, he seems to treat less for the illustration of the individual theme than as a vehicle for the utterance of those abstract and elemental affections of the human spirit. Last year the drawing of a Mary with the Dead Christ,' exhibited among

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others at the Grosvenor Gallery, furnished an unsurpassable example of his union of tenderness with a majestic strength. This year the chief example at that exhibition is a great cartoon for a 'Charity,' somewhat injured, and in which two different positions and outlines have been tried for the face, and have a somewhat confusing effect (490). The cartoon has served for a painting by some scholar of the master which is now in the Casa Buonarroti at Florence; it has also been engraved. But at the Royal Academy a selection from the drawings of Michelangelo at Oxford, Windsor, and in private hands, has filled almost half a room with noble things. We can only pause upon a few. Let the reader compare 301, the famous drawing of Prometheus devoured by a Vulture,' done by Michelangelo, as Vasari records, for Tommaso de' Cavalieri, and now belonging to the Windsor collection, with the study for a Resurrection of Christ' (262), also belonging to the Queen. These are perfect examples of the loving finish with which, drawing in black or red chalk, Michelangelo would work out the modelling of his figures, and add science to daring and delicacy to science; and the down-swooping eagle with his outspread wings above the body of Prometheus, prostrate but undismayed, forms one of the noblest compositions in the world. So does the Resurrection study (262) seem the very climax of all the attempts made by art, since the fresco of Piero della Francesca at Urbino, to figure the risen Christ under lineaments like those of an athlete, bursting with power from the bonds of the grave. Between the Prometheus and another study of Christ in the act of resurrection (251), there seems to exist a closer technical connection, which may possibly point to a closer imaginative connection too. The figure which, in the reclining position, is Prometheus in the one design, seems to have been placed, with comparatively slight modifications, in an erect position, to become the Christ of the other design. This may have merely suggested itself to Michelangelo as a matter of technical adaptation; or he may at the same time have had in his mind the kindred characters of the Prometheus of the ancient faith and the Redeemer of his own. This Resurrection subject, for which a third composition of many figures is here (268), was never carried out. Neither was the Crucifixion subject, which is represented in two or three of those studies in which we see the pursuit of physical truth, the endeavour to realise the exact weight and drag of the dead limbs upon the cross, so marvellously united and interfused with the pursuit of emotional truth, the expression of agony and compassion. To go on, and to speak of the highlywrought sheet of three Labours of Hercules'in red chalk (269), or of the two solemn heads of women (250 and 260), one having the air of a literal portrait, the other made fabulous with a snake coiling on shoulder and bosom, and called 'Cleopatra'-to speak of these and a score more of studies of the same power would only be, within

the limits at our command, to write a catalogue of things well enough known by name and repute already, though never enough to be known in study and admiration. It is a sign of the thwarted labours and frustrated conceptions to which this mighty spirit was condemned, that only a few of these studies and inventions belong to works which were ever carried out, as to the fresco of the Last Judgment' and other decorations of the Sistine Chapel; and that fourfifths of them he never found the occasion to carry further than we see them carried here.

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In this particular, the contrast is complete between both Lionardo and Michelangelo on the one hand, and Raphael on the other. When we come to the sketches of Raphael this year exhibited, we find in them the first ideas for works with almost all of which we are familiar in their completed state. It seems as if no impediment could come in the path of this youngest and most happy-starred of the three great rivals in renown; his career, like his genius, was all facility and felicity, all happy and harmonious achievement. We pass from one exquisite study and rhythmical design to another-from a peasant mother with her arms flung about her child, delicately touched with silver point upon a grey ground (129), to the scattered and incomplete figures in red chalk, splendid as far as they go, of women struggling with soldiers (127), and from this to the head of a horse in charcoal and black chalk (138); and we recognise everywhere the first inspired touches from the life for works with which we are familiar afterwards in their completed and colder form, as they were carried out by the master or his disciples. At the Grosvenor Gallery, for instance, is a drawing of three figures, including a kneeling and sorrowing woman in the foreground, divine in its pathetic grace and rhythmical beauty; and at the Royal Academy is another drawing (155), in which the same figures are combined with others, on a smaller scale, into a complete design for a Deposition, with the legs of Christ laid across the lap of the kneeling woman, and the Virgin fainting by his head; if we could have these side by side, and with them an impression of the same subject engraved by Marcantonio, we should see in what state Raphael handed over his designs to that master to interpret upon copper, and how far short the interpreter, for all his skill, fell of the expression, the sentiment, the happy and unlaboured perfection of his original. But that would not be all. These designs, together with another from Oxford (288 at the Academy) and a fourth at the Louvre, represent so many stages in Raphael's preparation of the design for one of his most famous pictures, the Entombment' of the Borghese Palace, commissioned by Atalanta Baglioni, and completed in 1507. So far as these studies carry us, the picture was intended to follow the main lines set by Raphael's master, Perugino, in his 'Deposition' at Florence. A subsequent series of studies shows us how Raphael laid aside this plan, and worked out another, sug

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gested by an engraving of Andrea Mantegna, into the Entombment' as it was finally painted. It is interesting that some years after the picture was completed, he should, nevertheless, have caused Marcantonio to perpetuate from the sketch before us the earlier form of the composition. Going back to the Grosvenor, No. 529 is a lovely little pen drawing of a mother and child, the child crowing and holding up an apple or ball from the mother's lap, which has not, so far as I know, been used for any painted or engraved Madonna. But, close by, lent by the same owner, is an impetuous study in red chalk from a model half reclining on his side (536), and this we recognise at once as a first study from the life for the figure afterwards modified into a stripling Cupid, and set to steer a dolphin, in the fresco of Galatea.' In the wonderful Raphael show in Gallery VIII. at Burlington House, such instances are too plentiful to quote. Here are a number of different studies for the 'School of Athens;' here is a lovely first study in black on tinted paper for the Mother and Child in the Madonna di Foligno' lent by Mr. Vaughan; and three others drawn with the pen for the 'Madonna del Cardellino,' all from Oxford, and another from Chatsworth for the 'Madonna dell' Impannata.' And among all this crowd of clear and joyous interpretations of life and movement, interpretations incisive without hardness, suave without insipidity, rhythmical without affectation-among them all perhaps there is hardly one more instructive than the study from Windsor for the Charge to Peter' which we all know in the great cartoon. The figures here drawn in red chalk with such exquisite spirit and style are as yet attired in no academical drapery, but in the natural shirts and breeches of the model; and there is about the figures and movements of them all a life, an animation, a charm, of which, with all its stately correctness, the cartoon retains hardly anything. Still more, in looking at this first study for the floating figures in the Transfiguration,' shall we feel how wide an interval may separate the first warm conception of a master from its final realisation with the help of scholars and assistants.

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This amazing Raphael Exhibition at the Academy, supplemented by the much smaller one at the Grosvenor Gallery, has filled us with the sense of grace and gladness of which Italian art was capable at the hour of its culmination and in the hands of its sunniest master. For the charm of mature beauty, nothing in either exhibition can compare with work like this, except perhaps, in a more luscious and melting vein, two lovely angel studies of Correggio, and, in a more pensive vein and with the added sentiment of landscape, two drawings from Christ Church ascribed, and with all appearance of justice, to Giorgione. All these are at the Grosvenor Gallery. Among a whole group of Correggio drawings, the two to which I refer (117, 120) are incomparably the best. The latter is lent by Mr. Holford, and in spite of injuries, its three countenances of radiant infancy seem magically breathed and breathing there upon the paper. The former, belong

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