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name, seem to be his own way of writing it. Any other mode appears not much unlike nick-naming God's creature.
After these remarks on the name of this illustrious artist, of whom it has been said, almost without an hyperbole,
Quantum in naturá ars naturaque possit in arte
Hic qui naturæ par fuit arte docet—
we shall proceed to treat of the contents of this volume, and to make some extracts for the entertainment of the reader. After a preface, pointing out the principal sources of his information, namely, two biographical tracts by Vasari and Condivi, we come to the life of the celebrated painter, sculptor, and architect, Michel Angelo, who was of noble descent, and born in the castle of Caprese in Tuscany, on the 6th of March, 1474. In the month of February, 1563, he was attacked by a slow fever, and perceiving the symptoms of approaching dissolution, he made this short nuncupative will, in the presence of those who attended in his bed-room. 66 My soul I resign to God, my body to the earth, and my worldly possessions to my nearest of kin." He " then admonished his attendants, 'In your passage through this life, remember the sufferings of Jesus Christ,' and soon after delivering this charge he died, on the 17th of February, 1563." p. 150. From Rome his body was, by his nephew, conveyed to Florence, and buried with distinguished honour.
The life is comprised in 177 pages, and is both copious and interesting. At the period of his birth judicial astrology was a prevalent superstition, and for ridiculous reasons, (the conjunction of certain planets) his future eminence in the arts was predicted. His father, Lodovico, was desirous of educating him for some learned profession, but in obedience to the astrological prediction it could not be. He was consequently articled to Domenico and David Ghirlandaïo, to learn the art and practice o painting.
"The first attempt Michel Angelo made in oil painting was with the assistance of Granacci : he lent him colours and pencils, and a print representing the story of St Antony beaten by devils, which he copied on a pannel with such success that it was much admired. In this little picture, besides the figure of the saint, there were many strange forms and monsters, which he was so intent on representing in the best manner he was capable, that he coloured no part without referring to some natural object. He went to the fish-market to observe the form and colour of fins, and the eyes of fish ; and whatever in nature constituted
a part of his composition, he studied from its source. About this time he made a fac-simile of a picture, which his biographers have recorded to shew his skill in imitation. A head had been given him to copy, and he imitated it so well, that, to try his success, he returned his own copy instead of the original picture to the person from whom it was borrowed, and the deceit was not immediately perceived; but having told one of his associates, who began to laugh, it was discovered. To add to the deception, he smoaked his copy so as to make it appear of the same age as the original." P. 7, 8.
This prejudice against the works of our contemporaries, seems to have been felt by him as it was by Chatterton, and his inferiors, and a recourse to the same sort of deception was the consequence. On a more important occasion we find Michel Angelo indulging in this duplicity.
"Michel Angelo being again settled in his father's house, pursued his profession, and produced a statue of a sleeping Cupid, that advanced his reputation; and as, at this period, the discoveries of antiquity, which made a new era in art and literature, were found sometimes to betray the judgment into too great an enthusiasm for those remains, it was suggested to him by a friend of his, one Pier Francesco, that if it could be supposed an antique, it would not fail to be equally admired. He adopted the thought, and stained the marble so as to give it the desired appearance, and his friend sent it to Rome, consigned to a proper person, to carry on the deception; who, after burying it in his vineyard, dug it up, and then reported the discovery. The deception completely succeeded, and the statue was bought by Cardinal St. Giorgio for two hundred ducats; of which sum, however, Michel Angelo only received thirty.
"The cardinal had not been long in the possession of his new pur. chase, before he was given to understand that he was deceived; and that instead of its being an antique, it was the work of a modern artist in Florence. He felt indignant at the imposition, and immediately sent a gentleman of his household to Florence on purpose to learn the truth, No sooner was Michel Angelo discovered to be the sculptor, than the most flattering commendation was bestowed upon his merit, and he was strongly recommended to visit Rome, as the proper theatre for the exercise of his great talents: as an additional inducement, he was promised to be introduced into the cardinal's service, and given to expect that he would recover the whole sum for which his statue had been sold. Michel Angelo felt these advantages, and without further hesitation returned with the gentleman to Rome. The person who sold the statue was arrested, and obliged to refund the money; but Michel Angelo was not benefited, nor was the cardinal afterward sufficiently com
plaisant to reward him with encouragement, who had been the means of mortifying his pride." P. 20, 21.
Lorenzo de' Medici, regretting the mediocrity of sculpture, when compared with the state of painting, made a garden in Florence, which he amply supplied with antique statues, basso-relievos, busts, &c. The pupils of Ghirlandaïo, who were desirous of drawing from the antique, were permitted to study there, and "from that time the Medici garden became the favourite school of Michel Angelo." P. 9.
"No sooner had he entered upon his studies here, than seeing a student modelling some figures in clay, he felt an emulation to do the same, and Lorenzo, who frequently visited the gardens, observing his progress, encouraged him with expressions of approbation. He was, not long after, desirous to try his skill in marble, and being particularly interested with a mutilated old head, or rather a mask representing a laughing faun, he chose it for his original. At that time there were many persons employed in the garden making ornaments for a library which Lorenzo was decorating: from one of these workmen he begged a piece of marble sufficiently large for his purpose, and was also accommodated with chisels and whatever else was necessary to execute his undertaking. Although this was his first essay in sculpture, he in a few days brought his task to a conclusion; with his own invention supplied what was imperfect in the original, and made some other additions. Lorenzo visiting his garden as usual, found Michel Angelo polishing his mask, and thought it an extraordinary work for so young an artist; nevertheless he jestingly remarked, 'You have restored to the old faun all his teeth, but don't you know that a man of such an age has generally some wanting? Upon this observation Michel Angelo was impatient for Lorenzo's absence, that he might be alone to avail himself of his criticism; and immediately, on his retiring, broke a tooth from the upper jaw, and drilled a hole in the gum to represent its having fallen out.
"When Lorenzo made his next visit, he immediately saw the alteration, and was delighted with the aptness and simplicity of his scholar; he laughed exceedingly, and related the incident to his friends as an instance of docility and quickness of parts. From this circumstance Lorenzo resolved to take him under his own immediate patronage." P. 10, 11.
The father of Michel Angelo, thinking the profession dishonourable to the family" declared he would never give his consent that he should be a stone-mason." P. 11. Lorenzo the Magnificent made it the interest of both parties that he should acqui
After a variety
The father was desired to "look round in Florence," for any thing in Lorenzo's gift, and the son was provided with a room in the palace of his patron, "sate at his table as his own son, and was introduced to men of rank and genius, where such men were every day received and welcomed." P. 12. The death of Lorenzo, in 1492, deprived him of his protector. of incidents, we read that Julius II. having been elected to the papal dignity, invited Michel to the Vatican. He was then employed on a cartoon, which described an event in the war between the Florentines and the Pisans. It was so great that" foreigners as well as natives, by studying a drawing from it, became eminent masters." P. 29. On the pontiff's invitation he left it unfinished. The circumstance led to a matter of considerable importance.
"The views of Julius II. were as distinguished for the encouragement of talents, as his ambition was impetuous and unbounded in the exercise of sovereign power. It was a favourite observation of his, that LEARNING elevated the lowest orders of society, stamped the highest value on nobility, and to princes was the most splendid gem in the diadem of sovereignty. He was no sooner seated on the throne than surrounded by men of genius, and Michel Angelo was among the first invited to his court. After his arrival in Rome some time elapsed before any subject could be determined upon for the exercise of his abilities; at length the pope gave him an unlimited commission to make a mausoleum, in which their mutual interests should be combined; though with unequal participation, for the sculptor rather makes the monument for himself, which is to record a name that will live longer in the page of history than the existence of his materialshe alone makes it for another, where a tablet is necessary to procrastinate the hour of oblivion." P. 32.
"A hundred thousand crowns" was the price demanded for the execution of his stupendous design. The pope approved so highly of it, that he observed," It may be twice that sum."
"Sangallo, impressed with the importance and grandeur of Michel Angelo's design, suggested to the pope that such a monument ought to have a chapel built on purpose for it, where situation and light-andshadow might be so attended to, as to display every part to advantage; at the same time remarking, that St. Peter's was an old church, not at all adapted for so superb a mausoleum, and any alteration would only serve to destroy the character of the building. The pope listened to these observations, and to avail himself of them to their fullest extent, ordered several architects to make drawings for that purpose; but in
considering and reconsidering the subject, he passed from one improvement to another, till he at length determined to rebuild St. Peter's itself; and this is the origin of that edifice which took a hundred and fifty years to complete, and is now the grandest display of architectural splendour that ornaments the Christian world." P. 33, 34.
Without any regular architectural education, and under innumerable inconveniences and persecutions, Michel Angelo accomplished this vast undertaking. The execution of the monument, however, was suspended, and, through the machinations of his rivals, he was engaged to cover the walls of the Sistine chapel with figures in fresco, in which style he had never been known to paint.
"It being now decided that he must make an attempt to execute this great undertaking, he commenced the cartoons, and the architect of St. Peter's had orders to construct a scaffolding for the work to be painted in fresco. When the scaffolding was finished, he found it extremely objectionable, and in particular from certain holes pierced in the cieling for cords to pass through to suspend part of the machinery. He asked the architect how the ceiling could be completed if they were suffered to remain? To which he answered, It was impossible to avoid making them, and the remedy must be a subsequent consideration. This created a dispute, and Michel Angelo represented it to the pope as a defect which might have been avoided, if he had better understood the principles of mechanism. His holiness therefore gave him permission to take it down, and erect another in its stead. He then designed and constructed one so complete, that Bramante afterwards adopted it in the building of St. Peter's, and is most probably that simple and admirable piece of machinery now used in Rome whenever there is occasion for scaffolding to repair or construct the interior of public buildings. This invention Michel Angelo gave to the poor man whom he employed as his carpenter, and, from the commissions he received for making others on the same construction, he realized a small fortune." P. 49, 50.
An engraved sketch of this admirable piece of work, with a description of it, P. 53, is here given, as the more satisfactory way of making it better understood by those who have not been fortunate enough to see the chapel itself.
Coming to the times of Leo X. Mr. Duppa takes the opportu- . nity of exposing the long established cant of Leo's golden days, and brings down his character to its just level. He also sets Roscoe right in many particulars, in which he appears to have erred. With these words he terminates this subject: