PAINTING IN ITALY, FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE RENAISSANCE TO THE PRESENT CENTURY.

Two other Florentine artists of the same era with Fra Angelico were Masolino, whose real name was Panicale, and Tommaso Guidi, called Masaccio on account of his want of neatness. The style of these two masters was much the same, but Masaccio became so much the greater that little is said of Masolino. The principal works of Masaccio are a series of frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel in Florence. They represent “The Expulsion from Paradise,” “The Tribute Money,” “Peter Baptizing,” “Peter Curing the Blind and Lame,” “The Death of Ananias,” “Simon Magus,” and the “Resuscitation of the King’s Son.” There is a fresco by Masolino in the same chapel; it is “The Preaching of Peter.” Masaccio was in fact a remarkable painter. Some one has said that he seemed to hold Giotto by one hand, and reach forward to Raphael with the other; and considering the pictures which were painted before his time, his works are as wonderful as Raphael’s are beautiful. He died in 1429.

Paolo Uccello (1396-1479) and Filippo Lippi (1412-1469) were also good painters, and Sandro Botticelli (1447-1515), a pupil of Filippo, was called the best Florentine painter of his time. Fillipino Lippi(1460-1505) was a pupil of Botticelli and a very important artist. Andrea Verrocchio, Lorenzo di Credi, and Antonio Pollajuolo were all good painters of the Florentine school of the last half of the fifteenth century.

Of the same period was Domenico Ghirlandajo (1449-1494), who ranks very high on account of his skill in the composition of his works and as a colorist. He made his pictures very interesting also to those of his own time, and to those of later days, by introducing portraits of certain citizens of Florence into pictures which he painted in the Church of Santa Maria Novella and other public places in the city. He did not usually make them actors in the scene he represented, but placed them in detached groups as if they were looking at the picture themselves. While his scenes were laid in the streets known to us, and his architecture was familiar, he did not run into the fantastic or lose the picturesque effect which is always pleasing. Without being one of the greatest of the Italian masters Ghirlandajo was a very important painter. He was also a teacher of the great Michael Angelo.

Other prominent Florentine painters of the close of the fifteenth century were Francisco Granacci (1477-1543), Luca Signorelli (1441-1521), Benozzo Gozzoli (1424-1485), and Cosimo Rosselli (1439-1506).

Some good painters worked in Venice from the last half of the fourteenth century; but I shall begin to speak of the Venetian school with some account of the Bellini. The father of this family was Jacopo Bellini(1395-1470), and his sons were Gentile Bellini (1421-1507) and Giovanni Bellini (1426-1516).

The sketch-book of the father is one of the treasures of the British Museum. It has 99 pages, 17 by 13 inches in size, and contains sketches of almost everything—still and animal life, nature, ancient sculpture, buildings and human figures, stories of the Scriptures, of mythology, and of the lives of the saints are all illustrated in its sketches, as well as hawking parties, village scenes, apes, eagles, dogs, and cats. In this book the excellence of his drawing is seen; but so few of his works remain that we cannot judge of him as a colorist. It is certain that he laid the foundation of the excellence of the Venetian school, which his son Giovanni and the great Titian carried to perfection.