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S. Spooner

Durer derived most of his fame from his engravings, and he is allowed to have surpassed every artist of his time in this branch of art. Born in the infancy of the art, he carried engraving to a perfection that has hardly been surpassed. When we consider that, without any models worthy of imitation, he brought engraving to such great perfection, we are astonished at his genius, and his own resources. Although engraving has had the advantage and experience of more than three centuries, it would perhaps be difficult to select a specimen of executive excellence surpassing his print of St.

Lanzi relates the following amusing anecdote of Giovanni da Capugnano, an artist of little merit, but whose assurance enabled him to attract considerable attention in his day. "Misled by a pleasing self-delusion, he believed himself born to become a painter; like that ancient personage, mentioned by Horace, who imagined himself the owner of all the vessels that arrived in the Athenian port. His chief talent lay in making crucifixes, to fill up the angles, and in giving a varnish to the balustrades.

The origin of Painting in Greece was unknown to Pliny, to whom we are chiefly indebted for the few fragments of the biography of Greek artists; he could only obtain his information from Greek writers, of whom he complains that they have not been very attentive to their accustomed accuracy. It is certain, however, that the arts were practiced in Egypt and in the East, many ages before they were known in Greece, and it is the common opinion that they were introduced into that country from Egypt and Asia, through the channel of the Phœnecian traders.

Being at his easel one morning with two friends, one of them, for a jest, drank the cup of chocolate which stood untasted by his side. The maid-servant removing the cup, Carreño remonstrated, saying that he had not breakfasted, and on being shown that the contents were gone, appealed to the visitors. Being gravely assured by them that he had actually emptied the cup with his own lips, he replied, like Newton, "Well really, I was so busy that I had entirely forgotten it."

The fame of Durer spread far and wide in his life-time. The Emperor Maximillian I. had a great esteem for him, and appointed him his court painter, with a liberal pension, and conferred on him letters of nobility; Charles V., his successor, confirmed him in his office, bestowing upon him at the same time the painter's coat of arms, viz., three escutcheons, argent, in a deep azure field. Ferdinand, King of Hungary, also bestowed upon him marked favors and liberality. Durer was in favor with high and low.

Caravaggio possessed a very irascible and roving disposition. At the height of his popularity at Rome, he got into a quarrel with one of his own young friends, in a tennis-court, and struck him dead with a racket, having been severely wounded himself in the affray. He fled to Naples, where he executed some of his finest pictures, but he soon got weary of his residence there, and went to Malta. Here his superb picture of the Grand Master obtained for him the Cross of Malta, a rich gold chain, placed on his neck by the Grand Master's own hands, and two slaves to attend him.

Numismatics is the science which has for its object the study of coins and medals, especially those struck by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The word is derived from the Greek νομισμα, or the Latinnumuscoin or medal.

At the age of twenty, Vandyck set out for Italy, but delayed some time at Brussels, fascinated by the charms of a peasant girl of Saveltheim, named Anna van Ophem, who persuaded him to paint two pictures for the church of her native place—a St. Martin on horseback, painted from himself and the horse given him by Rubens; and a Holy Family, for which the girl and her parents were the models.

In Smith's Catalogue raisonné may be found a descriptive account of upwards of three hundred and fifty of the works of this great artist, in many instances tracing the history from the time they were painted, the names of the present possessors, and the principal artists by whom they have been engraved, together with many interesting particulars of the life of the painter. There are eight of his pictures in the English National Gallery, fourteen in the Dulwich Gallery, and many in the possession of the nobility of England.

This eminent French engraver was born at Nancy, in Lorraine, in 1593. He was the son of Jean Callot, a gentleman of noble family, who intended him for a very different profession, and endeavored to restrain his natural passion for art; but when he was twelve years old, he left his home without money or resources, joined a company of wandering Bohemians, and found his way to Florence, where some officer of the court, discovering his inclination for drawing, placed him under Cantagallina.

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