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Engraving

Elizabeth Sirani was born at Bologna in 1638. She early exhibited the most extraordinary talent for painting, which was perfectly cultivated by her father, Gio. Andrea Sirani, an excellent disciple and imitator of Guido. She attached herself to an imitation of the best style of Guido, which unites great relief with the most captivating amenity. Her first public work appeared in 1655, when she was seventeen years of age.

Poussin, naturally of a peaceful turn of mind, fond of retirement and the society of a few select literary friends, was disgusted with the ostentation of the court and the cabals by which he was surrounded; he secretly sighed for the quiet felicity he had left at Rome, and resolved to return thither without delay. For this purpose, he solicited and obtained leave of the king to visit Italy and settle his affairs, and fetch his wife; but when he had once crossed the Alps, no inducement could prevail on him to revisit his native country, or even to leave Rome.

His works are numerous, and are dispersed in various public and private collections of Europe; and when they are offered for sale they command enormous prices. There are eight of his pictures in the English National Gallery; one of these, the Woman taken in Adultery, formerly in the Orleans collection, sold for £5000.

Rosa da Tivoli acquired a wonderful facility in design and execution, for which reason he was named Mercurius by the Bentvogel Society. A remarkable instance of his powers is recorded by C. le Blond, then a student at Rome.

The upper part of this pyramid is still covered with the original polished coating of marble, to the distance of 140 feet from the top towards the base, which makes the ascent extremely difficult and dangerous. Mr. Wilde, in his "Narrative of a Voyage to Madeira, Teneriffe, and along the shore of the Mediterranean," published in 1840, made the ascent to the top, and thus describes the adventure:

The Spanish painter Antonio Pereda married Doña Maria de Bustamente, a woman of some rank, and greater pretension, who would associate only with people of high fashion, and insisted on having a duenna in constant waiting in her antechamber, like a lady of quality.

This eminent architect was one of those illustrious men, who, having conceived and matured a grand design, proceed, cool, calm, and indefatigable, to put it in execution, undismayed by obstacles that seem insuperable, by poverty, want, and what is worse, the jeers of men whose capacities are too limited to comprehend their sublime conceptions. The world is apt to term such men enthusiasts, madmen, or fools, till their glorious achievements stamp them almost divinely inspired.

This accomplished, amiable, and talented lady was cut off in the flower of her life, August 29th, 1665, by poison, administered by one of her own maids, instigated, as is supposed, by some jealous young artists. Her melancholy death was bewailed with demonstrations of public sorrow, and her remains were interred with great pomp and solemnity in the church of S. Domenico, in the same vault where reposed the ashes of Guido.

"The favorite subjects of Poussin were ancient fables; and no painter was ever better qualified to paint such subjects, not only from his being eminently skilled in the knowledge of the ceremonies, customs, and habits of the ancients, but from his being so well acquainted with the different characters which those who invented them gave to their allegorical figures. Though Rubens has shown great fancy in his Satyrs, Silenuses, and Fauns, yet they are not that distinct, separate class of beings which is carefully exhibited by the ancients, and by Poussin.

Rembrandt holds a distinguished rank among the engravers of his country; he established a more important epoch in this art than any other master. He was indebted entirely to his own genius for the invention of a process which has thrown an indescribable charm over his plates. They are partly etched, frequently much assisted by the dry point, and occasionally, though rarely, finished with the graver; evincing the most extraordinary facility of hand, and displaying the most consummate knowledge of light and shadow.

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