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Engraving

On the river at Sévres, near Paris, a manufactory is carried on, which produces the beautiful porcelain, commonly called Sévres, china. It is equal to all that has been said of it, and after declining, as every other great national establishment did, during the revolution, flourished greatly under the peculiar patronage of the emperor Napoleon. He made presents hence to those sovereigns of Europe with whom he was in alliance. Napoleon had two vases made of this china, which, even at this day, form the principal ornament of the gallery at St. Cloud.

There is an old painting in the church of the Holy Virgin at Florence, representing the Virgin with the infant Jesus in her arms, trampling the dragon under her feet, about which is the following curious legend, thus humorously described by Southey, in the Annals of the Fine Arts:

The pictures of Jan Steen usually represent merry-makings, and the frolics and festivities of the ale-house, which he treated with a characteristic expression of humorous drollery, that compensated for the vulgarity of his subjects. He sometimes painted interiors, domestic assemblies, conversations, mountebanks, etc., which he generally accompanied with some facetious trait of wit or humor, admirably rendered. Some of his works of this description are little inferior to the charming productions of Gabriel Metzu.

Mario Ballassi, a Florentine painter born in 1604, studied successively under Ligozzi, Roselli, and Passignano; he assisted the latter in the works he executed at Rome for Pope Urban XIII. His chief talent lay in copying the works of the great masters, which he did to admiration. Don Taddeo Barberini employed him to copy the Transfiguration of Raffaelle, for the Church of the Conception, in which he imitated the touch and expression of the original in so excellent a manner as to excite the surprise of the best judges at Rome.

In Scott's Paris Revisited (A. D. 1815), we have the following interesting particulars of the removal of the celebrated pictures and statues from this famous emporium of the fine arts.

Don José de Valdivielso, one of the chaplains of the gay Cardinal Infant Ferdinand of Austria, relates the following legend in his paper on the Tax on Pictures, appended to Carducho's Dialogos de la Pintura. A certain young friar was famous amongst his order, for his skill in painting; and he took peculiar delight in drawing the Virgin and the Devil. To heighten the divine beauty of the one, and to devise new and extravagant forms of ugliness for the other, were the chief recreations for his leisure hours.

Dr Kügler, a judicious critic, thus sums up his character as an artist: "The works of Jan Steen imply a free and cheerful view of common life, and he treats it with a careless humor, such as seems to deal with all its daily occurrences, high and low, as a laughable masquerade and a mere scene of perverse absurdity. His treatment of the subjects differed essentially from that adopted by other artists.

This eminent sculptor and famous medalist was in high favor with Clement VII., who took him into his service. During the time of the Spanish invasion, Cellini asked the Pope for absolution for certain homicides which "he believed himself to have committed in the service of the church." The Pope absolved him, and, to save time, he added an absolution in prospectu, "for all the homicides thereafter which the said Benvenuto might commit in the same service." On another occasion, Cellini got into a broil, and committed a homicide that was not in the service of the church.

"The removal of the well known horses taken from the church of St. Mark in Venice, was a bitter mortification to the people of Paris. These had been peculiarly the objects of popular pride and admiration. Being exposed to the public view, in one of the most frequented situations of Paris, this was esteemed the noblest trophy belonging to the capital; and there was not a Parisian vender of a pail-full of water who did not look like a hero when the Venetian horses were spoken of.

This extraordinary artist was born at Leyden, in 1613. He was the son of a glazier, and early exhibited a passion for the fine arts, which his father encouraged. He received his first instruction in drawing from Dolendo, the engraver. He was afterwards placed with Peter Kowenhoorn, to learn the trade of a glass-stainer or painter; but disliking this business, he became the pupil of Rembrandt when only fifteen years of age, in whose school be continued three years.

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