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Painting

"La Festra di Cattreda, or commemoration of the placing of the chair of St. Peter, on the 18th of January, is one of the most striking ceremonies, at Rome, which follow Christmas and precede the holy week. At the extremity of the great nave of St. Peter's, behind the high altar, and mounted upon a tribune designed or ornamented by Michael Angelo, stands a sort of throne, composed of precious materials, and supported by four gigantic figures. A glory of seraphim, with groups of angels, shed a brilliant light upon its splendors.

Was the son of the preceding, and born at Amsterdam in 1644. Possessing less varied talent than his father; he was unrivaled in painting all sorts of animals, huntings, dead games, birds, flowers, and fruit. He was appointed Court painter to the Elector Palatine, with a liberal pension, and decorated his palace at Bernsberg with many of his choicest works. He painted in one gallery a series of pictures representing the Hunting of the Stag; and in another the Chase of the Wild Boar, which gained him the greatest applause. There are many of his best works in the Dusseldorf Gallery.

The name of this illustrious painter and architect was Berrettini, and he was born at Cortona, near Florence, in 1596. At the age of fourteen he went to Rome, where he studied the works of Raffaelle and Caravaggio with the greatest assiduity. It is said that at first he betrayed but little talent for painting, but his genius burst forth suddenly, to the astonishment of those companions who had laughed at his incapacity; this doubtless was owing to his previous thorough course of study.

On the sailing of the French expedition for Egypt, from Malta, under the orders of Bonaparte, the fleet was intentionally dispersed in order to arrive without being noticed; they had no sooner, however, left Malta, than they learned that Nelson had penetrated their design, and was in pursuit of them.

"The church of St. Lorenzo, at Genoa, is celebrated for containing a most sacred relic, the 'Sagro Catino,' a dish of one entire and perfect emerald, said to be that on which our Saviour ate his last supper. Such a dish in the house of a Jewish publican was a miracle in itself. Mr. Eustace says, he looked for this dish, but found that the French, 'whose delight is brutal violence, as it is that of the lion or the tiger,' had carried it away. And so indeed they did. But that was nothing.

The life of this extraordinary artist, if we are to believe his biographers, is soon told. He was born at Leyden in 1636.

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.

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.

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