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Painting

Rosa da Tivoli unfortunately fell into extravagant and dissipated habits, which frequently caused him great inconvenience. From his facility, he multiplied his pictures to such an extent as greatly to depreciate their value. It is related that he would sit down, when pressed for money, dispatch a large picture in a few hours, and send it directly to be sold at any price. His servant, possessing more discretion than his master, usually paid him the highest price offered by the dealers, and kept the pictures himself, till he could dispose of them to more advantage.

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 Bishop of Malaga, being engaged in improving his Cathedral church, invited Cano to that city, for the purpose of designing a new tabernacle for the high altar, and new stalls for the choir. He had finished his plans, very much to the prelate's satisfaction, when he was privately informed that the Intendant of the works proposed to allow him but a very trifling remuneration. "These drawings," said Cano, "are either to be given away, or to fetch 2,000 ducats;" and packing them up, he mounted his mule, and took the road to Granada.

"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.

Obelisks belong to the oldest and most simple monuments of Egyptian architecture, and are high four-sided pillars, diminishing as they ascend, and terminating in a small pyramid. Herodotus speaks of them, and Pliny gives a particular account of them. The latter mentions king Mesphres, or Mestres, of Thebes, as the first builder of obelisks, but does not give the time; nor is this king noticed either by Herodotus or Diodorus. It is probable that these monuments were first built before the time of Moses, at least two centuries before the Trojan war.

Sandrart relates the following anecdote of Christopher Schwarts, a famous German painter, which, if true, redounds more to his ingenuity than to his credit. Having been engaged to paint the ceiling of the Town Hall at Munich by the day, his love of dissipation induced him to neglect his work, so that the magistrates and overseers of the work were frequently obliged to hunt him out at the cabaret.

One morning, as Brunelleschi was amusing himself on the Piazza di Santa Maria del Fiore, in company with Donatello and other artists, the conversation happened to turn on ancient sculpture. Donatello related that when he was returning from Rome, he had taken the road of Orvieto, to see the remarkable façade of the Cathedral of that city—a highly celebrated work, executed by various masters, and considered in those days a very remarkable production.

The most remarkable quality of this distinguished Genoese painter was his rapidity of operation. He began to paint when ten years old, under the eye of his father, Giovanni Cambiaso, who evinced good taste in setting him to copy some works by the correct and noble Mantegna.

This celebrated paintress of fruit and flowers was born at Amsterdam in 1664. She was the daughter of Frederick Ruisch or Ruysch, the celebrated professor of anatomy. She early showed an extraordinary taste for depicting fruit and flowers, and attained to such perfection in her art, that some have not hesitated to equal and even prefer her works to those of John van Huysum. She grouped her flowers in the most tasteful and picturesque manner, and depicted them with a grace and brilliancy that rivalled nature.

Skillful as Cano was with the pencil, he loved the chisel above all his other artistic implements. He was so fond of sculpture that, when wearied with painting, he would take his tools, and block out a piece of carving. A disciple one day remarking that to lay down a pencil and take up a mallet, was a strange method of repose, he replied, "Blockhead! don't you see that to create form and relief on a flat surface, is a greater labor than to fashion one shape into another?"

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