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Painting

Matias de Torres, a Spanish painter, affected the style of Caravaggio. His compositions were half veiled in thick impenetrable shadows, which concealed the design, and sometimes left the subject a mystery. Francisco de Solis was standing before one of them, in the church of Victory at Madrid, representing a scene from the life of St. Diego, and was asked to explain the subject depicted. "It represents," said the witty painter, "San Brazo," St. Arm, nothing being distinguished but the arm of a mendicant in the background.

In 1833, the French removed the smallest of the two obelisks which stood before the propylon of the temple of Luxor to Paris, and elevated it in the Place de la Concorde. The shaft is 76 feet high, and eight feet wide on the broadest side of the base; the pedestal is 10 feet square by 16 feet high. Permission for the removal of both the obelisks having been granted to the French government by the Viceroy of Egypt, a vessel constructed for the purpose was sent out in March, 1831, under M.

A rich Genoese merchant commissioned Donatello to execute his bust in bronze, of life size. When the work was completed, it was pronounced a capital performance, and Cosmo de' Medici, who was the friend of both parties, caused it to be placed in the upper court of the palace, between the battlements which overlook the street, that it might be seen by the citizens. When the merchant, unacquainted with the value of such works, came to pay for it, the price demanded appeared to him so exorbitant that he refused to take it, whereupon the mutter was referred to Cosmo.

On his return to Antwerp, whither his reputation had preceded him, Vandyck was speedily employed by various religious societies, and his picture of St. Augustine for the church of the Augustines in that city, established his reputation among the first painters of his time. He painted other historical pictures, for the principal public edifices at Antwerp, Brussels, Mechlin, and Ghent; but acquired greater fame by his portraits, particularly his well known series of the eminent artists of his time, which were engraved by Vorstermans, Pontius, Bolswert, and others.

Poussin not only studied every vestige of antiquity at Rome and in its environs, with the greatest assiduity while young, but he followed this practice through life.

Marino was born at Naples. Some political disturbances, in which he and his family had taken part, obliged him to quit that kingdom, and he took refuge successively in several of the petty courts of Italy. His talent for satire involved him in various literary disputes, as well as some political quarrels, and he never resided long in one place, until Mary of Medicis invited him to the court of France, where he passed much of his life, and where he wrote most of his poems, which, though licentious both in matter and style, contain numerous beauties, and are full of classical imagery.

"When the haughty and able Pope Innocent III. caused Cardinal Langton to be elected Archbishop of Canterbury in despite of King John, and compelled him to submit, to appease the latter and to admonish him, his Holiness presented him with four golden rings, set with precious stones, at the same time taking care to inform him of the many mysteries implied in them.

It is related that this great Spanish painter visited America in early life, and painted there many works; but the later Spanish historians have shown that he never quitted his native country; and the circumstance of his pictures being found in America, is best accounted for by the following narrative.

Champollion, the famous explorer of Egyptian antiquities, holds the following language at the end of his fifteenth letter, dated at Thebes. "It is evident to me, as it must be to all who have thoroughly examined Egypt or have an accurate knowledge of the Egyptian monuments existing in Europe, that the arts commenced in Greece by a servile imitation of the arts in Egypt, much more advanced than is vulgarly believed, at the period when the Egyptian colonies came in contact with the savage inhabitants of Attica or the Peloponnesus.

Palomino relates that a superb eagle, of the bearded kind, having been captured in the royal chase, near the Prado, the king (Philip III.) gave orders to Pantoja to paint its likeness, which he did with such truthfulness that the royal bird, on seeing it, mistook it for a real eagle, and attacked the picture with such impetuosity that he tore it in pieces with his beak and talons before they could secure him. The indignant bird was then tied more carefully, and the portrait painted over again.

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