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Painting

"The emperor was, most indisputably, the monarch who contributed in the greatest degree to the embellishment of Paris. How many establishments originated under his reign! nevertheless, on beholding them, the observer has but a faint idea of all he achieved; since every principal city of the empire witnessed alike the effects of his munificence and grandeur of mind; the streets were widened, roads constructed and canals cut; even the smallest towns experienced improvements, the result of that expanded genius which was daily manifested.

The eminent American sculptor Greenough, who has recently (1853) departed this life, wrote several years ago a very interesting account of a wonderful picture at Florence, from which the following is extracted:

Houbraken relates several instances of his remarkable facility of hand. He frequently painted a large landscape and inserted all the figures in a single day—feats so much admired in Salvator Rosa, and Gaspar Ponssin. On one occasion he commenced and finished three portraits, on canvass, of three-quarters size, with heads as large as life, from sun-rise to sun-set, on a summer's day. Lanzi warns all artists, especially the youthful aspirant, not to imitate such expedition, as they value their reputation.

Federigo Zuccaro, the brother of Taddeo, was employed by Pope Gregory XIII. in the Pauline chapel. While proceeding with his work, however, he fell out with some of the Pope's officers; and conceiving himself treated with indignity, he painted an allegorical picture of Calumny, introducing the portraits of all those individuals who had offended him, decorated with asses' ears. This he caused to be exhibited publicly over the gate of St. Luke's church, on the festival day of that Saint.

Of the numerous means employed to commemorate the achievements of Napoleon, the public buildings and monuments of France bear ample witness. Indeed, Bonaparte's name and fame are so engrafted with the arts and literature of France, that it would be impossible for the government to erase the estimation in which he is held by the French people.

"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.

Federigo Zuccaro was invited to Madrid by Philip II. to execute some frescos in the lower cloister of the Escurial, which, failing to give satisfaction to his royal patron, were subsequently effaced, and their place supplied by Pellegrino Tibaldi; the king nevertheless munificently rewarded him.

When Napoleon had decided that a stupendous fountain should occupy the centre of the area where the celebrated state prison of the Bastille stood, the several artists, employed by the government, were ordered to prepare designs for the undertaking, and numerous drawings were in consequence sent in for the emperor's inspection.

"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.

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