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Painting

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.

The sides, bottom, and top of these gigantic tubes are formed of oblong wrought iron plates, varying in length, width, and thickness, according to circumstances, but of amazing size and weight. They are so arranged as to obtain the greatest possible strength, the whole being riveted together in the strongest manner. In addition to the 1600 tons of wrought iron in each of the four large pieces, an additional 200 tons was used to form lifting frames, and cast iron beams for the purpose of attaching the tube to those huge chains by which they were elevated.

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.

This noble lady of Cremona (born about 1530), was one of six sisters, all amiable, and much distinguished in arts and letters. She displayed a taste for drawing at a very early age, and soon became the best pupil in the school of Antonio Campi. One of her early sketches, of a boy caught with his hand in the claw of a lobster, with a little girl laughing at his plight, was in possession of Vasari, and by him esteemed worthy of a place in a volume which he had filled with drawings by the most famous masters of that great age.

This eminent artist was the son of the preceding, and born at Amsterdam in 1633. He had already acquired a distinguished reputation in his native country for his admirable cabinet pictures of marine subjects, when he accompanied his father to England, where his talents not only recommended him to the patronage of the king, but to the principal nobility and personages of his court, for whom he executed many of his most beautiful works. "The palm," says Lord Orford, "is not less disputed with Raffaelle for history, than with Van de Velde for sea-pieces." He died in 1707.

The genius of Poussin seems to have gained vigor with age. Nearly his last works, which were begun in 1660, and sent to Paris 1664, were the four pictures, allegorical of the seasons, which he painted for the Duc de Richelieu. He chose the terrestrial paradise, in all the freshness of creation, to designate spring. The beautiful story of Boaz and Ruth formed the subject of summer. Autumn was aptly pictured, in the two Israelites bearing the bunch of grapes from the Promised Land. But the masterpiece was Winter, represented in the Deluge.

In the Cathedral at Worms, over the altar, is a very old painting, in which the Virgin is represented throwing the infant Jesus into the hopper of a mill; while from the other side he issues, changed into wafers or little morsels of bread, which the priests are administering to the people.

The name of Heliopolis, or City of the Sun, was given by the Greeks to the Egyptian City of On. It was situated a little to the north of Memphis, was one of the largest cities of Egypt during the reign of the Pharaohs, and so adorned with statues as to be esteemed one of the first sacred cities in the kingdom. The temple dedicated to Re, was a magnificent building, having in front an avenue of sphynxes, celebrated in history, and adorned with several obelisks, raised by Sethosis Rameses, B.C. 1900.

The small picture which once adorned the tabernacle of the Capuchin high altar at Seville, is interesting on account of its legend, as well as its extraordinary artistic merits. Murillo, whilst employed at the convent, had formed a friendship with a lay brother, the cook of the fraternity, who attended to his wants and waited on him with peculiar assiduity. At the conclusion of his labors, this Capuchin of the kitchen begged for some trifling memorial of his pencil. The painter was quite willing to comply, but said that he had exhausted his stock of canvas.

The tubes were floated to the places whence they were elevated to their positions on eight huge pontoons, fitted with valves and pumps to exhaust the water from them, when all was ready to float the prodigious iron beams. These pontoons or boxes were each 90 feet long, 25 feet wide, and 15 feet deep. The pontoons having been placed under one of the tubes (sections), the floating was easily effected, and the operation is thus described by the "Assistant Engineer."

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