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Painting

The tubes of the Britannia bridge were raised by means of three hydraulic presses of the most prodigious size, strength, weight, and power; two of which were placed in the Britannia pier, above the points where the tubes rest, and the other alternately on the Anglesea and Carnarvon piers.

Rosa da Tivoli acquired a wonderful facility in design and execution, for which reason he was named Mercurius by the Bentvogel Society. A remarkable instance of his powers is recorded by C. le Blond, then a student at Rome.

Her royal patrons at last married their fair artist, now arrived to a mature age, to Don Fabrizio de Moncada, a noble Sicilian, giving her a dowry of 12,000 ducats and a pension of 1,000, besides many rich presents in tapestries and jewels. The newly wedded pair retired to Palermo, where the husband died some years after. Sofonisba was then invited back to the court of Madrid, but excused herself on account of her desire to see Cremona and her kindred once more.

The Spanish painter Antonio Pereda married Doña Maria de Bustamente, a woman of some rank, and greater pretension, who would associate only with people of high fashion, and insisted on having a duenna in constant waiting in her antechamber, like a lady of quality.

This distinguished French painter was born at Andely, in Normandy, in 1594. He was descended from a noble family, originally of Soissons, whose fortunes had been ruined in the disastrous civil wars in the time of Charles IX. and Henry III. His father, Jean Poussin, after serving in the army of Henry IV., settled on a small paternal inheritance at Andely, where he cultivated a taste for literature and the sciences, and instructed his son in the same.

This famous lake, according to Herodotus, with whose account Diodorus Siculus and Mela agree, was entirely an artificial excavation, made by king Moeris, to carry off the overflowing waters of the Nile, and reserve them for the purposes of irrigation. It was, in the time of Herodotus, 3,600 stadia or 450 miles in circumference, and 300 feet deep, with innumerable canals and reservoirs. Denon, Belzoni, and other modern travelers, describe it at the present time as a natural basin, thirty or forty miles long, and six broad.

Rembrandt holds a distinguished rank among the engravers of his country; he established a more important epoch in this art than any other master. He was indebted entirely to his own genius for the invention of a process which has thrown an indescribable charm over his plates. They are partly etched, frequently much assisted by the dry point, and occasionally, though rarely, finished with the graver; evincing the most extraordinary facility of hand, and displaying the most consummate knowledge of light and shadow.

Ancient Rome was built upon seven hills, which are now scarcely discoverable on account of the vast quantities of rubbish with which the valleys are filled. Pliny estimates the circumference of the city in his time at 13,000 paces (which nearly agrees with modern measurements), and the population at 3,000,000. Rome was filled with magnificent public edifices, temples, theatres, amphitheatres, circuses, naumachiæ, porticos, basilicæ, baths, gardens, triumphal arches, columns, sewers, aqueducts, sepulchres, public and private palaces, etc.

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.

After her second marriage, Sofonisba continued to pursue the art at Genoa, where her house became the resort of all the polished and intellectual society of the Republic. The Empress of Germany paid her a visit on her way to Spain, and accepted a little picture,—one of the most finished and beautiful of her works. She was also visited by her former charge, the Infanta, then the wife of the Archduke Albert, and with him co-sovereign of Flanders.

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