« AnteriorContinuar »
is well drawn, his seep natural, and attitude uno affected; by Giovanni Rosa. St. John in the Giovanni Desert: a tolerable picture; by Guido Reni. A beautiful Magdalen repentant and contrite, but Reni. not forsaken by the Graces; the author Annibal Annibal Caracci. A Virgin, with her infant son standing Caracci. on her lap; trying to catch at a pomegranate The holds out of his reach. He is the handsomest child you can form any idea of; good sense, the utmost sweetness and good-nature are blended with a strong expression of impatience to attain the fruit. The colour, drawing, &c. are capital. By Van- Vandyke. dyke, St. Jerome in the Desert, by Titian; the Titian. Saint very well, but the Desert detestable. A small oval picture, representing a Madona and Bambino asleep on her lap; a fine carnation spread over the sleeping infant; his head and arms hanging down listless, the mouth a little open, and a most profound neep, are all well.imitated: by Camillo Procaccino. There are more pictures in Camillo this saloon, but I will not trouble you with them; roca they do not appear to have as much merit as those I have named.-In the fourth saloon, a large picture; the subject is a group representing the Virgin, the infant Jesus, the three wives of Rubens, several Saints and Angels; also a man armed in a coat of mail. This last figure is admirably done, but does not seem to have any business in this picture, any more than Rubens' wives, who are all vulgar and ugly. This piece, as you may suppose, is by Rubens. A very good picture of St. Rubens. Vol. I.
Guido Jerome reading, by Guido Reni. There are other Reni.
pictures in this fourth saloon, but I do not mention them, for the reasons I gave before, in regard to the former. — In the gallery, the wife and son of Vandyke. One of the most perfect
productions of this admirable painter ; the child Corregio. in particular is inimitable. A Nativity; the Vir
gin-mother most beautiful; the child is nature itfelf; he shrinks, and turns himself from the cold air towards the boson of the Virgin, as if to seek fhel. ter from the situation to which a new-born infant muft necessarily feel himfelf exposed, added to the inclemencies of the weather, without any other protection than that of a ruined stable, or bed than a heap of straw upon which he is laid. This
scene is strongly represented by the energetic pencil Vandyke. of the great Corregio. Vandyke's portrait, by
himself; a duplicate of what we have seen before Holbens. at Turin. A Portrait, said to be by Holbens ;
but I doubt it. A handsome-faced Lucretia ; but her hands appear lame, and she is poorly finished; although the dagger is half-buried in her breast, yet it fits the wound so nicely, that no blood, nor
any mark of being wounded appears: this is by Titian. Titian. A Magdalen transported into Heaven
by Angels; her face fine, and fore-fhortened with great judgment in the drawing; her long yellow hair exceedingly well done, and as much grace as
a figure can express thus conveyed by other Guido figures. This picture is by Guido Reni. A Brughel. Temptation of St. Anthony, by Brughel; this
painter has here exhibited a wonderful company, all calculated to tease and torment poor St. Anthony, who is more frightened thận tempted; being surrounded with flying monsters vomiting flames, devils and dwarfs riding upon winged fishes, wanton women with scaly tails, like mermaids, and a thoutand such fancies of distempered brains, that you would think he had been raving in a fever' when he composed this piece. There are, I believe, half a dozen more pictures in this gallery than I have mentioned ; but as they do not appear to have any great share of merit, I shall not trouble you with an account of them. Adieu. I fear I may miss the post, so shall only add, that these palaces want new-furnishing and fresh gilding; both have been fine, but are at present exceed, ingly out of repair. — The floors all paved with brick, and ill painted ; too many doors in every room; and, upon the whole, most uncomfortable dwelling-houses; but it seems the Balbis do not inhabit their fine apartments, except when they have a conversazione, or affembly; for in general they live as high as their houses admit of, and occupy a few rooms, very much inferior in fize, cleanliness, and furniture to those shewn to stran. gers. I have no more time than to assure you how much I am, &c.
Genoa, November 9th. I HAVE had the good fortune to receive ano: I ther packet of letters from Turin, which our banker T- has forwarded to us. I am overjoyed to find, amongst the many agreeable things they contain, that you are perfectly satisfied with me, and very much Aattered that you give my catalogue of pictures, roads, &c. the preference to those of * * * * * * * * *, &c. &c. but as I am conscious of the partiality of both you and M- , I ought to fear the pluming myself on my own discernment. All I can honestly affert is, that I speak the truth to the best of my judgment; and am far from presuming my opinion in works of taste to be what you suppose. Those pictures particularly that are universally admired, and considered as Chef d'Oeuvres, I may posibly do injustice to by my descriptions; but as I know you had rather have any description that can convey some idea of a picture, than have the epithet very fine, very good, &c. repeated without end; so you must not be surprised at the length of my letters, which I fear will increase, even to tedioufness, when we shall have reached Rome and Naples. But not to anticipate, by augmenting the present more than is necessary, I fall proceed
to inform you, as briefly as I can, of the contents of the palaces of Durazzo, Pallavicini, Doria, &c. as also something of the churches. An Abigail and David : too much blackened in Palace of
Philip the shaded parts, and become so pale in the light, Durazzo. as to be almost void of merit. A Picture, the subject of which is, Render to Cæfar that which belongs to Cæfar, &c. as fine for colouring as can be wilhed. But I do not think this subject is very proper to be represented in a picture; it is not fufficiently marked for a painter to know well what expression and character to give to each figure of the group. David giving the letter containing the order for Uriah's death : This, Guercino' has Guerci. made more of than he has of the former; the most ". ignorant in the art of painting cannot avoid perceiving the merits of this picture; particularly in the person of David, to whom this act of tyranny appears by no means familiar; so that he seems to wish to revoke the order, in which at the same time his passions compel him to persist. It is astonishing how a painter could, in representing one montent of time, convey to the mind of the spectator such a crowd of ideas. Guercino's colouring, in general, is not, in my opinion, very agreeable; there is too much purple and lilak, or a light red purple and white, in almost all his pictures. The woman taken in Adultery, by Julio Cesare Procaccino: the colour- Julio Ceing is too red and faring, and the woman not fare Pro
caccino. handsome. A finall picture of the Martyrdom
N 3 : :