Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

of the Monks, to whose convent this church beo longs. In the fifth chapel, to the right, is a descent from the cross, and a Martyrdom of St. Placid, both by Corregio. The first is the best, but they are both incorrectly designed; their colouring is their principal merit, and that is not

fufficiently glowing;

There are several arches painted in fresco, at the entrance of the chapels, by Parmegianino, which Parmehave great merit. In the refectory of the convent gianino. is a very indifferent picture, by the fame master; but it is (in a manner) framed by two colonnades of the Doric order, which form a beautiful morsel of perspective; this deception is by the hand of Corregio.

Corregio. In the Church of St. Sepulchre is another pic- St. Se. ture of his, representing a little Jesus, a Madona, pulchre,

a, church of. and a St. Joseph gathering palms. The three faces are very fine, but the whole is faulty in the drawing, and the colouring weak. This picture is called the Madona della Scodella, on account of the porringer she holds in one of her hands. In the back ground is an Ass, and an angel taking care of him. The subject means, doubtless, to represent a repose of the fight into Egypt.

The Madonna della Steccata is the finest church Madonna at Parma. It is built in the form of a cross; but della Stec

cata each end is circular. It is the ducal church; church. many of the Princes of the Farnese family have been interred here. Also the Installation of the InstallaKnights of the Order of St. George is here per- tion:

"pelo Order of formed, St. George.

Care

formed, with all the religious ceremonies peculiar

to that inftitution. There is a painting in fresco M. An over the altar, by Michael Angelo of Sienna; it gelo. represents the crowning the Virgin by God the

Father and Jesus Chrift; but it is fo blackened, as to inake it difficult to form any judgment of its merit. Three Sibyls over the organ, with

Mofes, Adam, and Eve, below the arcade, are Parmegi. executed in clair obscure, by Parmegianino. He anino. had painted several other pictures for this church,

which he totally defaced in a violent passion, having lost considerably at play: thus revenged upon his own works, he fed to Cafal Magiore, where he died in want. The Parmesans regret a picture of this master, known by the name of the Madonna del Collo longua, which was removed from hence to Florence, and from Florence to Vienna. His works are at present rare, and held in high eftimation by the connoisseurs. At the bottom of the

choir, behind the great altar (called the cul-du-four Procca. in French), is a large picture, by Proccacino of cino of

Milan; its subject, the Marriage of the Virgin Milan,

Mary with St. Joseph. The colouring is warm; the clair obscure, with regard to the heads, correct and well thrown, but has not been the least attended to in respect of the folds of the drapery. The Virgin's countenance expreffes dignity, blended with modesty. St. Joleph appears like the most discontented, and the most mortified of mankind. On one side of this picture is a fight into Egypt, which pleased me much for its landscape, and the effect of the high wind, which blows about the drapery and hair of the angels that conduct the ass; I could almost fancy I felt myself colder from its vicinity to me. The landscape represents a wild and romantic country: a stork and wild duck Ay screaming over a marsh, in the foreground of the picture, extreniely well done. The Virgin is beautiful, and fits in an easy, natural attitude upon the ass. Behind the high altar, and opposite to the Marriage of St. Jofeph, is a picture by an unknown master. It represents Christ bound to the pillar; yet is not a Flagellation. Roman soldiers, surrounding him, seem to have just fastened the cords. A stranger, struck with the merit of this piece, offered the convent of Channoines to cover it with Louis d'ors; but they refused to part with it at that price. In my opifion, the flesh is paler than it should be, and the figure looks more like a dead, than a living man: the hair and beard are too red; nor can I imagine why all the Italian painters represent our Saviour as red-haired. I do not believe they can find Scripture-authority for this custom. The characters of the foldiers, as Romans, are not de. cisive.

effect e ticisede

We have feen no more churches; these are the most famous for their paintings; nor had we time to visit others. I do not question your being extremely impa- Corregio,

be his famous tient to hear why I was so disappointed in the

picture defamous picture of Corregio, in favour of which icribed

the and cri.

the whole world of virtuos can scarce find words to express the enthusiasm of their feelings, when they would display its merits. Notwithstanding my prejudices in its favour were strong, yet I must confess, though I expose myself to the cen. sure of the first connoisseurs, that I do not like this picture; and now I will proceed to give you its description as well as the reasons of my disapprobation. It is a very large picture, higher than wide: about the middle of the canvass the Virgin is seated with the Infant Jesus on her knees; a little to the right, and forward, Mary Magdalen, in a kneeling posture, holds the foot of the little Jesus in one of her hands, and is supposed to incline her head to kiss it; the other hand hangs down: to the left, and on the fore-ground, ap. pears St. Jerome; his back turned to the spectators, but by looking over his shoulder he difcovers his profile : between him and the Virgin, and farther back, is an angel who sings from a book : behind Mary Magdalen is another angel, or young man, who seems to drink out of a vase. The character of the Virgin's face is such as you often see in the lowest rank of people or peasants; an unmeaning breadth, l'air d'hibou, le visage pláte, &c. She appears extremely tanned, like a Vendangeuse. The colouring is coarse, and the shadowing of a dirty brown. The infant is one of the homeliest children I ever saw, that was not deformed. The face short, the mouth wide, and the lips turn outwards. The more one considers

the

the countenance, the more it seems to be in contorsions. The anatomy is false, and the attitude ungraceful, to say the least. The Magdalen has the face of an idiot; and not of a handsomne oné. The little Jesus has hold of her by the hair; but his figure and face are turned from her. Her hair is too short and straight, not curling in na. tural ringlets, but heavy and greasy. Her attitude is so unnatural and strained, that it is not poffible for her, in her present inclination of body, to apply her lips to the foot of the Infant; porfibly she might her ear, for she is in the moment of raising his foot towards her head : her arm and hand, that hang down, are ill proportioned; her fingers long, lank, and lean, like those of a crooked woman ; her arm thin, skinny, and fat; her elbow sharp, and seems as if it would wear a hole through the drapery; her toes are long, swelled and red; her dress disorderly; the folds of her drapery confusedly drawn; that of the Virgin is as bad. As to St. Jerome, he has the air of a miserable old beggar. The singing angel opens a mouth like that of a john.dory; and the young person behind the Magdalen has the same mouth and lips with the other personages; the latter he projects in an extraordinary manner towards the vase.' In the back ground appear some remains of a ruined theatre, with cottages; they stick to the back of the angel's head, so ill is the keeping preserved. There is also a kind of withered faggot, which is meant for a tree. Vexed

at

« AnteriorContinuar »