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us to linger about the ruin to a late hour, watching its varying aspects, and musing in its desolate arches. There is a charming walk upon the brow of the Ccelian Hill, bordered with parterres of bright flowers, shaded with young elms, and furnished with embowered seats. It is within a hundred paces of the Coliseum, and commands a perfect view of the exterior.
On the 19th I visited the Palazzo Spada, a monstrous, half-deserted palace, surrounding spacious quadrangular courts, with niches above, occupied by gods and saints. The most interesting work in the palace, and the principal object of my visit, is a colossal statue of Pompey, at the base of which Ccesar fell. There is some doubt as to its identity, and the authenticity of the tradition. It is said to have been found in a vault under a street, in the vicinity of Porapey's Forum. At all events, it is a statue of some merit, representing a warrior in an imposing attitude, with a fine exhibition of muscles. His right arm is outstretched; in his left hand he holds a globe; and a sword hangs at his side. I could perceive no reason why it might not be the conqueror of the East.
From the Spada palace, I went to the Palazzo Farnese, in the same neighbourhood. It is an immense pile, the materials of which were drawn from the Coliseum, that exhautless quarry whence many of the embellishments of modern Rome have been derived. The barbarous act of plunder is not redeemed by the magnificence of the palace, although its exterior surpasses in loftiness and architectural grandeur any similar edifice in the city. It js three stories high; the first of the Doric, the second of the Ionic, and the third of the Corinthian order. The frieze is particularly admired for its elegance. On the public square in front are two basins of granite, of an oval form, seven feet in diameter, and four or five in depth. They were found in the baths of Caracalla, and are now used as the reservoirs of two copious fountains.
In the court I found the sarcophagus of Cecilia Metella, from her tomb on the Appian Way. It is composition, encrusted with Parian marble, sculptured with the heads of animals. It is capacious enough to hold all the Patrician ashes of ancient Rome. Climbing a noble flight of stairs, I examined the celebrated frescos of Annibal Caracci. This enormous palace, in which a small family might easily bo lost, and the saloons of which are silent and cheerless, is at pre' sent occupied by the Neapolitan minister to the Papal Court.
In the afternoon I walked to the Villa Borghese, which is without the walls of the city, spreading northerly from the base of the Pincian Hill. It is three miles iu circumference, embracing a park, somewhat in the English style, the woods, walks, fountains, and other embellishments of which, display much taste in rural scenery, furnishing a striking contrast to ordinary Italian gardens. The pine, ilex, and elm, are among the most conspicuous trees. Broad avenues for carriages are laid out in all directions, which are open to the public, and form a charming drive. Just beyond the entrance, two vistas open at right angles, at the extremities of which, are Grecian temples, forming beautiful terminations. Statues, fountains, and pavilions, fill the woods.
I trod most of the umbrageous paths, and at length came to the principal lodge, which is lost among the trees. It is a noble edifice filled with the works of art. Numerous saloons open into a spacious hall, forming the vestibule, the vaulted roof of which is highly embellished. On the wall, facing the front door, is the celebrated* equestrian statue, in alto-relievo, of Curtius, leaping into the gulf which opened . in the Roman Forum.
In the evening we went to see the Pope give the finishing touch to his new saint. At 8 o'clock he brushed along through the congregated multitude, blessing the people as he passed, who all prostrated themselves upon the pavement. Prayers were said, and hymns of beatification sung. The whole front of the church, and the streets in the* vicinity, were brilliantly illuminated. At the conclusion of the ceremonies, a splendid volley of fire-works was let ofF, on the square in front of the chapel; and the modern saint, like the ancient prophet, might be said to have ascended in a chariot of flame. The nocturnal festival was prolonged to a late hour. Houses hung with banners of crimson, and balconies filled with circles of Roman beauty, certainly presented a brilliant spectacle.
While we were at breakfast next morning, word came that the church of the Capuchins was burnt down, from the illumination of the night previous. Here was a most ominous and unlucky occurrence, as well for his Holiness as his Saintship. Although Bealo Angelo could work other miracles, and excite celestial flames, he could not use the bucket and quench terrestrial fires. His own image and the brazen radii ofhis glory suffered in the conflagration. This catastrophe was hard of explanation, and staggered the faithful. In other countries, it would be accounted a judgment from heaven, for the mockery of deifying a monk. After finishing our coffee, we walked to the scene of desolation, which last evening was so brilliant and so gay. The front of the chapel was entirely consumed, and other parts sustained much injury. Cinders were strewed among the wreaths, with which the brows of madonnas and saints were entwined. While other articles of furniture were seared, it is remarkable, that the splendid picture of Guido's Archangel, denominated the Catholic Apollo, passed through the flames without detriment, although it was suspended over an altar near the front door. It is a noble production, perhaps the chef d'ceuvres of its author. Copies of it have been multiplied without number. The Archangel is represented in the attitude of treading upon the Prince of Darkness.
ROME CONTINUED—BARBERINI PALACE—STUDIO OF CANOVA—
THORWALDSEN COLONNA PALACE MICHAEL ANGELO'S
STATUE OF MOSES STUDIO OF CAMUCCINI SC1ARKA PALACE
ANNIVERSARY OF ST. JOHN PALAZZO FAKNESINA JEWS
AT ROME—VILLA MATTE!—CHURCH OF SAINT STEPHEN— STUDIO OF LANDI AND CAVALIERE.
June, 1826.—The morning of the 20th was occupied in a visit to the Barberini Palace, which possesses few external attractions. In the vestibule is a celebrated fresco by Pietro da Cortona. The collection of statues is indifferent, with the exception of one or two pieces, ascribed to Michael Angelo. In the gallery are many good pictures, among which, are an exact copy of Guido's Archangel, mentioned above, and a duplicate of La Pornarina, by Raphael himself.
The next day Signor Trentanove was so polite as to call and accompany us to the Studio of Canova, which now belongs to a brother of the celebrated artist, and is rented to a third person. We were ushered at once into a numerous collection of models and marbles, which to unpractised eyes,
Vol. Ii. 30
appeared to possess extraordinary merit. But it is the prevailing opinion in Italy, that Canova made few faultless statues. To others I leave the task of criticism and censure: be it mine to admire and praise the man, who could call such light, such graceful, and animated beings from the marble. He gave his attention chiefly to the forms of beauty; and in delicacy, in tenderness of expression, in softness, and repose, he appears to me almost without a rival. Of this remark, his Sleeping Loves, his Cupid, and Psyche, furnish striking illustrations. His Venuses are numerous, presented in an endless variety of attitudes. Some of them are exquisitely beautiful. Their forms are light and symmetrical as angels. In the delicacy of hands, feet, and ankles, it appears to me, he has improved upon the ancients; but as the latter are supposed to be perfect, the former is accused of refining upon nature. May not something be ascribed to the original models, which artists have copied? The standard of female beauty is surely not the same in all countries. I am satisfied, that one of Titian's living Venuses would not be admired by a person of delicate and refined taste.
This Studio contains a copy of the Venus in the Pitti palace at Florence, which is fully equal to the original. A group of Graces touch the earth with fairy footsteps, as if they had just lighted upon our sphere. But the most inimitable of all the pieces, is a small statue of Paulina, the Princess Borghese, who might be made very beautiful, and still be true to nature, if her personal charms are not exaggerated. She is represented in the character of a Venus, very slightly draped, sleeping upon a couch. The Paphian queen herself, did not possess more beauty, lightness of form, grace, and ease, than does this statue.
On the same day, we visited the two Studii of the justly celebrated Thorwaldsen. Signor Trentanove introduced us to the great artist, whom we found in one of his shops, playing with his dog. He is now at the age of about 50; in his person, short and thick set; with a full face, grey hair, well dressed, and a profusion of Italian rings upon his fingers. He is a Dane by birth, self-educated, without a family, and has acquired a princely fortune by his profession. In his manners, he is plain and unassuming. He is the most prominent artist now in Italy, universally known, and as universally admired. In the estimation of the public, he was in advance of Canova, before the death of the latter, and splendid additions hare since been made to his reputation. His forte
lies in bas-reliefs; but he excels in all the departments of
The first statue we examined in his shop, would not justify the foregoing panegyric. It was a Mars, with a contracted, short face, a square nose, and without dignity or grandeur. The next article, the Triumph of Alexander, a series of bassi-rilievi, corrected our first impressions, and gave us an exalted idea of the genius and skill of this artist. It is one of the greatest works of the present age; splendid both in design and execution. But his Christ and the twelve Apostles, made for a church, in his native country, may be considered as his chef d'oeuvres. He is said to be better pleased with the face of the Saviour, than with any other of his works. It is indeed divine. Nothing can exceed it in majesty, dignity, and sweetness. The best judges regard it as a masterly conception, embodied with admirable skill. In most cases, Apostles look all alike; but Thorwaldsen has contrived to give to his group a wonderful variety of expression, suited to their characters.
He has just finished a colossal horse for Poland. So far as we could judge of such a work in its present position, it is unequalled in attitude, spirit, and the justness of its proportions. The head of the steed is fourteen feet from the pedestal, and his body is about twenty feet in length. "His neck is clothed with thunder;" and a prouder or more fiery charger never trod the earth. The statue of Copernicus is another work of great merit. It is larger than life. The astronomer is represented in a sitting contemplative posture, holding in his hand his own planetary system.
In his conception and expression of the beautiful, Thorwaldsen is equally successful as in his productions of a loftier and more masculine character. Of this remark, hie Shepherd furnishes a striking illustration. It is a faultless statue, personifying all the gentleness, innocence and quiet of a pastoral life. A small MerCury is another playful effort, evincing the versatility of his talent and his admirable skill.
In the afternoon, we went to the Colonna palace, which is among the largest and most splendid at Rome. The Prince, who is proprietor, resides at Naples. He is a descendant of the illustrious family, renowned in the history of Italy, and celebrated among other things, for their friendship to Petrach. The principal gallery is two hundred feet in length.