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The History of Painting in Italy

That there were painters in Italy, even during the rude ages, is attested not only by historians, [26] but by several pictures which have escaped the ravages of time; Rome retains several ancient specimens.[27] Passing over her cemeteries, which have handed down to us a number of Christian monuments, part in specimens of painted glass, scattered through our museums, and part in those of parietal histories, or walled mosaic, it will be sufficient to adduce two vast works, unrivalled by any others, that I know of, in Italy. The first is the series of the Popes, which in order to prove the succession of the papal chair, from the prince of the Apostles down to the time of St. Leo, this last holy pontiff caused to be painted; a work of the fifth century, which was subsequently continued until our own times. The second is the decoration of the whole church of San Urbano, where there are several evangelical acts represented on the walls, along with some histories of the Titular Saint and St. Cecilia, a production which, partaking in nothing either of the Greek lineaments or style of drapery, may be attributed more justly to an Italian pencil, which has subscribed the date of 1011.[28] Many more might be pointed out, existing in different cities; as for instance the picture at Pesara, of the patron saints of the city, illustrated by the celebrated Annibale Olivieri, which is earlier than the year 1000; those in the vaults of the cathedral at Aquileja, [29] the picture at Santa Maria Primerana at Fiesole, which seems the work of that or the succeeding age;[30] and the picture at Orvieto which was formerly known by the name of S. Maria Prisca, but is now generally called S. Brizio.[31] I say nothing of the figures of the virgin formerly ascribed to St. Luke, and now supposed to be the production of the eleventh or twelfth century, as I shall have to treat of them at the opening of the third book. The painters of those times were, however, of little repute; they produced no illustrious scholars, no work worthy of marking an era. The art had gradually degenerated into a kind of mechanism, which, after the models afforded by the Greek workers in mosaic employed in the church of St. Mark, at Venice, [32] invariably exhibited the same legends, in which nature appeared distorted rather than represented. It was not till after the middle of the thirteenth century that any thing better was attempted; and the improvement of sculpture was the first step towards the formation of a new style.The honour of this is due to the Tuscans; a nation that from very remote antiquity disseminated the benign light of art and learning throughout Italy; but it more especially belongs to the people of Pisa. They taught artists how to shake off the trammels of the modern Greeks, and to adopt the ancients for their models. Barbarism had not only overwhelmed the arts, but even the maxims necessary for their re-establishment. Italy was not destitute of fine specimens of Grecian and Roman sculpture; but she had long been without an artist who could appreciate their value, much less attempt to imitate th
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PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: The History of Painting in Italy
  • Author: Thomas Roscoe, Luigi Lanzi
  • Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC - Kdp Print Us
  • ISBN: 9798656605670
  • Length: 0.52 inch
  • Width: 8.5 inch
  • Languages: English
  • Subtitle: Vol. I: Large Print
  • Format: PaperBack
  • Category: Art History
  • Publication Date: 24/06/2020
  • Pages: 248
  • Height: 11.0 inch
  • Weight: 1.29 pound

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