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ligion—they stimulated confidence in cess of the conception, and its signifi. its abstract dogmas, by giving birth to cation or meaning, are both profoundly moral emotion.*
intellectual. Raphael both in style At the first view, it may appear and expression, impresses dignitied impossible to bring the varied range and reposed benevolence, and exalted of the works of Raphael under one humanity.+ Each illustrates or spedesignation or category; but that va- cities particular portions of the subriety, on their proper nature and rela- ject; they draw the mind toward its tion being perceived, only serves more contemplation under different aspects, strikingly to exhibit their collected and It is in this view that the works of specific character. Had his works been Raphael must be considered to come less numerous and varied, they might collectively under one designation : have more readily appeared to be iso their numerous combinations present lated examples of what they now ex- the Eternal Father, the Christ, Matensively embrace, and, in painting, donna, saints, disciples, prophets, become the principal exponents of philosophers, doctors, and dignitaries Whatever are the subjects, their sphere of the Church, soldiers, and all the is the same ; to such an extent, that it incidental characters which they offer, might be urged against their fidelity, under the dominion of one range of in connexion with description or his. sentiment. tory. But their greatness does not Of this the most eminent and radi. consist in being faithful to these. The cal manifestation, are the pictures of worth of all the great masters consists the Madonna and the Infant Jesus. in the working outwards of particular In these the nature of the genius of or exclusive portions of mind. Thus Raphael is most strongly exemplified, the works of each are limited to cer- and his greatest excellence in art extain circles-fate-bound within a cer- hibited. They may be viewed as a tain range ; and, before painting is centre, from which the ethical bearing understood (if unprejudiced play is of his other works was irradiated. given to the mind, it must always be The expression of any superhuman correctly fell), it must be regarded as a character cannot be considered at all whole, of which the separate works of to be their aim; they would thus be each form a part. This may be con- removed from the sphere of those sidered to be dependant upon the emotions which they present in a vi. limited nature of human power, and sibly appreciable form. No sentiment so far it is ; but it also was, in a great of doubt or question enters into them. measure, the result of the character of The enquiry of intellectual power has those ages which produced the great- no place. They express à reposed est painters. In the painting of these, elysium of feeling. They canonize the apprehension of any particular one of the first of the charities of life. subject or character is only to be ar. In their subject and expression the rived at by a comparison of the opin- kindred relations are raised into the ions or dictates (it must be recollect. sphere of divinity. They are a visi. ed that painting was, for centuries, ble apotheosis of maternal love, worth, almost alone the book - Bible--of Eu- and duty. Of this, they meet the menrope) of various masters. Thus, to tal conception or idea ; beyond which, take as an example the idea of Deity, if it is possible to go, no other exemas expressed in the works of Michael plification has passed, and in very few Angelo and Raphael. Michael An. instances nearly reached. gelo has, by a combination of form, The progress towards the perfected attitude, and colour, expressed mental evolution of the expression of these greatness, super-humanity. The pro. pictures, proceeded throughout the
Not on any preconcerted or systematic plan, such as that of Spenser's Faery Queen, which is “ disposed into twelve books, fashioning twelve moral virtues," but which, in the relation that it establishes with the mind, rather becomes expressive of a mixture of the poetry of allegory and chivalric romance, than essentially impressive of the sentiments which it professes to set forth. In Raphael, this is set forth in the matter much more than the mode.
† His picture of God dividing light from darkness cannot be said to conform to this. In it he probably intended to enter the sphere of Michael Angelo, but has altogether fail. ed. It has not power or will, but much vulgar effort.
whole line of the predecessors of Ra- pression of emotion, under the influphael, from the resuscitation of paint- ence of moral sentiment, is presenteding. The earliest mosaics—those at. from placid trust to compassionating tributed to St Luke the Evangelist, agony. but the works of Greeks of the middle Next to the Virgin Mary, the anages, or probably even of the twelfth gelic personages most strongly precentury, by Apollonius or his asso- sent the essential features of his works. ciates-supply the first attempts at the They are so moulded in, and signifipictured reference to it. It is peculiar, cative of amenity and benevolenceand only incident in å prominent de. so imbued with open-eyed benignity, gree to Roman Catholic painting. It that in those instances wherein they can scarcely be said to -appear in become the ministers of vengeance, as Greek sculpture; the only important in the fresco of the expulsion of Heinstances in which, that refer to the liodorus from the temple, their exsanctity of the relations of kindred, are pression almost becomes contorted. It the Niobe and the Laocoon, and in appears to be the assumption of what both they are adopted not to enforce they seem physically and mentally intheir value, but to enhance, or assist capable of feeling or expressing. In the expression of other sentiments. this instance, their expression is that They are rendered subjective to the of irritation; it is deficient in superepic expression of woe, in the one in- human power, in connexion with instance, and of mighty suffering in the telleet. So, likewise, is the head, and other the contention of will with also the figure of the warrior on horsefate. In the Greek poets, the morality back, which was intended to repredependant upon the sacredness of these sent the vision that drove back the relations is extensively referred to; intruder; which, in connexion with but, in almost every noticeable in- its subject, is one of the most unfortustance, it must be considered that it is nate of the productions of Raphael. subordinated to particular objects, As an angry warrior, who assumes the which, on the other hand, are seldom appearance of being still more so than or never subordinate to this. Their he really is—as a half-Gothic Roman, violation in the story of the Iliad, finds clad (but this belongs to convention, a cause for the epic expression of the which must be so far allowed for in all character of Greek heroism. In the the old masters) in the mixed mode of Eumenides of Æschylus, which is the decay of the empire, it is a good built on their perceived importance, figure, but not as a representation of they are subservient to the announce- the immediate agent of Deity.s But, ment of the power of the gods. The in the same picture, there is a contrast @Edipus of Sophocles presents their to this failure in the figures of the fesubjection to irrevocable fate-to the males, and in those of Pope Julius II. unquestionable will of the Stygian with his attendants. In these, RaJove.
phael comes upon the ground to which Throughout the works of Raphael, his powers are adapted. the character of the Madonna conti- In the Infant Jesus, much has been nues, under various aspects, to furnish considered to have been expressed that a principal exemplification of their na- is almost incompatible with possibiture. From her personification in his lity. But if the expression" (consibeautiful early picture of the Mar- dering it separately from its union riage of the Virgin,t to that of her with the whole sentiment of the picbeatification, finished by his pupils,$ tures of the Madonna and Child, and a diversified, and it may almost be Holy Families) may be regarded to said a continuous, series of the ex- be to any extent distinct from that
* The refined criticisms that have been made on the Laocoon, which define the measure of mental suffering that the father endures on account of his son's being involved in the like calamity with himself, only attest how little their authors felt or understood the work. † At Milan.
$ At Rome, in the gallery of the Vatican. $ This figure has been often praised, in connexion with its subject, by those who had learned that Raphael was great ; but, not knowing in wbat respect he was great, and having a notion of what should have been done here, bad either faith enough to believe it done, or did voluntary violence to their own feelings, and gave hypocritical com. mendation to what deserves none.
of the frequently attendant cheru- is scarcely a head, figure, or group, bim, it consists in making the infant which impresses the idea of the awakencountenance-at times so expressive ed impetuosity of mortal combat. The of intuitive perception—more com- figure of Mezentius presents a poor pletely its type. But, throughout his impersonation of the defeated and works, Raphael cannot be considered drowning tyrant; while the principal to be in general successful in the incident--the only feature which is Christ. There are, however, so far, not implied by such a subject, and the exceptions to this ; but he probably most efficiently produced in the work, attempted more (though this cannot refers to the refined miseries of civil be said to be apparent by study or la- and kindred strife_in the father re. bour) to pursue an idea, and more to cognising his slain son. present what was in conformity to In the Incendio del Borgo_the Pope that, than altogether to rely upon the arresting the fire of the suburbs of expression with which his powers Rome–the interest is altogether cencoincided. These, however, although tred, to the disregard of the miracle, ample and eminent in many subordi- in incidents which exemplify affection nate characters, and necessary as part and duty. The School of Athens, in of the expression of the union of the a series of elevated characters, inculdivine and human in this instance, are cates the dignity of wisdom-of mennot sufficient for its whole. Nor did tal superiority, which is met by youth the intellectuality of Michael Angelo with eager and implicit confidence in effect it ; here he again was deficient its dictates. The Dispute of the Sain what Raphael possessed.
crament presents numerous features of Next to these, the characters which worth, intelligence, and consideration frequently recur, and continue most -the fiery zeal of theological dispudistinctly to exemplify the nature of tation has no place. The subject is his genius, are the young St John, St little heeded: the aspect and station Elizabeth, Mary Magdalene, Joseph, of the personages of the assembly and St John the beloved_each of seem alone to be regarded. which present different features of sen- But every work of Raphael might timent under the same influence. here be adduced. Each, more or less,
But, although particular characters exemplifies the sentiment—that, ruling may be specified as affording the most throughout the whole, sacrifices, or direct exemplification of what has probably, in the instance of their aubeen stated to distinguish Raphael, thor, does not fully permit the appreit must be kept in view, that the qua- hension of any other, which would iities peculiar to his genius cannot al- materially interfere with its predomimost be said to exist more in one nance. As a combined whole, in their instance than in another; although, essential tendency, the works of Rafrom the subject of his works coincid. phael stand single and distinct among ing with it, it may be more fully dis- the various productions of the different played. What must be considered the arts. The living poetry of Homer spirit of his works, was frequently op- presents the self-boasted cause of posed to that of their letter or subject. Greek superiority--the union of the This, a reference to the Battle of Con- demigod heroism of its imagined stantine, may exemplify. It cannot chronology with actual history. The be considered to be, in an elementary tragic poets of Greece exhibit their or essential manner, expressive of strife overruling power of the gods. Greek and confliction. There is too much sculpture is a perfected combination urbanity even in the anatomical ex. of reason and poctic sentiment in pression. The whole is a very inade- many various modes. Greek architecquate representation of the ruin and ture is poetry united to the rigidity of confusion of such a scene. In this it mathematical law. The Æneid poetfalls in comparison with Le Brun's izes narrative ; Lucan and Lucretius, Alexander passing the Granicus, and Roman battle-fields and prevalent phiits value must rest upon its style and losophy. Dante and Michael Angelo signification in other respects. The evulgate the fluctuating strife of intelfigure of Constantine is without much lect. Raphael recognises moral disexpression ; but so far as it does pos- tinction under the influence of reposed sess such, it is not that of warlike benevolence ; from which, in common energy, but of the reposed power of with Pythagoras, Plato, and the evan. justice-he is preceded by divine mi- gelist St John, he derives his titlenisters. Throughout the whole, there the divine.
HYMNS TO THE GODS.
BY ALBERT PIKE-OF ARKANSAS.
No. I.-- To NEPTUNE,
God of the mighty deep! wherever now
Perhaps thou lettest now thy horses roam
May dance upon the bright and misty dew
No. II.-To APOLLO.
Bright-hair'd Apollo !- Thou who ever art
The fleeing night, oh hear
Oh most high Poet !-thou whose great heart's swell
With earnest calling cry!
Oh thou! who strikest oft thy golden lyre