« VorigeDoorgaan »
riority they are generally considered by Again, he says in another place :-critics as forgeries, but in a great many
The artist ought first to exercise his hand instances this appears to me to be an un. by copying drawings by the hand of a good founded criticism. In criticising these master. And having acquired this practice drawings we must not overlook the fact under the criticism of his master, he should that most of them were done at a time when next practise drawings in relief of a good there were but few collectors, and when style, following the rules which will be given original drawings were still to be had in to him.* large numbers for little expense. I there. The fitness of a boy for an artistic cafore think that most of the apparently reer was judged by his ability in executing old drawings which reproduce original his drawings, as Leonardo puts it very sketches by the great masters, which are distinctly. still in existence, or which may be lost, ought to be described more properly as
Many are they who have a taste and love works of pupils, and as such' they have for drawing, but no talent; and this will be no doubt also some merits, and deserve discernible in boys who are not diligent, and
never finish their drawings with shading.t to be appreciated. In the studios of these painters it was
In a special chapter on the necessity one of the principal occupations of the of being very accurate in drawings he pupils to draw from the models of their says : masters. An evidence of this we find in
If you who draw desire to study well and to the writings of Leonardo da Vinci. Among good purpose, always go slowly to work in his precepts for the students of painting your drawing, and discriminate in the lights the following passage occurs :
which have the highest degree of brightness, The youth should first learn perspective, and to what extent, and likewise in the then the proportions of the objects. Then he shadows, which are those that are darker than
the others, and in what way they intermingle; may copy from a good master, to accustom himself to fine forms; then from nature, to then their masses, and the relative proportions confirm by practice the rules he has learnt; of one to the other. And note in their outthen see for a time the works of various mas- lines which way they tend, and which part of ters; then get the habit of putting his art into the lines is curved to one side or the other, practice and work. *
and where they are more or less conspicuous The plan of the young artist's educa. that your light and shade blend without strokes
and consequently broad or fine; and finally, tion, as framed here by Leonardo da Vinci, and borders, but looking like smoke. And is on a somewhat larger scale than was when you have thus schooled your hand and the practice of the time. We know that your judgment by such diligence you will acLeonardo attached great importance to a quire rapidity before you are aware. I scientific study of the proportions of the
It was one of the rules of the old Vero. human figure. Albert Dürer and a few others occupied themselves with similar treating of the guilds of the early Italian
nese painters'guild, as I have shown when studies, which they intended to make prof. painters, that during the winter season the itable to their pupils, whereas other great pupils had to occupy themselves espeartists, like Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian, cially with drawing.S' A similar sugges. and Correggio, took little or no interest in tion we find two centuries later in the such mathematical inquiries.
writings of Leonardo da Vinci, and we Among Leonardo's writings there are a
may therefore suppose that this practice few other precepts which throw a fuller was a generally accepted one. In a chaplight on the method of instruction as prac. ter headed “Of the Time for Studying tised in the painter's studio. A short but Selection of Subjects ” the great Floreninteresting chapter, with the heading “Of tine painter says: the Order of Learning to Draw," runs thus:
Winter evenings ought to be employed by First draw from drawings by good masters, made during the summer; that is, all the
young students in carrying out the studies done from works of art and from nature, and not from memory; then from plastic work, drawings from the nude done in summer with the guidance of the drawing done from it made of the best studies of limbs and bodies mer, you should select some one who is well stood in about the same estimation as grown, and who has not been brought up in nowadays the fresco paintings by Raphael the doublets, and so may not be of stiff car. and Michelangelo in the Vatican, or the riage, and make him go through a number of finest antique sculptures. They were, inagile and graceful actions; and if his muscles do not show plainly within the outlines of his deed, considered to be the best models for
should be brought together, and so a choice (viz., by your master); and then from good natural models; and this you must put into among them, to apply in practice and commit
After this in the following sumpractice.t
See the Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci, • P. 244, $ 485. edited by J. P. Richter (London, 1883), vol. i., p. 243, 483.
I P. 247. $ 492. † P. 243, § 484.
§ Nineteenth Century, November, 1860, p. 791f.
+ P. 243,
the students to draw from. Ample proof limbs, that does not matter at all. It is enough that you can see good attitudes, and of this we find in Vasari's writings. To you can correct the drawings of the limbs by quote only one passage : those you studied in the winter. *
Masaccio's works (so he says] certainly We must not suppose that such careful merit all the praise they have received, the studies in drawing were uncommon with
more so as it was by him that the path was the rest of the old masters. In Vasari's
opened to the excellent manner prevalent in
our times, to the truth of which we have testilives of the Renaissance artists we oc- mony in the fact that all the most celebrated casionally come across reports which sculptors and painters since Masaccio have clearly show that similar rules were prac- become excellent and illustrious by studying tised also by other artists. Thus of their art in making copies of the figures in the Francia Bigio it is related that he studied | Brancacci Chapel. his art so zealously, and with so much de. Then he goes on to enumerate the artlight, that there was no day through the ists of whom he knew that they had copied summer months wherein he did not copy from Masaccio's paintings, and among some nude figure from the life in his stu- them he names Fra Filippo and Filippino dio, ard to this end he kept persons con- Lippi, Sandro Botticelli and Domenico stantly in his pay.t
del Ghirlandajo, Andrea del Verrocchio Of the Florentine Baccio Bandinelli the and Leonardo da Vinci, Fra Bartolommeo same writer relates that, when he was a and Albertinelli, Michelangelo, Andrea del youth, he used to go to Pinzirimonte, a Sarto and Raphael, all artists who aimed villa purchased by his father. There he at the very highest standard in the drawwould stand long before the laborers, who ing of the figure; and to these names he were working, and who, on account of the adds a few others, such as Lorenzo di great heat in summer, were half naked, Credi, Francia Bigio, and Pontormo, who and would draw the figures of these men were of less repute, but who, as students, with great zeal and delight, proceeding in had been under the rule of very good mas. like manner with the cattle on the farm, ters, who doubtless directed them to copy which he would copy with equal care. I from Masaccio. About the same time [so Vasari continues
Of all writers on art Leonardo da Vinci in his account of Baccio’s life, whom he had was perhaps the first who duly acknowlknown personally] it was the young artist's edged the exceptional merits of that early frequent habit to repair in the early morning Florentine master who had died in 1428 at to Prato, which was at no great distance from the age of twenty-seven years.f Leonardo this villa, and where he would remain the thought it very important that the artist whole day, drawing, in the Chapel of La should draw from a variety of models. Pieve, or cathedral, from the fresco paintings He was even of the opinion that the of Fra Filippo Lippi. Nor did he cease until he had copied the whole, more particularly painter, when investigating the beautiful imitating the draperies of that master, who in nature, should rather rely on the generwas most excellent in respect of drapery
ally accepted views of the public than
satisfy himself with his own conceptions.I a criticism which is much to the credit of No doubt there must have been some great the artist, when we consider that the pre- danger in the one-sided and uniform invailing taste of those days was no more struction which the masters of the Rewhat it had been at Fra Filippo's time, a naissance imparted to their pupils within hundred years earlier.
their studios. As Bandinelii went to Prato to draw from Fra Filippo's works, so most of the
A painter [so Leonardo says] who has Florentine students of painting used to works; and the same will occur with any
clumsy hands will paint similar hands in his draw from the frescoes by Masaccio in the limb, unless long study has taught him to Brancacci chapel of the church “ Del avoid it. Therefore, o painter, look careCarmine" at Florence. In the eyes of fully what part is most ill-favored in your own the Florentine Renaissance artists these person, and take particular pains to correct
• Literary Works. vol i., p. 249 f. $ 497.,
• Vol. ii., p. 298.
it in your studio; for, if you are coarse, your of the leg, where it is connected with the figures will seem the same, and devoid of foot, with a pronounced narrowness, which charm. And it is the same with any, part surpasses the common standard of nature. that may be good or poor in yourself; it will Again, Titian, in drawing the hands, is be shown to some degree in your figures.*
wont to give to the palm of the thumb an Not less curious is what he observes in unusually prominent shape. Raphael, some other writing on the same subject. again, in drawing the ear, represents that The passage, which requires some expla- part of the human face in a peculiar way, nation, runs thus:
quite different from that of any of his It seems to me to be no small charm in a
pupils or imitators, and so on. Again, painter when he gives his figures a pleasing has a peculiar manner of drawing the
Pinturicchio, the companion of Perugino, air; and this grace, if he have it by nature, he may acquire by incidental study in this outlines of the hands and of the ear, which
Look about you, and take the best is quite different from that which we al. parts of many beautiful faces, of which the ways meet with in the works of Perugino. beauty is confirmed rather by public fame In paying attention to such details we than by your own judgment; for you might become enabled to distinguish also be. be mistaken, and choose faces which have tween works which, for instance, Pintu some resemblance to your own. For it would seem that such resemblances often please us, under the more direct influence of his
ricchio painted at an early age, when and if you should be ugly you would select faces that were not beautiful, and you would master, Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, and those of then make ugly faces, as many painters do. his riper age, because in the former his For often a master's work resembles himself. mode of drawing the ear has an unmistakSo select beauties, as I tell you, and fix them able affinity with that of the earlier Um. in your mind.t
brian master, whose works he then used Now if we examine the pictures painted
to take as his models. In his later works, during Leonardo's lifetime, and before however, this peculiarity disappears. Fra that date, from the point of view indicated Bartolommeo and Albertinelli were two in this remarkable sentence, we feel bound artists who worked much in common, the to say that there is really a great truth in latter executing sometimes works for the statement that every artist of those which the former had done the design. days had a quite peculiar manner of his But when we compare their drawings we own of drawing faces, bands, and other detect that each of them had a special limbs - nay, even draperies and land- habit of shading his figures, by which scape backgrounds - so much so, indeed, they may be distinguished, notwithstandthat such peculiarities become a special ing the great similarity of their general means for the identification of the works appearance. of the several masters. Nor do I believe
From what is known to us about the that the art-critic is going too far when he organization of the guilds it becomes evisays that an old master may reveal his dent that the narrow sphere of the educa. own style and manner in his works, not tion of these artists sufficiently accounts only by drawing hands, or some other
for such peculiarities of style, and in not limbs, with a clumsiness peculiar to him, a few cases these can be traced back to as Leonardo expresses himself, but also, some special feature in the works of the when representing the human body, by masters under whose guidance they had some special delicacy and refinement. In studied the profession. short, every master, whatever may have
When Leonardo da Vinci settled down been his standard of beauty, has his own
at Milan, a large number of pupils gathindividual manner of realizing it. And ered around him, many of whom have, in we may also say that the scrutinizing eye
later years, become famous artists of inof the critic is sure to detect in the works dependent position. The school thus of the greatest masters some particular founded by Leonardo da Vinci appears to habits in the drawing of certain details, have been based on a wider plan, and on which reveal their individual style more scientific principles, than had been Neither Michelangelo, nor Leonardo, nor
the case before with any other teaching Titian, is an exception to this rule.
There are, unfortunately, no Thus, to quote a few instances, Michel- contemporary records of the organization angelo, in drawing the outlines of the of that school. Besides the statements of legs, is wont to represent the lower part writings, we have no information whatever
its existence, in Vasari's and in Lomazzo's • Vol. i., p. 293, $ 586.
about it. But the style and character of Vol. i., p. 293 . 587.
the comparatively numerous drawings and
pictures, still in existence, which have prototype of Leonardo's academy, we find the unmistakable impress of Leonardo's some detailed information in Vasari's life influence, testify to the thorough training of the sculptor Torrigiano, the well-known of the various pupils who worked under rival of Michelangelo, who, in later years, his guidance.
came to England, where he executed seve About the lives of most of them we eral excellent works. know next to nothing. Their names have In the life of this artist the biographer been preserved to us, and, in the case of relates that: some of them, also a few dates. Nor do Lorenzo il Magnifico allowed him to visit his Leonardo's own writings supply the want-garden, which was on the Piazza di San Marco, ing information. They abound in exposi. and which had been decorated profusely with tions of scientific matter, but are scant in figures from the antique and with examples of their references to the occurrences of the best sculptors. În the loggie, the walks, daily life and to the persons who con- and in all the buildings there were the noblest stantly surrounded him. Art historians statues in marble, admirable works of the of a later date have ventured upon specu- of art by the most prominent masters of Italy
ancients, with pictures and other productions lations about the school of Leonardo da and other countries. All the treasures, in Vinci, to which the great artist had given addition to being a noble ornament to the the name of an "accademia,” evidently garden, were also a school or academy – with the object of marking it out as a Vasari uses here this very word — for the school of a higher order than the ordinary young painters and sculptors, as well as for teaching of the painters of the day. But all others devoted to the art of design, but this very name “ accademia " is not to be more particularly for the young nobles, seeing met with among his writings, which cover that Lorenzo il Magnifico held the firm conabout five thousand closely written pages, are in all things capable of attaining perfec
viction that those who are born of noble race and we have no other authentic information more easily than, for the most part, are tion at hand to confirm the statement that men of lower extraction, in whom we do not his school really bore this name than the commonly find that quickness of perfection, fact that the inscription" Leonardi Vincii nor that elevation of genius, which is so often Accademia ” is to be found inside six perceptible in those of noble blood.* shields of twisted ornaments, executed in After some more observations on this woodcut, of which the original blocks subject Vasari continues :have been preserved to us in the department of prints in the Bibliothèque Na- Lorenzo il Magnifico, and more especially did
Men of genius were always protected by tionale at Paris. Impressions of these he favor such of the nobles as he perceived knots of varying design may be supposed to have an inclination for the study of art. to have served for the covers of the port- It is, therefore, no matter for astonishment folios in the painter's school.
that masters should have proceeded from this At the time of Lorenzo il Magnifico school some of whom have awakened the there had been founded, at Florence, an surprise as well as admiration of the world. accademia by several literary men, who And not only did Lorenzo provide the means thus intended to revive antique institu- of instruction, but also the means of support tions of the time of Plato. Another acca- studies without such aid.
for all who were too poor to pursue their
Nay, he further demia of similar tendencies had been
supplied them with proper clothing, and even founded in Rome at about the same time, bestowed considerable presents on any one but Leonardo da Vinci, was, it appears, among them who had distinguished himself the first who gave to a school of painters from his fellows by some well-executed design. this classical name, which, at a much later All which so encouraged the young students of date, has been accepted by all prominent our arts that, striving to emulate one another, similar institutions and associations of many of them became excellent masters. artists.
The guardian and head of these young men It is quite possible that Leonardo, in was, at that time, the Florentine sculptor Ber
toldo, an old and experienced master, who choosing the name of academy for his had been a disciple of Donatello. From him own school, intended to characterize it as the students received instruction, while he an institution in which scientific princi- also had charge of all the treasures contained ples were to be the guiding rules of study. in the garden, with the numerous designs,
Lorenzo il Magnifico, in whose house drawings, cartoons, and models collected at Florence the Platonic academy of lit. there by the hand of Donatello, Brunelleschi, erary men held its meetings, bád also Masaccio, Paolo Uccello, Fra Giovanni in. founded in his garden a museum with gelico, Fra Filippo, and other masters, native which an art school was connected. About and foreign. this, which appears to me to have been a
• Vol. iv., p. 256 f.
In concluding Vasari remarks: purchases, with much gesticulation and And, indeed, these arts can only be ac
frequent reference to a pocket dictionary. quired by means of long-continued study in I had all the usual current home ideas or drawing, with frequent and careful imitation prejudices about the people and country, or copying of works by good masters. He such as that the Russian character is who is not supplied with these facilities to “ essentially sad and silent, rendered so progress, however powerfully aided by natu- owing to long years of oppression;" that ral dispositions, can never attain perfection their own "language is so difficult that till a large portion of his life is spent. * they find all other languages compara
Neither the school in the garden of the tively easy, and so can speak them fiuMedici nor the accademia of Leonardo ently;” and, finally, that they were a da Vioci survived their founders. They partially civilized, semi-Asiatic people, had, it appears, little in common with the much behind the ordinary West-country old guilds, the spirit of which was scarcely European. To take just these three in harmony with these new institutions. points, I may say that a residence in the As long as these schools existed they country has at least modified such ideas. depended on the strong will and on the I found them chatty, companionable, and personal influence of the men who had cheerful, always ready to amuse and to started them. They were well organized, be amused, and singularly hospitable. It and in every respect they must have had is quite the exception to meet with a great chances of becoming permanent in- fluent linguist (I do not speak now of the stitutions, but evidently they were not in highest class, nor of the Poles, who are keeping with the spirit of the guilds, and often singularly gifted in this way); many this was sufficient to bring about their knew a little French or German, and were downfall. J. PAUL RICHTER. often ready to assume a much deeper
knowledge than they possessed; they • P. 258.
spoke it, indeed, much as would the average middle-class Englishman, i.e., badly. One rarely meets a Russian who knows English, and still more rarely one who
can speak it, except in St. Petersburg or From The Cornhill Magazine.
Moscow. As to the last point, that they
are semi-barbarous, one should remember The love of travel is an instinct prob- that there are so many varieties of type abiy more strongly developed in English- in this huge empire that it is not fair to men than in any other nation, and it judge the whole nation by what one may seems, therefore, the more strange how find to be the case in one part of the comparatively few have cared to visit Rus-country. Certain peculiarities of manoer, sia, and even these few for the most part habit, or dress, to which I will refer here. wiibin recent years. At a time when the after, do incline one at times, perhaps rigor of a more than ordinary severe unfairly, to take this view. I think the famine is throwing a lurid light upon the Russian middle and the rising generation darker side of the national life, it seems of the peasant class are fairly educated, opportune to try to lift the veil with a lif allowance be made for the living under somewhat kinder band, and to show what an autocratic government rigidly prohibthere is that is pleasing or promising in iting all freedom of discussion and all the Russian people.
liberty of the press. One of the now, happily, annually in- There has lately appeared in a magazine creasing band of officers, military and a powerful article on the “ Demoralization civil, who have recently availed 'them- of Russia.” It is the most stupendous selves of the facilities offered by govern. indictment of a whole nation, its govern. ment to learn the language, I have often ment, and its institutions that I have ever been asked to write a short sketch of the read. Its bitterness is perhaps partially nine or ten months which I passed – explained by the fact that the writer is, I everywhere most pleasantly – in widely am told, a member of that great, unique, distant parts of the dominions of the and persecuted race, with all their won. Great White Czar.
derful history and marvellous fidelity to I went to Russia knowing nothing of their traditions and faith, stretching back the people or the country, and with just to a past beside which the history of ansufficient knowledge of the language to cient Greece shrinks into insignificance ; enable me to ask my way about and to and there can be no doubt that the chosen make ordinary necessary inquiries and people" — with whom I am much in sym
THE RUSSIANS AT HOME.