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over-head. That " men seek truth stitute an efficient medium in working in their own little world, and not in out or substantiating this primary the great and common world,” has end ; in connexion with which they been amply exemplified in connexion are also employed with different dewith art. The microcosm of indivi- grees of success. In both respects dual and partial notions has there, as in efficiency, and in the degree of in every other subject, too frequently power with which it has been em. been made to regulate the decisions of ployed to enunciate the express use judgment.
or end of the painting of Titian and The nature of the colour of Vene- his followers colour becomes an tian painting is a condition merely of obvious and striking feature of their the essential character of the Venetian art; and hence has been considered school, not that in itself. The colour, to be its ultimate distinction. and also the form and light of Gior- Another designation, still less adegione and Titian, and to a certain quate to express the character of Veneextent of their predecessors, but still tian painting, has been applied to itmore eminently of their successors, that of the Ornamental School. But are dependent upon the ultimate rela- the sense attached to the term has not tion of their works. The individually been defined. Whether, however, it varied styles of the Bellini, Giorgione, is to be understood to apply to sentiTitian, Bonifazio, the elder Palma, ment of an universal or of a factitious and Schiavone,* with those others kind, or to the mere representation of who may be considered to belong to actual variety or decorative multipli. this school, have one basement. While city of parts, in form, colour, and they differ in certain particulars, each light- allowing the most extended exhibiting that variety which imme- interpretation to be put upon the titlediately distinguishes his works, they it is perfectly inapplicable to many of are bound together by one general the most important productions of the intention or reference. From the school of Venice, which most strongly time of Gentile and Giovanni Bellini, exemplify its particular character. (before which none of the schools of Can the inspissated depth in colour revived art had made any very dis- and tone of the Virgin and Saints, by tinct endexis of their particular char- Giovanni Bellini ;f the unengaging acter-all having, with considerable substantiality of the Concert Champêtre similarity, been step by step progress- of Giorgione ;' the ponderous solidity ing in the use of the language of art, of the Assumption of the Virgin, by regulated in the mode of their pro- Titian ;$ the strength and corrugated ductions by the type which had been impasto of the Virgin in Glory, by founded upon those sentiments in con- Bonifazio ; || the sober monotonous vexion with which it had re-appeared) uniformity of the St Peter surrounded -from his time to that of the younger by Saints, T by the elder Palma-can Palma, when deterioration had become these works, which may be held to apparent, Venetian painting is directed represent the greater number of the by one predominating object, by others of these masters—the roots and which it is separated from the other stem of Venetian painting—be called schools of the same period, and in ornamental ? The attempt, however, obedience to the dictates of which, its to embrace them inclusively under style of form, colour, and light and this appellation, speaks the unity shade, originated. These, however, which was felt to exist among them, as means or portions of the language although its nature was not perof painting, are each differently adapt. ceived. ** ed, from their specific nature, to con.
But while colour and ornament are
Sebastian Piombo is not mentioned here, merely to avoid confusion; his style, which is essentially Venetian, having been frequently grafted on the conceptions of Michael Angelo, as in the Flagellation, in S. Pietro, in Montorio Rome, and the Lazarus in the National Gallery. † In San Zaccherino in Venice.
* In the Gallery of the Louvre. In the Academy of the Fine Arts, Venice. Also in the Academy at Venice.
T There also. ** Sir Joshua Reynolds has been necessitated, after using this term, to, in some mea
neither finally constitutive of the dis- Venetian art, has been held alone to tinct nature of this circle of painting, present truth or excellence.* But this, and with form, and light and shade, by a similar misapprehension, has, must be considered merely to be the on the other hand, been amply retameans through which signification is liated upon the Venetians, in connecintimated-it must, at the same time, tion with their style of design or form. be observed, that they bear a relation in respect to this, the Florentine and to the art of Titian and his school, Roman schools t have been made the which is peculiar, and distinct from rule of judgment; and however dif. that which they hold in respect to the ferent, or even opposed, their objects works of Michael Angelo and Ra- are to that of the school of Venice, it phael_a relation upon which their has been made to bend to their standprominence in many instances depends. ard. Weighed against the intellectual This, however, will afterwards come reference of the style of Michael Anto be adverted to.
gelo, and the selection or moral preBy these attempts to discriminate ference of Raphael, it has been found the range within which the genius of wanting. It, however, is not amenable Titian is most distinctly prominent, to such a criterion. Its domain is it has been abridged and curtailed. distinct; and the question in such A false boundary has been assigned instances should be, shall not each be to the wide geometry of his tenure, judged by the particular purpose while, by implication, the erroneous which constitutes the different law of supposition that his style alone, among each ? The separate question, in rethe painters of Italy, furnished the spect to which is greatest or best in example of excellence in colour, has this their final relation—which dictates originated the misconception, that it these and every other portion of their should, in every instance, be made the mode or style, and stamps the worth standard of judgment in that respect. of each as a whole-is, in its turn, The super-materiality of sentiment, dependent upon a still more ultimate to which colour has been rendered connexion, which has before been alsubservient, in the tints of the pro- luded to,f—the portion of the mental phets and sibyls of the Capella Sis- constitution of which it expresses the
a, and its purified strength in the operation, in carrying forward and Madonna da Foligno, and the Mar. sustaining the existence of humanity riage of the Virgin, by Raphael, in man. have been lamented and decried. While one system of the mind deThus, as if one language were to be mands the distinct and separate existdeemed the only tongue which should ence of material being from that be employed to convey every diversity which is mental or immaterial, as a of perception and thought, colour, as basis for its construction, another subjected to the particular range of founds upon the denial of this, and
sure, make an exception in respect to Titian, but without venturing to advert to those others, both predecessors and followers, who are most similar to him in style. Thus, after the distinction is made, its futility is confessed: there is no attempt made to place Titian under any other designation ; and he is left to rank under this, which has originated in a portion of the works of Tintoretto and Paul Veronese. If, however, such an appellation may be used in connexion even with their works, it can only be adopted to particularize them as a portion of Venetian art—as a subsequent classification, to signify that certain qualities (which are dependent upon its more general and distinctive purpose) have been pursued by them to a greater extent than by others of the same school.
* These irrelevant comparisons are the result of the opposite purposes which originated the different modes of form, colour, and light, not being perceived. In the instance of Reynolds, however, this was rightly but partially entered into, Opie decided that the styles of Michael Angelo and Titian might be united, and has thus thrown down one more impediment in an interrupted road—that to the just apprehension of the principles of painting.
† Not to take the remains of Grecian art into view, which again with a like deficiency of apprehension) have been made a standard whereby these schools in their turn have been judged.
# See On the Genius of Raphael," No. CCLXXXIV.
It is upon
proceeds to erect its scheme in ideal- those of Buonarotti and Urbino, and led ism or in sensation. But whether the to the adoption of those qualities of distinction may be questionable or not, form, colour, and effect,which they dissupposing it is even denied that the play, as the necessary means by which operations of perception should neces- their intention might be fulfilled. sarily be brought about by a means The reference of the painting of which is separate from and not recog
Titian is founded in the sense of the nisable by the mind—like the gold material. Its essential or distinctive and ivory of the Jove of Elis, covering nature consists in recognising and a machinery which is unseen-the se- signifying the impressions of sensuous paration of the mental or relative, and being. While Michael Angelo anthe material or individual, as differing nounces the impulsion of the will inclaims of apprehension, as distinct cir- tellectually opposed to imperfection cles of the perceptions of our conscious and suffering, and the works of Rabeing, may be entered into and adopted. phael intimate the repose of recognised Through both, humanity or rational difference in undoubting acceptance or life is constituted. The range of rejection, the result of moral distinchuman faculty consists in mental ex- tion; those of Titian are expressive of istence on the one hand, and animal or material or physical existence. Their material on the other. By the first, object furnishes the antithesis to that which embraces and involves intellec- of Michael Angelo. To signify the tion and morality, the distinction of outward, to convey or reiterate the man is asserted in his relation to the sensations of animal life, is the wide perfect or infinite, the relatio inter field of the intention of the art of divos. By the last, his separation or Venice. This is the ground upon outness from that is sustained. By which its distinction rests. the one, the spirit of man goeth up
this that the strength or separate quawards ; by the other, that of the beast lity of its signification is built. It is goeth downwards. The universal or from this that the extent to which this abstract is the region of the one; nature range of art is entered into originates; or individuality, the immediately ap- but at the same time the confined prehensible that of the other--the nature of its influence. celestial and the sensible of Plato, Titian in this, the peculiarity of his figured under the allegoric form of genius, eminently exemplifies that of Venus ministered unto by the Graces, the Venetian people. Altogether, Venice which signify intellect, choice, and intimated, or was exponent of the dophysics, one of whom proceeds out- minance of the sensual or animal.* wards, and the others recede into the The breath of Venetian life was drawn divine intelligence-a symbol of the under this influence. It may be said unity of existence and the combina- to have constituted the predominating tion of its separate elements, which, and animating energy of its endeavour, although couched in terms connected prompting to luxurious enjoyment, with a mythos which is imperfectly and the diffusion of that throughout understood, finds a wretched substitute Europe. In Venice .(then possibly in the cramped and fragmentary con- the second city of importance in the cretions of some later philosophers, Christian world) there was an escape encrustations upon the crucibles and from the severity of superior sanctity retorts of inductive experiment, seen claimed at least by Rome ; but at the
: under the glare and dazzle of its len- same time dereliction from mental dig. ses and prisms.
nity-outward existence was all-enIt is in connexion with this distinc- grossing. The Queen of the Sea, tion, that the ultimate and final discri- like the Aphrodisiac goddess born from mination of the works of Titian must its waves, acknowledged the ascenbe made, in which must be found that dency of the empire of sense. With difference which separates them from the spoils of eastern war, she imported
On the character of particular cities or nations, the moving forms of life and society are exemplified in the mass. Their manners and customs are not their distinction, but the result of that distinction or originating source of peculiarity. Venice has been usually referred to as exhibiting a particular form of political policy and of commercial enterprise ; but may not the roots of these be traced to a connexion with the predominating activity of the influence here adverted to ?
eastern sentiment. The mart of Ori. On removing from the usually acceptental traffic—the means of transfusing ed grounds of discrimination, and the throughout Europe the magnificence accredited boundaries of excellence, it and refinement of India and the East, has not been to invalidate rules of cri. so far as they were then known-Ve- ticism, which are already sufficiently nice existed by administering not indefinite and unfixed, but to endea. more to the needs of physical life than vour to establish a foundation for the to the desire of variety and the de decisions of the judgment, in essential mands of luxury. From the marriage and ultimate principles—to quit immeof its doge, wedded to the Adriatic diate and partial distinctions, in order by a ring—its lengthened carnival to gain those by which the different its Duomo—the hoary St Mark's, dark, purposes of the various works of paintunequal in its parts, and time-marked, ing may be seen in an uninterrupted with dome after dome, and arch upon and distinct view - to endeavour to arch, in gold and mosaic, heaped up lead to the possibility of at once per. from time to time during five centu« ceiving the extent to which those final ries, figured with the most infantine relations have been approached and efforts of art to those of its decadence- sustained in each particular instance, the walls of marble of all colours—the and the various subdivided branches pillars of all forms and materials, gra- into which art separates under their nite, porphyry, bronze, brass, and general laws, with the comparative cedar-the pavement lined and circled completeness of style manifested in over, swelling and falling, as if every obedience to them. With this object, part were to express fluctuation and those great divisions of the significachange from these traits of its state, tion of painting intimated by Michael its enjoyments, and its religion, to its Angelo, Raphael, and Titian, have licensed descendent followers of As. thus been entered into ; but it must pasia and Lais, with their added num- be distinctly observed, that, amidst bers imported by order of the senate their general exemplification of those all are indicative and impressive of this characteristics which have been ascharacter, exemplified in connexion signed to them, there are many excepwith a high state of civilisation. tions. There is no sphere which is
But it may here be necessary to an- not, in particular instances, deviated ticipate an objection which may be from; and those which we have al. made—that the works of no indivi- ready assigned, (and, in connexion with dual school or master altogether con- the prosecution of the subject, which form to one intention. This, however, it may be necessary to assign to others,) is by no means intended to be asserted; are only asserted to be such as within and it will be observed, that while the which the proper or distinguishing validity of the usual distinctions of the nature of each is exemplified : not greater names in art are thus called in that there is no other in which they question, and the discriminations built may appear and even take a place with upon them are held to be unsatis
The ecphonesis of the one factory and inconclusive, those dis. is not unfrequently made by the other. tinctions which have been advanced Raphael visits the circle of Titian, and are in conformity with the general Titian enters into that of Raphael. sense of the relative station of each. Both have attempted that of Buona.. This has necessarily taken place ; the rotti, who at times quits his own data which have been adverted to,“ sphere.* Besides, it must be kept in being infallibly and universally recoge view, that the substance, or body, of nised. The opinion, or in many in the works of all are the same; not stances more properly the predilec- the means or material alone-form, tion, is influenced by them, although colour, and light-but the unchange. they may not be apprehended by the able emotions and passions, which understanding. But that the opera- constitute the subject-matter of art; tion of this may have assumed a defi. and that it is through the intervention nite form, time must have sufficiently of these, which constitute a general distanced things to admit of a distinct source of sameness, that those distincand separate view being taken of them. tions which have been referred to are
In the sculptures of Christ with the Cross, and the colossal David, his spirit is scarcely to be traced.
exemplified. It must also be recol
It must also be recol. Titian presents that wide variety of lected, that the modes of art (as has sensible impressions, both in kind and been already noticed) of every parti. in degree, by which the specification cular period, in many important re- of particular classes of things, as exspects, cause an uniformity, beyond pressed by colour, is entered into with which it is necessary to look, in order forcible discrimination.t Thus, in to arrive at the detection of the true connexion with those peculiar methods grounds of difference or distinction. adopted in its practice, which endows
In the nature of the painting of Ti. the colour of the Venetians with a tian, as now stated, according to what capacity of imitation, which neither we consider that to be, in its essential the intention nor mode of any other distinction, the originating cause of school, (if that of Coreggio is in certain those particular modes of form, colour, respects excepted,) admitted, or carried light, and composition, which it ex- into effect; and the science of its emplifies, and the species of influence combinations; constitutes colour the which it exerts, will be found.
principal means of their art, in the It is in obedience to, and in giving hands of the Venetians. expression to the outward or material, Of the instruments or means of ex. as a primary object, that colour be- pression, the next in importance in the comes the very necessary and emi. practice of this school, is light and nent portion, of the means of signifi- shade. It is made to reproduce indication in this school. Expression by vidual impressions - to discriminate colour involves a diversity of direct peculiarity... It exemplifies contrast impressions of sense, which are alto- and opposition ; by which a vivid gether coincident with those of the sensation is made. The forcible disobjects signified, which expression by memberment or union of parts is form is not accompanied by. The adopted : a varied combination is predistinctions of visual form are mediate- sented, which at first, like the diver. ly produced, and constitute a mental sity of nature or individuality, appears act or perception — those of colour to be under no law. Irregularity, and are immediate, and may terminate with an apparent subjection to accident, a sensation.* It is essentially speci- seem to deny system or method, and fic and individualizing ; and its im- to adopt those unpremeditated comportance here arises from these quali- binations which are the result of parties which do not include the wide ticular circumstances and occasions. field of comparison which dependence
Form in Venetian painting is genupon the distinctions of form demands; erally transcribed or literal, but renand also from its power of immediate dered with a reference to the expresreference, in connexion with a varied sion of bulk or of strength. In Titian scale of sensation. This is its value and Giorgione this is most obvious : in Venetian painting. While the col- a preponderance towards solidity and our of Michael Angelo, in connexion heaviness, with interruption and diswith sensation, approximates to a continuity of parts is the manner, in unity of degree, by an equivalence of connexion with which their significatints, upon which a large quantity of tion is rendered. I light appears to operate ; that of In composition, the same princi
It may be argued, that animals perceive difference by visual form only in a very inferior degree.
† The separation which has been made of sensible qualities into primary and seconda ary, to the first of which form has been considered to belong, and colour to the last; if tenable at all, must be, not on the grounds of any knowledge that the senses can arrive at as to what is external to, and what is dependent upon, the mind; but in the difference of the mental process itself, which is elicited or brought forth in the apprehension of the different qualities.
# The criticism made by Michael Angelo on the Danae * of Titian, that “the Ves netians should adopt a better method of study,” was judging them by himself; and from their design, ihe observation of necessity carries an objection to their art alto.
* In the Gallery of the Studii, Naples.