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THE VATICAN AS SEEN FROM THE STEPS OF ST. PETER'S.

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THE GARDEN OF THE POPE FROM THE DOME OF ST. PETER'S.

the balcony which surrounds the lantern. The height is so great that even the great dimensions of the biggest palace in the world are dwarfed in the deep perspective, and the wide gardens look small and almost insignificant. But the relative proportions of the buildings and grounds appear correctly, and measure each other, as it were. Moreover, it is now so hard to obtain access to the gardens at all that the usual way of seeing them is from the top of St. Peter's, from an elevation of four hundred feet.

To the average stranger «the Vatican» suggests only the museum of sculpture, the picture-galleries, and the Loggie. He remembers, besides the objects of art which he has seen, the fact of having walked a great distance through straight corridors, up and down short flights of marble steps, and through irregularly shaped and unsymmetrically disposed halls. If he had any idea of the points of the compass when he entered, he is completely confused in five minutes, and comes out at last with the sensation of having been walking in a labyrinth. He will find it hard to give any one an impression of the sort of building in which he has been, and certainly he can not have any knowledge of the topographical relations of its parts. Yet in his passage through the museums and galleries he has seen but a very small part of the whole, and, excepting when in the Loggie, he probably could not once have stood still and pointed in the direction of the main part of the palace.

In order to speak even superficially of it all, it is indispensable to classify its parts in some way. Vast and irregular it is at its two ends, toward the colonnade and toward the bastions of the city, but the intervening stretch consists of two perfectly parallel buildings, each over 350 yards long, about 80 yards apart, and yoked in the middle by the Braccio Nuovo of the museum and a part of the library, so as to inclose two vast courts, the one known as the Belvedere, not to be confused with the Belvedere in the museum, and the other called the Garden of the Pigna, from the bronze pine-cone which stands at one end of it.

Across these parallel buildings, and toward the city, a huge pile is erected, about two hundred yards long, very irregular, and containing the papal residence and the apartments of several cardinals, the Sistine Chapel, the Pauline Chapel, the Borgia Tower, the Stanze and Loggie of Raphael, and the court of St. Damasus. At the other end of the parallelogram are grouped the equally irregular but

more beautiful buildings of the old museum, of which the windows look out over the walls of the city, and which originally received the name of Belvedere on account of the lovely view. This is said to have been a sort of summer-house of the Borgia, not then connected with the palace by the long galleries.

It would be a hopeless and a weary task to attempt to trace the history of the buildings. Some account of the Pope's private apartments has already been given in these pages.1 They occupy the eastern wing of the part built round the court of St. Damasus; that is to say, they are at the extreme end of the Vatican, nearest the city, and over the colonnade, and the windows of the Pope's rooms are visible from the square. The vast mass which rises above the columns to the right of St. Peter's is only a small part of the whole palace, but is not the most modern by any means. It contains, for instance, the Sistine Chapel, which is considerably older than the present church, having been built by Sixtus IV, whose beautiful bronze monument is in the Chapel of the Sacrament. It contains, too, Raphael's Stanze, or halls, and Bramante's famous Loggie, the beautiful architecture of which is a frame for some of Raphael's best work.

But any good guide-book will furnish all such information, which it would be fruitless. to give in such a paper as this. In the pages of Murray the traveler will find, set down in order and accurately, the ages, the dimensions, and the exact positions of all the parts of the building, with the names of the famous artists who decorated each. He will not find set down there, however, what one may call the atmosphere of the place, which is something as peculiar and unforgetable, though in a different way, as that of St. Peter's. It is quite unlike anything else, for it is part of the development of churchmen's administration to an ultimate limit in the high center of churchmanism. No doubt there was much of that sort of thing in various parts of Europe long ago, and in England before Henry VIII, and it is to be found in a small degree in Vienna to this day, where the traditions of the Holy Roman Empire are not quite dead. It is hard to define it, but it is in everything: in the uniforms of the attendants, in their old-fashioned faces, in the spotless cleanliness of all the Vatican, -though no one is ever to be seen handling a broom,-in the noiselessly methodical manner of doing everything that is to be done, in the scholarly rather than scientific arrangement of the objects in the museum and galleries-above all,

1 See THE CENTURY for February, 1896.

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A CARDINAL VOTING AT THE ELECTION OF A POPE.

in the visitor's own sensations. No one talks loudly among the statues of the Vatican, and there is a feeling of being in church, so that one is disagreeably shocked when a guide, conducting a party of tourists, occasionally raises his voice in order to be heard. It is all very hard to define, while it is quite impossible to escape feeling it, and it must ultimately be due to the dominating influence of the churchmen, who arrange the whole place as though it were a church. An American lady, on hearing that the Vatican contains eleven thousand rooms, threw up her hands and laughingly exclaimed, «Think of the housemaids!» But there are no housemaids in the Vatican, and perhaps the total absence of even the humblest feminine influence has something to do with the austere impression which everything produces.

On the whole, the Vatican may be divided into seven portions. These are the pontifical residence, the Sistine and Pauline Chapels, the picture-galleries, the library, the museums of sculpture and archæology, the outbuildings, including the barracks of the Swiss Guards, and, lastly, the gardens with the Pope's Casino. Of these the Sistine Chapel, the galleries and museums, and the library are incomparably the most important.

The name Sistine » is derived from Sixtus IV, as has been said. The library was founded by Nicholas V, whose love of books was almost equal to his passion for building. The galleries are representative of Raphael's work, which predominates to such an extent that the paintings of almost all other artists are of secondary importance, precisely as Michelangelo filled the Sistine Chapel with himself. As for the museums, the objects they contain have been accumulated by many popes, but their existence ought, perhaps, to be chiefly attributed to Julius II and Leo X, the principal representatives of the Rovere and Medici families.

On the walls of the Sistine Chapel there are paintings by such men as Perugino, Luca Signorelli, Botticelli, and Ghirlandajo, as well as by a number of others; but Michelangelo overshadows them all with his ceiling and his «Last Judgment.» There is something overpowering about him, and there is no escaping from his influence. He not only covers great spaces with his brush, but he fills them with his masterful drawing, and makes them alive with a life at once profound and restless. One does not feel, as with other painters, that a vision has been projected upon flat surface, but rather has the impression that a mysterious reality of life has been called up

out of senseless material. What we see is not imaginary motion represented, but real motion arrested, as it were, in its very act, and ready to move again. Many have said that the man's work was monstrous. It was monstrously alive, monstrously vigorous at times, over-strong and over-vital, exaggerative of nature, but never really unnatural, and he never once overreached himself in an effort. No matter how enormous the conception might be, he never lacked the means of carrying it to the concrete. No giantism of limb and feature was beyond the ability of his brush; no astounding foreshortening was too much for his unerring point; no vast perspective was too deep for his knowledge and strength. His production was limited only by the length of his life. Great genius means great and constant creative power before all things; it means wealth of resource and invention; it means quantity as well as quality. No truly great genius, unless cut short by early death, has left little of itself. Besides man's one great masterpiece, there are always a hundred works of the same hand, far beyond the powers of ordinary men; and the men of Michelangelo's day worked harder than we work. Perhaps they thought harder, too, being more occupied with creation, at a time when there was little, than we are with the difficult task of avoiding the unintentional reinvention of things already invented, now that there is much. The latter is a real difficulty in our century, when almost every mine of thought has been worked to a normal depth by minds of normal power, and it needs all the ruthless strength of original genius to go deeper, and hew and blast away through the bed-rock of men's limitations to new veins of treasure below.

It has been said of Titian by a great French critic that «he absorbed his predecessors and ruined his successors.» Michelangelo absorbed no one and ruined no one; for no painter, sculptor, or architect ever attempted what he accomplished, either before him or after him. No sane person ever tried to produce anything like the Last Judgment,» the marble «Moses, or the dome of St. Peter's. Michelangelo stood alone as a creator, as he lived a lonely man throughout the ninety years of his life. He had envy, but not competition, to deal with. There is no rivalry between his paintings in the Sistine Chapel and those of the many great artists who have left their work beside his on the same walls.

The chapel is a beautiful place in itself, by its simple and noble proportions, as well as by the wonderful architectural decorations

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