Puslapio vaizdai

leetle daughtere air-r much upon my meditation. I weis zey have ze bess condition possible."

Andy stopped with the uplifted glass half-way to his mouth, and began with a troubled countenance scrupulously to study its contents.

"My fatere was one taileur, Mees-tere Andee," Blossier inexplicably proceeded, putting his glass down on the step, and talking eagerly with outstretched palms, "and my moo-tere was-she make toy, mose delicate wiz fin-gere, et moi, me-I help, I help bote when I leetle, when I biggere."


Andy had forgotten his glass now, and was staring and yet trying to look polite and not too conscious of the strangeness of French ways. "And, Mees-tere Andee, my fin-gere also, alway, even now-I sew for my clo'es my-se'f alway, you not know? I know I do ainy t'ing zat way easee, beautiful; and ze manière, ze politeness, ah, Mees-tere Andee, you know ze French peepul zey have ze manière; I teach ze leetle daughtere all, I keep ze houze, I sew ze clo'es, so not in Strathboro' is such clo'es, Mees-tere Andee, si vous-peremeet me, Meestere Andee, come chez vous, to your houzeyou comprehend?"

By this time Blossier was standing on the walk in front of Andy, rapidly pantomiming his ideas, and pleading with gesture as well as with voice, as if begging that children of his own should be cared and labored for by Andy. For a moment Andy stared on in silence, and Blossier's heart was in his mouth; then he got up, caught and wrung the Frenchman's hand an instant, dropped it, and, turning his back, pulled his old soft hat over his face.

Two days later Strathboro' had the enormous excitement of seeing Blossier's household gods a queer little cart-load they made moved to Andy M'Grath's house, and behind the cart walked Blossier, carrying our old friend the double-bass.

So was established the oddest household south of Mason and Dixon's line.

It was a year before Strathboro' sounded the full depths of its oddity, and ceased to vibrate with the excitement of fresh discovery. Blossier took completely a woman's place in the household economy, and the world has seen

few more touchingly funny sights than that little man sitting cross-legged on the floor of Jane's old sitting-room, making feminine fripperies of an unmistakably Parisian character, frivolous and modish, airy and coquettish, to be worn by his favorite, the faithful but stolid Janey.

He sits there yet, bald, a little shaky, annoyingly dim of sight, but still enjoying turning out, for Janey's babies now, such dainty confections of laces and ribbons as no other fingers in Strathboro' have ever concocted. Strathboro' has long ago accepted Andy M'Grath's establishment-for Andy still heads it-as one of its peculiar possessions, and takes much pride in it; and Jimmy Pendleton, who buys goods in Memphis, or one of Judge Caldwell's granddaughters, who is a belle and visits the best people from Louisville to New Orleans, or any of the most traveled residents of the place, will tell you again and again that the fame of its French and its Frenchman has gone abroad as far as west Tennessee and southern Kentucky and even northern Alabama.

Janey only, of the children,- with her husband and her children,-lives in the old place; the rest are married and scattered, and Andy and Blossier seem to depend on each other more and more as the years go by. They never had anything to say to each other, and they have nothing now, but they love to sit side by side on the gallery on summer evenings, or by the open fire in winter, as might two roughcoated, long-acquainted old dogs, and with no more sense of failure of companionship in the silence. Each understands how past and present are mingled in the other's mind, as Janey's children tumble about, nightgowned for their final romp; and each knows the dear figure that as wife or patron saint is ever in the other's thoughts, though Jane M'Grath has been buried so long that even in this small world she is become to others little more than a name on a tombstone; and together these two look forward quite trustfully to the time when their names also shall be on tombstones. And, truly, if there is assurance for the merciful and the meek and the pure in heart, for the salt of the earth in short, as to that veiled and awful door through which poor humanity is always crowding, they may be assured.

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HE father of the painter known, from the insignificant little town between Modena and Mantua in which he was born, as Correggio, was a clothier, but the uncle of the artist, Lorenzo Allegri, was a painter of the local school of art, of which the head was Antonio Bartolozzi. It is probable that Antonio Allegri was a pupil in the school. All that we know is that he was set to work in an artist's studio at an early age, and next appears as a master, painting the churches of his native town in a style which for individuality and power of a certain kind must remain a problem. The chroniclers have not failed to suggest solutions in attributing his education to certain masters; but evidence is lacking for any authoritative statement of that kind, nor does Correggio's matured style grow naturally out of that of any of his contemporaries or predecessors of whom we know, unless it may show a slight early tinge of the school of Ferrara. There is no proof that he went to Rome or came under the influence of Raphael or Michelangelo, or that he studied under Da Vinci. It is useless to spend conjectures on origins or supposed influences which are not recorded in the work of the painter. Our first positive information of him is that when twenty years of age, and therefore not legally capable of making a contract, he and his father were called to the convent of the Minor Brethren of S. Francesco in Correggio, to make arrangements for the execution of an altarpiece, the price for which was fixed at one hundred ducats. This was in August of 1514; and in the following April the picture was delivered, having been executed, as is shown by a memorandum of the delivery of the panel for the work, since the previous November. The picture represents the Madonna and Child with St. Francis and three other saints, and is now in the Dresden Gallery. It is signed "Antonius de Alegris P." In the town of Correggio there remains an altarpiece in the church of Sta. Maria della Misericordia, representing Saints Leonard, Martha, Mary Magdalen, and Peter. Of what may

be recognized as the painter's early work, preceding these altarpieces, but already of wellformed manner, may be accepted a panel lately discovered in London," Christ taking Leave of Mary before the Passion," a Madonna and Child at Hampton Court, and some minor works at Milan.

In 1518, when twenty-four years old, Correggio came to Parma, his fame preceding him, and he received at once important commissions. Donna Giovanna, abbess of the Convent of St. Paul, commissioned him to paint the ceiling of the great chamber in a fine suite of rooms occupied by her. The fresco represents a vine-covered trellis in which are sixteen oval apertures through which the blue sky appears, and in every opening there is a group of little genii playing with hunting-trophies. Sixteen lunettes underneath contain mythological scenes in chiaroscuro of gray. Over the mantel is Diana mounting her chariot. Classical convention is disregarded in the mythology, and perspective in the architectural design; in these particulars, as in his method of painting, Correggio refuses to be other than his own master. It is not known when this decoration was finished, but in 1519 the painter was at home again, called there by a lawsuit, which he finally gained in 1528, and which concerned a legacy left him by a maternal uncle. During the year 1519, however, he was a not infrequent visitor to a fair daughter of Parma, the orphan child of an esquire of the Duke of Mantua; and she became his wife at the end of the year. In 1521 he had a son born, and soon after moved to Parma, where he resided until 1530, when, having lost his wife, he returned to his native town. Here he possessed two houses and some land, and was in favor with the ruling family, as appears from his being a witness for the marriage-contract of the daughter of the lord, Gian Battista.

In 1521 Correggio signed an agreement for the decoration of the cupola and the apse of S. Giovanni of the Benedictines of Parma, for which work he was paid 272 gold ducats in 1524, 30 having been paid in advance. The paintings in the apse seem to have been removed in 1587, and are now in the museum of Parma, except two fragments in London: those of the cupola are still in place.

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at work on the painting of S. Giovanni, in the autumn of 1522, negotiations were entered into with the painter by the chapter of the Duomo of Parma for painting the choir, with its chapel, and the dome, in fresco. He was to receive 1000 ducats for the whole; and as the payment was made by instalments between the years 1526 and 1530, it is probable that the work was completed in that period, though the choir seems to have been thrown out of the contract. In the design of the dome the base of the vault is surrounded by a balustrade, on which sit little angels, and which represents the tomb of the Virgin; the dome represents the sky, with clouds through which the Madonna is carried up to the waiting company of saints surrounded by angels, the whole suffused in a golden light. The good people of Parma, whether clerics or laymen, were not pleased with the work; but one of the chroniclers reports that Titian saw the dome, and was much pleased with it, which may be true, as Titian is recorded as having been in Parma in 1530.

Of the easel-pictures of this period, the "Betrothal of St. Catherine," now in the Louvre, was painted about 1519. There is a small replica of it in Modena in a private collection. The "Madonna del Coniglio" at Naples is of this period, as are the "Madonna and Child with St. John" in the Prado at Madrid, together with a "Noli me Tangere"; also several pictures at Parma, in the gallery, and a "St. Sebastian," painted in 1515 for a gild of archers of Modena. The "Madonna Kneeling by the Child" of the Uffizi is probably of this time, as well as the "Christ at Gethsemane" of the National Gallery in London. The "Holy Night," now at Dresden, was commissioned in 1522 and put in its place in the church of S. Prospero in Reggio di Emilia in 1530, the price for it being recorded as 208 lire. It has been sought to identify the well-known "Magdalen Reading," at Dresden, with the painting described by Vittoria Gambara in a letter to Beatrice d'Este in 1528; but it does not correspond with the description, which is of a Magdalen kneeling in a cave, with hands raised in prayer, and has now been conclusively determined not to be by Correggio. Of the mythological subjects painted by the artist, the best preserved is the "Antiope" in the Louvre. The "Mercury Instructing Cupid," in the National Gallery in London, is one of the most important subjects of this class that we have, and the "Danaë" in the Borghese Gallery at Rome is the most masterly of Correggio's nude subjects. The "Ganymede" and the "Io" are at Vienna, and the "Leda ” is at Berlin.

in his native town, nor does there seem to be any foundation for the ingenious stories of his dying from the over-exertion of carrying home a sack of copper coin with which certain monks were said to have paid him for his work. He left a son, Pomponio, who was also a painter, and one of his three daughters survived him, as did his parents. He died March 5, 1534, when scarcely forty years old.

No one of the great painters of the Renaissance has provoked greater extremes of appreciation than Correggio. A great painter he certainly was, with certain powers developed to the highest degree attained by Italian art, but with a seductive technical mastery which has been a false light to all students who have come after him. In his catalogue of the National Gallery, Sir F. W. Burton has given a most admirable summary of the qualities of Correggio's art, to which I am disposed to make only one dissent,- from the attribution to him of any power over the imagination,—when he says: "None before him had shown the capacity of painting to affect the imagination (irrespective of subject) by the broad massing of light and shadow, by subordinating color to breadth of effect and aërial perspective, and by suggesting the sublimity of space and light." In that intellectual side of art in which the imagination resides, Correggio seems to me singularly torpid and devoid of any gift akin to the inspiration which quickens imagination, if indeed it is not identical with it. The sensuous, the splendor of surface, the magic of execution, the mastery of color-harmonies and of composition of light and shade,-the great technical, but purely technical, qualities of painting,—are all that I can admit to Correggio; and the proof that he had little besides these lies in the fact that a translation of his work into any medium in which his technic is lost becomes almost too commonplace for study. Burton says of him:

The proportions of his figures are frequently faulty. The grace which fascinates us tends to degenerate into affectation, and movement into tumult.. . . In the management of the brush he has been excelled by few and surpassed by none, and his mode of execution and his colorHis flesh-tones are rich and warm, or cool and ing are as peculiar to him as his other qualities. opalescent, with infinitely subtle modulations and transitions. The harmonies he sought differ from those of the great Venetians. Full colors he used with powerful effect in his oil-pictures, but he was fond of quiet tertiaries. His general abstention from green, which plays so conspicuous a part in the Venetian system of color, is remarkable.

But he concludes with a sentiment which is Correggio spent his last years in retirement echoed by most earnest critics:

Taking this great genius by himself, it is difficult to overestimate his powers. But the influence he exercised upon later art was more baneful than otherwise.

The quality of Correggio which to a painter is more than any other the sign of his immense power is in his touch, the richness and decision of his impasto, and the marvelous sweep of his brush. It is this evidence of power, the fascination of this supreme knowledge of his subject and facile success in rendering it, which give the spectator the impression of a greater force beyond, which did not exist. His conceptions are merely pictorial, but, as compared with anything before him, peculiarly pictorial; there was neither religious exaltation nor recognition of any religious ideal; there was


neither imagination in his conception nor depth in his sentiment; he ran the old and the new mythology through the same fusion into the same molds. While his splendid workmanship redeems many deficiencies, his successes and their cheapness, when measured by the larger scale of values, made him one of the greatest dangers to those who, coming after him, caught his vein of feeling and learned to content themselves with what lies on the surface. His influence can have been only "baneful" and never "otherwise"; for the example of shaking off conventional limitations in treatment of religious subjects had been given before, and in wiser measure. In Correggio independence in conception of religious themes becomes profanity. His was the end of religious painting.


HE" Madonna and Child in Glory," by Correggio, is an early work of that master. It hangs in the Uffizi Gallery, in the Sala della Scuola Italiani, next to the Tribuna. It is of small dimensions, not measuring more than 6% inches by 934 inches, so that my reproduction of it is but little smaller than the original. It is a brilliant and charming little gem, naïve and sweet in conception. The colors are rich and glowing. The background is of a bright, soft yellow, with delicate rays shooting through it from the brighter nimbus about the Madonna's head; the clouds about are of soft, warm gray tones, and the cherubs' heads melting into them are of warm flesh-tints. The angel with the lyre and the woeful expression to the right of the Madonna is clad in a yellow robe, soft and rich. Her hair is yellow, and the dark wing which is seen at the back is of a rich, deep crimson. The lyre is yellow like gold, and the flesh pearly and bright. Why has the artist given this angel so sad a countenance? It is perhaps a prophetic note of the suffering and sacrifice to come, though all is joy and glory now. The drapery of the Madonna is, for the most part, blue. The under por

W. J. Stillman.

tions, covering her breast and her sleeve, are of a soft, dull red. The blue robe that falls over her head and shoulders has a lining of green. It is turned up over the forehead, and falls over the shoulder. The drapery of the knees is of a fine, rich tone of blue. The fleshtints of the Madonna and Child are in cool, pearly, bright colors. The angel playing on the viola is clad in a grayish blue robe, purplish in the shadows. The hair of this angel is of a soft brown, and the viola is of a soft yellow color. The clouds in the foreground are of cool, bright tints. I have endeavored to give some of the force and brilliancy of the original by an admixture of fine and coarse cutting, for a coarse line gives a sparkle to the tint, while by a fine line we can get a dull, soft gray. Thus the foreground clouds owe much of their brilliancy to the contrast of the soft, fine gray cutting of the background, and the brightness of the flesh-tints is enhanced by their juxtaposition to finer work.

This work of Correggio is under the name of Titian, but the authorities are unanimous in ascribing it to Correggio.

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