previous next
[168] and from 1530 to 1560 it was at its greatest perfection, but after that it fell from, I presume, the competition with Chinese porcelain.

During its best days good artists were employed to paint it, whose ciphers are still recognized; but the fable that Raphael ever wrought on it arose from two singular circumstances: first, that Guido Baldo II. (Sforza) in 1538 bought a large number of Raphael's sketches, some of which he had used, though with alterations, on the Stanze, Loggia, etc.; and these sketches being copied upon the majolica by other artists, and yet not coinciding with Raphael's works entirely, were naturally supposed to be his by superficial inquirers; and secondly, that among the painters on this ware, there was a certain Raphael Colle, whose name was easily confounded with that of the most famous of painters.

The collection at Loretto is the best extant of all this kind of ware, and is beautiful and curious. The subjects are taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses, the Roman History, the Old and New Testaments; the colors are fresh and fair, and the execution so fine that Christina of Sweden offered to replace them with silver jars of equal weight,— and they are thick and heavy,—but was refused.

After a long and careful sketch of the history of the Campagna from the earliest times, and of the speculations as to the causes of its unhealthiness, Mr. Ticknor says:—

The present situation is that of a boundless waste, over which the eye wanders without finding any other horizon than that formed by the gentle undulations which everywhere break it, without relieving its solemn monotony. Nothing can be more heart-rending than the contrast which the immediate and the present here form with the recollections of the past, gilded as they are by the feelings and the fancy. Here lived the brave and hardy tribes of the Albans, the Fidenates, and the Coriolani; here were the thirty-four famous cities, of which every trace was lost even in the time of Pliny; here was the crowd of population that found no place in Rome in the time of the Republic; here was the splendor of the Empire, when Honorius, from the magnificence of the buildings and monuments, seemed to be at the entrance of Rome when he was still fifty miles from its gates; and, finally, here resided the strength and rose the castles of the proud barbarism of the Middle Ages, when the contest remained so long doubtful between the ecclesiastical usurpation within the city and the rude chieftains without. Hoec tune nomina erant, nunc sunt sine nomine campi.

I cannot express the secret sinking of the heart, I would not acknowledge

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Sweden (Sweden) (1)
Ovid (New York, United States) (1)
Loretto, Pa. (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)
China (China) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Elisha Ticknor (1)
Honorius (1)
Christina (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1560 AD (1)
1538 AD (1)
1530 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: