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scripts, hears that another of his brethren is occupied with the same subject, and immediately gives him up with joy all his materials. Another aids his colleague in his researches, escorts him on his journeys, rejoices in his triumphs. Some old men, cramped with rheumatism, mounted on mules, traverse the rocks and ice of the Apennines with a gourd full of wine and water hanging from their saddle, under a wind that struggles for their cloak and hat all the way, and bring back in triumph five bundles of copied manuscripts. They then fall sick, and begin again as if it was nothing. Happen what will, they are impassible and immovable; provided only that no one in their presence attacks St. Benedict their Father, or the Benedictins. Then they are angry, on condition of repenting and confessing their sin. Their sorrow is sincere and bitter when they are torn from their studies, and charged with secular affairs. Not the least shade of hypocrisy enters into their love of poverty and of studious solitude. As Dom Thierry Ruinart says, They had a sincere love for poverty, and they wished that every thing they used should be the simplest that could be found.' When Colbert, after Mabillon had published his Diplomatique, sent him a pension of 2000 livres, the learned man refused it. I am poor,' he said, 'born of poor parents. What would they say of me, if I should seek in the cloister what I could not have hoped for in the world?' In presence of these singular men, so simple, so calm, and learned, and all whose doctrines and ideas are the contrary of ours, we are riveted with astonishment, as before inhabitants of another planet. The least trace of pomp in their order was repulsive and a scandal to them. Their only combats were in the subterraneous depths of learning amidst the peace of cloisters; and they triumphed with such modesty, that they doubled their victory. Of their adversaries they speak with respect, as holy men whose example should teach them to distrust themselves, and to watch carefully against their own judgment being precipitate.' De Rancé had said that Mabillon wrote against his own conviction. Mabillon replied humbly, that he may have been guilty of contradictions and errors, but that he hoped, with the grace of our Lord, that he would never write against his conviction. Then he went to La Trappe, and spent a day with him. We embraced,' he says. We were both on our knees. He said that sometimes, under the strong impression of a truth, men said things too sharply. I answered, that his book had not in the least affected the respect and veneration which I had for him.' No literary quarrel ever ended like that. It is a pity that the English writer should have forgotten it in his Quarrels of Authors.' In continuing to read their correspondence, one is often astonished at the sagacity of these poor and humble scholars. They judged rightly of Italy, France, and England. They were true philosophers. Men of the world have not always this keen and piercing accuracy of glance. The solitary life, now so disdained, is more favourable than one supposes to the observation of humau

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things. From the depth of his silent grotto, the philosophic spectator has a clearer sight. Sometimes with one word of tranquil irony they can rally a little, without wounding, the faults of those of their own side; but it is only in extreme cases, when they have to defend their very persons, that they allow themselves even this liberty. In fine, the clearness of their style, the gravity and simplicity of their tone, the solidity and vastness of their researches, their fear of falling into eloquence or elegance, their true modesty, their aversion for disputes, for violent language, and even for the ornaments of style isolate them completely. Their lives are without caprice, as their souls without passions, and their style colourless. It is virtue itself-a sober, close, united stuff, strong and coherent. Every thing with them proceeds from duty, and is directed to usefulness. If they feel their pen yield to a capricious movement, they are alarmed, and believe themselves damned. They march in order, the forehead concealed, the head veiled, each like the other, and with the same grave and gentle pace, regular as one man-true procession of monks, disdaining glory for duty."-b. i. p. 359-361.

66

We are sure our readers will not quarrel with the length of this description. But we must now draw to a conclusion, and pass more hastily through the "Road of Travellers," although containing many beautiful things over which we could well pause; that portion of the argument contained in the first part of this chapter, our readers will in great measure anticipate, at least all the travellers will, who have seen the length and breadth of the civilized world covered with monuments of the magnificent charity and faith of Catholics, that is, if they are not of those who would, if power were given, desecrate, efface all Catholic memorials, and lay impious sacrilegious hands on all that is most ancient and holy," not of those, in short, "who lie three-thirds, and use a known truth to pass a thousand nothings with," and who consequently “should be once heard and thrice beaten." As, however, there is a science for every thing, so in this chapter the science of religious travelling is laid down; a curious one it is, and perhaps of all others the most obsolete, but there are many who would love to revive it, who would hear with joy how to sanctify alike the inconveniences and the pleasures of travel, and who, while delighting in the beauty of nature, would feel it enhanced in interest by tender and pious commune with the saints who have trod the earth like angels, or hidden themselves in mountain, valley, and forest, to make them "vocal with praise." Kindling with recollections of such lovely scenes, the author here gives

descriptions over which we should pause gladly, for their mere pictorial beauty; but we must not forget that this is but our introduction to a book which we hope to meet often again, and to see succeeded by many others of the same description.

ART. X.-1. Annals of the
LING, M.A. 3 vols. 8vo.

Artists of Spain. By WILLIAM STIR-
London: Ollivier, 1848.

2. Reports of the Commissioners on the Fine Arts; 5th, 6th, and 7th. London, 1846-7.

THE

HE ignorance about Spain which prevails in every other country of Europe is certainly wonderful. Many countries of Asia have been better explored. That the religious jealousy of its people, and some additional vague fears connected with it, kept the prying eye of English travellers from its boundaries, we cannot doubt: but even France, except in the shape of a hostile invasion (the natural incarnation of the Gaul) seldom penetrated beyond that huge mountain wall, which sunders-pity it has not done so more effectually-these two neighbouring lands. This utter separation of Spain from the rest of Europe, for several centuries, extends to what might be considered a neutral ground, the vast domain of art. The work before us, which fills up an immense gap in our literature, gives, in the preface, abundant evidence of this. In a rapid analysis of the labours of his predecessors, in England, and on the Continent, Mr. Stirling has shown how little has been known of Spanish painting until very lately, and how inaccurate that little has been. And even at the very present moment, we should doubt whether many, besides a few professed picture-collectors, have any distinct idea of more than three Spanish painters of eminence, Murillo, Velasques, and Ribera, under his Italian sobriquet of Spagnuoletto. Yet one single Italian city has produced a greater number of artists, whose names are familiar to all that prate about painting. For instance, the three Caraccis, Domenichino, Guido, Albani,

and Guercino, have given a celebrity to the school of Bologna alone, which all the painters of Castile and Andalusia, with Valencia and Estramadura to boot, have not yet procured for the arts of the Peninsula. In addition to the first reason given, of its seclusion from the beat of travellers and collectors, we may account for this on another ground. The patronage of Italian art was much more secular than that under which Spanish art has ever flourished-secular as to persons, places, subjects, and motives. The stern simplicity of Spanish dwellings and Spanish habits, contrasts strongly with the luxurious apartments and splendid galleries of Italian palaces. Hence artists painted for them and for their owners. In other words, the subjects which they too often treated, were in accordance with the voluptuous thoughts of any age or country, and their paintings were liable to all the vicissitudes of other private property, and might be sold or seized, or exchanged, or pilfered, or turned into securities in a thousand ways, which would transfer them to other owners. The cabinet, or gallery, pictures of Italy have thus travelled over Europe, and have made every lover of art acquainted with their authors. And this had taken place already before the great displacer of men and things foreign invasion-had made wholesale clearances of palaces and churches. But in Spain it could not be so. From Rincon to Murillo, with the exception of the royal painters, whose works were not exposed to commercial risks, the Spanish artists devoted themselves almost entirely to the service of the Church. The architect displayed his skill in raising the splendid cathedrals, Cartujas (Chartreuses), or other conventual buildings, which formed the glory of old Spain. The sculptor, who, in modern phrase, would be rather called a carver-for wood was his ordinary material-profaned not his chisel by producing lascivious, or even profane, forms, but laboured his life long on sacred images, or the storied panels of a choir, and produced those life-like speaking representations of holy persons, which strike one with awe in the Spanish churches. And another branch of this art is peculiar to Spain. The silversmiths, or, as Mr. Stirling truly calls them, "sculptors and architects in plate,' (p. 159,) instead of manufacturing, like Cellini, mythological saltcellars, passed their lives in elaborating those magnificent Custodias, or Remonstrances, of which a few

yet remain, to astonish the traveller, and which are no where else to be found.

It required nothing short of sacrilege, carried on by men utterly reckless of its extent, to dislodge these treasures of art; and, unfortunately for Spain, the two most effectual instruments of the crime have been let loose upon her. First, the foreign foe came, not merely as a despoiler, to pillage and ruin, but like a calculating burglar who, before he breaks into a house, has ascertained the value of the plate and money within, and where it is kept; and so, coolly executes his scheme of plunder. Never before did a picture-dealer go through a province at the head of twenty or thirty thousand men, with his list prepared of what paintings he would purchase, and diffident of the success of his profession as a soldier, rely upon the security of his trade as a broker. Soult pulled down his Murillos at the head of his troops, but, under the shadow of their bayonets, took care to make a regular deed of contract with their trustees, in which the buyer had the dictation of his own terms. And after the heartless soldier of the Revolution, who cared little for the curses of the poor whom he spoiled, came the soul-less politician of the modern continental school, who minded as little for their prayers. The suppression of the religious orders, the sale of Church property, and the spoliation and ruin, which followed as a consequence, of magnificent ecclesiastical edifices and establishments, have led to a still further dispersion of the monuments of Spanish art. But there has been one poor compensation in this second and domestic act of Vandalism. The paintings or sculptures thus carried away from their original positions have not been sent abroad, but have been preserved in the country. Miserably placed, badly lighted, wretchedly framed, often horribly neglected, and surrounded with trash of every description, the master-pieces of Spanish art are now to be seen, in the principal cities, collected into what is called a gallery, but what was a church, or a refectory, or a cloister of some convent, never intended, and therefore totally unfitted, for their reception.

In Italy too the same error has been committed, and has been copied everywhere, of tearing away the artist's work from the spot for which he designed, toned and proportioned it, where it was surrounded by accessories to which it was adapted, or which were made expressly to

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