« AnteriorContinuar »
SALVATOR ROSA AND HIS WORKS that he could not recover his health but by returning
to his native climate, he left Rome and wended his II.
lonesome way to Naples, in 1635, more miserable in We left Salvator Rosa at that point in his history condition, and more depressed in mind than when he when, through the notice which Lanfranco took of left it. one of his pictures, a more ready market for them He found, on his return, that his mother had gone could be obtained.
for refuge to the house of her brother, Paolo Grecco; The advantage thus gained had the effect of re and that his sister and her husband were plunged in lieving Salvator from the worst of his distress; but it the lowest depths of poverty. He once again roused at the same time roused the feeling of independence his courage, and tried to provide the means of subsistin him, and led him to reply in the most cutting ence for himself and family. But the enmity of his satires to the calumny and abuse which the other old rivals rendered all his efforts unavailing; and artists of Naples now began to heap on him, through he could scarcely sell enough of his productions envy of his superior talents. He procured for to provide himself with the bare necessaries of life, himself many enemies, by the epigrams and songs Some of his biographers have inveighed against the which his restless spirit poured forth against those society and institutions of the times, which could whom he felt to be mentally his inferiors. But he make such a man struggle unavailingly against poverty fortunately acquired the good services and friend and distress; but unless we knew all the collateral ship of Ancillo Falcone, a pupil of Spagnuolo, events, we could not say how much his misfortunes and himself a distinguished painter; and might were due to himself: it is certain that his sarcastic thus have attained a respectable position in his and often bitter wit, together with his uncontrollable native city. But his ideas, feelings, and opinions love of independence, and the strength of his imaginwere so uncompromising, that he would not consent ation, would frequently have led such a man into to paint such subjects as happened to be in fashion at trouble in any country and in any age. that time at Naples, such as martyrdoms, tortures, Just at the period when Salvator was sinking into massacres, &c: he persisted in painting those sublime despondency, an event occurred which threw a gleam and natural scenes which were more congenial to his of sunshine over his prospects. Francesco Brancactemperament. The consequence was, that he was cia, a Neapolitan noble who was made cardinal by still dependent on the dealers, though he obtained Pope Urban VIII., sent to Naples for one Girolamo higher prices than before,
Mercuri, to take the office of Maestro di Casa in the Finding that his exertions were insufficient to pro- splendid establishment which the cardinal had at cure the means of living even respectably, with his Rome. This Mercuri had been a fellow-student and mother and sisters, at Naples, he resolved to quit his an ardent admirer of Salvator; and he now succeeded native country altogether, and to seek employment in persuading the indigent artist to accompany him elsewhere. Accordingly, in 1634, and consequently to Rome. Salvator, arrived in Rome, was allowed an when he was about nineteen years of age, he left apartment in the cardinal's palace, and was invited Naples, and went to Rome; travelling the greater part to avail himself of all those advantages which the of the way on foot, with his wardrobe strapped to painting-schools of that city afforded. But his pecuhis back, and his portfolio before him. Milton visited liar temperament again prevented him from following Rome at the same time as Salvator Rosa, or as some in the wake of other men : he disliked schools, patrons, say, two or three years later, the great poet was re copyists, and all that interfered with the unshackled ceived with distinguished honours, whereas the poor exercise of his imagination. He refused to paint such painter had no friendly hand or heart to greet him. subjects as were then in vogue at Rome; but con
Rome was at that time the rendezvous for artists tinued to paint, whether he could find a sale for them of totally opposite styles ; viz., those of Italy generally, or not, his bandits, rocky scenes, and wild copies and those of Flanders and Holland. The Italian from nature. The connoisseurs of Rome did not painters usually chose subjects of an elevated cast, know what to think of the new artist; he despised either a representation of some of the exquisite scenes the rules which they had been accustomed to follow, of nature, or groups embodying the most striking and they could only give the name of capricci passages in the Bible. Whereas, the Flemish artists (caprices) to his pictures. were prone to represent coarse and vulgar scenes, The cardinal being made Bishop of Viterbo, Mersuch as occur in the lives of the humbler classes in curi and Salvator accompanied him to that town, and almost every city: those who have seen the “ale- this appears to have been the period at which the house" scenes of Teniers, the “interiors" of Ostade, artist was introduced to the cardinal. An order was &c., will readily understand this style. Painters of given to him to paint the portico and loggia of the this latter school were wholly repugnant to the taste episcopal palace in fresco, the subject being left to and ideas of Salvator; and as he was too obscure to himself. He selected an imaginative subject, and mingle among the great Italian artists of the times, pleased the cardinal so much as to obtain the honour he accustomed himself to wander amidst the classical of painting a grand altar-piece for the Chiesa della scenes with which Rome and its environs abound, Morte at Viterbo. He selected as his subject the sketching wherever he went, and selling his sketches “ Incredulity of St. Thomas," and produced a picture in the evening to the brokers and dealers in the which gained considerable praise, though not so much Piazza Navona, He has left a poem of about a as in subsequent times. Circumstances which his hundred lines, written by himself at this period, in biographers seem unable to explain, but which probawhich he discloses the bitter pangs and disappoint- bly arose from the restless tone of his mind, caused ments, the miseries and the sickness, which he ex him to leave the cardinal's protection after the lapse perienced while residing at Rome, The marshes in of about a year, and return to Naples. A certain the neighbourhood of the city are known to be the degree of reputation had preceded his third return to source of a malignant malaria, from which Salvator his native city, and he found himself looked upon with suffered much during his long rambles in their vicinity. more respect than before; he therefore immediately He was attacked with fever; and being nearly penni- began to take measures to procure for himself an less, was received into an hospital at Rome, where his Italian reputation, in the full sense of the term, life was sa ed. As it was, however, intimated to him, There were generally two exhibitions held every year
at Rome, at which the greatest works of the greatest thought it too much; and returned the next day to ask painters were placed in juxtaposition, To one of what was the "lowest price.” “Three hundred scudi," these exhibitions Salvator sent a large picture of said Salvator. The nobleman was puzzled to know “Prometheus," which at once caused him to be what this meant; and called a third time, to ask ranked among the finest painters of the age:-his seriously what was the price demanded.
“ Four diminutive appellation of “Salvatoriello" instantly hundred scudi,” was the anwer: Salvator did not dropped: his picture was celebrated in prose and wait for further parley, but angrily took up the picture verse; and the Pantheon, under whose roof it was ex and broke a hole through it, to indicate his indignahibited, became crowded with visitors. Salvator, yet tion at any attempt to “cheapen” his pictures. in Naples, heard of the success of his picture, and at This independence, vanity, rashness,-call it what the entreaty of Mercuri, returned to Rome, where he we will, -was perpetually appearing in the character hired a small house in the Via Babbuipa, and gradu. and actions of Salvator, and always kept him in a ally drew around him a small circle of friends whose broil with the host of enemies, whom, throughout his tastes were congenial to his own.
whole life, he contrived to make. His “ Prometheus” brought him more fame than The year 1647 arrived, and with it the celebrated profit; he was still most worldly poor, when at the insurrection at Naples, headed by Masaniello, of which carnival of 1639 we find him entering on a new and a sketch has been given in an early volume of our strange career. One feature of the Roman carnivals work*. No sooner did Salvator hear of an event which of that period was a stage mounted on wheels, and so much accorded with his restless and independent occupied by actors and buffoons. The visitors at this tone of mind, than he shut up his house at Rome, carnival were attracted by the arrival of a stage, bade adieu to the easel and the pencil, and went to or moving platform, on which was a personage repre- Naples, where he immediately joined Masaniello, as senting a Neapolitan actor, who, in his recitations one of a company of young men called the Comand speeches, exhibited such genuine wit, such bitter pagnia della Morte. Throughout the brief but mosatire, and such exquisite humour, that all were mentous struggle between Masaniello and the Spanish charmed with him; particularly as, at intervals, he Viceroy, Salvator fought as a volunteer soldier; but sang some Neapolitan ballads, accompanying himself the ardour of his hopes and plans was checked by cleverly on the lute. Every one burned with impa- the death of Masaniello; and the consequent reintience to know who this extraordinary man was ; statement of the viceroy in authority. when, on going off the Corso, he lifted his mask, and The present, as well as the former, article is illus. showed the features of Salvator Rosa.—This circum- trated by a copy of Salvator's pictures, which embody stance had the effect of introducing Salvator to the certain well-known incidents in the life of Diogenes conversazioni and assemblies of the nobles at Rome, the Cynic. This philosopher flourished in the fourth where he exhibited the versatility of his talents as a century before the Christian era. He taught that a poet, dramatic writer, composer, singer, musician, wise man, in order to be happy, must try to keep actor, and improvvisatore; and gained that degree of himself independent of fortune, of men, and of himdistinction' for which, as an artist, he had so long self: he must therefore despise riches, power, honour, struggled.
arts and sciences, and all the pleasures of life. He tried It appears, however, that Salvator felt such a mode to exhibit in his own person a model of Cynic virtue. of life to be unworthy of a great painter; and he He was satisfied with the coarsest food, was rigidly therefore left the salons of the great to return to his temperate, and displayed a wonderful neglect of perpainting room. The patrons whom he had gained by sonal conveniences. By day he walked through the his versatile talents now befriended him, by purchas- streets of Athens barefoot, without any coat, with a ing all his landscape pieces at good prices; and his long beard, a stick in his hand, a wallet on his shoullandscapes soon occupied a place beside those of ders, and a little wooden drinking-bowl: but seeing a Claude Lorraine and Gaspar Poussin, who were boy drink water in the hollow of his hand, Diogenes among his contemporaries at Rome. He now became threw away his bowl as a superfluity. (See Frontis.
man of personal distinction at Rome, dressing piece to the present article.) At another time Diogenes elegantly, and receiving company at his house, whom was seen carrying a lantern through the streets of he attracted by the versatility of his talents. But he Athens in the daytime, and on being asked what he also succeeded in obtaining the more solid respect and was looking for, replied, “I am searching for an hofriendship of Carlo Rossi, a Roman banker, who em. nest man." (See Frontispiece to our former article, ployed him as an artist, and visited him as a friend p. 177). On being asked “ What is the most danMany other really worthy and distinguished men at gerous animal ?" he said “ Among wild animals, the Rome also sought his society; and from one of them, slanderer; among tame, the flatterer.” When he felt the Conte Carpigna, he obtained an order to paint a the approach of death (B.C. 324,) he sat down in the large battle-piece, at his own discretion.
road leading to Olympia, and died calmly in the preHe was now full of employment. Altar-pieces, sence of a large number of people. colossal historical subjects, small landscapes, concetti, * See Saturday Magazine, Vol. XII., pp. 41 and 65. -all emanated from his pencil with extraordinary fertility; and his musical and poetical compositions True Philosophy.—True philosophy unfolds the design
It finds appear to have equalled, in rapidity of execution, his of final causes with a calm and humble wisdom. pictures. He had now arrived at that period of his the Creator everywhere, and always acting in wisdom and life for which he had long thirsted, -viz., when he power. It traces the highest benevolence of intention,
where the first aspect showed no apparent purpose, or one could fix his own prices; and the largeness of these that seemed to tend to misery; offering new inducements to prices showed the estimation in which he held bis learn the first and last lesson of religion, and the ultimate own talents. Even to his friend and patron, Carlo attainment of human wisdom-resignation to the will of Rossi, he would not abate a ducat; but often, when the God. price was more than Rossi felt disposed to pay, Salvator would, a day or two afterwards, send him the pic- instrument for the speedy dispatch of business. It creates
Truth is the most compendious wisdom, and an excellent ture as a present. On another occasion, a Roman
confidence in those we have to deal with, saves the labour prince asked him the price of a certain picture;
of many inquiries, and brings things to issue in a few “Two hundred scudi," was the reply. The noble words. -Spectator.
NATURAL HISTORY OF THE MONTHS. them during the Christmas season (when holly is XII. DECEMBER.
so abundantly used to decorate our churches and dwellings), form a handsome and substantial fence.
Mistletoe (viscus) is another plant now in perfection. And after him came next the chill December; Yet he, through merry feasting which he made,
This curious parasite. derives its sustenance from And great bon tires, did not the cold remember;
other living trees, and is often found growing on the Ilis Saviour's birth so much his mind did glid.
stems and branches of oak-trees. The obscure man. Upon a shaggy bearded goat he rode, The same wherewith Dan Jove, in tender years,
ner of its growth and propagation, and the season of They say was nourisht by the Idæan mayd;
the year in which it flourishes, have caused this plant And in his hand a broad deepe bowle he beares, Of which he freely drinks a health to all his peeres.
to be regarded with a great degree of superstitious SPENSER. veneration in times passed. In Druidical worship it
was especially honoured, and was supposed to possess Dark December has at length arrived; the earth the virtue of healing many diseases. The sixth day has completed another of her annual journeys, and of every month was set apart to search for it, and has brought us to the middle of winter, to the season the joy of the people on discovering it was very great. of chilliness and cloudiness, of cheerless skies, dreary This plant is supposed to be propagated by the prospects, and miry roads. Severe frost does not mistletoe thrush (Turdus viscivorus) which feeds on the usually set in till towards the close of the month; berries during winter. The glutinous nature of these but a damp and chilling state of the atmosphere berries causes them to adhere to the beak of the bird, often prevails, which is more unpleasant than frost. and in his efforts to disengage them," he strikes them The days are now at the shortest, the time that the against the parts of the tree on which he alights, and sun remains above the horizon being, on the twenty- leaves the sceds sticking to the bark." This is the first of the month; something less than eight hours, account usually given of the propagation of mistletoe: even in the southern parts of our island.
it has been found upon trial exceedingly difficult to Vegetable nature seems to have fallen into a state place the seeds in such a manner as to prevent their of torpor, and to have retired, like the hybernating being washed off by the rain, but if a slit or indentaanimals, to some secret mansion, there to sleep away tion be made in the bark, the seeds will most likely the cold and unpropitious season, till the warmth of germinate and produce plants in any situation we the ensuing spring shall arrive and awaken her to may desire, provided the tree itself be favourable to her accustomed energy. But this is not really the the growth of the plant. It is not uncommon to find case : while apparently slumbering, she is actually the mistletoe growing on apple-trees: the largest plant engaged in preparing and compounding all the of the kind ever seen by the writer of this article, beautiful verdure, and the pleasing forms of the was found a short time since amid the diverging coming season. The fair profusion that adorns the branches of an apple-tree of ancient growth. spring, the richer flowers and fruits of summer, and Several species of moss, nourished by the moisture the wide-spread bounties of autumn, are nothing which is abundantly supplied to them during the more than the perfect results of what has been pre-early part of the month, attract our attention by their pared and fabricated in silence and secresy during fresh and beautiful appearance, and the numerous these dull months. Had we the faculty to detect and family of lichens also offers many attractions to the to observe what is going on beneath the rugged and botanist. The microscopic examination of these unsightly bark of the tree that now lifts its bare inconspicuous plants, reveals a world of wonders to arms towards the sky, we should be filled with wonder the admirer of natural productions, and displays and admiration at the sight: there should we behold beauties which are wholly unknown to the majority the manufactory going on of “materials for its leaf of persons. The white, or yellow, or gray patches, and its bark; for the petals and parts of its flowers; which can scarcely fail to be noticed on the trunks the tubes and machinery that concoct the juices, and branches of trees, on old palings, on the walls of modify the fluids, and furnish the substance of the ancient edifices, on tomb-stones, and even on the fruit, with multitudes of other unknown operations paved way beneath our feet, if not too much frequented and contrivances, too delicate and mysterious to be to allow of their growth all these picturesque-look seen, or even comprehended, by the blindness, the ing stains, (as we should be apt to consider them,) defectibility of our nature-things of which we have giving a venerable and time-worn aspect to the site no information, being beyond the range of any of the they occupy, are nothing less than different species works or the employments of mankind."
of the interesting family of plants called lichens, of Unvaried is the scene around us at this season, which Sir J. E. Smith, in his English Botany, has and therefore few are the remarks we need offer on given coloured figures of about three hundred and the appearance of our fields and plains. Were it fifty British species. This family is of considerable not for the evergreens, occasionally seen in hedge. importance, as furnishing us with dyes, chiefly of rows, and more frequently clustered around our different shades of purple and crimson; while to the dwellings, all would be naked and barren ; but these inhabitants of polar regions it is of much greater welcome trees and shrubs afford a pleasing contrast value, since the rein-deer has little other provender to the rest, and also screen us in some measure from than a species of lichen, (L. rangiferinus,) called reinthe severity of the wintry blasts. The holly, (Ilex deer moss, and since the Laplanders are almost wholly aquifolium) is one of the greatest ornaments of the supplied by that useful animal with the means of season: there is a vigour and healthfulness about the existence. The nutritive properties of lichens are far tree, and a brightness in the contrast of its shining greater, and their growth is far more considerable, leaves and crimson berries, that make it deservedly a in those regions of frost and snow, than in our own favourite. This tree is not only pleasing to the eye, country; yet it is not improbable that a nourishing but very useful; the provision it affords to poor diet for invalids might at length be obtained from hungry birds, during the severe weather, is of the some of our native species, having similar properties, utmost importance to them; the young shoots of the though not to the same extent, with the Licher tree likewise are eaten by sheep and other animals. islandicus, or Iceland moss, which is imported for that Holly-bushes, though slow of growth and difficult to purpose; or with the species of lichen, or fucus, which rear, on account of the depredations committed on in 1830 was made use of by the starving population
of Ireland, and was called by them carrachan moss,
When Nature shrouds herself, entranced and which has since become a favourite article of
In deep tranquillity. diet for the use of invalids.
Not undelightful now to roam When autumn and her fruits have passed away, (says
The wild heath, sparkling on the sight;
Not undelightful now to pace
The forest's ample rounds,
And see the spangled branches shine,
And mark the moss, of many a hue,
That varies the old tree's brown bark, the vegetable creation seems abandoned to desolation and
Or o'er the gray stone spreads. death. Yet the pursuits of the botanist are not even then
And mark the cluster'd berries bright, necessarily suspended, since many cryptogamic plants,
Amid the holly's gay green leaves; especially the mosses, put on their best attire, and to the inquiring eye exhibit a structure more beautiful than is to be
The ivy round the leafless oak, perceived in the noblest trees of the forest. At this season,
That clasps its foliage close. too, the fuci and other sea-weeds furnish an abundant
So Virtue, diffident of strength, harvest; and Nature, ever benignant, retains some of the
Clings to Religion's firier aid, natives of the bright summer, and furnishes her admirers
And, by Religion's aid upheld, with a few sweet specimens to compensate in some degree
Endures calamity. --SOUTHEY. the loss of the more numerous and gaudy progeny of the sunny days that are gone by.
We have now given our scattered observations on
the Natural History of each month of the year; and The flower-garden is not utterly despoiled of its in closing this interesting and instructive subject, we attractions even in this gloomy month. A few linger- cannot but remark the rapid but stealthy progress of ing marigolds and anemones, some clusters of mi- time, which has carried us on from one scene to gnonette, and if the frost has not been very severe, another, has presented to us, in succession, the buds, a tolerable variety of chrysanthemums, are still to be and blossoms, and fruits of the year,—has scattered all seen ; while the hardy aconite, and the hellebore, these with the verdure and the foliage which suror Christmas rose, boldly put forth their blossoms. rounded them, and has brought us again to the point The China rose, scarcely appreciated amid the glow of from which we set out, to the scene of desolation bright forms in earlier months, is now an especial peculiar to winter. This annual course of things has favourite, and its pale blossoms are much in request taken place in the usual manner, and at the ordinary to give a delicate perfume to our apartments. The rate of time ; yet in attempting to mark their progress kitchen-garden exhibits long unbroken lines of fresh we bave found them apparently fleeting away with looking green in the celery-beds which adorn it, and double speed. May our attempt to lead the attention in the late-planted lettuces placed in the sheltered
of our readers to the beautiful succession of natural borders to stand the winter. The hardy endives phenomena going on around them succeed in exciting spread out their curiously-curled leaves, or are under a spirit of observation and inquiry, especially amongst going the operation of blanching, and the ranks of
the young, and may they be led to view the hand of cauliflower, brocoli, kale, and cabbage, give an orderly God in everything. appearance to the well-arranged garden.
One Spirit-His Soon after the winter solstice, or shortest day
Who wore the platted thorns with bleeding browse (December 21st), frost and snow usually set in; and Rules universal nature. Not a flower while the cold becomes more piercing, the dryness of But shows some touch in freckle, stroak, or stain, the ground, and the occasional brightness and clear
Of His unrivallid pencil. He inspires ness of the atmosphere, enable us to brave the season
Their balmy odours, and imparts their hues,
And bathes their oyes with nectar, and includes, out of doors, with more pleasurable feelings than
In grains as countless as the sea-side sands, those with which we encountered the mists and mire
The forms with which He sprinkles all the earth. of the previous weather. To those who are in the Happy who walks with Him! whom what he finds possession of health and strength, a continuance of Of Aavour or of scent in fruit or flower, frosty weather has many charms; they can enter
Or what he views of beautiful or grand into the pleasures of exercise and diversion at this
In Nature, from the broad majestic oak
To the green blade that twinkles in the sun, season, and feel warmed and exhilarated by walking,
Prompts with remembrance of a present God. riding, skating, &c. Let such persons remember
CowPER. with compassion the case of the aged poor, and, as far as they may be able, provide for the wants of those whose infirmities make them doubly susceptible GEMS AND PRECIOUS STONES. V. of the cold, against which they are so scantily de
The last siliceous gem we have to mention is the OPAS, fended. The sufferings of the aged, and of the poor
a stone much softer than the ordinary quartz, but not generally at this season, notwithstanding the efforts
on that account to be excluded from the list of gems, made to relieve them, must often distress the bene
since its beautiful changing appearance has caused it volent and feeling heart, and prove some alloy to the
to be held in very high estimation, in ancient as well satisfaction which the approach of winter would
as modern times. otherwise inspire. For that winter is anticipated and
We are told that a Roman senator, named Nonnius, loved by those who have learned to find charms in every season of the year, we are well aware : hence preferred banishment to giving up a favourite opal,
which was coveted by Mark Antony. This will give the language of the Poet:
some idea of the value attached to these gems in forThough now no more the musing ear
mer days; indeed it appears that at all times an opal Delights to listen to the breeze,
of unusual size and lustre is exceedingly valuable, and That lingers o'er the greenwood shade,
will fetch an enormous sum. A stone of this kind I love thee, Winter! well.
was purchased by the Russian general, Prince PotemSweet are the hannonies of Spring, Sweet is the Summer's evening gale,
kin, for the sum of one thousand ducats, having been And sweet the Autumnal winds that shake
taken, as was affirmed, by Nadir Shah, from the head The many-coloured grove.
of a Gentoo idol, of which it formed one of the eyes. And pleasant to the sober'd soul
In the middle ages the opal was called orphanus, The silence of the wintry scene,
(the orphan,) from the circumstance of Albert the