warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/iovannet/public_html/explorion/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 33.


If there is one artist, more than another, whose work it is desirable that you should examine in Florence, supposing that you care for old art at all, it is Giotto. You can, indeed, also see work of his at Assisi; but it is not likely you will stop there, to any purpose. At Padua there is much; but only of one period. At Florence, which is his birthplace, you can see pictures by him of every date, and every kind. But you had surely better see, first, what is of his best time and of the best kind.

To-day, as early as you please, and at all events before doing anything else, let us go to Giotto's own parish-church, Santa Maria Novella. If, walking from the Strozzi Palace, you look on your right for the "Way of the Beautiful Ladies," it will take you quickly there.

I promised some note of Sandro's Fortitude, before whom I asked you to sit and read the end of my last letter; and I've lost my own notes about her, and forget, now, whether she has a sword, or a mace; - it does not matter. What is chiefly notable in her is - that you would not, if you had to guess who she was, take her for Fortitude at all. Everybody else's Fortitudes announce themselves clearly and proudly. They have tower-like shields, and lion-like helmets - and stand firm astride on their legs, - and are confidently ready for all comers. Yes; - that is your common Fortitude.

As early as may be this morning, let us look for a minute or two into the cathedral: - I was going to say, entering by one of the side doors of the aisles; - but we can't do anything else, which perhaps might not strike you unless you were thinking specially of it. There are no transept doors; and one never wanders round to the desolate front.

As you return this morning to St. Mary's, you may as well observe - the matter before us being concerning gates, - that the western facade of the church is of two periods. Your Murray refers it all to the latest of these; - I forget when, and do not care; - in which the largest flanking columns, and the entire effective mass of the walls, with their riband mosaics and high pediment, were built in front of, and above, what the barbarian renaissance designer chose to leave of the pure old Dominican church.

I am obliged to interrupt my account of the Spanish chapel by the following notes on the sculptures of Giotto's Campanile: first because I find that inaccurate accounts of those sculptures are in course of publication; and chiefly because I cannot finish my work in the Spanish chapel until one of my good Oxford helpers, Mr. Caird, has completed some investigations he has undertaken for me upon the history connected with it. I had written my own analysis of the fourth side, believing that in every scene of it the figure of St. Dominic was repeated. Mr.

BOULOGNE, August 15, 1763.

NICE, October 10, 1764.

Syndicate content