CHAPTER XVI. The Accademia

Michelangelo - The David - The tomb of Julius - A contrast - Fra Angelico - The beatific painter - Cimabue and Giotto - Masaccio - Gentile da Fabriano - Domenico Ghirlandaio - Fra Angelico again - Fra Bartolommeo - Perugino - Botticelli - The "Primavera" - Leonardo da Vinci and Verrocchio - Botticelli's sacred pictures - Botticini - Tapestries of Eden.

The Accademia delle Belle Arti is in the Via Ricasoli, that street which seen from the top of the Campanile is the straightest thing in Florence, running like a ruled line from the Duomo to the valley of the Mugnone. Upstairs are modern painters: but upstairs I have never been. It is the ground-floor rooms that are so memorable, containing as they do a small but very choice collection of pictures illustrating the growth of Italian art, with particular emphasis on Florentine art; the best assemblage of the work of Fra Angelico that exists; and a large gallery given up to Michelangelo's sculpture: originals and casts. The principal magnets that draw people here, no doubt, are the Fra Angelicos and Botticelli's "Primavera"; but in five at least of the rooms there is not an uninteresting picture, while the collection is so small that one can study it without fatigue - no little matter after the crowded Uffizi and Pitti.

It is a simple matter to choose in such a book as this the best place in which to tell something of the life-story of, say, Giotto and Brunelleschi and the della Robbias; for at a certain point their genius is found concentrated - Donatello's and the della Robbias' in the Bargello and those others at the Duomo and Campanile. But with Michelangelo it is different, he is so distributed over the city - his gigantic David here, the Medici tombs at S. Lorenzo, his fortifications at S. Miniato, his tomb at S. Croce, while there remains his house as a natural focus of all his activities. I have, however, chosen the Medici chapel as the spot best suited for his biography, and therefore will here dwell only on the originals that are preserved about the David. The David himself, superb and confident, is the first thing you see in entering the doors of the gallery. He stands at the end, white and glorious, with his eyes steadfastly measuring his antagonist and calculating upon what will be his next move if the sling misdirects the stone. Of the objection to the statue as being not representative of the Biblical figure I have said something in the chapter on the Bargello, where several Davids come under review. Yet, after all that can be said against its dramatic fitness, the statue remains an impressive and majestic yet strangely human thing. There it is - a sign of what a little Italian sculptor with a broken nose could fashion with his mallet and chisel from a mass of marble four hundred and more years ago.

Its history is curious. In 1501, when Michelangelo was twenty-six and had just returned to Florence from Rome with a great reputation as a sculptor, the joint authorities of the cathedral and the Arte della Lana offered him a huge block of marble that had been in their possession for thirty-five years, having been worked upon clumsily by a sculptor named Baccellino and then set aside. Michelangelo was told that if he accepted it he must carve from it a David and have it done in two years. He began in September, 1501, and finished in January, 1504, and a committee was appointed to decide upon its position, among them being Leonardo da Vinci, Perugino, Lorenzo di Credi, Filippino Lippi, Botticelli, and Andrea della Robbia, There were three suggested sites: the Loggia de' Lanzi; the courtyard of the Palazzo Vecchio, where Verrocchio's little boudoir David then stood (now in the Bargello) and where his Cupid and dolphin now are; and the place where it now stands, then occupied by Donatello's Judith and Holofernes. This last was finally selected, not by the committee but by the determination of Michelangelo himself, and Judith and Holofernes were moved to the Loggia de' Lanzi to their present position. The David was set up in May, 1504, and remained there for three hundred and sixty-nine years, suffering no harm from the weather but having an arm broken in the Medici riots in 1527. In 1878, however, it was decided that further exposure might be injurious, and so the statue was moved here to its frigid niche and a replica in marble afterwards set up in its place. Since this glorious figure is to be seen thrice in Florence, he may be said to have become the second symbol of the city, next the fleur-de-lis.

The Tribuna del David, as the Michelangelo salon is called, has among other originals several figures intended for that tomb of Pope Julius II (whose portrait by Raphael we have seen at the Uffizi) which was to be the eighth wonder of the world, and by which the last years of the sculptor's life were rendered so unhappy. The story is a miserable one. Of the various component parts of the tomb, finished or unfinished, the best known is the Moses at S. Pietro in Vincoli at Rome, reproduced in plaster here, in the Accademia, beneath the bronze head of its author. Various other parts are in Rome too; others here; one or two may be at the Bargello (although some authorities give these supposed Michelangelos to Vincenzo Danti); others are in the grotto of the Boboli Gardens; and the Louvre has what is in some respects the finest of the "Prisoners".

The first statue on the right of the entrance of the Tribuna del David is a group called "Genio Vittorioso". Here in the old man we see rock actually turned to life; in the various "Prisoners" near we see life emerging from rock; in the David we forget the rock altogether. One wonders how Michelangelo went to work. Did the shape of the block of marble influence him, or did he with his mind's eye, the Roentgen rays of genius, see the figure within it, embedded in the midst, and hew and chip until it disclosed? On the back of the fourth statue on the left a monkish face has been incised: probably some visitor to the studio. After looking at these originals and casts, and remembering those other Michelangelo sculptures elsewhere in Florence - the tombs of the Medici, the Brutus and the smaller David - turn to the bronze head over the cast of Moses and reflect upon the author of it all: the profoundly sorrowful eyes behind which so much power and ambition and disappointment dwelt.

It is peculiarly interesting to walk out of the Michelangelo gallery into the little room containing the Fra Angelicos: to pass from a great melancholy saturnine sculptor, the victim of the caprice of princes temporal and spiritual, his eyes troubled with world knowledge and world weariness, to the child-like celebrant of the joy of simple faith who painted these gay and happy pictures. Fra Angelico - the sweetest of all the Florentine painters - was a monk of Fiesole, whose real name was Guido Petri da Mugello, but becoming a Dominican he called himself Giovanni, and now through the sanctity and happiness of his brush is for all time Beato Angelico. He was born in 1390, nearly sixty years after Giotto's death, when Chaucer was fifty, and Richard II on the English throne. His early years were spent in exile from Fiesole, the brothers having come into difficulties with the Archbishop, but by 1418 he was again at Fiesole, and when in 1436 Cosimo de' Medici, returned from exile at Venice, set his friend Michelozzo upon building the convent of S. Marco, Fra Angelico was fetched from Fiesole to decorate the walls. There, and here, in the Accademia, are his chief works assembled; but he worked also at Fiesole, at Cortona, and at Rome, where he painted frescoes in the chapel of Nicholas V in the Vatican and where he died, aged sixty-eight, and was buried. It was while at Rome that the Pope offered him the priorship of S. Marco, which he declined as being unworthy, but recommended Antonio, "the good archbishop". - That practically is his whole life. As to his character, let Vasari tell us. "He would often say that whosoever practised art needed a quiet life and freedom from care, and he who occupies himself with the things of Christ ought always to be with Christ. . . . Some say that Fra Giovanni never took up his brush without first making a prayer. . . . He never made a crucifix when the tears did not course down his cheeks." The one curious thing - to me - about Fra Angelico is that he has not been canonized. If ever a son of the Church toiled for her honour and for the happiness of mankind it was he.

There are examples of Fra Angelico's work elsewhere in Florence; the large picture in Room I of this gallery; the large altar-piece at the Uffizi, with certain others; the series of mural paintings in the cells of S. Marco; and his pictures will be found not only elsewhere in Florence and Italy but in the chief galleries of the world; for he was very assiduous. We have an excellent example at the National Gallery, No. 663; but this little room gives us the artist and rhapsodist most completely. In looking at his pictures, three things in particular strike the mind: the skill with which he composed them; his mastery of light; and - and here he is unique - the pleasure he must have had in painting them. All seem to have been play; he enjoyed the toil exactly as a child enjoys the labour of building a house with toy bricks. Nor, one feels, could he be depressed. Even in his Crucifixions there is a certain underlying happiness, due to his knowledge that the Crucified was to rise again and ascend to Heaven and enjoy eternal felicity. Knowing this (as he did know it) how could he be wholly cast down? You see it again in the Flagellation of Christ, in the series of six scenes (No. 237). The scourging is almost a festival. But best of all I like the Flight into Egypt, in No. 235. Everything here is joyous and (in spite of the terrible cause of the journey) bathed in the sunny light of the age of innocence: the landscape; Joseph, younger than usual, brave and resolute and undismayed by the curious turn in his fortunes; and Mary with the child in her arms, happy and pretty, seated securely on an amiable donkey that has neither bit nor bridle. It is when one looks at Fra Angelico that one understands how wise were the Old Masters to seek their inspiration in the life of Christ. One cannot imagine Fra Angelico's existence in a pagan country. Look, in No. 236, at the six radiant and rapturous angels clustering above the manger. Was there ever anything prettier? But I am not sure that I do not most covet No. 250, Christ crucified and two saints, and No. 251, the Coronation of the Virgin, for their beauty of light.

In the photographs No. 246 - a Deposition - is unusually striking, but in the original, although beautiful, it is far less radiant than usual with this painter. It has, however, such feeling as to make it especially memorable among the many treatments of this subject. What is generally considered the most important work in this room is the Last Judgment, which is certainly extraordinarily interesting, and in the hierarchy of heaven and the company of the blest Fra Angelico is in a very acceptable mood. The benignant Christ Who divides the sheep and the goats; the healthy ripe-lipped Saints and Fathers who assist at the tribunal and have never a line of age or experience on their blooming cheeks; the monks and nuns, just risen from their graves, who embrace each other in the meads of paradise with such fervour - these have much of the charm of little flowers. But in delineating the damned the painter is in strange country. It was a subject of which he knew nothing, and the introduction among them of monks of the rival order of S. Francis is mere party politics and a blot.

There are two other rooms here, but Fra Angelico spoils us for them. Four panels by another Frate, but less radiant, Lippo Lippi, are remarkable, particularly the figure of the Virgin in the Annunciation; and there is a curious series of scenes entitled "L'Albero della Croce," by an Ignoto of the fourteenth century, with a Christ crucified in the midst and all Scripture in medallions around him, the tragedy of Adam and Eve at the foot (mutilated by some chaste pedant) being very quaint. And in Angelico's rooms there is a little, modest Annunciation by one of his school - No. 256 - which shows what a good influence he was, and to which the eye returns and returns. Here also, on easels, are two portraits of Vallombrosan monks by Fra Bartolommeo, serene, and very sympathetically painted, which cause one to regret the deterioration in Italian ecclesiastic physiognomy; and Andrea del Sarto's two pretty angels, which one so often finds in reproduction, are here too.

Let us now enter the first room of the collection proper and begin at the very beginning of Tuscan art, for this collection is historical and not fortuitous like that of the Pitti. The student may here trace the progress of Tuscan painting from the level to the highest peaks and downwards again. The Accademia was established with this purpose by that enlightened prince, Peter Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany, in 1784. Other pictures not wholly within his scheme have been added since, together with the Michelangelo statues and casts; but they do not impair the original idea. For the serious student the first room is of far the most importance, for there he may begin with Cimabue (? 1240-? 1302), and Giotto (1267-? 1337), and pass steadily to Luca Signorelli (? 1450-1523). For the most part the pictures in this room appeal to the inquirer rather than the sightseer; but there is not one that is without interest, while three works of extraordinary charm have thoughtfully been enisled, on screens, for special attention - a Fra Angelico, a Fabriano, and a Ghirlandaio. Before reaching these, let us look at the walls.

The first large picture, on the left, the Cimabue, marks the transition from Byzantine art to Italian art. Giovanni Cimabue, who was to be the forerunner of the new art, was born about 1240. At that time there was plenty of painting in Italy, but it was Greek, the work of artists at Constantinople (Byzantium), the centre of Christianity in the eastern half of the Roman Empire and the fount of ecclesiastical energy, and it was crude workmanship, existing purely as an accessory of worship. Cimabue, of whom, I may say, almost nothing definite is known, and upon whom the delightful but casual old Vasari is the earliest authority, as Dante was his first eulogist, carried on the Byzantine tradition, but breathed a little life into it. In his picture here we see him feeling his way from the unemotional painted symbols of the Faith to humanity itself. One can understand this large panel being carried (as we know the similar one at S. Maria Novella was) in procession and worshipped, but it is nearer to the icon of the Russian peasant of today than to a Raphael. The Madonna is above life; the Child is a little man. This was painted, say, in 1280, as an altar-piece for the Badia of S. Trinita at Florence.

Next came Giotto, Cimabue's pupil, born about 1267, whom we have met already as an architect, philosopher, and innovator; and in the second picture in this room, from Giotto's brush, we see life really awakening. The Madonna is vivifying; the Child is nearer childhood; we can believe that here are veins with blood in them. Moreover, whereas Cimabue's angels brought masonry, these bring flowers. It is crude, no doubt, but it is enough; the new art, which was to counterfeit and even extend nature, has really begun; the mystery and glory of painting are assured and the door opened for Botticelli.

But much had to happen first, particularly the mastery of the laws of perspective, and it was not (as we have seen) until Ghiberti had got to work on his first doors, and Brunelleschi was studying architecture and Uccello sitting up all night at his desk, that painting as we know it - painting of men and women "in the round" - could be done, and it was left for a youth who was not born until Giotto had been dead sixty-four years to do this first as a master - one Tommaso di Ser Giovanni Guido da Castel San Giovanni, known as Masaccio, or Big Tom. The three great names then in the evolution of Italian painting, a subject to which I return in chapter XXV, on the Carmine, are Cimabue, Giotto, Masaccio.

We pass on at the Accademia from Cimabue's pupil Giotto, to Giotto's followers, Taddeo Gaddi and Bernardo Daddi, and Daddi's follower Spinello Aretino, and the long dependent and interdependent line of painters. For the most part they painted altar-pieces, these early craftsmen, the Church being the principal patron of art. These works are many of them faded and so elementary as to have but an antiquarian interest; but think of the excitement in those days when the picture was at last ready, and, gay in its gold, was erected in the chapel! Among the purely ecclesiastical works No. 137, an Annunciation by Giovanni del Biondo (second half of the fourteenth century), is light and cheerful, and No. 142, the Crowning of the Virgin, by Rosello di Jacopo Franchi (1376-1456), has some delightful details and is everywhere joyous, with a charming green pattern in it. The wedding scenes in No. 147 give us Florentine life on the mundane side with some valuable thoroughness, and the Pietro Lorenzetti above - scenes in the life of S. Umilita - is very quaint and cheery and was painted as early as 1316. The little Virgin adoring, No. 160, in the corner, by the fertile Ignoto, is charmingly pretty.

And now for the three screens, notable among the screens of the galleries of Europe as holding three of the happiest pictures ever painted. The first is the Adoration of the Magi, by Gentile da Fabriano, an artist of whom one sees too little. His full name was Gentile di Niccolo di Giovanni Massi, and he was born at Fabriano between 1360 and 1370, some twenty years before Fra Angelico. According to Vasari he was Fra Angelico's master, but that is now considered doubtful, and yet the three little scenes from the life of Christ in the predella of this picture are nearer Fra Angelico in spirit and charm than any, not by a follower, that I have seen. Gentile did much work at Venice before he came to Florence, in 1422, and this picture, which is considered his masterpiece, was painted in 1423 for S. Trinita. He died four years later. Gentile was charming rather than great, and to this work might be applied Ruskin's sarcastic description of poor Ghirlandaio's frescoes, that they are mere goldsmith's work; and yet it is much more, for it has gaiety and sweetness and the nice thoughtfulness that made the Child a real child, interested like a child in the bald head of the kneeling mage; while the predella is not to be excelled in its modest, tender beauty by any in Florence; and predellas, I may remark again, should never be overlooked, strong as the tendency is to miss them. Many a painter has failed in the large space or made only a perfunctory success, but in the small has achieved real feeling. Gentile's Holy Family on its way to Egypt is never to be forgotten. Not so radiant as Fra Angelico's, in the room we have visited out of due course, but as charming in its own manner - both in personages and landscape; while the city to which Joseph leads the donkey (again without reins) is the most perfect thing out of fairyland.

Ghirlandaio's picture, which is the neighbour of Gentile's, is as a whole nearer life and one of his most attractive works. It is, I think, excelled only by his very similar Adoration of the Magi at the Spedale degli Innocenti, which, however, it is difficult to see; and it is far beyond the examples at the Uffizi, which are too hot. Of the life of this artist, who was Michelangelo's master, I shall speak in the chapter on S. Maria Novella. This picture, which represents the Adoration of the Shepherds, was painted in 1485, when the artist was thirty-six. It is essentially pleasant: a religious picture on the sunny side. The Child is the soul of babyish content, equally amused with its thumb and the homage it is receiving. Close by is a goldfinch unafraid; in the distance is a citied valley, with a river winding in it; and down a neighbouring hill, on the top of which the shepherds feed their flocks, comes the imposing procession of the Magi. Joseph is more than commonly perplexed, and the disparity between his own and his wife's age, which the old masters agreed to make considerable, is more considerable than usual.

Both Gentile and Ghirlandaio chose a happy subject and made it happier; Fra Angelico (for the third screen picture) chose a melancholy subject and made it happy, not because that was his intention, but because he could not help it. He had only one set of colours and one set of countenances, and since the colours were of the gayest and the countenances of the serenest, the result was bound to be peaceful and glad. This picture is a large "Deposizione della Croce," an altar-piece for S. Trinita. There is such joy in the painting and light in the sky that a child would clap his hands at it all, and not least at the vermilion of the Redeemer's blood. Fra Angelico gave thought to every touch: and his beatific holiness floods the work. Each of these three great pictures, I may add, has its original frame.

The room which leads from this one is much less valuable; but Fra Bartolommeo's Vision of S. Bernard has lately been brought to an easel here to give it character. I find this the Frate's most beautiful work. It may have details that are a little crude, and the pointed nose of the Virgin is not perhaps in accordance with the best tradition, while she is too real for an apparition; but the figure of the kneeling saint is masterly and the landscape lovely in subject and feeling. Here too is Fra Bartolommeo's portrait of Savonarola, in which the reformer is shown as personating S. Peter Martyr. The picture was not painted from life, but from an earlier portrait. Fra Bartolommeo had some reason to know what Savonarola was like, for he was his personal friend and a brother in the same convent of S. Marco, a few yards from the Accademia, across the square. He was born in 1475 and was apprenticed to the painter Cosimo Rosselli; but he learned more from studying Masaccio's frescoes at the Carmine and the work of Leonardo da Vinci. It was in 1495 that he came under the influence of Savonarola, and he was the first artist to run home and burn his studies from the nude in response to the preacher's denunciations. Three years later, when Savonarola was an object of hatred and the convent of S. Marco was besieged, the artist was with him, and he then made a vow that if he lived he would join the order; and this promise he kept, although not until Savonarola had been executed. For a while, as a monk, he laid aside the brush, but in 1506 he resumed it and painted until his death, in 1517. He was buried at S. Marco.

In his less regenerate days Fra Bartolommeo's greatest friend was the jovial Mariotto Albertinelli, whose rather theatrical Annunciation hangs between a number of the monk's other portraits, all very interesting. Of Albertinelli I have spoken earlier. Before leaving, look at the tiny Ignoto next the door - a Madonna and Child, the child eating a pomegranate. It is a little picture to steal.

In the next room are a number of the later and showy painters, such as Carlo Dolci, Lorenzo Lippi, and Francesco Furini, all bold, dashing, self-satisfied hands, in whom (so near the real thing) one can take no interest. Nothing to steal here.

Returning through Sala Prima we come to the Sala del Perugino and are among the masters once more - riper and richer than most of those we have already seen, for Tuscan art here reaches its finest flower. Perugino is here and Botticelli, Fra Bartolommeo and Leonardo, Luca Signorelli, Fra Lippo Lippi and Filippino Lippi. And here is a Masaccio. The great Perugino Assumption has all his mellow sunset calm, and never was a landscape more tenderly sympathetic. The same painter's Deposition hangs next, and the custodian brings a magnifying glass that the tears on the Magdalen's cheek may be more closely observed; but the third, No. 53, Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, is finer, and here again the landscape and light are perfect. For the rest, there is a Royal Academy Andrea and a formal Ghirlandaio.

And now we come to Botticelli, who although less richly represented in numbers than at the Uffizi, is for the majority of his admirers more to be sought here, by reason of the "Primavera" allegory, which is the Accademia's most powerful magnet. The Botticellis are divided between two rooms, the "Primavera" being in the first. The first feeling one has is how much cooler it is here than among the Peruginos, and how much gayer; for not only is there the "Primavera," but Fra Lippo Lippi is here too, with a company of angels helping to crown the Virgin, and a very sweet, almost transparent, little Madonna adoring - No. 79 - which one cannot forget.

The "Primavera" is not wearing too well: one sees that at once. Being in tempera it cannot be cleaned, and a dulness is overlaying it; but nothing can deprive the figure of Spring of her joy and movement, a floating type of conquering beauty and youth. The most wonderful thing about this wonderful picture is that it should have been painted when it was: that, suddenly, out of a solid phalanx of Madonnas should have stepped these radiant creatures of the joyous earth, earthy and joyful. And not only that they should have so surprisingly and suddenly emerged, but that after all these years this figure of Spring should still be the finest of her kind. That is the miracle! Luca Signorelli's flowers at the Uffizi remain the best, but Botticelli's are very thoughtful and before the grass turned black they must have been very lovely; the exquisite drawing of the irises in the right-hand corner can still be traced, although the colour has gone. The effect now is rather like a Chinese painting. For the history of the "Primavera" and its signification, one must turn back to Chapter X.

I spoke just now of Luca's flowers. There are others in his picture in this room - botanist's flowers as distinguished from painter's flowers: the wild strawberry beautifully straggling. This picture is one of the most remarkable in all Florence to me: a Crucifixion to which the perishing of the colour has given an effect of extreme delicacy, while the group round the cross on the distant mound has a quality for which one usually goes to Spanish art. The Magdalen is curiously sulky and human. Into the skull at the foot of the cross creeps a lizard.

This room has three Lippo Lippis, which is an interesting circumstance when we remember that that dissolute brother was the greatest influence on Botticelli. The largest is the Coronation of the Virgin with its many lilies - a picture which one must delight in, so happy and crowded is it, but which never seems to me quite what it should be. The most fascinating part of it is the figures in the two little medallions: two perfect pieces of colour and design. The kneeling monk on the right is Lippo Lippi himself. Near it is the Madonna adoring, No. 79, of which I have spoken, with herself so luminous and the background so dark; the other - No. 82 - is less remarkable. No. 81, above it, is by Browning's Pacchiorotto (who worked in distemper); close by is the Masaccio, which has a deep, quiet beauty; and beneath it is a richly coloured predella by Andrea del Sarto, the work of a few hours, I should guess, and full of spirit and vigour. It consists of four scriptural scenes which might be called the direct forerunners of Sir John Gilbert and the modern illustrators. Lastly we have what is in many ways the most interesting picture in Florence - No. 71, the Baptism of Christ - for it is held by some authorities to be the only known painting by Verrocchio, whose sculptures we saw in the Bargello and at Or San Michele, while in one of the angels - that surely on the left - we are to see the hand of his pupil Leonardo da Vinci. Their faces are singularly sweet. Other authorities consider not only that Verrocchio painted the whole picture himself but that he painted also the Annunciation at the Uffizi to which Leonardo's name is given. Be that as it may - and we shall never know - this is a beautiful thing. According to Vasari it was the excellence of Leonardo's contribution which decided Verrocchio to give up the brush. Among the thoughts of Leonardo is one which comes to mind with peculiar force before this work when we know its story: "Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master".

The second Sala di Botticelli has not the value of the first. It has magnificent examples of Botticelli's sacred work, but the other pictures are not the equal of those in the other rooms. Chief of the Botticellis is No. 85, "The Virgin and Child with divers Saints," in which there are certain annoying and restless elements. One feels that in the accessories - the flooring, the curtains, and gilt - the painter was wasting his time, while the Child is too big. Botticelli was seldom too happy with his babies. But the face of the Saint in green and blue on the left is most exquisitely painted, and the Virgin has rather less troubled beauty than usual. The whole effect is not quite spiritual, and the symbolism of the nails and the crown of thorns held up for the Child to see is rather too cruel and obvious. I like better the smaller picture with the same title - No. 88 - in which the Saints at each side are wholly beautiful in Botticelli's wistful way, and the painting of their heads and head-dresses is so perfect as to fill one with a kind of despair. But taken altogether one must consider Botticelli's triumph in the Accademia to be pagan rather than sacred.

No. 8, called officially School of Verrocchio, and by one firm of photographers Botticini, and by another Botticelli, is a fine free thing, low in colour, with a quiet landscape, and is altogether a delight. It represents Tobias and the three angels, and Raphael moves nobly, although not with quite such a step as the radiant figure in a somewhat similar picture in our own National Gallery - No. 781 - which, once confidently given to Verrocchio, is now attributed to Botticini; while our No. 296, which the visitor from Florence on returning to London should hasten to examine, is no longer Verrocchio but School of Verrocchio. When we think of these attributions and then look at No. 154 in the Accademia - another Tobias and the Angel, here given to Botticini - we have a concrete object lesson in the perilous career that awaits the art expert,

The other pictures here are two sunny panels by Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, high up, with nice easy colouring; No. 92, an Adoration of the Shepherds by Lorenzo di Credi, with a good landscape and all very sweet and quiet; No. 98, a Deposition by Filippino Lippi and Perugino, in collaboration, with very few signs of Filippino; and No. 90, a Resurrection by Raffaellino del Garbo, an uncommon painter in Florence; the whole thing a tour de force, but not important.

And now let us look at the Angelicos again.

Before leaving the Accademia for the last time, one should glance at the tapestries near the main entrance, just for fun. That one in which Adam names the animals is so delightfully naive that it ought to be reproduced as a nursery wall-paper. The creatures pass in review in four processions, and Adam must have had to be uncommonly quick to make up his mind first and then rattle out their resultant names in the time. The main procession is that of the larger quadrupeds, headed by the unicorn in single glory; and the moment chosen by the artist is that in which the elephant, having just heard his name (for the first time) and not altogether liking it, is turning towards Adam in surprised remonstrance. The second procession is of reptiles, led by the snail; the third, the smaller quadrupeds, led by four rats, followed desperately close (but of course under the white flag) by two cats; while the fourth - all sorts and conditions of birds - streams through the air. The others in this series are all delightful, not the least being that in which God, having finished His work, takes Adam's arm and flies with him over the earth to point out its merits.