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firft, however, that Mr. Mengs studied most, and he could nes ver tire in contemplating the works of that immortal artist. Our Editor observes, at the same time, that the files of Raphael and Mengs were very different; and he pretends, that it was reseryed for the latter to rise above Nature, while the former contented himself with imitating her in her best and faireft actual forms. We contefted this judgment with respect to Raphael in our former extract, when it was pronounced by MenGs; and we alleged against it Raphael's letter to Count Balthazar Castiglioni. Our Editor mentions this letter ; but supposes it to have been written towards the end of that great painter's life, when, only, our Editor thinks, that he began to conceive the possibility of heightening the charms of real Nature by ideal beauty. He alleges ftill, chat Raphael's productions are within the bounds of real Nature, that his Madonas are the portraits of the finest wo men of his time, and that the famous Madona della Ledia is no more than a handsome country girl, who gives the breast to a beautiful child.-We shall dispute no longer this point; but would be glad to see M. D’AZARA favoured with a fight of the Cartoons at the Queen's house. For the rest, his manner of expressing the ideal beauty that chara&erises the moft celebrated pieces of the Chev. MENGs, does not seem to us to thew that he had a just notion of the thing.
He speaks with more precision and truth, perhaps, when he says, that Raphael, almost wholly attentive to expreffion, in which he excelled, was more or less negligent in his claro-obscura and colouring; that his tints are sometimes crude, and bis car. nations not always of an agreeable red; and that bis pictures, generally speaking, have a monotony of colouring, which makes them please lefs at first fight, and require reflection to produce their full effect. But', fays he, “the pictures of Mr. Mergs unite the most fublime expression with the greateft truth and harmony of colouring, and that happy and judicious management of the different effects of light, which delights the senses at the first inspression, and pleases reason on the moft attentive examination. They are full of that grace which is felt, but cannot be analysed.' The painter of Urbino copied Nature in her most beautiful forms; but the German artist copied, improved, and ennobled her. The former facrificed only at the ihrine of Reason; the latter at that of Reason and the Graces at the same time.'-Here we suspect that M. D'AZARA has got into the ideal, at least in panegyric, notwithstanding the illuftrious merit of the artist, whom he contemplates with the blended eyes of taste and friendship :-do not read blinded.
Mengs handled the pencil in a manner peculiar to himself. He accumulated layers of colours on his pictures, that they might receive and reflect a greater quantity of light (Is
this fa peculiar?); and was so nice in this respect, that he always prepared his pallet himself.' This we believe he had in common with a great number of painters. He had a thorough chemical knowledge of the nature of each colour, and of the effect it must produce long after the evaporation of the oil. He was perfeéily acquainted with the theory of light, and of its decomposition by the prism into seven colours; but in practice he admitted only three primitive colours, the yellow, red, and blue, and of these he composed all his cints.
Our Editor gives a very strong and a very remarkable proof of the success with which Mr. Mengs had itudied the works of the ancients, when he informs us, that all the technical materials, that enrich the celebrated Abbé WINKELMAN'S History of the Arts (of Painting and Sculpture), were furnished by this excellent artist.
'The Chevalier D’AZARA, after having displayed the merit of the artist, attracts our attention and tender esteem to the character of the man; and here we shall follow him with peculiar pleasure.
Mr. Mengs was naturally timid, and was born with a certain caft of melancholy, which is a frequent attendant on sensibility and genius. This was nourished by the clole retirement in which his father made him pass the early period of his life. It is not therefore surprising that he knew little of the world, was a stranger to the tone and manners of the age, and had in his air and deportment something that seemed to announce diffidence and constraint. Nevertheless he delivered his opinion in matters, relative to the art he professed, with a bold fincerity that seemed sometimes harsh, and gave offence; but when this happened it always gave bim pain upon reflection, and he was not easy until he had made amends for is by friendly counsels and kind offices. The purity and simplicity of his manners were remarkable; and it was easy to observe, that his enthusiasm for the arts had supprefled in him every other passion. In point of veracity he was severe and inflexible; nothing could engage him to depart from strict truth in any instance. Among a multitude of proofs that our Editor says he could bring of this, he mentions the following incident:~ In his last journey from Rome to Spain, entering into the French territories at Pont-de-Beauvoisin, the officers of the Custom-house found, in his baggage, gold snuff boxes enriched with diamonds, which he had received as presents from several princes. They asked him if these boxes were designed for sale, or were only intended for his private use. His answer was, I am not a merchant, Gentlemen, and I never take fnuff. The officers, highly pleased with this frankness, were entirely disposed to renounce their seizure, and, being delirous that the honelt man should keep his boxes, they prefled him urgently to a general declaracion, that he made use of them; but all their
intreaties intreaties were insufficient to draw from him the least affirmation of this nature, and he continued to assure them that he had never taken a pinch of snuff in his life. They were therefore obliged to consider the snuff-boxes as objects of commerce, and to seize them as such. And had not our Editor and the Marquis of Liano interposed afterwards, and employed, unsolicited, all their credit at Paris in favour of Mr. Mengs, the boxes would never have been returned.
Notwithstanding that there was frequently something not very pleafing in the external manners of this worthy man, benignity and generosity were the predominant lines of his character, and his disinterestednefs went' so far as to encroach upon the duties he owed to his family; at least, it prevented that prudent economy which was necessary to secure them an easy subsistence after his death. It appeared, in settling his accounts, he had received, in the last eighteen years of his life, 160,000 crowns (about 40,000 pounds), and yet he left scarcely wherewithal to pay the expences of his funeral.
This fortune does not appear very brilliant, when we consider the reputation of the Chevalier Mengs, and that there was scarcely a sovereign in Europe, who did not employ him. The Empress of Russia, who patronizes the arts with an exquisite taste, and an almost unbounded munificence, ordered two pictures from this great artist, and left him the choice of the subjects. His death prevented his even beginning them; and the two thousand crowns that had been advanced to him by the Empress as a part of his reward, were generously given to his family.
The King of Spain gave the Chevalier Mengs generous marks of his protection and favour during his life, and has, fince his death, portioned his five daughters, and granted penfions to his two sons.
M. D'AZARA, after this interesting account of the artist and the man, gives a catalogue of the productions of his pencil, that are to be seen in Spain, or that were executed there. The principal of these (beside such as have been already mentioned) are as follows: The Cieling of the Saloon of Trajan, where the King dines, painted in Fresco, and representing the Apotheosis of that Emperor (who was born in Spain), and the Virtues conduct. ing him to the Temple of Fame.-Two pictures, which decorate the bed-chamber of Charles III, in the palace at Madrid, one representing the Conception, and the other St. Anthony of Padua, which have to hit the royal taste, chat his Majesty has them always carried about with him, when he changes his place of residence. - A Crucifixion.--The Cieling of the Theatre of Aranjuez, in the centre of which Mengs has represented Time, incensed, car. rying off Pleasure ; the rest of the Cieling exhibits Caryatides in
out with hi The Cieling represented Tibies Caryatide om
claro-obscuro.- A fine Magdalene in the palace of St. Ildephon. so.- A Madona, with the child Jesus and Joseph, which belongs to the Prince of Asturias, and is greatly esteemed by that Prince, who is known to be a connoisseur, particularly in heads drapery. - The principal picture in the church of St. Ifidore at Madrid, representing the Holy Trinity, with the Virgin and some Spanish Saints.-An Ecce Homo.-A Matér Dolorosa, probably in the stile of Pergolesi.—A Portrait of Charles III. ; and á Portrait of Catherine II., Empress of Russia, which is an allegorical composition, enriched with a variety of figures. These are the principal pieces of Mr. Mengs that are mentioned in the list of the Chevalier D’AZARA; but many other firft-rate performances have immortalized his pencil : The Saloon of the Mufæum Clementinum at Rome, which he painted in Fresco. The Perfeus and Andromeda, which he painted for an English nobleman, and which, captured in its passage by a French privateer, became the property of M. de Sartine. - The Greek female Dancer, large as life, painted in crayons, on wood, for the Marquis Croimare at Paris; and the Apollo, in the midst of the Muses, in the villa Albano, in comparison with which (says an excellent judge) the Apollo in the Aurora of Guido is but a mortal. 'All these are capital pi&tures, and will preserve the name of this admirable artist from oblivion.
** This valuable publication of the WORKS and Life of the Chevalier MenGs, in 2 Vols. 46o. may be had of the Importer, Mr. Molini, in Woodstock-street, at One Guinea in Sheets. .
Library of the Escurial; or a Descriptive Catalogue of all the
TITE 27. srüui itse initructive preface, which is prefixed
VV to this great work, that Philip II., when he founded the monastery of the Escurial, was desirous of enriching it with the most valuable manuscripts of all kinds, and in all languages; and this shews, that all the sparks of humanity were not extinguished in this hideous monarch. Several learned men, more especially Arias Montanus, and Hurtado de Mendoza, were chare ged with the execution of the King's defign. While they col. lected manuscripts for the King, they reserved several for themApp. Rey. Vol. xlv.
selves, which, after their decease, were added to the royal col. lection.
Under the reign of Philip III., Pietro de Lasa, being on a cruize near Salé, took two vessels, where, among other etfects belonging to Zsidan King of Morocco, he found 3000 manuscripcs, on political, philosophical, and medical subjects, as also on the true sense and interpretation of the Koran. This was a new and valuable acquisition for the library of the Escurial; but, on the 7th of June 1671, a fire unhappily broke out, which consumed a great part of these manuscripts, so that there remained only about 1805, which escaped the flames. The catalogues of the contents of this famous collection, that had been drawn up by Arias Montanus, the first librarian, by F. Joseph de Siguenza, his successor, and by David Colvil, a learned Scotiman, were consumed by this fire. The accounts we have had, fince that fatal event, of this famous collection, are very imper. fect; they are contained in two catalogues ; one of which is in Arabic and Latin, and gives the titles of the manuscripts; the other, which is only in Latin, mentions 419 only. Don Casi. RIO undertook the learned catalogue, now under confideration, fo long ago as the year 1753. · Hc divides all these manuscripts into thirteen classes : Rheto ·ric, Poetry, Philology, Miscellanies, Lexicons, Philosophy, Poli.
tics, Medicine, Natural History, Jurisprudence, Theology, Geography, and History: He places at the side of the Arabian titles a Latin translation of them : He copies the beginning and the conclufion of each work: He informs us of the birth, coun. try, morals, profession, employments, and rank of the respective authors, of the time when they wrote, the date of their death, and the degree of eftcem in which their writings are held by the Mahometans.
Under the reigns of Almanzor and Almaimon, the Arabians applied themselves, with great success, to the study of philosophy, mathematics, medicine, and natural history. They translated, into their language, the most valuable writings of the Greeks, Syrians, Perfians, Egyptians, and Indians, of which the origi. nals are, for the most part, loft: Such are, the fifth, fixth, and seventh books of the Conic Sections of Apollonius of Pergæa, that were preserved in the library of the Medicis, and translated from Arabic into Lacin, with a commentary by Abraham Echel. lenfis. Such also are the 2d, 3d, 4th, sth, 6th, 7th, and 8th books of the Commentary of Galen, on the ad and 6th books of the Epidemics of Hippocrates, which is only to be found in the library of the Escurial.