art, scarcely arrived at that height at which we have seen it, sustained itself there for a few moments, then totters, falls, or is lost. How short a period, in fact, does the career of Ghirlandajo and of Perugino embrace, the one the master of Michael Angelo, the other of Raphael; and that of the two pupils in whose tomb the art they had brought to perfection was almost buried! while from Phidias to the author of the Torso, of the Gladiator, of the Apollo, there extends an interval of many centuries, crowded with masterpieces. It is, perhaps, that Greek art, more firmly fixed in its principles, had advanced more slowly ; while modern art, given up to too many hands, and too hurried in its progress, was as if exhausted at once by the abundance of its productions, and the rapidity of its progress. However this may be, it is important to notice further, in order to complete the parallel of these two arts, all that they had retained of the ancient system, together with all that they had laid aside of it.

As the Greeks always preserved at the finest periods of the art, certain forms of dress, certain consecrated attitudes, together with the symbols and attributes, which had their meaning determined by the primitive monuments, so the Italians in the colour of the dresses, in the disposition of the draperies, in the choice of the accessories, remained constantly faithful to the traditions of the revival of art. Even in that ideal type created by ancient genius there was something present in the majesty of the whole, in the repose of the parts, in the simplicity of the lines, in the calm of the expression, which recalled some features of the sacred model ; in the same manner as in that other ideal type created by modern genius, there is to be found a mixture of candour and nobleness, of elevation and simplicity, a sort of ancient physiognomy and religious colour which indicate its sacred origin.

Shall any one now say that Grecian art was indebted for its development to the influence of Egyptian art, because the one remained for a time fixed at that point to which the other remained eternally enchained? Then we must also say, that the art of the moderns was indebted to a Byzantine type for its first forms and its progressive direction ; for on both sides as the condition is similar, the consequence ought to be the same; and if the Jupiter of Phidias was derived from an Egyptian statue, we must also allow that a Virgin of Raphael was hidden in a Madonna of St. Luke. Let us say rather, laying aside

those farfetched inferences, that the ancients and the moderns found in a certain religious type, imperfect, like every work of the infancy of art, for a long time respected like every object of worship, a first germ of imitation, and that this germ fertilised by genius, by popular belief, by fortunate circumstances, by free institutions, produced at last, under the beautiful sky of Greece and Italy, those admirable fruits which are so well known. Thus, to recapitulate : in Egypt, under the ardour of a glowing sky, under the sway of a severe theocracy, where every intellectual or physical movement was almost forbidden, where, one may say, that repose was enjoined on the citizens by the climate and by the laws-where unchangeableness was, so to speak, one of the conditions of existence, the arts, eternally stationary, were the expression and the image still more than the ornament of society; in the same manner, in the imperfect civilisation of the middle ages, under the iron yoke of feudal institutions, the arts remained for a long time rude like the minds, and enslaved like individuals. On the contrary, in Greece and in Italy, a mild climate, a fertile soil, a brilliant sky, all which adds a charm to and adorns life ; genius, religion, liberty, all which animates, enlightens, elevates man in his own eyes; obtained for the arts, under like conditions, similar destinies, and produced on every side, in this brilliant development of the arts, the most remarkable phenomenon, perhaps, in every respect, which the history of the human mind presents.





art among

A few words on the Art of the Phænicians, and of the Persians---Art in

Egypt ; its constant principle was to be uniform and stationary-Three principal reasons for this state of things : First, Physical Conformation, and the distinction of Castes ; second, the nature of the Government connected with Religion ; third, the condition of the Artists—Epochs of Egyptian Art-Primitive style-Digression on the causes which produced in the age of the Antonines this imitative style-Characteristics of the Ancient Egyptian style. IF I bad undertaken to draw up here a complete history of

the ancients, I ought to have commenced by saying a few words on the art of the people in the East, as the Phænicians and the Medes, whose civilisation, contemporaneous with that of Egypt, and at all events, anterior to that of Etruria and Greece, necessarily preceded those schools in the career of the arts. But by restricting myself, as it is my intention to do here, to give general and positive notions on the ancient arts, monuments of which remain, by the assistance of which we can appreciate with certainty what were the characteristics and the genius of those arts, I exclude from this discussion the Phænicians and the Persians, for reasons which I ought to lay before you. The Phænicians, great navigators, skilful in every kind of commerce and traffic, were certainly acquainted with and practised the arts of imitation; they were celebrated among all antiquity for the art of melting metals, and colouring stuffs, and for working precious stones. It was from this nation that Solomon obtained the workmen, whom he employed in the construction and decoration of the temple of Jerusalem. It is sufficient to remark, that we possess, with regard to their skill in workmanship, as well as with regard to the famous temple of Jerusalem, only historic testimonies quite inadequate to give us a clear and precise idea of one or the other. Where monuments are totally wanting, there are no possible means of supplying their place by phrases. Much knowledge, taste, and

, talent may be shown in restoring, with the pencil or with the pen, edifices, statues, paintings, which have been destroyed ; but there is always in these restorations one rather great inconvenience, that in reality they have restored nothing. The least fragment escaped from the ruins of antiquity, teaches us more on that point than all the books; and a single finger of a statue, especially if it is of the size of those colossal fragments preserved at Rome in the yard of the Capitol, and on the stairs of the Palazzo Altieri, would be of greater assistance in recomposing the entire statue, and consequently the art of an entire people, which without this the most learned treatises in the world could not have done. But to return to the Phænicians, it will be sufficient, I repeat, to remark that we do not possess any original monument of this people, to authorise me to dwell on their talents with regard to the arts. It is, indeed, a rather vexatious assumption against this people, and, in general, against every merchant people, this total absence of monuments. Did all their knowledge consist in doing only what they could sell, and had they sold all that they knew how to do? This is what one is tempted to ask, on considering that we possess no object of art which proceeds directly from this people, who had become the brokers and commissioners of all the others.

We are less destitute of information with regard to the art of the Persians; they have left us, in the first place, tombs, a kind of monuments which among all ancient nations have endured beyond all others; magnificent remains of temples, of palaces adorned with sculpture; lastly, a great number of engraved stones which served as amulets, or talismans, or, at least, as sacred symbols. But whatever ideas may be entertained with regard to the merit and destination of these monuments, especially of those I have just mentioned, it seems to me impossible and premature to comprehend them within the history of the art of any people to which they belong. It is not known with certainty from what hands, whether national or foreign, those monuments proceeded, nor is it known to what period more or less ancient, their execution ought to be referred. The monuments of Persepolis, the only ones which, in consequence of their extent, might serve as the groundwork of any kind of appreciation of Persian art, have been hitherto seen by so few travellers, drawn with such little precision and authority, that it seems to me impossible to found anything solid on such uncertain groundwork; what seems to be proved, or what is at least probable, with regard to the style, is that there prevails a mixture of Egyptian and of Greek; and as to the chronology, that the execution of them is posterior to the expedition of Darius and Xerxes: consequently, that they may have been executed by Greek workmen, which these princes carried off in numbers from their country, to indemnify them for their not having been able to enslave it. The influence of the Greeks is also to be observed in the tombs cut in the rock near the ancient Telmissus. They are the orders and the principles of Greek architecture which prevail in these funereal monuments ; and it can be easily perceived, that here, as everywhere else, Greek art has vanquished its masters, and that genius has triumphed over force. With regard to the engraved stones, of which we possess an ample collection, I shall merely observe, that these monuments, very restricted in their mode of representation, very uniform in their taste, style, and character, and completely destitute of certain signs by which their originality or antiquity can be recognised-these monuments, I repeat, cannot furnish a solid groundwork for an appreciation of the same nature with that which occupies us. It requires a series of different monuments from period to period to constitute a school of art; it requires a succession of time and of artists to constitute its history: now this double condition is evidently not to be found in antiquity, such as time has made it for us, but among the Egyptians, the Etruscans, and the Greeks. It is therefore, among those nations, and in the order in which I have mentioned them, that we must consider art and its history, commencing with the Egyptians.

In the first place I take for granted, with Winckelmann, whose theory, although it precedes by half a century the study and knowledge of monuments, has been confirmed by them on almost every point-I take for granted, I say, that the art of design, among the Egyptians, never departed from its first principles, never, so to speak, left its cradle, but that it always remained like unto itself, uniform, unchangeable, until the period when the ancient government of that country was abolished; or at least that it never deviated in the slightest degree from its primitive system until this period. This is what the almost countless number of Egyptian figures proves almost to a certainty, whether represented with the human form, or with heads of symbolical animals—which figures, executed with more or less skill of handicraft, do not the less resemble those first essays of sculpture, such as have been produced among the Etruscans and the Greeks, and, like the latter, destitute not only of all idea of beauty, but also of all.

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