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of Christ, in 'white on a green ground, which is known as the Green Passion, and forms one of the treasures of the Albertina at Vienna. He had followed up his great woodcut series of the Apocalypse with preparations for other series on a similar scale, and had finished seven out of twelve subjects for the set known as the Great Passion, and sixteen out of twenty for the Life of the Virgin, when his work was interrupted by a journey which is one of the principal episodes in his life. Tu the autumn of the year 1505 he went to Venice, and stayed there until the autumn of the following year.
The occasion of this journey has been erroneously stated by Vasari. Dilrer's engravings, having by this time attained a great popularity both north and south of the Alps, had begun to be copied by various hands, and among others by the celebrated Marcautonio of Bologna, then in bis youth. According to Vasari, Marcantonio, in copying Diirer's series of the Little Passion on Wood, had imitated the original monogram, and Durer, indignant at this fraud, set out for Italy in order to protect his rights, and having lodged a complaint against Marcantonio before the signory of Venice, carried his point so far that Marcantonio was forbidden in future to add the monogram of Dilrer to copies taken after his works. This account will not bear examination. Chronological and other proofs show that if such a suit was fought at all, it must have been in connection with another set of Diirer's woodcuts, the first sixteen of the Great Passion on Wood. Dilrer himself, a number of whose familiar lettets written from Venice to his friend Pirkheimer at Nuremberg are preserved, makes no mention of anything of the kind. Nevertheless something of the kind may probably have been among the causes which determined his journey. Other causes, of which we have explicit record, were an outbreak of sickness at Nuremberg; Diirer's desire, which in fact was realized, of finding a good market for the proceeds of his art; and the prospect, also realized, of a commission for an important picture from the German community settled at Venice, who had lately caused an exchange and warehouse—the Fondaco aV Tedescki—to be built on the Grand Canal, and who wero now desirous to dedicate a picture in the church of St Bartholomew. ■ The picture painted by D&rer on this commission was the Adoration of the Virgin, better known as the Feast of Rose-Garlands; it was subsequently acquired by the emperor Rudolf IT., and carried as a thing beyond price upon men's shoulders to Vienna; it now exists in a greatly injured state in the monastery of Strachow, near Prague. It is one of Diirer's best conceived and most multitudinous compositions, and one in which he aims at rivalling the richness and playfulness of Italian art Other pictures p~>bably painted by him at Venice are Christ disputing with the Doctors, now in the Palazzo Barberini at Rome, Christ Crucified, in the gallery at Dresden, and a Madonna and Child in the possession of Lord Lothian. These works of the German master were not without influence upon the Italian painters resident at Venice, an influence which we can distinctly trace in some of the early works of Titian. Diirer's letters testify to the high position he held at Venice, and speak of the jealousy shown towards him by some of the meaner sort of artists, the friendship and courtesy by the nobler sort, and especially by the noblest of a|l, the veteran Giovanni Bellini. He talks of the honour and wealth in which he might live if he would consent to abandon home for Italy, of the Northern winter, and how it will make him shiver. Yet he resisted the seductions of the South, and was in Nuremberg again before the close of 1506. First, it seems, he had made an excursion to Bologna, having intended to take . Mantua on the way, in order to do homage to. the old age of that Italian master, Andrea Mantegna, from whom he had him
self in youth learnt the most. But the death of Mantegna prevented this purpose.
From the winter of 1506 until the summer of 1520, Dttrer was again a settled resident in his native town. During these years his genius and his fortunes were at their height. Except the dazzling existence of Raphael at Rome, the annals of art present the spectacle of no more honourable or more enviable career. Diirer's fame had spread all over Europe. From Antwerp to Rome his greatness was acknowledged, and artists of less invention, among them some of the foremost on both sides of the Alps, were not ashamed to borrow from his work this or that striking combination or expressive type. He was on terms of friendship or friendly communication with all the first masters of the age, and Raphael held himself honoured in exchanging drawings with Durer. In his own country, all orders of men, from the emperor Maximilian down, delighted to honour him; he was the familiar companion of chosen spirits among statesmen, humanists, and reformers, and had the power to bind to himself with the links of a more than brotherly friendship the leading citizen of the leading city of Germany, Willibald Pirkheimer. His temper and his life were singularly free from all that was jarring, jealous, or fretful The burgher life of even this, the noblest German city, seems narrow, quaint, and harsh beside the grace and opulence and poetry of Italian life in the same and the preceding generation; but among its native surroundings, the career of Durer stands out with an aspect of ideal elevation and decorum which is its own. He is even distinguished from his fellow citizens by the stately beauty of his aspect and the rich elegance of his attire. Every reader will be familiar with the portrait in which he has represented himself at this middle period of life—the nobly formed oval countenance, with the short beard, and the long carefully divided locks curled and flowing over either shoulder, the upright brow, the stedfast penetrating gaze of the large perfectly cut eyes, the long nose somewhat aquiline, and full perfectly cloven mouth, the strong delicate fingers playing with the rich fur lappet of his cloak.
These years of Diirer's life can best be divided according to the several classes of work with which, during their succession, he was principally occupied. During and after his residence at Venice, he had come to disuso the traditional German practice of painting with the help of a whole school of assistants and apprentices. The first six years after his return, from 1506 to 1512, are pre-eminently the painting years of his life; in them, working with infinite preliminary pains, and, as it seems almost entirely with his own hands, he produced what are accounted his four capital works,—the Adam and Eve, painted in 1507; of this it has been disputed whether a 'version at Madrid or one in the Pitti Palace at Florence is tho original; the Ten Thousand Martyrs of Nicomedia, painted for the elector Frederick of Saxony in 1508, and now in tho imperial gallery at Vienna ;• a rich altar-piece representing the Assumption of the Virgin, with portraits of the donor and his wife and other accessory subjects, executed for Jacob Heller, a merchant of Frankfort, in 1509—this was afterwards replaced, at Frankfort, by a copy, and the original transported to Munich, where it perished by fire in 1671; and lastly, the Adoration of the Trinity by all the Saints, a composition of many figures commissioned for a chapel dedicated to All Saints in an almshouse for decayed tradesmen at Nuremberg, and completed in 1511—this is now one of the glories of the Belvedere at Vienna. In this same year, 1511, Durer brought out his three great woodcut books in folio form together —the Apocalypse in a second edition, the Great Passion, and the Life of the Virgin for the first time complete. In 1512, he painted two pictures for his native town, the . historical portraits of Charlemagne and the emperor Sigiomund, which are now to be seen in the Germanic Museum of Nuremberg. The two or three years next following this are for Diirer years, above all things, of engraving on metaL Of the sixteen pieces composing the Little Passion on Copper, perhaps the best invented and certainly the most brilliantly executed of all his gospel histories, ten were executed in 1512 and the last six in 1513. Of the many devotional figures of the Virgin and Child cut on copper by Diirer at various times of his career, several of the most pathetic and carefully finished date from about the same time. Now, also, he began to repeat with greater persistency the experiment, which he had first tried some years before, of working by the method, then newly invented, of the etcher; that is, of biting the lines of his drawing with acid upon metal instead of cutting them with the burin. And these, again, are the years of those three master-pieces of his mind and hand, the Melancholia, the Knight with Death and the Devil, and tho St Jerome reading in his Cell These engravings are too well known to need description. The first two, by their earnest and enigmatic significance, have fascinated minds of every class, and given rise to an infinity of discussion. It is nearly certain that in these three plates, of almost the same size, date, and manner, and of equal technical perfection, we have three out of four projected illustrations of the Human Temperaments, as they were divided by mediaeval science—the Melancholic, the Sanguine, the Phlegmatic, and the Choleric. Melancholy being intended to stand at the head of the series (although it is dated 1513, and the Knight 1512), has the numeral L written after the name Melancholia; the winged genius, in whom the qualities of this temperament are incarnated, is seated darkly musing among symbolic instruments of science. ■ She seems an incarnation of the new spirit of the age, the spirit of solemn and resolute search. The subject of the Knight, being intended to illustrate tho sanguine temperament, has the initial S written in the corner. To some students this stedfast rider has seemed a type of the righteous man undismayed by the powers of darkness that beset him, to others of the evil man whom fate and retribution are about to overtake at last. Some have read the initial S as designating one one of the first soldiers of the Reformation, Franz von Sickengen; others as designating one of the most infamous of robber nobles, Sparnecker. But indeed the subject is not thu3 definitely to be interpreted in either sense; the piece is but one, and the most pregnant and impressive, interpret it how you will, of the thousand emblems with which the Northern imagination in this age commemorated the power of Death, and proclaimed how ho is for. ever dogging at the heels of strong and weak, the just man and the unjust alike. St Jerome, the Father of the church to whom Renaissance Christianity turned with the greatest devotion, and whom the labours of Erasmus had made familiar in especial to the humanists of the North, serves as the natural type of the phlegmatic or student temperament No fourth subject seems to have been attempted to complete the set. The reason of this may have been the call which at this time began to be. made on Diirer's industry by another kind of work. The five years between 1514 and 1519 are devoted above all things to woodcut work, on commission from the emperor Maximilian, who had resided for some time at Nuremberg in 1512, and whose personal favour and friendship Diirer from that time enjoyed. With the learned cooperation of Johannes Stabius, he presently commenced a Bcheme of design for wood engraving in honour of Maximilian more vast and laborious than either Burgkmair's schemes of illustration to the Weittkunig or Schaufelein's to the Thtuertlank. This is the prodigious work known as thu Gate of Honour; on it, and on the Car of Honour, and on portions of the Triumphal Procession, all of which
belonged to the same great scheme (other portions of the Procession being the work of Burgkmair) Diirer was chiefly engaged for four or five years. One of the must delightful memorials of his activity in the service of the emperor is the famous Prayer-Book of Maximilian, a volume decorated by Diirer's hand with marginal arabesques of an inexhaustibly quaint and various invention, this is now preserved at Munich, and is known by more than one modern edition published in facsimile. His few paintings remaining from this period show a manifest falling off in labour and completeness from those of the period just preceding. In 1518 the Diet of Augsburg brought Maximilian to that city, and there Diirer was in attendance on him A nubia portrait drawn in charcoal, and subsequently used for an engraving in wood, carries a note in the artist's handwriting to the effect that it was done from the emperor at Augsburg "in his little room up at the top in the palace."
In 1519 Maximilian died. In the next year the desire of Diirer to secure from his successors a continuance of the patronage and privileges granted during his lifetime, together with an outbreak of sickness in Nuremberg, gave occasion to the master's third and last journey from his home. On the 12th of July 1520 he set out for the Netherlands, with his wife and her maid, in order to be present at the coronation of the young emperor Charles A'., and if possible to conciliate the good graces of the allpowerful regent Margaret. In the latter part of his aim Diirer was but partially successful. His diary of his travels enables us to follow his movements almost day by day. He travelled by the Rhine to Cologne, and thenco by road to Antwerp, where he was splendidly received and lived in whatever society was most distinguished, including that of Erasmus o'f Rotterdam. Many portrait drawings of persons who sat to him in these days are preserved. Besides going to Aachen for the coronation, he made excursions down the Rhine from Cologne to Nimegucn, and back overland by Herzogenbusch; to Brussels; to Bruges and Ghent; and to Zealand with the object of seeing a natural curiosity, a whale reported ashore. The vivid account of this last expedition given in his diary contrasts with the usual dry entries of interviews and disbursements. A still more striking contrast is the passionate outburst of sympathy and indignation with which, in the same diary, he comments on the supposed kidnapping of Luther by foul play on his return from the Diet of Worms. Without being one of those who in his city took an avowed part against the old ecclesiastical system, and probably without seeing clearly whither the religious ferment of the time was tending—without, that is, being properly speaking a Reformer—Diirer in his art and all his thoughts was, the incarnation of those qualities of the Teutonic character and the Teutonic conscience which resulted in the Reformation; and personally, with the fathers of the Reformation he lived in the warmest sympathy.
On the 12th of July 1521 Diirer reached home again. The remaining seven years of his life were occupied chiefly with the preparation of the scientific writings of which we have already spoken; with engraving on copper, in a style of consummate care and power, several portraits of his friends, among them the elector Frederick, Pirkheimer, Erasmus, and Melanchthon; and with the execution of those two paintings by which, perhaps, his powers in this highest branch of his art are best known, the figures of St Paul with St Mark and St John with Peter. These are now in the Munich gallery, and exhibit at their greatest Diirer's earnest and pregnant conception of character, with a majesty in the types and a grandeur in the gesture and drapery which in his earlier career he had never yet attained. Each apostle or evangelist represents a ".tempcrameut,"—John the melancholic, Peter the phlegmatic, Paul the sanguine,