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of Christ, in white on a green ground, which is known self in youth learnt the most. But the death of Mantegna as the Green Passion, and forins one of the treasures prevented this purpose. of the Albertina at Vienna. He had followed up his From the winter of 1506 until the summer of 1520, Dürer great woodcut series of the Apocalypse with preparations was again a settled resident in his native town. During for other series on a similar scale, and had finished seven these years his genius and bis fortunes were at their height. out of twelve subjects for the set known as the Great Except the dazzling existence of Raphael at Roine, the Passion, and sixteen out of twenty for the Life of the annals of art present the spectacle of no more honourable Virgin, when his work was interrupted by a journey which or more enviable career. Dürer's fame had spread all over is one of the principal episodes in his life. In the autumn Europe. From Antwerp to Rome his greatness was acknow. of the year 1505 he went to Venice, and stayed there until ledged, and artists of less invention, among them some of the autumn of the following year.
the forcmost on both sides of the Alps, were not ashamed The occasion of this journey has been erroneously stated to borrow from his work this or that striking combination by Vasari. Dürer's engravings, having by this time attained or expressive type. He was on terms of friendship or a great popularity both north and south of the Alps, had friendly communication with all the first masters of the age, begun to be copied by various hands, and among others by / and Raphael held himself honoured in exchanging drawings the celebrated Marcantonio of Bologna, then in bis youth. with Dürer. In his own country, all orders of men, from According to Vasari, Marcantonio, in copying Dürer's the emperor Maximilian down, delighted to honour him; series of the Little Passion on Wood, had imitated the he was the familiar companion of chosen spirits among original monogram, and Dürer, indignant at this fraudstatesmen, humanists, and reformers, and had the power to set out for Italy in order to protect his rights, and having bind to himself with the links of a more than brotherly lodged a complaint against Marcantonio before the friendship the leading citizen of the leading city of Germany, signory of Venice, carried his point so far that Marc-Willibald Pirkheimer. His temper and his life were antonio was forbidden in future to add the monogram singularly free from all that was jarring, jealous, or fretful. of Dürer to copies taken after his works. This account The burgher life of even this, the noblest German city, scenis will not bear examination. Chronological and other proofs narrow, quaint, and harsh beside the grace and opulence show that if such a suit was fought at all, it must have and poetry of Italian life in the same and the preceding been in connection with another set of Dürer's woodcuts, generation; but among its native surroundings, the career the first sixteen of the Great Passion on Wood. Dürer of Dürer stands out with an aspect of ideal elevation and himself, a number of whose familiar letter written from decorum which is its own. He is even distinguished from Venice to his friend Pirkheimer at Nuremberg are preserved, his fellow citizens by the stately beauty of his aspect and the makes no mention of anything of the kind. Nevertheless rich elegance of his attire. Every reader will be familiar something of the kind may probably have been among the with the portrait in which he has represented himself at causes which determined his journey. Other causes, of this middle period of life—the nobly formed oval countewhich we have explicit record, were an outbreak of sickness nance, with the short beard, and the long carefully divided at Nuremberg; Dürer's desire, which in fact was realized, locks curled and flowing over either shoulder, the upright of finding a good market for the proceeds of his art; and the brow, the stedfast penetrating gaze of the large perfectly prospect, also realized, of a commission for an important cut eyes, the long nose somewhat aquiline, and full rer picture from the German community settled at Venice, who fectly cloven mouth, the strong delicate fingers playing with had lately caused an exchange and warehouse--the Fonduco the rich fur lappet of his cloak. de Tedeschi—to be built on the Grand Canal, and who | These years of Dürer's life can best be divided according wero now desirous to dedicate a picture in the church of St to the several classes of work with which, during their Bartholomew. · The picture painted by Dürer on this com- succession, he was principally occupiel. During and mission was the Adoration of the Virgin, better known as after his residence at Venice, he had come to disuse the Feast of Rose-Garlands; it was subsequently acquired the traditional German practice of painting with the by the emperor Rudolf II., and carried as a thing beyond help of a whole school of assistants and apprentices. price upon men's shoulders to Vienna ; it now exists The first six years after his return, from 1506 to 1512, in a greatly injured state in the monastery of Strachow, are pre-eminently the painting years of his life; in then, near Prague. It is one of Dürer's best conceived and working with infinite preliminary pains, and, as it seems most multitudinous compositions, and one in which almost entirely with his own hands, he produced what are he aims at rivalling the richness and playfulness of Italian accounted his four capital works,-the Adam and Eve, art. Other pictures pohably painted by him at Venice painted in 1507 ; of this it has been disputed whether a are Christ disputing with the Doctors, now in the Palazzo | version at Madrid or one in the Pitti Palace at Florence is the Barberini at Rome, Christ Crucified, in the gallery at original ; the Ten Thousand Martyrs of Nicomedia, painted Dresden, and a Madonna and Child in the possession of for the elector Frederick of Saxony in 1508, and now in tho Lord Lothian. These works of the German master were imperial gallery at Vienna ; a rich altar-piece representing not without influence upon the Italian painters resident at the Assumption of the Virgin, with portraits of the donor Venice, an influence which we can distinctly trace in some and his wife and other accessory subjects, executed for Jacob of the early works of Titian. Dürer's letters testify to the Heller, a merchant of Frankfort, in 1509–this was afterhigh position he held at Venice, and speak of the jealousy wards replaced, at Frankfort, by a copy, and the original transshown towards him by some of the meaner sort of artists, ported to Munich, where it perished by fire in 1674; and the friendship and courtesy by the nobler sort, and especially lastly, the Adoration of the Trinity by all the Saints, a conby the noblest of all, the veteran Giovanni Bellini. He position of many figures commissioned for a chapel dedicated talks of the honour and wealth in which he inight live if he to All Saints in an almshouse for decayed tradesmen at would consent to abandon home for Italy, of the Northern Nuremberg, and completed in 1511-this is now one of the winter, and how it will make him shiver. Yet he resisted glories of the Belvedere at Vienna In this same year, 1511, the seductions of the South, and was in Nuremberg again Dürer brought out his three great woodcut books in folio before the close of 1506. First, it seems, he had made an form together—the Apocalypse in a second edition, the Great excursion to Bologna, having intended to take Mantua on Passion, and the Life of the Virgin for the first time complete. the way, in order to do homage to. the old age of 'that In 1512, he painted two pictures for his native town, the Italian master, Andrea Mantegna, from whom he had bim- l, historical portraits of Charlemagne and the emperor Sigio. mund, which are now to be seen in the Germanic Museum of belonged to the same great scheme (other portions of the Nuremberg. The two or three years next following this are Procession being the work of Burgkmair) Dürer was chiefly for Dürer years, above all things, of engraving on metal. Of engaged for four or five years. One of the most delightful the sixteen pieces composing the Little Passion on Copper, memorials of his activity in the service of the emperor is perhaps the best invented and certainly the most brilliantly the famous Prayer-Book of Maximiliar, a volume decorated executed of all his gospel histories, ten were executed in 1513 by Dürer's band with marginal arabesques of an inexand the last six in 1513. Of the many devotional figures baustibly quaint and various invention, this is now preof the Virgiu and Child cut on copper by Dürer at various served at Munich, ånd is known by more than one modern times of his career, several of the most pathetic and care edition published in facsimile. His few paintings remainfully finished date from about the same time. Now, also, he ing from this period show a manifest falling off in labour began to repeat with greater persistency the experiment, and completeness from those of the period just preceding. which he had first tried some years before, of working by In 1518 the Diet of Augsburg brought Maximilian to that the method, then newly invented, of the etcher; that is, of city, and there Dürer was in attendance on him. A noble biting the lines of his drawing with acid upon metal portrait drawn in charcoal, and subsequently used for an instead of cutting them with the burin. And these, again, engraving in wood, carries a note in the artist's handwriting are the years of those three inaster-pieces of his mind and to the effect that it was done from the emperor at Augsburg hand, the Melancholia, the Knight with Death and the “ in his little room up at the top in the palace." Devil, and tho St Jerome reading in his Cell. These In 1519 Maximilian died. In the next year the desire engravings are too well known to need description. The of Dürer to secure from his successors a continuance of the first two, by their earnest and enigmatic significance, patronage and privileges granted during his lifetime, have fascinated minds of every class, and given rise to together with an outbreak of sickness in Nuremberg, gave an infinity of discussion. It is nearly certain that in occasion to the master's third and last journey from his these three plates, of almost the same size, date, and home. On the 12th of July 1520 he set out for the manner, and of equal technical perfection, we have three Netherlands, with his wife and her maid, in order to be out of four projected illustrations of the Human Tempera- present at the coronation of the young emperor Charles V., ments, as they were divided by mediæval science--the Mel and if possible to conciliate the good graces of the allancholic, the Sanguine, the Phlegmatic, and the Choleric. powerful regent Margaret. In the latter part of his aim Melancholy being intended to stand at the head of the Dürer was but partially successful. His diary of his series (although it is dated 1513, and the Knight 1512), travels enables us to follow his movements almost day by has the numeral I. written after the name Melancholia ; day. He travelled by the Rhine to Cologne, and thenco the winged genius, in whom the qualities of this tempera- by road to Antwerp, where he was splendidly received and ment are incarnated, is seated darkly musing among lived in whatever society was most distinguished, including symbolic instruments of science. · She seems an incarnation that of Erasmus of Rotterdam. Many portrait drawings of of the new spirit of the age, the spirit of solemn and persons who sat to him in these days are preserved. resolute search. The subject of the Knight, being intended Besides going to Aachen for the coronation, he made to illustrate the sanguine temperament, has the initial excursions down the Rhine from Cologne to Nimeguen, and S written in the corner. To some students this stedfast back overland by Herzogenbusch; to Brussels ; to Bruges rider has seemed a type of the righteous man undismayed and Ghent; and to Zealand with the object of seeing a by the powers of darkness that beset him, to others of the natural curiosity, a whale reported ashore. The vivid evil man whom fate and retribution are about to overtake account of this last expedition given in his diary contrasts at last. Some have read the initial S as designating one with the usual dry entries of interviews and disbursements. one of the first soldiers of the Reformation, Franz von A still more striking contrast is the passionate outburst of Sickengen; others as designating one of the most infamous sympathy and indignation with which, in the same diary, of robber nobles, Sparnecker. But indeed the subject is not he comments on the supposed kidnapping of Luther by thus definitely to be interpreted in either sense; the piece foul play on his return from the Diet of Worms. Withjs but one, and the most pregnant and impressive, interpret out being one of those who in his city took an avowed it how you will, of the thousand emblems with which the part against the old ecclesiastical system, and probably Northern imagination in this age commemorated the power without seeing clearly whither the religious ferment of the of Death, and proclaimed how he is for, ever dogging time was tending—without, that is, being properly speak. at the heels of strong and weak, the just man and the | ing a Reformer-Dürer in his art and all his thoughts was unjust alike. St Jerome, the Father of the church to whom | the incarnation of those qualities of the Teutonic character Renaissance Christianity turned with the greatest devotion, and the Teutonic conscience which resulted in the Reformaand whom the labours of Erasmus had made familiar in espe- tion; and personally, with the fathers of the Reformation cial to the humanists of the North, serves as the natural type he lived in the warmest sympathy. of the phlegmatic or student temperament. Nofourth subject On the 12th of July 1521 Dürer reached home again. seems to have been attempted to complete the set. The | The remaining seven years of his life were occupied chiefly reason of this may have been the call which at this time with the preparation of the scientific writings of which we began to be made on Dürer's industry by another kind of have already spoken; with engraving on copper, in a style work. The five years between 1514 and 1519 are devoted of consummate care and power, several portraits of his above all things to woodcut work, on commission from the friends, among them the elector Frederick, Pirkheimer, emperor Maximilian, who had resided for some time at Erasmus, and Melanchthon; and with the execution of Nuremberg in 1512, and whose personal favour and friend those two paintings by which, perhaps, his powers in this ship Dürer from that time enjoyed. With the learned co- highest branch of his art are best known, the figures of St operation of Johannes Stabius, he presently commenced a | Paul with St Mark and St John with Peter. These are now scheme of design for wood engraving in honour of in the Munich gallery, and exhibit at their greatest Dürer's Maximilian more vast and laborious than either Burgkmair's earnest and pregnant conception of character, with a majesty schemes of illustration to the Weisskunig or Schäufelein's in the types and a grandeur in the gesture and drapery to the Theuerdank. This is the prodigions work known as which in his earlier career he had never yet attained. Each thu Gate of Honour; on it, and on the Car of Honour, and apostle or evangelist represents a "temperameut,”—Joho on portions of the Triumphal Procession, all of which the melancholic, Peter the phlegmatic, Paul the sanguine