History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe
by W. E. H. Lecky
Footnotes to Chapter III
1:205. Justyn Martyr, Apol. i. Augustine thought the wooden ark floating on the Deluge a type of the cross consecrating the baptismal waters; and Bede found a similar type in the rod of Moses stretched over the Red Sea. Another wise commentator suggested that Isaac had been saved from death, because, when ascending the mountain, he bore the 'wood of sacrifice' on his shoulder. The cross, however, seldom or never appears in art before the vision of Constantine. At first it was frequently represented richly ornamented with gems or flowers. As St. Fortunatus writes: --
'Arbor decora et fulgida
Ornata regis purpura,
Electa digno stipite
Tam sancta membra tangere.'
The letter Tau, as representing the cross, was specially reverenced as opposed to Theta, the unlucky letter -- the initial of Thánatos.
2:205. See the curious argument in Tertullian, De Bapt. c. 5, 6, 7, 8.
1:206. 'Non enim ipsius quoque hominis figurandi opus sociantibus aquis absolutum est; de terra materia convenit, non tamen habilis nisi humecta et succida, quam scilicet ante quartum diem segregatæ aquæ in stationem suam superstite humore, limo temperant.' (Tertullian, De Baptismo, c. iii.) From this notion of the sanctity of water grew the custom of swimming witches -- for it was believed that everything tainted with diabolical presence was repelled by it and unable to sink into its depths (Binsfeldius, De Confess. Mal. p. 315) -- and also probably the many legends of transformed men restored to their natural condition by crossing a stream. Among the ancient philosophers, Thales had esteemed water the origin of all things, which more than one Father regarded as a kind of inspiration. Thus Minucius Felix: 'Milesius Thales rerum initium aquam dixit: Deum antem eam mentem quæ ex aqua cuncta formaverit. Vides philosophi principalis nobiscum penitus opinionem consonare.' (Octavius, c. xix.) The belief in the expiatory power of water was forcibly rebuked by Ovid: --
'Ah! nimiùm faciles, qui tristia crimina cædis
Flumineâ tolli posse putatis aquâ!'
(Fast. Lib. ii. )
1:209. See Winckelmann, Hist. of Art; Raoul-Rochette, Cours d'Archéologie; and the lectures of Barry and Fuseli. This particular characteristic of Indian art has been forcibly noticed by Mr. Ruskin in one of his Edinburgh lectures. Lessing ascribes the imperfections of Persian art to its almost exclusive employment for military subjects; but this was itself a consequence of the small encouragement religion gave to art. On the great difference of the ideal of beauty in different nations, which has also exercised a great influence on the development of art, see some curious evidence collected by Ch. Comte, Traité de Législation, liv. iii. ch. 4.
1:211. This is the origin of the custom in the Catholic Church of placing relics of the martyrs beneath the altars of the churches. It was also connected with the passage in the Revelations about the souls that were beneath the altar of God. In most early churches there was a subterranean chapel below the high altar, as a memorial of the Catacombs. A decree of the Second Council of Nice (A.D. 787) forbade the consecration of any church without relics.
1:212. M. Raoul-Rochette thinks that there is but one direct and positive representation of a martyrdom -- that of the Virgin Salome, and this is of a very late period of decadence (Tableau des Catacombes, p. 187). The same writer has collected (pp. 191, 192) a few instances from the Fathers in which representations of martyrdoms in the early basilicas are mentioned; but they are very few, and there can be no doubt whatever of the broad contrast early Christian art in this respect bears to that of the tenth and following centuries.
1:213. See Raoul-Rochette, Tableau des Catacombes, pp. 192-195; Didron, Iconographie Chrétienne.
2:213. Which St. Augustine said he had ascertained by experiment to be a fact, and which he seemed to regard as a miracle. (De Civ. Dei lib. xxxi. c. 4.)
1:214. See Ciampini, Vetra Monumenta, pars i. p. 115; and Maitland, On the Catacombs. Raoul-Rochette, however, seems to regard the peacock rather as the symbol, first of all of the apotheosis of an empress, and then generally of apotheosis, the peacock having been the bird of Juno, the empress of heaven.
2:214. Orpheus is spoken of by Eusebius as in this respect symbolising Christ. The reverence that attached to him probably resulted in a great measure from the fact that among the many apocryphal prophecies of Christ that circulated in the Church, some of the most conspicuous were ascribed to Orpheus. See on this symbol, Maitland, On the Catacombs, p. 110; Raoul-Rochette, Tab. des Cat. p. 138; and, for a full examination of the subject, the great work of Boldetti, Osservazioni sopra i Cimiteri de' Santi Martyri (Romæ, 1720), tom. i. pp. 27-29. M. Rio (Art Chrétien, introd, p. 36), I think rather fancifully, connects it with the descent of Orpheus to hell to save a soul. As other examples of the introduction of pagan gods into Christian art, I may mention that there is an obscure picture in the catacomb of St. Calixtus, which R. Rochette supposes to represent Mercury leading the souls of the dead to judgment (Tab. des Cat. pp. 148-151); and also that Hercules, though never, I believe, represented in the Catacombs, appears more than once in the old churches, St. Augustine having identified him with Samson. (See on this representation, and generally on the connection between pagan and Christian art, that very curious and learned work, Marangoni, Delle Gose Gentilesche e Profane Transportate ad uso delle Chiese (Romæ, 1744), pp. 50, 51.) The sphinx also was believed by some of the early Christians (e. g. Clement of Alexandria) to be in some degree connected with their faith; for they supposed it to be copied from the Jewish image of the Cherubim, but they never reproduced it. Some later antiquarians have attributed this curious combination of the Virgin and the Lion to the advantages Egypt derives from these signs, through which the sun passes at the period of the inundation of the Nile (Caylus, Recueil d' Antiquités, t. i. p. 45).
3:214. Marangoni, Delle Cose Gentilesche, p. 45.
1:215. All this is fully discussed in Marangoni.
2:215. lbid. p. 45; Raoul-Roehette, Tab. des Cat.
3:215. 'IchqV. 'IhsouV ChristoV Qeou uioV Swthr. The initial letters of the prophetic verses of the Sibyl of Erythra (St. Aug. De Civ. Dei, lib. xviii. cap. 23). The dolphin was especially selected because of its tenderness to its young.
4:215. 'Nos pisciculi secundum Ichthún nostrum Jesum Christum in aquâ nascimur,' (Tertullian, De Baptismo, c. i.)
5:215. Maury, Légendes Pieuses, pp. 173-178. This notion was, I imagine, pagan. There is a bas-relief in the Vatican which seems to represent a stag in the act of attacking a serpent. The passage in the Psalms, about 'the hart panting for the waters,' was mixed up with this symbol. In the middle ages, stags were invested with a kind of prophetic power. See also Ciampini, De Sacris Ædificiis (Romæ), p. 44; and the very curious chapter in Arringhi, Roma Subterranea, tom. ii. pp. 602-606. The stag was supposed to dread the thunder so much, that through terror it often brought forth its young prematurely; and this was associated with the passage, 'The voice of thy thunder has made me afraid.'
1:217. This subject has been briefly noticed by Raoul-Rochette in his Discours sur l'Art du Christianisme (1834), p. 7; and by Maury, Légendes Pieuses; but the full examination of it was reserved for M. Didron, in his great work, Iconographie Chrétienne, Hist. de Dieu (Paris, 1843), one of the most important contributions ever made to Christian archaeology. See, too, Emeric David, Hist. de la Peinture au Moyen Age, pp. 19-21.
2:217. Didron, pp. 177-182.
1:218. Raoul-Rochette, Discours sur les Types de l'Art Chrétien., p. 71.
1:219. Didron, pp. 227-230.
2:219. See this fact worked out in detail in Didron.
3:219. 'On peut donc relativement à Dieu le Père partager le moyen âge en deux périodes. Dans la première, qui est antérieure au XIVe, siècle, la figure du Père se confond avec celle du Fils; c'est le Fils qui est tout-puissant et qui fait son Père à son image et ressemblance. Dans la seconde période, après le XIIIe siècle, jusqu'au XVIe, Jésus-Christ perd sa force d'assimilation iconographique et se laisse vaincre par son Père. C'est au tour du Fils à se revêtir des traits du Père, à vieillir et rider comme lui.... Enfin depuis les premiers siècles du Christianisme jusqu'à nos jours nous voyons le Père croître en importance. Son portrait, d'abord interdit par les Gnostiques, se montre timidement ensuite et comme déguisé sous la figure de son Fils. Puis il rejette tout accoutrement étranger et prend une figure spéciale; puis par Raphaël et enfin par l'Anglais Martin, il gagne une grave et une admirable physionomie qui n'appartient qu'à lui.' (Didron, p. 226.)
1:220. See on this subject Franck, Sur la Kabbale; Maury, Croyances et Légendes d'Antiquité (1863), p. 338; and especially Beausobre, Hist. du Manichéisme (1734), tom. i. pp. 35-37. Justyn Martyr, Tertullian, Irenæus, Epiphanius, and several other Fathers, notice the worship of Helena. According to them, Simon proclaimed that the angels in heaven made war on account of her beauty, and that the Evil One had made her prisoner to prevent her return to heaven, from which she had strayed. There is some reason to think that all this was an allegory of the soul.
2:220. Most of the Gnostics regarded the God of the Jews or the Demiurge as an imperfect spirit presiding over an imperfect moral system. Many, however, regarded the Jewish religion as the work of the principle of Evil -- the god of matter; and the Cainites made everyone who had opposed it the object of reverence, while the Ophites actually worshipped the serpent. We have, perhaps, a partial explanation of the reverence many of the Gnostics had for the serpent in the fact that this animal, which in Christianity represents the principle of Evil, had a very different position in ancient symbolism. It was the general emblem of healing (because it changes its skin), and as such appears in the statues of Æsculapius and Isis, and it was also constantly adopted as a representative animal. Thus in the Mithraic groups, that are so common in later Roman sculpture, the serpent and the dog represent all living creatures. A serpent with a hawk's head was an old Egyptian symbol of a good genius.
1:221. Prounice properly signifies lasciviousness. It seems to have been applied to the Sophia considered in her fallen condition, as imprisoned in matter; but there is an extreme obscurity, which has I think never been cleared up, hanging over the subject. Prounice seems to have been confounded with Beronice, the name which a very early Christian tradition gave to the woman who had been healed of an issue of blood. This woman formed one of the principal types among the Gnostics. According to the Valentinians, the twelve years of her affliction represented the twelve Æons, while the flowing blood was the force of the Sophia passing to the inferior world. See on this subject, Maury, Croyances et Légendes, art. Veronica; and on the Sophia generally, Matter, Hist. du Gnosticisme, tom. i. pp. 275-278. M. Franck says (La Kabbale, p. 48) that some of the Gnostics painted the Holy Ghost as a woman, but this I suppose only refers to the Sophia.
1:222. Matter, Hist. du Gnosticisme, tom. i. pp. 360-362.
2:222. Didron, pp. 197, 198. The apocryphal gospel, however, which exercised most influence over art, was probably that of Nicodemus, which is apparently of orthodox origin, and was probably written (or at least the second part of it) against the Apollinarians. We owe to it the pictures of the Descent into Limbo that are so common in early Byzantine art. The same subject, derived from the same source, was also prominent in the mediæval sacred plays (Malone, History of the English Stage, p. 19).
3:222. For a full discussion of this point, see Raoul-Rochette's Types de l'Art, pp. 9-26, and his Tableau des Catacombes, p. 265. The opinion that the type of Christ is derived from the Gnostics (which Raoul-Rochette says has been embraced by most of the Roman antiquarians) rests chiefly on the following positions: -- 1. That in the earliest stage of Christianity all painting and sculpture was looked upon with great aversion in the Church. and that as late as the time of Constantine portraits of Christ were very rare. 2. That the Gnostics from the beginning cultivated art, and that small images of Christ were among the most common objects of their reverence. 3. That the Gnostics were very numerous at Rome. 4. That Gnosticism exercised a great influence upon the Church, and especially upon her æsthetic development. It may be added that the Christians carefully abstained from deriving from paganism the cast of features they ascribed to Christ; and Theodoret relates (Hist., lib. i. cap. 15) that a painter having taken Jupiter as a model in a portrait of Christ, his hand was withered, but was restored miraculously by St. Gennadius, Archbishop of Constantinople. At a later period pagan statues were frequently turned into saints. St. Augustine mentions that in his time there was no authentic portrait of Christ, and that the type of features was still undetermined, so that we have absolutely no knowledge of His appearance. 'Qua fuerit ille (Christus) facie nos penitus ignoramus.... Nam et ipsius Dominicæ facies carnis innumerabilium cogitationum diversitate variatur et fingitur, quæ tamen una erat, quæcumque erat.' (De Trinitate, lib. viii. c. 4, 5.) The type, however, was soon after formed.
1:224. On the relation of this to Gnosticism, see Matter, Hist. du Gnosticisme, tom. i. pp. 88, 89-98.
2:224. The strong desire natural to the middle ages to give a palpable form to the mystery of the Incarnation was shown curiously in the notion of a conception by the ear. In a hymn, ascribed to St. Thomas à Becket, occur the lines --
'Gaude Virgo, mater Christi,
Quæ per aurem concepisti,
And in an old glass window, now I believe in one of the museums of Paris, the Holy Ghost is represented hovering over the Virgin in the form of a dove, while a ray of light passes from his beak to her ear, along which ray an infant Christ is descending. -- Langlois, Peinture sur Verre, p. 157.
3:224. St. Augustine notices (De Trinitate) that in his time there was no authentic portrait of Mary. The Council of Ephesus wished her to be painted with the Infant Child, and this was the general representation in the early Church. Some of the Byzantine pictures are said to have been influenced by the favourite Egyptian representations of Isis giving suck to Horus. It has been observed that in the case of Mary, as in the case of Christ, suffering and deep melancholy became more and more the prevailing expression as the dark ages rolled on, which was still further increased by the black tint the mediæval artists frequently gave her, in allusion to the description in the Song of Solomon. The first notice in writing of the resemblance of Christ to His mother is, I believe, in Nicephorus. -- See Raoul-Rochette, Types de l'Art Chrétien, pp. 30-39; Pascal, Institutions de l'Art Chrétien.
1:225. Heeren, Influences des Croisades, pp. 204, 205. However, St. Augustine says: -- 'Excepta itaque Sancta Virgine Maria, de qua, propter honorem Domini, nullam prorsus cum de peccatis agitur habere volo quæstionem: Unde enim scimus, quid ei plus gratiæ collatum fuerit ad vincendum omni ex parte peccatum, quæ concipere ac parere meruit eum quem constat nullum habuisse peccatum.' (De Naturâ et Gratiâ.) Gibbon notices that the notion acquired consistency among the Mahometans some centuries before it was adopted by the Christians. St. Bernard rejected it as a novelty. (Decline and Fall, ch. l. note.)
1:227. Even at the present day the Psalter of St. Bonaventura -- an edition of the Psalms adapted to the worship of the Virgin, chiefly by the substitution of the word domina for the word dominus -- is a popular book of devotion at Rome. In a famous fresco of Orcagna at Pisa the Virgin is represented, with precisely the same dignity as Christ, judging mankind; and everyone who is acquainted with mediæval art has met with similar examples. An old bishop named Gilbert Massius had his own portrait painted between the Virgin giving suck to Christ and a Crucifixion. Underneath were the lines --
'Hinc lactor ab ubere,
Hinc pascor a vulnere,
Positus in medio.
Quo me vertam nescio,
In hoc dulci dubio
Dulcis est collatio.'
Pascal, Art Chrétien, tom. i. p. 250.
1:228. Thus the Council of Illiberis in its 34th canon forbade men to light candles by day in the cemeteries for fear of "disquieting the souls of the saints." See, too, a curious passage of Vigilantius cited by St. Jerome, Ep. iii. 13. To be buried near the tomb of a martyr was one of the most coveted privileges in the early Church. See a very remarkable dissertation of Le Blaut, "Inscriptions Chrétiennes de Gaule," tom. ii., p. 219-229.
1:229. With a letter, which is still extant, and which Addison, in his work on Christian Evidences, quoted as genuine. Of course it is now generally admitted to be apocryphal. This portrait was supposed to be miraculously impressed (like that obtained by St. Veronica) on a handkerchief. It was for a long time at Constantinople, but was brought to Rome probably about A.D. 1198, and deposited in the Church of St. Sylvester in Capite, where it now is. See Marangoni, Istoria della Cappella di Sancta Sanctorum di Roma (Romæ, 1747), pp. 235-239; a book which, though ostensibly simply a history of the Acheropita, or sacred image at the Lateran, contains a fuller account of the history of the early miraculous pictures of Christ than any other I have met with.
2:229. On these representations, the miracles they wrought, and the great importance they assumed in the Iconoclastic controversies, see Maimbourg Histoire des Iconoclastes (1686), pp. 44-47; and on other early miracles attributed to images, Spanheim, Historia Imaginum (1686), pp. 417-420. The first of these books is Catholic, and the second the Protestant reply. See, too, Marangoni, Sancta Sanetorum; and Arringhi, Roma Subterranea, tom. ii. pp. 452-460.
1:230. 'Ne quod colitur et adoratur in parietibus depingatur.' The Catholics maintain that this was a decree elicited by the persecution, and that its object was to prevent the profanation of Christian images by the pagans.
2:230. Probably because there is no reason to believe that pictures had ever been employed as idols by the Ancient Greeks or Romans.
1:231. On the discussions connected with this Council, see Natalis Alexander, Historia Eccl. Sculi viii.
2:231. The most celebrated being Hincmar, Archbishop of Rheims. Baronius inveighed violently against this prelate for terming the sacred images 'dolls,' but Maimbourg contends (introduction to the Hist. des Iconocl.)that the expression is not to be found in any of the works of Hincmar.
3:231. There is an edition of his works in one volume (Paris, 1605), and another in two volumes (Paris, 1616). I have quoted from the former.
1:232. 'Multo autem his deteriora esse quæ humana et carnalis præsumptio fingit etiam stulti consentiunt. In quo genere istæ quoque inveniuntur quas sanctas appellant imagines, non solum sacrilegi ex eo quod divinum cultum operibus manuum suarum exhibent, sed et insipientes sanctitatem eis quæ sine anima sunt imaginibus tribuendo.' -- p. 233.
2:232. 'Dicit forsitan aliquis non se putare imagini quam adorat aliquid inesse Divinum, sed tantummodo pro honore ejus cujus effigies est, tali eam veneratione donare. Cui facile respondetur, quia si imago quam adorat Deus non est nequaquam veneranda est.' -- p. 237.
1:233. 'Agit hoc nimirum versutus et callidus humani generis inimicus, ut, sub prætextu honoris sanctorum, rursus idola introducat, rursus per diversas effigies adoretur.' -- p. 252.
2:233. Speaking of the conduct of some Alexandrian Christians, who only admitted the sign of the cross into their churches, he says : -- 'O quam sincera religio! crucis vexillum ubique pingebatur non aliqua vultus homani similitudo. (Deo scilicet hæc mirabiliter etiam ipsis forsitan nescientibus disponente) si enim sanctorum imagines hi qui dæmonum culture reliquerant venerari juberentur, puto quod videretur eis non tam idola reliquisse quam simulacra mutasse.' -- p. 237.
3:233. 'Quia si serpentem æneum quem Deus fieri præcepit, quoniam errans populus tanquam idolum colere cpit, Ezechias religiosus rex, cum magna pietatis laude contrivit: multo religiosius sanctorum imagines (ipsis quoque sanctis faventibus, qui ob sui honorem cum divinæ religionis contemptu eas adorari more idolorum indignantissime ferunt) omni genere conterendæ et usque ad pulverem sunt eradendæ; præsertim cum non illas fieri Deus jusserit, sed humanus sensus excogitaverit.' -- p. 244. 'Nec iterum ad sua latibuls fraudulenta recurrat astutia, ut dicat se non imagines sanctorum adorare sed sanctos; clamat enim Deus, "Gloriam meam alteri non dabo, nec laudem meam sculptilibus."' -- pp. 254, 255. See too the noble concluding passage on the exclusive worship of Christ, breathing a spirit of the purest Protestantism.
1:235. Some curious instances of the way in which the early fanaticism of Mahometanism was thus sustained, have been collected by Helvétius, De l'Esprit. It is quite true, as Sale contends, that Mahomet did not introduce polygamy, and therefore that the fact of his permitting it could not have been one of the motives urging Asiatics to embrace the new religion; but it is also true that Mahomet and his disciples, more skilfully than any other religionists, blended sensual passions with religion, associated them with future rewards, and converted them into stimulants of devotion.
2:235. Some of the early Christians appear to have wished to adopt this course, which would have been the only effectual means of repressing idolatry. In an apocryphal work, called The Voyages of St. John, which was circulated in the Church, there was a legend that St. John once found his own portrait in the house of a Christian, that he thought at first it was an idol, and, even when told its true character, severely blamed the painter. (Beausobre, Hist. du Manichéisme.) A passage in the invective of Tertullian against Hermogenes has been quoted as to the same effect: 'Pingit illicite, nubit assidue, legem Dei in libidinem defendit, in artem contemnit, bis falsarius et cauterio et stylo.' Clemens Alexandrinus was of opinion that ladies broke the second commandment by using looking-glasses, as they thereby made images of themselves. -- Barbeyrac, Morale des Pères. c. v. § 18.
1:236. See on this subject a striking passage from Owen Jones, quoted in Ford's Spain, vol. i. p. 304. It is remarkable that, while the ornamentation derived from the vegetable world in the Alhambra is unrivalled in beauty, the lions which support one of the fountains, and which form, I believe, the solitary instance of a deviation from the command of the Prophet, might rank with the worst productions of the time of Nicolas of Pisa.
1:237. According to tradition, the earliest specimen of Christian mosaic work is a portrait of Christ, preserved in the church of St. Praxede of Rome, which St. Peter is said to have worn round his neck, and to have given at Rome to Pudens, his host, the father of St. Praxede. The finest specimens of the mosaics of the fifth and sixth centuries are at Ravenna, especially in the church of St. Vitale, which was built by the Greeks, who were the great masters of this art. Ciampini, who is the chief authority on this subject, thinks (Vetera Monumenta, pars i. (Romæ, 1690), p. 84) that the art was wholly forgotten in Rome for the three hundred years preceding the establishment of the Monte Cassino school in 1066; but Marangoni assigns a few wretched mosaics to that period (Ist. Sanct. pp. 180-182). A descriptive catalogue of those at Rome has lately been published by Barbet de Jouy, and a singularly interesting examination of their history by M. Vitet (Études sur l'Histoire de l'Art, tom. i.). For a general review of the decline of art, see the great history of D'Agincourt.
2:237. The art of delicate carving on gold and silver was chiefly preserved in the middle ages by the reverence of relics, for the preservation of which the most beautiful works were designed. Rouen was long famed for its manufacture of church ornaments, but these were plundered, and for the most part destroyed, by the Protestants, when they captured the city in 1562. The luxurious habits of the Italian states were favourable to the goldsmiths, and those of Venice were very celebrated. A large proportion of them are said to have been Jews. Francia, Verocchio, Perugino, Donatello, Brunelleschi, and Ghiberti were all originally goldsmiths. M. Didron has published a manual of this art. The goldsmiths of Limoges had the honour of producing a saint, St. Eloi, who became the patron of the art. Carved ivory diptychs were also very common through the middle ages, and especially after the eighth century.
3:237. Much curious information on the history of illumination and miniature painting is given in Cibrario, Economia Politica del Medio Evo, vol. ii. pp. 337-346. Peignot says that from the fifth to the tenth century the miniatures in manuscripts exhibited an extremely high perfection, both in drawing and in colouring, and that from the tenth to the fourteenth the drawing deteriorated, but revived with the revival of painting (Essai sur l'Histoire du Parchemin, p. 76). Glass painting and miniature painting were both common long before Cimabue, and probably exercised a great influence over the early artists.
1:238. See on this subject, and generally on the influence of mediæval modes of thought upon art, Raoul-Rochette, Gouts d'Archéologie, one of the very best books ever written on art. (It has been translated by Mr. Westropp.) The history of miracles strikingly confirms the position in the text. As Marangone says: 'Anzi ella è cosa degna di osservazione che l'Altissimo per ordinario opera molto più prodigi nelle immagini sagre nelle quali non spicca l'eccellenza dell' arte o alcuna cosa superiore all' umana.' -- Istoria della Capella di Sancta Sanctorum, p. 77.
1:239. Even animal beauty. It is one of the most subtle, and, at the same time, most profoundly just, criticisms of Winckelmann, that it was the custom of the Greeks to enhance the perfection of their ideal faces by transfusing into them some of the higher forms of animal beauty. This was especially the case with Jupiter, the upper part of whose countenance is manifestly taken from that of a lion, while the hair is almost always so arranged as to increase the resemblance. There are many busts of Jupiter, which, if all but the forehead and hair were covered, would be unhesitatingly pronounced to be images of lions. Something of the bull appears in like manner in Hercules; while in Pan (though not so much with a view to beauty as to harmony) the human features always approach as near as human features can to the characteristics of the brute. As M. Raoul-Rochette has well observed, this is one of the great distinctive marks of Greek sculpture. The Egyptians often joined the head of an animal to the body of a man without making any effort to soften the incongruity; but beauty being the main object of the Greeks, in all their composite statues -- Pan, Centaurs, hermaphrodites -- the two natures that are conjoined are fused and blended into one harmonious whole.
2:239. See the Laocoön of Lessing. It is to this that Lessing ascribes the famous device of Timanthes in his sacrifice of Iphigenia -- drawing the veil over the face of Agamemnon -- which Pliny so poetically explains.
1:240. 'Deus nudus est.' Seneca, Ep. xxxi.
2:240. Raoul-Rochette, Cours d'Archéologie, pp. 269, 270. See also Fortoul, Études d'Archéologie.
3:240. Matter, Hist. du Gnosticisme, tom. iii. p. 264.
1:241. The period in which the ascetic ideal of ugliness was most supreme in art was between the sixth and twelfth centuries. Many of the Roman mosaics during that period exhibit a hideousness which the inexpertness of the artists was quite insufficient to account for, and which was evidently imitated from the emaciation of extreme asceticism. -- See Vitet, Études sur l'Histoire de l'Art, tom. i. pp. 268-279. Concerning the art of the middle ages, besides the works that have come down to us, we have a good deal of evidence in a book by a bishop of the thirteenth century, named Durandus, called Rationale Divinorum Officiorum. A great deal of curious learning on mediæval art is collected by the Abbé Pascal in his Institutions de l'Art Chrétien; but, above all, in the Iconographie Chrétienne of Didron.
1:242. See an extremely clever sketch of the movement in Raoul-Rochette, Cours d'Archéologie; and Winckelmann, Hist. of Art.
2:242. According to Winckelmann, wooden statues with marble heads, called Akroliqoi, continued as late as the time of Phidias. From the painted wooden statues was derived the custom of painting those in marble and bronze. Heyne, who has devoted a very learned essay to Greek sculpture, thinks the statues of Dædalus were in wood (Opuscula Academica, tom. v. p. 339); but this appears very doubtful. Pausanias says he saw a statue ascribed to Dædalus which was of stone.
1:244. See Winckelmann and Ottfried Müller.
2:244. This influence is well noticed by M. Rio, in a book called The Poetry of Christian Art. An exception, however, should be made in favour of Greek architects, to whom Italy owed its first great ecclesiastical structure, the church of St. Vitale at Ravenna (which Charlemagne copied at Aix-la-Chapelle), and at a later period St. Mark's at Venice, and several other beautiful edifices. The exile of the Greek artists during the Iconoclast persecution, and the commercial relations of Venice, Pisa, and Genoa, account for the constant action of Greece on Italy through the middle ages. I have already noticed the skill of the Byzantine artists in mosaic work.
1:245. Of which Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and Cyril of Alexandria were the principal advocates. The last declared that Christ had been 'the ugliest of the sons of men.' This theory furnished Celsus with one of his arguments against Christianity. The opposite view was taken by Jerome, Ambrose, Chrysostom, and John Damascene. With a view of supporting the latter opinion, there was forged a singularly beautiful letter, alleged to have been written to the Roman Senate by Lentulus, who was proconsul in Judæa before Herod, and in which the following passage occurs: 'At this period there appeared a man, who is still living -- a man endowed with wonderful power -- his name is Jesus Christ. Men say that He is a mighty prophet; but his disciples call Him the Son of God. He calls the dead to life, and frees the sick from every form of disease. He is tall of stature, and his aspect is sweet and full of power, so that they who look upon Him may at once love and fear Him. The hair of his head is of the colour of wine; as far as the ears it is straight and without glitter, from the ears to the shoulders it is curled and glossy, and from the shoulders it descends over the back, divided into two parts after the manner of the Nazarenes. His brow is pure and even; his countenance without a spot, but adorned with a gentle glow; his expression bland and open; his nose and mouth are of perfect beauty; his beard is copious, forked, and of the colour of his hair; his eyes are blue and very bright. In reproving and threatening He is terrible; in teaching and exhorting, gentle and loving. The grace and majesty of his appearance are marvellous. No one has ever seen Him laugh, but rather weeping. His carriage is erect; his hands well formed and straight; his arms of passing beauty. Weighty and grave in speech, He is sparing of words. He is the most beautiful of the sons of men.' Nearly all archæologists have inferred from the representations of the fourth century that this description was then in existence. Dean Milman, however, argues from the silence of St. John Damascene, and of the disputants at the Second Council of Nice, that it is of a much later date. See on this whole subject, Emetic David, Hist, de la Peinture, pp. 24-26; and Didron, Iconographie Chrétienne, pp. 251-276. I may add, that as late as 1649 a curious book (De Formâ Christi) was published on this subject at Paris by a Jesuit, named Vavassor, which represents the controversy as still continuing.
1:247. The same thing is related of the Spanish sculptor Hernandez, and of the Spanish painter Juanes. -- Ford's Spain, vol. ii. p. 271.
1:249. Or, according to others, 692. The object of this council (which was held at Constantinople, and is known under the title 'In Trullo') was to repress the love of allegory that was general; and a very learned historian of art thinks that it first produced pictures of the Crucifixion. (Emeric David, Hist. de la Peinture, pp. 59-61.) Its decree was afterwards either withdrawn or neglected, for lambs soon reappeared, though they never regained their former ascendency in art. As far as I remember, there is no instance of them in the Catacombs; but after Constantine they for nearly three centuries had superseded every other symbol. (Rio, Art Chrétien, Introd. p. 49.) Ciampini says that the council which condemned them was a pseudo-council not sanctioned by the Pope. (Versa Monumenta, pars i. p. 28. See, too, Marangoni, Istoria della Cappella di Sancta Sanctorum, p. 159.)
2:249. At first they were strictly forbidden to remain in the towns. Even the priest-ridden Theodosius made a law commanding all who had embraces the profession of monks to betake themselves to 'vast solitudes' and 'desert places.' (Cod. Theod. lib. xvi. tit. 3, c. 1.)
1:250. That is, by the introduction of the cross, which was the first innovation on the old basilica architecture, and in many of the churches by a slight inclination of the extremity from the straight line, it is said, to represent the verse, 'Jesus bowed his head and gave up the ghost.'
1:253. German pictures are often indecent, but never sensual. It is all the difference between Swift and Don Juan. The nude figure as painted by Van der Werff is ivory -- as painted by Titian or Correggio, it is life. Spanish art tried much to be religious and respectable; and, like the Vergognosa at Pisa, put her hands before her eyes in the midst of the wickedness that surrounded her. But I am afraid she sometimes looked through her fingers. This aspect of Italian art has been most vividly exhibited in the writings of Stendhal (H. Beyle).
2:253. It is perhaps true, as modern critics say, that the transition of Greek art from Phidias to Praxiteles was a declension. It is certainly true that that transition was from the representation of manly strength, and the form of beauty that is most allied to it, to the representation of beauty of a sensual cast from an art of which Minerva was the central figure, to an art of which Venus was the type or (as the German critics say) from the ascendency of the Doric to the ascendency of the Ionic element. But this decadence, if it really took place, is not, I think, inconsistent with what I have stated in the text; for sculpture and painting have each their special perfections, and the success of the artist will in a great degree depend upon his appreciation of the peculiar genres of the art he pursues. Now sculpture is as far superior to painting in its capacity for expressing strength and masculine beauty, as painting is superior to sculpture in expressing warmth and passionate beauty. All the efforts of a Grecian chisel never equalled the voluptuous power of the brush of Titian; and, on the other hand, painting has tried in vain to rival the majesty and the force of sculpture. If there be an exception to this last proposition, it is one which proves the rule, for it is furnished by Michael Angelo, the greatest modern sculptor, in the most sculpture-like frescoes in the world. It should be added, however, that landscape painting is in no sense the creature of sensuality, and Mr. Ruskin has with some force claimed it as a special fruit of Christianity.
1:255. On the amazing vice of Venice, and on the violent but unsuccessful efforts of the magistrates to arrest it, see much curious evidence in Sabatier, Hist. de la Législation sur les Femmes Publiques (Paris, 1828).
2:255. It is generally said to have been invented in the beginning of the fifteenth century by Van Eyck, who died in 1440; but the claim of Van Eyck is not undisputed. It was introduced into Italy about 1452 by a Sicilian painter named Antonello. (Rio, Art Chrétien, tom. i. p. 354.)
3:255. At an earlier period, oriental robes exercised an influence of a different kind upon art. In the thirteenth century, when they began to pour into France, the ornamentation, and especially the tracery, of the windows of many of the French cathedrals is said to have been copied accurately from these patterns. See a very curious essay on painted glass by Thèvenot (Paris, 1837). I may add that, at the time of Augustus, the importation of Indian dresses had told powerfully on Roman art, producing the paintings known as arabesque, and (as Vitruvius complains) diverting the artists from the study of the Greek model. In the middle ages both Venice and Florence were famous for their dyers.
1:256. Praxiteles is said to have definitively given the character of sensuality to Venus, who had previously floated between several ideals of beauty, and also to have been the especial author of the effeminate type of Apollo. Phryne, who was then the great model of voluptuous beauty -- she who, having been condemned to death, was absolved on account of her exceeding loveliness -- was his mistress. His contemporary Polycles greatly strengthened the sensual movement by introducing into art the hermaphrodite. See Rio, Art Chrétien, Introd. pp. 17-21; O. Müller, Manuel d'Archéologie, tom. i. pp. 156, 157.