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“ tiline's conspiracy.”—“ That is the vul

gar opinion,” said the other ; “ but the “ statue was, in reality, done for a pea“ fant, who discovered the plot into which “ the two sons of Junius Brutus entered “ for the restoration of Tarquin.” "I “ ask pardon, Sir," said the young man ; “ but although one may easily see that “ the figure listens with the most exqui“ site espression of attention, yet I should “ think it very difficult to delineate in the “ features, whether the listener heard a

conspiracy, or any thing else which

greatly interested him, and absolutely “ impossible to mark, by any expression “ of countenance, what particular con

spiracy he is hearing.” “ Your obfer“ vation is just, young man,” said the antiquarian, “ when applied to modern “ artists, but entirely the reverse when

applied to the ancient. Now, for my

own part, I plainly perceive in that “ man's countenance, and after you have “ studied those matters as profoundly as I

7

" have

T

" have done, you will see the same, that " it is the conspiracy for the restoration of

Tarquin, and no other plot whatever, 66 which he listens to; as for Catiline's

conspiracy, it is not possible he could “ know any thing about it; for, good “ God! people ought to reflect, that the

man must have been dead four hundred years

before Catiline was born."

As we are now in the famous octagonal room, called Tribuna, I ought, if I had any thing new to say, to descant a little on the distinguishing excellencies of the Dancing Faun, the Wrestlers, the Venus Urania, the Venus Victrix ; and I would most willingly pay the poor tribute of

my praise to that charming figure known by the name of Venus de Medicis. Yet, in the midst of all my admiration, I confess I do not think her equal to her brother Apollo in the Vatican. In that sublime figure, to the most perfect features and proportions, is joined an air which seems more than hu

B b 2

man,

man.

The Medicean Venus is unquestionably a perfect model of female beauty ; but while Apollo appears more than a man, the Venus seems precisely a beautiful wo

man.

In the same room are many valuable curiosities, besides a collection of admirable pictures by the best masters. I do not know whether any are more excellent of their kind, but I am convinced none are more attentively considered than the two Venuses of Titian; one is faid to be a portiait of his wife, the other of his mistress. The first is the finest portrait I ever saw, except the second; of this you have seen many copies: though none of them equals the beauty of the original, yet they will give a juster idea of it than any description of mine could. On the back ground, two women seem searching for something in a trunk.

This episode is found much fault with; for my part, I see no great harm the two poor women do:

none

none but those critics who search more eagerly after deformity than beauty, will take any notice of them,

Besides the Gallery and Tribuna, the hundredth part of whose treasures I have not particularised, there are other rooms, whose contents are indicated by the names they bear; as, the Cabinet of Arts, of Artronomy, of Natural History, of Medals, of Porcelain, of Antiquities, and the Saloon of the Hermaphrodite, so called from a statue which divides the admiration of the Amateurs with that in the Borghese villa at Rome. The excellence of the execution is disgraced by the vileness of the subject. We are surprised how the Greeks and Romans could take pleasure in such unnatural figures; in this particular, their taste seems to have been as depraved, as in general it was elegant and refined. In this room there is a collection of drawings by some of the greatest masters, Michael Angelo, Raphael,

Andrea

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Andrea del Sarto, and others. There is, in particular, a sketch of the Last Judgment by the first-named of these painters, different, and, in the opinion of some, designed with more judgment, than his famous picture on the same subject in Sixtus the Fourth's chapel in the Vatican.

The large room, called the Gallery of Portraits, is not the least curious in this vast Musæum. It contains the portraits, all executed by themselves, of the most eminent painters who have flourished in Europe during the three last centuries. They amount to above two hundred; those of Rubens, Vandyke, Rembrandt, and Guido, were formerly the most esteemed ; two have been added lately, which vie with the finest in this collection-those of Mengs and Sir Joshua Reynolds. The portrait of Raphael seems to have been done when he was young; it is not equal to any of the above. The Electress Dowager of Saxony has made a valuable

addition

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