Page images

their palates and tempers, as will render them exceedingly troublesome to themselves and others, not only in their travels through Italy, but in the whole course of their journey through life.

There are a great number of palaces in this city. What is called the Public Palace, is by far, the most spacious,. but not the most elegant. In this the cardinal legate is lodged. There are also apartments for the gonfalonier; and halls, or chambers, for some of the courts of justice. This building, though of a gloomy and irregular form without, contains some very magnificent apartments, and a few good pictures: the most esteemed are, a large one, by Guido, of the Virgin, and the infant Jesus, seated on the rainbow; a Sampson, by Guido also, refreshing himself with the water which issues from the jaw-bone with which he has just defeated the Philistines; and a St. John the Baptist, by Raphael, a duplicate of that in the Palais Royal at Paris, but thought, by some connoisseurs, greatly inferior. For my part, I think it is to be regretted, that this great painter did not employ the time he spent on one of them, at least, on some subject more worthy of his talents. A single figure, unemployed, can never please so much as a group, occupied in some interesting action. It is a pity that a painter, capable, even in a moderate decree, of exciting the passions, should confine his talents to solitary figures. How much more unworthy of him who possessed all the sublimity and pathos of the art !

On his arrival at this town, the first object which strikes the eye of a stranger, is a noble marble fountain, in the area before the palazzo publico. The principal figure is a statue of Neptune, eleven feet in height; one of his hands is stretched out before him, in the other he holds the trident. The body and limbs are finely proportioned, the anatomy perfect, the character of the countenance severe and majestic. This figure of Neptune, as well as all the others of boys, dolphins, and syrens, which surround it, are in bronze. The whole is the workmanship of Giovanni di Bologna, and is highly esteemed; yet there seems

to be an impropriety in making water flow in streams from the breasts of the sea nymphs, or syrens.

Over the entrance of the legate's palace, is a bronze statue of a pope. The tiara, and other parts of the papal uniform, are not so favourable to the sculptor's genius, as the naked simplicity in which Neptune appears. A fe male traveller, however, not extravagantly fond of the fine arts, would rather be observed admiring the sculptor's skill in imitating the folds of the sacerdotal robes, than his anatomical accuracy in forming the majestic propor tions of the sea divinity.



THE university of Bologna is one of the most ancient and most celebrated seats of literature in Europe: and the academy for the arts and sciences, founded by the count Marsigli at the beginning of the present century, is sufficient, of itself, to engage strangers to visit this city, if there was nothing else worthy of their curiosity. Over the gate of this magnificent edifice is the following liberal inscription.




Here is a most valuable library, in three spacious rooms, where any person may study, and have the use of the books, four hours every day; also apartments for the stu dents of sculpture, painting, architecture, chemistry, anatomy, astronomy, and every branch of natural philosophy. They are all ornamented with designs, models, instruments, and every kind of apparatus requisite for illustrating those sciences. There are also professors, who regu larly read lectures, and instruct the students in those various parts of knowledge. There is a hall, full of models in architecture and fortification, a valuable collection of medals, and another of natural curiosities, as animals,

earths, ores, minerals, and a complete collection of speci mens, to assist the study of the materia medica, and every part of natural history. A gallery of statues, consisting of a few originals, and very fine casts of the best statues in Italy. I went one evening to the academy of painting and sculpture; two men stood in different attitudes on a table, in the middle of the room; about fifty sudents sat in the amphitheatre around them, some drawing their fi gures in chalks, others modelling them in wax, or clay. As each student viewed the two men from different points, the variety of manner in the different students, together with the alteration in the chiaro scuro under each point of view, gave every drawing the appearance of being done from a different figure. Nothing can be so advantageous to the young student as this kind of exercise, which is sometimes practised by day-light, and sometimes by the light of lamps, and must give a fuller idea of the effect of light and shade than any other method.

Honorary premiums are distributed every year among the artists, for the best designs in painting, sculpture, and architecture.

The anatomical theatre is adorned with statues of cele brated physicians; and in the museum, which belongs to it, there are abundance of anatomical preparations; also a complete suite of anatomical figures in wax. A man and woman in the natural state; the same with the skin and cellular membrane removed, the external muscles of the whole body and limbs appearing. In the subsequent figures the more external muscles are gradually removed, till nothing but the simple skeleton remains. These fi gures are very well rendered, preserving the natural ap pearance and situation of the muscles and blood-vessels, with as much exactness as could be expected in a work of this nature. There are also models in wax, of particular parts, and of several of the viscera of the human body separately; yet those waxen models could not stand in comparison with the preparations of the real parts in Dr. HunIf brought to that test, the Bologna wax

ter's museum.

works, though admirable in their kind, would appear as their best casts of the Vatican Apollo and Laocoon would, if placed beside the originals. Indeed, the real preparations to be seen here, are far inferior to those of that great anatomist; who is now possessed of the most complete, and most accurate collection of anatomical preparations, that ever was made by human skill and industry. We have faithfully performed our duty in visiting all the churches and palaces of this city, which contain some of the highest specimens of art; yet, as the recital might be less amusing than the tour itself, I shall exercise your patience with great moderation on that subject.

The church of St. Petronius forms part of that large, irregular square, in which the fountain, formerly mentioned, stands; it is the largest in Bologna. In the pavement of this church, Cassini drew his meridian line; and within the walls of this same edifice the emperor Charles V was crowned. Those circumstances may interest the astronomer, and the historian; but the statue of a soldier, which stands in one of the chapels, engages the attention of the pious Catholic. This man, being at play, and in danger of losing all his money, offered up a very fervent prayer to the Virgin Mary for a little better luck; to which she, who never shewed any favour to gamesters, turned a deaf When he found that his bad fortune continued, this furious wretch drew his sword, and wounded both the Virgin, and the infant in her arms. He instantly, as you may suppose, fell to the ground, deprived of motion; he was carried to prison, and condemned to an ignominious and painful death. While he remained under confinement, he came to a proper sense of his wickedness; and the blessed Virgin was so much softened by his repentance, that she restored him to the use of his limbs; and the judges, taking the hint, gave him a full pardon. As a satisfactory proof of this memorable event, they shew the identical sword with which the assault was made.


A Dominican convent, situated on the top of a hill, a

bout three miles from this city, is in possession of a portrait of the Virgin, by St. Luke. It is not perfectly known how it came there; any inquiry of that nature savours of heresy, and might give offence. The people in general are persuaded of its originality, and happy in the honour of such a neighbour. This portrait has wrought many miracles in favour of the inhabitants of Bologna. A curious gallery, open to the south, and closed by a wall to the north, is built all the way from this city to the convent. On the open side it is supported by a long row of pillars, and was erected by voluntary contribution, in honour of the Virgin, and for the conveniency of pilgrims. This long colonade is about twelve feet in breadth, from the pillars to the wall, and of a convenient height; all the communities of the town walk once a year, in solemn procession, to the convent, and bring the holy picture to visit the city. It is carried through the principal streets, attended by every inhabitant who can afford to purchase a wax taper. During this procession, the bells continue ringing, the cannon are fired; and the troops under arms observe the same ceremonies, when the picture passes, as if it were commander in chief of the forces. The common people imagine, the picture is extremely fond of this annual visit to the town of Bologna; they even are convinced, that, if it were not carried, it would descend from the frame, and walk the whole way on foot; but they do not desire to see the experiment made, both because it might disoblige the Virgin, and because, if the picture were once set a walking, there is no knowing where it would stop.

Though the nobility of Bologna are not now very rich, many of their palaces are furnished in a magnificent taste, and contain paintings of great value. The palaces were built, and ornamented, when the proprietors were richer, and when the finest works of architecture and painting could be procured on easier terms than at present. The galleries, and apartments, are spacious and magnificent; yet there are circumstances in the most



« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »