A collection of the most important pictures (1873) PDF by Adolph Görling

Art treasures of Germany. A collection of the most important pictures of the galleries of Dresden, Cassel, Brunswick, Berlin, Munich, and Vienna

The Sistine Madonna
The Sistine Madonna

Collections of Great paintings by famous painters in Germany with Illustrations and comments. Great source for students of arts

The Sistine Madonna
The deafening noise which, since the break of day, had reigned on the left shore of the Tiber suddenly ceased. The double notes of the evening bell sounded from the church of St. John of Lateran, calling to prayer, and the motley group of Alban peasants, of shepherds from the Sabine hills, of Campagnards, and of Trasteverenes, who had worked all day in the sweat of their brow for nearly nineteen hours, threw down their shovels and pickaxes, turned over their long line of wheelbarrows, muttered a hasty evening prayer, and dispersed quickly to their abodes, without troubling themselves to consider what ancient treasures had been brought to the light of day from the debris and shingle of the river shore. After a few moments, the last of the laborers had disappeared, and there only remained behind a few well-dressed young men, with several Benedictines, and a richly decorated officer of the Pope's Household, who was occupied in investigating the progress made by the works for the re-discovery of ancient Rome. The excavation of ancient Rome was gigantic labor, as was proved by the difficulties which had already risen. Enormous heaps of earth, such as were thrown up by the legions of Caesar around beleaguered cities, were spread along the banks of the Tiber and thrown into the wide streets, which although they had formerly been traversed by millions 'of Roman citizens,

 Rome of the Middle Ages showed its dark threatening face. The strong citadels, so well fortified with freestone walls, turrets, and battlements, around which the ancient temples and other buildings had been destroyed, in order to deprive assailants of every protection against the heavy cross-bow shafts and bullets of the "arcolay," owed their origin to the wild horrible times of the struggles of the Guelphs and Ghibellines, to that period of almost four hundred years, in which the Frangipani and Cenchi fought with the Colonna and Orsini, and the Bianchi and Neri, the Guidelotti and Raspanti, made Italy into one great camp. 


From the summit of each of these castles built for the most part in the Norman-Sicilian style of architecture, there waved a small flag with the arms of the proprietor. Pope Julius had destroyed, with an iron hand, the dynastic glory of the great families of Papal rule; and although after this second David an era had arisen under Leo X. of Solomonic peace, of knowledge-e and art, with a passionate love of display, the noble Roman families were not always willing- to surrender the emblems of their previous self-government. Art Treasures. Thus two banners fluttered upon the battlements of the dark palace near the bridge, one with the tiara and the crossed keys — the other smaller banner adorned with two recumbent red lions, one holding a serpent, the other a lamb in its claws, the symbol of the Cathedral of Ancona on Monte Guasco. Above the portal was another armorial bearing, a hand outstretched in an oath, with the fingers turned downwards, pointing to the executioner's block, the badge of the Malatesta. Before the palace, or rather the castle, stood two athletic figures, clothed in the dress too well known in Italy, of the German foot-soldier, with gaily striped slashed doublet, breast-plate, glittering steel-cap, and long partisan.

 A noble horseman, entirely clothed in steel, with the exception of a small feathered cap in place of the vizor, rode slowly and thoughtfully upon his heavy Walloon horse, over the heaps of refuse carefully examining the excavations; then, shaking his head, and thoughtfully stroking his thick grey beard, he rode on to the door of the Palace Malatesta, while the two sentinels saluted him with martial honors. Richly dressed servants and a tattered rabble, rushing through the portal, seized the reins and stirrups of the war-horse, and on a sign from the cavalier, they were rewarded with some small coin by an imposing personage adorned with a monstrous plumed hat, probably a Swiss Major-domo. Just as the warrior was about to step under the vaulted entrance porch, a brilliant cavalcade attracted his attention. A train of perhaps twenty horsemen, principally young, galloped past, dressed in gaily-colored attire, with waving ostrich feathers in their hats and flashing rapiers at their sides. 


These cavaliers served as out-riders to a young man, whose dress recalled the simplicity of the cloister. He was seated on a raven-black mule, richly equipped, advancing in measured trot, and was escorted by, some distinguished churchmen and laymen on horseback. He wore a black, so-called, licentiate cap, the "biretium," from beneath which hung his long, smooth brown hair, almost touching his shoulders. A brown velvet mantle of the shape worn by the Benedictine preachers clothed the thin figure; his only ornaments were a broach of brilliants, attaching a short red feather to the cap, a glittering dress-sword, and golden spurs. The knight who still stood at the Porta Malatesta appeared greatly astonished. He turned to the steward and said: "What is the meaning of this procession, more suitable for the court of an emperor or of the king of France, than for the clerical city of Rome?"

Authors:
 Adolph; Görling,,Woltmann, Alfred Friedrich Gottfried Albert
and  Meyer, Bruno
Download PDF ebook 36 MB.

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