Michael Bryan.

Bryan's dictionary of painters and engravers (Volume 1) online

. (page 45 of 98)
Online LibraryMichael BryanBryan's dictionary of painters and engravers (Volume 1) → online text (page 45 of 98)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

frescoes would here be impossible. The great
painting of the ' Last Judgment ' alone would offer
material sufficient for an almost endless study.
The influence of Dante was no doubt strong over
Giotto at the time when he painted this great
work, and it is conceived quite in a Dantesque

It is impossible to enumerate all the works that
Vasari attributes to Giotto. Most of these have
long since perished, so that we have only his tes-
timony in respect to them ; but it would really
seem that Giotto went about from one place to
another in Italy, painting wherever he went, in the
manner Ruskin describes, being regarded merely
as "a travelling decorator of walls at so much
a day, having at Florence a bottega, or workshop
for the sale of small tempera pictures." It is
not certain whither Giotto next went, after his
work at Padua was accomplished. Vasari states
that he painted at various times at Pisa, Verona,
Ferrara, Ravenna, Urbino, Arezzo, Lucca, and
Naples, but it is difficult to trace him in these
cities, though here and there some dilapidated
fresco is assigned to him. At Naples, especially,
an important series of frescoes, illustrating the
Seven Sacraments of the church, in the chapel of
the Incoronata, has long been attributed to him,
but without reason, they being evidently later
works by a pupil. It appears certain, from a
document not long since brought to light, that
Giotto really was in Naples in the year 1333,
working at the orders of King Robert, with whom
he seems to have been on terms of friendly in-
timacy. No genuine work remains to us, however,
to testify to his labours in that city.

In Florence, Giotto painted no fewer than four
family chapels in the then newly-built church
of Santa Croce. All of these chapels were
covered at different dates with whitewash, the
decorations of two of them being irretrievably
lost thereby. Others of these paintings, however,
in the Bardi and Peruzzi chapels, have been freed
from their covering, and although terribly re-
stored and repainted, still afford the spectator
some idea of their original beauty. The frescoes
of the Bardi Chapel illustrate the history of St.
Francis, the same subject that was treated in the
earlier pictorial history at Assisi. A comparison
of the two series is interesting. Although lacking
in the energy of expression so characteristic of
the earlier works, the latter series shows a great
advance in distribution and arrangement. In the
' Death of St. Francis,' more especially, Giotto suc-
ceeded in producing one of the most perfect and
beautiful compositions known to Italian art, and
one which was repeatedly copied both by sculptors
and painters during the two centuries following.
Ghirlandaio, as late as the end of the fifteenth


century, copied Giotto's composition closely, in
his well-known fresco in the church of the SS.
Trinita. The paintings in the Peruzzi Chapel,
evidently of a somewhat later date, have for their
subject scenes from the lives of the Baptist and of
St. John the Evangelist. Although in many parts
even more ruined than their companions of the
Bardi Chapel, they still show Giotto at his best
as a composer, and enable us to arrive at some
faint idea of the monumental quality of his maturer

Still another celebrated series of frescoes in
Florence those in the chapel of the Podesta, or
Bargello have long been considered to be by
Giotto's hand, but they hardly stand the test
of a severe critical examination, and are appar-
ently the work of an exceptionally able follower
whose identity remains as yet to be discovered.

Apart from the Stefaneschi altar-piece, but
few genuine panel-pictures by Giotto have been
handed down to us. Of those which bear unmis-
takable signs of his handiwork, the best known
and most important is doubtless the large picture
of the Virgin and Child adored by Angels, in the
Florence Academy. The Louvre also possesses a
fine, though much-damaged, altar-piece, represent-
ing the Stigmatization of St. Francis. A most
exquisite example of the master's work is to be
found in the sacristy of the Arena Chapel at
Padua. Another genuine little painting, repre-
senting the Presentation of Christ in the Temple,
is in the possession of Mrs. J. L. Gardner,
of Boston, U.S.A. The much-quoted Baroncelli
altar-piece, with its apocryphal signature, although
still looked upon by many otherwise competent
critics as a genuine work, certainly shows nothing
in common with Giotto's known manner, and is
visibly the production of a pupil or follower not
far removed from Taddeo Gaddi in character. To
Taddeo himself undoubtedly belong the two long
series of little panels still bearing Giotto's name,
in the Accademia at Florence.

Of Giotto's private life little is known. Like
Dante he appears to have been devoted to the
Franciscan order. He was a man of great natural
ability, of shrewd understanding and sound com-
mon-sense, and, according to all the anecdotes that
are told of him, was exceptionally quick at repartee.
He married, at the beginning of the fourteenth
century, Donna Ciuta di Lapo, and had eight
children, remarkable, it is said, for their ugliness.

Giotto's last work in Florence was as an archi-
tect. In 1334, after the death of Arnolfo, he was
made superintendent of the works of Sta. Maria
del Fiore, and it was from his design, although
successively altered in its later stages by Andrea
Pisano and Francesco Talenti, that the beautiful
Campanile of Florence arose. The lower range
of bas-reliefs around this bell-tower illustrative
of the Creation of Man and his subsequent occupa-
tions -were also very probably executed under his
influence and inspiration, if not from his designs,
by Andrea Pisano.

Giotto died at Florence on January 8, 1337,
and was buried in the church of Sta. Maria del
Fiore. His numerous pupils and followers, known
under the general name of Giotteschi, many of
whom had already attained celebrity during the
master's own lifetime, were deeply imbued by his
teaching, and carried on his work with varying
success throughout the length and breadth of Italy
in the same naturalistic spirit as himself.








Ghiberti. ' Commentario."

Vasari. Ed. Sansoni.

Crowe and Cavalcaselle. ' New History of Painting in

Ruskin. 'Giotto and his Works in Padua,' 'Mornings

in Florence.'

Chini. ' Storia del Mugello,' 1876.
Thode. 'Giotto,' 1899.
Zimmerman. * Giotto,' 1899.

Berenson. ' Florentine Painters of the Renaissance.'
Perkins, F. M. ' Giotto,' London, 1902. F. 11. P.

BONE, HENRY, the celebrated painter in enamel,
was born at Truro, in Cornwall, in 1755. His first
employment was with a manufacturer of china at
Plymouth ; he afterwards employed his talents at
Bristol in painting landscapes and groups of flowers
to ornament porcelain, by which means he acquired
a thorough knowledge of that art, in which he be-
came so eminent. He removed to London in 1779,
and became distinguished by painting in enamel
' The Sleeping Girl,' after Sir Joshua Reynolds.
But the works that will give him lasting fame are
the ' Portraits of Illustrious Englishmen,' eighty-
five in number, which he enamelled after the
original pictures in the royal and other collections.
These must have cost him much labour, expense,
and anxiety ; but, unfortunately, little pecuniary
reward. They are now at Kingston Lacy, Wim-
borne, in the possession of Mr. Ralph Bankes.
In 1811 he produced a copy in enamel (eighteen
inches by sixteen) of Titian's ' Bacchus and
Ariadne,' for which he received 2200 guineas.
He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy
in 1801, and in the same year was appointed
painter in enamel to George III. In 1811 he was
made a full member of the Academy, and died in
1834, when his miniatures were dispersed by

BONE, HENRY FIERCE, the son of Henry Bone,
was born in 1779, and was instructed in enamel-
painting by his father. lie painted and exhibited
portraits and other subjects in oil from 1799 to 1833,
when he turned his attention definitely to enamel
painting, which he practised till 1855, when he
died in London. He was enamel-painter to Queen
Adelaide, and to Queen Victoria and the Prince

BONE, ROBERT TREWICK, was born in London in
1790. He was the son of Henry Bone, the cele-
brated enamel painter, who instructed him in art.
He exhibited classical and sacred pictures at the
Royal Academy and the British Institution from
1813 to 1838, and succeeded in gaining, in 1817,
the 100 premium for his picture of ' A Lady with
her Attendants at the Bath.' He died in 1840.

notti, was born at Bologna in 1653, and was a
scholar of Giovanni Viani. He painted several
pictures for the churches and public edifices at
Bologna, in which he appears to have imitated the
style of Carlo Cignani. Among his most esteemed
productions are the following : ' St. Francis of Sales
kneeling before the Virgin,' in the church of San
Marino ; ' St. Thomas of Villanuova giving Alms
to the Poor,' in San Biagio ; and ' The Virgin and
Infant Christ, with Mary Magdalene and St. Hugo,'
at the Certosa. He died in 1725.

was a native of Ferrara, in which city there are
several of his works in the churches and convents.

His most esteemed pictures are the ' Purification,' and
' Christ disputing with the Doctors,' in the church of
San Francesco, and the ' Holy Family ' in that of La
Santissima Triniti.

born at Perugia about 1420. His earliest work was
an 'Annunciation,' originally in the Orfanelli at
Perugia. His masterpiece is a series of frescoes in
the Palazzo del Consiglio in the same city, which re-
present the Lives of St. Louis of Toulouse and
St. Herculanus; they were commenced in 1454 and
not finished in 1496, in which year Bonfigli's will
is dated. This work occupied much of his time,
and gained him considerable reputation in his native
city. An 'Adoration of the Magi,' said to have
been painted in 1460, in San Domenico, is con-
sidered one of his best productions. Among other
pictures of his may be mentioned a Banner (Gon-
falone) painted in 1465 for the brotherhood of San
Bernardino, and representing the deeds of their
patron saint ; another Gonfalone painted for the
brotherhood of San Fiorenzo in 1476, in honour of
the Virgin, who had been prayed to intercede for
the cessation of the plague ; a ' Virgin of Mercy,'
painted in 1478 for the church of the Commenda
di Santa Croce ; and several others in and around
Perugia. Bonfigli is especially noticeable for the
correctness of his perspective, the beauty of his
colouring, and his love of detail. He was much
influenced by Domenico Vencziano and Pietro della
Franceses. According to Lanzi, Perugino was
his pupil, but there is nothing to corroborate the
statement. We have no record of Bonfigli after

born at Bordeaux in 1824, and was his father's
pupil. He was the brother of Mile. Rosa Bonheur.
His first picture exhibited at the Salon was
'Children and Cockchafer,' in 1845. He afterwards
painted portraits, but was best known by his land-
scapes with cattle. He died of heart disease in a
railway carriage in Paris, February 21, 1884.

BONHEUR, ROSALINE, was born at Bordeaux
in 1822, and died in Paris in July 1899. Her
father was Drawing-master and Director at the
Free School of Design for Girls in Paris, but
Rosaline was not intended for the same profession,
and was to have been a dressmaker. Despite all
her wonderful success in her father's school and
other places of education, where she carried off
all the drawing prizes and failed hopelessly in
every other branch of learning, she was bound
to the business which her parents had selected
for her, and which they were determined she
should adopt. Her misery, however, was so pro-
found that her father relented, took her away
from business, undertook her training himself, and
allowed her to sketch and paint to her heart's
delight. ' Goats and Sheep' was exhibited at the
Salon when she was eighteen, and ' Cows ia
Pasture ' in the following year, while in 1845 she
had no less than fourteen pictures at the Salon,
and was awarded one of its medals. This did not,
however, satisfy her, and she aimed at the highest
prize, gaining it in the form of a special first-class
medal three years afterwards, when she was but
twenty-five. Soon after that her father died, and
so great was her genius that almost without effort
she stepped into his vacant position, one which
had never before been held by a woman. ' The
Horse Fair,' her greatest picture, was exhibited
in 1853. It created a great sensation, was sold



at a very high figure, and eventually found its
way to America at a price exceeding twelve thou-
sand pounds, and is still in New York. A small
replica of it by her own hands is in the National
Gallery. From the time of painting this picture
Rosa adopted male attire and ever afterwards
appeared in it, save on one occasion when she
went to greet her Empress and to receive the
Cross of the Legion of Honour. Other notable
works which she executed were ' Haymaking in
the Auvergne,' ' A Stampede,' ' Scottish Raid,'
' Ploughing in the Nivernais,' ' Horses and Cattle,'
' Horses at Water,' ' Horses for Sale.' The bulk
of her pictures contained representations of horses,
and were marked by much vigour, movement and
dramatic effect. Her drawing was remarkably
accurate and her colouring very truthful. IShe
was a successful artist, and was enabled to pur-
chase a country home at Fontainebleau, where she
carried out most of her later work. She was a
woman of striking appearance, having a very large
head covered with shaggy white hair which she
brushed up high and which gave her a sort of
lion-like appearance, but slie was a person of strong
affection and a very vivacious companion. Many
of her beat works can be seen in the Luxembourg
and also in a special gallery of her works which
was founded after her decease in Paris. Q, p, W.

BONI, GIACOMO, was born at Bologna in 1688,
and was a scholar of Marc Antonio Franceschini,
whom he greatly aided in his works, particularly
at Rome. He is also said to have studied under
Carlo Cignani, whose style is discernible in many
of his works, such as the ceiling of Santa Maria
della Costa at San Remo, and in that of San Pietro
Celestiui at Bologna. He excelled particularly in
fresco, and painted a saloon in the Palazzo Pallavi-
cino, which was much admired, and a fine picture
of 'The infant Jupiter.' He died in 1766.

(sometimes ZAMBONO,) was a pupil and contem-
porary of Jacobello, and was both a painter and
a mosaicist. He was born at Venice about the
beginning of the fifteenth century. At the Academy
of that city is a ' Redeemer between St. Bernardino
and other Saints,' painted soon after the canon-
ization of that saint, which occurred about 1470.
Count Riva of Padua possesses a ' Virgin and Child '
by this artist. He also executed in the Cappella
de' Mascoli in St. Mark's, Venice, mosaics repre-
senting scenes from Life of the Virgin.

BONIFACCIO, FRANCESCO, was born at Viterbo
in 1637, and was a scholar of Pietro da Cortona at
the time that Giro Ferri and Romanelli studied
under that master. He was a respectable painter
of historical subjects, which he treated in the man-
ner of his instructor, and painted several pictures
for the public edifices of his native city. In the
Palazzo Braschi is a picture by this master of
' The Adulteress before Christ.'

Italian engraver who flourished about the year
1590. His plates are principally etchings, which
are executed in a free, spirited style. His most
considerable works were the plates he engraved for
a book published at Rome in 1590, composed by D.
Fontana, architect to Pope Sixtus V., concerning
the removal of the Vatican obelisks. He has in-
scribed his name on these plates, Natalis JBonifacius \
Sibenicensis fee.

BONIFAZIO (or BONIFACIO) is a name borne
by three artists, who all came originally from |

Verona. There still exists much confusion as to
the authorship of the various works attributed to
them. The following notices show those pictures
which are generally given to each painter.

BONIFAZIO I., commonly called BONIFAZIO
VERONESE, was a follower, if not a pupil, of
Palma Vecchio. He was also much influenced by
Giorgione and Titian, and several of his best
works, which are remarkable for a Titian-like
beauty of colouring, have passed under the names
of those masters. Bonifazio I., the most important
member of the family, died in 1540. His works
are seen in moat Italian Galleries, and in those
of Vienna, Dresden, St. Petersburg, and Paris.
The following are his principal productions :

Florence. Pitti Pal. Repose in Egypt (also ascribed to

Paris Bordone}.

,, Finding of Moses (formerly attri-

buted to Giortfione 1 ).

London, Nat. Gall. Santa Converzatione.
Milan. Brera. Finding of Moses (formerly given

to Giorqione).

Modena. Gall. The four Virtues.
Rome. Colonna Pal. Holy Family (formerly called a


Venice. Acad. Massacre of the Innocents.
Dives and Lazarus.

Judgment of Solomon.

S. Stefano. Madonna and Child (?).

Pal. Giovanelli. Holy Conversation.

BONIFAZIO II., commonly called BONIFAZIO
VENEZIANO, died in Venice in 1553, aged sixty-two.
He probably studied under Bonifazio I. The
following pictures are attributed to him :

Berlin. Gall. 'Woman taken in Adultery. MDLII.

Rome. Borghese Pal. Christ in the House of Zebedee.
Return of the Prodigal Son.

BONIFAZIO III., who painted at Venice from
about 1555 to 1579, is supposed to be the author
of the following paintings :

Venice. Gall. The Queen of Sheba before Solo-

mon. 1555.

Adoration of the Things. 1558.

Several Figures of Saints.


the village of Arnold near to Nottingham, on
October 25, 1801. His father, who was for a time
Governor of Nottingham Gaol, but lost his appoint-
ment through irregularities, became afterwards
a portrait painter and went to Paris. Young
Bonington, then fifteen, was permitted to study
in the Louvre, and enter as a student at the Ecole
des Beaux Arts : he was also an occasional pupil
of Baron de Gros, and thus belongs by training more
to the French than to the British School. Gros'
studio was in his time the favourite meeting-place
of all the younger men of revolutionary tendencies,
but although Bonington absorbed many of their
ideas, he was able to keep away from their ex-
travagances by reason of his repeated journeys
to London, where he never lost an opportunity
of studying the work of Constable. He painted
his first landscapes in Normandy and Picardy, but
in 1822 paid a long visit to Italy, sojourning
especially in Venice, and filling his portfolios with
sea pieces and historical scenes. He then returned
to England, where he was but little known, and
his early exhibited works shown at the British
Institution excited much amazement, as they were
so French in their technique and yet so redolent
of English feeling. He had brought back with
him from Venice the seeds of consumption, caught,
























i 2f

i \

~ H



e, Paris


it is said, in long evenings' exposure on the canals
of that fascinating city. Then in Paris, while
sketching in the sun, he received a sunstroke
which brought on first of all somnambulism and
then brain fever. From the former he never
entirely recovered, and the consumption making
rapid progress laid him aside completely, and he
died in London on September 23, 1828, before he
had completed his twenty-seventh year. Eugene
Delacroix was his great friend and comrade, and
the eminent artist has thus described him : " I
knew Bonington well and loved him much. His
English composure, which nothing could disturb,
robbed him of some of the qualities which make
life pleasant. As a lad he developed an astonishing
dexterity in the use of water-colours, which were
in 1817 an English novelty. Other artists were
perhaps more powerful or more accurate than
Bonington, but no one in the modern school,
perhaps no earlier artist, possessed the ease of
execution which makes his works, in a certain
sense, diamonds, by which the eye is pleased and
fascinated, quite independently of the subject and
the particular representation of nature. The same
is true of the costume pictures which he afterwards
painted. Even here I could never grow weary
of marvelling at his sense of effort and his great
ease of execution. Not that he was quickly satis-
fied ; on the contrary, he often began over again
perfectly finished pieces which seemed wonderful
to us. His dexterity was, however, so great that
in a moment he produced with his brush new
effects which were as charming as the first and
more truthful." The career of Bonington is a
very sad instance of genius cut orl in its bloom.
He was at once, as Mutlu-r says, " the most natural
and the most delicate in that Romantic school in
which he was one of the first to make an appear-
ance. He had a fine eye for the charm of Nature,
saw grace and beauty in her everywhere, and
represented the spring and the sunshine in bright
clear tones. No Frenchman before him bad so
painted the play of light on gleaming costumes
and succulent meadow greens." His spirited im-
pressionist works, full of careful observation, are
the direct result of his study of Constable, and it
was largely to his influence and to the ability
which he had to carry the Constable quality over
to France, that the men of the Barbizon school,
whose forerunner he was, were able to acquire
that influence of Constable which is so marked
in their works and which they brought down to
the present day. Bonington is the link of union
between the men of classic fame in England and
the Barbizon school, with all its developments
oo the landscape art of France. At the British
Institution he exhibited in 1826 two ' Views on
the French Coast,' and also the 'Column of St.
Mark's, Venice,' now in the National Gallery. To
the Royal Academy he sent four pictures, ' Henry
III. of France ' and ' The Grand Canal, Venice,'
both painted in 1828, and two ' Coast Scenes.'
Two of his best known works are ' Henri IV. and
the Spanish Ambassador ' (which was sold in the
San Donate collection in 1870 for 3320, and is
now in the Wallace Gallery), and ' Francis I. and
the Duchesse d'Etampes,' now in the Louvre.
There are three of his water-colours in the Museum
at Kensington, but in no gallery can his work be
so well studied as at Hertford House, where there
are no less than thirty-four of his paintings ; ten
being in oil and the remainder in water-colour.

Amongst those in oil, in addition to those just
mentioned, are ' Francis I. and Marguerite of
Navarre,' representing the scene where the King
has just written on the window-pane the famous
verse, ' Souvent femme varie, Bien fol qui s'y fie,'
'Anne Page and Slender,' 'The Seine near Rouen,'
'A Rustic Scene, 1 and 'The Piazza San Marco,
Venice.' In water-colours there are many scenes
from Venice, Bologna, Milan, Rouen, and various
places in France, also some Oriental scenes and
some charming historical episodes, as 'The Earl
of Surrey with the fair Geraldine,' ' Death of
Leonardo da Vinci,' etc. g c. W.

according to Padre Orlandi, a native of Ancona,
and flourished about the year 1660. He was a
favourite scholar and imitator of Francesco Albani,
and assisted that master in many of his principal
works, parti<-ularly in the Sala Farnese, and in the
palaces at Bologna. A ' Christ adored by Saints '
by him is in the Louvre. He died about 1680.



BONISOLI, AOOSTINO, was born at Cremona in
1633, and was first a scholar of Battista Tortiroli,
and afterwards studied a short time under Miradoro
Agostino Bonisoli, a relation, an artist of little
note. lie was indebted to his natural genius and
his study of the works of Paolo Veronese more
than to either of his instructors. He was more

Online LibraryMichael BryanBryan's dictionary of painters and engravers (Volume 1) → online text (page 45 of 98)